Politics

Average White Man Seeks Job Promotion

Balloon Juice - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 09:30

This fucking guy:

Representative Seth Moulton of Massachusetts, a third-term congressman who has pushed for a “new generation of leadership” in Washington, declared his candidacy for president on Monday, becoming the 19th candidate to enter the Democratic primary field.

“I’m running because I’m a patriot, because I believe in this country and because I’ve never wanted to sit on the sidelines when it comes to serving it,” Mr. Moulton said Monday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Mr. Moulton, 40, garnered attention in November when he helped lead a group of rebellious Democrats who had sought to deny Speaker Nancy Pelosi the gavel in the new Congress. The effort was unsuccessful, and Mr. Moulton ultimately voted for Ms. Pelosi. His online biography paints him as something of a disrupter, noting that he was “the only Democrat to unseat an incumbent in a primary” in the House of Representatives when he was first elected in 2014.

One of the other real problems created by the Trump presidency is that literally anyone thinks they can be President now. Here we’ve got some shmuck with no natural constituency and who hasn’t been in politics long enough to accomplish anything and whose name you only know because he came at the queen and failed thinking he has the right stuff. Not to mention, boy does he have his finger on the pulse of the Democratic party, wanting to ignore domestic issues and run on national security. Hoo boy.

Return to sender.

Categories: Politics

Investigate? Impeach? Punt? Democrats debate how to move forward after Mueller report

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 09:14

Whether House Democrats should pursue impeachment is “a very consequential decision and one that I’m going to reserve judgment on until we’ve had a chance to fully deliberate on it,” House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff said on Fox News Sunday. Schiff said that Democrats will be doing that deliberation in a meeting in the coming weeks. Noting that the Republican-controlled Senate would be unlikely to convict Trump (pretty much no matter what), Schiff said, “Now, it may be that we undertake an impeachment nonetheless. I think what we are going to have to decide as a caucus is: What is the best thing for the country?”

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerry Nadler similarly didn’t commit either way on impeachment itself, but did commit to a full investigation, saying that “it is our job to go through all the evidence, all the information we can get.”

Some Democrats worry that pushing too hard on impeachment “galvanizes Trump supporters,” as one New Hampshire Democrat told the New York Times. Former Obama and Clinton aide Jennifer Palmieri made the counter-argument: “It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you stop pursuing what Mueller is putting in front of them, of course voters aren’t going to think it’s important. Voters respond to leadership.”

Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Julián Castro, a former mayor of San Antonio and former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, have called for impeachment proceedings. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke said, “I wouldn’t blame any member of the House for voting for this,” and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is “pretty sure he deserves to be” impeached, but “Congress will have to figure procedurally what to do.”

Categories: Politics

Oklahoma Medicaid expansion is on the ballot

Balloon Juice - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 09:14

Oklahoma activists are going the same route as Utah, Idaho and Nebraska activists successfully used in the 2018 election cycle: They are trying to get enough signatures to get Medicaid expansion on the ballot.

 

 

If you live in Oklahoma, this question needs slightly more than 177,000 valid signatures to appear on the 2020 ballot.

Odds are that even if it passes, there will be follow-on shenanigans as we have seen in Utah, Nebraska and Idaho to either delay or water down the expansions. In my opinion, a bad expansion is better than a perfect non-expansion. I assess the counterfactual as no expansion instead of a full expansion so people with different reasonable counterfactuals will vehemently disagree with me.

The ballot box is not the only way that Medicaid expansion of some sort may come to Oklahoma. There is a bananpants county level expansion proposal floating out there.

Here the scheme would be two or more bordering counties could expand Medicaid. The state share of the expansion (10% of costs) would be funded by local taxes. This would be wonderful for health and public finance economists and a complete cluster for everyone else.

Categories: Politics

Jonathan Alter: Kellyanne Conway And Kayleigh McEnany 'Baghdad Bobs' For Trump

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 09:00
 Kellyanne Conway And Kayleigh McEnany 'Baghdad Bobs' For Trump

During a discussion about the latest "spin" (a.k.a. blatant, bald-faced lying) coming from Trump and his enablers on the Mueller report, MSNBC's Jonathan Alter had the perfect description for these propagandists when asked about an earlier appearance by National Press Secretary for the Donald Trump 2020 presidential campaign Kayleigh McEnany on Alex Witt's show:

Transcript:

ALTER: I'm sorry to be laughing, but I remember during the Iraq war there was a guy named Baghdad Bob who would go on television and just lie shamelessly on behalf of Saddam Hussein, and both Kellyanne Conway and, you know, these republican party spokeswomen and others, they're Baghdad Bobs.

I mean, Kellyanne Conway just said the president was exonerated. Mueller states explicitly in the report, explicitly, quote, this is not an exoneration, unquote. So they are just trying to say white is black. Black is white.

Not only are they not exonerated. Not only is there a smoking gun, there is a smoking artillery range in this report on obstruction of justice. And I disagree with my good friend Susan on this. This is not just a political matter. This is a legal matter. There is much evidence in the report that the president broke the law by obstructing justice.

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Categories: Politics

TechBro’s Do Education

Balloon Juice - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 08:44

And they do it poorly:

The seed of rebellion was planted in classrooms. It grew in kitchens and living rooms, in conversations between students and their parents.

It culminated when Collin Winter, 14, an eighth grader in McPherson, Kan., joined a classroom walkout in January. In the nearby town of Wellington, high schoolers staged a sit-in. Their parents organized in living rooms, at churches and in the back of machine repair shops. They showed up en masse to school board meetings. In neighborhoods with no political yard signs, homemade signs with dark red slash marks suddenly popped up.

Silicon Valley had come to small-town Kansas schools — and it was not going well.

“I want to just take my Chromebook back and tell them I’m not doing it anymore,” said Kallee Forslund, 16, a 10th grader in Wellington.

Eight months earlier, public schools near Wichita had rolled out a web-based platform and curriculum from Summit Learning. The Silicon Valley-based program promotes an educational approach called “personalized learning,” which uses online tools to customize education. The platform that Summit provides was developed by Facebook engineers. It is funded by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, and his wife, Priscilla Chan, a pediatrician.

It’s almost like teachers have something to offer students beyond just wikipedia searches and that hundreds of years of pedagogical research actually has been important. If there is a group of people who work harder with less respect yet contribute more that is unappreciated than public school teachers, I have no idea who it is. Not to mention, they put up with your annoying fucking kids every day, something you breeders can’t even stand.

This is not about education, btw. It’s about money. It’s always about fucking money with these guys. Oh, and ALEC is involved, because of course they are.

Categories: Politics

Rep. Seth Moulton enters 2020 Democratic presidential primary

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 08:16

Rep. Seth Moulton is the latest Democrat to join the 2020 presidential primary, after having previously spurred primary talk of a different kind with his feckless and failed attempt to unseat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. As a result, his presidential announcement should spur other Massachusetts Democrats to move on bids for his House seat.

Moulton, 40, is a veteran of the Marines who will make his military service the centerpiece of his campaign, as he has of his time in public service thus far. He’s also spent the years since he was elected to the House in 2014 making his youth a calling card, only to have that angle pre-empted by South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Appearing on Good Morning America, Moulton said that “I am running because I am a patriot, because I believe in this country, and because I have never wanted to sit on the sidelines when it comes to serving it. That is why I joined the Marines, it is why I ran for Congress to try to prevent what I saw got us into Iraq from happening again, and it is why I am running to take on the most divisive president in American history to bring this country back together.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden is expected to join the race later in the week.

Categories: Politics

Mike's Blog Round Up

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 08:01
Mike's Blog Round Up

Happy Earth Day!

Inside Climate News: Some Democratic candidates on fossil fuels (versus Trump).

Emptywheel: The many lies and prevarications of Bill Barr.

Crooked Timber: Transactional Trumpism?

Bark Bark Woof Woof: The Trump regime, from here on out.

The Nib: Meanwhile, at the DCCC…

This installment by Batocchio. E-mail tips to mbru AT crooksandliars DOT com.


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Categories: Politics

Morning Digest: Mueller report backs up ex-senator's claim on Russia hacking Florida election system

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 08:00

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar.

Leading Off

FL-Sen: While we had thought that the Digest would be a Mueller-free zone, it turns out that there's at least one aspect of the report that's directly relevant to our interests. Mother Jones reporter Pema Levy points out that one key line in Robert Mueller's findings buttresses former Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson's assertion last year that Russian military hackers had compromised Florida's election systems:

We understand the FBI believes that this operation enabled the GRU to gain access to the network of at least one Florida county government.

At the time, Nelson, who was up for re-election, was bitterly derided for his warning, which he said was based on classified information. As Levy puts it, "Republicans and the media alike painted his comments as dangerous make-believe." That even included the Washington Post's "fact checker" awarding four "Pinocchios" to Nelson, insisting, "Not a single speck of evidence backs him up, and we have serious doubts whether the classified information he cited even exists." Even if the press were to walk this back now, it carried water for the GOP by undermining the credibility of anyone who might sound a similar alarm in the future.

And while we don't know whether Putin's hackers were able to manipulate the election, it's important to remember just how close Nelson's election was: He lost to Republican Rick Scott by just 10,000 votes out of 8.2 million cast statewide—a margin of only 0.1%.

Categories: Politics

Cartoon: The extremely exoneratey report

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 08:00

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Categories: Politics

'No Ma'am': Fox News Host Calls Out Bonkers RNC Flack For Lying About Robert Mueller

Crooks and Liars - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 08:00
 Fox News Host Calls Out Bonkers RNC Flack For Lying About Robert Mueller

Republican National Committee spokesperson Liz Harrington lashed out at Fox News host Leland Vittert over the weekend after he asked her about evidence that President Donald Trump committed obstruction.

During the Saturday interview on Fox News, Vittert noted that some Democrats are considering impeachment hearings over evidence against Trump in special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation report.

"They are going to overreach because the American people know there's no 'there' there," Harrington insisted.

"[The report] identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with Russia... That's not 'didn't find anything,'" Vittert pointed out.

"This is 19 Democrat [sic] lawyers who were picked by Robert Mueller," Harrington said of the investigators. "You read page by page and there's innuendo and suggestions of impropriety."

"Telling [then-White House counsel] Don McGhan to fire Robert Mueller isn't wrong?" Vittert asked.

"Not firing someone isn't obstruction," the RNC spokesperson insisted.

"I'm not asking whether it's obstruction or not," Vittert said. "I'm asking whether it's the right thing to do."

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Categories: Politics

Cheers and Jeers: Monday

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 07:50

From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE…

I have never seen...

A bison throw a cigarette butt out a window

A flock of geese blow the top off a mountain

paper beats rock It’s also a day to remind ourselves that Mother Earth can also be a merry prankster.

A seal cause an oil spill

A raccoon go out and leave all the house lights on

A bobcat fight legislation to lower carbon emissions

A songbird sing "Drill Baby, Drill"

A pride of lions wage war over oil

A honey bee recycle nothing but right-wing talking points

A naked mole-rat assert that our biggest worry is global cooling

A salmon pollute a stream with mercury

An elephant claim that God says it's okay to pillage the world's natural resources because pachyderms are the "chosen ones"

A mockingbird mock public transportation

A polar bear claim that the melting ice caps are no big deal

An armadillo shrug off earthquakes related to fracking

A monarch butterfly buy enough Congress members to retain billions in oil subsidies.

A wild reindeer in the lower 48 do much of anything lately

Today is Earth Day, an event we celebrate every year to remind ourselves that we do not, in fact, have to be the biggest parasites on the third rock from the sun. We choose to be. Unlike the other parasites, we know what we're doing to this planet…and how…and why…and the kinds of things we must do to stop turning it into a ball of uninhabitable human-made garbage.

As an inhabitant of this spectacular planet, I'll continue to try and treat it with the respect it deserves, mostly by following the Four Rs: "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rout the Republicans."

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold...[Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Categories: Politics

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: The case for censuring Trump and excoriating Barr

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 07:30

Neal Katyal and Joshua Geitzer/WaPo on AG William Barr:

Barr tried to exonerate Trump. That’s not how the special counsel rules work.
The attorney general isn’t supposed to be rebutting the special counsel.

The point here is not to say that Trump obstructed justice or that he should be impeached. Our concern is with law and process: Corrupt intent is a complex question, especially when evaluating the behavior of the president. But Barr has put too much emphasis on whether there was an underlying Russia-related crime. That might be defensible if he were Trump’s personal attorney, making the best case he could for his client. That’s not Barr’s role, though. He’s the attorney general of the American people, and he’s been handed a report by a crack prosecutorial team that lays out 10 instances in which Trump possibly obstructed justice. Barr shouldn’t be offering a rebuttal. He should be offering the report to Congress — and then leaving it to lawmakers to determine what comes next.

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Categories: Politics

Daily Kos Radio is LIVE at 9 AM ET!

Daily Kos - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 07:00

Happy Easter Monday, Canadians! And Happy Earth Day, Earthlings!

And Happy Dyngus Day, Buffalo, NY! And Happy Dingus Day, Donald Trump! But then, every day is Dingus Day for you, isn’t it?

It’s been an unbelievable 100 years since the (latest Barr-version of the) Mueller Report came out, and we’re still not done parsing it. Luckily, Trump insists he’s enjoying things, and living his best days as president,* so there’s no need to stop thumbing through it on his account.

So we may just keep going with that this week.

Listen right here at 9:00 AM ET!

PODCAST LISTENERS: There’s a new podcast platform in town, and the big news is: this one pays! RadioPublic pays podcast producers at $20 CPM for listens on their native app (available for iPhones & Androids), financed by pre- and post-roll ads they insert. Not a bad way to support the show, with somebody else’s money!

So if you’re a podcast listener, please consider downloading the RadioPublic app on your Android or iOS phone. Yes, you can still download directly from their site, or listen to the player embedded here at Daily Kos. But it’s listens in their app that count toward payment. And get this: listen to just three episodes in their app, and we earn a one-time, $1 “loyal listener” bonus.

Nothing changes on our end. It’s still Greg Dworkin, Joan McCarter, and even Armando. Plus also, me. And you! As always, we still want your voice on the air with us. Sit down with your smart phone or other electronic recording device and send us your stories and commentary to share with the audience. There’s no easier way to try your hand at podcasting, without all the hassle!

Of course there’s no substitute for having your support via Patreon, or one-time contributions via Square Cash. (And hey, if you want a cool trick for donating sorta-kinda cost free, get their cash.me app and use this share code to get $5 in your account (plus $5 in mine) when you send your first $5 (to anyone)!

For now, how about one on the house? Here’s what we did on our last show:

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RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!)

Friday, finally! Some of us could use a little break from all of this before they snap. Not David Waldman, and not any of you reading this, who are now about to hit play on today's KITM. We need a couple of hours to prepare for the dozens of hours we plan on devoting our attention to Mueller report analysis this weekend! Armando returns to remind us that the administration of justice is a constitutional responsibility that is shared by all three branches. Unlike William Barr, Robert Mueller agrees that Congress has this responsibility as well. For a moment there, a few Democratic leaders spaced on that. Lately, some are beginning to smarten up, others… no. Speaking of smarts, Donald Trump kept trying to break the law, but was continually stymied by his smarter, law abiding staff. Certainly, plenty of his staff were neither, as shown by the Special Counsel's 14 referrals of potential criminal activity to outside offices. Only two referrals are publicly known at this point, but the report does describe Mike Flynn contacting foreign intelligence services for Hillary Clinton dirt, and Steve Bannon and Erik Prince exchanging dozens of text messages (since acid-washed from their phones, natch). Prepare to return to the Seychelles in the coming months. There’s plenty more dumbness and dishonesty to discover. For instance, Sarah Sanders helped out where she could. Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr fed the White House Senate intelligence. Rod Rosenstein wouldn’t stick his neck out for Trump, although he’s still happy to stand behind those who do. By the way, that mountain man lawyer on Rod’s right represents a whole different (maybe) can of worms. By the way, how dumb and dishonest can you be to not collude with the Russians only because you couldn’t ask for anything in return… because you know your entire life is filled with blackmailable offenses?

Thanks to Scott Anderson for the show summary! Please help me pay him more!) Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.
Categories: Politics

On the Road and In Your Backyard

Balloon Juice - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 05:00

Good Morning All,

Have a wonderful day, and enjoy the pictures!

 

Today, pictures from valued commenter Albatrossity.

I decided I’d had enough winter here, so I headed southwest for a couple of weeks to get that good desert heat soaking into my winter-weary bones. After Texas and Bosque del Apache in NM, I headed to the Sky Islands of southeastern AZ. First island stop was the Chiricahua Mountains, and specifically the Cave Creek Canyon on the eastern side. The Chiricahuas are at the edge of four ecozones, so there is plenty of floral and faunal diversity. And it was Spring there!

I stayed at the Cave Creek Ranch near Portal AZ for a couple of days, and took these pictures (as well as lots more!) on their grounds. It’s a lovely place, if ever you find yourself in that part of the world and wish to dip your tootsies in a mountain stream while watching gorgeous birds.

I should also mention that I have started a daily tweet, posting a bird picture from somewhere each morning. The Bird of the Day can be viewed at my twitter home – https://twitter.com/DaveRintoul01

Taken on 2019-03-30 00:00:00

Cave Creek Ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains of AZ

Rivoli’s Hummingbird (until recently known as the Magnificent Hummingbird) is a large and flashy critter. This male was looking directly at me when I shot his portrait using a small on-camera flash. I’ve never seen red eye-shine from a hummer before, but it is an interesting look! I’ve renamed the bird as the Dire Hummer from now on!

Taken on 2019-03-30 00:00:00

Cave Creek Ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains of AZ

The western subspecies of the Yellow-rumped Warbler is known as Audubon’s Warbler, and this is a nice spring-plumaged male representative of that subspecies. The yellow throat distinguishes it from the eastern form (Myrtle Warbler), which has a pure white throat.

Taken on 2019-03-30 00:00:00

Cave Creek Ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains of AZ

The common thrasher of the west is the Curve-billed Thrasher. That bright yellow eye is riveting! Interestingly, by the time I returned home from this jaunt, our summer-resident Brown Thrashers had returned and were singing lustily from the treetops in our neighborhood.

Taken on 2019-03-30 00:00:00

Cave Creek Ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains of AZ

One of the specialty birds that folks want to see in southeastern AZ is this Painted Redstart. Active and vocal and usually found catching insects at stream sides, they are pure crimson and black and white, with a cute half of a white eyering. This one is perched in an Apache Pine, another interesting bit of the local biological diversity.

Taken on 2019-03-30 00:00:00

Cave Creek Ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains of AZ

The Arizona Woodpecker (formerly called Strickland’s Woodpecker) barely finds its way into the lower 48, so it is another specialty species for birders heading to southeastern AZ. Most of its range is in the Sierra Madre mountains of nprthern Mexico, where it inhabits oak/pine canyons. A similar species (also formerly known as Strickland’s Woodpecker) is found in central Mexico and is still known by that name.

 

Thank you so much Albatrossity, do send us more when you can.

 

Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.

 

One again, to submit pictures: Use the Form or Send an Email

Categories: Politics

Monday Morning Open Thread: Good Dog, Bad ‘Dogs’…

Balloon Juice - Mon, 04/22/2019 - 04:48

Vitisak Payalaw and his crew were working on an oil rig 135 miles off the southern coast of Thailand on Friday when they spotted something unexpectedly bobbing in the gentle waves.

It was a dog.

The animal was fighting his way through the moving water, heading for the oil rig. As he approached the structure, Payalaw, an offshore planner for Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production, held out a pole after the animal had splashed his way to the platform below the rig’s deck. As a video Payalaw posted to his Facebook account shows, the pup was soaked, shivering and too exhausted to whimper or bark…

Four members of the crew, including Payalaw, spent 15 minutes devising a way to pull the animal up to the rig, eventually slinging a looped rope around the dog’s neck and hoisting it to the deck. The pictures from the offshore planner’s Facebook account show the animal looking sapped after being taken aboard the rig.

According to NPR, the rig workers gave the dog water and pieces of meat. Then, they settled on a name: “Boonrod,” meaning “he has done good karma and that helps him to survive.”

“He looked extremely exhausted and ran out of energy. He didn’t move much,” Payalaw said to CNN. “He was shaking and he couldn’t stand, he had to sit all the time.”

How exactly a dog ended up paddling for his life in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand remains a mystery. According to the Bangkok Post, Boonrod may have jumped or fallen off another vessel in the water…

Payalaw told NPR he plans to adopt Boonrod if the dog is not claimed by an owner.


.
On the other hand… yeah, I also have the impression that these guys would be less like cybernetic St Bernards, and more like Repo Dogs…

Categories: Politics

Groom Welds A GoT Iron Throne For His Bride

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 23:30

A cool Game of Thrones Story for a Sunday Night...

Open thread below...


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Categories: Politics

Late Night Music Club With Handel's Messiah (Virtual Choir!)

Crooks and Liars - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 23:01

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir invited people from around the world to join in a singing of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah.

Mark D. Roberts in Patheos calls Handel's work "An Unexpected Easter Masterpiece":

Handel did not write the Messiah as a piece of Christmas music. We know this for a couple of reasons. First, if you pay close attention to the words of the Messiah in the libretto (the text of the music) written by Charles Jennens, you’ll discover that only the first part of the composition has to do with the birth of Jesus. The second and third parts focus on his death, resurrection, the sending of the Spirit at Pentecost, and the final resurrection of all believers. Second, the first performance of the Messiah occurred, not during Advent or Christmas, but in Eastertide. Handel’s masterpiece was first performed in Dublin on April 13, 1742, 19 days after Easter. This was surely no accident. If Handel had envisioned the Messiah as a piece for Christmas, it would have been introduced in this season.

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Categories: Politics

Sunday night owls. Denison: 'The Abominations of Congress'

Daily Kos - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 22:30

Dave Denison at The Baffler writes—The Abominations of Congress. An excerpt:

MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS AGO Charles Lewis noted in The Buying of the Congress that for most Americans the national legislature is “a distant abomination.” You can put the emphasis on “distant”—fewer than half the citizenry can name their representative and even fewer can name both their senators. Or you can emphasize the “abomination,” since most people are aware that Congress is perennially in the grip of the high-paid influencers who haunt its marbled lobbies and fund congressional campaigns. It’s part of our national folklore to believe, as Mark Twain put it, “There is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”

In a simpler age it was customary to find humor in the fact that some of the most, um, ordinary intellects stumbled into the august chambers of the United States Congress. Today’s longest-serving House member, Alaska Republican Don Young, is known for sometimes brandishing a penis bone of a walrus—and for once pulling a knife on former Speaker John Boehner. Louisiana Democrat Rep. William Jefferson was indicted in 2007 for taking about a half million dollars in bribes. The FBI found $90,000 in his freezer.

Ghost_Owl_2.jpg

When I was a grade school student, I became aware that there was a man who represented mein Congress, sent to Washington, D.C., from our Second Congressional District in Indiana. His name was Earl Landgrebe, and he was a Republican, as were most people in the district of small towns in Northwest Indiana’s Lake and Porter counties. Yet in the summer of 1974, when I was riveted to the televised Watergate hearings and was becoming aware that the president was corrupt, and that some Republicans were beginning to acknowledge as much, I also learned that my own representative was unable to speak intelligently about the national crisis.

The House had voted earlier that year 410–4 to authorize the Judiciary Committee to start impeachment hearings. Rep. Landgrebe was among the four dissenting voters. He was loyal to Nixon all the way to the end: the day before Nixon resigned Landgrebe made himself famous by telling a reporter, “Don’t confuse me with the facts. I’ve got a closed mind. I will not vote for impeachment. I’m going to stick with my president even if he and I have to be taken out of this building and shot.” That was the year the magazine New Times named Landgrebe to their “Ten Dumbest Congressmen” list.

To be young in America, in every generation, is to become at least vaguely aware that an incompetent and malignant Congress is not entirely funny. These people can get you killed. It was a clear and present danger when neither party was able to put a stop to the Vietnam War, and again when Congress authorized George W. Bush & Co. in 2002 to launch an invasion of Iraq. And it’s true today, as any high school student knows who walks through metal detectors and endures “active shooter” drills at school: Congress, despite its constant protestations, has a long record of negligence when it comes to meaningful national security—especially for young and marginalized people.

Yet it’s a feature of #resistance politics today to focus almost entirely on the abuses of presidential power. We’re stuck in a president-centric political system—and the unlimited goonery of the current president makes it almost impossible to gain perspective on the depth of our democratic dysfunctions. But a corrupt president can be voted out after four years. Congress can be impervious to reform for generations at a time. [...]

Organize-Fish-eating-fish_NoTEXT_BlueRed.jpg Indivisible’s list of Resistance Events & Groups

TOP COMMENTSHIGH IMPACT STORIES • THE WEEK’S HIGH IMPACT STORIES

TWEET OF THE DAY

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BLAST FROM THE PAST

On this date at Daily Kos in 2006—More Flu Stories:

It's interesting that ANY discussion of bird flu engenders a reflex "fear/hype" response amongst some posters, (and the usual media culprits) as if the very existence of the discussion (and the provision of neutral information) is an affront to propriety. For example,  here's a simulation from the Los Alamos National Laboratory on Avian Flu infection dynamics should 10 people be found positive in a major America City like Los Angeles. The low probability, high impact nature of the Quicktime movie simulation speaks for itself. But as the Science editorial goes on to say:

An energetic response to H5N1 does not have to be alarmist. [emphasis mine] We can marshal existing concern about this particular strain of avian influenza to build a long-lasting international infrastructure to monitor and thwart threats from such emerging infections.

And Americans are concerned. They're a little concerned about bird flu (or the pandemic flu version) and very concerned about the government's ability to deal. 

Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio.”

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Categories: Politics

A Powerful Live Performance by Scottish Songwriter Karine Polwart: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Little Green Footballs - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 22:18

April 10, 2019 | Suraya Mohamed -- Scottish singer, songwriter and essayist Karine Polwart seldom comes stateside. She prefers to limit air travel in order to minimize her carbon footprint. She took exception, however, to fly from Edinburgh to New York City to participate in the Carnegie Hall Migrations festival, a celebration of the history of the movement of people all around the world. Polwart and her brother, guitarist Steven Polwart and multi-instrumentalist, Inge Thomson, then escaped New York for a day to play the Tiny Desk here in Washington, D.C.

Polwart writes songs about hope, music that harnesses spiritual power and lyrics that address important social justice themes. Stories of human emotion and the human experience are also commonplace as in the first tune, "Ophelia."

"There's a wind in from the desert
Red dust blows across the sun
It bleeds into the evening
We watch it from the garden
Your hair glints in the strange yellow light
We let go of all our fighting
Ophelia"

Her second song at the desk, "I Burn But I Am Not Consumed," includes a mesmerizing spoken word denunciation of President Donald Trump, while the closing tune, "King of Birds," praises the power of small things. In it Polwart recounts the legend of a wren who piggybacks a lift on an eagle's wing. Just as the large bird is unable to fly any higher in the sky, the tiny wren catches a breath of air, soars higher than the eagle and is crowned the king of all birds.

"At Ludgate Hill
where the towers of smoke and mirrors bruise the sky
the pilgrims huddle in
as the tiny King of Birds begins to cry
the people start to sing
to light glory in the dark
to ring the bell
and to breathe hope in every heart"

Lyricism and messages of hope and beauty heard throughout punctuate a stunning accompaniment of inventive instrumentation. The steady, resonant guitar riffs played by Steven Polwart ground the delicate vocal harmonies. Inge Thomson's accordion lines, combined with an array of percussion instruments and synth-generated effects, add a complimentary layer of sound without overpowering the music. Karine Polwart's bellowing and drone-like Shruti box provides a sweet serenity.

This performance will quite likely inspire you to learn more about Polwart. The NPR program, The Thistle and Shamrock often features her music. This recent episode features cuts from Polwart's latest album, plus her ideas on movement and migration.

SET LIST
"Ophelia"
"I Burn But I Am Not Consumed"
"King of Birds"

MUSICIANS
Karine Polwart: vocals, guitar, shruti box; Steven Polwart: guitar, vocals; Inge Thomson: accordion, percussion, noises, vocals

CREDITS
Producers: Suraya Mohamed, Morgan Noelle Smith ; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Beck Harlan, CJ Riculan; Production Assistant: Adelaide Sandstrom; Photo: Amir Alfiky/NPR

Categories: Politics

Politicians are not celebrities, and we are constituents, not fans

Daily Kos - Sun, 04/21/2019 - 21:15

I think I first started hearing the words “I am a fan of…” in regard to politicians in 2008, when Barack Obama was running. Granted, I had probably heard it most of my life, but I’d never paid much attention to it. In 2008 I did not think much of it—just the turn of a phrase. However, in 2019, the use of that phrase has grown, and when used with a politician’s name—the cult of personality is a very dangerous path to do down.

Now this is not an uncommon occurrence in American politics. In recent history one only has to look back to the 1960s to see it with the Kennedys and Camelot, or to remember how Reagan, Schwarzenegger, and Trump used their celebrity to propel them to state and national offices.

If you are a fan of Bernie, Kamala, Pete, Joe, or, heaven forbid, Donald, then you need to look at yourself in the mirror and promise to change. Politicians are not celebrities; they do not deserve fawning worship. They are public servants, who can and should be scrutinized, and must be held accountable for their actions. On the obverse, we are not fans; we are constituents, and we must demand better from our public servants. We must hold their feet to the fire, and if they fail—they must not be re-elected.

Categories: Politics

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