Thursday, March 31, 2011
"Because they are assholes."
He got fired over the remark by President Obama.
Gotcha right winger James O'Keefe captured former NPR exec Ron Schiller saying that the Tea Party was racist and generally slamming conservatives. He was fired along with Vivian Schiller (no relation) from NPR for his comments.
Sensing a pattern here? Other than the fact that Jones and Schiller were both accurate, of course:)
It's pretty simple. Generally speaking, the right wing of America does not have to live by the rules. They are, in fact, assholes and get to do pretty much whatever they want. They can call Barack Obama "the magic Negro" and it's not racist. They can sting other people in heavily edited videotapes but refuse to allow themselves to be videotaped as is the case with Mr. O'Keefe (so much for him being the right's answer to Michael Moore as Moore can wait to have his mug anywhere people will have him). Or they can say things like this:
Pussy. And YOU ARE STILL WRONG. NPR is run and produces nothing but liberal drivel. Pussy.
Yet I am the one with "voices in my head."
Democrats, liberals, and progressives have to live by the rules. Conservatives don't. And the more the left lives by them, the less the right does. This has lead to the right trying to "catch" the left in not living by them so they can (in typical school yard bully fashion) point and say, "See? They do it too!! N'yah N'yah!" See, when people like Schiller or Jones say things like they did, they get fired. When Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin says it, they get more money and supporters cheering them. Understand the difference between conservatives and liberals these days? It gets worse.
Governor Walker and the rest of the GOP in Wisconsin ignored a judge's ruling and are moving ahead with the bill they passed anyway. Starting on April 21st, union dues will no longer be collected from workers paychecks. The state of Wisconsin will also begin deducting more money for health benefits from each state worker's check. They had the law published already which basically means they are already in contempt. If they actually take this next step, they will have defied a judge's ruling twice. But, hey, she's a fucking commie so fuck her!
Will they do it? They say they are going to but I'm more interested in their frame of mind which is pretty much how most conservatives around the country think. They are under the (quite mistaken) impression that liberals cheated when they passed health care. Libs shoved it down their throats and rammed it through (time out for a chuckle on the penis metaphors) and, in their very warped minds, they can now do the "same" thing. Except it's not the same but they don't really know the difference. We are dealing very low emotional intelligence after all.
I'm curious to see how far they will get-both with the law and the American voter-but one thing is very, very true and I've said it all along. It's not that they don't like government. That's just their t 8 year old boy temper tantrum talking and looking for something to pick on. It's that they don't like certain laws and think that they don't all apply to them. Out of this comes a general attitude and perception-which is hilariously ironic when you think about it but perfectly consistent with their interaction and behavior with people on the left. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind, given how they continually flaunt the rules, that they feel this way and it's one simple word.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
The poster said something which stuck with me and left me curious.
I submit to you and your readers, that most people could handle the complexities of life if they were just allowed to do so. At some point, your mother 'cut the apron strings' and allowed you to 'sink or swim'. Unless we are all still breast-fed, adversity was overcome starting at an early age.
Conservative vs. Liberal seems to disagree on the amount of adversity a citizen should be allowed to experience before 'the system' provides for that individual.
I enjoy this person's optimism and agree that people in our culture need to handle the complexities of life in a more diligent and effective way. They are very emotionally retarded about it now and I see it every day. I constantly pummel my own kids with "Figure it out yourself." In the end, it will help them.
Yet this comment evokes several questions. First, who is not "allowing them" to manage complexities? Second, what is meant by "cutting the apron strings and allowing you to sink or swim?" I would assume the latter means cutting or eliminating Social Security and Medicare. Is that correct? I'm not just asking the poster. I'm asking all of you because that seems to be a general sentiment.
By intimating that some people will "sink" (sort of Darwin's survival of the fittest thing), how do any of you envision that will play out? Social Security, for example, has been proven to have reduced poverty in the elderly. So when the plug is literally pulled on grandma, are you going to be alright with that?
As the poster said, conservatives and liberals do disagree on the amount of adversity a citizen should have to face before aid steps in. I'm just wondering if the conservatives have really thought how "sink or swim" works as a practical application in reality. We're talking about the elderly in our population here and they are already treated like crap by a culture trapped in the hubris of worshiping youth.
So, I'm hoping that the poster clarifies his comments because I could easily have misinterpreted them. Anyone else should feel free to offer their slant...as always:)
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
In a regulatory filing just a week before the Japanese disaster put a spotlight on the company’s nuclear reactor business, G.E. reported that its tax burden was 7.4 percent of its American profits, about a third of the average reported by other American multinationals. Even those figures are overstated, because they include taxes that will be paid only if the company brings its overseas profits back to the United States. With those profits still offshore, G.E. is effectively getting money back.
Such strategies, as well as changes in tax laws, have pushed down the corporate share of the nation's tax receipts -- from 30 percent of all federal revenue in the mid-1950s to 6.6 percent in 2009.
As it has evolved, the company has used, and in some cases pioneered, aggressive strategies to lower its tax bill. In the mid-1980s, President Ronald Reagan overhauled the tax system after learning that G.E. — a company for which he had once worked as a commercial pitchman — was among dozens of corporations that had used accounting gamesmanship to avoid paying any taxes.
“I didn’t realize things had gotten that far out of line,” Mr. Reagan told the Treasury secretary, Donald T. Regan, according to Mr. Regan’s 1988 memoir. The president supported a change that closed loopholes and required G.E. to pay a far higher effective rate, up to 32.5 percent.
Monday, March 28, 2011
"Satan is having a field day," Ruth Ward commented on Love Wins.
In other words, a giant shit storm would be unleashed. Because if there's one thing I know about old school evangelicals these days, they need to have the threat of burning in hell for eternity. Otherwise, it's meth amphetamine fueled gay sex morning, noon, and night.
Bell is one of a new wave of ministers who have seen the writing on the wall. The "All Fags will burn in Hell" meme isn't playing so well with the younger crowd and they are losing followers to other denominations at alarming rates. His ideas in the book are actually quite sound when you think about it. You can't have a loving God and an angry god at the same time. It makes no sense. Even the Bible itself says that God will remember our sins no more (Heb 8:8) and that the sacrifice of Christ propelled us into a period of grace. Why many Christians refuse to accept this is very frustrating. Honestly, I don't think they like themselves very much.
But what absolutely slayed me about the Bell flap was this article containing an all too familiar talking point/tactic.
It seems that where Bell’s arguments begin to break down, he simply walks away instead of pursuing consistency and logic. This book could not stand the rigors of cross-examination. It has little cohesion, little internal strength.
Now where have I heard those lines before?
Setting aside the fact that this discussion is about faith, not logic, did all you guys go to some sort of seminar or something? I can just see the notes in the course syllabus...
When liberals, progressives or RINOS have a new idea, all of which threaten our way of life, attack first on reason and logic. Continue with a merciless attack on their courage. Make their argument look flawed and their person cowardly so we can maintain our support base of frightened and angry people whose ignorance we so desperately need to cling to power.
Maybe I should go undercover and sign up for the next class. When does Spring Session start?
Sunday, March 27, 2011
I'm surprised, readers. We had a lot of links pointing to plots that evil Muslims were about to carry out yet nary a peep on this one. Hmm...
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Major Garrett, former national correspondent for Fox News and once with CNN, has now added an additional wrinkle. Garret told MSNBC viewers that Fox thrives on polarization: "Fox actually wants to keep that polarization. ... That is an embedded part of the marketing that surrounds what happens in the news division at Fox. It's been incredibly successful."
The fact that Fox both creates and exploits polarization says a lot about today's world and those who spin it. Across America, many seem to enjoy the trauma of loose cannons firing in every direction. The folks at Fox recognized this long ago and now, when it suits them to do so, they wrap themselves in the American flag,
It's not just Fox, though. It's all of the right wing information sources especially the blogsphere. Like all bullies, they are lost without an adversary to pick on. It's how they define themselves in the world.
Of course, we know all this. So, Jones takes it a step further by bringing in the Juan Williams incident from last fall and making a most excellent point.
Williams and other black journalists have long understood that a liberal is someone who thinks he or she knows your history better than you do. A conservative doesn't know your history and doesn't care to know it.
Both sides of the political spectrum have a galling habit of trying to exploit people of color to justify their rather narrow interests.
Indeed. As many of you can probably imagine, I've experienced the liberal side of this quite a bit in the various schools I have either worked in or my children have attended. The yearly battle regarding Huck Finn is one example of this. It's white liberals, not blacks, who want to ban the book because that word makes sick.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is one of the greatest American novels ever written. Being a big fan of Loewen, I have to say that the controversy surrounding this book smacks of that avoidance of laying blame that he talks about frequently. The same white liberals that want to ban Huck Finn also fall all over themselves like idiots during Black History Month. Every year, I receive astonished looks and (very fake) loud gasps when I suggest that we do away with Black History Month and integrate its content into the course of the entire year. I do it anyway and the new social studies standards for our state will as well but something tells me BHM will be around for quite some time. It actually is worse, as Jones aptly points out...
Conservative and liberal media outlets are too busy slinging mud to pause and listen to what we know so well. Privileged interests are depriving people of the right to know the truth, to earn a living wage and to make truly informed decisions about the world in which they live.
We can see that neither side is right and that both sides are wrong.
Friday, March 25, 2011
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Bears & Balls - Misery Edition|
Thursday, March 24, 2011
When leftist ideology reigns, there is no point in striving or failing. If you succeed, the fruits of your labor will be taken from you and given to those who don't care to strive for anything beyond playing the lottery and watching American Idol and believing that anybody who has wealth must have gotten it by nefarious means. This is what produces countries like North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe. Equality is celebrated and encouraged until everyone but those at the top of government have become equally miserable.
When conservatism reigns, people are left alone to either succeed or fail on their own in freedom. If you don't like the fail part, then you don't understand the value of failure. Ray Kroc was nothing more than a mediocre paper cup salesman until he discovered and bought the restaurant from the McDonald brothers. Walt Disney failed over and over to find the right people to financially back his ideas for most of his life. Edison tried a thousand different ways to create a light bulb before he found the right design. The common denominator to success in this country has always been freedom and a rule of law that protects individual freedom.
Both of these would be great examples of what I mean when I speak of fantasy management. Ray Kroc, for example, did far more than sell paper cups. He was a jazz pianist, worked at a radio station, handled room and board in the restaurant business, and sold milk shake mixers. Nothing more than a mediocre paper cup salesman? I think not. He had vision and it was through his milk shake mixer sales that he got in contact with the McDonald brothers and saw how much bigger they could be. He purchased McDonald's in 1961. What did our country look like in 1961?
In 1961, the tax rate for high income earners was 91 percent. Congress passed Medicare a few years later. Social Security, at that point, was nearly 30 years old. So, with two gigantic socialist programs in place and very high taxes, Kroc still managed to wildly succeed and build an empire across the world. No one curtailed his freedom and, like Walt Disney, he prospered in the our system of welfare capitalism. That makes the assertion above is one giant pile of lying shit.
Further, there is not a single idea with which I agree in the first paragraph and I am a Democrat. I'm more moderate than some folks I know on the left but I have no problem with being called a liberal either. Every liberal I know works 2-3 jobs and has no time to play the lottery nor watch American Idol. They are more interested in figuring out how to pay for health care and educate their children. Interestingly, these same liberals don't complain about the "fruits of their labor" being taken away as they realize that their tax money supports the infrastructure of our society.
Oh, and they also don't "value equality above all else." That's code for at least two of Ferguson's four areas of denial and avoidance regarding racial issues. Suddenly, equality is bad as a word as "liberal" or "progressive." Super...
As I have stated previously on this blog, every liberal I know is employed and all the unemployed people I know are conservative. These conservatives actually do play the lottery, watch American Idol, spend hours a day watching and listening to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, post on right wing blogs or have their own right wing blog, and complain that their lot in life is due to liberals and progressives.
It's ALWAYS the fault of liberals. The first paragraph above is a fine example of this hypocrisy. You can't complain that an entire swath of our culture plays the victim card too much and then....play the victim car by blaming that same group. Honestly, the supply of irony is abundant. The descriptions, in addition to being devoid of all fact, above are accurate but in the reverse. Like the wild eyed idealists on the left in the 60s, the wild eyed idealists on the right today continually blame someone else for their problems in the most overgeneralized ways imaginable.
I make it a point to teach my kids to learn from their failures and revel in them. Out of failure, comes immeasurable reflection and self actualization which invariably leads to success. "When one door is closed, another one is open" is what my grandmother used to say.
My DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST grandmother, b to the w!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Right after him, another man came into office. He spent money like it was going out of style-tripling the deficit and bringing it to heights not seen since WWII. The government grew as never before during his tenure. He gave amnesty to illegal aliens. Before he was president, he was a governor who signed a bill into law allowing public unions. He himself was the head of union for many years. Worst of all, he negotiated with Iran and sent them weapons.
In looking at each of these men, the first would fit well within the Tea Party today and the second would surely be labeled a progressive, right?
The first man was Jimmy Carter and the second man was Ronald Reagan.
Somehow (and I'm really not certain as to how this happened) an incredible work of fiction has grown around both of these men. I suppose it's typical when you look at how history is changed into myths over the years. But the Reagan myth truly sickens me. The guy was not a Tea Partier. Heck, he wasn't even a conservative by today's standards. Yet, there is no doubt in my mind that if he was in office, he'd be doing the same things that Barack Obama is doing and none of the mouth foamers on the right would care. Why? Because they love and believe the fiction.
The right's view on Reagan reminds me of my friend Chuck and Neal Patrick Harris. Chuck loves the show How I Met Your Mother, He REALLY loves Harris' character of Barney Stinson-the somewhat sleazy, Playboy-esque friend in the group. Barney is set up as being every man's dream...a confirmed bachelor....wanton sex with hot babes....loads of money working for a heartless corporation. Chuck loves all of this and secretly dreams he could escape his life in suburbia just to be Barney for one day.
So, imagine his surprise when he found out that Harris was gay in real life. He couldn't believe it. He was devastated. Then an interesting thing happened. He started to ignore the real life Harris and lose himself in the fiction. He simply couldn't give up on the character of Stinson and the adulation he showered on him. Barney was his hero and it didn't matter what was real. The fiction was what he wanted and 6 years into the run of the show, he doesn't care that Harris is gay. Reality to him is Barney.
It's the same fucking thing with Reagan.
As Saul Alinsky so accurately predicted right before he died, Ronald Reagan came riding in on his horse and saved the frightened old white people of the middle class from all the scary change. Except that he didn't, really. He made it worse for them with his tax cuts and trickle down economics. Wealthy people became wealthier and the middle class and the poor could go fuck themselves. It didn't matter that they were miserable and still doesn't today. They want to believe the fiction of Reagan.And, boy oh boy, do they hate Carter.
Honestly, this is true with the right on most issues. They blame the left for all their problems but it's really the folks they support that are sticking it to them with the left actually making their lives better. But that doesn't matter. Like Reagan, only the fiction matters.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I guess history begins for them the day Ronald Reagan took office.
Monday, March 21, 2011
While this is amusing, I find the truth of it to be very frustrating and sad. "One reason nothing gets done in America is that one of the political parties puts so much more into fantasy problems." Indeed. Not only is it holding us back from advancing as a nation but it may well threaten our status as the leader in a unipolar world. Dangerous when you consider that it is our democratic society combined with our military and economic strength that keep the world in line.
My other thought on this was...does Bill secretly read my blog? Because this does sound an awful lot like things I have said. Or maybe it's the simple fact that he feels the same frustration I do that we have to waste our time managing people's fantasies. Ignoring them clearly won't work as it was these fantasies that, more or less, won back the House of Representatives.
His list is quite ridiculous, though, and when you hear it all together one has to wonder how much longer are we going to have to dither with these manufactured crises? We have real problems that we need to deal with and the screaming about the New Black Panther Party pushes us backward.
Of course, this makes complete sense when you consider one of my favorite books, recently updated, by Barry Glassner. In The Culture of Fear, Glassner's essential point is that we are afraid of all the wrong things. It is our perception, not reality, that has changed. I submit that perception is exactly what the right wing media (in particular the right wing blogsphere) very much want to control. They have found great success in doing this and will continue as long as there is an audience.
So, what would cause them to lose that audience? Teachers and media outlets like NPR.
What a coincidence....
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Yet, his oil only represents about 2 percent of our country's imports. This is, after all, a civil war and do we really need to be involved in ANOTHER conflict in the Middle East? Especially one that will cost more money?
One thing I do know is that President Obama's approval ratings are going to go up now that he is unleashing the Tomahawks.
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Ms. Clinton said last week that Al Jazeera "real news" and lambasted the American media for being distracted by the bright, shiny object of Charlie Sheen for an entire week. She's absolutely right. The app that I have on my iPhone lets me stream the live feed of the network, staffed mostly by ex-BBCers, which (gasp!) actually reports news of significance to the world. Ms. Clinton noted the United States is losing the information war in the world and it's due to the fact that our news...well...sucks.
"Viewership of Al Jazeera is going up in the United States because it's real news," Clinton said. "You may not agree with it, but you feel like you're getting real news around the clock instead of a million commercials and, you know, arguments between talking heads and the kind of stuff that we do on our news which, you know, is not particularly informative to us, let alone foreigners."
Media critics like Jeff Jarvis have also contrasted Al Jazeera with American news networks. "Vital, world-changing news is occurring in the Middle East and no one-not the xenophobic or celebrity-obsessed or cut-to-the-bone American media-can bring the perspective, insight, and on-the-scene reporting Al Jazeera English can," Jarvis wrote in January.
Exactly true. I will say, though, that CNN is at least attempting to provide real news with the less of the divisive WWE wrestling themed programming of Fox News and MSNBC. In what is sadly reflective of our culture, CNN's ratings are in the toilet.
Al Jazeera may, at times, be the Fox News of the Middle East but that's changing. There is a growing number of people (myself included) who want real, hard news and are tired of hearing Lawrence O'Donnell talk about his latest tiff with Glenn Beck Now they can have it streamed right to their iPhones.
Friday, March 18, 2011
- Nov. 2008: Following their failure to capture the presidency, Republicans are split into two factions: one supporting the traditional elephant logo, and another backing a new logo featuring an elephant that has a machine gun for a trunk, sunglasses, and a humongous erect penis.
- Nov. 19, 2010: Mississippi governor Haley Barbour takes a swing at Mitt Romney, misses, and then has to sit down for 45 minutes to catch his breath.
- Dec. 8, 2010: In a live broadcast on Fox And Friends, Mike Huckabee and Texas governor Rick Perry get into a heated argument over who hates science more.
- Dec. 21, 2010: An irate John McCain rips into Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a bronze bust of George Washington, and a figure only visible to him that he calls "Stephen," accusing them all of plotting to steal his things while he's in the bathroom.
- Jan. 8, 2011: Numerous prominent Republicans gang up on Tim Pawlenty for taking more than two whole hours after the Tucson shooting to stand up for gun rights.
- Jan. 28, 2011: As criticism of her unsanctioned State of the Union rebuttal mounts, a furious Michele Bachmann finally bursts into 10,000 spiders on the House floor.
- Feb. 2, 2011: Michele Bachmann delivers response to Punxsutawney Phil's (D-PA) response to shadow.
- Feb. 6, 2011: On Face The Nation, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal hits Sarah Palin below the belt by suggesting she has as much chance of becoming president as he does
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
The U.S. today is able to borrow at historically low interest rates, paying 0.68 percent on a two-year note that it had to offer at 5.1 percent before the financial crisis began in 2007. Financial products that pay off if Uncle Sam defaults aren’t attracting unusual investor demand. And tax revenue as a percentage of the economy is at a 60-year low, meaning if the government needs to raise cash and can summon the political will, it could do so.
Here's another little number you might want to consider. Any care to explain to me how a 15 trillion dollar economy is "broke?" Dionne's got the right idea.
We pretend to be an impoverished nation with no room for public investments in our future or efforts to ease the pain of a deep recession on those Americans who didn’t profit from it or cause it in the first place. Give Boehner, Walker and their allies full credit for diverting our attention with an arresting metaphor. The rest of us are dupes if we fall for it.
Dupes, indeed. The right is engaging in one gigantic (and VERY manufactured) lying festival because they know they can use people's irrational fear to further their own ends (i.e. gut the government, privatize everything except the military, and continue to commit theft and fraud). All you need is math to see how incredibly full of shit they are. It's funny because I was never a big fan of math in school but I sure as fuck am now. With math and a little time, anything is possible:) Yea!!! Seriously, I can even go better than Dionne. Take a look at these figures.
The net worth (that's NET, mind you) of our country stands at 56 trillion dollars. And there are people out there (regular posters in comments) that say that we're broke and going to end up like Greece?
Folks, this is simply a continuation of the greatest propaganda campaign since the "Commies" burned down the Reichstag. Nothing is on fire and things are not bad in any sort of logical or fiscal sense. The people that say things are bad are fucking liars...pure and simple.
My message to any of you who think they are is this: You have the wrong enemy.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
What Schiller said shouldn't have been enough to get him fired. But Schiller let himself get duped by not doing his due diligence on potential donors, and caused NPR great embarrassment. If he had checked these guys out, he wouldn't have fallen for their trick. He was not only a victim of a gotcha moment, like the governor of Wisconsin was a few weeks ago, but of a heavily edited video that completely misrepresented what he said. Still, I would have fired Schiller for doing bad research, wasting his time on phonies, and missing an opportunity to expose NPR's detractors as liars, not because he insulted Tea Partiers' delicate sensibilities.
It was much the same with Juan Williams. I would have fired him because he was working for a competitor, Fox News. Fox appears to have it in for NPR and CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcasting), viewing them as serious competition. Does it really make any sense for NPR to employ a man who's dishing inside dirt to someone who wants to see their funding cut? I've listened to NPR for 30 years, and a couple of years ago I noticed that Williams' tone had changed completely. He was parroting right-wing talking points when he subbed for Daniel Schorr on the Saturday morning news analysis spot. I didn't know it at the time, but he was working for Fox. If I was at NPR I too would have been looking to cut him loose ASAP. They probably thought his fraidy-cat comments on Muslims were a good excuse. Wrong. They should have fired him months or years earlier when he went to work for a competitor.
There are things government does that all of us don't want to pay for. I didn't want to pay a trillion dollars for George Bush's invasion of Iraq. I knew that it was bogus, that there were no WMDs, that Saddam had no connection to 9/11, that it wouldn't be a cakewalk, that we would be stuck there for many years -- if not decades. Now we all know it.
- A private broadcaster has programming of equal breadth and quality, written without the endless interruptions that destroy the pedagogic and entertainment value of the program.
- Congress stops cable companies from forcing me to buy expensive bundles of 20 or 30 channels that I'll never watch just to get the six or seven that I do (a mandatory a la carte option).
- Congress imposes the same regulations on cable companies that provide telephone and Internet service that telephone companies are subject to. Now that they're firmly established (some have been around 30-40 years) cable companies no longer need special treatment reserved for startups.
- Congress stops Fox's blackmailing of cable companies by allowing free retransmission of signals broadcast over the public airwaves, as long as the signal is unmodified and retains all advertising as is.
- Cable channels that I pay extra for should have no commercials. If I'm paying for a channel, why should I have to watch commercials?
Sunday, March 13, 2011
President Obama: We must seek agreement on gun reforms.
Upon reading this headline alone, tens of thousands are already screaming and foaming at the mouth. It gets worse.
I know some aren't interested in participating. Some will say that anything short of the most sweeping anti-gun legislation is a capitulation to the gun lobby. Others will predictably cast any discussion as the opening salvo in a wild-eyed scheme to take away everybody's guns. And such hyperbole will become the fodder for overheated fundraising letters.
But I have more faith in the American people than that. Most gun-control advocates know that most gun owners are responsible citizens.
Sorry, Mr. President, but you have just unleashed a giant shit storm. Everything you recommended in this article makes complete sense and should be carried out immediately.
It will never fucking happen.
You have too much faith in the American people and the "others" of which you speak will grant you absolutely no fucking quarter whatsoever. Their brains aren't wired that way. In their eyes, you are a liberal/socialist/fascist/commie/fag who has been "waiting to pounce." To make matters worse, you're black which plays even more into their fears, hatred and anger. You are the enemy, sir, and even though you have done the exact opposite in your time in office, you are a gun grabber. You are an enemy of the state. You always will be.
You lost them after the word "guns." All they heard after that was "They's a comin!"
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Contrary to Robert Mueller's prediction six years ago, we haven't had any Muslims blowing themselves up in shopping malls. The Muslims that move here do so to get away from all the scumbags back in their home countries who are blowing everything up. They come here because this the land of opportunity and freedom. They have integrated in our society quite well and their children (many of whom I have taught in the last few years) are as American as iPhones, incessant texting, gross farting noises, and loud yelling over something that someone said to someone who heard it from someone else after 2nd block.
Oh, and wing nuts? Check your feed to see if some loco weed has been mixed in with it. Sharia law is not going to be instituted in this country.
King is actually making things worse and it's pretty fucking sad. I'm not surprised, of course, that the fear, hate and anger crowd in their never ending quest to manufacture a problem have done it again. Al Qaeda is officially on the wane. Revolutions in the Middle East happened without their input. Their ideas have now been proven to be completely without merit as this article in the Times so eloquently demonstrates. and they have failed to capture the imagination of the youth.
For many specialists on terrorism and the Middle East, though not all, the past few weeks have the makings of an epochal disaster for Al Qaeda, making the jihadists look like ineffectual bystanders to history while offering young Muslims an appealing alternative to terrorism.
Indeed. So how moronic does King look now?
King's political theater and pandering to paranoids reminds me of one of my favorite comic books (yes, I am a comic book geek) from the Miracleman series. In the issue written by Neil Gaiman, Mircaleman has to create an area of the world for former spies from both the Soviet Union and the United States to live out their lives. Y'see, they can't function in any sort of peaceful and cooperative environment. They only know adversarial types of interaction and relationships. So, they lived out their days in this little corner of the world...spying and killing each other....until they are all dead.
I can't think of a better solution for the xenophobes in our country and the hirabists scattered around the world. Let's find a nice place for them where they can live out their hate, anger, fear, and paranoia of one another. South Carlina maybe? Texas? They can fight each other until they are all dead which suits me just fine. The rest of us can go about solving the real problems of the world which would now be much easier with these two groups out of the way.
Who knows, though? They are all conservative so maybe they'll figure out a way to get along:)
Thursday, March 10, 2011
In the short run, it will be interesting to see what the AG of WI does. Will he allow the vote? Regardless of what he does, the recall effort of Senators is underway. It's reasonable to assume that a few are going to be recalled and voted out of office. So, in the next few months, we could see a shift in the WI state senate that would put Democrats in chage. In the long term, you can bank on Walker being recalled. The question is...how much damage can he do in a year? If some Senators get recalled, it will be limited.
So, I guess I'm not of the mind today that we are all being thrown into a boiling pit of sewage yet. Honestly, I think it's classic GOP overreach. My chief concern right now is the pensions. There is no fucking doubt whatsoever that private concerns who have backed Walker want to rob the pensions in Wisconsin. That's where this is headed and where the ultimate battle will be fought. This is my mother's retirement and I shudder at the thought of those despicable people doing what they did back in 2008 to the entire country.
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
From his days as deputy CIA director during the Reagan administration, Gates knows there are options for removing a dictator short of sending in "a big American land army." In the 1980s, U.S. policymakers figured out a way to roll back Soviet expansionism without committing American ground forces to every flashpoint around the world. There were motivated people willing to fight their own wars of liberation. They did not want American soldiers to fight for them. They wanted America to provide weapons, training, intelligence and other support so they could fight and win those wars themselves. By providing such assistance, America helped resistance fighters in places such as Nicaragua and Afghanistan liberate their countries. It was called the "Reagan Doctrine," and the time has come to apply it in Libya.
But back to Saddam. Using materiel provided by the US and Europe, Saddam made nerve gas which he used on Iranian troops and Kurdish civilians -- Iraqi citizens. The US Senate passed a resolution condemning Saddam and threatened to cut off all support to Iraq. Reagan vetoed this.
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
So, while we watch this all unfold, let's take a step back and take a look at the 20 lies Scott Walker has been peddling over the last few weeks (courtesy of Russ Filtered News). These are some of the same lies we have seen in comments as well so it's nice to be able to finally dispense with them.
Walker: His bill is about fixing a budget crisis.
The truth: Even Fox News’ Shepherd Smith couldn’t swallow that one, declaring that it’s all about politics and union busting, and “to pretend that this is about a fiscal crisis in the state of Wisconsin is malarkey.”
Walker: says he campaigned on his budget repair plan, including curtailing collective bargaining.
“We introduced a measure last week, a measure I ran on during the campaign, a measure I talked about in November during the transition, a measure I talked about in December when we fought off the employee contracts, an idea I talked about in the inauguration, an idea I talked about in the state of the state. If anyone doesn’t know what’s coming, they’ve been asleep for the past two years.”
The truth: Walker, who offered many specific proposals during the campaign, did not go public with even the sketchiest outline of his far-reaching plans to kill collective bargaining rights. He could not point to any statements where he did. In fact, he was caught on tape boasting to what he thought was his billionaire backer that he had “dropped the bomb.”
Walker: keeps saying that “almost all” of the protesters at the Capitol are from outside the state
The truth: “The vast majority of people protesting are from here — Wisconsin and even more from Dane County,” said Joel DeSpain, public information officer for the Madison Police Department.
Walker: He wants to negotiate.
The truth: He won’t negotiate, but he’ll pretend to so he can trick the 14 Dem senators into allowing a vote on his bill. Walker recently offered to actually sit down and speak with the minority leader – something he should have done anyway and long ago – but only if the rest of the senators came back with him. Why?
“…legally, we believe, once they’ve gone into session, they don’t physically have to be there. If they’re actually in session for that day and they take a recess, the 19 Senate Republicans could then go into action and they’d have a quorum because they started out that way…But that would be the only, if you heard that I was going to talk to them, that would be the only reason why. We’d only do it if they came back to the capital with all 14 of them. And my sense is, hell, I’ll talk to them. If they want to yell at me for an hour, you know, I’m used to that, I can deal with that. But I’m not negotiating.”
Walker: says his budget-repair bill would leave collective bargaining “fully intact”
The truth: Walker revealed his own lie in the same radio interview when he said it was necessary to use his bill to strip collective bargaining rights, and in his own Feb. 11, 2011 letter to employees about his plan cited “various changes to limit collective bargaining” to the rate of base pay.
Walker: claims that states without collective bargaining having fared better in the current bad economy.
The truth: According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, three of the 13 non-collective bargaining states are among the 11 states facing budget shortfalls at or above 20% (Texas, Louisiana, North Carolina). Another, South Carolina, comes in at a sizable 17.4%. Nevada, where state employees have no collective bargaining rights (but local employees do) has the largest percentage shortfall in the country, at 45.2%. All in all, eight non-collective-bargaining states face larger budget shortfalls than Wisconsin.
Walker: Public employees are more richly compensated than their public sector counterparts.
The truth: According to the Economic Policy Institute, wages and salaries of state and local employees are lower than those for private sector employees with comparable earnings determinants such as education and work experience. State workers typically are under-compensated by 8.2% in Wisconsin.
Walker: said we needed a “repair” bill to address a payment owed to Minnesota of nearly $60 million and money owed to the Patient’s Compensation Fund in the tune of $200-plus million.
The truth: Walker’s budget repair bill addresses neither issue.
Walker: said that our budget problems are largely due to employee wages.
The truth: Total salaries and compensation in the last budget were 8.5% of the entire state budget.
Walker: “The alternative” to higher state worker pension and health care payments “is to look at 1,500 layoffs of state employees or close to 200,000 children who would be bumped off Medicaid-related programs.”
The truth: Federal law prevents Walker from taking away the health care coverage of 200,000 low-income and disabled children. Later, Walker told a Madison radio station that the layoff was merely a ploy to gain some political leverage: “I needed to get their attention to show how serious we were about having a balanced budget,” Walker said on the “Sly in the Morning” show on WTDY radio.
Walker: “We’ve seen local union after local union rush to their school boards, their city councils, their technical school boards and rush through contracts in the past two weeks that had no contributions to the pension and no contribution to health care. And, in fact, in one case in Janesville, they actually were pushing through a pay increase. Actions do speak louder than words.”
The truth: Of the 11 such contracts provided as examples by Walker’s staff, all 11 include some employee contributions to health insurance. PolitiFact Wisconsin, which too frequently gets the facts wrong and arrives at strained conclusions, did, at least, contact the 11 communities:
Madison: Unions in the state’s second biggest city have been negotiating contracts for more than a year. Their pacts expired at the beginning of 2010. Contracts with two of Madison’s biggest public unions settled before Walker was inaugurated Jan. 3, 2011, said Brad Wirtz, Madison human resources director. He said who said those deals set the template for the remaining unions, who reached agreement on wages and other key financial issues after Walker took office but before Feb. 11, when Walker announced his plan.
Sheboygan County: Adam Payne, the county’s administrator, said the county’s agreement with the unions was reached between negotiators before Feb. 11 and it mirrors pacts reached with other unions late last year. “There was no special treatment,” Payne said noting the County Board approved the contract at a regularly scheduled meeting.
Janesville: The tentative agreement for school custodians was reached Jan. 25, 2011 — before Walker’s proposals were made public. Eric Levitt, city manager, said that in January he had set a mid-February target to settle contracts with city workers, so the talks continued on the previously set timetable. The two sides were close to reaching tentative agreements prior to Walker’s Feb. 11 announcement, Levitt said. He said the city felt that because of its obligation to negotiate in good faith, it was necessary to continue the talks after the governor made his call for increased payments by employees.
LaCrosse County Administrator Steve O’Malley said the county didn’t rush things since negotiations started last year and the first tentative agreement with a local was reached in December.
Racine City Administrator Thomas Friedel that Racine had been negotiating with bargaining units representing Department of Public Works and clerical workers since summer of 2010 and reached tentative agreements well before Walker made his move.
Milwaukee Area Technical College: Like all of the other governments, the technical college and the union representing teachers and other workers had been talking for months, well before Walker was elected. The board and the American Federation of Teachers Local 212 reached tentative agreement on Feb. 10 — the day before Walker’s announcement. The agreement froze wages for two years.
Walker: “I don’t have anything to negotiate. We are broke in this state. We have been broke for years.” and “We’re broke. We don’t have any more money.”
The truth: The NY Times says “It’s all obfuscating nonsense, of course, a scare tactic employed for political ends.” Even the hyper-conservative Wall Street Journal calls out Walker on this lie. The notion that the state needs to refinance the debt because it’s broke and can’t make its debt payments is “completely wrong,” said Frank Hoadley, the state finance director. Joshua Zeitz, municipal finance analyst for MF Global, said, the shortfall — about 0.5% of the state’s overall budget — is a fairly inconsequential amount. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that this is a question more of politics than it is of a budget crisis,” Zeitz added. ”There’s a good amount of political theater in what you’re seeing,” said Tom Kozlik, municipal credit analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott.
If Walker were truly serious about balancing the budget, he would not be proposing a $36 million cut in the state’s capital gains tax or a $46 million corporate tax cut, on top of the millions of dollars in tax cuts he and the Republican legislature have already approved. Walker could balance his current budget by ending a variety of special interest tax dodging that is occurring in his state.
Walker: state employees pay next to nothing for their pensions and that it is all a big taxpayer give-away
The truth: Forbes — yes, the conservative Forbes! — says Walker is lying:
If the Wisconsin governor and state legislature were to be honest, they would correctly frame this issue. They are not, in fact, asking state employees to make a larger contribution to their pension and benefits programs as that would not be possible — the employees are already paying 100% of the contributions.
What they are actually asking is that the employees take a pay cut.
Pulitzer Prize winning tax reporter, David Cay Johnston, said so, too, at tax.com
Walker: said his budget repair bill, which guts the right of most public employees across the state to engage in collective bargaining, will deliver “the tools” local governments and school districts need to balance their budgets. “We cannot put this burden on local governments.”
The truth: Walker is going to both slash state aids and block local governments and school boards from raising taxes. And, of course, Walker’s numbers don’t match anything like reality.
Walker: claims he’s supported by silent majority.
The truth: Majority of Wisconsin residents (nearly 6 in 10) — and a majority of Americans — oppose his attack on collective bargaining and support the Dem 14 blocking it. Gallup found it. The CBS/NY Times poll found it. NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found it, too. The polls are so strong, even the reliably Republican Rasmussen couldn’t spin away from it. The public also overwhelmingly rejects the whole “public employees vs taxpayers” canard.
Walker: He wants to avoid layoffs.
The truth: Layoffs are implicit in his budget. Walker’s budget eliminates 21,325 state jobs
Walker: “To protect our schools, to protect our local governments, we need to give them the tools they’ve been asking for, not just for years but for decades.”
The truth: All four major state associations representing schools and local governments (not their employees) say this isn’t true.
Walker: The Dem 14 who are in Illinois to deny a Senate quorum needed to pass Walker’s budget repair bill are to blame for the layoffs he says he’s about to make to state workers.
The truth: Walker spoke of using layoff threats as political leverage: “We might ratchet that up a little bit, you know.” in his phony phone call with the faux Koch brother. Also, as noted above, Walker’s budget eliminates 21,325 state jobs.
Walker: “I have great respect for those who have chosen a career in government. I really do.”
The truth: Comedian Jon Stewart noted: ”‘I really do’ is a dead giveaway for ‘I really don’t,’ That’s what’s known in the business as the convincing clause. ‘I love you. I really do. That’s why breaking up with you right now is so difficult.’” The contempt he has displayed — in his bill, in his refusal to negotiate with the unions, in his refusal to negotiate with the Democrats and in his phony phone call — reveals why he felt the need for a convincing clause.
Walker admin: The protesters did $7.5 million of damage to the Capitol building by putting signs on marble walls with tape.
The truth: No professional estimate for clean-up has been performed. The Walker-appointed state facilities administrator would not support that estimate and said he’s not seen any damage by the protesters.