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"Liberal Massachusetts Rep. Mike Capuano incensed the moderates when he said if Democrats support rolling back Dodd-Frank regulations, 'you might as well be a Republican.'”
Cartoonist Joe Sacco's thoughts on the terrorist attack in France.
Speaker "Boehner told reporters today, 'We’ve got to find a way to deal with America’s crumbling infrastructure,'”
Senate Majority Leader McConnell is completely wrong to say that it's te election of a Republican Senate that has improved the economy, but I wouldn't be at all surprised to see people picking up on this and claiming that it's true.
So how did the good guys do on convincing Americans that torture is a bad things and shouldn't be tolerated by civilized people under any circumstances? Erm, uh, well, we got the %$#@ kicked out of us, actually. Only 20% of Americans believe that torture shouldn't be engaged in at all. 80% are okay with it under some circumstances.
The blogger here makes a strong case that the similarities between J. Bush and H. Clinton are overblown. Also, In 1994, J. Bush wrote, “We have enough special categories, enough victims, without creating even more,” Bush added, “[Should] sodomy be elevated to the same constitutional status as race and religion? My answer is No.”
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT): "Let’s be clear: the TPP is much more than a 'free trade' agreement. It is part of a global race to the bottom to boost the profits of large corporations and Wall Street by outsourcing jobs."
Rush Limbaugh criticizes the idea of a black man playing James Bond. Then says on his radio show:: "My audience is tired of me being called a racist." Gee, Rush, I kinda think there's a pretty simple solution to that particular problem.
Good! This puts renewed pressure to convene a new Grand Jury! Officer Darren Wilson's verdict of innocent needs to be tossed out and a new grand Jury empaneled. Also, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch may lose his license to practice law.
Former KKK leader David Duke threatens to expose other Congressional sympathizers with the KKK after Steve Scalise case becomes burden on Republicans. Fine by me! Expose 'em all!
Yeah, this is a really stupid quote. Jim Cramer says that when people getwealthy enoug, they'll share the wealth. The problem is that "spill-over" simply doesn't occur. No one ever says “We have so much money, we may as well share the wealth.” As Pope Francis pointed out about “trickle-down economics”: "There was the promise that once the glass had become full it would overflow and the poor would benefit. But what happens is that when it's full to the brim, the glass magically grows, and thus nothing ever comes out for the poor.” .
Roman Catholic Bishops go about trying to ban “tying your tubes,” a form of birth control that can be done right after giving birth, something frequently done by both men and women in their thirties and forties where they just say “Okay, we've had enough children.” By making the procedure much more difficult to get, the bishops show once again they are stuck in a Medieval mindset>, they're not just nostalgic for the 1950s, they look back with fondness to the 1250s.
Many people have argued for many decades that increasing economic misery will push people to adot better economic models. Paul Krugman points out that people can also adopt facism and other authoritarian solutions.
Couple of Westerners have made the news by going to the Middle East and joining up with ISIS. Piece here says "Hey guys! If you're looking for adventure, it's just as easy to join the other side and to be in with anti-ISIS forces!" Plus which, you can put it on your resume without fear of fellow Westerners not liking you.
Now, when anybody tries to tell you what the priorities of the Republican Party are, Mitch McConnell, the head of the Senate Republicans, decided that his first, most urgent, most important of all of the priorities on his agenda, is to repeal the $5,200 limit on campaign donations. Keep that in mind during the 2016 campaign. This is what Republicans really care about.
Hmm, so "Anarchy in NY," due to the police protests against Mayor de Blasio, but, erm, poorer residents are financially benefiting from the non-enforcement of low-level laws. Not quite the effect that insubordinate police were looking for! (As a vet, I have very little sympathy for open displays of insubordination).
As with Kansas, projections made by Arizona that tax cuts would lead to balanced budgets proved to be illusory> but that won't stop the Republican Senate from forcing the CBO to accept "dynamic scoring" as a means of calculating the future impact of legislative proposals (A theory that holds that tax cuts magically result in savings even though cases like KS and AZ show such savings to be fantasy). But hey, let's celebrate illusory future savings and demonstrate Republican values in action by giving bonuses to staff members!
World religious leaders gather to declare that modern-day slavery is a crime.
Mario Cuomo, former three-term Governor of New York, passed away today (Jan 1st). He represented Democratic values well. Think Progress produces a short, quickie list of good, progressive policies that the late Governor Cuomo supported.
Tch, tch, tch! Neil deGrasse Tyson upsets religious people with his holiday tweets.
Always fun to go back over past predictions of horrors and disasters that were supposed to have occurred by now. Keep these in mind when you hear conservatives proclaiming that "(xxx) will turn out disastrously, just you mark my words! We'll all regret allowing (xxx) to occur, I tell you! You liberals will all be sorry!"
The head of Philadelphia's Fraternal Order of Police makes a plea (Third LTE down, "Facing daily danger, grave risk as officers") to think of the police when reviewing the many, many cases of police killing unarmed black men. Hmm, come to think of it, he doesn't address the all-too-frequent killing of unarmed black men at all, he keeps his LTE entirely one-sided and asks us to consider ONLY the police side of the question. And my response.
Two Republican politicians Steve Scalise and Michael Grimm provide really, really strong reasons for black to vote Democratic.
Dang! Nice work if you can get it! A charter high school served around 200 students, it got a total of $35 million from the district, kids who could read and do math at their appropriate grade level were 2% and 3% respectively, oh, and here's the kicker, the top two people in charge had compensation packages in the six figures! It's called private enterprise without accountability. Charter schools don't feel any connection to their community, they're just in it for the bucks.
Studio releases “assassination comedy” (“The Interview”).
The fellow representing the police against New York's elected Mayor (Who represents ALL New Yorkers, not just the police) states: "We have a lot of talking we’re going to have to do here to understand both sides of this issue. This is not a one-sided issue." Erm, actually, the killing of unarmed black men (And a few women) by white police officers IS a "one-sided issue" and no, there isn't any other side or aspect to consider. And hmm, turns out public isn't pleased by police demonstration of insubordination.
Problem is, the findings in this poll are absolutely consistent with those of past years over the last several decades. Republicans dominate the Sunday talk shows. In good times, in bad times, during periods when Republicans dominate the Presidency, the Senate and/or the House and during times when they don't. It makes zero difference how much power each party has, Republicans dominate the Sunday talk shows, period!
And no, the idea that Internet porn is responsible for a low marriage rate is bunk.
Formally and officially, the War in Afghanistan ended today (Dec 28), unofficially, not all that much has really changed. At least the troops there are down to the somewhat reasonably low number of a bit less than 11,000.
Interesting comment from Chuck Todd, who feels that the politicians who appear on Meet The Press do so out of the goodness of their hearts and that he can't afford to do anything that might make them uncomfortable. One of the problems with that is “Why is he working with such a limited Rolodex of politician's numbers?” Why is he unable to call on so few politicians? And also “Don't politicians have a vested interest in appearing to be candid?” MTP is very much a two-way street where both sides benefit, it's not a one-way street where he receives charity from his guests.
President Obama determined to pass TPP. Please don't! The TPP is like NAFTA, it'll help the 1% at the expense of everyone else. Yes, the country as a whole will make more money, but that new money will be made by people at the very top of the income ladder, not at the income levels where money is needed.
Bill Moyers supplies an excellent rundown on the latest climate change critiques and shows why they're not credible.
Included in the $1.1 trillion government spending bill is $80 billion for running the CIA and other spy agencies, y'know, the guys who missed 9/11 and thought the Iraq War would be over once we took Baghdad and who were surprised by ISIS, yeah, those guys.
So, how's ISIS, ISIL or The Islamic State doing? Not so well, actually. And to think that just over a month ago Max Boot was opining in the pages of the Philadelphia Inquirer about how Obama wasn't being aggressive enough and how the US ought to do more. Tells ya how much credibility to give these folks.
Interesting video from the late Michael Jackson, intercut with up-to-the-minute happenings. He demonstrates lots of mature political awareness here.
A case is launched against Edward Snowden and his helpers. Fortunately, it sounds like a pretty difficult case for the plaintiff to win. He has to provide "standing," a showing that he has been personally hurt by Snowden's actions. The idea that all of the people behind Snowden's actions were motivated solely by profit is also a steep hurdle to get over.
Hmm, interesting. Lots and lots of reasons to be skeptical that North Korea was the culprit in the Sony hacking. 'Course I have to agree that NK doesnt really win any sympathy with its slanderous and overheated response.
Wow! Conservative...uh..."humor" they call it? Hoo boy!
Republicans want to force the GAO to adopt “dynamic scoring,” that is, to incorporate incorrect assumptions about the effects of tax cuts. This would make GAO forecasts worthless but would make it easier for the GOP to push their favorite policies.
And yeah, the constant complaint that Obama is spending too much time on vacation, after our critics noticeably failed to criticize either Reagan or the younger George Bush for their rather extensive vacation schedules, is indeed a racist criticism.
Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) has repeatedly put out a petition for more job creation. That's really great, but what does a Republican mean by "job creation"? It tends not to mean what Democrats mean. It tends to mean things like tax cuts for the already-wealthy and the cutting of SNAP/Food Stamps for the not-so-wealthy (Y'know, to create incentives for those lazy poor people to get to work). So, in general, I agree with my Senator's top line, the headline of his proposal, we need more job creation. But I really need to know the details of his proposal before I agree with it.
From the latest reports on torture, it sounds as though the problem was that a very few people had far too much influence on the whole process. A person is identified in particular who just displayed horrible, execrable judgment, but who still occupies a high ranking position in the CIA.
The scene of North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un getting killed (a few seconds) is pretty brutal. As I said, this is a living, sitting, head of state that's being "killed" here. Should we defend it? *Sigh,* I guess so, now that it's a cause celebre anyway.
President Obama declares that he will take certain actions regarding Cuba, figures in traditional media declare that such actions will be illegal, other people in the alternative media carefully examine his proposed actions and the law, initial statements prove to be unfounded and legally incompetent.
Conservatives call upon the Federal Government to stand tough against Colorado's relaxed marijuana laws, thus making complete hash of conservative “State's Rights” arguments, showing that “State's Rights” were always pragmatic arguments for whatever else they've already decided to do. “State's Rights” has never been a principled argument for anything.
Very cool! The WSJ is finally beginning to recognize that allowing the Supreme Court to cripple the ACA/ObamaCare would be absolutely disastrous for many millions of Republican voters and therefore, for the Republican Party.
Hate to be a killjoy on the whole razzing of North Korea thing, but it's pretty horrible that a piece of popular entertainment is advocating the death of a current, and very much alive, world leader. And not just with a quick bullet to the head as G.W. Bush suffered in a British film during his presidency, but a really detailed, painful death as we saw in "Inglorious Basterds."
Fox's idea of "balance": "Sean Hannity's panel on 'Race Relations' was three white people and Geraldo."
I put a pro-Obama message onto a site and got a really snarky reply from a right-winger about how Obama didn't dot all of his i's or cross all of his t's several years ago, so Obama is, like, the worst President ever!!! So I thought of how Obama is dealing with the guy that the right wing thought of as a strategic mastermind, Vladimir Putin of Russia, and how Putin's strategy has fared. As we can see, not very well. Then I remembered how G.W. Bush responded to Putin's reaction to Georgia's aggression in 2008 and seem to remember Bush making a pretty incompetent, ineffectual response.
Very cool! NY Governor Cuomo's gotten a lot of hate and discontent from progressives, but banning fracking in New York state is a very good thing!
The late Terri Schiavo's husband Michael Schiavo, speaks out against Jeb Bush, warning that he'll interfere with your private life-and-death decisions just the way he did in the Schiavo case. This was a case that majorly ticked me off at the time and showed the anti-choicers to be a bunch of ignorant, interfering, busybodies who needed to mind their own damned business. Fie on J. Bush for supporting them!
Very cool! President Obama makes a long overdue change to Cuba policy by opening up trade and diplomatic relations again. Senator Rubio argues that the new US policy towards Cuba is a bad one. That's a pretty tough case to make and Rubio does not do a good job of making it.
The Rachel Maddow Show produces a disturbing report from the Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture. some of Bush's people were actively covering up the complete and utter failure to achieve anything with torture.
Yeah, global warming's having a very real and serious effect. California needs 11 trillion gallons of water to rehydrate, get all of their crops growing, etc.
The traditional media engages in its favorite game of "false equivalence" by comparing Senators Elizabeth Warren and Ted Cruz. No, they're really not alike at all. There are very good and sensible reasons why she's being lionized and he's not.
Media Matters pens a fond farewell to Colbert Nation and notes that right-wingers just can't seem to produce any real comedy.
Woo hoo! After waiting over a year to be confirmed, Dr. Vivek Murthy is now our Surgeon General! NRA suffers serious black eye and it's also very important to remember that Murthy's nomination only proceeded to the the floor of the Senate because the filibuster was weakened. With the regular filibuster in place, Republicans had more than enough votes to continue blocking Murthy's nomination.
On torture: "Cheney: 'I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective'" Y'know, back when I was a young'un, I remember that a bad person was defined as someone for whom “the end justifies the means” and that those who practiced “Situational ethics” lacked any real understanding of morality. When did those concepts become good things?!?!?!
Good grief! Conservatives are running out of things to get outraged about. They're scraping the bottom of the barrel now. (They're outraged, outraged, I tell you!!1!, that President Obama follows some sports on ESPN).
Arch-conservative Tea Party Senator helps Democrats so much, a very irritated Senator Lindsey Graham says: "I haven't seen Harry [Reid] smile this much in years, and I didn't particularly like it."
As Rep. Darrell Issa finishes up his four-year tenure on the House Oversight Committee, we say goodbye to the most useless, unproductive Chairman ever. Is there anyone who comes off as even worse in this story? Yes. The traditional press corps comes off like Charlie Brown to Issa's Lucy and her football. They just kept falling for Issa's tricks again and again and AGAIN!
"Why are torturers being given 'balance' in the press?" Excellent question! There are many people and viewpoints that don't appear to need any sort of balance, why do torturers apparently deserve a respectful hearing?
Yeesh! This guy wants to march into DC, take over and shoot the bankers. I'm trying to imagine the reaction of the authorities if he were anything but white. I think he would have gotten a visit from the black helicopters by now.
Former VP Dick Cheney defends torture, citing the OLC opinion. Doesn't mention that once the OLC opinion was exposed to the light of day, its shoddy, incompetent reasoning was immediately revealed.
*Sigh* Gotta love these geniuses running the town of Ferguson. Collecting fines for violations of "public safety" (fining African-Americans for any sort of violation) was a way in which Ferguson balanced its budget and really, really annoyed their black population. So what is their solution now that they had to spend so much dealing with black protesters? Aww, you guessed it! Yup, they're going to depend on the police to collect even more in public safety violations fines!
Out of a $1.1 trillion budget, Senator Coburn is standing in the way of a bill that would prevent veteran suicides. The cost of that bill that has broad support on both sides of the aisle? $22 million. UPDATE: A major problem with Senator Coburn holding back a near-universally popular bill was that the media didn't see fit to inform American citizens about it. Why not, guys?!?!!?! Why has Republican obstructionism been such a non-story for the past six years?
Juan Cole delivers some cheery, bright and very welcome news on energy.
Considering that Dick Cheney is very, very careful about where he appears on TV, this does NOT reflect well on Chuck Todd's tenure on Meet The Press.
Some of the worst provisions in the $1.1 trillion "cromnibus" just passed are actually not the fault of Republicans, but of Blue Dog Democrats.
Senator Feinstein gets ticked off and tells critics to #ReadTheReport (probably adding under her breath "Gol durn it!"). Unfortunately, the impact of the SSCI torture report is severely diluted by the false equivalence framing that the media uses to describe it.
This story makes the same point that was made in the new "Cosmos" series (An inventor made a solar-powered water-heater, which was put out of business by cheap gasoline). I would also note that we've desperately needed at least a trillion dollars worth of infrastructure improvements for quite some time now. The piece demonstrates why such improvements are long overdue.
Very interesting. Cheney says of the torture program, Bush knew everything. The CIA didn't go rogue and everything was approved.
A doctor tweets out a series of responses on US torture policy.
Intelligence Committee report on torture (redacted version of summary, anyway) released. Thinkprogress does a quickie overview. Very important is point #3, within the CIA, people thought "Y'know, this really isn't doing any good. We're not discovering anything meaningful and we're destroying our identity as the good guys." My own quick overview. Heh! According to Fox News, the timing of the release of the torture report is highly suspicious, coming as it does on the same day that more Jonathan Gruber statements were to be released. Because, of course, discrediting the ACA/Obamacare is far more important than whether America tossed away it's "City on a Hill " status. And no, bin Laden was not found via CIA torture.
Will the torture report result in harm to our intelligence agencies? No, not likely at all. (Includes highly relevant and on-point 1973 Doonesbury reprint). Cheney and Bush apply “pre-buttal” to report without seeing it first.
Good! President Obama is pushing for some really awful trade deals that will do far more harm than good to America. Glad to see Democrats doing the right thing.
Just saw Stephen Colbert interview the President. Cool stuff!
Interesting that these two items were arranged one right after another on my news feed. Senator Toomy is offering a petition for Obama to stop stifling job growth, but right before that, Rachel Maddow pointed out that if we're not in the middle of a jobs "boom," we're certainly in what's "boom-like.”
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