Right. This recession has hit everyone hard and you can't raise taxes during a recession. Of course, some people aren't actually in a recession:
Heaven forbid the rich might have to pay another percent or two.
Right. This recession has hit everyone hard and you can't raise taxes during a recession. Of course, some people aren't actually in a recession:
Utah Phillips tells a story about Will Rogers and Standard Oil from his wonderful storytelling CD "The Moscow Hold".
Jan Brewer Blames ‘Brain Freeze’ On Her Own Beheading
So, yeah, not much to hang your hat on there. In the absence of anything substantive to give the American people, the right has gone home to their mothership: sowing discord, fear and hatred to distract people from the fact that, while Republicans are good at campaigning, they are walking cancer cells to the body politic if and when they actually win.
There's a joint in West Haven, Connecticut, called the Fire and Ice Hookah Lounge. By all reports (Click it! - G), it's a nifty little place; the theme is Middle Eastern, the hookah smoke is tasty, and the belly dancers are something to see indeed. Last Thursday, a fellow named Kevin Morris, also of West Haven, came ditty-bopping into Fire and Ice and staked his claim to first-ballot entry into the Dumbass Hall of Fame.
Mr. Morris, it seems, decided that any place with hookahs and belly dancers must be a festering nest of Muslims, and decided to give the patrons what-for. According to news reports, he barged through the door and started screaming racist and anti-Muslim epithets at everyone there. The crowd didn't really react until Morris tried to throttle the bartender...at which point, the patrons rose up righteous and basically beat the ever-loving Jesus out of him. Morris' mug shot looks like his face went through a wheat thresher, and as of now, he remains in police custody.
Hatred and stupidity, folks. When they ride in the same applecart, things can get truly dangerous. But sometimes, and only rarely, things can also get truly funny.
Thank you, Mr. Morris.
From 1980 German TV
[...] “You’re just putting on a show. You’re so fake,” one of the children said when Palin made a point of praying in front of other people. “This is not who you are. Why are you pretending to be something you’re not?”
Major human trafficker is huge GOP donor who fought illegal immigration
Countdown: Olbermann, Scahill thank Bush for the ‘success’ of the Iraq war
'They' say that it really isn't healthy to keep things bottled up inside. On Wed. evening's MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, the liberal host and his guest, The Nation's Jeremy Scahill went the healthy route and let it rip.
"These people have a Ph.D in lying and a master's degree in manipulating intelligence," Scahill says of the neocons, "And it is, it's really sobering to see this kind of brash historical revisionism happening in real time. The idea that these people want to post some kind of false flag of victory on the corpses of all who have died in Iraq because of their decisions. These people destabilized Iraq, they destabilized the Middle East, with their neo-con vision of redrawing maps, and they didn't even succeed in their own stated mission. This is a special kind of pathological sickness that these individuals are plagued with."
If you have not read Drew Westin's outstanding piece "What Created the Populist Explosion and How Democrats Can Avoid the Shrapnel in November" on The Huffington Post, AlterNet, and other venues, read it immediately. Westin states as eloquently and forcefully as anyone what he, I, and other progressives have been saying from the beginning of the Obama administration. I agree fully with everything he says. But ...
Westin's piece is incomplete in crucial ways. His piece can be read as saying that this election is about kitchen table economics (right) and only kitchen table economics (wrong).
This election is about more than just jobs and mortgages and adequate health care. All politics is moral. All political leaders say to do what they propose because it is right. No political leaders say to do what they say because it is wrong. Morality is behind everything in politics - and progressives and conservatives have different moral systems.
In the conservative moral system, the highest value is preserving and extending the moral system itself. That is why they keep saying no to Obama's proposals, even voting against their own ideas when Obama accepts them. To give Obama any victory at all would be a blow to their moral system. Their moral system requires non-cooperation. That is a major thing the Obama administration has not understood.
Following the conventional wisdom, Democrats return to their all-too-familiar defensive crouch, and conclude that when in trouble, tack right. [...]
The White House starts adopting failed conservative policies and talking points that leave the public utterly confused about where the president, and by extension, his party, stands on the central issues of the day. [...]
The underlying psychological assumption of these moves is that if you mix policies from the right and left in equal parts, you win the center. In fact, no one has ever won the center that way. It appears weak, opportunistic, and incoherent to the average swing voter, which is particularly problematic at a time when people in the center desperately want to know that their leaders have a vision and a coherent plan for what to do (which is why both FDR and Ronald Reagan were so effective in moving voters in the center). It doesn't win any votes on the right. But it does have one predictable effect: It sucks the motivation out of your base, who feel demoralized and betrayed (if they're part of the "professional left") or less likely to vote (if they're average voters who don't follow politics carefully but just don't feel very enthusiastic anymore, even if they don't really know why).
The Fox News personality is strangely bent on linking the president -- and race -- to liberation theology, evidence to the contrary be damned.
Perhaps Beck should go back to peddling misinformation about the Founding Fathers, who have been dead too long to complain.
Speaking at a forum for the right-wing Steamboat Institute last week, Nevada GOP Senate candidate Sharron Angle effectively declared that public schools should cease to exist. [...]
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight, I’d like to talk to you about the end of our combat mission in Iraq, the ongoing security challenges we face, and the need to rebuild our nation here at home. But before I do that, we need a moment of truth. The Iraq war was based on a deliberate lie involving the White House distorting the National intelligence estimate on Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). The report got it wrong on WMD. There were none. But it concluded that the only way the nonexistent WMD would be used against the United States was in retaliation for a US attack on Iraq that threatened Saddam Hussein. By deleting this information, the Bush-Cheney White House justified a preemptive invasion without any basis, a crime under international law that our nation helped establish after World War II.
We’re treating the signature wounds of today’s wars -- post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury -- while providing the health care and benefits that all of our veterans have earned. These veterans and all those lost and injured would be here today, never have needed treatment were it not for the illegal invasion. As a result, I'm appointing one of the nation's greatest prosecutors, Vincent Bugliosi, to prosecute those responsible for the injuries and deaths of all U.S. soldiers who served in Iraq.
His achievements so far have been accomplished in spite of obstacles that would fell most mortals—the almost uncountable messes he inherited from Bush-Cheney, a cratered economy, a sclerotic Congress in thrall to lobbyists and special-interest money, and a rabid opposition underwritten by a media empire that owns both America’s most-watched cable news channel and its most highly circulated newspaper. Indeed it could be argued that the matrix of crises facing Obama would have outmatched any Bush successor, no matter how talented. (They certainly would have drowned John McCain, whose utter cluelessness about the economic crisis alarmed even his Republican allies in 2008.) But Obama knew what he was getting into when he ran for president, and the question that matters now is how he can do the job better.
Can Obama self-correct? He remains the same driven, smart, psychologically balanced leader we saw in the campaign, and to these familiar attributes, Alter adds another quality that is less frequently displayed in public—an utter lack of sentimentality. He’s “the most unsentimental man I’ve ever met,” says one aide, summing up for many of his peers. That trait may be the most useful of all if Obama undertakes the ruthless course corrections that are essential to the realization of his promise.
I have a dream that the Yalie son of a Houston oil magnate can walk hand in hand with the daughter of a Wall Street hedge fund operator on the white sands of Southampton while evading inheritance taxes.
I have a dream that the young white guys playing with rifles at survivalist retreats in northern Michigan, that the middle-aged white guys playing Minuteman with guns at the Arizona border, and the older white guys frolicking at the Bohemian Grove, playing with whatever they play with, will keep people of different races or religions in their place.
I have a dream that the Supreme Court will vote 5 to 4 to revoke the statehood of Hawaii—but not Alaska—vindicating you Birthers out there.
May corporations get the American people and “government of the people, by the people and for the people” (Lincoln had it wrong) off our backs.
From the newsroom of Fox to the boardrooms of our corporate masters, let freedom ring.
Thanks to Justice Roberts Almighty, the tea party and the GOP, we’ll be free at last!
When pastor Steve Stone initially heard of the mosque and Islamic center being erected on the sprawling land adjacent his church, his stomach tightened.
Then he raised a 6-foot sign reading, "Welcome to the Neighborhood."
The issue for Stone and the 550-person Heartsong Church in Cordova, came down to one question:
"What would Jesus do if He were us? He would welcome the neighbor," Stone said.
While the 4,000-square-foot worship hall is being completed, Heartsong has opened its doors to its neighbors throughout the monthlong observance of Ramadan.
Under a gigantic cross constructed of salvaged wood, nearly 200 area Muslims have been gathering each night to pray.
Paul Broun is the perfect embodiment of the right-wing backlash that has greeted Barack Obama's presidency
Except that the gala was held to celebrate the notorious, conspiracy-minded right-wing political group the John Birch Society, the band of Commie hunters made famous in the early 1960s, who’d seemingly vanished, only to burst back onto into the newly mainstreamed paranoid fringe within months after the election of Barack Obama as president. Rather than back away from its divisive views -- most notably that popular U.S. president and World War II hero Dwight Eisenhower was somehow an agent of international Communism -- the Birchers were doubling down in the age of Obama, still maintaining that a planet-wide conspiracy hatched some 200 years ago by the ultra-secret Illuminati in search of a so-called "New World Order" continues to flourish today.
The rise of cable TV-friendly-but-governing-averse pols like Broun and Bachmann has become a hallmark of the backlash against the Obama presidency. After the GOP lost control of the government over the second half of the 2000s, the party’s direction and indeed its very life force has been seized by a new breed of political huckster -- who saw that the paranoia and anger of the extreme political right is the only thing passing for a pulse in the modern conservative movement these days (my em). This cynical ambition of high-ranking elected officials not to tamp down the paranoid style but to adopt its latest fashions was a successful strategy ... for the politicians who might have been unknown back-benchers if they had acted more responsibly. Their mainstreaming of the political fringes made them into darlings of cable television and helped ensure reelection within their deep-red conservative districts.
A family doctor who treated Jimmy Carter’s relatives in South Georgia for a number of years, Broun declared bankruptcy in the early 1980s. A federal judge ruled -- according to news accounts in Athens -- that Broun "falsified financial documents in an effort to obtain a loan and misrepresented his assets and debts during bankruptcy proceedings" and ordered him to pay nearly $70,000 to an Americus bank. According to a bankruptcy complaint, the young family doctor "has a reputation of having an extravagant lifestyle evidenced by the acquisition of a number of expensive rare hunting books, expensive rare ceramic items related to hunting, safari to Africa, expensive gun collection and the acquisition of the very best in everything purchased." He had to pay more than $61,000 in back taxes to the IRS, and one of his ex-wives even took him to court for alimony and child support. There was a time when that kind of résumé would have sunk a would-be politician, but the 21st century has proven to be remarkably kind to past sinners who adopt the language of 12-step recovery -- just ask Glenn Beck how that works -- and even awards bonus points when Christianity is involved.
Glenn Beck's rally was large, vague, moist, and undirected — the Waterworld of white self-pity.
Glenn Beck's weekend speech was reminiscent of the radical 1960s black separatist leader: Both terrify mainstream liberals and shed politics for a message of spiritual uplift.
[...] Palin, like Beck, was talking about a spiritual restoration, a return to time-tested virtues that had been celebrated by the more homogeneous America of the past, in which non-traditional families were stigmatized and relatively rare, church attendance was far more common, and the dominance of Anglo-Protestant culture was unquestioned.
But as most of those who attended Beck’s rally(*) understand in their bones, that world is gone. And President Obama, for all his efforts to expand the reach of the federal government, has had very little to do with this deep transformation. Rather, the country has long since been transformed by powerful demographic and economic forces that very much threaten what we might call Glenn Beck’s America.
Instead of accepting or embracing this transformation, a large and growing number of white Americans are, knowingly or otherwise, taking a page from minority protest movements of the past by asserting themselves and demanding recognition from political and cultural elites. Many on the left find this sense of anger and alienation risible, seeing in this movement of “are-nots,” as opposed to “have-nots,” a class of ignoramuses duped by Fox News into acting against their supposed economic interests.
So in this very strange and very fluid political moment, Glenn Beck has emerged as the white Malcolm X. Whereas Malcom X embraced militant black separatism, Beck marries a stridently emotional style with political views that wouldn’t have been out of place at a 1950s Elks Lodge event. [...]
And though Beck is scrupulously inclusive — I was particularly struck by his reference to “our churches, our synagogues, our mosques” during his lengthy address to the crowd — his people are overwhelmingly white and old. Among Americans over the age of 65, 80 percent are non-Hispanic whites, an artifact of an earlier era in which the number of Latinos was negligible and African Americans were the only minority population of any significance. This over-65 population, well represented at the rally, has tended to be the most hostile to President Obama’s agenda. Not coincidentally, the average age of Fox News viewers is 65, a shade older than CNN’s 63 and MSNBC’s 59.
[...] With each passing year, the cultural mix of the United States is growing more Latin and Asian and black. Non-Hispanic whites are just 56 percent of the under-18 population, a reality reflected in an increasingly pan-ethnic youth culture that seems baffling to older white Americans. Imagine how elderly viewers of Glenn Beck must feel when they accidentally catch themselves watching an episode of Jersey Shore.
This is who `we' really is, Glenn
The we to which Glenn Beck belongs is the we that said no, the we that cried "socialism", "communism", "tyranny" whenever black people and their allies cried freedom.
The fatuous and dishonorable attempt to posit conservatives as the prime engine of civil rights depends for success on the ignorance of the American people. Sadly, as anyone who has ever watched a Jay Walking segment on The Tonight Show can attest, the American people have ignorance in plenitude.
This, then, is to serve notice as Beck and his tea party faithful gather in Lincoln's shadow to claim the mantle of King: Some of us are not ignorant. Some of us remember. Some of us know very well who "we" is.
And, who `"we" is not.
Anyone who remembered the 1990s could have predicted something like the current political craziness. What we learned from the Clinton years is that a significant number of Americans just don’t consider government by liberals — even very moderate liberals — legitimate. Mr. Obama’s election would have enraged those people even if he were white. Of course, the fact that he isn’t, and has an alien-sounding name, adds to the rage.
By the way, I’m not talking about the rage of the excluded and the dispossessed: Tea Partiers are relatively affluent, and nobody is angrier these days than the very, very rich. Wall Street has turned on Mr. Obama with a vengeance: last month Steve Schwarzman, the billionaire chairman of the Blackstone Group, the private equity giant, compared proposals to end tax loopholes for hedge fund managers with the Nazi invasion of Poland.
And powerful forces are promoting and exploiting this rage. [...]
And where, in all of this, are the responsible Republicans, leaders who will stand up and say that some partisans are going too far? Nowhere to be found.
So what will happen if, as expected, Republicans win control of the House? We already know part of the answer: Politico reports that they’re gearing up for a repeat performance of the 1990s, with a “wave of committee investigations” — several of them over supposed scandals that we already know are completely phony. We can expect the G.O.P. to play chicken over the federal budget, too; I’d put even odds on a 1995-type government shutdown sometime over the next couple of years.
It will be an ugly scene, and it will be dangerous, too. The 1990s were a time of peace and prosperity; this is a time of neither. In particular, we’re still suffering the after-effects of the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, and we can’t afford to have a federal government paralyzed by an opposition with no interest in helping the president govern. But that’s what we’re likely to get.
Ex-Sen. Simpson: Social Security “A Milk Cow With 310 Million Tits”
Declined to characterize his lifetime taxpayer-funded pension quite as colorfully.
Plan to Build Mosque in Southern California Draws Protests
Opponents say proposed building in Temecula “too close to Ground Zero.”
Thousands of Cars Snarled in 60-Mile-Long Traffic Jam in China
Another sign they’re moving ahead of us.
Porn Goes 3-D Imax
Ad boasts “Puts the 'imax' back in climax.”
Symbol of Fear: Glenn Beck Wore a Bulletproof Vest at Restoring Honor Rally
Glenn Beck delivered a powerful symbol to America today during his Restoring Honor rally, but it had nothing to do with his words or the crowd. If you looked closely at Beck during his “I Killed a Dream” speech, you could see that he was wearing a bulletproof vest. Beck was afraid of his own fans. [...]
Glenn Beck is so paranoid that he could not face his own fans without wearing a bulletproof vest. This fact not only speaks volumes about Beck, but also the mental stability of his fans. Ironically enough, Beck claimed that he is not a fear monger.
Today’s Tea Party rally disguised as charity was a typical right wing event. They wrap themselves in Patriotism, God, and Country, but beneath this thin veneer of bluster is cowardice and fear. The blue hairs who were attending Beck’s white power festival live in terror. They are terrified of the black man in the White House with the funny sounding name. They are terrified of Muslim people and think that every Islamic believer had a hand in 9/11. They are terrified of progress, and they are most terrified of change.
When they talk about taking America back, they are not only referring to political power. These people literally want to take America back in time. Their goal is to undo all progress. The message is that things were safer before they changed. Of course, in the time before things changed, black people were enslaved or segregated against, women had no rights, the poor could only believe in the American Dream, white people had all the power, and there would have most definitely never been a black man in the White House.
Glenn Beck is no Martin Luther King, and those people who gathered in DC today, were no civil rights marchers. Those involved in the civil rights movement risked their lives for equality, where as Glenn Beck is such a coward that he feels unsafe facing his own supporters without a bulletproof vest. Martin Luther King stood on that same ground 47 years earlier today and offered up a dream for a better America, but all Beck offered up was fear wrapped in Kevlar. Just as the March on Washington was a symbol for all that America could be, Glenn Beck’s bulletproof vest is a symbol of all that the Tea Party isn’t.
All three tycoons are the latest incarnation of what the historian Kim Phillips-Fein labeled “Invisible Hands” in her prescient 2009 book of that title: those corporate players who have financed the far right ever since the du Pont brothers spawned the American Liberty League in 1934 to bring down F.D.R. You can draw a straight line from the Liberty League’s crusade against the New Deal “socialism” of Social Security, the Securities and Exchange Commission and child labor laws to the John Birch Society-Barry Goldwater assault on J.F.K. and Medicare to the Koch-Murdoch-backed juggernaut against our “socialist” president.
Only the fat cats change — not their methods and not their pet bugaboos (taxes, corporate regulation, organized labor, and government “handouts” to the poor, unemployed, ill and elderly). Even the sources of their fortunes remain fairly constant. Koch Industries began with oil in the 1930s and now also spews an array of industrial products, from Dixie cups to Lycra, not unlike DuPont’s portfolio of paint and plastics. Sometimes the biological DNA persists as well. The Koch brothers’ father, Fred, was among the select group chosen to serve on the Birch Society’s top governing body. In a recorded 1963 speech that survives in a University of Michigan archive, he can be heard warning of “a takeover” of America in which Communists would “infiltrate the highest offices of government in the U.S. until the president is a Communist, unknown to the rest of us.” That rant could be delivered as is at any Tea Party rally today.
The Koch brothers must be laughing all the way to the bank knowing that working Americans are aiding and abetting their selfish interests. And surely Murdoch is snickering at those protesting the “ground zero mosque.” Last week on “Fox and Friends,” the Bush administration flacks Dan Senor and Dana Perino attacked a supposedly terrorism-tainted Saudi prince whose foundation might contribute to the Islamic center. But as “The Daily Show” keeps pointing out, these Fox bloviators never acknowledge that the evil prince they’re bashing, Walid bin Talal, is not only the biggest non-Murdoch shareholder in Fox News’s parent company (he owns 7 percent of News Corporation) and the recipient of Murdoch mammoth investments in Saudi Arabia but also the subject of lionization elsewhere on Fox.
[...] As Jon Stewart summed it up, the protestors who want “to cut off funding to the ‘terror mosque’ ” are aiding that funding by watching Fox and enhancing bin Talal’s News Corp. holdings.
When wolves of Murdoch’s ingenuity and the Kochs’ stealth have been at the door of our democracy in the past, Democrats have fought back fiercely. Franklin Roosevelt’s triumphant 1936 re-election campaign pummeled the Liberty League as a Republican ally eager to “squeeze the worker dry in his old age and cast him like an orange rind into the refuse pail.” When John Kennedy’s patriotism was assailed by Birchers calling for impeachment, he gave a major speech denouncing their “crusades of suspicion.”
And Obama? So far, sadly, this question answers itself.