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Now that we are getting the second and third level dissections of Campaign 2014 from thoughtful Democratic analysts, we thought it would be a good time for a review.  The starting point for the post-election discussion amounted to efforts to reassure dispirited Democrats that the 2014 election was typically unique and 2016 would be different, but nearly all of the Democratic Party strategists who have weighed in have warned against dismissing the dramatic defeat. And broadly speaking, nearly all have the same recommendations to fix things before the 2016 election.    

By now we have heard from Celinda Lake, Mark Mellman (twice), Democracy Corps (twice), Mike Lux (twice), Ruy Teixeira and John Halpin, Senator Chuck Schumer, William Galston (twice)James Vega, and CenteredPolitics.  Our goal here is to put all of these analyses in the same place seeking … Read the rest

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On Meet the Press last Sunday, Chuck Todd asked Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) why he believes Democrats will do better than expectations in the upcoming election.  Senator Schumer, one of the leading voices for the Democratic message in this cycle, gave three reasons starting with a familiar list of economic policies, including increasing the minimum wage, equal pay for women and tax reform so corporations are not rewarded for shipping jobs overseas. 

“First and foremost, economic issues predominate… the average voter, every poll shows far and away, cares most about economic issues.  They tend to be for the Democrats when economic issues like minimum wage, like equal pay for women, like not sending jobs overseas predominate.”  (His other two reasons were the Democrats superior ground game and the alternative choice Republicans are offering).

Democrats all across the country are running on a similar set of economic proposals: 

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The Box

Life, Health, Etc. American and International Politics American and Global Economy
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Yoga’s Eight Stages

Stephanie Studler: Asana is actually the third stage in Patanjali’s system. The first is yama and the second is niyama. If the practitioner wishes to obtain the mental harmony that yoga provides……

 

 

 

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Practical Chakra Balancing Progress, Spiritual Weightlifting and You

Real Magic on the Street:  There are many web pages for working with your Chakras, unfortunately many sites seem to skip many of the details or give a very academic answer.  I hope in this blog to give you many more of the practical details, and more so, what to expect.

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Oprah Talks To Thich Nhat Hanh

Oprah Magazine: The moment I meet Thich Nhat Hanh at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan, I feel his sense of calm. A deeply tranquil presence seems to surround the Zen Buddhist master.  But beneath Nhat Hanh’s serene demeanor is a courageous warrior.
 


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Bill Clinton Explains Why He Became A Vegan

AARP: Prodded into action, Clinton started by rereading Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, which urges a strict, low-fat, plant-based regimen, along with two books that were, if possible, even more militantly vegan: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, by Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D., and The China Study, by Cornell biochemist T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. (When I suffered a heart attack in late November 2010, Clinton sent me all three books.)

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10 Simple Ways To Eat Clean And Save Green

Kris Carr: Ever since I started sharing my journey from Hot Pockets to whole foods, I’ve often heard that it’s difficult to afford a healthier lifestyle. I won’t argue with you there. Real food is pricier than processed food made in a lab or a factory. And you will certainly see a jump in the grand total on your grocery receipts. But over time you’ll get the hang of it, and I promise it will become more manageable. There’s always a silver lining, my friends — and the price “jump” can be more of a baby bunny hop.

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And Excerpt From Mika Brzezinski’s “Obsessed”

Mika Brzezinski: To the extent that I may currently have that look, I am grateful. So the question is how do I make my point—that absent a fundamental change in the way we consume, prepare, and market food to our children and all citizens, we will never be able to attack the myriad eating disorders that affect millions of Americans today—without coming out and addressing my own internal food issues, despite an external appearance to the contrary?

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Our Feel Good War On Breast Cancer 

Peggy Orenstein: I used to believe that a mammogram saved my life. I even wrote that in the pages of this magazine. It was 1996, and I had just turned 35 when my doctor sent me for an initial screening — a relatively common practice at the time — that would serve as a base line when I began annual mammograms at 40. I had no family history of breast cancer, no particular risk factors for the disease.

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Mindfulness, Meditation, Wellness and Their Connection To Corporate America’s Bottom Line 

Arianna Huffington: There is a growing body of scientific evidence that shows that these two worlds are, in fact, very much aligned — or at least that they can, and should, be. And that when we treat them as separate, there is a heavy price to pay — both for individuals and companies. The former in terms of health and happiness, and the latter in terms of dollars and cents.

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What You Don’t Know About Processed Foods 

Huffington Post: If a food ingredient company wants to introduce a new additive, they — not the FDA — hire some experts or a consulting firm to make the determination about whether this new ingredient is safe. Sometimes you’ll hear that company X has been awarded “GRAS status” for its new ingredient, but the FDA doesn’t award anything. The agency merely has the option to review what companies tell them.

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Swan Greens Juice

Pure Food and Wine: Founder Sarma Melngailis swears the blend soothes a full tummy. Can’t make it to the NYC outpost? Whip up your own Swan Juice with this recipe.

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The Age Of Reason: Dr. Alice Rivlin

BBC: As the World Service marks its 80th anniversary, we ask six octogenarians how the world has changed for women in the last eight decades. In no single arena has the world altered so much and in such myriad ways.

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A Closer Look: Beyond The Buzzwords 

NPR: Simpson-Bowles, for example, the bipartisan proposal for balancing the U.S. budget, was mentioned at least eight times in last Wednesday’s debate — without any explanation of the plan itself or what it did.

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Michelle Obama DNC Speech: Obama’s Life Makes Him Understand 

Politico: Without ever directly attacking, Obama built an attack on Romney that called on simple details — rusted cars, student loans, a grandmother passed over for a promotion — that drew an implicit contrast with the privileged upbringing of the Republican nominee that Ann Romney could only gloss over last week in Tampa.


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Caught In The Cross-Fire 

National Journal: “I’m teetering right now,” said Andrea Sandler, a 48-year-old homemaker and one of the few undecided voters at a “Women for Mitt” kickoff in this Northern Virginia suburb. “I feel we should be respectful of women’s bodies. Those issues will influence my decision. I’m also very upset about government spending and the money that comes out of my husband’s paycheck. Where does all that money go?”

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Obama’s Popularity Dips Underwater: For Romney, A Faint Favorability Bounce 

Gary Langer/ABC News: The length and depth of the public’s economic discontent provides the context for voter attitudes. As Obama’s favorability has lost ground since spring, so has consumer confidence. And given persistently high unemployment and a range of related woes, 69 percent in an ABC/Post poll last week said the country was seriously off on the wrong track.

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Todd Akin’s ‘Legitimate Rape’ Timing Couldn’t Be Worse For Republicans 

The Daily Beast: [T]hanks to Missouri Republican Senate nominee Todd Akin, this year’s party platform will likely get a lot more attention than it otherwise would have and could have real impact on the outcome of the election.

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Big Gulf In Political Parties, Divisions Within 

Washington Post: The study, conducted by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation, underscores that the gulf between Republicans and Democrats has never been wider. Partisan polarization now presents a potentially insurmountable barrier to governing for whoever wins the White House in November.

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The Importance Of Philosophy 

Felicia Wong for Democracy Journal: The right offers trickle-down theories that are increasingly implausible. The basic free-enterprise, lower-taxes philosophy that has been GOP orthodoxy for 40 years continues to appeal to some, especially in the absence of an alternative. But trickle-down is tread-worn. Yet progressives have fared little better on the big ideas front, unable to stitch critical but disparate issues like health care and immigration policy into a larger whole. 

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Fewer Of Me

UTube – A teacher, policeman and fireman discuss the dire consequences of Romney/Republican economics.

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Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Drones 

ProPublica: Everyone is talking about drones. Also known as Unmanned Arial Vehicles, or UAVs, remote-piloted aircrafts have become a controversial centerpiece of the Obama administration’s counter-terrorism strategy. 

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The Fiscal Legacy of George W. Bush 

Bruce Bartlett: According to the C.B.O., by the end of the Bush administration, legislated tax cuts reduced revenues and increased the national debt by $1.6 trillion. Slower-than-expected growth further reduced revenues by $1.4 trillion…Putting all the numbers in the C.B.O. report together, we see that continuation of tax and budget policies and economic conditions in place at the end of the Clinton administration would have led to a cumulative budget surplus of $5.6 trillion through 2011 – enough to pay off the $5.6 trillion national debt at the end of 2000.

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Obama Spending Binge Never Happened 

Market Watch: Although there was a big stimulus bill under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.

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A Nation With Too Many Tax Breaks 

New York Times: There is an alternate, more comprehensive way to measure how the government moves resources across the economy. It includes amounts that are not reported either as revenue or spending in the budget, but recorded as tax expenditures; that is, money that the government does not collect because of tax breaks.

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Could A Memo By Christina Romer Have Saved The Economy? 

AtlanticWire: In 2008, White House Economic Adviser Christina Romer wrote a memo outlining a stimulus package as large as $1.8 trillion, only to have it buried by Chief Economic Adviser Larry Summers. Could it have saved the economy?

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Obama: Make the Economy Work For Everybody 

Jonathan Cohn: Obama offered a few new and intriguing policy ideas on Tuesday – among them, a proposal to get more taxes from companies with operations overseas and an initiative to develop partnerships between community colleges and local businesses. He also called for some political reforms, most important among them an end to filibusters of judicial appointees. Mostly, though, he stuck to the proposals and themes he’s put out in the last six months, most memorably in his September address on jobs and his December speech on fairness.

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That’s Obama’s Jobs Plan? 

Matthew Yglesias: But framing the entire economic message of the speech was a strikingly retrograde, self-contradictory, and confused agenda of reviving American prosperity through mercantilism.

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If You Build It: Obama’s Plan To Fix the Economy 

GOOD: It’s safe to say that these ideas are largely positioning for a reelection campaign; generally laudable and fairly safe. Or, in the case of his gradually tougher position on the largest banks and their scandalous behavior toward mortgage borrowers, just radical enough to guarantee obstruction. They tell a story of a president who is increasingly working to create the most economically beneficial playing field for workers, entrepreneurs and companies, but not yet imagining changes in the contest’s rules—or the creation of a different game altogether.

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Keystone Pipeline-How Many Jobs Would It Really Create? 

CNN: Meanwhile, one study from Cornell University said the pipeline could actually lead to a decline in jobs in the long run. One reason is that the pipeline would lead to higher fuel prices in the Midwest, the study said, and that would slow consumer spending and cost jobs. 

 

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Our Health-care Productivity Problem in One Chart 

Sarah Kliff: For months now, the health sector has led the economy in job creation, producing more than 300,000 more jobs since this time last year. Even as overall job creation sputtered last month, the health sector added 44000 new positions. But health-care job growth isn’t necessarily a good thing, at least when it comes to controlling our skyrocketing health costs. More health-care jobs mean more health-care spending, the opposite of what most health policy wonks want to see happen.

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It’s Consumer Spending Stupid 

James Livingston/New York Times – AS an economic historian who has been studying American capitalism for 35 years, I’m going to let you in on the best-kept secret of the last century: private investment — that is, using business profits to increase productivity and output — doesn’t actually drive economic growth. Consumer debt and government spending do. Private investment isn’t even necessary to promote growth.

 

  • "We need to come together, just as we've done in other great struggles--in World War II and the Cold War, in passing the great civil-rights laws of the 1960s, and in daring to send a man to the moon."
    --
    Senator Edward M. Kennedy Newsweek July 2009

  • Some sites we sometimes like:

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For years now we have offered our political advice from this platform, but now is the time to put ourselves on the line.  We are driving to Lexington Kentucky where Allan Rivlin is taking the position of Campaign Manager for Elisabeth Jensen for Congress.  Why?  Because Elisabeth is a great candidate and this is a top potential Democratic House pick-up that also supports Alison Lundergan Grimes’ in her senate campaign to knock off Mitch McConnell.

Elisabeth Jensen is a Kentucky mom and we all know Kentucky moms get more done before noon than the GOP Congress gets done in a year.  Elisabeth was the first to jump on Mitch McConnell’s dis-Kynect (no Mitch, Kentucky cannot keep the popular Kynect healthcare marketplace if you repeal Obamacare) landing her national attention on MSNBC and linking her more closely to McConnell’s opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes.  Elisabeth has been an executive at Disney and … Read the rest

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The Buddha sat under the Bodhi tree and meditated on the meaning of life for 49 days, and after awakening, he reunited with his companions who would become his disciples and gave his first teaching on the Four Noble Truths.  The First Noble Truth is the existence of suffering or discomfort (dukkha).  Everyone gets sick; everyone grows old; and eventually everyone dies — and we often experience discomfort whether our lives are deprived or priveleged.  The Buddha also taught that much of our suffering comes from our attempts to turn our attention away from these facts by chasing false comfort in an uncomfortable world – through pursuit of wealth, fame, sex, fantasy, alcohol, drugs and other empty distractions.  

The First Noble Truth of Politics is Frustration. Anyone who makes the choice to care about politics knows the frustrations that take the form of an opposition that never sees the … Read the rest

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