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Member since: Tue May 13, 2008, 03:07 AM
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Elizabeth Warren JOINS Call To SAVE THE INTERNET

Sen. Elizabeth Warren joins the growing number of Democratic lawmakers who want to save the internet. In this Facebook post she homes in on the key point—the proposed rule the Federal Communications Commission will consider in two weeks is a big giveaway to corporate interests.

We don’t know who is going to have the next big idea in this country, but we’re pretty sure they’re going to need to get online to do it. Reports that the FCC may gut net neutrality are disturbing, and would be just one more way the playing field is tilted for the rich and powerful who have already made it. Our regulators already have all the tools they need to protect a free and open Internet—where a handful of companies cannot block or filter or charge access fees for what we do online. They should stand up and use them.


The proposal put forward by Chairman Tom Wheeler essentially gives up on the idea of making internet providers treat everybody alike in their access to internet users. Content providers—like Netflix—would have to pay extra to the big internet service providers like Verizon in order to make sure they get on the fast lanes of the internet, and their customers get the experience they're paying for. This is the route that Chairman Wheeler decided upon after a court struck down the previous rule the FCC was using to enforce net neutrality. But, as Warren argues, just giving in and letting the big guys have the internet isn't the only option the FCC has—and in fact, the court decision that led to this proposed rule gave the FCC a much stronger option. The court made clear that the FCC absolutely has the legal authority to regulate broadband, and it can do it by reclassifying broadband providers into the kind of telecommunications companies they actually are like. That would mean the FCC could regulate them just like wireless operators and phone companies. And enforce net neutrality.

Which is the last thing that the broadband providers want. They've got the ear of Wheeler and inordinate sway with the FCC. The playing field, as Warren would say, is definitely tilted in their favor. The only way to combat that is by the rest of us making a hell of a lot of noise.




Angstadt tells Wemple that Fox News influenced his thinking about Obamacare. He says:- Yeah, yeah — they get people fired up. You know what, I really do have a different outlook on it. It’s really wrong that people are making it into a political thing. To me, it is a life-and-death thing. I didn’t care for Obama. I can’t say nothing bad about him now because it was his plan that probably saved my life.


The Republicans’ worst Obamacare nightmare is coming true. No, not the ones they have been telling the public they have been having. Their worst nightmare is that Obamacare is going to work, and that people will actually like it. Even worse than that, some Republican voters are starting to like it. One of those voters is Dean Angstadt. Angstadt is a 57 year old logger who lives in the Philadelphia suburbs. Philly.com, the online version of the Philadelphia Inquirer, told his story on April 28. Angstadt had gone without medical insurance since 2009. A staunch Republican conservative, he wanted nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act. When his friend Bob Leinhauser suggested that he sign up, Angstadt reportedly told him:

"..I don’t read what the Democrats have to say about it because I think they’re full of it..."


Heart problems forced Angstadt to make what was for him a distasteful choice early this year. He could sign up for health coverage through Obamacare, or he could die. He chose to sign up for a health plan, and now he’s glad he did. Philly.com tells the story of how Leinhauser, a 55 year old retired firefighter, tried to persuade Angstadt to sign up for health coverage. Each time Leinhauser brought up the subject, Angstadt refused to listen. He says:

"...We argued about it for months. I didn’t trust this Obamacare. One of the big reasons is it sounded too good to be true..."

As Angstadt’s health continued to decline his doctor insisted that he had to have surgery to replace one of his heart valves. Finally he relented, and Leinhauser helped him go online to fill out the application for insurance. He purchased a “silver” plan through Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield that costs him $26.11 a month. Angstadt tells Philly.com:

"..All of a sudden, I’m getting notification from Highmark, and I got my card, and it was actually all legitimate. I could have done backflips if I was in better shape..."

Angstadt says that Fox News turned him against Obamacare. Chris Hayes highlighted Angstadt’s story on his MSNBC show, All In. According to Washington Post blogger Erik Wemple, Angstadt watched the segment online. He tells Wemple:

"..You wouldn’t have caught me dead watching MSNBC. That’s probably the longest I’d ever sat and watched MSNBC in my life..."

Now, Angstadt is trying to convince others to take a look at the ACA. He tells Philly.com:

"..For me, this isn’t about politics. I’m trying to help other people who are like me, stubborn and bullheaded, who refused to even look. From my own experience, the ACA is everything it’s supposed to be, and in fact, better than it’s made out to be..."




Joe Scarborough LOSES HIS MIND On Air And BULLIES Guest Over Benghazi


Fireworks begin around 4:46

During Thursday’s broadcast of Morning Joe, host Joe Scarborough lashed out at a guest and caused one of the more shameful and embarrassing moments to be seen on cable news, and that is saying a lot. The panel was discussing recent emails that were released by the White House, which the right has pointed to as a smoking gun when it comes to Benghazi. For Republicans that have been trying to make this supposed scandal stick, one particular email apparently shows complete and total proof that the White House tried to cover-up the truth about Benghazi. Of course, the email in question is actually one that discusses the administration’s overall foreign policy as it relates to the Middle East and was not a directive to get then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice to mislead the public on the truth about Benghazi, but that hasn’t stopped the media from running with it lately.

Anyway, Scarborough took charge during the discussion and was in full outrage form. After playing a clip of ABC’s Jonathan Karl peppering White House Press Secretary Jay Carney with questions on Wednesday about the email and how it proves that the White House was trying to cover-up what happened in Benghazi for political reasons. Scarborough then went into full-on crazy wingnut mode, claiming that the White House is using ‘doublespeak’ when saying that this email wasn’t about Benghazi as much as it was about the discussion of foreign policy at the time.

Frothing at the mouth, Scarborough then threw it to guest Donny Deutsch, who tried to talk about how this email will likely be ‘fool’s gold’ for the Republicans, especially if they try to run on it all the way through 2016. Well, that didn’t sit well with Scarborough, as you can see in the video.


VETERAN OFFERS UP HIS BURIAL SITE So That A Lesbian Couple Can Rest In Peace

An Idaho veteran last week was told that her now-deceased wife wouldn’t be buried next to her in a veteran’s cemetery. But now a fellow veteran is offering up his spot in the Idaho Veterans Cemetery in the hopes that the couple will be able to rest beside each other for eternity. Madelynn Taylor, 74, is a retired veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving for six years just prior to the start of the Vietnam War. She also happens to be a lesbian, who was discharged when she and another servicewoman told her superiors she was gay. Taylor fell in love with Jean Mixner in 1995. They married soon thereafter, though few states recognized their union at the time. When her partner died in 2012, Taylor began planning for her own death, asking the Idaho Veterans Cemetery to reserve a spot for herself as well as the ashes of her spouse. They denied Taylor’s request.

“I’m not surprised,” Taylor told Boise’s KBOI 2News last week. “I’ve been discriminated against for 70 years, and they might as well discriminate against me in death as well as life.” The cemetery has defended their decision, as the Idaho state constitution still recognizes marriage as being between one man and one woman. But now a fellow veteran is stepping up and offering a chance for Taylor and Mixner to reside beside each other forever. U.S. Army Col. Barry Johnson (ret.) wrote in an open letter to the Idaho Statesman that he believes that Taylor had served her country and deserves the same rights as everyone else.

“I’ll tell you what,” Barry wrote. “I will donate the plot I earned in the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery to you and Jean. I am happy to give my fellow veteran that small peace of mind. And I do it to honor all the great Americans I’ve served with along the way – gay, straight, whatever.”“I honestly couldn’t care less if somebody is gay, or ‘straight’ for that matter, just as I couldn’t care less about somebody’s anti-LGBT views,” Johnson wrote. “People seem to want you to be uptight one way or another about it, and I am content to simply respect somebody’s differences without a lot of fuss as long as there’s no harm done. Unfortunately, harm often is done, though, to people like Madelynn, and then I do care.”

A 27-year veteran, Barry continued that he’s worked alongside all sexual orientations and it never truly mattered, arguing “everybody more or less knew who is who regardless, and I don’t recall anybody in the military ever saying a thing about it. Never.” Barry admit that he isn’t sure whether the offer he’s made will be recognized by the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery and Taylor hasn’t been reached for comment on Barry’s offer yet. But now there’s a chance that Taylor and Minxer can have the eternity they deserve. “Give Madelynn and Jean and others like them a break. Stop finding reasons to make life – and in this case, death – harder than it needs to be,” Barry concluded. “That’s just irritating as hell and disrespectful to boot.”


ABC 'RIGHT-WING MOLE' Jonathan Karl Pushes Latest FAKE Benghazi Conspiracy Theory

"..Who needs Fox "news" when we've got "reporters" like Jonathan Karl?.."

Republican Boot-Licker.....................................

Who needs Fox when you've got GOP PR fluffer Jonathan Karl willing and ready to do their dirty work for them? Fox has been pushing the latest fake Benghazi non-scandal for the last day or two, so naturally Karl decided he needed to get in on some of the action at this Wednesday's White House press briefing.

ABC's Jonathan Karl And The Proof The White House Memo Wasn't Just About Benghazi:

ABC's Jonathan Karl, who was previously burned when he pushed falsehoods about CIA talking points generated in the wake of the 2012 Benghazi attacks, is now adopting the conservative distortion of a separate set of talking points authored by the White House for media appearances by then U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.

On September 16, 2012, Rice appeared on the Sunday political talk shows and suggested that the Benghazi terror attacks had grown out of spontaneous protests like those that were occurring worldwide in response to an anti-Muslim video. Conservatives have claimed that Rice's comments on the Sunday shows were part of a deliberate effort to deceive the American people about the cause of the terror attacks, to bolster President Obama's re-election campaign. This effort has often involved distorting the CIA-approved talking points that Rice used to prepare for the interviews.

Karl came under fire in May 2013 after reporting that the network had "reviewed" emails from administration officials regarding the creation and editing of those CIA-generated talking points. While nothing Karl reported undermined assertions from the CIA that the intelligence community had approved those talking points, Karl suggested that the emails bolstered the conservative critique of the administration's response.

In fact, Karl had never seen the emails in question -- his story was based on "summaries" of the emails and "detailed notes" from a source who, it turned out, had misrepresented what the documents actually said. After media observers slammed Karl's "sloppy" reporting, ABC News issued a statement saying that the network "should have been more precise in its sourcing of those quotes, attributing them to handwritten copies of the emails taken by a Congressional source. We regret that error." Karl himself apologized in a statement to CNN.

Now Karl is returning to the subject of talking points used to prepare Rice for those September 16, 2012, interviews, seizing on a separate email authored by Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes that was released yesterday. The email details "Goals" and "Top-lines" for Rice's interviews and provides sample questions and answers. [...]

In what Mediaite described as a "heated back and forth" during the April 30 White House Press Briefing, Karl hyped this false attack, repeatedly challenging White House Press Secretary Jay Carney over the Rhodes email and Rice's interviews.

During their exchange, Carney sought to make clear that the Rhodes email was not just about the Benghazi attacks but was a more extensive document detailing the situation in the Middle East more broadly, and thus that the comment that "these protests are rooted in an internet video" was not about Benghazi specifically. According to Carney, Rice depended on the CIA talking points for information on Benghazi and the White House talking points for other topics.

Conservative media have been quick to use the exchange to attack Carney and the White House. But the White House documents upon which Karl based his misleading questions support Carney's argument.

Read on...




THOUSANDS Of Christians Organize AGAINST SARAH PALIN After Waterboarding Joke MOCKS Baptism

“Gov. Palin was attempting to appeal to the basest political populism (nothing in her remarks could be construed as genuinely conservative) by claiming that current U.S. counterterrorism policy is overly-tolerant and empathetic toward our enemies,” Joe Carter of The Gospel Coalition wrote. “Unfortunately, what Palin is proposing is a mixture of pagan ethics and civil deistic religion.”

Is Palin proposing "Pagan Ethics & Civil Deistic Religion"?.....Nah, not Sarah..........

Faithful America, a large online community of Christians, has launched an effort to publicly denounce former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin after she mocked one of the religion’s most important rituals by comparing it to water boarding. Speaking at the National Rifle Association (NRA) convention last week, Palin had explained how things would be different if she were president. “They obviously have information on plots to carry out jihad,” Palin said of terrorists. “Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”

By Tuesday, Faithful America had already reached its goal of 15,000 signatures on a petition condemning Palin for the remarks. “This is what we’ve come to in America: A former candidate for vice-president can equate torture and Holy Baptism, and one of the nation’s most powerful political lobbies erupts into cheers and applause,” Faithful America noted. “As usual, Palin’s remarks are already making international headlines, once again portraying Christianity as a religion of hatred and violence.”

The petition states: “For Christians, torture is not a joke or a political punchline, but a ghastly reminder of the suffering of Jesus upon the cross. By equating it with Holy Baptism — the act by which we are united with Christ in his death and resurrection — Sarah Palin is blasphemously twisting our faith into a weapon of hatred and violence. No media outlet should cover her remarks without reporting on how sincere Christians of all theological and political persuasions are appalled.” The Washington Post reported on Monday that other Christian leaders had also spoken out against the former Alaska governor.



Donald Sterling Says He Will NOT BE FORCED To Sell LA Clippers By The NBA

"..Fox News Sports analyst Jim Grey Told Bill O'Reilly that he talked to Donald Sterling before Adam Silver gave him a lifetime ban and he will not be forced to sell the team..."

Fox News Sports analyst Jim Grey Told Bill O'Reilly that he talked to Donald Sterling before Adam Silver meted out his lifetime ban punishment for the racist remarks he made to his former girlfriend that were taped and said he will not sell the team. While Grey was describing how the owners could force Donald Sterling to sell the team he said this:

Grey: A three quarter vote by the Board of Governors, by the teams that are in the NBA. If he doesn't comply they can start making all of his players free agents. The bottom line here is that they can make it so miserable, ostracize him, put him as a pariah that he is and it will be impossible for him to operate. They don't have to schedule preseason games, no one will play him. it's going to be very, very difficult for him to continue and it looks like they are going to.

I spoke to Donald Sterling before his punishment, Bill and he said he's not selling the team and he's not going to be forced to sell the team.

If Sterling stays true to his words to Grey and will not be forced to sell then we are looking at a long court battle if the NBA owners vote to make him sell the franchise which he must do. I hope he does the right thing by the fans, but that's not in Sterling's DNA.



Christian Organization FIGHTS BACK Against Sarah Palin’s Belief In Torture (PETITION)

"..Over 24,000 people have signed the petition thus far. The goal is 25,000. But surely there are far more than 25,000 Christians who are disgusted by Palin’s twisted views. And it shouldn’t just be Christians who sign this petition. Any human being who opposes torture should sign it. Torture and hate are not Christian values. They aren’t human values either..."


When Sarah Palin told a crowd on Saturday that America would baptize terrorists by torturing them if she were President, she disgraced the Christian religion. She also angered Christians everywhere. Her remarks disgusted one Christian organization so much that they created a petition condemning her and called upon the media to report how true Christians feel about torture. (Subheader) Sarah Palin is a disgrace to the Christian religion. Faithful America writes:

“This is what we’ve come to in America: A former candidate for vice-president can equate torture and Holy Baptism, and one of the nation’s most powerful political lobbies erupts into cheers and applause."


As usual, Palin’s remarks are already making international headlines, once again portraying Christianity as a religion of hatred and violence.” During a National Rifle Association rally, Palin told a crowd of 13,000 people that “if I were in charge, they would know that water-boarding is how we baptize terrorists.” Water-boarding is a form of torture in which a human being is forcefully restrained. Their head is leaned back and a wet cloth is placed over their nose and mouth while water is poured over it. The act gives the victim the sensation of being drowned. Upon taking office in 2009, President Obama ended the practice. Even John McCain, who suffered torture during the Vietnam War, condemned water-boarding as torture. Apparently, his running-mate Sarah Palin didn’t get the memo. She later doubled down on her remarks by calling those who oppose torture “wusses.” (Subheader) One Christian organization is fighting back. Faithful America doesn’t feel that way at all. They say opposing torture doesn’t make people wusses, it makes them true Christians. To make their point, the organization wants to “show just how many Christians are appalled by Palin’s twisted misrepresentation of our faith.” So they created a petition that says the following:

“For Christians, torture is not a joke or a political punchline, but a ghastly reminder of the suffering of Jesus upon the cross. By equating it with Holy Baptism — the act by which we are united with Christ in his death and resurrection — Sarah Palin is blasphemously twisting our faith into a weapon of hatred and violence. No media outlet should cover her remarks without reporting on how sincere Christians of all theological and political persuasions are appalled.”



Kerry: U.S. TAPED Moscow’s CALL's To Its Ukraine SPIES

"..The secretary of state claimed in a private meeting that the U.S. intelligence community has recordings of pro-Russian forces being managed by government handlers in Moscow..."

The secretary of state claimed in a private meeting that the U.S. intelligence community has recordings of pro-Russian forces being managed by government handlers in Moscow.The United States has proof that the Russian government in Moscow is running a network of spies inside eastern Ukraine because the U.S. government has recordings of their conversations, Secretary of State John Kerry said in a closed-door meeting Friday. “Intel is producing taped conversations of intelligence operatives taking their orders from Moscow and everybody can tell the difference in the accents, in the idioms, in the language. We know exactly who’s giving those orders, we know where they are coming from,” Kerry said at a private meeting of the Trilateral Commission in Washington. A recording of Kerry’s remarks was obtained by The Daily Beast.

Kerry didn’t name specific Russian officials implicated in the recordings. But he claimed that the intercepts provided proof of the Russians deliberately fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine—and lying about it to U.S. officials and the public. “It’s not an accident that you have some of the same people identified who were in Crimea and in Georgia and who are now in east Ukraine,” said Kerry. “This is insulting to everybody’s intelligence, let alone to our notions about how we ought to be behaving in the 21st century. It’s thuggism, it’s rogue state-ism. It’s the worst order of behavior.” Representatives for the State Department and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence did not respond to requests for comment.

Kerry has asserted publicly before that Russian intelligence officers were the “catalyst” behind the riots and government building takeovers in eastern Ukraine. But on Friday he told the private audience why he—and the U.S. intelligence community—were so sure of this assessment. If U.S. intelligence agencies have intercepted proof of Russia’s destabilization operations, as Kerry claims, it means that the code-breakers and eavesdroppers in the National Security Agency and the broader American armed forces have overcome Russian efforts to hide their military communications. In March, the Wall Street Journal reported that U.S. agencies were surprised that it had not collected any telltale signs of the Crimea stealth invasion at the end of February, suggesting the Russians had managed to give such orders without the United States knowing about it.



RIGGING THE RULES: Congress Moving Corporate TAX BREAKS

"...Republicans in the House are getting ready to push permanent tax breaks largely for corporations. They don't intend to offset them by closing other loopholes or raising rates. This is a case study in how the game is fixed and the rules are rigged..."

“The game is rigged and the American people know that. They get it right down to their toes.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren

Democrats need to hammer reTHUGS into pulp over this tax giveaway theft...............

This week, the House Ways and Means Committee is poised to demonstrate exactly how the rules are rigged. Beginning on Tuesday, the committee will mark up a series of bills on corporate tax breaks – known as “extenders” because they have been extended regularly every year or two for over a decade. Only now the Committee plans to make many of them permanent, at the cost of an estimated $300 billion over 10 years. And it does not plan to pay for them by closing other corporate loopholes or raising rates. The giveaway – almost all of which goes to corporations -- will simply add to the deficit. And no doubt those who vote for them will later demand deeper cuts in programs for the vulnerable in order to bring “spending” under control. The measures range from big to small, sensible to inane. Two centerpieces are glaring loopholes for multinational companies and banks, encouraging them to ship jobs and report profits abroad to avoid an estimated $80 billion in taxes over a decade.

Call them – one known as the “active finance exception” and the other as the “CFC look-through rule -- the General Electric tax dodges. The loopholes allow multinationals with huge finance arms, like General Electric or Wall Street banks, to dodge paying their fair share of taxes simply by claiming that U.S. based financial income is being generated offshore. These “exceptions” are central to how GE managed to declare a profit of more than $27 billion over the past five years, while not only paying nothing in taxes, but pocketing tax refunds of more than $3 billion. The multi-billion dollar multinational pays less in taxes than any mom and pop store that turned a profit. These breaks don’t pass the smell test. Making these permanent without offsetting them by closing other loopholes is a brazen insult to American voters. Republicans have railed incessantly about deficits, forcing austerity budgets that have impeded the recovery and cost jobs. For the first time, they even refused to pass emergency unemployment compensation to long-term unemployed workers unless it was “paid for” by cuts elsewhere. (And even after the Senate passed the measure with “pay-fors,” Republican House Speaker John Boehner still refuses to allow it to come to a vote)


But perhaps this time business as usual may bear a price. Warren is right: Americans are increasingly onto the game. As polling for Americans for Tax Fairness has shown, voters are outraged that corporations and the wealthy aren’t paying their fair share of taxes. They are incensed at the notion that Congress is giving multinationals incentives to ship jobs or report profits abroad. Or that Wall Street banks are paying lower tax rates than small businesses. Even the perpetually tanned House Speaker John Boehner will blanche at trying to explain how unemployed workers can’t be helped but multinationals need permanent loopholes to stash their earnings abroad. Even the glib Republican budget chair Paul Ryan will find it hard to justify deeper cuts that boot kids out of Head Start or cut Pell grants for college in order to make up for deficits produced by rewarding GE for stashing profits in the Cayman Islands.


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