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Member since: Tue Jan 6, 2004, 12:46 PM
Number of posts: 39,838

Journal Archives

MSNBC Threw Liberals Under The Bus And Is Now The Lowest Rated News Network

MSNBC claimed that they were boosting their ratings by dumping their liberal hosts and switching to news, but over the last 4 weekdays, they have been the lowest rated cable news network three times with the key 25-54 demo audience.

On August 13, the daytime demo viewership numbers via TVNewser were FNC: 236,000 | CNN: 118,000 | MSNBC: 75,000 | HLN: 102,000. The next MSNBC rose to third place during the day by beating Headline News in the demo 103,000 to 88,000. On Monday, August 17, it was Headline News 102,000 and MSNBC 92,000. MSNBC lost to Headline News again yesterday by a margin of 98,000 demo viewers to 81,000 demo viewers.

Maybe the problem at MSNBC wasn’t that viewers did not want liberal politics. The problem was and remains that viewers would like programs that are interesting. MSNBC’s primetime is not great shape either. The network’s primetime lineup is mired in third place and losing ground to CNN on a daily basis. The Rachel Maddow Show is the only thing that is keeping MSNBC primetime from last place


McCaskill backs Iran deal, adding momentum for Obama

Source: Politico

Sen. Claire McCaskill said Thursday she backs President Barack Obama’s nuclear agreement with Iran, the second centrist Democrat to announce support in the last day.

The Missouri lawmaker’s endorsement demonstrates that vulnerable, red-state Democrats are not worried enough about the deal to move to the political right of the president. Sen. Joe Donnelly of Indiana announced his backing for the deal on Wednesday afternoon and Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is leaning toward supporting it.

All three Democrats are up for reelection in 2018 in GOP-leaning states. A fourth Democrat up that year, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, has not tipped her hand on how she may vote on the agreement in September.

“It has become clear to me that the world is united behind this agreement with the exception of the government of Israel,” McCaskill said Thursday morning. “I have become convinced that it is more dangerous to Israel, America and our allies to walk away in the face of unified world wide support.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/08/claire-mccaskill-supports-iran-deal-121557.html

Bernie Takes on the Media (video)

Worth watching this impromptu (5:38 minutes) Q&A with Bernie Sanders. Immediately after the jump. Sums the whole thing up pretty nicely - both in terms of substance and the guy himself.
Josh Marshall

Sen. Sanders to Visit South Carolina, shifting the location of Sunday’s rally

With turnout projections mounting, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign has shifted the location of Sunday’s rally in Charleston, South Carolina, to the Charleston Convention Center. The two-day swing includes stops in Greenville, Columbia, and Sumter.

Here is the updated itinerary:

11 A.M.
Greenville Rally, TD Convention Center, 1 Exposition Drive, Greenville
Press registration can be found here.

Doors open at 10 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. Admission is first come, first served. Tickets are not required, but an RSVP is strongly encouraged.

7 P.M.
Columbia Town Meeting, The Medallion Center, 7309 Garners Ferry Road, Columbia
Press registration can be found here.

Doors open at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Admission is first come, first served. Tickets are not required, but an RSVP is strongly encouraged.

11 A.M.
Sumter Town Meeting, Sumter County Civic Center, 700 West Liberty Street, Sumter
Press registration can be found here.

Doors open at 10 a.m. The event is free and open to the public. Admission is first come, first served. Tickets are not required, but an RSVP is strongly encouraged.

7 P.M.
North Charleston Rally, Charleston Convention Center, 5000 Coliseum Drive, North Charleston
Press registration can be found here.

Doors open at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Admission is first come, first served. Tickets are not required, but an RSVP is strongly encouraged.


Reed & Whitehouse Announce Support for Iran Nuclear Agreement

Source: Sheldon Whitehouse

After numerous public hearings, classified briefings, consultation with nuclear experts, and discussions with Rhode Islanders, U.S. Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) today announced their support for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear agreement.

This agreement, reached by the United States and five partner nations (the United Kingdom, China, France, Russia, and Germany) and Iran, would prohibit Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and place its nuclear program under strict and comprehensive international monitoring. The agreement between the P5+1 and Iran ensures no sanctions relief is provided unless the Iranian government undertakes a series of significant steps. The JCPOA also ensures the international sanctions regime against Iran can be quickly restored if the Iranian government fails to honor its commitments.

“I support the JCPOA because it cuts off Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon and gives international inspectors unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and supply chains,” said Senator Reed, the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “It establishes strong enforcement and vigilant verification mechanisms that -- in combination with our intelligence capabilities, and those of our allies -- increase our ability to detect covert activity. No one assumes Iran will change its stripes, which is why the agreement is built on a foundation of intrusive inspections and constant verification. If Iran cheats, they will be isolated, international sanctions snap back, and we will have better intelligence, a broader coalition, and a stronger case for swift, forceful action. But if Congress derails the Iran nuclear agreement it could be a costly, strategic mistake that would likely end strong international sanctions and leave Iran’s nuclear ambitions unchecked.”

While the JCPOA is focused solely on preventing Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and does not resolve the many other important regional security challenges, Reed emphasized opportunities to strengthen security cooperation between the U.S., Israel, and other regional partners, stating: “The narrow focus of this agreement requires us to deepen and expand our ongoing security relationships, assistance, and capacity-building activities with our allies and partners, particularly Israel. Enhancing their capabilities is critical to defending effectively against Iran’s destabilizing activities across the region.

Reed, who voted against the Iraq war, which empowered Iran and continues to destabilize the region, concluded: “As this debate continues, I urge Americans to pay less attention to over-heated rhetoric and, instead, listen to our leading scientists, active and former military officers, diplomats, Nobel Peace Prize winners, and non-partisan experts who’ve studied the facts and concluded that this agreement is ‘stringent,’ ‘technically sound,’ and ‘the most effective means available to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.’‎ Ultimately, implementation and enforcement will be key. There must be rigorous commitment to the letter and spirit of the JCPOA from all parties or it will unravel. The big historic advancements this agreement has the potential to make will not occur overnight. They will be made, and verified, one day – and one inspection – at a time.”

Senator Whitehouse stated: “I thank the many Rhode Islanders who have contacted me on every side of this question. I appreciate their thoughtful input. I’ve decided to support the P5+1 agreement with Iran, not because it assures anything on its own, but because -- with persistent watchfulness and effort -- it could open a new doorway in the precarious Middle East. I do not see a better credible option.

Whitehouse continued: “Short of war, with all its dramatic uncertainties and terrible costs, I do not see another pathway to impose a nuclear weapons-free Iran. I have heard the unified commitments of all the other involved governments that they will be strong partners to enforce this nuclear weapons agreement and to ramp up enforcement under other international agreements against Iran’s terror activities. I have no reason to disbelieve all five governments speaking together. I have heard their warnings that if we walk away from this agreement before even giving it a try, the prospect of further multilateral negotiations yielding any better result is ‘far-fetched.’

“If, within Iran, a freer and more liberal society can emerge from the grip of the ayatollahs, and if strong international pressure can be brought to bear to contain Iran’s continuing mischief in the surrounding Middle East, there is at least the prospect of this becoming an historic turning point. But our vigilance and pressure must be unrelenting, and the outcome is far from sure, so our support for Israel must remain unswerving -- which may include additional U.S. support for Israel through the uncertainties of compliance and enforcement ahead,” ‎Whitehouse concluded.

Both houses of Congress are expected to vote by mid-September on a “resolution of disapproval,” expressing that Congress “does not favor the agreement.” This measure would then be subjected to a Presidential veto, meaning it would require a two-thirds majority of both houses of Congress to override the President. So a total of at least 34 U.S. Senators will have to vote in support of the JCPOA or the agreement could collapse.

Read more: http://www.whitehouse.senate.gov/news/release/reed-and-whitehouse-announce-support-for-iran-nuclear-agreement

Immigrant Who Works In Trump Hotel: I'm Ashamed Of Him, Not My Status (video)

Ricardo Aca wanted to use his position as an immigrant worker at a gleaming downtown Manhattan hotel owned by real estate mogul Donald Trump to show that Mexicans living in the United States are a hardworking bunch and not, as the Republican presidential candidate described them, rapists or drug dealers.

"I know I could lose my job just for talking about Trump," Aca said in a video produced by New Left Media. "But it doesn't make me proud to go to work every day under his name."

Aca, who described himself as an undocumented immigrant, explains in the video that he came to New York City from Puebla, Mexico, when he was 14. He said he works two jobs, including as a busboy at the restaurant housed inside the Trump SoHo hotel, on top of dabbling in commercial photography.

"I can't vote, but I can take photos and share the stories of people like me," Aca says in the video, adding: "Trump keeps pointing out all these immigrants that have done all these terrible things, but those aren't the immigrants that I know."


ON THE ROAD Reno, Nevada w/pics

Sen. Bernie Sanders was welcomed on Tuesday by a big and boisterous crowd at a rally on a plaza outside the student union at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The Vermont senator and his wife, Jane, were welcomed with cheers and chants as they walked up a catwalk to the outdoor stage on the campus located on the high desert at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.

“This campaign is on the move,” Sanders said. “This campaign is going to end up in victory.”

Some 4,500 supporters, according to university official, heard Sanders call for tuition-free college and a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage. Hundreds more watched from a five-story parking garage overlooking the rally as he declared that it is long past time to close corporate tax loopholes and take on the corporate greed that is destroying our economy. People across America, he said, are fed up with “establishment politics, establishment economics and establishment media.”

Big crowds and small donors are the backbone of Sanders’ insurgent campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination. “I don’t believe in the corporate agenda. I don’t want their money. So instead of hustling money from billionaires we have asked working families to contribute and as of today we have more contributors than any other campaign, almost 400,000 people. And the average contribution of $31.20,” he said.

This was Sanders third trip this year to the key early caucus state.

Earlier Tuesday, the senator spoke in Las Vegas to the Nevada State AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention. That’s where he laid out an agenda for working families: a $1 trillion, jobs-creating road and bridge construction program, a switch from job-killing trade agreements like the corporate-backed Trans-Pacific Partnership, and big boost that would more than double the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.

“We need bold changes in America,” Sanders told a news conference after the labor union speech. “We need a mass political movement. I call it a political revolution.”

more pics at link

Sanders Lays out Agenda for Working Families at AFL-CIO in Nevada


Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Tuesday spoke here at the Nevada State AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention.

He called for a $1 trillion, five-year investment in rebuilding roads and bridges and other infrastructure projects to support 13 million decent-paying jobs. He advocated raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, more than double the $7.25 an hour under current law. He urged men to stand with women for pay equity.

Shedding his suit coat and rolling up his shirt sleeves, Sanders also made the case against a proposed Pacific Rim trade deal. A leading opponent in Congress of the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, Sanders said the corporate-backed agreement which is uniformly opposed by labor would continue a string of disastrous trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement and others which have destroyed millions of decent-paying jobs in the United States.

“During my 24 years in Congress, I have been proud to stand side by side with the AFL-CIO fighting to increase the minimum wage; fighting to guarantee health care to every man, woman and child as a right of citizenship; fighting to make it easier for workers to join unions; fighting to create millions of jobs rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure; fighting for pay equity for women workers; fighting for paid family and medical leave; fighting to expand, not cut, Social Security,” Sanders said in prepared remarks.

At a news conference afterward, Sanders told reporters he agrees with the AFL-CIO effort to eliminate the excise tax on health benefits union workers earned in collective bargaining agreements.

He also spoke about the gains labor unions have helped achieve for working families.

“When only the wealthy were allowed to vote, the trade union movement was successful in demanding universal suffrage and a more democratic society. When tiny children were forced to work in the factories and fields, it was the trade union movement who put an end to abusive child labor and who fought for quality public education. When bosses refused to negotiate with their workers and fired them for standing up for their rights, the trade union movement pushed Congress into passing legislation which guaranteed all people the right to organize unions and collectively bargain for better wages and benefits.

“The list goes on. Social Security, the minimum wage, Medicare and Medicaid, affordable housing – are just a few of the benefits that workers have won over the years thanks in large part to the trade union movement,” Sanders said.

After speaking at the labor convention, Sanders headed to Reno for a rally at the University of Nevada expected to draw a crowd of several thousand supporters. “How come people are coming out?” he asked before answering his own question. “Because they’ve had it up to here.”

This is the third time this year that Sanders has visited Nevada, one of the first states to hold caucuses to begin the process of selecting the Democratic Party nominee for president.

To read the senator’s prepared remarks at the AFL-CIO, click here.

GOPer Goes Off On 'Idiot' NY Lawmaker Who Just Became A Dem

Republican New York Assemblyman John Ceretto announced on Tuesday that he will run for re-election in 2016 as a Democrat, prompting one of his fellow Republican assembly members to launch a series of insults at Ceretto on Twitter.

Before serving in the New York state assembly, Ceretto was a member of the Democratic Party, according to The Buffalo News. He switched to the Republican Party in 2006, and he was elected to the assembly as a Republican in 2010. And now he's ready to return to the Democratic party.

Steve McLaughlin on Tuesday called Ceretto an "idiot" and said he had the "intellectual fire power of a squirt-gun."

"I first got involved in public service to help our neighbors and have always put people ahead of politics, and that won’t change," he said in the statement. "I’ll continue to work with members on both sides of the aisle to do what’s best for our community – so that our children don’t have to leave to find good jobs and success elsewhere."

Assemblyman John Ceretto will become a Democrat
“John was a Democrat before and he often voted with us, and he just feels it's a better fit and we're happy to have him," Heastie said. “I just love when people wake up and feel like being a Democrat is the right thing to do.”

Our Man in Havana: John Kerry Begins a New Era

The most significant and contentious issue remains the US Embargo

In the aftermath of inaugurating the reopened US Embassy in Cuba last week, Secretary of State John Kerry toured the Plaza San Francisco in Old Havana and hopped into the driver’s seat of one of the vintage American automobiles that still traverse the streets of the Cuban capital. The shiny black ’59 Chevy Impala had been restored, just in time for the secretary’s historic visit, by master mechanic Julio Alvarez Torres; his renowned taxi fleet, NostalgiCar, is one of the new, entrepreneurial businesses in Cuba’s rapidly expanding private sector. In a sense, the classic Detroit car is a moving symbol—not only of past US-Cuban relations, but their future potential for full restoration.

The past and the future were very much on Kerry’s mind during his dramatic one-day trip to Cuba. During the flag-raising ceremony under a blazing mid-morning sun, Kerry noted that the breakthrough in relations owed to a courageous decision by Presidents Obama and Castro “to stop being prisoners of history and to focus on the opportunities of today and tomorrow.” But that “doesn’t mean that we should or will forget the past,” he noted. “How could we, after all?”

In his speech, Kerry recalled the Bay of Pigs—he referred to the CIA-led invasion as “a tragedy,” forgoing an opportunity to acknowledge and apologize for a flagrant act of US intervention that continues to resonate in Cuba—as well as the 1962 missile crisis. During those tense “13 days,” he remembered, “we were unsettled and uncertain about the future because we didn’t know, when closing our eyes at night, what we would find when we woke up.” For more than half a century, Kerry stated, US-Cuban relations “have been suspended in the amber of Cold War politics.” The raising of the Stars and Stripes marked the official beginning of a full-fledged détente in the Caribbean.

To be sure, there remain hard issues that divide the United States and Cuba and that will be difficult to resolve. At their press conference in an ornate salon of the Hotel Nacional, Kerry and his counterpart, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, exchanged words over the politically charged subjects of human rights and democracy. Rodriguez fended off criticism of Cuba’s human rights record by pointing to gender and racial discrimination in the United States, as well as the ongoing killing of young unarmed African-Americans at the hands of white policemen.
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