Monday, February 28, 2011
"'...Unionized workers didn't sow the seeds of the economic downturn, deregulation of the financial industry did,' says Robert Bruno, a University of Illinois professor of labor and employment relations. 'We've suffered billions in losses because of greed, gross mismanagement and illegal activity in the financial industry.'
'Unions are an easy target because the largest cost in a state budget is always labor,' says Bruno, who studies employee and union issues. 'Why are we scapegoating teachers? Is the American love affair with capitalism so irrational that it knows no bounds?'
Joseph Slater at Toledo's law school agrees: 'It's easy to paint a portrait of public workers as overpaid, not working very hard and being fat cats on the tax dollar. But there's no correlation between collective bargaining and the state budget crises...'"
Comment on the above post by Ryan:
"Huh. Take away rights from workers, blame the middle class for the deficit, put the money back into the pockets of the rich. Sounds like the Republicans are back in charge. To the person that said that liberals will be the death of this country - you can think that if you want, but Republican economic policy (deregulation, tax cuts for wealthy and business, curtailing worker rights, and eliminating social programs) has been killing this country ever since Reagan took office. Those economic policies are coming home to roost in a fatally corrupt financial sector and a government more worried about self-preservation than the will of the people."
Sunday, February 27, 2011
"...But in the hours before the deadline came and after it passed, it was clear most protesters did not intend to leave voluntarily and police had no immediate intention of forcing them to go.
Late Sunday night, Wisconsin Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs said no demonstrators would be arrested as long as they continue to obey the law.
'People here have acted lawfully and responsibly,' Tubbs said. 'There's no reason to consider arrests...'"
"...To be sure, government jobs are still seen as more secure and desirable than most private-sector jobs even in states where public employees do not have the right to collective bargaining. In Mississippi, one of the poorest states in the nation, state workers get 10 paid holidays a year, their sick days and vacation days can be rolled over from year to year, and they can retire after 25 years of service under a defined benefit plan. They also have a certain level of civil-service job protection..."
Well, whoopee. I wonder how public employee pay and benefits stack-up against public employees in a country, say Germany, that is not trying to enslave its citizens?
Amazing response that should impress the easily impressed!
First, Gingrich asks us to forget his lurid past, but he is campaigning on his past accomplishments, right?
So he is really asking us to selectively forget the bad things and remember the good.
OK, let's play that game and see what we see...
Gingrich's main accomplishment was pushing the impeachment of Bill Clinton for his extramarital indiscretions, but after he and his fellow travelers dragged America through several years of turmoil ending in the rejection of the impeachment charges, we learned that Gingrich had been cheating on his wife all the time he had been attacking Clinton for doing the same thing!!
Gingrich's other great 'accomplishment' was shutting down the US government.
All in all, the impeachment of Clinton only made of mockery of the United States, its government and its people in countries throughout the globe.
If that is what people want to see again, Gingrich is right, they will go forward with him and LOOK forward to the same old disastrous consequences!! "
"Let us be clear from the start: this is not a blog post about a would-be revolution.
It’s about the demonstration of state power in a police state..."
"...Let’s start with Egypt. The so-called people’s revolution was a clever coup by the Egyptian military, who apparently decided that Hosni Mubarak’s time was up and that he had to go. If you are counting on a new, secular democracy emerging in the land of the Pharaohs you are delusional. Do you seriously believe that the new Egypt will be less Islamic, more favorably disposed to Israel and willing to support equal rights for men and women? If so, I have a bridge to sell you.
I do not believe the United States is in a position to control events in the world. But we sure as hell have a variety of resources and capabilities to influence the course of events and even intervene, both overtly and covertly. In the case of Egypt the Obama Administration decided to sit on the sidelines and play cheerleader. But our strategic interests in the region supersede what happens inside of Egypt. We should have been asking, “what does this mean for the region and, in particular, Israel’s security?”..."
Saturday, February 26, 2011
"...Among the many heartening things about the workers fighting back in Wisconsin, Ohio and elsewhere is the spotlight that is being thrown on the contemptuous attitude of the corporate elite and their handmaidens in government toward ordinary working Americans: police officers and firefighters, teachers, truck drivers, janitors, health care aides, and so on. These are the people who do the daily grunt work of America. How dare we treat them with contempt.
It would be a mistake to think that this fight is solely about the right of public employees to collectively bargain. As important as that issue is, it’s just one skirmish in what’s shaping up as a long, bitter campaign to keep ordinary workers, whether union members or not, from being completely overwhelmed by the forces of unrestrained greed in this society.
The predators at the top, billionaires and millionaires, are pitting ordinary workers against one another. So we’re left with the bizarre situation of unionized workers with a pension being resented by nonunion workers without one. The swells are in the background, having a good laugh..."
"Republicans in the House of Representatives are mounting an assault on women’s health and freedom that would deny millions of women access to affordable contraception and life-saving cancer screenings and cut nutritional support for millions of newborn babies in struggling families. And this is just the beginning.
The budget bill pushed through the House last Saturday included the defunding of Planned Parenthood and myriad other cuts detrimental to women. It’s not likely to pass unchanged, but the urge to compromise may take a toll on these programs. And once the current skirmishing is over, House Republicans are likely to use any legislative vehicle at hand to continue the attack..."
"When it comes to improving public understanding of tax policy, nothing has been more troubling than the deeply flawed coverage of the Wisconsin state employees' fight over collective bargaining.
Economic nonsense is being reported as fact in most of the news reports on the Wisconsin dispute, the product of a breakdown of skepticism among journalists multiplied by their lack of understanding of basic economic principles.
Gov. Scott Walker says he wants state workers covered by collective bargaining agreements to 'contribute more' to their pension and health insurance plans.
Accepting Gov. Walker' s assertions as fact, and failing to check, created the impression that somehow the workers are getting something extra, a gift from taxpayers. They are not.
Out of every dollar that funds Wisconsin' s pension and health insurance plans for state workers, 100 cents comes from the state workers..."
Friday, February 25, 2011
"...Daniels has occasionally leveled that toughness on his fellow conservatives. He told Ferguson that Republicans should declare a truce on social issues until the debt crisis is taken care of. A few activists are still upset.
But Daniels is keeping his paramount focus on debt and responsibility. He couldn’t match Obama in grace and elegance, but he could on substance. They could have a great and clarifying debate: What exactly are the paramount problems facing the country? What is government’s role in solving them?
I hope Daniels gives us a chance to be part of that."
Thursday, February 24, 2011
"...Now, court documents filed in a lawsuit make clear whom Ms. Regan was accusing of urging her to lie: Roger E. Ailes, the powerful chairman of Fox News and a longtime friend of Mr. Giuliani. What is more, the documents say that Ms. Regan taped the telephone call from Mr. Ailes in which Mr. Ailes discussed her relationship with Mr. Kerik.
It is unclear whether the existence of the tape played a role in News Corporation’s decision to move quickly to settle a wrongful termination suit filed by Ms. Regan, paying her $10.75 million in a confidential settlement reached two months after she filed it in 2007..."
"...The media has watched too many Hollywood violent fantasies and readily buy into the notion that anyone with a computer can become a master bomb builder and, with no significant external support, can run around the United States blowing things up right and left. Sorry, but that is foolish.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m thrilled that the FBI caught this a**hole and that he is likely to spend a significant amount of time in prison. Aldawsari failed to learn the most important lesson–DESIRE DOES NOT EQUAL CAPABILITY."
"Who are billionaire brothers George and David Koch, and why did Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker take a call from 'David Koch' – actually a liberal prankster – who recorded a conversation that may prove embarrassing to Governor Walker?
The Kochs are one of the major business forces fighting unions. A big part of their effort has been funding the campaigns of conservative, union-fighting gubernatorial candidates like Walker, John Kasich in Ohio and Rick Perry in Texas – to the tune of $1.2 million in the last election, including donations from company employees and subsidiaries..."
Why did he take the call? Hmmm. Let me think...
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Indiana state prosecutor fired over remarks about Wisconsin protests - CNN.com:
"An Indiana deputy attorney general lost his job Wednesday after commenting online that authorities should use 'live ammunition' to run off the throngs of protesters railing over union collective bargaining rights two states away in Wisconsin.
The former state prosecutor, Jeffrey Cox, attached the comment 'Use Live Ammunition' in response to a Feb. 19 Twitter posting by a writer for Mother Jones magazine. The writer, Adam Weinstein, wrote that riot police officers had been ordered to clear protesters from the Wisconsin state capitol in Madison..."
"...In Wisconsin, union leaders agreed to concessions requested by Mr. Walker: to pay nearly 6 percent of their wages for pension costs, up from nearly zero, and double payments for health insurance. At that point, most governors would declare victory and move on. Instead, Mr. Walker has rejected union concessions and won’t even negotiate. His true priority is stripping workers of collective-bargaining rights and reducing their unions to a shell. The unions would no longer be able to raise money to oppose him, as they did in last year’s election, easing the way for future Republicans as well.
The game is up when unionized state workers demonstrate a sense of shared sacrifice but Republican lawmakers won’t even allow them a seat at the table. For unions and Democrats in the Midwest, this is an existential struggle, and it is one worth waging."
The big story begins here by way of Corrente. Basically, Governor Walker of Wisconsin wants to sell state-owned power plants to private owners -- without bidding. No bid contracts = CORRUPTION. As one Corrente comment puts it:..."
"Budget referees and transportation officials in Wisconsin have informed Gov. Scott Walker (R) that if he were to pass his controversial anti-union legislation into law, he could be forfeiting tens of millions of dollars in federal funds for transportation.
Under an obscure provision of federal labor law, states risk losing federal funds should they eliminate "collective bargaining rights" that existed at the time when federal assistance was first granted. The provision, known as "protective arrangements" or "Section 13C arrangements," is meant as a means of cushioning union (and even some non-union) members who, while working on local projects, are affected by federal grants..."
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
"The central issue in our political life is not being discussed. At stake is the moral basis of American democracy.
The individual issues are all too real: assaults on unions, public employees, women's rights, immigrants, the environment, health care, voting rights, food safety, pensions, prenatal care, science, public broadcasting, and on and on.
Budget deficits are a ruse, as we've seen in Wisconsin, where the governor turned a surplus into a deficit by providing corporate tax breaks, and then used the deficit as a ploy to break the unions, not just in Wisconsin, but seeking to be the first domino in a nationwide conservative movement..."
Simply Left BehindThe Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy: In Union, There Is Strength:
"...But today, this week, this month, this year, we're starting to see the backlash of unions and union-minded people. The budget cuts that municipalities and states have been placing in effect has caused workers to shout 'Basta!' and take to the streets. In Wisconsin, even the unions exempt from Governor Walker's edicts have stood shoulder to shoulder with their union peers.
In union comes strength. The firefighters remember the words of Pastor Reinhold Niebur: 'Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love.'
Or to put it more prosaic terms, if they can screw with you, they can screw with me, so I stand with you now. "
"...To create incredible power requires incredible energy. After all, the more power one puts into a laser accelerator, the more powerful and precise the light beam that comes out on the other end. During a private tour of the Jefferson Lab in Newport News, VA., on Friday, FoxNews.com saw scientists blast unprecedented levels of power into a prototype accelerator, producing a supercharged electron beam that can burn through 20 feet of steel per second.
Scientists there, in coordination with the Office of Naval Research (ONR), injected a sustained 500 kilovolts (KV) of juice into a prototype accelerator where the existing limit had been 320 kV -- a world’s record, the scientists explained..."
Monday, February 21, 2011
"by Eedroj Remier on Thursday, February 17, 2011 at 4:42pm
Are you sick of high paid teachers? Teachers’ hefty salaries are driving up taxes, and they only work 9 or 10 months a year! It’s time we put things in perspective and pay them for what they do - baby sit! We can get that for less than minimum wage.
That’s right. Let’s give them $3.00 an hour and only the hours they worked; not any of that silly planning time, or any time they spend before or after school. That would be $19.50 a day (7:45 to 3:00 PM
with 45 min. off for lunch and plan — that equals 6 1/2 hours).
Each parent should pay $19.50 a day for these teachers to baby-sit their children.
Now how many do they teach in day…maybe 30? So that’s $19.50 x 30 = $585.00 a day. However, remember they only work 180 days a year!!! I am not going to pay them for any vacations.
LET’S SEE…. That’s $585 X 180= $105,300 per year. (Hold on! My calculator needs new batteries).
What about those special education teachers and the ones with Master’s degrees? Well, we could pay them minimum wage ($7.75), and just to be fair, round it off to $8.00 an hour. That would be $8 X 6 1/2 hours X 30 children X 180 days = $280,800 per year.
Wait a minute — there’s something wrong here! There sure is!
The average teacher’s salary (nation wide) is $50,000. $50,000/180 days = $277.77/per day/30 students=$9.25/6.5 hours = $1.42 per hour per student–a very inexpensive baby-sitter and they even EDUCATE your kids!)"
Wisconsin Power Play - NYTimes.com:
"...There’s a bitter irony here. The fiscal crisis in Wisconsin, as in other states, was largely caused by the increasing power of America’s oligarchy. After all, it was superwealthy players, not the general public, who pushed for financial deregulation and thereby set the stage for the economic crisis of 2008-9, a crisis whose aftermath is the main reason for the current budget crunch. And now the political right is trying to exploit that very crisis, using it to remove one of the few remaining checks on oligarchic influence.
So will the attack on unions succeed? I don’t know. But anyone who cares about retaining government of the people by the people should hope that it doesn’t."
". . .Public schools in Madison and a dozen other districts in Wisconsin closed as teachers joined the protest. Although Walker claims he was forced to impose cutbacks because the state is broke, teachers noticed that he offered generous tax breaks to businesses that were equivalent to the value of their givebacks.
The uprising in Madison is symptomatic of a simmering rage among the nation's teachers. They have grown angry and demoralized over the past two years as attacks on their profession escalated. . ."
"The University of Arizona will announce today that it is establishing a civility institute, inspired by the Tucson shooting rampage that left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords severely wounded and six people dead.
Former presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush will serve as honorary chairmen for the National Institute for Civil Discourse, director Brint Milward told The New York Times.
The non-partisan center will focus on research, education and policy about civility in public discourse..."
Sunday, February 20, 2011
"Wealthy Americans seem to have decided that it's OK to splurge again — a hopeful sign for an economy mired by slow growth, stubbornly high unemployment and depressed home prices.
Luxury and high-end marketers have picked up on what they hope is a growing trend, offering products that bank on a looming spending spree. Germany's PG-Bikes is rolling out the $80,000 Black Trail, a battery-powered bicycle. Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille is selling $525,000 timepieces. Steinway has launched a John Lennon-themed grand piano — at $90,000 and up. After selling out a $245,000 model, automaker Porsche is planning the 918 Spyder, a hybrid car that could sell for more than $630,000..."
Isn't that special?
"There was widespread support among scores of human rights groups and many others for recent efforts to have Switzerland open a preliminary investigation for torture against former President George W. Bush during his planned (and now canceled) visit to Geneva.
Our belief is that Bush violated U.S. and international law when he authorized torture, including the water boarding of detainees. Torture is a crime under a federal statute, Torture Statute, as well as under the War Crimes Act, and the Convention Against Torture, of which the U.S. was a major proponent..."
Saturday, February 19, 2011
"As the nation focuses on the efforts of Governor Scott Walker to take away collective bargaining rights from public employees in Wisconsin, new information is coming to light that reveals what is truly going on here.
Mother Jones is reporting that much of the funding behind the Walker for Governor campaign came from none other than uber-conservatives, the infamous Koch Brothers.
What’s more, the plan to kill the unions is right out of the Koch Brothers play book..."
Friday, February 18, 2011
"Let's be clear: Whatever fiscal problems Wisconsin is -- or is not -- facing at the moment, they're not caused by labor unions. That's also true for New Jersey, for Ohio and for the other states. There was no sharp rise in collective bargaining in 2006 and 2007, no major reforms of the country's labor laws, no dramatic change in how unions organize. And yet, state budgets collapsed. Revenues plummeted. Taxes had to go up, and spending had to go down, all across the country.
Blame the banks. Blame global capital flows. Blame lax regulation of Wall Street. Blame home buyers, or home sellers. But don't blame the unions. Not for this recession..."
"'Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Quran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.' So goes the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood.
What's extraordinary about this maxim is the succinct way that it captures the political dimension of Islam. Even more extraordinary is the capacity of these five pillars of faith to attract true believers. But the most remarkable thing of all is the way the Brotherhood's motto seduces Western liberals..."
"Since as Rachel Maddow noted on her show tonight, John Boehner decided to allow open debate and endless amendments during the House debate on the budget, we got to see Anthony Weiner giving this speech. Rep. Weiner asked the House Republicans to defund their own health care plans since they don't want every day Americans to have the same options that they have as members of Congress.
I still want single payer but if we're going to argue about how completely hypocritical Republicans are on this issue, Congressman Weiner is exactly right. There are a couple of models you can take with reforming the health insurance industry and with making sure you provide affordable services to everyone in the country. You either have the government replace the insurance industries and they manage the plans or you still have everyone pay in to private corporations and you regulate the insurance industries the way utility industries are regulated and they are not allowed to make excessive profits from those who are covered..."
Thursday, February 17, 2011
"In 2008, Michelle, a 53-year-old Illinois resident with 19 years experience in information technology, became another casualty of the Great Recession. More than a year later, after a long and fruitless job search, she finally heard from a headhunter who thought she sounded like a great fit for a post he was looking to fill.
But when Michelle told him how long she had been out of work, the headhunter turned apologetic: His client, he said, wouldn't accept people who had been unemployed for more than six months. Michelle would go on to stay jobless for so long that she ultimately exhausted all her unemployment benefits, and, for the first time in her life, was forced to apply for food stamps and welfare..."
BBC News - Solar flare eruptions set to reach Earth:
"Scientists around the world will be watching closely as three eruptions from the Sun reach the Earth over Thursday and Friday.
These 'coronal mass ejections' will slam into the Earth's magnetic shield.
The waves of charged solar particles are the result of three solar flares directed at Earth in recent days, including the most powerful since 2006..."
'...“Some of what I’ve heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you’re just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain, generally seems like more of an assault on unions. I think it's very important for us to understand that public employees, they're our neighbors, they're our friends.”
-- President Obama in an interview with Milwaukee’s WTMJ
Wisconsin has been wracked with protests and work stoppages as government employees fight a fiscal austerity proposal from new Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Now, President Obama is weighing in against Walker and sticking up for government workers..."
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
"...Nobody goes to jail. This is the mantra of the financial-crisis era, one that saw virtually every major bank and financial company on Wall Street embroiled in obscene criminal scandals that impoverished millions and collectively destroyed hundreds of billions, in fact, trillions of dollars of the world's wealth — and nobody went to jail. Nobody, that is, except Bernie Madoff, a flamboyant and pathological celebrity con artist, whose victims happened to be other rich and famous people..."
"The biggest mistake people make when talking about the outsourcing of U.S. jobs by U.S. companies is to treat it as a moral issue.
Sure, it's immoral to abandon your loyal American workers in search of cheap labor overseas. But the real problem with outsourcing, if you don't think it through, is that it can wreck your business and cost you a bundle..."
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
"...It's no illusion that as machines have risen to control the exploitation of these inefficiencies, people have taken a more mechanistic view towards their fellow man. It's also no surprise to me that as people have grown comfortable with the use and programming of machines to do this task, they too have lost their sense of purpose as human beings.
Humanity has a duty to its civilizations to take care of and to assist its fellow men and women. As the Dalai Lama puts it, 'Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.' "
"Obama's budget targets community block grants, a program that helps low-income people pay their energy bills, and the popular Pell grant program to aid college students. All are part of the social safety net Democrats often fight to protect.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal organization that boasts 700,000 members, took Obama to task before the budget was even officially released..."
Monday, February 14, 2011
"Some conservative commentators may feel inclined to spend Presidents Day ruminating over Barack Obama's evil intentions, or denouncing the chief executive as an alien interloper and ideologue perversely determined to damage the republic. Instead, they should consider the history of John Adams's White House prayer and develop a more effective focus for their criticism.
On Nov. 2, 1800, a day after he became the first president to occupy the newly constructed executive mansion, Adams wrote to his wife Abigail: 'I pray Heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof...'"
Sunday, February 13, 2011
"...He is still oblivious about how wrong it was to shunt aside Afghanistan and goose up reasons to go careering into Iraq, which he felt had easier-to-hit targets and easier-to-find villains. He doesn’t agree with the “If you break it, you own it” theory. He thinks you can break it and just leave and not get bogged down in trying to build democratic dream countries.
Rummy’s memoir, “Known and Unknown,” is an unnerving reminder of how the Iraq hawks took crazy conditionals and turned them into urgent imperatives to justify what the defense chief termed “anticipatory self-defense...”
Saturday, February 12, 2011
"...The legislation would eliminate more than $121 million in funding inside the White House, including money for the so-called health-care czar and climate-change czar. And it would slash the Environmental Protection Agency's annual budget by almost 30 percent.
Republicans proposed earlier this week to eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and AmeriCorps..."
Friday, February 11, 2011
"I walked into the cafeteria a few minutes ago to see the TVs tuned to Egypt. I was watching with a big smile on my face when someone asked me, “Are you Egyptian?”, to which I replied:
“We’re all Egyptian today...”
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
*Impeach And Prosecute Justice Clarence Thomas For Corruption*
Given the fact that Clarence Thomas has been a permanent lock down vote for the most reactionary corporate special interests in the country, is it any surprise that his wife has been collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars from their so-called “think tanks,” like the Heritage Foundation? But what should raise more than an eyebrow is the fact that he has lied for the last 20 years on his financial disclosure forms about his wife’s income.
If you, or I, or anyone else we know hid upwards of a million dollars in income like this, we would have already been hauled before a grand jury. But now that the whistle has been blown, and his corruption and lying have been exposed, Thomas thinks he can just amend all these perjured declarations like it’s no big deal, claiming he “misunderstood” the filing instructions. (PDF link)..."
I'm having a Scooter Libby moment.
Married GOP Congressman Sent Sexy Pictures to Craigslist Babe:
"Married GOP Congressman Sent Sexy Pictures to Craigslist BabeMarried GOP Congressman Sent Sexy Pictures to Craigslist BabeRep. Christopher Lee is a married Republican congressman serving the 26th District of New York. But when he trolls Craigslist's 'Women Seeking Men' forum, he's Christopher Lee, 'divorced' 'lobbyist' and 'fit fun classy guy.' One object of his flirtation told us her story..."
"The bill to extend [the Patriot Act's more onerous provisions] through December 2011 was defeated 277-148.
The Republican Defectors:
Republicans voting against the bill were Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Roscoe Bartlett (Md.), Rob Bishop (Utah), Paul Broun (Ga.), John Campbell (Calif.), John Duncan (Tenn.), Mike Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Chris Gibson (N.Y.), Tom Graves (Ga.), Dean Heller (Nev.), Randy Hultgren (Ill.), Tim Johnson (Ill.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Jack Kingston (Ga.), Raul Labrador (Idaho), Connie Mack (Fla.), Kenny Marchant (Texas), Tom McClintock (Calif.), Ron Paul (Texas), Denny Rehberg (Mont.), Phil Roe (Tenn.), Dana Rohrabacher (Calif.), Bobby Schilling (Ill.), David Schweikert (Ariz.), Rob Woodall (Ga.), and Don Young (Alaska).
The bill was sponsored by a Not Too Pleased Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), whom I am sure is apoplectic over that Tea Party thing right now..."
"Sarah Palin’s camp hasn’t yet responded to Rick Santorum, but some of her supporters are already lighting up the former senator for his criticism of Palin's choice to skip CPAC.
Santorum suggested Tuesday that Palin was blowing off the conference for “other business opportunities,” though he later said his comments were misinterpreted.
Palin will likely get asked the question at some point, but since one of her aides swatted at Mitt Romney’s team in July, they have held off on attacking fellow Republican contenders..."
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
"Tomorrow will mark the 100th anniversary of President Reagan’s birth, and all week, conservatives have been trying to outdo each others’ remembrances of the great conservative icon. Senate Republicans spent much of Thursday singing Reagan’s praise from the Senate floor, while conservative publications have been running non-stop commemorations. Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee and former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich are hoping to make a few bucks off the Gipper’s centennial.
But Reagan was not the man conservatives claim he was. This image of Reagan as a conservative superhero is myth, created to unite the various factions of the right behind a common leader. In reality, Reagan was no conservative ideologue or flawless commander-in-chief. Reagan regularly strayed from conservative dogma — he raised taxes eleven times as president while tripling the deficit — and he often ended up on the wrong side of history, like when he vetoed an Anti-Apartheid bill...."
"A recent controversy over wording in a bill has shed light on a glaring deficiency in how different types of rape are classified.
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., introduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act two weeks ago. The bill seeks to apply the Hyde Amendment permanently to all federal legislation..."
"Reporting from Washington — The billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch no longer sit outside Washington's political establishment, isolated by their uncompromising conservatism. Instead, they are now at the center of Republican power, a change most evident in the new makeup of the House Energy and Commerce Committee..."
I guess this is news for some people, but the Koches have been at the funding center of the Evil Empire since the days of Ronald Raygun. Add in Murdock & Fox and you have the proverbial Axis. (In fairness, there is nonevil conservative thought but if the main aim of your political positions is enriching yourself then that's evil, no matter how hard you wave the flag or how much apple pie you smear on your face.)
"There's a new titleholder for the biggest, baddest bear ever found.
A prehistoric South American giant short-faced bear tipped the scales at up to 3,500 pounds (1,600 kilograms) and towered at least 11 feet (3.4 meters) standing up, according to a new study..."
Monday, February 07, 2011
"Fox News host Bill O'Reilly says that, despite President Barack Obama's denials, he believes the 44th president is 'thin-skinned,' and clearly is affected by the criticism that he often receives..."
This is not news.
"Sarah Palin's big problems among the GOP faithful are on clear display in a new poll that shows large numbers of Republicans aren’t sure about her and the tea party darling trails President Barack Obama in a head-to-head matchup in Tennessee — even with the president's job approval numbers running low in the state.
The poll in the solidly red state where she and McCain crushed Obama by 15 points two years ago is a warning bell that Palin, despite her following and appeal to conservatives, remains fairly radioactive to some Republican voters, who are far from convinced she can win in 2012.
In a hypothetical match up, 42 percent said they'd back Obama, while 37 percent picked Palin. Another roughly 20 percent picked none of the above, and other potential Republican candidates weren't measured..."
My theory is that the voters can recognize the real Republican-- Obama.
Sunday, February 06, 2011
"Call me the skunk at the picnic, but as conservatives celebrate Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday, I'll remind them that their icon often governed as a moderate.
Reagan talked like an unbending small-government ideologue, but in Sacramento and Washington he acted as a flexible whatever-size-fits pragmatist..."
Those rose colored glasses often reveal past that never was, and the constant blubbering over Reagan ignores the dead Marines in Beirut, among other events the neocon crowd would like to forget. Soon we'll be having Reagan sightings at Wal-Mart and the crippled will walk again after praying to a Ronald bobble-head.
"As if we didn’t have enough wars, the House of Representatives has declared one against Planned Parenthood.
Maybe it’s all part of a grand theme. Last month, they voted to repeal the health care law. This month, they’re going after an organization that provides millions of women with both family-planning services and basic health medical care, like pap smears and screening for diabetes, breast cancer, cervical cancer and sexually transmitted diseases..."
Saturday, February 05, 2011
Thursday, February 03, 2011
"...That confrontation, filmed in 2009, was the first of dozens that Hammonds and three friends caught on tape. They've paid dearly, spending thousands on legal fees and tickets, and sleeping multiple nights in county lockup. They've even seen their faces plastered on a warning flyer sent to departments around Miami-Dade County.
They're part of a simmering national fight between citizen journalists and police departments that believe subjects have no right to film them. The battle over whether cops can arrest you just for videotaping them is quickly becoming the most hotly contested corner of American civil liberties law.
'As more professionals and amateurs use equipment to record police activity, they're facing the ire of officers who just don't want to be recorded,' says David Ardia, director of Harvard University's Citizen Media Law Project. 'We need a clear answer from courts that this is legal, or else police officers' instincts will always be to snatch the camera.'
It might seem like an open-and-shut argument — cops are public figures, after all, and they're operating in plain view on the street. But it isn't, at least in the dozen states, including Florida, that require both parties in any conversation to consent to audio recording..."
"Depending on how you see things, either the health police have gone off the deep end or park-loving New Yorkers are about to breathe a whole lot easier.
On Wednesday, the New York City Council approved a ban on smoking at public parks and beaches, part of a long arc of anti-smoking legislation pushed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The city banned smoking in bars and restaurants in 2002..."
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
"...Back home, I mentioned to a friend over beers how much Fox my mom and dad watched, and how angry they now were about politics.
“Yours too?!” he said. “I’ve noticed the same thing with mine. They weren’t always like this, but since they retired, they’ve gotten into Fox, and you can’t even talk to them anymore without hearing them read the riot act about Obama.”
I started to wonder how common this Fox Geezer Syndrome was. I began to poll conservative friends of my generation who had right-wing parents. At least eight different people – not an Obama voter among them, and one of them actually a George W. Bush political appointee in Washington – told me that yes, they had observed a correlation between the fevered emotionalism of their elderly parents’ politics, and increased exposure to Fox News.
After the Tucson shootings, Fox chief Roger Ailes said he had told his crew to “tone it down.” I’m skeptical, but I hope he succeeds. One of the great advantages of a conservative disposition is a suspicion of emotions, and emotionalism. The dumbest decisions I’ve ever made, about politics and everything else, were executed while I was worked up about something, and trusted my emotional response. Passion is inevitable – we are only human, after all – and can be constructive when properly channeled. But passion is the enemy of clear thought and, when given free reign, is the prerequisite for mob rule..."
Obama topping Palin in Red Arizona - Dan Hirschhorn - POLITICO.com:
"Even in Republican Arizona, Barack Obama has a healthy lead over Sarah Palin.
With the state swinging away from Democrats, having Palin on the ballot come general election time next year is Obama's best hope of winning the Grand Canyon State, according to a new poll. Democrats have taken Arizona in only one presidential race since 1952..."
"...And like Palin, Bachmann is keener on herself than on any agenda her party might have.
No amount of nonsense has held her back.
She said she wouldn’t fill out her 2010 Census forms because President Franklin Delano Roosevelt used such information to round up Japanese nationals for internment during World War II. She credited the Founding Fathers with ending slavery.
She latched onto an India newspaper’s unattributed and unsupported claim that Obama’s trip there last year would cost $200 million a day, a preposterous sum. She says Obama runs a “gangster government” and is taking the U.S. on “the final leap to socialism.” She voted against efforts to help people facing foreclosure. Yet her family pocketed $251,973 in federal farm subsidies between 1995 and 2006, according to the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit watchdog..."
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
"A Republican in Georgia's House of Representatives has introduced a bill to eliminate driver's licenses, arguing that the documents are an unnecessary infringement on personal freedom.
Rep. Bobby Franklin, who represents the Atlanta suburb of Marietta, defended the bill to skeptical reporters on Monday, who questioned whether it would be a good idea to eliminate oversight of Georgia's drivers.
'One of your inalienable rights is the right to travel, the right to move about without needing your papers,' Franklin told WSB in Atlanta. 'You shouldn't have to have permission from the state to exercise a right that has been inalienably given to you from your creator...'"
I'm sure this bill will have the enthusiastic endorsement of drunk drivers everywhere.
"State legislators in Indiana and Minnesota are pushing laws requiring public documents and other government business in those states to be done only in English.
Minnesota state Senators introduced their bill on Monday; the measure is similar to one introduced in the state House earlier this month..."