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Bryan Fischer: It’s time for social conservatives to prepare for a post-apocalyptic world

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 12:25
It is imminent. The end of their world. Prepare the shelterboxes for Bryan Fischer and his fellow Christian warriors who are surely going to need 'em once they arrive at the Obama FEMA camps that have been specially built just for the occasion.

Notorious RBG recently presided over yet another "marriage" ceremony between two men while totally tipping the Supreme Court's hand on how they will rule on the upcoming marriage equality case they heard this past April. This has the American Family Association's go-to psychic Brian Fischer predicting a win for Satan declaring "the fix is in." He is now preemtively calling all Christians to be prepared for mass-arrests for refusing to bake our Nazi cakes and snap our sinful "wedding" photographs. The Pink Shirts are coming, the Pink Shirts are coming!

Bottom line: we, as social conservatives, have a month to pray* and to decide how we are going to respond to this egregious and unconstitutional violation of the laws of nature and nature’s God. This must a non-negotiable red line for us.

We must categorically, unambiguously, and publicly declare that we will NEVER accept the normalization of homosexual marriage, and will NEVER capitulate to any Nazi-esque order from government at any level to violate either conscience or biblical principle on this matter.

And we must all hang together, or as Benjamin Franklin said, we most assuredly will hang separately. They can’t arrest us all, they can’t prosecute us all, they can’t lock us all up, they can’t shut down every Christian-run business, or every Christian school, or every Bible-believing church, or every Christian ministry. But our determination to resist moral tyranny must be resolute enough to prompt them to try.

Between now and the moment Ruth and her evil comrades on the bench hand down their apocalyptic verdict, Bryan wants all the good Christians down on their knees every waking moment, praying their asses to the bone with the American Family Association's pre-approved invocation, even as he admits the total futility of the effort.

Head below the fold for the blessing and a new take on it.

Republican 2016 candidates almost uniformly give undocumented immigrants the heave ho

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 11:41
A member of the media conducts an interview while holding images of potential Republican Presidential candidates during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor in Maryland February 26, 2015. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED ST GOP 2016 hopefuls have decided it's all about the base on immigration. Alan Rappeport reviews their stances and finds most of them are saying, border security first, report to deport, and no path to citizenship. Which is not at all what they were saying before.
On Monday, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey told Megyn Kelly that a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants was an “extreme way to go” and explained why he has changed his view on the issue.

“I think I have learned over time about this issue and done a lot more work on it,” Mr. Christie said. “I think everyone has to do what you need to do to be able to get educated on these issues and learn.”

Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin also defended his new and harder line on immigration to Fox’s Bret Baier.

In 2013, Mr. Walker said that a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants “makes sense” and that he wants people from anywhere in the world to come to America and work hard.

However, on Tuesday night he said that he was against amnesty and that illegal immigrants who live in the United States must go back to their countries of origin and apply for citizenship if they want legal status.

Oh, yes, they've all learned so much and now they see the error of their ways and, most importantly, the warm glow of the base's embrace on the horizon.

But the grandest flip-flopper of them all on immigration is Sen. Marco Rubio, as we've noted before.

“If we want to move forward on immigration, the first thing we’re going to have to do is prove to the American people that future illegal immigration is under control,” he said. Just FYI guys, Obama "got tough" on enforcement and deported at a record pace (far higher rates than George W. Bush). Guess what, immigration reform still failed in 2013 and we still have roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country.

Jeb Bush touts failed Florida Medicaid experiment

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 11:21
Jeb Bush Jeb Bush apparently thinks the "compassionate conservative" idea that his brother so cynically ran on will work for him, too. He's using his Medicaid experience in Florida as evidence that he really cared about the poors, that he was reforming Medicaid to give them "more power to choose from more choices." Of course, it was really just about privatization, but that's not how Bush is going to frame it in his attacks on Obamacare. Which, by the way, he says he would repeal.
On the campaign trail, Bush describes how his Empowered Care pilot program tamed runaway costs. He said recently in New Hampshire, “We need to reform Medicaid, and there’s a plan to do that in Florida that’s a pretty good one.”

But while Bush’s plan, enacted while he was governor, did promote greater choice among private managed-care options, it also sparked a backlash among activists who charged that the very low-income Medicaid population often ended up with less care than under traditional Medicaid.

Rather than allowing more choice to improve upon traditional Medicaid, Bush's liberal critics say he gave private managed-care plans too much leeway to design the benefits, which allowed them to "cherry-pick" the healthiest, lowest-cost beneficiaries. Networks of hospitals and doctors were limited. And consumers found the lack of standard benefits confusing; some ended up with inadequate coverage that didn't give them the health care they needed.

The facts actually back up "liberal critics" on the failures of Bush's experiment, particularly for children. For example, a federal judge ruled early this year that the plan, continued under Gov. Rick Scott, neglects needy children and doesn't comply with federal law. The reimbursement rates, the judge ruled, are set so low that providers opt out and have created a shortage of pediatricians serving the neediest children. In fact, in 2013, "almost half the children covered by Florida's Medicaid program didn't get the recommended number of doctor visits in their first 15 months, putting Florida in the bottom quarter of Medicaid plans nationwide."

That's a drop in the bucket of failures. Again, in 2013, nearly one-third of pregnant women didn't get health care in their first trimester, and only half had a postpartum visit within two-months of giving birth. Among adults age 46 to 85, only half who were diagnosed with high blood pressure got adequate treatment, and more than half of them who were diagnosed with diabetes did not get eye exams to check for and treat glaucoma. Only 45 percent of the diabetes patients had their blood-glucose levels adequately controlled.

Sure, maybe Bush's plan was able to reduce costs, but it did it through reducing care, all in the name of "patient choice." And, as usual with Republican plans, it was about transferring public money to private care and the hell with the patient. And never forget that Bush's grand experiment didn't do a thing about Florida's uninsured rate, which has been second only to Texas. All of which Bush calls a complete success. Echoes of his brother and "mission accomplished."

Surprise! Company whose pipeline burst in Santa Barbara has extensive record of safety violations

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 11:04
Refugio State Beach oil spill A section of Refugio State Beach tainted by oil from burst pipe. Since 2006, the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration has logged more than 175 maintenance and safety violations by the company whose pipeline burst in Santa Barbara County, California, Tuesday night. That makes its rate of incidents per mile of pipe more than three times the national average, according to an analysis by the Los Angeles Times, which found only four companies with worse records. But those infractions only generated $115,600 in fines against the company, Plains All American Pipeline, even though the incidents caused more than $23 million in damage.

It was initially reported that 500 barrels of oil had leaked from the broken pipe, but authorities later said the total could be in the realm of 2,500 barrels, 105,000 gallons. The leak contaminated a portion of Refugio State Beach and nearby patches of ocean. A crew from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is handling clean-up on land, while the U.S. Coast Guard is handling the job on the water.

Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state emergency, a move which frees up emergency state money and resources for the cleanup. Authorities shut down both Refugio and El Capitan beaches, but most people camping in the popular area had already fled because of fumes from the leak. Camping reservations have been canceled through May 28.

Julie Cart, Jack Dolan and Doug Smith report:

The company, which transports and stores crude oil, is part of Plains All American Pipeline, which owns and operates nearly 18,000 miles of pipe networks in several states. It reported $43 billion in revenue in 2014 and $878 million in profit.

The company's infractions involved pump failure, equipment malfunction, pipeline corrosion and operator error. None of the incidents resulted in injuries. According to federal records, since 2006 the company's incidents caused more than $23 million in property damage and spilled more than 688,000 gallons of hazardous liquid. [...]

Plains Pipeline has also been cited for failing to install equipment to prevent pipe corrosion, failing to prove it had completed repairs recommended by inspectors and failing to keep records showing inspections of "breakout tanks," used to ease pressure surges in pipelines.

The area tainted by the leak is popular for camping, fishing, surfing, kayaking and watching seals, sea lions and numerous species of birds. Until 2013, the state was responsible for monitoring and inspecting some 2,000 of the 6,000 miles of pipelines in California, but that task was then turned over the federal Department of Transportation.

The company has expressed its regrets for the leak. Perhaps it would regret the situation more if fines for its repeated violations did more than empty out the petty cash drawer for the weekend.

Republicans hope ISIS will help them fearmonger their way to the White House

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 10:28
U.S. President George W. Bush (L) delivers comments on a meeting with the House Republican leadership as Minority leader John Boehner (R-OH) looks on at the White House in Washington May 7, 2008.    REUTERS/Jim Young     (UNITED STATES) Republicans think they can get voters to forget who's really responsible. Republicans, led by George W. Bush, made a giant mess of Iraq, destabilizing the country in ways leading directly to the formation of the extremist group known as the Islamic State, ISIS, or ISIL. But Republican presidential candidates prefer to ignore their party's responsibility for the ongoing conflict in Iraq, because they think a nasty extremist group is a good way to gain some fear-based votes in 2016 and that they'll be able to shift blame to Democrats by then.

Jeb Bush is going around arguing that Obama should have kept 10,000 troops in Iraq, because he should have been able to bully the Iraqi government into accepting that:

The Obama administration asked for more troops to remain on the ground, but negotiations with the Iraqi government did not ensure that U.S. military personnel would be granted immunity.

Jeb Bush argued that Obama "could have kept the troops in and he could have had an agreement," adding "the United States had enough influence to be able to deal with the immunity issue."

But most of the Republican candidates aren't even getting that specific. They're just posturing.
“They want to bring back a 7th-century version of jihad. So here’s my suggestion: We load up our bombers, and we bomb them back to the 7th century,” former senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania said at the recent Iowa forum. Santorum has to win the "over-the-top rhetoric" category, but Scott Walker is strong in the "ignoring history" category:
“President Obama and Secretary Clinton hastily withdrew troops, threw away the gains of the surge, and embarked on a broader policy of pivoting away from the Middle East,” Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), a likely 2016 candidate, wrote on his Facebook page last week. That's a very smooth translation to Republican-speak of "President Obama and Secretary Clinton observed the George W. Bush-negotiated withdrawal plan and the wishes of the Iraqi government."

The Republican bet is that they can scare voters about ISIS and pin the blame on Obama, wiping out the memory of the role of the invasion of Iraq in destabilizing the region and creating the conditions for the formation and rise of ISIS. They probably can scare voters—but it'll be tough to scare enough people to overcome opposition to more years of war and to Republican domestic policies.

Senate advances Trade Promotion Authority bill

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 10:10
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (L) and Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stand together during a ceremony to present Golf legend Jack Nicklaus with the Congressional Gold Medal “in recognition of his many contributions to the game of golf and his The Senate voted 62-38 Thursday morning to advance the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill, cutting off a Democratic filibuster. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Chris Coons (D-DE) were among the holdouts, voting to filibuster the last time around, and holding out on this vote until late, after much on-the-floor negotiating with leadership.
The holdouts included senators who had demanded a path forward for the extension of the Export-Import Bank. It wasn’t immediately clear if a deal was struck on that issue. […]

Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., one of the pro-trade Democrats, and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., threatened to vote against the trade legislation without some concession for reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank beyond the end of next month, an effort Stabenow said she supported.

“Being able to get financing, and know they’re going to get paid when they export is absolutely critical,” Stabenow said earlier in the week. “For the life of me, I can’t understand why people who are promoting a free-trade agreement would want to make sure that our businesses could actually use it.”

Negotiations continued on the floor following the vote, while the Senate was in a quorum call. Barring a deal cut for unanimous consent to dispense with the bill sooner, which seems unlikely given the very large Democratic opposition to this bill, this cloture vote sets up a vote on Saturday.

8:15 AM PT:

Murray says McConnell promised her a vote in June on renewing Ex-Im Bank.


High-ranking Georgia prison guard supervisor arrested for raping nine women inmates

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 09:36
Captain Daniel Johnson being arrested for sexual assault Captain Daniel Johnson has been arrested after being formally charged with sexually assaulting at least nine different women while he was chief of security for the Emanuel State Prison for Women in Georgia. Most of the women were from the metro Atlanta area.

Speaking to Daily Kos, attorney Walter Madison stated, "This man regularly threatened and manipulated these women. He would tell them he'd never let them see their kids again or convince them that he'd get their charges reduced. If they still refused him, he would tell them nobody was going to believe them if they reported it since he was in charge."

In some ways, it appears that was true. In a video interview below, it was revealed that one alleged victim of Captain Johnson had previously reported that he sexually assaulted her and the accusation was disregarded.

It has now been reopened.

If Hillary wants to avoid the beltway political media, well then, that's very smart

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 09:30
U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (C) listens to remarks at a roundtable campaign event with small businesses in Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States, May 19, 2015.    REUTERS/Jim Young Hillary Clinton, at a small-business roundtable in Iowa, loses nothing by bypassing the traditional political press corps. Chris Cillizza, the poster-child of everything that is wrong about political journalism, whines about lack of access to the Clinton campaign:
Do you not think it is of value to know how Hillary Clinton spent her time since leaving the State Department? And how the Clinton Foundation handled its business with various donors who would, undoubtedly, still be in the picture if she was elected president? Or what she thinks of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the fight currently happening in Congress? Or Iran? Or the Middle East?

You get the idea. The role of the media in this process is to show voters who these people are, really, and to explain how these people would govern the country if elected. Like the media or not, that’s a very important role — and one that is essential to a functioning democracy.

Such pompous bullshit from the asshole who once wrote:
My job is to assess not the rightness of each argument but to deal in the real world of campaign politics in which perception often (if not always) trumps reality. I deal in the world as voters believe it is, not as I (or anyone else) thinks it should be. Do voters need to be informed about Hillary's position on the Pacific trade deal? Of course. But no one is looking at Cillizza to deliver that information. He's even said he doesn't care whether an argument is right or not! Thankfully, in this day and age, he is as irrelevant as Mark Halperin's insipid candidate scoring system.

The day when the political media was instrumental in getting a candidate's message out is over. Candidates now have myriad vehicles to communicate their message straight to the voters without having it wrung through the old media's filter. As consumers, this allows us to avoid the spin and biases of those reporters.

So who will ask the politicians the "hard questions"? Well, if by "hard questions" you mean ask whatever it is that has Fox News currently in a tizzy, then sure, the political hack reporters will do that. But if you're talking about things that actually matter to people, then don't hold your breath. The political press corps hasn't done that in forever.

The difference now is that no one reads their newspapers or watches their TV shows anymore. That era is over. In this age of social media, they genuinely don't matter. (And for the whiners, this response sums it up.)

So yes, if you're Hillary Clinton, you damn right ignore the dinosaur press corps. Fuck them. They haven't earned any respect, and there's nothing they can offer that is of any value to Hillary (or any other Democrat for that matter). And worst of all, there's nothing they can offer of value to the voters either.

It's now up to us and the partisan media to use modern media tools (like the social networks) to pressure our candidates to speak about the issues that we care about. It's not so easy as outsourcing it to the old press corps, but those guys weren't getting it done anyway.

Fox News has set the rules. Which GOP candidates will make it onto the debate stage?

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 09:08
U.S. Republican presidential candidates gather before the start of their debate in Ames, Iowa August 11, 2011. They are (from L to R) Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich. REUTER Eight looked like a lot in 2012 debates, but 2016 will feature 10 or more Republican candidates. The rules are set for how many Republican presidential candidates will be allowed to crawl out of the clown car and go on stage for the first primary debate of the cycle. Now, the question is which candidates will meet the requirements and be among the lucky 10 (or 11 or 12) to be included in the August 6 Fox News debate.
The network will require contenders to place in the top 10 in an average of the five most recent national polls in the run-up to the event, narrowing what is expected to be a field of 16 or more by the Aug. 6 event in Cleveland. If polls are tied, there could be more than 10 candidates on stage. So who would make the grade if the debate were held today?
The top 10 contenders in the five most recent national polls are former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, real estate tycoon Donald Trump and former Texas governor Rick Perry, according to a Washington Post analysis. Former U.S. senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Ohio Gov. John Kasich are a fraction of a point behind Perry. That means a Carly Fiorina-free sausage fest that does not paint the picture of faux diversity the Republican Party is hoping for. Also, Donald Trump! How fabulous will that be? Guys, really, if you get any national presidential poll calls in the week or two before August 6, please tell them you're voting for Donald Trump, just to ensure that we all get to see both how he performs in a debate and the expressions on the other candidates' faces while he's talking.

Cartoon: On Iraq: W.W.J.H.D.? (What Would Jeb Have Done?)

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 08:50

READ Ruben Bolling's brand new book for kids, Alien Invasion in My Backyard: An EMU Club Adventure!

FOLLOW @RubenBolling on Twitter and Facebook.

AND BECOME a member of Tom the Dancing Bug's INNER HIVE!

Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 am ET!

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 07:30
Daily Kos Radio logo We've got a few stories to follow up on these days, so maybe it's time to check back in on them.

I mean, it's not as if there's an entire industry dedicated to presenting new and interesting stories every morning for our discussion, right?

Because that'd be crazy! Can you imagine such a job? Wow! How tough would that be? I'd much rather just babble for two hours.

No, really! I would. I'll prove it!

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

Daily Kos Radio's Kagro in the Morning show podcasts are now available through iTunes.


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!

Did you happen to miss our last LIVE show? You can catch it here:

We kicked off with a recap of the Pinterest fiasco. Greg Dworkin walked us through his always-excellent Abbreviated Pundit Roundup, including Hillary news, the 2016 field, David Brooks being terrible in his dead-ender defense of the tired "mistake" trope, Luis Lang quits the Gop, and KY-GOV results. Biker menace spreads to NH Applebee's! Twin Peaks HQ is shocked at the clientele attracted by its rogue franchise! Joan McCarter joins in mulling recent events, including the looming deadlines on NSA reform, and the bin Laden "treasure trove" that has appeared all of a sudden. We also take the opportunity to let her vent on the "bad intel" dodge. The latest TPP-related shell game: paying for "trade adjustment assistance" out of Medicare money. Idaho saves children & defeats Sharia!

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

Cheers and Jeers: Thursday

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 07:18
C&J Banner


Oh! More Things I Know:

That President Obama has been on twitter for three days and hasn't posted a single funny cat pic shows he's not taking his twitter account seriously.

Bad news: the deadline to do something to stop man-made climate change is 2:30 this afternoon. Good news: that's Pacific time, so the rest of us back east have a little wiggle room.

President Obama displays t-shirt that says Another thing I know: the
grin is real even if the shirt isn't. People always give me funny looks when I assert my religious freedom by stoning an adulterer.

The gays did not cause that oil disaster in California. This one's totally on the feminists and pagans.

The Republican attempt to rebrand itself is going poorly. Experts are baffled as to why the creepy gynecologist Uncle Sam and the guy in the squirrel costume stalking Hillary Clinton didn’t win America's hearts and minds.

Texas right-wingers were so distracted by the invasion of the U.S. military that didn't happen, that they totally missed the invasion by biker gangs that did.

No sentence will ever be started with, "As the great Bobby Jindal once said…"

President Obama should give Ted Nugent a medal of Freedom. Just to fuck with what's left of his mind.

Franken--Klobuchar--Baldwin--Feingold. That'll make a kickass upper-midwest senatorial quartet.

The worst presidential campaign slogan so far is Lindsey Graham's "The World is Falling Apart."

Surprise! The smart Bush is Marvin.

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

Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Jay Inslee starts with clear leads in Washington

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 07:00
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee Leading Off:

WA-Gov, Sen: Washington's Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee only won a narrow victory when he was first elected in 2012. However, Public Policy Polling suggests he'll have an easier time when he runs for re-election, even if it's a rematch against ex-Attorney General Rob McKenna. Inslee sports a 41-42 job approval, consistent with an uneventful first few years and an improving economy; his strength in head-to-head matchups seems more about the fact that the Republicans don't have any top-tier options who seem interested in challenging him.

46-34 vs. Port of Seattle Commissioner Bill Bryant

45-31 vs. state Sen. Andy Hill

43-38 vs. ex-Attorney General/2012 opponent Rob McKenna

45-34 vs. Rep. Dave Reichert

The only potential opponent who comes within single digits is McKenna, who seemed like he was interested in a rematch right after the 2012 election but lately has seemed unenthusiastic in re-emerging from the private sector. The only candidate who has actually declared, Bryant, trails by 11, and that's not purely an artifact of Bryant being almost completely unknown. You can see that Inslee polls at 43 against McKenna but at 46 against Bryant, so McKenna's presence seems to change a few minds.

What's perhaps most surprising is that Dave Reichert, long considered the best option on the GOP's bench for a statewide run (an option he never exercises, preferring to keep his House seat, which got much safer after redistricting), performs closer in line with the nobodies than with McKenna. You can also see that in PPP's poll of Washington's 2016 Senate race, where he's also down by double digits against Patty Murray, who'll be seeking her fifth term. Perhaps some of the novelty of his "tough-guy-who's-also-moderate" shtick has worn off, as he's gotten more entrenched as a part of the national GOP's House.

47-37 vs. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler

46-41 vs. McKenna

48-37 vs. Reichert

48-35 vs. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers

While McKenna also comes within single-digits of Murray, Reichert performs about as well as Herrera Beutler. Bear in mind, though, that none of these named opponents have expressed any interest in running. McMorris Rodgers isn't going to give up her House GOP leadership slot for a suicide mission, and party elders would probably discourage Herrera Beutler from running anyway, since an open WA-03 would be at serious risk of flipping in a presidential year. Basically, any Republican with any juice would focus on the potentially-winnable gubernatorial race instead, meaning the person with the thankless task of opposing Murray will probably be either a random rich guy or a state legislator looking to build up some name rec.

Part of the unremarkable-ness of Inslee's tenure is that he and the legislature haven't really done much other than just keep the lights on (nothing big is going to happen as long as Republicans control the state Senate). Instead, the momentous changes have happened through the initiative process -- which is usually the case in the West Coast states anyway, even when one party holds the trifecta. PPP also polled the recently passed initiatives legalizing recreational marijuana, recognizing same-sex marriage, and expanding background checks on gun purchases.

They found, perhaps unsurprisingly, that voters now approve of those choices by wider margins now than the original vote. For instance, while same-sex marriage was approved by an 8-point margin, respondents now approve of it by a 56-36 margin, and 53 percent say it's had no impact on them at all. Interestingly, gun purchase background checks are even more popular than either same-sex marriage or marijuana. Respondents now approve of background checks by a 68-24 margin, and in a sample where 41 percent of respondents own guns, only 18 percent say the measure has had a negative impact on them.

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: How white and male will the GOP debates look?

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 06:28
top 10 GOP polling candidates that make the debate cut LA Times: Fox News and CNN plan to use an average of recent polls to pick the candidates for the first two Republican presidential debates, with the top 10 making the cut for the main event...

Later in the day, CNN, which is scheduled to host a debate in September at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, released its criteria, which added another twist. Its debate will have two segments: a main forum among the 10 candidates with the highest average poll ratings, and an earlier session with second-tier candidates.

CNN taking a varsity/JV approach to GOP debates: http://t.co/...
@TexasTribAbby New York magazine/Frank Rich: Right behind Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio became the second Republican hopeful to run into the latest GOP litmus test: being asked if it was a mistake to invade Iraq. (Scott Walker and Rand Paul have so far been able, just barely, to avoid the question directly.) What's the right answer here?

The reason Republican presidential candidates can’t come up with a “right answer” on Iraq is that there is no right answer that can satisfy both of their contradictory constituencies: (1) the voters they need to reach in the general election and (2) their party’s powerful neocon foreign-policy dead-enders, from Dick Cheney to Bill Kristol, who have not retreated one iota from their view that the Iraq War was the right thing to do, for the right reasons, and that anyone who says otherwise is soft on terrorism. Voters, by contrast, know full well that we blundered into Iraq for specious reasons, vaporizing thousands of American lives and some half million Iraqi lives (not to mention at least $2 trillion) with the end result of making America less safe and delivering Iraq into the clutches of both a new generation of radical Islamic terrorists and Iran. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll last October found that a record high 66 percent of American adults thought the war wasn’t worth it. More record highs are sure to come. Even as Rubio was trying to stutter his way out of the Iraq-answer quagmire, Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, was falling to ISIS. This was only days after a 19-year-old college student reminded Jeb Bush that ISIS itself was a byproduct of his brother’s invasion of Iraq and the mismanaged occupation that followed.

Keep in mind that the question that tripped up both Rubio and Jeb Bush was asked on Fox News. Imagine what will happen when the GOP presidential field has to take tougher questions from outside the right’s bubble.

This article "rethinking Iraq" is extremely shameless and steaming BS even by normal David Brooks standards http://t.co/...
@mtaibbi More politics and policy below the fold.

Open thread for night owls: 'History will allow clear judgments' on Iraq

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 22:00
An Army carry team transfers the remains of Army Specialist Israel Candelaria Mejias at Dover Air Force Base, Del., April 7. Specialist Candelaria Mejias died April 5 near Baghdad, Iraq, of wounds sustained when a mine detonated near him during combat ope Simon Maloy:
New York Times columnist David Brooks was once an enthusiastic backer of George W. Bush’s disastrous invasion of Iraq. He’d write columns for the Weekly Standard – the official journal of bankrupt neoconservative thought – glorifying Bush for his steely-eyed determination and tartly mocking the pansy liberals and other anti-war types who opposed Bush’s righteous exercise in nation-building and freedom-spreading. “History will allow clear judgments about which leaders and which institutions were up to the challenge posed by Saddam,” Brooks prophesied in the March 2003 column, “and which were not.”

That prediction didn’t quite pan out. Yes, the Iraq war ended up being a disaster, but contrary to Brooks’ assurance, the “clear judgments” about who was right and who was wrong about Iraq are still pending, as evidenced by the fact that so many people who got it so terribly wrong haven’t faced any real consequences.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2008Appalachia's Last Chance to Show It Doesn't Have an Obama Problem:

I've written quite a bit about over the last few months about voting patterns in Appalachia.  Beginning with Super Tuesday and then the Potomac primary, the pattern became clear: many counties of Appalachia have voted by margins of over 2 to 1, and sometimes even 9 to 1 for Hillary Clinton.  It's inescapable that race is playing a factor in some voting everywhere, but that it's a much greater factor in Appalachia than anywhere else in America.  Only in Appalachia has Hillary Clinton won huge margins.  As I've written before, Obama does not appear to have a problem with white voters.  However, Appalachia has a problem with Obama.

Last week, before the West Virginia primary, I enlisted the help of Kossack Meng Bomin to make maps that showed the counties where Obama and Clinton have posted big wins.  Obama has posted big wins in overwhelmingly white counties in places across the country.  Clinton has done well in many places.  But her biggest margins, outside of Arkansas and a few counties in Western New York, have almost all been in the counties of Appalachia.  

As was obvious to anyone who was looking at the results of the previous primaries, Clinton coasted to a huge win in West Virginia.  She will again win huge tonight in Kentucky, because, as Markos showed, voters in Kentucky long ago made up their minds.  Some will portray it as evidence that Obama has a problem with white voters.  It won't be.  Rather, it will be further evidence that Appalachia has a problem with Obama.

Tweet of the Day Alls I'm saying is the Dixie Chicks had better information than my brother.

- former frontrunner Jeb Bush

On today's Kagro in the Morning show, we kicked off with a recap of the Pinterest fiasco. Greg Dworkin walked us through his always-excellent APR, with news on Hillary &the 2016 field, David Brooks being terrible, Luis Lang quitting the Gop, and KY-GOV results. Biker menace spreads to Applebee's! Twin Peaks HQ shocked at the clientele attracted by its rogue franchise! Joan McCarter on the looming deadlines on NSA reform, the bin Laden "treasure trove" that has appeared all of a sudden, the  awful "bad intel" dodge, a new TPP-related shell game that pays for "trade adjustment assistance" out of Medicare money, and how Idaho saved kids & defeated Sharia!

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Jeb Bush declares 'ISIS didn't exist when my brother was president,' gets mugged by reality

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 18:54
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 urging them to stand with Baghdad in the face of a Sunni insurgent onslaught that threatens to dismember the country. Picture taken June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer (IRAQ - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR3VIB1 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. Just one week after a 19 year-old college student rightly informed Jeb Bush that "your brother created ISIS," the 2016 GOP White House hopeful apparently decided one historical beat down wasn't enough. At a gathering in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Wednesday, Dubya's brother doubled down and declared:
"ISIS didn't exist when my brother was president.  Al Qaeda in Iraq was wiped out when my brother was President." As Jeopardy's Alex Trebek would say, "Oh, no. I'm so sorry."

Head below the fold for all the reasons why.

Spotlight on green news & views: Fracking wastewater used on crops; Shell plans for change of 4°+

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 17:30
green heron Check out the saga of the green heron hunting for lunch Many environmentally related posts appearing at Daily Kos each week don't attract the attention they deserve. To help get more eyeballs, Spotlight on Green News & Views (previously known as the Green Diary Rescue) normally appears twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The most recent Saturday Spotlight can be seen here. More than 22,560 environmentally oriented diaries have been rescued for inclusion in this weekly collection since 2006. Inclusion of a diary in the Spotlight does not necessarily indicate my agreement with or endorsement of it.
Dirty Water – The Use of Oil Production Wastewater to Irrigate California Crops—by Robocop: "For two decades farmers in California’s Central Valley have been buying water from the Chevron Kern River oil field, which is currently the 5th largest oil field in the country. The water being purchased is oil production wastewater.  The field is located in the San Joaquin Valley, where oil was discovered in 1899, and covers 10,750 acres.  Since most of the oil has been removed from the field, Chevron has moved to  use 'enhanced production technologies' to extract the remaining oil, such as fracking, acidizing and cyclic steam injection. By some estimates, these production methods use approximately 2.14 million gallons of water every day. After production, this wastewater has nowhere to go. According to Rock Zierman, the chief executive officer of the California Independent Petroleum Association, 'if we’re not able to put the water back, there’s no other viable thing to do with it.'  But in league with corporate agriculture, Chevron has been selling the water to be used for crop irrigation as a 'viable alternative.'"

Why I Would Like To Thank Royal Dutch Shell—by LaFeminista: "Perverse as it may seem. A stark counterpoint to Van Beurden’s speech comes from a 2013 Shell New Lens Scenario planning document which suggests industry talk of lowering global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is just that. Referring to the internationally agreed limit on a global temperature rise of 2C, the document states: 'Both our scenarios and the IEA (International Energy Agency) New Policies scenario (and our base case energy demand and outlook) do not limit emissions to be consistent with the back-calculated 450 parts per million (CO2 in the atmosphere) 2C. We also do not see governments taking the steps now that are consistent with the 2C scenario.' According to one estimate, that Shell statement is tantamount to acknowledging that the world will disastrously vault over the 2C limit. Link this with Fossil fuel companies are benefitting from global subsidies of $5.3tn (£3.4tn) a year, equivalent to $10m a minute every day, according to a startling new estimate by the International Monetary Fund."

You can find more excerpts from green diaries below the orange spill.

Cartoon: I'm my own man!

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 16:50
Terrible Presidential candidate Jeb Bush has had a very hard time distancing himself from his brother George Jr., the worst President in US history. Okay, maybe he is showing some of them Republican Family Values they're always going on about, but man, Jebby can't seem to get the stink of the Iraq War, (a war which is unpopular with 66% of the public) because he won't deny his dumb bro. Who's the dumb bro now?

Will Boehner team up with Dems to save the Export-Import Bank from the GOP crazies?

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 15:56
(L-R) U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) lock arms and sing The little-known Export-Import Bank is in peril as the GOP crazy caucus sharpens the knives to cut its funding entirely (or not reauthorize it, to be more precise). The government bank loans money to American companies like Boeing and General Motors that export products overseas. Its supporters say the bank's responsible for thousands of jobs and losing those jobs is something House Speaker John Boehner would like to avoid, putting him in a pickle yet again with his right flank. Lauren French has the details:
Democrats want to reauthorize the bank and say it would pass if the speaker allowed a vote, but that would mean defying the wishes of a majority of the GOP conference.

[Texas Rep. Jeb] Hensarling, along with Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, Raúl Labrador of Idaho and Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina, said enough of the 245-member Republican delegation are opposed to preserving the bank that House Republican leaders should let the agency die on June 30.

Still, there are deep divisions within the GOP over the bank. Boehner has said letting the bank’s authorization expire could kill thousands of jobs, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups are pushing aggressively to extend its charter.

Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (along with every GOP 2016 hopeful) also favors killing the bank, which really puts the screws to Boehner. But the bank's Senate supporters, both Republican and Democratic, hope to reauthorize funding through an amendment to the trade legislation McConnell is pushing to finish by week's end. If they succeed, Boehner will really be in the hot seat.

This Texas senator blamed Baltimore uprising on absentee dads but goes silent on Waco bloodbath

Wed, 05/20/2015 - 15:07
Senator John Cornyn (R), Senator Ted Cruz (C) and Congressman Roger Williams (L) talks to reporters about an explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas April 19, 2013. Investigators searched for clues on Friday to the cause of an explosion and inferno Texas Sen. John Cornyn, right, with Sen. Ted Cruz In his home state, nine people were just slaughtered in a bloodbath. Over 1,000 weapons were recovered. Families were endangered, and it was the biggest single incident of murder in Waco since the Branch Davidian compound burned down.

Texas' own U.S. senator, John Cornyn, though, hasn't mentioned anything about the Waco incident on his Twitter stream. He's tweeted about Hillary Clinton's fundraising, but he has been radio silent on the massacre in his own state.

What makes this doubly troubling is that he had the nerve, the unmitigated gall, on May 8, to tweet to the world that he blamed the unrest in Baltimore on absentee fathers.

He tweeted:

Liberals, admit it: Baltimore riots are part of a story of absent fathers. More below.