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Member since: Tue Mar 8, 2005, 07:39 PM
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4 Republicans voting for Hagel: Cochran(MS), Johanns(NE),Shelby(AL), and Rand Paul (KY)

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=113&session=1&vote=00024

Paul is the one who surprises me. He had said in an interview it was possible he would vote for Hagel, because he voted for Kerry and had no more disagreement with Hagel than with Kerry, but he voted for the filibuster, so it is hard to follow the logic.

http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=113&session=1&vote=00023

(Yes, I have a hard time with Randian philosophy -- can we really call it that --, so if somebody could tell me where this fits with the classical obstructionism of the Tea Party)

Kerry slams Capitol Hill's foreign aid critics in first major address as secretary of State

http://thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/foreign-aid/283997-kerry-slams-capitol-hills-foreign-aid-critics-in-first-major-address-as-secretary-of-state

John Kerry ripped his former colleagues in Congress for contributing to public opposition to foreign aid during his first major address as secretary of State on Wednesday.
Kerry said many Americans believe that the United States spends 25 percent of its budget on foreign affairs, instead of the real figure of just over 1 percent. The main culprits, according to Kerry: politicians looking for an applause line.
“Where do you think this idea comes from?” Kerry asked. “Well I'll tell you, it's pretty simple. As a recovering politician, I can tell you that nothing gets a crowd clapping faster in a lot of places than saying: 'I'm going to Washington to get them to stop spending all that money over there.' ”
Kerry went on to call on Americans to “say no to the politics of the lowest-common denominator and of simplistic slogans and start making real choices that protect the interests of our country.”

...
"The kids whose lives we're helping save from AIDS, the women we're helping to free from the horrors of sex trafficking, the students who for the first time can choose to walk into a school instead of into a short life of terrorism – their strongest lobbyists are the rare, committed Americans who stand up for them and for the resources that we need to help them. And I hope that includes all of you here and many listening.”
...

Scott Brown: My tweets are because Iphone 5 is too hard to use

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/19/scott-brown-tweet_n_2716060.html

Scott Brown Explains Late-Night Tweets, Says He Wasn't Drunk

"Anyone ever hear of pocket tweet, pocket dial? I mean it was pretty simple. I have an iPhone 5. If anyone has iPhone 5, the keys are small. It's very, very sensitive. Ayla was teaching me how to get on Facebook and Twitter, and there were some areas I didn't really understand," Brown said to a local Fox station. "After her concert, we were here in the living room and responded to a couple of people and then put it in my pocket."

On Jan. 26, Brown tweeted three messages after midnight -- "Your brilliant Matt," "Whatever" and "Bqhatevwr" -- that drew attention because the former senator has kept an exceptionally low public profile since leaving the Senate and the announcement of the special election to fill Kerry's seat. They were later deleted.
...


OK, I am reassured, he does not drink. Not sure I am reassured really, because being drunk could have excused his difficulties with explaining things. Now, we're back to being Palin-light.

So, he does not understand Iphone5, he put his phone in his pocket without locking it (which may account for Bqhatevwr, but did his phone really tweet "Your brilliant Matt," by chance?). Sigh! And he is thinking about running for Governor? He may have problems to deal with that are more difficult than an Iphone5.

The Cool Kidz Club Is Open By Charles P. Pierce

Thanks god for people like Charlie Pierce. I am so tired hearing these Belway Pundits. I hate so much anonymous sources. There may be a few cases where it is justified, but for the most part, it is just a way to push memes without consequences.

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Chris_Cillizza_Explains_It_All_To_You?src=rss

When I start my re-education camp for Beltway pundits, whereby they are all marched gently into the Smokies to reclaim swampland and attend re-education lectures, Chris Cillizza of The Washington Post is going to be first in line every day for his bowl of rice. This is because, god love him, he is such a perfect combination of being-impressed-by-the-obvious and fall-on-your-ass centrism that I am constantly surprised that he hasn't yet been set in marble and used to adorn the tomb of David Broder.

Did you know, for example, that the Republicans are filibustering Chuck Hagel because some of them don't like him? Let Chris and some anonymous "GOP strategists" enlighten you?

"He's about as unsympathetic a character as you're ever going to see so the political danger is virtually non-existent," said one senior Senate Republican aide. Added another GOP Senate strategist: "Hagel doesn't have a natural base of grassroots support outside the president and Democratic leaders so it's difficult to see any real backlash developing."


Did you also know that Republicans (as they always do) Have A Point, which they will bravely share anonymously with Chris? And did you further know that politicians occasionally participate in politics? Let Chris complete your education.

[blockquote]Several operatives rejected the notion that the Hagel blockade is largely about politics. (Worth noting: ALL fights in Congress are at least 50 percent about politics and often far more than that.) "A number of senators have serious concerns with his lack of experience leading such a massive bureaucracy, in addition to his position on Iran and Israel," said one GOP strategist. "And in some ways, this is part of a broader debate and effort to draw attention to the administration's policies in the Middle East. The longer this nomination is drawn out, the more attention is given to those issues."

...
What the hell does it matter that the country is trying to extricate itself from the second of two wars, and that we don't have a Secretary Of Defense, and that the crops are going bad from inattention back on poor Leon Panetta's walnut farm? What does all that matter so long as Mitch McConnell's re-election is secured and Orrin Hatch gets his semi-annual hard-on? That Chris can't see the problem in front of him means that he's part of the problem in front of him. Here's your shovel, lad. There's the swamp. Let's get to work.

Hillarious response to the State of the Union in Spanish - Turn Cc on before listening to it.

Not sure what the problem is, but ABC's translation system is certainly interesting.

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/video/marco-rubios-state-union-response-spanish-language-version-18482403

If they fix it, you can watch excerpts of it on Colbert from Frebruary 13th

When Twitter attacks: how trolls use social media to silence

http://blog.sfgate.com/techchron/2013/02/04/when-twitter-attacks-how-trolls-use-social-media-to-silence/

In a recent interview with the Financial Times, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone repeated what’s become a stock line for him: “Twitter should be considered a triumph of humanity not a triumph of technology.”

...
But for every act of citizen journalism on Twitter helping to foment revolution in repressive regimes or assist people in a tragedy, there are dark and depressing examples of how human nature plays out in 140 characters.

Such was the case this weekend in the Twitter feed of Clara Jeffery, co-editor of Mother Jones.

On Saturday, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, described as the the most lethal sniper in American military history, was shot and killed at a Texas gun range, reportedly by a former Marine suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

Jeffery tweeted: “So much for good/talented guy with a gun being able to stop mentally ill guy with a gun.”
...
But the reaction to Jeffery’s tweet was swift and vicious, soon turning misogynistic and threatening, particularly after the responders realized she had a child. You can read much of the unedited responses here (or if you dig down here).

But these are a few of the nastiest lowlights:

“Erase those disrespectful tweets now you dirtbag motherf—– An American patriot lost his life tonight. You will regret this,” wrote @HeidiL_RN.

To which one wonders, RN as in nurse????

Apparently unaware of what Mother Jones actually does, @HeidiL_RN later called for campaign to have Jeffery fired from the progressive San Francisco magazine.
...
he only good news in all this is that many, many people on Twitter also rose to Jeffery’s defense, offering her encouragement, virtual hugs and pictures of adorable babies and dogs.

It was at least a mini triumph of humanity.

The Daily Vapors From Senator Graham

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Lindsey_Graham's_Morning_Vapors?src=rss

The Daily Vapors From Senator Graham
By Charles P. Pierce

Lindsey Graham, the man with the portable fainting couch, is worried once again, this time about Chuck Hagel and his "disturbing" performance before the McCarthyite crackpots on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and about the state of the world, which Lindsey finds dark and ominous, with bustling in all the hedgerows, and filled with low growling from the underbrush. To borrow a line from Lawrence Ferlinghetti, give us this day our daily dread, senator.

When asked whether he'd filibuster a Hagel confirmation, Graham said: "I'm going to try to make sure that I get all the information - he made 15 speeches for money, I want to know what he said. I want to get all the information available to us so we can make an informed decision. But I can tell you this, I've never seen the world more dangerous than it is now."

I lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis when I was nine-years old, Huckleberry. I hid under my desk at school. I prayed the Rosary with my parents while John Kennedy spoke from the Oval Office about "a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union." I spent most of my life with a couple thousand Soviet nukes pointed at me. I do not feel particularly imperiled by whatever it was that Chuck Hagel said in those 15 speeches, or that he said "containment" instead of "deterrence" when talking about the president's policy as regards to Iran. Presumably, the president still knows what his policy is. And even if Hagel believes in "containment" rather than "deterrence," so what? he can argue that out with Kerry, and with Brennan, and everybody else. The president doesn't have to listen to him, and it's not like "containment" is that outre a policy suggestion. Oh, I forgot, the Iranians don't value life the way we do because of the 12th Imam or something. My bad.

Jeebus, Huckleberry, have a cookie and relax.

ABC News: Tagg Romney Unlikely To Run In Mass. Special Election

http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/abc-news-tagg-romney-unlikely-to-run-in

Sources close to Tagg Romney on Monday knocked down a Boston Herald report that suggested Mitt Romney's son was considering running in the Massachusetts special election to fill John Kerry's Senate seat.

One source told ABC News that Tagg Romney "grew tremendously" during the elder Romney's campaign, but won't walk away from his company at this time


So, who's left? Kerry Healey? Dan Winslow? Seal Gomez? Ablow?

(a name I have not heard is Jane Swift, former acting governor of MA before Romney. She is as credible as anyboy else in this list).

VIEWPOINT: How A Very Smart Senator Showed Us Everything Wrong With The Modern GOP In One Week

http://thinkprogress.org/security/2013/02/03/1532701/viewpoint-how-a-very-smart-senator-showed-us-everything-wrong-with-the-modern-gop-in-one-week/

It shouldn’t have been this way.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is an undeniably smart man. Cruz is by all accounts a brilliant litigator, one talented enough in the courtroom to clerk for a Supreme Court justice and win a number of difficult cases as Texas’ Solicitor General. It wouldn’t have been crazy to expect that Cruz would bring a degree of argumentative rigor into the Senate after his victory in the 2012 election.
Well, Cruz had two golden opportunities to showcase his keen analytical mind, as he sits on both Senate committees that held high profile hearings last week, one on gun violence prevention, the other on Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE)’s nomination to be Secretary of Defense. And Cruz distinguished himself alright. Just not in the way one might have hoped.
...
Let’s begin with Cruz’ monologue at the gun hearing. The proposed assault weapons ban bore the brunt of his ire. He leaned heavily what he claimed were two Department of Justice papers — one from what he sneeringly characterized as the “Janet Reno Department of Justice under President Clinton” — that had proven the 1994 ban failed to reduce gun violence. In his words, the Senate was about “to reenact a law that, according to the Department of Justice, did absolutely nothing to reduce gun violence.”
Literally every claim in that sentence is false.
...
This adulation illustrates just how deeply rooted GOP dysfunction is. The Republican base elects someone like Cruz, who’s extreme enough to have suggested the United Nations was coming for America’s golf courses. Cruz, who’s not only a ideological member of the base but beholden to it, brings its unsupportable ideas and implacably hostile attitude to the center of the Republican party. And he’s rewarded not just by adulation from his supporters, but widespread praise from the ostensibly serious conservative commentariat. There’s just no incentive for any Republican to speak out against the party’s descent into paranoia, and every reason to believe you’ll be rewarded by giving into it.
So if you want to know why the Republican Party will remain broken for the foreseeable future, go watch the Ted Cruz game tape from this week. And try to think how it could have been otherwise.

Ed Markey's campaign Twitter account and email.

http://www.edmarkey.com/ (Not much to see here right now, but you can subscribe to emails)

Twitter account @EdMarkey
Dear xxx,

Here we go. I just launched my campaign for U.S. Senate.

I’m running now because the fight for the progressive values that John Kerry stood up for and we believe in are at stake.

We have a short but critical campaign in front of us, with important issues facing the Commonwealth and our country. We can expect to find ourselves in a fierce fight -- and we need a grassroots organization ready to win it.

|Will you stand with me today? Click here to help me launch this grassroots campaign by raising $500,000 in our first month.
https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/markey-kickoff-mb?refcode=markey
The challenge before us is clear. This is the only Senate election in 2013. And while I’ve called on all candidates entering the race to join me and commit to the People’s Pledge that kept special interest spending out of our Senate race last year, we know how badly Karl Rove and his allies want to buy this seat.

The nation’s focus will be squarely on Massachusetts over the next five months, and we need to be ready.

We need to get off to a strong start by raising $500,000 in February. Can you help us reach that goal with a contribution right now?
https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/markey-kickoff-mb?refcode=markey

The victories we won in 2012 -- from re-electing President Obama to sending Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats to the Senate -- mean we can make much progress in the months and years ahead.

We simply cannot afford to lose momentum now.

I’m ready to take on the tough issues -- gun violence, climate change, health care. But first we must come together to win an historic campaign.

I’m off and running -- and I need your help to raise $500,000 before the end of February. Click here to give $10 or more today.
https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/markey-kickoff-mb?refcode=markey

Thanks for standing with me today.

Ed
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