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Here are just a few of the bon mots, jabs, sharp elbows, and haymakers Obama tossed out at last night's Gridiron Club Dinner. (video to follow)

Following standard protocol, he opened with a joke:

This is my third appearance at this dinner as President.  And I predict you will laugh harder than ever.  I’m not saying I’m any funnier.  I’m saying weed is now legal in D.C.  (Laughter and applause.)
Quickly dropped in a little self-deprecation:
It is amazing, though, how time flies.  Just a few years ago, I could never imagine ever being in my fifties.  And when it comes to my approval ratings, I still can’t.  (Laughter.)
A nod to current events:
I mean, think about how things have changed since 2008.  Back then, I was the young, tech-savvy candidate of the future.  Now I’m yesterday’s news and Hillary has got a server in her house.  (Laughter.)  I didn’t even know you could have one of those in your house.  (Laughter and applause.)
Soften the blow with a little more self-deprecating humor:
On the bright side, by the time I’m done with this job, I will finally have enough life experience for a memoir.  (Laughter.)
Once the crowd's warmed up, time to pull out the big guns ....
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Remember a couple weeks ago when McCain, FOX and the GOP were all saying "Obama misread Putin... and now we are paying a heavy price for it"?  Well, looks like they were the ones misreading Putin. Won't be the first time Republicans got that wrong, is it Dubya?

McCain's recent attack on Obama's foreign policy was on March 4th.  Putin hasn't been seen since March 5th.  And now, informed sources are saying a "slow motion coup" is underway in Russia.

Speculation centers around a speech given at Russia's Mercury Club, two months ago.  The Mercury Club is important.  Its founding members are a Who's Who of Russian power brokers and includes top leadership from the:

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Russian Federation, World Trade Center Moscow, the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, The Russian Union of Manufacturers, the "Russian Parliamentarian" Club, the Orthodox Businessmen Club, the Union of Journalists of Russia, the International Press-Club, and a number of other associations
The Mercury Club was formed to provide a venue that enabled business, political and cultural interactions between lawmakers, business people, officials of the Government and the Administration of the President of Russia.  

In short, the Mercury Club is where heavy hitters in Russia meet.

The president of this association is former Russian Prime Minister, Yevgeny Primakov.  When he speaks, people listen.  

Two months ago, at a Mercury Club forum,  Primakov spoke about his concerns for Russia’s economic future and "tore Putin's policy to bits."

What did he say, exactly?  I'm glad you asked....

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This week in Not The Onion, Ted Cruz (R-TexAss), finally came out of the closet. Aping his role model, Humpty Dumpty, Cruz has gone beyond declaring words mean whatever he wants them to mean. He redefined science. Unable to dispute the findings of NASA, NOAA, Stanford University, Coke, Pepsi, WalMart, the Navy, the IMF, and every scientific society on the planet without looking as stupid as Inhofe (R-Snowball), Cruz declared Earth Science is not a "hard science".

No matter how far climate deniers jam their heads up their own asses, they can't deny the fact their old "I'm not a scientist" dodge doesn't work. No matter how much Republicans rant and rave, scientists are still out there making all sorts of scientific statements.  It must be really frustrating.  Building castles in the air is so much fun. But how can you move in and pay rent if your furniture keeps crashing to the ground?  So what is the Republican response?  "I'm not a scientist -- and you're not either!"  The newly classified "non-scientists" at SCIENCE magazine are not amused:

The idea that the geosciences aren’t hard science comes as a shock to Margaret Leinen, president of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and a former head of the National Science Foundation’s geosciences directorate.
I bet it did.  

Now why is Teddy and his anti-science minions going all schoolyard bully on Earth Science?  Well it's all that (cover your ears Florida) "climate change" sorcery....

“We’ve seen a disproportionate increase in the amount of federal funds going to the earth sciences program at the expense of funding for exploration and space operations, planetary sciences, heliophysics, and astrophysics, which I believe are all rooted in exploration and should be central to NASA’s core mission,” Cruz said at yesterday’s hearing on NASA’s 2016 budget request. “We need to get back to the hard sciences, to manned space exploration, and to the innovation that has been integral to NASA.”
I could go on and have fun with that for days, but that would be about as unfair as kicking a drunk Palin when she's down.  Besides, those of you in California (and pretty soon Texas) are going to have your hands full with other chores. In related news, NASA reports:
California now has only enough water to get it through the next year.
Darn those Earth Scientists!  Harshing the mellow with their ..... science stuff!
In an op-ed published Thursday by the Los Angeles Times, Jay Famiglietti, a senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, painted a dire picture of the state's water crisis. California, he writes, has lost around 12 million acre-feet of stored water every year since 2011. In the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins, the combined water sources of snow, rivers, reservoirs, soil water and groundwater amounted to a volume that was 34 million acre-feet below normal levels in 2014. And there is no relief in sight.
Count on Ted to point out that prediction of "no relief in sight" is clearly wrong. I can see it now:
ABC NEWS reports, another "unprecedented" display in congress today as the inmates continue to take over the asylum:

Ted Cruz: (R-TexAss)  [Jumps up on table, flings poop and screams] "Of course relief is in sight! Once the water dries up and people start dying we won't be hearing anymore of this "climate change" (sorry Florida, I forgot to warn you) nonsense. That'll be some kind of relief!

Cory Gardner (R-COckeyed): Snowball fight!!!!

[as if on cue, all "rising stars" in the Republican party join in like the Oompa-Loompas they are.]

Ted Cruz and his alternative reality minions have hit a wall.
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It is a privilege to serve in the US military.  With that privilege comes obligations.  Following military law is one of them. When Lt. Col. Joni Ernst signed the seditious letter to Iran, she broke a serious law.

Lt. Col. Joni Ernst, the junior senator from Iowa, serves as a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard. As such, she is bound by the Iowa State Code of Military Justice.  Her signing of the seditious letter to Iran is a clear and direct violation of Chapter 29B.85 of the Iowa State Code of Military Justice.

         Any person subject to this code who uses contemptuous words against the president, the governor, or the governor of any other state, territory, commonwealth, or possession in which that person may be serving, shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
This is very serious infraction.  We are a nation governed by civilians.  Our Commander-in-Chief is a civilian.  The government officials that hold ultimate authority over our military are civilians.  This is true at the federal level and the state level.  This has always been the case since George Washington was president.  He resigned his military commission to accept the position of president.   We have never in our history had a military ruler.  Military obedience to civilian authority is critical and essential if we are to maintain the democracy we inherited.   That is why "contempt towards officials" is such a serious matter. Lincoln enforced that discipline during the Civil War. Even with the imposition of martial law, Lincoln remained a civilian commander. Truman enforced the same discipline after WWII when he relieved Gen. MacArthur of his command. Obama enforced the same discipline recently when Gen. McChrystal was relieved of his command. There is nothing anachronistic about this fundamental principle.

In the federal armed services, this is handled under Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”
Reading the federal version, it is obvious where Iowa got the wording for its law.  It's not an accident or a coincidence.  The importance of enforcing the requirement for military obedience to civilian authority is universally applied at every level of governance, from the federal to the local level.  This is why we are not a police state.

In the Open Letter to Iran, which Lt. Col. Joni Ernst freely signed,  it says:

we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei.
The fact of the matter is the president, under Article 2, section 2, has always been recognized as uniquely empowered to speak on behalf of the nation.  After all, the president is the Chief Executive.   This principle has been in place for over 200 years.  Secretary of State Jefferson -- as instructed by President Washington -- made this point in writing to Edmond Genet in 1793, explaining that no one but the president could speak for this country.
He being the only channel of communication between this country and foreign nations, it is from him alone that foreign nations or their agents are to learn what is or has been the will of the nation; and whatever he communicates as such, they have a right, and are bound to consider as the expression of the nation
The letter goes from bad to worse, stating “future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”  This contempt for the president's role ignores a bedrock principle of Executive authority established when Washington [1793] was president. Adams, no friend of Washington, signed this in to law [1799]. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee reaffirmed this [1816] and the Supreme Court agreed [1938]. It’s no surprise that Cheney relied on this point to defend Reagan’s negotiations with Iran [1987] and that Biden, no friend of Cheney, agreed [2015].

There is no other way to characterize this blatant attempt to undermine this universally recognized executive authority as anything but sedition.  Undermining the authority of the president while you are serving as an active duty officer in the Iowa State National Guard is clearly contemptuous.

At the federal level, an officer is in violation of this law (Article 88) if their behavior meets the following tests:

(1) That the accused was a commissioned officer of the United States armed forces;

(2) That the accused used certain words against an official or legislature named in the article;

(3) That by an act of the accused these words came to the knowledge of a person other than the accused; and

(4) That the words used were contemptuous, either in themselves or by virtue of the circumstances under which they were used.

This brings us to the case of Lt. Col. Joni Ernst. I assume the same elements, or similar elements, are used to determine compliance at the state level for Section 85 as they are at the federal level for Article 88.

In this case, Sen. Joni Ernst is a commissioned officer. (1)
She did use words against the president. (2)
These words were published to MANY people besides the president.  (3)
The circumstances of these words are contemptuous of the president and his authority.(4)

That's four strikes, and one of 47 reasons 240,000, 250,000, 275,000 people are saying the seditious senators need to be prosecuted.   Add your voice.

What makes Joni Ernst more notable than most of her colleagues is that she has done more than attempt to undermine the president's authority to conduct diplomacy.  She has also disgraced her commission and tarnished the reputation of the Iowa National Guard.  Her behavior reflects poorly on her and her chain of command.  It also provides a poor example of leadership to those men and women entrusted to her command.

Because of her actions, Lt. Col. Joni Ernst appears to have willfully violated Iowa Code 29B.85. The only reasonable course of action is to subject Joni Ernst to court martial and punishment in proportion to the severity of her infraction.

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On the web site for White House Petitions ("We The People"), there are 7 petitions calling  for the prosecution of Cotton et al.  One has collected over 125,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.That's more than the 100K threshold needed for a response, and the numbers are still growing.   Now it's up to 129,000, 132,000, 136,000, 140,000, 145,000, 147,000, 155,000, 160,000, 165,000, 170,000, 180,000, 190,000, 200,000,250,000!!!   You can help amplify our voice and push those numbers higher.  Some people seem to think the charge should be treason, but I think sedition is much more accurate. Sedition is less serious than treason, but it's still a federal felony.

I think it is time for Eric Holder to act in his capacity as Attorney General. At least start the ball rolling.  He's leaving anyway, so it won't be his problem to deal with for very long.  Let that be a lesson to the Senate as they continue to hold up the appointment of his replacement.  

Some might argue against this course of action because it will be "distracting" to have a court case going forward.  Really?  Because then the Republicans in the Senate will be too busy defending themselves to do their jobs?  That's different from what we have now?  Actually, defending themselves from federal felony prosecution will cost them money.  That will leave a mark.  Maybe then they will see it is time to get serious and do the job they were hired to do instead of the job lobbyists pay them to do.

If there is no response to this petition, and no accountability for the #crimingwhilewhite clowns in the Senate (now we can add Jindal and Perry to the mix) -- then this administration can expect more of the same for the next year and a half.    By "more of the same" I mean "more batshit crazy than the last time they went nuts" buffoonery.

When 47 out of 54 GOP senators sign up for sedition, there is no reason to believe we are dealing with rational or reasonable people who respect anything but force.  Ignoring this problem will not fix it.  Action is required or the people pulling this stunt are going to continue distracting us at every turn.   We can't afford this.

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A star has risen in the East and sheds light where darkness has reigned for too long. The name of that star is Chai Jing.  This is a name you will hear again.  Run, don't walk, to Youtube.  

The most important documentary to come out of China is online -- for now.  150 million watched it the first week it was released. The Chinese government quickly banned it and now blocks all online access to it.  Join the millions who have watched it since Beijing dropped the hammer on it domestically.

Imagine a TED Talk like "Inconvenient Truth" but with all the intensity of the best  "60 Minutes" or "Frontline" episode you ever saw.  Throw in a little "NOVA"  or Neil deGrasse Tyson and you start to get a picture of what is waiting for you.  Who is the force of nature behind this journalistic tsunami?  I'm glad you asked.... Chai Jing is a journalist like we rarely see anymore.  She is Woodward AND Bernstein AND Nellie Bly.  She's Bill Moyers AND Bill Nye.  They don't make 'em like this anymore.  

As if that wasn't enough..... there's more!  Add an emotional appeal that grabs you starting at 00:48 and sinks its teeth into you 4 minutes later.   If you care about the environment, global warming, clean air, and the role of China, the remaining 1 hour and 40 minutes will keep you riveted.  

Chia Jing produced this with $160,000 of her own money and released it FREE online.  When you see the monied interests she is taking on --  the National People's Congress, the coal industry, the automotive industry, the petrochemical industry and more, you realize just how brave this woman is.  

The delivery is pitch perfect.  The graphics are informative and engaging.  There is no histrionics (I warn you, she sets the hook DEEP less than a minute into this production), no hyperbole, no rhetorical games, no bullying, intimidation, manipulation, or misrepresentation.... just straight in your face full frontal reporting that doesn't give a damn about whose sacred cow gets gored.  

The only flaw in the production is Chai Jing fails to explain what PM 2.5 actually is.  This is important because it is the main focus of her presentation.  It's what drives everything.  Her audience knows what it is, and I suspect something got lost in translation to English.  So let me explain it now:

What is Particulate Matter 2.5 (PM2.5)?

The term fine particles, or particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5), refers to tiny particles or droplets in the air that are two and one half microns or less in width. Like inches, meters and miles, a micron is a unit of measurement for distance. There are about 25,000 microns in an inch. The widths of the larger particles in the PM2.5 size range would be about thirty times smaller than that of a human hair. The smaller particles are so small that several thousand of them could fit on the period at the end of this sentence.

How can PM2.5 affect my health?

Particles in the PM2.5 size range are able to travel deeply into the respiratory tract, reaching the lungs. Exposure to fine particles can cause short-term health effects such as eye, nose, throat and lung irritation, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Exposure to fine particles can also affect lung function and worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease. Scientific studies have linked increases in daily PM2.5 exposure with increased respiratory and cardiovascular hospital admissions, emergency department visits and deaths. Studies also suggest that long term exposure to fine particulate matter may be associated with increased rates of chronic bronchitis, reduced lung function and increased mortality from lung cancer and heart disease. People with breathing and heart problems, children and the elderly may be particularly sensitive to PM2.5.

Now you won't be shocked when Chai Jing informs us that experts estimate PM2.5 is responsible for an excess 500,000 deaths a year in China.  To put that in perspective, if you took all the gun deaths AND all the automotive deaths in the USA, it would take eight years to kill that many people.   The problem is real... and it's big.  When you get something this big and this real, you know it's going to be personal.  Want to see what a Mama Grizzly looks like?  THIS is what a Mama Grizzly looks like.

All this is why I believe Under The Dome is one of those pieces that comes along once or twice in a generation.   Now is that time.

Here it is (link for those on mobile devices).  

Under The Dome -- Investigating China's Smog

Chai Jing's "Under The Dome" is

63%68 votes
36%39 votes

| 107 votes | Vote | Results

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I know this is going to sound like I'm missing the point of their reign of terror.  I'm not.  Decapitating kids, crucifying people, raping girls, and torching prisoners are completely outrageous and bizarre behavior.  It's what you expect from savages.  

Ain't nothing wrong with being savages.  At least self-respecting savages have an internally consistent belief system.  Like "Our leader is God and these offerings placate him so we enjoy the favor of his protection."  That would be reasonable in comparison to the latest nonsense these retards are spewing.  I'm kind of surprised no one has commented on this, so let me take a stab at a major faux pas ....

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Jonathan Rosado, beloved Hunting Park tennis coach, with his students at McClure Elementary School. His murder on Dec. 20th has left the kids
Jonathan Rosado's mother had to bury her boy this Christmas.  This Three Kings Day, she made a wish:
'I wish I could put an experiment into play where, before a person pulls the trigger, he would see all the people he would hurt beyond the person being killed.
I invite you to  join the growing circle of those touched by Jonathan Rosado and read this outstanding article by Philadelphia Daily News Columnist, Ronnie Polaneczky.  It paints such a vibrant and vivid picture of what the world has lost and the pain so many will have to live with for the rest of their lives that I  am publishing it (with permission) in it's entirety.  

Jonathan Rosado deserves more than to be a statistic.  He deserves to be remembered for who he was; to remind us what we have all lost.  I warn you, this beautifully written tribute will hurt your heart, but it's worth the pain. Feel free to share this story and grow the circle.

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Apparently, Rush has a hard time swallowing Idris Elba as James Bond.  Personally, I think if you locked them both in a room, Rush would swallow whatever Idris told him to swallow.  You know why? I'll tell you why.  Forget the acting, the charisma, the power, the danger, the animal energy, the keen intellect, the rogueish charm.  He's named after a place Napoleon went to freakin' die!   You feeling it, now?

Fans of The Wire know that given a choice of being locked in a  room with Stringer Bell or Brother Mouzone, you were better off with Brother Mouzone. Brother Mouzone may have been a stone cold contract killer, but that made him predictable.  For starters, he was a professional. He didn't like getting his hands dirty if he didn't have to.  Stringer Bell, on the other hand, you have no idea what he'd do to you.  We're talking about a guy who didn't care if you were family or not. You in the way, you gotta go.  That's some serious Michael Corleone kind of ruthless.  

But ruthless isn't enough to be Bond.  That just gets you Quantum of Solace.  To really fill Bond's shoes, you need charisma.  Compared to Daniel Craig, I have to say Idris Elba wins hands down in the charisma department.  No contest.  He'd give Burt Lancaster a run for his money.  Hell, he'd give Marvin Gaye a run for his money.  In the physicality department, there's no question Craig is crisper with his choreography.  But Elba wouldn't have to dip and dodge to avoid getting hurt in a fight scene.  He'd barrel into the minions and put people through walls.  All his fight scenes would play like the opening of The Watchmen.  At least one guy would go out a window.  It there wasn't a window handy, he'd make one.

I realize Rush is in a terminally drug-induced haze so James Bond is as real to him as Santa is to Megyn Kelly, bless her heart.  That's why the OxyMoron says stupid stuff like:

James Bond is a total concept put together by Ian Fleming.
He was white and Scottish. Period
Oh Really? You need to get out more...
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Expect the Sunday talk shows to cast today's senseless slaughter of NY police officers as relevant to the current national debate about excessive force by police.  They're not stupid, just lazy.  

People on Sunday talk shows like to pretend history started this morning. It didn't.  While they focus on all the outrage of NYPD, turning their backs on de Blasio and trying to shift the blame to him for this senseless atrocity -- claiming he "has blood on his hands" .... I wonder...

Where was the outrage directed at Clive Bundy when his followers, Jerad and Amanda Miller, were killing cops and draping the corpses with a Gadsden flag?

Where was the outrage directed at James Yeager when his follower, James Gilkerson, was shooting at cops with an AK-47?

Where was the outrage directed at Glenn Beck when his fan, Richard Poplawski, was killing cops with a rifle?

Where was the outrage directed at Mike Huckabee when they guy he paroled, Maurice Clemmons, killed more cops in a single instance than anyone else in American history?

And speaking about cops turning their backs on people who "have blood on their hands" ...

Did they turn their backs on Bush after his administration lied about the air quality at Ground Zero  being safe?

Did they turn their backs on Paul Ryan, and the rest of the GOP when they denied healthcare benefits to 9/11 first responders dying of lung cancer and other ailments from working The Pile without proper equipment?  

Why all the sudden outrage on TV now?  The other cases weren't politically useful?  Or am I just being too cynical?  By the way, since when did FOX start caring about people named Liu or Ramos?

I don't expect to hear any honest answers on TV, but one thing I do expect -- any show that has Giuliani booked will also book Bloomberg so he can raise the question whether the attacks on cops is a new trend, or just a reflection of the increasing frequency of mass shootings across the nation.

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Leopards don't change their spots. Old dogs don't learn new tricks and scorpions always sting you, because that is what they do.  Tom Coburn is no different.  He sees this as a virtue.  He's wrong.

With suicide now the leading cause of death in the military, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) turned his back on those most desperate men and women when he chose to block the passage of the Veteran's Suicide Prevention bill -- a bill that passed the Republican-held House.  

In a culture where there is no greater sin than to leave your comrades behind, bleeding on the field, Coburn's latest act of disdain for the suffering of those who answered the call of service to this nation is worth noting.  It is not surprising. It is just one more example of his consistent cruelty and indifference.  The behavior of this professed healer, this professed Christian, is so cruel, so recalcitrant, so impervious to change, it reminds me of something Bertrand Russell once said:

The infliction of cruelty with a good conscience is a delight to moralists. That is why they invented Hell.
Sadly, this depravity is no longer a surprise.  We have been here before...
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If you are looking for a sledgehammer to crush Cheney's conceit that "torture worked," here's the story and the memo that sucks the air out of any apologist's arguments for torture. Forever and always.

You can argue whether or not the Cheney Clan are a bunch of lying, cowardly, hypocrites who betray their nation when it's convenient.

You can argue whether or not the Bush Clan are a bunch of lying, cowardly, conniving weasels who betray their nation when it's profitable.

You can debate whether enablers like Richard Cohen and Peggy Noonan substitute sophistry for sound judgment and pretend it's journalism.

But there are three things you can't do:
1) You can't ignore facts just because they are inconvenient.
2) You can't deny that USMC Major Sherwood F. Moran was a hero in WWII.
3) You can't continue to leave him out of any debate on torture.

Donald Rumsfeld may like to think he creates his own reality, but as a younger, and wiser, Donald Rumsfeld once declared:

Arguments of convenience lack integrity and inevitably trip you up.
I couldn't have said it better, myself ...
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