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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Home country: USA
Current location: Amherst. MA
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 11,081

Journal Archives

Rove-backed Crossroads adds Colo. to fall TV plan


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican establishment’s favorite political machine is adding Colorado to the list of states where it will be advertising this fall.

Crossroads GPS on Tuesday asked television stations in Colorado to set aside more than $6 million in air time to help Republican Senate contender Cory Gardner, starting in late September. The ad buy takes the totals from the Karl Rove-backed group and its super PAC, American Crossroads, to $26 million after Labor Day.

Crossroads GPS on Tuesday also announced $1.5 million in ads running now in Arkansas, Colorado and Iowa to help Republicans in competitive Senate races. The group also started $1.6 million advertising in two competitive House districts in California.

Crossroads is a favorite for GOP establishment donors and counts George W. Bush adviser Rove among its strategists.


Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/08/19/rove_backed_crossroads_adds_colo_to_fall_tv_plan/

Audit: ‘Obamacare’ tax not meeting revenue target


WASHINGTON (AP) — A government audit says an “Obamacare” tax on medical devices is falling short of its revenue target because thousands of companies aren’t paying it.

The audit by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration says the Internal Revenue Service needs to do a better job policing the tax.

To help pay for President Barack Obama’s health law, Congress enacted a 2.3 percent tax on the sale of medical devices used chiefly by doctors and hospitals, such as pacemakers and CT scan machines.

The tax took effect in January 2013. For the first six months of that year, the IRS estimated it would collect $1.2 billion from the tax. The audit said the IRS collected only $913 million — 24 percent less than the estimate.


Read more: http://www.salon.com/2014/08/19/audit_obamacare_tax_not_meeting_revenue_target/

Ferguson brings the libertarians: Why a new coalition has everyone confused

After Mike Brown's shooting, an alliance of left and right emerged to demilitarize police. But here's what it's not


One of the most misunderstood elements of American politics has to be the fact that legislative coalitions are very different from voting coalitions. The most obvious case in point is the erroneous assumption that the coalition that often forms around civil liberties, featuring elements of the most ideologically committed members of the left and the right, means that these groups are in agreement as to the goals they wish to obtain. It’s not essential that everyone who signs on to a bill is doing so for the same reason, but it’s vitally important that people not misinterpret the joint action as a sign that we are entering a moment of bipartisan kumbaya that will heal the nation’s wounds and bring us together once and for all.

In the wake of Michael Brown’s death and all that’s followed, we are seeing this play out in what Jim Newell accurately described as a potential coalition of right and left on the demilitarization of the police. In this case it’s the hardcore wingnuts at the Gun Owners of America joining in with the ACLU to demand an end to the Pentagon program that encourages police departments to buy surplus military equipment at bargain basement prices, both of whom have endorsed a bill by Democratic congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia to do just that. But it’s important that we distinguish that the liberty concerns driving this particular joint endorsement are not coming from the same place or seeking the same end.

Gun Owners of America president Larry Pratt is not concerned about the police harassing and shooting young African-American men or using military tactics and equipment against peaceful protesters exercising their rights under the Constitution. He has never before expressed any concern for these issues in the past. What he is worried about is something else entirely. Just a few weeks ago he appeared on Alex Jones’ conspiracy show and articulated exactly what it is he fears the most. Right Wing Watch captured the moment:

Jones asked Pratt about a Washington Times report about a 2010 Pentagon directive — an update to a series of similar directives crafted under previous administrations — outlining how and when the military can use force to quell domestic unrest “in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the president is impossible.”

Jones, of course, read this to mean that it is “official and has been confirmed” that the military is “training with tanks, armored vehicles, drones” to “take on the American people, mainly the Tea Party.”


Poll: 70 percent of Americans want the government to quit trying to restrict abortion

Despite heated political rhetoric, most Americans have nuanced views on abortion and believe it's a personal thing


It was right before the 2008 elections that I found myself, almost by accident, talking to a friend’s mother about abortion and reproductive rights. She said she considered herself conservative on most issues and reliably voted for Republican candidates, but when John McCain’s record on abortion came up she remarked, “Who am I to make that decision for someone else? It’s not my business if someone gets an abortion.”

There are lots of people in this country who feel the same way, according to a new poll from NARAL Pro-Choice America. According to the national poll, nearly 70 percent of Americans don’t want to see more abortion restrictions enacted because they don’t want the government making that decision for anyone. The poll used a series of nuanced questions to collect the data, leaving more room for people to express their views beyond “pro-choice” and “pro-life.” Respondents were asked to select which of the following statements “came closest” to their own view: “I believe having an abortion is morally acceptable and should be legal,” “I am personally against abortion for myself and my family, but I don’t believe government should prevent a woman from making that decision for herself,” or “I believe having an abortion is morally wrong and should be illegal.”

Most respondents — 45 percent — identified most with the second statement, noting that they personally opposed abortion but didn’t want the government making the decision for people. Around 23 percent of respondents came out in full support of abortion rights, and around 24 percent came out against abortion rights without exception. According to the self-reported political leanings of the respondents, most identified as either conservative or somewhat conservative.

I think abortion is basic medical care. I think it’s moral. I know it’s incredibly safe. I know that the people who access this care have thought through their decisions, and I know that the doctors who perform abortion services are good doctors. I’m one category of person who falls under the headline “pro-choice.” But I know there are people who feel differently, but who still don’t want to see medical decisions being made by politicians instead of individuals and doctors.


Limbaugh Ties Ferguson To Benghazi: 'All Of This Is Barack Obama'

By CAITLIN MACNEAL Published AUGUST 19, 2014, 4:44 PM EDT

Rush Limbaugh on Tuesday inevitably found a way to tie the protests in Ferguson, Mo. to the Benghazi scandal.

A caller on his radio show told Limbaugh he was tired of reading about Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in media coverage of the Ferguson protests and said he felt they have been "using this event to gain political bank."

"That's the point. You gotta understand something. This is far bigger than the Reverend Jackson and Al Sharpton," Limbaugh responded.

He noted that he heard Sharpton had tried to charge the family of Michael Brown for his services before circling back to tie Sharpton's involvement in the Ferguson response to the Obama administration.

"But this is the Democrat Party, folks. The president of the United States is in charge of what's happened here," he said. "I think it is time for everybody to come to grips with a simple reality. I don't care what scandal you name -- Benghazi, Fast and Furious, take your pick, IRS -- has anybody involved in any of these scandals been fired? Not a single person."


Who Cares About Julian Assange?

AUG 18, 2014 2:19 PM EDT
By Marc Champion

Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, says he will "soon" leave his refuge in the Ecuadoran embassy in London, but not when. He says he is sick, but won't say in what way. He says he should be "freed," yet he is a captive by choice.

If Assange is seriously ill, he should of course be given medical attention, but beyond his health it is hard to feel much sympathy. His asylum ploy has been a two-year farce of his choosing.

Assange bolted for the Ecuadoran embassy in 2012, as soon as a U.K. court denied his appeal against extradition to Sweden to face questioning over the accusations of two women that he sexually assaulted them. He says the case is a ruse to get him to Sweden so he can then be extradited to the U.S. There, he suspects he would face prosecution in connection with WikiLeaks's publication of classified military papers documenting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There are two things to say about this. First, Assange's conspiracy argument never made sense, even though the U.S. actually is out to get him. There is no reason to believe he can be more easily extradited to the U.S. from Sweden than from the U.K. -- indeed, in terms of legal process, the opposite is true. So this is and always has been about the Swedish case: He should leave his refuge and volunteer to go to Sweden to clear his name.


The Obamacare Headline That The GOP Doesn't Want You To See

By DYLAN SCOTT Published AUGUST 19, 2014, 10:36 AM EDT

The headlines were all too predictable when Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield announced in June that it would request an average 12.5 percent premium increase for its Connecticut market. "Now EVEN MORE States Report Double-Digit Premium Hikes," the conservative Daily Caller trumpeted.

But that wasn't the whole story. It never is with Obamacare premium news, though that hasn't stopped news outlets from blaring headlines like that one from the Daily Caller whenever an insurance company announces its proposed rates for next year. Skyrocketing premiums are one of the last anti-Obamacare talking points that conservatives have to hold onto.

But then on Monday, the conclusion of the Connecticut story came. State insurance regulators had rejected Anthem's proposed 12.5 percent premium hike. So after some revisions, the company would instead lower its premiums ever so slightly on average -- 0.1 percent -- in 2015, the Connecticut Mirror reported.

That's right. Obamacare premiums in Connecticut are going down, not up. That news doesn't appear to have earned any attention yet from the Daily Caller. We'll keep an eye out.


Dinesh D’Souza tells Gohmert’s birthday party: Liberals think our wealth is ‘stolen Nazi art’

Conservative filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza asserted on Monday that liberals believed that they were justified in taxing the rich because they viewed wealth like “stolen Nazi art.”

During a 40-minutes speech at a birthday bash for Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) in Tyler, Texas, D’Souza praised the congressman for representing “the kind of American spirit, and fortitude, and good sense, but also practicality that’s very much needed today.”

But he warned that the Republican Party was losing the war because liberals were attracting more young people with a message of “justice,” which trumped the conservative promise of “freedom.”

“One of the things we need to do is to contest the left on the issue of justice,” he said. “They allege that the wealth of America is based on theft, and it’s the right of the government to come and seize your wealth, and my wealth because that wealth is stolen goods.”


'Say That S**t!' Fox Reporter Gets Cursed Out On-Air By Ferguson Protestor

By TOM KLUDT Published AUGUST 19, 2014, 9:56 AM EDT

A Fox News correspondent found himself on the receiving end of a profane, on-air tirade late Monday after he referred to the latest round of violence in Ferguson, Mo. as "child's play."

Reporting on the ground from the St. Louis suburb, correspondent Steve Harrigan described the scene to anchor Shepard Smith.

"This is right now a media event, pure and simple. This is people running towards tear gas, running away from it," Harrigan said. "The dignified protestors went home at dusk. This is just child’s play right now."

That description didn't sit well with a demonstrator, who angrily confronted Harrigan during the live shot.



Ferguson Hires PR Firm That Appears To Be Staffed Only By White People

Source: TPM

By DANIEL STRAUSS Published AUGUST 18, 2014, 4:58 PM EDT

The city of Ferguson has retained the public relations firm Common Ground Public Relations to help its communications department in light of the ongoing turmoil in the St. Louis, Mo., suburb and the firm appears to be staffed entirely by white people, according to the photographs of staff members on its website.

Common Ground is "assisting the city of Ferguson's media relations department with the large volume of media queries," Common Ground's Nina Kult told TPM. "We're just assisting in handling the large volume of queries."

The "Meet The Team" page on Common Ground's website seemed to only display Caucasian employees. When asked how the apparent lack of diversity on their team might factor into Common Ground's work for Ferguson, given the heightened racial tensions there over the death of 18-year old Michael Brown, Kult declined to comment directly on that aspect of their work.

"We're just handling media relations as of very recently and that's really all we're doing. We're just handling media queries and that's all I can really say right now," Kult said.


Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/city-of-ferguson-public-relations-common-ground

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