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House Republicans refusing to share unedited Planned Parenthood videos with Democrats

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 10:12
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) House Republicans have the unedited footage from the Planned Parenthood attack videos, and apparently they don't want Democrats to get too close a look.
"Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz has in his possession right now, a computer hard drive that contains videos produced by David Daleiden, the head of the group that tried to entrap Planned Parenthood," Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) declared from the House floor on Wednesday, interrupting the chamber's debate on legislation expanding the investigation into Planned Parenthood.

Chaffetz, who is running for House Speaker, received a copy of the videos on Sept. 25, and has since declined to share a copy with the Democrats, according to a Democratic committee aide.

Instead, Chaffetz has said he will set up a “viewing room” for Democratic members and staff to view the videos. Republicans have not yet hosted a screening, the aide said, calling the move a "direct violation" of the Democrats' recent subpoena of Daleiden's unedited footage.

So the Republican plan is to keep Democrats from having free access to fully analyze the unedited videos, basically? That raises a few warning flags, especially given the secrecy and trickery already surrounding these videos.

But I bet it'll help Chaffetz earn more anti-Planned Parenthood brownie points as he tries to elevate his profile. Not that that's part of the plan or anything.

Ben Carson wouldn't just stand there and be shot, he'd suggest someone else gets shot

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 09:27
U.S. Republican candidate Dr. Ben Carson speaks during an appearance on Fox News Channel's 'Hannity' in New York October 5, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid  - RTS35WG Ben Carson has repeatedly explained that if he was in a mass shooting, he would not just wait to be shot. No, sir, "I would not just stand there and let him shoot me, I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all." The world was like "um, you don't really know how you'd respond to a mass shooting," so Carson decided to tell the story of a time he was held at gunpoint:
"I have had a gun held on me when I was in a Popeye's organization" in Baltimore, the retired neurosurgeon told Karen Hunter on Sirius XM Radio, referring to the fried chicken fast-food chain.

"Guy comes in, put the gun in my ribs. And I just said, 'I believe that you want the guy behind the counter,'" Carson.

Turn your gun on the other guy! That's an extremely brave and high-minded response. I guess what Carson didn't say about his "everybody attack the mass shooter" plan is that he'd be using someone else as a human shield.

House extremists spurn Kevin McCarthy and Jason Chaffetz in Speaker race

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 09:15
Newly elected House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) joins new Republican Whip Steve Scalise (L) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (C) for a news conference after House Republican leadership elections in the Longworth House Office Building on Capito It's secret ballot day in the Republican House conference, the day they secretly vote for their choice of Speaker, who they may or may not actually vote for at the end of the month in the not secret ballot floor vote. While Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)—current majority leader—is the leading candidate, he's got competition. And it's already gotten a little strange, as the endorsements come in. The best part? House extremists are lining up not behind Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who's made lots of noise about being the conservative choice. No, they're throwing their support to Rep. Daniel Webster (R-FL).
"McCarthy absolutely is not an option," said Rep. Tom Massie (R-KY), arguing the Majority Leader is too closely linked to outgoing Speaker John Boehner.

"You can't tell our constituents we put his right-hand man in as Speaker," said Massie, who is one of the Republicans who will instead back Rep. Dan Webster (R-FL).

"He will restore respect to our institution," said Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) of Webster, who received 12 votes for Speaker earlier this year in a late challenge to Boehner.

Many of the hardliners, though, are suggesting that if McCarthy kowtows to them enough in the next few weeks, they'll think about voting for him when it counts at the end of the month. Says Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), "[o]ur intention is to go all the way to the floor unless changes are made" in the way the House is run. He also said that he wants the next speaker to vow to default on the nation's debt if Republicans don't get their way.

McCarthy isn't without support, however. Rep. Paul Ryan, House Ways and Means Chairman and failed vice presidential candidate, has endorsed McCarthy, an endorsement that Politico says "could give McCarthy the credibility he needs with the conservatives." Yeah, probably not. And here's an endorsement that could make Webster's and Chaffetz's blood run cold: Dick Cheney. Why does Cheney feel the need to weigh in on this? Who the hell knows, but he says "Kevin McCarthy is the person we need as speaker in these dangerous and important times." And then a whole bunch of stuff about how we're all about to be killed in our beds, because he's Dick Cheney.

What all this means is that there really is a possibility that there won't be the necessary 218 votes for a candidate when they get to the floor at the end of the month. Because, look at this—Webster will not commit to supporting the party's nominee for the post on "personal principle." He said that the extremists "stuck their necks out" for him in throwing their support to him, so something something. If none of these guys can get to 218 (Democrats, for now, are vowing to stay completely out of it) Boehner is stuck in the job. Fun times.

Cartoon: When gun proponents go ballistic

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 08:50

COME MEET Ruben Bolling at New York Comic Con this Sunday (10/11)!  Info here.

And FURTHER, please join Tom the Dancing Bug's subscription club, the INNER HIVE for advance access to comics and more stuff.

And GET Bolling's new book, Alien Invasion in My Backyard: An EMU Club Adventure!  You can also pre-order the second book in the series:  Ghostly Thief of Time: An EMU Club Adventure!

Rupert Murdoch, Ben Carson, and the twisted white supremacist notion of 'the good blacks'

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 08:45
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson speaks to the press after speaking at the Commonwealth Club at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco, California, September 8, 2015. REUTERS/Stephen Lam - RTX1RPSM Really? A "real black President," huh?

The level of foolishness and aloofness in this tweet from Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News, is maddening.

Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else.

— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) October 8, 2015

1. What he really means is: Ben Carson is a negro that conservatives love, and that makes him real. For centuries, white folk have made it their business to define the humanity of black folk—from the 3/5ths clause until now. Rupert: You don't have the power to define what or who is real, and what or who is black.

2. A long-held view is being advanced here. That's the feeling that certain African Americans—"the good blacks"—who play by certain rules, are paid by particular people, and always color within the lines set by white supremacy are more valuable than others. When Rupert used the word "real" he was subscribing value and showing that he has a mental calculation of what makes an African American high on his chart or not. Paul Barrett, in his book entitled The Good Black, spells out what these rules are and how they can sometimes allow one to advance in a system not created with them in mind.

3. "Properly address"—what Rupert means here is that Uncle Ben will well-represent white needs to black folk. Because not a single word has come out of Ben's mouth that addresses the real root causes of the so-called racial divide that Rupert references.

4. Black folk, almost universally, reject Ben Carson—not because he's a Republican, but because he is not a spokesperson for issues that truly matter to black people. The same is true for you, Rupert. We reject you.

House Republicans vote to give Planned Parenthood the Benghazi treatment

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 08:40
Members of Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and more than 20 other organizations hold a There will be a select committee to "investigate" Planned Parenthood after the House voted on Wednesday, 242 to 184, to create a 13-member panel. This after House Oversight Committee Chairman (and would-be Speaker of the House) Rep. Jason Chaffetz admitted that Planned Parenthood had broken no laws. Nonetheless, the resolution creating the committee came to the floor and passed.
The four-page bill does not mention Planned Parenthood by name. Instead, it charges the committee to investigate “fetal tissue procurement,” “federal funding and support for abortion providers” and “born-alive” abortions, generally.

But Republicans were clear that the committee’s work is intended to deepen three existing House committee probes into Planned Parenthood, which began in early August. The committees have held three hearings as part of their investigations, which has prompted Planned Parenthood to turn over at least 20,000 documents, according to Democrats.

Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) will lead the panel, with Republicans apparently believing that having a woman head up it up will inoculate them against charges that this is just more of their War on Women. They're wrong. And that they're creating this committee directly on the heels of Rep. Kevin McCarthy's admission that the Benghazi hearings are all about beating Hillary Clinton makes what they're doing even more transparently political. Which Democrats have been quick to point out.

"Here we go again" said Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL). "Planned Parenthood is the new Benghazi." Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) suggested that "who knows, maybe the select committee on Planned Parenthood can shed some light on Benghazi." "I prefer to call it a taxpayer-funded campaign committee," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). As of now, Democrats haven't decided whether they'll participate in this one.

SIGN THIS: Defend Planned Parenthood against Republican attacks.

Rupert Murdoch is sorry about that whole 'real black president' comment

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 07:41
Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp and 21st Century Fox, arrives at New York State Supreme Court with his lawyers in New York, November 20, 2013. Rupert Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp and 21st Century Fox, and his wife of 14 years, Wendi Deng a Rupert Murdoch, the owner of Fox News—and a whole host of other right-wing propaganda sites—is really sorry for sending out this obnoxious, racist tweet about President Obama on Wednesday night:

Ben and Candy Carson terrific. What about a real black President who can properly address the racial divide? And much else.

— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) October 8, 2015

It took about 12 hours and a boatload of outrage for Murdoch to clarify:

Apologies! No offence meant. Personally find both men charming.

— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) October 8, 2015

Well, okay then. That's mighty white of you Rupert. Carry on.

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Thu, 10/08/2015 - 07:31
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Lucky for you, the world remained non-annihilated for the full duration of David Waldman’s live show. Of course, if the world ends later today we will update this post, so check back often. Greg Dworkin issues a correction: Cuba is, in fact, part of Latin America, otherwise Greg is 110% accurate today: Donald Trump is ahead among R’s in the states of FL, OH and Pa, while Hillary Clinton holds her leads but loses ground among D’s (Read as a “disaster” for her by the MSM) Joe Biden and Ben Carson are considered the best general election candidates in these key swing states. (BTW, Jeb! is in 4th in Florida.) Is Marco the Trump Slayer? Joe Biden: No money, weak polls, but still Clinton’s toughest rival with moderate voters and party elites. Joe, we love you, but.... Gallup gallops away from the horse race. Bill Clinton explains it all in 2 minutes. Obamacare’s medicaid expansion is helping the uninsured — where it’s allowed to. The profile for many mass shooters is becoming very familiar. Wednesday is Joan McCarter day: We may have John Boehner to kick around longer, so John takes his time cleaning up the barn, and Jason gets to Chaffetz about as he eyes the Speaker job. Gop House ready to Benghazi Planned Parenthood. David and Joan discuss the need for all of you out there to report on shenanigans similar to the voter suppression methods popping up in North Carolina and Maryland. What's happening in your counties? Email joan@dailykos.com! Martin Shkreli vowed to lower the price of the drug that he raised 5000%, but he didn't say when, did he? Florida man sacrifices goat, calls for armed rebellion, runs for office. Woman attempts to help out Home Depot by killing their shoplifters, but seems to have missed.

Thanks again to Scott Anderson for the show summary!

Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.

Cheers and Jeers: Thursday

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 07:16
C&J Banner


Oh! More Things I Know:

> There is a 2015 election day and it's 26 days away.

> Trevor Noah is doing okay, but the real heir to Jon Stewart on Comedy Central is turning out to be Larry Wilmore.

> The water on Mars is safer to drink than the water in Flint, Michigan.

> The latest attempt by Reince Priebus to re-brand the Republican party, which he launched half an hour ago, is already sitting in a dumpster outside the RNC.

Candy corn Also too I know: it was a
bountiful harvest this year. > Marco Rubio recently said he wants to be left out of "Trump's freak show," but not before he signed a loyalty pledge to support Trump's freak show if he becomes the Republican nominee.

> Gov. Scott Walker is touring Wisconsin to re-introduce himself. If "re-introduce" means getting doors slammed in his face, it's going well.

> The Dallas house where President Obama accepted the surrender of Texas following Operation Jade Helm 15 will one day be added to the Register of Historic Places.

> A few dozen Values Voters Summit attendees are still standing in the grand ballroom applauding John Boehner's resignation announcement.

> I'm glad there's a goat-sacrificing eugenics guy supported by neo-Nazis running for the U.S. Senate in Florida, because we need more diversity in the upper chamber.

> To set an example for how black Americans can live their lives without relying on "free stuff" from the government, Jeb Bush paid over a million dollars in cash for his new Kennebunkport summer mansion. See? It's easy!

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Morning Digest: McGinty shows she's for real with $1 million fundraising haul

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 07:00
Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty Pennsylvania Democratic Senate candidate Katie McGinty Leading Off:

PA-Sen: As far as fundraising goes, Katie McGinty's gotten off to a good start: The former state cabinet official just announced that she raised $1 million in the two months since she entered the Democratic primary for Pennsylvania's 2016 Senate contest and has $900,000 left in the bank. Given her broad establishment backing and relatively late entry, McGinty definitely had financial expectations to meet, and this haul probably satisfies them.

McGinty's take is also better than the best quarter her chief rival, ex-Rep. Joe Sestak, has put together ($728,000 in the April-to-June timeframe). Sestak hasn't yet revealed his third quarter totals; instead, he launched another leg of his march across Pennsylvania, walking 18 miles from Wilkes-Barre to Scranton. The problem with activities like this is that few voters will even notice whatever positive press you might earn, and most of it will be forgotten by Election Day. That's if you earn any press at all: Right now, a Google News search for "sestak AND (scranton OR wilkes-barre)" yields nothing.

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Jason Chaffetz, class clown

Thu, 10/08/2015 - 06:30
Jason Chaffetz with a parody graph of the one he used in PP hearings Pat Bagley via politicalcartoons.com (from this) The Hill: DEMS: GOP CHAIR HIDING FULL PLANNED PARENTHOOD FOOTAGE: Top House Democrats are accusing the chairman of the House Oversight Committee of refusing to share the unedited footage from the recent undercover videos targeting Planned Parenthood.

"Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz has in his possession right now, a computer hard drive that contains videos produced by David Daleiden, the head of the group that tried to entrap Planned Parenthood," Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) declared from the House floor on Wednesday, interrupting the chamber's debate on legislation expanding the investigation into Planned Parenthood.

Chaffetz, who is running for House Speaker, received a copy of the videos on Sept. 25, and has since declined to share a copy with the Democrats, according to a Democratic committee aide.

Instead, Chaffetz has said he will set up a "viewing room" for Democratic members and staff to view the videos. Republicans have not yet hosted a screening, the aide said, calling the move a "direct violation" of the Democrats' recent subpoena of Daleiden's unedited footage.

Francis Wilkinson: According to the Associated Press, the mother of the 26-year-old Oregon gunman who killed nine and injured nine "told investigators he was struggling with some mental health issues."

Yes, he was.

Neighbors have described Christopher Harper-Mercer as an anxious, alienated young man. His mother, Laurel Harper, appears to have written in online forums about his mental and social struggles.

It's a profile so familiar it's cliché. Dylann Roof, the "quiet" 21-year-old white supremacist accused of murdering nine people in a Charleston, South Carolina, church in June, was similarly disturbed. And, of course, Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old who in 2012 sprayed gunfire through the classrooms of Sandy Hook Elementary School, had all the markings of the agonized loner who seeks catharsis by making others suffer horribly in turn.

The three have something else in common, as well. Each was encouraged by a parent to relish guns.

PPP: One thing Congressional Republicans haven't helped themselves with recently is their war on Planned Parenthood. By a 12 point margin, 49/37, voters say they have a higher opinion of Planned Parenthood than the Republicans in Congress. That includes a 45/35 edge with independents.

Congress on the whole has its requisite atrocious approval rating at 11/82. Despite the Republican control though that doesn't have the electorate positioned to vote for massive change- the generic Congressional ballot splits evenly with each party getting 43%...

Evidence continues to mount that the Affordable Care Act is just not a liability for Democrats anymore.

More politics and policy below the fold.

Open thread for night owls: San Francisco activists want the city to let 16- and 17-year-olds vote

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 22:00
16-year-old vote. Voting Carrie Kirby at The Atlantic writes—Why Students Want to Lower the Voting Age:
Oliver York has heard it all—and the 16-year-old political activist is always ready with a well-researched answer.

He has heard critics refer to him and his cohorts as pawns of liberal San Francisco supervisors looking for a few extra votes. He’s heard that if given suffrage, teens would just mimic their parents’ voting patterns. That reminds him of the historical argument against women’s suffrage.

“‘You'll just vote the way your husbands vote.’ They said for workers, ‘You’ll just vote the way your overseers vote.’ I think there are some references on this sheet here,” says the teen, who wears a blue plaid shirt and rimless glasses. He leans over to proffer a fact sheet on the local initiative to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in municipal and school board elections.

Jillian Wu, also 16 and sitting across from York in an office in San Francisco’s Beaux Arts City Hall, locates the pertinent fact on the sheet: In the Scottish independence referendum, in which 16- and 17-year-olds voted, 44 percent of the teens voted differently than their parents. [...]

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009Whitman For Governor Rollout Woes Continue Unabated:

For a candidate whose first foray into elective politics was met with an enviable raft of prominent endorsers (Mitt Romney, former Governor Pete Wilson, and John McCain) and a ton of free media, the past two weeks have been absolutely brutal for California Republican Meg Whitman. The alleged frontrunner for the GOP nomination for Governor in the Golden State, her introduction to the political stage has been pure amateur hour.

It started with a Sacramento Bee investigative story, which outlined an almost comically sparse voting history for the first-time candidate. The same weekend as that revelation became known, Whitman was blasted in a straw poll at the state GOP convention by state Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner.
Then, last week, Whitman tried to explain her proclivity for electoral absenteeism, and dug herself in deeper, making the rather silly excuse that she was too busy raising a family to register to vote.

Tweet of the Day
On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin notes Trump's ahead in FL, OH & PA, while Clinton holds her leads but loses ground among Ds. (MSM: “Disaster!”) Gallup gallops away from the horse race. Mass shooter profiles are becoming very familiar. Joan McCarter notes we may have Boehner to kick around a little longer, so John takes his time cleaning up the barn. Gop House ready to Benghazi Planned Parenthood. David & Joan discuss the need for all of you out there to report on voter suppression shenanigans like those popping up in NC & MD. What's happening near you? Email joan@dailykos.com! Find us on iTunes | Find us on Stitcher | RSS | Donate to support the show!
High Impact PostsTop Comments Banner Ad linked to Daily KosT-shirt store

Trump predicts TV ratings would 'collapse' if he exited race

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 21:00
Republican U.S. presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks during the second official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, United Yeah, he's not wrong.
Donald J. Trump predicts a “major collapse” in the Republican campaign and a “depression” for the television industry should he prematurely exit the presidential race. [...]

“There’d be a major collapse of the race, and there’d be a major collapse of television ratings,” he said from his office in Trump Tower. “It would become a depression in television.”

Mr. Trump said that a presidential campaign without him would become so “boring” that he would struggle to pay any attention to it.

“I wouldn’t even be watching it probably, and neither would anybody else,” he said.

Which is precisely what the Republican Party had been going for in their efforts to limit the number of debates and generally shorten the primary season, this time around. But then Donald Trump messed it up, and the debates are getting damn fine ratings, as debates go, and more voters than ever before are tuning in to see just what the Republican Party candidates stand for, and every Republican strategist in the nation has been popping antacid tablets like they were M&M's for months now.

Anyhoo, Donald Trump says Donald Trump is the biggest thing in politics right now. Just in case you were wondering about that, and I know you probably were.

Drudge: Obama named ISIS that so it would 'be confused with Darrell Issa'

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 20:30
A fighter of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds an ISIL flag and a weapon on a street in the city of Mosul, June 23, 2014. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry held crisis talks with leaders of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region on Tuesday Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) Dear conservatives: Your entire movement is an exercise in self-parody.
[Drudge Report founder Matt Drudge] said that the Obama administration began referring to the Islamic State as "ISIS" so that the group would be confused with Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), the former chairman of the House Oversight Committee.

"We never heard of ISIS until recently," Drudge told [prominent conspiracy peddler Alex Jones]. "Do you know it was designed to be confused with Darrell Issa?"

Yes, that must be it. What other possible explanation could there be.

It took one editor of the Planned Parenthood videos 11 months to do his work

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 19:00
Members of Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America and more than 20 other organizations hold a Huffington Post has discovered the identity of at least one of the editors of the videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress showing what the CMP and Republicans say is Planned Parenthood doing something bad. Not only have they identified the editor, they've discovered how long it took to get at least one of the videos out: 11 months. Which makes for a lot of editing time.
Video editor Ryan Gonzalez spent at least 11 months working on the footage, according to his Facebook page and a friend of his who is familiar with the editing process. The friend requested to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Gonzalez worked on the videos with David Daleiden, a self-described "citizen journalist" who started the Center for Medical Progress and who previously worked for the anti-abortion group Live Action. […]

On July 14, after the center released the first hidden-camera video, Gonzalez posted the link on Facebook, saying, "This is the first part of a project I've been editing since last August and haven't been able to talk about until now."

It's been well-established that everything CMP has released—the short-form videos, the supposed complete, raw videos, and the transcripts—have been extensively edited. So much so that one of the independent analysts hired to review them said "'the manipulation of the videos does mean they have no evidentiary value in a legal context and cannot be relied upon for any official inquiries' unless C.M.P. provides investigators with its original material, and that material is independently authenticated as unaltered."

I guess it takes roughly 11 months to do that much work, or maybe that's only the case if you're an amateur doing a laughably hack job at the editing. Or perhaps Gonzales and Daleiden were just biding their time, waiting to get the go-ahead from Republicans who clearly knew they were in the works.

Sign the petition to Republicans: Don’t mess with Planned Parenthood. Stand up for women, not your extreme right-wing base.

Spotlight on green news & views: Mega icebergs wreaking havoc; China chooses cap and trade

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 17:30

Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The most recent Spotlight can be seen here. More than 24,000 environmentally oriented diaries have been rescued for inclusion in this series since 2006. Inclusion of a diary in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.

No longer considered an extreme event! Mega Icebergs are wreaking havoc in the Southern Ocean written by Pakalolo: "Scientists have sent out an urgent message to the world. We need to study West Antarctica's glaciers, and in particular the Thwaites glacier, fast. 'It is hard to find tipping points in physical systems likely to be activated in the near future, with the possible exception of Thwaites,' Richard Alley, a glaciologist at Penn State University. Our understanding of predicting sea level rise depends on the infusion of resources per the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. There is now widespread, rapid grounding line retreat of Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith, and Kohler glaciers. Until recently, the glaciers and the ice sheets of Antarctica have been in harmony. They had formed a stable system with forces of outflow and back pressure in balance for hundreds of thousands of years. Warming ocean water and changing ocean and wind currents have upset this balance by increasing the flow of the land based glacier and by causing the decay of the ice sheet itself. A weakened, deteriorating and calving ice shelf is no longer able to slow the speeding of the glacier's ice into the sea. Inland basins connect Thwaites Glacier to other major glaciers in the region and it is the accelerating ice from Antarctica's inland that will raise sea levels. The calving ice shelves are introducing fresh melt water to the ocean, but they are not adding to sea level rise as a floating object will displace the same volume of water as it weighs."

Nestle v. Cascade Locks, Part lll written by Robocop: "In 2008, Nestle began a campaign to gain essential control over the water at Oxbow Springs near the town of Cascade Locks, a small village in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon. It continues in its dogged pursuit in spite of public protests and lawsuits brought against it by, among others, Food & Water Watch, which has been fighting Nestle throughout the country over the issue of their water grabs in various small communities. The fight has survived through two governorships, those of Ted Kulongoski and John Kitzhaber, both of whom supported Nestle, and the current governor, Kate Brown, who has tacitly supported the company by remaining silent on the issue. Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) had decided that Nestle could trade for its legal right to Oxbow Springs, which was upheld by a judge. The trade was that Nestle would make tons of money selling bottled water from the Springs and in return provide 50 $10 an hour jobs to the struggling community whose current rate of unemployment is at 19%. Under the terms of this 'trade' Nestle would get a discount on the water they buy, paying less for it than local residents."


Peregrine Falcon The Daily Bucket: A Falcon Who Rescued Himself written by Lenny Flank: "Well, I had a bit of a birdie adventure this weekend ... Sunday night, I was walking to the downtown bus center in Nashville to catch a ride to the Walmart. As I walked towards the Tennessee State Museum, on 5th Avenue, I saw a group of people gathered on the sidewalk looking at something, and somebody nearby told me there was a hawk on the sidewalk. I expected to see a Redtail eating a pigeon or something. Instead there was a full-grown Peregrine Falcon, staring intently at all the people surrounding it, very pissed off. When someone leaned forward with a cellphone for a picture, the Falcon fluttered along the sidewalk, unable to get airborne, and let out an angry screech. It was obviously injured. Immediately, I noticed two things: it had a tuft of ruffled feathers on the side of its head, and neither of its wings looked like they were drooping. So I assumed that it had probably flown into something, and that if it had a broken wing, it didn't seem to be a bad break. It could probably be rehabilitated."

Below the orange spill you'll find more excerpts and links to green posts.

Hillary Clinton says that 'as of today', she opposes TPP based on what she knows about it

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 16:27
Hillary Clinton Hillary Clinton has announced that she is "not in favor" of the Trans-Pacific Partnership based on what she has learned about it. With that stance, she has become the third Democratic presidential candidate—after Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Gov. Martin O'Malley—to oppose the 12-nation trade agreement. Alice Ollstein reports:
Speaking to PBS on Wednesday, presidential contender Hillary Clinton announced her long awaited stance on the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership — a massive free trade deal the U.S. just negotiated with 11 other nations. “I am not in favor of what I have learned about it,” Clinton said, noting that the text of the agreement itself, though final, remains secret to the public.

Clinton outlined her concerns about the deal Wednesday in an interview with Judy Woodruff. “I’m worried about currency manipulation not being part of the agreement,” she said. “We’ve lost jobs to the manipulations that countries, particularly in Asia, have engaged in. I’m worried that the pharmaceutical companies that have gotten more benefits and patients and consumers fewer. I think there are still a lot of unanswered questions, but for me, it comes down to those concerns.”

Video below the fold.

Mike Pence still hoping to preserve the right to discriminate against LGBT Americans

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 15:56
Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and basically everyone in the state knows that something has to be done next legislative session in order to repair the state's image after Hoosier lawmakers passed legislation guaranteeing the right to discriminate against LGBT Americans.

So now Pence and his cronies are considering legislation—similar to what Utah passed earlier this year—that would still ensure the right to discriminate in public accommodations.

A source close to those meetings said the governor has reportedly been discussing what's known as the "Utah Compromise" – a Utah law that prohibits discrimination in housing and employment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, but doesn't create a special class for other purposes.  Yeah, that's not gonna cut it. The Utah law only worked in Utah because its laws around public accommodations and religious organizations are so peculiar—as explained here.

People who are actually trying to right the ship in Indiana for the state's business community aren't buying it.

“After RFRA,” said former Angie’s List chief Bill Oesterle, “that’s a horrible half-solution.”

Legislation modeled after the Utah law, he said, would be “completely unpalatable to me.” And lawmakers, he added, would be naive to think those weaker laws would be enough to repair the state’s battered reputation.

He, and others including Eli Lilly & Co. and the NCAA, say they want stronger protections of LGBT rights than the Utah compromise afforded — including in businesses open to the public.

Right. That's called equality—when everyone has the same access to the public marketplace. And that's exactly what Mike "I abhor discrimination" Pence is hoping to avoid.

Tennessee drug tests for welfare law uncovers a whopping 55 drug users

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 15:27
Drug test Why drug-testing government assistance applicants is a giant waste of time and money, part the umpteenth. Tennessee implemented the type of drug-testing-for-welfare that passes constitutional muster, in which every welfare applicant is asked three questions about drug use and if they answer yes to any of the questions, they have to take a drug test. Alan Pyke lays out the results:
In total, just 1.6 percent of the 28,559 people who applied for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits in the first year of testing answered one of the three screening questions positively. Out of the 468 people who peed in a state-funded cup, 11.7 percent flunked the test.

With 55 people testing positive for drugs out of an applicant pool of nearly 30,000, Tennessee’s testing system uncovered that a whopping 0.19 percent of those who applied for aid were drug users. Ultimately, 32 applicants were denied benefits for failing to complete the state’s mandatory drug rehab process for those who test positive.

Tennessee officials say the year of testing cost $11,000, or $200 per failed drug test. But that only accounts for what the state paid to the outside vendor who conducted the actual tests, excluding staff hours that went into processing the new application materials and managing the logistics of testing those who gave an affirmative answer to a screening question.

I'm honestly not sure which of these numbers is the most striking. Is it the low low percentage who have answered yes to having used illegal drugs, having lost or not gotten a job because of drug use, or having had to go to court over drug use in the past three months? Or is it the fact that of the people who answered yes to one of those questions, less than 12 percent didn't pass a drug test? Tennessee put in place a big new bureaucracy based on the stigmatizing and incorrect assumption that people in need of help are more likely to use drugs, and they found ... 55 people. Way to go, guys!

But these laws are really all about putting the hatred of and contempt for poor people into law, so on that front, mission accomplished.

Sorry establishment, Trump is still kicking your ass

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 15:12
U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attends the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, United States, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young   - RTX1KU7N He's still the one. After the last GOP debate, we were subjected to a GOP- and media-establishment blitz proclaiming failed CEO Carly Fiorina as the big winner. The effort was so successful, I had several casual friends insist to me that Fiorina was "leading in the polls," when obviously no such thing ever happened.

The reality? Let's look at the polling aggregate from Huffington Post:

Looks like the concentrated anti-Trump blitz dented his numbers, but he's recovering just fine thank you very much. Fiorina's little bump is already fading. And that was that.

What about the rest of the field? Ben Carson has leveled off after his "I hate Muslims" bump, Sen. Marco Rubio is apparently picking up Gov. Scott Walker's support, Bush (the one dumber than the former presidents) is continuing his excruciatingly slow death, and Sen. Ted Cruz is still a thing that exists.

But Trump? He's still Trump, and he's still in the driver's seat, no matter how much everyone outside of the Democratic Party wants him to go away.

(If you want a smarter take on the resilience of Donald Trump and his danger to the GOP establishment, this is awesome.)