If I were a conservative I'd be offended by the people the media choose to be my representatives.Whether it's CNN's version of a conservative blogger (and there are sane conservative bloggers CNN could have hired), or inviting Ann Coulter to be on This Week's roundtable, usually reserved for serious people.Maybe I'm wrong, but I can't remember anyone this un-serious ever being invited on...
If any doubt was left about the power of big money in our politics, the Wisconsin election destroyed it. Charles and David Koch goosed Gov. Scott Walker's campaign with $10 million through their front group Americans for Prosperity, $1 million through[...]
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Much like the array of polling which dropped on Thursday, Friday brings a poll to suit every meme. GOPers can embrace the Fox News national poll, while Democrats can embrace, of all things, the movement for Obama in both tracking polls.
Yes, you read that right, Democrats can cite Gallup. And Rasmussen.
They can also cite a little-known Democratic state senator (though she is in the leadership) leading Governor Rick Scott in Florida. By double digits.
On to the numbers!
PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION TRIAL HEATS:
NATIONAL (Fox News): Obama tied with Romney (43-43)DOWNBALLOT POLLING:
NATIONAL (Gallup Tracking): Obama d. Romney (46-45)
NATIONAL (Rasmussen Tracking): Obama d. Romney (47-45)
MISSOURI (Rasmussen): Romney d. Obama (49-42)
(2014) FL-GOV: Nan Rich (D) 47, Gov. Rick Scott (R) 35A few thoughts, as always, await you just past the jump...
IL-13 (We Ask America): Rodney Davis (R) 47, David Gill (D) 38
MI-14?D (Practical Political Consulting for Clarke): Rep. Hansen Clarke 49, Gary Peters 33, Brenda Lawrence 13, Mary Waters 4, Bob Costello 2
MN-SEN (PPP): Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) 55, Kurt Bills (R) 29; Klobuchar 56, Joe Arwood (R) 29; Klobuchar 56, Pete Hegseth (R) 28; Klobuchar 55, Doc Severson (R) 27
(2014) MN-SEN (PPP): Sen. Al Franken (D) 51, Norm Coleman (R) 41; Franken 52, Tim Pawlenty (R) 41; Franken 57, Michele Bachmann (R) 35
MO-SEN (Rasmussen): Sarah Steelman (R) 51, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D) 39; John Brunner (R) 51, McCaskill 41; Todd Akin (R) 50, McCaskill 42
Daily Kos cartoonists Tom Tomorrow, Jen Sorensen and Matt Bors (shown above visiting the studio of local Providence artist's collective Big Nazo) will be discussing the art, activism and the future of political cartooning at the Community and Exhibit Hall Stage on Saturday morning, from 10:30 AM to 11:45 AM ET. T-shirts will be given away afterward, and rumor has it that Tom Tomorrow and Jen Sorensen brought a few books to sell. Fun is probable, though not guaranteed.
I have to admit that I'm very conflicted about the use of drones. As the person who has been responsible for making sure that we note every single one of our military casualties, I see the definite advantage of unmanned drones for surgical strikes being a modern way to engage in warfare and keep the casualty count low. I can't see the Military-Industrial Complex loosening their hold on this country, so as long as we're going to keep fighting, at least we can keep wives from being widows, children from losing parents, and parents from burying their children.
When I see reports of drones hitting wedding parties, mosques and other civilian collateral damage, I have to question whether being so detached from these attacks allows us to lose our humanity over the loss of lives.
So with the caveat of my conflicted feelings on the use of drones, the framing of this particular article in The Daily Beast really struck me as very odd.
[State Dept. legal adviser Harold] Koh, perhaps the most forceful advocate of human rights law in the Obama administration, was preparing a speech in defense of targeted killing, and wanted to do his homework; he wasn?t going to put his reputation in jeopardy without knowing the drone strike program and its protocols inside and out. He spent hours at Langley grilling agency lawyers and operators. The operators were naturally suspicious of Koh?a wariness only fueled by Koh?s blunt demeanor. ?I hear you guys have a PlayStation mentality,? he said.
The operators of the unmanned drones were civilians, but most were ex-Air Force pilots who took umbrage at the idea that they were ?cubicle warriors? morally detached from killing. The lead operator lit into Koh. ?I used to fly my own air missions,? he began defensively. ?I dropped bombs, hit my target load, but had no idea who I hit. Here I can look at their faces. I watch them for hours, see these guys playing with their kids and wives. When I get them alone, I have no compunction about blowing them to bits. But I wouldn?t touch them with civilians around. After the strike, I see the bodies being carried out of the house. I see the women weeping and in positions of mourning. That?s not PlayStation; that?s real. My job is to watch after the strike too. I count the bodies and watch the funerals. I don?t let others clean up the mess.?
The conversation must have proved persuasive; Koh gave his speech, defending the legal underpinning of the job the drone operator and his colleagues do.
So what am I supposed to take from this? That drone operators have feelings, too? That their ability to watch the grieving widows carry the bodies out of the house somehow ameliorates the disingenuousness of how "surgical" these strikes are supposed to be? And while the Obama administration may want to contain how much we consider the civilian casualties, there's fairly good arguments that this kind of self-delusion is significantly hurting our long-term interests.
Right about now, Luke Russert is texting him: I KNO! BO-RING. LOL :) BUFFALO WILD WINGS 4 LUNCH? CU THERE.[...]
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The Cheers & Jeers dinner was held Wednesday night to kick off the Netroots Nation 2012 event in Providence, Rhode Island. Over 80 Kossacks met in the lobby of the Westin to parade in the Bill in Portland Maine's and Common Sense Mainer's entourage to the Union Station Brewery.
I will post the names I know but please leave a comment identifying others and I'll add as soon as I can.
The suicide rate is skyrocketing among American troops as numbers have reached nearly one per day in 2012, according to new Pentagon data revealed in a report on Thursday. Over the first 155 days of 2012 154 active-duty troops have committed suicide, far outdistancing the number of those killed in action in Afghanistan. The research shows a growing burden for troops in wartime demands in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. The military is also struggling with increase in the number of sexual assaults, alcohol abuse, domestic violence, and other misbehavior, the report stated. The number is up 18 percent from last year, and 16 percent from 2009, the highest year total of suicides in the military on record. In both 2008 and 2009, suicide deaths outnumbered combat deaths.
Kim Ruocco, widow of Marine Maj. John Ruocco, a helicopter pilot who hanged himself in 2005 between Iraq deployments, said he was unable to bring himself to go for help.
?He was so afraid of how people would view him once he went for help,? she said in an interview at her home in suburban Boston. ?He thought that people would think he was weak, that people would think he was just trying to get out of redeploying or trying to get out of service, or that he just couldn?t hack it - when, in reality, he was sick. He had suffered injury in combat and he had also suffered from depression and let it go untreated for years. And because of that, he?s dead today.?
Zombie bullets in demand?http://cryptogon.com/?p=29880Is Facebook the next myspace? An entity on the downward curve of product life cycles. Who knew ahead of time about this. Questions pondered NOT by lamestream[...]
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The American Civil Liberties Union has sued Florida over Gov. Rick Scott's voter-list purge.
The purge, being run by Secretary of State Ken Detzner, is intended to keep non-citizens off the voter rolls but has improperly snagged many legitimate voters. The Justice Department says that the purge violates both the Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act, but Florida officials haven't backed down.
The ACLU suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, is on behalf of two Florida residents -- Murat Limage, a Haitian-American U.S. citizen, and Pamela Gomez, a Dominican-American U.S. citizen -- as well as the Mi Familia Vota Education Fund. Detzner is listed as the defendant.
"The illegal program to purge eligible voters uses inaccurate information to remove eligible citizens from the voter rolls," Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU's Florida affiliate, said in a statement. "It seems that Governor Scott and his Secretary of State cannot speak without hiding what they mean in political spin. They mislead Floridians by calling their illegal list purge 'protecting citizen's voting rights.'"
"States should not compromise citizens' fundamental right to vote by conducting illegal voter purges that disproportionately impact minorities," Katie O'Connor, staff attorney with the ACLU Voting Rights Project, said in a statement. "Such measures are not only illegal, but undermine our democracy by keeping people from participating in the political process."
A recent poll by Public Policy Polling found that 50 percent of Floridians opposed the voter roll purge.