‘Fast & Furious’ star Paul Walker dies in car accident..

photo…zimbo

Santa Clarita, California (CNN) — Actor Paul Walker, who shot to fame as star of the high-octane street racing franchise “Fast & Furious,” died Saturday in a car crash in Southern California. He was 40.

Walker’s publicist Ame van Iden confirmed his death, but said she could not elaborate beyond statements posted on Walker’s official Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Walker was a passenger in a friend’s car and both were attending a charity event for his organization, Reach Out Worldwide, in Santa Clarita, about 30 miles north of Hollywood.

The website for the charity said the Saturday event was intended to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

The crash took place about 3:30 p.m., about 300 yards from the office park where the event was held.

The Santa Clarita Valley Signal, citing a sheriff’s deputy at the scene, said a red Porsche appeared to have lost control….

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Could we have Another Shutdown Show?

Sure……

Politico is out with a piece about a group from within Congress that has been working together to prevent  another Government shutdown…..

But the question will be House GOP Speaker John Boehner and how he deals with the House Tea Party Army, which was led by Texaes GOP Senator Ted Cruz , who has NOT promised to forgo a shutdown …..

“Let’s say the Budget Committee is unable to reach any kind of agreement,” Collins said. “I would think that our group would reconvene and talk about whether we could put together a plan.”

“They’re making some headway. Not as much as I’d like to see,” Manchin said of the budget leaders. “If they fall and get nothing and you come on the eve of a shutdown? You don’t want that to happen. We’re not going to let that happen.”

The group has been there before: Bipartisan deal makers like Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) believe their October talks and draft legislation paved the way for an eventual deal between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to reopen the government and avoid a debt crisis.

The group includes lawmakers who aren’t afraid to buck their leadership, whether it’s Republicans Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voting with Democrats to advance President Barack Obama’s nominees or Democrats Manchin and Mark Pryor of Arkansas opposing Reid’s historic push to revamp the filibuster rules.

Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) described the caucus as “kind of the volunteer fire department,” explaining that it may again be called on to unlock negotiations during what looks to be a heated debate between two parties long divided over tax and spending policy.

The entire group met formally in early November and agreed not to disband, though members decided not to endorse specific policies until the budget committee negotiations play out. But the aisle-crossing crew has continued to meet in small groups and speak privately since the shutdown ended, mindful that it took precious days to build the bipartisan fiscal negotiating team during the 16-day government shutdown this fall.

For more than a week in October, Washington was paralyzed by the first government shutdown in 17 years

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Red State on Unions and Wal-Mart……

Why Are Unions Protesting Walmart Again? Is It Because Five Million Americans Applied For 500,000 Union-Free Jobs?

By: LaborUnionReport (Diary) @ Red State

Wal Mart Greeter

Three days before unions protest at Walmarts across the country, Diana Furchtgott-Roth makes an interesting observation

The odds of getting into one of the top American universities are about 1 in 10. American workers view Walmart in the same way as high school seniors view American colleges: last year 5 million Americans applied to Walmart for 500,000 jobs. These are highly valued positions.

But unions think that Walmart employment policies are flawed. For the second year in row, on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, unions are organizing 1,500 protests against Walmart. Protests will be held at stores as far north as Ellsworth, Maine, and Fargo, North Dakota, and as far south as Chula Vista, California, and Houston, Texas. [Emphasis added.]

Unions have long hated Walmart–not necessarily for its policies, but more for the fact that Walmart associates do not pay union dues and the company’s business model puts unionized grocers at a competitive disadvantage.

With one million associates, if the unions were to unionize Walmart (at $40 per month), not counting initiation fees to join, union bosses would stand to rake in nearly half a billion dollars in union dues from Walmart associates every year.

No wonder the unions are upset……

Note….

The argument here is off point to me….

How many people apply for jobs IN GENERAL?

The fact that a lot of people apply to Wal-Mart has little if anythging to do with anything…

If Wal-Mart employee’s organized and where able to get a decent salary WTF would they care if they had to pay union dues?

The Dog….

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On Chinese ‘Anchor Babies’….

Time magazine examines the trend of rich couple’s from China coming to  America to have babies…

Without knowing that sooner or later the IRS will want it’s due to pay for the ‘free’ pass to America…(Many of these parents pay fee’s to services that provide accommodations for the birth trip )

The parents will often wait for their children to grow to teenagers in China before being sent back to the US to continue their higher education and bring Mom and Pop back to the American legally thru sponsorship…..

Jiang and his wife, the Shanghai couple, didn’t use an agency. An English-speaking sales manager, his wife simply procured a business visa to the U.S. — something she had successfully done before — and set up camp in Rowland Heights, Calif. The L.A. County community, among others, has become notorious for a proliferation of “maternity hotels” for privileged expectant mothers from China. Jiang’s wife has hired a nanny for her son and expects to return to Shanghai with the newborn in a month’s time, after the U.S.-passport paperwork is completed.

China doesn’t allow for dual citizenship, so American-born babies will have to procure Chinese residency through sometimes shady means. (Yes, there are plenty of agencies that help with that task as well.) There are other catches. Eventually, young Americans, even those living abroad, are supposed to file tax returns and possibly pay taxes, something that’s not widely known among many Chinese parents. Jia Mei’s website, for instance, doesn’t mention this potential financial obligation.

Jiang, 31, doesn’t expect his son to return to America until he’s in junior high school and can profit from the relative freedom of the U.S. education system. But his wife has so enjoyed her time in California that she’s considering adjusting their timetable. “My wife thinks the air in L.A. is very good, and the food safety is good,” he says. “The weird thing is that many products are actually cheaper in America than in China. Maybe it makes sense for my son to live there sooner rather than later.”

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Daily Real Clear Politics Polling Numbers 11/29/13 and 11/30/13….Hillary vs Christie 2016…

The polling stays on these two at the top of their parties 2016 Presidential tickets for now….

Saturday, November 30
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
President Obama Job Approval Gallup Approve 42, Disapprove 51 Disapprove +9
Friday, November 29
Race/Topic   (Click to Sort) Poll Results Spread
2016 Republican Presidential Nomination CNN/Opinion Research Christie 24, Paul 15, Cruz 11, Rubio 10, Ryan 11, Bush 5, Walker , Jindal Christie +9
2016 Democratic Presidential Nomination CNN/Opinion Research Clinton 64, Biden 12, Warren 7, Cuomo 4, O’Malley 2, Warner Clinton +52

…from RealClearPolitics….

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New York City waits for it’s Mayor-Elect to pick a New Police Commissioner….

Bill de Blasio will be naming a new Police Head for the New York City Police Department shortly…..

He technically has a month to do so….But he really doesn’t…

A new Police Commissiner will have to be named in the next two weeks or so to give him time start a transition in the countries largest police department of 34,000+…..

The odds on Favorite pick would be Bill Bratton (My Choice) , who had the job for 2 years , and has headed the Boston and Los Angles Police Departments also….

The other names is the ring are Phil Banks, the Black chief of the Department and Rafeal Pineiro, NYPD’s First Deputy Commissioner….Neither have the front and center Political experience of actually being the out front person running the department…..

Bratton is by far the most experienced of the group and has been on the circus stage that a NYPD Head would be on day in and day out….

But Bratton while eminately quzlified to do the job inside and out….Does have a media affection that got him fired by Rudy Guliani back in the day….

We’ll see how this goes fairly soon in expect…..

Whomever Mr. de Blasio chooses as commissioner, the appointment will begin to answer questions about the role he sees for the 34,000-member Police Department, particularly as he moves to change the stop-and-frisk tactics Mr. Kelly has so vigorously defended and Mr. de Blasio has so assiduously denounced.

Until relatively recently, Mr. de Blasio did not devote considerable attention to the Police Department’s most contentious undertakings — including the expansion of the police intelligence apparatus and the explosion of stop-and-frisk policing.

Civil rights lawyers have been criticizing stop-and-frisk tactics for more than a decade, and the practice has received extensive media attention over the years. But before early 2012, Mr. de Blasio had left few traces of his thinking on the matter in his public statements. His pointed criticisms of the tactic since then have helped give Mr. de Blasio, who is white, near universal support among black voters.

An examination of his political career shows that while he was periodically involved in law enforcement policy, he was more likely to deal with the Police Department on neighborhood concerns that came up in the affluent Brooklyn district he represented for two terms on the City Council.

He worked hard, by many accounts, to build productive relationships with local police commanders, keeping in contact with them and appearing at awards ceremonies at local precincts.

“If he heard an issue about crimes in the neighborhood from a constituent, he would call me up,” said Thomas J. Harris, who commanded precincts around Prospect Park in the 2000s before retiring in 2010.

As mayor, Mr. de Blasio will have a far more complicated and consequential relationship with the Police Department.

He will also have to stand before the news cameras, with his police commissioner at his side, if there is a natural disaster or attempted terrorist attack, and reassure the city — and the world.

 More….

Note….

The outgoing NYPD head, Ray Kelly has been spending his last days on the job trying to fight for a continuation of the Department’s ‘Stop nad Frick’ policy which even the cops have stopped using after the city lost a lawsuit against it’s use…..de Blasio has said he will cancel current Mayor Bloombergs efforts to appeal the loss of the suit…..The new Police Head will have to work to defuse the bad press and feeling from the Kelly years of way the policy was eforced on the streets…

photo…nypost.com

….for more on this try here…..

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The Healthcare Law as a Success…..

OP-ED COLUMNIST

Obamacare’s Secret Success

By  @ The NY Times…..

Much of the Beltway establishment scoffed at the promise of cost savings. The prevalent attitude in Washington is that reform isn’t real unless the little people suffer; serious savings are supposed to come from things likeraising the Medicare age (which the Congressional Budget Office recently concluded would, in fact, hardly save any money) and throwing millions of Americans off Medicaid. True, a 2011 letter signed by hundreds of health and labor economistspointed out that “the Affordable Care Act contains essentially every cost-containment provision policy analysts have considered effective in reducing the rate of medical spending.” But such expert views were largely ignored.

So, how’s it going? The health exchanges are off to a famously rocky start, but many, though by no means all, of the cost-control measures have already kicked in. Has the curve been bent?

The answer, amazingly, is yes. In fact, the slowdown in health costs has been dramatic.

O.K., the obligatory caveats. First of all, we don’t know how long the good news will last. Health costs in the United States slowed dramatically in the 1990s (although not this dramatically), probably thanks to the rise of health maintenance organizations, but cost growth picked up again after 2000. Second, we don’t know for sure how much of the good news is because of the Affordable Care Act.

Still, the facts are striking. Since 2010, when the act was passed, real health spending per capita — that is, total spending adjusted for overall inflation and population growth — has risen less than a third as rapidly as its long-term average. Real spending per Medicare recipient hasn’t risen at all; real spending per Medicaid beneficiary has actually fallen slightly.

What could account for this good news?

More…. 

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The Left and Labor want More from the President’s upcoming job picks….

With Senate Confirmation’s now a simple majority vote and the Democratic Majority in the Senate….Democratic Progressives  and Labor are lining up to press President Obama for friendly choices in people to fill spots vacant in the Government…..I would bet my paycheck that the President is gonna send a wave of people who the Republicans would NOT be happy with….

The President SHOULD be sending a whole lot of names to the Senate to get things on track for the next three years of his term….People who can do the job…..

But I doubt he’s gonna open himself up to media and GOP crticism that he’s packed the Government with left leaning puppets…..

And there is always Rep Issa ‘s House hearings to worry about…..

“Before we weren’t trying to push people with a labor backgrounds because we knew they would never have been confirmable,” said a senior labor official. “That bar has been removed. You’ll see considerable interest in seeing more progressive people appointed to positions.”

Groups are keeping their wish lists of potential nominees secret for fear that Republicans could still muster enough opposition to stall their confirmations if it became known they are the top priorities of the left.

“We do have a couple we’re trying to push right now,” said the labor official, who declined to reveal specifically which vacant positions are under discussion. “There are some assistant secretary positions.”

Earlier this month, Senate Democrats changed the Senate’s rules to lower the threshold for advancing executive and judicial branch nominees from 60 votes to a simple majority. The change does not apply to Supreme Court nominees. There are 55 senators who are in the Democratic caucus.

Liberal consumer advocacy groups have their sights set on two positions with regulatory oversight of Wall Street, one on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and another on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors….

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healthcare.gov gets better….But will NOT be perfect……

Heck, Few if ANY websites are perfect…..

The message is the site should be able to handle 50,000 hits at any given moment….

We KNOW the GOPer’s are gonna lay into the engatives come Monday and the media will carry the message….

But the site HAS gotten better, and the Fede’s have opened other avenue’s to to try and take some of the increased load on the site….

That IS progress…

Consumers reported varying degrees of success. Aimee Berner, 59, of Glenview, Ill., said she was still not able to finish the application that she began weeks ago. “At least for me, the glitches are still there.”

But on Friday, Dan Wilson, 28, of Madison, Wis., said he had better luck. “I needed to make a decision about whether I was going to keep my current plan or find a new one. I was successfully able to get through and get the information I needed.” In early October, he said, he found the site “just useless.”

Federal officials continue to try to create alternative ways to enroll. The latest is a shortcut called EZ-App, developed over the past month, which will allow consumers to more easily estimate how much federal assistance they are eligible to receive.

The concept is similar to the Internal Revenue Service’s 1040EZ form, the shortest and simplest way to file a federal income tax return. But even getting this slimmed-down process to work online has proved difficult, one person said, so it will initially only be available to individuals who seek to enroll by telephone.

The overhaul of the system’s hardware foundation is intended to address deep concerns about the site’s stability and horsepower. Though the site is up and running more than 85 percent of the time now — compared to just 42 percent in the third week of October — it still crashed for more than three hours last week.

When the site went down at the end of October for more than 10 hours, administration officials blamed Terremark, a subsidiary of Verizon, which operates the data center that houses the system’s hardware. While some specialists said Terremark merely followed specifications it had been handed, several contractors and vendors said they have been unhappy with the firm’s response to repeated outages. A new contractor, chosen before the site went live and problems emerged, is taking over when Terremark’s contract expires, the administration has said.

Because of the system’s fragility, one subcontractor, Oracle, has delivered its own server to a data center near Washington, so that its software, crucial for users to create accounts, runs faster and more reliably. Gary L. Bloom, the chief executive officer of another vendor, MarkLogic, said his firm is also moving its software to differently configured servers. MarkLogic provided the technology for the database that serves as the system’s internal filing cabinet and index……

More….

Note….

As the above linked NY Times piece suggests…

The site will HAVE to become a stand alone severed site in the near future.(Its servers  are actually doing work for OTHER Government sites, which is stupid given the amount of trouble they have had up to now)….Going into March there WILL be a increased usage as the March 15 deadline approaches for sign-ups….

But the piece points out people ARE getting thru to the site to get things done…..

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Democrats on the State and Local Government move to Raise the Minimum wage…..

image…pbs.org

Taking a page from the Republicans , who have worked below the Federal Level on abortion, immigration and other issues….

Mostly Democrats, with backing from Labor, have been working thru states and local government to require companies to raise their minimum wage level’s….

The efforts may have an appeal to blue collar workers and others, who had been drifting to the Republican’s due to the nations economic problems….

The efforts, while supported by many unions, threaten to create a patchwork of wage rates that could mean workers in some areas will be entitled to vastly less than those working similar jobs nearby. The campaigns reach from coast to coast.

“Congress can’t do anything right now, and even if they could, they wouldn’t even come close to the level that various cities and states around the country are looking at,” said Phil Mendelson, the Democratic chairman of the D.C. Council, which isexpected to take an initial vote Tuesday setting the city’s minimum wage at $11.50 an hour by 2016.

The county councils in Montgomery andPrince George’s voted this week to reach $11.50 — higher than any rate in effect in the United States — by 2017. Thecoordinated effort emerged in recent months after local officials decided they could not wait for Congress or state legislators.

As minimum wage fights have gone increasingly local, Democrats have led the charge, working to define themselves as the party of blue-collar workers while casting Republicans as defenders of corporations and big business.

Backing minimum wage increases, even in otherwise conservative states, sharpens that definition, they believe. Minimum wage increases have broad public support, and income inequality issues have touched a nerve in many places.

“When the pope starts criticizing trickle-down economics, you know the gulf between rich and poor has become too much to ignore,” said Tom Lindenfeld, a Democratic consultant with close ties to labor unions…..

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Where is Chris Christie on the Dream Act?

Immigration SHOULD be an important weathervane for Republican, New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, in his expected run for President in 2016…

The Problem is?

Is he for it?

Or is he against it?

Christie flip-flip-flops on DREAM Act

by Jed Lewison @ Daily Kos…..

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney at the 2012 Republican National Convention

attribution: NBC
From one admiring flip-flopper to another, Mitt Romney to Chris Christie

Via Jordan Fabian, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has come out against legislation passed by the New Jersey state Senate giving in-state tuition to DREAMers even thoughhe said he would support such legislation during the gubernatorial campaign.

When Christie came out in favor of a DREAM Act for New Jersey, it was a flip-flop, but it was warmly received by his state and helped him win a majority of the Latino vote in November’s election. Now he says that he would still be willing to sign a DREAM Act, except the part about how he opposes the one passed by the state senate, which he says is too generous.

Because the state assembly has yet to act, there’s still time for Christie to flip-flop on his flip-flip-flop, but whatever happens, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Christie’s consistency—or lack thereof—is something to watch as he prepares to run for president.

Earlier this month, Christie gave us a smaller, less substantive example of how his mouth can get him in trouble. Three days before his re-election, he said that he wasn’t running to be an “ideologue” and that he wanted to “work across the aisle.” Then, on Election Day, just a few hours before polls closed, he called himself a “conservative” on CNN, saying “I’m a conservative. And I’ve governed as a conservative.” Then, after the election, Christie reversed course another time, refusing to say whether he was a conservative while critizing people who used the very same political labels that he’d used just a few days earlier.

Taken individually, each of the three statements by Christie were appropriate for their setting, but collectively, they contradicted one another. That’s not surprising given that Christie’s biggest strength—his authoritative style—stems from his willingness to shoot from the hip and his knack for saying the right things, at least as long as he’s able to keep his cool. But the problem for Christie is that over the course of a long and closely scrutinized presidential campaign, shooting from the hip means you’re going to contradict yourself, and when your opponents figure that out, you go from seeming like a genuine straight-shooter to seeming like a bullshit artist.

Just ask John McCain: Live by the mouth, die by the mouth.

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Pennsylvania’s 13th District Race and a Another Clinton Friend….

The ledaer in this race is Chelse Clinton’s Mother-in-Law, who did ‘the Right Think’ for a Democratic President 20 years ago , and lost her job for doing so….

That would be Marjorie Margolies……

The Clinton Comeback Artist
marjorie margolies

Marjorie Margolies is the candidate to beat, at least according to pollingcommissioned in August by her campaign that shows her well ahead of her three Democratic opponents.

She served one term in Congress two decades ago, and was cast out after voting for then-President Bill Clinton’s budget, which she initially said she opposed but agreed to support when leadership told her they needed her vote. Now, she has a more immediate Clinton connection: Margolies’ son Marc Margolies-Mezvinsky is married to Chelsea Clinton, the Clintons’ daughter.

Margolies said she reached out to the Clintons early on when deciding whether to run and that they have been very supportive, including through a donation from Bill Clinton. Asked why she decided to get back into politics after nearly two decades, Margolies recounted a conversation her friend had about her with the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a likely 2016 presidential hopeful.

“A friend of mine was talking to Hillary and said, ‘Why in the world would [Margolies] want to do this?’ and [Hillary] said, ‘I think she has some unfinished business,'” Margolies said. “And she couldn’t have said it more articulately. I do feel that way.”

She has raised less money overall than opponents Leach and Valerie Arkoosh and had the smallest amount of cash on hand as of the most recent filings, but outraised the other candidates in the third quarter. She is the only candidate who has served in Congress before, and has received the backing of her former colleagues, including Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

“In this race, there are very few differences on issues, but a lot of it is experience, and a lot of it is proven leadership ability in Congress,” she said. “That’s where I separate myself out, I think, from the rest of the field.”

Margolies said she hopes to run on her own record, pointing especially to her work with the nonprofit she founded, Women’s Campaign International.

Of the Clintons, she said, “I ran without them before, and I do want to run on what I’ve done.”

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Why are the NY Jets so Bad?

The Jets….DO have a problem…

photo…americanfootballon.wordpress.com

To paraphrase Georges Clemenceau on Brazil, the New York Jets are the team of the future—and always will be. In 1969 the Jets tossed the pro football world on its head when the AFL upstart Jets were led by Joe Namath to a Super Bowl victory over the NFL old-guard team Baltimore Colts. Since then, the Jets have accomplished nothing—despite intermittent reboots of team management and proclamations that the future will soon be brighter.

The team has never been back to the Super Bowl; four times they were one victory away and lost. That makes one Super Bowl appearance from 1969 till now. Only the Detroit Lions and the Arizona (formerly the St. Louis) Cardinals have a worse won-lost record among franchises that have been around at least half a century.

Why has the team been so bad for so long? Blame a persistent shortsightedness among its leaders over the year.

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Black Friday is ON!….And so is some Mad Crazy Stuff……..

photo…ap/hiffingtonpost

Good sales, Fights and Cold Weather……

….from the Huffingtonpost……

The holiday shopping season kicked off much earlier this year, as several retailers opened their stores on Thanksgiving Day. The sales continued through Friday. The Associated Press looks at shopping apps to bring along to make sure you get the best deals.

The day after Thanksgiving, called Black Friday, is typically the biggest shopping day of the year. For a decade, it had been considered the official start of the holiday buying season. But in the past few years, retailers have pushed opening times into Thanksgiving night. They’ve also pushed up discounting that used to be reserved for Black Friday into early November, which has led retail experts to question whether the Thanksgiving openings will steal some of Black Friday’s thunder.

The holiday openings came despite threatened protests from workers’ rights groups, which are opposed to employees working on the holiday instead of spending the day with family.

Overall, the National Retail Federation expects retail sales to be up 4 percent to $602 billion during the last two months of the year. That’s higher than last year’s 3.5 percent growth, but below the 6 percent pace seen before the recession.

Analysts expect sales to be generated at the expense of profits, as retailers will likely have to do more discounting to get people into stores.

Here’s how the start of the holiday shopping season is playing out. All times are ET.

___

— Friday, 7:45 a.m.: How to make sure you’re getting the best deals? AP’s Joseph Pisani writes about five shopping apps to bring with you.

Many retailers, for instance, will match deals you find elsewhere. These apps can help you find better prices to show the cashier. Some let you search for coupons, while others tell you whether you’re better off buying online instead. And one keeps track of all those promotional fliers that do little good if you forget them at home.

Continue reading Black Friday is ON!….And so is some Mad Crazy Stuff……..

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Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest 11/29/13…Colorado Democrat resigns rather than face recall

This situation sadly, is an example of why Democrats need to leave Gun Control ALONE…..

The Dog….

Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by David Nir

Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest banner

Want the scoop on hot races around the country? Get the digest emailed to you each weekday morning. Sign up here.

Leading Off:

 CO Recall: In the face of a likely recall election, Democratic state Sen. Evie Hudak hasopted to resign, a move that short-circuits the recall effort. A Hudak loss would have handed control of the Senate to Republicans, who are now just one seat shy of the majority following two successful recalls of other Democratic lawmakers earlier this year. Now, however, the recall won’t take place, and Democrats will be able to appoint a replacement (though that person will have to seek re-election in 2014, whereas Hudak would have served until 2016).

Hudak’s decision, while highly unusual, isn’t actually that surprising, and we discussed this very possibility when news of a new recall drive first emerged. Hudak’s seat is only light blue, and she won both of her prior races by very narrow margins, plus she was also term-limited. Given the ugly dropoff in Democratic turnout in the prior recalls, she’d have been looking at steep odds. Instead, she decided to truly take one for the team.

But while Democrats will retain their majority, the gun activists who have forced and threatened all of these recalls can claim another victim. They have reason to feel energized, and they could very well look for a different recall target; given the number of Democrats who occupy marginal seats, conservatives have plenty of other alternatives. As we’ve said repeatedly since the first two recalls, this falloff in Democratic performance in non-presidential races is a deeply disturbing phenomenon, given that it’s now gone so far as to turn lawmakers out of office without even conducting an election! Who out there is working on fixing this?

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The Senate’s simple Majority will work for Federal DC Circuit Court…But GOPer’s still have say in state Federal Court Picks….

Harry Reid has switched the vote margin needed for the powerful Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit….But…

Republican’s Senator’s traditionally aare asked to approve any Federal judge pick in their state….The peocedure works at the discration of the senate Judicary Chair, who has NOT let picks come up for a vote if the Senator’s in a state do not sign off on a ‘blue slip’…..

Going ‘nuclear’ on this could become problematic if the Senate majority chages hands…..

So , while the President is gonna have his way on one court….The Vast majoprity of Fedreal Judge picks are still subject to review and can be knocked out by a President’s opposition party, in this case Republican’s….

The place has rule for every darn thing as a counter, eh?

Checks and balances…..

Or….

Compromise and deals?

Or….

Obstruction?

Take your pick….

The decision by Senate Democrats to eliminate filibusters for most judicial nominations only marginally enhanced President Obama’s power to reshape the judiciary, according to court watchers from across the political spectrum, because Republican senators can still veto his nominees to most currently vacant appeals court seats.

The new Senate rule clears the way for eight appeals court nominees who have already had confirmation hearings to win approval with simple majority votes, including three on the powerful Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which reviews federal policies and regulations. But it left unchanged the Senate’s “blue slip” custom, which allows senators to block nominees to judgeships associated with their states.

“It is hard to overstate the change’s importance for the D.C. Circuit, which has a disproportionate impact on the world, but it won’t have overwhelming impact elsewhere,” Kathryn Ruemmler, the White House counsel, said in an interview. “The blue slip rule for judges has been more problematic than the filibuster, in part because it is a silent, unaccountable veto.”

Twelve more appeals court seats are either vacant or will be by the end of 2014. All but one are in states with at least one Republican senator. As a result, Mr. Obama still lacks unrestricted power to swiftly appoint a flurry of more clearly left-of-center judges than he has done to date, despite the fears of conservatives and the hopes of liberals, specialists said.

The use of the filibuster to require a 60-vote supermajority to confirm an appeals court nominee arose out of the bitter aftermath of the disputed 2000 presidential election, when Senate Democrats used the tactic to deny lifetime appointments for several of President George W. Bush’s nominees who were particularly outspoken conservatives.

After Mr. Obama was elected, Senate Republicans escalated the practice, routinely delaying the confirmation of executive branch and judicial nominees and blocking up-or-down votes on four District of Columbia Circuit nominees. Now, a simple majority of senators will once again be able to confirm nominees to the executive branch and lower courts; filibusters of Supreme Court nominees remain permitted.

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