The Conversation

Politics: Policy issues, legislation and political topics of all sorts.

Media Matters To SEIU: Don't Unionize Us, Bro?

Apr 17, 2014 5:55 PM PT

The hypocrisy could not be more evident as reports indicate Media Matters for America is resisting efforts by Service Employees International Union Local 500 to unionize its employees. Heck, next thing you know, they'll be asking them for a higher minimum wage.

Last week, the union filed a representation petition with the National Labor Relations Board, indicating that the nonprofit media watchdog organization rejected an effort by the union to organize MMFA's staff through a Card Check election.

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Top Democrat Senator Makes Excuses For Obama's Weak Stance On Venezuela

Apr 17, 2014 4:26 PM PT

Senator makes his case for why the U.S should get involved against Dictator Nicholas Maduro, but then seemed to make excuses for the President’s soft position on Venezuela, by rattling off a list of other things that are currently on Obama’s “plate.”

 You mentioned the President. This is where Senator Rubio and I will have a difference of style. I want the President to speak out, or the other authorities, such as the Secretary of State, but its not like that the President of the United States doesn’t have a lot on his plate.

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Shock Poll: Charles Koch Has Double-Digit Lead Over Harry Reid In 2016 Match-Up

Apr 17, 2014 1:21 PM PT

It appears Harry Reid's almost daily trolling the Koch brothers, has left the vast majority of Iowans cold.

A new Washington Free Beacon Poll shows Iowa voters, by a hefty margin,  prefer the "billionaire arch-villain", Charles Koch over that tireless fighter for the middle class, Majority Leader Harry Reid, in a hypothetical 2016 presidential match-up.

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How Obama Is Trolling America

Apr 17, 2014 11:06 AM PT

Some are calling an Obama Regime's deceptive tactic known as "stray voltage" a way to "troll the GOP," but when a  president and his underlings habitually put out fraudulent information, just so they can get some free publicity - hasn't the entire country been trolled?

At National Journal, Major Garrett explained how the President purposefully engages in disinformation in order to create controversy.

Of the pay-gap rap, Ruth Marcus of The Washington Post found parts "revolting." Marcus was closer than she knew. Not with the adjective but the root noun.

The White House saw the contentious wrangling over the dimensions of the gender pay gap nationally--even the gnawing over male/female pay disparities at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave—as a gift. A gift the White House wrapped for itself.

Allow me to explain. The questioning of Obama's use of a Census Bureau statistic that the median wages of working women in America are 77 percent of median wages earned by men lasted almost all week. The story revved into mini-overdrive when the White House defensively swatted away criticism that salaries on Obama's watch—for which the American Enterprise Institute  used the same median wages metric applied by the Census Bureau—showed that women in the president's employ earned 88 cents for every dollar earned by men.

All to the delight of a White House desperate to inject the issue into the political bloodstream and amplify otherwise doomed Senate Democratic efforts to make it easier for women to sue and win damages for workplace pay differences. The controversy that played out on front pages, social media, TV, and radio did just that.

This is the White House theory of "Stray Voltage." It is the brainchild of former White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe, whose methods loom large long after his departure. The theory goes like this: Controversy sparks attention, attention provokes conversation, and conversation embeds previously unknown or marginalized ideas in the public consciousness. This happens, Plouffe theorizes, even when—and sometimes especially when—the White House appears defensive, besieged, or off-guard. I first discovered and wrote about this in July of 2012.

A top White House adviser told me last week's pay gap dust up was a "perfect" example of stray voltage. This time it was premeditated.

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Elizabeth Warren 'Hurt' by Stories Questioning Her Heritage

Apr 17, 2014 10:53 AM PT

Elizabeth Warren has a forthcoming autobiography in which she describes the difficulties she faced in the 2012 election after bloggers began questioning her Native American heritage.

Politico, which scored an advance copy of the book, reports that Warren was "hurt" and "angry" about what she saw as attacks on her family.

At the height of the 2012 campaign, it was reported that Warren had listed herself as having Native American roots at Harvard University. Soon, there was a “full-blown campaign frenzy,” Warren recalls, with Republicans demanding that she prove her Native-American roots and accusing her of getting her job at the elite university by making false claims about her personal background.

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Another Crist Campaign Staffer Bites The Dust

Apr 17, 2014 10:41 AM PT

Things are not very warm and fuzzy over in the Land of  Charlie, as yet another one of his gubernatorial campaign staffers has either quit, or has been fired.

 Eric Conrad, who worked for Crist a whopping 6 days,  has apparently quit his job. Conrad's departure adds to the list of staffers who have visited Camp Charlie, and then abruptly left.

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Response from New America Foundation

Apr 16, 2014 4:38 PM PT

Yesterday I wrote a response to the claim advanced by CNN's Peter Bergen that right-wing attacks had killed more people since 9/11 than jihadists. Before publishing the story I sent New America Foundation, where Bergen works as a Director and on whose data he relied, one question about their list: Why didn't you include the DC snipers?

At the end of the day today I got a response from someone at NAF. The response did not come from Bergen but from a Mr. Sterman:

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Poll Shows Christie Regaining Political Strength

Apr 16, 2014 2:20 PM PT

Governor Chris Christie is down but not out. That's the conclusion of a poll published Tuesday by McClatchy.

The new poll results show Governor Christie is not the candidate he once was. In a hypothetical 2016 match-up with Hillary Clinton he trails her by 11 points, 53-42. That's up substantially from February when the gap was 21 points. It's also the second best performance of any GOP contender considered in the poll versus Clinton.

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Sebelius Suppsedly Considers Senate Run, Obamacare Will Decide Her Campaig's Fate

Apr 16, 2014 12:36 PM PT

In response to Report: Sebelius Is Mulling Senate Run in Kansas Against Roberts:

Can you imagine what sort of a political circus a Sebelius Senate campaign would be like? I would have to relocate from sunny South Florida to Kansas, just to be able to cover this race, which I am sure will be full of red meat sound bites, and anti-Sebelius propaganda.

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