Wednesday, July 30, 2014

News Nuggets 1472

DAYLEE PICTURE: A surfer off of Palm Beach in Australia.  From National Geographic.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: Clarity on the Muddled Debate Over Torture

The Torturers’ Non-Defense (Andrew Sullivan) from The Dish
"In other words, the entire point of the Convention is to prevent any wriggle room around what torture is and to include inhumanity. And if you don’t believe that stretching people till their limbs break, near-drowning them hundreds of times, hounding them day and night with sleep
deprivation, or subjecting them to freezing temperatures, mock executions and amount to inhumanity, you are no longer human. In a court of law, Tenet would be out of luck. Just as important, the context is irrelevant."
Bush, Cheney, Tenet, and down the line -- criminals.

What do "Sweeping Sanctions" Look Like?

What the EU's tough new sanctions on Russia do (Matthew Yglesias) from Vox 
"The European Union agreed on July 29 to sweeping sanctions targeting the Russian financial and oil industries, plus its arms trade, in what amounts to the stiffest anti-Russian actions taken by Europe since the end of the Cold War."

Tougher Sanctions Headed Russia's Way

Obama Announces Tougher Sanctions On Russia from the Huffington Post 
"President Barack Obama gave a statement on the crisis in Ukraine Tuesday, announcing tougher U.S. sanctions on key sectors of the Russian economy, including energy, arms and finance. "Today is a reminder that the United States means what it says," Obama said. According to the Treasury Department, the U.S. penalties target the Bank of Moscow, the Russian Agricultural Bank and VTB Bank, the AP reports. Also listed on the Treasury designation is the United Shipbuilding Corp., which is based in St. Petersburg, Russia."

Putin -- A Caged Animal?

The West Has Cornered Putin—and That's When He's Most Dangerous (Julie Ioffe) from the New Republic
"Today is not a good day to be Vladimir Putin. A game that the Russian president was winning so deftly in the spring has turned on him in summer: The Ukrainian military is bearing down on the pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine, and there’s word that it’s on the verge of splitting the rebel-held territory in two and that two major rebel leaders have fled."
"Cornered"? No.  In a tighter spot than he expected.  Probably.  "Most dangerous"? COME ON!  This is the kind of hyperventilating media rhetoric that grabs eyeballs and clicks ... and needlessly torques up anxiety. 

Growing Concern in Russia Over Sanctions

As Sanctions Pile Up, Russians’ Alarm Grows Over Putin's Tactics from the New York Times
"... there is growing alarm in Russia that the festering turmoil in Ukraine and the new round of far more punitive sanctions — announced Tuesday by both European nations and the United States — will have an impact on Russia’s relations with the West for years to come and damage the economy to the extent that ordinary Russians feel it."

The Moral Equation with US Intervention

Did Libya Prove War Hawks Right or Wrong? (Conor Friedersdorf) from The Atlantic
"The unintended consequences of military intervention are nearly impossible to predict."
The trick here is to also realize that the consequences of military NON-INTERVENTION are also almost impossible to predict.  The implicit assumption here is that, if the US intervenes, we own the consequences of our intervention.  However, as Bill Clinton can attest concerning the US role in the Rwandan genocide, inaction also has its consequences and that doing nothing in no way gets the US off the hook.  If we as a country are going to so build up our military that ours is far and away the most powerful military in the world, we own both sides.  Most countries in the world don't bother having or even pretending to have the capacity to intervene the way the US does and the way it can.  Thus, in my view, we are uniquely on the hook in global hot spots -- and yet we like to pretend that we're not.

The Remaining "Controversy" Around Obama's 2009 Stimulus?

What Debate? Economists Agree the Stimulus Lifted the Economy (Justin Wolfers) from the New York Times
"Here’s a simple case study making the point that our political debates about economics have become largely unhinged from those among actual economists. Take the Obama stimulus plan, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. If you took your cues from the political rhetoric in Washington — or even from the occasional virulent debate in the economics blogosphere — you would think the whole question of fiscal stimulus is highly contested. But it’s not. There’s widespread agreement among economists that the stimulus act has helped boost the economy."
The table that accompanies this article showcases how absurd this "debate" really is!

Job Creation and the Minimum Wage

Higher Minimum Wage, Faster Job Creation (Teresa Tritch) from the New York Times
"More evidence that raising the minimum wage doesn’t hurt employment."

Technology's Impact on Part-time Work

Why Being a Part-Time Worker Is Miserable (Virginia Postrel) from Bloomberg
"Scheduling software now lets employers constantly optimize who’s working, better balancing labor costs and likely demand. The process demands enormous flexibility from part-time workers, sometimes requiring them to be on call all the time without knowing when they’ll work or how much they’ll earn."

Who and Where are the Uninsured Now?

Who Are the Remaining Uninsured as of June 2014? from the Urban Institute 
"Compared with the adult  population without insurance in September 2013—just before the ACA’s Marketplaces began the first open enrollment period—uninsured adults are more concentrated in Medicaid nonexpansion states and the South and are more likely to be Spanish Speakers, unmarried, and to have less than a high school education. Two out of five are both low-income and live in states that chose not to expand their Medicaid programs."

Sense and Nonsense in the "Impeach Obama" Campaign

President Obama’s impeachment is a fantasy — for both parties (Karen Tumulty and Wesley Lowery) from the Washington Post
"“The whole thing is nutty. It’s crazy. There are no articles of impeachment,” said Kenneth Duberstein, who served as Ronald Reagan’s White House chief of staff. But acting as though there might be makes a sort of political sense in a midterm season where turnout is expected to be low, and both sides are looking for ways to energize their stalwarts."

Local GOP Officials Pushing Back on Health Care Opt-Out

North Carolina Republicans put ideology above lives (Dana Milbank) from the Washington Post
"What makes the mayor’s journey all the more compelling is he’s a white Southerner and a Republican officeholder who has conservative views on abortion, taxes, guns — “you name it,” he told me. But ideology and party loyalty have limits. “I’m a pretty conservative guy, but this is a matter of people dying,” he said."


Teaching Teaching (Joe Nocera) from the New York Times
"I’m starting to wonder if we’ve entered some kind of golden age of books about education. ... The common belief, held even by many people in the profession, that the best teachers are “natural-born” is wrong, she writes. The common characteristic of her main characters is that they have broken down teaching into certain key skills, which can be taught."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

News Nuggets 1471

DAYLEE PICTURE: Fitzroy Gardens in Melbourne, Australia.  From National Geographic.

Discovering Democracy and Freedom in Myanmar

Burmese Visitors Get a Taste of Democracy and Hope (Peter Berkowitz) from Real Clear Politics
"Several told me that while they were sure they wanted democracy and freedom, they were not so sure what democracy and freedom were—because their universities don’t teach political science, the regime controls the availability of books, and for decades Burmese politicians and intellectuals thought that the only significant intellectual source of opposition to the military’s grip on the government came from Marxism."

The Fruits of Demonizing Muslimes

Americans' Attitudes Toward Muslims And Arabs Are Getting Worse, Poll Finds from the Huffington Post
"The survey, conducted by Zogby Analytics for the advocacy group, found that 42 percent of Americans believe law enforcement is justified in using profiling tactics against Muslim-Americans and Arab-Americans. The survey also shows American attitudes toward Arab-Americans and Muslim-Americans have turned for the worse since the Arab American Institute first began polling on the subject in 2010."

Obama, Immigration and Impeachment

Obama Mulls Massive Move on Immigration from Talking Points Memo
"Even as they grapple with an immigration crisis at the border, White House officials are making plans to act before November's mid-term elections to grant work permits to potentially millions of immigrants who are in this country illegally, allowing them to stay in the United States without threat of deportation, according to advocates and lawmakers in touch with the administration. Such a large-scale move on immigration could scramble election-year politics and lead some conservative Republicans to push for impeachment proceedings against President Barack Obama, a prospect White House officials have openly discussed."

The Ongoing Prevalence of Delinquent Debt

Americans In Debt: 35 Percent Have Unpaid Bills Reported To Collection Agencies from the Associated Press
"The delinquent debt is overwhelmingly concentrated in Southern and Western states. Texas cities have a large share of their populations being reported to collection agencies: Dallas (44.3 percent); El Paso (44.4 percent), Houston (43.7 percent), McAllen (51.7 percent) and San Antonio (44.5 percent)."

The Growing Prevalence of Multi-generational Households

Multigenerational Households Make Sense from Slate 
"Why more and more adults are living with their parents."

Hillary and the White Vote in '16

Poll: Hillary Clinton Does Better With White Voters Than Any Democrat Since 1976 (David Weigel) from Slate
"Long ago, before the God of Narratives decided that Hillary Clinton was an out-of-touch elitist, she was seen as a fearsome 2016 contender. As the theory went, she could outpoll Barack Obama with white voters while winning nonwhite voters."

The Chamber's Frankenstein Monster

Chamber of Commerce Lost Its Way in Right Turn (Joe Nocera) from the New York Times
"In the 16 years he has run the Chamber of Commerce, Donohue has turned it into a potent force, in no small part by making it more partisan. But by being so blindly pro-Republican, the chamber “unleashed a Frankenstein that has spun out of control,” said Robert Weissman, the president of Public Citizen, which monitors the Chamber of Commerce."

The Impeachment Rhetoric?

The Absurd Impeachment Feedback Loop (John Avlon) from the Daily Beast 
"... just because you’re a few beers short of a six-pack doesn’t mean you’re not somebody’s constituent - and so a small but determined band of dim-witted congressmen and conservative racketeers keep ratcheting up the impeachment rhetoric as a way of agitating the base ahead of the typically low-turnout, high-intensity, mid-term elections."
I actually disagree with Avlon and others who poo-poo the impeachment talk.  The forces moving this issue forward will move decisively on it after the Fall elections.  Pundits keep underestimating how beholden the GOP is right now to their far-right fringe (exactly the people Avlon is dismissing here).  Look for the pressure to really come if the Republicans take the Senate.  If for no other reason, this will happen because GOP lawmakers are doing nothing ... and have no plans to do anything of substance either now or in the near future.  What Dems routinely miss is that the GOP base is in a white hot fury right now with their own
politicians and that those lawmakers feel tremendous pressure to please that base.  More moderate and more "in reality" Republicans are the ones with the least influence either on Capitol Hill and out in the country.

Outlook for Fall's Senate Races

July Senate Overview for the Senate Races in the Fall (Jennifer Duffey) from the Cook Political Report
" We give Republicans about a 50-50 chance of taking the majority. They are halfway there, but picking up the other three seats won’t be easy."
Good, detailed analysis of all the competitive races here!

How Engaged is the Right Wing Base?

The Suffering Online Right (Markos Moulitsas) from Daily Kos
"... aside from Glenn Beck and their version of a clickbait site, their overall traffic is suffering. Maybe it means nothing, but I hope it does. Because if it's a proxy for base engagement, it would explain why
Republicans are so hell-bent on base mobilization efforts (like suing the president) during an off-year election when their base should already be engaged."

The Media’s Retreat From Foreign Reporting

We’re Missing the Story  (Anjam Sundaram) from the New York Times 
"...the 24-hour news cycles we watch rarely give us the stories essential to understanding the major events of our time. The news machine, confused about its mandate, has faltered. Big stories are often missed. Huge swaths of the world are forgotten or shrouded in myth. The news both creates these myths and dispels them, in a pretense of providing us with truth."

This author misses the larger trend here ... which is the retreat from meaningful news coverage everywhere. As Mark Sumner notes at Daily Kos, "We've exchanged news coverage that was short, but meaningful for coverage that is constant but empty." The MSM's MAIN mission now is to generate viewers, readers, and clicks, and the only difference between news organizations is the strategy they use to pull those metrics.

Al Jazeera America has reporters on the ground all over the world, and their news is by far the most internationally oriented. They also have far less commercials, great documentaries, interesting and engaging progressive talk shows, and reality shows based on current events. No other television news comes close, including the BBC.
Posted by - hopeandespair

The “Ted Cruz is smart” trap

Why Ted Cruz is NOT Smart — and the Idea that He is is Dangerous from Salon
"The Texas senator convinces all of his enemies to praise his intellect. Here's why they're wrong -- and should stop."
This story addresses one of the minor burs that have been under my saddle for a long time.  I have seen ZERO evidence that Cruz is anything but a self-promoting hard baller.  It is my sense that the perception that he is somehow intelligent or "very smart" comes from the Texas political media, people who also thought Rick Perry was a savvy, ready-for-prime-time contender in 2012.  It is perhaps a measure of what passes for smart or intelligent these days in Lone Star politics!  The conservative alternative universes is practically all they must know down there.


How Far Should We Go to Save Our Pets? (David Grimm) from Slate
"Veterinarians with wondrous new treatments face an ethical dilemma."

Friday, July 25, 2014

News Nuggets 1470

DAYLEE PICTURE: The Halemaumau Crater in Hawaii.  From National Geographic.
Check out my appearance on the Lynn Cullen Live! program on Wednesday.  

Internal Fissures Spell Trouble for ISIS

With Friends Like These, ISIS Is Doomed (Jacob Siegel) from the Daily Beast
"The Islamic State is no longer a juggernaut, it’s a motley alliance of factions just waiting to betray each other."

Moving Left on Defense Policy

Why Am I Moving Left? (Thomas Ricks) from Politico Magazine
"I used to be right down the middle. But America’s changed, and so have I."
FYI: Thomas Ricks is one of the most savvy observers of US defense policy in the last decade or so.

The Emergence of Red and Blue Versions of Obamacare

Two Americas on Health Care, and Danger of Further Division from the New York Times
"The law was devised to pump federal dollars into poorer states, where lots of residents were uninsured. Many tended to be Republican-leaning. But the court rulings, if upheld, could leave only the richer, Democratic states with the federal dollars and broad insurance coverage. States that opted out of optional portions of the law could see little improvement in coverage and even economic damage. “It will be essentially health reform for blue states,” said John Holahan, a health policy fellow at the Urban Institute, a research group."

Overview on this Week's Obamacare Court Rulings

New Questions on Health Law as Rulings on Subsidies Differ from the New York Times
"Two federal appeals court panels issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on whether the government could subsidize health insurance premiums for millions of Americans, raising yet more questions about the future of the health care law four years after it was signed by President Obama. The contradictory rulings will apparently have no immediate impact on consumers."

Where is Obamacare Headed?

Why Obamacare Probably isn’t Doomed (Tom Goldstein) from the Washington Post
"... the fact that another court of appeals upheld the same rule on the same day shows that the legal issue is very thorny and will very likely  be ultimately resolved by the Supreme Court. And the administration probably will come out ahead in the end. ... the courts are required to uphold the rule if the law is ambiguous and the administration’s position is reasonable. The Supreme Court will probably uphold the rule under that lax standard."

Being LGBT on Christian Campuses: A Changing Landscape

How LGBT Students Are Changing Christian Colleges from the Atlantic 
"On evangelical campuses, where codes of conduct prohibit "homosexual behavior," it's becoming more and more difficult to ignore the presence of gay and lesbian students."
Elizabeth Warren isn't Running for President, and That's a Good Thing (Markos Moulitsas) from Daily Kos
"... people continue to cling to the hope that she is playing coy. "She spoke in the present tense, which means she's open to changing her mind in the future!" Um, no. She's not. And I'll tell you why, below the fold. And I'll also tell you why it's a GOOD thing that she's not running."

Election Demographics Hitting Georgia?

Why Democrats Now Have a Shot in Georgia (Nate Cohn) from the New York Times
"Georgia might well be moving down the same road as Virginia. No other plausibly competitive state — not Nevada or Virginia, not Colorado or North Carolina — has had a change in the racial composition of the electorate that’s as favorable for Democrats. That’s giving Georgia Democrats hope that they might win a race that they almost certainly would have viewed as a lost cause only a few years ago."
A definite Nuggetsman I-told-you-so moment!  I have been writing here for several years now that a demographic wave is headed towards states such as Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and, yes, Georgia -- southern states that leaned Republican or were safely in the GOP camp but facing a wave of browning Americans who would EVENTUALLY turn those states purple or even blue.  Virginia and Colorado are already moving in that direction and now in Georgia it looks like EVENTUALLY may be arriving!

For 2016, the Clown Car May Get a Little More Crowded

Bachmann Says She Might Seek Presidency in 2016 (Scott Conroy) from Real Clear Politics
"Though set to retire from the U.S. House after her term expires at the end of this year, Michele Bachmann may not be done with electoral politics. The Minnesota congresswoman and 2012 Republican presidential candidate told RealClearPolitics on Tuesday that she is considering a second White House run."
Oh ... why not!?  She'll blend right in with the rest of the nimrods who are currently booking their passage on the good ship lollypop -- where the only thing you need to ride is an almost off-the-charts sense of self regard.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

News Nuggets 1469

DAYLEE PICTURE: A view of Spring Creek in Queensland, Australia.  From National Geographic.


In Court of Public Opinion, Putin Goes on Trial from the Editorial Board of the Washington Post
"Investigators are still far from an official judgment of what brought down a Malaysia Airlines flight in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 passengers and crew onboard. But in the global court of public opinion, the verdict appears to be rendered. Vladimir Putin is guilty. The Russian president could once claim a semblance of a role as a global statesman. But with the downing of a commercial airliner by what U.S. and Ukrainian officials suggest was a Russian missile, supplied to pro-Moscow rebels, Putin was facing a personal barrage of worldwide condemnation that threatened to result in further sanctions on Russia if it did not rapidly change course in Ukraine."
This whole Ukrainian adventure is turning into quite the fiasco for Putin. You can't play the role of old timey superpower -- if you aren't one!  Putin tried to fake it here -- but all indications are here that his erstwhile allies in eastern Ukraine have their own agenda ... and Putin has little or no control over them.  Meanwhile, the US and Europe are strengthening their ties with the Ukrainian government, and, just as important, the Ukrainian people are getting really clear what future they want to live into -- and it doesn't include Russia!

Straight Talk to US's European Allies

Tony Blair Tells Europe to Quit Begging the U.S. for Help (Nico Hines) from the Daily Beast
"The former British prime minister and partner of George W. Bush says 70 years is enough time depending on Washington."

The New Meme on a Weakened Putin

Can Vladimir Putin Survive? (George Friedman) from Real Clear World 
"Ultimately, politicians who miscalculate and mismanage tend not to survive. Putin miscalculated in Ukraine, failing to anticipate the fall of an ally, failing to respond effectively and then stumbling badly in trying to recoup. His management of the economy has not been exemplary of late either, to say the least. He has colleagues who believe they could do a better job, and now there are important people in Europe who would be glad to see him go."
What do you mean, can Putin survive?!  What happened to the "Obama, the feckless wimp" meme?!  What happened to all those Republicans who thought Putin was so tough and such a bad ass?!  I guess Putin's problems grew and expanded just happen by accident.

The Real Balance of Economic Power in Europe Revealed

One Fact that Explains How Europe Could Crush Russia's Economy (Matthew Yglesias) from Vox
"European countries are often said to be hesitant to challenge Vladimir Putin because of their economic ties to Russia. This is true, but those ties are a two-way street — it's because they exist that European
sanctions against Russia sting much harder than similar American measures. Here's the one fact you need to know to understand where the real balance of power lies: Russia's top trading partner is the European Union, but the EU's top trading partner is the United States followed by China."

Hanging Back on Russian Separatists?

Will Flight 17 Sober Us Up? (E.J. Dionne) from the Washington Post 
"... when Flight 17 was shot down, pragmatism took on a new meaning. It is not in any way practical to have pro-Russian rebels in Eastern Ukraine who seem to have a shoot-first-ask-questions later attitude armed with Russian missiles that can take down civilian airliners. Europe cannot hang back anymore..."

Obama and Jobs -- What's Really Happened

Why You Don’t Know Obama Has Created 4.5 Million Jobs (Michael Tomasky) from the Daily Beast
"Do you have any idea how many more jobs Obama has created than Bush did? You don’t, because liberals are less likely than conservatives to cheerlead."

An Imaginary Budget and Debt Crisis

The Fiscal Fizzle (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"... debt and deficits have faded from the news. And there’s a good reason for that disappearing act: The whole thing turns out to have been a false alarm."

People in Obamacare LIKE Obamacare

Newest Health Insurance Customers Are Generally Happy from the New York Times
"We’ve known for a few months now that lots of people signed up for health insurance this year in new marketplaces. A new survey shows that the people who did so are also pretty happy with their purchases."

New Blows to the "Creative Class" Argument

Not So Much ‘New York Poor’ as ‘Pittsburgh Rich’ from Pacific Standard 
"Wammo’s move from Austin to Pittsburgh is not at all ironic, as Richard Florida would have you believe. Florida got the economic development story backwards. Momentum and mesofacts keep certain migration patterns alive. We go where we know."

Obama Continues Bold Initiatives for LGBT Community

Obama’s Bold Order on Bias from the Editorial Board of the New York Times 
"Mr. Obama’s leadership is impressive because of his refusal to bow to intense pressure to include an exemption that would have undermined the order by allowing groups with religious objections doing government work to continue discriminatory practices at taxpayer expense."

Kids Get Better Health Care During Recessions?!

The Upside of Economic Downturns: Better Childhood Health from Pacific Standard
"Comparing economic trends in the participants’ 10 home countries with self-reports of childhood well-being, the researchers found that kids, on average, grow up healthier in a recessionary environment."
Mark me as a skeptic of these findings.

A Dark Vision for the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court’s Coming Paralysis (Jeff Greenfield) from the Daily Beast
"... the smart bet would be on a paralyzed process, and perhaps even a Court with fewer than nine Justices, no matter what happens in November. ... even if the Democrats hold the Senate—even if, by some hard-to-imagine turns of events they kept their 55-seat majority—the likeliest outcome of any Supreme Court nomination is a filibuster and a vacancy or two that will endure until the country chooses a new President."
I completely agree with Greenfield's analysis here.  There will be no NEW supreme court justices for the foreseeable future -- and this stasis will go beyond Obama's tenure in office.  The best that can be hoped for is when Ginsburg retires, one of the conservative justices retires at the same time -- and the Democratic president cuts a deal with the Senate Republicans to nominate two justices, one liberal and one conservative.  Otherwise look for a court with fewer than nine justices.

The GOP's Presidential Bench? What Bench?

GOP’s ’16 Consolation Vanishes: Suddenly, Democrats have the Deep Bench! (Joan Walsh) from Salon
"After Romney’s 2012 loss, pundits raved about the GOP’s new leaders. But two years later, Democrats have the edge"
There is so much breathless beltway "bubble-talk" here.  In the real world, the GOP has not had a "deep bench" since 2000 (Bush v McCain et al.).  Indeed, each successive cycle has seen "serious" candidates (Mitt, Jon Huntsman, and ... and... hmmm) increasingly displaced by clowns.  The list of these latter folks is endless: Donald Trump, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Sam Brownback, Pat Buchanan, and on and on and on.  The fact that media types (like Walsh here, not the worst example by any means) have felt somehow compelled to treat these bozos as somehow "serious" denotes the larger decline in "serious" journalism.  In election season, each GOP numbskull-of-the-month has to be treated with rhetorical kid gloves.  Seemingly, only the likes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have the fortitude to say that these would-be emperors have NO CLOTHES!  The main question now is -- are there going to be ANY serious candidates for the GOP in '16?

The Latest on the "Republican Wave"

Goodbye to the Republican Wave? (Nate Cohn) from the New York Times 
"The anti-Democratic wave might still arrive. But with three and a half months to go until November’s elections, the promised Republican momentum has yet to materialize."
Now -- let's be clear: here is another example of beltway "bubbletalk".  No one outside the beltway thought this was going to be a "wave" election (like 2010) for the GOP.  


The Future of Robot Caregivers from the New York Times
"I can, and do, write prescriptions for her many medical problems, but I have little to offer for the two conditions that dominate her days: loneliness and disability. She has a well-meaning, troubled daughter in a faraway state, a caregiver who comes twice a week, a friend who checks in on her periodically, and she gets regular calls from volunteers with the Friendship Line. It’s not enough. Like most older adults, she doesn’t want to be “locked up in one of those homes.” What she needs is someone who is always there, who can help with everyday tasks, who will listen and smile. What she needs is a robot caregiver."


When the dog's owner died, he was left behind. Watch what happens next! from the Hope for Paws

Monday, July 21, 2014

News Nuggets 1468

DAYLEE PICTURE: Mount Fuji in Japan at sunrise.  From National Geographic.
As regular readers know, the News Nuggets is coming off a week of pretty substantive technical breakdowns.  New equipment is required -- so there may still be some interruptions this week and next. Regular if not daily postings should be happening though. -- Nuggetsman.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: The Impact of Black Voters in the South

Black Southern Voters, Poised to Play a Historic Role from the New York Times
"Nearly five decades after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, black voters in the South are poised to play a pivotal role in this year’s midterm elections. If Democrats win the South and hold the Senate, they will do so because of Southern black voters."
Here's the key nugget in this story: "Democrats lamented low black turnout for decades, but Southern black turnout today rivals or occasionally exceeds that of white voters." It is my sense that most polling (which relies heavily on past models of voter turnout and demographics) understates or will understate the level of African American turnout.  The main reason I expect higher than normal voter turnout this Fall is because of the voter suppression tactics of the GOP.  Republicans have not only been too brazen and transparent in their attempts to suppress minority voting, they have underestimated the "blacklash" that is headed their way.  The Cochran primary in Mississippi should give some the heads up on this -- but the story is really coming in November.  In my view, just as social security has historically been a "third rail" for voting seniors, so the 1965 Voting rights Act is that for African Americans -- and what GOPers in the south and elsewhere are doing stinks of a 21st century version of Jim Crow.  Not going back.

TODAY'S SECOND BIG NUGGET: The Problems with Nuclear

Behind the Blast Doors at US Air Force Bases that Reveal the Aging Weapons and Low Morale of the Missile Crews from the Daily Mail [of the UK]
"The Air Force asserts with pride that the missile system is safe and secure.  It also admits to time-worn command posts and corroded launch silos.  The helicopters used to protect nuclear bases date back to the Vietnam war.  Low morale in the ICBM force has prompted worry at the highest levels."
This topic came up on my last appearance on the Lynn Cullen Live! program -- and it's below-the-radar nastiness and somnambulance like this that has me more worried than I used to be.

The Costs of Chaos

Order vs. Disorder, Part 2 (Thomas Friedman) from the New York Times 
"I’ve argued for a while now that it is always useful to study the Israeli-Arab conflict because it is to the wider war of civilizations what Off Broadway is to Broadway. A lot of stuff starts there and then goes to Broadway. So what’s playing Off Broadway these days? The Israeli-Arab conflict has become a miniature of the most relevant divide in the world today: the divide between the “world of order” and the “world of disorder.”"

Nuclear Material Seized by Rebels

‘Low-Grade’ Nuclear Material Is Seized by Rebels in Iraq, U.N. Says from the New York Times
"Iraq has notified the United Nations that Sunni militants seized nuclear material from a university in the northern city of Mosul last month as they advanced toward Baghdad, the nuclear regulatory body of the United Nations said Thursday."

I Was Poor, but a GOP Die-hard

How I Finally Left the Politics of Shame (Edwin Lyngar) from Salon
"I hated government -- even as it was the only thing trying to save me. Here's how, one day, I finally saw the light."

GOP Voters Largely Satisfied with Obamacare

Republicans Who Signed Up For Obamacare This Year Are Pretty Happy the Huffington Post
"A poll of Obamacare enrollees published Thursday by the Commonwealth Fund found that 74 percent of newly insured Republicans are happy with the plans they bought. Overall, 77 percent of people who had insurance prior to the rollout of the Affordable Care Act said they are pleased with the new coverage they obtained in the last year."

Obamacare and the Uninsured

Obamacare Drives Uninsured Rate To Lowest On Record from the Huffington Post
"Specifically, the uninsured rate fell to 13.4 percent in the second quarter of 2014. That's down from its peak of 18 percent in the third quarter of last year, and it's the lowest quarterly average that Gallup has seen since it began tracking this type of data in 2008."

Obamacare's Benefits Continue to Unfold

Budget Office Lowers Its Estimate on Federal Spending for Health Care from the New York Times
"The growth of federal spending on health care will continue to decline as a proportion of the overall economy in the coming decades, in part because of cost controls mandated by President Obama’s health care law, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday."

Another Legacy of the Great Recession

More Millennials living with family than seniors from USA Today
"It used to be seniors who were most likely to be living at home with family. New research shows young adults have reversed that trend. Twice as many Americans live in multigenerational households compared to 1980. And Millennials are the ones driving the increase."
Some of us have both a senior and a Millennial living with them.

Contradictory Trends in the Political Views of Millennials

Millennials' Political Views Don't Make Any Sense (Derek Thompson) from the Atlantic
"That's not a harsh assessment. It's just a fair description."

Obama "on the Loose"

The Bear meets a horse from Politico
"The bear was on the loose on Tuesday evening — this time in Colorado. President Barack Obama greeted supporters on a walk following dinner in downtown Denver, a night that resulted in shaking hands with a man in a horse mask, and shooting pool and drinking beers during a chance encounter Gov. John Hickenlooper."

In the 2016 Dem Primaries, Hillary verses ... Who?

PRES-2016: Martin O’Malley Gets Aggressive from Buzzfeed
"The odds aren’t great against Hillary Clinton, but the Democratic governor from Maryland is doing the actual things people do before running for president: donors, new policies, campaign travel, distance from Obama. “I think people are going to be surprised at the amount of time he does this.”


The Letters That Warren G. Harding’s Family Didn’t Want You to See from the New York Times
"Perhaps the best that can be said about Harding is that he seems to have been conscious of his defects. “I am not fit for this office and should never have been here,” he once conceded.  It is no wonder, then, that in 1964, after the historian Francis Russell gained access to letters from Harding to his longtime mistress, Carrie Fulton Phillips, the Harding family sued to halt their publication. ... The correspondence is intimate and frank — and perhaps the most sexually explicit ever by an American president."


Zoo Animals and Their Discontents from the New York Times
"Sometimes he watches an animal for hours, hardly moving. That’s because what to an average zoo visitor looks like frolicking or restlessness or even boredom looks to Virga like a lot more — looks, in fact, like a veritable Russian novel of truculence, joy, sociability, horniness, ire, protectiveness, deference, melancholy and even humor."

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Due to some computer technical issues, the Daylee News Nuggets has been delayed in its postings.  I hope to have this issue resolved by Monday, July 14. -- Nuggetsman.

Monday, July 7, 2014

News Nuggets 1467

DAYLEE PICTURE: A honey bee carrying a drop of water in Doha, Qatar.  From the Daily Mail of the UK.

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: Looking Back on Obama's Legacy of Strenth and Judgment

How Barack Obama Saved the Obama Administration (Jonathan Chait) from New York Magazine
"On climate and health care, he bucked significant pockets of intra-party disagreement — not about policy goals themselves, which the whole Party shared, but of the prudence of accepting political risk to achieve them. And these two episodes where Obama’s own intervention proved decisive happen to be the two largest pieces of his domestic legacy."

Iran's Image of Strength vs. the Reality

Iran Overplays its Hand (David Ignatius) from the Washington Post
"“Suleimani is a reflection of an Iranian political culture that believes compromise projects weakness and that tends to prioritize tactics over strategy,” says Sadjadpour. It’s this unyielding culture that has crashed against the rocks of the Islamic State."

Ukraine Gaining the Upper Hand in the East?

Ukraine Claims Victory In Rebel Stronghold Of Slovyansk from the Associated Press
"Ukrainian troops forced pro-Russian insurgents out of a key stronghold in the country's embattled east on Saturday, a significant success that suggested the government may finally be making gains in a months-long battle against a spreading separatist insurgency."

Softening Rhetoric from Russia

Russia's Putin tells Obama he Wants Better Ties: Kremlin from the Chicago Tribune
"Russian President Vladimir Putin wished President Obama a happy Fourth of July and called for better relations with the United States on Friday in a congratulatory message marking U.S. Independence Day."

America: The "Big Oil" Producer

U.S. Seen as Biggest Oil Producer After Overtaking Saudi Arabia (Grant Smith) from Bloomberg
"The U.S. will remain the world’s biggest oil producer this year after overtaking Saudi Arabia and Russia as extraction of energy from shale rock spurs the nation’s economic recovery, Bank of America Corp. said."
If you only read the headline you might believe the U.S. was somehow on a par with Saudi Arabia, when in fact we are not even in the same oil universe. Kudos to author Smith for stating the crucial fact that America imports 7.5 million barrels of oil day; American oil independence is a dangerous delusion. What we are currently witnessing is a replay of the post Arab oil embargo (1974) era when new technology and intensive drilling on and off shore brought huge amounts of non-OPEC oil to the world market. But make no mistake; this story will not end with a glut as it did in the 1980’s, when a disgusted Saudi Arabia opened the taps to punish overproducing OPEC members. The resultant cheap oil of the late 80’s early 90’s is credited with creating much of the economic expansion of the 90’s and 00’s. As author Smith rightly points out, shale oil is simple keeping oil prices from getting even worse than they already are. With gasoline at four dollars a gallon, consumers could be forgiven for being confused about Americas new oil bonanza. The hard truth is that the world uses unfathomably huge amounts of oil, and this use is accelerating every day as whole continents industrialize.  In fact, there is no possible way that oil production can begin to satisfy future demand; you just can’t squeeze that much oil out of a piece of shale. The Middle East is and will remain far and away the most significant reserve of oil in the world, because traditional oil formations of sandstone and limestone (Middle East) hold vastly greater reserves than quickly depleted shale formations such as those in North Dakota and Texas. Horizontal shale wells, ultra-deep water rigs, and tar sands are all complicated and expensive. None of this would be necessary if there were any low hanging fruit left. Simply put, when it comes to oil, the world is running fast to stand still.

Posted by: hopeandespair

Letting Our Highways (and Our Future) Go

Build We Won’t (Paul Krugman) from the New York Times
"It’s one thing to block green investment, or high-speed rail, or even school construction. I’m for such things, but many on the right aren’t. But everyone from progressive think tanks to the United States Chamber of Commerce thinks we need good roads. Yet the combination of anti-tax ideology and deficit hysteria (itself mostly whipped up in an attempt to bully President Obama into spending cuts) means that we’re letting our highways, and our future, erode away."

Higher Minimum Wage CAUSES Employment Growth?

2014 Job Creation Faster in States that Raised the Minimum Wage from the Center for Economic and Policy Research
"Of the 13 states that increased their minimum wage in early 2014, all but one (New Jersey) are seeing employment gains. Furthermore, nine of the remaining 12 states are above the median for this period."

Immigration Raising Tensions Between the House GOP and the Executive Branch

How Obama's Immigration Push Could Hand the House to Democrats Even if Republicans seize the Senate (Bill Scher) from The Week
"... the rapidly escalating immigration face-off between President Barack Obama and House Republicans raises the possibility that Democrats could win back the House — even if Republicans do take the Senate."

Patriotism. That is So Twentieth Century!

Younger Americans Are Less Patriotic. At Least, in Some Ways from the New York Times
"Older Americans remain remarkably high in their devotion to symbols like the flag, while young citizens are cooler toward Old Glory but express higher support for classic American ideals like equality and opportunity."
Now you watch!  As the Millennial generation ages and becomes more dominant in politics, look for the older hard-right wing nuts to consign these younger people to the outer darkness, basically saying: "FINE!  You want be the generation of "takers," dupes for the climate change communists, no-values relativists, and tolerant of openly fag lifestyles, then you DESERVE the wars, the gridlocked politics, and the big deficits that we, the boomers, have saddled you with!!  So THERE!!"  This message will be coming to you soon from a right-wing radio nut of your choice.

Unintended Ramifications of Hobby Lobby?

Hobby Lobby Is Already Creating New Religious Demands on Obama (Molly Ball) from the Atlantic
"Faith leaders friendly to the administration are asking for an exemption from a forthcoming gay-rights order."

Don't Touch That Dial! Even if NOTHING is Happening!

Lies, Damned Lies, Statistics and Polls (Donna Brazile) from CNN
"So if the Quinnipac survey doesn't really tell us anything new, why all the hoop and hoopla? In part because the media have become like sports announcers: Even if nothing's happening, they have to make it sound as if something important is -- so don't change channels or you'll miss
something vital. Attention trumps analysis."

A Progressive Supreme Court Agenda

Fantasy Or Forecast on the High Court? from Talking Points Memo
"The recent spate of reactionary decisions by the Roberts Supreme Court — including this week's outrageous Hobby Lobby ruling — triggers thoughts of a better day, when the right wingers on the court will have retired or died, replaced by thoughtful liberals who will restore some semblance of fairness and democracy to this great country. On this July 4th, let's consider what it would be like if our nation's highest court was actually committed to the notion of "liberty and justice for all.""

Hillary's More Populist Message

Hillary Clinton Is Sounding A Lot More Like Elizabeth Warren Lately (VIDEO) from the Huffington Post
"Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) says she isn't running for president, but her rhetoric is still being heard on the campaign trail. On Monday, Hillary Clinton appeared at the Aspen Ideas Festival and channeled the Massachusetts populist."

The Next Act of the Neocons

Are Neocons Getting Ready to Ally With Hillary Clinton? from the New York Times
"Even as they castigate Mr. Obama, the neocons may be preparing a more brazen feat: aligning themselves with Hillary Rodham Clinton and her nascent presidential campaign, in a bid to return to the driver’s seat of American foreign policy."
This is precisely the kind of big league mistake the Clintons (Bill especially) would have made back in the 1990s -- and it remains to be seen if Hillary can adjust her thinking and be a leader for 2016 ... and not 1996.  The neocons are stoking new fires to warm  the remote reaches of the wilderness they are (and belong) in right now.  What Americans need to begin dealing with in the area of defense policy is the reality that doing nothing (as in Syria) or doing something (as in Libya) each have real in-the-world consequences.  It is no longer as simple as having either a winning or losing strategy -- or doing nothing and thus absolving yourself of any blame.  In the Middle East right now, the US and its allies are facing (as they have been facing for some decades now) a series of lose-lose options.  I do not see any scenario of a "winning" hand coming from the cards where, given the forces in play, the best you have is the equivalent of a pair of deuces.  -- Nuggetsman

Can the GOP Use History to Make Gains in the Future?

Shut Out of White House, G.O.P. Looks to Democrats of 1992 from the New York Times
"... one of the biggest questions in American politics is how close Republicans are to replicating Democrats’ process of rejuvenation and winning the White House again. The most conspicuous evidence suggests they have moved further away since Mitt Romney’s loss in 2012. In its policies and unflattering poll ratings, the Republican Party has grown largely indistinguishable from its feisty Tea Party faction. And that does not take into account demographic trends that favor Democrats."
Answer to the above question: No.  Clinton and company moved to the center in real and substantive ways.  They took a walk on longstanding Democratic issues such as (lets count them): (1) gun control; (2) poverty; (3) the rights of criminals; (4) the death penalty; (5); organized labor (for the most part); (6) drug legalization; (7) Affirmative Action; (8) ERA (does anyone under 35 even remember what this acronym stands for!? Hint: it has to do with women); (9) abortion and birth control; (10) and, for the Clintons, yes, climate change!  And there were MORE!  Now, maybe I'm missing something, but, if anything, GOP lawmakers and voters are doubling down on their current issue set.  With the possible exception of gay rights and gay marriage (and I am being very generous here), I see no comparable movement towards the center.  Can you imagine the legislative nirvana we would be living in if we could put together a list of the things that, if THEY DID MOVE to the center, it might alter their trajectory (and make a huge in-the-world difference?!  Never mind taxes or abortion where the chasm is too far.  Let's take some "low-hanging fruit": (1) roads and infrastructure; (2) path to citizenship for immigrant kids who moved here; (3) more money for schools; (4) rigorous prosecution of banksters and corrupt Wall Street companies; (5) rigorous Wall Street reforms to forestall another recession; (6) reasonable gun control laws; (7) renewing unemployment benefits; (8) expanding medicaid in those states where it has not been expanded (Note: where Republican governors have done this, the backlash has been next to zero); (9) SOMETHING meaningful on climate change; and (10) publicly foreswearing government shutdowns or the like.  Now, the thing to see about this list is that, with the possible exception of Medicaid expansion, NO ONE in the GOP leadership or pundit class is talking about them.  Their notion of "reinvention" is to alter the way they talk about gays, immigrants, blacks or women.  There are no real changes in policy being proposed.  I suspect they will need to have the real-world experience of nominating a Barry Goldwater ... and getting Barry Goldwater's results to even begin taking this inquiry seriously.  --  Nuggetsman

MS-SEN: Cochran's Win May Spell Bigger Trouble for the GOP in the Fall

Unease in G.O.P. Over Mississippi Tea Party Anger from the New York Times 
"The stormy aftermath of Mississippi’s Republican Senate runoff has sent Tea Party conservatives around the country to the ramparts, raising the prospect of a prolonged battle that holds the potential to depress conservative turnout in November in Mississippi — and possibly beyond. ... “The way activists feel treated by the party, they may stay home in November, and even if they do vote, I can tell you they’re not going door to door,” he said."
For the GOP to take the Senate, these folks MUST go door-to-door!  The Chamber-of-Commerce contingent -- even they do not have enough cash to hire people to do this essential legwork.  The trip wire here is if this phenomena really does transcend Mississippi.  Cochran's Dem opponent has almost no money and, no matter what Thad does in the Magnolia state, he will almost certainly win in November.  But, unlike the Dems, the GOP "establishment" is running out of slack with their base.  Will this represent any kind of a "last straw" for that base?  I doubt it, but, boy, does it provide a sore spot for Obama and the Dems to hammer on between now and November!  -- Nuggetsman

The Gold that Awaits GOP Big Mouths ... Who Lose Big

Tea Party Favorites Find That Losing Only Widens Their Reach from the New York Times
"Many of the Tea Party movement’s most resonant — or at least loudest — voices these days were themselves Election Day losers who have packed up their ideas about government and elections along with their campaign signs and headed to outside groups, radio programs or their own living rooms in an effort to influence campaigns, often making heaps of trouble for their own party."

Right-Wing Moneybag Passes from the Scene

Conservative Activist Richard Mellon Scaife Dies at 82 from Politico 
"Several foundations controlled by Scaife gave millions of dollars to organizations run by critics of Clinton, including $1.7 million for a project at the conservative American Spectator magazine to dig up information about his role in the Whitewater real estate scandal."


The Seven Senate Races Democrats Should Be Optimistic About in 2016 (David Weigel) from Slate
"Very, very little is happening in national politics, which is why respectable outlets are running stories like "5 Democrats who should run against Hillary Clinton" and "Sunny job report won't save Democrats."  ... The best case 2014 scenario for Democrats is that they only hold the Senate by one or two votes. ... Here are their best-shot states, ranked from lowest to highest."
It is interesting how that "5 Democrats who should run against Hillary Clinton" resonated as an especially bad piece of punditry -- as it did here.  -- Nuggetsman


25 Momentous Colorized Photos That Let You Relive American History from the Huffington Post
"One of Reddit's more intriguing gifs to the internet has been a series of colorized photos that bring black-and-white memories back to life. This fourth of July week, we've decided to go through the archives and showcase a selection of the best ..."


Exhausted stray dog gets rescued in an unusual way from Hope-for-Paws

Thursday, July 3, 2014

News Nuggets 1466

A marmot in Ladakh, India.  From National Geographic.

Have a great Independence Day holiday!  The Nuggets will be back on Monday!!

Looking Back on the Libyan War

Learning the Wrong Lessons From the Libyan War (Daniel Larison) from the American Conservative
"The article never mentions that the new Libyan government was firmly opposed to the deployment of a foreign stabilization force. This suited the intervening governments well enough, since there was no appetite in any Western country for another prolonged occupation of a Muslim country."

TODAY'S BIG NUGGET: The Big Role of Play in Kid's Education

How Finland Keeps Kids Focused Through Free Play (Joan Walsh) from the Atlantic
"An American teacher in Helsinki questions the national practice of giving 15 minute breaks each hour—until he sees the difference it makes in his classroom."

The Fallout from Hobby Lobby for Other Big Laws

8 Other Laws That Could Be Ignored Now That Christians Get To Pick And Choose (Ryan Grim) from the Huffington Post 
"As long as we're doing a la carte law-abiding, here are a few additional ones that could become optional to certain people with deeply held beliefs."

GOP’s post-Obama problem

Why Republicans are lost without him — and With the Electorate he Helped Create (Joan Walsh) from Salon
"The establishment vanquished the Tea Party by drinking its poison — but has no plan for life after this president."
I share Walsh's view on what 2016 and later presidential elections may look like for the GOP.  Without Obama, will the Republicans be able to harness white working-class rage?  I doubt it, particularly against someone like Hillary Clinton who has some strength in that demographic already. -- Nuggetsman

Is the Standoff with Putin Over?

Did Peace Just Break Out in Ukraine? (Fred Kaplan) from Slate
"Why the standoff with Vladimir Putin may have ended."

"Preventive War" -- from Iran's Perspective

Iran and the “Nuclear Domino” Myth (Daniel Larison) from the American Conservative
"As for the fear of a “nuclear domino effect,” Bergenas cites past experience with new nuclear-weapons states to show this idea to be another myth... Iran hawks have to resort to these myths in order to make the extreme policy of preventive war seem more reasonable."

Bottom Line: More College Graduates than Jobs Requiring College Degrees

Congrats on That Diploma. You May Not Need It (Richard K. Vedder) from Bloomberg
"...increasingly, today’s college graduates face an uncertain future, and many will end up taking jobs historically done by those with high school diplomas or even less -- construction workers, taxi drivers, restaurant wait staff, janitors. More than 1 million college graduates are retail salespeople -- about twice the number of active-duty U.S. Army personnel. ... this is a long-term problem: There are simply more college graduates than jobs requiring college degrees. The problem will probably get much worse in the next decade."

Areas of Most Republicans = Areas of Most Poverty

The South Is Essentially A Solid, Grim Block Of Poverty from the Huffington Post
"The Great Recession and Not-So-Great Recovery have been bad news for most Americans, but some people have suffered more than others. We call those people "Southerners." North Carolina and a handful of other Southern U.S. states saw the biggest increases in the number of people living in what are known as "poverty areas" between 2000 and 2010, according to a new Census Bureau report."

Expanding Obamacare in Pennsylvania

After Obamacare gains, many low-income Pennsylvanians hoping for Medicaid expansion from the Pittsburgh City Paper
""Coverage could be expanded right away: There's no reason to keep people waiting."

As the GOP Looks Forward, They Should Look Back

The Populist Manifesto from the Economist [of London]
"The Richard Nixon guide to success for the Republican Party."

Hobby Lobby and Obamacare Coming Together in a Good Way?

The Hobby Lobby Effect (Jill Lawrence) from Al Jazeera America
"Democrats have been bearing the burden of the unpopular Affordable Care Act for years. They may finally be on the verge of getting some political mileage out of it, thanks to the Supreme Court."

Great Judicial Gay Marriage Take-Down!!

Federal judge destroys Ky.’s ‘bewildering’ claim that gay marriage threatens humanity (Travis Gettys) from Raw Story
"Kentucky could become the first southern state to allow same-sex marriage after a federal judge determined arguments supporting a ban on such relationships were bewildering and irrational. U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II ruled in favor of two gay Louisville couples who challenged the state’s 2004 constitutional amendment and a similar 1998 law violated the constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law. “In America, even sincere and long-hold religious beliefs do not trump the constitutional rights of those who happen to have been out-voted,” Heyburn wrote in his ruling."

How Hillary May Approach the "Inequality" Issue

Hillary Has a Plan to Attack Inequality—Without Attacking Her Corporate Donors (Noam Scheiber) from the New Republic
"Clinton is savvy enough to recognize that “inequality” encompasses two separate but related issues. The first is the economic stagnation afflicting people in the middle and bottom part of the income scale. The second is the rapidly improving fortunes of the ultra-rich, who are leaving all the rest of us, even the kinda rich and merely affluent, very far behind."
Don't be surprised if Hillary gets pulled to the left during the '16 primaries -- even if she faces little of no opposition.  The Democratic base has a LOT LESS tolerance for the triangulating "third way" pro-rich policies of the 1990s -- and this approach smells of it.  -- Nuggetsman.

Who Could Give Hillary a Run for Her Money in the Dem Primaries in '16?

5 Democrats Who Should Run Against Hillary Clinton (Josh Kraushaar) from National Journal
"That doesn't mean there aren't credible candidates who, on paper, could mount a serious challenge. With anti-Washington sentiment running high, this is a promising opportunity for an outsider to run and surprise. True, they don't seem to want to run, whether from fear of the Clinton machine, a desire to avoid challenging someone who might make history, or simply an assumption that 2016 isn't a great year for Democrats. But the candidates exist. Here are some prospects who would normally be touted for higher office but have acquiesced to Hillary Clinton in the run-up to the 2016 election."
This is the kind of piece MSM pundits throw together when they're anxious to catch the 4:05pm Acela to get out of town early for the Independence Day holiday.  I am sorry -- but not one of these people (Kaine, Patrick, MaCaskill, Feingold, and Jay Nixon) is either in the game for 2016 nor would they get any traction if they did.  Let me give you a far more in-reality list of folks who might run, and, if they did, might push the Clinton people, if only a little bit.  They are: Brian Sweitzer (Montana Gov.); Elizabeth Warren (MA-Sen.); Julio Castro (San Antonio Mayor, now with HUD); Andrew Cuomo (NY Gov.); and Joe Biden (VP).  Now -- as with Krushaar's list, none of these folks will run if Hillary is running -- but it is a far more in-reality list that his fantasy-team of not-happenings.  -- Nuggetsman


Cochran Camp Fights New Racially Tinged Claims From Tea Party Dead-Enders from Talking Points Memo
"The latest broadside in the tea party's long-shot effort to overturn Sen. Thad Cochran's (R-MS) primary runoff win over state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) is a claim by an obscure conservative blogger that Cochran's campaign bought African-Americans' votes at $15 a pop."


Acropolis Museum in Athens 'restores' Parthenon friezes to their original colors by using digital technology from the Daily Mail of the UK
"Parthenon marbles are 'restored' to their original condition using 3D trickery.  Idea is part of the celebrations for the fifth birthday of the Acropolis Museum.  The Elgin Marbles - the friezes kept in the UK - remain a topic of controversy."