The The Rhode Island Presidential Primary….

Rhode Island’s primaries are technically closed, but it’s easy for a non-Democrat to register as one just for the election and then switch back to being an independent or registered with the GOP or Moderate Party.

But Rhode Island will still be difficult for Sanders. Hillary Clinton (site as yet unfixed) and John Kasich (at Bryant University in Smithfield) are both due to arrive here on Saturday.

Trump’s campaign in RI is always hopeful that their man will come here, but he may only venture as close as Connecticut. Security problems are cited, not that RI has a particularly large minority population, but a quarter of Providence’s residents are college students, and over half are minority (Asian, Hispanic. Caribbean, African and Afro-American).

Sanders would be smart to come here (as Barack Obama did on the Saturday before primary day in 2008, filling a hall at RI College and drawing just as many outside on a bleak, rainy day in March). But I’m not sure he will.

Even closed primaries in Delaware and Maryland might work for Sanders (he did take Oklahoma of all places, although I think in caucuses), but I fear that Pennsylvania might just complete his sweep of failure across the southern band of the Rust Belt from Missouri to Illinois to Ohio to New York (while he took the Upper Midwest)….


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White House is working on rules to regulate Wall Street Bonus pay…

The Obama Administration is trying put in place rules on how and when large Financial companies can pay , or even take back bonuses from their employee’s….

The rules would have to be adopted by several agencies under the President’s control…

Previous efforts to put these regulations in place have been turned back…

With Senator’s Sanders and Warren (Neither have many large Financial companies in their states  pushing for the rules ,they would prove popular with progressives…

But the rules would affect a large amount Senator’s and House members OF BOTH parties whose financial employers do business in  their states or districts ….In addition, a large amount of financial companies have already cut bonuses due to the 2008 crisis….

One would think that this action will be tough to get put in place…

We’ll see…

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. is set to vote on the pay rules on Tuesday, and the Comptroller of the Currency — a member of the FDIC board — typically signals his agency’s approval at the FDIC’s meeting. The Fed and SEC haven’t said when they will act. The Federal Housing Finance Agency also has to release a proposal.

One of the difficulties the regulators faced in agreeing on a standard was the wide differences in pay practices in the industries they oversee. Bank compensation typically includes a salary, stock and a bonus awarded at the end of the year. In firms regulated by the SEC, asset managers are paid through fees based on the scale of their funds and the success of investments.

Regulators also have had to wrestle with the concept of applying rules meant to curtail risk to an industry that is based on taking risks.

Since the crisis, the biggest banks have shrunk businesses, cut staff and overhauled compensation plans in the face of stiffer capital rules, lackluster revenue growth and continued backlash over pay that rewarded bad behavior. Wall Street bonuses have been slashed, and executives now see a bigger share of pay from awards tied to performance. The money is often paid out over several years….


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America get LESS voters for Political Caucuses then Primaries….

Larry Sabato points out the primaries bring out roughly 2/3’s more people than Caucuses do….

Sbabato first reminds us something that has been  pointed out here several times…

America does NOT directly pick or elect it’s President….

And even with Donadl Trump and Bernie Sander complaining?

Don’t expect things to change from the way they have been DELIBERLY set up to work…

If voter participation were the only criterion, it would be easy to argue that all states should hold primaries. However, it is not that simple a choice. The debate about nominating methods is an old one, and good arguments can be marshaled by advocates of each.

The large gap in voter participation is very significant, and brings into focus the stark differences between primaries and caucuses. Primaries broaden participation and are far more inclusive, allowing voters from all walks of life to cast a ballot with minimal effort. Absentee balloting for those who are away on business or in nursing homes, plus early voting that includes military personnel serving abroad, are provided for in the primary voting system but not in most caucuses.

At the same time, caucuses are a tougher test for candidates, putting a premium on the organization they assemble and enthusiasm they generate. Only party regulars or dedicated followers will show up for a caucus that can consume the better part of an evening or a Saturday. Politicians have to rely on more face-to-face campaigning for caucuses, while impersonal TV ads are a bigger factor in primaries.

This year a few caucus states such as Iowa established limited forms of absentee voting and televised caucus site balloting. But no one would claim an equivalency between these minimal efforts and the full-scale, time-tested absentee and early voting procedures in primary states.

We admit a bias toward primaries, yet it goes too far to call for complete caucus abolition. There are advantages to the extra scrutiny that caucuses can give. Additionally, it’s not unreasonable to allow party activists — the people who devote untold hours to maintaining the party’s superstructure — a prominent role in the candidate screening process, especially in places where this is traditional and preferred.

Yet at a minimum, caucus states should be required by the parties or state law to make extensive efforts to include soldiers, the ill and infirm, and those who must be working or traveling during the designated caucus time. Some early, absentee balloting is simply essential to any basic notion of fairness.

Even with reforms, the giant gap in voter participation between primaries and caucuses cannot be bridged….


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Hillary Clinton says one of her ‘Greatest Regret’ is her Iraq vote…

It has taken her a LONG TIME to be upfront and admit that while she tought she was doing right thing THEN….

In hindsight she got it wrong….

( Her vote contributed to her Democratic Presidential Primary loss in 2008 to barack Obama)

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Thursday said her greatest regret in politics is “voting to give President Bush authority in Iraq.”

“It did not turn out the way that I had thought it would, based on what he had said,” she said of the eight-year Iraq War during a town hall event on “Good Morning America.”

“And I regret that. And I said that it was a mistake and, obviously, is something that I wish hadn’t turned out the way it did.”..


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The House wants the Air Force to re-start F-22 Raptor production…

The F-22 is the US Air Forces fastest fighter jet….

They stop making them back in 2009 under then Sec of Defense Robert Gates….

The US House under GOP leadeship is looking to supply the US Air Force with more F-18’s and more of the bleagured F-35’s, if they every can work right…

In the past year, U.S. Air Force deployments of the F-22 have been on the rise as a show of force against Russian aggression in Ukraine, as well as a presence in the Asia-Pacific.

The provision now pending before the House Armed Services Committee adds legitimacy to the restart-the-Raptor movement. The bill seeks an Air Force assessment of the actual costs of restarting production – considering the service’s future air superiority needs and its role in contested environments as well as plans to retire the F-15C, the potential to export the F-22 and lessons from past efforts to restart cold production lines. Exports of the F-22 are currently prohibited by law.

“U.S. air superiority continues to face a growing number of threats,” says Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), chairman of the House Armed Services tactical air and land forces subcommittee. “As a result of our adversaries closing the technology gap, and increasing demand from allies and partners for high-performance, multi-role aircraft to meet evolving and worsening global security threats, the committee believes that the prospect of restarting the F-22 production line is worthy of further exploration.”….


The draft of the bill also adds funding for helicopters of many kinds – UH-60M Blackhawks, LUH-72 Lakotas and AH-64E Apaches – so the National Guard can keep four Apache battalions….

( 8 to 12  AH-64E Apaches are being sent to fight in the battle for Mosul in Iraq….)


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Supreme’s cast doubt on losing your drivers license if you don’t take alcohol test…..

It’s simple….

In a LOT of states if you get stopped and appear intoxicated a pollice office will ask you to blow into a machine to determine what percentage of alcohol you have in your body….

You have the right to refuse to do so….

If you do?

You lose your license…

A case before the court asks….

By refusing?….Aren’t you giving up your Fourth Amendment Right against ‘self-incrimination ‘?

The Supreme Court on Wednesday appeared first to be on one side of the question, then on the other, about whether the Constitution allows that.

Washington lawyer Charles Rothfeld, representing the objecting drivers, said states cannot force people to give up their Fourth Amendment protection against warrantless searches.

“The fundamental problem with the statutes at issue in these three cases is that they make it a criminal offense to assert a constitutional right,” Rothfeld told the justices. “Under the laws of North Dakota and Minnesota, a person who is stopped on suspicion of impaired driving is obligated to take a warrantless chemical test to determine the alcohol content of their blood.”

But Rothfeld quickly faced skeptical questioning. “If the state can impose a civil administrative sanction, why couldn’t it also impose a criminal sanction?” asked Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. suggested that Rothfeld had it wrong.

“One way of looking at what the state is doing is not to criminalize the assertion of a constitutional right, but to criminalize reneging on a bargain,” Alito said. “And the bargain was, we give you a license to drive, and in exchange for that, you consent . . . to a blood-alcohol test under certain circumstances. And if you renege on that bargain, then that’s what’s criminalized.”

But the tables turned when lawyers for the governments presented their cases, to the extent that Alito predicted doom for them.

They came under such intense questioning from Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen G. Breyer that Alito offered to translate for Kathryn Keena, assistant Dakota County attorney from Hastings, Minn.

“Justice Sotomayor is assuming that you’re going to lose. So she wants to know what your reaction is to that,” Alito said to laughter in the courtroom….


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House Republicans keep going after the IRS…

Back a year or so ago the Internal Revenue Service went after a few GOP based non-profits….

The agency is still getting beatup for that….

Republican’s in the House got rid of some bosses from the agency, then cut the agencies budget….

Now they are going afte the employee’s…

The House on Thursday continued its tax-week efforts to alter the Internal Revenue Service’s operations by passing two more bills aimed at tightening rules for IRS employees.

The House passed H.R. 3724, sponsored by Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), by a vote of 345-78. The measure would bar the IRS from rehiring former employees who were either fired for cause or engaged in misconduct. Opposition to the measure came from Democrats.

The House also passed H.R. 4890, introduced by Rep. Patrick Meehan (R-Pa.), on a 260-158 vote. That measure would ban the IRS from distributing employee bonuses until the Treasury Department comes up with a plan to improve customer service at the IRs. Twenty-two Democrats joined with Republicans to support the bill….


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Clinton…Sanders Democrats will come home…

Polling number’s now, which is way early indicate that a majority of Sanders supporters WILL vote for Hillary Clinton if she is the nominee….

Bernie and Jane Sanders have also said they would…

Clinton had the same thing happen to her when she lost in 2008…And she went out and campaigned FOR Obama in the General Election…

During a discussion on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Clinton was asked by uncommitted superdelegate Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) how she would keep younger voters, particularly those who have enthusiastically supported Sanders and opposed her during the primary process, in her column in November.

“I think I’ll make the case, and from everything I’ve seen—both personal conversations and research that has been done, just as it was with me when I dropped out, you know, the vast majority of Sen. Sanders’ young supporters will look at the choice,” Clinton said.

She continued, noting that she has acknowledged as much to Sanders’ supporters, “The choice will be pretty stark if either of the two leading Republican candidates become the nominee, and I’m confident that we’ll all join together.”


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Some float a trail ballon for a Hillary Clinton…. Warren VP pick?…


I think this is an nonstarter…

Two women on the ticket?

Eliazabeth Warren, who might NOT even LIKE Hillary Clinton?

Having her would dry up campaign money from Wall Street types who give BIG….

Warren is needed in the Senate , where she would be free to pursue HER agenda, not be carrying water for Clinton…..

There are multiple hurdles for Warren, first among them: It’s not at all clear that she even supports Clinton. She’s assiduously hugged the sidelines of the Democratic race even after repeatedly saying she would endorse a candidate and has sparred with Clinton in the past over her corporate ties.

And as with any senator whom Clinton might consider, there’s the balance of the chamber to consider.

Democrats are fighting hard to pick up the net gain of five seats they need to be in the majority.

That could pose a short-term problem in Massachusetts, where Republican Governor Charlie Baker would almost certainly appoint a member of his own party to fill Warren’s seat. Massachusetts law stipulates that a special election must be called between 145 and 160 days after a vacancy occurs — so the blue Massachusetts Democrats would have another crack at the seat.

Warren’s supporters questioned whether she’d want the post….

…..the notion of two women on the ticket is shocking to even female leaders in the Democratic Party — some who openly guffawed at the idea.

“Men will fight to retain their dominance,” predicted Jo Anne Simon, a member of the New York State Assembly who attended a recent event in New York focused on female support for Clinton. “They can’t handle one woman on the ticket; what makes you think they could handle two?”



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The Guys at PDog look at the California Primaries…

It’s easy to forget in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Missouri and Washington state, which all hold their primaries for Congress, state offices and most local ones in September, that most other states hold such primaries in the springtime (before the conventions in presidential years).

California’s primaries for President, Congress and non-national offices will be held on Tuesday, June 7th.

But California has adopted the jungle primary (even more anti-partisan than her former Progressive-era innovation of cross-filing in more than one party), where the top two vote-getters go to the general election in November, regardless of party affiliation.

So it’s very important to get California Democrats to the polls in June, regardless of how decided the presidential race (in either party) might look by then. Otherwise you increase the possibilities of Congressional, State Senate and State Assembly races (plus some county and municipal ones) in November with two Republican candidates and no Democrats or progressives. [Statewide offices such as governor, lt-gov., atty-gen., gen. treas., sec. of state, comptroller, state supt of public instruction & insurance commissioner are usually up in mid-term, Winter Olympic or World Cup years such as 2010 and 2014.}

So, for both major parties, there’s now a major benefit in California for keeping up interest in the presidential primary, even though in most years it would have little effect on most National Conventions….


The jungle primary looks to produce two Democrats running in the general for the Senate – Harris and Sanchez.

A number of Congressional Districts will produce Democrat vs Democrat and Republican vs Republican November contests. (Any State office getting over 50% in the primary are automatically elected and with no run-off in November.) That means that my State Senator will win outright.

I live in Liberal La-La Land and expect Sanders to carry my Congressional District, but Hillary to carry the rest of the State, to end, once and for all, this revolutionary fantasy….


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Polling Update April 20, 2016…PA, CT, DEL, Cal….Clinton/Trump…..

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump continue to lead in polling for their parties nomination’s….

Wednesday, April 20

Pennsylvania Democratic Presidential Primary


Clinton 52, Sanders 39 Clinton +13

Connecticut Republican Presidential Primary


Trump 48, Kasich 28, Cruz 19 Trump +20

Connecticut Democratic Presidential Primary


Clinton 51, Sanders 42 Clinton +9

Delaware Republican Presidential Primary


Trump 55, Kasich 18, Cruz 15 Trump +37

Delaware Democratic Presidential Primary


Clinton 45, Sanders 38 Clinton +7

California Democratic Presidential Primary


Clinton 47, Sanders 41 Clinton +6

…for details on the above polls…Real Clear Politics….

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White House tells state’s to NOT cut Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood…

The battle over Planned Parenthood is ongoing….

While the courts have sided with the Administration in keeping funding going to the agency….Several state’s have continued to pass legislation that moves to defund Planned parenthood…..

The agency provides more than just abortion service for women…

The agency CANNOT use Fedearl funds for abortion’s…

The Obama administration on Tuesday warned officials in all 50 states that actions to end Medicaid funding of Planned Parenthood may be out of compliance with federal law.

Ten states have taken action or recently passed legislation to cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood after antiabortion activists released covertly filmed video in the summer purporting to show that the women’s health organization and abortion provider illegally sold fetal tissue for a profit. Planned Parenthood supporters have criticized the videos as deceptively edited, and multiple state investigations have turned up no wrongdoing on the part of the organization.

The 10 states are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Louisiana, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin….


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Sanders Campaign manager…’Sanders will stay a Democrat?’

The Bernie Sanders campaign has lost it….

The campaign manager has got soooooo far off it that he’s promising something VERY doubtful….

Bernie Sanders has been an Independent for DECADES….

He had to adopt the Democratic party to run for President….

And up to the beginning of this month he’s confirmed that he’s a Indie….

So excuse me if I didn’t believe Sanders manager that his boss will STAY a Democrat AFTER he goes back to Vermont….

The independent Vermont senator’s congressional website currently notes that Sanders is the “the longest serving independent member of Congress in American history,” though he caucuses with Democrats.

“If Sen. Sanders is not the nominee, will he stay in the Democratic Party forever now,” Bloomberg Politics’ Mark Halperin asked.

“Well, he is a Democrat. He’s said he’s a Democrat, and he’s gonna be [supporting] the Democratic nominee, whoever that is,” Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver told Bloomberg Politics’ “With All Due Respect.”

“But he’s a member of the Democratic Party now for life?” Halperin pressed.

“Yes, he is,” Weaver said. “Yes, he is.”


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Donald ?…Ya Need Delegates…More votes isn’t enough…

Delegates pick Presidents in primaray contests and the General election…

With his thoroughly dominating performance on Tuesday in New York, Donald J. Trump proved that he remains the preferred candidate of most Republican primary voters. The question now is whether winning the most votes will be enough to make him the Republican nominee.

The volatile nominating contest has effectively spun off into two simultaneous races: one for votes and one for delegates. And they are starkly different.

Winning New York in a landslide — he captured all of the state’s 62 counties except his borough, Manhattan — Mr. Trump demonstrated the breadth of his support and his resilience in the aftermath of a loss in Wisconsin two weeks ago. With just 15 states remaining on the primary calendar, he has left little doubt about his popular appeal.

But the sturdy opposition to his candidacy within the party and his own organizational deficiencies have hampered him at the state and local level, where a byzantine process is underway to elect delegates to the Republican convention in Cleveland this summer. Senator Ted Cruz has dominated that esoteric inside game until now. And if Mr. Trump falls short of clinching the nomination after all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five territories have held their contests, those delegates could make their own decisions after the first ballot in Cleveland.


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The Department of Veterans Affairs still needs fixing….

The agency still does NOT handling matters in a timely fashion…

Veterans newly enrolling for health care from the Department of Veterans Affairs and requesting an appointment commonly wait for months before they first see a medical provider and the department’s way of measuring those waits understates them, a House committee was told on Tuesday.

VA officials faced a House Veterans’ Affairs Committee skeptical of the department’s response in the two years since a hearing there triggered a flood of revelations that veterans had been enduring long waits for care and that some patient records had been fudged to hide it.

As of April, the average waiting times for appointments were seven days for primary care, 10 days for specialty care and four days for mental health care, according to VA’s most recent data….



Last year it took me 7 months to get benefits due my mother from the agency….(and it was only THAT long because someone there did ‘the right thing’ one to three when I got lucky…)

It took me 2 weeks to get Social Security benefits…

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The US will change some faces on it’s paper money…Hamilton stays..

The US Treasury is rolling out changes in the people on the $5, $10 and $20 Bills….

The changes will take almost a decade to come into circulation….


The Treasury Department will announce on Wednesday afternoon that Harriet Tubman, an African-American who ferried thousands of slaves to freedom, will replace the slaveholding Andrew Jackson on the center of a new $20 note, according to a Treasury official, while newly popular Alexander Hamilton will remain on the face of the $10 bill.

Other depictions of women and civil rights leaders will also be part of new currency designs.

The new designs, from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, would be made public in 2020 in time for the centennial of woman’s suffrage and the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. None of the bills, including a new $5 note, would reach circulation until the next decade.

It was unclear whether details of the unexpectedly sweeping changes would win over some women’s groups, who had sharply criticized Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew for reneging on his 10-month-old commitment to put a woman on the face of the $10 bill, which is the one currently in line for an anti-counterfeiting makeover.

But in the months of taking public comments on what woman he should pick, Mr. Lew evidently bowed to the Broadway-stoked popularity of the $10 bill’s current star, Alexander Hamilton….



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