Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ferguson : Sham And Shame

Ferguson message: System unfair to minorities (Opinion) -

...Sure, there are conflicting accounts of what transpired between Wilson and Michael Brown. Was Wilson in fear for his life, as he told investigators, when he and Brown struggled for his gun? Did Brown have his hands up when he was fatally shot? We will never know, because there will be no trial. That's a tragedy for the Brown family and an affront to the fundamental American value that we all are equal under the law.

The grand jury's decision has implications far beyond Ferguson. Gallup polling has found that African-Americans have less confidence in the criminal justice system than white Americans, while a W.W. Kellogg Foundation report found that 68% of Latinos report being worried about police brutality. Wilson walking free will likely reinforce the views among communities of color that our justice system is unfair. And when significant segments of our population lose faith in our justice system, our democracy is weakened.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Grand Jury Tampering

Justice Scalia Explains What Was Wrong With The Ferguson Grand Jury | ThinkProgress:

...In contrast, McCulloch allowed Wilson to testify for hours before the grand jury and presented them with every scrap of exculpatory evidence available. In his press conference, McCulloch said that the grand jury did not indict because eyewitness testimony that established Wilson was acting in self-defense was contradicted by other exculpatory evidence. What McCulloch didn’t say is that he was under no obligation to present such evidence to the grand jury. The only reason one would present such evidence is to reduce the chances that the grand jury would indict Darren Wilson...

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Daily Flashback: '08 Primary Edition

Ditto, Mr. Edsall | The Confluence:

...Well, it’s about time that the pundit class openly admits what those of us on this blog have suspected since the day after Super Tuesday 2008. The party was highjacked during the 2008 primary campaign. That’s why the nature of discourse on Daily Kos changed almost overnight. Almost immediately it felt like the guys from Enron took the place over. And the super delegates started falling like dominos with the rush of money into party coffers. We know retrospectively from Michael Lewis’s book, The Big Short, that there were plenty of people who knew the collapse was coming and wanted to set themselves up before the fall. You didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that the bubble was going to burst with very grave consequences for the economy. The traders and bankers put their money on the enabler...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Warren Vs. The Steno Pool

New York Times columnist demands that Elizabeth Warren stop hurting Wall Street’s feelings -

...Moreover, Sorkin writes, “Ms. Warren’s denunciation of Mr. Weiss is a reason many talented people in the private sector are unwilling to take on government roles.” Right — because if anything, our financial regulators include far too many academic experts, community leaders and small bankers, and not nearly enough Wall Street sympathizers. Thankfully, our persecuted plutocrats have Sorkin to defend them against Sen. Warren and her populist pitchforks.

Luv The Guv Senator Sez

Schumer on 2016: 'Democrats must embrace government' -

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that in order for his party to win in 2016, his party will have to run on big government, "not run away from it."

During a long, scripted speech at the National Press Club in Washington, the boisterous New Yorker heralded government -- and its programs to aid the middle class -- as what "unites" the party.

"Together, Democrats must embrace government," Schumer said. "In order to win in 2016, Democrats must embrace government, not run away from it..."

Comment Of The Day: Ferguson Verdict


East Coast 2 hours ago

I hope the family files a wrongful death suit so that the facts can be made public.

And while I don't condone the violence, I always find it interesting that public officials never pay much attention to these pockets of poverty and despair until violence erupts. There never seems to be enough money or manpower to help the poor souls who live in places like Ferguson. Yet, as soon as violence might be in the air, the public resources (police, riot vehicles and gear, tear gas, etc.) pouring into the community seem almost unlimited. Local police officials are happy to grab a microphone to decry the looting and burning, but in calmer times, you rarely hear them decry the lack of jobs, better housing, community centers, etc., etc. -- the things that might make life better for all concerned.

You can't blame the people of Ferguson for their anger. The shooting of an unarmed black man goes unpunished, while white bankers and hedge fund criminals -- who have created much more destruction than Michael Brown ever could -- also go free. And once the violence dies down, the media satellite trucks will disappear and the residents will still be left with their hopelessness.

Before you condemn the people of Ferguson for their actions, walk a mile in their shoes.

Will Good Sense Prevail This Time?

Police killing of boy revives calls for replica gun rules thwarted by NRA | Al Jazeera America:

The fatal police shooting of a 12-year-old boy reportedly while he reached for an airsoft gun in a Cleveland playground has led to renewed calls for replica and air rifles to be clearly identifiable as such — a move doggedly resisted by the National Rifle Association (NRA), who have helped scuttled such moves in the past.

An Ohio state representative announced on Sunday she would propose legislation that would require all BB guns, air rifles and airsoft guns to be brightly colored or have prominent fluorescent strips...

Remember this one?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Trend Scoping The South

Usually, political articles about the South are little more than hit pieces that boost the writer's obvious superiority over anything Southern. This one is not one of those.

8 disturbing trends that reveal the South’s battered psyche -

Across red-state America, especially in the Deep South, recent statistics—such as these Huffington Post graphics—show that the cycle of poverty, in its many manifestations, is unchanged and holding firm. Why is this?...

More Benghazi Reports

Media Lessons From The Benghazi Charade | Blog | Media Matters for America:

The calling cards of anger and denial have been on display since Friday afternoon when the House Intelligence Committee, led by Republican Rep. Mike Rogers, released the findings of its two-year investigation into the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi. Becoming the sixth government inquiry to come to a similar conclusion, the report found nothing to support the allegations behind Fox News' ongoing Benghazi witch-hunt. And that's where the anger and denial came in...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Racism In NV

Nevada Speaker-Elect Ira Hansen Steps Down After Racist And Sexist Writings Emerge:

...Hansen has had a column in The Sparks Tribune, a local Nevada newspaper, for 13 years. The Reno News and Review recently examined all of his columns -- many of which were not online -- and published a number of excerpts from his writings last week.

"The lack of gratitude and the deliberate ignoring of white history in relation to eliminating slavery is a disgrace that Negro leaders should own up to," Hansen wrote in one column...

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Nasty In The Sorta South

Kentucky fire chief refuses to help black family after traffic accident: “We ain’t taking no n–gers here” -

A Kentucky law enforcement official is under fire this week after footage of his deeply racist comments was made public on Tuesday. In September, Southeast Bullitt Fire Chief Julius Hatfield was recorded on a Bullitt County Sheriff deputy’s body camera during a response to a traffic accident, when Hatfield allegedly refused to help a black family while referring to them in derogatory, racist terms...

Friday, November 21, 2014

GOP Will Help Dems Turn Out The Vote

Republicans Hand Obama an Immigration Triumph -- NYMag:

...Substantively, Obama’s executive order gives him less than he hoped to gain with a bipartisan law. But politically, he has ceded no advantage. Indeed, he has gained one. Not only does immigration remain a live issue, it is livelier than ever. The GOP primary will remorselessly drive its candidates rightward and force them to promise to overturn Obama’s reform, and thus to immediately threaten with deportation some 5 million people — none of whom can vote, but nearly all of whom have friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors who can...

Not In The South, NY That Is

Four white NY teens suspended for racist taunting of black class president:

Four white students were suspended this week for racially motivated online harassment of the newly elected senior class president at their school...

Thursday, November 20, 2014

O'Tool Of Wall Street

Elizabeth Warren slams President Obama justifiably:

Elizabeth Warren is justifiably upset. One of America’s last bastions of true liberalism and progressivism is slamming the President for his nomination of another Wall Street bull. Last Wednesday President Obama nominated Antonio Weiss to serve as Under Secretary for Domestic Finance at the Treasury Department.

Antonio Weiss is the head of the investment banking firm Lazard. And what does Lazard do? They do what most investment banking firms do. They maximize capital investment returns irrespective of cost to country or humanity...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Great Foreign Policy Advice

Did Dubai Do It? -

...But never forget: We can only amplify what they do. When change starts or depends on our staying power, it is not self-sustaining — the most important value in international relations. When it starts with them, it can be self-sustaining. The best example of that is the U.A.E. and its crown jewel, Dubai. I had several conversations here on this question: Did Dubai cause the Arab awakening?...

Don't Put The GOP In The White House

Bernie Sanders Won't Save You | Crooks and Liars:

One of my frustrations with Ralph Nader was his absolute refusal to do anything about party building between presidential elections. He shows up as a spoiler vote every four years, but isn't really interested in the work required to make a structural change. Sadly, I see parallels with my fellow liberals and the Nader campaign. Effecting change takes a lot of work, and it takes constant work, even in off-election/midterm years. You can't pin your hope on some magical progressive pony like Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders and think that suddenly everything will be rosy and liberal...

Worthless People

GOP lawmaker: Government employees “produce nothing” -

In the wake of dismal revenue figures indicating that Kansas will need to come up with $279 million in savings by June, the Republican speaker of the state House of Representatives is calling for drastic cuts to government services rather than increased taxation, asserting that government public employees “produce nothing.”

“Government employees produce nothing. They’re a net consumer,” Ray Merrick told the Wichita Eagle late last week. “That is employment to Democrats. Hire more [government employees]. And that was Kathleen [Sebelius, the state's governor from 2003 to 2009]; she’d brag about her employment number, ‘Oh, I got a lot of people employed.’ Yeah, you got a lot more government employees employed. That doesn’t stimulate the economy,” he added.

It’s certainly news to economists that a dollar spent by a public school teacher or firefighter doesn’t count the same as a dollar spent by a private sector office worker — just as it’s news that educating young minds and protecting public safety amounts to “nothing...”

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Dems Should Run On Something That Works

Democrats can’t win white working class voters: The party is too closely identified with blacks, Latinos, and other minorities.:

...The conclusion is straightforward. Democrats don’t have to worry about alienating these voters with their cosmopolitanism. If they can just embrace a populist, forward thinking agenda—in which they tackle stagnation and explicitly attack the wealthy engineers of extreme income inequality—they can win these younger whites who are comfortable with diversity and want a more level society. As Noam Scheiber writes for the New Republic, commenting on Teixeira and Halpin’s piece, “The politics of this approach work not just because populism is a ‘message’ that a majority of voters want to hear. But because, unlike the status quo, it can actually improve their economic prospects...”

The World Of The Cons

Ferguson Protests And Fox News' Contempt For Free Speech | Blog | Media Matters for America:

 ...Conservative commentators have a long history of condemning, as vile and un-American, citizens who protest on behalf of their causes, whether it's racial injustice, income equality, collective bargaining rights, raising the minimum wage, or defending public education. The spotlight on Ferguson and its supposed "lynch mob" represents just the latest example of those sweeping condemnations and attacks on civil discourse.

Keep in mind that it was Fox News, as well as the rest of the right-wing media, that championed lawless insurrectionists earlier this year in Nevada when gun-toting militia members rallied to the side of rancher Cliven Bundy, who refused for more than two decades to pay grazing fees for his cattle that fed off federal land. (Bundy's Fox-sponsored crusade imploded when he was recorded making racist comments, asking if black Americans were "better off as slaves.")

In the Fox worldview, activists are thugs and thugs are freedom fighters...

Monday, November 17, 2014

Wealth Little Help In Politics

'Billionaires' Book Review: Money Can't Buy Happiness | New Republic:

...Billionaires seems to have been sparked by West’s belief that rich people, newly empowered to use their money in politics, are now more likely than usual to determine political outcomes. This may be true, but so far the evidence—and evidence here is really just a handful of anecdotes—suggests that rich people, when they seek to influence political outcomes, often are wasting their money. Michael Bloomberg was able to use his billions to make himself mayor of New York City (which seems to have worked out pretty well for New York City), but Meg Whitman piled $144 million of her own money in the streets of California and set it on fire in her failed attempt to become governor. Mitt Romney might actually have been a stronger candidate if he had less money, or at least had been less completely defined by his money. For all the angst caused by the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson and their efforts to unseat Barack Obama, they only demonstrated how much money could be spent on a political campaign while exerting no meaningful effect upon it...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Obvious Politics

Addicting Info – The REAL Reason The GOP Keeps Winning: Lies, Fraud, Vote-Rigging, And Treason (VIDEO):

As the Democrats’ stunning midterm losses prompt much soul-searching and finger-pointing, we ignore the real reasons the GOP keeps winning: Lies, fraud, vote-rigging, and treason...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Clinton Moving Up

Hillary’s Wonderful Week - Matt Latimer - POLITICO Magazine:

...Yes, these are good days for the Hillary Clinton proto-campaign. Her first good days in a long while, in fact. No longer will she have to worry so much about gaining distance from President Obama—though that’s certainly on her agenda. No longer will she have to defend or explain her position on issues pushed by a Democratic Senate. No longer will she have to subtly run against her husband and his scandals. Instead, she can run squarely against the circus that will preoccupy Congress and the media with every passing day. The calm voice of wearied experience. The wizened wife and mother—now grandmother—who can keep those rambunctious boys in line.

She’s probably just about the only person in Washington today who’s even happier than Mitch McConnell.

Pure Politics

Democrats Deny Pregnant Congresswoman a Proxy Vote in Caucus Leadership -

 Rep. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, who is expecting a baby in December, is being denied a request to vote by proxy in the House Democratic Caucus leadership and committee member elections next week—even though her doctor advises she can't travel to Washington in the late stages of her pregnancy.

The Iraq War veteran, who lost both legs when her helicopter was shot down in 2004, made the request in a letter to fellow Democrats. Her letter was read during a closed-door Democratic Caucus meeting on Thursday. But objections were raised, and the request was denied, with opponents including Democratic Steering and Police Committee cochair Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi...

Friday, November 14, 2014

Flogging Clean Coal

Clean Coal - Esquire:

...There is no such thing as clean coal. There is no clean way to burn it. There is no clean way to mine it. And there is no clean way to profit from it as long as the business of coal mining -- and the lives of the people who work in the business -- are in the grasping, sweaty, unregulated hands of the likes of Don Blankenship, who would kill 100 people rather than spend a nickel keeping one worker alive. The man has proven a blight upon the land, a blight upon the public discourse, a blight upon our politics, and a blight upon common decency.

Blankenship pressured Upper Big Branch management to violate safety standards in favor of maximizing production and profits, the indictment alleges. One mine manager received a handwritten note from Blankenship in March 2009 "chastising him" for "insufficient attention to cost-cutting," telling the manager, "You have a kid to feed. Do your job," the indictment alleged. That same mine manager at Upper Big Branch was told, when he wasn't producing as much coal as Blankenship demanded, "I could Khrushchev you. Do you understand?"

He has not spent a dime in the past 20 years that was not blood money, and now the Feds have run him to ground, and it will be very interesting to see how many of the politicians he had in his pocket will stand by him. (Watch the new Congress try to defund this lawsuit. Call me Kreskin.) Senator Joe Manchin (D-Anthracite) has pronounced himself not in favor of coal barons who kill people, a bold stand that will cost him nothing...

Thursday, November 13, 2014

461 Killed By Police Last Year

No Justice, No Peace: FBI Report Highlights Highest Rate Of Murders By Police In 20 Years | If You Only News:

...Last year, the number of reported felonious suspects killed by police officers tallied 461, according to a recent FBI report. That’s the highest it’s been in twenty years. One has to wonder what the number would be if it included those not reported, shootings involving non-felonious suspects, as well as innocent members of the community unfortunate enough to find themselves in the crosshairs of Johnny Law. That’s right, 461 police murders – the highest in two decades — is actually the far low end of an unknown, undefined spectrum...

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Veterans Rant

Read This Scathing Message To Republicans From A Combat Veteran | If You Only News:

...They certainly will not forget Republicans who stopped everything to tilt the outrage-meter when the VA was making our valiant soldiers wait over a year for a doctor appointment, THEN filibustered new spending to help alleviate the problem while our soldiers died of easily treatable maladies!...

Defending Clinton's Age

Neil Cavuto Compares Rand Paul To Chris Christie Over His Swipe At Hillary's Age | Crooks and Liars:

Neil Cavuto went after Rand Paul for making swipes at Hillary Clinton's age -- probably because after all, he was attacking Fox News' core demographic! Still, a rare moment of sanity:..

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembering The Truth

Absolutely Nothing: A Veteran’s Savage Indictment of the Iraq War | Americans Against the Tea Party:

 ...They had no idea what we were fighting for, those saber-rattling Chicken Hawks, the cowardly connected wealthy weasels who’d managed to avoid serving in their own war, who kept their children out of uniform, but just couldn’t wait to send us into one of their own making. They sent us off with parades and marching bands and cheering crowds … and brought the bodies home in secret, hidden away from the TV cameras and the public...
I'm getting that old 'Nam feeling.

Cruz Lies On Net Neutrality

Ted Cruz's Net Neutrality Take Isn't Just Dumb, It's Dangerous:

Ted Cruz and his team have the facts wrong about net neutrality. Obama specifically said the government would NOT be in charge of pricing: "I believe the FCC should reclassify consumer broadband service under Title II of the Telecommunications Act — while at the same time forbearing from rate regulation and other provisions less relevant to broadband services."

Emphasis mine. Government will not rate regulate and saying so is lying (or maybe they didn't actually read the statement?).

Cruz is one of the most powerful people in Congress, and he's considering a presidential run in 2016. He's on the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, which handles internet governance and FCC oversight. This is a man people give their attention, which makes this statement dangerous as well as disingenuous...

O Net Neutral

Obama calls for broadband to be regulated as a utility - FierceCIO
President Obama called this week for broadband, including mobile, to be regulated as a utility. In short, he wants to put a can on blocking, throttling and paid prioritization of transit. The President acknowledged that the "FCC is an independent agency, and ultimately this decision is theirs alone," but he strongly advocated for the agency to protect net neutrality...
Sounds like that would have made a nice election issue.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Arrested For Voting

I Was Arrested for Voting | American Civil Liberties Union
...Two months after I cast my ballot as a civics lesson for my daughter, the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation agents parked across the street from my house, questioned me, and eventually arrested me and charged me with voter fraud...

Whining Catholic Cons

The demotion of a conservative church oiffical has gotten certain conservative Catholic panties in a wad.

Pope Francis Gives Raymond Burke The Boot - Esquire
...Throughout the sexual-abuse crisis brought on by the vast corruption within the institutional church, it was the very people whom Douthat celebrates here who tried to bury the scandal, to distance the church from its own crimes. It was they who celebrated the insufferable Bernard Cardinal Law in Boston when he tried to pin the whole thing on the media. It was they who gave themselves over to fanciful conspiracy theories involving liberals and (that old standby) the Jews. It wasn't the people Douthat mentioned who stood up to Law in Boston. It was a handful of brave priests like my friend, Walter Cuenin, many of whom were punished for it. It was the conservative, institutional church within which these crimes were committed, and it was within the conservative, institutional church within which the cover-up was engaged, and within which it continues to this day. To make those people somehow the victims in this context is very close to obscene...

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Don't Let Facts Derail The Propaganda

Bush's catapult broke before it could even be triggered.

Breitbart's Attack On Obama Attorney General Nominee Goes After The Wrong Loretta Lynch | Blog | Media Matters for America
Members of the conservative media are attempting to scandalize President Obama's Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch by suggesting she was involved in the Whitewater investigations of the 1990s. However, the Loretta Lynch that played a bit role in Whitewater -- an investigation into fraudulent real estate deals that did not include any wrongdoing by the Clintons -- is a different person than Obama's attorney general nominee.
According to a November 8 article by Warner Todd Huston, "few are talking about" the fact nominee Lynch "was part of Bill Clinton's Whitewater probe defense team in 1992." Huston pointed to a March 1992 New York Times article that "reported that Lynch was one of the Clintons' Whitewater defense attorneys as well as a 'campaign aide.'" And in a November 9 article Huston's colleague, Senior Editor-at Large Joel Pollak wrote, "The connection to Whitewater ought to provide additional fodder for Republicans during Lynch's confirmation hearings":..

Rightness and Wrongness

Triumph of the Wrong -
...Then there’s health reform, where Republicans were very clear about what was supposed to happen: minimal enrollments, more people losing insurance than gaining it, soaring costs. Reality, so far, has begged to differ, delivering above-predicted sign-ups, a sharp drop in the number of Americans without health insurance, premiums well below expectations, and a sharp slowdown in overall health spending...

On Chucktoddery

Chuck Todd's Obama book says more about the author than it does about the president : Columbia Journalism Review
...Then there are the numerous instances of GOP implacability. Todd reminds us that when Obama praised Republican Marco Rubio’s tax-credit proposal, Rubio had to go on talk radio the next day to appease Republican foot soldiers riled up by the president’s seal of approval; that Obama once invited GOP-ers to a White House screening of Spielberg’s Lincoln, and no one showed up; that even after furious courting by the president, not a single Republican voted for a healthcare reform bill modeled after a Republican governor’s plan.
But far too often, Todd falls back on lazy, a-pox-on-both-houses thinking. He lambasts the GOP for its obduracy but upbraids Obama for not trying harder to win Republicans over anyway—this despite Todd’s own observation that Republicans had “perfected” the strategy of total obstruction, and that Republicans had come to see opposing Obama as a simple matter of “self-interest...”

Saturday, November 08, 2014

About Those Bank Criminals

The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare | Rolling Stone
...Fleischmann is the central witness in one of the biggest cases of white-collar crime in American history, possessing secrets that JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon late last year paid $9 billion (not $13 billion as regularly reported – more on that later) to keep the public from hearing.
Back in 2006, as a deal manager at the gigantic bank, Fleischmann first witnessed, then tried to stop, what she describes as "massive criminal securities fraud" in the bank's mortgage operations...

O Was And Is The Problem

“Clueless, lifeless zombies”: Why Chris Hayes is right about Democrats, principles, and fighting back -
...I think they’re all wrong. Obama left the Democrats in Congress long before they left him. They know their districts and states better than any pundits do and only bailed on Obama when voters started bailing on them, by which time it was too late. Their real mistake was failing to speak up years ago when Obama abandoned many of their party’s principles, or even to realize he’d done it...
The problem really goes back to his nomination. How can you expect liberal behavior from a candidate who was conservative enough to use GOP tactics to steal the nomination from Hillary Clinton? The Pumas told you so but you dismissed them as "bitter knitters." Don't whine, liberals, when you were so easily fooled years ago.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Talking To The Choir

5 Things The Democratic Party Must Change To Win Elections Again
...Stop the elitism: As a white male who lives in the South and owns guns, I don’t feel like I belong to that party and haven’t been registered with them in 4 years. More and more it feels like unless you’re a New York or California true blue, ideologically pure liberal, you’re really not welcome. That’s an especially big turn off to white, blue-collar voters who may not like Republican policies, but feel like Democrats look down on them as poor and uneducated rednecks who need to have their guns taken away. Stop talking about how horrible Republicans are all the time and start telling them what you can do to make their lives better instead of just saying that you’re better than the Republicans, and really little else...
I've tried making this point on various "liberal" blogs for the past eight years, and I have been mostly met with the worst kind of geographic bigotry. It's bad enough when people refer to you as a redneck, hillbilly, etc. And, of course, any criticism of the Great O instantly brings out the race card, without a hint of irony to players that are dealing exactly what they're accusing you of doing. The silliest thing,but something that really irks most Southerners, is the moronic rejoinder that "we whipped your ass in the Civil War" as the one statement that wins every argument. As I told one fellow 15 years ago, "We'll never forget the Civil War because you will never let us forget it."

btw-- read the entire article; it has a lot of good advice for Democrats.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Medicare Is Doomed

Mitch McConnell opens his kimono | The Confluence
...Republicans hate Social Security and Medicare with a white hot passion. Medicare was passed during the Johnson administration only by overwhelmingly voting in Democrats to Congress so as to reduce Republican opposition to insignificance. Social Security was also passed over their dead bodies back during the Depression. Now that they are in charge, and we have an weaker president than even I ever thought possible in the White House, Republicans are going to do all they can to make sure they stamp both programs out or cripple them so badly that they may become worthless. You may indeed be the last generation that benefits from all your hard work. But it is my generation, who paid *extra* taxes into the surplus fund so that we could retire, and have almost no other pension benefits, that will feel the most severe pain. Because Republicans are going to cut a deal with you to screw us over and we are going to watch as you hastily pull the ladder up in order to save your own skins.

Loving The Death Funnel

House Speaker John Boehner said approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil…
House Speaker John Boehner said approval of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline and the repeal of key parts of Obamacare are among Republicans' top priorities now that the GOP has won control of both houses of Congress.
"Obamacare is hurting our economy, it's hurting middle-class workers, and it's hurting the ability to create more jobs," Boehner said, adding that Republicans want to replace it with "common-sense reforms."

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

What Liberals Should Focus On

Simply Left BehindThe Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy: Two Years' Vacation:

...This is something liberals need to focus on: not the GOTV every two years or so, but a long term commitment to persuading people that its in their best interest to vote early and vote often, at least in the course of their lifetimes.

See, we win when they vote. It's as simple as that.

Clinton Wins?

Why the Senate GOP takeover might actually help Hillary Clinton - The Washington Post:

A Republican Senate is likely to “spend a lot of time trying to repeal some of the progress made in the Obama administration,” Democratic strategist Erik Smith said. “That would be a great situation for her, because she could both make the case against the Republicans while currying favor with the Obama base...”

The Stop Obama Movement

Negativity Wins the Senate -

Republicans would like the country to believe that they took control of the Senate on Tuesday by advocating a strong, appealing agenda of job creation, tax reform and spending cuts. But, in reality, they did nothing of the sort.

Even the voters who supported Republican candidates would have a hard time explaining what their choices are going to do. That’s because virtually every Republican candidate campaigned on only one thing: what they called the failure of President Obama. In speech after speech, ad after ad, they relentlessly linked their Democratic opponent to the president and vowed that they would put an end to everything they say the public hates about his administration. On Tuesday morning, the Republican National Committee released a series of get-out-the-vote images showing Mr. Obama and Democratic Senate candidates next to this message: “If you’re not a voter, you can’t stop Obama...”

Wage Theft

The sneaky, systematic ways employers are stealing our wages -

...Next come the fast-food workers who work overtime, but rarely see the time-and-a-half to which they are entitled by law. Franchise managers at McDonald, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s and the like steal those hours by fiddling with the logs. You don’t like it? Leave. But if you’re lucky enough to be part of the Fast Food Forward campaign, the threat of protest and legal action might force the employer to pay up. Try stealing OT in Denmark and the union would shut down the entire chain.

Move up the food chain a bit and you’ll find the Amazon worker who must line up for 25 minutes to pass through “egress security”—screeners to stop pilfering. Amazon says this is not “integral and indispensible” to the job, and therefore, it is lawful not to pay for the time. The Supreme Court will soon decide whether efforts to halt merchandise theft will become legalized wage theft...

Incompetence In Campaigning

How the Lame Democrats Blew It - The Daily Beast:

...While there is a lot of truth to the notion that midterm voter turnout is a challenging for a liberal coalition comprised of the country’s most “unlikely” voters, the real story is this. Candidates from Arkansas to Kentucky, from Iowa to Georgia, lacked message discipline and skipped one opportunity after another to effectively target voters with any notable precision. For all of the bellyaching, tooth gnashing, and public wailing, Democrats have no one to blame but themselves. Their collective failings come down to message discipline, candidate selection, and voter targeting...

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Crazy In NC: Moral Monday Edition

Republicans Tried to Suppress the Black Vote in North Carolina. It's Not Working. | Mother Jones:

...These bills and others Tillis and fellow Republicans forced through after they took control of both the legislature and the governorship in 2012 led the NAACP's Rev. William Barber to launch the Moral Mondays movement in April 2013. For 74 straight weeks now, protesters have held demonstrations near the state capitol demanding a retreat from the state's sharp right turn...

The Cross Check Suppression Gambit

Jim Crow returns | Al Jazeera America:

Election officials in 27 states, most of them Republicans, have launched a program that threatens a massive purge of voters from the rolls. Millions, especially black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters, are at risk. Already, tens of thousands have been removed in at least one battleground state, and the numbers are expected to climb, according to a six-month-long, nationwide investigation by Al Jazeera America.

At the heart of this voter-roll scrub is the Interstate Crosscheck program, which has generated a master list of nearly 7 million names. Officials say that these names represent legions of fraudsters who are not only registered but have actually voted in two or more states in the same election — a felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison.,,

Monday, November 03, 2014

Fear And The Media

How The Media Helped The GOP Sell Their Fear-Based Appeal | Blog | Media Matters for America:

..."If you look at every single major issue in this campaign, the American public agree with our position," Biden said, "from federal support for infrastructure to minimum wage to marriage equality."

Biden is right, and the numbers are staggering. Seventy percent of Americans support increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, according to the results of a CBS News/New York Times poll from September. When Gallup asked whether voters would be more likely to support candidates who want to spend federal government money on infrastructure repairs, 72 percent said they would. Polling from ABCNews/Washington Post, The New York Times/CBS News, and McClatchy-Marist all shows majority support for marriage equality. Add universal background checks and federal action to combat climate change to the growing list of progressive issues backed by large majorities of the electorate...

Crazy In NC:Aiken Edition

Clay Aiken Doesn't Sing Anymore - Esquire:

...Aiken takes a deep breath. "The reason I'm running is because I want everybody to have the same shot. To start on the same line, not ten steps behind. This is a race we plan on winning. We are fighting with everything we have..."

Sunday, November 02, 2014

The Heart Of Tenure

What Conservative Media Miss In Coverage Of Controversial Time Teacher Story | Blog | Media Matters for America:

...Education Opportunity Network Director Jeff Bryant also argued in Salon that rights like tenure and due process are important for "the really huge problem many schools have with teacher retention." Bryant cited a New York Daily News op-ed by the dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, Erwin Chemerinsky, in which Chemerinsky wrote, "Getting rid of tenure and due process will not encourage more teachers to stay in the profession. It will drive them out and discourage other qualified people from entering the profession in the first place."

Perhaps we could have a more substantive conversation about teaching, tenure, and due process if conservative media were at least willing to discuss what's at the heart of this controversy.
The issue for the conservatives is really their attraction to the plantation model in all aspects of human interaction. They love the king, the authority-- as long as they're one in charge or they can imagine being The Man. They don't like the freedom that due process in employment (tenure) represents.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Ammosexual Bomb Builder

Makings Of Ammonium Nitrate Bomb Found In Border Militiaman’s Hotel Room | Crooks and Liars:

When ATF agents arrested Kevin “K.C.” Massey III at a Brownsville-area hotel last week on charges that he had been illegally carrying weapons while leading border-militia patrols in Texas, they found more in his hotel room than just guns and ammo. There was also a container of ammonium nitrate and fuel—a potent bomb in the making.

According to an inventory of items taken during Massey’s arrest, an “ammo box filled with ammonium nitrate (suspected) and fuel” was found in the room, which participants at Camp LoneStar—the border-militia operation at which Massey had been dubbed a “commander”—had described as a place rented out by the camp as “a place to take a shower and get a good night’s rest...”

Hickox And Ebola Panic

Good for you, Kaci Hickox - The Washington Post:

...People are understandably concerned about Ebola. Politicians are understandably responding to those concerns. But they also owe the public the duty to combat fear with facts and to tailor the public health response to the scientific evidence.

Which is, as you probably already know, this: Ebola is a deadly virus, but also an oddly cooperative one. You cannot catch Ebola until the infected person is symptomatic. Even then, becoming infected requires direct contact with bodily fluids. For proof, look at the fact that none of the relatives of the one person who has died of Ebola in the United States, Thomas Eric Duncan, caught the disease, despite living in close quarters with him...