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Photos by: joanneleon. September, 2013.


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Laura Branigan - Gloria



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Even with every possible advantage, including the optimum primary situation and ensure his candidacy and a special election set up just for him (rather than waiting just a few more weeks and putting him on the ballot in the regular general election which would have saved a state experiencing financial difficulty many millions of dollars), Booker's Wall Street backers are still nervous and pouring more money into his campaign.  This NYTimes article does a pretty good job of describing this farce of an election and the crazy goings on that are also a sign of the times, IMHO.

Anxious Allies Aiding Booker in Senate Bid

But the Senate campaign Mr. Booker, a Democrat, is running in New Jersey — at times sputtering, unfocused and entangled in seemingly frivolous skirmishes over Twitter messages involving a stripper — has unnerved his supporters, who thought that a robust and unblemished victory over his Republican opponent, Steve Lonegan, would catapult him onto the national stage.

As his allies move to shore up what was supposed to be a painless path to Congress, the biggest and wealthiest of them, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, will start spending more than $1 million on Monday to broadcast television commercials on Mr. Booker’s behalf, a vast sum to pour into a single candidacy.
[...]
Mr. Booker’s bumpy campaign and shrinking lead in the polls are all the more unsettling to Democratic Party officials because Mr. Lonegan is a political anomaly in the blue-hued state: a Tea Party conservative who describes himself as a “radical,” opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest, cheers the current shutdown of the federal government and has relied on polarizing right-wing figures like Sarah Palin and Rick Perry as campaign surrogates.

I don't think there is any chance that we'll do a full withdrawal from Afghanistan so I wonder what we will do to change this situation.  
Impasse With Afghanistan Raises Prospect of Total U.S. Withdrawal in 2014

KABUL, Afghanistan — The United States and Afghanistan have reached an impasse in their talks over the role that American forces will play here beyond next year, officials from both countries say, raising the distinct possibility of a total withdrawal — an outcome that the Pentagon’s top military commanders dismissed just months ago.
[...]
The impasse, after a year of talks, has increased the prospect of what the Americans call the zero option — complete withdrawal — when the NATO combat mission concludes at the end of 2014. That is precisely the outcome they hoped to avoid in Afghanistan, after having engaged in a similarly problematic withdrawal from Iraq two years ago.
[...]
Many contentious matters in the talks have already been settled, like legal immunity for American troops, which is what scuttled the Iraq deal, Afghan and American officials said. Yet officials on both sides say two seemingly intractable issues remain.

Feels like a pipe dream for anything like this to happen here now.  And look at their ability to do referendums. That alone could fundamentally change this country.
Swiss to vote on 2,500 franc basic income for every adult

A grassroots committee is calling for all adults in Switzerland to receive an unconditional income of 2,500 Swiss francs ($2,800) per month from the state, with the aim of providing a financial safety net for the population.

Organizers submitted more than the 100,000 signatures needed to call a referendum on Friday and tipped a truckload of 8 million five-rappen coins outside the parliament building in Berne, one for each person living in Switzerland.

Under Swiss law, citizens can organize popular initiatives that allow the channeling of public anger into direct political action. The country usually holds several referenda a year.

The latest from Robert Costa.  My guess: A Continuing Resolution bill that fund the government for a short period of time and raises the debt ceiling for maybe 6 weeks with some kind of "instructions" attached that appoints conferees who are very friendly to a Grand Bargain.  That leaves the whole funding/debt ceiling still hanging over their heads and sends them into conference. It's not quite a Super Congress or a Catfood Commission but it might as well be.  Then they continue cooking up a deal. I think that on the Dems side the sequester and immigration reform will be in the mix and on the Repubs side, "entitlement" reform and tax reform, flattening the tax code, both conservative wet dreams.  Then you'll be told that if you don't support a Grand Bargain by the end of the year, you're xenophobic and anti-immigrant, and you don't want to undo the sequester so you want the poor to starve too and want babies to not get their WIC support.  Meanwhile, the govt will open and the debt ceiling lifted without an official deal so Pres. Obama will be praised to high heaven as a strong leader (if you can just forget some small details about the CR and the conferees).  All speculation on my part of course.  And remember, Boehner said "don't call it a Grand Bargain!"  Shh!


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Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest


The Evening Blues



A few hours after I retweeted this, @BowlesSimpson started following me on Twitter.  Ugh.



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"How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" Laura Branigan

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