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Daily Kos Radio is MAKING S'MORES at 9 am ET!

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 07:15
Daily Kos Radio logo Mmm! S'mores aren't just for breakfast, any more! Still sweatin' it out at camp this week, so we're serving up some "classic" Kagro in the Morning shows. Hop in the time machine as we look back at June 25, 2014:

Greg Dworkin and Joan McCarter join us to round up the stories of the day. NC's Outer Banks are largely doomed, but the real estate industry wants to pretend it's not so. Primary elections wrapped up in MS, NY & elsewhere. Crappy-looking GDP numbers give everyone a scare, but there's a twist. NN14 is coming up fast! A federal court finds due process fault with the "no-fly list." The Detroit water crisis. More filibuster follies. Speaking of which, it's the 1 year anniversary of Wendy Davis' Texas filibuster, and her campaign's looking for supporters' help in marking it. SCOTUS decides on cell phone searches. And one BIG GunFAIL.

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Our minds are still very much on the Charleston shootings, to no one's surprise. Greg Dworkin rounded up a selection of stories to help us continue to deal with the issues swirling around it. The latest entry in the "Republicans don't get empathy" narrative. John Lott gets SC gun law wrong, which of course means he's disqualified from the debate, then covers it up. Attacking Girl Scouts used to be a political punchline, but America has made it real. Final chapter on the TX gold bugs. Gene Weingarten on "branding" in journalism. Nobody loves stealing property more than the guardians of property rights.

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

Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Democratic prospects look dicey in Kentucky this fall

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 07:00
Republican Matt Bevin Kentucky Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin Leading Off:

KY-Gov: It's been a month since tea partying businessman Matt Bevin pulled off an unlikely 83-vote win in the Republican primary, but we've had to wait until now for a public poll this fall's general election. Public Policy Polling gives Bevin a small 38-35 lead against Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway, with independent Drew Curtis taking 6. When Curtis is removed and his supporters are asked to pick one of the major-party candidates, Bevin's edge is a very similar 40-38.

Democrats were hoping that the exceptionally ugly GOP primary would damage the eventual nominee, but that doesn't seem to have happened. While Bevin's 31-28 favorable rating isn't incredible, it's actually a little better than Conway's 31-34 score.

And while some early pre-primary polls pegged him as the weakest option for November, Bevin managed to stay above the fray as his two Republican opponents nuked one another. In the end, though he only took the narrowest of pluralities in the primary, he managed to emerge as an acceptable candidate to a broad swath of GOP voters. Indeed, Republicans back Bevin by a 71-8 margin, while Democrats only rally behind Conway 58-15.

It's no secret that plenty of registered Democrats in Kentucky have rejected national Democrats, but PPP asks respondents to self-identify, so its demographics don't reflect anachronistic voter rolls which misleadingly still show Democrats as the state's majority party. So Conway's vote share among Democrats is, if anything, particularly weak, since a lot of folks who are "Democrats in name only" because of what's printed on their voter registration cards won't identify that way to pollsters.

The one bit of good news for Democrats is that outgoing Gov. Steve Beshear is still decently popular, sporting a 43-35 approval rating. Conway will try to link himself to Beshear as closely as he can, while Republicans will do everything they can to tie him to President Obama and his atrocious 33-60 job approval score. That's why Conway's trying to distance himself from some of the Obama Administration's agenda, taking the tried-and-true route of challenging the EPA in court (on coal, of course).

The bad news is much worse. Head below the fold to find out why.

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: A new dialogue on the Confederacy

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 06:25

NY Times:

What began as scattered calls for removing the Confederate battle flag from a single state Capitol intensified with striking speed and scope on Tuesday into an emotional, nationwide movement to strip symbols of the Confederacy from public parks and buildings, license plates, Internet shopping sites and retail stores. NY Times, and read this!: It has been quite a few years since the lost cause has appeared quite as lost as it did Tuesday. As the afternoon drew on and their retreat turned into a rout, the lingering upholders of the Confederacy watched as license plates, statues and prominently placed Confederate battle flags slipped from their reach.

“This is the beginning of communism,” said Robert Lampley, who was standing in the blazing sun in front of the South Carolina State House shortly after the legislature voted overwhelmingly to debate the current placement of the Confederate battle flag. “The South is the last bastion of liberty and independence. I know we’re going to lose eventually.”

“Our people are dying off,” he went on, before encouraging a white reporter to “keep reproducing.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates: This afternoon, in announcing her support for removing the Confederate flag from the capitol grounds, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley asserted that killer Dylann Roof had “a sick and twisted view of the flag” which did not reflect “the people in our state who respect and in many ways revere it.” If the governor meant that very few of the flag’s supporters believe in mass murder, she is surely right. But on the question of whose view of the Confederate Flag is more twisted, she is almost certainly wrong.

Roof’s belief that black life had no purpose beyond subjugation is “sick and twisted” in the exact same manner as the beliefs of those who created the Confederate flag were “sick and twisted.” The Confederate flag is directly tied to the Confederate cause, and the Confederate cause was white supremacy. This claim is not the result of revisionism. It does not require reading between the lines. It is the plain meaning of the words of those who bore the Confederate flag across history. These words must never be forgotten. Over the next few months the word “heritage” will be repeatedly invoked. It would be derelict to not examine the exact contents of that heritage.

This examination should begin in South Carolina, the site of our present and past catastrophe. South Carolina was the first state to secede, two months after the election of Abraham Lincoln. It was in South Carolina that the Civil War began, when the Confederacy fired on Fort Sumter. The state’s casus belli was neither vague nor hard to comprehend:

...A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that “Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free,” and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction. This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety. In citing slavery, South Carolina was less an outlier than a leader, setting the tone for other states... Read of the day, that there.

More politics and policy below the fold.

SC Republican lawmaker says church shooting victims 'sat in there and waited their turn to be shot'

Wed, 06/24/2015 - 00:18
1st Confederate Republican Flag (Present day) On Tuesday afternoon, 10 South Carolina state representatives voted no on an amendment to debate—just debate!—removing the Confederate flag from the state capitol grounds (the measure passed 103-10). CNN caught up with one of the 10, Republican State Rep. William Chumley and asked him about his vote. After mumbling and stumbling about "mis-education," listening to his constituents and not letting hate groups dictate his actions, Chumley got to his real reason for wanting that flag to remain:
We're focusing on the wrong thing here. We need to be focusing on the nine families that are left and see that this doesn't happen again. These people sat in there and waited their turn to be shot. That's sad. If somebody in there with a means of self-defense could have stopped this and we'd have less funerals than we're having ... I mean you got one skinny person shooting their gun, you know, I mean, we need to take, do what we can.

And there you have it. The nine victims, murdered by a racist who revered the Confederate flag, just sat there and let themselves be killed because they didn't have the foresight to pack heat for their Bible class. So long may the glorious symbol of oppression and hate wave. Because apparently the victims were just asking for it.

Disgusting.

Open thread for night owls: World's largest floating wind turbine unveiled in Fukushima, Japan

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 22:00
World's largest offshore wind turbine at Fukushima Japan, June 2015 The world's largest floating wind turbine, the machine has a capacity of 7 megawatts.
It was made by Mitsubishi Manufacturing and will be placed 12 miles off Japan by the end of this month. Cole Mellino at EcoWatch writes—World’s Largest Offshore Wind Turbine Unveiled in Fukushima:
Japan officially unveiled today its 7 megawatt (MW) wind turbine, the world’s largest offshore turbine to date. It is slated to be operational by September.

The Fukushima Wind Project, located about 12 miles off the coast of Fukushima, installed a 2 MW wind turbine in November 2013. The turbines are part of a pilot project led by Marubeni Co. and funded by the Japanese government with research and support from several public and private organizations, including the University of Tokyo and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

The new turbine, which will tower 220 meters [715 feet] above the sea, will transmit electricity to the grid via submarine cable, according to The Japan Times. The government has allocated 50 billion yen ($405 million) for the project, which allows turbines to float in areas that are “too deep for traditional towers fixed to the seafloor,” says Bloomberg News. There are plans to add a third floating turbine with a generating capacity of 5 MW later in the year, which will bring the total output capacity of the project to 14 MW.

Offshore turbines, which have garnered a lot of support in Japan after the Fukushima disaster, “enjoy the benefit of more stable wind than onshore models, and are more efficient because they are not hampered by the constraints posed by land and transportation,” says The Japan Times.

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2004The Nation slams TNR:

While I respect several of the writers at the New Republic, I don't care for its Republican neocon owners, nor for the perception that the magazine is somehow liberal.
Amongst TNR's many sins was its unabashed support for Bush's War, support for which they lamely tried to explain/apologize in their latest issue. The Nation's David Corn applied the smackdown:

It might take The New Republic [20 years] to concede its opponents in the prewar debate were correct on key points. Peretz and several of his comrades act as if their post-invasion realizations are bolts from blue, when, in fact, they were the arguments they dismissed--or derided--when it mattered most [...]

It may be too much to expect the (somewhat) hesitant hawks of The New Republic to have questioned the invasion of Iraq on the basis of eschewing unilateralism, abiding by interpretations of international law that proscribe such an invasion, or resisting a preemptive military strike and occupation until all other courses of action were considered and attempted. But there were plenty of signs [...] that the Bush administration was hyping the threat and not adequately preparing for the invasion and the occupation. And the clever thinkers at TNR should have been smart enough to have absorbed Galston's warning: no matter how clever they were, this would not be their war.

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On today's Kagro in the Morning show, it's the 6/24/14 episode. The MS Gop Sen. run-off, and the McDaniel/Tea Party camp will be turning out "poll watchers"... in predominantly black precincts. So will they be open carriers, as we saw in AL? GA Gop House candidate is the latest to write Islam out of constitutional protections. One way gimmetarians leverage the power of the state to rig outcomes & undermine reasonableness as a matter of policy. No one could have predicted a SYG shooting of a cop during a no-knock warrant. Is this how Open Carry TX does safety checks? PA woman pulls a real gun (and fires!) on kids with water guns. And a fascinating look at the "adjunctification" of higher education. Find us on iTunes | Find us on Stitcher | RSS | Donate to support the show!
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'Serious' conservatives struggle with Donald Trump's popularity in their own movement

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 19:27
Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as he arrives onstage to address the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Maryland, March 6, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Theiler   And yet you keep inviting him to your conventions. Watching conservatives grapple with Donald Trump's announcement that he will be running for president will never stop being funny.
[J]ust maybe Trump is a double agent for the Left. [...] He reinforces all the Left’s negative stereotypes of conservatives as ignorant blowhards. During his announcement speech last week, Trump said of Mexican immigrants: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.” [...]

Indeed, Donald Trump seems eager to alienate sane voters by embracing conspiracy theories wherever he can find them. [...]

Trump is also one of America’s premier crony capitalists.

So he's a loudmouthed buffoon that dabbles in racism and crackpot conspiracy theories and whose rhetoric about freedom and small government and whatnot gets flushed right quick when bigger government would make him a quick buck, and yet among Republicans he's polling better than many of the so-called "serious" candidates? Wow, go figure.

Of course, none of these things are peculiar to Trump, though he does do a fine job of enunciating those things a bit louder than anyone else. The notion that Mexican immigrants are predominantly drug smugglers comes direct from the mouth of Rep. Steve King, the frothy, rally staging monarch of House Republican immigration policy. The notion of minorities being criminals who are coming after the womenfolk has a long, long history in racist circles, but has prominent modern incarnation in the rantings of the hard-right National Rifle Association and their assorted political enablers as one of the common reasons why all the good white conservative folk need guns and need a lot of them.

As for the (other) conspiracy theories? Trump's obsession with whether Barack Obama is secretly not an American has been a popular theory among the Republican base throughout his presidency, and Trump's theories on vaccines and autism and secret scientific conspiracies is not substantively stupider than certain snowball-throwing senators' declarations that the world's scientists are conspiring against our good friends the oil companies because reasons, or House Republicans "investigating" everything supposed government ammunition hoarding, or the Texas governor promising he'll be keeping an eye on those Jade Helm troops to make sure those military exercises aren't the beginnings of a secret military occupation of his state.

What's this? Trump says that we can solve the Middle East problem easily by showing some strength and resolve and doing some further unspecified thing he'll only share with us after we've elected him, and that Iraq and now Syria turned sour only because Obama wasn't projecting strengthiness and resolviness enough in the first place? That's a stump-speech staple that most of the other Republican candidates could recite in their sleep by now.

It would be easier to declare him a double agent of the "Left" or a fringe candidate meant to make Republicans look bad if, again, he wasn't doing well enough in Republican polls to land himself a debate slot. If he's a cartoonish science-denying racist corporatist blowhard and the Republican base likes him, well, that points to the party having a different problem.