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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 02:59 PM
Number of posts: 49,202

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Most Admired: 42% Bill Clinton, 18% Barack Obama, 17% GWB, 16% George H Bush

Forty-two percent of respondents picked Clinton -- whose wife could very well run for the White House in 2016 -- as the president they admired the most.

He was followed by current President Barack Obama at 18 percent, George W. Bush at 17 percent and his father, George H.W. Bush, at 16 percent.

The NBC/WSJ/Annenberg Survey was conducted June 2-8 of 1,031 registered voters.


Obama likens denying climate change to thinking the moon is made of cheese

During a commencement speech to graduates of the University of California-Irvine, Obama said some in Congress duck the question of climate change by claiming that they are not a scientist, which, he said, translates to: “I know that manmade climate change really is happening, but if I admit it, I’ll be run out of town by a radical fringe that thinks climate science is a liberal plot. So, I’m not going to admit it.”

That view, the president said, is a “fairly serious threat to the future,” but “at least they have the brass to say what they actually think.”

“I’m telling you all of this because I want to light a fire under you,” Obama told nearly 8,600 graduates at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. “As the generation that is being shortchanged by inaction, you do not have to accept that this is the way that it has to be.”

Scientists, Obama said, have long established that the world needs to fight climate change. When President John F. Kennedy wanted to send people to the moon, Obama said, many said it wouldn’t work, but few denied its existence or said the moon was “made of cheese.”


New Rule

Rule: where available, all 2014 Iraq punditry must be accompanied by link(s) to the author's 2002/3 Iraq punditry.

Sr NSA Executive: NSA Started Spying On Journalists in 02 … In Order to Make Sure They Didn’t Report

Senior NSA Executive: NSA Started Spying On Journalists in 2002 … In Order to Make Sure They Didn’t Report On Mass Surveillance

THOMAS DRAKE: Part of what I discovered is that part of the surveillance system, part of the Stellar Wind system – and that’s an umbrella term in itself – there were offshoots of that.

It metastasized. It grew like a cancer on the body politic.

One of the things that was done was (along the lines of): “You know what? We’ve got to make sure” (because they were paranoid) “we’ve got to make sure that this stuff doesn’t get out … oh yeah, the press. Let’s violate the Fourth Amendment and just monitor the press.”

The whole story of that has not come out.


There was a program called “First Fruits”. They’ve no doubt changed the name of the program

And that First Fruits program was a cutout which was designed from all of the domestic surveillance take. “Let’s just pipe off from all” that is involving designated (reporters) … or in some cases whole groups of reporters and journalists:

So you’re targeting actual newspapers. You’re targeting media outlets.

And you’re monitoring – on a persistent basis – their communications.

WASHINGTON’S BLOG: How early did that start?

THOMAS DRAKE: The preliminary version of that – as far as an active program – was in 2002.


Map: All the Countries John McCain Has Wanted to Attack

Map: All the Countries John McCain Has Wanted to Attack
Syria, Iraq, Russia, North Korea, and nine other nations the Arizona senator has been eager to bomb, invade, or destabilize.
—By Tim Murphy and Tasneem Raja | Fri Sep. 6, 2013 6:00 AM EDT


Well This Is Nuts --- RNC will attempt to beat Hillary with GIANT RED SQUIRREL.

The RNC's Newest Anti-Hillary Weapon Is a Giant Orange Squirrel
Meet HRC Squirrel. It has its own Twitter account:

And the Republican National Committee was there to respond. Rival political factions turning up at events isn't a rare occurrence, but the RNC unveiled a new strategy with an…interesting bent. It was the debut of the HRC Squirrel: A person walking around in a bright orange squirrel suit. Tailed by four RNC staffers, the squirrel wandered around giving high-fives to the folks in line, who generally seemed to get a kick out of the odd scene. The squirrel has a Twitter handle and a donation page where anti-Clintonites can get bumper stickers that say "Another Clinton in the White House is Nuts."

That nutty joke was the gist of the attack, making it a little unclear that the furry was there to rebuke the attendees' favorite Democrat.


Brat: "Rich" nations don't have to fear climate change."

Brat has called for slashing Social Security, Medicare, and education spending and says "rich" nations don't have to fear climate change.

In his campaign speeches, Brat has pointed out that he isn't worried about climate change because "rich countries solve their problems":

If you let Americans do their thing, there is no scarcity, right? They said we're going to run out of food 200 years ago, that we're goin' to have a ice age. Now we're heating up…Of course we care for the environment, but we're not mad people. Over time, rich countries solve their problems. We get it right. It's not all perfect, but we get it right.


Cantor got waxed because the Tea Party had science.

Too funny. The Democrats helped defeat Eric Cantor not so much by voting against him in the Republican primary as by handing the Flat Earth Dave Brat-supporting insurgents some science.

In primary campaigns, the normal procedure is to ignore voters who don't have a history of voting in primaries and focus first on those who do. This is the opposite of the strategy for general elections, where those who vote in primaries are ignored because they will presumably get themselves to the polls. To beat someone like Eric Cantor in a primary, however, it would be necessary to mobilize unlikely voters. The Tea Partiers didn't know how to do that, but the campaign manager and political director of Eric Holder's 2010 opponent did.

Here's the scoop from the campaign manager, Brian Umana:

The tea partiers already knew how to mobilize the folks who showed up at tea party meetings: what they needed was a way to find supporters or potential supporters who were unlikely to bother with regular meetings. (Political Director Jonathan) Stevens and I thought that a more organized attack from the right could help Democrats, too—either by prompting a future three-candidate race (which might give the Democrat a fighting chance) or by inducing a competitive Republican primary challenge that would force Cantor to burn cash protecting up his flank that might otherwise be spent on competitive races elsewhere. (A primary campaign resulting in Cantor’s defeat, of course, hardly crossed our minds. When Parada mentioned it, I recall calling the possibility “fanciful.”) Stevens and I saw no harm in mentioning strategies that tea partiers might use to reach sporadic Republicans or far-right “independents” who were less likely to support Cantor than other Republicans. We shared data-science techniques for voter targeting and for evaluating the relative cost of earning the votes of different types of voters.

There was a problem: the-easiest-to-use political data is owned by the two major political parties. The Democratic campaign was over, so how could we ethically share information that we thought would serve the greater good? Stevens used his statistical knowledge and near-photographic memory to work from crude, publicly available State Board of Elections data, then manipulate those data into targeted sets of voters more like those that would be available to a large campaign from one of the two parties. He created tidy data sets of voter information and preferences of a sort typically unavailable to independent or insurgent campaigns opposed by a party establishment (like Mr. Brat’s this year). Some techniques like Stevens’s had been used by Obama’s presidential campaign—which Stevens worked on in 2008—but they had not been widely adopted by Republicans, let alone tea partiers without access to the big party databases. Now Parada, who was at our post-election meetings in 2010, knew how to use them.


Shep Smith Gives Iraq Hawks A History Lesson

"Are we about to be drawn back into a conflict in Iraq?" Smith asked. "The same people who 12 years ago told us this will be quick, this will be easy, this will be inexpensive, they will see us as liberators, it's the right thing to do, are now telling us, 'It's the right thing to do.' What's the endgame? Who's thought this through?"

Smith argued the Iraq war provided a valuable history lesson: the George W. Bush administration led the U.S. into a war that exacted a heavy toll on all sides of the conflict for many years.

Talking Points Memo notes that Smith later told Fox News' Chris Wallace that he hasn't forgotten "being bamboozled" by the Bush administration's justification for invading Iraq.

"Well, I remember it. I think it would be wrong for us to just sit around and listen and not ask big questions," Smith said.


McCain, please, STFU!


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