Friday, August 31, 2012

The Rude Pundit Trumps Krugman

Paul Krugman has been brilliant in coming up with perfect analogies for the ridiculousness, viciousness and insanity of repug economic proposals, but I think the Rude Pundit bested him with this one: 
 Imagine you have a friend who a few years back heard that if you feed poodles money they will shit out gold bricks. So your friend starts feeding his hard-earned cash to all the pampered poodles he can find, and they gobble those bills down. But, surprise, surprise, despite what he heard, the dogs end up shitting shit. Still, he clings to this bizarre, completely disproven idea: poodles shit gold. Now, after some time, he's low on cash. You tell your friend to stop putting out plates of money for the goddamned poodles. No, your friend says. Instead, he must cut back on other things, like doctor visits and food and more, just so he'll have the spare money to give the fucking dogs. "One day, these little bitches are gonna pay off," he tells you, sounding completely crazy, "and I'll be on easy street." But until then, he's just got hands that stink like dog shit. And there's your lesson in Republican economics.

Songs to Fight the Plutocracy By: "Get Up, Stand Up"

Thanks to commenter Prup (aka Jim Benton) for the recommendation.

Uploaded by Rastavibe13:

Get Up, Stand Up, stand up for your right (3 times) Get Up, Stand Up, don't give up the fight Preacher man don't tell me heaven is under the earth I know you don't know what life is really worth Is not all that glitters in gold and Half the story has never been told So now you see the light, aay Stand up for your right. Come on Get Up, Stand Up, stand up for your right Get Up, Stand Up, don't give up the fight (Repeat) Most people think great God will come from the sky Take away ev'rything, and make ev'rybody feel high But if you know what life is worth You would look for yours on earth And now you see the light You stand up for your right, yeah! Get Up, Stand Up, stand up for your right Get Up, Stand Up, don't give up the fight Get Up, Stand Up. Life is your right So we can't give up the fight Stand up for your right, Lord, Lord Get Up, Stand Up. Keep on struggling on Don't give up the fight We're sick and tired of your ism and skism game Die and go to heaven in Jesus' name, Lord We know when we understand Almighty God is a living man You can fool some people sometimes But you can't fool all the people all the time So now we see the light We gonna stand up for our right So you'd better get up, stand up, stand up for your right Get Up, Stand Up, don't give up the fight Get Up, Stand Up, stand up for your right Get Up, Stand Up, don't give up the fight.

Moocher-Class Myths

You know the lords-'n-serfs repugs have jumped the shark when even capitalist tool Bloomberg calls them out on their lies. 

David Atkins at Hullabaloo:

The noted liberal hippies at Bloomberg have a message for the modern, Ayn Randian Republicans:
As we listen to Republican candidates and voters across the country, we hear something less admirable: carping about people who are on government support. Some speak disparagingly of them as the “moocher class” for paying no federal income taxes while getting food stamps, government health care and unemployment checks...

To all of the above, the moocher class -- this election year’s agitprop -- is the country’s biggest problem. It’s not. By claiming that it is, Republicans do a disservice to the party and to the national debate.

The U.S. in fiscal 2012 will spend about $210 billion on food stamps, unemployment insurance and welfare. Add in Medicaid and the tab swells to about $485 billion. Still, it’s small beer compared with the $1.3 trillion the U.S. will spend on Social Security and Medicare alone. Include $700 billion for defense, and the moocher class’s bounty looks even smaller.

And that doesn’t account for the ample government benefits -- farm subsidies, oil and gas allowances, and other corporate welfare -- many moocher-class critics get, or the tax breaks for mortgage interest, employer-provided health insurance and charitable contributions.

The moocher-class mythologists forget that the U.S. just went through its worst recession in 75 years, and that unemployment has exceeded 8 percent for almost four years. The U.S. is on the verge of having a permanent jobless class made up largely of middle-age workers whose occupations have been destroyed because of automation and globalization.

The moocher fabulists also ignore data showing that U.S. incomes have stagnated for a decade, and that inequality has skyrocketed. The top-earning 1 percent of households now bring home about 20 percent of total income, versus about 10 percent in 1970. Recent studies conclude that upward mobility is easier in Europe than in the U.S. So much for Republican nightmares about the U.S. becoming a European-style welfare state.

The Pew Research Center reported last week that the U.S. middle class just experienced a lost decade, shrinking for the first time since World War II. Its median household income fell 4.8 percent to $69,487 in 2010 from an inflation-adjusted $72,956 in 2001. Median wealth (including retirement savings and home values, minus debt) tumbled an even greater 28 percent, to $93,150 from $129,582, largely because of the housing crash.

Another party shibboleth is that Obama’s stimulus spending shifted wealth from “makers to takers.” It’s more accurate to say that the stimulus -- by most economists’ reckoning, required medicine -- was a giant earmarking exercise that sent tax dollars back to the districts of lawmakers in both parties. Without it, an economy that shrank 6.3 percent in 2008 would have fallen into an abyss.
This was written by the editors at Bloomberg, and there's much more there than this excerpt.

It's important to remember that the "business community" in the United States is not united behind the extreme rightist vision, even in the wealthy FIRE sector. Modern conservatism is the a radical creation of a subset of a radical subset of well-heeled greedheads and sociopaths, and only survives with the votes of the increasingly aging people who resent the idea that we're all equally human with equal rights.

Today, the real moochers are born-rich parasites like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, who have enriched themselves at the expense of actual workers but who won't be satisfied until workers lose their last dime, their last hope, and their last chance to stop the motherfucking rich.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Prosperity Economics

As an antidote to the anti-worker,  lords-'n-serfs, Austerity Economics being peddled by repugs in Tampa this week, spend some time appreciating Prosperity Economics. 
Obama didn't get specific... but he should-- and he should in exactly the way Professor Hacker has laid out, in the video and at the Prosperity Economics website. Short version:
Prosperity economics is built on three pillars: growth, security and democracy. These pillars reinforce one another and are intertwined politically and economically.

• Dynamic, innovation-led growth, grounded in job creation, public investment and broad opportunity

We must take immediate action to jumpstart our sagging economy. In the future, we need to invest in people and productivity that will lead to good jobs and rising wages. Growth alone is not sufficient to sustain our nation. We need long-term growth that is broadly enjoyed, sustainable in light of our resource and energy constraints and driven by investments in our workforce and strong collective bargaining rules that raise our standard of living.

• Security for workers and their families, the environment and government finances

Markets work better when working families feel a basic security for their futures. A dynamic and competitive market requires a strong foundation that is reinforced by programs like Social Security and Medicare that guarantee a secure retirement and access to health care. Markets also work better when governments have the resources to operate smoothly far into the future. These resources are best raised through a progressive tax structure that supports the middle class; no more tax giveaways for corporations and super rich.

• Democratic voice, inclusivity and accountability in Washington and the workplace

Money is increasingly corrupting and corroding democracy. When economic winners are allowed to write the economic rules, the rest of America becomes poorer and our political system weaker. For democracy to thrive, strong Unions, and empowered citizens and community organizations are needed to ensure that workers and the broader public have an organized, effective voice in our politics.
Prosperity Economics saved us from destruction during the Depression. Prosperity Economics grew the middle class economy after World War II.  And Prosperity Economics drove the economic growth of the Clinton years that eliminated the deficit and produced a budget surplus.

Prosperity Economics - delivered always by Democratic presidents and congresses - has always rescued us from repug austerity. It can rescue us again. 

Songs to Fight the Plutocracy By: "Sacco and Vanzetti"

It's only a matter of time until a couple of Occupiers are framed and railroaded the same way, for the same "crime" of defying and publicly decrying capitalism.

Uploaded by fh3267

Sacco and Vanzetti the 2 leaders of the working class were executed in America 1927 song of Woody Guthrie & David Rovics

Oh say there, have you heard the news
Sacco worked at trimming shoes
Vanzetti was a traveling man
Pushed his cart round with his hands

Two good men's a long time gone
Sacco and Vanzetti are gone
Two good men's a long time gone
Left me here to sing this song

Sacco came from across the sea
Somewhere over Italy
Vanzetti born of parents fine
Drank the best Italian wine

Sacco was a family man
Sacco's wife three children had
Vanzetti was a dreaming man
A book was always in his hand

Sacco made his bread and butter
Being the factory's best shoe-cutter
Vanzetti worked both day and night
Taught the people how to fight

I'll tell you if you ask me
About the payroll robbery
Two clerks were shot in the shoe factory
There in the streets of old Braintree

I'll tell you the prosecutors' names
Katman, Adams, Williams, Kane
Them and the judge were the best of friends
Did more tricks than circus clowns

The judge he told his friends around
"Gonna put them rebels down"
"Anarchist bastards" was the name
The judge he gave these two fine men

Vanzetti docked in '98
Slept upon a dirty street
Taught the people how to organize
Now in the electric chair he dies

All us people ought to be
Like Sacco and Vanzetti
Every day find ways to fight
On the people side for workers' rights

Savannah Hope

Thanks to the courage and righteous fury of one teenager, Kentucky might finally be forced to open its secretive juvenile courts.

Andrew Wolfson at the Courier:

Kentucky is one of only 11 states that bar virtually all access to juvenile court, according to a survey of state laws conducted by the Jefferson County attorney’s office.

But a judge’s decision Tuesday to open the juvenile case against Savannah Dietrich’s teenage sexual assaulters could provide momentum toward a broader opening of juvenile proceedings to the public and press, said the lawyer who won the ruling.

Jon Fleischaker, who represents The Courier-Journal and other news organizations, said the case gives the press and advocates something “concrete to talk about” in arguing why juvenile proceedings should be open where there are allegations of serious criminal conduct.

“It’s not just about how the defendants are treated — it’s about how the court operated, how the county attorney operated,” Fleischaker said, adding that legislators might be concerned that a victim was told she could not talk about what happened to her.

The case won’t set any precedent unless and until it is affirmed by a higher court.

But County Attorney Mike O’Connell already said last month that he will push to open some juvenile proceedings.

In her ruling in the Dietrich case on Tuesday, Jefferson District Judge Angela McCormick Bisig cited an exception to Kentucky’s juvenile court confidentiality rule that allows judges to open cases for “good cause.”

Before the case documents were released, however, the lawyer for one of the boys announced he would appeal, and Bisig delayed the release 24 hours.
Hahahaha. Did you catch that? Just last week the confessed rapists' lawyers were whining about how Dietrich had ruined their clients' lives and threatening to open the court records to expose her.

But now that Dietrich herself has forced the case open, the little motherfuckers are backpedaling at high speech and demanding the records be closed. Called your bluff, assholes - now your lies will see daylight.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Vote and Fight Like Hell

David Atkins at Hullabaloo:

It's easy to declare a pox on both houses and say that voting doesn't matter and both parties are equally corrupt. It's harder when the evidence to the contrary is so obvious.

As long as these people are willing to spend billions of dollars stealing elections and can get away with doing so under cover of total darkness, they don't really care how many people march in the streets. The little people mean nothing to them. And even if worst comes to worst, it still won't matter to them. After all, it's not as if the villains will be anywhere in the remote vicinity of the revolution even if it were to ever come, which it won't. They'll already be safely in the arms of Dubai, Nassau, or any other welcoming city whose country has low taxes and little will to extradite. Armed revolutions usually accomplish little except the slaughter of the innocent.

The alternative, of course, is to vote and fight like hell within the confines of the democratic system. Even if the choices aren't necessarily between good and evil, non-participation in the process is inexcusable when it's so abundantly clear which side is the far greater evil.
Have you lit a fire under a non-voting Democrat today?

Birther Damon Thayer

Shame on CN2 for describing the racism-'n-resentment teabagger rally at the Kentucky Capitol last week as an "affordable care rally," but kudos for capturing and posting this bit of birther racism from a sitting Kentucky state senator.

In the video, Thayer says "Let's send Barack Obama back to Chicago or Hawaii or wherever he wants to go ..." at which point someone in the crowd (all white and apparently with nothing else to do in the middle of a work day) yelled "Kenya!" Thayer burst into a wide grin and responded "I wasn't going to say that, but I appreciate the sentiment."


Democratic Rep. Darryl Owens criticized Thayer for adding fuel to the “birther” movement – which contends Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

Owens sent Thayer a letter stating the following:

“When someone in the crowd responded ‘Kenya’ your reaction appeared to give credence to the odious concept. You had an opportunity to have your own McCain Moment and correct or dispel that false claim, but you chose to grin and look pleased,” Owens said in his letter to Thayer.

Thayer has ambitions for higher office. Earlier this year, he got caught supporting legislation proposed by Gov. Steve Beshear - a Known Democrat. My guess is he's been spanked and told to toe the mouth-breather line of racism if he doesn't want to get primaried by an opponent backed by a Texas billionaire.

Songs to Fight the Plutocracy By: "America First"

Great reminder that conservatives and repugs have always been anti-american, un-democratic fascists at heart. And have always cynically used jingoism to hide it.

Uploaded by Pehuen003

Treason, Gunpowder and Plot

Zandar says it best:

So America, what happens when the talk of President Obama's re-election leading to "civil war" and "armed resistance" and "the blood of tyrants" leads to something very real and frightening?
Prosecutors say a murder case against four soldiers in Georgia has revealed they formed an anarchist militia within the U.S. military with plans to overthrow the federal government.


Prosecutor Isabel Pauley says the group bought $87,000 worth of guns and bomb-making materials and plotted to take over Fort Stewart, bomb targets in nearby Savannah and Washington state, as well as assassinate the president.

Gosh, you mean the people with all the guns and the training to use them to kill saying "We must resist Obama by whatever means necessary" is just meaningless talk, and our brave men and women in uniform would never act upon any dark impulses to turn on a Commander-in-Chief that was constantly referred to by an angry right-wing media as an illegitimate, America-hating tyrant who is just waiting to institute martial law, right?

Oh wait.  These people apparently did.  And they bought nearly $100k in firearms, weapons and explosives with the express intent it seems of attacking the federal government and trying to assassinate the President.

To recap:  Guy supposedly running this plot to assassinate the President, was a page at the GOP Convention in 2008.  If the shoe had somehow been on the other foot, this would be the top news story in America for the next week.

Of course, nobody seems to care that this guy is exactly the douchebag right-wing asshole type that the Justice Department tried to warn people about in 2009.  For their trouble, the right savaged the report and the Obama administration as anti-white racists who hated America's troops.

Screw you.  These guys had tens of thousands of dollars in weapons and were going to kill Americans and go after the President because they believed what they were told, that the government is the enemy and must be stopped with lethal force.
Funny how 9/11 made it not harder but far easier for the domestic terrorists who have always been among us to accumulate military weapons, freely recruit among the economically and racially disaffected, and pose a greater threat to the nation than non-white, non-xian terrorists ever imagined doing.

No, not funny at all.

Where Business Knows Higher Taxes Are Better for All

Attention Kentucky Lt. Governor Abramson and your Blue Ribbon Tax Reform Commission: All those business interests demanding yet more cuts in their already minimal taxes while the state's physical, educational and cultural infrastructure collapses around our ears?  They're motherfucking liars.  Here's the proof.

David Atkins at Hullabaloo:

Business leaders are starting to wake up and smell the coffee in California thanks to deft politicking by Governor Brown and the obviousness of the damage that declining revenues are doing to California's business environment:

Some of the largest corporate interests in California have poured millions of dollars into an initiative campaign this year, as they have many times before. But this time, they're not asking voters to ease industry regulations or limit government power. Instead, they want approval of an $8-billion-a-year tax hike pushed by Gov. Jerry Brown.


"I think mostly we see the governor wanting to do the right things for the state's economy," said Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council business group. He has met several times with Brown, and the group will decide its position on Proposition 30 next month.

Labor unions and Democratic lawmakers spent almost $7 million qualifying Proposition 30 for the ballot. And Democratic interests contributed about 40% of the more than $10.3 million Brown has raised for the campaign ahead. But most of the governor's campaign fund — upward of $6 million — has so far come from a broad coalition of entrepreneurs, Indian tribes that own casinos and other business interests.
It is possible for major business groups to see the light of day sometimes. It's hard but not impossible. It remains to be seen whether the coalition can be held together to do the right thing in the end. But local activists on the ground will play a big role in helping make sure the progressive, pro-business choice is one the voters make in the end.

If it works, Jerry Brown's actions might be able to serve as a model for other states as well.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Your Grammar Nazi

Jessica Valenti, in a superb post at The Nation:
It’s not based on a belief that women are deserving of human rights, but on a very specific set of rules and roles we are expected to adhere by.
It's not possible to "adhere by" anything. "Adhere" means to anchor or attach. When followed the preposition "to" it means to follow, keep, maintain, respect, observe, be true, fulfil, obey.
If you must use the preposition "by," then use the verb "abide," which when followed by "by" means comply.
"Adhere to specific roles."  "Abide by specific rules."  Never "adhere by."

Quote of the Day

I don't cite Cereberus at Sadly, No! often enough. Because it sets new standards of rant every day.
Rape is still rape and can still create pregnancies and the whole “rape exception” bullshit is in itself a distraction tactic trying to make us forget A) that abortion is a legal and medically ethical surgical procedure so who the fuck cares why someone needs it and B) denying someone consent about what they do with their own bodies and demanding the right to use their body as YOU see fit regardless of their desires is RAPE.

The forced birther brigade wants to RAPE every single woman who engages in any type of PIV heterosexual sex. Wants to RAPE them for 9 months so they can learn the “price” for their “sins”.
Read the whole thing.

Turnout Motivators

Our job right now is not persuading or swaying any non-Democratic voters; there aren't any real independents and the repugs will never vote for Democratic candidates.
The job right now is increasing Democratic turnout. Getting non-voting Democratic voters off their asses and to the polls. Motivating Obama supporters to vote.
David Atkins explains why repugs are going all out for the white vote, writing off minorities and cutting their own demographic throat for the future: because they only need to do it one more time to create a permanent Lords and Serfs society.
In a must-read piece in New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait explains the full ramifications of this dynamic:
“Multiple senior Romney advisers assured me that they had had conversations with the candidate in which he conveyed a depth of conviction about the need to try to enact something like Ryan’s controversial budget and entitlement reforms,” reports the Huffington Post’s Jonathan Ward. “Romney, they said, was willing to count the cost politically in order to achieve it.” David Leonhardt floats a similar sketch, plausibly outlining how Romney could transform the shape of American government by using a Senate procedure that circumvents the filibuster to quickly lock in large regressive tax cuts and repeal of health insurance subsidies to tens of millions of Americans.
Blowing up the welfare state and affecting the largest upward redistribution of wealth in American history is a politically tricky project (hence Romney's belief that he may need to forego a second term). Hence the Romney campaign's clear plan to suture off its slowly declining but still potent base. Romney’s political-policy theme is an unmistakable appeal to identity politics. 
They don't care if they don't stand a shot in 2016 or a few cycles afterward, as long as they can ramrod the Ryan agenda starting in January 2013. They don't care if Romney is a one-term president, just as long as in that one term, he's able to end Medicare, cut taxes for the wealthy, and generally do anything and everything else that enables a massive transference of wealth from the lower- and middle-class families to the wealthy.
On a side note, this is also why anyone who thinks that Mitt Romney is too moderate for this sort of thing is so horribly wrong. The demographics are such that Republicans have to make hay while the white sun still shines. Grover Norquist said it already: Romney is nothing other than the robo-signer for the Ryan agenda, and 2012 is their last serious chance at getting it done for a long time, given their current base.
 This is the repugs do-or-die election. If they do it, the last shreds of a progressive, Democratic America will die.
That's why everyone has to vote. 

Songs to Fight the Plutocracy By: "Miner's Lullaby"

Uploaded by solutioncow:

Utah Phillips discusses his song, "Miner's Lullaby," followed by bluegrass duo Jody Stecher and Kate Brislin performing his song. Miners would take a tin of morphine with them down in the shaft, in case of a cave in, or other disaster to ease the pain as they died. The lyrics of "Miner's Lullaby" are:

(Bruce 'Utah' Phillips)

Once, long ago, he was handsome and tall
And fit to be called to the war
We left our village, family and all
To never return any more

Now he takes his coat, his bucket and lamp
And whistles away to the cage
Where men young and old from all over the camp
Gather in search of a wage

Husband, sleep, lay your head back and dream
A slow fallen leaf borne down to the stream
Then carried away on the wings of morphine
Homeward far over the sea

My husband and I are Roman in faith
And we have a secret to keep
If ever his life is taken away
Then gentle and long will he sleep

Now some men pass with family around
And linens and blankets so clean
But seldom a miner goes underground
Without his tin of morphine


And now here's a word, an explosion is heard
The miners are trapped far below
If any survived down there alive
I'm certain we never will know

Although our families have vainly appealed
No rescue attempt can be seen
Our hope for loved ones in the dark earth sealed
Now lies in a tin of morphine


Romney's Gay Confession: "I Am What I Am"

A friend writes:

Did you see Romney's big declaration today "I am what I am"?  Funny that the media has put a Popeye spin to it.  Were I Mr. Romney, I would be worried that more people heard "La Cage aux Folles" when they saw the headline.  Heaven knows, his -- and the Republican party's -- policies don't recognize other people's rights to be what they are.  Maybe someone should play the music for them????  :-)
La Cage Aux Folles - I Am What I Am Lyrics

I am what I am
I am my own special creation
So come take a look
Give me the hook or the ovation

It's my world that I want to take a little pride in
My world and it's not a place I have to hide in
Life's not worth a damn
Till you can say, "Hey world, I am what I am"

I am what I am
I don't want praise, I don't want pity
I bang my own drum
Some think it's noise, I think it's pretty

And so what, if I love each feather and each spangle
Why not try and see things from a different angle?
Your life is a sham till you can shout out loud
I am what I am

I am what I am
And what I am needs no excuses
I deal my own deck
Sometimes the ace
Sometimes the deuces

There's one life
And there's no return and no deposit
One life, so it's time to open up your closet
Life's not worth a damn till you can say
"Hey world, I am what I am"

Uploaded by on Mar 11, 2008

Monday, August 27, 2012

Your Grammar Nazi

I don't know whether to be happy or devastated that one of my favorite blogs has handed me an opportunity to lambaste them over the misuse of "decimate."
Think Progress:
There’s a chance that the storm will hit New Orleans nearly seven years to the day that Hurricane Katrina decimated the city.
"Decimate" means "take away one tenth." If Katrina had destroyed one-tenth of New Orleans, the use of "decimate" would be correct.

But it's not correct. Katrina - or rather the levee breach in the hurricane's wake - physically destroyed more than 10 percent of the city physically, and far more than 10 percent of the city psychologically and culturally. New Orleans has lost more than half of its pre-Katrina population.

That's not "decimination."  That's "devastation." That's "destruction." Get it right.

The Nice Guys Who Rape

'He didn't behave like a rapist. And people seemed to think I had asked for it. Did I go to the police? Did I hell. I thought it was my fault' 
As a culture, we still refuse collectively to accept that most rapes are committed by ordinary men, men who have friends and families, men who may even have done great or admirable things with their lives. We refuse to accept that nice guys rape, and they do it often. Part of the reason we haven't accepted it is that it's a painful thing to contemplate – far easier to keep on believing that only evil men rape, only violent, psychotic men lurking in alleyways with pantomime-villain moustaches and knives, than to consider that rape might be something that ordinary men do. Men who might be our friends or colleagues or people we look up to. We don't want that to be the case. Hell, I don't want that to be the case. So, we all pretend it isn't. Justice, see?

Actually, rape is very common. Ninety thousand people reported rape in the United States in 2008 alone, and it is estimated that over half of rape victims never go to the police, making the true figure close to 200,000. Between 10 and 20 per cent of women have experienced rape or sexual assault. It's so common that – sorry if this hurts to hear – there's a good chance you know somebody who might have raped someone else. And there's more than a small chance he doesn't even think he did anything wrong, that he believes that what he did wasn't rape, couldn't be rape, because, after all, he's not a bad guy.
This is a hard one to read, but necessary. You won't look at your buddies, your co-workers, your family members the same way ever again.

Songs to Fight the Plutocracy By: "The Clampdown"

Uploaded by Alexm799:

"Clampdown" is a single and a song by The Clash, on the album London Calling. The song began as a instrumental track called "Working and Waiting". It is sometimes called "Working for the Clampdown" which is the main lyric of the song, and also the title provided on the album's lyric sheet. Its lyrics comment on people who forsake the idealism of youth and urges young people to fight the status quo.

President RMoney-Ryan = Chaos

Oh, do I ever have the perfect Monday morning post for you. Before reading it, please remove all weapons, sharp objects, open flames, prescription narcotics, belts and shoe laces from your immediate vicinity.

A Romney victory would likely bring with it a large majority in the House and quite possibly a Republican Senate as well, and hence a tsunami of regressive legislation. As the longtime nonpartisan analysts Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein argue, a Republican victory in November will likely prove a key turning point in modern American history. It will offer Republicans the opportunity, in Mann’s words, to put “in place a radical view of policy that goes well beyond anything Republicans have proposed in the past,” one that has moved so far rightward that “no Republican president in the modern era would have felt comfortable being a part of [it].” What’s more, they will likely succeed owing not only to Romney’s eagerness to blow with whatever winds may be buffeting him, but also, as Mann and Ornstein put it, to his party’s “demonstrated willingness to bend, break, or change legislative rules and customs that have stood in the way of radical change in the past.”
If you think the Tea Party has gone away, think again. Its members are not holding demonstrations so much anymore because they are staffing campaigns, winning Republican primaries (often against veteran incumbents and well-funded establishment favorites), or replacing the staffers of those they have scared into submission. As Dave Weigel writes in the Washington Monthly, “After 2010, the movement evolved. Activists got jobs with newly elected Republicans. Political organizations like the [corporate and conservative billionaire-funded and -controlled] Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks grew their staffs and budgets. Elected Republicans continued to draw on them for strength, support, and warm bodies at campaign events.” Under a Romney administration, many of these ignorant fanatics will be called upon to staff a significant number of the more than 3,000 federal appointments that a president makes, and his hundreds of potential judicial appointments as well.
The result, should Romney become president, will be a mixture of policies that favor the superwealthy, punish the poor and middle class, restrict the rights of average Americans, and—I say this without hyperbole—cause a degree of almost unimaginable and unprecedented chaos in virtually every area of American public life.
Read the details, if you dare.

Robert Reich has the short version.

And Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars has the best real-world-consequences post I've seen yet:
This is a blog post written by a long-time Wisconsin reader of my own site who, against daunting odds, pulled herself out of a crappy minimum wage job, chronic poverty, a bad relationship, and an assortment of major health issues (both hers and her daughter's) and put herself in college, where she's doing quite well and has, I hope, much more of a future before her - at least, if Wisconsin doesn't cut the programs on which she and her daughter depend. I thought this was important to share:

See that low-income-program-cuts graph?

Daughter is on SSI – Supplemental Security Income. My tuition is covered by Pell Grants, with secured loans and grants making up the rest. We both are on Medicare-Medicaid. We live in low-income housing. We get Food Share.

We got into all of these programs WHILE I WAS WORKING FULL-TIME, just so you don’t think I’m some low-life slacker.

So. If Paul Ryan has his way (poor people are not suffering enough) I will be homeless. Maybe my daughter will be too, I don’t know. I’ll have to quit school, but all that – homeless, out of school – will be moot, because without health insurance I’ll be dead. My prescriptions run well over $500 a month. I get one of them, the $350/month one, through low-income support programs that the pharmaceutical companies run, so their drugs will be covered on some federal insurance programs. Do you think that will continue when Medicaid gets cut? I don’t.

But rich people will pay less in taxes.

I’m taking it pretty personally. You would be too, if somebody thought you didn’t deserve to be alive.
Now send this to every Republican voter you know. You never know, one might accidentally learn something.

No, DON'T send it to any repugs. Send it to every DEMOCRATIC voter you know - especially the ones who are not counting the days to Nov. 6 and champing at the bit to vote for President Obama and against RMoney-Ryan.

Send this to all the disappointed democrats, all those Obama supporters who don't plan to vote, every dem leaner who can't be bothered to haul her fat ass out of the barcalounger to cast a vote to prevent the fucking apocalypse.

Despite the many disappointments of his presidency, Barack Obama remains a vehicle for progressive change in America, one whose weaknesses reflect the weaknesses of the left in a system dominated by money, democratic dysfunction and a myopic media. Those are our real problems—not the attitude of the individual in the White House. And not one of them will improve once the power of the presidency is bestowed upon those who have created those problems and continue to profit by them. Indeed, nearly all of them will reach (and some may exceed) crisis proportions. And what that will lead to, no one—certainly not your author—can predict, save for one thing: chaos.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Your Grammar Nazi

Erik Loomis, whom I hate to call out because I love his writing on labor, the environment and political history, but who should be ashamed of himself for this one:

But it’s membership had been small for decades before that merger.
Here's how that sentence reads without the contraction:

But it is membership had been small for decades before that merger.

Recently PZ Myers showed how to do it right:
Big picture management is by an executive committee. It’s not democratic, because its job is to just get stuff done.
Here's the easy rule: it's (with an apostrophe) is a contraction and always means "it is."  Its  (no apostrophe) is possessive and always refers to something that belongs to it.

Getting its and it's backwards is evidence of illiteracy. You're not illiterate, so get it right.

The Battle of Blair Mountain

From the once-and-future Congressman:

This weekend marks the anniversary of the most brutal confrontation in the history of the American labor movement, the Battle of Blair Mountain. For one week during 1921, armed, striking coal miners battled scabs, a private militia, police officers and the US Army. 100 people died, 1,000 were arrested, and one million shots were fired. It was the largest armed rebellion in America since the Civil War.

This is how it happened. In the Twenties, West Virginia coal miners lived in "company towns." The mining companies owned all the property. They literally ran union organizers out of town - or killed them.

In 1912, in a strike at Paint Creek, the mining company forced the striking miners and their families out of their homes, to live in tents. Then they sent armed goons into that tent city, and opened fire on men, women and children there with a machine gun.

By 1920, the United Mine Workers had organized the northern mines in West Virginia, but they were barred from the southern mines. When southern miners tried to join the union, they were fired and evicted. To show who was boss, one mining company tried to place machine guns on the roofs of buildings in town.

In Matewan, when the coal company goons came to town to take it upon themselves to enforce eviction notices, the mayor and the sheriff asked them to leave. The goons refused. Incredibly, the goons tried to arrest the sheriff, Sheriff Hatfield. Shots were fired, and the mayor and nine others were killed. But the company goons had to flee.

The government sided with the coal companies, and put Sheriff Hatfield on trial for murder. The jury acquitted him. Then they put the sheriff on trial for supposedly dynamiting a non-union mine. As the sheriff walked up the courthouse steps to stand trial again, unarmed, company goons shot him in cold blood. In front of his wife.

This led to open confrontations between miners on one hand, and police and company goons on the other. 13,000 armed miners assembled, and marched on the southern mines in Logan and Mingo Counties. They confronted a private militia of 2,000, hired by the coal companies.

President Harding was informed. He threatened to send in troops and even bombers to break the union. Many miners turned back, but then company goons started killing unarmed union men, and some armed miners pushed on. The militia attacked armed miners, and the coal companies hired airplanes to drop bombs on them. The US Army Air Force, as it was known then, observed the miners' positions from overhead, and passed that information on to the coal companies.

The miners actually broke through the militia's defensive perimeter, but after five days, the US Army intervened, and the miners stood down. By that time, 100 people were dead. Almost a thousand miners then were indicted for murder and treason. No one on the side of the coal companies was ever held accountable.

The Battle of Blair Mountain showed that the miners could not defeat the coal companies and the government in battle. But then something interesting happened: the miners defeated the coal companies and the government at the ballot box. In 1925, convicted miners were paroled. In 1932, Democrats won both the State House and the White House. In 1935, President Roosevelt signed the National Labor Relations Act. Eleven years after the Battle of Blair Mountain, the United Mine Workers organized the southern coal fields in West Virginia.

The Battle of Blair Mountain did not have a happy ending for Sheriff Hatfield, or his wife, or the 100 men, women and children who died, or the hundreds who were injured, or the thousands who lost their jobs. But it did have a happy ending for the right to organize, and the middle class, and America.

Now let me ask you one thing: had you ever heard of this landmark event in American history, the Battle of Blair Mountain, before you read this? And if not, then why not? Think about that.


Alan Grayson
 If you haven't seen the movie Matewan, now's the time. If you have, then show it to people who haven't..

Stop Calling It "Voter ID"

Brad Friedman, who has been covering the voter suppression beat like a blanket for years now, makes a plea for using clear language to fight the lies and obfuscation.
Please get it straight: the concern is about "polling place Photo ID restrictions" not "Voter ID". I've tried to warn progressives about this for years, to little avail, but discussing concerns about "Voter ID" is akin (pun intended?) to talking about "Legitimate Rape".

After all, everyone is against "legitimate rape"! But using that phrase, as most instinctively seem to understand, allows for the misleading subconscious notion idea that there is some other kind of rape that is less "legitimate".

In the same way, "Voter ID" is quite reasonable sounding --- after all, who could be against the reasonable sounding idea of identifying oneself before voting? --- but Republican-enacted polling place Photo ID restrictions are a different matter all together. Republicans know that very well, even if Democrats still can't seem to get it.

Both phrases, "Legitimate Rape" and "Voter ID", each reasonable sounding enough, miss the point and are tremendously misleading. Republican vote suppressors know that, so they love it when Democrats and progressives and voting rights advocates use the phrase "Voter ID" instead of "polling place Photo ID restrictions."
If "polling place Photo ID restrictions" is too many words for us, just use the less accurate but more true "voter suppression" or "voting rights violation."

Songs to Fight the Plutocracy By: "Know Your Rights"

Uploaded by hopita

The Man Who Knew

As he does so frequently, Charles Pierce nails it on the death of Neil Armstrong:

For at least a time, there literally was only one other person in the history of man who knew what Armstrong knew — how that sandy soil feels when you walk on it, the exact places where the shadows fall, the precise geometry of the mountains of the moon. Today, there are only eight of them left, all of them in their 70's. What will happen when the last of them dies? It's very likely that there will not be a living human being who knows what Neil Armstrong knew. It will all be for videotape and digital libraries, for historians and, if we're very lucky, for poets, as well. But there will be nobody alive who actually knows. Not a single one of our fellow humans, anywhere on the Earth. That knowledge will be as dead in the world as Columbus is. One fewer person on the Earth was able to look up at the moon on Sunday night. What he thought when he looked at, night after night, is a perspective lost to all but eight old men. Sooner or later, there will be none of them left. On that day, like today, we should mourn for what we once thought we were. From that day forward, I fear, it is all going to sound like myth and magic, and the tales that the old men told around the ancient fires.
I remember clearly the debates in the '70s about the expense and uselessness of the mannned flights to the moon. "Think of what we could use that money for right here on earth!" Yep, abandoning manned space flight beyond our own orbit bought us a shitload of fossil-fuel subsidies and a Wall Street casino that makes Vegas look like a back-alley numbers racket.

It's no coincidence that the anti-science moronification of America began at the same time we abandoned the moon. Knowledge is what we lost. What we're losing now is the ability to gain any more.

Adkins Only Ky Dem Condeming GOP Rape Platform

Not incumbents John Congressman Awesome Yarmuth in the Third District or Ben Cowardly Worm Chandler in the Sixth.

Certainly not challenger Charles Hatchett in the First, who opens his website with the word "God blessed America, not joke challenger David L. Williams in the Second, who doesn't even have a website, nor persistent challenger Kenneth Stepp in the Fifth, who also does not have a website.

Only Proud Obama Supporter Bill Adkins in the Fourth.  From the email:

Bill Adkins stands firmly against “No Exceptions” language in Republican Party platform

After Congressman Todd Akin’s outrageous remarks last week that “legitimate” rape victims do not get pregnant, the Republican party voted to incorporate strict language into their party platform with no exceptions for pregnancies that result from rape or incest.

Trying to avoid the loss of a potential pick-up seat, some Republicans are calling for Todd Akin to step down from his race in Missouri.
Where is Tom Massie, my opponent, on this issue? Why hasn’t he stepped up to condemn these horrible remarks and denounce his party’s platform that there are no exceptions for women and young girls who have been raped or victims of incest? Where is his compassion for victims?
Tom Massie says he wants an "adult conversation". Tell Tom Massie to stop hiding and tell us where he stands on rape victims’ rights.

We do not need to elect an extremist to Congress who will step on women’s rights. I need your support today.
Massie is a giant teabagger who beat four primary opponents with the help of a teenaged billionaire from Texas. Bill Adkins is running as a proud supporter of President Obama in racist Northern Kentucky. That alone makes him the bravest and most liberal congressional candidate in the Commonwealth.

Give him some love.

PZ for President

Don't think we've never had an atheist in the White House; we've just never had one willing to admit it.

PZ Myers shows how an out-and-proud atheist presidential candidate would expose the stupidity behind the faitheist assumptions:

Some rag called Cathedral Age interviewed Obama and Romney about faith. The two responded by ladling out dollops of pious porridge, all of which was nonsensical and fact-free, but did occasionally serve up scraps of information that were mainly horrifying (did you know Obama has a “faith advisor” who sends him bible quotes and CS Lewis quotes and that sort of thing? That’s not the daily briefing I imagined). Read it if you really want to be bored or aggravated.


And then I thought, well, what if I were asked these same questions in an interview? How would an atheist answer them? Especially, an atheist who wasn’t trying to pander his way into political office? So I took a vicious, bloody-minded stab at it. These are the same questions Cathedral Age aimed at our two candidates, and I’ll just pretend I’m the nominee of the Atheist Party.
How does faith play a role in your life?
It doesn’t. Faith is a poison, a shortcut to answers that avoids reason and evidence and cultivates an undisciplined and lazy mind. I abjure it and think all political candidates should do likewise.

How do you view the role of faith in public life?
Faith is the great leveler, the delusion that allows any ignorant asshole prancing in self-serving fantasies of being the center of the universe to claim divine, cosmic authority behind his words. It has corrupted American discourse, because it privileges medieval nonsense about how the world actually works and allows antique bigotry to persist, allows people to make claims without concern for evidence, and gives every idiot with a dog-collar a pedestal to stand on.

Faith ought to be mocked and derided. That we give it special authority in public discourse is a disaster.

What does a political leader’s faith tell you about him/her as a person?
Oh, it hints at many things.

They could be a gullible fool. It could tell me that they don’t think very deeply at all, and have never put much thought into these bizarre claims that they may say are important forces in their lives.

They could be a dishonest opportunist. The media is always touting faith as a marker for morality, despite the fact that it is actually a very cheap signal — anyone can mouth pieties, and even the most corrupt child-raping priest can say they believe in a god — and in the US, it’s virtually impossible to get elected as an atheist because of the raging bigotry against rational intellectuals.

They could be a brilliant rationalizer, who has built up an elaborate set of excuses for their ridiculous beliefs. I would worry that they’d do likewise for any conclusion they wanted to reach in office.
At the very best, they could be a person who’s never put much thought into their inherited religious tradition; maybe it’s because they’ve put more effort into studying economics or political science or sociology, I don’t know. In this case it would be a misleading indicator.

A leader’s faith basically tells me nothing good about them at all.

How can our government and faith communities work together as a positive force for the nation while also respecting the boundaries between the two?
They can’t. Read the Constitution. This country was founded partially on an understanding that bringing god and state together corrupts both. Some thought that because they wanted a secular government free of superstitious influence; others loved their peculiar religions and did not want the state to endorse some other faith. Either way, they were in agreement: government and faith should not work together. So why, Cathedral Age, are you trying to blur the boundaries? Do you think that having a big expensive elaborate building in Washington DC means that when the government decrees a state religion, it will be Christianity or Episcopalianism?
Read the whole bracing thing.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Mayor Robin Hood

Now this is what mayors - and all elected officials in a democracy - are for: doing what's necessary to help the citizens who elected them.

Missing the Point at Augusta

I think the fewer people who play golf, and especially the fewer people who play golf at enclaves of the point-zero-one percent like Augusta National, the better off we'll all be.

But if the sport must exist, then we are fortunate to have sportswriter David Zirin at The Nation, who knows what matters:

In a week where the phrase “legitimate rape” became part of the American political discourse, it’s understandable that anyone who believes in women’s liberation would be scavenging for some good news.

Like a parched soul in the desert, many believe that a trickle of water, if not an oasis, has appeared. After eighty years of antediluvian sexism, the Augusta National Golf Club, site of the Masters, has finally decided to admit women into its ranks. All hail the trailblazers: President George W. Bush’s national security adviser and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina billionaire banking executive Darla Moore.

And yet, please forgive me if I don’t join the chorus of cheers. Rice and Moore are not twenty-first-century Jackie Robinsons, and their acceptance into this bastion of exclusion has nothing to do with women’s liberation and is utterly disconnected from the reality of daily life for millions of American women.

Condi Rice as a symbol of female power? Only if by power, we mean the power to put thousands of Iraqi women in graves all in the name of a war based on lies that she actively promoted.


In a sane world, Rice would be awaiting trial at the Hague. Instead, she gets to play golf at a club that, incidentally, didn’t allow African-Americans until 1990.


I’m sure it’s tempting to look at today as an advance for women in sports. But it’s very difficult to think that today’s national celebration of a multi-billionaire and a war criminal has anything to do with women’s liberation. If anything, this should only be a story because it’s so unbelievable that the membership of the Augusta National Golf Club still opposed the presence of women in 2012. The only way this club could be any kind of symbol of progress and justice is if the people of Augusta, Georgia, a whopping 32 percent of whom live below the US poverty line, took to the eighteenth green and occupied the Masters. Let’s see whose side Condi Rice and Darla Moore would be on then.

KY Repugs Taking Lead on Legalizing Hemp

C'mon, Democrats! Are you really going to let the Tribble-Toupeed One get the credit for saving Kentucky's economy?

Gregory A. Hall at the Courier:

The effort to legalize industrial hemp reached the Kentucky State Fair on Thursday as U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and state Agriculture Commissioner James Comer promoted their efforts to eliminate federal restrictions that amount to a ban on growing the plant.

Comer said he will restart the Kentucky Hemp Commission to advocate the elimination of the federal restrictions. Paul, R-Ky., is a co-sponsor of a bill in the Senate that would take industrial hemp out of the control of the Drug Enforcement Administration so it could be treated like other agricultural crops. Comer also said he hopes for a similar bill to be filed in the Kentucky General Assembly to deal with the issue.

Federal government regulations control — and effectively prohibit — production of the non-hallucinogenic plant that can be used to make products including twine, paper and clothing.

Comer and other supporters have said it could help diversify Kentucky's agricultural economy.

“The rest of the world can grow hemp and we’re not, so we’re losing out on that product,” Paul said.

Is Tourism Saving the Tigers?

I don't know enough about tigers to judge whether what the tourism industry says about the good it does is true.

But I do know that habitat loss is the single greatest factor in species extinction, that the single greatest culprit in habitat destruction is powerful multi-national corporations, and that the only hope to save endangered species may be the equally powerful tourism industry. 

From the Guardian:
It is not difficult to guess which animal the town of Sawai Madhopur has tethered its fortunes to. Fancy a drink? Pop into the Tiger bar at the Taj hotel. Want to rest your head? Try the Tiger Moon Resort. Want to shop? There are tiger-print pyjamas, aprons, tablecloths, bedspreads. Little in this Rajasthani town has not succumbed to tiger mania.
Sitting cross-legged on a stage by the main road last Saturday, Yadvendra Singh handed over his business card, decorated, of course, with orange and black stripes. Since 1992 he has run Tiger Eye Adventure Tours, taking visitors from around the world on safari inside the nearby Ranthambore national park.
But for the past three weeks, Singh has not been allowed in the park to check on the 27 adult tigers and 25 cubs who call it home. No one has, after India's supreme court issued an order banning tourism in all core tiger habitats.

The decree was temporary, until 22 August, when the court meets again to assess whether tigers and tourists can co-exist in India. The decision will have ramifications not just for India's approximately 1,700 tigers, but for the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Indians whose livelihoods depend on the big cats.
"I couldn't believe it," said Singh. "I've spent 20 years, half my life, doing this. And suddenly I'm supposed to find a new job."

But Singh, and many environmentalists and conservationists, insist the real losers will be the creatures who have helped pay his bills for two decades. "If the ban on tourism continues, it will be the end of the tiger in India," he said. "We're the ones who put energy into tracking them. We deter poachers. Tourists are only allowed in the park for six hours every day, but we guides take it in turns to patrol the park from sunrise to sunset. Voluntarily."

Songs to Fight the Plutocracy By: "Too Many Martyrs"

Uploaded by Krutponken:

Gun Shit Getting Stupider By the Day

No one knows how to fight anymore. You know, throw a punch. Knock somebody upside the head. Kick 'em in the balls.

Why bother? Just shoot 'em.

A man who opened fire on the crowded streets outside the Empire State Building, shooting indiscriminately and hitting multiple people, appears to have been motivated by a workplace dispute, not terrorism, according to an FBI official who received the initial reports from police on the scene.

“The preliminary indication is that there is no nexus to terrorism,” said the official, who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Early reports said the gunman and at least one other person were dead.
No, not terrorism. Too bad we can't say the same about two dead deputies in Louisiana.

David Neiwert at Crooks and Liars:
Ho hum. It's becoming routine now:
Police say at least two of the seven suspects arrested for the fatal shooting of two Louisiana sheriffs deputies last Thursday are connected to the anti-government “sovereign citizen” movement.
According to WBRZ-TV, 28-year-old Kyle Joekel and 44-year-old Terry Smith had identified themselves as part of the movement, which was classified as a domestic terror group last year by the FBI.
Joekel and Smith, along with several members of Smith’s family and other associates, were arrested following an ambush on authorities in LaPlace, Louisiana, about 25 miles west of New Orleans. Deputies Brandon Nielsen and Jeremy Triche were killed in the ensuing shootout. Two more deputies were wounded.
We've been writing about -- and warning about -- the sovereign citizens movement for a long time now, but now it seems it's just part of the American woodwork. ABC News picked up on this story, but so far, that's been the reach.
Why am I even bothering to write about gun control? That was going to be my opening sentence when this column was to be focused on the Aurora, Colorado, movie-theater massacre: twelve people murdered and fifty-eight wounded, some very severely, by James Holmes, demented neuroscience graduate student. Then came the massacre at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin: six killed and three wounded by Wade Michael Page, 40-year-old white supremacist and leader of a racist hardcore band called End Apathy. And even after this horrific crime, which the FBI is calling “domestic terrorism,” my opening is the same: Why am I even bothering to write about gun control? End apathy? Fat chance. If even the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, one of Congress’s own, by Jared Loughner, another hyperarmed madman, didn’t move her pro-gun colleagues or their constituents, nothing will.


In the absence of leadership at the national level, big-city police chiefs and mayors like Michael Bloomberg have tried to step into the breach. But with little support from the top and lacking an impassioned mass movement, to say nothing of money to combat the NRA’s huge war chest, it’s no wonder that gun control has shriveled into a Worthy Cause. According to Gallup, in 2011 only 26 percent of Americans favored a ban on handguns, down from a high of 60 percent way back in the dark ages of 1959. (Other polls show the country evenly divided but still unchanged by the recent mass murders.) Membership in the NRA has been increasing for decades and now stands at 4.3 million. As for the 30,000 annual gun deaths, 70,000 injuries and almost twenty mass murders a year? The ninety guns for every 100 Americans? It’s something to wring your hands about, like sexting or obesity or plastic bags. Just another weird American thing.
Between the cops who treat sass as a capital offense, the militia nuts and the victims of cuts in mental health care, it's clearer than ever that the bad guys are the ones with the guns.

"I refuse to do anything that undermines the basic idea of Medicare as a guarantee for seniors who get sick."

One party created Medicare; the other screamed it would destroy the nation. One party has protected and strengthened Medicare; the other has worked to undermine it. One party has passed legislation to preserve Medicare; the other has plans to destroy it.

You know which is which.

Full transcript here.

The $4,000 Mitt Will Make You Pay to His Billionaire Friends

Because if you deserved a tax cut, you'd be rich.

Think Progress:

That’s right: according to the TPC analysis — which, again, uses the most generous assumptions to fill in the blanks Romney left in the plan — the Romney plan would raise the average middle class family’s tax rate by as much as $4,000 to finance trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the rich and corporations. That includes the cost of a transition to a tax system that not only dramatically lowers the amount corporations will pay on domestic profits, but also the amount they pay on profits earned overseas and return to the U.S. — a system that will encourage outsourcing and further stashing of profits in offshore tax havens.
Shut up, you peasants, and get back to work.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sex and the Repressed Repug

I first grasped this during the Lewinsky stupidity: repugs and freakazoids just foaming at the mouth in red-faced, screaming rage at the idea that a woman was willingly - nay, eagerly - sucking the cock of a man to whom she was not married, and who was not paying her for it.
I'd watch otherwise intelligent, educated women just lose their shit over the mere idea of a married man getting head and I'd wonder just how bad their sex life - their marriage - had to be to inspire that response.
Democrats would likely have pursued this line of attack with or without Akin's big mouth. But Akin's statements have provided a crystallization of all that is wrong with social conservatism in America.

These are people who hate women because they see women as temptresses leading good men astray. These are people who don't respect women because they see women as little more than baby-carrying vessels.

And at bottom they're people are deeply, deeply afraid of sex and sexuality. One can pop psychoanalyze why ad infinitum, but at its heart we're dealing with deeply repressed people who worry that all social order will collapse without keeping strict taboos on sexual behavior. These are a bunch of insecure, authoritarian men who worry that their wives will cheat and their daughters won't respect them if those women are sexually awakened. They're a bunch of busybody repressed women who are sexually miserable themselves, and want company in their misery.

Those sorts of views are pathetic and archaic in the 21st century, whether they're in Saudi Arabia or rural Missouri.
It's about controlling women's bodies.  Always has been, always will be.
Abortion on demand. Unrestricted, no-question, free-of-charge, available-on-every-street-corner abortion on demand.
Anything less is a violation of human rights.

The Great American Genocide Continues

It hasn't ended. It will, apparently, never end.
"Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children." Chief Sitting Bull, 1877

The sacred lands of the Lakota are up for sale - again. A grassroots effort led by the Oceti Sakowin, or Great Sioux Nation, is underway to get them back.

On August 25 at 10 AM, nearly 2,000 acres of land, known as Pe' Sla to the Lakota people and situated in the Black Hills of South Dakota, will be put up for public auction and sold to the highest bidder. The state of South Dakota has expressed interest in using eminent domain to pave one of the roads that runs through it. The land is currently known as the Reynolds Prairie Ranches. Other than the potential road-paving project, it is unclear for what type of development the land would be most sought after, although the manager of one local business expressed his hope that all five tracts up for sale would go to a rancher.

The land has been in the Reynolds family since 1876, the year of Custer's Last Stand at the Battle of Little Big Horn. During this time, the Lakota have been able to access their sites. The whole of the Black Hills fall within the Fort Laramie Treaty lands of 1851 and 1868, which are guaranteed under the US Constitution to belong to the Lakota. The Fort Laramie Treaty ended the Powder River War of 1866-1867, led by Chief Red Cloud protecting earlier treaty lands against illegal white occupation. (The defeated 7th Calvary was commanded by a Col. Joseph J. Reynolds who some believe may have been the original owner of the homesteaded Reynolds land). The Treaty assured the Black Hills to be part of the Great Sioux Reservation spanning several states, where the Sioux Nation, which is made up of the Lakota, Nakota and Dakota people, were to have "the absolute and undisturbed use and occupation" of the land.
Then the whites discovered gold in the sacred Black Hills.
 At that point the sacred Black Hills of the Great Sioux Nation had been officially stolen. Land could then be opened to privatization.

Chief Arvol Looking Horse is the 19th-generation keeper of the White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle. Ages ago, it was given to the Lakota by White Buffalo Calf Woman, Pte San Win. She taught the Lakota how to pray and have ceremony. Looking Horse holds the responsibility of spiritual leader among the Great Sioux Nation, whose indigenous name Oceti Sakowin means the People of the Seven Council Fires. He explained the spiritual significance of Pe' Sla in an exclusive interview with Truthout conducted by Chase Iron Eyes. Iron Eyes is a member of the Oceti Sakowin and an author, attorney and the founder of, which publishes work by indigenous writers and artists. His conversation with Looking Horse earlier this month marked the first time the revered spiritual leader had spoken publicly on the issue.
 Read the whole thing

What's Gotten Into the Kentucky Democratic Party?

Well this is weird.

There are a number of talking points that are made available to help Democrats fight the coming smear campaign. In order to help make sure Kentucky Democrats are ready to defend the President from the attacks that have already started and the ones we know are coming, the Kentucky Democratic Party has put together a searchable talking point data base on our website.

Visit to see the new Talking Points Section.

We hope that this tool will be helpful as we see the false attacks emerge and become amplified by the GOP smear machine.

The KDP is committed to helping make sure you have everything you need to defend our party and our candidate. Let's make sure that this November we bring home a winner, up and down the ticket.
The conservative, DINO, Blue Dog, Nobama Kentucky Democratic Party? Defending the Kenyan Usurper? Offering us Dirty Fucking Hippies actual help to keep that Ni**er in the White House?
Check it out. This is not anything the KDP developed on its own. My guess is this sucker came straight from the White House, along with some stern instructions: "Listen up, you racist motherfuckers: we know there are actual Democrats in Kentucky because they complain to us about you all the time.

"We don't expect you to deliver the state for President Obama, but you will make a respectable effort to pretend you're tryiing. So take this tool, post it on your website and promote it to your mailing list."

It's a good tool.  Use it.

Songs to Fight the Plutocracy By: "That's What I Want to Hear"

The great Phil Ochs

Uploaded by Deadaesthetic:

Confessed Rapist Whines "My Life is Ruined!"

Not nearly enough, motherfucker.

Jason Riley at the Courier:

An attorney for one of the two boys who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting Savannah Dietrich told the Huffington Post Dietrich has ruined his client’s life and he accuses her of lying about certain facts.

"He's had to move," David Mejia, told The Huffington Post of his teenage client this week. "He has lost all the potential that was there. He was attending high school and was kicked out. He was on course to a scholarship to an Ivy League school to play sports and that may be jeopardized. He's in therapy. He's just overwhelmed and devastated by what started from the conduct of this young girl saying false things as she did."

Thomas Clay, Dietrich’s attorney, said he was furious with Mejia’s comments and argued it was a clear indication that the confidential juvenile court case needs to be opened to “let the public make its own determination about what the truth is.”
He had to move? Poor baby! If only he'd gotten the long sentence he deserves in the maximum-security prison where he belongs, he wouldn't have to worry about moving ever again.

Yes, indeed, let's open juvenile courts right now. Let's get this shit right out in the open. Let's see those filthy little rapists defend themselves in court in front of the whole world. Let's find out who the fucking liars really are.

And let's also take up a collection to buy some new headline writers for the Courier. The head on this one is "Savannah Dietrich has ruined the life of one of her accusers boy's lawyer claims"

Attention Courier copy desk: the person who is raped is the accuser; the people who confessed to committing the rape are the rapists, not the accusers.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Show This to Every Democratic Non-Voter

From Steve Benen at Maddowblog,  this is airing in battleground states, but it needs to be seen everywhere to inspire nonvoting dems to get out there and help downticket candidates in even the reddest states.

The Wages of Compromise

When a major-party candidate for a local law-enforcement office declares his right to shoot and kill doctors performing legal medical procedures ....    
Then we have reached the logical consequences of failing to refusing to accept anything less than unconditional abortion on demand.
The freakazoids are falling all over each other to out-Taliban each other with ways to keep women penned like sheep.
Isn't that great? The dumb animals who are forced to go through the pregnancy and childbirth (and are physically reminded of their "horrible, horrible tragedy" every day for the rest of their lives) will just have to suck it up because their off spring might turn out to be a Christian conservative leader. Why should women have any say in who fathers their children in the first place?
And as I wrote yesterday, keep an eye on the exception to save the life of the mother too. They're edging quickly toward that position as well. That's where the rubber meets the road and they have to decide between "innocent life" and the dirty girls who got themselves pregnant.
This isn't a tough call for many of these so-called "pro-life" people. After all, almost all of them are proponents of capital punishment, even if some innocent people get caught in the mix. It's pretty clear that the only life they value is the one that has not yet been born.
Once you start haggling over reasons, you’re giving up half the fight — which is that this is about bodily autonomy and respect for women’s ability to determine their own lives.
This is all the predictable and predicted result of constant compromising on the basic principle of female bodily integrity.
Once we abandoned that foundation stone, the "abortion rights" edifice was bound to fall.
Time to demolish the rubble, stand tall and strong on principled ground and declare:
"Unrestricted, no-questions, free-of-charge, available-on-every-street-corner Abortion On Demand."
Anything less is a violation of human rights.

Songs to Fight the Plutocracy By: "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy"

Uploaded by PopulistParty in December 2008

Aired on CBS at the height of the Vietnam War, this song holds just as much truth today...

KY Birther Suit Would Help Elect Democrats

As Kentucky Democratic candidates other than John Yarmuth and Bill Adkins appear unwilling to run on President Obama's progressive record, taking That Ni**er in the White House off the Kentucky ballot could only help cowardly downticket dems.

But that's using facts and logic, which have nothing to do with birther lawsuits.

From Joe Gerth at the Courier:

A Louisville anesthesiologist has asked a Frankfort court to bar President Barack Obama from the November ballot.

Dr. Todd House — who is running for president as a write-in candidate with his wife, Suzanne Dudgeon House as his vice presidential candidate — filed the lawsuit Aug. 10 claiming that Obama is not a “natural born” citizen, which is required of presidential candidates by the U.S. Constitution.

Obama’s campaign spokeswoman for Kentucky didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.
Hawaii officials have said repeatedly that Obama was born in that state and newspaper birth notices published in the days after Obama’s birth on Aug. 4, 1961, indicate he was born there.
 Read the whole ridiculous thing.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Your Grammar Nazi

For the sake of my sanity, I'm going to start this irregular feature to run whenever I see a grammar mistake online made by professionals who should know better.  Might be several a day, might be every day, might be once a month. Maybe this first one will be the last. But I have to do this or go nuts.
Rick Hasen at TPM:
We are one of the only mature democratic nations to allow partisans to run our elections, and to give local officials, often underfunded and sometimes incompetent, control over key aspects of the voting process.
 No!  There's no such thing as "one of the only." We might be "the only" or "one of the few" but not both.