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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 51,788

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Would it surprise you to learn that the Senate’s 46 Democrats got 20 million more votes than it’s 54

The Senate's 46 Democrats got 20 million more votes than its 54 Republicans

Updated by Dylan Matthews on January 3, 2015, 10:00 a.m. ET @dylanmatt dylan@vox.com

On Tuesday, 33 US senators elected in November will be sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden — including 12 who are new to the chamber. The class includes 22 Republicans and 11 Democrats, a big reason why the GOP has a 54-46 majority in the Senate overall.

But here's a crazy fact: those 46 Democrats got more votes than the 54 Republicans across the 2010, 2012, and 2014 elections.

According to Nathan Nicholson, a researcher at the voting reform advocacy group FairVote, "the 46 Democratic caucus members in the 114th Congress received a total of 67.8 million votes in winning their seats, while the 54 Republican caucus members received 47.1 million votes."

Here's what that looks like in chart form:


story here:

New Year Reflections


Suggested New Year's Resolutions For The NRA

1. We will stop referring to ourselves as a “civil rights” organization that defends “human rights.” It is a sacrilege to people actually killed or harmed by civil and human rights abuses.

2. We will stop pointing at Chicago and saying gun laws don’t work. We will admit the majority of Chicago crime guns are trafficked from states and counties with loose laws.

3. We will stop saying “the government is going to take your guns” to block federal laws. The confiscation we announced 7 years ago never happened.

4. We will stop blaming “mental health” problems for U.S. gun violence. We admit every country in the world has mental health problems but they don’t have Newtowns and Virginia Techs.

5. We admit fighting universal background checks arms criminals and that “armed criminals” sells more guns to “good guys.” Ka-ching.

6. We acknowledge that “outlaws” don’t have guns in the 28 EU countries, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and other countries with strict gun regulations. We also admit, grudgingly, they are not “tyrannies.”

7. We will stop our insulting comparison of guns to knives, hammers, cars and swimming pools–none of which kill when used as directed. On the same day as the Sandy Hook massacre, 20 Chinese school children were attacked with a knife and none died.

8. We accept responsibility for the armed vigilante movement popularized by George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn. We admit “carry” laws are the biggest revenue infusion since “Obama is going to take your guns.”

9. We will stop defending sales to civilians of non-defensive weapons like TrackingPoint’s “can’t miss” sniper rifle. We admit they are ready-made for insurrectionists, terrorists and hate groups.

10. We regret our work to help suspected domestic abusers keep their guns while under orders of protection. We admit this costs many women’s lives and that our sleazy sales pitch to tell women to arm themselves too just makes things worse.


Uncle Sam: "I quit...I Just Vape Now!"

CLEVELAND-Manner of death of a woman who died in Cleveland police custody has been ruled a homicide.

CLEVELAND - The manner of death of a woman who died in Cleveland police custody has been ruled a homicide.

A report released Friday by the Cuyahoga County medical examiner says the woman died after she was physically restrained in a prone position. A heart condition and bipolar disorder were also factors, according to the report.

Tanisha Anderson died Nov. 12 after losing consciousness in the custody of officers while having a mental-health episode. Relatives say the 37-year-old was schizophrenic and claim an officer used excessive force.

Her family said at a news conference nearly two weeks ago that they wanted more answers about what happened and that Cleveland officers need better training on dealing with mentally ill people.


"If their god is God, why do they feel it necessary to defend the Creator From Neil deGrasse Tyson?"

"If their god is God (as Yul Brynner might say), why do they feel it necessary to defend the Creator of the Universe from Neil deGrasse Tyson? Presumably, God is perfectly capable of taking care of himself, and is even less threatened by what Darwin Tyson thinks than Jefferson would be. Unless (as you guessed), it's not God who is threatened." http://digbysblog.blogspot.ca/

I'm sure lots of us have noted this odd notion and behavior from those on the christian right (or with fundamentalists in other faith groups). God, being all powerful, all good and all-knowing isn't going to be wounded by what some guy in Poukeepsie says about Him. His Plan isn't going to go down in flames because there's a non-believer in Saskatchewan.

So why do so many fundamentalists get so worked up about what they see as slights or lack of "proper" deference to Him? He can take care of Himself. Obviously.

What's going on here is something else. It is the attempt to control other peoples' behavior and to constrain their speech and their ideas in order to enforce a particular consensus. It isn't about God. It's about coercion.

way more:

Prediction For 2015:

Sometime, likely towards the end of the year, there will be a house-fire somewhere in the United States. In this house there will be a brood of new puppies. They will be saved, at great personal risk, by Jeb Bush.

"This is just who we are", he will explain. "I am no hero. This is the Bush brand"

from a comment at:

2015: Republican Talking Points


Piketty refuses Legion of Honor: "I don't think it the role of government to decide who's honorable"

Piketty Refuses French Honor, Says Nation Should Focus on Growth

Thomas Piketty, the economist who criticized income inequality in a best-selling book, refused to accept France’s highest decoration, saying the nation should focus on reviving economic growth rather than issuing awards.

“It isn’t up to the government to decide who’s honorable,” the 43-year-old professor at the Paris School of Economics told Agence France-Presse. “They would do better to concentrate on reviving growth.”

Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, the Legion d’honneur is France’s highest honor and recognizes achievements in fields including public service, economics and culture. By turning down the award, Piketty joins a diverse group including writer Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Ravel, the composer of Bolero.

Piketty’s “Capital in the Twenty-First Century,” published in English last year, tapped into a global debate about inequality. The issue was also raised by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in October when she questioned the disparities of wealth and income growth.


Mario Cuomo: "Once you get to be President, you want to be king.”

JANUARY 1, 2015
Remembering Mario Cuomo


Cuomo did not go all the way in baseball (he couldn’t hit a curveball). Nor did he go all the way in politics. He chose not to run for President in 1992 because his ambition was superseded by his distaste for the grovelling, the fundraising, the selling, the motels. He did, however, “go all the way” as a public man.


“The secret to contentment is reducing your needs and aspirations,” he said, as we sat on the couch. “I feel fulfilled in the job I have. I don’t have that great vacuum in my psyche that feels I have to keep going up. I felt that way as lieutenant governor. I don’t feel that way now.… Andrew has regrets. He thinks it should be me up there. He’ll get over it. You have to use criteria other than self-gratification. You can’t win that game. Once you get to be President, you want to be king.”

Mario Cuomo had flaws. History will not record that he was a great governor. His budgets were almost always late. His reflectiveness and reclusiveness did not dazzle legislative leaders. And his flight from San Francisco, like his choice not to run for President in 1992, may have indicated a reticence that would not have served him well as President. Or maybe it camouflaged insecurity that was both disabling and wonderfully human. Unlike most politicians, who have no interior lives, he was worthy of a novel. He was not, as the scouting report also observed, “an easy chap to get close to but is very well liked by those who succeed in penetrating his exterior shell.” In the four decades I knew him, I tried to keep him at arm’s length. Journalists are not supposed to say this, but I loved the guy.

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