Friday, July 30, 2010

The Fiscally Incoherent GOP

What is worse? Really bad economic policies or the idiots that believe they work.

The short-term memory of America is so bad. Not to say Democrats have a lock on great policies, but we know, factually, that Republican policies are complete failures.

Posted via email from

This Would Never Happen In America: We Have Freedom Of Religion But Not Freedom FROM Religion

This morning during a radio interview on 774 ABC Melbourne, the new Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard was asked point blank:

“Do you believe in God?”

Her reply:

“No I don’t, John”

Julia went on to say she was raised in a Baptist household and attended church regularly, but decided to “pursue a different path in her adult life“. The Prime Minister believes people can be decent, moral, upstanding citizens without pretending to believe in a deity to attract the religious voters. What is more important to her is the welfare of the Australian people – regardless of their religious convictions.

It is hugely refreshing to hear a politician talk so openly and honestly about their faith, or lack thereof. I am unaware of any other current major political leader who has openly admitted their disbelief . Julia’s credibility just jumped a few notches in my books.

Posted via email from

Rep. Weiner GOES OFF On Republicans

Rep. Weiner GOES OFF On Republicans Over Blocking 9/11 Health Compensation Act - TPC

I love this guy. That is REAL outrage. Not the fake GOP kind.

Rep. Anthony Weiner spoke on the House floor tonight in support of H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which was blocked from passage by House Republicans. Rep. Weiner addresses some of the false arguments Republicans were using in their opposition to the bill. The vote was 255 to 159 in support of the bill, short of the 2/3 needed for passage; 155 Republicans voted against the legislation, which provides medical monitoring and treatment to World Trade Center responders and survivors who were exposed to the toxins at Ground Zero.

Posted via email from

Jere Van Dyk: Afghanistan 101

Jere Van Dyk, who was a prisoner of the Taliban for 45 days, tells us what we should know about the history & culture of Afghanistan.

Pashtunwali tribal law v Islam: How blood and lineage is more important than faith.

Posted via email from

The Benefits Of The Slow Struggle


I was never one who believed that Barack Obama could - in a mere two years - repair the enormous damage of decades of unfunded entitlement and defense spending, two disastrously conceived, off-budget and negligently prosecuted wars, a financial market collapse, the worst recession since the 1930s, two burst bubbles in tech and housing, and the importation of torture into the American way of war. Maybe I over-estimated how much the GOP might learn from their appalling record in the new millennium - but that would require an admission of failure that they seem incapable of.

Nonetheless, the sheer difficulties and resistance that Obama has met with - from the FNC propaganda channel to the balls-free liberal press to the utopian activist left and deranged radical right - is remarkable. But, as P.M. Carpenter notes, this is not an inherently bad thing. We need opposition - if a more intelligent and less cynical opposition than we now confront. And no real change has come to America without slowness and resistance and division - as its constitution requires. The filibuster has become, it seems to me, a promiscuously wielded impediment, but in real context, the huge shift Obama has already achieved is quite remarkable:

I direct your attention to American history, from early 19th-century social reforms to the decades-long battle for emancipation to the century's later political-bureaucratic reforms to TR Darwin-1-sm

and Wilson's Progressive Era to FDR's New Dealism and to the Great(er) Society envisioned by LBJ. Each level of sociopolitical progress was grinding and grueling and packed with half-measures -- because remember, the other side gets its say, too; plus the other side, notwithstanding our oft-proper ridicule, is not always without its own version of idealism, possessed just as passionately.

And now, Barack Obama's correction of a dreadful, 30-year pseudoconservative misadventure. Step by step. Piece by piece. Half-measures by half-measures, which in time will become 60-percent measures, then 80-percent measures ...

That, quite simply, is the way it is. Indeed, that's the way it's supposed to be. If genuine conservative genius there ever was, it came in the Founders' Burkean inspiration that true and lasting progress must pass the tests of peaceful struggle and tireless debate. Achieving a national consensus is hard, but it's necessary to progress' durability; vast and overanxious progress in a consensual void only insures its unraveling.

If you backed Obama and want to see real change continue, now is not the time to give up because it's not as easy as you thought it would be. Now is the time to oppose the passionate intensity of his opponents with the reasoned conviction that elected him.

Remember: we are the ones we've been waiting for. Are we really going to substitute pique for purpose and ennui for hope now? By all means criticize when necessary, as I have. But he's the best we've got, and we are lucky to have him.

To paraphrase Mr Krugman this morning,

Mr. Obama may not be the politician of our dreams, but his enemies are definitely the stuff of our nightmares.

(Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty.)

Change is not an event. It is a process.

Posted via email from

NOAA’s Conclusive Report: 2000s Were Hottest Decade on Record - TechniPol

NOAA’s Conclusive Report: 2000s Were Hottest Decade on Record

“The 2000s, the “aughts”—whatever you want to call the first decade of the 21st century, you can also call it the warmest 10 years on record. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just released its annual “State of the Climate” report, and after sampling 37 climate indicators including the biggies like sea surface temperature, glacier cover, and sea level, they came to that conclusion.

The NOAA report—published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society—is different from other climate publications, because it’s based on observed data, not computer models, making it the “climate system’s annual scorecard,” the authors wrote… “It’s telling us what’s going on in the real world, rather than the imaginary world,” said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the Boulder, Colorado-based National Center for Atmospheric Research [National Geographic].”—Discover

0 notes | Permalink

Warmest 10 years on record. Actual data, not computer models.

Sucks that certain people have to suspend empirical science to remain a member of the Republican Party. Sad.

Posted via email from

Controlling Soot Might Quickly Reverse a Century of Global Warming

A massive simulation of soot’s climate effects finds that basic pollution controls could put a brake on global warming, erasing in a decade most of the last century’s temperature change.

Compared to the larger, longer term task of getting greenhouse-gas pollution under control, limiting soot wouldn’t be hard. Unlike new energy technology and profound changes in lifestyle, the tools — exhaust filters, clean-burning stoves — already exist.

“Soot has such a strong climate effect, but it has a lifetime in the atmosphere of just a few weeks. Carbon dioxide has a lifetime of 30 to 50 years. If you totally stop CO2 emissions today, the Arctic will still be totally melted,” said Stanford University climate scientist Mark Jacobson. If soot pollution is immediately curtailed, “the reductions start to occur pretty much right away. Within months, you’ll start seeing temperature differences.”

Adding: "If soot disappeared overnight, average global temperatures would drop within 15 years by about 1 degree Fahrenheit, maybe a little more. That’s about half the net warming — total global warming, minus cooling from sun-reflecting aerosols — experienced since the beginning of the industrial age. The effect would be even larger in the Arctic, where sea ice and tundra could rapidly refreeze."

Posted via email from

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Defining White Culture

You might have noticed I didn't mention racism. I'm not avoiding the subject. It's certainly the case that many white people perpetrate racism -- sometimes intentionally, sometimes not -- but I don't think there is anything particular about white culture that makes it inherently more racist than any other group. I say this with some trepidation, because I am acutely aware of the power dynamics -- the reality that, as the politically and economically dominant group, white people have the power to create and maintain racist systems and structures, as for example, our criminal (in)justice system.

I don't want to minimize this structural racial inequity. It is all too real and much too painful. At the same time, few white people have the power to personally influence these kinds of policy decisions. To the contrary, many feel powerless and helpless, especially in our current economic climate. There is a white elite (with a handful of nonwhite collaborators)  that is responsible for maintaining these racist systems, but most white people, including those that most strongly identify with white culture, feel as alienated from this corporate and political elite as do most non-whites.

Glenn Beck (and Rush Limbaugh) aside, most white Americans who identify in some way with white culture are nevertheless quick to denounce anything that even vaguely resembles white superiority or racism. They generally believe in the myth of reverse discrimination and think that they are more likely to be victimized by racism than benefit from it.  Moreover, they are tired of being accused of racism and tired of being blamed for the racial inequities, which (if they acknowledge) they attribute to group differences in motivation. As such, they want to live in a world where race doesn't matter and they tend to act accordingly, denying the reality of race and racism, not just in their own lives but in the lives of people of color. We can call this racism. Some do. But in the absence of malice -- and I do think that malice is the exception, not the rule these days -- I think the term "privilege" is more appropriate, as well as more constructive.  I have just one remaining point to make.

Here's the way I look at racism: if someone acted racist towards me I can do one of two things; act racist back to the offender or to anyone in the offenders demographic, or, feel that the act of racism towards me was not good, be the better man, and do my best not to make others feel bad by perpetuating racism.

Jesus would say "offer the other cheek". I don't believe in Jesus, but that's what I would do and have done. All the conservatives who push race card politics and "white slavery" memes would want you to deny that teaching.

Posted via email from

The Ego That Is Newt

"Newt Gingrich is clearly running for President. How do I know? He gets dumb and angry when running for office."
Joe Klein, per Andrew Sullivan


via John Cole at

"Newt Gingrich is a hustler, no more interested in actual “politics” than Sarah Palin, his natural heir. He wants money and media attention and payback for every real or imagined injury done to his vast ego by the legions of his self-perceived enemies. Actual political campaigning—pretending to be interested in what other people think—is tedious and unprofitable, but a pleasant career being paid to speak at high-dollar fundraisers between appearances as a televised “thinker” must be carefully nurtured. The Media Village Idiots’ current agitation about the crop of minor-league sociopaths, publicity-seekers, and narcissists perceived to be “presidential contenders in 2012” has Gingrich hustling to ensure that the Gingrich brand retains its high-value shelf space in the political Walmart that is the modern Wingnut Welfare Wurlitzer."

Posted via email from

The Plight of Afghan Women: A Disturbing Picture

The Plight of Afghan Women: A Disturbing Picture

Our cover image this week is powerful, shocking and disturbing. It is a portrait of Aisha, a shy 18-year-old Afghan woman who was sentenced by a Taliban commander to have her nose and ears cut off for fleeing her abusive in-laws. Aisha posed for the picture and says she wants the world to see the effect a Taliban resurgence would have on the women of Afghanistan, many of whom have flourished in the past few years. Her picture is accompanied by a powerful story by our own Aryn Baker on how Afghan women have embraced the freedoms that have come from the defeat of the Taliban — and how they fear a Taliban revival.

Posted via email from

Liberals Are For Liberty, Conservatives Con You To Serve Them

The amount of people who vote against their self interests is staggering.

The $30,000 a year guy in Kansas that thinks he is a Republican as he receives his farm subsidies.
The Tea Party mental invalids who want government out of their medicare.

The neocons and their wannabe Chicken Hawk followers who pushed for Unitary Executive Theory for Bush but now want super majorites for Obama.

The most obvious, tax breaks for the rich that do not work and make things worse, pushed for by under-employed rural rubes complaining about wealth redistribution.

First off, you don't have any wealth. Second, most of the city and Federal services you have are paid for by big cities' taxes that were redistributed so you can live your intellectually sheltered life.

More examples:

All those Orange alerts when Bush’s rating were slumping? Staged.

WMD and mushroom clouds? They never existed in 2001. Used to sell the invasion and mobilize war. Cheney was CEO of Halliburton and Sec of Defense and he had his minions in the Pentagon, like Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, and his trump card, Colin Powell, systematically deceieve the public to create “War Inc.” for his once and future contributors.

19 Saudi students on 9/11 produces 2 wars, Patriot Act, warrant-less domestic wire taps, suspending of Habeas Corpus, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib.

2004’s Gay Marriage Amendment was just a wedge issue to get bigoted GOP voters out. It was Karl Rove channeling Lee Atwater.

GOP Tax breaks for only the richest 1% increased income disparity.

Promote “Culture of Life” yet start wars, favor domestic executions, use Health Care debate to misinform and scare Americans, particularly the elderly.

Tax cuts for the rich as Bush increases spending and borrowing. “Deficits don’t matter” - Dick Cheney. Those cuts were used to get votes which added trillions in debt.

Strict Constitutional interpretation? As long as you’re a corporation.

Use Right Wing echo chamber and radical AM Radio clerics to channel “birther” and other coded messages. No party has the ability to be “more American” but factless Tea Baggers and Arizona GOP would have you believe different.

96%. That’s An “A”, Right?

The Bush Administration's gift that keeps giving.

Tea Baggers and Right Wingers don't really worry about how bad Republicans and conservatives run things as long as Obama is black and the Fox News lemmings refuse to acknowledge their horrendous political legacy.

Posted via email from

Exploiting Labor Then Forgetting How Things Are Made

"We are a nation that doesn’t understand how food reaches our tables. American agriculture depends on a hardworking, dedicated immigrant workforce. About three-quarters of all crop workers were born outside the country. Since the 1990s, at least half are not authorized to legally work in the U.S., according to government statistics. In an era of high unemployment, these undocumented workers have become scapegoats for our nation’s economic woes. Many people blame the high unemployment rate on foreigners, who they accuse of taking jobs away from citizens. Movements are afoot to remove them from the country."

Arturo S. Rodriguez

America is built on exploiting cheap labor. Slavery, European immigrants, Asians, East Asians, Mexicans, and the biggest communist godless country in the world, China.

The disconnect between reality and political talking points is staggering.

Posted via email from

Wealth In America: The Haves and The Been Hads

The flow of capital and ease of access to stimulate growth goes out the window when it comes to a rich person "conserving" his wealth. Then it becomes change all the rules so I can keep as much of my money and screw everybody past and present.

Posted via email from

Strict Constitutional Interpretation Of AZ Law

The parts of the Arizona law that were overturned by the judge were those parts that had to do with immigrants and enforcement of immigration law as relating to individuals. The ruling was that the Constitution specifically gives the area of immigrants and foreign policy directly to the Federal government. Therefore, all the provisions that had to do with stopping and checking (harassing brown-looking) individuals were overturned. But, a State does have the right to govern the industry within its borders. So, all the provisions that had to do with businesses were upheld. In other words, the ruling was based on a Constitutional interpretation of the balance of powers. It was, actually, a rather strict interpretation of the Constitution. What is given to the Federal government belongs to them. What is given to the States belongs to them. That is a strict Constitutional approach and we should not miss that. But here is what may surprise you. According to the Washington Times, President Obama is actually on track to deport about 10% more people this year than President Bush did in 2008, an election year in which he was trying to garner support for Sen. McCain by enforcing immigration law. Of course neither Fox News nor Republican Congressmen have in any way admitted that. Rather, the constant drumbeat of the conservative media and congressmen is to openly say that he is not enforcing immigration policy. In fact, support among Latinos has fallen by nearly 20% since last year, largely as a result of the increase in deportations. So, why is this not being stated by the conservative media, or the Tea Party, or conservative Congressmen? Well, because as we saw in the recent Breibart affair, truth is the first casualty in politics.

Republicans love strict Constitutional interpretation when it suits them. Republicans love to be activist judges and govern from the bench when it suits them.

Truth and facts are never needed in running a Republican campaign.

Posted via email from

John Stuart Mill On Conservatives

Liberal has the root word "liberty".
Conservative has the root word "con".

Posted via email from

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hardball: Chris Matthews Exposes GOP Failure To Grasp Immigration

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

Republicans do not want to really fix the problem or find a solution because it's such a great political issue. "An insatiable appetite to do nothing".

Make sure you watch the last few minutes.

Posted via email from

Some at Fox Racist, Some Are The Most Racist

"Some of them [at Fox News] are racist, and some of them aren’t.

Because what they’re doing is race-baiting. Basically, they, they have had a narrative going on for quite some time, I think the most famous kickoff was Glenn Beck saying that Barack Obama hated white people, what they’re doing is appealing to people’s basest instincts, racial hatred. Racial hatred is something that’s, that’s something, it’s endemic in the country, but we’ve really gone way past it now. We’ve made huge progress, but there are still a fringe of people who are, who have great fears about race. And what they’re doing is feeding those fears."

Howard Dean interviewed by Cenk Uygur slams Fox News and much more

video and transcript here 

Fox Chief Roger Ailes is stone cold set on spreading whisper campaigns and all out character assassinations of liberalism and Democratic politicians. Ailes worked under Reagan and is set on preserving a fake era in Republican history that never existed and is used to exploit conservative talking points that never have worked or even resemble the GOP: Small government? Fiscal responsibility? Respecting the Constitution? Compassion?

Just like the 80's black welfare Mom who drove the Cadillac and the current day birthers and Tea Baggers who rail against taxes as 2010 was the lowest tax burden in 50 years, Fox and Fox viewers don't use facts because fear works better for keeping their close-minded viewers happy.

Fox' message = Obama is black, he's not one of "us".

Posted via email from

Tea Bag For Tea Baggers

So fitting that Tea Baggers have no idea about major political and economic subjects, let alone the term "tea bagging". Clueless, sexually repressed, control freaks who borrowed a term for steeping balls. Priceless.

Posted via email from