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The Left Column


Met Senator Sanders tonight.

We were working in New York today and had to catch a late train back to Philadelphia (which was really late by 55 minutes).

I was walking out of the waiting area when I spotted Senator Sanders, with one aide, standing in the concourse, also waiting for a late train. Walked up to him, said "Good evening, Senator. I want to thank you and tell you that you've made this old left-wing, commie hippie fuck very happy. Good luck."


Fox News Repeatedly Mocks And Misgenders Caitlyn Jenner

(Think Progress) "A segment on Fox Business’ Cavuto repeatedly mocked Caitlyn Jenner, who debuted her new identity Monday on the cover of Vanity Fair, and misidentified her with male pronouns.

Neil Cavuto introduced the segment by asking in an exaggerated voice, “What the hell is going on?!?” The reporter, Dagen Mcdowell then proceeded to incorrectly use the pronouns “him” and “his” to refer to Caitlyn seven times.

Faygo Kid

Caitlyn Jenner to Receive ESPYs Courage Award

(Hollywood Reporter) Caitlyn Jenner will receive the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs this year. Formerly known as Bruce Jenner, the Olympian-turned-reality star made her debut as a transgender female on Monday via a Vanity Fair cover.


Martin O'Malley's Views on Women's Rights Are Pretty Amazing — Women's Advocates Think So, Too

This may come to a surprise to some, considering his Catholic faith and his noted “Catholic values,” but Martin O’Malley is a full supporter of both abortion rights and increased access to contraception. O’Malley has received a “100 percent” rating from NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, who once praised him for chewing out former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on state-mandated ultrasounds. “Nothing says jobs like transvaginal probes,” O’Malley said in 2012, throwing some very public shade at McDonnell.


The remarkable humanity of Joe Biden

(Washington Post) Biden never had the rough parts of his personality polished away. The rough parts were, in many ways, who he was. And yes, that fact got him into plenty of trouble over the years and almost certainly ensured that he would never reach his ultimate goal of being president. And yet, the fact that Biden's personality never got scrubbed of its distinctiveness is also his greatest asset: He is as close to a real person as you will ever find in an office like the one he holds.


Joe Biden: "The reason I went home every night was I needed my children more than they needed me"

Remarks by the Vice President at Yale University Class Day, May 17, 2015

The incredible bond I have with my children is the gift I’m not sure I would have had, had I not been through what I went through. Who knows whether I would have been able to appreciate at that moment in my life, the heady moment in my life, what my first obligation was.

So I began to commute -- never intending to stay in Washington. And that's the God’s truth. I was supposed to be sworn in with everyone else that year in ’73, but I wouldn’t go down. So Mansfield thought I’d change my mind and not come, and he sent up the secretary of the Senate to swear me in, in the hospital room with my children.


It's time for the media to admit that Hillary Clinton is popular

(Vox) Quinnipiac is out with a new poll that confirms something the national media is loathe to admit and essentially never surfaces in their coverage of one of the most-covered people in the world today: Hillary Clinton is the most popular politician in America.

It would be genuinely silly to think that her early leads in general election polling tell us anything interesting about what will happen in November 2016. But they tell us a lot about how people feel in May 2015, and the way they feel is pretty good about Hillary Clinton.


News from Brownbackistan - Constitutional Crisis

(Mother Jones) The Kansas Supreme Court Challenged Republicans' Agenda. Their Solution: Replace the Judges.

Since Republican Sam Brownback became governor of Kansas in 2011, he and his allies in the GOP-dominated state Legislature have implemented drastic tax cuts—part of a "real, live experiment" in conservative governance, as Brownback put it in 2012, that has resulted in precipitously falling revenues. But Brownback's tax slashing hit a snag last year when the state Supreme Court ordered the Legislature to increase education funding, potentially forcing the governor to roll back his signature tax cuts in order to increase school spending. So conservatives in Topeka declared war on the court.


NSA bulk collection of phone data stops; Senate stalls as deadline passes

(LAT) After 14 years and hundreds of millions of records of Americans’ telephone calls, the National Security Agency stopped bulk collection of phone data Sunday, officials said, as legal authority for the once-secret program expired..

The move came as the Senate stalled on efforts to reform the agency’s authority. The portion of the 2006 Patriot Act amendments that the NSA has argued allows collection of telephone calling data and other records expired at midnight in Washington.

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Politics 2015

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Latest Breaking News

Congress sends NSA phone-records bill to president

13 min ago - WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress approved sweeping changes Tuesday to surveillance laws enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks, eliminating the National Security Agency's disputed bulk phone-records collection program and replacing it with a more restrictive m ... (AP)

Apple’s Tim Cook Delivers Blistering Speech On Encryption, Privacy

36 min ago - Apple CEO Tim Cook was honored for ‘corporate leadership’ during EPIC’s Champions of Freedom event in Washington. Cook spoke remotely to the assembled audience on guarding customer privacy, ensuring security and protecting their right to encryption. ... (TechCrunch)

Mexico Candidate Slain; 1,000s of Ballots Burned in Attack

57 min ago - Mexico Candidate Slain; 1,000s of Ballots Burned in Attack MEXICO CITY — Jun 2, 2015, 7:23 PM ET Associated Press A Mexican congressional hopeful was shot dead in a town bordering the capital Tuesday, becoming the fourth candidate to be slain ahead ... (Associated Press)

Ban on billing rape victims for exams passed by Legislature

1 hr ago - Ban on billing rape victims for exams passed by Legislature By BRIAN SLODYSKO, Associated Press | June 2, 2015 | Updated: June 2, 2015 7:12pm BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The commonplace practice of billing rape victims in Louisiana for medical exams s ... (Associated Press)

Former Maryland man held at Guantanamo alleges CIA torture

1 hr ago - Former Maryland man held at Guantanamo alleges CIA torture By BEN FOX, Associated Press | June 2, 2015 | Updated: June 2, 2015 6:17pm MIAMI (AP) — A former Maryland resident imprisoned at Guantanamo was subjected to mistreatment while in CIA custo ... (Associated Press)

Polls closed in congressional runoff in north Mississippi

1 hr ago - By EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — North Mississippi voters filling a vacant U.S. House seat Tuesday were asked to choose between a Republican district attorney and a longshot Democratic newcomer who would be only the third African-Americ ... (AP)

Activists: Decline of elephants in Tanzania is catastrophic

2 hrs ago - By TOM ODULA NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — The sharp decline of the elephant population in Tanzania, most likely due to poaching, is catastrophic, a wildlife conservation group said Tuesday. The Tanzanian government on Monday estimated that 65,721 elephant ... (AP)

Groups sue agency to block Shell's Arctic offshore drilling

2 hrs ago - By DAN JOLING ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Ten environmental groups Tuesday sued a federal agency over its approval of a plan by Royal Dutch Shell PLC for exploratory petroleum drilling off Alaska's northwest coast. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Managemen ... (AP)

Widower files lawsuit after wife's casket surfaces during flood

3 hrs ago - HOUSTON - One week after flood waters lifted the coffin of a Houston woman from an historic African American cemetery, a widower has filed suit demanding better cooperation from the church and the funeral home to put his re-lived nightmare to rest. ... (KHOU)

Senate approves USA Freedom Act

4 hrs ago - The Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill Tuesday to end the National Security Agency's controversial bulk collection of the phone data of millions of Americans who have no ties to terrorism. Senators voted 67-32 to approve the USA Freedom Act, which ... (USA Today)

Dems push smart tech handgun rules

5 hrs ago - Democrats are looking to place new restrictions on who can use handguns. The Handgun Trigger Safety Act introduced Tuesday by Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) aims to block criminals and children from using guns that do ... (The Hill)

California Senate approves health care for undocumented immigrants

5 hrs ago - A proposal to expand health care to Californians in the country illegally cleared the Senate on Tuesday, passing on a 28-11 vote and heading to the Assembly. Senate Bill 4 would allow undocumented immigrants to purchase health insurance on the state ... (Sacramento Bee)

Jean Ritchie, Who Revived Appalachian Folk Songs, Dies at 92

5 hrs ago - Jean Ritchie, who brought hundreds of traditional songs from her native Appalachia to a wide audience — singing of faith and unfaithfulness, murder and revenge, love unrequited and love lost — and in the process helped ignite the folk song revival of ... (NY Times)

Campaign to Draft Warren Suspends Efforts

6 hrs ago - By Andrew Desiderio - June 2, 2015 Two advocacy groups encouraging Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run for president in 2016 have suspended their efforts. The liberal senator has said repeatedly she will not seek the Oval Office next year, a ... (Real Clear Politics)

Elizabeth Warren blasts Mary Jo White’s SEC leadership

8 hrs ago - Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday blasted the leadership of Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White, calling it “extremely disappointing.” It’s the most aggressive critique yet from the Massachusetts Democrat, who has often critic ... (MarketWatch)

US senators call for mandatory reporting of police killings

8 hrs ago - A plan to force all American law enforcement agencies to report killings by their officers was unveiled by US senators on Tuesday, a day after the Guardian published an investigation into the fatal use of force by police. Senators Barbara Boxer of C ... (The Guardian)

Chafee to announce presidential bid at foreign policy talk

8 hrs ago - There were those who never thought he had a chance of being mayor. There were still more that thought he would stumble when he first ran for the U.S. Senate seat his father once held, and even more refused to believe he could win as an independent fo ... (Warwick Beacon)

Ted Cruz believes JFK ‘would be a Republican today’

8 hrs ago - Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) made a campaign stop in, of all places, Massachusetts over the weekend, where he spoke to several hundred supporters in one of the nation’s bluest states. As BuzzFeed noted, the far-right Texan even connected his message to on ... (MSNBC)

Black and Jewish WWI heroes finally receive Medal of Honor

8 hrs ago - By NEDRA PICKLER WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor Tuesday to two World War I Army soldiers who may have been denied the top military honor in the past due to discrimination. "It's never too late to say thank you," ... (AP)

Fifa: Sepp Blatter to quit as president amid corruption scandal

9 hrs ago - Sepp Blatter says he will resign as president of football's governing body Fifa amid a corruption scandal. In announcing his exit, the 79-year-old has called an extraordinary Fifa congress "as soon as possible" to elect a new president. Blatter was ... (BBC)

Federal medical marijuana crackdown continues in California

9 hrs ago - The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Federal Bureau of Investigations raided a state-legal medical cannabis cooperative in the Lake Tahoe area Monday, in a chilling reminder that the four year-old joint federal-state attack on medical marijuan ... (San Francisco Chronicle)

Friend Of Boston Bomber Sentenced To Six Years For Obstruction

9 hrs ago - A friend of the Boston Marathon bomber, who admitted to obstructing the investigation of the deadly 2013 blast, apologized on Tuesday for his actions at a hearing where he was sentenced to six years in prison. Kazakhstan national Dias Kadyrbayev was ... (Reuters)

Bird Flu Pushes Egg Price Up Sharply

9 hrs ago - The price of Midwest eggs more than doubled in the past week because of the growing avian influenza epidemic, which has caused millions of chickens, turkeys and other birds to die or be euthanized. On Friday, the average wholesale price of a dozen l ... (Associated Press)

Edward Snowden Awarded Freedom Of Expression Prize In Norway

10 hrs ago - Former security contractor Edward Snowden won a Norwegian prize for freedom of expression Tuesday and received yet another invitation to leave his exile and receive the award in person. The Norwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of Expression s ... (Agence France-Presse)

U.S. May Auto Sales Race To Strongest Pace In Nearly Decade

10 hrs ago - The U.S. auto industry remained on track for the best sales year in a decade as consumers bought cars and trucks in May at the fastest pace in almost a decade. Sales of pickup trucks and SUVs again led the way, which bodes well for the profit margin ... (Reuters)

Boston police shoot, kill man being watched by terrorism task force

10 hrs ago - A man under surveillance by the Joint Terrorism Task Force was shot and killed Tuesday morning by a Boston police officer. The officer and an FBI agent confronted a man in the parking lot of a CVS pharmacy on Washington Street in the city's Roslinda ... (WCVB)

Pew Study: Right-Wing Radio Shows Among Most Distrusted Sources Of News

11 hrs ago - A new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck's talk radio shows are more distrusted than trusted among three generations surveyed by Pew. Pew surveyed millennials, Generation Xers, and ba ... (Pew Research Center)

Live anthrax samples shipped to 3 Canadian laboratories by U.S. military, report says

12 hrs ago - Names of Canadian labs have not been released Live anthrax samples were shipped to three laboratories in Canada by a U.S. military lab, USA Today reported on Monday, following disclosures last week that samples of the bacteria were mistakenly sent t ... (CBC, Reuters)

Safety zone: Fox’s Megyn Kelly says she won’t ask the Duggars any ‘tough’ questions

12 hrs ago - Don’t expect Megyn Kelly to conduct a “cross-examination” of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar during their scheduled appearance Wednesday on Fox News. The host warned viewers that she may not be as “tough” as some might wish in asking the reality TV star ... (Raw Story)

The FBI is operating a small air force to spy on Americans

13 hrs ago - WASHINGTON (AP) — The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology — all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, ... (Associated Press)