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Cliff Notes: 9-year-old kills instructor by mistake; NRA pisses off wrong nerd genius

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cliff schecter on Today show 9-year-old girl shoots instructor

My dear friend and mentor, Cliff Schecter, has a new post up; Cliff has given me permission to share his work with you, so I’ll give you the latest edition of what I call Cliff Notes. Below are a few excerpts from his latest, with permission. Please read the whole thing, because he has way more than I’ve included here.

Kudos are in order; Cliff's been showing up all over MSNBC and NBC these days, because they know how good he is at what he does. The above clip is from the Today show, and below is last night's appearance on The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. The videos and excerpts focus on the horrific accidental killing of a shooting range instructor by a 9-year-old girl, as well as Bill Gates' million dollar donation for universal background checks:

Here is Cliff pointing out the impact that Bill Gates could have with his support of popular, common sense gun laws. Please link over for the entire post:  

Gates has the ability to grab headlines and make an issue go viral with the constant media coverage he receives, and the financial ability, if he wins, to fund similar efforts around the country. His involvement could be the answer to the public health crisis that makes American children 93 percent of those murdered in the 26 high-income countries around the world.

Meanwhile, the NRA has…Chuck Norris, doing its “Trigger The Vote” Campaign. [...]

Who knows, with that kind of dough, maybe even measures that “only” enjoy 56 percent support like bans on assault weapons and/or high-capacity magazines could pass via direct voting by uncorrupted American citizens. Or perhaps state legislators and members of Congress who bend easily to the will of these Lords of War could be swapped out for those who live in a closer neighborhood to the best interests of the American populace.

Likely the NRA will try to do to Gates what it has attempted to do to Bloomberg for a few years now, and seek to make this fight about him and not its right-wing radicalism in the service of avarice. He’s a billionaire trying to influence our political process, after all, unlike Manhattan resident David Koch, who along with his brother Charles has polluted our political process to no end, including funding the NRA.

Sure, in an ideal world big money wouldn’t play such an outsize role in our elections, such as this hugely important ballot initiative in Washington state. But that’s not what the NRA wants. It just wants its big money still to be all that decides the outcome, and it isn’t. Which is why Wayne LaPierre’s having a bad day.

Please read the entire post at The Daily Beast, here.

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VIDEO: ALS #IceBucketChallenge can be... challenging

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gotta laugh political jokes

There are some very well-meaning celebrities who are taking the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. And then there are those who appear to be indulging themselves in a Self-Serving Moment of Promo.

Take Les Moonves, for example. He's the president and CEO of CBS. His video happened to appear on his CBS show "Big Brother," which, not so coincidentally, his wife Julie Chen hosts. And where his wife also took the challenge after airing her husband's video. Her douser, by the way, was Will Arnett... of CBS's "The Millers":

What's that saying again? Oh yeah, "It's all in the family." I truly hope their efforts help, but, IMHO, they are also exploiting a good cause.

And something has been puzzling me about the ALS challenge's very premise. Wiki:

A common stipulation is that nominated people have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.

So those who comply aren't donating? Why are the drenched participants proud of that? Isn't the whole point to not only bring attention to ALS, but also to help fund raise? Color me confused. But I digress...

Allow me to introduce my buddy "Special K" to you. She and I both live in sunny California where a major drought is underway. Conservation is a huge issue here, which inspired Special K to come up with this:

She's already gotten negative feedback on Facebook (quel surprise) for injecting some humor into something that comedians and others have already playfully skewered. Lighten up, people. Nobody's anti-good cause here. When you think about it, provoking laughter is already incorporated into the very act of dumping ice water all over the heads of participants, so why not increase awareness with a little more (benign) humor?

giggle laughPerhaps her critics should have taken a moment to read this at the ALS Association site:

Please be thoughtful about water usage! If you’re in an area of the country or world affected by drought, repurpose the water for later use or help spread ALS awareness by becoming an ALS advocate, joining the Walk to Defeat ALS® in your community, getting involved in our fundraisers, or sharing information about this disease via social media. Or you can make a donation instead at www.alsa.org/donate.

Say it with me now: GottaLaff or you cry.

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Executive producer Bill Wolff leaving Maddow: Worst New Thing in the World

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maddow worst new thing in the world

Back in 2012, I was beyond thrilled to meet Rachel Maddow. But I was equally thrilled to meet her executive producer, Bill Wolff. You can read about my encounter with them here: Best New Thing in the World: I met Rachel Maddow last night.

I wrote a sequel to that post about Bill's generosity when he surprised me with a shout out: VIDEO: The SECOND "Best New Thing in the World": A shout out from The Rachel Maddow Show!

maddow shout out bill wolff

And so, last night, when Rachel did a surprising Opposite World segment, the subject matter really hit home. She pulled a switcheroo from her usual Best New Thing in the World and presented The Worst New Thing in the World: Bill Wolff is leaving The Rachel Maddow Show. He "is moving on to an easier show with better hours, not that we’re bitter..."

The Hollywood Reporter- ABC is filling another key role in its quest to reinvigorate The View. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that longtime Rachel Maddow Show executive producer Bill Wolff is set to replace Bill Geddie as showrunner for the upcoming season.

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

Bill Wolff often appeared on camera, but even behind the scenes, he was very visible to us. His humor, intelligence, passion, enthusiasm, and inimitable style pervaded every aspect of TRMS. As Rachel put it, he is a mensch, and he will be sorely missed. Here's to his next big success at his new digs.

toasting glasses

maddow bill wolff our fearless leader

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Heads up, Dems!

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Wisconsin Governor: Scott Walker (R), at 48%, is in a virtual tie with Mary Burke (D) 47%: Rasmussen Reports.

Democratic challenger Paul Davis is at 51%, beating Republican Governor of Kansas, Sam Brownback, who's at 41%: Rasmussen Reports.

Rasmussen has been described as a "conservative-leaning polling group."

Hey Wisconsin, remember this?

Hey Kansas, remember this?

what's the matter with kansas

Heads up, Dems! You know what to do: Help get as many people as you can registered and to the polls. Get out the vote. Without a huge turnout, without Democrats swarming to the ballot box, we cannot win.

It's up to you.

gotv don't complain vote

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Roads and bridges falling down, falling down, falling down...

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LondonBridgew384h202

Sing it with me, now!

Roads and bridges falling down,

Falling down,

Falling down!

Roads and bridges falling down!

Where is Congress?

Face it, America, not only is our infrastructure in a total state of disrepair, but our stellar lawmakers *coughGOPcough* make our roads and bridges look positively reliable.

Via the Los Angeles Times:

America's transportation infrastructure, once an engine of mobility and productivity, has fallen into such disrepair that it's become an economic albatross. Consumers shell out billions of dollars for extra car repairs every year. Insufficient and poorly maintained roads mean costly bottlenecks for businesses, which discourage expansion and hobble American companies competing in the global economy. [...]

A quarter of the country's 147,870 bridges are deficient or obsolete, according to a July report by the White House on infrastructure investment. [...]

[In East Greenwich, south of Providence, Rhode Island]... some of the supporting beams underneath were so beaten down by time and rainwater that they were "paper-thin." [...] All told, about a third of [California's] public roads are in bad shape, compared with 14% nationally.

Public safety, schmublic schmafety.

"Pro-life" my ass.

Here's a little flashback dedicated to Republican Congress members who obstruct infrastructure bills the way Fox obstructs truth in broadcasting:

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Women Are Doing It for Ourselves, say two First Ladies - Part Two

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At a mini-summi on women, government, the future of our children, Laura Bush she has also made some strides and efforts to be a helpful former First Dame. Just had exceeding poor skills at spouse options.

And surprisingly warm and respectful to our present FLOTUS, the utterly amazing Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama, FLOTUS extraordinaire, has been slammed by the right from everything to disliking her Let's Move program (apparently the GOP.Tea traditions including malnourishing children in the name of freedom, patriotism and the American Way of Greed), to bashing her beautiful arms, to accuse her a soshulist' agenda by guaranteeing a child hot lunch and/or breakfast …

Redistribution of Wealth, the Right screams.

Guess as soon the kid is out of the womb, it becomes a child to be collectively used as a political football.

Image Courtesy AllHatNoCattle.com

Image Courtesy AllHatNoCattle.com

They want to have the right to feed their kids into lifelong obesity and poor heath - because otherwise, we are an Evil Nanny State. Folks in Vermont who are struggling rely having WIC for dairy, cheese, eggs and juices.

Have a look, at the First Ladies interacting, from CBS News.

And a longer version if you're so inclined, Cokie Roberts hosted.

Image, LasVegasTribune

From the Youtube thread about the gathering - Major Ick.

Hornybama

You will never see a bigger contrast than Laura and Michelle.

Libdump:
Yes, one has class and poise (Laura Bush) and the other (Michelle Obama) is an arrogant, anti-American, racist POS!!!

Really?!!!!

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My old improv buddy has died. RIP Robin Williams.

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robin williams

cry

I won't be able to do him justice. I'm in tears. Robin Williams, someone I highly respected, adored, and worked with has died at an all-too-young 63. I'm heartsick.

I met Robin pre-fame. In fact, he used to wear a pin that said "Nearly Famous." That was about a year or so after we met, just as he was about to star in his first TV series, "Mork and Mindy." After that, his career took off.

We worked together in an improvisation comedy group called "Off the Wall," and whenever I was on stage with him, I was (happily) a mere prop. The man was a genius. A genius with a heart of gold. A generous, sweet soul who never said a bad word about anyone, and treated everyone as equals. But nobody was his equal.

This news is horrible. I'd read that he was back in rehab, but I never expected this. Nobody did.

One of my favorite memories was attending a mutual friend's Passover seder, and he was seated next to me. He was so respectful, very quiet,  but everyone was waiting for him to go into one of his brilliant riffs... which he did, finally, after someone else cracked a joke, which was tacit permission for him to blast off. He was hilarious.

And again, he was kind. That's what really mattered.

I haven't seen him for years. He became so famous that when I went backstage to see him at a concert, he was literally whisked away from me by his entourage after a big hug and few seconds of conversation. He apologized as he was dragged off.

He used to honk my boobies, making a typically Robin honking sound. His nickname for me was "Sweet Thing."

I could go on forever about him, tell you wonderful stories, but for now, let this suffice.

RIP, dear sweet Robin. We'll miss you so much.

Via Business Insider: 

The cause of death is thought to be suicide by asphyxiation.

Here's the release from the Marin County Sheriff's Office:

On August 11, 2014, at approximately 11:55 am, Marin County Communications received a 9-1-1 telephone call reporting a male adult had been located unconscious and not breathing inside his residence in unincorporated Tiburon, CA. The Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Tiburon Fire Department and Southern Marin Fire Protection District were dispatched to the incident with emergency personnel arriving on scene at 12:00 pm. The male subject, pronounced deceased at 12:02 pm has been identified as Robin McLaurin Williams, a 63 year old resident of unincorporated Tiburon, CA. [...] A forensic examination is currently scheduled for August 12, 2014 with subsequent toxicology testing to be conducted.

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