Sunday Talk: Mohammed and the mountain

attribution: The Internets


This week, President Barack Hussein Obama circumvented (the one trueGod’s authority by changing the name of Mt. McKinley to Denali—the Kenyan word for “black power.”

By renaming the mountain (America’s tallest), Obama had, for all intents and purposes, assassinated President McKinley (again).

And then, as if to add insult to injury, he (literally) danced on McKinley’s grave.

To understand Obama’s motivation, one need look no further than the Koran, and his anti-colonial upbringing.

When viewed in that context, clearly, this move was just the latest in a disturbing pattern of dictatorial actions designed to turn America into an Islamic caliphate.

But I’ve got news for Obamathis aggression will not stand, man!

Morning lineup:

Meet The Press: Former Secretary of State Colin Powell; AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka; Others TBD.

Face The Nation: Failed CEO Carly Fiorina (R); Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA); Book Panel: Astronaut/Author Buzz Aldrin, Author Rachel Swaby, Historian David McCullough and Biographer Walter Isaacson.

This Week: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey; Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R); Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R); David Miliband (International Rescue Committee); Roundtable: “Independent” Strategist Matthew Dowd, Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard) and Katrina vanden Heuvel (The Nation).

Fox News Sunday: Sociopaths Dick & Liz Cheney; Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey & Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn; Roundtable: George Will (Washington Post), Susan Page (USA Today), Robert Costa (Washington Post) and Author Richard North Patterson.

State of the Union: Grifter Sarah Palin (R); DNC Chair/Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: a report on the cyber attack on Sony Pictures (preview); an interview with Seán Patrick O’Malley, the Archbishop of Boston (preview); and,  report on what it’s like to try to achieve “mindfulness,” a self-awareness scientists say is very healthy, but rarely achieved (preview).

Abbreviated pundit roundup: Trump continues to dominate the GOP primary


attribution: screenshots
There’s just no oxygen for other GOP candidates. Eugene Robinson analyzes the situation:

The Republican establishment seems to be slowly going through Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s five stages of grief, with many politicians and pundits unable to get past the first: denial.When it became clear that Trump could not be ignored, party leaders and conservative columnists looked hard for evidence that the combed-over mogul’s political ascendancy was bound to fizzle. The establishment didn’t search at all for signs that it might be deeper and more lasting — forgetting an elementary rule of social science, which is that what you look for sets the parameters of what you’ll find.

So the lords of the GOP counted all the ways that Trump was unlike a traditional politician and decided he would soon be toast. […] But Trump’s numbers in the polls have gone steadily up. And if you add his numbers in the Quinnipiac survey to Carson’s, you see that a full 40 percent of Republican voters want their party to nominate for president someone who has never run for office before, let alone held it.

POLITICO’s Ben Schreckinger and Hadas Gold:

It’s been a steady march up, undeterred by scandals that had pundits predicting his political demise. His favorability rating from the late July poll was significantly better than his ratings from a Quinnipiac poll conducted in late May. In that period, his favorability improved from being 49 points underwater to 32 points underwater, despite the claims he made about undocumented immigrants and the jab at McCain’s war record that he made in the interim.
According to Real Clear Politics’ averages of polls, one of Trump’s biggest jumps in support was between July 12 and July 23 — in the heat of the controversy about his “rapists” comment and after the July 18 comments about McCain’s war record — when he edged out former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for first place.

Paul Krugman analyzes the field on China:

“Obama is endangering America by borrowing from China” is a perfect political line, playing into deficit fetishism, xenophobia and the perennial claim that Democrats don’t stand up for America! America! America! It’s also complete nonsense, but that doesn’t seem to matter.In fact, talking nonsense about economic crises is essentially a job requirement for anyone hoping to get the Republican presidential nomination..even the supposedly sensible candidates call for destructive policies. Thus John Kasich is being portrayed as a different kind of Republican because as governor he approved Medicaid expansion in Ohio, but his signature initiative is a call for a balanced-budget amendment, which would cripple policy in a crisis.

The point is that one side of the political aisle has been utterly determined to learn nothing from the economic experiences of recent years. If one of these candidates ends up in the hot seat the next time crisis strikes, we should be very, very afraid.

Michael Scherer points out that Trump refuses to provide policy details:

It was not the first time Trump has declined to describe the process of carrying out his stated policies. When asked on ABC News Sunday about the cost of building a wall, Trump said, “We need a wall. We have to get a wall.” When asked how he would round up 11 million people for deportation, Trump repeated his familiar “management” line.Five days earlier, Trump offered a similar answer to TIME. “It’ll all work out,” he said on Aug. 18, while emphasizing his managerial credentials. “Politicians can’t manage. All they can do is talk.”

Mira Oberman, AFP:

With mass shootings seemingly on a daily basis, it appears no place in the United States is safe from carnage: not churches, not schools, not even the morning newscast.The shocking on-air murder of a young reporter and a cameraman by a disgruntled former colleague Wednesday has once again renewed calls for stricter gun controls.

That is simply not going to happen, experts said, and the trend in recent years has actually gone in the opposite direction.

“You can’t get rid of them,” Harry Wilson, a professor at Roanoke College in Virginia — near the scene of the latest shooting — told AFP.

Heaven forbid Republicans acknowledge the need for gun control. Laura Vozzella and Jenna Portnoy analyze the situation in Virginia:

Gov. Terry McAuliffe has rankled some Virginia Republicans by repeatedly calling for greater gun control after Wednesday’s deadly shootings in Southwest Virginia.“Clearly, that gentleman should not have owned a gun,” McAuliffe said of Vester L. Flanagan II, who killed a two-person news crew on live television early Wednesday. “That’s plain and simple. That was a tragedy. Now, I have no idea if any new gun laws would have changed that, we don’t know, but my job as governor is to do everything I humanly possibly can do to make our communities safe.”

On a final note, Faith Gemmill-Fredson and Princess Daazhraii Johnson at The Daily Beast write about President Obama’s environmental legacy:

The Obama Administration’s official recommendation of a Wilderness designation for the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was a huge step in the right direction—the sort of strong action that we need to see more of from leaders across the globe. Alas, it is only a ‘recommendation’ and stronger protections are needed immediately to counter the rush for resources that is taking place all over the Arctic […]We hope that Obama hears first hand from our Alaska Native communities the impacts we are facing due to climate change and that he takes this visit as an opportunity to take further actions. The hardships experienced in Alaska, with unprecedented heat and wildfires, have already begun to echo across America. Our Ancestors knew that in order to survive we had to work together. A culture of caring for one another and deep ecology is necessary if we are truly going to tackle climate change. Now is the time to rise.

Georgia Logothetis

The Shaun King controversy, explained


This is important…

VOX does an excellent job of breaking down the quagmire, rhetoric and distractions that pose as “news” on a daily basis in the United States and elsewhere.  THIS story is just one instance of how excellent journalism works. (Kudos to Vox Editor Ezra Klein.)

This is important.

VOX Identities

Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King is currently at the center of a controversy that has nothing to do with a police shooting or brutality — it’s, instead, about his personal life and racial identity.

Over the past several weeks, conservative media outlets have published multiple pieces disputing different claims King has made about his life over the years. And the latest accusations — which caused the story to trend on Twitter — have called into question whether King is biracial, as he claims.

There’s a bit of history to this conflict. But the fact that a self-identified biracial man is being chastised by conservative media outlets as part of an attempt to discredit him shows just how fluid the entire concept of race can be, and that makes it difficult to know who’s right and wrong when questions about race come up.

Conservative media outlets have questioned Shaun King’s background

Black Lives Matter march
Andrew Burton/Getty Images

King, who’s a blogger on the liberal Daily Kos, has been a very prominent face of the Black Lives Matter movement since the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. So any accusations leveled against him are a big deal to the cause, which aims to end racial disparities in the criminal justice system and police use of force.

In the latest accusations, Milo Yiannopoulos wrote in Breitbart, a conservative website, that King is not black or biracial. King, who grew up in Versailles, Kentucky, previously said his mom was white, and suggested he’s biracial. But the report cited a birth certificate obtained from the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics that lists King’s father as Jeffery Wayne King, who is purportedly also white, according to Breitbart.

King quickly fired back at the accusations, saying on Twitter that his family history is very complicated, and restating that he is biracial. He also claimed that he didn’t lie about his race to obtain an Oprah Scholarship to attend Morehouse College, a historically black school. (Breitbart reported that the scholarship is only awarded to black men, but the college stated that it “does not grant admissions or scholarships based on race.”)

King, who’s a blogger on the liberal Daily Kos, has been a very prominent face of the Black Lives Matter movement since the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. So any accusations leveled against him are a big deal to the cause, which aims to end racial disparities in the criminal justice system and police use of force.

In the latest accusations, Milo Yiannopoulos wrote in Breitbart, a conservative website, that King is not black or biracial. King, who grew up in Versailles, Kentucky, previously said his mom was white, and suggested he’s biracial. But the report cited a birth certificate obtained from the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics that lists King’s father as Jeffery Wayne King, who is purportedly also white, according to Breitbart.

King quickly fired back at the accusations, saying on Twitter that his family history is very complicated, and restating that he is biracial. He also claimed that he didn’t lie about his race to obtain an Oprah Scholarship to attend Morehouse College, a historically black school. (Breitbart reported that the scholarship is only awarded to black men, but the college stated that it “does not grant admissions or scholarships based on race.”)

This story is fascinating please continue reading here>>> KS

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Launch of Hillary 2.0


Philip Bump:

Bernie Sanders says Americans back his agenda — and he’s mostly right

He’s not left. He’s center. And that’s right.Glenn  Thrush:

Hillary Clinton hasn’t always been a profile in political courage, but she’s had her moments. One of them came in late December 2006, a month before Clinton announced her first run for the presidency, as she huddled with her team to discuss policy proposals to differentiate her from two rivals flanking her on the left, Barack Obama and John Edwards.The conversation, which included former Clinton White House aides like Gene Sperling and Neera Tanden, who still have the candidate’s ear today, bogged down on the biggest, nastiest policy fight of her life, health care. Several of Clinton’s top advisers, the ’90s debacle fresh in everyone’s mind, counseled her to avoid proposing an individual mandate, the politically unpopular requirement that the uninsured buy insurance or face penalties.

When it came to the widely unpopular individual mandate, however, she was adamant about plowing ahead, according to a former aide who related the story.

“If I run for president, I’m going to run on universal health care,” Clinton told the group—and authorized attacks on her Democratic opponent Obama for opposing a mandate (he would eventually embrace it as president, much to Clinton’s amusement).
“What’s the point of running if I’m not going to run on universal health care?” she asked her team.

Greg Sargent:

I thought I’d go through Clinton’s stances on the issues, to see if that sheds more light on what she’s really up to. Short version: Clinton is indeed ministering to Obama coalition voter groups — minorities, millennials, college educated whites.  But nonetheless, she’s thus far campaigning like a mainstream Democrat. In fact, those things are now two sides of the same coin. Meanwhile, very few of her positions thus far preclude reaching beyond those groups.

And when Hillaryadapts and adopts Bernie’s positions, she’ll be center, too.More politics and policy below the fold.

Amber Phillips:

So in honor of the Iowa Straw Poll’s demise, we decided to make a list of what other traditions in presidential politics should go by the wayside. Did we miss anything? The comments section awaits.

National Journal:

House progressives may have just had their tea-party moment.They went toe-to-toe Friday with their own president, the business community, and moderates of all stripes—and they won big.

In overwhelming numbers, Democrats torpedoed a bill that would have moved President Obama closer to the landmark trade deal he’s been seeking. And they did so hours after he visited Capitol Hill to make a personal appeal to their caucus.

“It’s more than 2-to-1,” said a giddy Rep. Alan Grayson, watching the vote. “That’s incredible. Nobody expected that.”

The trade drama was only the latest skirmish in a broader intraparty war, with organized labor and economic populists such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren on one side, and a dwindling corps of business- and Wall Street-friendly Democrats on the other. Increasingly, the political momentum and passion within the party is moving toward the first group.

Dylan Byers:

Bloomberg Politics co-managing editor Mark Halperin and Ann Romney, wife of Mitt, will co-host an early morningpilates session for wealthy Republican donors at this weekend’s Romney retreat in Deer Valley, Time’s Zeke Miller reports.Mitt Romney’s annual retreat, dubbed the “Club Med” for GOP megadonors, takes place at the Stein Ericksen Lodge, at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah. Donors are invited to participate in recreational activities with Republican presidential candidates, including flag football with Sen. Marco Rubio and skeet shooting with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Halperin, the co-author of Game Change and former Time Magazine political analyst, is the only journalist listed on the bill of “enthusiast sessions.” He and Ann Romney will co-host a “Sunrise Pilates” class for the retreat’s attendees on Saturday morning at 6:30 a.m. Other journalists are in attendance reporting on the event.

Halperin did not respond to a request for comment regarding his decision to co-host an event for Republican donors alongside the wife of a prominent Republican politician. A Bloomberg spokesperson declined to comment.

Remember, Halperin isn’t just a jerk, he’s a Republican jerk. Don’t let him tell you different. It’s why everything is good for John McCain.WaPo:

“We tried tall, good lookin’, smart, nice, great family,” [Lindsey] Graham told donors Friday in a playful nod to Romney. “Vote for me. We’re not going down that road again!”Republicans have 10 declared candidates and counting, but they have no front-runner — not even the descendant of the closest the GOP has to a royal family. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush has struggled ahead of his official campaign launch on Monday, and he skipped the Romney confab because he was traveling in Europe.

National Journal:

Fox News has changed its plan for the first Republican presidential debate to give second-tier candidates some airtime after a New Hampshire newspaper announced its own competing forum for B-list contenders.According to plans announced late Wednesday, Fox now will host a 90-minute televised forum in Cleveland on the afternoon of August 6 for​ ​Republican candidates who fail to qualify for that ​evening’s 90-minute debate.

RNC officials and campaign staffers had been pressuring Fox for weeks to do exactly this, some even predicting that the vacuum would be filled by another media outlet. A Fox spokeswoman challenged the notion that Fox had changed its plans, saying the cable network always intended to cover the candidates who did not make the prime-time cut.

Greg Dworkin



Morning lineup:

Meet the Press: Pre-empted by coverage of the French Open.Face the Nation: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R); NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio (D); Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R); Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX); Roundtable: Susan Page (USA Today), Jamelle Bouie (Slate), Ron Fournier (National Journal) and Nancy Cordes (CBS News).

This Week: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R); Roundtable: Democratic Strategist Donna Brazile, “Independent” Strategist Matthew Dowd, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich.

Fox News Sunday: Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA); Roundtable: Brit Hume (Fox News), Julie Pace (Associated Press), George Will (Washington Post) and Neera Tanden (Center for American Progress).

State of the Union: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R); Former Sen./Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D-RI); Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA); Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AK).

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: a look at Colorado after the state became the first to legalize recreational pot (preview); an investigation into allegations that thousands of homeowners were denied their flood insurance claims after Hurricane Sandy because of fraudulent engineers’ reports (preview); and, an interview with actor Bradley Cooper (preview).

By Silly Rabbit

Daily Kos Recommended

From my INBOX – 5-18-2015:


















Daily Kos Recommended – 10-28-2014


Daily Kos Recommended

Kos’ Sunday Talk: Without qualification

Daily Kos’ Sunday Talk

In 1965, Bob Dylan famously said: “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”

Perhaps that was true at the time he said it, but the Timesthey have a-changed since then.

What hasn’t changed is the climate.

You don’t have to take my word for it; just ask Marco Rubio—he’s not a scientistman.

He’s also not a serious presidential contenderman—but that’s completely beside the point.

The point being, expertise is overrated.

I mean, Rush Limbaugh’s tenuous grasp of history didn’t prevent him from writing award-winning historical fanfiction.

And despite his lack of medical credentials, Karl Rove was able to diagnose Hillary Clinton with a traumatic brain injury (and not, as many suspected, the Benghazi flu).

Sometimes, the truth hurts.

Morning lineup:

Meet The Press: Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO); RNC Chairman Reince Priebus; Rep.Adam Kinzinger (R-IL); Glenn Greenwald (The Intercept); Former Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AK).Face The Nation: Former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I);  Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner;  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R);  White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough; National Commander of the American Legion Dan Delinger;  RoundtableJackie Calmes (New York Times), Jerry Seib (Wall Street Journal), Katrina Vanden Huevel (The Nation) and John Dickerson (CBS News).

This Week: Tribute to Barbara Walters; Reddit Co-Founder Alexis OhanianBerin Szoka (Tech Freedom); Bill Kristol (Weekly Standard), Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D).

Fox News Sunday: Former Vice President Dick Cheney and His Lovely Wife Lynne;   RoundtableBrit Hume (Fox News), Kirsten Powers (USA Today), Republican StrategistKarl Rove and Juan Williams (Fox News).

State of the Union: Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D); Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA); Roundtable:  Former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and Amy Walter (Cook Political Report).

Evening lineup:

60 Minutes will feature: a report from inside Iran as the prospect of a nuclear deal with world powers looms on the horizon (preview); a report on the 150-year history of the Capitol Dome (preview); and, a report on an orchestra in Paraguay that fashions musical instruments from refuse scavenged at a dump (preview).


Daily Kos Reccommended

From my inbox…

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ChristieGate: The Nation reports on another bridge scheme

Bayonne Bridge
Governor Christie announces that work has begun on a $1.3 billion Port Authority to renovate the Bayonne Bridge, June 2013. (AP Photo/Mel Evans) | H/t: The Nation

Daily Kos

ChristieGate? BridgeGate? BridgeGate II?

The Nation reported today that Chris Christie’s “hatchet men” Bill Baroni and David Wildstein, along with the Port Authority’s Chairman David “The General” Samson, headed a scheme to reconstruct the Bayonne Bridge ten years before it really needed it. Christie touted the efforts in his recent successful reelection bid.

I didn’t see this diaried yet, but I will take it down if someone else covered it already. 

The Nation‘s Christie Watch crew does an excellent job of reviewing the nefarious deeds of this crew, including this weekend’s release of the toll hike theater. Today’s post focuses on the Bayonne Bridge project, a $1.2 billion project awarded to construction firm Skanska Koch, a client of, wait for it, Wolff & Samson. The project also won the support of the Laborers’ International Union.

The Bayonne project existed before Christie was elected to his first term, but really took off after his administration was installed. Baroni rallied his troops around him and pushed the project through with the help of Wildstein and, it would seem, Samson. The Nation’s sources claim Samson was a hands-on manager who would meet with Baroni and Wildstein for two hours at a time.

They created a “climate of fear” inside the PA, the source said. And, he added, Baroni and Wildstein were often closeted with David Samson, the PA chairman and Christie’s political mentor. Samson, who has been accused of using his position as PA chairman to benefit his law firm, and whose resignation has been demanded by the Star-Ledger, was a highly engaged and activist chairman, said the source, adding that that was very unusual for a chairman. “Samson was in the office a minimum two, sometimes three times a week and [Baroni and Wildstein] would be behind closed doors with the chairman for two hours at a time,” he said.Baroni and Wildstein, the latter of whom maintained a secret list of favored officials, conspired inside the PA to press for the toll hikes. Along with $1.8 billion in federal and PA funds used by Christie for pet projects after he canceled a plan to build a new Hudson River transit tunnel, the toll hikes and the PA’s more recent PA’s capital spending plan created a tidal wave of new cash for Christie to spend as saw fit. In an editorial on March 4, the Star-Ledger said in an editorial that all these funds created a “piggy bank” for Christie, and it quoted John Wisniewski, chairman of the committee investigating the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, who said, “It’s a slush fund.” According to the Star-Ledger’s news article, Baroni and Wildstein also organized a cabal inside the PA over the toll hikes.

The article is totally worth the read, whether you follow every twist and turn or if you need a primer.Thanks for the recs! Please visit jamess’s diary, “It’s a slush fund.” He had the story first.


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