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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 44,280

Journal Archives

SUNDAY'S DOONESBURY: "So If You're a Paranoid, Gun-Loving, Right-Wing Birther..."

Ouch. Andy Borowitz...

on Facebook:

When I see the President do stuff like try to make healthcare affordable or protect the planet from global warming, it does kind of make me wonder whether he was born here.

Carol Ann Susi, Voice of Mrs. Wolowitz on 'Big Bang Theory,' Dies

Source: Chicago Tribune

Carol Ann Susi, voice of Mrs. Wolowitz on 'Big Bang Theory,' dies

By Pat Saperstein, Variety

LOS ANGELES - Character actress Carol Ann Susi, known as the voice of the unseen Mrs. Wolowitz on "The Big Bang Theory," died Tuesday in Los Angeles after a brief battle with cancer, according to Warner Bros. Television. Susi was 62 and had appeared in numerous TV shows since the 1970s.

On "The Big Bang Theory," she voiced dozens of episodes as the offstage presence of Simon Helberg's mom.

Read more: http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/chi-carol-ann-susi-dead-20141111-story.html

"So if people voted FOR liberal policies - but against our candidates - then clearly we must..."

"move further to the right!"


President Obama Has Asked FCC to Implement 'Strongest Possible Rules' to Protect Net Neutrality

Source: Reuters

@BreakingNews: RT @breakingbytes: President Obama has asked the FCC to implement 'strongest possible rules' to protect net neutrality - @Reuters http://t.co/gAPs13D1To/s/gPcJ

Obama urged the FCC to prohibit 'paid prioritization' deals in which content providers pay to ensure smooth delivery of their traffic - @Reuters

Obama Urges FCC To Set 'Strongest Possible Rules' To Protect Net Neutrality
Posted: 11/10/2014 9:48 am EST Updated: 50 minutes ago

WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama asked the Federal Communications Commissionon Monday to set the 'strongest possible rules' to protect net neutrality as agency writes new Internet traffic regulations.

Obama urged the FCC to prohibit so-called paid prioritization, deals in which content providers would pay Internet companies to ensure smooth delivery of traffic.

He said the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service to be regulated more like a public utility. (Reporting Alina Selyukh; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/10/obama-net-neutrality_n_6132814.html

Supreme Court Agrees to Rule on Insurance Subsidies in Challenge to Obama Health Law

Source: Associated Press

BREAKING: Supreme Court Agrees to Rule on Insurance Subsidies in Challenge to Obama Health Law

@SCOTUSblog: #SCOTUS has granted King v. Burwell on ACA subsidies question. Lyle reports here: http://t.co/k3RUH5zhZw/s/vk_q A snap symposium is forthcoming.

Justices to hear health law subsidies challenge

NOV. 7, 2014 12:51 PM EST

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a new challenge to President Barack Obama's health care law.

The justices on Friday say they will decide whether the law authorizes subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people afford their health insurance premiums.

A federal appeals court upheld Internal Revenue Service regulations that allow health-insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act for consumers in all 50 states. Opponents argue that most of the subsidies are illegal.

The long-running political and legal campaign to overturn or limit the 2010 health overhaul will be making its second appearance at the Supreme Court.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/93c1a18cd42542be9446facbfaba6e56/justices-hear-health-law-subsidies-challenge

25 Ways Obama Has Destroyed America


25 Ways Obama Has Destroyed America

Can we even be saved?

Posted on Nov. 5, 2014, at 1:39 p.m.

- snip -

4. Our tiny dogs are sleeping in beds they can’t even fit in nor afford…

- snip -

9. “Who paid for that spaghetti, Cat?”


'Instead it was result of the GOP’s triumph ... of corporate money & voter suppression.'


Corporate Triumphs, Progressive Victories and the Roadmap for a Democratic Revival
November 5, 2014
by Peter Dreier

Tuesday’s Republican wave of election victories did not reflect public opinion or the public mood. Instead it was the result of the GOP’s triumph in changing the rules of democracy to favor big business and conservative interest groups, including the triumphs of corporate money and voter suppression. But while Democrat candidates were going down to defeat, liberals and progressive won some impressive but little-publicized victories on important issues — including minimum wage hikes — especially in red and purple states, suggesting that voters are not as conservative as the pundits are pontificating. One of the most significant victories occurred in Richmond, California, where progressives defeated a slate funded by Chevron, the nation’s third largest corporation, which poured at least $3 million (about $150 for each likely voter) into this municipal election in this working class Bay Area city of 105,000 people.

- snip -

Plutocratic Political Gains

These progressive victories are impressive, but they don’t offset the huge GOP triumphs around the country. Democrats knew they had an uphill fight. Among the 36 Senate races, 21 were seats held by Democrats, including six in states that Mitt Romney won in 2012. Five factors, in particular, contributed to Tuesday’s GOP gains. It was a victory for plutocracy and profit over democracy, a triumph for the super-rich and Republicans who changed the rules to favor their own interests.

Big Money. Donors spent more than $4 billion in this midterm election. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, this was the most expensive midterm election in American history. This was a triumph for the Supreme Court’s Citizens United and McCutcheon rulings that permitted unlimited money to buy elections. The biggest donors, billionaires like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, poured “dark money” — hidden from public scrutiny by arcane campaign finance laws — into key races that certainly helped elect Republicans. Karl Rove’s Crossroads organizations and the US Chamber of Commerce spent hundreds of millions of dollars to help elect conservative Republicans in the House, Senate and governors races. We may never know the full extent of the billionaires’ bankroll, especially in key battleground Senate races where they targeted much of their war chest. The Republicans increase in Senate seats – from 45 to at least 52 – depended on outspending Democrats by a wide margin in those key races in where Republicans captured seats held by Democrats in Colorado, Arkansas, Iowa, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Three incumbent Democratic senators – Senators Kay Hagan of North Carolina, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and Mark Udall of Colorado – lost their seats.

As the Center for Responsive Politics reported a week before the election, “outside groups, which are overwhelmingly fueled by large donors, are picking up more of the tab” of election costs, increasingly by funding issue ads and funneling money to shadowy so-called “social welfare” organizations that can hide their donations but focus most of their money to help Republican candidates.

Voter Suppression and Low Turnout among Democratic-leaning voters. Midterm elections always see much lower turnout than in presidential years. On Tuesday, less than 40 percent of American voters went to the polls, and the ones who voted hardly reflected the American people. The midterm electorate was much whiter, wealthier and more elderly than the voters in 2012 or even those in the last midterm election four years ago. As Bloomberg News reported, “Those 65 and older represented a quarter of the national electorate, up from 21 percent four years earlier.” This demographic debacle was compounded by Republican efforts to suppress the vote of African-Americans, Latinos, young people and the poor. These groups voted in significantly smaller numbers this year than they did two years ago. This was the first election since the Supreme Court eviscerated the Voting Rights Act and many states – particularly those with a large number of eligible African-American voters — adopted laws making it more difficult to vote, aimed at reducing turnout by these Democratic constituencies.

Gerrymandering. After the 2010 Census, Republicans succeeded in redrawing House districts to favor their party, creating increasingly “safe” districts for GOP candidates. The GOP’s control of the majority of state legislatures and governors’s offices gave them an advantage that made it possible to redraw the districts to their liking. In 2012, Democrats won 1.3 million more votes than Republican in all 435 House race – 59.6 million and 58.2 million. In other words, Democrats won 55 percent of the two-party vote but GOP candidates won 54 percent of the 435 House seats. In Pennsylvania, for example, Democrats won 83,000 more votes than Republicans, but Republicans won 13 seats and Democrats won 5 seats. On Tuesday, the Pennsylvania Republicans increased their margin to 14 seats. Nationwide, the GOP widened their congressional majority to by at least another 8 seats to 243. This was more a reflection of partisan mapmaking than voter preferences.


How Much Difference Did New Voting Restrictions Make in Yesterday’s Close Races? Apparently A LOT.


"margin of victory came very close to the likely margin of disenfranchisement."

How Much of a Difference Did New Voting Restrictions Make in Yesterday’s Close Races?

November 5, 2014
by Wendy R. Weiser

This post first appeared at Brennan Center for Justice.

The Republican electoral sweep in yesterday’s elections has put an end to speculation over whether new laws making it harder to vote in 21 states would help determine control of the Senate this year. But while we can breathe a sigh of relief that the electoral outcomes won’t be mired in litigation, a quick look at the numbers shows that in several key races, the margin of victory came very close to the likely margin of disenfranchisement.

North Carolina

In the North Carolina Senate race, state house speaker Thom Tillis beat Senator Kay Hagen by a margin of 1.7 percent, or about 48,000 votes.

At the same time, North Carolina’s voters were, for the first time, voting under one of the harshest new election laws in the country — a law that Tillis helped to craft. Among other changes, the law slashed seven early voting days, eliminated same-day registration and prohibited voting outside a voter’s home precinct — all forms of voting especially popular among African-Americans. While it is too early to assess the impact of the law this year, the Election Protection hotline and other voter protection volunteers reported what appeared to be widespread problems both with voter registrations and with voters being told they were in the wrong precinct yesterday.

Some numbers from recent elections suggest that the magnitude of the problem may not be far from the margin of victory: In the last midterms in 2010, 200,000 voters cast ballots during the early voting days now cut, according to a recent court decision. In 2012, 700,000 voted during those days, including more than a quarter of all African-Americans who voted that year. In 2012, 100,000 North Carolinians, almost one-third of whom were African-American, voted using same-day registration, which was not available this year. And 7,500 voters cast their ballots outside of their home precincts that year.


In the Kansas governor’s race, Governor Sam Brownback beat back challenger Paul Davis by a margin of 2.8 percent, or less than 33,000 votes.

But Kansans faced two new voting restrictions this year — a strict photo ID law that was put into effect right before the 2012 election, and a new documentary proof of citizenship requirement for voter registration.

What was the impact this year? We know from the Kansas secretary of state that more than 24,000 Kansans tried to register this year but their registrations were held in “suspense” because they failed to present the documentary proof of citizenship now required by state law. And while we do not yet have the data regarding the impact of the voter ID requirement this year, a recent study by the independent Government Accountability Office found that Kansas’s voter ID law reduced turnout by approximately 2 percent in 2012. (GAO also found that Tennessee’s new law reduced turnout by up to 3 percent.) If the law’s effect was similar this year, it would mean that turnout was about 17,000 voters lower than it otherwise would have been. And keep in mind that the number of Americans that don’t have government-issued photo IDs that would be accepted under new laws is closer to 11 percent. In short, the margin of victory in Kansas looks perilously close to the margin of disenfranchisement.


TPM: The 2014 Electorate Was Really Old


Dylan Scott TPMLivewire
CHART: The 2014 Electorate Was Really, Really Old
11/5/2014 11:14 AM EST

Older voters helped propel Republicans to sweeping victories Tuesday in Senate and gubernatorial races nationwide, according to exit polls from NBC News.

The disparity between the under-30 and over-60 was the widest it's been in a decade, those polls found. The seniors comprised 37 percent of the electorate; young people made up 12 percent.

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