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kpete

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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 02:59 PM
Number of posts: 52,843

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Panel investigating Chris Christie bridge scandal votes to compel insiders to produce records

Source: NJ Star Ledger

TRENTON — The state legislative committee investigating the George Washington Bridge scandal today voted to compel Bridget Anne Kelly and Bill Stepien to produce the documents they have refused to provide by citing their Fifth Amendment rights against incrimination and other objections.

The committee voted 8-0 with all four Republicans abstaining to reject the objections raised by the two, to set a new due date for documents and to authorize its special counsel, Reid Schar, to "take all necessary steps" to enforce the subpoenas.

A co-chairman of the committee, Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex), said after the meeting that new subpoenas would be issued tonight or Tuesday morning. He declined to specify how many were issued or to whom, but said it was more than a dozen.

The developments came after the panel met for more than 90 minutes behind closed doors to receive advice from Schar. Republicans on the panel said they were abstaining because they were only provided information about the actions taken when they arrived today for the hearing.

Read more: http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/02/panel_investigating_chris_christie_bridge_scandal_issues_xx_new_subpoenas.html

What Bill Maher got wrong about spending on young vs old: Everything.

What Bill Maher got wrong about spending on young vs old: Everything.

............

Bill Maher, pay attention.

..........

The reason that public spending on children is lower than it should be isn't because seniors suck up all that cash, but because the wealthy suck it up. They receive most of the interest payments on U.S. treasury debt. While their share of all income in the U.S. has been rising inexorably, their income tax burden has been coming down almost steadily since the 1960, especially in relation to that of the middle class. As Thomas Piketty and Emanuel Saez have documented, the overall progressivity of the U.S. tax system has plummeted over the last four decades.

In other words, despite what Maher said, it really is about "rich versus poor." And the rich are winning.
The old versus young idea is pushed most vigorously by front groups for the wealthy, many of them backed by the hedge fund billionaire Peter G. Peterson, whose quest is to eviscerate Social Security and Medicare, as we described here. Their tactics include driving a wedge between old and young, and nothing's more effective for that than implying that grandma and grandpa are picking their grandkids' pockets.

Maher has made a career about being not just funny, but brainy and funny. This time around the problem isn't that he took a cheap shot for cheap laughs -- even cheap laughs are funny -- but that his cheap shot was brainless.


MORE:
http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-bill-maher-20140210,0,1569408.story#ixzz2syUu0EHi

Sochi or Christie?

So everyone's wondering why in the heck the Republicans are dusting off their Lewinsky playbook

The Dirty Tricks strategy in the War on Women. Emphasis on "dirty" - by digby


So everyone's wondering why in the heck the Republicans are dusting off their Lewinsky playbook (perhaps even including a juicy new fairy tale about Barack Obama and Beyonce.)

The reason they are doing this is simple: the War on Women. I think they are hoping to trip Hillary Clinton up in some conservative jiu-jitsu on the current concerns with rape culture, inappropriate workplace intimacy and women's rights, by using Bill Clinton's scandals to throw liberal women off balance and ensure that the more traditional women have some tools to join the battle After all, a lot of younger women don't know the details of those scandals and a lot of people have probably forgotten them. It may have a different kind of salience today than it did then.

....................

I'll say one thing for Paul. He's a clever piece of work. This is a smart, if underhanded and thoroughly dishonest, tactic. It remains to be seen if they will literally do a ratfuck (which is specifically defined as "recruiting conservative members to infiltrate opposition groups and/or misrepresent them through false flag activities in order to undermine the effectiveness of such opposition") but perhaps they don't even need to do that in these days of social media. All they have to do is "call out" their rivals for hypocrisy on the issue and they could wreak some serious dirty tricks havoc. (And you can certainly be sure they're going to dredge up every ugly comment any Democrat made about Clinton in 2008 --- and the sexual stuff will probably be prominent.)

The War on Women opens the door for Republicans to do what pleasures them the most --- talk about other people's sex lives in detail even as they condemn it. It arouses them.

more:
http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-dirty-tricks-strategy-in-war-on.html

Walmart’s Labor Practices Backfire: People are voting with their feet and with their wallets.

Walmart’s Labor Practices Backfire :

Wolfe Research, an equities research firm, downgraded Walmart in a new research report, citing understaffing, among other problems.

The firm lowered Walmart from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating, pointing to three main causes: understaffing, an erosion of its price advantage against competitors, and costs associated with intensifying pressure from worker organizing.


http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/02/10/3271221/walmart-downgraded-understaffing/

NRA Board Member: Bullied Children Commit Suicide Because Young Boys Have Been "Neutered"

National Rifle Association board member R. Lee Ermey, best known for his drill sergeant role in the 1987 film Full Metal Jacket, criticized "neutered" boys who commit suicide because of bullying for not standing up to their tormenters.

Ermey made the comment during a February 7 appearance on an NRA News show to preview his upcoming show on The Sportsman Channel Saving Private K-9. Claiming that "we've neutered all the young boys in this country," Ermey said, "We've got little kids committing suicide because somebody bullied them in the school yard. Well, you know what, I was bullied when I was a kid, but I tried diplomatically to get out of the situation. If that didn't work, then I would resort to force, I would pop the guy in the snot locker, drop him down on the deck, and he would think twice before he came and bullied me again."

Video & more (yuk):
http://mediamatters.org/blog/2014/02/10/nra-board-member-bullied-children-commit-suicid/197989

What it means to be gay in Russia (Warning: disturbing images)


http://www.advocate.com/sports/2014/02/07/psa-depicts-lgbt-discrimination-russias-newest-olympic-sport

FLOTUS just tweeted in support of Michael Sam: You're an inspiration to all of us

FLOTUS just tweeted in support of Michael Sam.

FLOTUS @FLOTUS

You're an inspiration to all of us, @MikeSamFootball. We couldn't be prouder of your courage both on and off the field. -mo

https://twitter.com/FLOTUS

Amid Christie Scandal, Buono Says Some Democrats Have ‘Buyer’s Remorse’

Amid Christie Scandal, Buono Says Some Democrats Have ‘Buyer’s Remorse’
By JASON HOROWITZFEB. 10, 2014


METUCHEN, N.J. — The former campaign workers who partied at the home of Barbara Buono this month were “just jubilant.” The people she bumps into on the street “are just happier to greet me.” And amid the deluge of supportive texts she receives, there are often pictures of Gov. Chris Christie sitting on the George Washington Bridge. She chuckles but doesn’t reply.

The Fort Lee traffic jam scandal has unleashed a wintry mix of subpoenas, tortured apologies and fresh allegations against Mr. Christie, a Republican, and potentially put a deep freeze on his presidential chances. But the same revelations have had a warming effect on Ms. Buono, the Democratic nominee who badly lost to Mr. Christie in the November election and bitterly complained about the betrayal of Democrats who barely lifted a finger to help her. Ms. Buono has gone from media piñata, Democratic pariah and Keystone Candidate to the Cassandra of the Christie scandal, whose October warnings about “the unexplained closure of two lanes starting in Fort Lee” went unheeded by most fellow Democrats.

Now, as Democrats unload daily on Mr. Christie and hound him as he travels around the country, Ms. Buono nonchalantly greets well-wishers in snow boots, cords and leather bomber jacket at a local cafe. Bewildered by the belated timing of the Democratic attacks, which she attributes to “buyer’s remorse,” she wonders if the party might not have more wisely spent money on challenging the governor during the actual race.


..........

More:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/11/nyregion/amid-christie-scandal-buono-says-some-democrats-have-buyers-remorse.html?ref=nyregion&_r=1

GOP Base Would Rather Take Out Incumbent Republicans Than Beat Democrats

GOP Base Would Rather Take Out Incumbent Republicans Than Beat Democrats

Interviews with those on Capitol Hill and in the conservative movement reveal antipathy toward each other that could cost the party the midterms.

With the president’s approval rating low, the economy faltering and Obamacare dropping consumers from their health care plans by the day, one would think the GOP’s prospects would be strong heading into the 2014 midterm elections. But this may not remain the case.

In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed a widening rift between the Republican establishment and the Tea Party activists who swept John Boehner into the House Speaker seat and put Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell within striking distance of a majority to effectively cement President Obama’s lame duck status.

In conversations with members of Congress, lobbyists, and the chattering class on television–none of whom wished to speak on the record–many grassroots activists would rather take out an incumbent GOP officeholder in a primary challenge for perceived disloyalty to the base at the cost of Democrats winning the seat. That this switch of support by grassroots activists would occur less than four years after the GOP rode a massive wave of voter disillusionment with Washington is fascinating. The question is, what was the triggering event that created hostility between many conservative members of Congress and their constituents who elected them?

MORE:
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/02/10/gop-base-would-rather-take-out-incumbent-republicans-than-beat-democrats.html
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