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poll of repeal vs keep and fix ACA
From Feb Kaiser tracking poll, repeal remains unpopular.
Charlie Cook:
Every once in a while, a political canard is exposed—something that once may have been generally accepted and perhaps true, but has remained a part of the conventional wisdom.

Such is the case with the view that any kind of normalization of relations with Cuba is a political third rail; that is to say, if you touch it, you die (or get defeated). In the Cold War era, particularly in the 1960s, normalization of relations with Cuba was a nonstarter, and in fact, it was dangerous for most politicians to support.

But that day has long since passed. In all but possibly a handful of congressional districts in Florida and New Jersey—if even there—this is a nothing-burger issue. Few voters would have any problem with it. Like the missile silos in North Dakota, our policy toward Cuba is a Cold War relic that has long since passed its time.

A new bipartisan national survey points to strong and broad-based support for a major change in U.S. policy toward Cuba, even among Republicans.

NY Times:
A federal judge in Texas struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage on Wednesday, ruling that the laws restricting marriage to a man and a woman violated the United States Constitution, handing gay-rights advocates a major legal victory in one of the nation’s biggest and most conservative states.

The judge wrote that the amendment to the state Constitution that Texas voters approved in 2005 defining marriage as between a man and a woman — and two similar laws passed in 1997 and 2003 — denied gay couples the right to marry and demeaned their dignity “for no legitimate reason.”

“Without a rational relation to a legitimate governmental purpose, state-imposed inequality can find no refuge in our United States Constitution,” wrote Judge Orlando L. Garcia of United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, in San Antonio.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in his office on Monday, when he spoke about the defense of states’ same-sex marriage bans.Holder Sees Way to Curb Bans on Gay Marriage FEB. 24, 2014
While significant, Judge Garcia’s ruling will have no immediate effect on gay and lesbian couples wishing to marry in Texas. The judge issued a stay on his decision pending a likely appeal by the state’s lawyers to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, in New Orleans, which is known as one of the country’s s most conservative appeals panels.

More politics and policy below the fold.

Greg Sargent:

Obamacare is a disaster for Democrats, and a certain winner for Republicans. That’s what we keep hearing, anyway.

So why does it look as if the percentage of Americans who favor repeal may have actually shrunk since its rollout problems began?

NY Times looks at big picture:
A majority of Americans surveyed also said they wanted both parties to do more to address the concerns of the middle class, reduce the budget deficit with both tax increases and spending cuts, and let illegal immigrants stay in the country and apply for citizenship. Mr. Obama shares those positions on the budget and immigration.

Those stances among voters have not translated into support for the president’s party, as 42 percent say they will back Republicans in November, and 39 percent indicate that they will back Democrats, a difference within the poll’s margin of sampling error.

it's a pretty amazing poll in the sense that people agree with Democrats but would vote for the Republican. Not set in stone, though. See this:
latest NYT CBS poll
From NY Times CBS poll
It certainly doesn't look like a Republican wave, but Dems have a lot more work to do. They're losing indies 42-29 even though the indies agree more with D positions on issues.

Karen Tumulty:

Republicans too focused on health-care law, some in GOP warn

The Republicans’ “fixation on repealing the ACA comes at their own peril, as the political landscape around the Affordable Care Act has shifted in Democrats’ favor,” Kelly Ward, executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, wrote in a memo that the House Democrats’ campaign organization blasted to its e-mail list Wednesday. “Democrats are now on offense over the Affordable Care Act, gaining the political high ground as benefits kick in and provide the ammunition to put Republicans on their heels over the costs of repeal.”

Jonathan Bernstein:
To begin with, attempting to assess how Barack Obama’s presidency will be seen in history is a mug’s game. I mean, putting aside the fact that it is dicey to predict how any presidency will be seen in the future. I’m willing to take the chance, regardless of the downsides, with Jimmy Carter, or Ronald Reagan, or Bill Clinton, or even the very recent George W. Bush. But Obama, with more than 30 percent of his tenure still to come? It’s just silly. That’s my first response to Stanley Renshon’s attempt over at the Monkey Cage. It's just too early.

But Renshon’s piece does give me an excuse to make a point about Obama that I’ve increasingly come to believe: He has really become a generic Democrat as president, and evaluating him on policy grounds really amounts to little more than evaluating the Democratic Party agenda.

NY Times on AZ Gov Jan Brewer's veto of gay discrimination legislation:
“My agenda is to sign into law legislation that advances Arizona,” Ms. Brewer said. “I call them like I seem them despite the cheers or the boos from the crowd.”

The bill “could divide Arizona in ways we could not even imagine and no one would ever want,” the govenor said, adding that the legislation, which was broadly worded, could result in unintended negative consequences.

Her action came amid mounting pressure from across the spectrum, including members of the Republican establishment — Gov. Rick Scott of Florida, Mitt Romney and others — who sided with the bill’s opponents.

As Ms. Brewer deliberated, the state had already begun to lose business: The Hispanic National Bar Association canceled plans to hold its annual convention of 2,000 lawyers here next year because of the bill, saying in a statement, “It is imperative that we speak up and take immediate action in the presence of injustice.”

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Comment Preferences

  •  And how much money will these Supporters give? (9+ / 0-)

    Enough to beat the Koch billions?

      •  lowry (9+ / 0-)
        t’s easy to see how offensive these decisions were to the gay couples involved. An entirely understandable response would be for the couple to say, “I’m sorry you’re so narrow-minded and I hope you evolve one day. In the meantime, I’ll take my business elsewhere.”
        and byron York
        Conservatives defending their stance on the Az gay marriage bill remind me of the time Orval Faubus told me he wasn't a racist. Typing ...
        Nuanced. MT @ron_fournier: Conservatives defending stance on Az gay marriage bill remind me of time Orval Faubus told me he wasn't a racist.
        @ByronYork @ron_fournier how would you defend it?
        Matt lewis

        "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

        by Greg Dworkin on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 04:57:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ironic argument from bigots (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          thomask, Joe Jackson

          If the 'free market' would take care of the religious bigots after the law was passed why won't it take care of the religious bigots before the law?  Why use the state gov't if they hate the gov't?  Why is it that gays have to take their business elsewhere for the market to work?  Why can't the bigots simply REFUSE to work for teh gays?  Why won't they promote themselves as good god fearing gay hating Christians who only work for other good god fearing gay hating Christians?  Maybe because they're afraid the 'free market' would force their bigoted beliefs to change or go out of business?

          The appropriate response to Lowry's stupidity is simply

          “I’m sorry you’re gay and I hope you evolve one day to conform to my religious beliefs. In the meantime, I’m going to have to decline your business.”

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 07:57:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Looking at that first graphic... (6+ / 0-)

    it's clear that it's time for republicans to stop beating the dead horse of repeal of the ACA.

    With 56% supporting to keep it as it is or enhance it, it's pretty clear that the majority of this country are pleased with the law.

    It does puzzle me a little that 8% of democrats would want to replace it with a republican plan or eliminate it altogether, although you can probably assume that most of those opinions came from republicans masquerading as democrats.

    The most surprising thing in that graphic is that 23% of republicans want to keep it as it is or enhance it. Too large a percentage to be democrats polling as republicans.

    Lets hope the republicans keep beating the drumbeat for reform. It's obviously a loser position for them!!

  •  Jan Brewer's statement was remarkable. (25+ / 0-)

    It made her sound truly sensible.  I wonder who wrote it. Thank God she didn't answer questions, or we would have seen confusion and crazy talk.
    Bottom line. Super Bowl trumps religion.

    It is ridiculous to pretend that firing teachers based on student test scores, starting charter schools, giving out vouchers or implementing merit pay will overcome the challenges facing a child living in poverty. -Jersey Jazzman

    by Desert Rose on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 04:50:48 AM PST

    •  I was also impressed (5+ / 0-)

      Perhaps most of the reason for her decision was based on economics, but she did not really talk about that, except referring to what is best for AZ.

      And although others were telling her to veto at once, I could understand her taking the time she did.  She wanted to get back to Phoenix.  She needed to talk to the supporters (who are, after all, her supporters).  But she did not wait until the last minute to veto it, which would have been, I think, Saturday instead of Wednesday.

      Remember she has also fought her legislature and expanded Medicaid.

      by chloris creator on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:07:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What the media doesn't tell you... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Part of the reason Brewer expanded Medicaid is because her son is in an asylum for having raped a woman.  Not sure if he is really insane or not, but he remains in an institution to this day.  She and some of her compatriots get a benefit from the Medicaid expansion.

        She's really all about Jan Brewer and does things only for her own or her "supporters" benefit.

        She signed SB1070 specifically because two of her advisers are on the board for the CCA (Corrections Corporation of America) and stood to make quite a bit of money from incarcerating undocumented workers.

        She's not good for AZ or anyone who is non-religious or non-white.

    •  About the only good thing I can say (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      about the Super Bowl.

  •  A bunch of hard line former Batista supporters (5+ / 0-)

    is why we have an embargo of Cuba in the first place. The reality is that the fastest way to shitcan the Castros is to normalize relations and start investing the fuck out of Cuba like Canada and the Europeans are. BTW, almost everyone in Cuba can read, the one good aspect of the communist system. It would be a great place if you had to offshore businesses.

    •  According to Rubio Kuba is the Evil Empire. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  They have great beaches too. (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not paranoid or anything. Everyone just thinks I am.

      by Jim Riggs on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:05:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Used to be a prime vacation spot (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        for Americans.

        •  It still is for Canadians and Europeans (0+ / 0-)

          We went a few years ago, flying out of Cancun where no one cares if you go to Cuba. No marks made in your passport so re-entry to the US was a breeze. We were surprised at the number of tourists buying cigars and rum and going to bars/restaurants, etc.

          You could see the economic stress but we encountered generally happy, well-fed, well clothed people. Walking around in dimly lit Havana at night (saving on electricity, I guess) was an experience for the ages.

          The shortages were obvious and our guide made an offhand remark about the Castro's that made me think not everyone in Cuba was fawning over them.

          What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

          by TerryDarc on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 11:06:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not so fast, please (11+ / 0-)

      One effect of the embargo is that Cuba, unlike much of the rest of the world, is not available for rampant exploitation by US-based multinationals. There is no McDonalds, Burger King, Dunkin', Starbucks, or Kentucky Fried Chicken on every street corner, no Brooks Brothers store even in the toniest section of Havana. (There are, however, Pringles in the airport gift shop -- not sure why Pringles gets a pass where the others don't. And Coca-Cola, bottled in Mexico.)

      If (when) the embargo is lifted, I suspect the Cuban government will act quickly to put some controls to prevent the country from being overrun by the same US-based economic interests (and organized crime) that ran it before 1959.

      Some of the exiles (and now their children and grandchildren, like the Diaz-Balarts) have fantasies of going back, reclaiming the property their families owned pre-1959, and making millions doing what they were doing back then. I fervently hope that won't happen.

      •  Glad you mentioned organized crime (5+ / 0-)

        in Cuba.  Younger people may not be aware of this.  It figures in the anti-American sentiment that fueled the Cuban Revolution in the 50's.

        •  I guess they never saw The Godfather (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Heart of the Rockies, TerryDarc

          Organized crime and Cuba was like pasta with tomato sauce.

          The good thing is that the hardline Batistas are all dying off.  their kids and grandkids have no ties to that Cuba and don't really give a shit about old scores.

          This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

          by DisNoir36 on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:00:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Plus plenty of European and Japanese auto imports (0+ / 0-)

        even with the funky old American pre-1956 vintages that everyone loves and little yellow tuk-tuks running around as taxis.

        There's a market for new American-made autos among other products. Yet one more reason to can the embargo and normalize relations just like with did with Vietnam.

        What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

        by TerryDarc on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 11:09:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  When that day comes (0+ / 0-)

        I would hope that some sort of historic preservation initiative could be nailed down, to prevent the destruction of historic landmarks and small businesses.  

        Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

        by Big River Bandido on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 12:23:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Looking at it purely from POV of domestic politics (0+ / 0-)

      it's a great issue for Democrats, judging from the partisan breakdowns (Dems support 60-30, Republicans by 52-41).  The article does not include a link to the internals (or at least I didn't see one), and it doesn't say specifically.  But when you break down the Republican opposition to a policy shift, I would guess the percentage of Republicans who "strongly oppose" is much higher than among Democratic opponents.  

      In other words, you have here an issue that unites most Democrats, while dividing Republicans pretty well down the middle.

      Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

      by Big River Bandido on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 12:21:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Wish I could understand (16+ / 0-)

    the dynamic of voting against your own interests and beliefs. It's puzzling - from my mom (who loves her gay pastor and his husband) to my friend (who went on the exchange and is thrilled with his great health coverage) - they are both solid Republican voters. In fact, my friend went as far as denying his insurance process was even related to Obamacare. Weird.

    •  did you ask them? (2+ / 0-)

      what do they say?

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:01:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually I have asked my (6+ / 0-)

        mom to explain on several topics - her answer is "I've always been a Republican" - so I guess it's tradition. Wonder what she would "think" if my dad was still around - he also voted Republican, but was becoming increasingly disgusted 16 years ago, can only imagine what his views would be in today's world. The last note I got from him said "haven't heard any good jokes lately - unless you count the Republican primary" I need to frame that.

        •  You can call it tradition, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hulibow, wintergreen8694, TerryDarc

          but actually it's just habit.  Habits, no matter how bad they are, are hard to break.  Change of any kind is hard, and for most people it's easier to keep the habit than it is to make change that requires persistence, inconvenience and willpower - not to mention answering to other members of the "tribe," who spend much of their energy rationalizing why the habit is really beneficial.

          "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

          by SueDe on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:13:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  White people voting social issues (0+ / 0-)

          That's pretty much it, plus a complete misunderstanding of macro-economies. Oh, and throw in that great (white) American attitude of looking down our noses at everyone else in the world or in our country that is the least bit different.

          What stronger breast-plate than a heart untainted! Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his quarrel just; And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel, Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted. Henry VI Part II Act 3 Scene 2

          by TerryDarc on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 11:12:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Because it's spun as being in their interests (4+ / 0-)

      "The Liberals are bankrupting this here great country with their taxes and deficits!!!" "They're supporting laziness with their welfare!!!" "I was nagged by some PC soccer mom for smoking a cigar while fueling up my SUV!!!" "They're corrupting our Christian morals with their Rap Music and gay marriage!!!" Blah! Blah! Blah! Etc etc, etc.....

      "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

      by Stude Dude on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:40:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What Dems don't understand is the effect of the (5+ / 0-)

      "media" on people who are not really fully engaged with their frontal cortex, who are getting ready for work, having their coffee and bran flakes, getting the kids ready, settling down after a day's work, etc. and all those other times of the week when they're halfway paying attention to what's going on and the tv is barking about Obama's failure in Syria, on their deeper, more primitive parts of the brain.

      Like the Camp "tax reform". People are going to absorb the words "tax reform", "create jobs", "reduce tax rates", etc., and they will barely engage their conscious minds enough to register "total hooey" "election time", etc.

      David Gregory and Chuck Todd (aka "the media") will help them .

      Dems should be pumping their talking points into "sub-audible" and "liminal" signals, 24/7, in addition to treating the voters like intelligent adults, but they don't.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:55:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The graph at the top shows the impact of (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        the media.  Obamacare will affect people (or not) regardless of political affiliation.  So the great difference in perception of its value must come from the media, political positions peddled on the internet, with mailers and by local polticians.

  •  .... (8+ / 0-)
    TPM Interview: The Brown Grad Student That Chased The NRA Out Of Rhode Island

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

    by Greg Dworkin on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:01:50 AM PST

  •  #$%$%^%$ing 'Tax Reform'. (8+ / 0-)

    Get busy phoning your reps and senators, folks.  Repubs are pushing 'tac reform' again, ie 'let rich people pay less, and move closer to a flat tax'.

    We need more tax brackets, not fewer.   My counterproposal.
    (And of course the percentages are marginal rates)

    You make:             You pay

    $2 - 25000             $1 (minimum)
    $25001 - 100000     5%
    $100k+1 - 250k      10%
    250k+1 - 500k        15%
    500k+1 - 1M          20%
    1M+1 - 2.5M          30%
    2.5M+1 - 5M          40%
    5M+1 - 25M           50%
    25M - 50M             60%
    50M - 100M            70%
    100M - 500M          80%
    500M up                90%

    ALL income except inheritance is treated the same, no matter the source.  Any 'gift' worth more than $500 is treated as income by the recipient, but is subtracted from the giver's taxed income.  (Ie, that gift only gets taxed once, not twice.)

    < 1 Million, untaxed
    1 - 5 M  50%
    > 5M 90%

    Under that plan, every American who makes at least $2 pays federal tax.  Goodbye, 47% crap talking points.

    Also, strip out all credits, loopholes, whatever elses.
    Do your social engineering via something other than the tax code.

  •  but ACA still hurting some vulnerable Senate Dems (3+ / 0-)

    Harry Reid needs to allow an up or down vote on the Sen Mary Landrieu fix to the misleading "if you like your health plan, you can keep it" Obama statement.

    These vulnerable Senate Dems from red states support the ACA and are not hiding from that support - but they are asking Sen Reid to allow votes on fixes to the ACA.

    I trust their political instincts and (presumably) their internal polling which shows that misleading Obama statement to be hurting their reelection chances.

    The GOP must also have polling showing that "if you like your plan, you can keep it" misrepresentation hurting Senate Dems in red states - otherwise why is the GOP and its "independent" super PACs running millions of dollars of radio and tv ads against this part of the ACA?  Millions of dollars of ads highlighting this "lie" by Senator [Hagan, Landrieu, fill in the blank] 8 months before the election.

    I do not want to lose vulnerable Senate seats in red states - that could take decades to regain - because Harry Reid and Obama will not allow Senate votes on these ACA fixes - fixes that will never become law because the GOP House will not allow a similar vote or let such bills go to conference.  It is a no risk vote for Senate Dems.

  •  Rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Ukraine (2+ / 0-)

    Margolin cited the increasing helplessness of Ukrainian Jewry following two days that saw an upsurge in anti-Semitic attacks, including firebombs thrown at a Jewish synagogue and community center in Zaporozhye, a threatening phone message left for a rabbi ordering him to leave his city within 72 hours, and anti-Semitic graffiti scrawled in Kiev and other locations.

    “Community reports indicate an alarming, and increasingly violent, trend of hatred towards Jewish targets – and so far, there’s been no reaction,"

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:11:26 AM PST

    •  there are no good guys here (7+ / 0-)

      no easy sides to follow.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:22:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thank you, Greg (3+ / 0-)

        That has been my impression as well -- though I believe some of the people in the streets are ordinary people craving freedom and jobs and the benefits of living as Europeans. I'm troubled by the tendency to assume that all anti-government protests are progressive democratic ones. Maybe, maybe not -- and given the history, "not" seems more likely.

        •  lots of ethnic tension between west and east here (3+ / 0-)

          and it will and is coming out.

          "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

          by Greg Dworkin on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:59:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

          this is more about the stance of people on the ground. Yes, Yanukovych is not a "nice guy" but that's not really what the fighting is about.

          Ukraine is a country that is split between a Russian-associated east and an Eastern Europe-associated west. The populations are split on which economic affiliations would be best for their own profit.

          To the extent that there are any real democratic issues here, they are:
          (1) the question of whether a small - but vocal - minority should be able to overthrow an elected government; and
          (2) the ability of governments with shallow foundations in democratic processes to adapt to changed times.

          If that government opens fire on protesters then it shows that the government hasn't leaned much about democracy. (Or maybe they've just been watching films about protest suppression put together by the US government/banks.)

          •  Hopefully the new government will be able (0+ / 0-)

            to work with both Russia and the EU for the benefit of the country.  Both Russia and the EU have advantages that could benefit the country that neither affiliation alone could provide.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 07:42:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Chris Hayes has had 2 different segments (0+ / 0-)

        on this issue.  Good guys vs bad guys is such an easy way to see a complex issue.  Even Obama has used the "getting the bad guys" language when talking about world affairs.  I cringe every time he does.  And of course Dubya was the master of over simplification.

  •  Gunmen seize government buildings in Crimea (3+ / 0-)

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:12:55 AM PST

  •  I would be surprised if most people under the age (8+ / 0-)

    of 70 have any clue as to why we have this ridiculous embargo.

    Still howling about this, to me, is like protesting "motorcars" - it defines one as a complete anachronism.

    Long past time to restore relations with Cuba.

    Beaches, man..... beaches.

    Legal means "good".
    [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:18:30 AM PST

    •  Back then, the claim was that the Castro bros. (3+ / 0-)

      had live chickens in their suite at the Waldorf Astoria when they came to the UN.  1960 or so.   The propaganda was out of this world added to the actual concerns about expropriation.

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:25:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My fave is the (2+ / 0-)

        LSD_laced cee-gars assassination attempt by the CIA:

        They included poisoned cigars, an exploding shell meant to be planted in his favorite underwater fishing location and a scuba diving wet suit tainted with toxins.

        Among early attempts devised by the CIA to discredit Castro was a plan to place chemical powders on his boots that would cause his beard to fall out when he was in New York to speak at the United Nations in 1960.

        When that failed, the CIA planned to slip him a box of cigars tainted with LSD so that he would burst into fits of laughter during a television interview, said Escalante, author of a book that documents 167 plots against Castro.

        Legal means "good".
        [41984 | Feb 4, 2005]

        by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:08:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  OK, enlighten me, please (3+ / 0-)

    Why the sudden surge in anti-Semitism in Ukraine? What on earth have the adherents of the Jewish religion to do with that nasty and corrupt prez, who is now on the run?

    Is it just that the Jews in Ukraine are the traditional, obvious target for scapegoating? One wonders whether anything at all has changed since World War II. Did we not learn any lessons from it?

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:18:58 AM PST

    •  Several of the opposition parties (5+ / 0-)

      are extreme right-wing nationalist groups who carry anti-Semitism in their bloodstream, and are allied with the nationalist groups in France and elsewhere. So, apparently, are the "Right Sector" young men who were at the forefront of the Kiev protests and especially of the violent wing.

      The BBC has had very good analysis of who the players are and their backgrounds. It's very sobering and contrary to both the US government and the progressive blogosphere's easy equation of "protests" with "progressive democracy."

    •  Oh c'mon (0+ / 0-)

      Let's not overthink or over analyze this too much.

      Blaming Jews for anything and everything that goes wrong has been imprinted in the DNA of the people of this part of the world for almost 1000 years. It doesn't matter what the realities of the situation are, but a significant part of the population assumes the default and easy solution, blame Jews.

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

      by dankester on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:29:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm guessing the United States Court of Appeals (0+ / 0-)

    for the Fifth Circuit hasn't yet ruled on any of these?  Thoughts?

  •  I can't believe (0+ / 0-)

    How much a fellow Kossack got dumped on yesterday for her attempted victims of psychriatry group. As somebody who got jerked around and had a lost year "for my own good", I find her quite sympathetic and understandable.

    It also goes with my long running feelings that creatives and other oddballs should be treated better in this society instead of being treated and drugged until they're just another dumb & numb normal.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:24:26 AM PST

  •  Limbaugh (0+ / 0-)

    Does he really believe his own BS about patriotic Christians being bullied by the gays and Political Correctness?

    Unfortunately, because human nature is sloppy in that sort of way, it's probably half likely he does.

    "If this Studebaker had anymore Atomic Space-Age Style, you'd have to be an astronaut with a geiger counter!"

    by Stude Dude on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:27:52 AM PST

  •  through the years (5+ / 0-)

    I am constantly amazed at people's inability to read and understanding polling.  

    Nowhere is this more evidence than health care.  In the 2012 exit poll only 26% supported complete repeal of Obamacare.  It was a minority position.  I guarantee not one person in a hundred who writes about HCR mentions this number.

    So if you start from that number (god knows everybody who writes about this stuff is too fucking lazy to  look this up) you can see the outline of a GOP strategy.  It is to turn those that wanted to modify Obamacare in the 2012 exit poll (25%) into supporters of the GOP alternative.  So in this poll the number that want outright repeal has dropped to 19%, but they have added 12% who want the GOP proposal. So the GOP number has gone from 25 to 31.

    But the hard line right is still keeping them from winning this issue decisively.

    2014 is about holding the Senate - and that means winning in some very difficult places.  If I were Kay Hagan (I have actually talked to her) or Landrieu or a red state Democrat I would come with a series of proposals to modify Obamacare. The goal is to win the 48% who want to improve the law.  

    This is the conversation that we should be having about HCR.  What specifically appeals to that 48%?  Is it repeal of the individual mandate?  Is it medicare buy-in?  There is no need for red state Dem Senators to simply defend the law - they can position on this issue to win it if they can analyze what this group wants.

    I know Hagan is thinking about this - I hope to God that some of the overpriced consultants in DC are thinking about this too (but I have my doubts).

    End rant.

    •  Is the "repeal" 25% the same 25% (6+ / 0-)

      who believe that the sun goes around the earth, and that the earth is only 6,000 years old, and that evolution is a theory designed by the devil to ensnare unsuspecting souls?

      If so, wasting time trying to educate them probably isn't worth it. What's needed is pushing back and not allowing them to dominate the airwaves and public discourse.

      •  The 25% who want repeal (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, Heart of the Rockies

        are, ironically, given the age demographics of the GOP, probably largely on Medicare.

        The key to winning the issue is to understand the nuance.  No one wants the current system.  Winning requires addressing the modifications people want.

        It is were a red state dem that would mean an end to the individual mandate and the introduction of a medicare buy-in provision.

        •  Howard Dean was outspoken about (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          his support for Medicare-For-All.  It had many advantages, beginning with the public's familiarity with the program and strong support for it.  Also, it has been around long enough that the kinks have, for the most part, been worked out.

          Guess the insurance industry was in such solid opposition that passing such a program was not considered viable in Congress.

          •  The funding mechanisms for (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Heart of the Rockies

            Medicare for All were not viable either - by not viable, I mean they would have required higher taxes which wasn't going to fly in either party.  This was the biggest reason single payer wasn't even considered.

            "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

            by SueDe on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 07:48:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  as is often the case with your analysis (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart of the Rockies, puakev

      this is exactly right. Cant repeal the mandate, and that's a huge downer. But there are other things... make your state site smoother (KY) or refer to KY and states where it's working, as examples. Push transparency so you can see what's offered up front per your own hospital and doc.

      "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

      by Greg Dworkin on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 06:02:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't agree (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        puakev, DRo, Greg Dworkin

        with you about the individual mandate (politically - from a policy perspective you need it).  If I were running Kay Hagan's campaign I would introduce the O'Care Modification Act.

        It would have four components:
        1.  A Medicare Buy-in (AKA the horribly named public option)
        2.  Elimination of the ban against the government negotiating with drug companies
        3.  Modification of the individual mandate to allow for one free bite of the apple.
        4.  Billing transparency

        Of course, it would help if someone would actually fricken poll the 48%.

        •  you can't repeal the mandate because of policy (0+ / 0-)

          not politics. It's the only way to assure folks sign up. Not going to change.

          The R alternative they pushed (you get to avopid prexisting conditions only if you always sign up for some kind of insurance) doesn't work well.

          "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" — Upton Sinclair

          by Greg Dworkin on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:32:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'll play the mug's game. (6+ / 0-)

    Widely-respected historian, circa 2114:

    "Barack Obama's presidency was a tragic missed opportunity for America, a significant portion of which was so blinded by past prejudice and false controversies that the chance to address fundamental problems, for which Obama was certainly qualified, was squandered.

    "Now, could someone please get this ocean off of me?"

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:48:15 AM PST

    •  Actually Obama's presidency will be remembered (5+ / 0-)

      for three things:

      1.  Preventing the 2nd Great Depression
      2.  Issuing the era of Gay rights
      3.  Obamacare

      President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

      by Drdemocrat on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 05:59:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bin Laden is dead & General Motors is alive (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crashing Vor, DRo

        Saving the American Auto industry and finally forcing new MPG will be remembered by historians for the dramatic turnaround.

        I also think the Consumer Protection Bureau will slowly but surely emerge as a major success for his presidency.

      •  And starting the downsizing of the military. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crashing Vor, DRo

        One can hope it is starting anyway....

      •  It'll be both what you and Crashing Vor (0+ / 0-)


        On the one hand Obama helped avert a 2nd Great Depression, passed the ACA, and was the gay rights president.  Plus he'll get credit for jump starting clean energy.

        But on the other hand his presidency was also a missed opportunity for fundamental change due in part to lingering divisions among the American people.  I would also add his own miscalculations, such as embracing austerity too early and not being more aggressive in dealing with the financial sector and the housing crisis.

        That Obama's presidency was a missed opportunity is evidenced by the accelerated growth in staggering economic inequality, the continued stagnation of the economy for years after a second Great Depression was averted, and the continuing inaction on climate change and immigration.

        "Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude." - Martin Van Buren

        by puakev on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 08:36:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It really has never "changed" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Heart of the Rockies

    Cook just asks the question about the ACA right.   From the very beginning it has always been the "dirty little secret" that those who told pollsters that they did not like the ACA were split in 2 groups.  Those who felt it was a government intrusion into the health care market (usually those from the right and far-right) and those who felt that the ACA didn't go far enough, they really want to see a single-payer health care system (usually from the left.)   Previous polls have shown in their crosstabs that the latter group makes up about 11%, 12% of all respondents.

       So, when a poll showed that, say, 54% of Americans don't like the ACA, and 46% do (implying that 54% want to do away with the ACA and go back to what we had before) that wasn't really the unvarnished truth.    In no way were those 12% who wanted to see single-payer inclined to return to the previous status-quo, therefore, there was no majority opinion for repeal of the ACA, EVER.  

    When Cook asked the question right in this poll, it captured those who like the ACA AND those who want to keep it but see it improved - which logically includes those 12% single-payer proponents who, in other polls, were lumped in with the right-wingers who want to repeal the ACA and go back to where we were before.  

  •  How am I to square in my mind this group of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tampaedski, Heart of the Rockies, DRo

    people who across the board want things that Dems support and Repugs appose, and then that same group says their more likely to vote for Repugs?  How can I reach any other conclusion than these people are fucking idiots?

  •  Any normalization of relations with Cuba (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    should be contingent on Cuba ceasing its interference in Venezuela. Cuba has infiltrated the Venezuela military, the national guard and the ruling political regime. Their influence there has been a disaster for the people of Venezuela. To act on Cuba without connecting the Venezuela situation would be a major set back for the hemisphere and a crime against the people of Venezuela.

  •  Why is (0+ / 0-)

    the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio?

    San Antonio isn't in the Western District of Texas.

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Thu Feb 27, 2014 at 10:39:34 AM PST

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