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Cantor defeat roundup: Meet Trammell, Brat-Worst

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Brat worst

The Eric Cantor defeat by Dave Brat-- aka BratWorst-- was truly stunning, very welcome, and yet a little disconcerting. Waving bye-bye to Cantor is absolutely deelish, but contemplating the likely election of another tea party whackadoodle is disturbing, to say the least. So fasten your seatbelts, Dems, because this is who Democrat Jack Trammell must defeat (Keyword: Must.):

On the other hand, there are definite perks. If only they didn't come at the expense of so many people who deserve a break:

Here are a few post-Cantor defeat links for you to chew on:

Rep. Eric Cantor will hold a press conference at 4:30 p.m. at the Capitol. The Virginia Republican is expected to step down as House Majority Leader a day after he was defeated in a GOP primary. Watch live: politico.com/live

You all know what to do, right?

vote  turnout  gotv

Please follow @Trammell4Va so he can beat the pants off BratWorst (not literally... because, ew!). And while you're at it, please consider donating here, at Act Blue.

jack trammell

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Rand Paul, what if a Dem joked about trading YOU "instead of 5 Taliban"? Hmm?

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not funny hahaha no

This tweet is already a couple of days old, but calling out Rand Paul for his tone deaf idiocy never gets old:

rand paul tweet Bergdahl trade Dems

He got a lot of Twitter backlash, but check out the very first reply he received:

"Isn't that redundant? and how would you tell the difference?"

Two class acts.

What patriots.

What jokesters.

What the f***.

The real joke is Rand Paul, a very, very bad one.

So let's get this straight. According to Paul and his fanboy @varifrank, the words Democrats and Taliban are interchangeable and/or President Obama should have handed over Dems to the Taliban. To be imprisoned. And tortured. And possibly killed. Isn't that a knee-slapper? Are we laughing yet?

No. We are not.

Some "jokes" are not funny, Rand Paul. And that you would make light of a very serious situation, that you would imply that Democrats' lives are worthless, that you would equate them with deadly enemies is pretty appalling.

He's your guy, GOP. This is the lowlife many in your party would like to see as commander in chief, residing in the White House, attending state dinners, handling delicate negotiations with other world leaders, and as the president who is responsible for the health and welfare of all Americans.

Go ahead, Republicans. Make Rand Paul your nominee. We dare you.

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Ruh roh! Chris Christie's brother bought property just before Christie pushed for big overhaul

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chris christie cartoon via FBVia Facebook

tweet Kornacki chris christie scandalLink

Welcome to Christie World, courtesy of Steve Kornacki and NorthJersey.com. Two words come to mind. Ruh and roh:

Governor Christie’s brother, Todd Christie, and two business partners have bought and sold a handful of properties within walking distance of the PATH station in Harrison, slated for a $256 million renovation funded by the Port Authority and championed by the governor, records show. [...]

The quarter-billion station renovation came into focus this week when The Record reported that Port Authority Chairman David Samson had private ties to the land around the Harrison station. As chairman of the bi-state agency, Samson voted to approve the Harrison station overhaul, months after a client of his law firm proposed converting a nearby warehouse into luxury apartments.

Samson also faces questions about his role in addressing the George Washington Bridge lane closures that gridlocked Fort Lee in September. And his firm, Wolff & Samson, is connected to another development proposal in Hoboken that the mayor has said the Christie administration pressured her into backing.

Per the article, Chris Christie's younger sib has profited nicely from real estate deals, and what deals they were! One of his partners managed to haul in "tens of millions of dollars" in work from state agencies since Governor "I Know Nothing" took office in 2010. Together, they "began buying small residential lots in early 2011, about a year before the train station renovation was approved by the Port Authority."

chris christie schultz i know nothing

Again, Todd Christie and his buddies bought up the properties before the multi-million rehab was publicly approved. NJ.com adds:

Todd Christie and his partners then renovated and flipped the lots for almost triple their purchase price after the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey gave its OK to the project, the report said.

Here is the perfect coda, a recent "La Cucaracha" strip snarking about Governor "Heartbroken." A major advantage of having a Twitter pal like the wonderful Lalo Alcaraz (@LaloAlcaraz) is that he generously shares his work with us:

CucharachaChrisChristiew608h227Link

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Einstein must have had Republicans in mind when he defined "insanity"

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please proceed

tweet Heritage losing electionsLink

Apparently the Heritage Foundation and Scott Walker are bound and determined to dig their heels into that heap of elephant dung they've created. They're clearly oblivious to the world around them, as well as to Albert Einstein's definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

And apparently #2, they are bound and determined to lose elections. Running to the right? Really, GOP? As President Obama would say, "Please proceed."

Here are two headlines from today's Los Angeles Times:

Obamas visit immigration hunger strikers

President and Michelle Obama visit hunger strikers near the Capitol and discuss possible ways forward on the stalled immigration overhaul.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, met with the group for about 30 minutes in a heated tent near the steps of the Capitol to discuss the immigration bill that has stalled in the House.

And:

GOP promise of immigration reform fades a year after election

Despite the importance of the Latino vote, divisions among Republicans leave immigration reform at a standstill.

Changing the way the party talks about immigration is about all House Republicans have to show for their efforts over the last 11 months — and even that effort has notable exceptions. [...]

In fact, the House's most visible immigration-related action was a measure to defund an Obama administration program to defer deportations of young immigrants, a vote that increased Latino animosity even though it failed to become law.

Now stop and think about that contrast, GOP. Who do you think Latino voters will overwhelmingly support... again? Take a wild guess.

Republicans furrow their collective brows and write Very Important political autopsies about softening nothing but their words, and then their (in)actions continue to speak volumes.

So does their timing.

Happy holidays.

reinvention my ass

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When Democrats act like right wing trolls

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rant alert

I'm trying my best to follow Doctor's orders, I really am. I'm staying away from the computer for a good part of the day, I write 90% fewer posts than I used to, and when I do write, I concentrate on more upbeat news stories.

However.

For months-- no, make that years-- it's been impossible to escape from the tea party style, trolly behavior of many so-called "Democrats" on Twitter, in TPC Comments, and on Facebook. And yes, many of these people are really, truly left leaning, not conservatives in blue sheep's clothing.

Let's start with this old chestnut: Over the years, I've been called an "EmoProg," which is supposed to be some kind of terrible, poison dart insult, the ultimate slur that can be hurled at you by a fellow Dem. My pal over at FreakOutNation, @Anomaly100, and I have mocked this lunacy by calling our selves MEmos ( adding "me" to "emo" to fake-narcisstically own our apparent evil EmoProgitude).

I've never been quite sure what EmoProg means, but per Urban Dictionary, in part:

Emo Progressive (or "emoprog") is a self-described liberal or progressive, often with libertarian leanings, whose political orientation is to be angry, dissatisfied and unhappy with the state of the nation at any given time, because in their view, liberal policies are not being implemented quickly or forcefully enough. They have particular contempt for Democratic presidents.

Emoprogs are ideological purists who disdain compromise and incremental change, which they see as "selling out" liberal ideas like full employment, an end to all wars, state secrets, and liberal social policy...

Emoprogs have a strong affinity for 3rd party politics as a way to punish Democratic presidents. They are especially hostile to President Obama and deem anyone who expresses a lack of ill will toward him to be "Obamabots" and enemies of liberalism.

I've also been called an "Obamabot," which as you can see is the opposite of an EmoProg, so go figure. That's how utterly inane and infantile these labels are. They're also destructive, damaging to party unity, toxic, and resolve nothing. In fact, for those who claim to be so "inclusive," this kind of name-calling is sure a funny way of displaying their "tolerance" of others.

There can be disagreement within a party without resorting to this kind of immaturity. We share the same goals, ultimately, so zinging hostile labels at political allies, alienating them instead of working together whenever possible, is at best self-defeating.

Next, and I'm putting this in all caps because I want to scream this loudly, and a few words on a page won't suffice:

PLEASE STOP USING THE WORD "RETARD" AND STOP USING "TARD" AS A SUFFIX.

Again, so-called "inclusive" Dems using that word as a slur is utterly counterproductive, very offensive, and plain stupid. Or ignorant. Or both. Even readers/followers I adore use it. Most stop when I explain what I'm about to write next:

I worked with special ed students for years when I taught high school theater classes. I challenge anyone who uses the R Word or suffix to look any of those dear, innocent kids in the eye and say that directly to them or within earshot of them, and then not feel like a total ass as they see the hurt and bewilderment on the sweet faces that stare back.

Are "liberal" vocabularies so limited that no other words are accessible? Words that don't sting? Words that don't devalue people with real feelings who matter and take things to heart just as you and I do? Really?

And finally, there's this: Yesterday I had a very pleasant Twitter exchange with a *gasp!* Republican TV and print commentator who shall remain nameless. In fact, I have a few far right followers who I get along with, but who I never ever discuss politics with. Our conversations are strictly goofy or personal or about movies, TV, dogs, vacations, that kind of thing. But not politics. Our mutual heads would explode if we did that.

In fact, I detest their politics at worst, and strongly disagree with them at best. But we get along, and one extremely conservative pundit in particular was the very first to "be there" for me (privately in Direct Messages) when my dad first became ill and then supported me all the way through to my father's death. I value that in a person, no matter what their beliefs or politics.

After my quippy back and forth with Mr. GOP Commentator, a follower (who I am happy to say I never followed back) called me "self-righteous" and "muted" me because I dared to engage someone who he (and I) vehemently disagreed with about the Affordable Care Act.

Call me EmoProg-- or is it Obamabot?-- but I am able to compartmentalize and remain friendly with people who are kind to me, who enjoy tweet talk now and then, who have a sense of humor, and who give me no reason to block them. If I eventually find them to be offensive or distasteful, I unfollow or block, that is my choice.

But come on, "Dems" or "liberals" or "Progressives" or "Obama supporters" or whoever you are, grow up. Throwing insults out of the blue, initiating convos only to be rude because I occasionally chat with someone whose point of view we both find objectionable is not exactly true to our Big D Democratic values.

In fact, it's more tea party than it is Dem. And that kind of behavior is intolerable.

words matter

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You'll laugh! You'll cry! #GOPshutdown round-up

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government shutdown cartoon

There's so much news bouncing around the Internet Machine today regarding the utterly avoidable, destructive, and idiotic GOP government shutdown that all the stories deserved a round-up post of their own. Some of the reports are infuriating, some are somewhat reassuring, some are heartbreaking, and others are actually amusing, in a dark, What Are They Thinking? kind of way.

you'll laugh you'll cry

I retort, you deride, starting with this "Libertarian Magic Dust" video:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

We have a winner:

A handful of Republicans in the lower chamber on Tuesday embraced a “clean” continuing resolution (CR): Reps. Pat Meehan (Pa.), Jon Runyan (N.J.), Scott Rigell (Va.), Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.) and Frank Wolf (Va.).

They joined Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) and GOP New York Reps. Pete King and Michael Grimm, who endorsed a clean CR earlier this week.

Senate Democrats believe that Republican efforts to force a vote on what some in the GOP have characterized as a congressional “exemption” are designed to politically corner Democrats like Kay Hagan of North Carolina or Mark Pryor in Arkansas, who represent more conservative states. Democrats contend that Republicans just want to campaign on the issue, while hoping the amendment will not pass. [...]

Reid’s office decided Tuesday morning to release the documents to POLITICO.  [...]

It bears repeating again that the original intent of the provision that is causing leaders so much trouble was merely to force Congressional staff on to Obamacare exchanges, not to have those employees get no employer contribution toward their care.

And if you need a good laugh, House Republicans to move piecemeal funding bills:

House Republicans on Tuesday will move to re-open small portions of the federal government, bringing up bills to fund the National Park Service, part of the Department of Veterans Affairs and operations for the District of Columbia. [...]

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and his team are trying to deflect blame for the shutdown and show that Republicans are still doing their part to keep open important parts of the government.

omg you are hilarious laugh jokeAhem:

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VIDEO-- Historic DiplObamacy: "I was watching the man that I voted for in 2008, very proudly."

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credit where credit is due

tweet rouhani obama iran 1

tweet rouhani obama iran 2

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rachel Maddow made an appearance on "All In with Chris Hayes" to comment on the remarkable series of historic events that all took place in one day:

Rachel: Can we start with the hash tag with the hashtag "will"?  "Will"! It *will* happen! Not "Yes, we can."  "Yes, we will"! *Did* happen! Amazing.

Chris: It was amazing this happened and it did feel like this was a huge issue in the 2008 campaign. What Barack Obama did in that campaign was turn into the tough position, which was "Yeah, I'm going to talk to Iran," and here we are five years later and he's talking to Iran.

...

Rachel: None of that would have happened had the Obama administration not pursued the course he took as a candidate.

One great milestone, one great sort of benchmark person to watch here is always John McCain because John McCain has never met a war he didn't like, and John McCain's response to the prospect of the U.N. Security Council resolution, which we apparently now have, was that it made him sad. He did not want this to be resolved diplomatically. He did not want Syria's chemical weapons to be resolved without a war, that made him feel sad, and what's amazing about that is that it's just him. That's a bizarre view to have. And the rest of the country doesn't have it with him.

Chris: I was watching it unfold when John Kerry came before the nation when he made this passionate argument for strikes. This is a train wreck. The president is gonna lose the vote in Congress, I think it's a bad idea substantively to do this. I don't think it's going to work, I think it's going to make things worse.

I can't believe I'm sitting here a week later and there is a binding enforceable UN Security Council resolution with Russia voting for it in which Syria's gonna turn over their chemical weapons... an incredible diplomatic victory.

Rachel: Yes, on the day that the American president speaks to the Iranian president for the first time since 1979. ... To have them all happening at once, to have sort of "Diplobamacy" bearing fruit in this dramatic way, I mean I guess this is the way these things happen... You quietly work on these things for a very long time, then all of a sudden, when opportunity is available, things happen all at once, this is watershed stuff. This is historic.

...

...What you need to know as an American government is that we need competent governance, we need people who are good at diplomacy all the time and working at it even when it seems hopeless, because sometimes it takes 34 years for that phone call to happen, but when it happens, you better have done the work along the way because those opportunities come along very very rarely.

Chris: And to bring it back to Syria, that was what was most remarkable about Syria, was that when the opportunity presented itself, the president took it.

Rachel: Even if it kinda came from a weird place. I don't care if John Kerry meant say that in that way at that moment, when the opportunity arose, they they were on it. ... You gotta be ready.  Preparation is 99% of taking advantage of the right opportunity. I'm very very proud of our diplomatic capacity on a day like this.

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