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cal04

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Member since: Tue Jan 6, 2004, 12:46 PM
Number of posts: 38,116

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VP Biden plays closer in Massachusetts Senate race

http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/22/19094033-biden-plays-closer-in-massachusetts-senate-race?lite

Vice President Joe Biden played the role of closer for Democrats in Massachusetts, becoming the latest in a long list of party leaders who have trekked to the Bay State ahead of Tuesday’s special election to fill the seat vacated by now-Secretary of State John Kerry.

President Obama has campaigned here in recent weeks, as have first lady Michelle Obama and a bevy of other high-profile Democratic leaders. Biden aimed to put an exclamation point on the effort Saturday, when he stumped for the Democratic nominee, Rep. Ed Markey, and urged labor leaders not to take victory for granted.

“There’s no reason why this guy shouldn't walk to victory,” Biden said of Markey, telling activists to “please go out and knock on that extra door.”

“Don’t put yourself in the position, at 10 o’clock next Tuesday night, saying ‘God, if I had just done that extra block,'” said the vice president.


Al Gore calls Obama administration’s collection of phone records ‘obscenely outrageous’

Former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore on Wednesday night leveled some rare and harsh criticism at the Obama administration, attacking its reported collection of phone records for millions of Americans.

The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald reported Wednesday evening that the National Security Agency has used a secret court order issued in April to collect the records of all phone calls made on the Verizon network.
Gore took to Twitter to call the monitoring “obscenely outrageous.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/06/05/al-gore-calls-obama-administrations-collection-of-phone-records-obscenely-outrageous/?wprss=rss_politics



https://twitter.com/intent/user?screen_name=algore&tw_i=342455655057211393&tw_p=tweetembed
Al Gore @algore
In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?

Paul Krugman: The Obamacare Shock

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/27/opinion/krugman-the-obamacare-shock.html?hp&_r=0

The Affordable Care Act, a k a Obamacare, goes fully into effect at the beginning of next year, and predictions of disaster are being heard far and wide. There will be an administrative “train wreck,” we’re told; consumers will face a terrible shock. Republicans, one hears, are already counting on the law’s troubles to give them a big electoral advantage.

No doubt there will be problems, as there are with any large new government initiative, and in this case, we have the added complication that many Republican governors and legislators are doing all they can to sabotage reform. Yet important new evidence — especially from California, the law’s most important test case — suggests that the real Obamacare shock will be one of unexpected success

(snip)
Still, here’s what it seems is about to happen: millions of Americans will suddenly gain health coverage, and millions more will feel much more secure knowing that such coverage is available if they lose their jobs or suffer other misfortunes. Only a relative handful of people will be hurt at all. And as contrasts emerge between the experience of states like California that are making the most of the new policy and that of states like Texas whose politicians are doing their best to undermine it, the sheer meanspiritedness of the Obamacare opponents will become ever more obvious.

So yes, it does look as if there’s an Obamacare shock coming: the shock of learning that a public program designed to help a lot of people can, strange to say, end up helping a lot of people — especially when government officials actually try to make it work.

Reid Charges GOP With Hypocrisy Over IRS Outrage

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Tuesday accused Republicans of hypocrisy for being outraged that the IRS targeted conservative groups, pointing out that GOP lawmakers didn't appear bothered when the agency targeted liberal groups during the Bush administration.
http://www.salon.com/2013/05/14/when_the_irs_targeted_liberals/singleton/

"What the IRS did of course is inexcusable. But this is not the first time we've seen this," Reid told reporters. "It wasn't long ago that the IRS inappropriately targeted the NAACP, Greenpeace and a California church that was really progressive called the All Saints Church in Pasadena, California.

"It was interesting," he said. "At that time, we didn't hear a single Republican grandstand the issue then. Where was their outrage when groups on the other side of the political spectrum were under attack?"

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/reid-charges-gop-with-hypocrisy-over-irs-outrage

When the IRS targeted liberals http://www.salon.com/2013/05/14/when_the_irs_targeted_liberals/singleton
Under George W. Bush, it went after the NAACP, Greenpeace and even a liberal church

Bush’s Secretary of Defense (Gates) Mocks GOP Attacks On Obama’s Handling Of Benghazi

http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/05/12/1998811/bushs-secretary-of-defense-mocks-gop-attacks-on-obamas-handling-of-benghazi/


(snip)
“Frankly, had I been in the job at the time, I think my decisions would have been just as theirs were,” said Gates, now the chancellor of the College of William and Mary.

“We don’t have a ready force standing by in the Middle East, and so getting somebody there in a timely way would have been very difficult, if not impossible.” he explained.

Suggestions that we could have flown a fighter jet over the attackers to “scare them with the noise or something,” Gates said, ignored the “number of surface to air missiles that have disappeared from Qaddafi’s arsenals.”

Another suggestion posed by some critics of the administration, to, as Gates said, “send some small number of special forces or other troops in without knowing what the environment is, without knowing what the threat is, without having any intelligence in terms of what is actually going on on the ground, would have been very dangerous.”

“It’s sort of a cartoonish impression of military capabilities and military forces,” he said. “The one thing that our forces are noted for is planning and preparation before we send people in harm’s way, and there just wasn’t time to do that.”

Congressman Tears Into Fox News Host For Obsessing Over Benghazi Talking Points

http://thinkprogress.org/media/2013/05/12/1998571/congressman-tears-into-fox-news-host-for-obsessing-over-benghazi-talking-points/

Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) tore into Fox News’ Chris Wallace and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI) for obsessing over the talking points U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used when talking to the media in the days following the attack in Benghazi, Libya rather than focusing on identifying the perpetrators of the killings. “I think the desire of the Republicans to create a scandal here has really undermined any ability to have a credible look at what actually happened,” Smith said during an appearance on Fox News Sunday alongside Rogers.

While acknowledging that the administration’s initial assessment of Bengazi did not reflect what officials later learned about the incident, Smith criticized Fox for suggesting that that Rice’s remarks on five Sunday news shows presented a definitive picture of the events of Sep. 11, 2012.

“(The administration) didn’t reach conclusions the way you just presented that was that by the Sunday afterwards that the administration said here is what happened, here is our conclusion,” Smith explained. “But the president never said, no terrorism, no Al Qaeda. There was a dispute about how soon to lead to specific conclusions that now is being made into Watergate and Iran-Contra.” Watch it:



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(snip)
Wallace responded to Smith pointing out that intelligence officials changed Rice’s talking points at least 12 times, taking out references to prior attacks and specific terrorist groups. “We’re talking about talking points,” Smith reminded the host. “There was no question this was a it terrorist attack. They didn’t deny it. I would much rather get into investigation of the groups that threatened the U.S., figure out how they are, and how to stop them instead of debating how one memo was put together in the immediate days after the attack.”

Sen. Sanders:Don't Cut Social Security

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On the Ed Show

Biden: ‘We Don’t Want to Blow It like the last admin did' on WMD Call

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/05/09/biden-we-dont-want-to-blow-it-on-wmd-call/?mod=WSJBlog&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+wsj%2Fwashwire%2Ffeed+%28WSJ.com%3A+Washington+Wire%29

Vice President Joe Biden said in a magazine interview that the White House is responding cautiously to evidence that chemical weapons were used in Syria, citing what he says were the lessons of the George W. Bush administration.

“With all the credibility we’ve gained in the world, we don’t want to blow it like the last administration did in Iraq, saying ‘weapons of mass destruction’,” Mr. Biden said in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.

His remarks represent the administration’s most explicit comparison between the Bush administration’s approach to Iraq and President Barack Obama‘s approach to Syria.

Joe Biden: The Rolling Stone Interview
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/joe-biden-the-rolling-stone-interview-20130509
(snip)
But here's where we are with regard to Syria. With all the credibility we've gained in the world, we don't want to blow it like the last administration did in Iraq, saying "weapons of mass destruction." We know that there have been traces found of what are probably chemical weapons. What we don't know yet – and we're drilling down on it as hard as we can – is whether they were accidentally released in an exchange of gunfire or artillery fire, or blown up or something. We also don't have a chain of ownership. We don't know for certain whether they were used by some of the opposition, including the radicals who have aligned themselves with Al Qaeda. It's probable, but we don't know for certain, that they were used by the regime.

If the judgment is chemical weapons were used, then the president is likely to use a proportional response in terms of meaningful action. We also believe that no matter how this ends, there is going to be political unrest in Syria for some time to come, and we want to make sure that, in the transition from Assad, there is, as best we can form it with the rest of the world, an inclusive, nonsectarian government that has institutions that still exist to be able to govern a country. The one lesson we learned from Iraq and the last administration is . . . how can I say it? In managing the affairs in Iraq, they destroyed every institution. There was no structure left. There wasn't even a Department of Public Works. And we know we can fix that, if we're willing to spend a trillion dollars and 160,000 troops and 6,000 dead, but that we cannot do. So what we're trying to do now is – and we're having some success – is get the opposition in coordination and not have, indiscriminately, weapons going to Al Nusra, who are very extreme. We've declared them a terrorist organization, and its leader has said he's pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, so it's not like we're making it up. This is a very, very tough process to manage.


http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/joe-biden-the-rolling-stone-interview-20130509?page=2

Biden: The NRA Is Excelling At ‘Disinformation’

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During a roundtable discussion on gun violence that aired Thursday on MSNBC'S "Morning Joe," Vice President Joe Biden said the National Rifle Association is most effective at disseminating "disinformation," pointing to the oft-invoked fear that universal background checks will lead to a national gun registry.

"The one thing the NRA has done so well lately is the disinformation," Biden said. "We use the word 'registration.' There is no registration in America."

When host Joe Scarborough challenged the notion that the NRA has succeeded in its efforts to push disinformation — citing public polling that shows overwhelming support for universal background checks, despite the pro-gun lobby's opposition to the proposal — Biden said the people are out in front of lawmakers on the issue.

"This is one of the cases where the public is so far ahead of the elected officials. I mean, so far ahead," Biden said. "You saw it in immigration. You saw it in marriage issues. You're seeing it now. The public has moved to a different place. And there is not one single thing we are suggesting — not one, the administration, in our proposal — not one single thing that anyone can make even a prima facie case that it impacts on the Second Amendment."

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/biden-one-thing-nra-has-done-so-well


Biden: There Is No National Gun Registry
http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/biden-there-is-no-national-gun-registry

" Vice President Joe Biden said the White House's push for tougher gun control will not create a national registry of gun owners. Biden also stressed that background checks for gun sales are not intrusive. "They don't say what kind of gun you're buying," Biden said. "They don't say where you're going. They don't say what it is, what the transaction is and when denied, they don't say denied because of mental health. Nothing. And the record, even the notice that you picked up the phone at Dick's and called and asked about Joe Biden, is, has to be destroyed within 24 hours."

Biden added, "So this idea that there is a national registry, there is no place in the federal government where you can go, not a single place, and find out everybody who owns a gun."

Public Morality with Robert Reich

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The push to legislate "morality" goes on, and on. But should it? Republican legislators have hammered away at trying to take down Roe v. Wade at the state level. Why is the "morality brigade" so concerned with fetuses, but so quick to cut benefits to children from low income families? Can that behavior really be considered "morality?"

On that matter, is there any argument against same-sex marriage that isn't "morality" based?

Why are corporations given rights that trump those of ordinary people? What about the sweeping Wall Street greed that is decimating our country's economy? Could it be...that this about who has the money and who's working for them? Why isn't the morality brigade fighting that battle? Robert Reich explains the troubling situation.

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