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Rick Scott: 'How would I know' what the minimum wage should be

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 10:02
Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks at CPAC FL, 2011. Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) Goal Thermometer

Florida Gov. Rick Scott really had a bang-up debate Tuesday. In addition to energetically dodging the question of whether he knew that he delayed an execution so that Attorney General Pam Bondi could attend a political fundraiser, he showed off his concern for low-wage workers and in-depth knowledge of economic issues. Or, more specifically, he showed off his total lack of concern and in-depth knowledge.

The question was "Do you support the concept of a minimum wage?" Which is a question that has to be asked of Republican politicians, since many of them don't. Scott's answer was a glib "sure." It looked like he was ready to keep talking, but the follow-up question beat him to the punch: "What should it be?"

How would I know? I mean, the private sector decides wages. Answering this, Scott briefly let his debate face drop in his sheer irritation at being asked what the minimum wage should be. "How would I know?" Gosh, I don't know, you're the governor, you do have a say in these things. It's not crazy to expect you to have an opinion, possibly even an informed one.

Also, "sure," Scott supports the concept of a minimum wage, but the reason he doesn't know what the minimum wage should be is that "the private sector decides wages." Except that in the case of the minimum wage, the private sector does not decide, so it seems like Scott may have been missing the point here. Or, more likely, was knocked off his talking points by an unexpected framing of the minimum wage question, and didn't bother making a whole lot of sense as he scrambled to get back to the talking points.

Please chip in $3 to defeat Republican governors around the country.

Defeat Mitch McConnell in just two hours. Sign up to make GOTV calls to Democrats. Republican governors have really been on a minimum wage roll, from Scott Walker's "I don't think it serves a purpose" to Chris Christie's "I'm tired of hearing about the minimum wage," and Scott's "How should I know" certainly belongs on the greatest hits list.

Rick Scott won't say if he knew execution delay was for a political fundraiser

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 09:02
Goal Thermometer

Florida Gov. Rick Scott may have had a death row inmate's execution delayed to accommodate a fundraiser for Attorney General Pam Bondi, but he'd really rather not talk about that right now, mmkay? Scott's in the middle of a close re-election campaign and this seems to be a topic he finds inconvenient, based on his evasion of Democratic opponent Charlie Crist's questions about it at Tuesday's debate.

Scott deployed a series of evasive maneuvers to get out of answering whether he knew, when he delayed the execution of Marshall Lee Gore, that it was for a political fundraiser. First, because Crist had the temerity to note that "it is the most solemn act a governor has to do as you're governor, knowing that your name on a piece of paper is going to result in the death of another human being," and because Crist acknowledged that he didn't have all the facts—which would be one of the reasons he was asking Scott for additional facts—Scott fell back on pieties about "the prayers that I do" and how "what I think about is those victims." As if the question had been "why did you execute a person," Scott said "you won't feel good about doing it, but it's my duty to do it as governor and I'll continue to do it."

But of course the question was not "why did you execute a person" in the abstract, it was "why did you delay this specific execution and did you know it was for Pam Bondi to attend a political fundraiser?" And that's a question Scott continued to evade. Crist pressed him: "Did the attorney general ask you to delay the execution so she could go forward with her political fundraiser?" That's where Scott started to really fall apart.

"See, the, it was, she asked me to delay it because it didn't work on the dates that she thought it was going to be on."

"Did you know it was for a political fundraiser?"

"Charlie, she apologized. She apologized. What would you like her to do? She apologized. She apologized, Charlie. What would you like her to do?"

See, Gov. Scott, it's not about what Bondi should do at this point. It's about whether you knew she wanted to delay the execution for a fundraiser, and aided her in doing that. She apologized—though it's not really clear what kind of apology wipes the slate clean after you toy with another person's life and death to raise some campaign cash—but voters need to know what and how much Rick Scott should be apologizing for. If Bondi lied to him about her reasons for wanting the execution delayed, that's something voters should know about Bondi. And if Scott knew that he was delaying an execution for partisan reasons, that's something voters should know about Scott. Please chip in $3 to help defeat Rick Scott's main competitors for the title of worst governor.

Defeat Mitch McConnell in just two hours. Sign up to make GOTV calls to Democrats. The funny thing is, Scott has previously denied knowing that the delay was for Bondi's fundraiser. So why is this such a hard question to answer now?

Cartoon: Breast cancer awareness czar

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 08:50

Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 am ET!

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 07:30
Daily Kos Radio logo The second-best thing about it being Joan McCarter Day is that I don't have to think of something to say about what the show will be about.

The best thing, of course, is that the definition of Joan McCarter Day is that it's the day she's on the show.

Listen LIVE at 9:00 ET, here: Click this Link to Listen on your iTunes, Winamp or Windows Media Player

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Listen to Stitcher Help support the show through Stitcher's revenue sharing program. Be one of 5,000 "active listeners" per month, and, well, they send us money. All you need to do, believe it or not, is listen to 30 seconds of a show, once in a month. Seriously! Choose any one of the shows at this link, listen to 30 seconds' worth, and you're on board!

How are we doing on that? Well, it's been a little underwhelming, to be honest. Hundreds of thousands of you come through here every day, but I only tricked succeeded in convincing 762 of you to do this last month. So if you're seeing this and you didn't participate last month because you figured there were thousands upon thousands of your fellow Kossacks filling the quota, we could use your help on that.

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

Cheers and Jeers: Wednesday

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 07:17
C&J Banner

From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

Three Little Lessons:

PA Gov. Tom Corbett, in an image from his website with a black woman photoshopped in from a stock image. Oct. 2014 In my mind she's slapping
a "Kick Me" sign on his back.
- Lesson #1: If you're a governor of a state---say, Republican Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania---and the diversity of your supporters runs the gamut from old white men to old white women, don’t try to burnish your image by photoshopping in a stock image of a black woman on your web site. You'll just get caught and be ridiculed. No one likes a pander bear.

Lesson #2 If you promote your public, for-profit business---let's randomly use "The Hitching Post" in Idaho for example---as one that happily performs "wedding ceremonies of other faiths as well as civil weddings" in addition to traditional Christian ones, and gay marriage gets passed in your state, don’t scrub your web site of the "civil" part in order to try and gin up a bullshit lawsuit claiming religious persecution. You'll just get caught, and it's a well-known fact that some judges have been known to laugh themselves to death throwing such lawsuits out of court. And you don’t want a dead judge on your hands…do you?

Heart with a knife in it Lesson #3: When attempting to woo a state's voters into choosing your candidate, as RNC assistant viceroy Sharon Day did in Wisconsin, it's not a good idea to suggest they "might not be as sharp as a knife." Punching (or stabbing) down tends to kill the romance. So here's your toothbrush and your copy of Atlas Shrugged…now get out. It's over between us.
Saying Republicans are good leaders is like saying the NRA is a non-partisan gun-safety organization. Help defeat the bastards with a few bucks here and/or a few phone calls here. Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Despite conventional wisdom, third-party campaigns aren't fading

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 07:00
Leading Off:

Polltopia: Third-party candidates in Senate and gubernatorial races do not seem to be fading away as Election Day approaches. In individual races, there are some races where it appears a third-party candidate is gaining, and some where the opposite is true, but in general it's difficult to tell because not all polls include all candidates. If we combine all the polling for all the races we see essentially no trend in either the local regression or the median. We visualize this in the chart above by Dreaminonempty, though note that is does not include AK-Gov or KS-Sen, where there is no Democrat running.

As of Saturday, there were 29 races in the Daily Kos Elections polling database with a third-party candidate at a post-Labor Day average of 5.0 percent or greater, including KS-Sen and AK-Gov but excluding LA-Sen. Note that races where the major-party share of the vote is less than 95 percent have had much larger polling errors in the past.

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Of travel bans, vaccines and Hot Zones

Wed, 10/22/2014 - 06:20
In the United States, the Ebola survival rate is 80%: http://t.co/...
@Forbes Nancy Snyderman's troubles not over for her breaking Ebola quarantine, says TPM.

Nature:

Just as air travel brought the Ebola virus to Dallas from Liberia, where the pandemic is spreading out of control, air travel could spread the virus throughout the US and the world by travellers who don't know they are infected. Travel restrictions, isolation of the infected and quarantine of those known to have been in contact with the infected are a few of the measures that have been suggested for stopping that spread.

The director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the authority to impose such a travel ban between states to contain 'viral hemorrhagic fevers' such as Ebola. That authority, which then President George W. Bush put in place in 2000, has yet to be invoked or tested in court. Apprehending, detaining or even examining travellers has typically been confined solely to those travelling outside the US, not between Texas and Ohio. The CDC operates 20 quarantine stations for international travellers throughout the US, including one in Dallas.

The CDC is also in charge of a potential 'Do Not Board' passenger list for commercial airplanes (but not buses or trains). This listing has been used to keep 33 people with tuberculosis from flying in the US. But, in general, imposing and monitoring any quarantines or travel bans is left to the individual states. How much power state governments have to do so varies widely from one state to another. The laws that grant states these powers are old, having been instituted from 40 to 100 years ago, according to a Congressional Research Service report issued on 9 October.

The last legal test of the constitutionality of such a quarantine came in 1902, when the US Supreme Court upheld the power of states to impose quarantines regardless of impact on interstate commerce. More recently, a federal district court in New York upheld the power of New York state to confine a patient with tuberculosis to a hospital against his will in 2003. The CDC is also authorized to step in if the agency feels local authorities - state, county or municipal - are failing to prevent the spread of disease, although that authority has yet to be tested.

Jon Cohen: NIAID’s high-profile director challenging the NIH director is the kind of political contretemps that easily explodes into a great inside-the-Beltway brouhaha. Witness the story in The Washington Post story today, “A public dispute between NIH officials over Ebola,” that references several other related stories.

More politics and policy below the fold.

As it turns out, Fauci and Collins agree that big pharma’s lack of interest in Ebola vaccine development is the main reason no product was ready for this epidemic.

Open thread for night owls: Report says 19% of world's electricity could come from wind by 2030

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 22:00
Sen. Mark Udall atop a Siemens test turbine near the National Wind Technology Center just south of Boulder, Colorado. Sen. Mark Udall atop a Siemens test turbine near the National Wind Technology Center just south
 of Boulder, Colorado, at Rocky Flats where the U.S. used to build plutonium triggers for nuclear warheads. You don't have to go back too many years to find experts forecasting that wind power wouldn't be a major generator of electricity for the next 50 or even 100 years. A few brave souls challenged these disappointing forecasts but they were mostly ridiculed. And the government's premiere forecaster in such matters, the Energy Information Administration, helped the pooh-poohers by making terrible forecasts for the spread of wind (and solar) power in the United States.

For instance, in 2005, it predicted the nation would have 9 gigawatts of installed wind-generating capacity by 2013 and 63 gigawatts by 2030. By comparison, we are right now at 62.3 gigawatts and there are 13.2 gigawatts in 105 projects under construction. In 2012, the EIA made another bad forecast—that U.S. wind-generating capacity would only reach 87 gigawatts by 2040. There is good reason to believe that we will reach that figure before 2020.

Growth in wind power has been volatile year to year in great part because of inconsistent government policy. But if that growth continued at even half the rate it is now, by 2040 U.S. wind-generated electricity could hit 250 gigawatts, or in the neighborhood of 20 per cent of our total electricity output. If the current growth rate were maintained, it would be 30 percent.

In that light, a new report released Tuesday concludes that an aggressive approach could have the wind generating as much as 19 percent of total global electricity by 2030. And 25 to 30 percent by 2050.  

The graph below comes from that report—Global Wind Energy Outlook 2014—published by the Global Wind Energy Council and Greenpeace International. The report offers three global wind energy scenarios for 2020, 2030 and 2050. They compare the International Energy Agency's main scenario from its World Energy Outlook with "moderate" and "advanced" scenarios showing how much electricity wind power might generate by those decadal milestones. Included as well in the scenarios are estimates of CO2 emission savings, cost reductions and jobs.

Here's Giles Parkinson at RenewEconomy:

[The report] shows that wind power could reach 2,000 GW [gigawatts] by 2030, and supply up to 17-19 per cent of global electricity by that time. By 2050, wind power could provide 25-30 [per cent] of global electricity supply.

“Wind power has become the least cost option when adding new capacity to the grid in an increasing number of markets, and prices continue to fall,” said Steve Sawyer, CEO of GWEC. “Given the urgency to cut down CO2 emissions and continued reliance on imported fossil fuels, wind power’s pivotal role in the world’s future energy supply is assured.” Wind energy installations totalled 318 GW globally by the end of 2013, and the industry is set to grow by another 45 GW in 2014.

You can view a larger graph by clicking here. Some will call those estimates as overly optimistic as the EIA's have been pessimistic. But by turning those forecasts into policy goals, that level of wind power seems every more achievable despite the claims of the naysayers. Wind isn't a silver bullet that will, by itself, take us off fossil fuels. But in the past 15 years it has become far from the joke that some critics have made of it.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2013Bush not Cheney's puppet, Peter Baker's new book says. Iraq invasion done to kick 'somebody's ass':

For more than a decade, ever since Dick Cheney used his assignment to select a vice presidential candidate for George W. Bush to pick himself, the conventional wisdom has been that the former secretary of defense and former CEO of Halliburton pulled Bush's strings. In 2008, for example, Barton Gellman and Jo Becker of the Washington Post won a Pulitzer prize for their four-part 2007 series—Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency that reinforced the view of Bush as willing and weak-willed marionette.

Peter Baker's 650-page new book—Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House—presents a different view of the relationship between Bush and Cheney. Baker, who covered the Bush administration first for the Washington Post and subsequently The New York Times (where he is now chief White House correspondent), agrees that Cheney was the "most powerful vice president" of modern times. But he does not present George Bush as second-in-command to the imperious Cheney […]

As one senior official who came to rue his involvement in Iraq put it, “The only reason we went into Iraq, I tell people now, is we were looking for somebody’s ass to kick. Afghanistan was too easy.” It wasn't just "somebody's ass." Hussein's Iraq was a specific target of the neo-conservative Project for a New American Century long before Cheney, one of its charter members, even considered running for vice president. While Cheney and Bush may well have been at odds, that wasn't enough to stop slaughter in Iraq, torture everywhere and a legacy of tens of thousands of brain-damaged American veterans plus a $3 trillion-plus hole in the Treasury.                                                                                                                                                                                 Tweet of the Day Guys, you can make your twitter notifications scary this halloween simply by giving yourself a female username and voicing an opinion.
@TNeenan
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, James O'Keefe has attempted a thing. Greg Dworkin discusses the saga of the NBC chief medical editor who broke her quarantine, travel bans & other Ebolamania news. The Hot Zone. Media polarization. NHL & domestic violence. "Obama is a Republican." Armando says the final FL-GOV debate has banned fans. FL constitutional amendments. Iran & Iraq cooperating. Considering the Saud-ish context of beheadings. Unforeseen consequences of GunFAIL. Unlimited capital + unlimited data collection, storage & analysis capacity = the end of privacy? Some think the spies at Whisper were done wrong by The Guardian.

High Impact Posts. Top Comments

Repeal Obamacare and 25 million people lose health insurance. Period.

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 18:28
From the beginning, the magnitude of Republicans' lies about Obamacare has been directly proportional to their fears it would succeed. First it was "death panels," which Politifact cited as its 2009 Lie of the Year. In 2010, it was the Affordable Care Act's mythical "government takeover of health care," a fraud that earned the GOP Politifact's 2010 award. Now, Senate Minority Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Ohio Governor John Kasich, abetted by Forbes' health care fabulist Avik Roy, are pretending that Obamacare can be repealed "root and branch" without any of their constituents losing the coverage they obtained this year. And this new Republican hoax is the most cynical and cruel lie of all: if Obamacare is repealed, over half a million Ohioans, 520,000 Kentuckians and over 25 million people across America will lose their health insurance. As a result, thousands of them will needlessly die every year.

Period.

The deception behind the Republicans' Obamacare shell game is simple. The nearly $1 trillion Affordable Care Act program contains several, interconnected components. To succeed in their con, the likes of Mitch McConnell and John Kasich need voters to not grasp that inescapable truth. So, Mitch McConnell says Kentucky's Kynect website "can continue," even though it would have no policies to sell the customers who could no longer afford them after he repeals Obamacare "root and branch." As for Kasich, he pretends nothing will happen to 330,000 new Buckeye State Medicaid recipients whose coverage is completely funded by $2.5 billion from Uncle Sam over the next three years. As Politico recounted:

"From Day One, and up until today and into tomorrow, I do not support Obamacare," the Republican governor said on Monday evening. "I never have, and I believe it should be repealed."

Except for the Medicaid expansion part -- which wouldn't exist without the law. Kasich thinks there ought to be a way to save it.

"I have favored expanding Medicaid, but I don't really see expanding Medicaid as really connected to Obamacare," he said.

At $792 billion over the next decade, the expansion of the Medicaid insurance program to lower income people who earn up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) is the ACA's largest outlay. Thanks to the Supreme Court, states can choose to reject the Medicaid expansion and with it funds from the federal government that cover all of its costs through 2017 and 90 percent thereafter.) But that's not all. For those who make too much to qualify for Medicaid, the ACA also provides subsidies to families earning up to 400 percent of the FPL when they purchase private insurance through the exchanges (regardless of whether their state's exchange is run by the federal government or not). And on top of that, thanks to Obamacare parents can keep their children on their family insurance policies through age 26.

The positive impact of Obamacare on Americans' lives cannot be overstated. Gallup surveys have shown the uninsured rate plummeted from 18 percent to just over 13 percent nationwide. All told, Charles Gaba of the ACASignsups website currently places the number of newly insured at between 24 and 28.7 million.

Please continue below the fold for more on this story.

The thuggification of young black victims of white violence: Is thug the new n----r?

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 18:19
Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant I have a pop quiz for you.

Can you name one young white victim of violence who has been publicly humiliated or degraded by tens of thousands of African Americans online or by key African-American journalists or newscasters?

I’m waiting. Still waiting. Stumped? I’ll give you a bonus question.

Can you name one white person, criminal or otherwise, that you’ve heard called a "thug" in the past, let’s say, 50 years?

Even if you came up with an obscure name or two, you have to admit that you’re dealing with a pretty short list.

Yet not only are African-American perpetrators of violence labeled as thugs, but so are victims.

Jeffrey Dahmer killed, raped, and dismembered at least 17 boys and men, but he was never called a thug. He was arrested.

Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols killed 168 people when they blew up the federal building in Oklahoma, but they were never called thugs. Both men were arrested.

Jared Loughner, who had a history of drug abuse, shot and killed six people and injured 13 more, including Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, but he was never called a thug. He was arrested.

James Holmes shot and killed 13 people in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, but he was never called a thug. He was peacefully arrested.

In a sense, these five men, each notorious mass murderers, were given a level of respect and due process of the law rarely afforded to young black men like Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, and Mike Brown, who were all victims of white violence.

Follow below the fold for more.

The American Taliban comes to Texas, Dan Patrick style

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 17:17
Texas state Republican Senator Dan Patrick (R) speaks as state Democratic Senator John Whitmire (L, in foreground) listens during a meeting of the state Senate to consider legislation restricting abortion rights in Austin, Texas July 12, 2013.  A Republican proposal that would ban most abortions in Texas after 20 weeks of pregnancy moved toward a possible final vote in the state Senate Friday, and Democrats fiercely opposed to the measure conceded they will not be able to stop it.  REUTERS/Mike Stone (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY) - RTX11LKJ 'I don't have to follow Senate rules if God doesn't want me to' is not generally what the Founding Fathers had in mind. Goal ThermometerTexas Republicans putting up State Sen. Dan Patrick as their nominee for lieutenant governor goes a fair way towards proof that yes, every sodding last Republican in Texas is insane. He was a conservative radio host. He's into all the right conspiracy theories. He thinks he's the official Texas incarnation of Jesus, and he's the nominee for lieutenant governor of the entire state because, and take your pick, (1) America's Dumbest Congressman Louie Gohmert didn't want to relocate or (2) because all of Texas Republican politics is based on an elaborate dare.
"While ISIS terrorists threaten to cross our border and kill Americans, my opponent falsely attacks me to hide her failed record on illegal immigration," he says in his first general-election campaign. Please stop.
On his first book, actually titled The Second Most Important Book You Will Ever Read: "As the author, I am obviously biased," Patrick wrote in an Amazon review of his own book. But "since God inspired me to write this book," he added, "He automatically gets 5 stars and the CREDIT!'" If you give my book less than five stars you hate God. Countless men have made similar claims of divine inspiration over the centuries, but I'm not sure I've ever seen the assertion used towards such a petty end as to goose Amazon ratings.
On squashing Wendy Davis' filibuster: Patrick told Mike Huckabee he had a Christian obligation to ignore Senate rules if the lives of fetuses were at risk. The American Taliban often cites the requirement to ignore rules and laws and constitutional rights because their religion trumps those laws. That is why we call them the American Taliban.
Patrick tried to raise money off of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson's comments about homosexuality in GQ, boasting that the bearded reality star was channeling another bearded visionary. "This is an exciting time for Christians," he wrote on Facebook.  "God is speaking to us from the most unlikely voice, Phil Robertson, about God's Word. God is using pop culture and a highly successful cable TV show to remind us about His teaching." If an omnipotent God is choosing to address his people primarily through the unscripted ramblings of an American faux-yokel mouthing off between bird hunts, I for one will be very surprised. Not as surprised as hearing that he's now writing books under the byline of a mean-spirited conservative Texas radio shock-jock, but pretty surprised. We don't need to be governed by crazy people. Chip in $3 to any of our endorsed candidates.

Defeat Mitch McConnell in just two hours. Sign up to make GOTV calls to Democrats. Again, is this a dare? Are we determined to seek out all the little nuts and tinfoil hat-wearers and people who say they speak with God regularly through the fillings in their teeth—are we determined to seek them out, pluck them off their sidewalk apple crates and install every last one of them as the people who should decide how to write our laws and which ones we should enforce, or ignore? A post-apocalyptic dystopia is not the American end goal, Texas Republicans. If it's not someone you'd trust with your wallet or your car keys, maybe don't trust them with governing us all.

Cartoon: White riot

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 16:50

Save the strip!  Join the Round Table Subscription Service or show your support via Patreon!

Daily Kos pays people to break the law! Read the latest efforts to get out the SD reservation vote

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 15:43

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Goal ThermometerHere are the latest updates from the get-out-the-vote South Dakota Rez Tour so many of you have contributed to. I do believe we need to PAY THAT PARKING TICKET! Our intrepid War Pony minibus is going everywhere on and off the Indian reservations in the state to take advantage of early voting, which ends soon.

The GOTV leaders in South Dakota are working their butts off to take advantage of the funding you all have provided. We blew past Markos's initial goal of $50,000, then $75,000, then $100,000 for the South Dakota NDN Election Efforts PAC. Now we're on our way to the group's dream budget of $200,000. I think we can do it. We are currently at $131,000, and with your sharing and tweeting this campaign we can get more donors. The total has been built with small donations. So ask your networks to chip in.

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Contribute so American Indian voices can be heard in South Dakota!

Voting by mail is convenient, easy, and defeats the best of the GOP's voter suppression efforts. Sign up here to check eligibility and vote by mail, then get your friends, family, and coworkers to sign up as well. Read below the orange fluffy frybread for more updates from our team about this crucial project..

2:21 PM PT: wow.... Look what I found at Wiyaka Eagleman's facebook timeline:

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The guy who walked 38 miles plus to turn in completed voter registration forms.


Bobby Jindal on top of Ebola thing, signs executive order that will do precisely nothing

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 15:29
Lousiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference. Way to lead, Bobby. Goal Thermometer

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) wins the award for dumbest Ebola response of the week, with most of the week still ahead of us.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed an executive order requiring that state officials monitor travel to and from the countries most affected by Ebola in West Africa.

The Republican governor, one of first major political figures to call for a travel ban from Ebola-stricken countries, issued the order on Monday in response to what he called insufficient action from the federal government.

“[T]he federal government, to date, has failed to implement protections at the national level to prevent the entry of the Ebola Virus Disease into the United States of America,” Jindal said in the order.

He should be making sure officials are monitoring the border with Texas. What this country needs is a governor upgrade. Help us elect some with your $3.

Defeat Mitch McConnell in just two hours. Sign up to make GOTV calls to Democrats. Jindal calls this a "precautionary, common-sense measure." Except the part where the Obama administration has restricted all travelers coming from the affected West African countries to be funneled through five airports in the U.S. where they can be screened for the disease. None of those airports is in Louisiana.

Congratulations, Bobby, for being both the most panicked and most redundant governor in the land.

Racist Rep. Steve King: Obama treating 'people in Africa as if they were American citizens'

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 15:11
Goal ThermometerIf Donald Trump and Rep. Steve King had not planned a press conference together, we probably would have had to launch a Kickstarter campaign supporting the idea. As it is we might have to have another one because it sounds like Steve King has got more bugs crawling under his skin than he could ever give voice to during just one.
[I]t was King who really took the opportunity to shine. In video captured by the Iowa Republican, King went on a long tirade claiming that America is becoming “a third-world country” because of “the things that are coming at us from across the border,” including illegal drugs, Central American children of “prime gang recruitment age,” ISIS, a childhood respiratory illness that has spread in recent weeks, and the Ebola virus. Damn, he's breaking out the whole Greatest Hits album. Still, there was time for some new soon-to-be-classic racist tirades.
“What is his vision for this country?” he asked. “He must think now that he’s president of the world, that he’s going to treat people in Africa as if they were American citizens and somehow we can’t define this American sovereignty or American citizenship.” There ya go. From Dr. Keith Ablow to Steve King, we've got the "Obama loves Africa more than America because he is blaaaaaaack" theory being spouted from all the most swollen Republican orifices. It's been six years, and I think they're more upset about Obama being black now than they were when he first showed up. And no, I don't think anyone knows what King is specifically going on about here. He probably is stoned out of his gourd from whatever fumes are wafting off of Donald Trump's head.
“I want to pull us all together under those principles to build America. That’s freedom of speech, religion, the press, the right to keep and bear arms — whether that’s to pick up a shotgun and shoot a pheasant or pick up a seven iron and discipline your husband.” Jesus Christ, where did that come from? We go from suspicions of Obama treating people in Africa with too much respect to Steve King suggesting you beat your husband with a golf club. Chip in $3 to help Democrat Jim Mowrer boot Steve King from Congress.

Defeat Mitch McConnell in just two hours. Sign up to make GOTV calls to Democrats. I don't want to know what Steve King's Iowa supporters see in him. Really, I don't. But I would love to go door to door asking them what they suppose Steve King meant by Barack Obama treating Africans "as if they were American citizens," just because the responses would probably top anything you or I could come up with.

Republican presidential hopeful accidentally tells truth about Obamacare, flip-flops with the crazy

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 14:58
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear and Ohio Governor John Kasich today signed an agreement that describes in broad terms how their two states will cooperatively build a new bridge over the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Covington. December 12, 2012. Careful, there, Kasich. You're letting your sanity show. Goal Thermometer
Republican Gov. John Kasich got a lot of attention on Monday for acknowledging reality when he said that Obamacare repeal is "not gonna happen." Then he went even deeper, saying that the "political or ideological" opposition to Obamacare—and, in particular, Medicaid expansion—doesn't "hold water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people's lives." Two thoughts spring to mind reading that. Either John Kasich has given up any presidential aspirations or Kasich is seeing a shift in his party away from Obamacare insanity.

As it turns out, it's neither of those things, because Kasich immediately "clarified" his position.

"I don't back Obamacare. I never have. I want it to be repealed," he told The Washington Post in a telephone interview. "If the House and the Senate [are Republican-controlled] and we have a Republican president, Obamacare will be repealed flat out. Flat out. And it will be replaced." So much for "real improvements in people's lives." But that's not the best part. He goes full McConnell in his backtracking talk with Politico.
"I have favored expanding Medicaid, but I don't really see expanding Medicaid as really connected to Obamacare,” he said.

If Republicans take the Senate, Kasich said, "you better believe they’re gonna repeal Obamacare and I agree with that.” But, he added, “there’s got to be an accommodation” for Medicaid expansion.

Just like if Obamacare is completely repealed Kentucky can still have Kynect. Maybe he figures of Mitch McConnell can try to get away with pretending like all the good stuff sticks around when the law that created it is destroyed, he can do it, too. Especially if he wants to be president someday. Enough of the bullshit. Help elect some good Democrats to end it once and for all.

Defeat Mitch McConnell in just two hours. Sign up to make GOTV calls to Democrats. Why Republicans—even Kasich, who clearly knows better—are still trying to keep one foot in repeal-land with the other foot in reality is all about the base. According to the latest Kaiser poll, 62 percent of the rabid, dead-ender Republican base cannot let go of repeal. Never mind that it's a shrinking subset of the voting population. It's the people who will turn out in a Republican primary. They're the only ones who matter, ultimately.

George Will thinks Ebola could be 'airborne' because he is misinformed

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 14:04
George Will on the set of ABC News This Week That's why he's here. Goal Thermometer

Your problem here, Neera Tanden, is that George Will hates scientists like dogs hate vacuum cleaners.

Appearing yesterday on Fox News Sunday, Will explained to his incredulous co-panelists that Ebola is actually far easier to transmit than the authorities are letting on:

"The problem is, the original assumption was that with great certitude, if not certainty, was that you need to have direct contact, meaning with bodily fluids with someone, because it's not airborne. There are now doctors who are saying, we're not so sure that it can't be in some instances transmitted by airborne …

In fact, there are doctors who are saying that in a sneeze or some cough, some of the airborne particles can be infectious?"

Neera Tanden, appearing on the panel, asked, “I'm sorry, who are the doctors saying this? I mean, we have — I mean, this is what I think is really important, that facts about this disease do not lead to panic. So far, every expert that I've seen has said—” At which point, Will, goaded by the appeal to scientific authority, interjected, “Every expert that you've seen. Here we go again.”

Several things here: First, you do not get invite George Will on television and then be "incredulous," or in any other way surprised, when he starts going on like Grandpa Simpson about all the various things that collect inside his head. That's what he's there for.

Second, never rile George Will by pointing out that for every supposed "expert" he digs up via his apparent wanderings through think tank hallways and conspiracy theory websites (but I repeat myself), you can name twenty or fifty that have more credibly concluded the opposite. George Will is of the opinion that so long as he can find one lunatic saying a thing, that thing is just as valid as your irritating experts. (This is why he makes such a terrible baseball commentator. He is forever insisting that sure, perhaps one team scored twelve runs and the other team zero, but the losing team's bunt in the third inning was almost so well-executed that it would be outlandish to say they lost merely because the scoreboard says so. Teach the controversy, umpires. Unskew the third-base line.)

Third, it turns out that he was indeed misrepresenting the single expert opinion he clung to. No, those experts did not say that Ebola was not "airborne." They were just pointing out that you probably didn't want an Ebola patient to sneeze in your mouth, because duh. That's only an "airborne" disease in the sense that George Will would be an "airborne" pundit if you put him on a trampoline, but Will peevishness when called out on not knowing a thing that he asserts he knows is itself the stuff of punditry legend.

“Again,” he replied with his characteristic sagacity, “we're getting used to people declaring scientific debates closed over and settled; they rarely are.” When Democrats win, science wins. Chip in $3 to any of our endorsed candidates.

Defeat Mitch McConnell in just two hours. Sign up to make GOTV calls to Democrats. They rarely are, indeed. Teach the controversy, and so on.

Since the minute the Civil War ended, Texas has been suppressing the vote of African Americans

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 14:02
Confederates from Texas In the view of certain Texans today, these guys (from Company C of the Eighth Texas Cavalry),
had the right idea about voting by African Americans. Goal Thermometer

Despite the scathing 143-page evisceration of Texas' strict new voter ID law by District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead Saturday for that law to be implemented for this election cycle. That's a hint that when the law's constitutionality is ultimately ruled on, the Court will probably give that the okay, too. Estimates are that as many as 600,000 eligible Texans don't have one of the four IDs accepted as a requirement for casting a ballot: a driver's license, a military identity card, a passport or a gun license.

This isn't the first voter-suppression rodeo in Texas.

Keeping African Americans away from the polls began as soon as Emancipation was announced on Juneteenth (June 19), 1865. The state refused to grant blacks political rights. And a year later, the all-white constitutional convention voted against giving suffrage to blacks, even those who were literate or who had never been slaves. That was followed by the all-white legislature refusing to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment and passage of the first Black Codes that constrained African Americans from certain economic pursuits, racial intermarriage, officeholding, jury service and, of course, voting.

But, the Republican convention of 1867 included black delegates, and, even though the Ku Klux Klan and other purveyors of anti-black violence were viciously active, blacks participated in their first statewide vote in 1868, voting in a referendum to hold another constitutional convention. With their white allies, they won that referendum. The convention affirmed some basic rights for African Americans, although not all that they had fought for, and made readmission of Texas to the Union possible in 1870. From then it was downhill.

Please help protect the vote for all and give $3 to Daily Kos-endorsed secretary of state candidates.

Defeat Mitch McConnell in just two hours. Sign up to make GOTV calls to Democrats. Read below the fold as Erika Eichelberger at Mother Jones tallies some historical Texas voter suppression efforts.

Midday open thread: UK intel chief's BS on mass surveillance, Warren to campaign against Brown

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 14:00

Daily Kos Elections ad roundup: With his career on the line, Lee Terry doubles down in Omaha

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 13:58

Leading Off:

NE-02: Republican Rep. Lee Terry and the NRSC recently made news for portraying Democrat Brad Ashford as weak on crime, airing a pair of controversial spots. Terry is doubling down in his newest ad.

Terry features Sgt. John Wells, president of the Omaha Police Officers Association, hitting Ashford for supporting the Good Time Law. Wells argues that Ashford's policies can get people killed by releasing violent criminals out onto the streets. Terry's poll numbers are reportedly shaky, and his party is worried about him, which helps explain why he's running these types of ads. Also for the GOP, Fuels America praises Terry for his support for alternative fuels.

On the other side, Ashford hits Terry's negative ads. Ashford features a quote from the Omaha World Herald vouching for Ashford on public safety.

Head below the fold for a roundup of campaign ads from races around the country.