Sep 17 2018

2016 Primaries: The Aftermath and Backlash

The primary season is over, onto the November elections and hopes that the “Blue Wave” will continue. Primaries used to be called the “silly season” mostly because of the proliferation of candidates with nonsense ideas that were pretty laughable on their face. No more. Since the election of Donald Trump and surge of Republican control of, not only the federal government, but governorships and state houses, voters are paying greater attention and younger voters are getting more involved, the vast majority are progressives. Their are more women involved and running for offices against entrenched office holders and taking back seats long held by Republicans The shift is pushing moderate Democrats (Conserva-Dems or DINOs) to the left but its not wining them elections, especially down ticket.

The latest New York primary is a prime example. While Cynthia Nixon and Zephyr Teachout did not win in their respective races against the Andrew Cuomo ticket, their campaigns had an impact at the legislative level. Since 2011, a coalition of eight Democrats in the New York State Senate, know as the Independent Democratic Conference, have caucused with Republicans. This gave the GOP control of the Senate and the ability to block progressive laws from being passed. For their perfidy, these Democrats were rewarded with powerful and lucrative leadership positions on legislative committees.

In the 2012 election, the Senate Democrats technically took back the chamber, winning a numerical majority. But without the I.D.C. on their side, the Democrats could not muster the votes to install one of their own as the new majority leader. Instead, Mr. Klein and Senator Dean G. Skelos, then the leader of the Republicans, shared that title.

Over the next few years, more Democratic senators joined the group, and the Republicans have kept control of the legislative agenda. That has let the Republicans block much of the progressive wish list, including single-payer health care and voting reform.

They did so with the tacit blessing of Governor Andrew Cuomo, a corrupt Democrat who has lied in the past and reneged on many of his campaign promises.

Then the Thursday, September 13 state primary happened changing the outlook for control of the Senate and boxing Cuomo into a corner. The leader of the IDC Senator Jeffrey Klein of the Bronx was defeated by Alessandra Biaggi, a lawyer and former aide to Cuomo.

Also defeated were five other former I.D.C. members: Senators Tony Avella and Jose Peralta in Queens; Senator Jesse Hamilton in Brooklyn; Senator Marisol Alcántara in Manhattan; and Senator David Valesky in Syracuse. They fell to John Liu, Jessica Ramos, Zellnor Myrie, Robert Jackson and Rachel May, respectively.

The only former I.D.C. members to survive the primary were Senator Diane Savino, of Staten Island, and Senator David Carlucci, of Rockland County.

In another high-profile race, Senator Martin Dilan, who was not part of the I.D.C., was defeated by Julia Salazar, a 27-year-old democratic socialist whose candidacy energized young voters in swaths of gentrifying Brooklyn. [..]

Several of the I.D.C. challengers, as well as Ms. Salazar, had aligned themselves with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old first-time politician who, in a June congressional primary, upset Representative Joseph Crowley, the No. 4 Democrat in the House. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Ms. Biaggi and Ms. Ramos. Ms. Ramos’s district overlaps with Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s. [..]

The I.D.C. challengers also allied themselves with Ms. Nixon’s opposition to Mr. Cuomo, and to Zephyr Teachout’s attorney general bid. The Working Families Party, a progressive minor party and frequent antagonist of the governor, endorsed all the challengers and provided training and staff for their campaigns.

Bill Lipton, the state director of the W.F.P., cast the I.D.C. losses as a major triumph, even in the face of Ms. Nixon’s defeat. [..]

The I.D.C. members had faced primary challenges before, and they had long been a target for Democratic activists. But that anger, for years restricted to only the most politically attuned New Yorkers, crested over the past few months, in tandem with the surge of progressive energy nationwide after the 2016 presidential election.

Activists began calling the I.D.C. members “Trump Democrats” and sought to educate voters who knew nothing about their senators’ so-called betrayal.

The move by the IDC to dissolve back in April was a self-serving move to stop the progressive movement. They had done so before and activists, rightly, assumed they would again fail to keep their promise to return to the Democratic side of the aisle.

The often used phrase by former Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Tip O’Neill that “all politics is local” has proven to be very true in New York. There is still a long way to go. On November 6, these progressive candidates will have to win in order to flip the state Senate and flip some other vulnerable Republican held seats. If the trend holds and voters continue to channel their anger into results, Andrew Cuomo will face a very different state legislature in January, one that is not so friendly to his right wing policies.

The fight to take back this country and protect our democracy from the elements of the right wing that would see it destroyed begins at local elections. If these races for control of the New York State Senate are any example, progressives are winning the battles.

Sep 17 2018

Not The Ground I Wish To Fight On

Perhaps I am the heartless and cruel bastard I pretend to be. I should accept on face value everything Christine Blasey Ford has said about her sexual assault by Brett Kavanaugh There’s no doubt that if her recollection is at all accurate ‘sexual assault’ is the correct and proper name for what happened though I suspect Kavanaugh would dispute that philosophically- boys will be boys and girls just have to learn to get along- and if he was anywhere near as drunk as reported has very little actual memory of the event.

What, after all, is the significance to you of one human being in a parade of anonymous interchangeable sex dolls you grappled into submission of a sort. I imagine were she the harlot of Babylon she’d have been hard put to find an artifice that elicited any response, you besotted tease, other than your love of dominance and abuse, and lust for conquest.

It’s just that there are many, many other reasons Kavanaugh is unfit to be a Judge of any sort, let alone a Justice.

Let’s start with perjury. The man lies under oath. This is a proven fact Republicans just ignore.

He supports Torture and Universal Domestic Surveillance by the Government of average citizens (Yeah, those missing W years).

Unsurprisingly he’s also against Personal Medical Privacy, holding the Government has a compelling interest in managing your sex life. Not just Roe, Griswold. Griswold was about whether you could use those Onan enabling sin buckets called “condoms” while having State Sanctioned Marital Relations with your Lady/Wife.

He already calls Birth Control Pills “abortion drugs”. What about “wrongly decided” don’t you get?

I thought we were making progress, definitely Murkowski, maybe some Western Senator with a failing campaign (looking right at you, Heller) who wants to suck up to Native Americans. I try to avoid relying on Sue Collins for anything and do so here, but optimistically I didn’t think Tim Scott was an impossible get.

Now the cards are in the air again. Flake, for one, is being flaky and is posing. We’ll have a “Pubic Hair” hearing and he said she said. I’d like to think #metoo knows what they’re doing.

I suppose anything that slows the juggernaught is worth trying. At least my opinion of the bourgeoisie remains unaffected- nothing like a little T&A to perk their interest.

Sep 17 2018

Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.
Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Pondering the Pundits”.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt</i

Hillary Rodham Clinton: American Democracy Is in Crisis

It’s been nearly two years since Donald Trump won enough Electoral College votes to become president of the United States. On the day after, in my concession speech, I said, “We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.” I hoped that my fears for our future were overblown.

They were not.

In the roughly 21 months since he took the oath of office, Trump has sunk far below the already-low bar he set for himself in his ugly campaign. Exhibit A is the unspeakable cruelty that his administration has inflicted on undocumented families arriving at the border, including separating children, some as young as eight months, from their parents. According to The New York Times, the administration continues to detain 12,800 children right now, despite all the outcry and court orders. Then there’s the president’s monstrous neglect of Puerto Rico: After Hurricane Maria ravaged the island, his administration barely responded. Some 3,000 Americans died. Now Trump flatly denies those deaths were caused by the storm. And, of course, despite the recent indictments of several Russian military intelligence officers for hacking the Democratic National Committee in 2016, he continues to dismiss a serious attack on our country by a foreign power as a “hoax.”

Trump and his cronies do so many despicable things that it can be hard to keep track. I think that may be the point—to confound us, so it’s harder to keep our eye on the ball. The ball, of course, is protecting American democracy. As citizens, that’s our most important charge. And right now, our democracy is in crisis.

Charles M/ Blow: Not Deranged. Determined!

They told us that we suffered from Trump Derangement Syndrome, an emotional and illogical obsession with opposing and unseating Donald Trump.

They saw our principled stand against corruption and criminality, against immorality and hatred, as born of hyper-partisanship and the bruises of defeat.

They were unable to see that our objection to Trump was an achingly particular phenomenon that transcended party tribalism and went to the core of who we are as a people and a country.

For us, it was clear: This man was wholly unacceptable, as a matter of character. And true patriotism demanded that we say so, without equivocation, and unrelentingly.

Trump had become the president by a complex web of occurrences: white racial anxiety, reaction to the first black president, unease about the possibility of the first female president, voter suppression and voter apathy, and an attack on our elections by the Russians.

This presidency has been haunted by the specter of illegitimacy from its inception.

Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 17 2018

The Breakfast Club (Relaxing)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:00am (ET) (or whenever we get around to it) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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This Day in History

The Battle of Antietam sets a bloody record during America’s Civil War; Work ends on U.S. Constitution; Israel and Egypt’s leaders sign Camp David Accords; Singer Hank Williams born; ‘MASH’ premieres.

Breakfast Tunes

Something to Think about over Coffee Prozac

It is necessary to relax your muscles when you can. Relaxing your brain is fatal.

Stirling Moss

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Sep 16 2018

Rant of the Week: Bill Maher – Scary Socialism

At one of his campaign rallies in Indiana earlier this month, Donald Trump said: “They want to raid Medicare to pay for socialism.” Someone needs to explain to this dimwitted conman that Medicare is socialism. In his “New Rules” segment on Friday Bill Maher argues that socialism isn’t as scary as it sounds and calls on Democrats to ramp up their rhetoric against Trump.

Sep 16 2018

Radioactive Teleporting Sow-Breeding Nazi Boars!

Are taking over the world!

Sep 16 2018

The Breakfast Club (Pastures of Plenty)

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We’re a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we’re not too hungover we’ve been bailed out we’re not too exhausted from last night’s (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it’s PhilJD’s fault.

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AP’s Today in History for September 16th

Vietnam War deserters and draft evaders receive conditional amnesty; Palestinian refugees massacred in Lebanon; Mexico pushes for independence; Opera star Maria Callas dies; Blues great B.B. King born.

Breakfast Tune Pastures of Plenty – a Woody Guthrie song – clawhammer style banjo

Woody Guthrie’s timeless ‘songs of the people,’ especially those about refugees, or unions, or the displaced, or migrant farm workers (as this one is), seem as relevant today as they were when they were written more than 70 years ago. This is a very simple, straight ahead, unembellished rendering of Pastures of Plenty, in keeping with Guthrie’s own ‘one chord’ version. It is played here clawhammer style, on a Romero Banjo, in “Sawmill” tuning (tuned down a tone and a half to be an E modal tuning) and was recorded on 6 July 2018, at Montreal’s Yellow Door Coffeehouse Friday Night Hootenanny.


Something to think about, Breakfast News & Blogs below

Ryan Devereaux, The Intercept

FOUR VOLUNTEERS WITH a faith-based humanitarian group drove onto a remote wilderness refuge in southern Arizona last summer hoping to prevent an unnecessary loss of life. A distress call had come in, a woman reporting that two family members and a friend were without water in one of the deadliest sections of the U.S.-Mexico border. For hours, the volunteers’ messages to the Border Patrol went unanswered. With summer in the Sonoran Desert being the deadliest time of year, they set off in a pickup truck, racing to the peak where the migrants were said to be.

Once on the refuge, the volunteers were tracked by federal agents, beginning a process that would lead to federal charges. Now, more than a year later, they each face a year prison, and Trump administration prosecutors are fighting to keep the communications of law enforcement officials celebrating their prosecution from becoming public.

The legal wrangling began this week, when the volunteers’ attorneys filed a series of motions urging Arizona Magistrate Judge Bruce G. Macdonald to dismiss the charges against them, citing allegations of selective enforcement and violations of international law, due process, and religious freedom. Attached to the motions were several exhibits, including text messages between federal law enforcement officials. Justice Department attorneys quickly moved to have the motions sealed, but not before The Intercept downloaded them from Pacer, the public-facing repository for federal court records.

The exhibits include text messages between a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service employee and a Border Patrol agent, in which the Fish and Wildlife employee declares “Love it” in response to the prosecution of the volunteers. Described in the text messages as “bean droppers,” volunteers with the group No More Deaths and their organization are referred to by name in the communications between federal law enforcement officials, who describe, with apparent glee, the government’s “action against them.”

Within hours of the exhibits being submitted Monday, Trump administration lawyers called on Macdonald to seal the text messages, on grounds that they contain “sensitive law enforcement information.” The government prosecutors also requested the sealing of a blank Fish and Wildlife permit application — available online — and documents turned over via a Freedom of Information Act request, citing the same justification. Attorneys for the defendants then filed an opposition motion, arguing that the government’s descriptions of the materials “strain credulity.”














Something to think about over coffee prozac

Missouri town gets new newspaper, The Uranus Examiner

URANUS, Mo. (AP) — Cue the giggling: A small Missouri town has a new newspaper called The Uranus Examiner.

KYTV reports that the newspaper’s launch was announced Wednesday, just days after GateHouse Media said it was shuttering Pulaski County’s local paper, the Daily Guide.

The new publication’s editor, Natalie Sanders, led the Daily Guide before leaving in June to start what she calls a “fun” paper that will include local news and promote the tourist town of Uranus, which is pronounced the way any self-respecting class clown would say it.

Uranus sits along historic Route 66 and is known for quirky attractions, including a fudge shop and the world’s largest belt buckle.

Luge Hardman, the mayor of nearby Waynesville, where the Daily Guide was based, says she thinks the “innuendo” surrounding the new publication’s name will bring “public ridicule.”


This story has been corrected to delete a reference to Luge Hardman as “he.” Hardman is a woman.


Sep 16 2018

Pondering the Pundits: Sunday Preview Edition

Pondering the Punditsis an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

On Sunday mornings we present a preview of the guests on the morning talk shows so you can choose which ones to watch or some do something more worth your time on a Sunday morning.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

The Sunday Talking Heads:

This Week with George Stephanopolis: The guests on Sunday’s “This Week” are: U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Karl Schultz and North Carolina Emergency Management Director Michael Sprayberry discuss rescue and recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Florence. Other guests are Whitewater Independent Counsel Ken Starr; Obama chief ethics lawyer Norman Eisen; and JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon.

The roundtable guests are: Former Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ); Democratic strategist Donna Brazile; NPR White House Correspondent Tamara Keith and Axios National Political Reporter Jonathan Swan.

Face the Nation: Moderated this weekend by John Dickerson, the guests are: FEMA Administrator Brock Long; Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC); and Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC).

Her panel guests are: Jamelle Bouie, Slate; Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic; Susan Page, USA Today; and Ramesh Ponnuru, The National Review.

Meet the Press with Chuck Todd: The guests on this week’s “MTP” are: FEMA Administrator Brock Long; New Bern, NC Mayor Dana Outlaw; Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA); and Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward.

The panel guests are: PBS News Hour correspondent Yamiche Alcindor; historian Doris Kears Goodwin; Rich Lowry, National Review; and Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal.

State of the Union with Jake Tapper: Mr. Tapper’s guests are: Democratic House candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL); and former Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr.

His panel guests are: Karine Jean-Pierre,; Mary Katherine Hamm, The Federalist; Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA); and former Trump Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short.

Sep 15 2018

Lousy Paperboy

Better at documentaries.

Sep 15 2018

Health and Fitness News

Welcome to the Stars Hollow Gazette‘s Health and Fitness News weekly diary. It will publish on Saturday afternoon and be open for discussion about health related issues including diet, exercise, health and health care issues, as well as, tips on what you can do when there is a medical emergency. Also an opportunity to share and exchange your favorite healthy recipes.

Questions are encouraged and I will answer to the best of my ability. If I can’t, I will try to steer you in the right direction. Naturally, I cannot give individual medical advice for personal health issues. I can give you information about medical conditions and the current treatments available.

You can now find past Health and Fitness News diaries here.

Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt

What To Cook

Even though Summer is coming to an end, cooks are still benefiting from the harvest from backyard gardens and garden stands.

Grilled Pork Chops with Plums, Halloumi, and Lemon

If you like feta, you should get to know Halloumi, a Cypriot cheese sold at Greek markets, specialty food stores, and some supermarkets.

Plum Streusel Coffeecake

Scatter more plums between a tender cake batter and a nutty streusel topping for dessert

Fresh Corn Quiche

Fresh corn kernels and a quick blender egg custard are all that go into a store bought pie shell.

Oven-Baked Sheet-Pan Bacon

Not only does this oven method free you from needing to constantly tend the bacon while it cooks, but it also produces superior results.

Roasted Cherry Tomato Caprese

Give those last cherry tomatoes a boost by roasting them in this cooler weather version of Caprese salad

Cast-Iron Pizza with Fennel and Sausage

Cooking sausage in the pan before adding the dough infuses the crust with porky flavor.

Health and Fitness News

Second Contaminant Found in Valsartan Drugs

1 in 12 in U.S. Lives With Intrusive Chronic Pain

Coffee May Have Another Perk for Kidney Patients

No Short-Term Cancer Risk From Recalled Valsartan

Internal Clock May Affect Epileptic Seizure Timing

FDA Gets Tough on Juul, Other E-Cigarette MakersADHD Tied to Raised Risk of Early Parkinson’s

Banned Supplement Found in Weight-Loss Products

Even High-Fat Dairy Might Be Good for You

Blood Sugar Spike in Pregnancy Bad for Mom & Baby

Chronic Pain May Drive Some to Suicide

Tai Chi May Work Best to Prevent Falls in Old Age

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