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Member since: Tue Mar 8, 2005, 07:39 PM
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Steve Scalise office unsure if he spoke to white supremacist group (apparently now he is sure he did

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/12/steve-scalise-113854.html

“Throughout his career in public service, Mr. Scalise has spoken to hundreds of different groups with a broad range of viewpoints,” communications director Moira Smith said Monday. “In every case, he was building support for his policies, not the other way around. In 2002, he made himself available to anyone who wanted to hear his proposal to eliminate slush funds that wasted millions of taxpayer dollars as well as his opposition to a proposed tax increase on middle-class families. He has never been affiliated with the abhorrent group in question. The hate-fueled ignorance and intolerance that group projects is in stark contradiction to what Mr. Scalise believes and practices as a father, a husband, and a devoted Catholic.”

...

If he did speak to the group, the Scalise aide said, she “didn’t know they were a white supremacist group.”





Note
Apparently, he remembers now.


http://thehill.com/homenews/house/228207-no-3-house-republican-leader-spoke-to-white-supremicist-group
No. 3 House Republican leader spoke to white supremacist group


The office of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) confirmed to the Washington Post Monday that he spoke at a white supremacist group’s event in 2002 while he served as a state representative.

In 2002, Scalise was a local representative for LA 82. Highly unlikely he would not have a sign of that. The Republican leadership looks better and better.

Who is on the Washington Post editorial board

I could see this type of article from others, but frankly, from the Post, this s shocking. I know they have always been very pro Cold War, but how can they be that backwards ?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-obama-administration-extends-the-castro-regime-in-cuba-a-bailout-it-doesnt-deserve/2014/12/17/a25a15d4-860c-11e4-9534-f79a23c40e6c_story.html

Obama gives the Castro regime in Cuba an undeserved bailout

...


The administration says its move will transform relations with Latin America, but that is naive. Countries that previously demanded an end to U.S. sanctions on Cuba will not now look to Havana for reforms; instead, they will press the Obama administration not to sanction Venezuela. Mr. Obama says normalizing relations will allow the United States to be more effective in promoting political change in Cuba. That is contrary to U.S. experience with ? Communist regimes such as Vietnam, where normalization has led to no improvements on human rights in two decades. Moreover, nothing in Mr. Obama’s record of lukewarm and inconstant support for democratic change across the globe can give Ms. Sánchez and her fellow freedom fighters confidence in this promise.

The Vietnam outcome is what the Castros are counting on: a flood of U.S. tourists and business investment that will allow the regime to maintain its totalitarian system indefinitely. Mr. Obama may claim that he has dismantled a 50-year-old failed policy; what he has really done is give a 50-year-old failed regime a new lease on life.

Frank Bruni’s “Bush worship” is back: Why this Times scribe must not cover Jeb

Frank Bruni’s “Bush worship” is back: Why this Times scribe must not cover Jeb

Lord knows the political media is drooling at the prospect of Jeb Bush throwing on the old epaulets and ermine robes and getting the family back into the presidentin’ business. But none seems to be more thrilled by the news than the New York Times’ Frank Bruni:

[H]e learned between his 1994 defeat and 1998 victory to reach out to minorities and speak inclusively and hopefully. When he recently told an audience in Washington that a person had to be willing to lose the Republican primary to win the general election, he was in part alluding to that lesson, and he was telegraphing the tone that a Bush campaign would take. He was also signaling a suspicion of labels and boxes.


...
Why, he sounds downright loveable. Of course, Bruni has a long history with the Bush family, having been on the campaign trail with “W” back in 2000 and delivering some of the most glowing coverage any presidential candidate has ever been privileged to receive, and often on the front page of the New York Times. And the affection was mutual. Eric Alterman recounted a story that perfectly illustrates the relationship:

Shortly after the 2000 election, Richard Wolffe, then a reporter for the Financial Times, summed up what went wrong in the coverage. “The Gore press corps is about how they didn’t like Gore, didn’t trust him. … over here, [on the Bush press plane], we were writing only about the trivial stuff because he charmed the pants off us.” The New York Times’s Frank Bruni, however, did not think he or his colleagues were to blame. Rather, the trivial nature of his work was apparently the fault of the voters. “Modern politics wasn’t just superficial because the politicians made it so,” he argued. “It was superficial because the
voters let it be.”


And do not forget to read Eric Alterman's excellent piece on Bruni, just read it, I cannot excerpt it without losing part of it. But Bruni is way too often regarded as a great reporter/columnist. It is more like he is a stenographer.

https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/media/news/2011/05/26/9654/think-again-the-times-frank-bruni-or-how-to-succeed-in-journalism-without-really-caring-about-issues/

Think Again: The Times’ Frank Bruni, or How to Succeed in Journalism Without Really Caring (About Issues)

Our Unrealistic Hopes for Presidents

A great piece by Brendan Nyhan on how the idea a president can reach across the aisle is irrealistic.

[link:http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/14/upshot/our-unrealistic-hopes-for-presidents.html?_r=0&abt=0002&abg=0|Our Unrealistic Hopes for Presidents
]

When will we give up on the idea of a leader who will magically bring consensus and unity to our politics?

...

The public and the news media still want someone who meets the mid-20th-century ideal for a modern president: a uniting figure who works across the aisle to build support for his agenda and commands public opinion from the bully pulpit. While this image was always mostly a myth — presidents typically struggle to move polls or legislators’ votes — the political realities of the time did allow presidents to build more diffuse coalitions in Congress and attract broad public support when the circumstances were favorable.
...
However, the political system that helped enable this approach is disappearing. The mid-20th century was a historical anomaly — a low point in polarization that was made possible by the ugly history of race in this country, which enabled the rise of a group of conservative Southern Democrats who functioned almost as a third party. After the civil rights movement, the parties realigned on the issue of race, setting in motion a return to the historic norm of polarization that prevailed in the late 19th and early 20th century. This process, which is transforming all of our nation’s political institutions, has been supercharged by the way the parties have become more closely aligned with ideological movements than ever before.
...
As we approach the next presidential campaign, we need to stop asking who can achieve the unity that has eluded Mr. Obama. For better or worse, the partisan presidency is here to stay. There are some people the next president will never get, as Mr. Rock puts it. The question we should ask instead is whether the candidate we choose will — or can — govern well without their support.

If grief was color blind (Connie Schulz about Tamir Rice's funeral)

Please click on the link and read the whole piece. You may want to cry reading this.

If Our Grief Were Colorblind

Hundreds showed up Wednesday morning for the funeral of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

Tamir was black, and all but a handful of his mourners in the pews were black, too. A group of white people was in the balcony, armed with cameras and media credentials.

I point out the lack of white mourners at Tamir's funeral because it illustrates a willful disconnect, here in Cleveland and across the country. We white people, even the good-hearted liberals among us, tend to view shooting deaths of black children as a black problem. We don't say that. Most of us don't even think it. But how else to explain why virtually none of us thinks we should show up at such a child's funeral? How better to telegraph that we, too, have suffered a loss than to disrupt our day and walk through the door of that church?

...


From Deputy Chief Jim Polak's Nov. 29, 2012, letter in Loehmann's personnel file:

"It appears from the pattern developing within our short time frame with Ptl. Loehmann that he often feels that when told to do something, that those instructions are optional, and that he can manipulate them if he so feels it can better serve him. I do not say he is doing this for some benefit, or in an insubordinate way, but he just appears to have the mind set that if he thinks he knows better, (then) that is the course he follows.

"Due to his dangerous loss of composure during live range training and his inability to manage this personal stress, I do not believe Ptl. Loehmann shows the maturity needed to work in our employment.

...
On Wednesday, hundreds of mourners prayed for a boy who should not have died at the hands of a man who apparently should never have been a Cleveland cop.

"This is not a problem of black and white," Tamir's uncle Michael Petty said in his eulogy, "but of right and wrong."

May we prove him right
...

GOP House Leader from Polluted-Bakersfield Leads Fight for Dirtier Air

Different men, same policies.

http://www.allgov.com/usa/ca/news/top-stories/gop-house-leader-from-polluted-bakersfield-leads-fight-for-dirtier-air-141201?news=854972

Newly-minted House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) knows something about air pollution. A decade ago, his part of California averaged 153 bad ozone days a year and, while improved by force of regulation, it’s still the worst in the state. He’s averse to changing that situation in the near future.

McCarthy, who was promoted from whip this year when Eric Cantor lost his House seat, vowed to do what he could to thwart a new, stronger standard proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for reducing smog-producing ozone. Ozone is so geographically problematic in California, the federal government has a given the state a longer timeline to meet the standards.

In a statement, McCarthy called the Central Valley’s “cleaner air year over year” acceptable “progress.” But now, “EPA’s latest ozone regulation kicks the ladder out from underneath us.”

There isn’t that far to fall. San Joaquin Valley led the nation this year with 97 bad ozone days. If the new ozone standard were applied, the region would be out of compliance on 146 days. That’s not good. Ozone is hard on humans. It wrecks their lungs, wreaks havoc with asthmatics and has been linked to nervous system disorders and heart ailments.

There may be some disagreement about how low the particulate count has to be before people can breathe easy, but the consensus is we’re not there yet. The only question is do we want to pay the price to go lower.
...
McCarthy’s opposition to the EPA standard was echoed throughout the GOP hierarchy. Republicans are taking over the Senate and Senator Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), a vociferous climate-change denier, will become chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. The ultra-conservative U.S. Supreme Court is business friendly and the surging GOP is one presidential election away from controlling all levers of the federal government.

Voters in Bakersfield and Congressional District 23 might be close to getting the kind of air they voted for.
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