U.S. names Larry Silverman as temporary point man on Syria

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2014-05-2008

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U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Larry Silverman will temporarily become the United States’ point man on Syria with the departure of Robert Ford on Friday, a State Department spokeswoman said. Ford, who became U.S. ambassador to Syria in 2011 and is retiring, was instrumental in persuading the Syrian opposition groups to join talks with the government aimed at ending Syria’s nearly three-year-old civil war. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Silverman would stand in until a permanent successor to Ford is named.

COMING UP: President Obama speaks in the White House briefing room

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2014-05-2008

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Kerry voices U.S. dismay at anti-gay law to Uganda’s Museveni

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2014-05-2008

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U.S. Secretary of State Kerry speaks before a session with Georgia's PM Garibashvili at the State Department in WashingtonSecretary of State John Kerry telephoned Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni this week to convey U.S. unhappiness at an anti-gay law in Uganda and tell him it will complicate ties between the two countries, the State Department said on Friday. "Secretary Kerry expressed the United States' deep disappointment in the Ugandan government's decision to enact the anti-homosexuality bill," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said of the call, which took place on Thursday. "The secretary noted that the decision complicates the U.S. relationship with Uganda," the spokeswoman added in her written statement, although she said that Kerry did not threaten any specific sanction by the United States in response. Homosexuality is a taboo in most African nations and illegal in 37, including Uganda, where it has been a crime since British colonial rule.

Gardner Expected to Announce Colorado Senate Bid

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2014-05-2008

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Rep. Cory Garnder, R-Colo., is expected to announce his candidacy for the U.S. Senate on Saturday, a move that could allow the Republican Party to further expand the 2014 Senate playing field.The second-term Congressman will be attempting to knock off Democratic Sen.

    



Democrats Get Candidate To Run for Senate in Mississippi

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2014-05-2008

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Former Democratic Rep. Travis Childers, D-Miss., announced he is running for the U.S.

    

Bigoted, lonely, and dumb

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2014-05-2008

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National Organization for Marriage head Maggie Gallagher holds rally in West Virginia. 28 people attended.

28 people attended this 2009 National Organization for Marriage rally.

Truly, some of the biggest idiots alive:

Conservative activists said Thursday that they will continue to press for additional legal protections for private businesses that deny service to gay men and lesbians, saying that a defeat in Arizona this week is only a minor setback and that religious-liberty legislation is the best way to stave off a rapid shift in favor of gay rights. […]

“The fight has to be over what the First Amendment is,” said John C. Eastman, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, adding that his side needs to convince the public that conservatives are not trying to deny the rights of other Americans. “This is not somebody adhering to old Jim Crow lunch-counter discrimination. This is a fundamental dispute about what marriage means, and why it’s important for society.”

When you spend your time pushing for legislation designed to turn the civil rights clock back to 1964, it’s obvious that you’re bigoted, even if you try to cover it up with a stamp of religious freedom.

But if you want those things, and the lesson you took from what happened in Arizona is that you’re headed down the right road, you’re not just bigoted, you’re hopelessly stupid.

To review: After Arizona’s legislature passed the state’s “okay-to-discriminate” law, activists spread the word about the true agenda of the measure. Most Americans reacted in horror to the Grand Canyon State’s attempt to twist the First Amendment into a justification for a return to pre-civil rights era discrimination and within days the same governor who signed the state’s “papers please” law was forced to veto the measure.

And when Gov. Jan Brewer did veto the measure, it was a victory for the people who have worked so hard to make homophobia and other forms of bigotry a thing of the past. It was also a relief to Republican insiders and business leaders who didn’t want to deal with the hassle of having yet another backward social issue weighing them down.

But the one thing it wasn’t was a sign that the people who pushed for the law in the first place had finally figured out how to get away with pushing anti-gay public policy. They may not yet understand it, but what happened in Arizona proved the exact opposite.

Hillary Clinton Aides Mulled ‘Home Improvement’ Cameo

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2014-05-2008

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Remember the 90s?Thousands of pages of previously unreleased documents from Hillary Clinton’s years as first lady offer a glimpse into the White House’s media strategy during the decade that brought us Forrest Gump, New Kids on the Block lunchboxes and Pogs.

    



U.S. Senate Democrats do not plan to pass budget this year: Murray

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2014-05-2008

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Murray and Ryan hold a news conference to introduce The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 at the U.S. Capitol in WashingtonSenate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray said in a statement on Friday she would prefer to focus on promoting longer-term budget priorities for the Democratic Party, including measures to boost economic growth. The move will keep Democrats' election-year fiscal message focused on President Barack Obama's own 2015 budget request, due out on Tuesday, which will lay out his plans to shift spending to education, roads and a tax credit for low-income Americans. "While this budget year is settled and it wouldn't be productive to relitigate it so soon after our two-year deal, I plan to work with my colleagues on the Budget Committee to lay out our long-term vision for creating jobs, boosting the economy, and tackling our deficits fairly and responsibly," Murray said. The two-year budget deal Murray negotiated with Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan late last year came in the wake of a bitter fight over fiscal 2014 funding that led to a 16-day government shutdown last October.

Midday open thread: MT Senate candidate says ‘coal is dead,’ teachers can’t afford homes in SF

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2014-05-2008

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  • Holding grudges and buying judges: Judge Steven Kirkland ruled in 2011 that attorney George Fleming had overcharged his clients by as much as $13 million. Fleming appealed and he also began recruiting challengers to run against Kirkland in the next Democratic primary. He contributed tens of thousands of dollars into the campaign coffers of Kirkland’s primary opponent. Kirkland lost. And then he ran in another district. Fleming did the same thing again.

There is nothing illegal about what Fleming is doing, a point he noted in a statement to The Huffington Post. Under Texas law, individuals and political action committees are allowed to donate to candidates running for seats on the court. And while state law caps contributions at $5,000 for individuals and $30,000 for law firms, the Texas Ethics Commission has the power to waive those caps, provided the waiver applies to all candidates in the race. The commission made such a waiver for Fleming in 2012, and once more in 2014.

  • Seth Rogen would smoke a bowl with Sen. Tom Harkin. At the Capitol to testify about Alzheimer’s, Rogen got into a discussion with the Iowa Democrat who chairs the Appropriations Committee’s Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee. Asked by ABC who he would like to get high with, the actor, known for stoner roles, Rogen replied “That Harkin guy seemed pretty cool. I’d go with him.” If they do, it shouldn’t be in Iowa where possession of any amount can get you, on first offense, six months in the slam and a $1,000 fine.
  • 78-year-old wakes up in a body bag at funeral home: Pronounced dead at his home, Walter Williams was transported to the mortuary where staff was preparing to embalm him when he started kicking the bag. The coroner says Williams’s pacemaker apparently stopped working and then started again.
  • Teachers in San Francisco out of luck in if they want to buy a home:

This week, the real estate listings website Redfin published a startling statistic. In the entire city of San Francisco, not one home or apartment is available on the market for under $220,000, which the site says is affordable for a typical teacher in the city. Statewide, just 17 percent of homes for sale are affordable for teachers. With the tech industry booming and the Google Bus quickly becoming a cultural icon, it’s not a surprise that San Francisco faces an affordability crisis. But how can it have become so dramatic? The answers boil down to two factors: San Francisco’s hot real estate market and dwindling income for city teachers.

While the median price for a home in San Francisco is now $850,000, the median pay for teachers there is second lowest of any county in California. When you take inflation into account, San Francisco’s teachers earned 12 percent less in 2013 than they did in 2002.

Dirk Adams, a former educator, banker and current rancher, is a Democrat running for the Montana Senate seat long held by Democrat Max Baucus, but he’s not looking to follow in Baucus’ footsteps. […]

Consider the recent post on Adams’ website, which was also printed in the Huffington Post.

Under the headline “Coal is Dead,” Adams wrote: “Coal is no longer viable as a long term source of energy, or a reliable source of jobs in Montana … The 700 million tons of coal in Montana will be left in the ground … We must both mitigate climate disruption and build new infrastructure.”

Though accurate and far-sighted, that’s dangerous talk in Montana. We’ll see how it plays out in the Democratic primary June 3.

  • On today’s Kagro in the Morning show, two main themes, discussed with Greg Dworkin and Armando: Reddit  & “objective news,” and Gimmetarian tears over Arizona. Plus another installment of Cocaine, Inc., this time on their department of government relations.

COMING UP: President Obama Hosts Student Film Festival

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 28-02-2014-05-2008

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