Photos by: joanneleon. September, 2013.
Laura Branigan - Gloria
News & Opinion
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 BidI 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.
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.
Impasse With Afghanistan Raises Prospect of Total U.S. Withdrawal in 2014Feels 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.
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.
Swiss to vote on 2,500 franc basic income for every adultThe 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!
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.
A good gauge of dealmaking this wk: The extent Ryan is out there, pub and priv, talking details of budget deal/framework/options--if at all— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) October 7, 2013
NYT: WH aides say admin will "challenge [Boehner] to propose specific savings they want from Medicare" http://t.co/...— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) October 7, 2013
"only through a kind of wild daring, they believe," can "long-term, post-New Deal" victories "finally be overcome" http://t.co/...— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) October 6, 2013
Where this seems to be leading: "instructions" or "mechanism" for Patty-Paul budget conference and Dave-Max tax reform + fig leafs/clean-ish— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) October 6, 2013
Top Sen Dem Patty Murrary tells NR that Boehner's talk on ABC about a Ryan-Murray compromise is not happening within current context— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) October 6, 2013
But within Murray's stmt is glimmer of compromise: Murray and Ryan have been talking, ready for extended budget talks— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) October 6, 2013
In other words, if a bigger deal becomes impossible, having Reid appoint conferees for a budget conf/tax reform cld be smthg JAB cld sell— Robert Costa (@robertcostaNRO) October 6, 2013
Stop Watching Us.
Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest
Squirrel gets head stuck in halloween skull. Immediately becomes most horrifying thing man has ever seen. pic.twitter.com/xawkx5wlhx— Animal Life™ (@AnimaILife9) October 7, 2013
"..debt.. is a profit center..lenders to..govt ..paying us 2.3% of GDP, $345 billion/year, to keep their wealth safe http://t.co/...— JoanneLeon (@joanneleon) October 7, 2013
"Debt ceiling", "fiscal cliff". Metaphors that pretend there are still limitations and logic to our economic policies.— Sarah Kendzior (@sarahkendzior) October 7, 2013
Dallas is tearing down a historic home to build a Taco Bell. http://t.co/...— Mike Dunlap (@mdunlap1) October 6, 2013
A few hours after I retweeted this, @BowlesSimpson started following me on Twitter. Ugh.
Simpson-Bowles 101 (in case it comes up): all worth knowing is, they called for entitlement cuts AND tax hikes. O has embraced; Rs have not.— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) October 6, 2013
What does it mean that all these Tories are resigning tonight?— Stacy Herbert (@stacyherbert) October 6, 2013
An hour ago, I read that John Paulson is buying up Greek banks & now I read that Bail Ins are coming to Greece. Related?— Stacy Herbert (@stacyherbert) October 6, 2013
1/2 Shutdown Kabuki ramps up another notch "Mr. Obama has proposed hundreds of billions of dollars in long-term.." http://t.co/...— JoanneLeon (@joanneleon) October 7, 2013
2/2 "entitlement pgms, incl Soc Sec, but only if Repubs agree to raise addl revenues..closing tax loopholes for wealthy indiv & some corps"— JoanneLeon (@joanneleon) October 7, 2013
Are We Shifting to Africa Rather Than Pivoting to Asia? http://t.co/...— Blogs of War (@BlogsofWar) October 6, 2013
First Monday in October. Supreme Court new term starts tomorrow.— JoanneLeon (@joanneleon) October 6, 2013
"Campaign finance, affirmative action, legislative prayer and abortion clinic protests..on the court's calendar" http://t.co/...— JoanneLeon (@joanneleon) October 6, 2013
now 44 dead in the streets in cairo tonight as fighting continues, body count expected to rise, curfew begins at midnight ....— David D. Kirkpatrick (@ddknyt) October 6, 2013
@robertcostaNRO oh good a "mechanism" for budget talks. Why do I think this will end up like the "super-duper-committee" part 2?— Katie Bistritz (@ktbis244) October 6, 2013
RT @robertcostaNRO: Boehner knows the minute he brings a clean CR/debt limit bill to floor, absolute chaos in House GOP.— Henry Blodget (@hblodget) October 6, 2013
I reported 18 months ago US power over SOF night raids had been hidden in 2012 MOU ostensibly giving Afghans control. Mhttp://bit.ly/...— GarethPorter (@GarethPorter) October 5, 2013
"How Am I Supposed To Live Without You" Laura Branigan