Five years ago, a family that had captured the American imagination suddenly disappeared from TV screens with no real explanation, just as the current national soap opera, ?The Santorums? abruptly ended yesterday.
They sit around a table, nothing untoward happens...and then fade to black. We had been mesmerized on the weekend by their daughter?s hospital stay, we were looking forward to the gang war in Pennsylvania, and suddenly it?s over.
Did something happen behind the scenes? Did the GOP dons offer Santorum a deal? What happens next?
When ?The Sopranos? ended in 2007, the show?s creator David Chase offered no rational explanation but his admirers recalled his musings about what is seen on the tube:
"Network television is all talk. I think there should be visuals on a show, some sense of mystery to it, connections that don't add up. I think there should be dreams and music and dead air and stuff that goes nowhere. There should be, God forgive me, a little bit of poetry."
Of all people, Rick Santorum has now added a touch of poetry to the 2012 talk marathon, but it?s not likely to be a big seller on DVD, like ?The Sopranos.?
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You can teach someone who cares to write columns,
but you can't teach someone who writes columns to care.
Born April 11, 1941
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Here in Pennsylvania when we go to the polls in two weeks, there is contested Democratic primary for the Attorney General position. There have only been five elected attorneys general in Pennsylvania, it used to be an appointed position. All five are Republicans. All are men. Currently, there is a (Republican) woman in the position, appointed to fill the position until the election as the previous occupant is now the governor.
There are two good Democratic candidates: Kathleen Kane (website) and Patrick Murphy (website). You know Patrick, he was previously a Congressman, he was early on-board for Obama in 2008, he's an Iraq vet. Patrick has a ton of endorsements, the most recent from David Axelrod. He's the party choice. His legal experience is as a professor and recently as a litigator. If he wins the primary, he has a shot at winning in November.
Kathleen Kane is an actual prosecutor. She's tough, she's truly experienced and in real terms, she is the most qualified candidate to ever have run for this position. Her biggest endorsement is from Bubba the Big Dog, Bill Clinton, who is actively campaigning for her.
The dilemma for all of us voting in the primary is that Patrick has a much better chance of winning in November compared to Kathleen. At least that would be true in any regular year, but 2012 is odd in a lot of ways. First, the Pennsylvania Democratic Party has a long history of not being able to turn out voters, that is a task normally left to the campaigns, and in that regard, Patrick is much better placed as he has a large organization in the Philly burbs. Second, Pennsylvania does not have any sort of history of electing women on a large scale. Call it the war on women redux, but that's the history.
What makes this year different is that Obama will have to campaign here, and campaign hard. If you look at a lot of Republican organizations in a lot of states, like Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin, to name only a few, they're in disarray, and they will have trouble turning out their voters. The Republican party in PA is more organized, and has an entrenched power system in place, especially given the state government. Obama needs to hold Pennsylvania, and we expect to be seeing a lot of him. Further, Bubba the Big Dog has already promised at least 3 joint appearances with Obama, he'll likely also campaign here as a surrogate. Already, he's doing events for Kathleen. A lot of synergy there.
Finally, this may well be the year of the women who run. There aren't as many as there have been in prior years, but this IS the year that the GOP declared open war on women, and the backlash of that may well reverberate well in voting booths around the nation. That is, women voting their own self-interest.
And so, what are you going to do?
That's what Molly Ivins called him. Read on to find out why she and so many other Texas liberals loved him.
Bernard Rapoport's politics were grounded in his conviction that the role of government was to improve the lives of its citizens. The growing accumulation of wealth in the highest tax brackets gnawed at him. He considered it not only unjust but a threat to capitalism.
B told his marbles story so frequently and widely - as a child he would go in the tank just as he was about to win all his opponents' marbles, so the game could continue - no one was surprised that the party favors at his 90th birthday party at Jay Rockefeller's Washington mansion were bags of marbles and airline-cabin-service bottles of Canadian Club.
If wealth, like marbles, wasn't distributed, capitalism couldn't work.
Bernard Rapoport changed American politics for the better. He invested millions in campaigns, wrote checks and raised funds to elect the current Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate, was devastated by the Democrats' loss of the U.S. House in 2010, and had his heart broken when Waco Congressman Chet Edwards lost his seat in an election that no amount of money could have saved. (B regularly called me, and others, during the last election cycle, looking for some glimmer of hope regarding Chet's race.)
He was a major donor to Ann Richards' campaigns for governor. He funded Garry Mauro's quixotic challenge of George W. Bush in 1998. He supported Democratic centrists, like Martin Frost and Tom Daschle. He raised money and organized events to elect Bill Clinton and supported Hillary Clinton's 2008 primary campaign.
While B might have been described as a values investor in political campaigns, contributing to Democrats who could win elections, he put much of his money where his heart and ideals were.
He was the finance chairman for Ralph Yarborough's campaigns for the U.S. Senate, and, after Yarborough lost to Lloyd Bentsen, labored to raise money for Yarborough's attempt at a comeback in the Democratic primary in 1972. He contributed to, raised money for, and worked on George McGovern's presidential campaign in Texas. He raised money and contributed to Michigan Congressman David Bonior - whose labor-liberal and anti-war principles he considered impeccable.
B once told me he signed on with Paul Wellstone's 1990 Senate campaign when Tony Mazzocchi described Wellstone as a political science professor who had joined Hormel worker picket lines and been jailed for protesting unfair lending practices. For B, that brief description and Mazzocchi's endorsement was sufficient.
Mazzocchi was a socialist trade unionist who came out of the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union to found the Labor Party. He embodied the politics of David Rapoport, who understood that the relationship between labor and management or ownership is adversarial. When B wrote Mazzocchi a check to cover the cost of a Labor for Peace anti-Vietnam War ad in The Washington Post in the early 1970s, it cemented a relationship between the old-school trade unionist and the man Mazzocchi called "the most radical businessman in the nation." It probably helped earn Bernard Rapoport a place on Richard Nixon's enemies list.
If Paul Wellstone was good enough for Tony Mazzocchi, he was good enough for Bernard.
"I opened up the bank for Wellstone," B said.
Bernard and Audre opened up the bank for more good causes and candidates than can be catalogued here. Breakfast with the two of them at the St. Regis in Washington was a gathering of the best of the American institutional left - much of it supported by the Rapoports or their foundation: Marcus Raskin of the Institute for Policy Studies; Lawrence Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute; Mike Lux, who founded American Family Voices and the Progressive Donor Network; Mary Beth Maxwell of American Rights at Work, whom B and former Congressman David Bonior promoted as Obama's secretary of labor; and many more.
Bernard never quit.
Sitting in a wheelchair at the Outback Steakhouse in Waco three years ago, with his health fading, the stock market down and business losses piling up, B told me about an investment he was considering.
"It might earn us millions," he said. If it did, he would use the money to fund social-service projects, advocacy groups and education.
He told me that though he had used his money to make the country a better place, he wanted one more run at it.
This country seems a smaller place without him.
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, you make a donation to the Rapoport Scholars Program at the University of Texas, or to The Texas Observer.
Muse in the MorningNeons I know you have talent. What sometimes is forgotten is that being practical is a talent. I have a paucity for that sort of talent in many situations, though it turns out that I'm a pretty darn good cook. :-)Let your talent[...]
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Source: Advanced Currency Markets | G10 Advancers and Decliners vs USD GBP 0.40 EUR 0.37 CHF 0.36 JPY -0.13 FX risk appetite was slightly firmer in the Asian session, with thin volumes and marginal news flow. In a subdued session, Asia?s regional indices were lower, with the Nikkei down -0.83%, the Hang Sang -1.23%, and Shanghais falling -0.06%. The USD bid tone seen yesterday faded as bargain seekers stepped in and Australian consumer confidence improved. EURUSD rallied to 1.3116 from 1.3067, while…
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George Zimmerman has an unusually long-list of defenders who haven't spoken to him much: Joe Oliver; his next door neighbor; his lawyers.But one man he's spoken to, Sean Hannity.[...]
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Late Tuesday evening, Hal Uhrig and Craig Sonner, the attorneys for George Zimmerman, suddenly announced they were dropping out of the case, citing their client’s behavior, which can only be called erratic.
In another important development, reported by the AP, special prosecutor Angela Corey is to make an announcement on the case within 72-hours. Speculation is that charges against Zimmerman could be filed before the weekend, though upon the news breaking no specifics of Corey’s coming announcement were given.
Zimmerman has not talked to or communicated with them since Sunday, said Craig Sonner, one of his lawyers.
Worse, Zimmerman has done two dangerous things, his lawyers said: He telephoned a special prosecutor who’s trying to put together a criminal case against him, and he called Sean Hannity of Fox News.
Both were bad ideas, said Sonner and co-counsel Hal Uhrig.
The call to the office of Special Prosecutor Angela Corey apparently did no harm, Uhrig said.
“They cut him off,” Sonner said.
Still, Uhrig said, “We were a bit astonished.”
The last thing George Zimmerman needs is the circus of right-wing radio and Sean Hannity.
What possessed to call the Special Prosecutor Angela Corey is beyond comprehension.
Zimmerman has also launched a website, however rudimentary, “TheRealGeorgeZimmerman,” which is text only on a background of the American flag. His statement begins by saying he has been “involved in a life altering event which led me to become the subject of intense media coverage.”
Trayvon Martin’s attorney responded to Time magazine:
It?s America, and he has a right to do what he wants to do. The family was a little taken aback that George said he had this life-changing occurrence [and needs money]. Well Trayvon Martin had a life-ending occurrence; his family had to do all this stuff [to get someone] who killed their child to face a judge and a jury. The fact that he has this website and he?s out to do this website, when you see the balance, Trayvon is dead. If it were the reverse, Trayvon would have been arrested by day one.
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Source: ForexYard JPY Receives a Boost amid Increase in Risk Aversion
The Japanese yen saw gains virtually across the board during yesterday's trading session, as risk aversion continued to dominate market sentiment. Investor fears regarding a euro-zone recession and poor US fundamentals drove the JPY to a one-month high vs. both the EUR and USD. Turning to today, a lack of significant news means that riskier currencies like the euro and Australian dollar could extend their bearish trends. Traders will want to watch out for any exaggerated price shifts due to low liquidity in the marketplace.Economic News USD – USD Takes Losses across the Board
The US dollar fell vs. its main currency rivals throughout the European . . . → Read More: JPY Receives a Boost amid Increase in Risk Aversion
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