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Gender: Female
Hometown: born is LA, grew up there and in New Canaan CT
Home country: USA
Current location: East Hardwick, Vermont
Member since: Wed Sep 29, 2004, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 114,904

Journal Archives

DNC scandal, serious opponent make for hard race for Wasserman Schultz

For the first time in her 24 years in politics, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is running scared.

Even before her tenure as leader of the Democratic National Committee unraveled dramatically at the beginning of last week’s Democratic convention in Philadelphia, Wasserman Schultz knew that for the first time in her political career, she was facing a serious primary challenger. Tim Canova, a Nova Southeastern University law professor and campaign novice, has become something of a regular on national television and an expert fundraiser.


▪ Her campaign spokesman had no public events to announce Monday — four weeks from Election Day — and said that Wasserman Schultz wouldn’t appear at the Miramar Pembroke Pines Regional Chamber of Commerce candidate forum on Tuesday night, which Canova attended. That’s the type of organization she has spoken to in the past. The only campaign events her campaign revealed were private: a fundraiser with Biden on Aug. 5 and a meeting with the Miami Herald editorial board. The first announcement about an upcoming public event in her district came from her congressional office on Wednesday afternoon, when it announced that she will hold a town hall on Thursday evening at the Faith Center in Sunrise related to police-community relations along with other public officials and community leaders.



No doubt DWS has the upper hand. Polls favor her. The makeup of voters in the district favor her. And she has support from the VP and other dems.

But Canova's attacks on her history of favoring the pay day loan industry and big sugar may be having some effect- and they've been rated as true by Politifact.


In 2003, while in the state Senate, Wasserman Schultz was part of a unanimous vote for a seven-year delay to clean up the Everglades. Canova omits that two days later she changed her vote, but the vote had no practical effect and the measure passed anyway.

Canova also said Wasserman Schultz voted to subsidize the sugar industry when she voted for the farm bill in 2008 and 2014. The farm bills didn’t contain actual cash subsidies, but they clearly contained lucrative benefits for the industry. The farm bill is a sweeping bill that benefits a long list of programs -- not just sugar.

Wasserman Schultz has taken other steps to support Everglades cleanup. But Canova’s point about her specific actions is largely accurate.

We rate this claim Mostly True.


For a novice, he seems to be running a decent campaign, and saying the right things:


Here’s more of our conversation with Tim Canova, Democratic candidate in Florida’s 23rd Congressional District.

How are you using all the money you have raised?

In so many different ways. We built up a great field operation. We have four field offices, which I don’t know if there are any other house races in the country that have so many. So were knocking on a lot of doors, doing a lot of phone backing, direct mail pieces. We have been on TV and radio for the last three weeks. We are communicating to voters in a lot of different ways.

What was your reaction to the convention and Wasserman Schultz’s resignation?

I thought it was sad, but not surprising. I think she brought it all on herself. I think it has shown her to be exactly what I have been saying — an incredibly divisive DNC chair.

[Bernie Sanders] could have blown up the party, and a lot of folks wanted him to. A lot of folks felt he would have been justified just to walk away from things the way they were, but he acted very much like a statesman, a party leader and a patriot, and he did what was in the best interest of pulling the party together.

And you contrast that with the legacy of Wasserman Schultz at the DNC, and it is like night and day.

Your own polls still have you trailing by 8 points. How do you make that up before the primary?

Oh, I don’t think it is going to be that tough to make it up in a month. [Wasserman Schultz's] approval rating has nosedived in the past week or two, and we made a lot of gains in the past couple of weeks. The reality is our ad campaign and the free media we are getting — all of that is helping, and I see the energy coming our way every day. This race is tightening quickly.



The Atlantic: Kansas republicans rebel against Brownback in primary

Kansas Republicans Rebuke Their Conservative Governor

The verdict on Governor Sam Brownback’s self-described “real live experiment” in conservative economics came back a long time ago, delivered through a budget gap that grew steadily into a chasm. On Tuesday, Kansas voters in the governor’s own party issued their sentence in a primary-day rout.

Moderate Republican candidates ousted 14 conservative state legislators allied with the governor in primary elections across the state, while anti-Brownback contenders won nominations for open seats in another seven races. The results were widely seen as a repudiation of a second-term governor whose popularity has plummeted amid sustained budget gaps and ensuing sharp cuts in state spending. And they likely mean that the staunchly conservative state legislature in Topeka will move back toward the center in 2017, increasing the chances that lawmakers could roll back deep income-tax cuts that Brownback successfully enacted in his first years in office.


Yet in spite of the Trump phenomenon, incumbent legislators have actually done quite well so far this year. Tea Party Representative Tim Huelskamp’s loss on Tuesday in Kansas’s 1st congressional district was just the second defeat for a sitting member of Congress who was not either under federal indictment or facing a fellow Republican congressman.

No, this Republican revolt was about Kansas, and a budget crisis that has spiraled out of control since Brownback and the state legislature slashed income taxes and exempted some 330,000 small business owners who file as individuals from paying state income taxes. The economic plan did not unleash the economic growth conservatives promised, and state budget revenues consistently fell short of projections.


Summer is the time for cold soups. I'd love some new ideas

I love gazpacho. I make a nice cold curried zucchini soup and my favorite is a cold corn soup. But I'd love some new recipes.

If you have some, please share.


Contrary to the accepted wisdom, all publicity is not good.

Yes, the MSM is covering Trump and only snippets of HRC but the coverage is universally terrible and it is damaging the shit out of his campaign.

From TV to major newspapers, to state papers and websites, to many right wing sources, the coverage could not be more damaging.

This coverage is helping HRC and the dems, in state after state. And recent polling proves it. I'm quite happy to see the MSM covering the trump implosion.

POLLS DU JOUR -- DISASTER for Trump -- Donald Trump is down nine points in Michigan, 15 points in New Hampshire and 11 points in Pennsylvania, according to three new polls out this morning. Hillary Clinton is beating Trump 41 percent to 32 percent in a Detroit News poll of Michigan, a state the GOP nominee’s team says is crucial to winning the White House. Sixty percent of voters in Michigan say Trump is not qualified to be president. In New Hampshire, WBUR found Clinton is up 47 percent to 32 percent. Trump and Clinton were running neck and neck there two months ago. And in a Franklin and Marshall poll in Pennsylvania, Clinton is up 49 percent to 38 percent among likely voters.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/playbook/2016/08/trump-getting-trounced-in-mich-nh-pa-point-counterpoint-will-trump-drop-out-steve-latourette-dead-at-62-playbook-interview-ben-smith-bday-potus-is-55-215688#ixzz4GN6cVBuO
Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

POINT-COUNTERPOINT: Will Trump drop out? Should he?

(A mindmeld of party insiders and operatives, campaign sources and students of Donald Trump.)

--Why he will: It’s been four consecutive days of utterly disastrous press. There’s staff turnover in key swing states and reports of dissension at the highest ranks of the campaign. Prominent Republicans are announcing they’ll vote for Hillary, the battleground map is shrinking rapidly, he’s being badly outspent over the airwaves and there’s talk of a situation so dire that an intervention from some of the GOP’s top figures is in the works.

If Trump’s trajectory doesn’t change dramatically -- and quickly -- the race is cooked. And once he concludes the election is unwinnable, why would he stay in? He has no allegiance to the GOP and won’t lose any sleep over what happens down-ballot. Keep in mind: He didn’t become a billionaire by throwing good money after bad.

The only question, then, is how to get out and save face. He’s already laid down a foundation for his exit -- he’s now asserting the race is already rigged for Hillary Clinton. The next step? Throwing Reince Priebus under the bus and claiming that BOTH major parties are conspiring to keep him from winning.The exit scenario isn’t that far-fetched. Lots of folks, in fact, are already thinking it. Here’s the top trending question on Google yesterday: “Is Trump dropping out of the elections?”

--Why he won’t: Trump knows this better than anyone: The news cycle is so incredibly sped-up that any one of his scandals can fade to background noise with a savvy media play. For example: We all spent yesterday talking about his non-endorsement of Paul Ryan and John McCain, not his continuing war with the Khan family.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/playbook/2016/08/trump-getting-trounced-in-mich-nh-pa-point-counterpoint-will-trump-drop-out-steve-latourette-dead-at-62-playbook-interview-ben-smith-bday-potus-is-55-215688#ixzz4GN04nawR
Follow us: @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

The Olympics start tomorrow. And the water in which many events will be held is horribly polluted


But this treat for the eyes – which will make it the perfect backdrop for TV sports broadcasts – is sometimes so polluted with untreated human waste that it can also be an assault on the nose and the immune system, prompting a recommendation from the United Nations that competitors and spectators should spend as little time in the water as possible.

In its latest advice, the World Health Organisation said: “It is suggested that all athletes should cover cuts and grazes with waterproof plasters prior to exposure, try to avoid swallowing the water, wash/shower as soon as possible after exposure and, as far as possible, minimise their time in the water and avoid going in the water after heavy rainfall if possible.”


“The water quality is shit because the sewage flushes in untreated. We all know that. No local would swim in it because we know we would get a disease,” said Alex Batista, a skateboard instructor who teaches on the Aterro do Flamengo, an area of reclaimed land between the bay and the city centre.

That popular wisdom has been reinforced by a series of studies in the past year, which suggest that Guanabara Bay – and other aquatic venues the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoa (rowing and canoeing) and Copacabana beach (triathlon and open water swimming) – are teeming with pathogens.

The Associated Press reported levels of bacteria and viruses so high that swallowing just three teaspoons of water from the bay was likely to lead to severe stomach and respiratory illnesses. Concentrations of adenoviruses were said to be thousands of times higher than the levels considered safe in the US or Europe.



Yesterday, I listened to trump boasting about how much he's done for disabled persons

He bragged that he'd spent millions on access for the disabled in his buildings. Yeah, following the ADA after being sued for not providing access is another of his great sacrifices for this country.

He's been making this ridiculous boast at rally after rally.

Massive cheers from the trumpettes for his "good heart".

the campaign is largely doing, well, nothing- which is exactly the right thing

I don't mean behind the scenes where there is certainly a lot going on, and of course they're doing the standard campaigning where they criticize Trump and the republicans, but publicly, they're doing the smart thing- standing back from Trump and his bumbling team and just letting Trump dig, dig, dig whilst messily imploding.

After President Obama's somber assessment which hit the right note, they really don't need to do much. Responding to Trump's incendiary attacks isn't, at least at this point, necessary. Why do it when you have people like Michael Hayden, on every channel saying that Trump doesn't possess the mental stability to have access to the nuclear codes? Or Chris Christie, rebuking Trump publicly for his attacks on the Khan family? Hell, we even saw Pence obliquely slam Trump by strongly endorsing McCain, and Priebus unable to contain his anger and contempt over Trump's baby petulance over Ryan.

The internecine battles going on within the republican party are more destructive than attacks from HRC or surrogates would be- who you may have noticed have largely been just getting out of the way.

Things may change. Tactics may need to be adjusted, but at the moment, the democrats don't have to do much of anything- but watch this bizarre bit of grotesque theatre unfold.

I really dislike the word evil.

I don't believe in evil.

Or more accurately, I believe the word evil is one of the most dangerous words and concepts in any language. I haven’t used it in years. What we don’t believe is the negative space that defines our world view as much as what we do believe.

Absolute evil. True evil. blah fucking blah evil, evil evil.

Evil Bad, Must Destroy.

Both the word and the concept(s) attached to the word have been the excuse for a thousand wars and countless horrific acts. Describing someone or some institution as evil, doesn’t tell me shit about the person or the institution. Nothing, except that the utterer thinks said person or institution is bad BEYOND DESCRIPTION.

Our ideas about what constitutes “evil”, vary wildly. Historically, the concept of “evil” is freighted with the supernatural- a concept (or not) that I don’t think belongs in the political lexicon. No wonder politicians ride it hard. Hey, want support for your war or your brutal policing practices, or whatever? Depict the forces you’re fighting (and trying to enlist others to fight) as EVIL. You don’t have to explain shit.

I’ve had this conversation with a fair number of people over the years. What about Hitler, people ask me? Nope. Still doesn’t tell me much. Caligula, Attila the Hun, and modern iterations like Hitler and Stalin, are people who did horrific things. Unremarkable except for the scale of the horror and terror they unleashed.

People aren’t monsters. They are all too human. In part, by using the word evil or deeming someone a monster, we distance ourselves from the horror that they are human- that we are human.

What bothers you more? The torture and death of one child or the death by push of a button in the California desert that kills 47 members of a wedding party in Afghanistan? My answer would be that I’m more viscerally horrified by the former but far more troubled and scared by the latter, because of its banality. It’s the cruelty masked by “good” intentions that is so pernicious, that persuades regular people to support the most awful actions. The banality of evil, as Hannah Arendt described it.


Evil skeptics give three main reasons to abandon the concept of evil: (1) the concept of evil involves unwarranted metaphysical commitments to dark spirits, the supernatural, or the devil; (2) the concept of evil is useless because it lacks explanatory power; and (3) the concept of evil can be harmful or dangerous when used in moral, political, and legal contexts, and so, it should not be used in those contexts, if at all.





Thank you all. Here's something for all of us

who have lost someone or a dear four legged friend.

A bit corny, but....

and one more thing:


As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind—
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.

And if you find her poor, Ithaka won’t have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.

- C.P. Cavafy

Good night.
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