Can Childers do it for the Dem’s in Mississippi?

Could this bring a sleeper win for Democrats?

A Democrat who seems 100 miles away from his party policies, running in the deep South?

Former Rep. Travis Childers voted against the Affordable Care Act, opposes new restrictions on gun sales, believes marriage is between a man and a woman and describes himself as “disenchanted” in many ways with the national Democratic Party.

And next week, he could suddenly become one of the party’s vitally important Senate candidates for 2014 – and a rare Democratic nominee who clashes sharply with his national backers on multiple important issues.

A former elected clerk from Prentiss County in Mississippi’s conservative northeastern corner, Childers, 56, served a term and a half in the House of Representatives before losing his seat in the 2010 midterm wave. A former realtor, he entered the Senate race earlier this year as longtime GOP Sen. Thad Cochran battled an aggressive primary challenge from conservative state legislator Chris McDaniel.

With the Cochran-McDaniel race headed for a photo finish next week, Childers outlined his general-election campaign message in a phone interview Friday. He all but acknowledged the conventional wisdom on the race: that a Democrat like him might stand a much better chance against a firebrand like McDaniel than a well-liked, 42-year incumbent like Cochran.

“I think there would be a stark contrast between me and state Sen. McDaniel,” Childers said, casting himself as a populist opponent of “far-right extremism” and criticizing Washington for having “forgotten the working people, especially in my state.”

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Ted Cruz credits the Government shutdown in GOP efforts for the Senate…

I mentioned here after the shutdown that Conservative Tea Party Types thought they won with the shutdown ….

Several people here though I was wrong…

I wasn’t….

Senator Ted Cruz, true to my word is now gloating about the shutdown as a win for his Tea Party rightwingnuts…..

Never-mind that most of his people have been unsuccessful in the last few primary contests…

He doesn’t care…..

He’s gonna try to sell it anyways…..

Republicans have a strong chance of winning back the Senate thanks to the government shutdown fight provoked by conservatives, according to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Speaking at the Republican Leadership Conference on Saturday, Cruz said the demands from he and other Tea Party lawmakers is a key reason the GOP is in a good position, suggesting that party “graybeards” or the GOP establishment did not appreciate that fact.

“They’re reaping the fruits of the battle, which is perfectly fine,” Cruz said, according to The Washington Post. “But we need to take a moment to acknowledge the lesson of the battle.”
The two-week government shutdown from last fall was widely seen as a defeat for Republicans. GOP lawmakers refused to fund the government without including language that would defund ObamaCare, but ultimately agreed to reopen the government with effectively zero concessions. Polls at the time showed GOP popularity taking the biggest hit from the shutdown as the Republican Party was identified as shouldering most of the blame.

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Russia Has moved troops from the Ukraine border…

The showdown with the Ukraine is winding down…..

It is Europe and Putin’s hope that NO MORE sanctions are leveled against the Russian’s…

And no shots where fired against the Russian’s from the West….

Russia has begun pulling most of its roughly 40,000 troops away from its border with Ukraine, a move that U.S. and NATO officials called encouraging.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the movement of soldiers and equipment was promising but added that all of the Russian troops shifted to the area since March needed to be withdrawn.

This week’s troop movement was taken as a concrete sign that Moscow is de-escalating its confrontation with Ukraine, which began with the overthrow of pro-Russia President Viktor Yanukovich in February and continued through recent separatist uprisings in Ukraine’s east.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the pullback Monday, saying the troops had concluded what he labeled military exercises. But with fighting in Ukraine between pro-Russia separatists and government troops continuing, U.S. officials are holding off on declaring the crisis over.

“We do know that thousands of Russian troops have been pulled back and are moving away, but we also know that there are still thousands of Russian troops still there that have not yet moved,” Hagel told reporters traveling with him to a defense conference in Singapore on Thursday.

A U.S. Defense official said there were indications from satellite imagery and other intelligence sources that Russian forces were packing up and leaving in large numbers…..

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Healthcare costs and spending come down….

Health care spending has slowed down, and now so have health care costs

by Joan McCarter @ Daily Kos

Cathey Park of Cambridge, Massachusetts shows her cast signed by U.S. President Barack Obama after he spoke about health insurance at Faneuil Hall in Boston October 30, 2013. The writing on the cast reads,

Spending in health care has been slowing down for a couple of years now, a trend that analysts haven’t entirely been able to explain. Now there’s another trend they need to figure out, and a good one: health prices are increasing more slowly now than they have in half a century.

[H]ealth care prices are actually growing at the slowest pace they have in decades, according to charts from the Council of Economic Advisers.

Chart of inflation in general household spending compared to heath care spending, 1960-2013.

This chart shows both how quickly health care prices are going up—and how quickly the price of everything else is increasing. And since about 2010, both have been growing at nearly the same rate. Health care prices grew 0.9 percent since between January and March of this year, which the White House says is the slowest rate of growth in 50 years.

That doesn’t mean, as Sarah Kliff points out in this story, that the U.S. doesn’t have insanely high healthcare costs. A day in the hospital in the U.S. averages $4,932; in Spain, it’s $481. But slower increasing costs of healthcare, combined with slower increasing healthcare spending, is undeniably good news. It doesn’t mean that we don’t need more healthcare reform to put our costs more in line with the rest of the developed world, but it could reflect well on Obamacare. And if lawmakers start feeling good about what they achieved with that law, they’ll be less frightened of further reform…..

Breaking…US recovers Army Sgt held by Taliban for 5 years in a swap….

US Sgt Bergghani was the only US solider held captive…..

…from CNN…..

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the American soldier held captive for nearly five years by militants during the Afghanistan war, has been released in an apparent swap for Guantanamo detainees, authorities said Saturday.

“Today the American people are pleased that we will be able to welcome home Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl,” the White House said in a statement.

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said in a separate statement that he had informed Congress of the decision to transfer five detainees from Guantánamo Bay to Qatar.

“A few hours ago, the family of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was informed by President Obama that their long wait for his return will soon be over,” Hagel said.

“Sgt. Bergdahl is now under the care of the U.S. military after being handed over by his captors in Afghanistan. We will give him all the support he needs to help him recover from this ordeal, and we are grateful that he will soon be reunited with his family.”

A senior Defense official told CNN that the U.S. military recovered Berghdahl from his captors around 10:30 a.m. ET in a peaceful handover in eastern Afghanistan. U.S. special operations forces conducted the rescue.

The official said that once on the U.S. helicopter, Berghdal wrote on a paper plate, “SF?” meaning, “Special Forces?” He wrote because of the noise. The operators sitting with Bergdahl responded loudly, saying, “Yes, we’ve been looking for you for a long time.” Berghdal broke down crying, the official recounted.

In exchange for Bergdahl’s release, five detainees at Guantanamo Bay will be released to Qatar. The US has “appropriate assurances” that Qatar will be able to secure the detainees there. They are under a travel ban for a year…..

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An early Hillary VP list…..

The Hill files its picks after reporting on Hillary Clinton’s answer to the point blank question….A veep for Hillary Clinton in 2016?

“Were you to run for president in 2016,” ABC News’ Robin Roberts asked, “would you consider Elizabeth Warren or Julian Castro for your running mate?”
Clinton wouldn’t concede she was running, but she did praise Warren and Castro.

“They’re both extraordinary leaders and great political advocates for a lot of what needs to be done in our country, and I admire both of them greatly,” she said.

There are almost two-and-a-half years to go before Election Day, but Warren and Castro are only two of several clear players who have already emerged as possible running mates for the former Secretary of State.

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Note….

A two woman ticket in my mind is out of the question….

image of  Warner, O’Malley and Castro by Getty Images

Donald Sterling sues the NBA for a Billion…….

As expected Donald Sterling goes to court…..

This while he has an offer to buy his franchise for double that amount and the NBA gets ready to vote him out of the league…..

Donald Sterling HAS a lawyer and he IS a lawyer….

Donald Sterling, the disgraced owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, sued the National Basketball Association on Friday as he fights to retain control of the franchise, while former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer stands by ready to pay a record $2 billion for the team.

The suit, filed in federal court in California, accuses the league and Commissioner Adam Silver of punishing Mr. Sterling based on an “illegally” obtained recording as it asks for at least $1 billion in damages. It also asks to have Mr. Sterling remain in place as owner and for the league to drop a $2.5 million fine levied against him over racist comments that were made public in the recording.

Mr. Sterling accuses the NBA of antitrust violations and of breach of contract, saying he did nothing under the league’s constitution to warrant the punishments and loss of the team. He also alleges unfair treatment, citing examples of inflammatory remarks by others within the league that warranted lesser penalties.

“The punishment is capricious, arbitrary, unreasonable, and grossly discriminatory compared with similar ‘speech’ offenses,” the suit says…..

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The US Military will begin accepting more undocumented immigrants…Update…It’s on Hold…

Update…..

As I have indicated here EVERYTHING is now politics for the White House…..

The Pentagon included…..

The below move is now on hold for the House Republicans….

Do NOT hold your breath….

The Pentagon has approved the program which will enlist more undocumented illegals who are interested in serving in the nation’s military….

Those members will have a separate path available to them for eventual citizenship, though some anti-immigration types may not like the action….

Pentagon officials have approved a policy that would allow a limited group of undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children to enlist in the military, opening up a path for them to eventually become citizens, The Huffington Post has learned.

The move, which has not been formally announced by the Obama administration, would affect some of the roughly 550,000 undocumented young people granted the ability to remain in the country under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, many of whom have pled with the government to allow them to enlist.

Immigrants in the country legally can enlist in the military, and through their service, they can receive expedited naturalization as U.S. citizens. More than 89,000 service members have gained citizenship since September 2002, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. But young undocumented immigrants, often referred to as Dreamers, cannot currently enlist, even if they have been granted work authorization and the ability to remain in the country under DACA.

The new change, under a Pentagon recruitment plan called Military Accessions Vital to National Interest, would allow some undocumented immigrants with critical language or medical skills to enlist in the armed forces — considerably limiting the number of Dreamers who would be eligible. Roughly 3,000 legal immigrants have enlisted through the MAVNI program since 2009, and now the program will be open to those who are in the country illegally…..

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Open Thread for May 31, 2014….School lunches and Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama really means well….

She has worked hard to push healthy school lunches program for America’s school kids….

But that program is beginning to unravel….

The problem the kids won’t eat the stuff….

I feel for ya Michelle….

But I’m on the kids and schools side…

Back a little while ago I heard this story about a private school and day care center…

They served lunches for the kids…

Along the way the school/center joined a state funded food program for kids….

The program required that milk  be served to every kid….

Most kids did NOT want the milk which meant that they ended up throwing the milk out….

What a waste…

In the end the school/center dropped out of the program because the paperwork and food required wasn’t what the kids wanted….

It got so bad that kids started bringing lunches from home because they didn’t like the required stuff…

Good try Michelle…

But No Cigar….

A Hillary Clinton Presidency will be to the Right of Obama’s in Foreign Affairs….

The  Wall Street Journal is out with a piece today that points out there differences in views of Foreign Policy between Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her boss, President Obama….

For those who haven’t figured it out….

Hillary is the one on the right…..

During her time at State the piece points out and everyone who keeps tabs on this stuff should know her position on a wide amount of things where not as optimistic  as Obama….

It is pointed out that Hillary got it right on reading Russian President’s swing to less engagement with the West…While her new book, ‘Hard Choices’ will list some of her accomplishments ….

The takeaway from the piece is that as President?

Hillary Clinton will not look at the world in the same eyes as Barack Obama….

In her final weeks as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton wrote a private memo to President Barack Obama warning that relations with Russia had hit a low point and the heralded “reset” in relations was over, according to people who saw the document.

Inside the White House, some officials were loath to ditch a cornerstone of Mr. Obama’s Russia policy. Months passed before Russian President Vladimir Putin gave sanctuary to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, prompting Mr. Obama to cancel a planned summit in Moscow, a stark sign the reset was off track, if not dead.

Mrs. Clinton, if she runs for president, likely will lean heavily on her experience as the nation’s top diplomat. Her memo, written in January 2013, illustrates two striking features of her four years in the post: She was often more hawkish than the White House she served, and at some key moments was ineffectual at swinging policy her way.

Mr. Obama and his White House advisers were the ultimate architects of foreign policy and kept tight hold over major decisions. Mrs. Clinton, though she held strong views, didn’t push them hard in internal meetings, some of her former colleagues say.

Mrs. Clinton will have a chance to tell her own story about her State Department record in her new memoir, “Hard Choices,” scheduled for release on June 10. Her book tour could amount to a kind of trial run for her expected presidential bid, focusing on what she considered her mission of improving America’s image overseas…..

More….

Note….

One would expect that her views will play better to American Right than progressives in this are which will be interesting….

image….csmonitor

Healthcare dislike/like @ 8% more dislike…The issue is fading for American’s…

The negative margin has been steadily dropping and is now below 10%….

Most American’s want to talk about things OTHER than healthcare……

As a matter or fact, the majority say the law has had NO effect on them at all….

The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that more than four years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and several months into the first year of its coverage expansions, most Americans do not feel personally impacted by the law. Among the minority who say they have felt an impact, more feel they have been harmed than helped by the law, with Republicans more likely to say they have been hurt and Democrats more likely to say they have been helped. More continue to want Congress to work on improving the law than repealing it, with those who want improvements calling for lower health care costs, expanded access, and more help for specific populations. Six months out from the 2014 midterm election and in the midst of primary battles in many states, the ACA is already a frequent topic of political conversation and the subject of an abundance of campaign advertising. Even at this early stage, about half of registered voters say they are tired of hearing candidates for Congress talk about the health care law and want them to focus more on other issues like jobs, while just over four in ten want candidates to continue debating the law. Views on this question track the familiar ACA partisan divide. A majority of voters say they’ll consider a candidate’s position on the health care law as one of many factors in their vote, while three in ten say they would only vote for a candidate who shares their views on the health care law. This is about the same as the share who say their vote would be similarly dependent on a candidate’s views on government spending and somewhat higher than the share who say their votes depend on a candidate’s views on job creation and immigration. With the election still six months away, just over half of voters say they haven’t paid much attention to the campaign so far.

Majority Says They Haven’t Been Impacted By ACA; Partisan Divide In Who Reports Being Helped And Hurt

With open enrollment closed and the first year of the ACA’s coverage expansions underway, six in ten Americans continue to say they have felt no direct personal impact of the law yet. Among those who say they have felt an impact, a larger share reports being directly hurt than directly helped by the law (24 percent versus 14 percent). However, just as overall opinion of the law has divided along party lines from the start, reported personal impact appears to do the same, with Democrats more likely to say the law has helped them (26 percent) and Republicans more likely to report being hurt by the ACA (37 percent). Even when controlling for other demographic factors that might be related to ACA impact, such as income, race/ethnicity, and insurance status, party identification remains a significant predictor of whether an individual reports being helped or hurt by the law….

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Jay Carney the White House Press Secretary is leaving the Admin……

As the Obama second term begins to wind down people begin to move on…..

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, is leaving his post as the public face of the administration, stepping down after shifting from two decades of reporting to politics at the highest levels, President Obama said on Friday.

Mr. Obama, who announced Mr. Carney’s departure, said Mr. Carney would be replaced by the deputy press secretary, Josh Earnest.

Mr. Obama called Mr. Earnest a person of “sound judgment and great temperament.”

Mr. Carney, who fielded questions from the press moments after Mr. Obama left the podium, said the timing of his departure was uncertain.

“I haven’t made any decisions yet,” Mr. Carney said. “I’m excited by some of the possibilities. I’m sure you guys will be among the first to know after I’ve decided what to do.”

“It’s been an amazing experience. Just so fulfilling,” Mr. Carney said…..

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image….blogs.bet.com