Friday Reads: He Said, She Said, They Said …

Good Morning!

27771942We’re seeing some movement from the Clintons which may signal that Hillary is seriously considering the presidential run.  Hillary went on record supporting the President’s move on immigration last night.

Clinton – the Democratic front-runner for the 2016 presidential race — took to Twitter to thank Obama, moments after his speech from the White House.

“Thanks to POTUS for taking action on immigration in the face of inaction,” she tweeted. “Now let’s turn to permanent bipartisan reform. #ImmigrationAction.”

Bill Clinton spoke to an audience for TNR’s 100th birthday.

And so what I would like to do tonight is to say: We’re all pretty familiar with what’s happened in the last 100 years, but I think it’s important not to airbrush it too much. And by that, I mean that every attempt to make America’s republic new, every attempt to form a more perfect union (inaudible) every attempt to create a world we would like to live in and we would like our children and grandchildren to grow up in and flourish in, all of those were met with obstacles, had periods of great hope, followed by setbacks, followed by small steps, followed by struggles.

History is a messy thing. We like to think, you know, it’s just a rushing river. It may be, but there’s a lot of rocks in the river. And all of this you have chronicled. And people all along the road who have read it have benefited.

Now, you say the theme of this night is a new century of idealism and innovation. Well, the good news is, there’s plenty of innovation. It’s interesting, I pick up the paper in New York and I know I’m an old guy reading about a new world when the big struggle is, should Uber be allowed to drive along with the cabs and should Airbnb be allowed to put people up along with the Regis, St. Regis Hotel? I mean, it’s an interesting time to be alive. There’s lots of innovation. And the social networks are flourishing.

And on a more serious note, we’re getting profound benefits from the sequencing of the human genome. I spent $3 billion of your tax money on that. And it was worth every penny.

It really was. I worry about us underfunding basic research and science and technology, but…

But we announced the first sequencing in 2000, but, boy, it’s exploded since then. And there was a study about a year ago that said already $180 billion worth of economic benefits had flowed just to the United States from this effort, never mind what’s happening around the world.

09140c3ab735311981db293b2ddb1edfSome folks just know how to see the bigger picture.  Then, there are the Republicans.  Here’s a sample of what Republican officials have said in the last few days.   First up, some social commentary from the incoming Speaker of the Nevada house who has an issue with black people and appears to be a Neo-Confederate, misogynist, racist, and homobigot all wrapped up in one great big bald-headed, white, package.

He also referred to public schools as a form of “educational slavery,” writing that “[t]he Democratic coalition would split asunder if the NAACP & co. actually promoted what black Americans truly desire — educational choice. The shrewd and calculating [black] ’leaders’ are willing to sacrifice the children of their own race to gratify their lust for power and position. The relationship of Negroes and Democrats is truly a master-slave relationship, with the benevolent master knowing what’s best for his simple minded darkies.”

Hansen registered further displeasure with the “simple minded darkies” more directly, too, noting that “[t]he lack of gratitude and the deliberate ignoring of white history in relation to eliminating slavery is a disgrace that Negro leaders should own up to.”

His thoughts on homosexuality and feminism are equally regressive. For years, he wrote, he kept a “rough tally on homosexual/heterosexual molesters as reported locally,” and found that “roughly half of all molestations involve homosexual men preying on boys,” citing as further evidence the existence of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) and the Catholic church molestation scandals as evidence of gay male depravity.

As for women, he wrote that their proclivity for filing sexual harassment suits made them unfit to serve their country, claiming that “[t]oday, when Army men look at women in the ranks with ’longing in their eyes’ it very well may constitute ’sexual harassment.’ The truth is, women do not belong in the Army or Navy or Marine Corps, except in certain limited fields.”

images (1) Another Oil Rig has exploded off the Louisiana Gulf Coast.  It killed one person and injured 3.  The rig was not in production so there appears to be no leaking oil at the moment.

One person is dead and three people are injured after an oil platform explosion 12 miles off the coast of New Orleans, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.

The three injured are being treated at an offshore medical facility. One person, who hasn’t been identified, died in the explosion, BSEE officials say. All other employees have been accounted for.

The platform is operated by Houston-based Fieldwood Energy, which reported the explosion of its Echo Platform, West Delta 105, just before 3 p.m., according to the BSEE.

The platform was not in production at the time of the explosion. Officials say no pollution was reported, and no damage to the facility was done.

I’m assuming we’ll find out more today and tomorrow.

The Obama administration appears to be pressuring a Senate Committee that’s been studying US torture and detentions during the Bush years.  Will we ever find out what those criminals did in our name?  Why does the Obama administration want the images (2)report suppressed?

The White House is fiercely resisting the release of an executive summary of a 6,300-page Senate report on the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, Senate aides tell Foreign Policy, raising fears that the public will never receive a full accounting of the Bush administration’s post-9/11 torture practices.

At issue is the report’s identification of individual CIA officers by pseudonyms. The CIA and the White House want the pseudonyms and references to other agency activities completely stricken to further protect the identities of CIA spies. Senate aides say many of those redactions are unnecessary and render the report unreadable. Now even after Senate Democrats agreed to remove some pseudonyms at the White House’s request, the Oval Office is still haggling for more redactions.

“The White House is continuing to put up fierce resistance to the release of the report,” said one knowledgeable Senate aide. “Ideally, we should be closing ground and finalizing the last stages right now so that we can release the report post-Thanksgiving. But, despite the fact that the committee has drastically reduced the number of pseudonyms in the report, the White House is still resisting and dragging this out.”

A White House official denied the accusation. “The president has been clear that he wants the executive summary of the committee’s report to be declassified as expeditiously as possible,” said the official. “We share the Intelligence Committee’s desire for the declassified report to be released; and all of the administration’s efforts since we received the initial version have been focused on making that happen, while also protecting our national security.”

Up until recently, Barack Obama’s administration had avoided taking sides in the public spat between the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee over the report — a $40 million, five-year study that is harshly critical of the agency. However, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough is now personally negotiating with Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein of California for further redactions, which is rankling some Democrats.

Cary Makes A CallHouse Republicans have passed a bill preventing the EPA from using the science provided by the scientists advising the EPA.  

Congressional climate wars were dominated Tuesday by the U.S. Senate, which spent the day debating, and ultimately  failing to pass, a bill approving the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. While all that was happening, and largely unnoticed, the House was busy doing what it does best: attacking science.

H.R. 1422, which  passed 229-191, would shake up the EPA’s Scientific Advisory Board, placing restrictions on those pesky scientists and creating room for experts with overt financial ties to the industries affected by EPA regulations.

The bill is being framed as  a play for transparency: Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas,  argued that the board’s current structure is problematic because it  “excludes industry experts, but not officials for environmental advocacy groups.” The inclusion of industry experts, he said, would right this injustice.

But the White House, which threatened to veto the bill,  said it would “negatively affect the appointment of experts and would weaken the scientific independence and integrity of the SAB.”

Yes, it’s going to be crazy go nuts the next few years.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

63 Comments on “Friday Reads: He Said, She Said, They Said …”

  1. Pat Johnson says:

    I don’t mean to sound like an alarmist but I truly worry over the safety of Barack Obama.

    The hateful rhetoric coming from the opposition is malevolent to say the least. Enough for some loony tune to act upon the fears they promote.

    The use of executive privilege in the matter of immigration might be the trigger these crazies are looking for perhaps forgetting that “sainted” Reagan and Poppy Bush did the same.

    Referring to him as a “monarch” or an “emperor” could easily send a message to one of these demented fools to “act” in the name of “saving the nation”.

    The Secret Service needs to step up its presence.

    • Delphyne49 says:

      I happen to agree with you, Pat, especially since the Secret Service breach in security at the WH. People are completely irrational when it comes to him and I think he is in grave danger. I, too, hope that the security around him is loyal and does the job they’re supposed to do.

      • joanelle says:

        I’ve had that fear since he stepped into his role as president. He was woefully unprepared for the position and many of the Republicans I know have a rabid hatred for him, and Hillary, for that matter. This can, indeed be the final straw that pushes them over the edge.

    • JJ says:

      I agree with you also, I think I saw something about one of those crazy ass red flag nuts said he had a dream about an assassination.

      Back in Atlanta this weekend, Bebe has State Honor choir so I don’t know if I can get the cartoon post up tonight. I will try, but I am a little leery with the internet being unsecured in the hotel.

      I will make up for it on Sunday…lol.

    • Fannie says:

      You are spot on, he’s had more threats than any other president, and the GOP has got the whacked out marching to their beat. I have had the same feelings of concern, particularly since we are coming up on JFK 51st anniversary.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I agree with you Pat, but the Secret Service doesn’t seem to provide very good protection. He needs personal bodyguards or something.

      • dakinikat says:

        They need to screen out the bad eggs in the secret service. I’d be more selective on which of the secret service protect him actually. A lot of law enforcement types are right wingers.

  2. Boo Radly says:

    The last decade and a half have been a real hair rising, disappointing saga of blatant corruption, duplicity, naked greed – hatred.. Been difficult for this Pollyanna. But, I knew all about the ‘Bu$h’s’, neocons. . I stopped viewing the media in 2007. Only started watching again when “Ferguson” erupted. The attitudes, actions – depraved comes to mind. I am now concerned about Obama’s safety. I am concerned about every facet of US society and government. Insanity reins – ethics, morals no longer apply. It’s global. Human lives are no longer valued – every corporation is ‘to big to fail’. I know we still have good citizens – they are just to busy to notice. Wish I was a little younger and healthier. I always thought of bigoted people as ignorant – I have no words.

    • dakinikat says:

      I’m just surprised how many of them there still are these days. You’d have thought that more exposure to minorities of all kinds would’ve softened a few up. But, I guess anger, resentment, hyperreligiousity, etc. still rules. Plus, now we have “mainstream” media that hypes them all up in to a frenzy and supports their lies.

  3. Boo Radly says:

    Tried to post a cartoon – please delete the empty comment – sorry!

    • bostonboomer says:

      Can you link to the cartoon? I can’t get photos to post in comments either.

      I trashed your blank message, but if you get put in moderation next time, be sure to let us know. Sometime WordPress does that. I’ve had it happen to me.

  4. Fannie says:

    Rise Hillary, Rise.

  5. NW Luna says:

    Some folks just know how to see the bigger picture.

    Oh yeah! $3 billion invested in science turns into $180 billion for the economy. Meanwhile, the Republicans think that industry executives = science. Argh.

  6. RalphB says:

    Ilya Somin with an analysis from Volokh.

    WaPo: Obama, immigration, and the rule of law [updated with additional material on precedents for Obama’s action]

    Opponents of President Obama’s recently announced plan to defer the deportation of up to 5 million undocumented immigrants argue that it undermines the rule of law. After all, they contend, the president is required to enforce federal law as written, not pick and choose which violators to go after and which to exempt. But, in reality, all modern presidents inevitably make policy choices about which violations of federal law to prosecute. Obama’s decision to defer deportation is in line with those of past presidents, and well within the scope of his authority.

    To the extent that the rule of law is in jeopardy here, it is because the scope of federal law has grown so vast that no administration can target more than a small percentage of violations, thereby unavoidably giving the president broad discretion. Moreover, at least under the original meaning of the Constitution, the legality of the immigration laws that Obama has chosen not to enforce in some cases is itself suspect. …

    • NW Luna says:

      Indeed. What Obama’s done is much less than what Bush and some other presidents have done. It’s simply the direction of his policy that makes the Republicans scream in outrage.

      • RalphB says:

        I used Ilya Somin’s analysis because he’s a staunch conservative and, if he agrees, then it’s damn sure legal. 🙂

  7. NW Luna says:

    Senate panel questions soaring generic drug prices

    Some low-cost generic drugs that have helped restrain health-care costs for decades are seeing unexpected price spikes of as much as 8,000 percent, prompting a backlash from patients, pharmacists and now Washington lawmakers.

    A Senate panel met Thursday to scrutinize the recent, unexpected trend among generic medicines, which usually cost 30 to 80 percent less than their branded counterparts. …. “If generic drug prices continue to rise then we are going to have people all over this country who are sick and need medicine and who simply will not be able to buy the medicine they need,” Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who chairs the Senate Subcommittee on Primary Health and Aging. Sanders is a political independent who usually votes with the Democratic Party. ….

    An analysis of 280 common generic drugs by Professor Stephen Schondelmeyer found that roughly a third recorded prices increases in 2013. The University of Minnesota researcher said those numbers show that generic price increases are not limited to a few isolated cases. “The markets are broken and we need to do something to fix it,” he told the panel. “I think the government needs to step in and develop and monitor solutions.” …. recent examples suggest the market forces that have kept generic prices low are not working properly.

    The average price of albuterol sulfate, a common asthma treatment, shot from $11 per bottle in October 2013 to $434 per bottle in April, an increase of more than 4,000 percent, according to the Healthcare Supply Chain Association cited by the Senate subcommittee.

    • RalphB says:

      Experts said there are multiple, often unrelated, forces behind the price hikes, including drug ingredient shortages, industry consolidation and production slowdowns due to manufacturing problems.

      Those forces don”t seem necessarily unrelated at all to this business cynic. Those are the same as those claimed by oil companies to explain higher gas prices in the spring, no matter the price of crude oil.

  8. NW Luna says:

    This year’s flurry of corporate mergers may not pay off for shareholders in the long run, but one thing is for sure: The bosses who are selling their companies will do just fine.

    The CEOs who’ve decided to sell in the 10 biggest U.S. deals this year are set to rake in an estimated $430 million in “golden parachute” payments, according to a study done by pay-tracking firm Equilar at the request of The Associated Press. Translation: It would take the typical American household 830 years of work to get what the average CEO will receive in one fell swoop.

    The payoffs are often negotiated when CEOs are hired. They’re designed to compensate chief executives for losing their jobs and years of big pay so they won’t stand in the way of a sale that is good for shareholders.

    But some critics say the packages are so lavish, they can be an incentive to strike iffy deals.

  9. Sweet Sue says:

    Turner channels are back on Dish.
    Is Dish what you have, JJ, or do you have Comcast?

  10. bostonboomer says:

    NYPD officer shoots unarmed man in Brooklyn stairwell. The shooting was completely unprovoked and police did not identify themselves before shooting. The man is dead.

  11. RalphB says:

    How many are as pissed as I that every day’s news cycle is largely dominated by the GOP outrage of the day? It appears to me as if that is a calculated strategy to keep themselves in the news and freeze out the Democrats, except for some outrage responses. Their “piss off a libtard” campaign works great for them.

    We all wondered why the Democrats messaging failed in 2014 and I believe it was hurt badly because it never got any time in the the media. The media was too busy pushing whatever had the GOP up in arms and never got to any positive message from the Dems. That was even true, in large part, for liberal blogs who were also responding to GOP outrage and making fun of it etc.

    Perhaps it’s time to try and ignore most of the GOP bullshit and find a positive message of our own to deliver? Any ideas on how to try and make that happen in Left Blogistan?

    • janicen says:

      I agree, RalphB. I’m thrilled over what the President did last night just because SOMETHING got done. He should just keep up the executive orders and let the Republicans keep throwing hissy fits. Nobody but their brainwashed loyalists is paying attention to them. This nonsense about, “Now POTUS just went and ruined any hope of Congress passing any legislation…” is laughable.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I agree. This lawsuit by the Orange man is so ridiculous, I can’t even believe it.

      • RalphB says:

        Elected Democrats need to be going on TV and supporting that EO and their own beliefs. Too many seem to be hiding from the media or afraid to take a stand when asked. They’re ridiculous.

        • bostonboomer says:

          They are totally hiding. Elizabeth Warren is just about the only Senator who gets any attention and manages to say some good things. Bernie Sanders is making a huge mistake by running for president and trying to tear Hillary down. Who else do they have that would be better? They’re going to stick us with a right wing president.

          • janicen says:

            Once again, they are forgetting that he got elected by an electoral landslide. LANDSLIDE!!!!!

        • dakinikat says:

          They don’t really support beliefs. Most just support process and system changes for constituencies. Think Durbin, Schumer and Vice President MBNA.

        • dakinikat says:

          Actually republicans do same but 2 out of 3 of their constituencies are ideological.

    • Fannie says:

      Ralph, I’ve had to turn off most of the news channels. MSNBC has really changed how they frame certain words, and when they are faced with the GOP, they almost play dead. Andrea is doing the same, and I’m sick of it. I am watching more local news (that’s as bad here in Idaho), and democracy now. Why can’t they get their butts on the street, and ask people, like you Ralph, for your input. I think this is a hot button issue, and I am ready for some changes.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’m completely disgusted. I’ve never seen any president disrespected more than Obama. This is much worse than Clinton, who at least kept a good approval rating with the pubic. What has Obama done that is so horrible? He didn’t lie us into a war, preside over 9/11, trade arms for hostages . . . oh yeah, he has the nerve to have brown skin.

      • RalphB says:

        You’re completely right and what frustrates me is all the GOP hysteria works to corner all the news cycles and drown everything else out. I imagine a lot of people have come to believe some of the utter bullshit because they never really hear it rebutted. It just lays there and stinks up the place.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Well, I don’t think Democrats make much of an effort to change the media narrative. They’re too fearful of getting the same treatment as they guy they worked so hard to hand the nomination to in 2008. Very few of them seem to know the meaning of loyalty or human decency.

          • RalphB says:

            Amen. I really don’t like spineless politicians at all but what is one to do. I was raised by FDR Democrats and that gets into your blood. I could no more vote for a republican than I could turn into a tomato. 🙂

          • dakinikat says:

            I was raised by die hard republicans and was a republican for some time. I couldn’t vote Republican any more if my life depended on it. All their policies are based on complete obvious fallacies.

          • NW Luna says:

            Why can’t they stand up and simply repeat the facts? Instead of cowering and trying to be “bipartisan.” As for voting Republican in the past — we all know the Republicans of yesterday are the Democrats of today. The FDR Democrats appear to be going extinct.

  12. dakinikat says:

    I’m still having a tough idea with men that rampage shoot at schools. WTF? Here’s more information on the FSU library shooting.

  13. RalphB says:

    tpm: Now Rand Paul is just trolling himself

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) likened President Barack Obama’s decision to take executive action on immigration to then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s executive order authorizing putting Japanese-Americans in internment camps during World War II.

    Paul made the comments on Friday, a day after Obama formally announced the executive actions, at the Kentucky Association of Counties conference in Lexington, Kentucky. …

  14. RalphB says:

    As an aside, I read the filing and guess who’s not mentioned in the lawsuit filed by the GOP against Obama? President Obama isn’t party to the suit, it’s simply ‘Boehner v Burwell’.

  15. dakinikat says:

    School of the Americas Morphs Into US Training Industrial Complex

  16. RalphB says:

    If Texas doesn’t become an absolute hellhole over the next few years, we’ll owe it to Joe Straus.

    Texas Tribune: Analysis: In the Texas House, a Dose of Moderation

    The rapidly fizzling challenge to House Speaker Joe Straus undercuts a noisy populist wing of the Republican Party in favor of an establishment hoping to quell what it regards as an unnecessary storm of temper tantrums and manufactured drama.

    In this provincial version of the divisions that the new Republican Congress could face, the establishment appears to be winning. …

    • dakinikat says:

      As long as oil prices keep going lower or stay low, the state’s going to have some problems. It’s ag sector isn’t doing well either because of the drought, etc. It should be interesting to see if he can do any more damage to the economy than Rick Perry has done. There’s a lot of wrong underlying the policies and it only takes a few major sectors not contributing to the economy to start showing that vulnerability. I’m pretty sure Louisiana is tanking as we speak from those two sectors already.

      • RalphB says:

        Yep. Article in the local paper about the local unemployment rate dropping a bit to 4% also mentioned the drop was because more people dropped out of the labor force this time. The local high tech and service sectors actually lost jobs while the difference was made up by government hiring of a lot of temporary workers like IRS folks for tax time. It could be a really bumpy ride if oil drops too far for too long.

  17. dakinikat says:

    NOPD has issues with Rape Cases:

    Texas woman says her rape case was ignored by the SVU. She was raped in her hotel during MG 2014. That’s really going to make tourists feel safe.