Notes on Ferguson
Dec02

Notes on Ferguson

Two notes on Ferguson, one statistical and one comedic. Andrew Sullivan offers statistics on numbers of civilians killed by police officers in a year in other western industrialized nations on The Daily Dish (USA–409, Japan–0, Great Britain–0, Germany–8). Various reports suggest that this number in the US may actually be low. Jon Stewart brilliantly skewers Fox News for blaming the Ferguson rioting on Obama,...

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No Indictment In Furguson
Nov24

No Indictment In Furguson

Just breaking that the grand jury has voted not to indict I would hope we could all wait for the evidence to be released before reacting knee jerk but then I hope for a lot of things. Discuss...

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Sullivan on Obama and Immigration
Nov24

Sullivan on Obama and Immigration

Andrew Sullivan drills down into the immigration dynamic on The Daily Dish. One reason I’ve been somewhat forgiving of Obama’s executive action on immigration deportations is that I see it as a function not of his choice to be an “imperial” president, but as a result of unprecedented Republican obstructionism. It is, for example, jaw-dropping to hear the GOP declare its shock at the president’s refusal to take into account the results...

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Top 10 Villains
Nov24

Top 10 Villains

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always loved villains. It was always the big bad that interested me more in Disney films. More often than not, the villains were the folk that made the lasting impression and to this day I believe the villain is what elevates a film from being good to everlasting greatness. Over the coming week I’m going to be listing 10 of favourite villains. Let me know what you think: 10 – Man (Bambi) I remember...

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SNL Cold Open Takes On Executive Orders
Nov23

SNL Cold Open Takes On Executive Orders

Pretty funny regardless of how you feel on the issue Cold...

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What is Pizza?
Nov22

What is Pizza?

I still like my pizza simple,  The original Italian pizza was marinara sauce on a pizza crust.  There might have been some basil leaves and mozzarella cheese but that was the exception in fine Italian restaurants in Europe.  So what do Italians think Pizza Hut has just started a major rebranding effort. Headlined the “Flavor of Now,” the campaign aims to give a much-needed boost to Pizza Hut’s U.S. business by wooing customers with...

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Chait on Immigration Politics
Nov22

Chait on Immigration Politics

Jonathan Chait argues immigration will hurt the GOP in New York Magazine. Substantively, Obama’s executive order gives him less than he hoped to gain with a bipartisan law. But politically, he has ceded no advantage. Indeed, he has gained one. Not only does immigration remain a live issue, it is livelier than ever. The GOP primary will remorselessly drive its candidates rightward and force them to promise to overturn Obama’s reform,...

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The Second Amendment in California
Nov20

The Second Amendment in California

California is one of the more liberal and progressive states, let alone super states. It is also home to one eighth of the population of the United States. It has a history of being forward thinking on gun control. Add the Circuit Court of Appeals in the mix. However, in February, the infamously liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down California’s issuance of concealed carry permits based on “need’ as...

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When Will GOP Congress Grow Up?
Nov20

When Will GOP Congress Grow Up?

Kevin Drum asks why Republicans in Congress get a pass on governing by temper tantrum on Mother Jones. David Brooks is unhappy that President Obama continues to be a liberal even though Democrats lost in this year’s midterm election:   “I sympathize with what Obama is trying to do substantively (on immigration), but the process of how it’s being done is ruinous. Republicans would rightly take it as a calculated insult...

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Elizabeth Warren is my Hero
Nov19

Elizabeth Warren is my Hero

Daniel Strauss reports on Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) reading Republicans the riot act on Talking Points Memo. “The Republicans have a pretty simple philosophy: they say if those at the top have more — more power for Wall Street players to do whatever they want and more money for tax cuts then somehow they can be counted on to build the economy for everyone else,” Warren said. “Well, we tried it for 30 years and...

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GOP Shutdown Fever
Nov19

GOP Shutdown Fever

Sahil Kapur lists factors working toward a GOP government shutdown on Talking Points Memo. The specter of President Barack Obama using his executive authority to temporarily shield as many as 5 million Americans from the threat of deportation has ignited a strong backlash from the GOP’s tea party wing. Seeing no better option to stop Obama, these conservatives, led by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and 59 House Republicans, are...

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The Late Great Jack Vance
Nov18

The Late Great Jack Vance

In my mid teens, over 50 years ago, I discovered the wonderful world of science fiction.  One of my favorite authors was Jack Vance who was not only a great story teller but a wordsmith extraordinaire. As it turned out I missed much of Vance’s work most of which is now out of print but fortunately his work has been Kindled.   I recently reread the Caldwell trilogy and discovered the  Tschai series.  While I prefer hard science...

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Josh Marshall on Immigration “Grenade”
Nov18

Josh Marshall on Immigration “Grenade”

Josh Marshall mulls over the consequences of the coming immigration battle on Talking Points Memo. Let’s start with a few assumptions and see where they lead.   1) Let’s assume, as numerous reports now suggest, that President Obama will issue one or more executive orders that effectively legalize roughly 5 million undocumented immigrants currently residing in the United States.   2) Republicans have already put a...

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Fox in Charge of the Hen House?
Nov15

Fox in Charge of the Hen House?

Republican,  Dr Monica Wehby’s campaign for the Senate revolved around opposition to the Affordable Care Act but the day after she lost the election she called the governor to ask about the open position of director of the Oregon Health Authority. A day after losing her bid for U.S. Senate, Monica Wehby picked up the phone and reached Gov. John Kitzhaber on his cell. Wehby, a Republican and fellow doctor, offered her expertise...

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Dad Sings and Signs to Daughter At Wedding
Nov14

Dad Sings and Signs to Daughter At Wedding

This is so sweet… no need to pretend there are onions, just enjoy the...

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GOP Dream: Restoring America
Nov13

GOP Dream: Restoring America

Peter Beinart explores the Republican theme of “restoring” America in The Atlantic. Because conservatives love the word “restore.” In 2007, when he was planning his own presidential bid, Mike Huckabee wrote a book subtitled 12 Steps to Restoring America’s Greatness. (It’s available for one cent on Amazon.) In 2010, Glenn Beck organized a rally on the National Mall entitled “Restoring Honor.” In 2012, Mitt Romney’s...

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Sullivan on Cowardly Democrats
Nov10

Sullivan on Cowardly Democrats

Andrew Sullivan on the Democrats running away from their own success in the recent mid-terms on The Daily Dish. So the number one issue in the midterms was the economy. And a Democratic president has managed to halve the unemployment rate in the wake of a historically grim near-depression, and his own party decided never to mention this – or him – in the campaign. I wish I were surprised. He also managed to slash the deficit at the...

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Larison: GOP Will Do Nothing
Nov07

Larison: GOP Will Do Nothing

Daniel Larison of The American Conservative predicts the GOP majority Congress and Senate will do what they campaigned on: nothing. (h/t rudi) All of this suggests that most observers, myself included, underestimated the extent to which Republicans would dominate this election. The GOP ran an almost purely negative campaign and said almost nothing substantive about policy, and they have been rewarded with one of the biggest gains in...

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Would This Have Helped Democrats on Tuesday? Nah!
Nov07

Would This Have Helped Democrats on Tuesday? Nah!

The U.S. economy, especially the private sector job growth, has been steadily recovering for the past five years. As a matter of fact, Jason Furman, chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers has characterized this period as “the longest streak in U.S. history.” The Hill calls it “the longest such streak since 1995.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that total non-farm payroll employment rose by 214,000 in...

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NRO: Beware the “Governing Trap”
Nov06

NRO: Beware the “Governing Trap”

The conservative National Review warns newly elected Republicans to avoid the “governing trap.” Already a conventional wisdom about what Republicans should do next has congealed. Supposedly it is up to Republicans to “prove they can govern” even though they do not have the White House. Senator Jeff Flake (R., Ariz.) told NPR listeners that Republicans could do this by moving on trade-promotion authority, the immigration...

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