Member since: Tue May 13, 2008, 03:07 AM
Number of posts: 9,194
Number of posts: 9,194
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After the Republicans took over the House of Representatives in 2010, Hollywood bigwigs, often stereotyped as liberals, adapted. In order to build clout with the new Congress to help ensure favorable legislation, the entertainment industry started moving its money to Republicans. The Wall Street Journal chronicled this major shift last year. Now, emails from executives at Sony Pictures Entertainment, stolen in a massive data breach last year and posted in a searchable archive by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks on Thursday, provide details about how the movie industry -- at the direction of a Democrat, ex-Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut, who leads the Motion Picture Association of America -- sought to quietly raise funds for Republican national party committees.
A particular focus for the MPAA has been to raise money for Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the Virginia Republican who took the helm of the House Judiciary Committee in 2013. Goodlatte announced he would hold hearings on ways to update U.S. copyright laws, and expressed concerns -- shared by the entertainment industry -- that the “Internet has enabled copyright owners to make available their works to consumers around the world, but has also enabled others to do so without any compensation for copyright owners.” Later that year, Goodlatte’s team created a joint fundraising committee called the Goodlatte Victory Committee. According to an email sent by a Sony government affairs (i.e. lobbying) executive, Keith Weaver, on the day it was set up, the purpose of Goodlatte’s new committee was to “allow contributions to his effort WITHOUT giving to the NRCC,” a reference to the National Republican Congressional Committee, the fundraising arm for the whole House GOP. Weaver acknowledged that “all of the studios had the same sensitivity on this as we did.” However, the Goodlatte Victory Committee’s initial filing with the Federal Election Commission lists the NRCC as a participant in the fundraising vehicle.
After the committee was created, Dodd implored studio executives to attend an event the group was holding and to raise $40,000 apiece for it. “This event is important and in the best interests of our industry,” Dodd wrote in an email. “A number of you have had an opportunity to speak directly with the chairman in the past few months, and I know you share my view that he is a good man and we are fortunate to have him at the helm of the House Judiciary Committee for the foreseeable future.” In an email after the event took place, a Sony employee says Weaver recommended the MPAA’s political action committee send $26,500 to the Goodlatte Victory Committee, and notes that a portion of that would go to the NRCC. In 2014, Weaver wrote that Dodd was seeking to change MPAA membership rules to allow the organization to raise more money for its PAC because, under the current system, “Dodd finds himself routinely on the other side of an enormous number of fundraising requests” with limited resources to contribute.
A number of movie studios made sizable donations to the Goodlatte Victory Committee during the 2014 cycle, according to campaign finance data from the Center for Responsive Politics. Sony’s political action committee gave $36,500 to the committee. The Walt Disney Company raised more than $40,000 for the effort, and Time Warner raised roughly $35,000. Employees at 21st Century Fox contributed $8,000. Executives from the MPAA gave more than $20,000. Goodlatte, it might be noted, represents a conservative, safely Republican district in southwestern Virginia and has never been in a close election race.
Posted by Segami | Sun Apr 19, 2015, 02:27 AM (2 replies)
They definitely left his curlers on way too long................
For almost two weeks now, presidential candidate Rand Paul has been assuring audiences that something big will be coming out "in the next couple of weeks" to doom the Hillary Clinton campaign. Oh, he knows what it is. But he's not telling, because that would ruin the surprise!
"I think there is big news coming on the Clinton Foundation," said Paul. "I think there are things that went on at the Clinton Foundation that are going to shock people.
I think they're going to make people question whether she ought to run for president."
"Can you tell us what you're talking about?" asked Cameron.
"Then it wouldn't be a secret, Carl!" said Paul. "It's coming soon."
Ah, the old
I have information which would doom my opponent if it ever got out, but I'm not telling anyone what it is ploy. It's even older than the I have a secret plan to balance the budget but will only let you know what it is after you elect me pledge,
I have a plan to win our current war but—sucks to be you, our American boys overseas—will only be sharing it if I win the White House, otherwise you can all go to hell promise.
Well step up, Rand. There's a lot of people whose careers ride on beating each and every supposed Hillary Clinton "scandal" into the ground, then digging it back up and starting over. They've been analyzing "the Chipotle visit" for days now, their souls withering away with each bored, newsless day—and you're holding out on them?
Posted by Segami | Sat Apr 18, 2015, 05:17 PM (11 replies)
"....The 2016 election cycle will be filled with instances of Republicans attempting to mitigate their antigay stances in order to have a chance at appealing to millennials and being a viable candidate in the general election. What's most stunning is that 43-year-old Marco Rubio spent the week failing that test miserably...."
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio spent Monday night selling himself as the 2016 campaign's fresh face of tomorrow. Yet on Tuesday, MSNBC's Kasie Hunt immediately zeroed in on one of Rubio's major problems: his stance on same-sex marriage is so 1999.
Kasie Hunt: Seventy-four percent of young Americans show in the NBC poll that they back same-sex marriage. Are you out of step with younger generations on that issue?
Marco Rubio: No—well, ultimately the decision on how we define marriage has always belonged to the states. And if in fact, as the polls indicate, a growing number of Americans believe that sex—marriage between two individuals of the same sex should be—legal, then they can petition their state legislatures and change their state laws.
And in fact, I suspect you’ll see that happen. It’s already begun to happen. So at the end of the day, I always believed marriage is regulated by states. I’ve never supported a federal constitutional amendment on—on marriage.
Rubio followed the new GOP playbook on gay marriage—stating his support for the right of states to decide the issue. But there's two problems with his answer: first, he appears to have lied about never supporting a federal marriage amendment (FMA). In his inaugural bid for a U.S. Senate seat in 2010, Rubio filled out a candidate questionnaire for the Christian Coalition saying he supported an FMA.
A Christian Coalition spokeswoman confirmed that Rubio had filled out a candidate survey in 2010 when he was running for the Senate in Florida and attested to the voter guide’s accuracy, which she said was rigorously checked against candidate’s questionnaires, votes, and public statements.
Rubio's second and arguably more important problem is that he flat out opposes same-sex marriage and said so in his brand-new book, American Dreams.
"Thousands of years of human history have taught us that the ideal setting for children to grow up in is with a mother and a father committed to each other, living together and sharing the responsibility of raising their children."
Rubio, who proclaimed on Monday, "Yesterday is over," is clinging to thousands of years of human history to support his antiquated marriage stance. That not only puts him at odds with 74 percent of young voters, but also the 61 percent of young Republicans who support marriage equality. On Tuesday, CNN's Jake Tapper took Hunt's question a step further.
You are casting yourself as a candidate of a new generation, but there is an issue where you are very out of step with younger voters,” Tapper said, citing a Pew poll that showed 61% of young Republicans are in favor of same-sex marriage.
“On that issue, same-sex marriage, Senator, you’re the candidate of yesterday,” Tapper declared.
By Wednesday, Rubio was telling Univision's Jorge Ramos that he'd gladly attend a gay wedding.
"If it's somebody in my life that I love and care for, of course I would,” Rubio said. “I’m not going to hurt them simply because I disagree with a choice they've made or because I disagree with a decision they've made, or whatever it may be.”
The Washington Post declared the statement "the GOP’s next (small) evolution" while Salon's Joan Walsh called it Rubio's "gay rights hypocrisy." They got it about right: It's a little evolution and a lot of hypocrisy. After all, even if Rubio would attend a gay wedding, he still thinks people should be able to deny services to one. Here's what he told NPR's Domenico Montanaro this week:
"I think there's a difference between not providing services to a person because of their identity, who they are or who they love, and saying, I'm not going to participate in an event, a same-sex wedding, because that violates my religious beliefs. There's a distinction between those two things."
Posted by Segami | Sat Apr 18, 2015, 04:48 PM (3 replies)
Time magazine gave space to Rand Paul so he could fire off a love letter to the right's most prominent moneymen
Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the known universe came out today. It’s a useful bit of service journalism for those of us who don’t know that political leaders and Supreme Court justices and popular musicians have a good deal of influence. The way Time approaches this project is clever – they know that’s it’s not enough to simply tell you that these famous and influential people are famous and influential, which is why they recruit other famous and influential people to write vacant, anodyne blurbs about the fame and influence of the lucky duckies on the list. Hey, did you know U.S. president Barack Obama is an influential person? Well now you do. Thanks, Joe Klein! The Time 100 list also a great way for ambitious politicians to do a bit of sucking up to valued constituencies. Thus you have Hillary Clinton penning a sappy ode to “progressive champion” Elizabeth Warren. And then there’s “libertarian-ish” presidential candidate Rand Paul’s two-paragraph tongue bath of libertarian billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch. Here’s how Rand starts out, employing the painfully earnest writing style of a sixth-grader’s history report on Abraham Lincoln:
Charles and David Koch are well known for their business success, their generous philanthropic efforts and for their focus on innovation in management. Some also know them for their activism in the political realm. All of these are important contributions to society.
Hah. Okay. Team Rand could have saved a little time and just provided a mailing address for the Kochs to send a check, but appearances must be kept up, I suppose. The Paul family and the Kochs have had their ideological differences over the years, but the Kochs are far too powerful on the right for Rand to allow much friction to exist between them. What makes Rand’s dissertation on the Kochs’ influence great, however, is his treatment of the brothers’ ambition to use their considerable resources to remake government:
Unlike many crony capitalists who troll the halls of Congress looking for favors, the Kochs have consistently lobbied against special-interest politics.
For decades they have funded institutes that promote ideas, not politics, such as Cato and the Mercatus Center. They have always stood for freedom, equality and opportunity.
And that bit about the Kochs funding “institutes that promoted ideas, not politics” is straight-up hilarious. The brothers preside over a network of dark-money activist groups that aims spend close to a billion dollars this election cycle as part of an effort to transform the American political landscape and foment public hostility towards “big government.” They’re not simply “idea men,” as the sub-hed of Rand’s piece states – they’re trying to become a political force on par with the major parties.
“The Koch brothers’ investment in freedom-loving think tanks will carry on for generations,” Rand concludes, “reminding all of us that ideas and convictions ultimately trump all else.” That is the wrongest statement about the Kochs’ influence one could imagine. The brothers like to think of themselves as principled (and persecuted) defenders of “freedom” who are the only bulwark against the coming collectivist apocalypse, but their real influence is measured by the number of zeroes they put on the checks they send to candidates and activist groups, and by the (related) fact that a U.S. senator and wannabe president is sucking up to them in the pages of Time magazine.
Posted by Segami | Thu Apr 16, 2015, 01:20 PM (0 replies)
“....The NRA knows what they’re doing,” he said. “If your child is dying and there is only one way to get to the doctor, would you get on Harry Reid’s boat to get there?… I’d get on the boat, get there, and then I’d shoot him.....”
The above quote from Ted can be heard at about 2:00 of video.
Rocker Ted Nugent talked about hypothetically shooting Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Friday while speaking at the National Rifle Association's annual meeting. Nugent, who is on the NRA's board of directors, made the comment while responding to an audience member who asked why the NRA "endorsed Harry Reid to serve as the front man of Osama Obama." In video flagged by Media Matters, the conservative darling called Reid a "lying prick" after doing a bizarre impression of the senator. He then posed a hypothetical situation in which the audience member would need Reid's help.
"If your child is dying and there's only one way to get to the doctor, would you get on Harry Reid's boat to get there?" Nugent said. After a pause, he continued: "Then your child's dead. I'd get on the boat, I'd get there and then I'd shoot him."
Nugent later asked audience members to give the NRA the "benefit of the doubt" and continue to donate if the organization did something that didn't sit well with them. "If you see them endorse someone like Harry Reid it's because this deceptive bastard actually stood up for our Second Amendment rights contrary to the alternative candidate," he said, according to a separate audio clip obtained by Media Matters.
Posted by Segami | Wed Apr 15, 2015, 05:27 PM (6 replies)
".....It’s the libertarian thing: Paul gets fussy and starts throwing his pacifiers any time someone prods him over what exactly he means by this “libertarian” thing....."
In other words, Paul wants his “libertarianism” to be a cipher. He wants you to believe he’s a freedom-loving freedom freedomer, but doesn’t want you to actually know what he means by that, but instead to just assume that whatever his views are, they must align exactly with yours. As a strategy, it’s actually pretty smart. Paul wants younger, more independent voters to think he’s a different kind of Republican but he also wants older, more religious voters to think he’s the same kind of gay-hating, woman-suppressing Republican they prefer to vote for. Since “libertarian” is a meaningless garbage word, he’s hoping that both camps just assume that his definition of it aligns with their views. But to keep that strategy going, he needs a conspiracy of silence: No questions on abortion/gay rights, since that might rob younger voters of the illusion that Paul’s “libertarianism” means he believes the government should butt out of people’s sex lives. No questions on foreign policy, because he’s trying to convince Team Youth that he’s anti-interventionist while simultaneously trying to convince Team Christian Right that he cannot wait to start killing Muslims. No questions on drug policy, anti-discrimination legislation, immigration, anything where a genuinely libertarian view would turn off older voters, but where admitting he’s actually a conservative would turn off younger voters.
Looking at it from that perspective, it’s arguable that Paul’s tendency to fly off the handle, quit interviews, or demand imperiously that reporters act like stenographers instead of like, you know, reporters is all about trying to train the press to join his conspiracy of silence around all these issues. I mean, he may also just be a jackass, but the fact that this is targeted jackassery makes me wonder if this isn’t just a deliberate strategy, with the hope that once reporters key into the fact that certain kinds of issues reliably cause a blow-up, that they will stop pressing those buttons for fear of inciting conflict.
If so, he’s not just a jackass, but also a dumb ass. Nothing gets views and page clicks more than a candidate losing his temper. If anything, teaching the press that you can reliably get a tantrum by prodding him about hypocrisy or libertarian weirdness will encourage them to do it more. Of course, like Chris Christie, he may be banking on conservative enthusiasm for the idea that they are victimized by the meanie press refusing to be Republican propaganda corps. That might help him for a time, but at the end of the day, Republicans aren’t so nuts that they’ll try to win a national election on the false victimhood tip. They always end nominating someone who at least can act like a grown-up in public and Paul just ain’t it.
Posted by Segami | Tue Apr 14, 2015, 09:02 AM (5 replies)
A couple of weeks ago four of the biggest banksters, Citigroup, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, had a public tantrum about Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) being mean to them, threatening to take their campaign donations and go home if Warren and other good Democrats like Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) don't start making nice. Warren isn't buying it.
"...Do you think that if I used a sweeter tone with the banks, that if I said very nicely, 'We should have broken you into pieces,' that everything would be fine?" she asked audience members at the Know Your Value Conference in Philadelphia.
"Do you think that if I smiled more at banking committee hearings, that Wall Street would put me on their Christmas card lists?" she continued. "Give me a break."
"They didn't stop the train wreck happening right in front of them," Warren argued of the mortgage market's disintegration in 2008.
"What happened in the mortgage market wasn't like a hurricane or a tornado," she added. "What happened in the mortgage market was a deliberate decision by the financial institutions to improve their profits by selling mortgages that were like grenades with the pins pulled out...."
Wall Street is never going to acknowledge their responsibility for bringing the country—and a good part of the world—to the brink of another great depression, and they're going to continue to resent the hell out of anyone who reminds the rest of us that they did that. But resentment and outright threats are very different things. Of course Warren isn't going to be intimidated by those threats. From where she sits, with her enormous popularity and her messaging post in leadership, she can make other Democrats follow suit.
Posted by Segami | Mon Apr 13, 2015, 12:58 PM (4 replies)
WikiLeaks ✔ @wikileaks
Hillary Clinton has stolen our innovative WikiLeaks twitter logo design. Compare: @WikiLeaks vs @HillaryClinton
4:40 PM - 12 Apr 2015
Does the logo for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign look a bit too familiar? The former first lady and New York senator launched her second Oval Office bid on Sunday, which led to myriad reactions on social media.
One response was a tweet from media organization WikiLeaks, accusing Clinton's campaign of swiping their insignia. "Hillary Clinton has stolen our innovative WikiLeaks twitter logo design," reads a post from the organization's official Twitter page. The tweet offered a side-by-side comparison of the logos. WikiLeaks' artwork features an hourglass with a dripping earth, along with a red arrow, while Clinton's shows a red arrow used to form a large "H."
Reps for WikiLeaks and Clinton did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Posted by Segami | Mon Apr 13, 2015, 05:25 AM (98 replies)
In an interview with Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said that those who hate President Obama more than they hate the Ayatollah probably shouldn’t be serving in U.S. government. Before the show airs, Iowa Press tweeted out one big shot that the former Maryland governor took at the Republicans who tried to sabotage the Iran nuclear deal.
Iowa Press tweeted:
Iowa Press ✔ @IowaPress
"If you hate the POTUS more than you hate the Ayatollah, then you probably shouldn't be in the government of the U.S." @GovernorOMalley
11:15 AM - 10 Apr 2015
Former Gov. O’Malley spoke the truth. If policy positions and behavior are dictated by hatred of the President, then that individual has no business being in government. Unfortunately, Republicans have run in the two midterm elections on a platform of opposing and obstructing President Obama. O’Malley has been visiting the early primary states and laying the groundwork for a run against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary for years. His campaign will be that of a definite underdog. Progressive activists continue to dream of an Elizabeth Warren campaign that has close to no chance of happening. Bernie Sanders looks willing to run, but his entry into the race will depend on if he can raise enough money and support for his candidacy.
Posted by Segami | Fri Apr 10, 2015, 04:52 PM (12 replies)
Elizabeth Warren: There Needs To Be A Vigorous Debate In The Whole Question Of Running For President
NORAH O'DONNELL, CBS THIS MORNING: In the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton could announce any day now that she is going to seek the presidential nomination for and presidency in 2016. Do you think she's the future of the Democratic Party?
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN: Well, I think we have to see, first of all, if she declares, and what she says she wants to run on. I think that’s really the interesting question at this point.
CHARLIE ROSE, CO-HOST: You know her. I mean, you know her and you know her positions on most issues. Does she represent the Democratic Party that you believe the Democratic Party ought to be?
WARREN: I don’t think the Democratic Party is a static thing. The Democratic Party grows. The Democratic Party is full of energy right now. The Democratic Party is very much about drawing contrasts, frankly, with the Republican Party.
Posted by Segami | Fri Apr 10, 2015, 01:26 AM (3 replies)