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Profile Information

Name: Steven Leser
Gender: Male
Hometown: New York, NY
Home country: USA
Current location: NYC
Member since: Tue Jan 4, 2005, 04:36 PM
Number of posts: 21,411

Journal Archives

If you missed it live, tonight's Making Sense with Steve Leser and the Rude Pundit on torture & more

If you missed it live, click here to listen to tonights Making Sense with Steve Leser and the Rude Pundit on the Senate Torture report, Police shootings, the economy, Time Magazine's person of the year and the dumbest congressmen of the new session


Or for non Flash computers/devices (i.e. iPad/iPhone) click http://podcasts.kcaastreaming.com/podcast-bin/stream.cgi?show=leser&datecode=20141209

Senate Releases Report on Torture

Link: http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/study2014/sscistudy1.pdf

Dean on 50 state strategy is a paean to Pragmatism and Centrism where necessary.

Shout out to DFW for his original OP: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025928884


"I was a centrist governor" and also bragging about getting Begich elected

In other words, Dean is/was a pragmatist, as most successful politicians are.

"My experience as a governor was that the state party was weak. They were also kind of a pain in the neck. I was a centrist governor, and they were always complaining about things that I was doing, and I was very annoyed by it. "


"So the origin of the 50-state strategy was to be prepared to go anywhere. The idea was, if you ever wanted a Mark Begich, you had to invest in Alaska before a Mark Begich came on the horizon so you could be ready. Mark Begich is the example that I use. Nobody expected Ted Stevens to be indicted, but when he was, we were ready. So the origin was to invest in the party throughout the country. "

I love it!!!

On Edit: OMG, and this!!!!:

What do you say to those who argued that the 50-state strategy for Democrats, it brought in a lot of Democrats who were right for those particular regions, but it may have diverged sharply from the mainstream Democratic message? Was that a problem?

There was some discussion about that, and actually that happened. We ended up with some conservative Democrats from Western Pennsylvania, for example. But my point was, you can be a small regional minority party if you want to, and stay ideologically pure. But it’s more fun to have the speaker. I’d rather have inter-party fights in the majority than stay pure in the minority. So we wanted to keep a majority. And the Republicans have actually done this too. Now they did it through gerrymandering, but still. And also the Republicans have better messaging, that’s a whole other story.


OMG, that is priceless. "But my point was, you can be a small regional minority party if you want to, and stay ideologically pure. But it’s more fun to have the speaker. I’d rather have inter-party fights in the majority than stay pure in the minority. "

The issues with DU participation IMHO, are a conflict between two thoughts on how to advance Liberal


One group insists that the best way to advance Liberal ideas is to support the most Liberal candidate that is electable at that moment, even if that means minimal progress as long as we prevent things from moving backwards. This group thinks that supporting Democrats in office doing the best they can in difficult circumstances is a good idea because the alternative effectively gives support to the other side by tearing down the popularity of Democrats in office.

The other group insists that the best way to advance Liberal ideas is to support the most Liberal candidate regardless of perceived elect-ability. This group seems to believe that if that results in losses to radical right wing Republicans who will not only implement regressive policies and undo 10-20-30 years of progress but use the bully pulpit to try to convince the masses that regressive policies are the best ones for the country, making progress difficult even after they are gone, that's acceptable as long as we have backed the most liberal candidate possible. This group also seems to think that pillorying elected Democrats doing the best they can in difficult circumstances for not being Liberal enough is a good strategy. By relentlessly pillorying Barack Obama, this group has turned off a large portion of the African American community on DU which indicates, IMHO, not only a complete lack of political savvy, but either a complete lack of awareness of, or simply not caring at all about the sensitivity people of color have to attacks on the first African American president.

The two groups do not seem to be able to coexist here on DU and admins seem loathe to do anything about it. I think the evidence is clear that the website cannot accommodate both groups and continue to be successful. It seems to be turning off large swaths of people from both groups.

The non-indictment of Eric Garner's killer is unacceptable

I don't even know what to say anymore. In my opinion, the officer in the Ferguson case should have been indicted. But the situations with Trayvon Martin and Eric Garner are much more egregious and should have been slam dunk indictments and convictions. In America, we are supposed to have the right to be left alone when we walk the streets.

Even the police have a limited capacity to intrude on that right to be left alone and that limited capacity depends on a warrant (very specific) or probable cause or reasonable suspicion, terms/ideas that also have limits.

What seems to have happened is, the rights of people of color to be left alone outside of those constitutional limits seems to have been thrown out the window.


Putin funds France's far right Marine Le Pen and her Front Nationale Party, other EU far right...


Taking campaign funds from a foreign government would break French law, to be sure. But the money comes in the form of “loans” from the Moscow-based First Czech Russian Bank, whose head – Roman Yakubovich Popov – is a former state banker and well-placed member of the Russian political establishment.

“A first installment has been released from a loan of 40 million,” a member of FN’s political bureau told Mediapart. “The installment of 9 million has arrived, 31 will follow.”

“Mediapart has lost its head,” Marine Le Pen answered on Twitter, adamantly denying the larger figure: “The sums they mention are totally fanciful.”

The €9 million she was forced admit. This “is no secret,” she told Le Monde with her usual sangfroid. She even instructed FN’s treasurer to report the “loans” to the party congress this past weekend, where they were celebrated in the company of two Russian dignitaries and fellow-travelers like Holland’s Geert Wilders and the Italian Matteo Salvini of the League of the North.


As I reported in September, many European neo-Nazis and former Fascists side with Putin’s Russia as a counter to American hegemony. Marine’s father Jean-Marie Le Pen called for such an alliance in his presidential election campaign in 2007, and again in 2009 in his appeal for “a powerful, independent, respected Europe encompassing the nations of the northern (boreal) continent from Brest to Vladivostok.”
(more at above link)
Putin funds far right wing political parties throughout Europe because that is with whom he identifies.

Excellent NY Times article that I think supports need for indictment of Wilson


Ferguson Grand Jury Faced Mass of Evidence, Much of It Conflicting

Many witnesses first began to pay attention while the two were wrestling at the car window, though they often said they could not see enough to know what was going on. But even when the confrontation broke out into the open, the accounts diverged.

“I see the officer running behind shooting,” said one witness. “When he gets out the car he immediately starts to shoot,” said another. “Let me stop you,” still another said. “He did not take off running after Michael.”

Testimony about the critical final moments – when Mr. Brown stopped running, turned and moved back toward Officer Wilson – lay along a spectrum. Some hewed closer to Officer Wilson’s recollection. “I could say for sure he never put his hands up,” said one witness, a man who was working in the area and did not live there, and whose recollection most strongly bolstered Officer Wilson’s case. “He ran to the officer full charge.”

Others spoke just as confidently that events unfolded in a completely different way.

“Yes I personally saw him on his knees with his hands in the air,” one witness said in a recorded interview with federal officials that was played for the grand jury before he testified. The prosecutor questioning that witness did not hide her skepticism of his story, highlighting contradictions in his various accounts. “Basically just about everything that you said on Aug. 13, and much of what you said today isn’t consistent with the physical evidence that we have in this case, O.K.,” she said to him.

Matthew Shepard's parents head to Russia to confront homophobia there

Brave folks, I fervently hope they remain safe.


NEW YORK (AP) — The parents of a gay U.S. college student tortured and murdered in 1998 are traveling to Russia on Friday to spread their message of tolerance and acceptance in a country where anti-gay policies and attitudes are widespread.

The centerpiece of their five-day trip is a gay film festival in St. Petersburg at which a documentary film about Matthew Shepard will be shown and discussed. The film's director, Michele Josue, a high school classmate and close friend of Matthew's, will be accompanying the Shepards on the trip.

Matthew Shepard, at the time of his murder, was a 21 year-old student at the University of Wyoming. His death became a rallying cry for the U.S. gay-rights movement and was a factor in the passage of federal hate-crimes legislation in 2009.

The Shepards also will visit Moscow, and are hoping to meet with Russian parents who have gay or lesbian children.

Obama Executive order. Figuratively says to GOP... "¡Vete a la mierda con su porquería!"

Or, translated, "Go to hell with your B.S."

Haw! Boehner threatens to stop cooperating?

Haw! Get this, Boehner said if Obama does the Immigration Reform Executive Order, he and Republicans will... hehehee (Laughing so hard I can barely type...)... stop cooperating with him!!!!!! Bwahahahahaha, GOP cooperating!!! Hahahahahaha, Government shut down, scores of Obamacare repeal votes, tea party protests of stimulus, a half dozen invented scandals including Benghazeeeeeeeee!!!!!! Cooperation ending? Bwahahahahahahaha!

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