- Today's comic by Mark Fiore is Jeb Bush and Brotherly Love:
- What's coming up on Sunday Kos ...
- Do not call me girl: Women in the workforce, by Susan Grigsby
- Memorial Day and Flanders Fields, by Mark E Andersen
- How did you begin to unlearn racism, by Denise Oliver Velez
- The promise of NewSpace, by DarkSyde
- The perils of trying to define 'an accurate pollster,' by Steve Singiser
- $15 minimum wage in L.A. is great. But it was only necessary because a Democratic Congress blew it, by Ian Reifowitz
- American reality distorted by media coverage and police response, by Egberto Willies
- States of death: As you may have seen earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control has produced a map showing the most distinctive cause of death by state. Mother Jones magazine has translated that into plain English:
To make the map [...] Francis P. Boscoe and Eva Pradhan, both at the New York State Department of Health, took data from 2001 to 2010 and calculated state rates of death for each of the 113 causes tracked by the CDC. They then divided those answers by the national rates of death for those specific causes. As Tech Times pointed out, the most distinctive cause doesn't necessarily mean high numbers. Rather, the map shows a cause of death for each state that occurs at higher rates than in the rest of the country.
You can see a larger version here.
- These Daily Kos community posts were the most shared on Facebook May 21:
Ken Burns Commencement Speech-line On #BlackLivesmatter Gets Huge Applause In One for the Ages, by thirty three and a third
- 57-year-old former Democratic lawmaker will marry receptionist with whom he had sex when she was a minor:
A former Virginia Democratic lawmaker who became a pariah in the state legislature after a sex scandal involving a teenage receptionist has announced that he plans to marry the woman, a day after he acknowledged fathering her 9-week-old baby.
Joseph D. Morrissey, 57, told a news conference on Thursday that the woman, Myrna Pride, gave birth to their baby about a week before she turned 19. She is still employed at his law office, he said.
- Huckabee stands behind guy who says CIA is concealing the location of the Ark of the Covenent: Rabbi Harry Moskoff, who calls himself the "Jewish Indiana Jones," believes he knows the location of the ark, which was reputedly the vessel in which the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments said to be personally inscribed by God for Moses to impose on the Hebrews. He thinks it's buried in what was once the courtyard of the rebuilt Jewish Temple, which stood on the Temple Mount until 70 CE, when the Romans destroyed it. The al-Aqsa mosque has stood in one form or another on the site since 705 CE.
Moskoff's's theories go beyond the ark's location. He claims that the CIA is "interested" in his "findings" and that the spy agency has interfered with archeological digs to prevent the discovery of biblical artifacts. Why would the spy service do this? Because the unearthing of such items, including the ark, would strengthen Israel's claim to disputed territory.
So is a top-secret US agency conspiring to hide the Ark of the Covenant and other biblical evidence from the rest of the world for covert geopolitical motives? If elected president, will Huckabee undo this CIA cover-up and also reveal the ark and its godly power to all?
- Only intelligence officers get to watch Bin Laden hideout porn: We've gotten to see a partial list of reading material of what U.S. officials say was found in the Pakistani compound of Osama bin Laden. But some of the stuff is out of bounds to the horny and merely curious.
[T]he Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which released the files on Wednesday, has not released all the material found in the compound. In fact, there's a rather notorious stash that the U.S. government apparently doesn't want you to see: a cache of pornography.
- DeSmogBlog reports on investigating Keystone XL builder's operations:
A month after revealing that TransCanada is under a compliance review for the Keystone 1 Pipeline, the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) disclosed it is also investigating the operations of Keystone XL's southern route, renamed the Gulf Coast Pipeline when the project was split in half.
The results of these investigations could play a part in President Obama's final decision on the Keystone XL permit that TransCanada needs to complete its Keystone pipeline network. According to the State Department’s website, one of the factors the KXL presidential permit review process focuses on is compliance with relevant federal regulations.
- Team Blackness discussed protest of 10 topless women blocking Market Street in San Francisco as part of a day of action to "end state violence against all black women and girls." Using the hashtag #SayHerName and organized by BlackOUT Collective, the idea was to put a name and a face to those who have died by the hands of the police. Also discussed were new developments in the Freddie Gray case, gay adoptions and the GOP, and banning LGBT conversion therapy.
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- On today's Kagro in the Morning show: Duggar! Greg Dworkin on ACA entrenchment, GOP debate issues, ABIM and O'Reilly in denial again. NYT reporter swipes at Hillary. Kansas ups its punish-the-poor game. Fight for $15 gets its due. Self-driving cars might not necessarily kill us all.
Way to confirm my thesis, jackass. It's not just the venom directed at Clinton herself, but at the notion that actual regular Americans have any say in the process. In the mind of Horowitz and his beltway pals, those Americans are usurping his god-given right to dictate the terms of the presidential debate. Fuck that shit.
That's why there's zero reason for ANY presidential candidate to speak to these horserace Betlway media assholes. Rather, in this era of extreme polarization, one in which the "persuadable" are few and far between, candidates should focus on talking to their core supporters, energizing them and giving them a reason to turn out and vote.
For Republicans, that means a lot of time on Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. Unlucky for them, that stuff isn't particularly popular with the broader American mainstream, but hey, it works in the off-year elections.
And we, as Americans, get a better idea about where those Republicans actually stand on the issues than anything a horserace reporter could give us. I mean, it was Fox News that got Jeb Bush to admit that he'd be no different than his brother in Iraq! Oops for him, and kudos to Fox for showing that Jeb is so pathetic that he couldn't even handle that softball of a question. Compare that to racist Mark Halperin asking Ted Cruz his favorite Cuban food. ...
For Democrats, that means talking to Latinos via Univision, to black radio, to LGBT magazines, to Asian newspapers, to genuinely liberal media outlets. And, of course, it means talking directly to supporters via email, Facebook, Twitter, other rising social media outlets, and even in person (gasp!). Those are the people who matter to Hillary's presidential bid, and that of every other Democrat on the ballot next November.
The Beltway hacks may not like this end-run around them, but so what? We may ultimately fail to learn whether a candidate wears boxers or briefs, but ultimately, "everyday Americans" are better served as a result.
The senator said:
"My hometown of Burlington and the people of Vermont have a special place in my heart. There is nowhere else in the world where I would hold an event this important.On Wednesday, Sanders called Kinsey, a park ranger in Florida, to thank him for the $10 he contributed to the campaign, making him the 100,000th donor since fund-raising began. The campaign has raised more than $4 million since the beginning of May.
"In Vermont, I have learned that focusing on important issues and not engaging in negative campaigns is what people want. I have learned that grassroots campaigning—holding town meetings, knocking on doors, face-to-face discussions—is more important than money in winning elections. That is what I have done in Vermont and that is the lesson I will take with me around the country on this national campaign.
"The formal kickoff will set the stage for the campaign to come," Sanders continued. "I will lay out an 'Agenda for America' which addresses the major crises we face and a vision of a government which works for all of our people and not just the billionaire class."
Sanders will head out on Wednesday, May 27, for campaign stops in New Hampshire and then head to eastern Iowa on Friday. Events there will include Davenport, Muscatine, an event in Cedar County, and one in Iowa City, home of the University of Iowa.
For everyone who is thinking, like BrooklynBadBoy, that Sanders should buy a comb, here's some 44-year-old proof that you're wasting your time:
From the Burlington, Vermont, Free Press, Nov. 24, 1971:
Bernard Sanders, 30, announces he is running for the U.S. Senate in the special election following the death of Sen. Winston Prouty, R-Vt. Sanders describes himself as a carpenter who has worked with "disturbed children." Asked why he was running, Sanders says, "What the two major parties are saying is irrelevant regarding the problems facing this country. ... A democracy is made up of people, and they are not making the decisions. The concentration of power makes the average man feel irrelevant; this results in apathy. As for my qualifications, I am not a politician."Bernie Sanders, age 30, 1971.
Likely presidential hopeful Rick Santorum criticized Fox News on Thursday for instituting what he described as "arbitrary" debate criteria. [...]He may have a point. After all, he won Iowa last time around and nobody, not even Rick Santorum, thought he was a viable national candidate!
"The idea that a national poll has any relationship to the viability of a candidate -- ask Rudy Giuliani that, ask Phil Gramm that," the former Pennsylvania senator told National Journal after a speech at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City.
Santorum said he was "probably the best person to comment on this," because he had only 4 percent in national polls in January 2012, and won the Iowa caucuses anyway. "I don't know if I was last in the polls, but I was pretty close to last," he said.That's the spirit. We can't just have the top ten candidates up on that stage, Fox, we need the ridiculous, absurd, insulting, absolutely batshit crazy candidates up there too. Because when Iowa rolls around, they're the ones most likely to win.
All of this, not just the part where Rick Santorum advocates "bomb[ing] them back to the 7th century," is ridiculous, yet Obama remained characteristically calm and polite in answering some of those claims in an interview with Jeffrey Toobin. "I’m very clear on the lessons of Iraq," Obama said. "I think it was a mistake for us to go in in the first place, despite the incredible efforts that were made by our men and women in uniform."
But, he argued, at some point Iraq has to find its own way:
I know that there are some in Republican quarters who have suggested that I’ve overlearned the mistake of Iraq, and that, in fact, just because the 2003 invasion did not go well doesn’t argue that we shouldn’t go back in. And one lesson that I think is important to draw from what happened is that if the Iraqis themselves are not willing or capable to arrive at the political accommodations necessary to govern, if they are not willing to fight for the security of their country, we cannot do that for them. We can be effective allies. [...]Gee, rejecting permanent occupation, letting other countries govern themselves, trying to be an ally rather than a conqueror, and trying to build coalitions. How dare he have an answer that doesn't start with bombs and end with massive troop commitments?
But we can’t do it for them, and one of the central flaws I think of the decision back in 2003 was the sense that if we simply went in and deposed a dictator, or simply went in and cleared out the bad guys, that somehow peace and prosperity would automatically emerge, and that lesson we should have learned a long time ago. And so the really important question moving forward is: How do we find effective partners—not just in Iraq, but in Syria, and in Yemen, and in Libya—that we can work with, and how do we create the international coalition and atmosphere in which people across sectarian lines are willing to compromise and are willing to work together in order to provide the next generation a fighting chance for a better future?
Yeahhhh, Queen Hillary. "We report, you decide!" As for the article itself ...
Unlike in 2008, when Mrs. Clinton’s regal bearing was brought low by Barack Obama’s insurgent campaign, there is no one to force her out of her Rose Garden. Neither Bernie Sanders, the socialist senator from Vermont, nor Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland, has applied significant pressure on her. That leaves the news media as her only real opponent so far on the way to the Democratic presidential nomination, and while it may not be great for an educated populace or the furtherance of American democracy, it makes all the political sense in the world for Mrs. Clinton to ignore them, too."That leaves the news media as her only real opponent so far." It's a horrible premise, as Jay Rosen among others has made clear. But boy is it ever a premise Jason Horowitz does his best to live out in an article with personal animus oozing from under every line. Here's how Horowitz describes Clinton taking press questions, as they'd been endlessly whining she was not doing:
“Tell me — tell me something I don’t know,” she said, almost musically, as she snapped her head to the left in a Janet Jackson-era dance move. “Ha, ha, ha, ha.”Later in the piece, "She seems less a presidential candidate than a historical figure, magically animated from a wax museum to claim what is rightfully hers." So, Janet Jackson-era dance moves and a historical figure magically animated from a wax museum—she's old! To claim what is rightfully hers—Queen Hillary, so entitled! How dare she be a strong presidential candidate when we, the press, don't like her?
The smile on Mrs. Clinton’s face slowly faded as she nodded and replied and obfuscated in response to the half-dozen questions asked of her.
The entitlement here is on the part of the press, claiming a role in politics that does not belong to it by any reasonable read of the role of the press, with reporters insisting that their inane questions and picayune obsessions are what's important in this race. Insisting that, rather than covering Bernie Sanders' campaign as seriously as they're covering the campaigns of Republicans with lower polling numbers than Sanders, the right way to cover the Democratic primary is by dismissing Sanders and setting themselves up as Clinton's true opposition. It's disgraceful.
Jeb Bush has performed a valuable service with his recent missteps and flubs, he’s reminded the world of the baggage he willingly carries. I’m not tarring him with the same brush as George W. Bush just because they are brothers. Jeb has voluntarily staffed his foreign policy team with 17 people from his brother’s administration. (This is out of a foreign policy team of 21, mind you.)
Sure, the dynasty thing is bad enough and it’s the same Bush family as before—but whether Jeb is a Bush or not, he deserves to be pilloried for putting people like Paul Wolfowitz in places where they might have an impact on, you know, foreign policy. (It boggles my mind Wolfowitz is actually showing his face in public, never mind appearing on cable news and advising another Bush.)
Besides Wolfie, there are loads of other people on Jeb’s list of advisers—people like Porter Goss, who gets a bone-chilling shout out in this week’s Frontline piece. (Right after the 43 minute mark.) While the run up to the Iraq war may seem like a long time ago and a president or two away, Jeb is actively bringing these guys back.
These inept hawks are the ones who took this country to war on a lie and actively contributed to the deaths of thousands of United States servicemen and women and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens. And remember, this was not just about "faulty intelligence," the George W. Bush administration (many of who are now in Jeb Bush’s circle of advisers), knowingly used false intelligence to make the case for an unnecessary war. It’s important to remember the recent past so we don’t put the same criminals and idiots in power again. Fortunately, things aren’t looking too good for Jeb right now, but the campaign has barely begun. Enjoy the cartoon, like, comment and all that other good stuff—and be sure to check out the links behind the cartoon.
But a Republican maneuver on the $612 billion military bill to block the Interior Department from adding the bird to the endangered species list has set off a major congressional skirmish that has spilled over into Western states, where the sage grouse is revered, and among environmental groups that fear a steady erosion of the Endangered Species Act. […]That's the excuse for adding this prohibition to the bill, but it's not reality.
House Republicans, in advance of a legal deadline for final determination of the sage grouse status, have gone at it in several forms, most recently in the military bill. There they argued that giving the bird special status would put military training operations in peril because the birds’ habitat—which stretches across an array of Western training areas—would be essentially off limits. […]
House Democrats were not amused by these efforts. Armed with a large poster of the lesser prairie chicken wielding a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, Representative Jackie Speier, Democrat of California, accused Republicans of treating the birds as "a sort of feathery sleeper cell."
Management of the bird has not "resulted in unacceptable limits on our military readiness activities," said Mark E. Wright, a Defense Department spokesman.Who is really opposed to the listing, of course, is the oil and gas industry. Sage grouse habitat is also drilling and fracking ground. Groups like the Western Energy Alliance, the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance have been lobbying hard to prevent this listing, and they and their member organizations "are among the top donors to election campaigns of major players in Congress who have pushed legislation that would block Interior’s actions." Of course.
"Because we have already undertaken these actions voluntarily, and expect to need to manage for the sage grouse indefinitely, we do not believe the listing decision—regardless of the outcome—will affect our mission activities to any great degree," he said.
Then, Rosalyn MacGregor's Michigan update will fill the rest.
Oh, wait. Greg.
OK, Greg will interrupt me by saying "Josh Duggar" before I do for half an hour, then I'll go, then Rosalyn.
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Greg Dworkin rounds up stories about Rand Paul's non-filibuster, Huckabee passing on the IA straw poll, Fox setting the rules on who'll debate, media still mad at Hillary, and how Luis Lang was short-changed by the media, and could end up getting screwed again. Finally, ICD codes: an insider's peek at games doctors play to pass the time. A reminder of the somewhat sketchy practice of Members of Congress living (rent & utility-free) in their offices. The NSA's back door into your smartphone. One of the bikers arrested in the Waco shootout was among the group lobbying for looser gun laws at the TX capitol. State legislatures increasingly banning local bans. On everything. Scotland Yard once thought Star Trek fans were a national security threat. Florida bar owner shows us the worst thing wrong with "Stand Your Ground" laws. Guess what? Conservatives are taking a 54th crack at developing their own Move On.
Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.
Documents obtained by CNN in April found the Missouri National Guard referred to Ferguson protestors as "enemy forces" during demonstrations last summer. Many Americans don't trust an officer with a department-issued handgun, let alone a grenade launcher. Yet grenade launchers are among the equipment given to local law enforcement by the Department of Defense over the last few decades. Iowa agencies have seven of them.The Boston Globe:
In this state, 144 agencies have acquired military gear from the federal government valued at about $11.5 million. Items include mine-resistant armored vehicles, automatic handguns, sniper scopes and night-vision goggles. Last year the Register's editorial board reported that the Iowa State University campus police were among the agencies that sought and received M-16 rifles.
Does any of this make Iowans feel any safer?
The Defense Department’s 1033 program is a prime example of a well-intentioned initiative that, in the absence of clear strategy and oversight, has lost some measure of sense. Created in the 1990s, and resurgent after 9/11, the program has funneled billions of dollars’ worth of surplus military equipment to police departments around the country, including many in Massachusetts. Some of the equipment that departments have received — such as rifles, helmets, trucks and night-vision glasses — might on rare occasions prove tactically useful. Others seem patently out of place: Police in the town of Rehoboth, population 11,000, got a mine-resistant tank valued at $658,000.More on the day's top stories below the fold.
The Obama administration’s order, sensibly, doesn’t end the 1033 program outright. It bans the transfer of certain items, such as armored vehicles that run on tracks, grenade launchers, and some types of camouflage uniforms. To receive other items, police departments now must offer a plan and justification. That’s a process worth going through before any acquisition. Indeed, police departments around the country have, in recent months, tried to return some expensive military equipment — most notably, those mine-resistant vehicles — after finding that it was costly to maintain and unnecessarily divisive.
AMY GOODMAN: But when it comes to this, what did they do?
MATT TAIBBI: They were monkeying around with the prices of every currency on Earth. So, if you can imagine that anybody who has money, which basically includes anybody who’s breathing on the planet, all of those people were affected by this activity. So if you have dollars in your pocket, they were monkeying around with the prices of dollars versus euros, so you might have had more or less money fractionally, depending on all of this manipulation, every single day. And again, Attorney General Lynch went out of her way to say that this activity went on basically every single day for the last five years or so. So every single day, that $5 in your pocket was worth a little bit more or a little bit less, based on what these people were doing. And if you spread that out to everybody on Earth, it turns into a financial crime that’s on a scale that, you know, you would normally only think of in Bond movies or something like that.
NERMEEN SHAIKH: Well, the Justice Department says traders used online chat rooms and coded language to manipulate currency exchange rates. One high-ranking Barclays trader chatted, quote, "If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying." And another responded, quote, "Yes, the less competition the better." So, could you comment on that, Matt? And also explain why, in this particular case, the companies pleaded guilty.MATT TAIBBI: Well, I think part of it is because they had this very graphic online record of these people chatting and admitting to essentially a criminal conspiracy in writing. That’s one of the things that’s really interesting about this entire era of financial crime, is that you have so much of this very graphic, detailed documentary evidence just lying around. The problem is the government has either been too overwhelmed or too disinclined to go and get it and do anything with it. In this case, you have people openly calling themselves the cartel or the mafia, and then openly talking about monkeying around or manipulating, you know, the price of this or that.
The CFTC, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, actually released chats from a different case involving interest rate swaps yesterday, where they—where one guy was bragging about how he was holding up the price of interest rate swaps like he was bench-pressing at. They were bragging about this, you know, in these chat rooms. So these—what you have to understand about a lot of these people, they’re very testosterone-laden, souped-up young people who think that they’re indestructible. They’re very arrogant. And they’re doing all this in chat rooms, thinking they’re never going to get caught. And they got caught.
AMY GOODMAN: On Wednesday, Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat said, quote, "The behavior that resulted in the settlements we announced today is an embarrassment to our firm, and stands in stark contrast to Citi’s values," unquote. Meanwhile, JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon called the investigation findings, quote, "a great disappointment to us." He went on to say, quote, "The lesson here is that the conduct of a small group of employees, or of even a single employee, can reflect badly on all of us, and have significant ramifications for the entire firm," said the CEO, Jamie Dimon.
MATT TAIBBI: Well, what’s humorous about this is that virtually all of these so-called too-big-to-fail banks now have been embroiled in scandals of varying degrees of extreme seriousness since 2008. So for them to say, "Oh, it’s just a few bad apples in this one instance," is increasingly absurd. They have been dinged for everything from bribery to money laundering, to rigging Libor, to mass fraud in the subprime mortgage markets and now the forex markets. It’s one mass crime over—you know, after another, and there’s no consequence.
AMY GOODMAN: Now, aren’t these banks competitors?
MATT TAIBBI: Well, sort of. But that’s the main problem in this case, is what’s happening is that they’re colluding, which is a far more dangerous kind of corruption than what we saw, for instance, in 2008, when you saw a lot of banks, in house, committing fraud against their own clients and against the markets. This behavior, where you have a series of major banks colluding to fix the price of a currency, that is extremely dangerous. And if that behavior is allowed to go unchecked, the negative possibilities that could stem from that are virtually limitless. [...]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2007—Blank Check on its Way:
Caught between the rock that is George Bush and the hard place of troops on the ground in Iraq, the Dems are apparently going to blink:
All of the details haven't been released yet, pending meetings in the Dem caucus in the House to discuss the bill, so changes could still be made. Will those changes include real timelines? Seems pretty unlikely, since the leadership says they want a bill that won't be vetoed.
WASHINGTON - In grudging concessions to President Bush, Democrats intend to draft an Iraq war-funding bill without a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and shorn of billions of dollars in spending on domestic programs, officials said Monday.
The legislation would include the first federal minimum wage increase in more than a decade, a top priority for the Democrats who took control of Congress in January, the officials added.... Democratic officials stressed the legislation was subject to change. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss provisions before a planned presentation to members of the party's rank and file later in the day.
So the fight is shunted off down the road a few months, to when we're supposed to be seeing that mythical September when all the Republicans decide to jump ship. On this, I'm in complete agreement with Atrios: we won't see a movement among Republicans for withdrawal, they're in it too deep. They won't back down.
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin rounds Rand's non-filibuster, Huck's pass on the IA straw poll, Fox says who'll debate, media's still mad at Hillary, and how the media failed Luis Lang. How bored docs pass the time: ICD codes. The sketchy practice of crashing at the Capitol. NSA's trap door into your smartphone. One biker went from lobbying for looser gun laws, to busted at Waco. Banning local bans. Scotland Yard once thought Star Trek fans were a national security threat. Florida bar owner shows us the worst thing wrong with "Stand Your Ground" laws. Guess what? Conservatives are taking a 54th crack at developing their own Move On.