Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Call For Muslim Action By Muslims

The asphyxiated politics of the Muslim world - Opinion - Al Jazeera English:

...The world of Islam is at a crossroad, either to make or break. There are plenty of talented and visionary people with personal integrity in Muslim societies who should now come to politics and make a serious effort to cleanse it from the dirt.

Let there arise a new breed of Muslim politicians who have the steel and skill of turning anarchy into optimism.

Econ Short Course

The Obama Recovery -

Suppose that for some reason you decided to start hitting yourself in the head, repeatedly, with a baseball bat. You’d feel pretty bad. Correspondingly, you’d probably feel a lot better if and when you finally stopped. What would that improvement in your condition tell you?

It certainly wouldn’t imply that hitting yourself in the head was a good idea. It would, however, be an indication that the pain you were experiencing wasn’t a reflection of anything fundamentally wrong with your health. Your head wasn’t hurting because you were sick; it was hurting because you kept hitting it with that baseball bat.

And now you understand the basics of what has been happening to several major economies, including the United States, over the past few years. In fact, you understand these basics better than many politicians and commentators...

Comment Of The Day: Blue Labor Edition

When�New York City Police Walk Off the Job -


People have criticized some of the actions and procedures of the police. They have gotten indignant about that and pouted and refused to do their job. Well, people have been criticizing teachers, doctors, and federal government workers (look at the recent criticism of the CDC, for example) forever, and you know what? All of those people keep showing up and doing their jobs. The police need to get over it and grow up

NYPD Labor Action

The NYPD's Insubordination–And Why the Right Should Oppose It - The Atlantic:

He riffs, "Well, we can only hope the NYPD unions and de Blasio settle their differences soon so that the police can go back to arresting people for reasons other than 'when they have to.' The NYPD’s failure to arrest and cite people will also end up costing the city huge amounts of money that it won’t be able to seize from its citizens, which is likely the real point. That’s the 'punishment' for the de Blasio administration for not supporting them. One has to wonder if they even understand, or care, that their 'work stoppage' is giving police state critics exactly what they want—less harsh enforcement of the city’s laws."

That's how some policing reformers see it. Others, like myself, don't object to strictly enforcing laws against, say, public urination, traffic violations, or illegal parking, but would love it if the NYPD stopped frisking innocents without probable cause or even reasonable suspicion, needlessly escalating encounters with civilians, and (especially) killing unarmed people, goals that are perfectly compatible with data-driven policing that targets actual disorder. Keep squeegee men at bay–and leave innocent black and Hispanic men alone.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Why Wasn't She Gunned Down?

It's In the Culture:

Woman drives through suburban Chattanooga neighborhood, clad in body armor, with hand out the driver's side window shooting at cars and people. After being cornered, Julia Shields, 45, pointed her firearm at police but was taken into custody without injury.

Shields is being charged with 3 counts of attempted first degree murder, 7 counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, felony evading arrest, and felony reckless endangerment.

Climate Change Morons

The 11 Dumbest Things Conservative Media Said About Climate Change in 2014 | Blog | Media Matters for America:

This year saw landmark reports on climate change, detailing the ever-increasing scientific certainty that human activities are driving catastrophic climate change and that action needs to be taken to prevent the worst effects. Yet despite the fact that more Americans than ever support action on climate change, conservative media went to ridiculous lengths to cast doubt on the scientific consensus behind global warming, citing everything from free market economics to witchcraft, touting conspiracy theories and predictions of an "ice age," and even fulfilling Godwin's law...

Monday, December 29, 2014

Can GOPer Racism Be Clearer?

Scalise doesn't deny speech to white supremacist group -

Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 3-ranking House Republican, isn't denying a Louisiana blog's allegation that he spoke at a white supremacist forum in 2002.

According to an agenda for the event and notes attendees posted afterward, Scalise appeared at the National/International EURO Workshop on Civil Rights -- a forum hosted by a white nationalist organization founded by David Duke, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan...

The Northern Strategy

New York’s epic white backlash: How a horrid 1960s relic is still with us today -

...New Yorkers like to feel superior to Southerners and Red Staters when it comes to race relations, but they don’t have the right. Just as Dr. King said Chicago could teach Mississippi how to hate, after he tried to challenge segregation there, New York shows what happens when fear of crime turns good people into frightened authoritarians, who’ll trade security for occasional police misconduct, as long as they don’t have to watch it on video.


I’ve known for quite a while that Richard Nixon’s so-called “Southern strategy” — to lure white Democrats to the GOP largely around issues of race — had a strong Northern component targeting white working class “ethnics.” But I only realized writing my book that I was raised in the capital of the GOP’s Northern strategy...

The Daily Flashback: GOPer Mole Edition

A Right-Wing Mole at ABC News — FAIR:

...Karl came to mainstream journalism via the Collegiate Network, an organization primarily devoted to promoting and supporting right-leaning newspapers on college campuses (Extra!, 9-10/91)—such as the Rutgers paper launched by the infamous James O’Keefe (Political Correction, 1/27/10). The network, founded in 1979, is one of several projects of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which seeks to strengthen conservative ideology on college campuses. William F. Buckley was the ISI’s first president, and the current board chair is American Spectator publisher Alfred Regnery. Several leading right-wing pundits came out of Collegiate-affiliated papers, including Ann Coulter, Dinesh D'Souza, Michelle Malkin, Rich Lowry and Laura Ingraham (Washington Times, 11/28/04)...

The Crazy List

GQ Presents: America's 20 Craziest Politicians:

How do you feel about facts? Do you hate them? Are they super annoying, like science? Are you frightened of communists, Muslims, and vaginas? Good news! This month, America is inaugurating a new class of elected representatives, and while some of them are bright, able politicians, a few of them are seriously looney. And they'll be in good company...

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Barking Todd

 Chuck Todd speaks a truth that Americans must understand when watching ‘the news’
...Chuck Todd then interjected. “We all sit there because we all know the first time we bark is the last time we do the show,” Chuck Todd said. “… All of a sudden, no one will come on your show.
W. Kamau Bell came in with an interesting point. He said that many times the traditional mainstream media uses the comedian’s satire to say what they dare not say. In effect comedians get to bark. He points out an interesting exception.
The weird thing is that Fox News also gets to bark,” W. Kamau Bell said “And I think sometimes the left leaning media is afraid of barking.
In other words, if you are touting the narrative of the plutocracy, rules do not apply to you. It is imperative that Americans understand how to process our so called news in the context of what the talking heads are allowed to say. We will make better electoral decisions then.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Fixing The Force

Being a cop showed me just how racist and violent the police are. There’s only one fix. - The Washington Post:

...Unfortunately, I don’t think better training alone will reduce police brutality. My fellow officers and I took plenty of classes on racial sensitivity and on limiting the use of force.

The problem is that cops aren’t held accountable for their actions, and they know it. These officers violate rights with impunity. They know there’s a different criminal justice system for civilians and police.

Even when officers get caught, they know they’ll be investigated by their friends, and put on paid leave. My colleagues would laughingly refer to this as a free vacation. It isn’t a punishment. And excessive force is almost always deemed acceptable in our courts and among our grand juries. Prosecutors are tight with law enforcement, and share the same values and ideas...

The Daily Flashback: Copier Fornication Edition

Interior Dept. scandal: Sex, drugs, energy deals probed at Denver office - The Denver Post:

Government workers in Denver engaged in secret sex and drug abuse with oil company employees and accepted thousand of dollars in gifts while handling billions of dollars worth of energy contracts, federal investigators said today.

Employees at the Minerals Management Service including the former head of the Denver division repeatedly and "without remorse" violated ethics rules over a four-year period, the Interior Department's Inspector General said...
You have to read and interpret. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Cop Union Calming

Police Unions 'Standing Down' After Controversial Comments In Wake Of NYPD Shooting:

..."Much like we shouldn't be blaming a president for the deaths of soldiers on the battlefield, let's not point fingers at the mayor for a madman's actions. It's ridiculous to believe that if only de Blasio had been more like Rudy Giuliani, Officers Liu and Ramos would be alive," said NY1 Political Director Bob Hardt in a column. "It's the same sloppy and dangerous logic in which people tried to blame American foreign policy for the 9/11 attacks, saying the chickens have come home to roost. There are plenty of chickens that fly around on their own."

De Blasio also isn't the first mayor to get into an argument with the PBA; the union has gone after at least the last four New York City mayors..
If we have to fear police unions...

Gumming An Argument To Death

What Everyone (Else) Has Wrong About Ferguson | Natural Rights Libertarian:

...What he was authorized to do, and what seems in fact to have happened, was that he used the grand jury as an impartial fact-finder, and let the jurors come to their own conclusion without his making a recommendation. It seems quite obvious that prosecutors (and possibly even McCulloch) have routinely flouted these standards in other instances, and so shame on them. But this hardly justifies criticism of the prosecutor’s conduct in the Brown investigation.

Start With Teachers

Let’s all screw the 1 percent: The simple move Obama could make to strengthen the rest of us -

...“So what’s changed since the 1960s and ’70s?” progressive billionare venture capitalist Nick Hanauer asked in Politico back in November. “Overtime pay, in part,” he answered: “Your parents got a lot of it, and you don’t. And it turns out that fair overtime standards are to the middle class what the minimum wage is to low-income workers: not everything, but an indispensable labor protection that is absolutely essential to creating a broad and thriving middle class...”

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Daily Flashback: Jeb & Terri Edition

Charles Pierce on Terri Schiavo and Jeb Bush - Idiot America Book Excerpt - Esquire:

...Now comes son Jeb (!), and he has this family trait in spades, even though a lot of people are working hard through the holidays to re-cast him as the reasonable candidate of the "Republican Establishment." However, back when his dim sibling was in the White House, Jeb (!) was governor of Florida and, as such, he helped put some wonderful people doing god's own thankless work through a personal kind of hell just because Jeb (!) thought there would be a political advantage to be gained by doing so, both for himself and for his dim brother. He allied himself with vandals, trespassers, and people who put bounties on other people's heads. He put the power of his office behind the efforts of people who call in bomb threats to elementary schools just because they happen to be down the road. He threw in his lot with the people who phone in death threats to federal judges. For his own pathetic political aggrandizement, he helped an organized brigade of dangerous, god-bothering lunatics to threaten and to torment some people whose shoes he is not fit to shine...

Rant Of The Day: Bad Cop Edition

Monday Reads: Giuliani and other Tools for a Police State | Sky Dancing:

...I’ve seen it all and I’ve experienced it. People are fed up with out of control policing and it’s not because of anything any politician has said. Police departments have brought all of the criticism, protest, and mistrust onto themselves.. This does not mean that police deserve to be gunned down or to be the victims of violence. However, I’m not surprised to see things escalate when justice is unavailable to so many. The crazed few always start acting out the frustrations of the many. You see, the American dream should not include places where you are more afraid of the people paid to protect you than you are of most anything else or where things are so unfair that your already deranged mind can follow martyrdom to some extreme awful end. I am completely saddened by the deaths of the two Brooklyn Police officers. But, their deaths should not be used as an excuse to give bad policing and bad police officers a pass. Their deaths should also not lead to political chest beating and police state jingoism. What we should realize is that we’ve got a broken criminal justice system and it needs to be fixed so that it turns no one into victims. I’m tired of being afraid of the police which is a place I’ve personally been for over 5 years now. Obama didn’t make me feel this way...

Origins Of Teh Crazy: Religion

My horrible right-wing past: Confessions of a one-time religious right icon -

...The short answer is that the American right is not about politics as most people understand it but about religious absolutes. As the New York Times noted on the single-minded desire to subvert President Obama’s overhaul of the broken immigration system, “And in their most audacious plans, Tea Party groups are preparing to recruit challengers to run against high-profile Republicans they accuse of betraying them — as they did when they toppled Eric Cantor, the former House majority leader.”

This zealous negativity has a long history. I was part of it as the nepotistic sidekick to my religious-right evangelist father. The 1970s Evangelical anti-abortion movement that Dad (Evangelical leader Francis Schaeffer), C. Everett Koop (who would be Ronald Reagan’s surgeon general) and I helped create seduced the Republican Party. We turned it into an extremist far-right party that is fundamentally anti-American. There would have been no Tea Party without the foundation we built...

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hannity Also Wins Award

Sean Hannity has ALL-CAPS Twitter meltdown after being named ‘worst’ Fox News host:

Fox News host Sean Hannity did not react well to a media poll naming him the “Worst Host” on Fox News, unleashing a series of tweets on Twitter attacking the website that conducted the poll, while draping his fury in purported concern for the two police officers killed in Brooklyn on Saturday...
You'd think he'd be happy being named biggest turd in the toilet.

Will Wins Award

Media Matters Names George Will 'Misinformer Of The Year':

Conservative columnist George Will will be named the "Misinformer of the Year" by Media Matters on Monday, staffers at the liberal-leaning group tell The Huffington Post...

Today In GOP Crooks

NY Republican Lawmaker Accused Of Molesting Boy Scouts Refuses To Resign | Crooks and Liars

Michael Kelsey, a Republican lawmaker in Dutchess County, New York is
refusing to step down as he awaits his next court date for charges of
inappropriately touching two 15-year-old boys during a Boy Scout trip
last August...
 Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) To Plead Guilty To Tax Evasion

The good citizens of New York's 13th district (mostly Staten Island) saw
fit to re-elect this schmuck in the midterms. Now they'll soon have the
dubious distinction of being represented by a convicted felon... 

FL Edges NY

Census: Florida eases ahead of New York in population:

New York dropped slightly behind Florida as the third most populous state in the nation, according to U.S. Census data released Tuesday.

Florida has been creeping up on New York. Tuesday's figures showed that Florida surpassed the population of the Empire State by 147,070 people. Florida's population was up 1.5 percent, from 19,600,311 to 19,893,297 as July 1. New York's population was up 0.26 percent, from 19,695,680 to 19,746,227...

Monday, December 22, 2014

More Fox Hypocrisy

How Fox News Covers Right-Wing Cop Killers | Blog | Media Matters for America:

Claiming to be acting under the bloody "banner of Liberty and Truth," Jerad Miller and his wife Amanda, entered CiCi's Pizza in Las Vegas on Sunday right before noon and executed two local policemen on their lunch break. Authorities say Jerad approached one officer while he was refilling his soda cup and shot him in the head from behind, before he and Amanda opened fire on his partner...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Con Comment Round-Up

Conservatives Go Insane Over Progressive Boycott Article - Here's Some Of Their Best FB Comments |

And The Sun Also Rose...

Conservatives’ sick reaction to NYPD officer killings: Blame Obama and de Blasio -

Conservatives seized on the shooting deaths of two New York City police officers on Saturday to attack President Obama, Mayor Bill de Blasio, and other figures who have spoken out on the fraught relationship between police and minority communities, with some going so far as to blame them for the killings of the two officers...

Vet Shafting: Xmas Edition

2014's Final Act Of Republican Obstruction, And How The D.C. Press (Again) Looked Away | Blog | Media Matters for America:

...Yet after passing the House on a simple voice vote, a truly remarkable accomplishment in today's historically gridlocked environment, the bill was blocked by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK). Claiming it duplicates already existing services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs, that the bill "throws money and it doesn't solve the real problem," and its costs aren't offset by cuts elsewhere in the budget, Coburn, a medical doctor himself, on Monday refused to allow the health care bill to be voted on...

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Policing Police

15 reasons America’s police are so brutal -

...The DOJ’s observation that many of the same problems of excessive force are back more than 10 years after a similar federal investigation and settlement suggests that reforming America’s runaway police departments is going to be incredibly difficult. Despite public protests, there’s little evidence that police themselves want to change from within.

Obama Agonistes: The Liberation

Obama Unbound -

There may not be a lightness to his step, a lilt in his voice or a bit of jauntiness returned to his manner. The office ages everyone prematurely, and makes spontaneity all but impossible. But President Obama is acting like a man who’s been given the political equivalent of a testosterone boost.

Perhaps the best thing to happen to him was the crushing blow his party took in the midterm elections. Come January, Republicans will have their largest House majority in 84 years — since Herbert Hoover was president. Granted, no politician wants to join Hoover and history in the same sentence. But Obama is not cowering or conceding. He’s been liberated by defeat, becoming the president that many of his supporters hoped he would be...

Friday, December 19, 2014

Clinton Likes Cuba Move

With Cuba Decision, Obama Hands Hillary Clinton A 2016 Gift:

Potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton knows a political gift when she sees one.

She was quick to embrace the step this week when President Barack Obama, a fellow Democrat no longer having to face an electorate, relaxed U.S. policy toward Cuba.

While assailed by Republicans opposed to restoring ties with the communist-led island, the action has the power to solidify support for Democrats among increasingly influential Latino voters and appeal to voters in farm states like Iowa eager to do business in Havana...

Right Thinking?

WSJ Just Realized The Anti-ACA Lawsuit It's Pushing Could Be Ruinous For Americans -- Including Republican Voters | Blog | Media Matters for America:

The number of people who could lose their insurance subsidies will be far greater than the number cited by the Journal, which only accounts for consumers who bought insurance in 2014. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) analysis of Congressional Budget Office enrollment estimates, far more Americans will be eligible for subsidies in 2016 after the ACA is fully implemented -- meaning upwards of 13.5 million people who are otherwise eligible for tax credits could soon lose out depending on the ruling in King. As KFF also pointed out, the Journal's fear about the impact on Republican governors is well-founded, since "[m]ore than half are in a few big anti-ACA states that chose not to run their own exchanges: Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania..."

Econ Obvious 101

Robert Reich: The Reagan revolution is killing America’s middle class -

...One factor here has been a sharp decline in union membership. In the mid 1970s, 25 percent of the private-sector workforce was unionized.

Then came the Reagan revolution. By the end of the 1980s, only 17 percent of the private workforce was unionized. Today, fewer than 7 percent of the nation’s private-sector workers belong to a union.

This means most workers no longer have the bargaining power to get a share of the gains from growth.

Another structural change is the drop in the minimum wage. In 1979, it was $9.67 an hour (in 2013 dollars). By 1990, it had declined to $6.84. Today it’s $7.25, well below where it was in 1979.

Given that workers are far more productive now – computers have even increased the output of retail and fast food workers — the minimum wage should be even higher.

By setting a floor on wages, a higher minimum helps push up other wages. It undergirds higher median household incomes.

The only way to grow the economy in a way that benefits the bottom 90 percent is to change the structure of the economy. At the least, this requires stronger unions and a higher minimum wage...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Cops Changing?

Police Nationwide Alter Tactics, Bolster Arsenal After Protests, Killings:

With tensions running high over the killings of blacks by police, departments around the country are changing policies and procedures to curb the use of deadly force, ease public distrust and protect officers from retaliation.

New York City plans to issue stun guns to hundreds more officers. The Milwaukee department is making crisis-intervention training mandatory. And in Akron, Ohio, police have begun working in pairs on all shifts for their own safety...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Always, Always, Follow The Money

Congressman Who Blocks D.C. Pot Measure Now Faces A Major Backlash - attn::

...Attn: also covered Harris' connection to the health care industry, which supplies his largest amount of campaign contributions. In particular, Harris has received campaign donations from Maryland’s Emergent BioSolutions, whose Epsil product treats common side effects of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. Any legal access to marijuana then, which is regularly prescribed to stave the deleterious effects of cancer and chemotherapy, is a direct competitor to Emergent...

Cruz Cries

Ted Cruz apologizes to his Republican colleagues.:

...Ted Cruz did something on Tuesday he never does. He apologized. That is equivalent to bringing him to his knees given his intrinsic conceit. Reuters reported his apology as follows...

Pot Prohibition Ending?

Congress quietly ends federal government's ban on medical marijuana - LA Times:

Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy.

The bill's passage over the weekend marks the first time Congress has approved nationally significant legislation backed by legalization advocates. It brings almost to a close two decades of tension between the states and Washington over medical use of marijuana.

Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so...
Diabetic might be happy, in addition to the stoner contingent, since diabetics can't drink alcohol, they might have a less dangerous way to get a smidgen of pleasure from life, given that other pleasures are usually denied.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Keystone Econ Rationale Fading

Keystone: The Republican Congress's First Priority May No Longer Make Sense - Bloomberg Politics:

...While Keystone has long been a top priority for Republicans who argue that the pipeline linking tar sands oil fields in Alberta, Canada, and an existing network in Steele City, Nebraska, is a no brainer, the economic dynamics that have bolstered the GOP's rationale for building it have changed considerably...

Hating On Vets

It's an AP story so no words: Coburn blocks bill on veterans' suicide prevention

Cruz Bombs

Ted Cruz's stunt backfires as Harry Reid & Democrats smile big:

Ted Cruz thought he was doing something that would give him notoriety. He was going to stand up to President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and Democrats. Instead, he got eggs all over his face. His immaturity and stupidity was there for all to see. Harry Reid took Ted Cruz’s lemon and made sweet tasting lemonade...
Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Torture Tales

Daily Politics Blog - Charles P. Pierce - Political Blogging - Esquire:"There Is Nothing New Under The Son Of A Bitch" 
By Charles P. Pierce 12/15/2014 at 4:14 PM

As the apologists fanned out over the weekend, and as the country's attention span wanes and the new normal asserts itself, some of us decline to let go of what was revealed about the war criminals amongst us, particularly those who bragged about what they'd arranged, got all puffed up with the courage to be savages, and who already had benefitted in their careers mightily from The Great Mulligan demanded by the last administration for "keeping us safe," if you don't count the anthrax attacks and that other one, in which 3000 people died. There is not a single defense raised by these barbarians that has not been raised in the past by people who wanted to torture people with impunity. They can't even summon up the common humanity to concoct original alibis...

Instant Replay: O Shafting Clinton

Daily PUMA:

While DailyPUMA is not surprised to see Barack Obama staffers stabbing Hillary Clinton in the back and supporting Elizabeth Warren for 2016, it's also probably because the Barack Obama staffers are soon to be out of work.

Hypocrisy North

The North isn’t better than the South: The real history of modern racism and segregation above the Mason-Dixon line -

...Yet important generalizations emerged. There was a surprising amount of agreement among whites when it came to race. Liberal leaders and purveyors of the white backlash alike believed that their region was a bastion of racial tolerance. Louise Day Hicks led the white resistance against school integration in Boston. At the same time, she championed her city’s enlightenment. “The important thing is that I know I’m not bigoted,” Hicks said. “To me that word means all the dreadful Southern segregationist Jim Crow business that’s always shocked and revolted me.” By the same token, many liberals blanched at the prospects of open housing and school integration. Racial conservatives and progressives shared a vast middle ground. They could agree that they were more advanced than southerners, that African Americans could rise high in the North, and that African Americans ought neither move next door nor enroll their children in majority-white schools...

Stealing Pensions For The Rich

Kansas Governor Proposes Using Pension Money to Cover Budget Gaps Created By His Tax Cuts:

In 2012, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a landmark bill that delivered big tax cuts to high income earners and businesses. Less than two years after that tax cut, the state's income tax revenues plummeted by a quarter-billion dollars -- and now Brownback is pushing to use money for public employees’ pensions to instead cover the state's ensuing budget shortfalls. 

Brownback's proposal: Slash the state’s required pension contribution by $40 million to balance the state budget. But Kansas already has one of the worst-funded pension systems in the nation. The state was also recently sanctioned by the Securities and Exchange Commission for not accurately disclosing the shortfalls...

Darth Lies--- Who Knew?

Dick Cheney Hides Behind Torture Myths To Evade Questions On Meet The Press | Research | Media Matters for America:

Former Vice President Dick Cheney dodged pointed questions from Meet The Press host Chuck Todd by pushing myths about the CIA's use of torture on terrorist suspects during the Bush administration...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Way It Is

Is It Bad Enough Yet? -

THE police killing unarmed civilians. Horrifying income inequality. Rotting infrastructure and an unsafe “safety net.” An inability to respond to climate, public health and environmental threats. A food system that causes disease. An occasionally dysfunctional and even cruel government. A sizable segment of the population excluded from work and subject to near-random incarceration.

You get it: This is the United States, which, with the incoming Congress, might actually get worse...

And I Am The King Of Siam

Koch brother: I'm a social liberal | MSNBC:

David Koch, billionaire donor to conservative causes, claimed once again that he is a “social liberal.” His own political contributions suggest otherwise.

“I’m basically a libertarian, and I’m a conservative on economic matters, and I’m a social liberal,” Koch said in a forthcoming interview with Barbara Walters that was previewed on “This Week” Sunday...

Dems Have A Thought In FL

Dems Have a Clever New Plan to Turn Florida's Governor's Mansion Blue | Mother Jones:

Over the past few years, Republicans across the country have adopted a novel strategy for winning elections: Change the rules to make it harder to vote against them. In seven states, Republicans passed new laws requiring voters to show photo ID before getting a ballot. They pared down early voting. In some states, they even contemplated changing how Electoral College votes are awarded in order to give the GOP candidate an advantage.

Now some Florida Democrats want to change election rules to benefit their own side—by holding big elections in the years that people actually vote. Over the past few election cycles, Democrats have thrived in presidential years, when more voters—especially young and minority voters, who tend to be Democratic—turn out to vote. But the party has floundered in off-year elections, which feature higher percentages of older, more conservative voters. Florida, like 35 other states, elects its governors in midterm years, when there is no presidential race on the ballot. Now a small group of political consultants is mulling a campaign to change that...

Friday, December 12, 2014

Finding The Democratic Soul

Elizabeth Warren goes to war: Why the Democratic Party could seriously change — for real, this time -

...Out of the many reports on Warren’s performance at the “Managing the Economy” conference, I thought the one Salon contributor David Dayen penned for the New Republic did the best job of situating her address within the framework of the fight that’s happening right now among Democrats over the party’s future direction. It would be impossible to categorize the groups perfectly (that Will Rogers quote about being a member of no organized party has endured for a reason). But, in broad strokes, the division is between neoliberals, who want minimal regulations on Wall Street, and populists, who believe Wall Street has become a threat to the middle class. Warren is, by far, the most recognizable member of the latter group, while the neoliberals, lacking a star of their own, have had to settle for Andrew Ross Sorkin, the wunderkind Wall Street reporter who’s repeatedly criticized Warren in the New York Times...

Torture And Chickenhawkery

The War Hero and the Chicken Hawk -

...It’s impolite to call somebody a liar. So take it from the rare blunt headline in Politico earlier this week: “Dick Cheney Was Lying About Torture.” This was a piece written by Mark Fallon, who was on the inside — the special agent in charge of a task force that sought information from numerous terror suspects.

What Fallon concluded is what any fair-minded reader of the Senate report will conclude: that “at no time” did the torture program produce intelligence that averted a terrorist threat. Nor did it lead to Osama bin Laden. That break came from a detainee, Hassan Ghul, who “sang like a tweetie bird” from the outset, as one officer said...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gov. GoodHair On IQ

Rick Perry: 'Running for the presidency's not an IQ test' | MSNBC:

The governor’s new interview with msnbc’s Kasie Hunt was arguably even more informative about Perry’s progress as a national candidate.

For example, Hunt asked the governor, quite candidly, “Are you smart enough to be president of the United States?” He replied:

“Running for the presidency’s not an IQ test,” he said. “It is a test of an individual’s resolve. It’s a test of an individual’s philosophy. It’s a test of an individual’s life experiences. And I think Americans are really ready for a leader that will give them a great hope about the future...”
...The governor’s new interview with msnbc’s Kasie Hunt was arguably even more informative about Perry’s progress as a national candidate.
For example, Hunt asked the governor, quite candidly, “Are you smart enough to be president of the United States?” He replied:
“Running for the presidency’s not an IQ test,” he said...

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Fond Good-Bye To Crazier...

... of the GOP's last round of presidential candidates, Crazy, Crazier, Craziest.

Farewell, Michele Bachmann - Esquire:

The only Congress we have today bid a fond farewell to Michele Bachmann, who thanked the only Congress we have by delivering a farewell address that never will be confused with Washington's Farewell To His Troops, or to the last dying embers of a dumpster fire, for all that...

Monday, December 08, 2014

Comment Of The Day: Right Wing Justification Edition

Sorry for the mess on the initial post. Didn't see the problem until I got on a computer.

11 Facts About the Eric Garner Case the Media Won't Tell You

Just ONCE I'd like to see Sharpton, Obama, Jackson, & Holder take sides & investigate when a NON-MINORITY individual (preferably an unarmed young male) is shot dead by the police without provocation--or even WITH provocation. The Pantheon" of Obama, Sharpton, Jackson,& Holder are trying to convince the world that ONLY MINORITY men suffer from excessive force & killing at the hands of the police.
(Tell that to John Wrana, the 94 year-old WHITE WWII vet who died after being shot FIVE TIMES in the abdomen with bean bags at close range for "menacing" Chicago police with his cane!)
It is an outrage any time anyone of any color is needlessly killed by police.

Corruption Of The Highest Kind

Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General -

...The email exchange from October 2011, obtained through an open-records request, offers a hint of the unprecedented, secretive alliance that Mr. Pruitt and other Republican attorneys general have formed with some of the nation’s top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda, an investigation by The New York Times has found.

Attorneys general in at least a dozen states are working with energy companies and other corporate interests, which in turn are providing them with record amounts of money for their political campaigns, including at least $16 million this year...

Raygun The Awful

Why Ronald Reagan Should Be Seen as a Complete Failure | Vanity Fair:

The Irony and the Ecstasy

Every serious G.O.P. presidential aspirant invokes the glorious era of Ronald Reagan, to which the country must return. Ignore the fact that, for the likes of Paul Ryan and Rand Paul, Reagan’s actual record—from increased bureaucracy to higher deficits—should be seen as a complete failure...
I've been preaching to choir since the day Ollie North lied under oath.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Murder In UT

Killings by Utah police outpacing gang, drug, child-abuse homicides | The Salt Lake Tribune:

In the past five years, more Utahns have been killed by police than by gang members.

Or drug dealers. Or from child abuse.

And so far this year, deadly force by police has claimed more lives — 13, including a Saturday shooting in South Jordan — than has violence between spouses and dating partners.

As the tally of fatal police shootings rises, law enforcement watchdogs say it is time to treat deadly force as a potentially serious public safety problem...

Friday, December 05, 2014

Comment Of The Day: Blue Wall Edition

Today's Lessons On The Events Of Our Time: The Cleveland Report and The Legal History Of The Chokehold - Esquire

Glenn Hendricks · Top Commenter · University of Denver

I wore a badge for a short while back in the 70s in suburban Denver. It isn't just about race, even then. Race is a huge predictor, true. The casual racism in this department of 200 (with 2 black officers in a town that was 22% black but whose arrests of blacks were 44% of the total arrests) was readily apparent. The other piece that no one seems to get
is that it is nearly as much about not being Blue. The PDs inculcate an 'us against them' attitude about everyone. If you aren't in a PD uniform you aren't squat. Only other officers truly understand what you're going through and only other officers will back you up. This was the reality in 1979 and from what I see it is even worse now. The militarization and isolation of law enforcement really have turned them into a force apart from the society in which they operate.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Evil Apple: Ipod Edition

Apple deleted rivals' musics from iPods, court told - News - Gadgets and Tech - The Independent:

Apple deleted music on users’ iPods that wasn’t bought from iTunes, a court was told during an antitrust suit that says Apple abused the music store’s dominance.

Lawyers representing plaintiffs in the case said that Apple scanned iPods for music that wasn’t bought on iTunes — such as files bought from Amazon's onlike music store — and forced a factory reset, and the third-party files would be removed.

“You guys decided to give them the worst possible experience and blow up” a user’s music library, attorney Patrick Coughlin said in U.S. District Court in Oakland, California, reported the Wall Street Journal...
So that's what happened to my iPod.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Net Neutrality Neutering

Daily Politics Blog - Charles P. Pierce - Political Blogging - Esquire:

...Kid, that's because you didn't apply the Blog's Five Minute Rule where it was clearly appropriate here. In their fundamental political souls, the Pauls are oligarchs. The only kind of "government regulation" they truly oppose, and the only kind for which they truly will go to the mattresses, is any attempt by the government that would prevent the rich from getting richer, or that would protect the rest of us from the political depredations of the corporate class. Everything else is a wink and a nod and a fake. So, somehow, keeping the cable giants from doing for the internet what Goldman Sachs et. al. did for the financial services industry somehow would make you there at your laptop, journaling away at your drone-free Starbucks, less free...

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

GOPer O'Dissing Continues

When GOP staffer put Obama children ‘at a bar,’ it continued American tradition of trashing black females’ morality - The Washington Post:

In keeping with the Christian theme of her self-serving apology, Elizabeth Lauten has blessedly resigned from her post as the communications director for Rep. Stephen Lee Fincher (R-Tenn.). She had said prayer showed her the error of her ways, though one would think she would not need a higher power to tell her that trashing Malia and Sasha Obama for dress and demeanor at a turkey pardoning was not the best idea...

Monday, December 01, 2014

Irony In The Pulpit

Adulterous Pastor With AIDS Asks Judge for His Job Back - NBC

The Alabama pastor who confessed that he'd committed adultery with congregants even though he knew he had AIDS argued in court Monday that his church couldn't fire him because he was appointed for life.

Juan Demetrius McFarland, pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery and elected moderator of the Alabama Middle District Missionary Baptist Association, was fired in an 80-1 vote of church members. Church deacons went to court in October after McFarland refused to step down...