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Dr. Nicole Saphier feels there's a problem with the ACA/Obamcare. It's too popular. Too may people are getting health care and our poor doctors are burning out from that extra workload.
Here's an idea, how about we increase the supply of doctors? US doctors are very well paid compared to those of other countries, so there really shouldn't be any sort of shortage. But the blogger here points out that there's a protectionist scheme in place to keep the supply of doctors low. If we tackled that problem, we wouldn't need to limit the supply of patients.

Buzzfeed informs us that there were actually a number of good, positive things that happened over the past year.

Huh! Most interesting. Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ), says about Russia's hacking of DNC emails: “If Russia succeeded in giving the American people information that was accurate, then they merely did what the media should have done.”
Really? That's a very interesting new standard for the media to use. They should break into private email accounts and official organization servers as long as it gives the American people information they otherwise wouldn't have had.
Good to know.

Unfortunately, this makes a lot of sense. The faster Speaker Ryan can get the ACA/Obamcare repealed, the less he'll have to deal with the really complicated question of what to do about the 20+ million people who will then be without health insurance. Six years after the ACA was passed, the GOP still only has a vague, fuzzy idea of what to replace it with.

Yeah, the US has violently and/or covertly intervened in the elections of many countries. This is why I'm unhappy with the idea of Russia interfering in our election. These interventions rarely turn out happily for the subject country.
Only quibble I have with the list of particulars here is that Nicaraguans, by voting for Violetta Chamorro, effectively signed the surrender document by which Nicaragua as a whole cried "uncle" to the US. I doubt that CIA-spread scandals had much to do with it.

PEOTUS Trump tweets :
“The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes”

This is the stupidest thing I've heard all day. What did having 31,000 nuclear warheads (1965) versus having under 20,000 today do for us? How did those extra warheads make us stronger or more capable of conducting useful diplomacy or anything of substantive value?!?!?! Why would increasing our stockpile to 1965 levels cause anyone to "come to their senses"?!?!?!?!

The Obama Administration abstains from a UN vote that the illegal Israeli settlements on the West Bank constitute Apartheid.
"Israelis are deeply angered by the action." Uh, yeah! Ya think?
Actually, it's an interesting carrot-stick approach. First, we give Israel $38 billion in military aid just a few months ago, followed by a pro-Geneva Conventions and yes, arguable a pro-Palestinian position.

Yeah, this is a debate that America had before Obama was elected. The GOP lost that debate and their arguments today are no better now than they were in 2008.
This fellow has a truly horrifying approach to medicine. A father actually permitted his son to remain home overnight with a broken arm because it would have been costly to have brought to an ER. Free enterprise and medicine do not go well together.

The problem is, one can't be for clean air and water and for increasing the drilling of and movement around the country of fossil fuels. The two goals are completely incompatible and contradictory.
Likewise, canceling the Obama Administration overtime rules and improving the economy are also completely contradictory goals.
And yes, I think repealing the ACA/Obamacare would utterly devastate the economy as millions would then be without health care.

The conspiracy theorist/radio host Alex Jones talked about "pizzagate" and how his listeners should take it upon themselves to investigate. The charge was that Hillary Clinton and others were running a child-sex ring out of the basement of the pizza place. The pizza place doesn't have a basement.  Well, some heavily-armed person decided to investigate and shots were fired in the restaurant. Good to see that Jones has at least the shame to delete the radio show where he suggested this. An apology would, of course, be even better.

Disturbing. The FBI knew as early as September 2015 that the Russians were hacking into DNC email servers, but a single agent called the DNC computer help desk and the FBI was content to leave their warning at that. The FBI headquarters are a ten-minute drive from Capitol Hill. No indication given as to why a highly-placed FBI person could not have paid a visit to a Democratic legislator.

The white actress Tilda Swinton plaed the Anceint One (A male Tibetan) in the move "Doctor Strange," What follows is a good conversation between two smart people who are both fully aware of the issues.

Wow! The term "sore loser" doesn't even begin to describe how utterly wrong NC's losing party's reaction to losing is!

"On July 14, the Republican members of Congress’ Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives released an interim report of its ongoing investigation of abortion providers and medical researchers, which, they allege, were involved in the sale of donated fetal tissue."
By July 25th, the LA Times read the report and stated that the panel was utterly useless, had accomplished nothing and was highly unlikely to ever accomplish anything. Thy felt the report was “Long on Innuendo but Remarkably Short on Revelation.”
I agree with the paper that the panel should never have been assembled and, failing that, should have been terminated a long time ago.
So of course the GOP is planning to continue the investigation on "Infant Lives," an investigation that long ago ran out of anything to investigate and naturally, this leaves no time to investigate Russian hacking of the US election.

Yeah, the actual electoral effect of Russia's hacking and FBI Director Comey's last minute "thumb on the scale" of the elections are of less concern to me than Republicans appearing to be untroubled by the hacking and with what this piece points out, that there is apparently a faction within the FBI that's okay with interfering in elections.

Representative Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has some good parting words for the longest, most useless, most wasteful, most partisan investigation that Congress has ever carried out.

A blogger attended both an Insane Clown Posse concert and a Trump rally in the same week, expecting to be able to write about how similar the two anti-establishment groups were. Actually, the two sets of fans are both anti-establishment, but the similarity stops there. There is no overlap between the two groups of fans.

"Preppers" is the term used for people preparing for Doomsday by hoarding supplies. The Trump preppers are scrambling to save valuable data from suppression or alteration when Trump takes office.

Whoa! Could Turkey have found a way to put pressure on the President-Elect? Pressure that his world-wide real estate holdings make him uniquely vulnerable to?

Now there's a shocker! No one could have seen that coming! As soon a the threat of Clinton becoming president was over, gee, wow, amazingly enough, the Benghazi Committee shut down! Amazing how that happened!

Ugh! John Bolton is being considered for the position of  Secretary of State? *Sigh*, we can look forward to four years of accomplishing absolutely nothing on the world stage, based on his complete lack of accomplishments as Ambassador to the UN under G.W. Bush. His wild conspiracy theory isn't terribly surprising and tells us that we won't be able to distinguish the US government from World Net Daily.

Is anyone discussing war with Russia over their interference in the 2016 election? Absolutely not. A bear does what a bear does. He eats your picnic, it's your fault for leaving it unguarded. No, the real problem is much closer to home. The real problem is treason by a polttical party.

Interesting point of view from the opposing side on the Dakota Access pipeline/Standing Rock Sioux fight.
And no, I saw the videos, The police were deliberately, consciously, with malice and forethought, spraying the Water Protectors with water during freezing temperatures. They weren't simply trying to put out fires. 

Hmm, the RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act) used in the 2014 Hobby Lobby case might be turned around to bite conservatives in the butt. Native Americans might be able to use the RFRA for protecting their lands.

After the CIA reported that Putin helped Trump get elected, the CIA is being dismissed by the Trump transition team as being the folks who believed in Saddam Hussein's WMDs. Is that a fair judgement? Actually, Valerie Plame Wilson helped to write the movie Fair Game, a film that portrayed the CIA as getting it right while the Bush Administration manipulated the intelligence.

Many years ago the fellow who runs Daily Kos spoke of the first departing Public Editor of the NY Times, saying he never felt that the Public Editor ever represented him, a member of the public. The current Public Editor is, like all of her predecessors, continuing to do a really crappy job of representing the public and good journalism in general. The essential problem is known to sports fans as "working the ref," you complain loudly that the referee is biased against you and is conspiring with the other players to make you lose. The ref backs off and doesn't call your violations as vigorously as he or she should. Unfortunately, the strategy frequently works as intended with the NY Times and other media folks.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appears to have played a major role in getting Trump elected by working to cover up the fact that Russia was interfering in the American election process specifically to help Trump win. 

Whoa! Incoming Trump Administratons asks for names of governmet employees who worked to fight climate change?
As George Orwell would say, this is double-plus ungood for attempts to fight climate change. Reminds me of the House committee to "investigate" (Read: "harass") Planned Parenthood. 
The latter committee demanded the names of doctors who worked in reproductive health and then "accidentally" released their names so that crazy anti-choicers could locate them.

Lots of NSFW language, but very good statement as to where Democrats and progressives need to stand on this whole "identity politics" question.

So that they can pursue imperialism, warmongering, capitalism and all that other good stuff, the Chinese have decided that green energy (windmills, solar cells, etc) is the way to go! Whatever their motivations are, I can work with them!

Oh, good grief! Art Laffer approves of PEOTUS Trump's fiscal plans! And as people might recall, Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas did exactly what Art Laffer recommended he do and the result was an utter fiscal catastrophe.

All of those who are not members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe are asked by the chief there to go home. They can re-assemble if needed.

Standing Rock and Keystone XL before it, were both good, solid victories for the planet over corporate, fossil fuel interests. Plenty of other battles to fight on the issue of too much oil being moved around the country, plenty of other spots where clean water is endangered. Plenty of right-leaning, rural places where conservatives don't like the idea of sacrificing their land for still more fossil fuel burning.

Woo hoo! The governor who pushed North Carolina's "bathroom bill" has finally conceded that he lost his reelection bid!

Head of the Oversight Committee, Jason Chaffetz, was all hot and ready and raring to go to begin investigating Hillary Clinton as soon as the noise from her electoral victory died down. But the PEOTUS is a fellow Republican, a member of the same party that Chaffetz belongs to! "Aw, gee now guys! Let's not be too hasty with any investigations! Let's let the guy take office first!"

Woo hoo! Obama hasn't been very vocal about NoDAPL, but the Army Corps of Engineers have come though like champions! Builders of the Dakota Access Pipeline have to do a full-scale environmental impact statement. Granted, that' not for the entire pipeline, just for the areas claimed by the Standing Rock Sioux, but a resounding victory!

Wow! Kelllyanne Conway comes really, really close to the old Nixon statement: "When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal." Granted, she's just talking about Twitter usage and not anything more serious, but wow.

Aides to Jeb Bush, Senator Marc Rubio and Senator Ted Cruz scream and yell and holler about the campaign coverage that NBC gave to Donald Trump. Are they right? Actually, yeah. Trump got over 400 minutes, Clinton got a bit under 200, Sanders, Cruz and Rubio together didn't get as much coverage as Clinton got.

Comparison of how the MSM (MainStream Media) spoke about Obama's need to unify the country by reaching out to his political opponents back in 2009 and the standards they're holding the current PEOTUS to.

It's shocking that someone could be so utterly ignorant about global warming. It's really alarming that the Republican head of the House Science, Space & Technology Committee could be in complete agreement with someone who sees science in much the same way the Vatican did around the time of Galileo.

Yeah, I wondered why drones were banned from flying over where the Standing Rock water protectors were encamped. Turns out that the drones were being used by the water protectors to gather evidence that awful things were going on.

November                         back to top

Just yesterday, I was communicating with some commenter in the Inquirer. He was talking about how liberals don't appreciate how the Republicans have these really great, awesome plans to replace the ACA/Obamacare. Actual Republican senators appear to be in agreement with me. They're nowhere close to a consensus on how to even begin to replace the ACA. 

A couple of years ago, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor gave the public the impression that a Republican ACA replacement plan was just a matter of ironing out a few final details. Questioned more closely, it turned out he meant that Congressional Republicans had yet to settle on a basic architecture for their replacement plan. The Republicans in the Senate revealed yesterday they're still at that stage of trying to decide on a basic architecture. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price appears to be a guy who wants to rush the "repeal" part while taking his own sweet time with the "replace" part.

Yeah, NY Times and WaPo are both anti-Bannon these days, but they were perfectly happy to make use of Bannon's deeply flawed research just a few months ago. They both demonstrated their hatred of Hillary Clinton by jumping on the Clinton Cash book and then slowly and quietly backing away when they discovered that the research in it was deeply flawed. %$&@#@ hypocrites!

Our new president makes a rather hysterical accusation, that he would have won the popular vote if not for "millions of people who voted illegally." 

We've seen over the past 15 years that people voting illegally is not a non-existent problem, but that voters casting illegal ballots constitutes about one out of every three or four million votes.

The Weekly Standard tries to defend the reputation of the Attorney General nominee, Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III, from charges of racism. Unfortunately for America, the charges are solidly-substantiated and his defense consists of unproven statements.

Fidel Castro passes away at 90 years of age. Certainly a giant of his age.

Deena Stryker met Fidel Castro in 1963 and conducted extensive interviews with him and many others in Cuba at the time. At the end of this piece are links to some books that she published on Castro and Cuba.

Hundreds of veterans respond to Native American Water Protectors being sprayed with water cannons during sub-zero temperatures by deploying up to Standing Rock. And how are things doing on the carbon-burning, humanity-hurting side of the DAPL fight? Ehh, not doing too well. Costs are mounting.

Health care CEOs demandt that Republicans not take out the ACA without having a really good replacement on hand.
Good call! And since we know that the GOP hasn't yet gotten beyond slogans in their health care replacement plan, that hopefully means the ACA will survive the Trump years.

Wow! Only two weeks after the election and Trump is already sounding like Richard Nixon, saying essentially that if the president does something, then by definition it's not illegal.
And yes, I very much agree that this is in stark contrast to just a few weeks ago when the mainstream media was falling all over itself to declare that it was utterly impermissible for Clinton to have any ties with the Clinton Foundation. Nobody could bring up an instance when the Foundation was in conflict with anything she did as Secretary of State, but "appearances," y'know.

GOOD HEAVENS!!! Authorities are using water cannons on water protectors in below-freezing temperatures?!?!?!?! They're also using rubber bullets and tear gas. Hundreds were injured. 
Naturally, the story of the water protectors of Standing Rock are being told strictly from the point of view of press releases from the local sheriffs office. Granted, the Water Protectors wer attacking and not just minding their own business. The police had erected a barricade and the Protectors were trying to clear that. Still, the weather was 30 degrees below. 

Uuh...what!?!?! So, let me get this straight. According to Jeff Sessions, our new Attorney General nominee, it's perfectly okay to burn crosses on the lawns of black families and to hang the family members afterwards, but having a joint to relax on the way home is bad?!?!?!

There's a two-fold political purpose for the Native Americans to erect structures in the path of the Dakota Access pipeline. I fully understand and sympathize with the North Dakota sheriff who says "Uh, guys, you really can't be putting up permanent structures on federal land." I also get the whole "blockade" idea that the tribes are expressing.
The second purpose I have a lot more sympathy with. It's to set up demonstration structures to show that yes, people can live comfortable in the harsh North Dakota winters without using any fossil fuels.

Although I've always liked Tom Hanks as an actor, I haven't had any use for him politically since Forrest Gump (Across the Universe addresses many of the same themes and subjects, but is a much better film) 
He speaks here from a position of great wealth and privilege. He has nothing to worry about. himself.

Hey, did the younger George Bush Administration ever try out the idea of a Muslim/terrorist registry? Actually, they did. It was called NSEERS and the Obama Administration suspended it pretty much immediately upon assuming office because it was so obviously useless.

Well, that's good news! Lots of people see value in the Iranian nuclear deal and are okay with keeping the agreement that Obama made with them. 

Very happy to see a Republican senator say this! The idea of "repeal and replace" the ACA/Obamacare sounds really nice and easy in theory, but nobody has shown that they have a way to do that. Not dependent on the ACA myself, but think the program was a big step forward for the US.

Very depressing, but have to admit this is accurate. Gridlock infuriated liberals, but it was most definitely effective in gaining power.

The NSA officially concludes that, yes, the Russians hacked DNC servers earlier this year. Yes, for the DNC to involve itself in the primaries against Bernie was wrong, but calling attention to foreign interference was not a diversion. They were both important issues.

Grifters gotta grift. The Trumps are turning the White House into QVC, with Ivanka Trump's company now selling off copies of the bracelet she wore during a TV interview for around $10,000. Also, comments on the plan to have a "blind trust" of the kids running dad's financial empire.

Well, that's good to hear! Regardless of whether the US will be the skunk at the picnic, the rest of the world still takes climate change seriously.

Good! Democratic Representative Elijah Cummings raises very good and serious questions about Trump's financial empire and conflicts of interest.

A report from the end of September on mainstream media (ABC, CBS, CNN, Fox and NBC, and in five leading newspapers, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and USA Today) coverage of the presidential campaign. Very sad quote: "Not a single policy proposal accounted for even 1 percent of Hillary Clinton�s convention-period coverage and, collectively, her policy stands accounted for a mere 4 percent of it."
So my question is, how can anyone say Trump won any sort of mandate? If only a tiny minority of Americans had any idea of what each candidate stood for, then it's pretty tough to say the election was about anything meaningful.

The FBI said there were no significant links between Russia and Donald Trump. Looks like FBI Director Comey's ties to the Republican Party are blinding his agency to such links as actually, Trump has wide and deep ties to Russia. Trump has been traveling to Russia since 1987 and allegedly has 250 registered businesses there.

Very good news! Trump will not cancel the nuclear deal with Iran.The Iran deal was a very good one and it's worked, with both the US and Iran keeping their ends of the bargain. Ordinary Iranians also have much better feelings toward the US, something that HUGELY outweighs any extra advantage that conservatives think we could have gotten from the deal.

The Trump Administration and Congress want to dismantle Dodd-Frank? Because, well of course they do. Dodd-Frank never had a dramatic effect but was clearly effective enough to make the big guys of finance really, really hate it. Anything that helps the little guys now must be eliminated.

Now, there is no legal requirement that the President has to do anything in particular with his finances. Traditionally, they put their assets into a "blind trust." Does that mean handing over your financial assets to three of your grown offspring? No, it means handing off those assets to a completely unrelated person who won't tell you how the assets are faring. F'rinstance, Trump owns two large buildings in Turkey, Turkey is involved in the fight against Daesh/ISIS. Obviously, that affects decision-making on the situation there. His kids are obviously going to communicate their views on that with him.

The idea that Bernie Sanders would have won was energetically advocated during the primaries. I and many millions of Democrats didn't buy it then and we don't buy it now. Bernie had serious weaknesses as a candidate. He got better with African-Americans and Latinos, but he dealt with them poorly at first as he was from a state that was 95% white. New York was much more diverse and Clinton showed that she could deal with these other constituencies. A piece that explains further.

Heh! President-Elect trump blames "professional protesters" for street protests since his election. Huh. Really? What's the going rate for one of these protesters these days? Where's my paycheck? I've got lots of protesting in my background!

Lengthy list of hate crimes perpetrated since the electon.

Lots of NSFW language here, but good analysis, I think. The blogger doesn't think much of the "economic anxiety" explanation for the election of Trump.

Senator Tom Cotton says "Waterboarding isn't torture." Erm, if waterboarding isn't torture, why did the Spanish Inquisition do it? Look, we established a decade ago that being mock-tortured by your own side as a training exercise is vastly difference from being tormented by an enemy that a you're convinced absolutely hates you and wants you dead.

Lengthy piece from a week ago. The media has served the American people very poorly. That was brought home to me yesterday when a co-worker thought Clinton was a liar and a crook. As someone who follows the blogs, I know that's not true, but as the MSM kept pounding the "issue" of her emails over and over, I don't blame anyone from thinking of Clinton as guilty or at the very least, hiding something.

President-Elect Trump taps a known climate change denier to lead EPA transition. Rough approximation: "Yeah, hey, just because ocean water is already coming up over the sea walls in Fort Lauderdale, FL and Norfolk, VA during really high tides, hey, so we lose four years in the fight to save the human race from extinction. Whatevuh."

Reasonable approximation of Republican victory statement: "Yeah, so the first thing is to repeal the ACA/Obamacare. That's really high on our to-do list. Eh? What's that? What about the 20 million people who gained coverage under it? Eh, erm, uh, ahh, they'll figure something out. They'll be fine. Trust us."

Found a good, non-partisan way to talk about the election results today "Hey, I just checked out one of the liberal blogs today. talking about the election results. Man, it's full of NSFW language!" (Not Safe For Work)

The vote is complete and Donald Trump won! "Credit where credit is due" (Pictured are James Comey, Vladimir Putin, David Duke and Julian Assange).

Yup, real tough guy here. Hits this woman with blasts of mace for 5-7 seconds each time in order to prevent her from blocking their watercraft. She succeeded anyway in messing up their ability to battle the Water Protectors up in Standing Rock, ND.

That's a refreshing statement to hear from Speaker Ryan, that Congress won't attempt to repeal the ACA.Obamacare while Ciinton is President.
But then Ryan brings the comedy out. "We actually have a plan to replace Obamacare. All of us have basically gotten a consensus on what our plan is, but we have to win an election to put it in place."
Ri-i-i-ight! Su-u-u-ure! O-o-o-kaay! This is after they're spent eight years not getting beyond a few sentences they could all agree on!

FBI Director Comey says to nenver mind his accusation concerning Clinton's emails. It's good that Comey is saying this, but it also illustrates that he really should have kept his damned mouth shut to begin with. As Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said, hey, y'know, it's all good. Lot of damage was done to the Clinton campaign, so hey, WE'RE happy!
Heh! So Anthony Weiner had 650,000 emails on his laptop computer that he shared with his wife Huma Abedin, yet the FBI cleared Clinton in a matter of days. Conservatives smell a rat! How could it be possible to read so many emails so quickly?
Well, erm, as these new-fangled "computers" have "search engines," it wasn't actually very hard to separate out the emails that were to or from Clinton during the time she was SoS. The actual number was probably just a few thousand and the FBI has "staff people" who can go through them.

Earmarks occur when funds are directly approved for specific legislation. Hillary Clinton has stated that she agrees with the Daily Kos blogger who added "Bring back earmarks!!" after presenting this piece. Speaker of the House John Boehner dramatically weakened himself and his successor Paul Ryan by getting rid of earmarks. This has resulted in two of the weakest and most ineffectual Speakers that the US has ever seen.

Heh! Heh! Republican Governor Scott Walker tweets: �If you like the past 8 years, vote Hillary Clinton" Unfortunately for him, lots of people think that, actually, the Obama years were pretty darn good and if nothing else, a whole lot better than the years that came before him.

The GOP position on getting a new Supreme Court Justice appears to have changed from "Let the next president decide" to "Let the next Republican president decide."
It's hard to overstate how incredibly radical this is, how much of a departure it is from all prior tradition.

FBI releases old file on Bill Clinton pardon made just before he left office. The thing about a president's power to pardon is that it's an unlimited power. It's not open to appeal. There was no real point in investigating Clinton's pardon of Marc Rich to begin with and even less reason to release the report on it many years later, right before the election of his wife, Hillary. This looks an awful lot like Comey putting his thumb on the scale to try and swing the election against her.

Further details on Trump-Putin emails. Yep, sure is funny how FBI Director Comey didn't want to disrupt the election by bringing this stuff up but felt perfectly free to slime Clinton with a highly questionable email story.

October                         back to top

Now, it's important to realize that Representative Gowdy made his reputation as someone who knows the law. "Gowdy defended FBI Director Comey's obviously political move on Friday by reminding everyone that President Obama is out campaigning so what Hatch Act?" What is the Hatch Act? It's a piece of legislation that was passed back in 1939 that says a large number of federal and state officials should conduct themselves in a non-partisan manner. Is the President subject to the act? Hardly. The President and many people below him are entirely free to be as partisan as they want.
Now, the Secretary of State for Florida most certainly should have acted in a more non-partisan manner during the recount of 2000. Her obvious partisanship at that time was a real problem, just as the Kansas SoS is a continuing scandal of energetically trying to disenfranchise voters.

Hmm, so let me get this straight. FBI Director Comey thought it would be "too political" to talk about Trump's relations with Russia, but it was fine for him to cast aspersions with a really vague letter about Clinton and emails. Uh-huh. Got it.

Jeanine Pirro of Fox News makes it very clear she's a conservative Trump supporter and at the end of her presentation gets in a few digs at the Clintons, but makes the very good case that what Comey did to Clinton was absolutely wrong.

Good grief! The story just gets worse and worse for Comey the more is uncovered. Actually, his actions remind me of the Shirley Sherrod case. Sherrod made a speech that had some parts that when people were exposed to them without context, that is, without hearing the entire speech, sounded pretty bad. In a panicked rush to get ahead of the story, the USDA threw her overboard BEFORE they heard the full speech. When they finally did what they should have done before firing her, they said "Oh. 'bout that."

In PR terms, FBI Director Comey didn't just shoot a hole in his foot, he blew his foot clear off. I almost don't really blame the media for overstating the case here. Both the Attorney General and Comey's own staff strongly advised him not to make this announcement. They were right. Comey really shouldn't have said anything about what turned out to be a nothingburger.

As of a bit after 12:00 noon GMT, the police engaged in a steady advance, pushing the Native Americans out of the way of the proposed pipeline route.

New Clinton email "scandal" is, as usual, a nothingburger. WHY was Comey so eager to run out and announce this thing before all the facts were in?!?!?! Turns out the emails that Comey made such a fuss and bother about were on Huma Abedin's laptop that she shared with husband Anthony Weiner. Yes, it would have been extremely irresponsible for Abedin to have kept classified information on her shared laptop, which is why I very highly doubt that any such information is on it. Again, it appears that Comey HUGELY jumped the gun here and made a completely unnecessary announcement that a more sober and sensible public servant would not have made.

FBI DFirector Comey "throws a stink-bomb into election." Read a few pieces on this letter to the Congress alleging the new emails were found in the Hillary Clinton case. Sounds like a letter that Comey could very easily have waited a few days so as to allow him time to re-write and clarify his message. Not at all clear there had to be such a rush.

Wha-a-a-a!?!?! Ammon Bundy and buddies found not guilty?!?!?! Appears the prosecutors were overconfident and were punished for that by the jurors. Problem with the Bundy's getting off scot free is that the damage to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge added up to at least $9 million! The acquittal of the Bundy gang was very highly political in nature. The charges were: "possessing a firearm in a federal facility and conspiring to impede federal workers from their jobs" both of which the gang very clearly did. Out of over 16,000 rounds of ammunition, over 1,700 rounds were expended and their cases were found.

Not sure whether this is funny of just plain sad. The headline reads: "Donald Trump: 'I�ll Teach [Military Expert] A Couple Of Things'.� Trump has very clearly "never heard a shot fired in anger," that is, he's never been anywhere near an active, "hot" battlefield. He's at best attended the private New York Military Academy as a young man and has seen a few war movies. I seriously doubt he's ever even heard of Carl Von Clausewitz or Sir B.H. Liddell Hart or even Sun Tzu.

I figured this was the state of their relationship shortly after the Republican convention (Donald announces that Melania will be campaigning, Melania's reaction is clearly one of surprise, but she indicated she'd comply), that The Donald makes decisions and then informs the wife as to what that decision was. I strongly suspect that soon as she starts developing wrinkles and starts sagging in certain areas, she'll very quickly find herself as Ex-Mrs. Trump #3.

Bill Weld was the Governor of Massachusetts for two terms. His then quitting on the basis of term limits has been, for me, a really good argument against term limits. Weld doesn't appreciate the people who want to throw away their votes on third-party candidates. He doesn't explicitly say so, but clearly thinks the only anti-Trump vote hat counts is a vote FOR the other major-party candidate,

So what does post-election life look like for Donald Trump? Looks to be pretty miserable actually. His brand is destroyed and he owes lots of money and his social standing is ruined. He's got no one to blame but himself.

How's the fighting over Mosul going? Quite well, actually. American-supported Iraqi forces are making good progress against Daesh/ISIS.

WaPo engages in an amazing example of false equivalence:
"Clinton�s campaign tried to build on its case that Trump doesn�t respect women, while Trump again questioned the integrity of the election process."
Why are these two items even in the same story? We have a well-documented, thoroughly proven charge against the baseless mutterings of a guy who knows he's losing the race.

I see a number of FB friends quoting Wikileaks. Keep in mind that this batch has not been authenticated and there's evidence that Russian intelligence agencies have made critical changes to the messages to make Clinton seem more sinister.

Woo hoo! In response to complaints over air pollution and a desire to reduce atmospheric carbon, China has gone all-in on wind power!

I generally agree with this piece, but voter suppression and voter fraud are two very, very different things and should never be cited as two sides of the same coin or as two aspects of the same problem. Voter fraud occurred at the rate of 31 cases out of over a billion votes cast between 2000 and 2014. Voter suppression happens when voters are arbitrarily removed from the rolls, as in Florida 2000 and as the current Kansas Secretary of State and many other SoS's are trying very hard to do right now. It also occurs when, as in Pennsylvania in 2012, the state tries to set up "voter fraud protections" so that many legitimate voters are unable to vote

This has to be the most truly idiotic statement of, I dunno, the past 24 hours. Trump claims Clinton got the questins for the debate in advance. No, Hillary didn't cheat, she just did her homework. She asked people who regularly watch Chris Wallace what his big concerns are. "Oh, he's really big on the national debt? Okay." And then she talked with a few experts on the national debt and prepared herself for any question that Wallace might throw out. No conspiracy, nothing hidden, nothing sinister, just some hard work.

The blogger makes the very good point here that Trump is not some fringe outsider in the Republican Party. He is very much a member in good standing when he contemptuously discards a fundamental principle of American democracy. Have Senate Majority Leader McConnell or Speaker of the House Ryan spoken up against Trump's statement that he'll decide in his own good time if he'll follow the tradition set over 200 years ago?

And this, quite seriously, is kind of a BFD. This is pretty damned important. Trump is way behind in the polls and seems very highly likely to come out the second-place finisher. If he's nor prepared to concede, Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell should step up to the plate and pledge to do so on his behalf.

I watched a bit of the third presidential debate last night. This sounds right to me. No real change from before, not clear why we needed third debate, Clinton was thoroughly prepared while Trump just denied everything.

Any substance to the latest Clinton email "scoop"? Doesn't look like it.

It was the abrupt fall of Mosul in 2014 that told he world that Daesh, ISIS, ISIL, etc., existed. How's the upcoming battle for re-taking Mosul looking for the opposition to Daesh? Looking pretty good, actually.

The NY Times here engages in what's known as "burying the lede." Cheryl Mills, Clinton's Chief of Staff during her tenure as Secretary of State, did precisely the right things when it came to a possible conflict of interest and the Times tells us that, but waits until the eighth paragraph to do so!
Again, this is a case of trying to construct a false equivalence, of trying to make it appear that the two sides are ethical equals when they're clearly not.

In a piece of very good news, a judge rejects "riot" charge against journalist Amy Goodman. Further details on Amy Goodman's exoneration. The judge found that the charge of inciting to riot lacked even probable cause.

In the least surprising news of the day, Senator John McCain says the blockade against a new Supreme Court Justice that the Republicans put up in February will remain up indefinitely in the (highly likely) event of a Clinton victory in November. Democrats must work to take back the Senate!

Melania Trump claims she's not just a pretty, fluffy bit of arm candy, that she's influential on the campaign, but that she works behind the scenes. Well, if that's the case, one would think she'd be influencing her husband on dealing with Eastern Europeans, but the Trump campaign is losing bigly to Clinton's succesful strategy of peeling off voters among that demographic.

Most ridiculous, irresponsible thing I've ever heard! A journalist and a filmmaker are threatened with arrest because they're covering the Dakota Access pipeline struggle. On one side, we're discussing the fate of the human race, on the other, money.

Dr. Ben Carson gets realy agitated when he keeps trying to put out his talking points and this lady keeps interrupting with, y'know, facts and reality!

So marijuana has been legal n some states for awhile now. Funny thing, but none of the predictions of terrible, awful things came true. Very interesting that youth use has remained at the same levels it was at before legalization, suggesting that enforcement was never particularly effective.

In a 2004 interview with Howard Stern on XM Radio, Trump states that "you know, [I wonder why] deeply, deeply troubled [women], they�re always the best in bed?� What's really amazing is that Jeb Bush spent $10 million on oppo research and somehw missed this and other items like it.

This rhetoric from Trump is actually not the slightest bit surprising. A few months ago, I did a comparison of Hitler and Stalin portraits. They both featured images of the Great Leader staring off into the distance and, y'know, Thinking Great Thoughts. But Stalin had a lot of pictures of himself communicating with the Common People, providing wisdom and guidance. Der Fuhrer presented himself as being a one-man army, a presence and a force so powerful, he didn't need anyone helping him. Trump appears to be going all-in in the lone, all-sufficient hero image.

Very, very interesting! Sputnikness makes an error. It being an error, they're the only ones in the world to run it. That error shows up in a Trump speech. Two possible explanations: 1. Trump or an advisor reads Russian websites directly or 2. Russian websites are popular with the alt-right/Neo-Nazi crowd and Trump/an advisor reads those.

Haiti was devastated by a huricane in 2013 and never really recovered. Now it's been hit again!

One of the chargs put out by Trump was:

�In San Bernardino, many people saw the bombs all over the apartment of the two people that killed 14 and wounded many, many people,� Trump said. �Muslims have to report the problems when they see them,� he later added.
Problem: As NBC reporter Katy Tur points out:
FACT CHECK: NO EVIDENCE that anyone saw any bombs in the San Bernadino terrorist apartment, as Trump claims.
Yes, that the shooters had an apartment stuffed with weapons of war is clear, but could anybody see those weapons from the outside or did anybody go into the apartment?.

The threat issued by Trump during the second presidential debate to jail Clinton was the sort of things you expect from "...countries that have dictators in Africa or Stalin or Hitler or any of those countries with dictators and totalitarian leaders..." not from US candidates for President. Trump's spokesperson comments on his promise to jail Hillary Clinton, saying words to the effect of "Oh, come now! Don't be silly! Move along now, nothing to see here!" But as the blogger Digby documents, it was hardly a one-off quip.

"Until now, Trump�s defenders liked to justify his remarks about Rosie O�Donnell and Megyn Kelly by saying that the GOP nominee was just an entertainer."
Problem is, though, that Trump thought his comments were just between him and the guys and that no one would ever find out. No, his comments weren't meant as entertainment.

Chris Mathews is very uninterested in pursuing the line of questioning that Joy Reid opens up, but yeah, The Lord seems to be quite mischievous in the way He keeps telling Republican presidential candidates that they are the chosen ones, after which they lose. Michele Bachmann is convinced, convinced, I tell you!, that people will see the light on Election day and will vote for Trump.

To those hoping to replace Donald Trump on the ballot - nope! Ain't gonna happen! All of the important deadlines have passed, the ballots have been printed and early voting and absentee ballots have already been taking place. You're stuck with him!

Love the way the lawyer very politely words why they had to meet with Trump in pairs. Basically, they couldn' trust that he'd "remember" anything correctly.

What's the purpose of voter ID laws? Well, by their actions ye shall know them. There's nothing mysterious or complicated about how and why Wisconsin is doing this. Failure to provide IDs in an efficient and timely manner isn't a bug. It's a feature.

More good news on the global warming front!

Heh! Donald Trump compared to a crime boss who tries to go legit. Bonus: How does Trump compare to Tony Soprano?

September                         back to top

"Both House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that the measure could have unintended consequences � including the fact that it could leave U.S. soldiers open to retaliation by foreign governments."
Which is a great realization, except for the fact that this realization comes after the bill was passed!
�That was a good example, it seems to me, of failure to communicate early about the potential consequences of a piece of legislation that was obviously very popular,� Said McConnell.
No, this is an example of dereliction of duty on the part of of both houses of Congress!

Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson was mocked by Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, because Johnson was asked to name some foreign heads of state. He couldn't ccoe up with even one. Well, Stein could come up with prominent foreign activists, but she couldn't name any foeign heads of state either. couldn't

Up near the Dakota Access pipeline, a police raid gets 21 peaceful tribe members as they were n the act of (*gasp*) praying!Perhaps they feared the prayer might work?
By the way, the number of tribes assembled against the Dakota Access pipeline is now around 300.

Now, Bill O'Reilly doesn't help here. He mentions Alicia Machado only by her title of Miss Universe, but again (See clip startng at the 5:20 mark), Trump doesn't appear to be able to recall her name. She's simply referred to as "she" and "her."

Someone just came out with a book on der Fuhrer. Our blogger compares him to Donald Trump. Result is pretty damn frightening.

Very balanced look at the debate, pointing out both strengths and weaknesses in both candidates.

My local paper gets desperate to smear Clinton with anything and everything they can possibly get their hands on. In this piece, they ignore the role of the ambassador to Libya and blow up the tragic incident in Benghazi in 2012 into a world-shaking disaster.
By the way, under G.W. Bush, there were 13 separate attacks on embassies and 60 personnel perished.

The Clinton campaign puts out a video detailing how Trump disrespectd the 1996 Miss Universe, Alicia Machado.

If you think Palestinians would fare poorly under a Clinton Administration, a Trump Administration wouldn't be any better. This is truly one of those 'six of one, half dozen of the other' issues where there's no daylight between the candidates.

In the first debate between Clinton and Trump, Frank Luntz has been the Republican pollster guy for a number of election cycles. His focus group says she "crushed it." CNNs Lester Holt tried to factcheck Trump during the debate. Problem was, whenever he brought up objections, Trump very energetically litigated everything.
I was especially amused by Trump asking people to call Sean Hannity to confirm that Trump opposed the Iraq War. If they sat around in Hannity's living room or on Trump's plane, who cares? If they disagreed publicly, someone should have uncovered a link to that TV show or the transcript of that show by now. Very interesting piece about how Clinton very deliberately got under Trump's very thin skin and just drove the guy nuts. Look forward to more craziness from Trump during the next two debates.

Hmm, so we apparently are choosing between a frankly fascist Trump and a Clinton that is, acccordin the Green Party's Jill Stein, "arch-corporatist and Wall Street-sponsored neoliberal imperialist" meaning, y'know, six of one, half dozen of the other.
As someone who was a history major in college, I have a real problem with the comment that "Neofascism is simply not where the American ruling class is right now." Seeing how easily Trump dispatched the Republican Party elders, movers, shakers and intellectuals, I'm not so confident that Trump is being kept firmly under control by the "ruling class" (Not being a Marxist, I don't believe there's any such thing). Matter of fact, Kirk Douglas very much sees parallels between the US today and Germany in the 1930s.
No, I don't take this piece seriously at all and am voting for Clinton.

Ah, the bitter, bitter tears of NC Governor Pat McCrory! They taste so deliciously sweet! Yep, McCrory's re-election campaign is in serious trouble. Yee-hah to that!
Update: Wow! McCrory sets new standards for obliviousness concerning why black people in his state are causing so much disruption in Charlotte.

Meanwhile, Gov. McCrory failed to mention that a black man named Keith Scott was fatally shot by the police, and that the man�s wife caught it on her cellphone camera. And he did not extend any condolences to that family for their tragic loss or even address the pain and frustration being felt by the African-American community.
McCrory just doesn't appear to have the vaguest clue as to why the nation is paying so much attention to the situation there.

The Clinton campaign accuses Trump of being a "recruiting sergeant for ISIS." Are there reasonably objective way to assess the claim? Actually there are and they tend to support Clinton's charge.

Woo hoo! Construction on the Dakota Access pipeline halted! Within 20 miles on either side of Lake Oahe along the Missouri River, construction of the pipeline has been halted.

"Ahh, the parties are both alike! Six of one, half dozen of the other, there's no difference between the parties!"
Actually, according to the fossil fuel companies, there's a very big difference. They're giving the Republican Party ten times as much campaign money as they're giving to the Democrats.

It's just amazing to watch any of the people associated with Trump try and try and try to change the subject! They just don't want to talk about what their interviewers want to talk about. At one point, Chuck Todd is just like "I appreciate you're trying to deflect this..."
"No, no, I'm not deflecting."
Uh sorry, but yes you were.

Looking at the impact of "Occupy Wall Street" five years later.

It's unfortunate that in children's books, 85.8% of all characters are either white or anthropomorphic, with blacks, Asians, Latinos and Native Americns all sharing the balance. I think this is the reason the writer/artist of Usagi Yojimbo decided to make his comic book about Medieval Japan populated exclusively by anthropomorphic animals, so that white audiences could identify with the characters.

Yeah, funny how this works. This woman considers herself a "pro-life feminist" who, oddly enough, doesn't appear to have any feminist beliefs.

"Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it," Trump said.
Bit of a problem with that statement is that neither part is true. No evidence has ever been produced that Clinton started the birther charge and Trump continued to push the racist lie in 2011.

Ivanka Trump gets really annoyed with the presumptuous peasant who dares commit lese majeste in her august and stately presence. After all, how dare the interviewer suggest that her daddy was not always in favor of giving female employees maternity leave?
Her own company, BTW, offers maternity leave but it isn't paid leave. Employees can take time off to have babies, but how they pay for those weeks is up to them.

Heh! Back during the 2008 campaign, a reporter asked Senator John McCain if he was planning to conduct a "third term of Bush" if he was successful in winning office. McCain was quite rightly horrified at the question because he knew that if citizens answered "Yes," that he'd never win.
Today Speaker Ryan is trying to suggest that a Clinton victory "would be President Obama�s third term." But as the piece here makes clear, Clinton has absolutely nothing to be worried about if that label is applied to her.
And yes, if we had a better media press corps, the recent successes of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would be common knowledge.

Lengthy but very good piece on Trump's foreign business ties.

Petition for the release of Amy Goodman from charges of...well...of being a reporter at the site of the Dakota Access pieline route. The petition is closed out because it was succesful and her arrest warrant was never acted upon. Many other arrests were made, though. Details on why the pipeline is such an awful idea.

So the NY Times Public Editor and Paul Krugman have a real philosophical conflict. Can one usefully analyze a situation after one admits that one has preconceptions about it? My answer agrees with that of Krugman. Of course we can. There's no such thing as a person who has no preconceptions. Anyone who claims to be completely objective and to be free of all prior opinions is simply lying. Good follow-up on the NY Times piece by their Public Editor and the whole false equivalence problem.

Having a discussion about global warming, so I looked up Florida and climate change (This piece is from March of this year). The governor there is still firmly in denial, but people near coastal areas are really noticing the rise is sea levels.
"Seawater flooding already occurs in parts of Fort Lauderdale, especially during �King Tide events,� which happen a few times a year when the Earth, sun, and moon align. King Tides raise sea levels 18 inches above a normal high tide.
�Streets flood, yards flood, critical infrastructure is at risk,� Bagley says..."

Polls show that Clinton beats Trump in ALL issue areas! There's not a single issue where people trust him more than her.

Seven Sioux tribes are united by fight against Dakota Access pipeline. People have been criticizing how slow some politicians have been to mention the struggle up there. Our own local paper, the Inky, finally gives the issue a sideways glance today. It would have helped to have recognized how many different tribes have assembled over this issue and that the issue of global warming involves the survival of humanity, but hey, progress.

The NY Times' Public Editor has convinced me she has no clue as to what "false equivalence" means and hasn't the slightest intention of even trying to correct it. If we want to get good journalism from the Times, we'll have to wait at least until the next Public Editor takes over.

Someone put up a meme the other day saying effectively that "Gee, if y'all are having a problem getting Hillary elected, maybe you should have picked a better candidate." But the real problem, as Jamelle Bouie points out, is that "Right now, I'd say HRC's greatest danger is bad press (emails and the foundation) and the shockingly low bar the media has for Trump."

All right! The conflct between the Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access pipeline make it into the New Yorker! Will our president do anything? Obama didn't do anything about the Keystone XL pipeline until after citizens applied a lot of pressure, so not until we make a louder noise!

Speaker Ryan condemns Clinton for telling the truth, that jihadists, along with Klansmen and white supremacists, are all rooting for a Trump victory.

As someone who likes and respects both Glenn Greenwald and Paul Krugman, I really have to agree with Krugman. Greenwald has failed to convince me that there's any sort of scandal involving the Clinton Foundation.

The Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson demostrates that he has no business running for President. He was completely unaware that Aleppo, th Syrian city that's been under seige, was y'know, a city.

Basic assessment on the candidate's National Security Forum: Clinton knows what she's talking about, Trump tries to do the ol' fast foot shuffle and to baffle us with bullpucky.

President Obama is asked about the Dakota Access pieline. Not a very direct answer>. He's clearly trying to put himself on the right side of the issue, but you can tell the administration hasn't made up its collective mind yet.

Ashleigh Banfield openly admits that RNC press releases are worthy of attention and that they create pressure that CNN feels obligated to respond to. Funny, but a Supreme Court blockade where a qualified candidate is kept waiting and a seat is kept empty for no good reason isn't worthy of the same attention.

Good! Because even after decades these bombs in Laos are still deadly. Obama pledges $90 million to clar them. Better late than never.

Victory in the Dakotaa Access pipeline fight! Temporarily at least. For the moment, anyway.

Now this is interesting because the question about closing Gitmo was a good one and could have led to a question about the policy of assassinating from the air via drones. The idea on that is that Obama doesn�t want to send anyone to Gitmo, so drones are about his only recourse to taking bad guys off the battlefield.
So what did the reporters report on concerning Clinton? Well, she coughed due to her having hay fever, so she was reported at being near death�s door and reporters are wondering whether that was �really� a press conference, so yeah, I don�t have much use for the �mainstream� press corps.

After expending time and energy on the nothingburger of the Clinton Foundation allegedly engaging in "pay-to-play," now comes the question of what the press will do about a real and actual pay-to-play scandal, that is, of the Florida AG and the Trump Foundation.

Forget all the other reasons to vote Democratic.... This alone should make you reject the GOP. This is nuts. And yet the GOP will not believe that climate change is real. Sigh....on some issues there are just not two sides.

Good! The US and China have their disputes and disagreements, but are in full agreement that global warming is a serious problem that needs to be tackled.

Fox News of course doesn't report on the Trump pay-for-play scandal, that's expected. MSNBC does. That's cool. But it's troubling that there seems to be a real conflict of interest between CNN's financial interests and the friendship between CNN's top executive and a presidential candidate and CNN's abllity to properly report on Trump. I've long thought that news departments should be separated from the rest of networks for precisely this reason.

Oh, so now the Dakota Access pipiline protest is in the national news! Very recently, the Native Americans were permitted to survey the route of the proposed pipeline and found that it overruns several Native American burial sites. Naturally, they aren't very happy about that.

The Earth is a little over 4.5 billion years old. It went through a period of heavy bombardment where any life on the surface was sterilized off of it. Life began very quickly after that period (4.2 billion to 3.8 billion years ago) as we've found evidence of life starting up around 3.7 billion years ago.

Between this tweet "storify" piece and this blog post, any reader should be thoroughly caught up on the FBI-Clinton-email story.

The NY Times makes a very sad attempt to shoehorn Huma Abedin into a Hillary Clinton story. "Ms. Abedin was already a major figure this summer in controversies over Mrs. Clinton's handling of classified information as secretary of state and over ties between the Clinton family foundation and Mrs. Clinton's State Department."
Actually, the biggest part Abedin played in recent Clinton controversies was to testify to the Benghazi Committee. Abedin was working in a completely unrelated part of the State Department when that occurred, so other than her being a Muslim and dark-skinned and an attractive woman (good photo op), there realy wasn't any reason for the committee to interview her.
Nah, the blogger is right. This is disgusting.


Down near the end of this column there are four bullet-points that explain why Congress can't pass a Zika bill. Infuriating! Absolutely infuriating.

Good exploration of just how much reality-ignoring and excuse-making is needed to make Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton appear to be equivalents. They're not. Dowd has to go to the extent of saying that a 70-year old billionaire is some sort of wide-eyed innocent who doesn't understand what's going on around him.

The AP disgraced itself stil further by sending out a spokesperson who was called upon to defend an inexcusably sloppy and inaccurate tweet. She apparently didn't even read the tweet before coming onto the show. She defends it anyway and refuses to delete it.

Mike Huckabee sponsored a rally on behalf of Kim Davis, who was refusing to serve gay couples. A problem was both that Huckabee never asked the band for permission to use their song "Eye of the Tiger" and as the band doesn't support Davis, they wouldn't have granted permission anyway. Huckabee was forced to pay $25k for using the song without permission

AP continues to claim, without evidence, that it's story of the "scandal" concerning the Clinton Foundation is correct and does not need to be deleted.

One of the major problems with the proposed crude oil pipeline is that it was originally supposed to cross the Missouri River right near Bismarck, the state capitol, but decided against it as the pipeline could leak and threaten the water supply there. "Hey, let's move it to Indian land instead!" Yeah, you can guess how well THAT went over with the Standing Rock Sioux!

The Associated Press story tries really, really hard to make it appear that there's some sort of scandal associated with the Clinton Foundation. Lots of smoke, not much sign of any sort of fire. Very gratifying to see that there's been a lot of pushback on the AP story that tries to make a scandal of the Clinton Foundation. AP has severely discredited itself with a broadside of unwarranted, unsubstantited accusations.

Andrea Tantaros, a former Fox News personality, is suing Bill O'Reilly for sexual harrassment. Again, as with Roger Ailes and Gretchen Carlson, I'm probably jumping the gun and being overly judgmental towards O'Reilly, but I don't doubt Tantaros in the slightest. I can very easily see O'Reilly being a complete pig towards her.

Former Klansman David Dukes says (words to the effect of): "Bwah-hah-hah! We've won! We've won! We control the Trump campaign and the Republican Party as we knew it no longer exists! Ah-ha-ha-ha"
In the meantime, an op-ed writer in the NY Daily Post is convinced that this is still yesteryear and that Trump is yer standard, basic, right-of-center politician.

*Sigh*, so let me get this straight. 14,900 Clinton emails have already been recovered, the State Department has had their budget chopped by 15% and three judges are each demanding that State put all available resources into recovering still more emails.
Yep. Good priorities there, guys. It's not like there's anything going on in the world that could possibly be a problem now, is there? I mean, the world is completely at peace and there's no trouble going on anywhere, amirite?

The first of Trump's economic ideas that Dr. Ben Carson presents, enterprise zones, was tried starting in the 1980s. Not completely worthless, but hardly the magical answer America is looking for. Repatriation of money that businesses hold overseas was something G.W. Bush tried. Oh, you don't remember that? That's because it had zero economic effect.

Well THAT'S pretty cool! New fuel economy regulations on the trucking industry pushed by...the trucking industry! They figure new standards will pay off in lower fuel costs. Works for me!

Lots of right-wing media compares the public reaction to Bush's response to Hurricane Katrina and the reaction to Obama and Louisiana today. There's no comparison because in 2005, FEMA was nowhere to be seen in New Orleans for the first several days. FEMA has been active and available and working hard in 2016. That's the essential difference, not what the two presidents personally did.

Heh! After seeing Trump say he'll get 95% of African-Americans on his side, the Trump person here disputes that Trump is down to 2% with blacks, but doesn't present his own estimate. Demonstrating how close to blacks he is, he suggests that maybe a backdrop with a burning car would appeal to them.

Yep, sure enough is a very mysterious mystery, a state actively chooses to downplay women's health so that they can have more babies and wow! Mysteriously enough, women's death rates go up! Very odd how that happens! [/snark] From the piece:

The rise in pregnancy-related deaths in 2011 coincided with the beginning of major budget cuts in Texas. In September of that year, health care providers across the state began to feel the effects of a family planning budget reduced by two-thirds.

Oh, okay. So Hillary Clinton should not be asassinated, she should just be placed in front of a firing squad and shot. Oh, gee, that's SO different and so much better! [/snark]
Ooooh, well, when ya put it that way...
But seriously, Baldasaro's reason for this recommended punishment is "her use of a personal email server when she was secretary of state." This is still an extremely overheated and excessive response on his part as the FBI confirms that Clinton never sent out classified information to begin with.
Update; Can't find anything more current than the 25th of January of this year, but members of the President's staff were also using privat eemail servers.

CBS News reveals a very deeply confused and contradictory Donald Trump who is all over the place on a great many issues. At one point, he supports Russia's assistance against Daesh (ISIS), but also supports gay rights, but overlooks Russia's 2013 law that was aimed at persecuting gays. And Trump repeats a claim that he opposed the Iraq War and opposed the 2011 pull-out. He's on record as having supported both at the time.

Manbij is liberated from Daesh (ISIS)! Men can shave again! Women don't have to wear the veil anymore!
But...wait a sec... we celebrated the Olympic volleyball players who wore trousers, long sleeves and hijabs. Yes, because we celebrate choice. We celebrate people not being forced.

Awesome! Proxima Centauri, a mere 4.25 light-years away, may have an Earth-like planet in the habitable zone!

Very good news on the renewable energy front, not only are renewables popular with voters by a 5.5 to 1 margin, but renewables combined with conservation efforts have saved $460 million in electricity costs since 2011.

Hmm. Yeah, I have to agree with this. Donald Trump is "losing to a girl" and it's driving him nuts.

Judge Napolitano of Fox News (!!!) explains why the Benghazi lawsuit is complete nonsense and an utter waste of time and money for everyone involved.

This is really quite serious that 50 national security rxperts oppose Trump for president. There are many good reasons to oppose Hillary Clinton, but Trump presents a whole new level of danger to the entire world. As people have half-jokingly remarked, if Clinton launches a nuclear war, it will be due to a carefully-thought out plan. If Trump does, it wiil be due to someone unfriending him on Facebook or some other equally trivial nonsense.

Back during the Republican convention, Ivanka Trump earned a lot of points by advocating paid parental leave and other liberal policies. It was unclear at the time whether her father shared her beliefs. Well, now it turns out she doesn't even believe in those polices herself as her own company doesn't offer paid parental leave.

Poor Angela Rye tries hard to get a word in edgewise, but the moderator permits Giuliani to run roughshod over both of them. Giuliani claims at one point that Hillary Clinton allowed Russia to get a foothold in Syria. Actually, the Soviet Union had a base there in the 1970s and Russia was actively began to pursue better relations with them in 2006. There really wasn't a whole lot the US could do to prevent a close Russia-Syria relationship.

I'm sure the moviegoers among have seen ads for both "Nine Lives" and "Hillary's America." The cat movie got 7% on Rotten Tomatoes (7 out of 100 people liked it), the Clinton movie got 4%.

Just because I was having a exchange with someone about the hacked DNC emails, here's a lengthy piece about the whole issue that's quite certain that the Russians did it. I've followed the blogging of the groups founder and consider him to be a highly credible source as he was a supporter of Edward Snowden.

Trump announces his economic policy team - 13 white guys, mostly CEOs and hedge fund managers, one professor, one "Heritage Foundation scholar," and one retired guy. Yup, real cross-section of America there!

Local conservative columnist/lawyer asks serious questions about Melania Trump's visa. No question she was in this country legally, but was it legal for her to work in this country on the type of visa she had?
Lots of long-winded introduction, serious part of the column begins at 10th paragraph.

Good! Governor Brownback's "experiment" is running into real resistance. The economic disaster that is Kansas has been very undercovered for the past six years.

A plea to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline. The pipeline is a risk to the water supply, the health and safety of people up in North Dakota, but more to the point, why are we taking such risks? We shouldn't be building for oil at all!

Six months ago, the Obama Administration requested funding to tackle the Zika problem. Congress sat around twiddling its thumbs and making excuses. Democratic VP nominee Tim Kaine stepped up and demanded action.

Encouraging signs tha the switch-over from fossil fuels to renewables is well under way.

A co-congregant of mine, Celeste Zappala (mother of Sherwood Baker, KIA Iraq, 2004), appears in this segment to talk about Army Captain Khan and his parents. WaPo disgraces itself by taking Trump's side of the issue. WaPo notes Trump's vile and disgusting attack on a Gold Star family, but dismisses opposition to his remarks as "elite-driven political correctness." Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson makes really stupid statement about Obama having something to do with Captain Humaya Khan's death (that occurred in 2004 when Obama was still a state senator), but Wolf Blitzer is the real moron here as he completely fails to correct her.


Excellent! Not only did a federal appeals court rule against NC's voter suppression law, it did so on racially discriminatory grounds, which affirms that the Supreme Court's gutting of the VRA in 2013 was a terrible and terribly misguided thing to do.

So Assange of the Wikileaks data dump of Hillary Clinton's emails is strongly anti-Clinton. Do we know of his relations with Putin? Actually, we do. He had a show on RT until mid-2012.

Yeah, this is quite sad. The "Freedom Kids" were a horrifying group that reminded me of the Hitlerjugend, but hey, they were a small business that got ripped off by Trump's campaign.

We do a march on behalf of the climate.

Wow! According to the blogger, Trump's acceptance spech doesn't come up to the standard set by Richard Nixon's acceptance speech of 1968.

Wikileaks releases 23,000 emails from Secretary of State Cliton whe she held that office. Curious part of the title of the article, though. It says that all of them are "marked 'C' for Confidential." I'd have to see the classified markings (or someone else would have to witness them and tell us about them) because on Figure 16, page 48, makes it very clear that classified markings must be fully spelled ut and entered on the document multiple times so that there really shouldn't be any question whatsoever as to whether something is top secret, secret, confidential, whatever. Just entering a single (C) somewhere really doesn't do the trick.

"This is not a case of a rogue cop; this is not a case of police abuse."
*Sigh*, okay first of all, it was a case of both abuse and of being a "rogue cop," but it was obviously also a case of idiocy and incompetence!!! There was no danger!!! Nobody was being threatened!!! No guns had to be drawn or pointed!!!

The speech Melania Trump gave where she plagiarized Michelle Obama produces some serious consequences. Point #8 is a very important consequence of the speech. Melania can't be used as campaign surrogates as surrogates are trusted to speak on behalf of the candidate.

Alas! Poor Scott "Chachi" Baio! He gets challenged on his 12-year old boy-type humor and golly gee! His interviewer insists on looking at things through a grown-up lens!

Back when I was in the Navy, we used stuff that was termed AFFF, Aqueous Film Forming Foam or as we more casually referred to it, fire-fighting foam. The foam smothers the flame and cools down the equipment that was on fire. President Obama and Hillary Clinton have been busy spraying AFFF all over the questions concerning police shootings and the sometimes-violent reactions to those shootings.
And on the other side, we have people like the West Virginia House of Delegates member who suggested that Hillary be "...hung on the Mall in Washington, DC."
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke is clearly part of that other side that's throwing napalm on the blaze instead of AFFF, making wild,, hysterical, fact-free accusations.

Full text on Newt Gingrich's statement on Muslims. Gingrich doesn't ever appear to have heard of the First Amendment.

The choosing of Mike Pence as Trump's VP. Wow, what a complete cluster$%#@!

Heh! Yup, Trump has got some really top-notch people here! Lt. General Flynn is demanding that the Ayatollah Khomeini apologize the the attack in France. Yeah, he wants an apology from a person who passed away in 1989!

Good! The attempted coup in Turkey was unsuccessful. Fascinating to see role of smartphones in this and other recent events.

50 groups call for end to Planned Parenthood investigation. Absolutely! "This panel was created to investigate something that doesn't exist." Sales of fetal tissues are not occurring. There's nothing to investigate and the commission has endangered lives by, at the very least, a reckless disregard for the safety of fetal tissue researchers by openly publishing their names.

Gotta say, I have enormous sympathy for the Log Cabin Republicans, I'm totally with them and on their side, but as the GOP passes the most anti-LGBT platform ever, I just can't imagine a more useless, ineffectual group that has less influence than them.

Horrors! My prayers and sympathies to the French. vA truck driver ran his truck into a Bastille Day crowd in Nice, France, with 84 deaths.

A year ago, we heard all sorts of hair-raising predictions of doom, disaster and horror about the nuclear deal with Iran. Today, we have a major success story.

A player of the new game PokemonGO gets hit by a car. Unfortunately, this was an entirely predictable problem that players of the game should have foreseen.

It's confirmed, Mike Pence, Governor of Indiana, is Trump's VP pick. Background info (He's very conservative).

Yep, it's been a year since that criminal David Daleiden and his group, the Center for Medical Progress tried to smear Planned Parenthood. Very happily, Daleiden is doing very poorly these days and PP is doing much better!

Whoa! In global warming news, North Slope of Alaska is in mid-80s today!

On the Republican platform. Includes video of G.W. Bush dancing at memorial service.
But hey, remember, the two parties are exactly alike. Six of one, half dozen of the other. No discernible difference at all.

Heh! Got some super die-hard Bernie fans who think he can pull off an upset at the convention. Problem: It costs $3,000-$5,000 for a delegate to attend the convention. Easy enough to raise money for it if you're voting for a sure winner, a LOT harder if you're banking on an upset victory. Yeah, lots of luck with that plan. Also, I've seen a few hardcore Bernie fans putting up the meme that FDR arrived at the 1932 Democratic Convention with a minority of delegates after having endorsed his opponent. Nope. Didn't happen. Bad case of wishful thinking going on here. .

I just can't imagine why Republican men think it's a good idea to interrogate Democratic women. It never turns out well for them!
In any event, Attorney General Loretta Lynch is quite clear and specific here. She received a briefing on the Clinton email case, she decided that the FBI recommendation not to press charges was a good one. Okay, done, finished, next problem!

After Alton Sterlin's death, police seize entire store video security set-up. I'm sorry, but to seize the whole security system and the store-owner's cell phone just tells me the police are guilty as sin and every charge against them is true. They got a signed search warrant? That tells ms the judge who signed that warrant was corrupt and in on the deal and no better than the cops were. This is why BLM has insisted that all police killings should be investigated by the federal government. The locals are simply too interested in having each other's backs.

With all due respect to supporters of Bernie Sanders, there were constituencies to which he was just a poor candidate who didn't really connect with or represent them.

Does the Democratic Platform fall short of what we'd really like to see? Well, of course it does. But we've got a good platform and should celebrate it.

Man who posted video of Alton Sterling's death arrested. Hmm, let's see. How legitimate was this guy's arrest?
"The very next day, while trying to get through a security checkpoint to go to his job as an aerospace ground equipment technician at Dobbins Air Reserve Base, LeDay was surrounded and detained by ten military police officers, some of whom carried M-16 rifles.
"...he was handcuffed and leg-shackled.
... "It was just over some traffic tickets from a couple of years ago," LeDay said. "They said my license was suspended."
Nawww! Nothing suspicious about this arrest at all! Move along now. Nothing to see here!

I agree, It's not "Black Lives Matter, but..." it's "Black Lives Matter (period)"

*Sigh*, more "both-sides-erism." Erm, I recall Trump saying lots and LOTS of really, at the absolute minimum, racially insensitive remarks. I recall absolutely nothing of the sort from Clinton. "False equivalence" is the bane of modern American media coverage.

Army veteran Micah Johnson shoots 11 Dallas police officers, killing five and wounding six. Very interesting to see what the NRA says here, but the more interesting question is what they leave out. They can't say victims were unarmed. They can't say killins occurred in a "gun-free zone," can't say "If only there were armed people around," because there were 20 "open-carry activists" present. I did a photoessay on the last three gun-killing events. In a disturbing development, mass shooter was dispatched by a killer drone, a remote-controlled tracked vehicle that threw a bomb at Johnson. And because, of course.

Clinton has the most amazing luck. She is blessed with incompetent enemies. Republicans in Congress drag FBI Director James Comey n front of them to explain why Clinton wasn't charged. Comey made it very clear that her conduct with her email protocols didn't rise to the level where prosecution was warranted. That is, they weren't so bad as to deserve the label "gross negligence."

Another black man murdered at the hands of police. His girlfriend was in the car next to him and recorded herself describing how her boyfriend, Philando Castile, was dying beside her. Their four-year old daughter was in the back seat.

Serious boundary crossed. At a rally, Donald Trump was discussing Hillary Clinton's email issue. Someone in the audience yelled "Hang that bitch!" to which Trump just smiled.

Global warming has a bigger cost than just sea level rise. Problem is, taking steps to stopping it means getting in the way of big sugar growers, so Senator Rubio got all vague and fuzzy on the issue.

With the story of Alton Sterling, pretty much all you all you need to know is "4. Cops immediately seized the convenience store's surveillance footage." Yes, they later obtained a warrant from a judge to do so, but that just means the judge was a fellow "good ol' boy" who agreed on how to define "justice" here. Also, good advice for white people on reacting to the death of black people at the hands of police.

To the surprise of pretty much no one, Fox News host Gretchen Carlson says the station boss, Roger Ailes sexually harrassed her. And yeah, it brings to mind the scene in "Return of the Jedi" where Jabba the Hut has Princess Leia captive.

Kansas is insisting on austerity for regular citizens, the school system, libraries and health services are taking serious cuts and destperately trying to maintain services, so of course Kansas public servats are living it up off the public dime.

I find it pretty disturbing that Trump thinks it's okay to just go around killing "bad people" without any sort of due process of any sort. Don't think that's anything to celebrate.

FBI announces the results of their investigation of Clintn's emails. 110 classified emails (Eight of which wee Top-Secret) out of 30,000 emails over a four-year period. Certainly a bad thing, but nothing found that justifies any sort of prosecution. And just like the Benghazi story, the Clinton email story was overblown and overhyped from day one. Lots of good reasons as to why Clinton wasn't charged over her email, including that the SoS had to comply with a really byzantine, overly complex set of rules that really got in the way of her doing her job.

The minimum wage went up on July 1st. What will happen? According to this Fox News guy here, terror, horror, death and destruction. According to the Huffington Post (In February of this year), things are likely to improve. Why is that? Because with more money in their pockets, people are likely to spend more.

Erm, if your state is going to launch an expensive legal action, shouldn't the state plan out how it's going to, y'know, pay for it?!?!?! Why in the #%#@ is NC raiding a disaster fund to defend a law (HB2) that's getting them into political/economic trouble?


I was concerned that the DNC rejected Bill McKibben's recommendations for fighting global warming. Here's another view saying roughly that "We're doing fine. We're on schedule to switch our economy over to renewables." Wouldn't mind carrying out McKibben's sugestion anyway, but here's hoping the blogger is right.

A few month ago, Hillary Clinton defended wheeling and dealing and politicking. Here's an example of that in action. We all agree that using the "No-Fly" list as a "No Buy" list for guns is a terrible idea as the No-Fly list has no civil rights protections, but "In exchange, it would be made easier for someone on either list to request a review of their status and to get off the list. Which is, frankly, a good idea all on its own." As the list is well over a decade old, this modest improvement would never have occurred without wheeling and dealing and politicking.

And yeah, the whole Bernie phenomenon is now gone. An overplayed hand that's now collapsed. Had Bernie conceded earlier, he would have been able to take credit for getting his backers to back Clinton. As his backers moved to Clinton without him, he can't claim any credit and has thus become irrelevant.

Here's a concise version of the Storman family case (They own a pharmaceutical dispensary and were refusing to dispense birth control to women they felt were sluts) that the Supreme Court refused to take up, leaving a lower court's ruling to stand. The ruling is a good one and so the Supreme Court acted wisely. Chief Justice Roberts has been called a moderate by right-wingers and by the standards of Alito, Thomas and the late Scalia, I suppose he is. But by taking the side of the Storman family here, no, he's no moderate.

So after $7 million and over two years, what did the US get from the eighth Benghazi investigation? Not much. At best, a good course in how not to conduct a credible investigation. Right-wingers are, of course, terribly, terribly sad that Benghazi is now over.

Brexit proves catastrophic for 400 richest people, who who together lose $127 billion in stock losses. Intriguingly, one of the more eloquent critics of Brexit was actress Lindsay Lohan. Could Brexit be a harbinger of a Trump victory? British white folks have many of the same grievances that white Trump supporters do here, but our minority population is much larger (About 33% as opposed to their 8%), so that's unlikely to happen.

Very annoying and aggravating that Democratic platform committee can't produce even halfway decent proposals. So it appears there were lots of areas where the Sanders people and the Clinton-Wasserman-Schultz (DWS) people agreed (Clinton appointed six members, Sanders five and DWS the remaining four), I especially approved of the $15 minimum wage, (though I thought I saw from other sources that that was not approved). I don't like, but understand why the DNC doesn't wish to formally come out against the TPP as that would involve putting space between the President and Clinton and the Democratic Party. The DNC stance on the Israel-Palestine issue I also don't approve of but understand. I'm completely baffled as to why the anti-global warming measures that Bill McKibben was proposing weren't adopted. That's by far the most important failure of the session.

So what's the problem with Kansas and its schools NOW? Well, "Lawmakers cobbled together a bipartisan plan to divert funds from other corners of state government to avoid an overall increase in state spending." In other words, lawmakers are SO concerned about keeping spending low, they're short-changing state students. Guys, running a modern society takes money! Running it on the cheap doesn't work!

So Speaker Ryan has now produced four plans, all of which are meant to demonstrate that his party is ready, after being in control of the House since 2011, to govern responsibly. Problem is, all four of the plans are heavily reliant on pixie dust and vague promises and unspecified math to work.

GOP Senator says he would have arrested Democratic House members who conducted sit-in. Of course he would. Because the sit-in was good political theater that demonstrated that the Republican Congress was useless when it came to doing something about guns.

Listened to both a Trump and a Clinton speech. Trump spoke more lies than there were minutes, Clinton's speech was full of substantive, realistic promises. Yet, Trump got the lion's share of the coverage.

Speaker Ryan speaking to the House "filibuster," says the issue is terrorism. No, the issue is that American citizens have access to military-grade weapons that are appropriate for fighting off a zombie apocalypse (or many other typical military situations) but not for anything a civilian is ever likely to face. That's the real issue! According to the two Democratic ringleaders, the sit-in will continue until Speaker Ryan caves. Ah-ha! So that's how the sit-in members got their food! Other tweets. Well, 1. yes, it is a "publicity stunt," but 2. it's a damn good one that shows the American public how useless the Republican Congress is on guns. Democrats call it off after more than 24 hours.

Truly amazing to witness the career of Art Laffer. The guy's "Laffer Curve" has been a complete joke for decades, his predictions have been consistently wrong, he's consistently called every economic development the wrong way, but people still look up to him, quote him and seek his advice.

Rep. John Lewis leads a sit-in the House floor as the House has no equivalent of the Senate's filibster. Of course Speaker Ryan shuts off the cameras to the protest because...uh..reasons!

Senator Marco Rubio breaks promise not to run for Senator again. Human Rights Campaign that represents LGBTQ people is really annoyed that Rubio is attempting to use LGBTQ people as his excuse to break his promise. Rubio has NO prior history of defending LGBTQ people!

So how's the Donald Trump campaign going? Not so hot actually. Not only is his campaign doing very poorly financially, as this piece shows, but Mitt Romney had 403 paid staffers in August of 2012, Barack Obama had 901. Hillary Clinton has around 800 paid staffers now. Trump has 73.
Trump says he spent $55 million of his own money on the primary, but staff and data operations for a presidential run these days costs around $250 million. That's before any advertising

First necessary step in solving a problem is to properly diagnose it, to accurately understand it. NY Times badly fails the country by misdiagnosing the problem in getting good gun violence laws passed.

All kinds of wrongness and foolishness here, but I was particularly struck by Dana Perino's comment a little after the 2:10 minute mark where she wants to know why we can't have a strong factual foundation on which to debate the gun issue. Well, funny story on that (not so funny, actually) is that the NRA and their GOP allies have prevented any gun studies from taking place!

Very happy to see Democrats examining the Bundy takeover of the Malheur Wildlfe Refuge as the take-over and occupation of the refuge was a very serious issue. It very much needs to be examined.

Senator Ted Cruz contributes to the debate on guns. He charged that Democrats are "incensed that Americans have a right to keep and bear arms." Erm, no. We're incensed that weapos of mass killing are legally available and easy to obtain, even for people that are suspected of being terrorists.

Daseh (ISIS) is suffering badly on the battlefield! Major sections of Fallujah are friendly hands,

Speaker Ryan pushes back against the un-Constitutional terrorist watch list by saying he doesn't want to question Constitutionality of unlimited guns. I understand the appeal of saying "If you can't fly, you can't buy (guns)" but the terrorist watch list, put together in 2003, was un-Constitutionally composed, with a complete lack of checks and balances. Well over a decade later, there's no apparent way to get people taken off of it. Speaker Ryan makes a poor spokesperson on the issue as he dances around that Constitutionality of the issue without ever forthrightly addresses it.

Speaker Ryan comes up wth more fuzziness for an ACA replacement plan.

It was on June 17, 2009 that then-Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) made a bold promise. The Missouri Republican, a member of the House Republican leadership at the time, had taken the lead in crafting a GOP alternative to the Affordable Care Act, and he was proud to publicly declare, "I guarantee you we will provide you with a bill.
D'oh! Seven years later, we've got a fuzzy, vague wish list that could have been produced a day after Blunt’s declaration. Why is that? Well, real policy-making requires making choices and trade-offs and the GOP Congress doesn't like doing that.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) tries to walk back the rathe wild, hystercal charge that Presidet Obama was "directly responsible" for the massacre in Orlando. First off, Mateen did not shoot up the Orlando nightclub because of Daesh (ISIS), Daesh was a justifcation that Mateen came up with after he decided to go on a murder spree. Second, Obama's people tried and failed to have American troops remain in Iraq after 2011 because neither the American nor the Iraqi public wanted US troops to remain. If anyone's to blame for the rise of Daesh, it's George W. Bush and the invasion in 2003. Bush retired to his ranch after the fall of Baghdad, completely failing to get any reconstruction programs on track. Cheney fired all of Saddam's troops without pay or honors, which gee, surprise, surprise, amazingly enough, led to an extended guerilla war that Daesh naturally grew out of.

A former Carly Fiorina spokesperson bizarrely drags abortion into the gun debate. The segment brings up the issue of guns and the no-fly list and Republican objections to the Constitutionality of the no-fly list. These were hypocritical and too-little, too-late objections, but yes, the no-fly list is no basis for not permitting gun purchases. We need to fix the no-fly list, period!

Rolling Stone makes a strong argument for removing Constitutional protections from guns so that we can regulate them as we do autos. By having guns in the Constitution, we are prevented from applying common-sense regulations that would make gun ownership safer.

Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R loses election! Fine by me. This person got a briefing from law enforcement on the Bundy takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and promptly went out and told the Bundys what she had just learned. Very happy this damned traitor got thrown out of office!

Democrats launch flibuster on guns. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) launched a talking filibuster on the Senate floor. Other Democrats quickly joined it.

Bernie Sanders puts out some ideas, some are good, some not so good. I really hate his idea for open primaries. If someone wants to vote in a Democratic primary, they can jolly well sign up to be a Democrat! As a Democrat myself, why would I want non-members to decide on my party's leadership? I have no use for people who want to parachute into the party once every four or eight years and then try to determine who the party leaders are.

Gretchen Carlson of Fox News takes a stand for gun safety measures. She now favors banning assault weapons.

Hmm, most interesting. Russian hackers get DNC oppo research on Donald Trump. Wonder why they want that information?

Woo hoo! Big win for Net Neutrality! "Another huge net neutrality was secured Tuesday, when a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld, 2-1 the FCC's open internet order, in full. Every part of it is legal, the court ruled."

Omar Mateen's relationships to gays appears to have been very deeply confused and conflicted. He was known at The Pulse for several years before his attack on the club. That doesn't rule out jihadist motivations, but it makes his motivations very murky. Even more murkiness and confusion involves how, exactly, Daesh recruits people to kill for them.

Woo hoo! By 2040, Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates zero-emission energy sources will make up majority of energy!

50 people killed and many more wounded at The Pulse, an Orlando, FL, gay nightclub. Killer identified as Omar Mateen and he was using legally-purchased weapons. Daesh (ISIS) claimed "credit" for Mateen's rampage, but there's no indication of any sort of connection. Photos of Philly's Gay Pride March along with extensive comments on the Orlando shooting.

Like the Philadelphia Inquirer, Poltico rates about a 6 on a scale of 10, politically. But this is a very good explanation as to why a lot of people aren't "Feeling the Bern."

To downplay what [Obama] has been able to achieve despite the obstacles, which also included an unprecedented level of obstruction from the GOP, confirms a fear shared by many people of color. Democratic or otherwise that no matter what they achieve, it will never be enough. Sanders and Susan Sarandon may sincerely believe things are so awful only a revolution can heal the country’s ills. But their overwrought rhetoric, and no more than lukewarm support of Obama's accomplishments, taps into that deeply-held frustration among minorities.

Just because the question of Senator Warren's possible Cherokee heritage has come up again, I read a piece earlier that said she'd definitely be accepted as a member were she to apply. This piece says her eligibility isn't really that clear, but that her actual ancestry might very well include enough Cherokee ancestors to make her application acceptable.

One of Senator Cruz's favorite talking points while he was running was that income inequality got worse under Obama. 1. Cruz, of course, had no credble solution for that, 2. it has been getting worse ever since the mid-70s, the problem didn't start in January 2009 and 3. Actually, the problem has improved under Obama and, as the piece points out, the solution, as partial and inadequate as it is, wasn't complicated.

Source is highly skeptical that Bernie lost to Clinton because of any sort of conspiracy.

In the end, [Bernie] lost by more than 400,000 votes, a humiliating margin that can't be written off to voter suppression or hacked machines. Such conspiracy mongering only serves to deflect attention from the real defects that fatally crippled the Sanders campaign. The stakes are too high to surrender to magical thinking.

So how are relations with Iran today? Actually, they're quite good, Iran is getting increasingy close and friendly to the US.

The issue of our age. Yes, Trump's racism is quite important, but if we spend just 0.06% of our GDP on fixing the climate, we might survive until the year 2100.

The Mayor of Tel Aviv, the head of a Jewish peace movement and the US White House all agree that the problem in Israel is the occupation of Palestine.

One very important positive effect of the ACA/Obamacare is that there are far fewer bankruptcies in states that had Medicare expansions.

The Democratic primary of 2016 shows us that the US voting system, designed for small towns back in the 1800s seriously needs to be overhauled.
First necessary step in solving a problem is to properly diagnose it, to accurately understand it. NY Times badly fails the country by misdiagnosing the problem in getting good gun violence laws passed.

All kinds of wrongness and foolishness here, but I was particularly struck by Dana Perino's comment a little after the 2:10 minute mark where she wants to know why we can't have a strong factual foundation on which to debate the gun issue. Well, funny story on that (not so funny, actually) is that the NRA and their GOP allies have prevented any gun studies from taking place!

Very happy to see Democrats examining the Bundy takeover of the Malheur Wildlfe Refuge as the take-over and occupation of the refuge was a very serious issue. It very much needs to be examined.

Senator Ted Cruz contributes to the debate on guns. He charged that Democrats are "incensed that Americans have a right to keep and bear arms." Erm, no. We're incensed that weapos of mass killing are legally available and easy to obtain, even for people that are suspected of being terrorists.

Daseh (ISIS) is suffering badly on the battlefield! Major sections of Fallujah are friendly hands,

Speaker Ryan pushes back against the un-Constitutional terrorist watch list by saying he doesn't want to question Constitutionality of unlimited guns. I understand the appeal of saying "If you can't fly, you can't buy (guns)" but the terrorist watch list, put together in 2003, was un-Constitutionally composed, with a complete lack of checks and balances. Well over a decade later, there's no apparent way to get people taken off of it. Speaker Ryan makes a poor spokesperson on the issue as he dances around that Constitutionality of the issue without ever forthrightly addresses it.

Speaker Ryan comes up wth more fuzziness for an ACA replacement plan.

It was on June 17, 2009 that then-Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) made a bold promise. The Missouri Republican, a member of the House Republican leadership at the time, had taken the lead in crafting a GOP alternative to the Affordable Care Act, and he was proud to publicly declare, "I guarantee you we will provide you with a bill.
D'oh! Seven years later, we've got a fuzzy, vague wish list that could have been produced a day after Blunt’s declaration. Why is that? Well, real policy-making requires making choices and trade-offs and the GOP Congress doesn't like doing that.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) tries to walk back the rathe wild, hystercal charge that Presidet Obama was "directly responsible" for the massacre in Orlando. First off, Mateen did not shoot up the Orlando nightclub because of Daesh (ISIS), Daesh was a justifcation that Mateen came up with after he decided to go on a murder spree. Second, Obama's people tried and failed to have American troops remain in Iraq after 2011 because neither the American nor the Iraqi public wanted US troops to remain. If anyone's to blame for the rise of Daesh, it's George W. Bush and the invasion in 2003. Bush retired to his ranch after the fall of Baghdad, completely failing to get any reconstruction programs on track. Cheney fired all of Saddam's troops without pay or honors, which gee, surprise, surprise, amazingly enough, led to an extended guerilla war that Daesh naturally grew out of.

A former Carly Fiorina spokesperson bizarrely drags abortion into the gun debate. The segment brings up the issue of guns and the no-fly list and Republican objections to the Constitutionality of the no-fly list. These were hypocritical and too-little, too-late objections, but yes, the no-fly list is no basis for not permitting gun purchases. We need to fix the no-fly list, period!

Rolling Stone makes a strong argument for removing Constitutional protections from guns so that we can regulate them as we do autos. By having guns in the Constitution, we are prevented from applying common-sense regulations that would make gun ownership safer.

Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R loses election! Fine by me. This person got a briefing from law enforcement on the Bundy takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and promptly went out and told the Bundys what she had just learned. Very happy this damned traitor got thrown out of office!

Democrats launch flibuster on guns. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) launched a talking filibuster on the Senate floor. Other Democrats quickly joined it.

Bernie Sanders puts out some ideas, some are good, some not so good. I really hate his idea for open primaries. If someone wants to vote in a Democratic primary, they can jolly well sign up to be a Democrat! As a Democrat myself, why would I want non-members to decide on my party's leadership? I have no use for people who want to parachute into the party once every four or eight years and then try to determine who the party leaders are.

Gretchen Carlson of Fox News takes a stand for gun safety measures. She now favors banning assault weapons.

Hmm, most interesting. Russian hackers get DNC oppo research on Donald Trump. Wonder why they want that information?

Woo hoo! Big win for Net Neutrality! "Another huge net neutrality was secured Tuesday, when a panel of judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld, 2-1 the FCC's open internet order, in full. Every part of it is legal, the court ruled."

Omar Mateen's relationships to gays appears to have been very deeply confused and conflicted. He was known at The Pulse for several years before his attack on the club. That doesn't rule out jihadist motivations, but it makes his motivations very murky. Even more murkiness and confusion involves how, exactly, Daesh recruits people to kill for them.

Woo hoo! By 2040, Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates zero-emission energy sources will make up majority of energy!

50 people killed and many more wounded at The Pulse, an Orlando, FL, gay nightclub. Killer identified as Omar Mateen and he was using legally-purchased weapons. Daesh (ISIS) claimed "credit" for Mateen's rampage, but there's no indication of any sort of connection. Photos of Philly's Gay Pride March along with extensive comments on the Orlando shooting.

Like the Philadelphia Inquirer, Poltico rates about a 6 on a scale of 10, politically. But this is a very good explanation as to why a lot of people aren't "Feeling the Bern."

To downplay what [Obama] has been able to achieve despite the obstacles, which also included an unprecedented level of obstruction from the GOP, confirms a fear shared by many people of color. Democratic or otherwise that no matter what they achieve, it will never be enough. Sanders and Susan Sarandon may sincerely believe things are so awful only a revolution can heal the country’s ills. But their overwrought rhetoric, and no more than lukewarm support of Obama's accomplishments, taps into that deeply-held frustration among minorities.

Just because the question of Senator Warren's possible Cherokee heritage has come up again, I read a piece earlier that said she'd definitely be accepted as a member were she to apply. This piece says her eligibility isn't really that clear, but that her actual ancestry might very well include enough Cherokee ancestors to make her application acceptable.

One of Senator Cruz's favorite talking points while he was running was that income inequality got worse under Obama. 1. Cruz, of course, had no credble solution for that, 2. it has been getting worse ever since the mid-70s, the problem didn't start in January 2009 and 3. Actually, the problem has improved under Obama and, as the piece points out, the solution, as partial and inadequate as it is, wasn't complicated.

Source is highly skeptical that Bernie lost to Clinton because of any sort of conspiracy.

In the end, [Bernie] lost by more than 400,000 votes, a humiliating margin that can't be written off to voter suppression or hacked machines. Such conspiracy mongering only serves to deflect attention from the real defects that fatally crippled the Sanders campaign. The stakes are too high to surrender to magical thinking.

So how are relations with Iran today? Actually, they're quite good, Iran is getting increasingy close and friendly to the US.

The issue of our age. Yes, Trump's racism is quite important, but if we spend just 0.06% of our GDP on fixing the climate, we might survive until the year 2100.

The Mayor of Tel Aviv, the head of a Jewish peace movement and the US White House all agree that the problem in Israel is the occupation of Palestine.

One very important positive effect of the ACA/Obamacare is that there are far fewer bankruptcies in states that had Medicare expansions.

The Democratic primary of 2016 shows us that the US voting system, designed for small towns back in the 1800s seriously needs to be overhauled.

The Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives just *oops* erm, uh, happened to uh, accdently leak the names of fetal tissue researchers because they oopsie! just made a mistake! At the absolute, rock-bottom, bare minimum, failure to safegard these names demnstrates that the committee showed a reckless disregard for the safety of fetal tissue researchers.

MoveOn quickly moves on to support Hillary Clinton after Bernie Sanders loses primary. MoveOn has no patience with Berne's claim that superdelegates can overturn primary.

We have centuries of experience with the methods Speaker Ryan suggests and no, they've never worked. Shorter Speaker Ryan recipe for getting the economy moving better: "Work, damn your lazy hides, work!!! *crack* Lazy people, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, I say!"

New York state wants to make boycotts illegal. Erm, no, don't care how much you oppose efforts like BDS against Israel, "Boycotts are a constitutionally protected and time-honored nonviolent tactic used by social movements to achieve needed change for justice and equality."

Blogger makes an excellent case against the existence of superdelegates. We need to trust primary voters. Giving losing candidates an excuse to stay in the race and giving them ample reason to whine and cry and bitch and moan about how unfair the system is makes an excellent reason to dump the superdelegates entirely. Let's do closed primaries everywhere (no independents get to vote for Democrats, only Democrats get to do that), no caucuses and no superdelegates!

A Fox News guest is perfectly happy to fearmonger on the pregnant women arriving in the US with the Zika virus, but for some odd reason, doesn't mention that Republicas in Conress are refusing to permit the government sufficient resources to combat the Zika virus to begin with.

No questin that having Bernie Sanders run has been good for the country, but it's time for him to strike his colors, lower his battle flag and wrap it up.

Very sad that Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) seems to have no idea what responsible public service is all about.

Just how much difference IS there between the Rs and the Ds?

As Congress tries to underfund Zika (The Obama Administration wants $1.8 billion, Congress is trying to deliver much less), no one wants to guess how much damage there will be because of an out-of-control epidemic.

Hillary Clinton clinches Democratic nomination. Also, Clinton has decided to be modest and to not claim victory yet, but all 571 of the superdelegates have unequivocally declared they will vote for her. There's no possibility Sanders will convince any of them to switch.

Major flood in Texas, mostly near the coast.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is nostalgic for the old days when the Senate was less rancorously partisan. Of course, if we were to identify who, over the past decade, did more than anyone else to make the Senate rancorously partisan, it would be Senator McConnell.

I was a Navy Personnelman using the old housing payments method and was there when they switched to the new, much better, method. Believe me, if the Senate is really determined to save money, there are many better places to start economizing than to start nickel'n'diming the troops.


Bwah-hah-hah!!! It costs about $250 million to run a presidential campaign these days. That's before any ad buys or actual voter outreach! Apparently, the RNC is just as broke as Trump is!!!

William Weld (I was living in MA when he was Governor there) says nope, there will never be an indictment of Clinton for emails because there was no discernible criminal intent. Without that, there's no criminal case.

Apparently, the Trump press conference where he explained his Trump University was quite the show!

Lessons on Bernie Sanders today and 1968. From the piece:
"To us, Humphrey, Nixon and Wallace were all pro-war, with no meaningful difference between them. Humphrey's leadership in the civil rights movement seemed like ancient history, and his association with LBJ was more than enough to condemn him in our eyes. We wanted to change the world, and we thought we had a lot of answers -- none of which involved picking the lesser of evil candidates."

For many millennia, we've been using different metaphors to try and understand how the brain works. None of them, including the latest one of computers, is accurate.

A few months ago, Hillary Clinton claimed that Trumps words were being used in Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) propaganda videos. This aroused great condemnation, sturm und drang because there was no proof that Trump's words were actually being used in that manner. Well, now we have word from our intel agencies that, yes, they're being used in precisely that manner by that exact group.

Is Donald Trump a fascist? It probably gives him too much credit to say that he's deliberately copying Hitler or Mussolini, but yes, there are quite a few similarities in his basic message to voters.

Very cool! A lot of global warming skeptics say "Well, when renewables can power a city, get back to me." The point is, if we deploy renewables to the maximum extent of our ability, we'll get to that point! Title of the piece is "Renewables Overtaking Coal and Nuclear in Midwest." We didn't get there by saying "When it's perfect..."

So it looks like Hillary has settled on her general election strategy. Chris Christie was seen as bully, but he was a bully on our behalf. Bridgegate removed the "on our behalf" part. Trump is a businessman, so Clinton is going to play tag team with Senator Warren to remove the "on our behalf" part.

I'm sorry, but I have to very, very strongly disagree with this:
"...what is really dumb, is that you have closed primaries, like in New York State, where three million people who were [neither] Democrats [n]or Republicans could not participate.”
Dude if you can't brin yourself to sign up to be a Democrat, why are you trying to be able to determine who the Democratic nominee is?!?!?!

Donald Trump gives a speech on energy policy. Not only does it sound nothing like his natural voice, he kept expressing surprise, as though he were reading the speech for the first time.

Senator Ted Cruz leads effort to shut down an investigation of Exxon for knowing in the mid-70s that global warmng was occurring and that it was due to fissil fuels. Very interesting use of language here. "private debate" actually stands for brazenly lying. Deliberately, consciously, with malice and forethought. "...most controversial public issues of our time," actually means a very lop-sided debate with a few wealthy and powerful interests on one side and pretty much all the rest of humanity on the other. Cruz likes to use very select data points. The answer to that we should use all the data, not just selected snippets.

An FB buddy pointed out that gee, Clinton sure hosts some boring, lackluster, under-attended rallies whereas Sanders rallies make great photo-ops. Very true. Clinton voters are more likely to stay home. Problem for Sanders is that Clinton voters are substantially more numerous than Sanders voters. The unrepresentative caucuses make Sanders appear to be far more popular than he actually is.

Donald Trump and instincts versus having factual knowledge on which to base those instincts. Not the same thing at all. Also, please keep in mind that G.W. Bush very famously relied on his "gut" to make decisions. His gut was a miserably poor indicator of anything.

Way back in the early aughts, '04 or '05 I think, a fellow found his way onto the PhillyIMC mailing list. He offered his services as a smart, older fellow who could help us with our organization. His refusal to read our founding documents (claimed he didn't have the time) meant that we didn't get very far with him. One plan of action he suggested was that we should get together with Bill Gates as Gates had lots of money and was bankrolling many groups. We didn't see Gates as an enemy to progressives, but neither did we see him as a friend. Sure enough, as we see in this piece, Gates doesn't understand how to make good progress in the fight against global warming.

Are Donald Trumps attacks on Hillary Clinton using Whitewater and other 90s scandals likely to be effective? Nah. Rudy Giuliani looked at the idea 16 years ago. All of those scandals amount to a nothingburger.

"A Wisconsin county clerk testified in federal court this week that weekend voting should be eliminated because it gave urban areas “too much access” to the polls." In other words, the clerk understands all too well why voter restrictions exist.

Stephanie Chatfield, the wife of anti-choice Michigan state Rep. Lee Chatfield (R), made a hard choice when she was younger. She was sexually taken advantage of, found later she was pregnant and had an abortion. Now she and her husband wish to deny other women that same choice that she had. I understand she feels really bad about her choice, but that's no excuse for her and her husband to deny that same choice to everyone else.

A State Department audit finds that all three of the latest Secretaries of State, Powell, Rice and Clinton, broke the rules concerning emails. None of them should have been using private email for government business.

Piece on political fighting over a response to Zika. As I've mentioned before, yes, there are many areas where Democrats and Republicans are indistinguishable. Zika isn't one of them. 100% of the problem is the GOP idea of small, cheap government.

So what has the effect of the discriminatory "bathroom bill" HB2 been on North Carolina's economy? Not good. Not good at all.

Hmm, very, very interesting. The Republican Freedom Caucus is trying to impeach the current head of the IRS for discrimination against conservative groups that allegedly happened under the now-departed head of the IRS. Funny how they don't seem to want to include the testimony of Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. Could it be because his testimony would show that their whole crusade is pointless?

Huh! So Reagan's "October Surprise" of 1980 wasn't the first one. Nixon's of 1968 was.

Very interesting. Over 100 tribal organizations unanimously agree that "Redskins" is a racial slur, but the WaPo somehow comes out with a poll saying nine out of 10 Native Americans don't mind the team name. Hmmm.

The blogger gives a good summary of what happened in Nevada:
"Shit got all crazy in Nevada. Some people threw chairs (or maybe they just waved them in the air), others sent threatening misogynistic and terroristic voicemails and texts to the head of the Nevada Democratic Party."
The Rreal problem was that Bernie's statement afterwards was just muttering, hemming, hawing and the placing of blame on others. Bernie demonstrated for us that he's just not ready to play in the big leagues.

Iranian Mullahs vs Kim Kardashian. Yep, old men and sexy younger women, the eternal battle, part six zillion and twenty-seven.

Democrats have been hammering away at the anti-Planned Parenthood Committee. Good News! A Republican finally joined them! Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) said: "...that the committee is an unnecessary use of millions of taxpayer dollars and of Congress’ time.
"The truth is, we already have had three panels look into the matter and we don’t need a fourth. We’re either a party of less government or not."”

Good statements from a Bernie Sanders spokesperson. Many days too late and too much self-justifying language, but a generally good statement.

Rep. Trey Gowdy concedes a really vital point, that given the posture and deployments of US military assets on the night of the Benghazi attack, there was no way for the response to be any quicker than it was. Why were they deployed the way they were? We've known the answer to that for several years, the Ambassador wanted a "light footprint."

I went to the Bernie Sanders site and read his statement, on the shouting at the Nevada Convention where a Nevada Democrat was harrassed over email and by phone, in full and then went to this to read the annotated version. I agreed with most of the criticisms the blogger made before I got to them. Sanders is a small-time, little-league player who needs to drop out now. The mess that is our primary system was obscured by the fact that there's usually a clear front-runner by the end of the South Carolina primary, the third one to take place. But Sanders is fooling himself and/or lying to his followers when he says that there's still a chance he can pull this off. He needs to quit and make a deal with Clinton that preserves whatever progressive gains he's made.

The Benghazi Committee, which should never have been established and whose existence has become a sad joke, is now even further embarrassed by the fact that a general of 33 years experience had, after 18 months of the Benghazi attack, concluded that the US did everything it could possibly have done in responding to the attack. Why does the committee still exist?!?!? Obama Administration political opponents are convinced, convinced, I tell you!!!, that someone, somehow, is guilty of something!

What are the distinctions between Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan? Essentially, Trump is an open and explicit fascist and Ryan wears nicer suits, Trump uses a foghorn in his messaging while Ryan talks more in dogwhistles, but really, when you get right down to it, the differences between the two men are very, very thin.

Bill Clinton says he "killed" himself to give the Palestinians a state. The blogger effectively says "Ehh, not really."

Nannies and housekeepers in IL just won right to minimum wage. Brings to mind the section in Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior where a domestic employer said she liked to treat her maid as "one of the family." Miss Manners thought that was fine, but "What your maid REALLY wants is to be paid minimum wage, have a regular 40 hour work week with time and a half for overtime, etc."

Zika is a mosquito-borne problem that affects children in the womb. Unfortunately, it isn't the slightest bit surprising that if being "pro-life" doesn't involve beating up on and taking rights away from women, there's just no fun in it. One of them is quoted as saying that as Zika "only" affects 1% of births (The actual figure is closer to 29%), hey, no big deal!

Why do we still pay attention to Ted Nugent? Well... "Nugent is, however, a board member of the NRA – a group Senate Republicans believe should have veto power over Supreme Court nominees – and he remains a prominent partisan activist in right-wing circles. Indeed, let’s not forget that in 2012, Mitt Romney actively sought, and eventually earned, Nugent’s personal endorsement after a private discussion between the two men.
"This year, Nugent is a high-profile Trump supporter – who also happens to be promoting videos in which Hillary Clinton is killed."

Good to hear Clinton is opposed to TPP. How serious is she? Eh, hard to say.

Support for the Republica Senate's plan to blockade any nominee of Obama from becoming a Supreme Court Justice has collapsed.the

After having made such a fuss about "principles" concerning blocking any and all Obama Administration Supreme Court Justice nominees, a Republican senator finally admits that his "principle" is a purely partisan one. He just wants to see the most conservative Supreme Court nominee possible.

Are Donald Trump and the two Democrats, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton just a case of six-of-one, half-dozen-of-the-other? Actually, they really aren't. The Democrats have some idea as to what they're doing, Trump very clearly doesn't. "The credit freeze and jobs collapse that followed the Wall Street collapse in 2008 would seem like a tiny blip in comparison to the havoc wrought by Trump’s hypothetical debt haircut."

Good grief, what a WATB!!! NC Governor McCrory didn't do his due diligence before passing HB2 and now whines that the federal government is "only" giving him three days to respond to the accusation that HB2 violates Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s.
Also, this is pathetic:
"When you go into a restroom or your wife goes into a restroom you assume the only other people going into that restroom or shower facility is going to be a person of the same gender," McCrory said.
No, I think we presume that the other restroom patrons are going to focus on doing their own business and won't molest anyone. What gender they are is beside the point.

Bernie Sanders recommends that liberals/Democrats should start up the equivalent of Fox News for the left. Not only do I agree with Bernie about this, I thought it was a great idea back in the 80s when Z Magazine first brought it up.

Very interesting piece about how we got here and how Trump is very much an outgrowth of a Republican politics that really took off with Newt Gingrich. Trump's chances of winning the presidency are only 20%, but we shouldn't get too comfortable, because 20% is not zero.

Totally and completely on board with Bernie here. Climate change is THE serious issue that we need to tackle. However, Politics USA makes the very good point that Bernie has never undergone a serious, sustained attack from the Republican noise machine whereas Hillary has. Yes, Bernie has been attacked running in Vermont where everybody knows him, but voting for the untested, untried Bernie in a national election is a helluva gamble.

Donald Trump suggests that the US can save money on foreign debt by shorting creditors, by making them settle for getting repaid less than 100 cents on the dollar. What happens to the world economy if we carry out Trump's plan? Recall that the US sets the Gold Standard. If we ask our creditors to accepts less than 100 cents for every dollar we're paying back, we become an impoverished, third-rate backwater with no economy to speak of.

The Red State blog really, really hates collectivism and loves individualism. But a study shows that the most effective type of appeal on combating climate change is to appeal to a collective sense of responsibility.

The Justice Department is saying that HB2 is disciminatory and should not be implemented. If I were the Governor of NC, I'd reach for that ruling like a drowning man reaching for a life preserver! I'd probably act like a pro wrestler and grimace at being pinned, but I'd be happy as a clam that I could get out of an awful self-made trap. So, of course, Governor McCrory makes about the most foolish, counterproductive response he could possibly have made! He's now accusin the DOJ of "overreach." The DOJ s simply carrying out the law.

And these secret trade deals are and have always been a people vs the establishment issue. On this, the two parties are indistinguishable.

Bernie Sanders is doing poorly at reaching black and Hispanic voters. Clinton has handed Sanders unforced errors he can exploit, but black and Hispanic issues are not just a subset of economic issues. They need to be addressed as separate issues that would be improved, but would still exist, in a better economy.

Donald Trump becomes the Republican party's presumptive nominee. Keep in mind that the Senate passed an immigration reform bill that was a hard-fought compromise between the two parties. It went to the House and has been sitting on the Speaker's desk, gathering dust, ever since. Trump used the lack of immigration reform as one of his main tools to distinguish himself from the rest of the field. Rachel Maddow comments on the truly historic nature of Trump's victory.

Pretty sad that one of the promises Mitch McConnell made when Repblicans took the majority was that he'd get the Senate working and productive again. The Senate is now on pace to be less productiv than any Senate since 1956.

The rule now is that if 40% of students in a school qualify for free lunches then everybody gets free lunches. To change the threshold to 60% saves the government $1.6 billion annually but makes the program more difficult and expensive to administer. Isn't this a weathy enough country for us to provide free school lunches?!?!? Do we seriously have to scrimp and save like that?

Hate to take Debbie Wasserman Schultz's, the DNC Chairperson's, side but she's got a point here. Voting in Democratic primaries without being a member of the party is kind of like getting union representation without paying union dues. You're getting to have a say in the party's direction without making any sort of commitment to seeing to it that the party succeeds.

Voter-ID laws keep people that might vote Democratic from voting. Evidence is, that's a feature, that is, an intended consequence, not a bug, an error.

Oh, and if you're hearing about Donald Trump's opposition to the Iraq War, nah, not really. When he was asked about it after Bush first proposed it, Trump gave a tepid, unenthusiastic endorsement of it. It was only when the war was clearly a bad idea that he came out against it.

The good thing about the Supreme Court blockade that Republicans established right after the passing of Justice Scalia is that Senators in blue states can't pretend to be independent of the larger party in DC. Senators Toomey and Ayotte can't both block Judge Garland and pretend they're not taking orders from Senate Majority Leader McConnell.

Female genital mutilation banned in Nigeria. Piece is actually from August of last year, but good! This is a practice that belongs in the dustbin of history.

Lengthy piece showing that, no, pundit John Stossel really doesn't have the vaguest clue as to what he's talking about. One of the main problems with trying to treat health care as a free market is the coercion factor. If you're in the market for a car or a computer and don't like the price, you can walk out of the shop. With a hip replacement or chemotherapy? Ehhh, not so much.

98 lawmakers formally request of the Speaker of the House that he disband the committee on the Planned Parenthood "sting" videos as the committee is serving partisan purposes only and is endangering researchers into needed medical advances.


The anger against Trump and his racism and xenophobia are very real. On the other side of the aisle, "It can't be repeated enough that the Tea Party was absolutely a Koch-funded, Fox News promoted, astro-turf group who bused in protesters to highly orchestrated events after President Obama was inaugurated."

Your good news for the day! The ACA/Obamacare is proving extremely difficult to kill. The Kentucky Governor really, really hates it, but it's proving to be far too useful for anyone to remove it.

The Benghazi Committee is getting SO desperate...
How desperate are they getting?
The Committee is getting SO desperate to find something, anything, they can use against Clinton that
"Unable to substantiate various conspiracy theories, the committee is now pressing the Pentagon to find people who’ve made odd claims on Facebook and talk radio."
LONG since time to pack it in, guys!

After Trump wins the Nevada Republican primary, a pundit declares that the GOP is doomed. I had the REM song "It's the end of the world as we know it" running through my head as I heard that.

Republicans believe a quote from Joe Biden in 1992 is helpful to their case to deny Obama a chance to nominate a Sureme Court Justice. Nope! Republicans say no way, no how, uh-uh, not gonna happen that they'll even meet with a nominee!

Good! President announces that he intends to close the Guantanamo prison. The one and only purpose Guantanamo ever served was to supposedly be outside of US law. Once the SCOTUS said it wasn't, it lost all reason for being. It needs to be shut down, yesterday! Opponent dramatcally demonstrates his rejection of Obama's plan by crumpling up a the proposal and tossing it into a trash can, because, y'know, terrorists who have been behind bars for a decade are just like Dr. Doom or the Green Goblin in that they can magically escape from regular prisons!

Very cool! Russian Presdent Putin puts out peace plan for Syria.

Found a piece on the late Justice Scalia from early January of this year. And *Sigh*, and the traditional media press corps miserably FAILS yet again!!! No, it is not "common practice" to put off Supreme Court appointments for any reason. No, there is no "tradition" of doing so as there's not a single example in all of American history of that ever happening before!!! By utterly and miserably failing to show how radical and unprecedented Republican obstructionism in the is case is, the NY Times very badly fails American democracy!

Happy to hear that Jeb Bush has thrown in the towel, sparing himself any further enbarrassment. He clearly wasn't well-informed on the issues when he started and his brother's legacy is still quite toxic.

In talking about the lack of details in Senator Sanders' economic plans: "His staffers say this doesn’t matter during the primary season..."
An entirely predictable and foreseeable consequence of the clampdown on bathroom laws. A woman is forced from a woman's restroom because she doesn't have the necessary ID to prove her gender (and who, frankly, looks pretty darned female to me).

The headline reads: "OBAMA Ignores Congress: Binds U.S. to 4-Year U.N. Deal that Next President Cannot Undo" Erm, uh, yeah. because ya know what? Congress and the Senate are full of obstructionists who don't care about the future of the human race. And just thinking about short-term vs long-term, conservative economists are right in that if we permit green energy to develop naturally and organically, we'll save resources and won't build inefficient devices and we'll save a lot of money. Problem is, we've got a serious global warming problem that needs action to be taken RIGHT NOW and that just can't wait. I say we push for a solution NOW!

"Senator Mike Lee of Utah and Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania released a public letter condemning Obama for committing the U.S. to the Paris Climate Agreement without even submitting it through congress."
Erm, uh, yeah. because ya know what? Congress and the Senate are full of obstructionists who don't care about the future of the human race.

Miscellaneous political items under heading of what political opposition is up to these days.

NASA posts photo of purple nebula in honor of the musical artist Prince passing away.

Hmm, okay. The first charges in the Flint, MI water crisis were handed down for people who clearly tampered with the evidence by getting water to be tested from homes that didn't have lead pipes.

It's certainly not like the Republicans have a good record for political predictions. Quite the opposite, in fact, their record is FULL of wrong predictions. But they think Bernie Sanders would make a very weak general election opponent compared to Hillary Clinton. She is, after all, a known quantity who has faced the Noise Machine before. Sanders hasn't. Yes, he's faced Republican opposition before, but only in Vermont, where he was very well-known. He's never faced opposition on the national stae before.

Completely &*%$ing hilarious! Obama presented the outlines of the ACA/Obamacare back in 2008, Congress produced a finished bill in 2010. Republicans are now "in listening mode" and promise to have a finished plan ready in about a month. Uh-huh. Right. Sure they will! The piece is from 19 Apr 2016.

Yup, sure is a drag to be on the wrong side of free-markt capitalism! North Carolina's discriminatory HB2 is biting NC in the butt hard!

Uh! (statement of exasperation) Why are we building still mre prisons?!?!?! At a time when we're legalizing pot (A major contributor to the prison population) and when Europe is finding better ways to deal with non-violent offenders (I agree that many violent offenders just need to be locked up, two years appears to be enough time to do the offender all the good that prison will ever do for him/her), it's just a criminal waste of money and resources to build still more prisons!

Senator Cruz is correct, there's a really big penalty for selling body parts. Why wasn't anyone in Planned Parenthood charged? Because no sales ever took place. Chuck Todd should have challenged Cruz's assertion, but didn't.
Also, Cruz claims that Republicans do not oppose contraception. Erm, (from a 2012 piece) "Contraception is under attack in a way it really wasn't in the past few years." Also, Cruz promises tax cuts that will produce "Economic growth not seen in 30 years." Which sounds like a great idea. Problem is, tried it, been there, done that. Didn't work, not going to work. Other than that, yeah, great plan!

The blogger agrees with Senator Sanders in last night's debate that the situation in Gaza is not sustainable and then fills in a lot of details that American audiences are not used to hearing.

Gee, would the Benghazi panel be conducting a partisan investigation? Well, let's see...
"Gowdy last month stopped giving Democrats transcripts of witness interviews. This move, ostensibly to prevent leaks, diminishes the minority’s ability respond to allegations contained in the majority report."
Na-a-aww!!! Nothing to see here. Move along now!
Considering that the Benghazi movie demonstrated the "dead cat bounce" (#53 of movies released over the year prior to late May 2016, above Angry Birds, but below Fantastic Four), I wouldn't expect much more political bounce from the final report.

Walmart lost its appeal of a $224 million dollar judgement to its Pennsylvania employees for forcing all of them to work through lunch breaks. BTW, Walmart has $76 billlion stashed away in overseas tax havens, so I don't feel a bit sorry for it.

Interestin piece. No, the Tea Party may have looked as though it sprang up out of nowhere. It didn't.

Very cool news! Usually, the growth of GDP is tightly conected to the growth of carbon in the atmoshpere. No more. For 2014 and 2015, GDP grew, but carbon emissions stayed flat!

Hmm, a rather interesting perspective on who should replace the departed Justice Scalia: "Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), meanwhile, added this baffling perspective: 'My theory is we ought to pick the most conservative jurist we can to replace Justice Scalia to maintain the balance of the court.'"
Since when is five conservatives and four liberals a "balance" that "ought" to be maintained?

Hillary Clinton defends old-fashioned politics, earmarks, log-rolling and back-scratching. One of the real problems with Rep. John Boeher's tenure as Speaker of the House was precisely that he had gotten rid of earmarks, thereby leaving him with no way to deal with the Tea Party/Freedom Caucus, which left him as the most useless, powerless Speaker ever. Speaker Paul Ryan is suffering the same problem. He used to be the Republican Budget Director, so one would think he could at least get a budget through, but the current Republican budget is dead in the water.

Panama Papers are now leaked, showing millions of offshore transactions that permit wealthy people and companies to dode taxes. As former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis said "The fish rots from the head" (Not biologically true, but it's a good metaphor), meaning that the truly damaging corruption to society starts from the top, in this case, not just from the 1%, but the top 0.1%.

Heh! HB2, North Carolina's discriminatory bathroom law, is so distasteful that a porno site has now said NC users can't access it. No more porn for NC users until HB2 is repealed.

Yeah, what a "screw-up"! The Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office made two "errors" on their Spanish-language voter guides. One was that registration could be done up to 15 days before the election (the English version correctly said voters had 21 days) and that English speakers were given the option of using passports as their voter ID, Spanish speakers weren't give that option. But gee, it's not like Kobach has a history of agressively trying to limit the franchise (actually, he does).

Senator Cotton thinks conqering Iran would be easy and cheap. As a former college history major with (non-fighting) military experiece, I can identify this as a clear case of hubris, that is, unwarranted overconfidence. Iran would be a far tougher nut to crack than Iraq was. Iran is far less divided, less discontented, hasn't undergone years of punishing sanctions, their terrain is much tougher and they've been preparing for a US attack since 2003. Senator Cotton is insane if he thinks an attack on Iran would be a "cakewalk."

Very good question: How much do "pro-life" groups care about the water situation in Flint, Michigan, where citizens were subjected to poison water? Well, Senator Cruz contributed bottled water, but only to anti-choice groups. The American Family Association really couldn't care less. They insist it's a made-up problem.

Out of the "Top 10 Reasons to Vote Republican," Reason #4 is of special interest to me as I'm a veteran:
4. You don't support our veterans
The Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran's Association (IAVA) rates every member of Congress on how well they support our veterans. In the Senate, 9 people got A or A+: All were Democrats. 30 got D or F: 29 Republicans and one Democrat.

The Boss (Bruce Springsteen) speaks out about NCs discriminatory new law.

Hmm, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brags about the Senate and the President finding common issues they can agree on. The first three issues that he cites are a bill to build the Keystone XL Pipelne, an ACA/Obamacare repeal measure and a Planned Parenthood defunding bill. Erm, none of these are issues that both sides agree on! The 112th Congress (2011-2012) was the laziest and least productive in history, the current Congress is looking as though it will match that.

And again, someone with loose lips spills the beans on what voter ID is all about (Vote suppression for people likely to vote Democratic).

Now that the Fight For $15 movement has been successful, our blogger reminds of all the people who said the movement was doomed to never succeed. Also, lots of people oppose raising the minimum wage. You know who's in favor raising it? Businesspeople! Very sad to see a researcher on the minimum wage be so completely dishonest as to wholly discredit his work. A multi-year study is underway (Seattle's minimum wage has been in effect for just a year), but we can't draw any solid or reliable conclusions for quite a while.

Very cool! Evangelicals are a demographic that's really resisting action on climate change, but they're starting to come around and to realize that good stewardship of the Earth and its inhabitants is part of our common obligation.

Top industrial CEOs often think they have a better grasp of macroeconomic policy then they, in fact, do.

Keep in mind that the Supreme Court's whole rationale for gutting the Voting Rights Act in 2013 was "Hey, racial discrimination's a thing of the past." The story here makes it clear that it wasn't just the landlord, it was all of their neighbors that were complaining about a white woman living with a black man in the RV park and that inssted they leave.

With 8 million tons of plastic waste oceans,this group has their work cut out for them. They're clearing the oceans of plastic waste.

Again, I don't think Sarah Palin is drunk while making this speech. She's very clearly reading statements that she wrote down previously. Reaction shots of the highly unimpressed audience are priceless!

Saudi Arabia explores the idea of getting out of the oil business.

I saw this statement of Clinton's as entirely true long before G.W. Bush and Cheney dissented and claimed that "enhanced interrogation" was effective. I never believed them for a minute because they never provided any evidence that what people said after being tortured was any more or less true than what they said beforehand, or that if they changed their story that interrogators could determine whether their new story was any more or less reliable than their old story. If people are really determined not to talk, they won't.

Very cool! Justice Kagan takes a good position on the government seizing cash prior to proving at trial that a suspect is actually guilty of anything. This is something that bothered me way back in the 70s, when the government seized the assets of accused Mafia figures prior to their having been proven guilty. I understand we don't want people defending themselves with stolen cash, but we don't want to pre-judge whether or not the cash was stolen.

New study says seas due to rise a foot a decade, but hey, the Governor of Alabama had a sexual affair, so hey, y'know? Priorities! BTW, Saudi Arabia wants to get out of the oil business.

Is Hillary Clinton beholden to the oil & gas industry? She gets about 0.15% of her campain cash from employees/owners of that industry (Bernie Sanders gets 0.04% of his campaign cash from the same group), so there are better issues to distinguish the two candidates on.

Governor Kasich charges black parents with not really caring about their kids as black parents suffer a higher rate of infant mortality than white parents. Thinking about that issue, gee, ya think maybe that ending the Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies program, which was the largest infant mortality prevention program in Ohio, might have something to do with high infant mortality among poor people? Or maybe that the defunding of Planned Parenthood? Naw, it must be that poor people are lazy and irresponsible!


Trump makes a very explicit statement about abortion, one that he'll probably have to walk back soon (Update: He presented four positions over the next two days) as it's a bit outside party orthodoxy. Yeah, he wants to punish women who have abortions, which is entirely consistent with the view that the zygote or fetus is life on a par with fully-grown infants.

Right-winger tries blaming Rush Limbaugh for today's GOP. Not to defend Limbaugh, but no, the GOP establishment is deeply complicit in enabling the rise of Trump.

Good! 17 states are now part of the suit against ExxonMobil for fraud. ExxonMobil decide back in the 70s that global warming was real, but then decided profits were more important than human survival.

As the old phrase goes "To a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." Trump's foreign policy advisers are very heavily skewed towards military men. Either that, or he thinks purely in terms of financial-type sorts of transactions.

"Susan Sarandon says that Donald Trump might be a better presidential option than Hillary Clinton because he'll 'bring the revolution.'"
Erm, no, I have a real problem with the idea of "Make it worse to spark a revolution and to therefore make it better." No, I think a Trump victory is far more likely to lead to facism, end sentence.

A preliminary estimate says the Bundy cult militants who took over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge caused $6.5 million in damages. "Safes were broken into at the refuge. Money, cameras and computers are missing and officials said that is just the beginning of the inventory."

Ex-NYTimesperson Jill Abramson tells us (real shocker here) "Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest.”

Kind of amusing that the whole justification for the Supreme Court nominee blockade is to "give the people a voice," but Senator Grassley, the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is taking a very low profile during this years election campaign, y'know, staying away from "the people" because he's trying to avoid protesters.

Awww! Someone circulated a petition to allow "open carry" of guns at the Republican Convention this year. The petition got 42,000 signatures before the Secret Service said no, there would not be guns alowed at the convention. Very interestingly, the party very quickly and quietly settled for this and appears perfectly content to permit their convention to be untroubled by the presence of guns, which completely contradicts all of their rhetoric on the issue.

Ridiculously long voting lines in Arizona. A deliberate plot or an honest mistake? Under the Voting Rights Act prior to the 2013 evisceration by the Sureme Court, Arizona would have had to submit their proposed closings of voting stations to the federall government, feds would have responded "No," end of story. The VRA needs to be restored, NOW!

Grrr! It never ceases to annoy me when people use titles like "Speaker" for people who DID hold that title many, many years ago. Sorry, but being former military (We took titles very seriously) makes me really fussy about that.
Anyway, Gingrich is one to talk about the declining state of political discourse as he, more than any other single politician over the past 30 years, is responsible for it being as degraded and corrupt as it is. The blogger is correct, Newt built that.

It really is long since time to quit presenting former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani as some sort of terrorism expert. Giuliani's biggest command decisions prior to 9-11 was deciding where to put the city's emergency command center. He chose to put it in a World Trade Center tower, which of course, made it completely useless as that was the site of the emergency! Seriously, the guy has no expertise worth mentioning.

*Sigh*, so here we are with the both-sides-do-it No Labels group that has yet to ever solve a single problem, trying but failing, to show that Democrats are somehow equally at fault in the Supreme Court nominee fight.

The horrible state that the Malheur Wildlife Reservation was left in by the Bundy gang.

Task Force on Flint Water Crisis concludes tat the state of Michigan largely to blame for the problem.

No question white skin vs brown skin is a factor here, but the rarity of attacks in Western Europe is also a big factor. There was also a big attack in Iraq lately, but that country's been at war for many years. Plus which, people in the US have often been to Western Europe, but it's not very likely they've been to areas elsewhere in the world.

Sasha and Malia through the years of their dad's presidency.

Florida makes the absurd claim that dentists can provide reproductive health care. Again, just because there are other institutions that do what Planned Parenthood does, that doesn't mean they're in any way prepared to fill the hole that will be left if PP loses the ability to get Medicaid reimbursements.

Let's not forget that Cuba has done quite a bit for its people and the world. Tossing aside those gains in order to reinstitute gamblng and other vices would please a lot of people here, but would be a tragedy. Also, Obama is criticiszed for not immediately cutting his trip to Cuba short and rushing back to Washington DC. It's far from clear what returning would have accomplished.

The New Yorker mocks Donald Trump for a really old joke. More than a quarter-century ago, someone in Spy Magazine referred to Trump as a "Short-Fingered Vulgarian." Trump is still absolutely infuriated by that.

In the middle of Obama's historic trip to Cuba, the Brussels airport gets attacked.

Senator Cruz is a realy slick guy when it comes to dodging questions, but his advisor, Frank Gaffney, is such a radical extremist, even CPAC, the yearly conservative gathering, considers Gaffney to be a complete fruitcake.

Getting to the point where the moral legitimacy of one side of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict grows and the other shrinks.

Interestin look at the Hillary Clinton voters. Essentially, she's appealing to the non-angry voter, people who feel the Democratic Party is basically on the right track.

Interesting interview on the Supreme Court blockade because McConnell first tries the not-very-convincing argument that a lower-court judge is somehow different from a Supreme Court justice. Recognizing that it's not much of an argument, he goes on to examine the partisan differences that a liberal-majority Court would make. And Y'know, if Republicans disagree with the Supreme Court nominee that Obama has put forth, that's fine. they can vote against him and explain to the American people that they're voting out of pure partisan disagreement. They just need to drop this silly charade that there's some principled reason for not giving Garland a full and fair hearing, a vetting and a vote. And no, I don't agree at all that Democrats would do the same if the positions were revered. The GOP is taking an extreme and radical position here.

I couldn't help but to LOL when I read this:
"There is no longer room for error or delay, the anti-Trump forces say, and without a flawlessly executed plan of attack, he could well become unstoppable."
Bwah-hah-hah! Yeah, okay, the GOP is going to produce, let alone execute, a "flawless" plan to stop Trump at this point.
As the blogger says: "hello Nominee Trump!"

Financially, Kansas under a Republican Governor and Congress is an absolute and utter disaster. What's curious is why doesn't the press report this? Why the silence on a complete failure of an ideology? In Louisiana, we have we have the same situation.

Wow! Ron Fournier is a stubbornly "both sides do it" kinda guy and even he now admits that, no, the two parties are not the same. They're not just two sides of the same coin, the Republican Party is deeply radicalized whereas the Democrats are a pretty regular, normal kind of political party.

Well, looks as though Speaker Boehner "fell on his sword" and "took one for the team" for nothing. The crazies of the Freedom Caucus are as crazy as ever. Ryan has no more idea of how to deal wit them than Boehner did.

Actively aiding and abetting the Malheur Wildlife Refuge invaders/occupiers? This Representative attended a briefing by law enforcement officials, was told not to go to the Malheur Wildlife Refuge where the Bundy gang was holed up, did so anyway and told the Bundy gang what she learned. She needs to be behind bars along with the Bundys and their cohorts.

Senate Majority Leader McConnell of course rejects Obama's nominee, citing a non-existent "Biden Rule." Funny thing is, VP Joe Biden and McConnell have very, very different versions of the Biden Rule in mind. Here's the part of Biden's talk that Republicans keep leaving out: "I believe that so long as the public continues to split its confidence between the branches, compromise is the responsible course both for the White House and for the Senate," he said. "Therefore I stand by my position, Mr. President, if the President [George H.W. Bush] consults and cooperates with the Senate or moderates his selections absent consultation, then his nominees may enjoy my support as did Justices Kennedy and Souter."

Senator Rubio drops out of race. Decent concession speech. Too bad he never really substantiated those ideas during his campaign. Good stuff about what a good conservative movement would look and sound like. Ugh! Pu-leeeeze! Obama gets free pass because he's black? Fox News has been claiming that since 2008. Being black didn't save the campaigns of either Herman Cain or of Dr. Ben Carson. And Gutfield: "Rubio who has all these positives" Erm, actually, Rubio had no knowledge of the issues and no idea on how to improve anything. He had no accomplishments to his name and his hometown papers thought he was the laziest, least productive senator ever.

Oh come on, CNN! Really? Seriously? Honestly? Truly? You're paying this guy to appear on your shows?!?!?!?! This fellow claims that MoveOn is the new Ku Klux Klan! Something to do with the change durin the 60s & 70s with the Republican and Democratic parties.

People have compared the frequency of in-person voter fraud cases to that of getting struck by lightning (One out of every 1.35 million). Actually, since 2002, Texas has had 72 million votes and only four voter fraud cases, making the ratio one out of 18 million cases.

Putin and Hizbullah begin withdrawal from Syria having apparently achieved all of their main goals.

Now, keep in mind as you watch Trump dump all over Governor Christie that Christie skipped a New Jersey State Trooper's funeral to campaign for Trump! Think about how little self-respect Christie must have for himself right now.

I agree with our president, he's not responsible for today's Republican Party and he's not responsible for the rise of Donald Trump. And as I've said, racism is certainly part of their reaction to Obama's presidency, but Newt Gingrich really started the ball rolling back in the 90s when he said to not just describe Democratic proposals as unwise, wrong or inappropriate, but as sick, twisted and evil.

The piece is about how journalistic neutrality helps Trump. Unfortunately the dangers of striving to appear neutral and objective have long been apparent. Objectivity and neutrality are fine, up to a point! After that point, they only serve the worst actors and the most despicable people.

Trump's campaign manager roughs up a female repoter from Breitbart News. She and Ben Shapiro resign as they're not bein supported.

Wow! Donald Trump and repoter Jake Tapper speak for about eight minutes and I don't think Trump made a single statement that was true! Complete BS the whole way through. And Obama responds to a heckler in a way that provides a stark contrast to how that other guy deals with them.

Nope, no question about it. The violence at Donald Trump events is fully intentional. Trump is etting people hyped up and excited.

Senator Rubio appears to think that, because there's no short-term answer to climate change and as slowin it promises to be expensive, well then hey, why bother? Let's just sit around twiddling our thumbs for another decade as the world becomes uninhabitable.

Clinton really steps in it by giving Nancy Reagan undue praise on the AIDS issue. No, neither of the Reagans "started a national conversation" about AIDS. Nancy Reagan was not completely silent on the issue, but her efforts are only praiseworthy by contrast with the rest of the Reagan Administration, as the rest of them clearly just didn't give a damn.

My LTE on Trump published

Some guy on the teevee is trying to make it sound as though the KKK has anything whatsoever to do with liberals, leftists or progressives. Nope. The KKK is, was, and always will be a right-wing, conservative organization.

Senator Ron Johnson's analysis tracks perfectly with my own: "President Obama’s nominee would flip the court from a 5-4 conservative to a 5-4 liberal controlled court." The difference between us is that I don't consider that a legitimat reason to stall the appointment of a new Justice. There's no excuse for any delay! The Senate needs to do its job and to vet and vote on a new Supreme Court Justice!

Good to see Senator Rubio finally developing some self-awareness and the realization that, gee, maybe sounding like a grade-schooler on the playground (He had referred to the size of Trump's hands, indicating that he was talking about Trump's dick size) wasn't very presidential-seeming.

Did the Bush Administration knowingly, willfully, with malice and forethought, lie to get us into war? Unfortunately, the evidence is quite clear. Yes.

WTF?!?!?!?! Michigan Governor Snyder wants to charge state taxpayers $1.2 million so that he can defend his actions against the ordinary people of Michigan! The guy has no wealthy buddies who can help pay this tab? How about all the rich people in Michigan who got tax breaks under Snyder? Seriously, Snyder's crime was against the ordinary people of Michigan, He should find a private means to fund his defense.

In the Congressional Planned Parenthood "ivestiation," we have this statement: "...members clashed over the series of document requests Republicans made to more than 30 entities. Those requests, made by subpoena in some cases, include demands for names of researchers, technicians and medical personnel involved in fetal tissue handling."
I find this request by the committee very, very disturbing. Are they TRYING to get people killed by anti-choice fanativs?!?!?!?!

Rachel Maddow's guest shows that it's an absolutely awful idea to lump all Muslims in with Daesh (ISIS). Strategically, it puts our front-line special forces people in danger to make these careless, sweeping generalizations.

I've seen a few items about how Clinton is in imminent danger of being arrested by the FBI for material that she either sent or received on her private server. Seems that Condoleezza Rice and Colin Powell did much the same thing, not only using a private server, but sending information that was later classified. So yeah, they either bust all three or slap all three on the wrist or just give out stern lectures to all three.

This committee, covened to "investigate" Planned Parenthood and commerce in baby parts, along with the Benghazi Committee, just really, seriously, needs to cease to exist. It should never have been convened in the first place.

Wow! Universe is around 13.82 billion years old, this galaxy is seen at the age of 13.42 billion years ago!

Ooh! Not good. In 2015, there were 700,000 searches for DIY abortions.

Trying to deal with Cliven Bundy's cattle. Much more complicated than people figured! The likelihood of getting the million $ he owes in cattle grazing fees is not very good.

Rachel Maddow reports on the complete, utter, massive, unmitigated disaster that is Governor Snyder's administration.

See, Speaker Paul Ryan believes that liberals are the exact mirror opposites of conservatives. But they aren't. He believes: "We have been defining success as how much money are we spending, how many government programs have we created, how many people are on those programs."
Actually liberals don't really know or care what percentage of the GDP government is spending. No one on our side of the aisle counts up how many government programs are created because what we care about is how many people are assisted and that when they successfully get off of the program and are making money on their own, that's a GOOD thing.

Very distressin to hear the substance-free platitudes that pass for foreign policy wisdom among the GOPs candidates. Senator Rubio wants to take on Daesh (ISIS) with "a ground force made up primarily of Sunni Arabs." Well, okay. Kurds are precisely such a force. Turkey and Iran have substantial Kurdish populations, Kurds are the single most effective anti-Daesh force in the region. Both Iran and Turkey want to prevent a strong Kurdistan. So, that makes for kind of a problem. He's also ignoring Russian and pro-Assad Syrian forces, who are beating up Daesh pretty convincingly. Nah, Rubio doesn't have any answers.

Obstructionist Republican Senators have decided to call blocking a new Supreme Court Justice the "Biden Rule" after a speech Biden gave in 1992. Biden takes strong issue with their description of his speech back then.

I guess it's progress of a sort when Senator Rubio doesn't blame the city of Flint, MI, for the water crisis there, but no, the federal government really played no role in the crisis at all. This was properly and correctly "politicized' (That is, Democrats pointed out that Governor Snyder was to blame for it) because the state was entirely responsible for this clearly man-made problem.

So, essentially, Trump wants to go back to the "good old days" of American health insurance the way it was before the ACA/Obamacare was instituted. That means many millions of people will get thrown off of their existing health care plans and prices for health insurance will continue their long upward march.

The attorney coming in to argue for the Texas anti-choice law entered wih a swagger and a booming voice. After the Notorious RBG [Supreme Ccort Justice Ruth Bader Ginsbur] and other females got done with him, he quietly slunk away.

"A nameless exec, speaking to The Washington Post, called [Melissa Harris-Perry] a 'challenging and unpredictable personality.'”
I didn't realize until later in the paragraph that "challenging and unpredictable" were meant to be insults. Yeah, I have no use for the MSNBC breaucracy.

Huh! Well, credit where it's due. Fox News' Dana Perino makes the very good point that conservative efforts to stop Donald Trump are too little and too late.

Someone really aggressively posts on Seattle's $15 minium wage and how it affects their economy. Problem is, assessment from this piece is that it's still far too early to make any serious assessment.

And another Republican (After Todd Akin during the 2012 campaign) makes another really stupid comment about rape and pregnancy. Good comment:
"'That’s information that I’ve had through the years. Whether it’s totally accurate or not, I don’t know.' Nielsen added, 'I read a lot of information. I have read it several times.'
"What's great is, he could be talking about climate change, trickle-down economics or any of a host of other GOP reactions to science or social science."


Very cool! The Chesapeake Bay Foundation wants to limit pollutants going into the Bay. Farm groups wanted to keep on dumping. The Supreme Court has said it wants to let the lower court decision stand and that clean-up should commence. And yes, the passing of Justice Scalia had everything to do with that decision as that's just the sort of case he liked.

Good Lord! People complaining of "white ethnic cleasing" because people of, yknow, the 21st Century, are trying to take down Confederate monuments!

Michael oore's new movie "Where to invade next" and this piece on income inequality make good bookends on the state of our politics and economy today.>

Iranian politics has no left wing, but pragmatic centrists have won big due to the nuclear deal with the US. Recall the first rule of politics: "Reward your friends, punish your enemies." The pragmatic centrists have benefited from Obama's approach, the hard-liners have been set back.

Not much of a TV watcher, at least not for political stuff, but I was aware that Melissa Harris-Perry's show has been quite good. Substantive, serious discussions from a wide variety of people. A pity that MSNBC has driven her to wantin to stop apearin in her own show.

Problem is, the way Land's End handled the appearance of Gloria Steinem as their spokesperson was a real lose-lose proposition that annoyed both pro and anti-choicers. If you're going to feature a controversial person, stand by her and don't give in. That way, you'll get at least one side to stand by you.

Now, let me get this straight. GM was using untreated Flint river water. They stoped using it because it was corrdoing their machinery. Governor Snyder is trying to tell us he didn't know about this?!?!?! Update: Hmm, yeah, there's no indication in this piece that he knew. I must admit that my bias is to see these folks as Simon Legree types. y'know, twirling their mustaches, rubbing their hands in glee and going "Mwah-hah-hah" when they consider the evil they do.

Heh! *snicker* *giggle* Senator Rubio claims his is the party of diversity. Ri-i-i-ight! Su-u-u-ure it is!

Hoo wee! Good grief! "Nationally, the YouGov data show a similar trend: Nearly 20 percent of Mr. Trump’s voters disagreed with the freeing of slaves in Southern states after the Civil War."

Hey, hey, ho, ho, WTO has got to go!!!!
We can NOT permit an international organization more committed to profits than to human survival to continue to exist!!!

Hmm, Senator Ted Cruz says: "I think [David Daleiden] performed an incredible public service..."
Sorry, but I'm not at all clear as to how producing a bunch of heavily-edited, highly deceptive videos that ended up proving nothing is any sort of public service, especially when you consider that a crazy guy with a gun was egged on into attacking a Planned Parenthood clinic and several other clinics have suffered vandalism.

Good news! Traditional media press corps appears to be waking up and describing Republican obstructionism followin the passing of Supreme Court Justice Scalia as what it is, absolutely unprecedented obstructionism. Also, newspaper editorialists pretty much unanimously agree that the Senate needs to give a nominee a vetting and a vote, even though Senator Grassley, the head of the Judiciary Committee, appears rather confused as to what his job is.I find this answer very disturbing. No, there's no need to PRESENT detailed plans now, but there is very much a need to HAVE detailed plans, just to ensure the plans are not all just hot air and a desire for ponies and ice cream that won't work once the candidate gets into office.

Yes, for President Obama to appoint a new Supreme Court Justice would radically change the composition of the court from five conservative and four liberals to 5-4 in the other direction. No, that does not constitute a legitimate reason to delay a new Justice for 11 months. Senator Toomey (R-PA) needs to be tossed out and we need to get started on picking and confirming a new Justice NOW!!! Also, Senators Rubio and Murkowski refer to a "tradition" of not nominating a Supreme Court Justice during an election year. How many times has this actually occurred? Zilch. No one has ever delayed sitting a new Justice until an election has been decided. This "tradition" is a completely made-up one.

Senator Cruz is supposedly a legal expert. His definition of torture comes straight from the 2002 Bush Administration "Torture Memos." “Under the law, torture is excruciating pain that is equivalent to losing organs and systems,” Cruz said.
What's the 18 U.S. Code ž 2340 say? " act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering..."
No one before or since the Torture Memos has attempted to gauge exactly what constitutes "severe...pain or suffering."

Russia accuses Turkey of allying with Daesh (ISIS) against Kurds. Unfortunately, that sounds very likely as it was clear from the time Turkey joined the fght against Daesh, that they were just as interested in fighting Kurds. Kurds have very effectively fought Daesh, so battling them weakens the fight against Daesh. Also, The war in Syria is complex. Unfortunately, our traditional press corps seems to be unable to get beyond the conventional wisdom in Washington DC. Citizens end up being very poorly informed.

Unfortunately, Justice Scalia's family was in a great hurry to cremate his remains, so now that there appear to have been suspicious circumstances behind his death, we'll never hear the end of it!

Senator Rubio babbes a bunch of nonsense about how Obama should refrain from noinating a new Supreme Court Justice to replace Scalia. If the situation were reversed, if a Republican president with a Democratic Congress and Senate were to be in the same position, this sugestion would be dismissed out of hand, and rightly so. There is NOTHING in law, tradition or custom that prevents Obama from appointng a Supreme Court Justice right up until the last day of his last term. Senator Paul tries out a truly ridiculous ustification.

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia passes away.

Just saw a piece where a right-winger declares that there's a "War on Police," of which Beyonce's latest video is, of course, a part. One of the claims the fellow makes is that over 100 police officers have died while on duty since the protests in Ferguson, MO, as part of this "War." The piece here examines the general issue of police dying while on duty and finds that there's "less than meets the eye" to it.

Hillary Clinton made the assertion at the end of the last debate that she wasn't a single-issue candidate, whereas of course, Bernie Sanders sees everything through the prism of income inequality. This Politico piece expands on and deepens that Clinton assertion. I agree with her that anti-black racism is not just a sub-issue of economics, but an entirely separate issue.

Woo hoo! VERY good news! The massive methane leak near Los Angeles is finally plugged! Methane burns more cleanly than coal, but this saw unburned methane escape into the atmosphere, a very bad thing as unburned methane is a potent greenhouse gas. Sounds like it's unlikely that any further gas will escape and that the well will be successfully plugged.

Evil never sleeps. Kris Kobach appears to be completely untroubled by the fact that: "instances of actual voter fraud are extremely rare, especially when compared to the number of otherwise eligible voters believed to be disenfranchised by restrictions like voter ID." He wans to take agressive action against in-person voter fraud anyway.

Cliven Bundy tries to argue that he needs a court-appointed lawyer. He's a cattle rancher, not an impoverished guy who carries all of his worldly possessions with him. His case goes back many decades, meaning his lawyer will have to do lots and lots of research.

Nah, Dodd-Frank has had good effects and was a worthwhile piece of legislation to pass, but Obama was far too passive in reining in Wall Street and the too-big-to-fail banks and other financial institutions.

What!?!?! Climate change threatens BEER?!?!?! Nooooo!!!!

Woo-hoo! Cliven Bundy taken into federal custody! He attempted to get onto a flight and when you're in an airport, you can't protect yourself from the SWAT teams, so as his son is considered a flight risk, I don't think Cliven will see his ranch again for many years. On the same day, very sad that the fellow among the last Malheur Refuge holdouts was obsessed with a non-issue. Granted, money is what is called "fungible," if you contribute money to, say Salvadoran rebels, to purchase schoolbooks, that means the rebels can now use the money that they were formerly using for schoolbooks on weapons. In any event, no federal taxpayer funds go to funding abortions, so the guys demand was meaningless.

So the second-place winner in the Republican New Hampshire primary appears to be ready to kick Planned Parenthood out of Ohio. Texas did that earlier and got a 27% spike in births. Kasich doesn't seem to be concerned about depriving women of reprodctive health care and the included video clip of his talking with someone about that shows him being really irritable about it.

Looking behind Senator Rubio's mindlessly repeating the same talking point over and over again, we see a deeply paranoid and crack-pot theory born of the fever swamps inhabited by the likes of Glenn Beck and other talk radio people.

So, Rachel Maddow is unfit to moderate debates because she's too "unabashedly liberal?" Funny, but I remember the worst-received moderator performance as being that of George Stephanopoulos and Charles Gibson in 2011. Nobody thought of them as biased or partial, they (and I) thought of them as petty and scandal-obsessed. For the record, I agree with this blogger that Megyn Kelly is 1. not even close to being an objective journalist, but 2. is a perfectly decent debate moderator.

Not at all surprising. A couple of months ago, Louisiana wanted to defund Planned Parenthood and a judge asked if they could replace PP's reproductive health services. Yes, there are other institutions that do what PP does, but they're all working to capacity, so there's nothing to spare. Defunding PP would leave a big hole in reproductive health care. There's no reason to think any other state is different and the following study affirms that the picture is the same throughout the US.

When someone says "Well, I haven't heard anythin about..." that tells us far more about their usual information sources than it does about the reality of what it is that's bein discussed. Yes, Muslim hate crimes are a real and serious issue. For Fox News' The Five to not be aware of them memans nothing.

The Y'allQaeda indictment is unsealed and carries jail terms of around six years. Yeah, the occupation was non-violent in that they didn't actualy open fire on anybody, but their threats and waving around of firearms carries penalties all by themselves.

Oh my! Oh, my gosh! This is pathetic! Jeb Bush finishes up what he thought would be a rousin speech. He feels obliged to tell his supporters "Please clap." He's "in it for the long haul," eh? Please Jeb, you're just embarrassing yourself at this point!

Cheerful news on the ACA/healthcare front! We knew there would be a lot of catch-up care for people who didn't previously have insurance or who had lousy insurance, we also knew that wave would subside as deferred care would be delivered. That has happened.

From Truthout: "A group of economists studying the TPP now estimate that passage of the sweeping trade agreement would lead to the loss of 448,000 jobs from the US workforce."

Updates on the Malheur Refuge seige. And "Uh, gee, thanks, Dad!" Cliven Bundy bravely [/snark] calls for occupation to continue, from his safe, comfy ranch in Nevada.
BTW, the judge has declared Ammon Bundy a "flight risk and danger to the community," so he isn't going anywhere.

Just dont understand how some people have such problems respecting the owned, copyrighted, work of others. And no this is not a bipartisan problem where "both sides do it."

The four remainin occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge are now under a "proper" seige. They've now lost phone and Internet connections and law enforcement personnel have cut off road access.

Fox news decided to kick of Black History Month by having one of their commenters declare that blacks were "slavishly devote to the Democratic Party." I don't believe that's true as much as blacks recognize that when the Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act, Democrats demonstrated an active interest in repairing it and getting it back online whereas Republicans showed no interest in the topic whatever. Democrats may not be as pro-equality as some would like, but the other side just couldn't care less about the topic.

Which nation does the US more closely resemble, Norway or Afghanstan? Unfortunately, we appear to be far closer to war-torn and impoverished Afghanistan than to the Nordic countries.


The now-in-custody occupiers of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge plead to be allowed to go to their homes. To which I say: "Awww, HELL no!" These guys have cost Oregon over $500,000 through their antics! They need to pay WAY more than just bail! Also, being political revolutionaries means they are highly likely to be flight risks!

Piece discusses the "conscience clause," something I found highly questionable when I first heard about in Pensacola, FL (late 90s). I thought it was an awful idea when I first heard of it and my opinion of it hasn't improved since.

Okay, NOW we're talking just plain criminal! State employees in Michigan were given purified water to drink at the same time citizens were told their tap water was safe. Sounds like guilty knowledge to me! Also, GM used the untreated river water in car production and they complained it was corroding their cars! Now WHY this wasn't considered a good enough reason to immediately stop using that water, I have no idea.

I've seen a few pieces in the past few weeks suggesting that the situation with Daesh (ISIS) is deteriorating and requres US intervention. Nope, Russia's got the situation well in hand.

CBS News disgraces itself in the CMP case by failing to note that, just because a citizen journalist is trying to expose the wrongdoings of others, that does not mean they get to stomp all over the laws while doing so. It's also kind of important that, although there were numeros investigations, wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood, that is, a black market in body parts, was never uncovered and that's something that should have been emphasized.

Woo hoo! Fed finally start kicking butt and taking names at Oregon's Malheur Refuge! Ringleader in custody.

Had an online conversation with a right-winger who had some, erm, interesting theories involving convoluted conspiracies.

Very cool! Texas grand jury indicts the fellow behind the Planned Parenthood/Center for Medical Progress videos! And nope. Sorry. I completely disagree with Judge Napolitano. I watched the first tape (obviously, CMP was going to front-load all of it's most compelling evidence into their first tape) and was completely unconvinced that any sales of body parts were taking place. Months of further investigations have completely failed to uncover any evidence of any commerce in body parts. No, the indictment is not a "headscratcher" at all.

So National Review Online did a big, all-anti-Trump issue. Is it making an impact? Well, um, er, not so much. Donald Trump is the "Be Careful What You Wish For candidate…National Review can stand athwart history and yell stop, but they’re standing in front of a snowball they’ve been pushing down a hill for the last half-century."

Interesting! One of the richest guys in the country says capitalism is useless in saving us from climate change. Not that I ever doubted the climate change part, and Naomi Klein concluded much the same thing, but very interesting to see Bill Gates conclude that.

Okay, so now we have full disclosure on the Flint water crisis...erm...well...sort of. What we actually have is a set of heavily redacted documents that really don't tell us much at all. Governor Snyder seems desperate to blame someone other than himself and the people who serve immedately under him. Sorry, this is not a problem caused by "every" level of government, it's not a "local" problem. It's a state problem, period. And here's the evidence from March of last year that the emergency manager overruled the Flint City Council on using river water as drinking water. Good summary of Flint water crisis and the "colonial" attitude that's at the heart of it.

Oh, good grief! "In answer to a detailed series of questions from the Guardian, a Fiorina spokeswoman said in an emailed statement: 'We were happy that these children chose to come to Carly’s event with their adult supervisor.'”
No, neither the children nor their adult supervisors chose to attend a Carly Fiorina campaign event. She bamboozled them into serving as props for her anti-choice speech.

See now, here's a perfect example of what we call "false equivalence." Ron Fournier shows two very similar pctures of G.W. Bush and Obama looking out of airplane windows and suggests they're looking at similar scenes down below. They aren't. The pictures are similar visually but the context of each picture is wildly different.

All right! Took over half a million petition signatures, but we can toss out the pseudo-archaeology in the Museum of Natural History and get back to real science!

Good! Members of "Y'allQaeda" sit silently as furious residents of Oregon and in the vicinity of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge pour out anger and scorn upon them.

This piece on getting to the next planetary system is kind of a buzzkill as without a warp drive or hyperdrve or boom tube, an ark to the next planetary system presents all kinds of problems. Man, can you imagine being the fourth descendent on a trip that will take another six or seven generations to reach its destination?

In the TV advertisement for the Benghazi movie, a commandling-looking fellow shouts "stand down." The CIA chief who allegedly said this flatly denies it. The contractors who advised for the book and the movie insist he did. Of course, the contractors also insist that the delay he caused was critical, but it took a while to get ready and 40 minutes of driving to get there and the site was abandoned by the time they arrived. At most, the CIA chief delayed the reaction by five to ten minutes. And, demonstrating that he takes the Benghazi movie far too seriously, this person, who is a member of the NRA's Board of Directors, calls for Obama and Clinton to be hanged.

On Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Republican Senators and Congrespeople send out supportive tweets. Which is very nice and all, but the GOP could. y'know, support actual policies that could really make an actual difference to actual lives of real people right now. And, while I'm not sayin Democrats are perfect on race issues, what really gets to me about this apologist for white supremacy is that at the 1:10 minute mark, she complains that "black people vote against their own interests." Really? The other party, a party that openly supports the 1% and lionizes "job creators" and is eager to support bombing anyone, anywhere, better supports the interests of black people?!?!?!

Gas prices get lower, down to $0.47 a gallon in Michigan! Not only is this good news all by itself (It's very good poitical news as people can see and feel and experience lower gas prices whereas the deficit shrinks and no one's aware of it), but the shrinking of gas prices is not affecting renewables! Wind and solar energy are doing just fine, thank you very much!

Our intrepid reporter bravely watches the Benghazi movie so you don't have to! Sounds like a perfectly decent, if two-dimensional, action flick. From the piece: "13 Hours fits neatly in this new genre. It’s a story told from the perspective of men of extraordinary martial prowess in a deeply unfamiliar and hostile place, surrounded by faceless and unknowable enemies, desperate to survive. It’s a siege movie, and the major plot points would make just as much sense if they were transposed to a movie about a zombie attack, or an alien invasion."

An emergency declaration is made concrning the lead-poisoned tap water of Flint, MI. Yeah, okay, Governor Snyder is really tired of all the finger-pointing and blaming, but the Flint water crisis is an entirely man-made disaster, which is why Michigan isn't eligible for a lot of disaster aid. If he's not going to resign, he can, at the very least, make accessible all of his internal deliberations and emails so that people can judge how much the crisis was deliberately engineered. He is entitled to absolutely zero trust on this!

Oh, good grief! Sentor Rubio purchases a gun to defend America against Daesh (ISIS), Erm, Daesh has no Navy or Air Force and has lost territory this year (Mostly in vicinity of Baghdad and up North in Kurdish territory. Somehow don't think we'll be depending on Rubio's marksmanship to save us all.

Very cool! The singer Cher donates 181,000 bottles of water to help Flint MI! Detroit's schools are under the same emergency manager as Flint. How are they doing? Not much better. >

Governor Haley (R-SC) told us a fairy tale about ethnicity and immigration, but as the columnist points out, she's not some lonely outlier. As an example, this book shows considerable whitewashing and making historical figures much nicer and more humane than they actually were.

Very interesting! Seems Dodd-Frank was working slowly (not as quickly as some, including myself, would have liked) but was indeed working, to limit the size of the too-big-to-fail banks!

Just in case you or anyone you know watches the movie Michael Bay's "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi," here are the four major myths that people are trying to spread about the attack.

Senator Ted Cruz, um, er, "forgets" to disclose a half-million dollars from Goldman Sachs while pretending to be independent of Wall Street. "Aw, man! People gettin' so fussy and technical about a simple half-million! C'mon guys, it was a just a mere filng error!"
Not helping on top of Cruz's birther problems.

Yeah, the natural gas well in Los Angeles is still leaking. It's put out 82,000 metric tons of gas, about $13 million worth or about a quarter of California's methane output into the atmosphere. No regulations were violated it's just a well that's over 70 years old. Natural gas is environmentally okay, as long as it's burnt. Otherwise, the raw methane is an even more potent greenhouse gas than carbon.

Huh! Can't imagine how that could possibly have happened! Gee, I wonder who might have had a vested interest in breaking into a City Hall office and stealing documents that had to do with Flint's water supply? I mean, I just can't imagine who might benefit by preventing detailed records from being made available to the public! Huh! Such a deep, deep mystery! [/snark]

Yeesh! I understand the the Obama Administration doesn't want another Waco, but seriously, these armed squatters have gone way too far by rummaging through government files! Not in favor of killing anyone, but the buildings should be surrounded, everyone going out should be hustled straight off to a courthouse and no one should be allowed in.

Well, yeah. No Labels has essentially been a worthless waste of time and money since it was founded as Unity08 back around eight years ago. Problem is, when an organization endorses such fuzzy goals as "let's create lots and lots of jobs," it's kind of ridiculous to complain that their standards are nonexistent. Of course they are! Governor O'Malley should have recognized that his endorsement by No Labels wasn't worth the paper it was written on.

Speaker Ryan makes a good, forthright defense of his party's lazy and irresponsible vote, but keep in mind that the ACA/Obamacare was signed in 2010 and Republicans still don't have even the basic structure of a replacement plan agreed on yet.

Thoughts of mine on Dr. Ben Carson's comments on public, traditional private and charter schools.

Hmm, is the Bundy gang accessing government computers? They assure us they aren't doing any such thing. Of course, if they're able to get in, that means people have been careless with password security.

House Benghazi Czar Trey Gowdy says he really wants to avoid any more public hearins. Of course, as we saw prior to the Hillary Clinton cluster**** of a hearing, none of the Benghazi Committee interviews were especially productive and there were leaks aplenty from Rep. Gowdy and buddies. What exactly did we learn from the Huma Abedin interview, for instance? Obviously, had the interview been enlightening, we would have learned abot it through leaks by now.

Joseph diGenova, introduced as "one the greats in legal thinking" by radio announcer Laura Ingraham makes the rather spectacular charge that Hillary Clinton had 1,200 classified emails among the emails that she turned over to the State Department. It's quite a claim that Politico cuts down a bit, saying that only 400 of her emails were classified. Of course, these classifications were applied many years after the fact as people have been going over the emails she has turned over.

Credit where it's due. The guys on the other side of the aisle did good here by ending a funding ban on needle-exchange programs.

Good! The policeman who arrested Sandra Bland (later found dead in her cell) is found guilty of perjury! I saw the first few minutes of the tape where he arrests her and concluded immediately that this policeman had everything to do with her later death.

*Sigh*, yeah, the Benghazi movie will be out soon and we'll get a barrage of nonsense and a bunch of long-disproven talking points.

A local government was issuing ID cards, which of course defeats the whole purpose of having Voter ID in the first place (that is, voter suppression).

Yes, very interesting to see such a distinct and different reactions to different cases of civil unrest. I looked through my local paper (Philadelphia Inquirer) for this morning. Nada. No coverage of the armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge building in Oregon at all. Bwah-hah-hah!!! "they called them angry dudes in oregon "YallQaeda" waging "YeeHawd" and i almost died." Well, ABC News was seriously pathetic in whitewashing the mlitant, armed takeover. Other traditional news sources not quite as bad. Hmm, I suppose it's a good thing that the Republican presidental candidates have remained silent.

Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino says a bunch of entirely reasonable things about the Confederate flag and white supremacists. Fox News people try to draw false distinctions between racist white supremacists and the Confederacy.

"On Saturday, [Justice Scalia] said the First Amendment prohibits the government from endorsing one religion over another. But, he added, that doesn┬’t mean the government has to favor non-religion over religion."
Erm, yes. Yes, it most certainly does mean that. The state cannot be just neutrally "pro-religion," if it's going to take sides, there's a very steep, slippery slope between religion vs. non-religion and, say, Roman Catholic vs. Baptist.

More FAIL! from conservative economics. Year-end economic report released at end of the work day on Friday without publicity. Kansas is also doubling down on failure.

Asked about an armed occupation of a federal building, the son of Cliven Bundy responds: ┬“We pose no threat to anybody,┬” said Bundy, when asked how he and demonstrators would respond to law enforcement officials attempting to them. ┬“There┬’s no person that is physically harmed by what we┬’re doing.┬”
┬“If they come to bring physical harm to us, they will be doing it because of a facility or a building. I don┬’t believe that warrants killing people,┬” Bundy added.
And yes, as Facebook friend Angela Vogel points out, if the occupiers were black, the building would have already been stormed, everyone would have been dead and the only interviews would have been with the police.

MMFA documents several times in 2015 that the NY Times majorly screwed up stories and generally covered itself with mud and shame.

Hmm, not so sure there's a conspiracy, but when you disrespect teachers and pin problems on teacher's unions and try to hire low-cost teaching staff, this is pretty much the inevitable result.
And yes, I'm shocked and horrified that there is even such a term as "Creation Science" as it isn't science at all! A fellow named Ptolemy came up with the idea around 2000 years ago of the universe being concentric globes with Earth at the center. Was this science? Yes, because he observed and then made a theory. Creation "science" doesn't work that way. It works backwards by going from conclusion to trying to explain the evidence.

One of the good-news stories for 2015 was that, despite fossil fuels getting to really low prices, renewables did quite well.

Good! The new Kentucky Governor is finding that repealing everything to do with the ACA/Obamacare isn't a simple as he said it would be.

Mildly happy to hear that Rep. Trey Gowdy is planning to wrap up the Benghazi Commission in a few months as there was never much of a legitimate, non-partisan reason to have established it in the first place. Republicans appear too have decided that Benghazi won't be delivering any more benefits for them anyway.

Predictions and recommendations for 2016. Why is the US having such a hard time competing with Al Jazeera? We need to launch a good public affairs program over there and AJ+ is a good model as it's informative but not particularly ideological.