My gift to you is some really easy recipes! Lemon Tea Cookies and Sugared Pecans! Not kidding, these recipes are super easy and delicious! Both of these recipes are extremely easy. I’ve made mine, and will probably have to make more! Then again, I am not cooking on Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to me!
Kevin Drum takes a look at what the President’s recent moves mean for next year:
All of these things are worthwhile in their own right, of course, but there’s a political angle to all of them as well: they seriously mess with Republican heads. GOP leaders had plans for January, but now they may or may not be able to do much about them. Instead, they’re going to have to deal with enraged tea partiers insisting that they spend time trying to repeal Obama’s actions. They can’t, of course, but they have to show that they’re trying. So there’s a good chance that they’ll spend their first few months in semi-chaos, responding to Obama’s provocations instead of working on their own agenda.
Case in point: Congressional Republicans are now going to have to spend significant time and energy in a Cold War battle with Obama over Cuba policy–one that is likely to end in failure, and that appeals only to a sliver of the U.S. population.
After all the interminable stuff we heard in 2014 about the Great Big Adult Republicans getting control over the unruly Tea Folk, I think we’ll find that Boehner and McConnell aren’t going to easily restrain conservatives with so much chum in the water. The provocation to a feeding frenzy is just becoming way too overpowering.
Greg Sargent also makes the case that Obama’s actions are laying the groundwork for a 2016 campaign that places the Democratic candidate (Hillary Clinton) on the right side of history and looking toward the future, and the Republican candidates on the wrong side and stuck in the past.
The News Journal has an article titled “Republicans Seek Out Carper for Help.” Hahahaha. They won’t have to go far to find to him, for Carper sleeps on the welcome mat outside the Republican front door. And they won’t have to beg for something. Carper will offer it all.
They want to pretend that all the protests against police brutality and police murder were directed at all police, calling for the death of police officers in response to the murder of two black men in Missouri and New York. They want to pretend that Mayor De Blasio and President Obama, in legitimatizing the concerns of the protesters by speaking to their concerns, also called for the death of police.
The have to pretend all that because they never want to be questioned or criticized, even when one of them does wrong. And any and all questions or criticism of bad cop behavior is taken as a direct attack on all cops, the good ones and the bad. Perhaps because in their mind there is no good or bad behavior. There is only police behavior, and that cannot be good or bad. Perhaps whatever they do is to be considered right and just for the simple reason that it was a police officer doing it.
That is fascism.
And it is the only thing I can think of to explain the outrageous overreaction of a few on the right to the horrible and evil murder of two police officers in Brooklyn this weekend.
Both here and on the Al Mascitti Show at 10 am. Definitely worth following along on DL as I’ve linked to all kinds of stuff, including some of the best work by our contributors, highlighting and lowlighting the ‘winners’.
Per usual, ‘the good’ was the list with the least number of possibilities, no such problems with ‘the bad’ or ‘the ridiculous’.
I always have fun putting this together b/c, when I go back and scroll through our entire year, it’s amazing the stuff that I forgot that was well worth remembering. Although some wish you would forget.
Seeya at 10 on Tuesday..
Politico: “Obama’s turnaround in recent weeks – he’s seized the offensive with a series of controversial executive actions and challenges to leaders in his own party on the budget — can be attributed to a fundamental change in his political mindset, according to current and former aides. He’s gone from thinking of himself as a sitting (lame) duck, they tell me, to a president diving headlong into what amounts to a final campaign – this one to preserve his legacy, add policy points to the scoreboard, and – last but definitely not least – to inflict the same kind of punishment on his newly empowered Republican enemies, who delighted in tormenting him when he was on top.”
I am going to take much pleasure in that.
The most spectacular display of Christmas lights goes to what is known as the “Christmas Light House” on Red Lion Road in Red Lion. Over a million Christmas lights are used, and Santa makes an appearance by helicopter to open up the holiday season.
Roll Call says we might have a new governing coalition in Congress:
The hard right and the hard left ended up out in the cold last week — free to raise their fists and their profiles and make a ruckus, but ultimately powerless to stop the cromnibus. The deal represents a return — at least for a week — to the fabled establishment Washington dealmaking of yore, warts and all, like it or loathe it. It’s a return that could put the ‘do nothing’ label back on the congressional shelf — with Republicans and the president eyeing deals next year on trade and taxes, in addition to keeping the government open for business after four years of serial shutdown and default dramas.
No wonder Tom Carper has been annoying lately. He is living his dream. But such a coalition will be temporary, because we do live in polarized times, and living in polarized times is the normal condition of our politics. Brendan Nyhan calls the bipartisanship of the mid-20th century that Tom Carper dreams about “a historical anomaly.”
Politico: “Obama feels liberated, aides say, and sees the recent flurry of aggressive executive action and deal-making as a pivot for him to spend the last two years being more of the president he always wanted to be.”
“As of Wednesday, that includes doing what 50-plus years of predecessors couldn’t do in relations with Cuba, propelling a generational shift in American foreign policy that could bring down the last pillar of the Cold War. The Cuba announcement follows a post-Election Day sprint that included sealing a landmark climate agreement with China, shielding five million undocumented immigrants from deportation and reaching a deal that funds most of the government for nearly a year while protecting Obamacare and other top priorities.”
Jason330 wrote about Senator Elizabeth Warren’s speech on the Senate floor last week, and the punditry is still talking about it, and the possibility, despite her refusal, that she will run against Hillary Clinton for President. John Cassidy at The New Yorker:
Right now, the Democratic Party has three leaders: President Obama, who is term-limited; Clinton, the establishment successor-in-waiting; and Warren, whose role is difficult to define, but also increasingly difficult to ignore. Of the three, there’s no doubt who is conveying the most consistent message and generating the most enthusiasm among liberal activists: it’s Warren, with her populist crusade against Wall Street and moneyed interests. [...]
The speech she delivered on the floor of the Senate on Friday evening has been viewed more than a quarter of a million times on YouTube. Also on Friday, more than three hundred people who worked on the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012 signed a public letter urging Warren to enter the Presidential race. [...] In saying that she’s not running, Warren can continue to use her prominent position in the Senate to promote the causes she believes in. She can also wait to see if Clinton falters. If that doesn’t happen, Warren can eventually fall in line with the party establishment and help elect the first female President. But if Clinton does stumble badly, in Iowa or before, Warren would still have an opportunity to step in. With her name recognition and army of supporters nationwide, many of them young and tech-savvy, she could quickly raise money and put together an improvised campaign operation.
And we some good polling goodness, and some pretty horrible polling badness about Americans and torture.
Maybe our Senior Senator has this bug up his ass because he knows he will be retiring in 2018, God willing. But Senator Carper has been most annoying over the last two months, screaming about bipartisanship to anyone who can hear him. He realized his career-long dream to create a non-contiguous and non-existent Delaware National Park this past Saturday. So now he is itching to get his actually good Postal Reform bill passed by this Congress. Indeed, there were some reports that he tried to get the Reform bill passed by adding it to the CROmibus bill that passed the Senate last Saturday. And now he is blaming the President Obama for not delaying his immigration action, because not delaying made the Republicans mad, and you cannot make Republicans mad, ever. Not in Bipartisan Land.
It would appear that what began as an unexpected handshake between Cuban President Raul Castro and U.S. President Barack Obama back last year at Nelson Mandela’s funeral may have turned into actual negotiations that resulted today in the release of an American prisoner in Cuba, and the start of talks between the two countries about the resumption of diplomatic relations.
The U.S. is starting talks with Cuba to normalize full diplomatic relations and open an embassy, according to U.S. officials. The expanded relationship would also open imports of Cuban cigars somewhat, according to a CNN report. U.S. President Obama, Cuba’s Raul Castro plan to speak separately at noon ET about relations between the two countries. Obama plans to overhaul Cuba’s policy while Cuba plans to free 53 political prisoners and to allow U.S. debit and credit cards, Dow Jones reported. This follows Cuba’s release of American Alan Gross from a Cuban prison where he spent five years on espionage charges, NBC reported.
Inducted as an ‘Early Influence’, they’re so good that they should have gone in long ago. An extremely important link between early r & b, soul, and gospel. Led by a neglected genius in Lowman Pauling, who wrote songs that you know, and created a guitar style that was far ahead of his time. Please listen, you will enjoy these……
Longtime readers will know my frustration with Delaware and its revenues. We have what is essentially a flat tax rate system for the middle and higher brackets of income. If one person has $60,000 in taxable income and another has $600,000 and another has $6 million, they all pay exactly the same tax rate. But we can never… NEVER!!!!!! … raise taxes on those at the higher levels, because, you know, they are job creators and it will hurt their fees fees. So we have to scrounge around every year, waiting desperately for every DEFAC forecast to come out with good news. We have to talk about raising regressive fees and taxes, like the gas taxes, which fall disproportionately on those who least can afford to pay more. We have to talk about deeper and deeper spending cuts.
And we have to resort to a Task Force to tell us what is wrong with our “revenue structure.” And that task force will come back with proposals for a gas tax and a sales tax, both regressive taxes, and both unpopular, which will “force” the Governor to look to spending cuts to education and Medicaid. That’s the Delaware Way.
One of the great ironies of our time is that the radical Republican hates the tyrannical Big Obama Government, yet wants that tyrannical Big Government to torture. James Antle III calls out the Republican hypocrites who apologize for torture:
[T]he case for limited government is weakened when those making it ignore or defend torture, testicle-crushing, and waterboarding, complaining only about big government when someone proposes spending taxpayer dollars to help people. And I say that as someone who has written a book arguing that seemingly benign and compassionate government spending can curtail individual freedom.
It is difficult to take someone seriously who thinks the imprisonment of human beings in cages and the behavior of government agents with guns have less impact on personal freedom than the capital-gains tax rate. That is one reason it is so easy for many to dismiss arguments against programs like Obamacare as being motivated purely by economic self-interest.
The truth is that there is no irony, no hypocrisy. The truth is, and this issue, and the issue of abortion, lays bare the lie that is the Republican Party today: Republicans do not hate big government at all. They love it. And they love it precisely because they are fascists. They want to control you and society. That is why they also support police officers who murder with no provocation. It is why they support torture. It is why they want to abolish reproductive choice, public education, public health, and social security. All of those things free the citizen and uplifts them. But that is not what the Republican Party wants.
Andrew Hawkins, a football player for the NFL’s Cleveland Browns, wore the T-shirt you see above during the game warm ups on Sunday. Like in St. Louis, when some St. Louis Rams players last week entered the stadium during game introductions with their hands up, the local police in Cleveland demanded an apology from the Cleveland Browns organization and Mr. Hawkins himself. The Cleveland Browns said no, no apology, stating correctly:
“We have great respect for the Cleveland Police Department and the work that they do to protect and serve our city,” the Browns said in a statement, via Cleveland.com. “We also respect our players’ rights to project their support and bring awareness to issues that are important to them if done so in a responsible manner.”
Then Hawkins hit it out of the park with his statement……
Granted, it wasn’t a great year for progressives in Delaware, to put it mildly. A business uber alles governor, a congressional delegation that aids and comforts the enemy, more shenanigans from narcissistic elected officials, and a refusal by the General Assembly to address financial shortfalls that will soon impact Delaware’s infrastructure.
However…we began to see the emergence of coalitions that may well have a profound and positive impact on our future. We also saw some elected officials step up their game. And we saw members of the public lead in challenging some of the most wrong-headed assumptions of our elected officials.
So, here they are: The 2014 Bob Stachnik Memorial MVP Awards. Dedicated to a man who epitomized the spirit of those who created this very blog. A man who, literally and figuratively, sought to ‘re-twinkle the stars’.