Rubio, who is of Cuban heritage, jumped to the front of the Republican response to the new policies and seems to be leading the charge. [?]
Rubio also attempted to frame it as a populist issue, with a twist of animus towards liberal elites: ?While business interests seeking to line their pockets, aided by the editorial page of The New York Times, have begun a significant campaign to paper over the facts about the regime in Havana, the reality is clear,? his statement said.
No doubt some on the left will share Rubio?s ostensible concerns about free-market exploitation of Cuba, if not for entirely different reasons. [?]
So will Congress lift the embargo? Will it go so far as to block an ambassador? On the one hand, the opposition of the House Speaker and the (soon-to-be) ranking Democrat on Senate Foreign Relations is a bad sign. Rubio also chairs a key Foreign Relations Committee on the Western Hemisphere. And ?no, Congress won?t do anything? is a safe bet, generally speaking. But members of both parties also support normalized relations?Republican Speaker Jeff Flake flew to Cuba to see imprisoned American Alan Gross home on Wednesday?and Americans favor lifting the embargo. [?]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2010?Steve King Is Nuts:Apparently the daily-dose of teabagging has amped up Rep. Steve King's (R-IA) cognitive dissonance: "It's thousands of times bigger than Watergate because Watergate was only a little break-in by a couple of guys," said King. "By the time we pull ACORN out by its roots America's going to understand just how big this is."
The House Judiciary Committee member described the ACORN saga as "the largest corruption crisis in the history of America."So, we had secret slush funds, the involvement of the White House, Justice Department, FBI and CIA in the crime and/or the cover-up, the "Saturday Night Massacre," the prison sentences, and the resignation of a President ... versus allegations of voter fraud that has never been proven and a couple of conservatives dressing up like a pimp and a prostitute.
You make the call.Tweet of the Day Every Monday through Friday you can catch the Kagro in the Morning Show 9 AM ET by dropping in here, or you can download the Stitcher app (found in the app stores or at Stitcher.com), and find a live stream there, by searching for "Netroots Radio." High Impact Posts. The Week's High Impact Posts. Top Comments
Rep. Steve Israel, who ran the (cough) highly successful 2014 midterm campaign for House Democrats, noted that the party is in a "message knot" over how exactly to talk about the economy:"On the one hand, when we talk about the progress in the economy, most middle-class voters don?t feel that progress, and they believe we?re out of touch," Mr. Israel said. "On the other hand, if we don?t talk about progress on the economy, we cede the narrative to Republicans and lose." Could you for a minute imagine FDR allowing his party to get tied in a similar "knot?" It's true that midterm elections are different from presidential elections. However, the Republicans successfully "nationalized" the recent midterms, which meant that Democrats needed to address those national issues and neutralize the Republican arguments, even as they also encouraged each candidate to talk about local matters. Ignoring the president or running as "not really Obama" proved to be a disaster, as we know.
What else can FDR teach today's Democrats? Follow below the fold for more.
While Daily Kos Elections experimented this year with a quantitative predictive model (which turned out well, narrowly beating all the other models), we also stuck with our tried-and-true qualitative race ratings that we've used every cycle since 2008, using the same "Likely/Lean/Tossup" framework that anyone who follows along with the Charlie Cooks and Larry Sabatos of the world is familiar with. So here's our chance to look back at how those predictions (the final version of which you can see here) panned out.
Most races, of course, are entirely predictable from the very start; they're in a very red or very blue state or congressional district, with an entrenched incumbent and a little-known, underfunded opponent. So that means that by cycle's end, there are usually only a dozen or so Senate races, and under 100 House races, where there's any doubt whatsoever about the result; as for true tossups, those are only a small fraction of the total.
This exercise doesn't just help us know how we did, but also gives us some targeting information for the 2016 elections (and help us as we start thinking about 2016 ratings). It can help us pinpoint Republicans who were supposed to be safe but barely squeaked by, who might have some previously unknown glass jaw that we might exploit next time. It can also help us find which Democrats are at risk of underperforming again.
We'll look at the individual races over the fold, starting with the Senate:
I'm a relatively seasoned campaign professional, and I've been lucky enough (unlucky, perhaps?) to have already been part of two manual recounts in California. And while election and recount laws vary from state to state (hint: they really shouldn't), the process is instructive, and provides insights into how we could make our entire voting systems better serve the people they're intended to: the actual voters.
More below the fold for an inside look at how manual recounts work. It's not all hanging chads and lizard people.
While watching The Rundown with José Díaz-Balart recently, it became obvious to me why bad American foreign policy can continue without much public objection. What many Americans fail to see is how it hurts the country?s credibility. Many times what Americans perceive as hate, indifference, disrespect, lack of appreciation, or downright hostility is simply blowback from policies foreign to the average American citizens. Why are these policies foreign to the average American citizens? They are foreign because of bad, biased, or coerced reporting.
The media went into hyperventilating mode after President Obama announced the path to normalization of diplomatic relations with Cuba last week. The reality is that while this is a big step, it was not a necessarily courageous step?Americans, including Cuban Americans, have long supported more positive relations with Cuba. Many in the older exile Cuban community have long had much too much sway over American foreign policy towards Cuba.
Chuck Todd was interviewed by José Díaz-Balart about the president?s change in Cuban policy. Instead of laying out the facts about why this change is overdue after a 50-plus year failed policy, Todd decided to discuss platitudes. He had dinner with friends while in Florida. Chuck Todd said that while these friends understood the intellectual argument for relations based on America's relations with China and Vietnam, the tone of the president?s presentation of the new policy was not sufficiently deferential to the exile community in Florida.
Are you kidding? How deferential was President Nixon to Chinese expats? Or any president for that matter to Vietnamese refugees?
Follow below the fold for more.
Because it's not individual humans who have succumbed to a mystery virus that leaves them rotting but upright?it's institutions. It's state agencies. It's police departments. Federal departments. It's whole nations. We're living in the sagging shadows of institutional zombies, of twitching, mindless shells that still carry some resemblance to the thing they used to be. They're... representational. Metaphorical. Propped up by memories and animated by platitudes. Only they're dead. Or worse than dead.
In a lot of zombie movies, the monsters appear by mistake. It's a disease out of space, or an unanticipated side effect of some sincere, but careless, science experiment. Our zombies don't have such a relatively innocent origin story. The decay of major social institutions into lurching heaps didn't happen that way. Their effectiveness, their intent, their brains... were surgically removed.
Come on in (under the shadow of this red rock) and lets see who was wielding the scalpel...
Indonesian police have opened fire on peaceful protesters in Jayapura, with at least four gunshot wounds and one death. West Papuan activists and families have been forced to flee to the jungle for safety. Indonesian security forces are conducting scores of raids, sweeps and offensives against West Papuan civilians. The attacks are happening during the visit of National Police Chief General Sutarman with over 200 people arrested across West Papua. Journalists have also been attacked by Indonesian police according to Amnesty International...Read more at San Fransisco Bay Area Indymedia. The Indonesian Police chief says any plans to free Papua from Indonesia won't be tolerated, including Flag raising ceremonies on the West Papuan national Day, December 1st.
Calls for Independence by West Papuans have been made since the sham "Act of Free Choice in 1969". They have suffered a neglected genocide at the hands of the Indonesian military (2004) with continued Repression (2007). Thousands of Papuans took to the streets in 2010 and in 2011 rejecting special autonomy, demanding a referendum on independence. Indonesia plans to build 1,500 km of new roads in the next two years to accelerate ?development', increase military presence, and open up more illegal logging. Three Papuans highlighted the human rights abuses at the APEC meeting in Bali this year by scaling the Australian Consulate?s fence in the dead of night and hand-delivering a personal plea to open the Indonesian province to world scrutiny.
A new academic law and human rights report A slow-motion genocide: Indonesian rule in West Papua (PDF), details the extent of the genocide and abuse of human rights. (Review by Greenleft) Activists have called for Australia to End pragmatic complicity in West Papua in response to comments by new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Imprisoned Papuan leader Selpius Bobii also responded saying, "We Live In Terror, Mr Abbott".
Related: Waging Nonviolence: Flotilla unsettles Indonesia?s occupation of West Papua | West Papuan National Day Goes Global | West Papuans to join commemoration of Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat More Information: West Papua media Alerts | Freedom Flotilla
Civil society organisations abandoned the COP19 climate change negotiations in Warsaw on mass. Members from Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, Actionaid, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union Confederation (statement) and 350.org all started leaving the conference at 2pm. This is an unprecedented action, the first time several major civil society groups have staged a mass walkout.
Friends of the Earth International highlighted that the Warsaw Climate Change negotiations were failing, with Tension high in Warsaw talks as G77+China walk out. The role of Australia and reduced ambition of Japan have been widely mentioned. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers, but there has been substantial intransigence from much of the developed world to progressing the negotiations forward on finance, ambition, and a loss and damage mechanism. Poland's Coal Summit has shown the fossil fuel corporatism entwined in this COP with widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations of COP19 and at UNFCCC official Christiania Figueres who gave the keynote speech at the coal summit
Related: Democracy Now: "Nature Does Not Negotiate": Environmentalists Walk Out of U.N. Climate Summit in Warsaw | "Polluters Talk, We Walk": Civil Society Groups Abandon Warsaw Talks over Inaction on Global Warming | "We Have to Consume Less": Scientists Call For Radical Economic Overhaul to Avert Climate CrisisAnalysis: The Warsaw walkout and the Climate Movement
The weekend of 16th and 17th November saw tens of thousands of people in Canada and Australia out in the streets in over 260 protests against the climate policies of these countries. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers in Warsaw at COP19.
The Saturday protests in Canada occurred from coast to coast to Repulse Bay, Nunavut on the Arctic circle, more than 10,000 people gathered in over 180 events co-ordinated by Defend our Climate. Many protests focussed on stopping further expansion of the Alberta tar sands and pipelines to move the bitumenous oil south to Texas, east through Ontario and Quebec, and west through British Columbia. On Sunday, more than 60,000 people attended climate protests across Australia, protesting the attempt to repeal carbon pricing and clean energy programs by the conservative Government lead by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, elected on 7 September this year, who denied any link between climate change and bushfires as unusually early and intense bushfires raged around Sydney.
Civil Society NGO and local Polish activists also staged a Climate Justice march in Warsaw in association with the COP19 climate change negotiations taking place. Super Typhoon Haiyan set the initial mood at the negotiations with Philippines negotiator Naderev Saño (Yeb Saño) saying "time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway". There is widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations in Warsaw with Japan and Australia being particularly singled out.
Related: Australia Indymedia - Tens of Thousands rally for Climate Action across Australia
Authorities of Tacloban City with a population of 220,000 and capital of Leyte province, gave an early estimate that perhaps 10,000 people died from this one city. Many people were surprised by the huge storm surge tidal waves that inundated much of the city. Many smaller coastal villages were also devastated with most buildings destroyed or suffering severe damage. According to the UN Reliefweb report on 14 November the number of affected people has increased to 11.8 million. The official death count from Typhoon Haiyan is currently 4,460 but with numbers still increasing. There were 921,200 people displaced and 243,600 houses destroyed. A total of 2.5 million people are in need of food assistance.
Related: Climate IMC: Typhoon Haiyan: This is a climate crime | Time for turning tears into anger says Walden Bello | Philippine groups demand action on climate finance, loss and damage in Warsaw climate talks | Ejected from COP19 for expressing solidarity to the Philippines | Youth observers expelled from UN climate change talks for Philippines Solidarity | Indybay: Super typhoon Haiyan is climate wake-up call | They destroy We suffer Statement on Yolanda?s AftermathNon-corporate Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts: Waves for Water | Haiyan NYC Relief Project | Doctors without Borders | Oxfam International
Climate Negotiations are over for another year with little progress in Doha by any one's measure as the scientific statements on climate change and the impacts we are already feeling as evidenced in record Arctic melting, and extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines, and Cyclone Evan in the South Pacific are growing much stronger.
Some of the latest scientific research shows:Sea Level rising 60% faster than IPCC projectionsMethane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping pointCollapse of Siberia's Coastline is Releasing Huge Amounts of CO2Greenland Ice sheet suffers unprecedented surface meltIndian Monsoon more likely to fail as global warming acceleratesSouthern Ocean warming impact on Antarctic Ice Sheet Stability and sea level rise
Photos: Photos by World Resources Institute | Photos by Oxfam | The Verb: Climate March in Doha | The Verb: COP18 Actions Related: Deep emissions cuts urged at climate summit | Towards a Grand Compromise in the Climate Negotiations | COP18, another 'Conference of Polluters' | An open letter to governments and their negotiators | Climate compensation row at Doha | Forest Groups Protest False Solutions | IPCC's Planned Obsolescence: Fifth Assessment Report Will Ignore Crucial Permafrost Carbon Feedback! | Methane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping point