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That's the headline in The Hill. It is datelined May 19 at 6:11 pm, but I don't see any discussion of it here.

Here is the gist of Markos' argument:  Obama gave a very liberal State of the Union speech this year and it was written by John Podesta.  Hillary then hired Podesta to chair her campaign.  

That simple connection suggests Clinton is shedding her husband’s ideological baggage and aiming for a truly progressive presidency. Why, after all, would Podesta help craft such an explicitly liberal State of the Union address if he was then going to help take it all back with Clinton? That address might have been the beginning of a rhetorical bridge spanning the Obama and future Clinton presidencies.
If you oppose Clinton from the left, you might scoff at such logic. But the actions of her nascent campaign certainly support that theory.
 She also hired Robby Mook who ran McAuliffe's successful campaign for governor in Virginia.
Mook instead focused heavily on the ethnically and racially diverse D.C. suburbs in Northern Virginia and African-American communities in places like Richmond, and delivered an elusive off-year electoral victory for Democrats. In fact, Mook was so successful, there was no African-American voter drop-off between 2012 and 2013.
Markos reasons that Clinton could just as easily have hired Mark Penn, but she picked Mook to turn out base supporters.

And then there's this:

On actual substance, Clinton’s early speechifying is also cause for optimism. On immigration, she now supports measures far beyond anything Obama has proposed, generating enthusiastic support from the Hispanic community. She’s been saying all the right things on police brutality and criminal reform (as her husband admits the mistakes of his get-tough-on-crime policies). And on income inequality, where even her staunchest liberal supporters can be skeptical, Clinton is striking a populist tone — and her lack of support for the president’s lobbying efforts on behalf of his Pacific trade deal hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Markos concludes that no one should worry about getting Sanders or Warren to push Clinton to the left because she is already there.
Discuss

So what's up with this?   Rep. Alan Grayson is the topic (target?) of a blistering piece in the Tampa Bay Times:

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, the outspoken, populist Democrat who thunders against Wall Street fat cats,and used to to joke about Mitt Romney's low tax bill, incorporated a couple hedge funds in the Cayman Islands so investors could avoid taxes.

Grayson Fund Ltd. and Grayson Master Fund were incorporated in 2011 in the Cayman Islands, a well known tax Haven that Romney used as well, records show.. That was the same year he wrote in the Huffington Post that the IRS should audit every Fortune 500 company because so many appear to be "evading taxes through transfer pricing and offshore tax havens."

In a phone interview Wednesday, Grayson said the funds were incorporated in Grand Cayman at the advice of an attorney he declined to name. It was a vehicle for foreign investors to invest in his funds while limiting their tax liabilities, he said, but no money had been invested in them yet.

The paper's political editor, Adam C. Smith, wrote up this searing take-down of Grayson under the headline "Potty-mouthed Alan Grayson and his offshore investments."  You can read it all by clicking the link.  

Those who know Grayson will not be a bit surprised by his response to the interviewer, who tweeted it out for all the world to see:

Good talk w @AlanGrayson: "R u some kind of sh*ttng robot?! U go around sh*tting on people?!" he inquired, loudly
6:34 AM - 13 May 2015
This was picked up by Mother Jones  and will probably have the blogosphere abuzz for a bit.  

Does anyone care?  Not I, particularly, but, if it is true, then egg surely belongs on Grayson's face.  If not true, then the egg goes straight to the "sh*tting robot."

Discuss

Two men shot dead outside of "Draw the Prophet Show"

That's what is coming in over the wires from Garland, Texas

Two people were fatally shot today outside a Garland, Texas, community center that was hosting an show of cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, and the center was put on lockdown, SWAT officials said.

The two suspects drove up in a car and opened fire on the Curtis Culwell Center, which is owned by the Garland school district, and a security officer of the Garland ISD was hit, according to a statement from the city of Garland.

That officer suffered non-life threatening injuries, a Garland Police spokesman.

Garland police officers returned fire, hitting both men and killing both men, according to the city statement.

The details are yet to come, but this sounds like another "Charlie Hebdo" attack, except that the event was a deliberate provocation with Dutch racist Geert Wilders in attendance.  The Charlie Hebdo cartoonists were equal opportunity lampooners, not deliberate provocateurs.  Just the same, murder is not the answer to offensive speech.

UPDATE --

As today’s Muhammad Art Exhibit event at the Curtis Culwell Center was coming to an end, two males drove up to the front of the building in a car. Both males were armed and began shooting at a Garland ISD security officer. The GISD security officer's injuries are not life-threatening. Garland Police officers engaged the gunmen, who were both shot and killed.
Police suspect the vehicle may contain an incendiary device and the bomb squad is on the scene. The surrounding businesses including Academy Sports, Walmart and Sam’s are being evacuated. Event participants are also being evacuated from the Curtis Culwell Center for their safety.
Monitor @garlandtxgov on Twitter for updates..  
You can continue monitoring the story here:  http://wtvr.com/...
Discuss

Anyone in the SF Bay Area who is looking for a chance to call Rand Paul to account has a perfect chance this Saturday, May 9.

The announcement was made in today's San Francisco Chronicle  by political writer Carla Marinucci, moderator for this FREE event.  

Aiming to appeal to Millennials and libertarian-leaning tech workers, GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul will visit San Francisco next week for a campaign swing that includes headlining a discussion and conference on “Disrupting Democracy.”
The May 9 event, formally titled “Disrupting Democracy: A New Generation of Voter Engagement,” is being hosted by Lincoln Labs, a GOP-leaning “liberty-focused thought and leadership group,” and Brigade, a tech firm that develops social tools aimed at boosting civic engagement and is chaired by billionaire Facebook and Napster co-founder Sean Parker.
I wonder what the "libertarian-leaning tech workers" think about Rand Paul's vicious platform of government regulation of American women's lady parts?  Do they believe, as Rand Paul does, that
"life begins at conception and that abortion takes the life of an innocent human being. It is the duty of our government to protect this life as a right guaranteed under the Constitution." I have stated many times that I will always support legislation that would end abortion or lead us in the direction of ending abortion.
http://www.paul.senate.gov/...
 

Are the enlightened, hipsters of the tech world down with government control of body parts?  Do they believe, as Rand Paul does, that every fertilized ovum must be carried to term?  Do they care that Rand has a ZERO rating from NARAL?   Perhaps they are too male and too swept up by Ayn Rand's dicta to have given a thought to what kind of "disruption" Rand Paul has in mind for American women.

So, if any Bay Area Kossacks are around on Saturday, May 2, here's how to get your free ticket and a chance to ask some real questions of Forced Birther Rand Paul.

“Disrupting Democracy: A New Generation of Voter Engagement”: Rand Paul in discussion with Brigade CEO Matt Mahan, in a free forum moderated by San Francisco Chronicle senior political writer Carla Marinucci. From 3-5 p.m. May 9, Brigade, 548 Fourth St., San Francisco. Tickets: http://bit.ly/...
Discuss

Oh, sigh….

Why do some men think women's bodies are there for the touching?  Powerful men, like the Premier of New Zealand, apparently felt that he had a right to torment a waitress by repeatedly pulling her hair when he stopped at her diner.

New Zealand’s prime minister, John Key, has apologized to a cafe worker who accused him of a form of torment usually associated with playground bullies: hair-pulling.

The waitress made her complaint public in an anonymous blog post on Wednesday, saying that Mr. Key, a frequent visitor to the Auckland cafe where she works, had tugged on her ponytail repeatedly over a period of months, starting during the general election campaign last year. Mr. Key, the prime minister since 2008, won a third term with his center-right National Party’s victory in September.

The beleaguered waitress tells her story, anonymously and at length, on a NZ blog:
…..So the game continued. He would come up behind me when I was at the ordering terminal, tug on my hair and then pretend that his wife, Bronagh, had done it (much to her embarrassment), and she would tell him to stop it. As he rounded the corner behind me he commented “that’s a very tantalising ponytail”.
On Saturday, 28th February (which I specifically recall as there was to be a protest outside his home the following day) he approached me from behind, security personnel by his side, as I stood with my back to him filling water glasses, and he pulled my hair before once again pointing the blame at Bronagh. I couldn’t believe it, he was still persisting and by now he had definitely got the message that I was not enjoying it – that seemed to be why he was enjoying it so damn much. It had really crossed the line by this point and I didn’t need to tell him to stop because now Bronagh herself was already telling him to stop what he was doing, and not for the first time I might add. I exclaimed “Really?!!”, to my manager beside me, and shot him a look of utter disbelief and frustration.
What more could I do? How humiliating would it be to have to stand before the Prime Minister, his wife and security personnel and a handful of customers and say John, Mr Prime Minister, Sir, could you please stop tugging on my hair, I don’t like it, please stop, please… I felt I shouldn’t HAVE to do that. I certainly couldn’t reciprocate his actions, maybe see if he liked to have his hair pulled. Who would dare do that to a man with his own personal security? I told his security that I was sick of having my hair pulled and one day I’ll snap and i’ll punch him in the face. I hoped that maybe they’d tell him that enough’s enough and it’s time to draw it to an end. I posted on the National Party and the John Key Facebook pages a message along the lines of “Stop pulling my hair – I don’t like it!”. Maybe between social media and his security buddies and my body language and his wife’s advice he might finally get the message?
After the worker's blog post appeared, Premier Key said he was just "horsing around."  By way of apology, he brought the waitress two bottles of New Zealand pinot noir.  

Green party leader Metiria Turei had this to say:

"A lot of New Zealanders know what it's like to feel as if you're not taken seriously in a job. As politicians our job is to make people feel safe at work, not bullied."

"This is another case of National men behaving badly. We should expect higher standards of behaviour from our Prime Minister, not this weird hair pulling."

Sigh...
Discuss

It's hard to know with Lincoln Chafee.  Sometimes he has trouble making up his mind about which way to go.

Reports are flying around the the cable shows and blogs that he accidentally let it slip today on CNN:

Chafee appeared to get loose with his language on CNN, telling the anchor he’s interested in a run for the White House because he doesn’t feel Hillary Clinton is right for the job. “That’s why I’m running. Because I feel strong about where we’re going as a country,” he said.
Here he is on CNN.

I think he just may have scooped his own story.  

Discuss

Don't like a candidate?  Hate the opposition?  But what to do about it?  Oh, why not take a trip to the local cemetery and knock over their family headstone?  What brilliance!  What class!  What patriotism!

Police are looking into whether vandals knocked over the headstone on the grave of Hillary Clinton's father, the Scranton Times-Tribune reported Wednesday.

Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano told the newspaper that the the department received a report that Hugh Rodham's headstone had been toppled Tuesday morning in Washburn Street Cemetery. He suggested that vandals may have tipped it over.

No other headstones in the cemetery were reported to have been knocked over, police told local TV station WNEP.

The stone was put back in place Tuesday afternoon, according to the Scranton Times-Tribune.
TPM Link

Apparently this happened just after Hillary Clinton announced her presidential run on Sunday.   It takes a real lack of character to even contemplate doing such a thing, but I guess character is in short supply these days.  I wonder if they will catch these fools.
Continue Reading

Wed Apr 01, 2015 at 03:09 PM PDT

Women and cosmetic surgery: WTF?

by Radiowalla

This diary is an inquiry into the question of cosmetic surgery for women.  It arises following a comment I made regarding Jennifer Granholm's recent facial surgery which I noticed when she appeared on one of the Sunday shows.   The blowback to my comment was immediate and very negative.  It appears that this was not a welcome observation.   If you are a feminist, particularly an older one, the topic of cosmetic surgery is likely to be very relevant to you.  Perhaps you are ambivalent, perhaps you are angry, perhaps you don't give a rip.  Whatever the case,   if you care to explore your thoughts with me, please join me below the orange suture line

Continue Reading
Reuters) - Boris Nemtsov, a Russian opposition politician and former deputy prime minister, has been shot dead in central Moscow, the Interior Ministry said early on Saturday.

Nemtsov, 55, an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin, had been due to take part on Sunday in the first big opposition protest in months in the Russian capital.

He was shot four times late on Friday night, not far from the Kremlin in the center of Moscow. Police cars blocked the street where he was shot. An ambulance was also nearby.

Oh, boy.  

http://www.reuters.com/...

Continue Reading

This is the latest from our most enlightened of allies:

(Reuters) - An Islamic court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a man to death for renouncing his Muslim faith, the English-language daily Saudi Gazette reported on Tuesday.

The man, in his 20s, posted an online video ripping up a copy of Islam's holy book, the Koran, and hitting it with a shoe, the newspaper reported.

Saudi Arabia, the United States' top Arab ally and birthplace of Islam, follows the strict Wahhabi Sunni Muslim school and gives the clergy control over its justice system.

Under the Wahhabi interpretation of Sharia Islamic law, apostasy demands the death penalty, as do some other religious offences like sorcery, while blasphemy and criticism of senior Muslim clerics have incurred jail terms and corporal punishment.

Executions in Saudi Arabia are usually carried out by public beheading.

So off with his head!  He doesn't want to be a Muslim anymore?  Well, never mind.  With his head chopped off, he won't have to worry, will he?  

And while we await the beheading, let's contemplate why we do business with such a country? Why do we travel there?  Why do we invite their leaders here?  Why do we speak to them?  

Discuss

Maybe the cold, dark winters of the South Dakota plains have turned state representative Isaac Latterell's brain to slush.

The South Dakota Republican (natch), has introduced House Bill 1230, the Preborn Infant Beheading Ban of 2015 which has already passed, 11-2, in the House Health and Human Services Committee.

On his website State Rep Isaac Latterell claims in a headline

Planned Parenthood is worse than ISIS and lying about it
Following this extravagant fabrication, Liar Latterell digs himself deeper with this:
“No licensed physician may knowingly behead a living unborn child with the intent of endangering the life or health of the child.”

"No state, no religion, and no organization should ever be allowed to use this unspeakably horrifying method.  While we rightly take the speck out of our neighbor’s eye by holding ISIS accountable, let us be sure to take the plank out of our own eye by holding Planned Parenthood accountable."

Clearly, Rep. Latterell will never have to worry about losing his head.  He has already misplaced it.  

If you have any ideas where to find it, you might consider leaving a helpful but courteous comment on his website.  

Discuss

So now we know that this was not some childish prank, some act of random destruction at the hands of overly exuberant kids.   On Sunday evening news broke of a massive desecration of a Jewish cemetery in Alsace, France.  Hundreds of graves were overturned and broken, not the first time this Jewish cemetery had been desecrated.

In our discussion here, when it was discovered that the attack was by young men, aged 15 to 17, there were hopes expressed that this was more of a prank than an anti-Semitic attack.  Boys will be be boys, etc., etc.  We were all hoping that this would prove to be the case.

Today, French prosecutors have announced that during the questioning of the young men, they admitted to spitting on the graves, calling out "Dirty Jew!" and "Heil, Hitler."  They admitted also to urinating on the tombs.

 Here are a few links in French:

Europe 1

Les jeunes ont fait des « saluts nazis », ont craché sur des symboles juifs, et prononcé les mots « sales juifs », « sale race », « Heil Hitler » ou « Sieg Heil ».

(The youth made Nazi salutes, spat on Jewish symbols, called out "Dirty Jews, Dirty Race, Heil Hitler or Sieg Heil.")

Le Monde

An ancient hatred, passed on from generation to generation….  When will they ever learn?  

Discuss
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