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Date: Friday, 25 Jul 2014 01:30
Net neutrality protestors on July 23, 2014 in Silicon Valley to tell President Obama: Don't kill the internet
Wednesday, July 23, marked a coordinated day of on-the-ground action on net neutrality, directed at President Obama as he attended high-dollar fundraisers in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles.  The message at both events, was clear—President Obama: Don’t kill the internet.

In Silicon Valley—the center of the tech industry—Obama attended a $10,000 a plate fundraiser, where he was greeted by more than 100 activists from netroots organizations including: Daily Kos, MoveOn, Free Press, CREDO, Color of Change, Demand Progress, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Common Cause, SumOfUs, Media Alliance, Progressives United, ACLU, Code Pink and the Greenlining Institute.

Gathered outside the security lines around the venue, on a route heavily traveled by professionals in the tech industry, activists chanted, "Barack Obama, yes you can, Stop Tom Wheeler’s stupid plan!"  This direct action drew attention to President Obama’s hands-off approach to protecting the open internet.

Later that afternoon, in Los Angeles, Obama was greeted by a similar scene of 150 activists outside the home of television producer Shonda Rhimes—creator of the hit show Scandal, and strong net neutrality supporter.

The take-away from these actions is this: Online activists are willing to go off-line to make their position clear. We need strong net neutrality rules which protect the internet as a public utility—free from corporate schemes to extract more money by creating fast and slow lanes on a tiered internet.

Because of the recent deadline for the first-round of public comments on Chairman Wheeler’s proposed rules to divide the internet, much of the attention has been focused on the FCC and their role in net neutrality.

But make no mistake, Obama has accountability on this issue because he appointed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to this position. Tom Wheeler is a former Telecom Lobbyist, Venture Capitalist, Entrepreneur, and was an Obama Fundraiser/Bundler in both 2008 and 2012.

The internet brought President Obama into power—his campaign harnessed the power of the internet to organize people, power and money. Now, that very same level playing field he used to win could cease to exist and become a place where only corporate backed voices will be able to fully access the power of the internet.

Obama has pledged to protect an open internet and support net neutrality, yet, he is sitting idle while his appointee moves forward with a plan that would destroy the internet as we know it. This proposal will create a tiered internet with an uneven playing field where corporations who can pay-to-play will drown out independent sites, like Daily Kos.

Here at Daily Kos we’ve already sent President Obama over 97,000 direct emails—not including those from our partners and allies—and he’s not listening. It’s time to ramp up the pressure, both online and off.  

Please, take a moment of your time to send President Obama a message urging him intervene. Demand he keep his promise to protect an open internet with real net neutrality—by classifying the internet as a public utility.

P.S. Thanks to all of the Daily Kos community members who attended. Please share your stories and experiences with us.  

Author: "rss@dailykos.com (Rachel Colyer)" Tags: "Barack Obama, Community, Direct Action, ..."
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 21:50

(Click for larger image)

Author: "rss@dailykos.com (MattWuerker)" Tags: "Gaza, Israel, Middle East"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 21:15
Speaker of the House John Boehner speaking at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC.
Litigator of the House John Boehner
Greg Sargent reports House Democrats plan to use Speaker John Boehner's lawsuit against President Obama as exhibit number one on how Republicans are out of touch and focusing on all the wrong things:
This week, Republicans are expected to mark up the lawsuit in committee, and in an interview, DCCC chair Steve Israel — who oversees House races for Dems — said Dems are launching a campaign designed to “contrast Republicans focused on suing the president with Democrats who are focused on economic solutions for the middle class.” [...] “We’re going to make August very hot,” Israel told me. “Paid ads, robocalls, rallies, protests — we’re going to use earned and paid media to continue to drive the critical contrast between Republicans focused on suing the president and issuing subpoenas versus Democrats who are focused on specific economic solutions.”
If there's anything I disagree with Israel on, it's this:
“They are motivating their base with the lawsuit, but they are also motivating our base,” Israel said.
I don't think Boehner's lawsuit motivates the GOP base. Instead, I think it makes them wonder why Republicans aren't impeaching Obama already. But as for the Democratic base? No question: Boehner couldn't have done a better job reminding Democrats why they should vote.
Author: "rss@dailykos.com (Jed Lewison)" Tags: "2014, GOP, John Boehner, Obama lawsuit"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 20:26
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer
Gov. Brewer: 'Wood died in a lawful manner', but will order an internal review
On Wednesday evening Arizona executed inmate Joseph Wood by lethal injection; the drugs used in the process were "secret," as were the methods Arizona used to obtain them, and the process resulted in the convicted taking nearly two hours to die.
One reporter who witnessed the execution, Troy Hayden of Fox 10 News, said it was "very disturbing to watch ... like a fish on shore gulping for air. At a certain point, you wondered whether he was ever going to die."
Lawyers filed a emergency motion with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals after this had gone on for an hour to halt the execution; Wood died before the court responsed. Now his attorneys are calling for an external inquiry.
“There is far too much that we don’t know at this point, including information about the drugs, why Arizona selected these drugs and amounts, the qualifications of the execution team, and more,” Baich said in a statement. “It is important for the people of Arizona to get answers, and only an independent investigation can provide the transparency needed following an execution cloaked in secrecy that went wrong.”
Charlie Pierce notes that executing prisoners using secret and previously untested methods amounts plainly to human medical experimentation. This wasn't a "botched" execution, this was an execution conducted as intended using a secret concoction devised by the state. They offered no proof it would work or that it would not be cruel and unusual; the convict was the (first) intended test subject.
Author: "rss@dailykos.com (Hunter)" Tags: "Arizona, Death Penalty, Law, Recommended"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 19:45
Zipped lips emoticon
Among their advice: "Stop talking."
The New York Times takes us behind closed doors to show how a group of conservatives are training Republicans to talk about their support for banning abortion by offering tips like this:
Keep remarks as short as possible. “Two sentences is really the goal,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the Susan B. Anthony List, the anti-abortion group that hosts the boot camps. “Then stop talking.”
Genius! Explain in two sentences why abortion should be banned and then shut up. Actually, it's kind of appropriate, given that they think the law should say pretty much the same thing to women who want to make decisions about their reproductive health.

But if push comes to shove, and you're a Republican candidate who needs to offer more than two sentences explaining why you're anti-choice, these conservatives have got you covered, or at least they think they do:

“Don’t let them corner you,” said Marilyn Musgrave, a former Republican congresswoman from Colorado who is a longtime anti-abortion activist. [...] “Put them on their heels,” Ms. Musgrave added. “Ask them: ‘Exactly when in a pregnancy do you think abortion should be banned?'  ”
Again, genius! Except for the fact that you could also turn the question around and ask them the same thing, except slightly rephrased, perhaps like this: "Exactly when is it that you think the government should start deciding whether or not a woman should become a mother?" Their answer, obviously, is that they think the government should decide from the moment a sperm fertilizes an egg—if not sooner.

No amount of spin can change the fact that most people don't think the government should be making that decision. The fact that this isn't spin is something that these conservatives simply do not understand:

“That was one of the top five public relations coups of all time: making their movement pro-choice and purging the ugly word abortion from the lexicon for decades,” said Kellyanne Conway, a Republican pollster who has conducted research on women’s issues for anti-abortion groups and the Republican National Committee.
That's complete bull. The reason the pro-choice position resonates isn't that pro-choicers are better at P.R., it's that people don't want a bunch of right-wing zealots controlling their lives.
Author: "rss@dailykos.com (Jed Lewison)" Tags: "Abortion, Conservatives"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 19:00
  • Today's comic by Ruben Bolling is Super-Fun-Pak Comix, feat. Vampire Hunter, Zombie Slayer & more!
    Cartoon by Ruben Bolling -- Super-Fun-Pak Comix, feat. Vampire Hunter, Zombie Slayer & more!
  • Initial claims for unemployment compensation fall to eight-year low: The Labor Department reported Thursday that seasonally adjusted initial applications for unemployment compensation decreased by 19,000 to 284,000 for the week ending July 19, the lowest level since Feb. 18, 2006. For the comparable week in 2013, the number was 343,000. The four-week running average, which flattens volatility in the weekly figures, also decreased, to 302,000, the lowest level since May 19, 2007. For the week ending July 5, the total number of people claiming benefits was 2,611,871, up 165,383 from the previous week. For the comparable week of 2013, 4,842,653 persons claimed benefits. But that huge drop is in great part due to the fact that the federal emergency unemployment compensation program expired in December, immediately cutting off 1.37 million Americans who had been out of work for 27 weeks or longer.
  • Florida newspaper joins others with regular marijuana coverage:
    This June, [Michael] Pollick, a reporter with the Sarasota (Florida) Herald-Tribune, traveled back to California to see something new — a culture, businesses, regulations and people rising around the legalization of medical marijuana. Then, he went to Colorado and did the same thing.

    Stories about what he found are running now in the Herald-Tribune and on its new site, Medical Marijuana. The site launched last Sunday, with plans to roll out a series of stories leading up to November’s ballot initiative that could legalize medical marijuana in Florida. The site includes both original reporting from Pollick and some aggregation. It joins other newspapers devoting space and ink to marijuana, including The Denver Post, seattlepi.com, The Seattle Times and Denver’s Westword.

  • Immigrant advocacy site runs faux obituary ad for Colorado GOP:
    We’ve been warning the GOP for years, but they didn’t listen.  Today, we are highlighting the GOP’s demographic demise in Colorado with a mock obituary, which will run as an online ad in the Aurora Sentinel. [...]

    [T]he Colorado Republican Party is in particular trouble. It’s heading into the 2014 midterm elections in which GOP candidates like Rep. Mike Coffman and Rep. Cory Gardner will need support from Latino voters, but they’re unable to make the case as to why they should have it. Reps. Coffman and Gardner have stood with the extremists in their party in blocking reform and voting to end DACA, failing to lead on an issue their constituents overwhelmingly support. The Latino vote, in a state where Latinos make up 13% of the electorate, may well be the deciding factor in their races.

     The Colorado GOP may think they dodged a bullet earlier this year by managing to avoid nominating arch-anti-immigrant zealot Tom Tancredo to run for governor. But the chosen GOP candidate, Bob Beauprez, has been nearly as bad, championing antiquated laws like Arizona’s SB 1070.

    With a record like this, the Colorado Republican Party—and its national counterpart—is demographically doomed. View their obituary at the Aurora Sentinel today.

  • "Modern Family's" Eric Stonestreet refused photo with Santorum:
    "Rick Santorum wanted a picture with me. It was at a time when he was publicly saying, 'Gay marriage, gay marriage [is wrong],' and I'm like, 'You know, I can't do it,'" he said. "It was with him and his kids or something like that, and I said, 'I'd be happy to take a picture with the kids, but I can't just be in a picture with [Santorum.]'"
  • Marketing firm says wind power will generate 7 percent of world's electricity by 2018: Right now it's 3 percent. More than doubling is serious business. But, according to Navigant, most of the increase won't be in the United States but in developing markets:
    "Last year was the first in which the wind industry experienced negative growth since 2004, but there are signs that the 2013 slowdown will turn out to be an anomaly," Feng Zhao, Navigant's research director told CleanTechnica. "As wind turbine vendors search for new opportunities in emerging markets, primarily in Latin America and Africa, and develop machines for maximum energy production in low windspeed areas, the industry is expected to add another 250 gigawatts of capacity through 2018."
  • Joseph Wood's is the four botched U.S. execution this year:
    Arizona had never tried the two-drug cocktail of midazolam and hydromorphone before it injected an unknown dose into Joseph Wood's veins Wednesday afternoon. Most executions by lethal injection take between 10 and 20 minutes once the drugs are injected, if performed properly. This experimental cocktail took almost two hours to end Wood's life, so long that his lawyer had time to file an emergency stay of execution in federal court, claiming that Wood had been "coughing and snorting for over an hour" by then. "I counted about 660 times he gasped," reported an Arizona Republic reporter who witnessed the execution. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said in a statement that Wood "died in a lawful manner and by eyewitness and medical accounts he did not suffer."
  • On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin rounds up Cuomo, Jeb Bush & Rand Paul news; POTUS approval. Plus how "patient-centered" medicine challenges the old teaching methods. Ian Reifowitz on Gop xenophobia, obstructionism, and guns & the politics of fear.
Author: "rss@dailykos.com (Meteor Blades)" Tags: "Midday Open Thread"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 18:49
Vladmir Putin in Moscow.
As tensions build between Russia and the west, some German politicians are vocalizing their fears of a Russian-hosted World Cup in 2018:
Taking away Russia’s right to hold the soccer tournament may have significantly stronger impact than more economic sanctions, said Michael Fuchs, deputy head of the conservative bloc in the German parliament.

“Fifa should think about whether Moscow is an appropriate host if it can’t even guarantee safe airways,” Fuchs told Handelsblatt Online, adding that Germany and France could take over the tournament if needed.

At this point, some even said it was "unimaginable:
“If [Russian President Vladimir] Putin doesn’t actively cooperate on clearing up the plane crash, the soccer World Cup in Russia in 2018 is unimaginable,” Peter Beuth told Germany’s top-selling daily Bild.
Meanwhile, Dutch officials are waiting on the investigation to conclude:
“The Dutch football association is aware that a future World Cup in Russia stirs great emotion among all football fans and relatives in the Netherlands,” it said in a statement.

“The association believes it is more appropriate to conduct a discussion over a future World Cup in Russia at a later moment, once the investigation into the disaster has been completed.”

FIFA officials are already openly questioning whether Russia's stadiums will be ready in time:
FIFA president Sepp Blatter threw an unexpected seed of doubt into Russia's preparations for the 2018 World Cup on Monday when he said that FIFA will discuss the possibility of reducing the number of stadiums to be used there in four years time.

Two days after Russian sports minister Vitaly Mutko gave media detailed background about Russia's plans for their World Cup which involves 12 stadiums in 11 cities, Blatter implied that they could be re-examined.

If Russia does continue down such a dangerous path, why reward them with the biggest sport on the biggest stage in the world? How can fans and teams expect to be safe and secure?
Author: "rss@dailykos.com (Jen Hayden)" Tags: "FIFA, Russia, World Cup 2018"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 18:12
One of the half-dozen licensed Texas abortion clinics that may remain open after September 1.
Molly Redden at Mother Jones reports that a draconian year-old law enacted specifically to shut down as many Texas abortion clinics as possible is having the desired effect. A year ago this month when Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed the law, there were 40 licensed abortion clinics across the state. Now there are 21. Come September 1, when a clause requiring clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers goes into effect, the number could drop to six:
The first wave of clinics closed or stopped providing abortions due to a provision of the law that came into force in November 2013 and required abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. [...]

Some things to note: Before the state required admitting privileges, 13 cities had abortion clinics. Now, just seven do. After September, only five Texas cities—Dallas, Forth Worth, San Antonio, Austin, and Houston—will will have abortion clinics. Women in the Rio Grande Valley must now travel to Corpus Christi, a two-and-a-half hour drive, for abortion services. Soon, there won't be a single clinic providing abortions west of San Antonio.

In addition to making it harder for abortion providers to operate, the law also bans abortion 20 weeks after conception and forbids the use of medication to terminate pregnancies. At the time of its passage, anti-abortion lawmakers claimed that tougher requirements for abortion providers were necessary to safeguard women. But mainstream medical groups, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, argue that requiring admitting privileges doesn't increase the level of care.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the law in April and foes are seeking a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. Texas isn't the only place where these new TRAP laws, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, have been passed. Since 2011, legislatures in 30 mostly Republican-controlled states have passed more than 200 abortion restrictions, about equal to the total for the previous decade. In January 2013, according to Michael Keller and Allison Yarrow, there were 724 abortion clinics still in operation. A two-thirds drop from the 2,176 licensed clinics in 1991. Now, the total number, according to various sources, has dropped below 600.

Those 30 states have made it tougher and more expensive for women seeking to end their pregnancies not only by passing the TRAP laws but by requiring women to wait 24 hours or longer after making an appointment for an abortion, requiring ultrasounds, mandating face-to-face "counseling" (often by people who oppose the procedure and lie about its physical and psychological impacts) or the reading of brochures written by abortion foes. All this often means personal and financial hardship.

The class-warfare aspect of the forced-birthers' assault is a key element of their strategy. Affluent women will, of course, always find a way to obtain an abortion. The impact of the abortion-curtailing laws—from medically unneeded procedures like ultrasounds to medically unneeded specifications for clinic design to medically unneeded requirements like hospital admitting permissions for abortion providers—falls hardest on the less well-to-do, the rural and poor. Add in bans on abortion coverage by private health insurance providers and by the new health-insurance exchanges mandated under Obamacare and that class warfare is heightened.

None of these new laws make abortions safer. None of them protect women from bad doctors. None of them have anything to do with women's health. They are all about control.

Author: "rss@dailykos.com (Meteor Blades)" Tags: "Abortion, Recommended, Texas"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 17:30
U.S. Representative Pete Sessions (R-TX) tells reporters the House will not be voting on any budget or debt ceiling measures that night as he departs the U.S. Capitol in Washington, October 15, 2013. Stop-start negotiations to end the U.S. fiscal impasse
House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions
With the August recess right around the corner, House Republicans have taken another step towards turning Speaker John Boehner's planned lawsuit against President Obama into reality, approving a resolution in the House Rules Committee that will allow the full House to consider the lawsuit, most likely next week.

The lawsuit claims that President Obama overstepped his authority when the Treasury Department authorized transitional relief to Obamacare's employer mandate by delaying its enforcement, which, ironically, is actually the outcome that Republicans wanted to see.

That puts them in the position of arguing that while they agree with what the president did, they don't think that he had the authority to do it. It's kind of like suing a police officer for not giving them a speeding ticket when they were caught doing 70 in a stretch of road that just had its speed limit lowered to 55. That's not a strong legal position given that their lawsuit will be tossed if they can't show that they've been injured by the employer mandate delay, but House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions nonetheless defended the GOP's decision to sue, saying of President Obama's action:

This was not the way our system of government was designed to work. Laws are not a mere list of suggestions that a president can pick and choose.
Actually, the system is designed to give the executive branch discretion. And if Congress thinks the executive branch has misused its discretion, our system of government gives them all the power they need to change policy ... but that power comes from their ability to pass laws, including appropriations bills, not by asking the judiciary to intervene in disputes between one chamber of Congress and the executive branch.

If they really want President Obama to reverse his decision, maybe they should try another government shutdown. And if they don't feel strongly enough about the issue to risk the political fallout from another shutdown, then maybe they should just shut up.

Author: "rss@dailykos.com (Jed Lewison)" Tags: "Boehner Lawsuit, House"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 16:59
Cathey Park of Cambridge, Massachusetts shows her cast signed by U.S. President Barack Obama after he spoke about health insurance at Faneuil Hall in Boston October 30, 2013. The writing on the cast reads,
A new study shows that the Affordable Care Act has enabled ten million previously uninsured Americans to get health insurance. Ten million people.
Using Gallup polling and HHS data, Harvard researchers estimate that the uninsured rate declined by 5.2 percentage points in the second quarter of this year, corresponding to 10.3 million adults gaining coverage — although that could range from 7.3 to 17.2 million depending on how the data are interpreted. [...]

There was a major difference between the states that expanded Medicaid under the health law — where it caused the uninsured rate to dip by an estimated 5.1 percent — and those that didn’t, where there wasn’t any statistical change associated with Medicaid enrollment.

Compare ten million newly insured Americans with this:
[A]n astonishing 72 percent of Republicans, and 64 percent of conservatives, say the law hasn’t helped anyone.
... and marvel at the continuing ability of conservatives to simply construct their own version of reality where they're right and the events of the actual world simply don't happen. And note that with that success in lowering uninsured rates from expanding Medicaid, the denial of expanded Medicaid coverage in conservative states should be considered very nearly a crime. And note that if Obama had somehow blocked those states' expanded coverage, they'd be impeaching him right now.
Author: "rss@dailykos.com (Hunter)" Tags: "Affordable Care Act, Health Care, Medica..."
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 16:00
US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) reacts to almost heading the wrong way off the stage after shaking hands with Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) at the conclusion of the final presidential debate at H
President Obama rebuffs McCain's attempts to have social interface with him
Sen. John McCain is a very, very sad man. And he blames it all on President Obama, because:
“The self-pity that Obama continues to exhibit is really kind of sad, really,” McCain said on Wednesday during Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
Oh, and speaking of self-pity, McCain added:
“You know, I can’t work with him at all,” McCain said. “When is the last time he really called leaders of both parties together over at the White House, say, for a dinner, a social event.”
Boo hoo hoo. The president didn't call me over for dinner, or a social event, so I can't work with him at all. His self-pity is really gnawing at my soul. And while I'd like to try to explain it ...
... I cannot explain it except to say that he does not have this desire to have social interface with people and sit down and try to work things out.”
If President Obama would just call me up for dinner or a social event, and ask me to have social interface with him, then everything would be better and the world would be a fantastic place, but he won't do that, so please excuse me while I go drown myself in a pool of tears shed over his self-pitying ways.
Author: "rss@dailykos.com (Jed Lewison)" Tags: "John McCain"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 15:12
Senator-elect Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is interviewed by a Reuters reporter at Sanders' office in Burlington, Vermont November 28, 2006. Sanders, a 16-year veteran of the House of Representatives who swept 65 percent of the vote in Vermont running as an inde
Sen. Bernie Sanders
The Republican position on the Department of Veterans Affairs continues to be that while the United States can certainly afford—or deficit spend to pay for—wars, when it comes to caring for the veterans of those wars, it's budget-cutting time. And, being Republicans, they're refusing compromise. House Veterans' Affairs Committee Chair Jeff Miller blew off a compromise plan from Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chair Bernie Sanders by trying to jump straight to a conference committee meeting:
Sanders said Miller had unilaterally called the conference meeting to unveil a “take-it-or-leave-it gambit.”

“This is a sad indication that the House leadership is not serious about negotiations,” Sanders said. “We don’t need more speeches and posturing. We need serious negotiations – 24/7 if necessary – to resolve our differences in order to pass critical legislation.”

Sanders was prepared to agree to some cuts to offset the cost of the bill, because while that shouldn't be required, Democrats (and affiliated independents like Sanders) are committed to governing and getting things done, unlike Republicans. According to Sanders, while his bill concedes some on offsets, "What it does not concede is that the cost of war is expensive and that the cost of war does not end when the last shots are fired and the last missiles are launched. The cost of war continues until the last veteran receives the care and benefits that he or she has earned on the battlefield."
Author: "rss@dailykos.com (Laura Clawson)" Tags: "Bernie Sanders, Department of Veterans A..."
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 14:56
Singer Marc Anthony sings the national anthem during the final session of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina September 6, 2012.    REUTERS/Jason Reed
Let's have our next convention in a place that unites us all.
We have finalist cities for the 2016 Democratic National Convention: Birmingham, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Columbus, Philadelphia, and Phoenix.

Birmingham seems silly, and not because of the politics of Alabama. The location of a convention has little effect on the final vote tally. Problem is logistics. Last cycle's Democratic convention in Charlotte was a bit of a clusterfuck, with hotels up to 50 miles away booked solid. And that's a city with a population of 775,000. Birmingham has a population of 212,000. No way they have the facilities to host a major party convention. (Also, not a single unionized hotel.)

Brooklyn has everything a convention needs, and it's convenient to the center of the US media world. Politically, it brings nothing, but like I said above, no place does. Logistically, well, it's New York. The biggest downside would be cost, because that's one expensive-ass city.

Cleveland is the site of the Republican National Convention. Logistically, it might be the easiest place to host the convention, because Cleveland will already be working to implement many of the security and support services the Dems will need. Some think that the RNC's choice knocks them out of the running, but I don't see why that should be the case. A Battle of the Bands-style convention season would be fun.

Columbus is such a low-key city that I have zero sense of their logistical capacity to host a convention this size. But it is surprisingly the largest city in Ohio with a population of over 800,000 (Cleveland is at around 400,000, Cincinnati around 300,000).

Philadelphia is in a swing state (if that matters, which it doesn't), has the logistical capacity to handle anything, isn't as expensive as New York, and is central to our nation's historical heritage. Wouldn't be a bad place to nominate our first woman president.

And then there's Phoenix, and unless Democrats want to stir up the same raw emotions and divisiveness that Netroots Nation did with their choice for that locale, it should be avoided like the plague.

With the exception of Birmingham, which is an odd addition to the list, the other four cities would unite our party and allow us to focus on the task at hand—retaining the White House, expanding our Senate majority and taking back the House. Let's focus on the places that unite us, not consider places that divide.

Author: "rss@dailykos.com (kos)" Tags: "2016, Alabama, Arizona, Birmingham, Broo..."
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 14:44

Paul Ryan is once again attempting to stoke his carefully cultivated Republican Who Cares About Poverty image. Naturally, he's doing so with a proposal that would hurt poor people. Ryan wants to consolidate as many as 11 anti-poverty programs into one block of funding that states could do with as they wished, provided they instituted work requirements, limited the duration of benefits, and provided what Ryan refers to as accountability. Ryan insists that this isn't about cutting benefits but about using them differently, but here's a clue to what he's envisioning: elderly and disabled people, as "two especially vulnerable groups" which "need specific kinds of care," would get a host of special protections. In other words, the people Ryan classifies as deserving poor would be protected from what he plans to do do all the other poor people.

As for the non-deserving (in Ryan's eyes) poor?

In the envisioned scenario providers would work with families to design a customized life plan to provide a structured roadmap out of poverty. When crafting a life plan, they would include, at a minimum:

• A contract outlining specific and measurable benchmarks for success
• A timeline for meeting these benchmarks
• Sanctions for breaking the terms of the contract
• Incentives for exceeding the terms of the contract
• Time limits for remaining on cash assistance

And screw you if there are no jobs available or if the jobs available leave you in poverty because Republicans like Paul Ryan refuse to raise the minimum wage. You're still getting punished for not magicking yourself out of poverty according to the terms of the contract you were forced to sign in order to get enough to eat. And while Ryan insists that he's not cutting aid overall, he is building a massive amount of bureaucracy into his requirements. More money might go to things like figuring out whether people should be punished for remaining poor, cutting into the amount available to actually help them. That's not even getting into the privatization aspects of Ryan's plan, either, but he would require that states use private service providers, including "approved non-profits, for-profits or even community groups unique to [the recipient's] neighborhood."

It's a recipe for a fragmented, punitive system with much of the responsibility for shaping programs turned over to state governments—to governors like Texas' Rick Perry and Florida's Rick Scott, to the same politicians who refused to expand Medicaid. In other words, it's just what you'd expect of Paul Ryan: the ultimate heartless Republican attempt to slash the safety net into ribbons, cloaked in the guise of concerned condescension.

Author: "rss@dailykos.com (Laura Clawson)" Tags: "Food Stamps, Government Assistance, Paul..."
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 14:30
Two young girls watch a World Cup soccer match on a television from their holding area where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed and held at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Nogales, Arizona June 18, 2014. CBP provided media tours June 18 of two locations in Brownsville, Texas and Nogales that have been central to processing the more than 47,000 unaccompanied children who have entered the country illegally since Oct. 1.  REUTERS/Ross D. Franklin/Pool
The Right-wing's newest hysteria: kids.
Dear god how can our nation survive the marauding hordes at the border? I mean, it's WORSE THAN EVER, right?
While the number of unaccompanied youth crossing the border has doubled to nearly 60,000 in the past year, the total number of undocumented immigrants has mostly declined. About 1 million people have been caught crossing the border nearly every year between 1983 until 2006, but that number has dropped to about 400,000 in 2013.
Huh. So it turns out that the number of undocumented immigrants crossing the border is down about 60 percent from the norm. And of those, a big chunk aren't even economic immigrants, but refugees from the drug wars of Central America?

Oh. Well then. Let's freak out anyway and put those refugee kids in kennels anyway, why don't we?

Author: "rss@dailykos.com (kos)" Tags: "Border, Central America, Immigration, Re..."
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 13:50

Follow @RubenBolling on Twitter and Facebook.

AND apply to join the highly selective INNER HIVE!

Author: "rss@dailykos.com (RubenBolling)" Tags: "Baseball, brain in a beaker, Cartoons, C..."
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 12:30

Last night, Jon Stewart looked at the two contradictory Obamacare rulings on the subsidies for states where the GOP refused to set up state health care exchanges.

See, the law says you must be "enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State". Now a normal person might say, you really think the law intended subsidies only for lower income citizens in states that weren't being dicks about the exchanges?

Well, two of the three judges in this instance said, ah, yeah. We have to take that sentence literally.  I'm just happy both judges got to work that morning, assuming that once they hit stop signs, their day ends.

Video and full transcript below the fold.
Author: "rss@dailykos.com (BruinKid)" Tags: "4th Circuit Court of Appeals, Affordable..."
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 12:30

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Author: "rss@dailykos.com (David Waldman)" Tags: "Daily Kos Radio"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 12:18
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When Silence Speaks Volumes

In what Frank Luntz calls the worst political ad of this cycle, Republican senate candidate Terri Lynn Land of Michigan sits idly by for 12 seconds---robotically sipping from a prop coffee mug, shaking her head, making goofy faces and looking at her watch---after tasking the viewer to think about some mysterious thing her opponent (Democrat Gary Peters, who gave a real barnburner at Netroots Nation) said about the very real GOP "war on women." The ad is vague, it's clumsy, and it lacks any specificity:

When you're playing with pregnant pauses in advertising, you're playing with fire.

So I held my breath over a similar silence in the new TV ad for Kentucky Democratic senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes. Thankfully, this one works much better, in my opinion. After introducing herself, Grimes gives a laid-off coal miner a moment to look into the camera and ask incumbent Republican Mitch McConnell a tough question: "In the last two years we've lost almost half of our coal jobs in eastern Kentucky. Why did you say it's not your job to bring jobs to Kentucky?" Then…the pause:

Six seconds, not twelve. Enough to give the viewer time to think about a specific thing McConnell said (reinforced visually on-screen, unlike Land's ad) and ask themselves, "Yeah, why did McConnell say that dang fool thing?" Then a truck passes in the foreground and Grimes turns to the laid-off coal miner and says, "I couldn’t believe he said that either. I approved this message…because, Senator, that'll be my number-one job."

A credible and interesting setting. A credible Kentuckian on hard times asking a simple and sharp-elbowed question of Grimes' opponent, a pause to imply that McConnell has no answer, and a witty response and direct promise from Grimes that nails it down---she's going to fight to bring jobs to the state. I think it's a smart way to capitalize on McConnell's unforced error, and I hope it helps bump her favorables up a notch. Or two.

P.S. One other thing about Land's ad: why does she ask the viewer to "think about that for a moment" and then, ten seconds later, look down at a wristwatch that's so tiny I'd bet dollars to doughnuts it doesn't have a second hand? I think she's looking at the actual time because she wants to get the hell outta there. As I recall, that didn't work out so well when George H.W. Bush did that during a debate. Think about that for a moment while I stand here and make goofy faces to amuse my dog.

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

Author: "rss@dailykos.com (Bill in Portland Maine)" Tags: "Cheers and Jeers"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 12:17
Economics Daily Digest by the Roosevelt Institute banner

By Rachel Goldfarb, originally published on Next New Deal

Click here to subscribe to Roosevelt First, our weekday morning email featuring the Daily Digest.

The Pay-for-Performance Myth (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Eric Chemi and Ariana Giorgi report on a new analysis of data on the relationship between company performance and CEO pay, which shows no relationship between the two factors.

  • Roosevelt Take: In his white paper, William Lazonick explains how stock-based performance pay incentivizes CEOs toward business practices that manipulate stock prices.

Elizabeth Warren to Help Propose Senate Bill to Tackle Part-Time Schedules (The Guardian)

Jana Kasperkevic writes that the Schedules That Work Act would establish a right to request a predictable schedule, payment for cancelled shifts, and two weeks' notice of schedule changes.

Technology, Aided by Recession, Is Polarizing the Work World (NYT)

Claire Cain Miller says a new study explains how the recession has accelerated the loss of "routine" jobs, which follow well-defined procedures and used to go primarily to men and people with less education.

Even After Open Enrollment, Activity Remains Unexpectedly High on Federal Health Insurance Exchange (ProPublica)

There have been nearly 1 million transactions on the federal exchange since the April 19 enrollment deadline, writes Charles Ornstein, as people continue to sign up for and switch insurance plans.

Paul Ryan's Anti-Poverty Plan Should Support Minimum-Wage Hike, But Don't Count on It (The Hill)

Raising the minimum wage is one of the best ways to fight poverty today, writes Shawn Fremstad, but Paul Ryan ignores research that shows higher wages wouldn't impact employment.

Highway to Hell (The Economist)

The Economist says Congress's solution to funding the Highway Trust Fund through budget tricks around pensions creates risk of greater costs on taxpayers if those underfunded pensions go bust.

New on Next New Deal

The Future Economy Will Pit Man vs. Machine

Andy Stern, president emeritus of the SEIU, presents a speculation on the future for the Next American Economy project in which technology replaces the vast majority of jobs.

Author: "rss@dailykos.com (Roosevelt Institute)" Tags: "Business, Economy, Jobs, Labor"
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