Saturday, May 31, 2014

Do you want to know if you have Alzheimer's?


Say, how 'bout those Rangers?

by Ken

There are questions that don't have easy answers, and maybe not even a good answer. In the May AARP Bulletin, Peter Janet raises one heck of a nasty question:

Do you want to know if you have Alzheimer's?

He writes:
When researchers recently announced a promising new blood test for Alzheimer's disease -- one that could be as simple to perform as a standard cholesterol test -- reactions were mixed. While some experts heralded the news, others worried that, until effective treatments are available, learning that you're likely to develop Alzheimer's could cause more harm than good.


If it were most any other sort of disease, I think most of us would say, of course the patient should know. So why should Alzheimer's be any different? There can be real advantages.

• "Experts say that developing a test for Alzheimer's allows for the possibility of more effective treatment. 'The main problem with treating Alzheimer's disease today is that the medicines are probably given too late to do much good," says Howard Federoff, M.D., professor of neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center, who was part of the team that developed the test. "Our research reports a biomarker that will allow us to select patients who have very early disease, and we can determine if medicines are more effective when given earlier.

"There's already good evidence that simple lifestyle changes can help slow the likelihood of developing dementia, says Jason Karlawish, M.D., professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, who was not involved in developing the test. "A heart-healthy diet, physical activity, and social and cognitive stimulation can help preserve cognitive function," he says. People who learn that they are at high risk of developing Alzheimer's may be more motivated to make healthy changes.

• "Early detection would allow people to make informed decisions about their care before the symptoms of Alzheimer's get in the way -- one reason both the Alzheimer's Association and the Alzheimer's Foundation of America support early diagnosis."


The fact is, Alzheimer's isn't like most any other sort of disease.

• " 'A positive result on a test like this could be devastating,' says Craig Klugman, a bioethicist who chairs the Department of Health Sciences at DePaul University. 'It could change people's outlook on life, making them anxious, depressed and withdrawn. Suddenly you find yourself living with this sense of doom that can affect every dimension of your life.' "

• "People who test positive might also suffer the added burden of feeling stigmatized or ashamed, experts warn."

• "The stress of learning that you are likely to develop Alzheimer's could even worsen the symptoms of forgetfulness and confusion. 'What was a simple momentary lapse of memory before now becomes a terrifying symptom of this dread disease,' says Klugman.

"Indeed, a recent study looked at the effect of telling people that they carry a genotype that puts them at high risk of developing Alzheimer's. Those who learn that they tested positive judge their memories more critically and perform worse on memory tests than those who are not told."

• "Like almost all tests, the new blood test isn't perfect. The 90 percent accuracy rate means that some people would be told they will likely develop Alzheimer's over the next several years when, in fact, they won't. 'That would mean someone's life was turned upside down for nothing,' says Klugman."


Good question. Say, how 'bout those Rangers making the Stanley Cup finals?


TV Watch: A love letter to "Gilmore Girls" creator Amy Sherman-Palladino


Given the size difference -- Dean (Jared Padalecki) being at least a full head (his head) taller than Rory (Alexis Bledel) -- kissing always involves a logistical challenge, but they hardly seem to notice, and they're so beautiful together, whether they're kissing or not, that they almost make it seem as if there might be some justification for the human race.

by Ken

It was that noted New York City philosopher George Costanza who described so graphically the perils to life itself when a person's must-be-kept-separate worlds collide. What else could I think of on a day when, sitting innocently on my living-room couch, I rewatched, in close succession, the Gilmore Girls episodes where Rory and Dean first kiss and then the Mad Men Season 5 episode where Rory kisses Pete Campbell, and kissing turns out to be the least of it!

Of course in Mad Men Alexis Bledel isn't Rory anymore. And while it didn't matter when I saw the Mad Men episodes with Pete's eerie fling, because I had no idea who either Alexis or Rory was. But that's all changed now, since I got the complete Gilmore Girls DVDs and devoured them -- seven seaons (2000-06, 154 episodes) -- in maybe two weeks.

The time frame alas can't be verified, since during that period I was kind of lost in time. Now it may be that I'm the last person in the world to discover Gilmore Girls

She's the wife of that dope insurance salesman Howard, the guy Pete runs into often on the train now that he's commuting into Manhattan from the Connecticut suburbs.

Our scene: It's the night of their three-month anniversary, and RORY and DEAN are in a salvage yard sitting on the newly installed front seat of the shell of a car he has begun building for her.

RORY: I'm having one of those moments right now.
DEAN: What moments?
RORY: One of those moments when everything is so perfect and so wonderful that you almost feel sad because nothing can ever be this good again.
DEAN: So basically I'm depressing you?
RORY: Yup.
DEAN: You're very weird.
RORY: And you're wonderful.
-- from Gilmore Girls, Season 1, Episode 16,
"Star-Crossed Lovers and Other Strangers"

The show, by the way, is also incredibly funny (the "ear" of the writing, obviously starting with series creator Amy Sherman-Palladino herself, is unbelievably precise as it whizzes past -- the show is famous for its lickety-split dialogue pace, which is how she wanted it), and the better you know the characters, the funnier it gets -- because it's all about people and relationships. Not Leo's department, I'd venture to say.

That said, I will venture this much of a spoiler: After Rory and Dean's deliciously as well as torturously excruciating courtship, they are so beautiful together that they almost make it seem to me as if there might be some justification for the human race.

Labels: ,

Another Inevitable Right-Wing Night Of The Long Knives-- This Time John Boehner's Kolibri


Jake Sherman at Politico doesn't exactly describe it as a modern day reenactment of Night Of The Long Knives, but when far right freakshow Chris Chocola was screaming about it on Twitter yesterday, he saw exactly what Boehner and his Chamber of Commerce/Big Business allies were up to in cutting off the legs of the Tea Party extremists who had given the GOP a populist patina in recent years. They would have liked to have gotten to Boehner before he got to them. With Steve Israel guaranteeing a solid Republican majority after the midterms, Boehner and his allies are making certain that the teabaggers won't be in any position to threaten his reelection to the chancellery Speakership. Up until now, they have concentrated on defeating Tea Party candidates in primaries and, with Chamber of Commerce money, they have succeeded spectacularly. Next they plan to flaunt their power by taking out an incumbent bagger, poor confused extremist Kerry Bentivolio with a detestable foreclosure and eviction monster, Dave Trott. They already failed when they tried defeating Walter Jones, another Republican who's sick of Boehner's systemic corruption.

Next step is to neutralize the noisy gaggle of libertarians, Tea Party stalwarts and principled conservatives who have rattled Boehner's cage for the past two years. According to Sherman, "A group of his closest allies-- including fellow Ohio Republicans like Pat Tiberi-- are discussing tactics such as trying to change GOP Conference rules to punish members who do not support the party’s nominee during a floor vote. A lawmaker who bucks the Republicans’ choice for speaker could lose committee assignments-- or worse. Boehner’s allies have already stripped some Republicans of their committee assignments for straying too far from the team.

In a sign of force, some of Boehner’s friends are considering releasing a letter with the names of several dozen GOP lawmakers pledging to vote for no one else besides the speaker-- making the election of a more conservative rival logistically impossible.

The effort is playing out amid ongoing speculation that Boehner may retire soon after the midterms, though the Ohio Republican insists he will stick around. And while his tenure has been defined by the tea party’s fury, the maneuvering to keep him in power is a reminder of the enduring strength of the GOP’s establishment wing.

Boehner’s critics are loud but disorganized and stand little chance of toppling him at the moment. But the talks represent a drastic shift in Boehner’s corner of the House Republican Conference and are, in part, a reaction to a laid-back attitude that is seen as both a strength and hobbling weakness for the speaker.
The Republicans who either voted for someone other than Boehner or just refused to vote for him in 2013:
Jim Bridenstine (R-OK)
Steve Pearce (R-NM)
Ted Yoho (R-FL)
Paul Broun (R-GA)
Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Tim Huelskamp (R-KS)
Justin Amash (R-MI)
Walter Jones (R-NC)
Tom Massie (R-KY)
Steve Stockman (R-TX)
Raul Labrador (R-ID)
Mick Mulvaney (R-SC)
Many of the extremists are plotting to replace Boehner with deranged Kansas fascist Tim Huelskamp, who was kicked off the Agriculture Committee 2 years ago for giving the Boehner wing of the party a hard time. It may cost them a lot more dearly if they go up against Boehner this time.

Labels: , , ,

How To Tell A Real Democrat From A Poseur


Above is a video of New York Attorney General, Eric Schneiderman talking about the real issues real Democrats should be talking with voters about. I don't want to offend him-- nor do I think he would be offended-- but he is an Elizabeth Warren Democrat. Blue America endorsed him for reelection today and you can contribute to his reelection here. Just over a year ago, Howard Meyerson, writing for the American Prospect, called Eric The Man the Banks Fear Most. Until Schneiderman had been elected Attorney General, Wall Street had gone completely unpunished for its starring role in wrecking the economy. Schneiderman has gone after the sociopaths and predators-- and, more often than not, DC has been an impediment, not an ally.
Schneiderman set out to rally public support for his position. This, in fact, had been his hallmark during his years in the New York Senate, where he had consistently spurred progressive organizations to mount grassroots campaigns in support of legislation. Arguing that his fight against a premature settlement opened the door to the kind of investigation into the banks that liberals had long sought, Schneiderman met in early summer with the leaders of the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union,, financial-reform groups, and community-housing advocates. They, in turn, urged other key attorneys general to withhold their support for a settlement until the deal was sweetened and Schneiderman’s conditions met.

Six months later, Schneiderman prevailed. In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama announced that he was establishing a joint working group to investigate the banks. The members would be drawn from the federal agencies Schneiderman had requested and the staffs of U.S. prosecutors and state attorneys general. The president designated Schneiderman as one of the five co-chairs of the group. Obama also made clear that the settlement would not include releases for bank misconduct in originating and securitizing mortgages. In February, the administration and the attorneys general announced that the deal-- which was increased from $20 billion to $26 billion to satisfy attorneys general from states with high rates of foreclosure-- had been completed.

Today, the staffing of the working group and the investigations themselves are under way. We don’t know, of course, what these inquiries will turn up, but depending on what they uncover, they could accomplish four goals that have so far eluded the Obama administration.

First, by offering a rigorous examination of Wall Street misconduct, they have the potential to do what the Pecora investigation of the early 1930s did for Depression-era America: provide an authoritative account of the role financial institutions played in plunging the nation into economic hell, a narrative that lays the groundwork for subsequent reforms.

Second, they could produce a settlement with a payout to homeowners and investors that dwarfs the $26 billion robo-signing payout-- a settlement sufficient to begin restoring both the housing market and the broader economy.

Third, they could result in criminal indictments of banking executives.

Fourth, should the banks’ liabilities and culpabilities exceed the banks’ capacities to make amends, they could even force some banks to restructure. This remains a remote possibility, but even the threat of breaking up a major bank could lead to a sounder and more equitable financial system.
I talk with candidates and their staffers all day. Some of them-- like Shenna Bellows in Maine and like Eric in New York-- are always inspiring. Others have their ups and downs and are filled with doubts and fears and confusion. (Shenna and Eric: no doubts, no fears, no confusion.) Right now I'm sopping up a lot of inspiration from Elizabeth Warren's new book, A Fighting Chance. If only all Democratic candidates could be like her!

When President Obama consigned her to work for Wall Street shill Tim Geithner, Geithner took her out to lunch on the first day on the job. "I have a present for you," he said. It was a cop's hat. "Perfect," she thought.

Much of the book looks behind the curtain to explain how financial reform and consumer protection was resisted, watered-down and passed in Congress. The Wall Street interests, their Republican handmaidens and ConservaDem shills never gave up and will never give up on trying to undermine reform and undermine any attempts that prevent them from raping and pillaging the economy and families that depend on the banks for financial services. Most Members of Congress take the side of Wall Street. Not Warren. And not Warren in a very big way-- a way we should pray more candidates feel inspired and encouraged to emulate. Here she is speaking about the establishment of the CFPB, so reviled by Wall Street and the GOP:
One thing about the agency's future was clear: It would be under attack from the get-go. The big banks had lost the fight over the CFPB, but they still had plenty of friends on Capitol Hill. If the agency was successful, it would put an end to tricks and traps that had produced some very fat profits. No one doubted that the big banks would try to cripple the agency if they could.

So the question was: What's the right way to set up an agency that will be under constant attack? The usual answer in Washington: Go slowly. Tread carefully. Don't offend anyone.

Not me. I thought the agency should go fast and fight hard right from the beginning. (Surprise, right?) The banks wouldn't hesitate to attack us aggressively in the battles to come, and I figured that nobody wins this sort of fight by worrying too much about stepping on toes. I believed that if people saw what the CFPB could do-- if millions of consumers were actually helped-- then people would keep fighting for it.
That's why so many progressives admire Alan Grayson and have no regard one way or the other for-- for example-- a powerful inside player like Steny Hoyer. And the key, of course, is when you can combine the most courageous with the most talented. Grayson, Sanders and Warren are the perfect examples. Only one of this year's Blue America-backed candidates is a former Harvard Law student of Elizabeth Warren, Stanley Chang, the Honolulu progressive in a very tough, crowded primary against a gaggle of better-financed hacks from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Stanley-- whose campaign you can help here on our ActBlue page-- does not come off as a confrontational kind of guy. He comes across as a man who listens to the other side and takes their concerns and arguments seriously. He's eager to use what he learned studying with Elizabeth Warren to advance the core progressive values he shares with Hawaii's working families. Will he be another Elizabeth Warren and another Alan Grayson if he gets to Congress in November? We asked him.
Elizabeth Warren is the key inspiration for my career in public service. Back when she was known as just Professor Warren, she taught my very first class in law school. She ran her classroom with the same directness and passion that she has shown throughout her life while fighting on behalf of working families. Alan Grayson is another personal role model, and it would be a great honor to join him in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He gets right to the heart of every issue and knows how to shape the national conversation on behalf of just causes. In seeking to represent Hawaii, I am grounded in the strong progressive tradition and values of our islands, while drawing on what I have learned from these great legislators to get results in Congress.

I'm ready to join these progressive champions in fighting back for the middle class by cracking down on unscrupulous Wall Street gamblers and making college more affordable for families by offering low-interest loans for higher education. We've got a lot of work to do if we're going to be able to take on the Koch Brothers and their Tea Party employees in Congress-- but I'm ready for that fight.
So is Marianne Williamson:

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Plutocracy And A Dystopian Future For Our Children


The wave of super-charged economic inequality-- spurred by uncontrolled greed and avarice and abetted by sold out politicians-- isn't just drowning the American middle class. This week, the British are being told to get ready for a grim future, with no chance for the vast population to "claw their way out of a hand-to-mouth existence."
Rising house prices will see the British middle classes disappear within 30 years, leaving behind a tiny elite and a huge proletariat, a Government adviser has warned.

David Boyle, a fellow of the New Economics Foundation think tank, said that for many young people today owning their own home was a pipe dream… [H]e said that the traditional middle classes would have to work multiple jobs-- with scarcely any leisure time-- just to be able to pay rent.

…“We won’t own our own homes, we won’t be able to afford it.

“It will constrain our dreams and constrain the dreams of our children. It’s a new kind of economy where there are no middle classes at all.

“Nobody in society will have the kind of space in their lives, space in their homes, space in their careers for any kind of culture at all, because we will be having three or four jobs to make ends meet.

“I think it will impoverish society, make it more intolerant and make it more difficult to live.”
The video up top is Bill Moyers' interview with economist Joseph Stiglitz, who has written a new white paper for the Roosevelt Institute showing how that paying our fair share of taxes and cracking down on corporate tax dodgers could be a cure for the kind of inequality-- and a faltering economy-- that David Boyle is warning his British countrymen about above and that Piketty talks about in his new book, Capital. Apple, Google, GE and a host of other Fortune 500 companies, he asserts, are creating what amounts to "an unlimited IRA for corporations," some of them paying no taxes whatsoever. This results in vast amounts of lost revenue for the U.S. treasury and the exporting of much-needed jobs to other countries in an endless race for ever cheaper labor costs. Stiglitz insists that there's an ethical issue of corporations using our national resources without paying for them. He says corporations like Apple are willing to take from our country by using "the ingenuity of America, based on the Internet, created, in large measure, by government spending, but not to give back" by paying their taxes. Stiglitz paints as frightening a picture of a plutocratic future as Boyle:
Our country faces a lot of challenges… 20 million Americans would like a full-time job and can't get one. We have growing inequality. We have environmental problems that threaten the future of our planet. I think we can use our tax system to create a better society, to be an expression of our true values. But if people don't think that their tax system is fair, they're not going to want to contribute. It's going to be difficult to get them to pay. And, unfortunately, right now, our tax system is neither fair nor efficient. Look at the tax rate paid by that one percent. It's much lower than the tax rate paid by somebody whose income is lower who works hard for a living, as a percentage of their income.

…We have this vicious cycle where economic inequality gets translated into political inequality. It gets translated into rules of the game that lead to more economic inequality, and which allow that economic inequality to get translated into evermore political inequality. So, my view, you know, the only way we're going to break into this viscous cycle is if people come to understand that there is an alternative system out here.

That there is an alternative way of raising taxes, that we are not really faced with a budget crisis. It's a manmade crisis. You know, when we had the government shutdown, we realized that that was a political crisis. That wasn't an economic crisis. And the same thing about our budget crisis, you know. It's not that we couldn't raise the revenues in a way which actually could make our economy stronger. We can.

If we just had a fair tax system, to tax capital at the same rate that we tax ordinary individuals, if we just made those people in that upper 1 percent pay their fair share of the taxes they got 22.5 percent of the income, well, let's make sure that they pay a commensurate part of our income tax, if we had taxes that would be designed to improve our environment.

…Our democracy is now probably better described as one dollar, one vote than one person, one vote. We have a tax system that reflects not the interest of the middle. We have a tax system that reflects the interest of the one percent.
What's most incredible to me is that an ill-educated voting public, spiritually poisoned by their own racism, bigotry and paranoias, brainwashed by right-wing media and a few profoundly anti-democratic billionaires, will vote itself-- and the rest of us-- back into slavery.

Labels: , , , ,

Friday, May 30, 2014

Confidential to [name of business omitted]: Here's another fine chance-to-win you've tried to hoodwink me into


by Ken

I know I've complained more than once about this newfangled fondness for trying to bribe us with the offer of a bribe that barely qualifies: the famous "chance to win" somethiing or other. However, I'm going to complain again tonight, on the well-established principle that nothing brings about change more surely than whining about something over and over.

I got an e-mail recently with the subject line "We'd like your opinion," from a company that deals in a service, a service that I have taken advantage of occasionally, with fairly pleasant results. If they had just asked my opinion nicely, I might have been happy to give it, even though in my experience these surveys seldom actually produce information of the sort that the surveyor hoped to gather. Nevertheless, I might have been perfectly happy to give it a shot, at least until I encountered one too many questions for which the offered choices didn't actually include anything resembling my actual opinion, the very opinion they claim to be interested in.

And if some little token gift happened to be included as a small reward for offering my opinion, well, that would have been okay. Unfortunately, however, these folks chose instead to offer me the dreaded chance-to-win. Here's their e-mail:

Dear [name omitted -- a person can't be too careful],

You have been chosen to participate in a quick survey to give us better insight on the [name of business omitted] experience. We are conducting this survey because we want to understand the [type of business omitted] experience from your perspective and improve our offerings to better meet customer preferences.

The survey has 9 short questions and will take approximately 3 minutes to complete.

We appreciate your willingness to participate and value your feedback. As a thank you, all participants will be entered to win a $250 gift certificate to the newly opened [name of establishment omitted, for reasons to be discussed below] at Pier 81!

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at [URL omitted]

To begin, please click here to take survey [link omitted].


The [name of business omitted] Team


After all, somebody presumably is going to win that $250 gift certificate. And it's a nice outfit, the gift-certificate issuer. I wouldn't mind trying out the product-and-service they offer. In fact, I wasn't originally going to omit their name, since after all they aren't on the offering end of this shifty chance-to-win offer. Or are they? Call me suspicious, but as I pondered how much [name of company omitted] had actually paid for the $250 gift certificate, I began to wonder if they had actually paid for it at all, if they hadn't gotten it in exchange for promoting the aforementioned product-and-service to their mailing list. In which case, if I had included their name, I would simply have been enlisted in the promotional effort, with nothing in it for me.

So I decided not to mention that company's name either, any more than i wished to single out the company making the actual offer. (After all, you know who you are, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises.) It's possible they meant well enough.

Despite right-wingers' decades-long war on U.S. vets, they expect Americans to gobble up their lies -- and they're probably right


by Ken

So Shinseki is gone as VA Sec, no doubt inevitably, and possibly deservedly, though we'll probably never know, since the psychotic lying scumbags who have been leading the assault on him not only are incapable of speaking a word of truth but have now effectively substituted their psychotic lying scumbag agenda for any possible consideration of discovery of truth and fixing it.

Howie wrote the other day about one of the most astonishing of the psychotic lying scumbags, a superscumbag among superscumbags, NC Sen. Richard Burr, a vile pile of puke who deserves someday to have to justify the time he has spent on earth turning it into the hell that he lives in inside his diseased brain.

The fact is that if you took a machete and disassembled Burr and every one of these other psychotic lying scumbags, you wouldn't find a single cell of honesty or decency. Even so, their historic and amply documented hatred of America's heroes is kind of hard to understand, even remembering that we're dealing with psychotic lying scumbags.

For sheer gall, you have to stand back and admire the right-wing screech assault on the VA. I had a fleeting thought to suggest that all the unaccountably uncaged right-wing beasts who are now having fake-orgasmic follies over the VA scandals be asked to pause in their lying orgy or right-wing scumbaggery to chronicle their history of support for veterans' affairs. Then I realized thatit would serve no purpose, since gethering that chronicle would take literally no time at all, since the lying scumbags of the Right have a combined history of absolutely no support of any kind at any time for veterans' affairs.

It's as if right-wingers hate veterans worse than the enemies those veterans had been sent into combat to protect us from.

For a country that has allowed warmongering to be stitched into the center of its psyche, one of the strangest phenomena is the depth of contempt and loathing our warmongering party has shown toward the Americans who are sent off to fight those wars.

Right-wingers love war. They worship war. You get the feeling it's what they do instead of sex, at least when there are no abusable friends or family, or hookers, or dishy callboys readily available and they would otherwise have to satisfy themselves with their vast reserves of porn. (What would right-wingers do without their vast reserves of porn?)


There's never any limit to how much money the right-wing psychotic lying scumbags are prepared to spend on war -- on budget, off budget, around budget. And the mantra is always "Support Our Troops." You can be tarred and feathered for Not Supporting Our Troops. We sure heard plenty of that during the Bush regime's orgy or warmaking.

But of course the right-wing psychotic lying scumbags never give a damn about Supporting Our Troops, only about Supporting Our Wars. Do we really not remember how ineptly armed, or even unarmed, Our Troops were sent into Iraq? Even though a war in Iraq was clearly at or near the top of the agenda of everyone in the Bush regime who had input into the making of foreign policy.

And when those Not Supported Troops, having lacked the good grace to die, are turned from troops into veterans, then they become the warmongers' enemy.

Parlly, of course, it's about money, and the role of government, which is basically to provide right-wing scumbags with the opportunity to steal as much of it as they can lay their grubby paws on -- and of course to provide the money itself for them to hijack.

And when right-wing psychotic lying scumbags get on their Gov't Is the Enemy mechanical horse, intoning that Gov't Spending Is Wasteful Spending, then of course it's the rest of us who have to live with the consequences. Whenever Congress was called on to provide adequate financial support for veterans' care, it was the right-wing psychotic lying scumbags who led the shrieking chorus of "Chuck you, Farley."

And when right-wing psychotic lying scumbags inflected mandatory automatic spending cuts, and a government shutdown, pretending in the depths of their devoid-of-realtiy delusions that these idiotic, dangerous actions in fact had no consequences, how were they allowed to sustain those vicious delusions?

Yesterday on the radio I heard one of the psychotic lying scumbags intoning -- in that mandatory tone of high dudgeon and high outrage -- about how it's not about politics or lack of public support and I assumed the earth must surely have promptly opened up and swallowed the slimepod, because as anyone with a working brain has known all through the scandals, those are the only things it has been about.

It's the right-wing psychotic lying scumbags who caused the crisis, and naturally they lie about it. Well, what would you expect them to do?

I had to flash back to one of those daily regurgitaions of imbecilic lying filth puked up by's one-note pyscho, TheJennifer Rubin, who is she were an actual person would be a lock for Dumbest, Most Corrupt Pile of Fake-Journalistic Puke on the Planet5. The Jennifer Rubin has apparently no other component in its machine"brain" than about 12 brain cells, which screech, "Obama did it." To judge by its "writing," you'd have to guess that The Jennifer Rubin was created to inhabit a world where there is no reality -- just the obsessive screeching of brain-dead propaganda screaming that everything bad in the entire course of the history of the universe -- all 6000 years of it -- is owing to Obama's socialism and corruption. I hope I don't have to add "Obama" is a code word for . . . well, you know the basic things it's a code word for.

Just a day or two ago I noticed The Jennifer Rubin frothing about how, predictably, the New York Times had taken potshots at George W. Bush, as if this were the most outrageous thing A Jennifer Rubin could imagine -- and possibly it is. The reality, of course, is that it would be impossible ever to take enough "pot shots" at that vile desecrator of human decency, at least until the day when everyone who worked for the Bush regime is safely imprisoned and the leaders have been executed. If Chimpy had been judged by the standards applied by the psychotic lying scumbags of the Right to Obama, he would by now have been executed about a million billion times.

Oh yes, The Jennifer Rubin and the VA scandals. Wasn't it about the VA Scandals that TJR was screeching a week or two ago about the apocalyptic dastardliness of it, and it doesn't matter whether you're a liberal or conservative, blah-blah-blah. As if TJR was mechanically capble of separating anything from ideology, from expressing anything that isn't filtered through rightwing psychotic lying scumbagger. She has no other subject, no other resource, no other reason for getting out of her storage unit every day to puke up more imbecilic filth.


Because those same psychotic lying scumbags have consistently done everything in their power to make sure it sucks, possibly because any pennies devoted to care for veterans are pennies that won't be availale to send more of our "heroes" into the next insane adventure the psychotic lying scumbag warmongers want to send them into to be killed and maimed.

And yet the right-wing psychotic lying scumbags get away with pretending that, when ti comes to veterans' care, they are the solution rather than the problem.

Labels: , ,

Why Elizabeth Warren Is Backing Brian Schatz Instead Of Colleen Hanabusa


Yesterday, one of the least progressive organizations working on behalf of Democrats, EMILY's List, sent out an e-mail to their followers-- most of whom are convinced that EMILY's List is still a thorpughly progressive outfit as it was years ago-- entitled "Elizabeth Warren's Footsteps." They are attempting to raise money, primarily to pay their own bloated salaries, but also to push their awful, conservative candidates, like New Dem Colleen Hanabusa, who they are running against progressive Senator Brian Schatz. Schatz is demonstrably better than Hanabusa on every issue, including every issue of women's choice and women's health. Thanks, EMILY"s List.-- for trying to equate this grotesquely corrupt and reactionary with Elizabeth Warren, America's hope for a brighter future.

Apparently, Elizabeth noticed the creepy EMILY's List e-mail seeking to imply she supports all their deadfall conservative candidates, right along with the handful of progressives-- like Erin Bilbray, Eloise Reyes, Carol Shea-Porter, Shenna Bellows and Kelly Westlund-- they happen to back. Most of their candidates are a motley array of dreadful Blue Dogs and New Dems, embarrassing for any organization wanting to call itself "progressive." She immediately sent this to her own list so there would be no misunderstanding about who she wants to see win in Hawaii:
Hi everyone,

There are plenty of people in Washington looking out for the billion dollar corporations and lobbying for Wall Street.

But you want to know who doesn’t have an army of lawyers and lobbyists? Working families.

Think about this for a second: Right now, the government is giving away billions of dollars in subsidies to Big Oil companies-- some of the most profitable companies on the planet. But at the exact same time, the government is making billions of dollars in profit off our kids’ student loans.

Senator Brian Schatz is precisely the kind of Democrat we need fighting to level the playing field for working families. He’s fighting for an economy where we put the conditions in place so every kid in Hawaii and across the country has a chance to succeed.

Make a donation right now to help keep my friend Brian Schatz in the U.S. Senate to fight for what we believe in.

Brian holds the same commitment as I do to make sure college is a path to opportunity, not a road to crushing debt. He knows that student loans are stopping more and more young people from moving out of their parents' homes, starting small businesses, or making purchases that grow our economy.

Together, Brian and I just introduced the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act to let people refinance existing student loans to today’s lower interest rates. It’s just one way that we can put real money back into young people’s pockets and give them a little bit of relief.

And Brian Schatz is fighting for what’s right in so many other ways too. On Social Security, equal pay, clean energy, and so many other issues, Brian is leading the charge to put working families above special interests.

When we stand together, we can make change on the issues we care about. Let’s stand with Brian Schatz. 

Make a contribution by June 1st to keep Brian Schatz in the U.S. Senate so he can continue to fight for working families in Hawaii and across the country.

Thank you,

Elizabeth Warren

U.S Senator
You can contribute to Brian Schatz's campaign here. There's even an EMILY's List endorsee on the page. But don't hold it against her; she's a great candidate anyway-- like Elizabeth Warren. EMILY's List is giving away Elizabeth Warren's book to raise money for candidates like Hanabusa whose vision is the antithesis of Warren's. Maybe they should keep one of the books and read it. Maybe pass it around among the staffers even.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Congress Passes A First Step Towards Marijuana Legalization


The House was busy last night. At just past 1AM they passed, H.R. 4660, a huge appropriations bill for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and related agencies. The final vote was 321-87. Sounds routine and humdrum? There were 25 amendments, 14 of which got through. The one everyone is talking about today is a bipartisan amendment from two Californians, Dana Rohrabacher ® and Sam Farr (D), which restricts the Drug Enforcement Administration from targeting medical marijuana operations in states where it is legal. The House has never passed any pro-pot bill before. THis one passed 219-189. 170 Democrats were joined by 49 of the more libertarian-leaning Republicans to pass it. 172 Republicans voted no, as did 17 mostly conservative Democrats. These were the 17 Democrats who crossed the aisle because they want raids to continue. Remember, when you contribute to the DCCC, many of these rightists are the ones who get the money:
John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA)
Karen Bass (D-CA)
Jim Cooper (Blue Dog-TN)
Henry Cuellar (Blue Dog-TX)
Pete Gallego (Blue Dog-TX)
Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX)
Bill Keating (D-MA)
Joe Kennedy (D-MA)
Sandy Levin (D-MI)
Dan Lipinski (Blue Dog-IL)
Jim Matheson (Blue Dog-UT)
Mike McIntyre (Blue Dog-NC)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
Nick Rahall (Blue Dog-WV)
Terri Sewell (New Dem-AL)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (New Dem-FL)
Frederica Wilson (D-DL)
Signing on as co-sponsors were an array of extreme right Republicans-- Donald Young, Tom McClintock, Paul Broun, Steve Stockman and Justin Amash-- and center-left Democrats, Earl Blumenauer, Steve Cohen, Jared Polis, Barbara Lee, and Dina Titus. During the debate, Cohen, a feisty progressive from Memphis, said, "We saw Reefer Madness in the thirties, and it has come back to Congress here 80-some-odd years later… Marijuana does not make people commit crime. It makes them overeat."

Another amendment that passed with big bipartisan support was Mike Thompson's background checks amendment, which won 260-145. 76 Republicans joined all but 3 Democratic Party NRA whores to vote for the modest amendment. The 3 Democratic NRA whores:

John Barrow (Blue Dog-GA)
Collin Peterson (Blue Dog-MN)
Nick Rahall (Blue Dog-WV)
142 Republicans voted for more mayhem and murder but Thompson's Republican co-sponsors were Pete King (R-NY), Joe Heck (R-NV) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA). The cosponsors, in a joint statement, said "Our national criminal background check system is only as good as the data you put in it, and right now all the information isn’t getting into the system. When this happens, we can’t enforce the law, and criminals, domestic abusers, or dangerously mentally ill individuals who otherwise wouldn't pass a background check can slip through the cracks and buy guns. Our bipartisan amendment addresses this dangerous shortfall of information by providing states with the resources they need to get their records into the criminal background checks system." The amendment provides an additional $19.5 million to help states improve their submissions into the criminal background checks system' a tiny baby step… but at least it's moving in the right direction.

The other amendment worth noting-- which passed 225-183-- was a profound piece if legislation by Orlando Congressman Alan Grayson which prohibits "the use of funds to compel a journalist or a reporter to testify about information or sources that the journalist or reporter states in a motion to quash the subpoena that he has obtained as a journalist or reporter and that he regards as confidential." That's right-- a codification to protect journalists sources. 53 Republicans joined 172 Democrats to pass this landmark amendment. Only 15 mostly conservative Democrats, led by Steny Hoyer, voted no, mostly the same old jerks from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party who vote with the Republicans on just about everything: Barrow, Lipinski, McIntyre, Rahall...

The Democratic leadership rated the amendment a "no recommendation" and the Republican leadership recommended a NO vote. This was Grayson's Dear Colleague letter than swung the balance and passed the amendment:
Dear Colleague:

In the last set of votes on the CJS Appropriations Bill, there will be a vote on having the Federal Government join 49 states in protecting reporter sources.  The amendment reads as follows:

“None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to compel a journalist or reporter to testify about information or sources that the journalist or reporter states in a motion to quash the subpoena that he has obtained as a journalist or reporter and that he regards as confidential.”

This amendment would bring federal law in conformity with the law of the States; of the 50 States, only Wyoming lacks protection for reporter information and sources.  This gap between federal law and State law has persisted for over 40 years, since the closely contested 5-to-4 U.S. Supreme Court decision of Branzburg v. Hayes.  Ironically, even though the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees “freedom . . . of the press,” absent statutory authority, federal courts have been reluctant to follow the consensus established by the States that protects reporters and their sources.  For over four decades, Congress has failed to fill this gap.

Support for such a law is bipartisan and bicameral.  In the House, last July, Reps. John Conyers and Ted Poe joined together in a op-ed article entitled “A Shield Law Is Essential to a Robust Press.”  In the Senate, Senators Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham have introduced a federal shield law that has drawn the approval of the White House, called the “Free Flow of Information Act.”

The need for a shield law is hardly abstract.  In 2005, New York Times reporter Judith Miller was jailed for 85 days for doing exactly what any reporter would do, i.e., refusing to reveal her source.

I encourage my colleagues to seize this opportunity, pass this amendment, and show our continuing respect for the U.S. Constitution, the First Amendment, and freedom itself.
And encouraged they were. The Establishment lost. America won.

Labels: , , , , ,

Do Famous People Sway Voters?


The big endorsement news in L.A. yesterday was when Mayor Eric Garcetti-- or as many people around here refer to him, future POTUS Eric Garcetti-- backed Ted Lieu for Congress in the CA-33 seat Henry Waxman is giving up. "Tuesday's election is extremely important for the future of our region," said Mayor Garcetti. That's why I am endorsing Ted Lieu for Congress. Ted is not only the most qualified candidate, but the type of person we need in Washington-- intelligent, ethical and relentless as a representative for our community. He has shown tremendous leadership on important issues of our time including climate change, healthcare and protecting victims of domestic violence. I am confident that Ted Lieu is the best candidate to strengthen the middle class, create more jobs and help workers save for retirement."

They day before, LL Cool J endorsed one of the vanity candidates in the race. Up top, you see the final version of the Blue America ad we did for Marianne Williamson-- we did a duel endorsement for her and Ted.

The ad has been quite an experience. It brought back the wonderful days I had working with creative geniuses like Joni Mitchell, Madonna, Chaka Khan, Lou Reed, Fleetwood Mac, Cher, Rickie Lee Jones, all artists acknowledged as "brilliant but." The "but" was that they were supposedly "difficult." I learned early on that tyne only artists worth anything were the difficult ones-- the perfectionists who aren't fooling around but what to get it right and expect everyone around them to get it right too. That's what making this ad was like on ever single level. I spent a lot of time on the phone today with Frances Fisher learning how a soft black fade is very different from a hard black fade and why that's important. She was very patient with me. I'm grateful.

Frances is probably best known for her role in Titantic and on ABC’s Resurrectiontook my breath away with her consummate professionalism and dedication. She worked with Marcia Cross-- probably best known for her role on Desperate Housewives-- and a tight group of local actresses and activists to create a Public Service Announcement titled I WOKE UP in support of Marianne Williamson’s campaign for Congress, although independent of her campaign and sponsored by the Blue America PAC I.E. Committee. This, in part, is the message we sent to the media about the ad:
Other noteworthy actresses involved in the PSA include Francesca Eastwood (Oh! You Pretty Things, Jersey Boys), Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand And Fog), Catherine Roberts, Debbon Ayer, Molly Weber, Nancy Moonves, Amanda Perez, Jody Carter, and Bonnie Bower. Also appearing in the ad is the Publisher of the L.A. Progressive, Sharon Kyle, along with Digital Marketing Consultant and Speaker, Nori Wolfson. Moby, a multiple-Grammy Award nominated musician and BMI Film & TV Award winner, donated the music that plays throughout the piece. The PSA will be airing online starting today via numerous web sites including the L.A, Times, and it will air on cable TV starting Friday morning on networks that include MSNBC, CNN, TBS, TNT, Comedy Central, USA, The Food Channel, and Bravo.

“We collectively felt compelled to stand up and do something to support Marianne,” says Roger Wolfson, who wrote and directed the PSA. Wolfson, a TV writer (The Closer, Saving Grace) who has been staff to Senators Kerry, Wellstone, and Kennedy, added “I’ve never seen any project come together as easily and quickly as this one.”

By all accounts, this was a collaborative effort. Marcia Cross, who has won two SAG Awards, one Satellite Award, and who has also been nominated a combined 13 times for the Primetime Emmys, Golden Globes, Prism Awards, and the Satellite and Television Critics Association Awards, came up with the slogan “I Woke Up.” She additionally contributed much of the dialogue. Explains Cross: “Marianne represents the quality of leadership we need in America, and we hope this piece can help create awareness for her and inspire action to vote for Marianne. She has changed so many lives, including mine. We felt this ad was the least we could to do support this incredible candidacy.”

The ad was conceived Friday night and shot on Monday-- Memorial Day. Frances Fisher, who has starred in Academy Award winning films like Unforgiven, was willing to serve as Assistant Director, Craft Services, and Final Touches for this particular set. “There is nothing I wouldn’t do to raise awareness of this incredibly vital campaign. Finally, we don’t have to go to the polls to choose between different flavors of vanilla. Marianne provides a choice that every woman should consider.”

The film crew included Director of Photography Steven Miles, Sound Work by Rick Brush, and it was edited by Writer/Director Stephen Lentini. The set for this film took place at the West Hollywood showroom of activist Jamie Adler, who appears in the ad next to her daughter, Ruby. Director John Wynn also contributed guidance and support. Even Mark Wolf, who served as a Filmmaker and Editor at The White House for President Obama, showed up as crew to take stills and work the teleprompter.

“The entire process was inspirational,” said Wolf. “Everything we needed seemed to appear, right on schedule,” added Adler. “We were fighting to give each other lines,” said Aghdashloo, an Academy Award-Nominated Actress who has won the Primetime Emmy, Independent Spirit Award, and the LA and NY Film Critics Awards.

On a personal note, Adler pointed out: “I have never been so proud of my daughter, who was as committed to the quality of this ad as anyone in the room.” Ruby Adler (9) added: “When I grow up, I’m voting for Marianne.”

Another mother-daughter combination the PSA captures is that of Fisher and Francesca Eastwood, whose passion for Williamson is well captured onscreen, when she explains: “I’m showing up at the polls, because I woke up.”

The issues the PSA touches on includes the misplaced priorities of spending more on candidates versus pre-natal care, Veterans, the need to reduce recidivism, and providing more teachers in schools to support and better educate our children.
Straight across the country in Maine, there was also a spectacular pop-culture endorsement today. One of America's greatest living authors, Stephen King did an OpEd in the Bangor Daily News explaining why he's supporting Shenna Bellows for the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Susan Collins: For This Lifetime Mainer, Bellows Is The Clear Choice.
It’s been almost 20 years since Maine had a Democratic representative in the U.S. Senate (George Mitchell, if you’re keeping track). The smart money says we won’t elect a Democrat this year, either, but this is a case where I hope the smart money is wrong.

No disrespect to Sen. Susan Collins, and no mudslinging, either; there’s precious little mud to sling. She’s been a purple senator in an increasingly purple state, where we have a conservative governor in Paul LePage and an independent (but centrist) senator in Angus King. But when I get those emails from the Collins campaign calling her “our Senator,” I have to disagree.

Sen. Susan Collins is considered a moderate who compromises a lot. Sounds good, but when it comes down to casting votes that serve Mainers, she always seems to end up with her Republican colleagues, led by Mitch McConnell-- the hardline block that shut down the government last year and has since neglected many urgent issues (including better care for our veterans) in a near maniacal effort to repeal an Affordable Care Act that is already working.

Moderation is fine, but only up to a point. It’s not helpful to Mainers when Collins continues to vote on the wrong side of policies that matter most.

Collins supports the Patriot Act, and has repeatedly voted for its renewal. She has repeatedly voted to authorize (and legalize) NSA spying. Shenna Bellows advocates repeal of the Patriot Act, and so do I. Obviously we need to keep an eye out for terrorists on American soil, but in the age of drones and mega-surveillance, it’s way past time to restructure this thing. And although Collins claims the NSA spying program is fair, it looks to me too much like a doorway to that world George Orwell wrote about in 1984.

Bellows supports raising the minimum wage. Collins opposes it, which makes me roll my eyes in exasperation. A $10.10 per hour wage in an America where gasoline costs $3.65 a gallon-- and where a great many Maine workers have to travel long distances to their place of employment-- seems fair to me. The idea that 10 bucks an hour will flatten the economy is basically an idea promulgated by rich greedheads who don’t want to pony up what’s fair to hard workers who are struggling to make ends meet.

Collins supports the Keystone Pipeline. This just makes me sigh, but not because of the pipeline per se. It’s where it comes from. This is tar sands oil, and according to the National Wildlife Federation, it’s “one of the dirtiest, costliest, and most destructive fuels in the world.” It lays waste to fragile ecosystems, emits more of the pollutants associated with global warming when burned, and creates lake-sized reservoirs of toxic waste. It’s a lethally short-sighted quick fix, and the supporters of the Keystone are its enablers.

Bellows believes that genetically modified foods (known as GMOs, and called “Frankenfoods” in my house, but that’s just us) should be labeled. In 2013, Collins voted against a law that would have mandated labeling these modified products, more or less turning her back on all the organic farmers here in Maine who were in favor.

I could go on. Collins voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, mandating that women get equal pay for equal work (and you thought Lincoln freed the slaves). She voted for the Iraq war, and OMG, what a horrible idea that was. Her personal views on same-sex marriage are unclear to me, while Bellows is frank and up-front on the subject, stating her belief that gay folks should have the same rights under the law as straight folks (and the same responsibilities, of course).

Collins has shown leadership, at least within her own party, which hasn’t always been easy. She shows up, she does the job, she interacts with her constituents. All good. For this lifetime Mainer, however, she’s on the wrong side of too many issues to deserve re-election. I’m voting for Bellows. No smart money there, just smart ideas, idealism and youthful energy.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Did You Think Democrats Protected Tenants From Predatory Developers?


Yesterday, tragically, the Democratically-controlled California State Senate sided with predatory real estate speculators who are destroying the whole concept of San Francisco as a diverse, working class city by displacing and uprooting tenants. There was an 18-19 vote against SB 1439, Mark Leno's crucial Ellis Act reform bill. Ted Lieu rushed back to Sacramento from his campaign in CA-33 to voted for Leno's bill.

This morning, San Francisco attorney and trusted tenants' rights advocate Paul Hogarth had a glimmer of good news: "It's not over; the bill will be reconsidered either today or tomorrow. Here are three Senators we must target like crazy today."
JERRY HILL (San Mateo County)-- go to his FB page at Jerry.Hill.CA and express your outrage. Hill claims he did it because he has constituents who own rental property in San Francisco, and "might" wanna do an Ellis Act within 5 years of ownership. What about all the tenants evicted out of San Francisco, and are now renting on the Peninsula? As for his landlord constituents, they can still do owner move-in evictions without Ellis Act.

ED HERNANDEZ (L.A. County)-- tweet him @dredhernandez and express your outrage. Urge him to reconsider and vote YES on SB1439.

BEN HUESO (San Diego)-- Ben Hueso voted "yes," and then switched his vote to "no." Could it have been all the money he gets from the real estate lobby? Demand he explain himself, and do the right thing by voting YES. His Facebook page is at /Senator-Ben-Hueso/514048398664628
It's worth noting that Hernandez and Hueso are both opposed to the fracking moratorium which is also up for reconsideration now.


The Senate reconsidered and the bill passed 21-14. The three villains we asked everyone to reach out to-- Jerry Hill, Ed Hernandez and Ben Hueso -- who all voted "no" on the bill the day before, voted "yes" yesterday. They did however make their yes votes conditional on pending amendments to water down the bill's effectiveness. So… still plenty of work left, and plenty of vigilance!

Labels: ,

Stop the presses! Via Twitter, a shocking revelation about Dana Milbank's shopping activities


Let's all tweet like the birdies tweet . . . .

by Ken

It's known in certain (very small) circles that I am not the world's most energetic enthusiast of Twitter, or of tweetin generally. I suppose it could be argued that all those people pointlessly twittering their lives away are making a larger contribution to society than if they attempted to get a life, but this distinction between worthlessnesses doesn't seem to me worth discussing.

Case in point: this tweet (I assume) from Dana Milbank in response to this other tweet.

I suppose, again, it could be argued that my citing a tweet shows the genuine usefulness of the medium. I'll let you all work out for yourselves what might be missing from that argument. For the record, I encountered Dana M's tweet via Twitter, though not from Dana but via e-mail from Twitter, which occasionally sends me these cryptic e-mail anthologies of tweets, presumably based on some preference I once expressed, before I realized that I would sooner be free of the whole lot of them. I suppose this too might be taken as proof of the bedrock value of Twitter. Again, however, think about it for maybe a second or two.

On the chance -- slim, I hope, though I'm not so sure -- that anyone has missed the point. Anyone who thinks there's any reason why time and/or attention should be wasted on the "news" that Dana Milbank has been "spotted" shopping at Whole Foods should be promptly institutionalized and prepped for ECT -- alongside the original tweeter.

Labels: , ,

Steve Israel's Reptilian Plan To Keep John Boehner On As Speaker


Steve Israel-- still pushing fellow Blue Dogs at the expense of real Democrats 

This morning the DCCC announced that they had reserved $43.5 million in broadcast and cable television time in 36 congressional districts-- 19 to defend incumbents (+ an open blue district) and 19 held by Republicans. If they win every single race-- which they won't (more on that below)-- they will still fail to take back the House. They call it "the biggest ad buy in history." A more useful frame may be "the biggest waste of donor money in history."

Let's get the defensive plays out of the way first:
AZ-01- Ann Kirkpatrick (New Dem)- 51.68
AZ-02- Ron Barber (Blue Dog)- 25.00
AZ-09- Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog)- 31.79
CA-07- Ami Bera (New Dem)- 48.43
CA-26- Julia Brownley- 64.78
CA-52- Scott Peters (New Dem)- 46.84
CT-05- Elizabeth Esty (New Dem)- 72.61
FL-26- Joe Garcia (New Dem)- 42.11
GA-12- John Barrow (Blue Dog)- 22.64
IL-10- Brad Schneider (New Dem)- 51.27
IL-12- Bill Enyart- 58.06
MA-06- John Tierney- 89.81
MN-07- Collin Peterson (Blue Dog)- 38.99
MN-08- Rick Nolan (Progressive)- 84.52
NH-01- Carol Shea Porter- 75.84
NH-02- Ann Kuster (New Dem)- 68.15
NY-01- Tim Bishop- 75.47
NY-21- (open)
TX-23- Pete Gallego (Blue Dog)- 32.05
WV-03- Nick Rahall (Blue Dog)- 42.77
Most of the incumbents above need triage because they have alienated their bases by voting with the Republicans more than with their own party on crucial, core issues. Many progressives will just stay home on election day, the same way they did in 2010. The number next to their names in their ProgressivePunch crucial vote score for 2013-14. Anything below a 60 indicates someone is from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. Then you find "Democrats" like Barrow, Barber, Sinema, Peterson, Gallego who vote with the GOP so frequently that they should be treated by voters as though they are Republicans. The DCCC will often be castigating Republicans on votes that devastate working families and harm the national security that find these members across the aisle. It makes the DCCC sound as hypocritical as they are.

As for the targeting in red-held districts, Israel is out for failure again, without even discussing how he was able to protect favored GOP incumbents like Ileana Ros Lehtinen in blue districts by making sure no Democrats qualified for the ballot. Once again, he's ignoring opportunities to take out vulnerable Republicans-- and even empty red seats-- to bolster his weak, corrupt,conservative recruits. No ad reservations in winnable districts like Fred Upton's MI-06, John Kline's MN-02, David Joyce's OH-14, Sean Duffy's WI-07, Paul Ryan's WI-01 or the CA-25 seat abandoned by Buck McKeon. All the Democrats running in these races-- Paul Clements, Mike Obermueller, Michael Wager, Kelly Westlund, Rob Zerban, Lee Rogers-- have one thing in common: they are all progressives and everyone in Washington knows Steve Israel is more comfortable with Republicans than with progressive Democrats. Here's the DCCC list, along with the district PVI:
AR-02 (open) R+8
CA-10- Jeff Denham- R+1
CA-21- David Valadao- D+2
CA-31 (open) D+5
CO-06- Mike Coffman- D+1 R+6
IA-03 (open)- even PVI
IA-04- Steve King- R+5
IL-13- Rodney Davis- even PVI
MI-01- Dan Benishek- R+5
MI-07- Tim Walberg- R+3
MI-08 (open) R+2
MI-11- Kerry Bentivolio- R+4
NJ-03 (open) R+1
NY-11- Michael Grimm- R+2
NY-23- Tom Reed- R+3
PA-06 (open) R+2
PA-08- Mike Fitzpatrick- R+1
VA-10 (open) R+2
If Pelosi ever really thought Israel was reptilian enough to win back the House, by now she should be disabused of that construct. He's reptilian, of course, but he's one of those pea-brained, moron reptiles, not one of the smart ones. If you're a progressive and would like to see progressives win in November, you can help them directly on this page. It's worth the investment.

Labels: , ,

Sad: No Other Politicians Walked With Indicted Criminal Michael "Mikey Suits" Grimm In The Memorial Day Parade


Mikey Suits used to get funnier headlines

Anything you read about Staten Island Mafia figure/Republican Congressman Michael Grimm is a part of a carefully staged and choreographed production that is leading inexorably to his plea bargain. The slimy political operatives/lobbyists, Mercury Public Affairs, withdrew the campaign manager, Bill Cortese, last week. The NRCC dried up his campaign contributions and now he says he's going to run without TV ads. Grimm, of course, is playing little Miss Victim, always the bully's favorite pose. The media, he's been whining, is out to get him. Maybe he's mixing them up with law enforcement officials. "There's no question: I've been vilified by the press since the day I got here," he told Politico. "From the very beginning they had to figure out how to get rid of this guy." Is he also planting the seeds for an insanity plea?
Grimm told Politico that if he ran into a burning building to save a baby, "you know what the headline will be? 'Grimm starts the fire.' That's just the reality."

But his constituents, he said, "are behind me now more than ever, because I get results."

Asked if he is innocent of the criminal charges in a 20-count federal indictment, Politico said, "Grimm paused for four seconds, then chuckled softly. 'You know, uh. It depends on what you're asking me of,' he said."

He said he would be exonerated of all the charges.

Politico, which trailed Grimm for a day, also said that Grimm marched alone in the Staten Island Memorial Day parade, while Democratic opponent Domenic M. Recchia walked with Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other officials, including GOP Borough President James Oddo.

Oddo and Grimm have been on the outs since they were on opposite sides of the 2013 Mid-Island City Council primary.

Grimm told Politico he "screwed up" when he threatened NY1 reporter Michael Scotto, but said it reflected his frustration with the press.

Politico said Grimm "flashed anger" when asked about his image as the "bad boy" of Congress.

"No. You're wrong," he said. "That's the Washington image, because you're in a bubble." He said that being aggressive on behalf of Staten Island was part of his job.

Grimm also told Politico that he was prepared to go ahead with his campaign with or without the support of GOP leaders like House Speaker John Boehner, saying that support in Washington was "a luxury. It isn't a necessity."

Grimm also said that he'd stopped fundraising for his campaign and wouldn't start again until June.

He also suggested that he wouldn't need to air TV ads or send mailers to voters and that there would be "much more constituent interaction" and retail politicking in his re-election bid.

Labels: ,

Villar Greuel Strikes Again-- Worse Than A Republican


I've never seen such a negative Democratic candidate for Congress like Wendy Greuel. Maybe she just hires especially awful, cutthroat people to work for her like this operative, and this operative and this operative. One of the most trusted and respected bloggers in CA-33, Venice For Change warned voters about Greuel's strange and very ugly penchant for relentless negativity last year:
After Months Of Going Negative, Wendy Greuel Calls For A Mortatorium On Negative Ads Her Campaign Can No Longer Pay For.

After pummeling campaign rivals for months with negative mailers and TV ads, Wendy Greuel called on opponent Eric Garcetti to agree to a moratorium on negative campaign ads in a debate aired live tonight on KABC-TV.

Amid audible groans from the studio audience, Greuel played the victim saying. "OK, my campaign consultants are probably not going to like this, but I say no more negative ads," Greuel told an incredulous Garcetti.

Greuel's calls for a moratorium come as finance reports reveal Greuel's campaign went broke this week funding millions of dollars worth of TV attack ads and mailers against Garcetti.

Greuel was essentially calling for a moratorium on ads her campaign no longer had the cash to pay for.

Garcetti's campaign on the other hand, had over $2 million in cash on hand, having husbanded their resources for the final push to election day. SuperPACs supporting Greuel have already spent over $6 million on Greuel's behalf, and that has no signs of letting up before election day.

Over the last eight weeks, Greuel's campaign has relentlessly attacked Garcetti - dressing him up in effeminate costumes and accusing him of everything from poisoning children for fun and profit, to being an Obama-hating racist, to influence peddling.

Think I'm exaggerating? Click on just a few of the links below and find out for yourself.

Wendy Greuel TV Ad Attacks Eric Garcetti's Support For Digital Billboards, Which She Also Voted For

Wendy Greuel's Ties To Felon Examined After She Goes After Eric Garcetti For Same Thing

Kevin James releases Wendy Greuel's texts after she attacks him

California NOW denounces Wendy Greuel's Attack Ads Against Jan Perry

Wendy Greuel website attacking Eric Garcetti goes dark

Wendy Greuel's Oil Attack Comes From Strategist John Shallman's Playbook

New Greuel TV Ad Lies About Garcetti Taking "Illegal Vote" On Billboards

Wendy Greuel TV Ad Slams Eric Garcetti's Polo Fundraiser With Felon Developer

Greuel Uses Footage From Christmas Party To Attack Eric Garcetti

Wendy Greuel Attacks Eric Garcetti In New Radio Ad; TV Ads Picking Up In Campaign's Final Week

Wendy Greuel outlines fresh attack on rival Eric Garcetti

Wendy Greuel attacks Eric Garcetti's job-growth claims

In new attack, Wendy Greuel includes Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in L.A.'s 'failed' leadership
Greuel was a Republican. She hates being reminded of that publicly, especially if someone points out she was a Republican when Reagan was elected and almost certainly voted for him. Her version is that she was born into a Republican family and escaped the clutches of the GOP when she was still in knickers. Not exactly the case-- unless she wore knickers into her 30s. Worse, though, is that she picked up some very ugly habits about politics while she was in the Republican Party-- and not just her conservative, Establishment policy agenda. Her negative outrage against progressives seems to stem from her formative years as a Republican. She's like a Karl Rove character, but less self-aware.

Last week she went on the attack against one of the most gentle and positive candidates I've ever met, Project Angel Food founder, Marianne Williamson, slamming her as more dangerous to women's Choice than the states of Mississippi and Texas. Not even scandal sheets that bothered covering Greuel's outlandish lies used her deranged, out-of-control and desperate screeching about Mississippi and Texas.

And then, this week, she turned her guns against one of the most dedicated legislators in the state, Ted Lieu. Being a carpetbagger from over in the Valley, Greuel is unaware of the service Ted has given people in CA-33, first as an Assemblyman and then as a Senator. Or maybe she doesn't care. She just chose to send out a vicious, last minute mailing to smear him so outrageously that even her old friends in the GOP would blush.

Her attack mailer falsely criticizes Lieu for somehow “caving” to now indicted Senator Ron Calderon because Calderon “put enough pressure” on Lieu that his workers compensation bill became “inactive.” Greuel obviously has no understanding of the legislative process and apparently didn’t bother to read the law. Lieu’s workers compensation reform bill became “inactive” because it was merged, word-for-word, into a larger workers compensation package that Senator Lieu helped craft and pass out of the Senate Labor Committee that Senator Lieu chaired. In other words, Lieu did the exact opposite of “caving.” His bill to reform workers compensation fraud was inserted verbatim into a larger reform package and became the law of the land in California. Greuel has now demonstrated that she is either too lazy to understand the legislative process, or she is , as most people think, simply a craven politician who is deliberately trying to mislead the voters again.

Up top is the Blue America Independent Expenditure committee's ad on behalf of Marianne. (In order of appearance) Marcia Cross, Frances Fisher, Sharon Kyle, Jamie Adler, Francesca Eastwood, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Nancy Moonves put this together for us with their friends-- everything donated with love. I was eager to fight fire with fire and go after Greuel as negatively as she went after Jan Perry, Eric Garcetti, Marianne Williamson, Ted Lieu and every other progressive who has ever stood in the way of her grotesque, ruthless climb to power. But I was persuaded that Marianne would be broken hearted if we did anything connected in any way to her that had any negativity attached to it. So… no negative ad for Greuel, at least not now. If you'd like to help us get this into better rotation, you can chip in here. Every little bit will help to keep Greuel and her allies out of Congress. By the way, this is not a contribution to a candidate. You can spend as much as you'd like-- no limits.

Labels: , ,