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U.S. presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talks with local residents as she campaigns for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination at the Tremont Grille in Marshalltown, Iowa April 15, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking  - RTR4X
This is why we like polling averages. The day after an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed that Hillary Clinton's overall favorable rating was now even at 42 percent favorable to 42 percent unfavorable, down from March, a New York Times/CBS News poll finds her favorable rating improved since March. According to the new poll, the percent of voters with a favorable view of Clinton has gone from 26 in March to 35 now, and the percent with an unfavorable view has ticked down a point from 37 to 36. By contrast, Jeb Bush is at nine percent favorable and 28 percent unfavorable, with most voters saying they either don't know enough or are undecided.

The poll also found that:

... the number of Americans who think Mrs. Clinton has strong qualities of leadership has risen by eight percentage points, to 65 percent from 57 percent, in that period. Still, Mrs. Clinton begins this campaign with fewer voters saying she possesses such qualities than did in July 2007, near the outset of her first presidential bid.
Still, 65 percent is not exactly terrible. And the New York Times must be disappointed that, despite its best efforts:
... only 10 percent [of Democrats] said foreign donations to the foundation affected Mrs. Clinton’s decisions while she was the nation’s top diplomat. Just 9 percent of Democratic voters said they would not consider voting for Mrs. Clinton.
Take these results for what they're worth, and let the two-day "she's down! no, she's up!" of these two polls serve as a reminder not to take any one poll too seriously.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott
The sign behind him was supposed to say IDIOT, but nobody could spell it.
The supposed Jade Helm 15 conspiracy may be the single stupidest thing to come out of Texas in 20 years, and for a state that has reliably given us such treasures as Louie Gohmert, Steve Stockman, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, and George W. Bush himself that is saying something.

It may not even be possible to adequately convey how stupid this story is. There may not be words in the English language—there may in fact be no words in any language, simply because no civilization has yet existed that ever needed to convey a stupidity as deep or as empty-headed as would apply here. It is a stupidity so stupid that we may be able to use it as future measure of the viability of nation-states; if a majority of any definable population is stupid enough to believe this thing, it is evidence that that population has lost the intellectual ability to maintain a government.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has ordered members of the Texas Military to monitor federal troops in an upcoming two-month training exercise planned for the Lone Star State.
Let us explain. Below the fold we go, not because we want to but because we have to.
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Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) takes part in a roundtable of young Nevadans discussing immigration as she campaigns for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination at Rancho High School in Las Vegas, Nevada May 5, 2015.   REUTERS/Mike Blake - RTX1BQ0H
Hillary Clinton at Rancho High School in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Addressing a roundtable of Dreamers in Las Vegas, Hillary Clinton did exactly what immigration activists were hoping for—she not only endorsed "full and equal citizenship" for undocumented immigrants, she pledged to expand on President Obama's immigration actions.

"As president, I would do everything possible under the law to go even further," Clinton said. "There are more people – like many parents of Dreamers and others with deep ties and contributions to our communities – who deserve a chance to stay.  I'll fight for them too."

She lauded President Obama for implementing deportation relief for Dreamers and their parents, saying, "he had to act in the face of inaction" and adding that Republicans had stalled immigration reform for "politically motivated" reasons.

Clinton also reminded the televised roundtable that "not a single Republican candidate" is consistently calling for a pathway to citizenship.

"When they talk about 'legal status,' that is code for 'second-class status,'" she said.

Though Clinton stopped short of making a commitment to pass immigration reform within a certain time frame, she said it would be among her top priorities within her first year in office.

Immigration activists seemed instantaneously thrilled by Clinton's comments.

Frank Sharry of America's Voice

She went there. She's talking about expanding executive action to cover people who didn't get covered under Obama's actions. BOOM!
For more on their reactions and Clinton's immigration comments, head below the fold.
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Wed May 06, 2015 at 07:00 AM PDT

Cartoon: X-Race Specs

by Matt Bors

Reposted from Comics by Barbara Morrill

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We've had a good run. We've been together 21 years, 7 of them legally wed. But this is all about to crash and burn around our ears thanks to 66-year-old Sylvia Driskell of Auburn Nebraska. According to the Omaha World-Herald this outstanding legal scholar has just filed an extraordinarily powerful lawsuit titled Driskell v. Homosexuals with the district court in Omaha. She isn't merely suing her local homosexuals, she is suing all homosexuals.

Driskell, calling herself an ambassador and acting as her own counsel will proxy for “God, And His, Son Jesus Christ" in the case. Even though she is suing in a district court, her arguments are so powerful you can fully expect attorneys will abandon all other strategies and adopt her unimpeachable reasoning all the way to the highest court in the land. By the end of the year, prepare yourselves for the Supreme Court to take up the matter.

Follow me below to behold her cogent arguments.

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Reposted from Daily Kos Elections by Jeff Singer
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) (R) arrives for a vote on whether to overturn a presidential veto of the Keystone XL pipeline, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, March 4, 2015. The U.S. Senate failed on Wednesday to overturn Obama's veto of legislation approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline, leaving the contentious project to await an administration decision on whether to allow it. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS ENERGY ENVIRONMENT) - RTR4S43C
Republican Sen. John McCain
Leading Off:

AZ-Sen: PPP surveys both the GOP primary and general elections in Arizona, and let's just say they don't exactly bring good news for John McCain.

McCain, who is seeking a sixth term, has never had a great relationship with his party's base, and he posts a terrible 41-50 approval rating with GOP primary voters. So far McCain doesn't have a credible intra-party challenge, but PPP takes a look at a few hypothetical matchups. While McCain's ahead in all of them, his leads are not robust:

40-39 vs. Rep. David Schweikert

42-40 vs. Rep. Matt Salmon

44-31 vs. state Sen. Kelli Ward

48-27 vs. 2014 gubernatorial candidate Christine Jones

It's never a good sign for an incumbent to be far from 50 percent against lesser-known primary opponents, especially when a majority of your own party's voters already say they don't like you.

Still, there are a few problems for anti-McCain Republicans. Arizona doesn't have a runoff, so if two or more notable candidates go up against the incumbent, they could split the vote enough to secure him renomination with just a plurality. Ward hasn't committed to anything but she has formed an exploratory committee, and she might not be willing to get out of the way if a stronger contender gets in.

What's more, she's also barely known (she has a 12-15 statewide favorable rating) and she hasn't exactly impressed well-funded conservative groups who'd like to unseat McCain. (Last year, Ward held a hearing focusing on whether non-existent "chemtrails" are poisoning the air, an idea that's only embraced by conspiracy theorists.) Ward simply might not be strong enough to beat even a weak McCain, who is still a formidable campaigner.

In a perfect world for anti-McCain forces, Ward would stay out and Salmon would get in. After spending months showing little interest in taking on the incumbent, Salmon has started to change his tune a bit, recently telling The Hill "I'm not saying that I'm in. I'm not saying that I'm not in." Salmon, who served as the GOP's unsuccessful 2002 gubernatorial nominee, already has a healthy 40-12 favorability score with primary voters, but who knows if he'll actually run.

If Salmon sits it out, don't expect his friend and fellow congressman, David Schweikert, to take his place. Schweikert hasn't officially said no, but he sounds extremely unlikely to pull the trigger. Schweikert recently said that his wife is against a Senate bid, and he "would like to keep her around." Christine Jones also seems more interested in running for the House, which is just as well for her given how poorly she polls here.

So far, no credible Democrats have shown much interest in running in conservative Arizona, but PPP finds that Team Blue would have a good chance to put this Senate seat in play whether or not McCain advances to November. Head below the fold for more.

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It's Wednesday! That's Joan McCarter day!

What more could you ask for?

Don't answer that, because I don't have anything else to offer. Let's just say that's plenty, and leave it at that!

Though it should not go unremarked upon that yesterday's Wienerschnitzelpalooza generated more Twitter traffic about the show than perhaps any other segment to date.

Listen LIVE at 9:00 ET, here: Click this Link to Listen on your iTunes, Winamp or Windows Media Player

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Help support the show through Stitcher's revenue sharing program. Be one of 5,000 "active listeners" per month, and, well, they send us money. All you need to do, believe it or not, is listen to 30 seconds of a show, once in a month. Seriously! Choose any one of the shows at this link, listen to 30 seconds' worth, and you're on board!

Did you happen to miss our last LIVE show? You can catch it here:

Bill in Portland Maine tweets the word "wienerschnitzel," and that takes up about an hour of the show. Greg Dworkin discusses Fiorina's substantive entry into the race, but also her web FAIL. On race: we've never been more united about how divided we are. WSJ's 2016 snapshot. Christie in Sixth Sense sequel, doesn't know he's dead yet. Charlie Hebdo vs. Garland, no comparison. Three guns left behind in Capitol complex bathrooms, and the investigation is about who leaked that news! Follow-up on the convoluted story of Kinloch, MO's new mayor. Wienerschnitzelpalooza! A fascinating inside look at benefit corporations, from the 2012 diary of citisven, shared with us not by Arliss Bunny as I mistakenly stated, but rather by where4art!

Need more info on how to listen? Find it below the fold.

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Headlines You Won't Read Today

Quiet, uneventful day ahead for planet

In exclusive agreement, book by controversial Democratic campaign operative questioning ethical practices of Republican presidential candidate scores weeks of extra publicity in the name of "fact checking" by The New York Times, The Washington Post and ABC News

Bernie Sanders stops making sense

Conservatives maintain grip on power in Alberta

Headline error in The Gurdian  2008
Senator Tom Cotton wakes up with world peace on his mind

Republican budget most likely to benefit poor, middle class

Bill O'Reilly reports from war zone

Humans credited with comeback of large herbivore mammals

Hedge fund managers jumping out of windows over "paltry" $11bn earnings

Aaron Schock posts selfie on Instagram from exotic location

Astronaut says view from International Space Station is overrated

Sunday morning shows now favoring liberal guests over conservatives

Holy #$&!@!! Obama invading Texas after all!!!

Cheers and Jeers starts below the fold... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

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Can Jeb survive a 7th place showing out of Iowa? New Q caucus poll shows: Walker 21, Rubio 13, Rand 13, Cruz 12, Huck 11... Jeb 5.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott is coming under increasing criticism for ordering the Texas State Guard to monitor federal military exercises.

The exercises drew concerns that the government could implement martial law or confiscate citizens' guns.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Pentagon, and the White House have suggested the concerns and Mr Abbott's request were unfounded.

The exercises, called Jade Helm 15, are set to begin in July.

"In no way will the constitutional rights or civil liberties of any American citizen be infringed upon while this exercise is being conducted," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. "I have no idea what [Abbott] is thinking."

Well, Abbott's either pandering to the nutters or he's one himself.

Mark Liebovich:

Today’s candidates operate in an environment in which the power dynamic between the media and politicians has shifted in their favor. It has become so much easier to simply call “gotcha” on an unwelcome inquiry and be done with it. Campaigns no longer rely as heavily on the news media to communicate. They can now fashion their own websites and tweets and benefit from their own auxiliary noise machines (super PACs). In so much as the media have become more partisan, candidates can pick and choose their outlets, expect some to be friendly while dismissing others as hostile. Or they can dismiss all of them. (An April 29 headline in Politico: “Harry Reid: Journalism doesn’t exist.”)
@jonward11 @MarkLeibovich @DemFromCT to 've fair, media brought it on itself in a lot of ways
@PCalith @jonward11 @DemFromCT totally...
More politics and policy below the fold.
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Trans-Pacific Partnership
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich writes Trans-Pacific Trickle-Down Economics:
Now comes the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

It’s being sold as a way to boost the U.S. economy, expand exports, and contain China’s widening economic influence.

In fact, it’s just more trickle-down economics.

The biggest beneficiaries would be giant American-based global corporations, along with their executives and major shareholders.

Those giant corporations initiated the deal in the first place, their lobbyists helped craft it behind closed doors, and they’re the ones who have been pushing hard for it in Congress – dangling campaign contributions in front of congressional supporters and threatening to cut off funding to opponents.

These corporations made sure the deal contains provisions expanding and protecting their intellectual property around the world, but not protecting American jobs.

Supporters of the deal say it contains worker protections. I heard the same thing when, as secretary of labor, I was supposed to implement the worker protections in the North American Free Trade Act.

I discovered such provisions are unenforceable because of how difficult it is to discover if other nations are abiding by them. On the rare occasion when we found evidence of a breach we had no way to force the other nation to remedy it anyway.  [...]

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2005Pentagon Analyst Charged With Passing Secrets To AIPAC:

The shoe dropped on Larry Franklin. In a much anticipated culmination of an investigation that could have wider reaching implications, the Department of Justice arrested Franklin, a man closely associated with Douglas Feith and Paul Wolfowoitz:

Federal agents arrested a Pentagon analyst on Wednesday, accusing him of illegally disclosing highly classified information about possible attacks on American forces in Iraq to two employees of a pro-Israel lobbying group.

The analyst, Lawrence A. Franklin, turned himself in to the authorities on Wednesday morning in a case that has stirred unusually anxious debate in influential political circles in the capital even though it has focused on a midlevel Pentagon employee.

The inquiry has cast a cloud over the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which employed the two men who are said to have received the classified information from Mr. Franklin. The group, also known as Aipac, has close ties to senior policymakers in the Bush administration, among them Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who is expected to appear later this month at the group's annual meeting.

The investigation has proven awkward as well for a group of conservative Republicans, who held high-level civilian jobs at the Pentagon during President Bush's first term and the buildup toward the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and who were also close to Aipac. They were led by Paul D. Wolfowitz, the former deputy defense secretary who has been named president of the World Bank. Mr. Franklin once worked in the office of one of Mr. Wolfowitz's allies, Douglas J. Feith, the under secretary for policy at the Pentagon, who has also said he is leaving the administration later this year.

Tweet of the Day
Well, Senator Graham said one of "al" dumbest things ive heard this week

On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Bill in Portland Maine tweets the word "wienerschnitzel" and that takes up an hour of the show. Greg Dworkin discusses Fiorina's substantive entry into the race, but also her webFAIL. We've never been more united about how divided we are. WSJ's 2016 snapshot. Christie in Sixth Sense sequel (doesn't know he's dead yet). Charlie Hebdo vs. Garland, no comparison. Three guns in Capitol bathrooms, and the investigation is about who leaked the news! Follow-up on the convoluted Kinloch, Missouri, story. Wienerschnitzelpalooza! An inside look at benefit corps., from citisven, shared with us not by Arliss Bunny as I mistakenly stated, but by where4art!

Top CommentsThe Evening Blues

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Tue May 05, 2015 at 07:30 PM PDT

Mad Men 7.12 - 'Lost Horizon'

by Adam B

Caution: McCann Erickson May Be Hazardous To Your Hard-Fought Advances Against The Patriarchy.
Mad Men begins with an image of a man falling from a skyscraper; this week, it's the ladies' turn. Whatever advances they had made in the past decade at SC&P are gone, as the McCann Boyz Klub presented itself as a crudely implacable foe: "guys you usually encounter only on workplace training videos about sexual harassment."

Meanwhile, the men adopt old habits: Roger drinks, Harry's a dick, Pete and Ted accept their fates, Don flees, and Bert shows up in his dreams. But by and large, this week was about how women who had earned so much respect lost it quickly.  

Below the fold, I'll let some smarter people than me explain it all.

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Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio
A federal appeals court panel Monday was not impressed with a legal challenge to President Obama's 2014 immigration actions brought by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio last November. Lindsay Dunsmuir has the details:
Two of the three judges weighing the case at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit signaled some agreement with a D.C. federal judge who ruled in late December that Arpaio lacked standing to sue, a provision in U.S. law that means he has to prove he has been directly harmed.

Arpaio contends that his office has been harmed because, among other reasons, there are criminals who would not be deported in the country as a result.

"I wasn't entirely clear ... there is no suspension of deportation with respect to those people," Judge Nina Pillard, an Obama appointee, said to Arpaio's lawyer Larry Klayman.
They are more likely to be deported, she added.

The movement of the case, Joseph Arpaio v. Barack Obama, et al, now at the D.C. Court of Appeals, stands in stark contrast to how another case, Texas v. United States, is proceeding in the 5th Circuit, where the pace has been far more leisurely.

After Arpaio's November filing, a federal judge in the District of Columbia threw out the challenge the following month. Arpaio then filed an appeal, which was heard by the appeals panel Monday.

The Texas challenge was filed in December. Two months later, Judge Andrew Hanen ruled that the 26 states did have "standing" to bring the lawsuit and issued a preliminary injunction to stop Obama's immigration programs from moving forward just two days before they were due to go into effect.

Though Hanen issued that decision in time to block the immigration actions, he has displayed little sense of urgency since. Hanen first ignored and then rejected the administration's request to lift his injunction, forcing government lawyers to seek an injunction from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. All this and Judge Hanen still hasn't heard oral arguments in the case.

The good news here is that a 5th Circuit Appeals Court panel recently ruled unanimously that the state of Mississippi did not have standing to challenge Obama's 2012 executive actions on immigration.

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