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Gender: Male
Home country: USA
Member since: Thu Jul 8, 2004, 03:14 PM
Number of posts: 10,336

Journal Archives

Iran Sanctions Bill From Sens. Bob Menendez And Mark Kirk Could Endanger U.S. Negotiations

Source: Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) are threatening to push the United States toward war with Iran, circulating and planning to introduce a sanctions bill despite warnings that it could derail nuclear negotiations at a delicate moment.

International observers and both parties to the negotiations have repeatedly pleaded with Congress to allow the talks to unfold -- warnings that Kirk and Menendez, the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, appear intent on ignoring. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is also part of the effort, though much of the final decision rests with Menendez.

"The White House doesn't want a bill, that's true. Menendez and Kirk are working on it and trying to build the list of cosponsors. Likely to be introduced soon," said a Senate Democratic aide involved in the effort.

The lawmakers are circulating a draft sanctions bill that would target the Iranian petroleum and mining industries, and set up unilateral guidelines for what would constitute compliance.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/19/iran-sanctions-bill_n_4472439.html

more at link, pic has Menendez speaking at AIPAC.

CEO to Obama During Contentious Meeting with Top Tech Executives: "Pardon Edward Snowden."

Source: Daily Kos

Executives for the nation's largest technology companies met with President Obama this morning to argue that the NSA's unchecked surveillance is harming their businesses and the overall economic environment in which they operate.

CEOs from over 15 companies – including Google, Apple and Microsoft – pressed for the president to rein in the NSA's bulk surveillance activities and expressed anger over the government's infiltration of U.S. servers around the world.

During the meeting, Mark Pincus (founder of Zynga) boldly suggested to Obama before the gathered group that Edward Snowden should be pardoned. Pincus, it is important to note, gave $1 million to Obama's Super PAC, Priorities Action USA.

Obama's response: he could not do so.

Read more: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/12/18/1263679/-CEO-to-Obama-During-Contentious-Meeting-with-Top-Tech-Executives-Pardon-Edward-Snowden#

more at link

Texas Judge Leaves GOP, Will Run For State Supreme Court As A Democrat

Source: Huffington Post

A Texas judge announced Monday his decision to leave the Republican Party and run for the state Supreme Court as a Democrat.

Larry Meyers, a judge on the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, will run for a seat on the Texas Supreme Court against Republican Jeff Brown.

“Judge Meyers decision to leave the Republican Party today is big news," Battleground Texas' executive director Jenn Brown said in a statement. "It shows that the Texas GOP continues to drive Texans away with their divisive rhetoric and extreme policies. And it puts the first of what we think will ultimately be many Democrats in statewide office again."

As the Dallas Morning News notes, the party switch makes Meyers the first Democrat to hold statewide office in Texas since 1998.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/09/texas-judge-leaves-gop_n_4415211.html

more at link. While I am ok with those Republicans of conscience who see the light and switch, I am leery of those who are "carpetbagging" so to speak…Those who switch parties when they stick their wetted finger to the air. I am not sure which camp this one falls into.

Obama Faces Backlash Over New Corporate Political Powers In Secret Trade Deal

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration appears to have almost no international support for controversial new trade standards that would grant radical new political powers to corporations, increase the cost of prescription medications and restrict bank regulation, according to two internal memos obtained by The Huffington Post.

The memos, which come from a government involved in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, detail continued disputes in the talks over the deal. They reveal broad disagreement over a host of key positions, and general skepticism that an agreement can be reached by year-end. The Obama administration has urged countries to reach a deal by New Year's Day, though there is no technical deadline.

One memo, which was heavily redacted before being provided to HuffPost, was written ahead of a new round of talks in Singapore this week. Read the full text of what HuffPost received here. (Note: Ellipses indicate redacted text. Text in brackets has been added by a third party.) Another document, a chart outlining different country positions on the text, dates from early November, before the round of negotiations in Salt Lake City, Utah. View the chart here. HuffPost was unable to determine which of the 11 non-U.S. nations involved in the talks was responsible for the memo. The Obama administration was not available for comment Sunday evening.

Previously leaked TPP documents have sparked alarm among global health experts, Internet freedom activists, environmentalists and organized labor, but are adamantly supported by American corporations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Obama administration has deemed negotiations to be classified information -- banning members of Congress from discussing the American negotiating position with the press or the public. Congressional staffers have been restricted from viewing the documents.


More at link, I would have posted to LBN because the docs were leaked to HuffPo, but there are those here who don't consider them mainstream news, so. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/08/tpp-trade-agreement_n_4409211.html

I would love to see an event like this for the next year or so: A series of panels, campaign-style

with Sen. Warren, Sen. Sanders, Congressman Grayson, Sen. Sherrod Brown, et al. A pre-planned discussion of the state of our union. Even before candidacies are announced, a series of dozens of town hall panels all around the country, to solidify the Democratic ideals in voters minds. What do you all think? Is there enough time to work something like this in?
Posted by silvershadow | Wed Dec 4, 2013, 04:07 PM (2 replies)

5 ways to rescue liberal talk radio (but it won’t be easy)

Progressive talk radio needs a savior.

Just a few dozen stations now carry liberal talkers, as key affiliates in cities with active left-wing politics are falling like dominoes, going dark or switching formats. Detroit’s progressive outlet shut down in January, along with Seattle’s liberal talk station, which changed to sports. And after last year’s election, Portland’s progressive talk station ended its political programming.

With the political battlegrounds of 2014 and 2016 on the horizon, reducing the whopping imbalance between conservative radio, with its huge fan base, and the left has become more important than ever, according to those in the progressive media world.

POLITICO spoke with a dozen radio talkers, media observers and industry insiders to get their take on how the troubled medium of progressive political talk can be saved — but it’s not going to be easy.

1. Don’t be a shill for the Democratic Party
If progressive radio really wants to get on the map, its hosts would do well to remember that one of the reasons the liberal talk radio network Air America flopped was that they “forgot they were in the radio business, not in the get my candidate elected business,” said Al Peterson, publisher and editor of talk radio trade NTS MediaOnline Today.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/11/liberal-talk-radio-rescue-100408.html#ixzz2m1HwOWO5

Did Karl Rove’s super PAC commit perjury?

On its 2012 tax return, GOP strategist Karl Rove’s dark money behemoth Crossroads GPS justified its status as a tax-exempt social welfare group in part by citing its grants of $35 million to other similarly aligned nonprofits. (Here’s the tax return itself, which we detailed last week.)

The return, signed under penalty of perjury, specified that the grants would be used for social welfare purposes, “and not for political expenditures, consistent with the organization’s tax-exempt mission.”

But that’s not what happened.

New tax documents, made public last Tuesday, indicate that at least $11.2 million of the grant money given to the group Americans for Tax Reform was spent on political activities expressly advocating for or against candidates. This means Crossroads spent at least $85.7 million on political activities in 2012, not the $74.5 million reported to the Internal Revenue Service. That’s about 45 percent of its total expenditures.

more at link: http://www.salon.com/2013/11/27/did_karl_roves_super_pac_commit_perjury_partner/

Bernie Sanders: Why I might run in 2016

This month Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, the Senate’s only self-described socialist, made a tour of four Southern states that stoked talk of a presidential run. In an interview this week with Salon, Sanders set forth his thinking about why he might take that plunge, and offered assessments of contenders Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren. He also blasted Wal-Mart’s business model, Republicans’ healthcare tactics, and a level of inequality that he warned has brought America to the cusp of oligarchy. A condensed version of our conversation follows.

How significant is the Senate’s move to change the filibuster for nominations last week? And does this bring us closer to curbing the filibuster for nominations also?

It is a significant step forward in attempting to end the dysfunctionality of the United States Senate. I would go further. And I believe that when we are faced with unprecedented Republican obstruction, that it would make a lot of sense to go to majority vote for legislation as well. I also believe that we have to protect the rights of minorities, and I think minorities – minority or any other member of the Senate — should have as much time as he or she needs to voice opposition, stand up, filibuster, do their thing. So I believe in the concept of the talking filibuster.

But I think what we have got to end is the situation right now where the Senate is basically dysfunctional, and where the major issues facing this country are not being discussed, and are certainly … not being voted on.

much more at link: http://www.salon.com/2013/11/27/bernie_sanders_why_i_might_run_in_2016/

Sylvia Browne, world-famous psychic, dead.

World famous psychic Sylvia Browne -- who appeared on all sorts of TV shows including "Montel" "Larry King Live" and "Unsolved Mysteries" -- has passed away .. TMZ has learned.

Browne specialized in psychic detective work, and attempted to help on several missing person cases ... with varying results.

Browne's son, Chris, tells TMZ ... Sylvia passed away this morning in San Jose, surrounded by family and friends. She was 77.

Browne most recently took heat after famously announcing that Amanda Berry had died after she went missing in 2003 ... because, as we all know now, she wasn't dead. Sylvia chalked up the misinformation as a simple mistake.

She saw it coming
The following message was just posted on Sylvia's Facebook page, "Sylvia graduated today. She was surrounded by family and friends. What a legacy. She shared so much. We will carry on her knowledge with hypnosis and Journey of the Soul and her many books. What a great party they must be having on the Other Side. Bless everyone."

Read more: http://www.tmz.com#ixzz2lEtvr4R2

This day was a hell'er. And I didn't get the worst of it, by a long shot.

My thoughts and prayers go to all those in worse shape than me. The storms for the most part passed either just to the north or just to the south of me. Many school delays and closings tomorrow. School badly damage near Lafayette. Fire stations damage in at least two communities, I saw one station collapsed on a piece of apparatus.

I was holding the door open to peek out when the winds kicked up on a dime, the door about came out of my hand, and I shut it real quick as me and the dogs headed for our safe place. It was blowing almost sideways, like a derecho, from what I could see. Crap was hitting the house. All while there were peeks of sunshine through openings in the clouds.

Very strange. Glad it wasn't worse here, and again, my thoughts and prayers are with those in need tonight.
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