U.S. Politics

John Boehner Confirms That Everything Democrats Believe About Republicans Is True

John Boehner Confirms That Everything Democrats Believe About Republicans Is True


Besides calling Ted Cruz Lucifer in the flesh, former Speaker of the House John Boehner has confirmed that many of the beliefs that Democrats hold about the state of the Republican Party are correct.

Besides calling Ted Cruz Lucifer in the flesh, former Speaker of the House John Boehner has confirmed that many of the beliefs that Democrats hold about the state of the Republican Party are correct.

Here are some things about the Republican Party that Boehner confirmed while speaking at Stanford University

1). Ted Cruz Is A Giant A-Hole:

When Boehner was asked about Cruz, he said, “Lucifer in the flesh. I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”

What does it say about Donald Trump that Republicans are trying to unify around a man that they openly despise? Ted Cruz has always been in politics to advance his own ego. For Cruz, the Senate is a temporary stepping stone to the White House. If Republicans hate Ted Cruz, this much as a candidate, imagine what they would do to him if he were ever elected president.

2). The Republican Party Is Divided Into Warring Camps:

Throughout the talk, Boehner frequently referenced the Freedom Caucus as the “knuckleheads” and “goofballs” in Congress. When Kennedy asked about the Democrats in Congress, Boehner asserted that both parties have their own inner divisions.

Boehner went on to point out that Democrats fight behind closed doors while Republicans air their dirty laundry in public. The far right of the Republican Party is in open war with the establishment. The media tries to sell Donald Trump’s rise as a separate event, but the success of Trump’s candidacy was able to happen because the inner workings of the Republican Party are a complete mess. Trump is a warlord who filled a power vacuum by taking over a country that has been torn apart by a civil war. Trump isn’t a strong candidate, but he has swooped in and claimed a piece of turf in the Republican Party.

3). Ronald Reagan Would Be A Moderate In Today’s Republican Party:

“Well you know I’m a big fan of Ronald Reagan. But I love all these knuckleheads talking about the party of Reagan. He would be the most moderate Republican elected today.”

Democrats have been suggesting for years that Republicans have moved to the far right. The Party of Trump is no longer the Party of Reagan. Boehner confirmed that Ronald Reagan’s name had been hijacked by today’s Republicans to give credibility to an agenda that the former president would disagree with on many points.

4). Republican Are Planning On Dropping An Email Scandal Bomb On Hillary Clinton Before The Convention:

“Don’t be shocked … if two weeks before the convention, here comes Joe Biden parachuting in and Barack Obama fanning the flames to make it all happen,” Boehner said.

In other words, the email scandal is a total sham that Republicans are still hoping to use to knock Hillary Clinton out of the presidential race. Boehner was behind the setting up the House committees that are investigating Hillary Clinton, so he knows the timeline better than anyone else. Congressional Republicans have abused their investigative powers in a plot to derail Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and they are going to launch their bombardment of baseless accusations before the Democratic convention.

Democrats were right about many of their long-held suspicions relating to the chaos in the Republican Party. Republicans are trying to stop their own presidential frontrunner with an alternative that they loathe. The Republican Party deeply fractured and at war with itself. Ronald Reagan would not fit into today’s Republican Party, and the Republican majority in Congress has dedicated itself to stopping Hillary Clinton instead of passing legislation.

The Republican Party is rotting from the inside, and now that he has fled to the comforts of retirement, former Speaker Boehner can confirm the dynamics behind the GOP’s demise.


U.S. Politics

John Boehner’s here to stay, for now, with nothing to lose

attribution: NONE


WASHINGTON (AP) — Speaker John Boehner wants out. He really does.

But the Ohio House Republican is staying put, for now — and that could improve the chances for a debt limit increase by early next month to avoid a market-shattering government default. His continued presence also might help lawmakers reach a bipartisan budget deal to head off a government shutdown in December.

The tea party forces that pushed Boehner to plan his exit after nearly five years in the top job now have less leverage against a man with nothing to lose. Conservative hard-liners have caused further chaos by blocking the ascension of Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

What are they going to do now, threaten to force a vote to immediately oust Boehner?


“Sometimes the dog catches the car and doesn’t know what to do,” Rep. Steve Stivers, R-Ohio, a Boehner ally, said of the House Freedom Caucus and other hard-right lawmakers.

Boehner insists he wants to leave as scheduled at the end of October, but if Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., won’t agree to replace him, it may take a while for a consensus to form around an alternative.

“While we go through this process, we’ve got to continue to address the people’s priorities. This institution cannot grind to a halt,” Boehner told Republicans Friday morning in a closed-door session. “It is my hope — and indeed it is my plan — for this House to elect a new speaker before the end of October. But at the end of the day, that’s really up to the people in this room.”

Excerpts of Boehner’s remarks came from an official who was in the room. Not authorized to disclose them publicly, the official requested anonymity.

Facing a fall of fiscal fights with the Obama administration, Boehner has said he doesn’t want to leave a “dirty barn” for his successor. The toughest item, by far, is legislation that must pass by early November or so to increase the government’s borrowing cap so it won’t default on its bills. Last year, Boehner orchestrated a debt ceiling increase by relying on just 28 Republicans and 193 Democrats — the exact opposite of the way the House is usually run.

Then there are ongoing talks about easing spending curbs that have frozen the budgets of both the Pentagon and domestic agencies.

“John is going to try to clean the barn up as best he can,” said Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa. “He’s not going to clean the whole thing, but we can probably dispose of the debt ceiling. I hope we can reach a budget agreement.”

Boehner’s penchant for relying on Democrats to make up for tea party defections on legislation like a 2013 tax increase and last month’s temporary government funding bill got him in trouble with the right. There’s little they can do if he follows the same strategy on the debt limit and a budget deal.

“It is ironic how smart John Boehner’s looking,” said Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. “Frankly, all this talk of a fresh new face sounds very sweet on the surface, but we’re not electing a student council president. His stock rises with the prospects of an alternative and the steadiness of his hand, the clarity of his positions — whether you like them or not — and the fact he’s not prone to panic. It’s all looking really good right about now.”

Conservatives suffered a setback on Friday when emboldened GOP moderates orchestrated a rarely successful petition drive to force legislation reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank onto the floor agenda later this month. The roster of more than three dozen GOP signatories included many Boehner loyalists.

The 13-term lawmaker not only supports reviving the bank, which helps overseas sales of U.S. goods, he called an additional minutes-long House session on Monday that, under the arcane rules governing such petition efforts, sped up the House vote on the measure to the end of October rather than into November.

His office says that wasn’t the motivation for the unexpected pro forma session.

A Boehner aide noted that the speaker has said he won’t change his way of approaching this fall’s treacherous set of issues. For instance, Boehner marched ahead last month with legislation to temporarily fund the government and rejected tea party calls to “defund” Planned Parenthood at the risk of a government shutdown.

Typically on tough votes it often looks like many GOP lawmakers cast “no” votes — to insulate themselves against criticism from conservative talk radio and Washington-based outside groups — while secretly rooting for the legislation to pass.

The crowd that votes “no” but roots for bills to pass, however, appreciates it when Boehner turns to Democrats to extricate them from a tough spot.

“That’s what we’re dealing with: Hope yes, vote no,” said Dent. “Same thing will happen on the debt ceiling, same thing will happen on a budget agreement.”

Boehner’s political maturity is a commodity that’s sometimes in short supply in the House, making some Republicans wistful.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., said the speaker’s election should be postponed until next year, with Boehner remaining as speaker in the meantime.

“I hope he can stay — if he’s willing to forgo some of his golf games and time with his grandbaby,” she said, adding that she thinks Boehner would agree to serve into next year.


U.S. Politics

Republicans Have Passed 0 Jobs Bills During Their First 138 Days Running Congress



In their first 138 days in control of Congress, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have passed zero jobs bill. Instead, Republicans passed budgets that would give big tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.

The numbers, as compiled by Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, reveal the truth about the Republican Party.

0: GOP jobs bills passed in the 114th Congress.

5: Additional times the House GOP has voted in the past 135 days to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act (2015 Vote #14, 2015 Vote #45, 2015 Vote #58, 2015 Vote #142, 2015 Vote #183).

58: Times so far House Republicans have voted to repeal or undermine the ACA since 2011.

100: Percent of House Republicans who voted against bringing up the student loan refinancing bill.

2.9 million: Number of jobs that would be destroyed under the House GOP FY 2016 Budget.

$2,000: More in taxes for middle-class American families with children greenlighted by the final FY 2016 Republican Budget.

$200,000: Average tax break for the wealthiest Americans making $1,000,000 or more greenlighted by the final FY 2016 Republican Budget.

99: Percent of House Republicans who voted against allowing a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act – a bill to ensure equal pay for equal work.

The only Republican attempt at a “jobs” bill was the Keystone XL legislation, which won’t create more than a handful of permanent jobs, and it isn’t a jobs bill. The Republican-run Congress has lived down to expectations. If you are a corporation in need of some regulatory rollback, or a wealthy person who wants a tax cut, the Republican Congress is your new best friend.

For working people, women, the poor, the disabled, veterans, and everyone else, Republicans are only interested in cutting what you have to give more to the wealthy.

The Republican Congress does not represent the majority of the American people. The congressional majority is being controlled by corporations and billionaires. Republicans are more interested in taking away your health care than creating an economic environment where people have good paying jobs.

The numbers don’t lie. Republicans are working against the interests of the majority in this country, which is why the American people must stand up and take their Congress back.

~Jason Easley

Democrats · Sen. Harry Reid

Clueless Republicans gloat over Reid retirement

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (2nd L) stifles a sob as he awards astronaut Neil Armstrong (L) with the Congressional Gold Medal at the U.S. Capitol in Washington November 16, 2011. Also pictured is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (2nd R)

Daily Kos

Way to stay classy, Republican National Committee:

TheRNC today released the following statement in response to Democrat Leader Harry Reid announcing his retirement:”With the Democrat Party already in disarray, a national committee struggling to raise money, and a scandal-plagued presidential frontrunner, it’s no surprise Harry Reid realized he was about to suffer a humiliating defeat and decided to step aside,” said RNC Press Secretary Allison Moore.

Right. You stick with this story for the next 22 months, as Harry Reid continues to drink Mitch McConnell’s and John Boehner’s milkshakes. Let’s see, he’s kept his caucus united and stymied Republicans on Department of Homeland Security funding (and what an embarrassment for Boehner that one was) and poison pill anti-abortion legislation. That’s just three months’ worth of work for him.

And let’s just see how Republicans pull together to finally pass that Obamacare replacement plan they’ve been floundering on for—what is it, now? Oh, yes—five years. The definition of disarray since 2010 has been John Boehner House of Representatives. But hey RNC, go with what you’ve got. Harry Reid’s going to make the next two years hell for your boys, so enjoy it while you can.

GOP Obstructionism · GOP Political Attacks · President Barack Obama

5 Obama Successes Republicans Have To Pretend Never Happened

5 Obama Successes Republicans Have To Pretend Never Happened
President Obama arrives at Bob Hope Airport via helicopter from LAX, en route to ABC Studios for an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

The National Memo

Republicans have consistently said that a president cannot take responsibility for a strong economy — unless of course he’s a Republican.

A weak economy, however, is always a Democratic president’s fault. And if a Republican president presides over the worst financial crisis in a half-century after seven years in office, that is clearly the fault of poor people.

President Obama is in an awkward position when it comes to the economy. It’s only great if you compare it to the last 14 years. But with 50 percent of America now saying in the latest CNN poll that his presidency is a success, he figures that he’s now allowed to “take a well-earned victory lap” by answering the question Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) asked for four years: “Where are the jobs?”

“Well, after 12 million new jobs, a stock market that has more than doubled, deficits that have been cut by two-thirds, health care inflation at the lowest rate in nearly 50 years, manufacturing coming back, auto industry coming back, clean energy doubled — I’ve come not only to answer that question, but I want to return to the debate that is central to this country, and the alternative economic theory that’s presented by the other side,” the president said in Cleveland on Wednesday.

A sensible media would be debating which of Obama’s two great accomplishments — the stimulus or the Affordable Care Act — is a bigger success; which better proves that the government can successfully intervene to prevent suffering while reshaping our economy to be more sustainable; or about which Republicans were more wrong.

But conservatives won’t let that happen. They’ll focus on metrics that languished before Obama came into office — we’re very concerned about labor force participation all of a sudden! — and blast him for not solving all of the failures of conservative economics and foreign policies.

America should be used to Democratic presidents outperforming Republicans by now. While no administration is perfect, President Obama has staked strong claims for liberal values and policies that prove things Republicans have to pretend never happened.

  1. Proved trickle-down economics are wrong, again
    You don’t hear it mentioned often enough, but 2014 was the best year of job creation in this century. This is a key point, because it’s the first full year in which Obama’s economic policies really took hold. Most of the Bush tax breaks on the rich ended in 2013. And in 2014, new taxes on the wealthy and corporations kicked in to help 16 million Americans gain health insurance. The result was a job market like we haven’t seen since the’90s. As they did in 1993, Republicans claimed that asking the rich to pay a bit more would destroy the economy. So, of course, the opposite happened. It’s almost as if some tax hikes on the wealthy are good for the economy! But if Republicans admitted that, they’d have to give up their entire reason for existing, which is to comfort the most comfortable.
  2. Proved we can expand health insurance coverage and shrink the deficit.
    America’s long-term debt problems are largely built on conservatives’ unwillingness to do what every other advanced nation in the world does — insure everyone. As a result, we pay more and get worse results than almost every industrialized country in the world. Obamacare has shown that we can increase coverage dramatically while cutting more than $600 billion from long-term debt projections. Republicans have finally gotten honest in their new budget and admitted that their alternative to Obamacare is… nothing. They’ve got nothing because Obamacare was their alternative, and every prediction they’ve made about it has been wrong. Health spending isat a 50-year low, businesses aren’t dumping employees’ coverage, hospitals are performing better, and policy cancelations were likely lower than they were before the law. Meanwhile, Obama has been even more successful at shrinking the deficit as a percentage of GDP than even Bill Clinton.
  3. Proved that the government can kick-start a clean-energy revolution.
    When it comes to fighting climate change, President Obama has done more than anyone on Earth. Beyond the regulations he set in his first term, which are quickly reducing our dependency on dirty energy, the stimulus launched the clean-energy technological revolution this nation needed. Republicans started calling the stimulus “failed” before it even became law. And that kind of message discipline — plus half a billion dollars in ads that smeared the bill — scared Democrats from bragging about it. But now that we’ve experienced the first year of economic growth where carbon emissions didn’t increase in 40 years, maybe they should.
  4. Proved we can regulate Wall Street without killing the stock market.
    Good news! Bankers are complaining about being regulated too much. Despite this “over-regulation,” we’re seeing constant stock market records. Meanwhile, the memory of the costs of under-regulation — 8 million jobs and trillions in wealth — continues to fade. Democrats have become newly proud of the Dodd-Frank law now that they see how desperate Republicans are to gut it. The success in keeping the economic engine of the rich purring should not dissuade those on the left. Instead, they should continue to fight against the persistent dangers to our economy that come from ridiculous executive compensation schemesstock buybacks, and high-frequency trading.
  5. Proved that we should give diplomacy a chance.
    The Bush administration left America facing a newly nuclear-armed North Korea, an Iran building nuclear centrifuges, and a wrecked Iraq, run by a propped-up sectarian strongman with no interest in reconciliation. Democrats were likely naive in assuming this Tower of Babel of foreign policy disasters could be kept from crumbling. The Obama administration’s effort to re-engage the world may seem foolhardy now — but what was the alternative? More confrontational Republican alternatives would have guaranteed nothing but more American lives lost. Syria is a disaster. Libya proved that regime change is never simple. Putin is emboldened or frantically flailing, depending on your point of view. But as a result of re-engagement with our allies and a Medvedev-led Russia, sanctions brought Iran to the negotiating table. We’re closer than ever to a nuclear deal that could prevent another, still more disastrous war. And even if it fails, at least we tried not to repeat the catastrophes of the past.

Despite these successes, Republicans have to see Obama as a floundering, economy-shrinking, deficit-creating failure, or risk questioning their failed worldview.

Essentially, they have to pretend he’s Bobby Jindal.

U.S. Politics

Can Republicans lead? According to the headlines … nope

U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) pauses during remarks to reporters at a news conference following a Republican caucus meeting at the U.S. Capitol in Washington January 7, 2015.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst    (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4KFJ3
Team Boehner: A case study in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory | REUTERS

In my opinion, many of the Republicans in Congress wouldn’t have been elected had it not been for their insidious redistricting plan but that’s another whole “can of worms” produced by the GOP.   Meanwhile…

Daily Kos

It was less than four months ago that a giddy John Boehner teamed up with his BFF Mitch McConnell to pen an op-ed in The Wall Street titled Now We Can Get Congress Going. So, in the wake of last week’s fiasco over funding for the Department of Homeland Security, how’s that whole governing thing by you and your Republican brethren going, Johnny? According to the headlines, not so well. Here’s a small sampling from across the land:

And coming up this week? More of the same because—thanks to House Republicans—funding for the Department of Homeland Security runs out in five days. Stay tuned for more governingchaos7:45 AM PT: And in related news:

Analysis: Nancy Pelosi steps up as House GOP leaders stumble

U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: January 7, 2015

An injured person is evacuated in Paris.
An injured person is evacuated in Paris |(AP Images/Thibault Camus)

The Week

Gunmen kill 12 at French satirical magazine, Boehner keeps his job as House speaker, and more

1. Gunmen kill 12 at French satirical magazine
Twelve people were killed and 10 wounded by two gunmen who entered the Paris office of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and opened fire, police said Wednesday. The attackers reportedly escaped in two vehicles after the shooting. Charlie Hebdo‘s offices were firebombed in 2011 after it published cartoons depicting Islam’s Prophet Mohammad on its cover. [Time, Reuters]


2. Boehner keeps his job as House speaker
Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) fought off challenges from two hardline conservatives on Tuesday tohold onto his job as speaker of the House for a third term. Two dozen Republicans voted against Boehner, a rare upwelling of dissent compared to other such votes in recent years. The tweak came on the day Republicans assumed control of both houses of Congress for the first time in eight years after taking back the Senate in last year’s midterms. [The New York Times]


3. Former Virginia governor McDonnell sentenced to two years in prison
A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell (R) to two years in prison for using his office to help a dietary-supplement tycoon in exchange for $177,000 in loans and gifts. Prosecutors initially pushed for McDonnell to serve more than a decade, but defense lawyers wanted him sentenced to community service rather than prison. McDonnell’s wife, Maureen, was also convicted, but she has yet to be sentenced. The judge ordered McDonnell to report to prison on Feb. 9. [The Washington Post]


4. White House threatens Keystone XL oil pipeline veto
The White House said Tuesday that President Obama would veto a bill introduced by Republicans in the Senate that would approve the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. The proposal is the first piece of legislation introduced after Republicans officially took control of the Senate as the new Congress convened on Tuesday. All 54 GOP senators and six Democrats back the bill. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it was “premature to evaluate the project before something as basic as the route of the pipeline has been determined.” [The Associated Press]


5. Divers confirm location of AirAsia jet’s tail
Indonesian authorities confirmed Wednesday that they had found part of the tail of AirAsia Flight 8501 at the bottom of the Java Sea. The country’s search-and-rescue agency, Bambang Soelistyo, said divers had managed to take pictures of the wreckage and would investigate further. The find could lead to the recovery of the plane’s flight data recorders, or black boxes, which are located in the tails of jetliners. So far, the bodies of 40 of the 162 people who were on the plane have been recovered. [The Wall Street Journal]


6. Car bombing kills 31 outside Yemeni police school
A car bomb blast killed 31 people and wounded 64 more outside a police college in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa on Wednesday. “The situation is catastrophic,” a paramedic said. “We arrived to find bodies piled on top of each other.” The attack came less than a week after a suicide bombing south of the city. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has stepped up its bombings and shootings since Shiite Muslim Houthi militia seized the capital in September. [Reuters]


7. 220-year-old Boston time capsule opened
Boston Museum of Fine Arts conservators on Tuesday night opened a time capsule placed under the cornerstone of the Massachusetts State House in 1795 by then-governor John Adams, and Paul Revere. The contents of the box were no secret, as they had been cleaned and carefully cataloged by workers who made emergency repairs to the building’s foundation in 1855. The box contained five newspapers, 23 coins dating as far back as 1652, and other artifacts. [The Boston Globe]


8. U.N. accepts Palestinians’ request to join the International Criminal Court
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said late Tuesday that he had accepted the documents Palestinian officials submitted ratifying the International Criminal Court, clearing the way for the Palestinians to join the war-crimes tribunal in April. That, in theory, would give Palestinian leaders the ability to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel, although Palestinians could be accused, too. The U.S. opposed the move, saying it would be hurt the chance of peace. [The Associated Press]


9. Kepler spots its 1,000th Earth-like planet
NASA’s Kepler spacecraft has detected its 1,000th potentially life-sustaining planet, and the latest finds include what appear to be the most Earth-like planets yet. Those worlds are called Kepler 438 b and Kepler 442 b. They are both orbiting within the habitable zones surrounding their stars, where the temperature would be just right for liquid water, and life. These finds, along with the detection of six other small exoplanets, were announced Tuesday at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society in Seattle. [Scientific American]


10. Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz, and Biggio elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame
Former ace pitchers Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, and John Smoltz were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, along with star hitter Craig Biggio. The three pitchers earned nine coveted Cy Young Awards among them, with Johnson leading the pack with five. Biggio had 3,060 hits in 20 seasons with the Houston Astros. Johnson, Martinez, and Smoltz all ended their careers in 2009, winning entry in their first year of eligibility. It was the first time in 60 years that four players were chosen in the same year. [The New York Times]

U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: December 3, 2014

The man who would be Sec Def. 
The man who would be Sec Def. AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

The Week

Obama picks Ash Carter as Defense secretary, Russia heads into a recession, and more

1. Obama to nominate former Pentagon official Ashton Carter to replace Hagel
President Barack Obama has picked Ashton Carter, a former high-ranking Pentagon official, to replace Chuck Hagel as Defense secretary, Obama administration officials said Tuesday. Hagel got the job over Carter in 2013, and later in the year Carter left due to a rift between the two. This time he was the last top prospect not to drop out of the running. A formal announcement is expected in days, after Carter is vetted. Carter is respected by Republican hawks, which is expected to help in confirmation hearings. [Politico, The New York Times]


2. Russia enters recession as oil prices fall
Plummeting oil prices are pushing the Russian economy into a recession, officials in Moscow announced Tuesday. Russian leaders had been expecting their economy to grow in 2015 — but that was when they were assuming oil would remain at $100 a barrel. Revised estimates show that the country’s economy will contract by 0.8 percent if prices hover around $80 per barrel. With the ruble losing value and oil now around $71 per barrel, Moscow says under a more “pessimistic” scenario, with $60-per-barrel oil, its economy could drop by up to 4 percent. [CNN]


3. Boehner argues against government shutdown over immigration
House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday urged fellow Republicans to avoid a government shutdown by approving a long-term government spending bill next week. Many conservatives want to use the bill to deny money the Homeland Security Department needs to carry out President Obama’s executive order shielding as many as 4.7 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. Boehner reportedly argued for funding most federal programs through September, and revisiting Homeland Security’s budget in 2015, when the GOP will control the Senate. [Reuters]


4. Police investigate Michael Brown’s stepfather for remarks during riot
St. Louis County police said Tuesday they were investigating Louis Head, the stepfather of Michael Brown, to see whether angry remarks he made incited rioting on the night a grand jury decided not to indict the white police officer who shot and killed the unarmed black teenager in August. A video reportedly surfaced in which Head tells an angry mob, “burn this bitch down,” shortly before protesters began burning cars. Police said the inquiry was part of a broader investigation of the violence. [The New York Times]


5. Detroit public buildings lose power
A power outage caused by a “major cable failure” cut off electricity to Detroit’s fire stations, schools, and other public buildings on Tuesday. Traffic signals and the city’s People Mover shut off downtown, and firefighters spent much of the day rescuing people from elevators stuck in public buildings. The outage affected more than 900 sites, with some going without lights all day after the grid shut down around 10:30 a.m. [Detroit Free Press]


6. Netanyahu fires two ministers and calls for early elections
Israel’s coalition government collapsed on Tuesday when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired his finance and justice ministers, Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni, saying they had “harshly attacked” him and his government. Netanyahu called for dissolving the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, andholding elections two years early so that he can get “a clear mandate to lead Israel.” The parties of Lapid and Livni had clashed with Netanyahu over a host of issues, most recently a proposed law declaring Israel a Jewish state. [BBC News]


7. Hong Kong protest founders announce their “surrender”
Three founders of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement announced that they would “surrender” to police on Wednesday. The trio — Occupy Central leader Benny Tai, and co-founders Chan Kin-man and Chu Yiu-ming — tearfully urged protesters to retreat from three major intersections they have been blocking since late September. While some protesters called the move a “betrayal,” teenage protest leader Joshua Wong, who began a hunger strike on Monday, praised Tai for his role starting the movement, and said the fight for free elections in the Chinese-run city would continue. [Agence France Presse]


8. CDC considers call for stressing circumcision health benefits
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is proposing federal recommendations that would state that all males, including teenage boys, should be counseled on the health benefits of circumcision. Studies in Africa over the last 15 years indicate that circumcision lowers men’s risk of HIV infection from heterosexual intercourse by 50 to 60 percent. The procedure also reduces the risk of herpes and human papillomavirus. The American Academy of Pediatrics said in 2012 that circumcision’s benefits outweigh its risks. [NPR]


9. Woman sues Cosby, accusing him of sexual assault at the Playboy Mansion
A 55-year-old California woman, Judy Huth, filed a lawsuit against Bill Cosby on Tuesday, accusing the embattled comedian of sexually assaulting her at the Playboy Mansion in 1974, when she was 15. In the lawsuit, Huth says she and a friend met Cosby at a park, and that the assault occurred after Cosby gave her alcohol. The suit was the latest in a flurry of rape accusations against Cosby. Lawyers for Cosby, who has resisted commenting on the allegations, were not immediately available for comment. [Los Angeles Times]


10. Rolling Stones sax player Bobby Keys dies
Bobby Keys, who played on-and-off with the Rolling Stones for decades, died on Tuesday at his Tennessee home after a long illness. He was 70. Keys played memorable sax solos on such Stones hits as Brown Sugar, Can’t You Hear Me Knocking, and Sweet Virginia. He also contributed to John Lennon’s Whatever Gets You Through the Night. “I have lost the largest pal in the world,” the Stones’ Keith Richards wrote in a statement, “and I can’t express the sense of sadness I feel, although Bobby would tell me to cheer up.” [The Associated Press]


They Hope You Won’t Wake Up

The Huffington Post

Here’s the bottom line. The Tea Party Republicans and their Big Business and Wall Street allies plan to grab what they want while ordinary people sleep through this election.

They want ordinary Americans to stay home on Election Day.

To them, high voter turnout is like daylight to a burglar — or for that matter to a vampire. It stops them cold.

The corporate CEO’s and Wall Street bankers together with Tea Party extremists control the Republican Party. They see this traditionally low-turnout mid-term election as the perfect opportunity to take over the United States Senate, Governors’ mansions and State Houses with politicians who represent their interests.

They don’t want Senators from Iowa, Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Alaska, South Dakota or Michigan. They want Senators from the Koch Brothers and their corporate and Wall Street allies — Senators who actually represent them and will do whatever they are told.

They want to know that when the chips are down they can count on government officials to continue rigging the economic game so they can continue to siphon off all of the economic growth for wealthiest one percent of the population.

That’s why, at the beginning of this cycle, the Koch Brothers’ network vowed to invest $300 million to smear Democratic candidates for office. That’s why Wall Street has redirected most of its giving to the GOP. And that’s why Republicans have spent the last two years passing laws to suppress voter turnout — especially among African Americans and Hispanic voters.

In order to continue taking our money, they need to take our votes. Where they can, they’ve passed “voter ID” laws that disenfranchise hundred of thousands — and impose what amounts to a poll tax — allegedly to stop the non-existent problem of voter identity fraud. Where they can, they’ve curtailed early voting periods and access to mail ballots.

In Georgia, the Republican Secretary of State has gone so far as to refuse to process 40,000 new voter registrations.

The smaller the turnout, the better for the plutocrats who want to continue to have unfettered access to virtually all of the economic growth generated by the American economy — just as they have for the last 30 years.

The fact is that over the last three decades our Gross Domestic Product per person has gone up by 80 percent. That means we all should be 80 percent better off than 30 years ago. But instead, wages have stagnated for most Americans because the rules of the game have allowed the CEO’s and Wall Street speculators to take all of that growth in income for themselves. They want to keep it that way.

But that requires that ordinary people stay away from the polls, because when most Americans vote, the electorate represents the whole population of the United States. And the fact is that most Americans support a progressive program that would change all of that.

Bottom line: they want to steal your family’s security while you sleep through the election.

There’s only one problem with this strategy: you don’t have to go along. Ordinary Americans can stop them by going to the polls.

It’s really up to us.

If you don’t have an ID, get one.

If they don’t have enough voting machines, camp there. Stand in line as long as it takes.

In 2012, thousands of people stood in line for hours – even after Barack Obama was declared the winner for President – because they were unwilling to allow the Republicans to steal their votes. If necessary, join them and do the same.

Don’t let them steal your vote.

Of course, in many places they can’t try these kind of overt voter intimidation tactics. Instead, they try to lull ordinary people to sleep by trying to convince us that the elections don’t matter anyway.

Tea Party extremists masquerade as moderates. Politicians who owe everything to rich plutocrats parade around in old cars and workshirts to look like they understand the “common man.”

They come out with mushy position papers on issues that are overwhelmingly popular — like raising the minimum wage. But they never mention that if you elect enough Republicans for them to control the House or Senate, the leadership in those bodies will simply refuse to call a minimum wage bill for a vote — just like John Boehner did this year.

Want to pass immigration reform? Then get out and vote against Republicans, who blocked an up or down vote in the House on comprehensive immigration reform — a bill that would have passed the House if the Republican leadership had simply called the bill to the floor.

Want to restore long-term unemployment compensation benefits? A bill passed the Senate that would have been signed by the president, but the House Republican leadership refused to call it for a vote.

Want to cut the cost of student loans? The Republican leadership in the House refused to take up the very popular measure sponsored in the Senate by Elizabeth Warren. If Mitch McConnell becomes Senate Majority Leader, the Senate won’t call it for a vote either.

Want to stop cuts in Social Security and Medicare? The House Republicans passed a budget that would end the Medicare guarantee and replace it with vouchers for private insurance that would raise out-of-pocket costs for retirees by thousands of dollars.

Want tax policies that shift the burden from ordinary working people to the one percent that has received all of the benefits of our growing economy? It won’t come from Republicans — ever.

In fact, elections matter enormously to the economic well-being of every American. And no one’s vote counts more than yours — unless you don’t vote. Because if you don’t vote, everyone’s vote counts more than yours. In political terms, if you don’t vote, you don’t count. And we know that if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.

If nothing else will convince you to vote, think about this. If millions of ordinary middle and working class Americans sit this election out and let the Koch Brothers of the world have their way, can’t you just imagine how they will yuck it up over drinks in their exclusive private clubs, or onboard their private jets?

They have no respect for working people — or the value of hard work. Many of them disdain ordinary working people. To them, it will just confirm their view that ordinary people can be sold a bill of goods if they just spend enough money and repeat enough lies.

In the end we will prove them dead wrong. The moral arc of the universe does in fact bend toward justice. But don’t give them the satisfaction — even for a few fleeting months at the end of 2014 — to think that their money can buy our democracy and there is nothing we are willing to do about it.