Thursday, September 30, 2010

Why You Should Work to Elect Democrats, Even Though They Don't Deserve It

Because come November 3, which of these two groups are President Obama and Democrats in Congress slightly more likely to listen to:

Group A: HAHAHA! We're Democrats who voted for you, gave you money, knocked on doors and made phone calls for you in 2008, but you took our support and completely threw it away, fucked us over and then had the unmitigated gall to lecture us on our obligation to vote. So you know what we did? NOTHING! No money, no phone calls, no canvassing. We sat at home and DID NOT VOTE. And look what happened! Teabaggers have a 50-seat majority in the house and a filibuster-proof 62-seat majority in the Senate. YOUR ASS IS GRASS. How do you like them apples, Barry?

Group B: Yeah, you ass-fucked us real good, you DINO waste of oxygen. You blew every opportunity to set this country back on a sane, Democratic course. You caved to the repugs, to Wall Street, to the corporations at every turn. You made sure everybody knew you hated the liberals who got you elected, and you would gladly destroy your own presidency and the country along with it for a tiny nod of approval from Mitch McConnell and John Boehner. Even your supposed successes are worse than failures, because they made genuine progress orders of magniture more difficult. On jobs, on health care, on financial reform, your pathetic half-measures have convinced everyone there's no point in even trying to fix those disasters. And don't get us started on the wars you've made permanent, the war crimes you've excused and ignored, the shredding of the constitution. You richly deserve the two years of nonstop investigations the repugs have planned for you.

So you know what we did? We swallowed our disappointment and our anger and our despair. We listened to what the repugs had to say about what they were going to do to our country, and we saw the difference between a feckless ally and a determined enemy. We knew our country under your pathetic excuse for leadership had done nothing for us, so we asked ourselves what we could do for our country. And the answer was clear.

We did it. We busted ass for all of October and we kept Congress in Democratic hands. We even got Nancy a five-seat increase in her majority and Harry the 61-seat filibuster-killer he's so terrified of having to use.

This is your last chance, motherfucker. Blow this and your ass really is grass. Even if the repug ticket in 2012 is Palin/Beck, we won't help you. We really will sit home and let the barbarians take the country. We'll buy guns and stockpile food and water and wait out the Interregnum until the repugs implode completely.

So get going on the liberal agenda we gave you the Congress to enact. Clock's ticking.

No, he won't thank Group B. But there's a tiny chance that he might listen.

Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....

Fest for Voter Madness in Louisville Sunday

The fun kind of madness, that is:

A coalition of grassroots social justice groups is sponsoring an event in Baxter Square Park on Sunday aimed at empowering voters and better connecting citizens to the voting process.

Local political candidates have been invited to speak, including candidates for mayor.

The event — Power To The People Jazz & Spoken Word Fest For Voter Madness — at noon at the park at 12th and Jefferson streets is open to the public. It is scheduled to run until around 7 p.m.; refreshments will be provided.

Candidates will speak between entertainment acts, and attendees will have the opportunity to cast a symbolic vote with a "People's Choice Ballot."

The event sponsors include Kentucky Jobs with Justice, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, the Fairness Campaign, the Anne Braden Institute for Social Justice Research of University of Louisville, the Hispanic Latino Coalition, Louisville ReEntry Task Force and the Louisville NAACP.

Be there, and bring all your friends and neighbors.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

"You can't lose heart"

It's pretty obvious we're dealing with two Obamas: White House Obama, who thinks his job is to make the repugs like him, and Campaign Obama, who remembers why we elected him.

They let Campaign Obama out to play this week, and he hit it out of the park in Madison, Wisconsin yesterday:

President Obama, seeking to avert potentially devastating losses for Democrats on Election Day, delivered an impassioned appeal to a cheering throng of college students here Tuesday night, telling them to “keep believing change is possible” and pleading, “You’ve got to stick with me, you can’t lose heart.”

In a 45-minute speech on a packed green in front of the library at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mr. Obama reached back to the soaring rhetoric that carried him to the White House in 2008. The old-fashioned get-out-the-vote rally, in a brisk wind under gray skies, seemed to energize the president as much as the crowd.

“Change is going to come for this generation — if we work for it, if we fight for it, if we believe in it!” Mr. Obama thundered. “The biggest mistake we can make is to let disappointment or frustration lead to apathy and indifference.”

The high-energy appearance, broadcast to 200 campuses around the country, was designed to stir memories of the final days of Mr. Obama’s presidential run, when more than 17,000 turned out to see him in this overwhelmingly liberal town.

No finger-wagging, no condescension, no hippie-punching. Just the man we thought we elected, come home.

Don't go back, Mr. President. Stay out on the trail as Campaign Obama every day for the next 34 days. Because that's what it's going to take.

Correcting "Superman"

No, charter schools aren't a panacea, teacher unions aren't the enemy, and the extreme difficulty and complexity of this country's educational system doesn't lend itself to the pat, feel-good solutions of a movie.

Dana Goldstein in The Nation:

Here's what you see in Waiting for Superman, the new documentary that celebrates the charter school movement while blaming teachers unions for much of what ails American education: working- and middle-class parents desperate to get their charming, healthy, well-behaved children into successful public charter schools.

Here's what you don't see: the four out of five charters that are no better, on average, than traditional neighborhood public schools (and are sometimes much worse); charter school teachers, like those at the Green Dot schools in Los Angeles, who are unionized and like it that way; and noncharter neighborhood public schools, like PS 83 in East Harlem and the George Hall Elementary School in Mobile, Alabama, that are nationally recognized for successfully educating poor children.

You don't see teen moms, households without an adult English speaker or headed by a drug addict, or any of the millions of children who never have a chance to enter a charter school lottery (or get help with their homework or a nice breakfast) because adults simply aren't engaged in their education. These children, of course, are often the ones who are most difficult to educate, and the ones neighborhood public schools can't turn away.

You also don't learn that in the Finnish education system, much cited in the film as the best in the world, teachers are—gasp!—unionized and granted tenure, and families benefit from a cradle-to-grave social welfare system that includes universal daycare, preschool and healthcare, all of which are proven to help children achieve better results at school.

In other words, Waiting for Superman is a moving but vastly oversimplified brief on American educational inequality. Nevertheless, it has been greeted by rapturous reviews.

Read the whole thing.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yes, you are too going to vote, so make sure you're registered

The deadline for registering to vote in Kentucky in the Nov. 2 general election is next Monday, Oct. 4.

County Clerks’ offices throughout Kentucky will accept voter registration cards until the close of business that day. A postmark of October 4 is also required for all mail-in voter registration applications. Registration cards can be obtained over the internet at

“I encourage all citizens who have not already done so, to register to vote today,” stated Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson. “We hope to see everyone exercising their constitutional right to vote on November 2, 2010.”

To be a registered voter in Kentucky, you must: be a U.S. citizen, be a resident of Kentucky, be at least 18 years of age on or before November 2nd, not be a convicted felon, or if you have been convicted of a felony, your civil rights must have been restored by executive pardon, have not been judged “mentally incompetent” in a court of law and have your voting rights removed, and not claim the right to vote anywhere outside Kentucky.

Additionally, Secretary Grayson reminded voters that if they have moved recently, they need to update their voter registration so that they are allowed to vote on election day. In particular, if a voter has moved from one county to another prior to the voter registration books closing and he or she does not update his or her voter registration, that voter will not be allowed to vote in the general election.

If citizens are unsure whether they have registered to vote or uncertain as to where they will vote, they can view all of that information online through the Voter Information Center (VIC). The VIC will tell voters where they are registered to vote, the location of their polling site, and their political affiliation. It also provides links to elected representatives, sample ballots, and driving directions from the voter’s home to his or her polling location. VIC can be accessed at

To obtain a list of county clerks and other voter registration sites in your area, contact the Kentucky State Board of Elections at (502) 573-7100 or via the web at

Kentucky Reveals Soul of the Tea Party

Via Jake, Matt Taibbi gets his "tea party epiphany" among Kentucky's Rand Paul fans:

Vast forests have already been sacrificed to the public debate about the Tea Party: what it is, what it means, where it's going. But after lengthy study of the phenomenon, I've concluded that the whole miserable narrative boils down to one stark fact: They're full of shit. All of them. At the voter level, the Tea Party is a movement that purports to be furious about government spending — only the reality is that the vast majority of its members are former Bush supporters who yawned through two terms of record deficits and spent the past two electoral cycles frothing not about spending but about John Kerry's medals and Barack Obama's Sixties associations. The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them. In fact, their lack of embarrassment when it comes to collecting government largesse is key to understanding what this movement is all about — and nowhere do we see that dynamic as clearly as here in Kentucky, where Rand Paul is barreling toward the Senate with the aid of conservative icons like Palin.


Ha, ha, you thought we actually gave a shit about spending, joke's on you. That's because the Tea Party doesn't really care about issues — it's about something deep down and psychological, something that can't be answered by political compromise or fundamental changes in policy. At root, the Tea Party is nothing more than a them-versus-us thing. They know who they are, and they know who we are ("radical leftists" is the term they prefer), and they're coming for us on Election Day, no matter what we do — and, it would seem, no matter what their own leaders like Rand Paul do.


It's not like the Tea Partiers hate black people. It's just that they're shockingly willing to believe the appalling horseshit fantasy about how white people in the age of Obama are some kind of oppressed minority. That may not be racism, but it is incredibly, earth-shatteringly stupid.


This, then, is the future of the Republican Party: Angry white voters hovering over their cash-stuffed mattresses with their kerosene lanterns, peering through the blinds at the oncoming hordes of suburban soccer moms they've mistaken for death-panel bureaucrats bent on exterminating anyone who isn't an illegal alien or a Kenyan anti-colonialist.

The world is changing all around the Tea Party. The country is becoming more black and more Hispanic by the day. The economy is becoming more and more complex, access to capital for ordinary individuals more and more remote, the ability to live simply and own a business without worrying about Chinese labor or the depreciating dollar vanished more or less for good. They want to pick up their ball and go home, but they can't; thus, the difficulties and the rancor with those of us who are resigned to life on this planet.

Read the whole brilliant, nail-on-the-head thing.

A Real Pro-Life Protest

They weren't armed. They weren't demanding blood be spilled in a violent overthrow of the government. They didn't spout lies or twist history or whine about taxes.

They performed peaceful civil disobedience in support of communities being murdered by corporate greed.

From the Herald:

About 100 people, including at least a dozen from Kentucky, were arrested outside the White House on Monday while protesting mountaintop-removal mining.

The protesters were arrested after refusing orders from U.S. Park Police to leave the sidewalk outside the White House. They staged a rally at nearby Freedom Plaza earlier in the day.

"It was my first adventure being arrested," Teri Blanton, former president of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, said by phone after being released from jail Monday evening.

She said she wasn't aiming to get arrested but thought civil disobedience was worth it.

"The message was to President Obama and his administration that our people and our mountains are being destroyed and water polluted," Blanton said.

Rick Handshoe of Floyd County said the protest was about more than mountaintop-removal mining.

"It's not just about the environment. They're killing the environment and they're killing people," he said. "This is about death. ..."

Read the whole thing.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Vote With Protection, America

Brad Reed at Crooks and Liars has the best sex metaphor yet for voting Democratic in November.

You see, people get mad when there's 10% unemployment and a quarter of mortgages are underwater. They get even angrier when they see their government bail out the gigantic financial institutions that got us into this mess in the first place. And furthermore, they get super-duper-wicked-pissy-forever mad when the government decides to spit directly into our faces and tell us that we've entered a glorious Recovery Summer.

And when people are this angry at their government, they simply don't give a damn how crazy the opposing party is -- they're gonna vote for them anyway.


Here's the analogy I'll use:

Let's say you've found that your spouse has been secretly cheating on you for years on end without your knowledge. Your first instinct is to head down to the nearest dive bar and hook up with every sleazy person you can find, all the while relishing the angry revenge you're taking on your wayward partner. Sure, you know that the people you're shacking up with seem to scratch themselves a lot and some of them seem to have severe mental illnesses, particularly the one that keeps mumbling about the coming onslaught of sinister mice people. But that's not important, see, because you've been wronged and this is your time to seek righteous vengeance.

Two weeks later, of course, you're itching all over and rushing to the doctor to get an STD Value-Pack treatment.

So America, what I'm trying to say is this: I understand why you want to boot out the Democrats and I understand that you don't care who you have to vote for. But dudes, you're gonna wake up with crabs. Just be ready for it.

Don't take the chance - Vote With Protection, America. Vote Democratic.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Remobilizing the Demobilized

Republicans cannot win the midterm elections. They are walking shitpiles of failure, corruption, racism, anarchy, insanity and proud stupidity. They cannot win.

The Democratic Party, however, can very easily lose. And probably will, unless we get out there and vote for them, even though they don't deserve it.

At the Nation, Chris Hedges remembers Obama's forgotten base:

That is the tragic and perilous irony of this political moment: the people with the most faith in the president and the Democratic Party are the hardest hit by the continuing economic disaster; it's this brute fact that's driving the so-called enthusiasm gap between liberals and conservatives. More than frustration with the lack of a public option or anger at a White House that seems to relish insulting the "professional left," the flagging enthusiasm among Obama's '08 base is the product of a kind of cognitive dissonance between hope and reality. "Like a lot of people in my generation, I was really inspired by you and by your campaign and message that you brought," a 30-year-old law school graduate told the president during a live town hall on CNBC recently. "And that inspiration is dying away. It feels like the American Dream is not attainable to a lot of us.... I really want to know, is the American Dream dead for me?"

And here's where we get to the perilous part. Even if most of the midterm outcome is already determined, the margins matter tremendously: just a few seats, possibly decided by just a few thousand votes, could make the difference between a Speaker Pelosi and a Speaker Boehner. Which brings us to another certainty: as bad as things are right now for Obama's base, a world in which Republicans control one or both houses of Congress is going to be far, far worse.

At No More Mister Nice Blog, Aimai explains how we got here, and points to the way forward.

Obama and the Dems demobilized their troops and sent them home before the job was half done, hell--before it was even begun. And we are paying for it now. ... I have wondered for a long time how to get real progressive issues and people in front of the camera long enough for an actual, real, progressive version of a third party--or hell even of the Democratic Party--to get some traction with the media. But it never seems to happen--I mean not since Haymarket or the Wobblies or the old Union strikes. There are a gazillion reasons for this historically having to do both with our media markets, corporate interests, and etc...but at the present moment it definitely arises from two phenomena: the media and the Democratic Party.


The Democrats made a stunning error in demobilizing after the election. Its basically the same decision that Bush made in re the Iraqi army and its one that every government faces in a post war period. The Dems and Obama thought that winning the election meant it was time to turn the process of governing over to the governing class. They thought they didn’t need voters and rallies and money and agitation from the bottom up. They demobilized, shut down fundraising and organizing, told lots of funders to take a chill pill and basically, as Atrios observed today, told us all “I got this.”

I thought at the time it was a huge mistake. And it was—because they needed the raw, angry, energy of their voters to push through the health care bill, and now at the midterms. But you can’t tell people you don’t need them and then turn around and two months before a major election tell them you do need them. They get frustrated, complacent, rusty, disconnected. All armies do. You’ve got to keep your people in the game, keep them feeling needed and listened to. If you want them to be there to fight for you when you need their voices and their votes.


But all is not lost. Far from it. Like I said people need to be needed. They need to be asked to do things. They want to do something, anything, to improve their lives and the lives of their neighbors. Obama and Reid and Pelosi need to come forward and say something shocking:

"We screwed up. We took your massive mandate and we came into power and we thought that we would be able to come into Congress and do what you asked. We relied on the good faith of the Republican party, its Senators and its Congressmen to put country ahead of pique. That was a mistake. In all the transitions from Republican to Democrat, and Democrat to Republican in the entire history of this country since we've had parties we have had no experience of the minority party simply being willing to burn down the house rather than permit the majority to do the work of the people. We came in facing two wars, a massive housing crash, skyrocketing unemployment, Bush's deficit spending, tax cuts, years of regulatory neglect of our mines, water, and food supply plus the looting of the treasury for Bush's TARP program and we thought the Republicans would actually let us try to fix a few of these problems for you. We were wrong.

We'll never make that mistake again. Its customary for the party in power to lose a few seats during a midterm election. That's because people often think that the government can get along without their input. They stay home because they are too busy, or they think things are going OK, or they want to punish the government because things aren't going OK. Well--if that's why you are planning to stay home think again. Things are not going OK. If the Republicans get into power in the House and Senate this country will go down in flames. We can't afford them. We can't afford their indifference to your plight, we can't afford their tax gifts to their wealthy friends, we can't afford their borrow and spend policies, we can't afford to let them repeal the health care protections you and your children rely on. We're sorry to have to ask this, we thought we didn't need your help, but if ever we needed you to through your shoulder to the wheel now is it. Come back to the fight with us. After we win we promise to invite you back to the table. We need you."

No, I don't think Obama or Reid or Pelosi is going to say that, so I'm saying it for them.

Read Subversively: It's Banned Books Week

They can steal your vote, but they can't steal your mind.

Want to strike real fear into the heart of the fearmongering repugs? Read banned books. If you can't afford to buy them new, buy them used - at your local independent bookstore, of course. Or get them at your local library - if they're not on the shelves, firmly request they be purchased and shelved, or at least made available on inter-library loan.

Banned Books Week 2010 runs Saturday 9/25 to Saturday 10/2.

Banned Books Week is the only national celebration of the freedom to read. It was launched in 1982 in response to a sudden surge in the number of challenges to books in schools, bookstores and libraries. More than a thousand books have been challenged since 1982. The challenges have occurred in every state and in hundreds of communities. Click here to see a map of book bans and challenges in the US from 2007 to 2009. People challenge books that they say are too sexual or too violent. They object to profanity and slang, and they protest against offensive portrayals of racial or religious groups--or positive portrayals of homosexuals. Their targets range from books that explore contemporary issues and controversies to classic and beloved works of American literature.

The lists are here. Read them not just this week but every week. Do it nakedly, publicly, proudly.

Conway Cuts Paul's Lead from 15 to ... Two

Don't panic, folks: Jack has more than five weeks to let his republican-lite freak flag fly. He can still lose this one.

And yes, this poll is of likely voters:

Democrat Jack Conway has cut sharply into Republican Rand Paul's once-commanding lead in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race, moving into a statistical tie with a little more than five weeks before Election Day, according to the latest Courier-Journal/WHAS11 Bluegrass Poll.

The poll shows that Conway, the state's attorney general, is now appealing to voters who say they are neutral on the tea party — Paul's base of support.

And Conway is building a significant lead among women, who earlier were almost evenly split between the two candidates.

According to the poll, Paul leads Conway 49 percent to 47 percent, with 4 percent undecided. That lead is well within the poll's 4 percentage point margin of error.

The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA, questioned 611 likely voters Tuesday through Thursday.

The previous Bluegrass poll, released the first week of September, showed Paul leading Conway 55 percent to 40 percent.

Read the whole thing here because you won't find it on Jack's website.

That Word Doesn't Mean What Christine Thinks It Means

If you can't resist the urge to explain to random freakazoids how sublimely idiotic was Christine O'Donnell's attempted refutation of evolution - "Then why aren't monkeys still evolving into humans?" - PZ Myers has your 10-second slap-down:

... it's a creationist misconception that evolution is directed towards a goal, and that that goal is humanity. Monkeys are evolving into monkeys, not people.

Or, you could go to the library and get copies of Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True and Richard Dawkins' The Greatest Show on Earth, then use them to smack the fuckwits upside the head.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Crossroads on the Economy"

Was this taped a month ago? A year ago? No, Mr. President. It was a crossroads, but you and the Democratic leadership in Congress passed it by. Now it's a lost opportunity.

Full transcript here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Kentucky Democratic Party Concedes Entire Election to Repugs

Are you fucking kidding me?

From the republican chair of the KDP:

The Kentucky Democratic Party would like to invite you to join your fellow Democrats from across the Commonwealth for a very special evening. We'll be gathering in Louisville on October 9th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel to see old friends, meet new ones and celebrate our party and our candidates.

How special.

Twenty-six days before an election that will mean the difference between slow-but-real-and-almost-democratic progress and a teabagger-led plunge into a third-world theocracy, the KDP is inviting Democrats to "see old friends, meet new ones and celebrate our party and our candidates"?

How about "If you ever want to hold your head up as a Real Democrat again, you will get your ass to Louisville for Get Out the Vote Training and Campaign Volunteer Work Assignments for the next four weeks."

Special guests will include Senator Wendell Ford, Governor Steve Beshear, U.S. Senate Candidate Jack Conway, Congressman John Yarmuth, Congressman Ben Chandler, Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo, Auditor Crit Luallen, Treasurer Todd Hollenbach, House Speaker Greg Stumbo, Former Governor Julian Carroll and State Representative Rocky Adkins

No mention of Democratic Congressional Challengers Ed Marksberry in the Second District, John Waltz in the Fourth District, Charles Hatchett in the First District or Jim Holbert in the Fifth District. The republican-chaired KDP isn't giving those candidates a fucking dime. I seriously doubt Ed, John, Charles and Jim would be allowed in the door to this hoity-toity event, even if they could afford the overpriced ticket.

(Granted, Hatchett is a monster embarassment, but nowhere near as embarassing as a republican-run state democratic party that couldn't recruit anyone better.)

No mention of the price, which will be far above the ability of any actual Real Kentucky Democrat, with the exception of John Yarmuth, to afford.

When Unspeakable Coward and Total Waste of Oxygen Governor Steve Beshear appointed as Chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party a flop-sweated blob who had recently contributed money to ... wait for it ... Mitch McConnell, everybody laughed kind of nervously and joked that maybe he was a mole sent to sabotage the election.

No joke.

Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ...

Rand Paul Runs Away from Real Voters, Abuses Senior Citizen

Do NOT fuck with the Hillbilly. For he WILL get you on tape and expose your cupidity and rudeness for all the world to see.

I believe Rand Paul and folks like State Senator Dan Seum showed their real colors when they, what I consider, manhandled, pushed and shoved this 71 year old blogger around in a Government building simply because this 71 year old blogger was trying to exercise his constitutional rights as a citizen of the United states of America and then, according to my sources called the AP to say that Rand Paul was being harassed by this 71 year old blogger. Never mind that this 71 year old blogger has videotaped the President of the United States of America, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Mitch McConnell, just to mention a few. Now that takes balls.

The video of Dr. Rand Paul and Kentucky State Senator Dan Seum, making what I consider, asses of themselves is below. The video is uncut. The only things edited in the video are, audio levels and a little color correction.

One last thing, the "Meet-N-Greet" thing with Dr. Rand Paul that was supposed to last from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. was over, according to my iPhone clock, at 6:30 pm. Further proof that Dr. Rand Paul and folks like State Senator Dan Seum love speaking to the choir, but hate it when when real folks ask real questions.

Senator Dan Seum, my arm where it was grabbed forcefully is really hurting bad. Do you have any suggestions as to what I should do about it?

Note: If you watch the entire video you will hear a man ask Dr. Rand Paul "do you want to walk around any more" and Dr. Rand Paul says "no we've had enough" that's at the very end of the unedited video.

Read the whole story here.

Do not fear the teabaggers or their candidates. Like all bullies, they are cowards. Stand up to them, demand answers, and they will run away and hide.

Conway Rejects DADT

He may hate liberals and love tax cuts for the obscenely rich, but when it comes to the military, national security and civil rights, Jack Conway has his head on straight.

Media Czech:

There's just something about legislating repugnant discrimination that Rand Paul can't get enough of. We know that he's a fierce advocate for the right of private businesses to discriminate, but this May he told us how much he personally "abhors" discrimination and favors the government not discriminating. Oh, unless you're gay, I guess:

Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Jack Conway says gays should be allowed to serve openly in the U.S. military, while his Republican rival, Rand Paul, says the military should decide the issue.


And for those of you looking for a reason to vote FOR Jack Conway instead of just against Rand Paul... THERE YOU GO.

Read the whole thing.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Congressional Democrats Eliminate Budget Deficit

You read that right. By failing to vote on extending the Bush tax cuts that repugs scheduled to expire on December 31, Congressional Democrats added $1.4 trillion to federal revenues, thus completely eliminating the budget deficit shit pile bush and the repugs left for Obama.

Ezra Klein last week:

Letting the Bush tax cuts expire would be just about enough to hit Obama's goal of balancing the budget (minus interest payments) by 2015. That's all they'd need: One non-act. Better: There'd be no sixty-vote threshold. You'd just need a veto of any extension bills and 34 votes to protect the veto in the Senate.

The New York Times last month:

According to the Congressional Budget Office, extending the Bush tax cuts would add $2.3 trillion to the total 2018 debt. The single biggest step our government could take this year to address the structural deficit would be to let the tax cuts expire. And a credible commitment to long-term fiscal sustainability should reduce interest rates today, helping to stimulate the economy.

Critics say that this amounts to increasing taxes at a time of high unemployment, and that instead the tax cuts should be extended as a stimulus measure. This overlooks the fact that tax cuts are an inefficient form of stimulus, because many people choose to save their additional income instead of spending it.

If the goal is to encourage growth and employment immediately, it would be better to let the tax cuts expire and dedicate some of the increased revenue to real stimulus programs.

At the same time, Congressional Democrats committed political suicide, but apparently considered it a small price to pay to eliminate the deficit that was strangling the economy.

Either that, or they are, you know, too fucking stupid to live.

Politically, not holding a vote to extend the tax cuts - middle-class OR rich - is the same thing as voting to ... wait for it .... raise taxes.

And THAT's what the repugs will hit dems with nonstop for the next 40 days.

As both Digby and Steve M. explain, this is actually a win for the rich, because defeated dems in the lame duck session will cave to the repugs and extend tax custs for the rich.

That's assuming that the repugs gain seats in both houses, which everybody except me thinks is inevitable.

So, on the principle of if you don't laugh you'll have to kill yourself, your new election mantra is "Democrats eliminated the budget deficit."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Playing the Strongest Democratic Card

Blue Girl reminds us that all the corporate trillions collected by Karl Rove for TV ads can't be spent in the one place Democrats have a huge advantage: Getting Out The Vote.

It's one of those things that has been largely glossed over or flat-out ignored by the chattering classes as they predict doom and gloom and Democratic carcasses littering the political landscape on November 3...

Republicans enter the final six weeks of the election with a political wind at their back and opportunities for victory across the country, yet several state parties are at a severe financial disadvantage with Democrats, raising questions about whether Republicans can fully capitalize on a favorable climate.

[ ... ]

At this point in previous campaign cycles, a large check has usually been in the mail from the Republican National Committee to help pay for the ground game. But this year, the party cannot afford to execute a robust voter turnout program, which could make a difference in tight races where Democrats hold a financial and organizational advantage.

[ ... ]

For the first time in at least a decade, the Republican National Committee has reduced the scale of its turnout and targeting programs, which have long been seen as critical ways to identify independent voters. A distinct state-by-state plan has become more of a one-size-fits-all regional effort, which is cheaper but may not be tailored to find voters in states where people do not register by political party.

The Republican chairman, Michael Steele, has struggled to raise money. He has focused his efforts on local Republican offices across the country — the 333rd office opened this week in Syracuse — as the traditional work of the party apparatus has either been outsourced to candidates or outside groups, or is simply not being done, with party officials hoping the natural enthusiasm for Republicans will make up the difference.

For years, the republicans beat us by virtue of the fact that they had the Get Out The Vote operations all sewn up. But that takes money trickling down to the individual races, and individual races are decided...wait for it...individually.

This lack of attention by the national party chair, and the decisions he has made to spread resources so thin, could turn out to be advantageous for Democrats come November. One of those races that might hinge on how much money the republicans pour into it is the Senate race here in Missouri, where Robin Carnahan is locked in a tight battle with the corrupt and contemptible Roy Blunt, the ultimate Washington insider. The MOGOP has only received a fraction of the financial support it is used to getting from the national party in such important elections. In the past, the MOGOP has employed professional political operatives known as "field marshalls" to coordinate efforts and organize campaign volunteers into the coherent door-knocking-canvassing-GOTV machine that has succeeded in turning our bellwether, swing state into a pretty-reliably-red state over the last ten years or so. Currently, the MOGOP has no paid "field marshalls." The volunteer coordinators are volunteers, too, because the party can't afford to pay them.

And similar stories are playing out all across the land.

Read the whole thing.

Then look in the mirror. That's who's going to win this election: by voting, by getting everyone you know to vote, and by volunteering today for your local Democratic Congressional candidate.

It's the GOTV, stupid.

Republicans Blocked Funding for the Troops

You want DADT repealed and the DREAM Act passed? Then start telling everybody you know the truth about the defense bill republicans killed yesterday.

karoli at Crooks and Liars:

When John McCain led the filibuster of the Defense Appropriations Act yesterday, he blocked far more than the DREAM Act and repeal of DADT. Here are just a few of the other blocked provisions, courtesy of Mother Jones.

* No permanent military bases in Afghanistan.
* Report identifying hybrid or electric propulsion systems and other fuel-saving technologies for incorporation into tactical motor vehicles.
* Protection of child custody arrangements for parents who are members of the Armed Forces deployed in support of a contingency operation.
* Improvements to Department of Defense domestic violence programs.
* Department of Defense recognition of spouses of members of the Armed Forces.
* Department of Defense recognition of children of members of the Armed Forces.
* Enhancements to the Troops-to-Teachers Program.
* Fiscal year 2011 increase in military basic pay.


What did they gain with their filibuster? Traction with so-called values voters? They didn't have any problem with them anyway. Denying the Democrats a victory over a 17-year old self-inflicted wound? Making a stand against children of immigrants? What big, brave people they are. Do they seriously think there are no gay Republicans? As one of my Twitter friends remarked earlier, if Ken Mehlman couldn't convince them, no one could.

This was a mean-spirited, cut-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face exercise in homophobic politics and it's ugly, especially with John McCain leading the charge. The same John McCain, by the way, who said all he needed was for the leadership of the military to come and say the policy should change. And so, they did. Even after testimony from the joint chiefs of staff, McCain didn't adhere to his own conditions for cynical, self-serving political reasons.

Read the whole thing.

Not so long ago, legislators who voted against defense bills - even for good, substantial reasons rather than closet-queen fear and petulance - got run out of Congress on a rail.

Republicans blocked funding for the troops. Repeat it every time the conversation turns to the election:

Republicans blocked funding for the troops. Vote Democratic.

Theologian: Christianity So Weak, Yoga Can Beat It Up

If you still wonder why I'm so sure that belief in an invisible sky wizard precludes rational thought, wonder no more:

Yoga can be dangerous to Christians' faith, the president of Louisville's Southern Baptist Theological Seminary warns.

The popular discipline of meditation and stretching is so interwoven with Eastern mysticism that it is “at odds with the Christian understanding,” Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler wrote on Monday on his blog.

“Christians are not called to empty the mind or to see the human body as a means of connecting to and coming to know the divine,” Mohler wrote. “Believers are called to meditate upon the Word of God — an external Word that comes to us by divine revelation — not to meditate by means of incomprehensible syllables.”

Mohler's posture has drawn a mix of bafflement and criticism from those who practice yoga, which is even taught in many churches and which many people see as unrelated to its ancient roots in India.

Mohler isn't your typical mouth-breathing snake-handler; he's the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

And he's just announced that xianity is so fragile, and its adherents so stupid, that their faith will crumble under the pressure of ... exercise.

Guess that explains the epidemic of obesity among freakazoids.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Number 99

Kentucky's 99th sacrifice to the gigantic maw of failure that is the clusterfucks in Iraq and Afghanistan is an officer who lived near Fort Knox and was based at Fort Campbell.

Army 1st Lt. Eric Yates, 26, of Rineyville, Ky., died Saturday (in Afghanistan) from wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his combat unit with an improvised explosive device, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Yates was based at Fort Campbell and assigned to Bravo Company, First Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, Second Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division.

He joined the Army through the ROTC program at Western Kentucky University his junior year, said Lt. Col. Jason Caldwell, head of the military science and leadership department and the ROTC program at the school.

It was Yates' first deployment, Caldwell said. He graduated from WKU in 2008 with a double major in social studies and history and received his officer commission through the ROTC program.

Although Caldwell said he only met Yates when he returned to the university in June to let people know of his deployment, he heard “nothing but great things about him.”

“He was kind of a quiet, soft-spoken young man, but always got the job done, was always true to his word,” Caldwell said.

Another soldier assigned to the same unit died in the attack. Staff Sgt. Jamie C. Newman, 27, of Richmond, Va., died Friday, according to the Department of Defense.

Yates is survived by his father, David L. Yates, and mother, Kathy Yates, both of Rineyville, according to Fort Campbell officials.

Ed Marksberry Live, Answering Your Questions, on KET Tonight

Real Democratic Candidate Ed Marksberry will be on KET's Kentucky Tonight tonight at 8 p.m. eastern, 7 p.m. Central.

He and incumbent repug Brett Guthrie will be answering questions from the viewing audience. You can send your questions now by email, including first and last name and town or county, to

Help expose Guthrie for the rich-cock-sucking parasite he is and show the KDP how a Real Democratic candidate like Ed Marksberry can win.

The original show is tonight, but it will be repeated all week:

Monday, September 20 at 8:00/7:00 pm CT on KET

Monday night, September 20 at 12:00/11:00 pm CT on KETKY

Tuesday, September 21 at 7:00/6:00 am CT on KETKY

Tuesday, September 21 at 6:00/5:00 pm CT on KETKY

Wednesday, September 22 at 2:00/1:00 am CT on KET

Thursday, September 23 at 5:00/4:00 am CT on KETKY

Make a Real Difference in Your Town: Food Not Bombs

It's a local act you can set up and run yourself while being part of a global movement.

Jennifer O'Mahoney at The Nation:

According to the Department of Agriculture, 14.6 percent of Americans regularly have to limit the amount they eat near the end of the month for reasons of cost. With the added stress of epidemic levels of home foreclosure and mass unemployment, the numbers of people unable to adequately sustain themselves is on the rise.

Fortunately, there is one organization that will feed you whether you are rich or poor, drunk or sober, homeless or a property magnate. There's just one catch: don't ask for any meat with your dinner.

The present moment would seem to reinforce the central mission of Food Not Bombs, which in thirty years has grown from a small idea in which eight young antinuclear protesters cooked for their friends in Harvard Square to a global food movement dedicated to the principle that access to food is a right, not a privilege. Beginning as a protest against military and nuclear spending while the basic needs of so many Americans were still unmet, Food Not Bombs now boasts more than 1,000 chapters worldwide.

The group's co-founder Keith McHenry has reason to be proud of the steady growth of his "franchise collective," which allows anyone to set up a Food Not Bombs group and run it completely autonomously. He explained to The Nation that there are just a few preconditions to starting a chapter: serve vegetarian meals to all equally; use the abundance of wasted food in our society to redistribute it to those in need; and try to end war and poverty while you’re at it!

Consequently, each chapter provides free meals—activists collect food from bakeries, grocery stores and restaurants who agree to give them any surplus, and then cook in visible outdoor locations, keeping regular hours so that their most frequent customers, often mothers with children, know when to find them—but also organizes around local issues like affordable housing, transportation alternatives, joblessness and militarism and supports related radical initiatives being staged by other groups.

As McHenry explained, Food Not Bombs is often the first to provide food and supplies to the survivors of disasters. During the first three days after the 1989 earthquake, Food Not Bombs was the only organization in San Francisco providing hot meals to the survivors. The group says that it was the first to provide hot meals to the rescue workers on 9/11 and among the first to provide food to the survivors of the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. (The group's international presence is impressive, with a particularly active presence in both Europe and Africa, with Nigeria alone home to nine branches, and numerous chapters in Southeast Asia.)

The actions and activities of the chapters vary widely, as this list suggests, but the core values of nonviolent social change on behalf of economic equality binds the disparate chapters together around the vision of the organization's founders.

Food Not Bombs has been making a visible difference for thirty years. Its independence is its strength, and in the year of its thirtieth birthday, grassroots activists could do a lot worse than to follow its (collective) lead.

If you would like to get involved with or support Food Not Bombs, this list will tell you if there's a chapter near you. If not, you can start your own group by e-mailing, or by following these seven simple steps. Money is also desperately needed so, if you can, please donate a dollar for peace here. You can also sign up for the Food Not Bombs listserv to keep abreast of all of the group's initiatives and activities and help spread the word by e-mailing, printing, posting and generally distributing these flyers.

There are Food Not Bombs Kentucky chapters in Lexington, Louisville and Bowling Green. Find one near you here.

And For the Mentally Ill, Execution by Electrocution

It's so annoying when mentally ill people ignore instructions; really, they're just asking for it.

From Digby:

Oh wait, there's another one:

A South Carolina coroner says a man who died after he was stunned by police officer was a homicide victim.

But multiple media outlets reported the Greenville County coroner’s office says state investigators should decide if there was criminal wrongdoing in the death of 39-year-old Andrew Torres on Aug. 9.

Coroner Parks Evans says the mentally ill man died from an irregular heart beat as the result of having an enlarged heart, the physical strain of fighting with police and being stunned with Tasers.

Police Chief Terri Wilfong has said her officers followed proper procedures when they went to a home to take Torres into custody for involuntary psychiatric commitment.

The mentally ill in the country have targets on their backs. When they are suffering from some kind of break or are delusional, they can't make the "decision" to comply so they get electrocuted --- and some of them die. Anyone who has a relative who is mentally ill should be aware of this. They are in danger.

Read the whole thing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Quote of the Day

From Heather at Crooks and Liars:

"Obama loves war and rich people and he never goes to church. If that doesn't prove he's a Christian I don't know what does." - Bill Maher

Read the whole thing and watch the video here.

ACLU Backing Somali Muslim Mosque in Mayfield

I'm always quick to criticize the ACLU of Kentucky for dodging tough cases, so full props to them this morning:

The American Civil Liberties Union and ACLU of Kentucky will represent a Mayfield man whose request to open a downtown mosque was denied last month.

The Mayfield Board of Zoning Adjustment's denial of Khadar Ahmed's request reversed a previous decision approving the mosque.

Daniel Mach, director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief, said the reversal was troubling.

The ACLU has not said it will sue the city, but Mach said the group is exploring its options to secure Ahmed's religious freedom.

Find out more and support the ACLU of Kentucky here.

Don't Laugh; the Dominionists Are Gaining

Now that we've all had fun mocking Christine O'Donnell, let's remember that not only does she have a small but real chance to win, but that in the current GOP climate, she's not really an extremist.

From Digby:

With the rise of Tea Party, which obviously includes the Christian Right, and the controversy about whether or not liberals should be alarmed by their philosophy and goals, perhaps it's a good time to revisit some of the great work that's been done in recent years to expose just what these folks are all about. Just a little friendly reminder, as it were:


Tattooed across his sternum are military dog tags that read "Joel's Army." They're evidence of Bentley's generalship in a rapidly growing apocalyptic movement that's gone largely unnoticed by watchdogs of the theocratic right. According to Bentley and a handful of other "hyper-charismatic" preachers advancing the same agenda, Joel's Army is prophesied to become an Armageddon-ready military force of young people with a divine mandate to physically impose Christian "dominion" on non-believers.

There are lots of these people and they are heavily featured in the Tea Party faction of the GOP.

David Brody: “Are you concerned at all that some of the social conservative issues, abortion and same sex marriage, some of these other issues because they are taking somewhat of a back seat right now at least to the fiscal issues that there are some inherent problems for social conservatives in something like that?”

Senator Jim DeMint: “No actually just the opposite because I really think a lot of the motivation behind these Tea Party crowds is a spiritual component. I think it’s very akin to the Great Awakening before the American Revolution. A lot of our founders believed the American Revolution was won before we ever got into a fight with the British. It was a spiritual renewal.”


I think people are seeing this massive government growing and they’re realizing that it’s the government that’s hurting us and I think they’re turning back to God in effect is our salvation and government is not our salvation and in fact more and more people see government as the problem and so I think some have been drawn in over the years to a dependency relationship with government and as the Bible says you can’t have two masters and I think as people pull back from that they look more to God. It’s no coincidence that socialist Europe is post-Christian because the bigger the government gets the smaller God gets and vice-versa. The bigger God gets the smaller people want their government because they’re yearning for freedom."

Yeah, they'll be free as long as they toe the Christian Right line. It's fairly clear that atheists, Muslims and others aren't going to be quite as "free." Bring on the Black Robed Regiment.

That's the fellow who's angling to become the majority leader of the US Senate if the Republicans win the election, by the way. I don't think he has a problem with Christine O'Donnell. He endorsed her.

Read the whole thing.

Keeping in mind that all repug accusations are projections of their own guilty fantasies, note that disgraced former Speaker Newt Gingrich is demanding Congress ban Sharia law.

The only religiously-based law currently endangering the United States, of course, is Xian Dominionism.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shout Hallelujah! Liz Warren Is In Charge

Watch carefully, children; the new special assistant to the president is something that has not been seen in these lands for generations: a genuine consumer advocate with real power and authority in the White House.

She has the wind at her back, the sun on her face, and liberal values as her lodestar. She'll restore the economic stability of the middle class or die trying.

Full transcript here.

The Deficit Vultures' Plan for the U.S. is Happening Now in Ireland

And it's uglier than you imagine. We don't have to debate any more about the possible consequences of cutting spending during a recession: the actual, real-life consequences of choosing austerity over stimulus are right in front of us.

Zandar on When Irish Eyes Are Crying:

The whole world cries with you. Lot of nice, pretty green to be burned here as the Greek Fire spreads to the Emerald Isles. Tyler D has the goods:

And the euro seemed so happy after its recent surge, that it completely forgot it is backed by an insolvent continent. Luckily, here's Ireland to remind us stuff is much, much worse than expected. According to the Irish Independent the Labour Party, Eamon Gilmore, came very close to suggesting that Ireland is considering defaulting on its debts "when he talked about the Government "negotiating'' with bondholders in Anglo Irish Bank." Additionally, the same newspaper also reported that Ireland is on the verge of calling in the IMF for a bailout, citing "a report from Barclays, one of Europe's largest banks, said Ireland may yet need financial help from the IMF or the EU if conditions got any worse.


Remember folks, it was Ireland's steep austerity plan that was supposed to prevent any need for a bailout, It was held up as a plan that the Austerity Hysterics here said we needed to follow immediately or that we would drown in a Keynesian catastrophe. Spending cuts now!

But as I've been saying for months now, Ireland's austerity plan has failed miserably. They are now trapped in a deflationary spiral along with plummeting real estate values, and the spending cuts have all but locked up the economy like an engine with no oil. They've been at it for two years now, and it's gotten to the point where they need a major infusion of spending or the Irish economy is going to have a fatal heart attack.

Ireland now is where we would be without the Obama stimulus: on the verge of needing a major IMF bailout that will dwarf Greece's hundreds of billions of Euros. Our mistake was we went with half a tank of gas instead of no gas like Ireland and we're coasting on fumes again. Ireland on the other hand is about to come to a complete halt.

Read the whole thing.

"Destructive to Our Democracy"

President Obama calls out the repugs - in the politest way imaginable, unfortunately - for blocking legislation to mitigate the effects of corporate money flooding elections.

Full transcript here.

Support a Real Democrat in Kentucky's Second

Are you sick and fucking tired of Blue Dog/DINO candidates who either can't beat the repugs they're copying or who will cruise back to Congress only to vote with Orange Boner?

Here's something to soothe your Real Democratic soul: the Democratic challenger in Kentucky's Second Congressional District, which includes the current residence of none other than Rand Paul.

Ed Marksberry is exactly the kind of candidate the Kentucky Democratic Party should be thanking their lucky stars for: genuine, populist, a working-class regular guy standing up for working-class Kentuckians. But the repug-run KDP is ignoring him, which is why you should support him.

Both Jake and Media Czech featured this new video from Ed yesterday.

Yes, he's a country guy with a country accent and a true Democratic heart whom patrician millionaire Franklin Delano Roosevelt would embrace without hesitation.

As Jake wrote:

It’s a shame the Kentucky Democratic Party has washed its hands with decent candidates like Ed.

Media Czech:

I don't think that Ed has good chance of winning, but it's refreshing to have a Democrat running in this state that doesn't fawn over god-awful Republican ideas like extending Bush's tax cuts for the top 2%. And he's also a good, decent guy who is stepping up to challenge Brett Guthrie even though his chances were slim and he's not getting help from the state party.

Here's his website.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Why Repug Women Are Not Feminists

Rachel Maddow and Melissa Harris-Lacewell cut through the bullshit and get to the despicable heart of what female republican candidates are really all about.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Full transcript here.

TARP: Not Obama's, Not a Failure, Not Losing Money

As a campaign meme, I like the Democratic formulation: TARP means Taxpayer Assistance for Rich People.

But the repug/teabagger mythologizing on TARP is too deep and widespread to be countered with a new acronym.

Kevin Drum explains:

To this day, tea partiers remain convinced that it was both unnecessary and a vast black hole for taxpayer money. Neither is true, but the tea party view is now so pervasive that, as Ben Smith reports, politicians of both parties consider TARP the new third rail of American politics:

The Troubled Asset Relief Program is widely viewed as the original sin of the Obama administration — though it was put together under President George W. Bush and succeeded far beyond expectations. It’s widely seen as the tipping point for disgust with elites and insiders of all kinds — though it could also be seen as those insiders’ finest moment, a successful attempt to at least partially fix their own mistakes.


....A study this summer by former Fed Vice Chairman Alan Blinder and Moody’s chief economist Mark Zandi [...] projected that without federal action — TARP and the stimulus — America’s gross domestic product would have fallen more than 7 percent in 2009 and almost 4 percent in 2010, compared with the actual combined decline of about 4 percent.

And the cost of TARP? CBO estimates the government will make a profit of $7 billion from the bank bailouts (though it may still lose money on GM and Chrysler, which were also rescued with TARP funds) and it now looks like AIG will pay back all its bailout money too. Bottom line: the ongoing recession caused by Wall Street's reckless behavior has cost us a bundle. But TARP itself? Its net direct cost is zero, and when you include the fact that it almost certainly saved the banking system and softened the recession, it may boast the biggest bang for the buck of any bill ever passed by Congress.


But it also represents the modern rebirth of know-nothingism represented by the Tea Party movement. I don't have a problem with the tea partiers' anger — hell, I share it — but instead of channeling it into a demand for genuinely game-changing reform of Wall Street, conservative demagogues and business interests managed to channel it into mindless rage at one of the very things that saved us from Wall Street's folly. The tea parties will eventually pass into the dustbin of history, I suppose, but in the meantime TARP's fortunes certainly haven't made me more confident that our government can do the things it has to do. Instead, TARP turned out to represent the outer limit of what our government can do, and that was just the bare minimum to avoid catastrophe. We deserve better than that.

Read the whole thing.

Not Too Late for Dems to Save the Election: Do Something for the Base

Used to be, Democratic politicians knew how to win elections, even as incumbents in a Depression. Against the imploding cesspool that is today's republican party, they could do it in their sleep.

But today's corporate-owned DINO Blue Dogs need instructions. Step-by-step, words-of-one-syllable instructions.

Thomas Geoghegan at The Nation:

Yes, the country is in a foul mood, with 15 million unemployed. The Democrats may get clobbered in 2010. And even if we survive, how do we hang on for the long term? If our great founder, FDR, could come back to us, he might remind us of the three simple rules that once, long ago, Democrats used to follow:

1. Do something for your base.

2. Do something for your base.

3. Do something for your base.

Seriously: why can't we do something for our base? It's been almost a half-century since we Democrats did something for our base, when Lyndon Johnson pushed through Medicare, i.e., "socialized medicine" for seniors.


By the way, FDR would be the first to tell us it's not enough to do something for our base. Here are three other little rules we should follow when we do something for our base:

1. Keep it simple. The healthcare bill not only did nothing for our base; it was hard to understand. Every initiative should be capable of being put down in a single sentence or two. "Financial reform" is fine, but the Dodd-Frank Act is too hard to sum up coherently to our base on even an index card, much less a bumper sticker.

2. Make it universal. People on the left have all sorts of ideas for programs that turn out to be available only to a select few. By contrast take FDR's big ideas, like Social Security. Not everyone is on it, but sooner or later we all are headed there. If we're not there, our parents are. Likewise, Medicare: we'll all get there. The public option, which was left out of the healthcare law, was a nice idea and all, but in the end it would have been available only for a few.

Finally, the last and most important rule:

3. Make it add up to a plan. I mean, let's go beyond "the vision thing" and let people know we have a plan. Obama will not bring back the American economy of golden memory. The deficit will be horrendous. We may have to get used to unemployment of 7 percent, a 7 percent that covers up a bigger percent of people working just three instead of five days a week. FDR did not end the Depression, either. But people were patient because they knew he had a plan. He was rebuilding the economy from the bottom up, and it paid off, not in the 1930s but in the unionized, high-benefits postwar decades after he died.

People will be patient with us and keep us in power if they think we have a plan.

In this spirit here are ten things the Democrats could push this fall that not only do something for our base but (1) are simple, (2) appeal to at least half or more of the country and (3) add up to a plan.


And if we, the great-grandchildren of the New Deal, can bring all these things to pass, then FDR will smile upon us and say, "At last, children, you've done something for your base." Then our base will be glad to let us take on other things—perhaps even, before it's too late, to dial down global warming.

But we have to be in power. So if we want to save the planet, we better save the country first.

For the details of all Ten Things, read the whole article here.

Happy 223rd, Constitution!

It's Constitution Day, and as befitting a modern American holiday, there are things to see and things to do and things to buy. Click here.

The actual U.S. Constitution in so many words is here. It's only about 8,000 words, more than a third of which are the 27 Amendments. Go on, read it. You won't find "god" or "abortion" or "gay" in there once.

Finish up with the traditional Constitution Day history lesson at They Gave Us Republic .... in which you will learn where the blog name came from.

If you don't know the Preamble by heart, memorize it now. It says everything you need to know:

We the People Not we the corporations, not we the rich and powerful, not we the white, male and christian. We. the. People.

of the United States, Not the 13 individual colonies of the failed Articles of Incorporation. The UNITED States. E Pluribus Unum.

in Order to form a more perfect Union, Because the Articles of Confederation truly sucked, creating the chaos of bickering siblings rather than a nation.

establish Justice, Justice - what a concept! Not arbitrary enforcement and punishment based on personal wealth and influence. Justice.

insure domestic Tranquility, through federal primacy over disputes between states

provide for the common defence, as George Washington had just proved worked quite well

promote the general Welfare, This means everyone does better when everyone does better. In other words - a strong middle class, no extreme wealth and no extreme poverty

and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, By creating a Constitution both fundamental and flexible, to bend to the winds of modernity, but stand strong against the floods of tyranny

do ordain and establish Not suggest, not propose, not discuss: ordain and establish

this Constitution Not this letter, not this essay, not this meditation: this Constitution

for the United States of America. Not for just the republican-voting states, not for just the high-population or wealthy states, for the United States.

If you can read the Preamble out loud without choking up, you're doing it wrong.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Anti-Sex Christine O'Donnell is Nothing New

We've all known women like this, right? The ones so disappointed that sex didn't lead immediately to Cinderella/June Cleaver nirvana that they turned into anti-sex scolds.

The really dangerously insane ones are the deliberately sexy ones, like O'Donnell. She's constantly sending the message: "See this, boys? You can't have it." I actually do believe that she's never masturbated, or at least not competently, because if she'd ever had DIY multiple orgasms, she couldn't inveigh against them with a straight face.

But it's worse than that, and not funny at all. As emptywheel at Firedoglake explains, O'Donnell's just the latest twist on the older-than-dirt conservative campaign against female sexual freedom:

I know Democrats are thrilled that Chris Coons, the Democratic candidate for Senate in Delaware, will be running against the kook Christine O’Donnell.

But I’m a little troubled by the treatment of O’Donnell’s anti-masturbation stance as just one more kooky proposal.

It’s not.

Rather, it’s the logical extension of the conservative assault on reproductive freedom. Sure, most conservative efforts to regulate reproduction are targeted exclusively at women (not even on their doctors). Because they bear wombs, after all, it’s a lot easier to regulate and politicize the sexual conduct of women.

But the logic is always the same–and it’s precisely the “logic” O’Donnell gave for her opposition to masturbation. (And, incidentally, the same logic the Prop 8 defenders used in their case in San Francisco.) It’s about ensuring that all sexual enjoyment–all of it–is tied to procreation within marriage.

So while she may be a nut, she’s really only advocating for the same oppressive treatment of men as mainstream Republicans advocate for women of child-bearing age.

Remember the bumper sticker of a few years ago? "Will somebody please blow George Bush so we can impeach him?"

We could make a similar plea for O'Donnell, but we probably wouldn't get any takers for that, either.

Free Museum Day - Take Advantage

Is there a museum nearby that you've always wanted to visit, but couldn't afford the admission fee?

Now you can treat yourself and a friend to your favorite local museum:

The Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) history campus in downtown Frankfort will be open to the public free-of-charge on Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day, Saturday, Sept. 25.

Visitors will enjoy free admission to the KHS history campus, which includes the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History, the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum.

Museum Day is a one-day nationwide event where participating museums and cultural institutions across the country offer free admission. Those interested should visit the Smithsonian Magazine’s website,, to download a Museum Day admission card. Visitors who present the official pass will gain free admission for two people to participating museums and cultural venues. One ticket is permitted per household, per email address. Simply bring this pass to the Center for Kentucky History and enjoy free admission on Sept. 25.

“Museum Day is a great way to invite Kentuckians to experience the Kentucky Historical Society,” said Kent Whitworth, executive director of KHS.

Visitors can journey through time in “A Kentucky Journey,” the Society’s signature exhibition, learn about Kentuckians’ military service in the exhibition, “Kentucky Military Treasures” and view the “Great Revivals” decorative arts exhibition at the Old State Capitol. They can also see renovation work in progress at the Kentucky Military History Museum. Tours of the Old State Capitol, a national historic landmark, and the Kentucky Military History Museum must be scheduled at the Center for Kentucky History.

Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information about KHS, visit or call 502-564-1792.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Time to Gouge the Rich

The whole tax cut debate is proceeding from the wrong premise. The question is not whether obscenely rich plutocrats seeking to turn the middle class into serfs should have to pay taxes at the same 39.6 percent rate they paid during the Clinton Prosperity.

The question is why obscenely rich plutocrats seeking to turn the middle class into serfs are not paying the 91 percent rate they paid under republican President Eisenhower.

The motherfucking rich have been gouging the country into economic disaster for the past nine years. Let them pay the Eisenhower rates for the next nine years.

Then we'll talk about fairness.

Steve Benen:

Chris Hayes raised a good point this morning that bears repeating: "I would very much like to see the U.S. return to the average top marginal tax rates of the Reagan administration." He added, "Do Republicans believe the top marginal rates under Reagan were 'job killing'?"

This is relevant, of course, in light of the debate over tax rates in Washington. President Obama wants to keep lower rates for the middle class; Republicans are fighting to protect lower rates for the wealthiest Americans. Under Obama's vision, the top marginal tax rate would return to 39.6% -- where it was under Clinton, and where it would return based on the expiration date adopted by George W. Bush and congressional Republicans.

At this point, the GOP considers a 39.6% top rate, applied only to the top 2% of wage earners, as somehow confiscatory and dangerous.


A 39.6% top rate isn't outrageous. It's not socialism. It's lower than the top rate for most of Reagan's presidency, lower than Nixon's top rate, lower than Eisenhower's top rate, and lower than FDR's top rate when he pulled us out of the Great Depression.

There's really no reason for Republicans to hyperventilate here.

If the repugs insist on crying about top tax rates that are criminally low, let's really give them something to cry about.

Do House Democrats want something that will inspire a Democratic voter turnout that puts 2008 to shame? Propose a 91 percent tax rate on the obscenely rich. Do it now.

Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Conway Still Searching Where the Votes Aren't

Remember that old joke about the guy crawling around on the ground near a street light? Another guy stops and asks him what he's doing. First guy says, I lost my keys. Second guy says, where'd you lose them? First guy points down the street - over there. Second guy: so why are you looking over here? First guy: the light's better here.

We finally have a poll of likely voters that shows Jack Conway within single digits of Rand Paul.

Daily Kos/PPP:

The race is still engaged, but these results show us just how tough Kentucky is. Obama has a 37-60 approval rating in the state, including a weak 60-37 among Democrats (many of whom are social conservatives more than happy to vote Republican). Indeed, while the sample is 49 percent Democratic and 39 percent Republican, it's also 53 percent McCain voters and 40 percent Obama voters. It's that kind of state.

Now Conway is holding Obama supporters, but Paul is holding McCain voters, and there's lost more of those. In fact, Conway's deficit comes at the hand of those who consider themselves most conservative, since the Democrat's lead among liberals is 84-10 and among moderates 60-29. It's that 14-78 deficit among conservatives that's killing him.


The Democrats’ problem in Kentucky isn’t the enthusiasm gap- Rand Paul took care of that for us. It’s because after showing some wariness earlier in the summer, when we had the race tied, the McCain voters have pretty much all gone home to Paul. In late June he was getting 70% of their votes and now for all his missteps he’s getting 80% of their votes. In a state that went as strongly Republican last time as Kentucky Conway is going to have to be able to pick off more of their voters than that to have a path to victory.

Wrong, wronger, wrongest.

We have a name for people who voted for McCain/Palin: republicans. Sure, in Kentucky thousands of 'em are registered Democratic, so they can fuck with the Democratic primary, but they are republicans who vote for republicans and who will never, never, ever vote for a Democratic candidate under any circumstances whatsoever, including massive bribes and unbearable torture.

That 7-point-gap among likely voters means that there are still thousands of registered real Democrats who think it's a waste of time to vote for a Democratic nominee who is running as a repug-lite.

I'm starting to see their point. Conway phone bank scenario:

"Hello, Mr. Jackson? This is the Jack Conway for Senate campaign calling to remind you to vote on election day November 2."

"Remind all you want, young man, I ain't doin' it."

"But Jack Conway's opponent is Rand Paul, who wants to repeal the Civil Rights Act, eliminate federal anti-drug grants and kill Social Security."

"Yep, Rand Paul's crazier 'n a shithouse rat, alright, but that just makes him the last honest republican. Jack Conway wants to give millions of my tax dollars to those rich fuckers on Wall Street. That makes him a traitor to the Democratic Party. I've been voting Democratic since decades before you were born, and I've seen a lot of assholes with a D beside their names, but Jack Conway is the first one to actually campaign on a promise to take money away from working people and give it to millionaire parasites."

Whatta ya say, Jack? How about going after votes where the Democratic ones are?

Cross-posted at They Gave Us A Republic ....

Monday, September 13, 2010

Playing Illinois Hold 'Em on Tax Cuts

Maybe we'll get to see some of Barack's vaunted poker-playing skills after all.

Steve M. sees Boner and the repugs setting up the dems to take the blame whatever happens with tax cuts.


John Boehner said today thay he'd accept a repeal of the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy if he has no other choice -- but I don't think he would have said this if really believed believed he might have no other choice.


But it's a feint.


There's no way in hell that Republicans can let Obama win on this -- certainly not before November. The GOP's enthusiasm gap would disappear overnight. The base absolutely will not accept a compromise. And if Obama wins and the Republicans still somehow manage to take back the House, Boehner will be seen as such a traitor that the grassroots will howl for his head and insist that he not become Speaker.

He has too much low cunning not to know this. He also knows that three Democrats plus Lieberman in the Senate want to extend all the tax cuts, as does Mitch McConnell. So he's responding to a hypothetical he thinks won't come to pass -- he thinks Republicans and Judas Democrats can stop the White House plan. It's still odd that he feels he has to play good cop, but it's only because he think bad cops are going to take it from here.

Read the whole thing.

Zandar also also sees a trap for the dems:

John Boehner may have signaled fold on tax cuts for the rich, but that's only because he clearly expects there's enough Democrats to scuttle the entire tax cuts bill without maintaining the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, too. He's up to something, and that something is clearly blaming the Democrats for not getting this thing passed and behind them before the tax cuts expire for all Americans on January 1.

Boehner clearly wants this out of the way and figures that once again the Dems will shoot themselves in the head on this one. He may not be wrong.


And if the Dems blow this, it's going to end them. Boehner is counting on that happening and is already putting all the blame on what happens squarely on the Dems. He figures enough Blue Dogs will revolt to kill the whole thing, and that's exactly what he wants to see happen.

Can the Dems maintain enough coherence to get this together? That remains to be seen.

Read the whole thing.

But Josh Marshall sees a huge opportunity for the White House.

Boehner gave the president and the Democrats a big opening by conceding that he'd vote for an extension of only those tax cuts on incomes under $250,000 a year.


Legislation and politics aren't two separate worlds. Each feeds off each other, as the Democrats learned to their profound discomfiture during the Health Care Reform debate last year. Especially on the cusp of an election, any inability to grasp this can and usually is fatal.


The President has three key interests.

First is to push policies that generate more demand in an economy that appears to be stumbling without signing on to a permanent extension of the upper income tax cuts which won't stimulate the economy in the short-term and are budgetarily ruinous in the long term.

Second, is to find a footing to galvanize Democrats for the next seven weeks and give them something for him and them to run on. At the moment the Democrats campaign platform appears to be "Are you kidding? These Republicans are friggin' crazy. And then did a lot of crazy stuff back when that Bush guy was president!" True enough. But lacks of a certain propulsive force.

Third is to sow dissension in Republican ranks.

Boehner's comments give the president the opportunity to do all three. And with the legislative leadership on the Hill seemingly hapless, it looks like it will come down to the President and how he plays his cards over the next 48 hours.

Read the whole thing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Repugs Say You Are Gangrene

I really have to congratulate the repugs on their refreshing honesty. They continue to lie nonstop about President Obama, the Democratic Party, the federal budget, tax cuts, social programs, minorities, the Constitution, national security and foreign policy, but they aren't hiding their true feelings about everyone who isn't rich.


This is one hell of a pitch from Georgia congressman Lynn Westmoreland at the Faith and Freedom coalition. I wonder how it's going to go over with the public?

WESTMORELAND: If we hold the line, if we get those courageous men and women to be part of our majority. If we say look, the American people we’re listening to the American people, this is what we’re going to do. If government shuts down, we want you with us. We want you with us. We gotta have you because later on you all will call us and say look I didn’t get my check. Daddy can’t go to the VA. You know, the National Parks are closed.

We need to be sure that you are with us because let me tell you this, all Americans need to understand. We need to understand this and I hope you can help share this analogy with people. Just as when you talk about what is going to possibly happen, you know I was unfortunate to cut myself with a chainsaw. I don’t know how many of you have cut yourself with a chainsaw.

Chainsaw is not the cleanest instrument if you’re going to cut yourself. [...] He said this is going to sting a little bit and it hurt like crazy. But you know what, if he didn’t clean out that wound, it would have never healed. I would have got gangrene. I would have died from it. And what has happened with this country, we have put bandaids on things that need to be cleaned out. It’s going to take some pain for us to do the things that we need to do to right the ship.

It's the first time I've ever heard of sick veterans and old people referred to as "gangrene" but I think it fairly well describes how conservatives see sick, old and poor people in general.

I don't know if they'll be stupid enough to do this in the middle of a terrible economic slump, but they just might. And I think it will be an excellent demonstration of just how their philosophy plays out in real life. If the American people like it and reward them, then we'll know that their dystopian Mad Max vision of America is a reflection of the desires of the citizens.

If people don't like it, then perhaps it would be wise for Democrats to be prepared to offer some kind of specific message and agenda. I would expect that people might be willing to listen.

Hear Westmoreland here.