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The Left Column


The Senate Just Cemented Obama's Judicial Legacy

(HuffPo) If there's one thing from 2014 that will define President Barack Obama's legacy after he's left the White House, it's the number of lifetime judges he put on the federal bench.

In its final act of the year, the Senate blew through a dozen U.S. district court nominees on Tuesday night. That puts Obama at a whopping 89 district court and circuit court confirmations for the year, and means he'll wrap up his sixth year in office with a grand total of 305 district court and circuit court confirmations -- a tally that puts him well beyond where his predecessors were by this point in their presidencies.

Baitball Blogger

When it comes to Jeb, it's probably a good idea to listen to those who remember him as governor.

(Orlando Sentinel) Jeb Bush a 'moderate'? Don't be silly. Jeb Bush is a union-busting, school-voucher-promoting, tax-cutting, gun-loving, Terri Schiavo-interfering, hard-core conservative.

What makes Bush different from a lot of the other candidates is that he's also sane.

Douglas Carpenter

Fox host: ‘Without question, Elizabeth Warren is the devil’ and Wall Street will defeat her

(Raw Story) “And I can tell you from talking to people in the financial industry, in banking, on Wall Street, they think she is actually the devil,” the Fox Business host continued. “I mean, without question, Elizabeth Warren is the devil. So, they’re going to put any money they have behind Hillary Clinton, which should be a help.”


Senator Al Franken endorses Hillary Clinton, says Elizabeth Warren is not running in 2016.

(Star Tribune) U.S. Sen. Al Franken said he will back former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in her likely presidential run, and will not consider any other candidate.

“I think Hillary would make a great president. I haven’t announced that I’m supporting her. Does this count?” Franken said during an interview on the MSNBC cable network with Ari Melber that aired Tuesday afternoon. He added that he feels no need to scope out other presidential contenders.


Obama Surgeon General Nominee Prevails Over NRA And Right-Wing Media Smear Campaign

(Media Matters) Dr. Vivek Murthy overcame a longstanding right-wing media and National Rifle Association smear campaign to gain Senate confirmation as Surgeon General on Monday by a vote of 51-43.

Conservative media had worked to cast Murthy as a radical for his uncontroversial stance that gun violence is a public health issue and criticized his supposed lack of qualifications.

H2O Man

Let Justice Flow ......

This morning, John Yoo appeared on CNN to attempt to deny and justify torture. Yoo is, of course, the primary author of the “legal opinion” that allowed the Cheney-Bush administration to torture individuals they deemed “enemies.” I have found that either watching Yoo on television, or reading his writings, extremely troubling for years.He is an easily-identified enemy of that which I consider Good in our nation.

Yet today, there was a spark of hope -- the hope that this treacherous being will be held responsible for his crimes. Despite the current policy of the Obama administration, there is a possibility -- though small -- that the tide could be turning. It was almost enjoyable to see this smug, self-righteous shithead looking very uncomfortable...

Omaha Steve

Factory output eclipses pre-recession high

(AP) U.S. manufacturing output in November surpassed its pre-recession peak, as auto production kicked into a higher gear.

The Federal Reserve said Monday that factory production rose 1.1 percent last month, up from a 0.4 percent improvement in October.
Manufacturing output has risen 4.8 percent over the past 12 months. It's now above the previous high set just before the downturn began in December 2007.

Miles Archer

"Rove Defends Rectal Feeding" ... says Bush was "briefed & intimately involved in" program decisions

(HuffPo) On Sunday, Rove said Bush was fully briefed on all of the CIA's tactics early on in the program in 2002, citing the former president's recent book.

"He was briefed and intimately involved in the decision," said Rove.


Karl Rove: CIA waterboarding not torture because victims don’t totally drown with raised legs

(Raw Story) “Take, for example, waterboarding,” Rove continued. “In waterboarding — unlike World War II, where the Japanese attempted to drown people by basically pouring water in their mouths — here the feet were elevated so there’s little or not chance of any fluid getting into the lungs. And very careful standards set in place so these would help break the the resistance of the detainee without placing their life in danger.”


Bachmann complains that Obama was 'fairly condescending'

(Crooks and Liars) Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) was on “America’s Newsroom” today, where she discussed her Christmas party request to the president: bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Bachmann, whose last day in office is today, said the White House Christmas party was her last chance for a conversation with Barack Obama in such a capacity. That’s why Bachmann said she “decided to have a substantive conversation.”


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