Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin says he's unsure whether he'll vote for his party's leader, President Barack Obama, or the likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
In a statement Friday, the West Virginia lawmaker said he had "some real differences" with both leaders, finding fault with Obama's energy and economic policies while questioning whether Romney could understand the challenges facing ordinary people.
"I strongly believe that every American should always be rooting for our president to do well, no matter which political party that he or she might belong to," Manchin said. "With that being said, many West Virginians believe the last 3 1/2 years haven't been good for us, but we're hopeful that they can get better."
With all due respect, Sen. Manchin, bite me. You think things will be better with a Republican president for West Virginians? Who in the hell made the economy bad? Just because your state is still economically dependent upon a environmentally catastrophic industry, you have second thoughts about supporting the head of your party? Do you think that cutting benefits for the economically disadvantaged (rising dramatically in your state) as Romney and his Ayn Rand pin up boy have promised to do will be better than Obama's admittedly slow (and stymied) economic growth? And let's not even consider the horror that would be Romney's Supreme Court appointees. John Cole:
No one could have predicted.
Either Manchin has some very interesting polling internals that none of us are privy to, or his staff is just in over their heads and giving him bad advice. This is bush league stuff, and it has been since day one, when he told us that he needed to tour the state to find out what his constituents think about DADT. Apparently there was not ample time in the two terms he served as Governor to learn that. Once he had his listening tour and learned what his constituents thought, he promptly skipped the vote on DADT and the Dream Act and went partying in the country with his grandchildren. WHO IS ADVISING THIS GUY? Then later on, he advances the Blunt amendment, allegedly to promote religious freedom, while blissfully unaware that the Amendment wouldn?t advance religious freedom, it was a backdoor attempt at gutting ACA by allowing employers to deny coverage of anything they didn?t like for any reason whatsoever. Fortunately, the rest of the Democratic caucus is not brain-dead, so that amendment failed.
Then we get to this latest idiocy, which is yet another self-inflicted wound. It was obvious to anyone with an IQ over room temperature that the remarks about Obama would be used as a cudgel against both Manchin and Obama. This is a GOP strategists wet dream.
Enough is enough. Harry Reid needs to show us some of that alleged toughness and get control of his caucus. If Manchin is going to undermine the upcoming election with all that is at stake, then damnit, kick him the hell out.
Here is the weekly posting of the Texas Progressive Alliance round-up. The TPA is a confederation of the best political bloggers in Texas. TPA members are citizen-bloggers working for a better Texas. Every Texan and every American has the ability to attend a public meeting, attend or organize a protest, write or call an elected official, [...]
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The GOP nomination is kinda like The Highlander: There can only be one. With nominees dropping like flies off the rotted corpse of what was once the Grand Old Party, by the time the clown car rolls into the Golden State on June 5, there may only be[...]
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The journey of a million miles begins with a single step, someone once said. While it's a long road ahead for this constitutional amendment, hopefully this is a sincere effort from the legislators involved to dissolve the shackles that bind them to their big donors. We can piss and moan all we want about Citizens United, but how willing are we to actually do anything about it - say, hold a coffee klatch with our neighbors and try to get them behind the idea? Bring it up at a meeting of our local municipality? Take a petition around the neighborhood? Call our elected officials asking for them to support this?
If you really want to make a difference, it's a good time to get involved:
On Wednesday, a group of members of Congress, local and state lawmakers, and activist groups met in a Capitol Visitor Center hearing room to do something unusual for its loftiness: they announced and signed a ?declaration for democracy,? pledging their support to an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court?s 2010 Citizens United decision, which allowed unlimited spending by corporations and unions on elections.
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), himself the author of such an amendment, was one of the first lawmakers to speak:
The U.S. Constitution has served us very well, but when the Supreme Court says, for purposes of the First Amendment, that corporations are people, that writing checks from the company?s bank account is constitutionally-protected speech and that attempts by the federal government and states to impose reasonable restrictions on campaign ads are unconstitutional, our democracy is in grave danger. There comes a time when an issue is so important that the only way to address it is by constitutional amendment."
Sanders was joined by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Tom Udall (D-NM), as well as Democratic Reps. John Conyers (Mich.), Donna Edwards (Md.), Keith Ellison (Minn.), Rush Holt (N.J.), John Sarbanes (Md.), Betty Sutton (Ohio), Sheila Jackson Lee (Texas), Ted Deutch (Fla.), Hank Johnson (Ga.), Peter Welch (Vt.), and David Cicilline (R.I.). Many have introduced constitutional amendments of their own; all signed on to the declaration and expressed their support for the movement.
Each member echoed Sanders, especially focusing on the momentum building across the country for such an amendment. Hawaii, New Mexico, and this week, Vermont, have all passed resolutions in their state legislatures calling on Congress to overturn Citizens United. They?re joined by over 147 cities nationwide that have passed resolutions. The summit highlighted the Resolutions Week initiative spearheaded by Public Citizen and other organizations, aimed at passing local resolutions the week of June 11.
[...] ?We have developing here a grassroots movement,? Udall said.
The members noted that passing this 28th amendment requires commitment from citizens and activist groups:
?With this vehicle, we are going to organize America and all Americans are central to that success,? said Ellison. ?We need people to take personal responsibility?this has to be a mass action.?
In this Sunday’s New York Times, the paper revealed an explosive story of high-level corruption at Walmart, aided by a whistleblower’s account of how the retail giant bribed its way to market dominance in Mexico. But unsurprisingly, the Sunday talk shows ignored the scandal entirely.
One former executive told the Times about how Walmart employees brought envelopes of cash to government officials in Mexico in order to boost the company’s expansion:
The Times examination included more than 15 hours of interviews with the former executive, Sergio Cicero Zapata, who resigned from Wal-Mart de Mexico in 2004 after nearly a decade in the company?s real estate department.
In the interviews, Mr. Cicero recounted how he had helped organize years of payoffs. He described personally dispatching two trusted outside lawyers to deliver envelopes of cash to government officials. They targeted mayors and city council members, obscure urban planners, low-level bureaucrats who issued permits ? anyone with the power to thwart Wal-Mart?s growth. The bribes, he said, bought zoning approvals, reductions in environmental impact fees and the allegiance of neighborhood leaders.
Maritza Munich, former general counsel of Wamart International, also resigned in 2006, after pushing Walmart executives to complete an investigation into the accounts of bribery. Walmart, however, quashed the investigation. The acts of bribery could be violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it a crime for American corporations to bribe foreign officials. The Department of Justice is responsible for investigating potential violations of the act.
Walmart responded to the story with a lengthy statement, saying “the investigation is ongoing and we don?t have a full explanation of what happened. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further on the specific allegations until we have finished the investigation.” Walmart International has previously faced criticism for its treatment of workers and mislabeling of products.
The United States and Afghanistan have reportedly reached a strategic partnership agreement that pledges American support for Afghanistan for 10 years after U.S. troops withdraw in 2014. Top U.S. officials agreed on the draft, which will now be sent to Afghanistan’s parliament and President Hamid Karzai for review and approval. The New York Times reports that “officials from both countries have said they hope that it will send a signal to insurgents and other destabilizing forces here that the United States is not going to abandon Afghanistan as it did in the 1990s after the Soviets were driven out.” Separate agreements were drafted on the controversial issues of night raids and American operation of detention facilities.
The Economist maps out every American execution since 1976, when the Supreme Court announced the modern constitutional regime governing death penalty cases after effectively suspending all executions nationwide for four years. Over one-third of all executions during this period took place in Texas, for a total of 481 people killed by that state. Of the remaining, non-Texas executions, the overwhelming majority are clustered in a small group of southern states:
It’s worth noting that, although the death penalty is still technically legal in most states, actual executions are very rare in most of the country — even after a person has been sentenced to death row. According to a 2011 study by the Death Penalty Information Center, thirty-two U.S. jurisdictions executed no one in the previous five years and more than half of those jurisdictions executed no one after the Supreme Court permitted executions to continue in 1976. Only 12 states executed someone in 2010, and only 7 states executed more than one person.
The increasing rarity of the death penalty in most of the country not only reflects America’s evolution away from inhumane and irreversible criminal justice policy, it also has constitutional implications. The Constitution forbids “cruel and unusual punishments,” and the death penalty is increasingly unusual in the overwhelming majority of the nation. At the very least, Texas’ status as the outlier jurisdiction suggests that an Eighth Amendment solution may be necessary.
FiddleheadsFiddleheads are a very ephemeral thing. For 2 or 3 weeks in the spring the emerging shoots of several types of ferns are available for eating.Now to me they resemble nothing so much as Asparagus in taste, but perhaps that's because of my[...]
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