Friday, April 30, 2010

MLB Players Blast Arizona Immigration Law

"The recent passage by Arizona of a new immigration law could have a negative impact on hundreds of Major League players who are citizens of countries other than the United States. These international players are very much a part of our national pastime and are important members of our Association. Their contributions to our sport have been invaluable, and their exploits have been witnessed, enjoyed and applauded by millions of Americans. All of them, as well as the Clubs for whom they play, have gone to great lengths to ensure full compliance with federal immigration law.

"The impact of the bill signed into law in Arizona last Friday is not limited to the players on one team. The international players on the Diamondbacks work and, with their families, reside in Arizona from April through September or October. In addition, during the season, hundreds of international players on opposing Major League teams travel to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks. And, the spring training homes of half of the 30 Major League teams are now in Arizona. All of these players, as well as their families, could be adversely affected, even though their presence in the United States is legal. Each of them must be ready to prove, at any time, his identity and the legality of his being in Arizona to any state or local official with suspicion of his immigration status. This law also may affect players who are U.S. citizens but are suspected by law enforcement of being of foreign descent.

WHY is everyone missing the point this law WILL have a negative impact on EVERYONE, citizen or this country or of another doesn't matter, If you're in Arizona, it WILL impact you.

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Sensibility From The Right

"Yeah, I think that’s — I’m concerned about the whole idea of carrying papers and always have to be able to prove your citizenship. That brings up shades of some other regimes that were not particularly helpful to democracy and civil rights." -- Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R)

It's the same with torture and suspending habeas corpus, Republicans think by taking massive illegal shortcuts they will somehow solve a problem. The law protects people, it is not made to make you guilty until proven innocent.

Beastiality Still A Debate In Florida

Florida tries to ban sex with animals after failing to do so last year.

gatorsThe South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Florida is trying to rectify the fact it “is one of only a dozen or so states that don’t have a law against having sex with animals.” Given the disturbing accounts of bestiality in Florida, the state senate is taking action. But, as Barbara Hijek notes, Florida has had difficulty getting the law passed:

The law was passed unanimously by the Senate this week. It would make it a first-degree misdemeanor to have sex with an animal, with a penalty of up to a year in jail.

The Senate had passed a similar bill last year, but it fizzled out before it came before the House. The House bill has a similar measure, but it awaits debate.

What is there to debate?

So, just to recap what you can and can’t do in Florida: Get married if you’re gay? Illegal. Adopt a child if you’re gay? Illegal. Marry your cousin? Legal. Have sex with an animal? Also legal.

All this as Conservatives support government intervention in terms of women health issues and sexuality. Such a good thing for Florida to spend time on.

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Spill, Baby, Spill

The Deepwater Horizon rig is spilling 5,000 barrels a day:
"During the 2008 elections, greens had a tough time countering the catchy conservative slogan, 'Drill, baby, drill.' But the answer is clear now: 'Spill, baby, spill.'" -- Bryan Walsh of Time
What does the half-term Governor of Alaska have to say about this?

Schumer Introduces DISCLOSE

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the bill would “shine a light on the flood of spending unleashed by the Citizens United decision.” The influential senator hopes to win passage of the bill by July 4, in time to curb any flow of corporate money into the 2010 midterm congressional elections. Sponsors have dubbed the bill the “Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act’’ – for “DISCLOSE.’‘

The bill would require the CEO or head of an organization that is the primary financial sponsor of a political ad to claim responsibility for the ad by appearing on camera. Corporations and advocacy groups would be required to create traceable campaign accounts and disclose within 24 hours the source of donations that exceed $1,000.

“I welcome the introduction of this strong bipartisan legislation to control the flood of special interest money into America’s elections,’’ President Obama said Thursday. “Powerful special interests and their lobbyists should not be able to drown out the voices of the American people.’‘

The bill also would ban expenditures by any corporation with at least 20% of its stock owned by foreign nationals, or if foreign nationals play a dominant role in the corporation’s leadership.

Campaign finance that puts the donors on camera.

Republican Reps. Michael N. Castle of Delaware and Walter B. Jones of North Carolina joined Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland in introducing the House version of the bill. "I don't see why this issue is a partisan one that should divide us," Castle said. "This is a serious attempt to have disclosure."

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

AZ GOP Calls For More Government Intrusion

If universal health coverage was part of the longstanding liberal agenda to implement a European-style welfare state in America, Arizona's tough new anti-immigrant law represents the conservative agenda to install a European-style surveillance state. Indeed, the very same conservatives who could not find words strong enough to condemn the Europeanization of America under ObamaCare are now greeting the Arizona law--which will require residents to prove their lawful status to authorities on demand--with a cheerful smile and a shrug.

The whole only-people-with-reason-to-fear argument, to put it mildly, has not been a historical friend of liberty. Nor is it usually accurate. Making police do the work of immigration officers will need more pay to cover all the overtime. More money, bigger government, more intrusion, less freedom: the hypocritical nature of the Right Wing.

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Is The Tea Party A Reaction To Capitalism?

A reader at The Daily Dish writes:

"...we are in a point in history when institutions that appeared solid are dissolving. The internet has thrashed the old information asymmetry, the monopoly on data that institutions used to have back when the boomers were young and new models aren't appearing fast enough. And of the models that do arise, not one is going to dominate. It'll be, for good or bad, a world of choice.

The costs of organizing people has fallen through the floor, so large institutions, while still extant, are going to have to shrink and take up new policies of transparency in order to survive. We’re going through a cycle of demystification, so it makes sense that folks are clinging to symbols.

It doesn’t help demographics are going bonkers through movement of people, changing birth rates, rates and types of technology adoption, anchor industries disappearing or shrinking, and that this disruption will be semi-permanent because the rate of innovation is going nowhere but up and the price of innovation is next to nothing. This is life in the big city.

The tea-partiers are actually responding to the creative force of CAPITALISM, which despite the temporary straits we find ourselves in now, is churning along with more vitality than at any point in history.

Think about how short the cycle of innovation is these days! And think about how alienating it is to people who have other concerns than keeping track of technology trends. One downside to all the constant tidal pressure of innovation that is our postmodern condition is it becomes very easy to cling to outmoded ideologies (I mean ideology in the broadest sense here, not just politics, but modes of life).

When the world you knew is upended, all you can depend on is your grievances.

The country is moving ahead, some people are going with the flow, some are clinging to the old days. Some are a mix. You can't stop progress. A multi-racial, multi-faith, gay-inclusive, women-friendly, majority-minority country is what America is becoming.

[We also have to admit America loves cheap labor. No one would come illegally if it were not so easy to make money.]

The pathological nostalgia of Tea Baggers, the largely white members in their fifties and older, ironically determined to get every penny of social security and Medicare, is the new Boomer revolt. They used the 1960s to change their world, now they want to go back to it. The cultural revolution they wanted is now the one they want to stop.

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Where Do You Deport US Citizens To?

For some perspective on how fucking crazy Republicans have come, ten years ago this month, Republicans were pitching an absolute fit about allowing Elian Gonzalez to go back to Cuba, demanding he be made an American citizen because… his mother almost walked across the border. Ten years later, they want to kick out Hispanic citizens because… their mothers walked across the border.

Cubans are a reliable Republican voting bloc and Castro needed to be denied political points, so Elian was worth the battle. Going after a much larger group of people could prove costly for the Republicans.

And when Duncan Hunter Jr, Republican candidate for US Congress in California's 52nd District, uses a phrase like "It’s within our souls" to describe people who he thinks are legally American, who exactly decides what an American soul is? Such arbitrary racial purity BS.

It figures a Red State like AZ who uses cheap immigrant labor to build their sub-prime McMansions, will be the one to tip the Latin vote away from the GOP for decades. Republican landslide in the Fall? Republican primary season is about to explode into a bigotry lollapalooza.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mexican Tweet Of The Day

From the Mexican Ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan.


Gordon Brown: COMPLETE MEDIA FAILURE: The "Bigoted Woman" Video

PM Gordon Brown is pressing the flesh, surrounded by media and his handlers. He meets an elderly constituent who gives him her hard opinions of his Labour Party. Not so bad, he does what politicians do.

But wait! The conversation ends, Brown pops into his motorcade, but his microphone is left on. His words captured for all to hear. A must listen.

Wall Street Casino Needs A Democratic Pit Boss

Congressional Republicans have concluded that screaming foul about the banking bailout and blocking financial reform is a clever strategy for the fall elections.

This approach ignores some pretty basic history: that the banks imploded while Republicans held Congress and the White House; that President George W. Bush started the rescue; that many Republicans voted for the bailouts; and that they stabilized a financial system that was perilously close to collapse.

More important, it’s a distraction from the very real reasons the nation needs to tighten the rules governing finance. They were on vivid display on Tuesday in a hearing room just down the hall from the Senate floor where Republicans voted the day before to block debate on a Democratic financial reform bill.

Current and former Goldman Sachs officials tried to defend their practice of trading incomprehensible mortgage-based investments of little demonstrable economic value and enormous destructive capacity. Instead, they underscored why much of this work should be curtailed.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has accused Goldman of defrauding clients by selling them a complex instrument without telling them it was designed so another client could bet against it. Testifying before the Senate subcommittee on investigations, Goldman executives denied withholding information. They insisted there was nothing wrong with selling mortgage-backed products while placing bets against them.

They called it “risk management.” Most people call it stacking the deck.

We do not know whether Goldman broke the law, but we know this gambling is too dangerous. Banks like Goldman turned the financial system into a casino. Like gambling, the transactions mostly just shifted money around. Unlike gambling, they packed an enormous capacity for economic destruction — hobbling banks that made bad bets, freezing credit and economic activity. Society — not the bankers — bore the cost.

That’s why objecting to financial regulation overhaul on the grounds that it might allow future bailouts is such a specious argument.

The bailouts, which many Republicans acknowledged were necessary at the time, cost taxpayers about $87 billion, or 1 percent of gross domestic product. The crisis cost more. Falling tax revenues, unemployment insurance for millions of jobless workers and a fiscal stimulus to stop the economy’s slide is projected to boost the federal debt to more than 65 percent of G.D.P. next year.

Financial reform is needed to try to ensure such a crisis never happens again, and the bill cobbled together by Senate Democrats is reasonably tough. It would ban many — unfortunately not all — of the private, custom-made derivatives at the center of the financial meltdown and force most derivative trading onto open exchanges. Banks trading in custom-made products would have to build larger cushions of capital to protect themselves.

The bill would establish a consumer protection agency to stop predatory lending, impose new oversight on hedge funds and make it possible for regulators to dismantle big banks that were deemed to pose an imminent risk of failure. And it would create a $50 billion fund, by the nation’s largest banks, to cover commitments of a failing institution that was being wound down.

Whatever Republican campaign mailings may say, the fund was designed to avoid bailouts. The bill’s failing is not that it’s too weak. It’s that it could be stronger.

Remember Bush was the first President with an MBA. That really worked out for the country. The business-first mentality of the Right Wing [see Supreme Court ruling giving corporations unlimited campaign spending] is a theory that has yet to be proven and has about a trillion examples of how it failed.

The latest insult from Fox/Beck/Right is calling Democrats and liberals "progressive". The alternative would be "reactionary". It actually highlights the difference between the two parties perfectly. Democrats see a problem and want to stop another disaster in advance, the Republicans are willing to keep things the way they are and just respond to the next catastrophe as if they could not see it coming. [9/11, Katrina and Wall St/Sub-prime]

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Obama Nails The National Anthem

"During the memorial service for the West Virginia coal miners that lost their life in the April 5th disaster, the camera man decided to focus on Barack Obama mouthing along to a performance of the National Anthem. The resulting video is accidental comedic brilliance."

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Tuesday Coffee Break

This clip is raw from Camera E-8 on the launch umbilical tower/mobile launch program of Apollo 11, July 16, 1969. This is an HD transfer from the 16mm 500fps original.

Apollo 11 Saturn V Launch (HD) Camera E-8 from Mark Gray on Vimeo.

No Juan Crow Laws

Jim Crow laws, first seen in 1876, set up the South with segregation for the next 90 years. Is Arizona heading in the same direction with a two-class system?

Will Arizona’s Immigration Law Survive?

5 experts chime in [click link above]:

* Steven A. Camarota, Center for Immigration Studies
* Hiroshi Motomura, U.C.L.A. law professor
* Dan Schnur, former adviser to John McCain
* Tamar Jacoby, ImmigrationWorks USA
* Vivek Malhotra, A.C.L.U.

Arizona has a problem with Mexican immigration, but how they deal with it reflects on all immigrants and people who "look different". Why Republicans refuse to address immigration reform, while at the same time, introduce powerful laws to harass and deport illegals is interesting.

What happens when a US citizen with brown skin uses his gun to protect himself from unlawful search and seizure? Making Arizona's 30% Latino population targets of “reasonable suspicion” is not going to end well.

No doubt, there is a problem. People in Arizona need to protect themselves. Does pandering to a conservative base, while promoting a law that will be hard to realistically enforce really do anything?

Tourist boycotts? Legal challenges? Lawsuits?

Plus, you have to have SEVERE penalties for the people and corporations who employ all these illegals. No one will come if they can't make money.

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The Perjury Of

Do these emails prove that she used the account for her gubernational business? YOU BETCHA!

Just go to the Crivella West database which was specifically set up for Palin's emails and give in "" as a searchword. You then will receive the impressive number of 28 hits!

In many of these emails members of Palin's administration were sending messages to Sarah's yahoo-account, sometimes VERY important messages (more below). In other cases, Sarah Palin sent emails from her yahoo account which clearly referred to her gubernational business to her staff.

Using a yahoo account for gubernatorial business may not be the biggest offense, but lying about it may be against the law. The cover-up is what gets the attention.

$arah Palin tends to forget that other people remember the truth.

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Why Continuity Matters In Politics

The United States of Amnesia.

George W. Bush started a few wars and cut taxes for the rich while never reducing spending. He ended up writing a few trillion in I.O.U.s that led to a historic deficit and put the US in massive debt. Bush grew the size of the Federal Government to its largest size ever, adding the Department Of Homeland Security, complete with domestic spying operations and a crony-led FEMA which let New Orleans sink and rot after Katrina.

Republicans had nary a problem with the size of spending, the growth of the deficit, the reach of the government, nor its size.

Enter Barack Obama and the Conservative world changed in Jan 2010. Up was down, good was bad.

When looking for a sense of how to understand the Conservative mind, this complete lack of continuity. this quote encapsulates the movement:
Where were you when George Bush was spending? It doesn’t matter. I’m here now.” - Glenn Beck
For his intellectually lobotomized fans, this seems like gold. For the rest of us in the sane world, it's the opportunist with zero credibility selling his latest chalkboard fairy tale. It does not matter what Republicans did, it only matters that when Democrats responsibly govern, levy taxes and spend that money returning the economy from the brink of disaster Republicans crafted, you act "outraged".

It also says, where were you when you could have prevented this mess? No where. But he's here now to complain as the new guy is fixing things. It's like yelling at the doctor as he cleans up your busted face while admiring the person who punched you.

Facts matter. Continuity matters. Double standards should not be your norm.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Yankees At The White House

President Obama welcomes the 27 time World Champ New York Yankees to the White House.

Arizona To The Right Of Communist China

Here's the point of comparison between the impending Arizona situation and China: it's no fun knowing -- as citizen and foreigner alike know in China, and as Hispanic-looking people in Arizona soon will -- that you can be asked to show proof of your legality at an official's whim. But if it's sobering to think that the closest analogy to a new U.S. legal situation is daily life in Communist China, we should also look on the bright side. With some notable and serious exceptions, I typically did not see Chinese police asking for papers on a whim. Usually something had to happen first. Maybe soon the Chinese State Security apparatus can travel to Arizona and give lectures to local police and sheriffs. They can explain how to avoid going crazy with a new power that so invites abuse. "Civil Liberties: Learning from China" can be the name of the course.
Guilty until proven innocent. So much for smaller Government. Arizona wants a police state. The GOP future is that of questioning everyone's paperwork, even the President's.

The Republican's and Tea Baggers love to throw around the fascism line for Obama, but when Red States act exactly like 1930s Nazi Germany and demand paperwork on the spot to prove your nationality, they don't see that they are the ones acting like fascists. And to think McCain was a Presidential nominee.

Monday Coffee Break

The Dubai Fountain, Downtown Burj Khalifa. Cost: $218,000,000