Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ronald Reagan Dedicates Space Shuttle To Afghan Fighters

Let's remind Republicans that history will always have them on the wrong side.

Conservatives love to re-write Ronnie Reagan history, YouTube keeps them in check. Remember, he was also selling arms to Iran at the same time.

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Sad Comparison

King was looking to give equality to the people. Beck is trying to take what he never gave back. What an interloper.

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Friday, August 27, 2010

The Prodigal Gay Son

"Mehlman would like us to believe that he didn't know he was gay back then. And, I'm sorry, but that doesn't pass the smell-my-finger test. Mehlman rose quickly through the ranks of the GOP, wound up on top, cashed the checks, made the contacts, did real and lasting harm to other gays and lesbians, and Mehlman knew damn well what he was and what he was doing."

-Dan Savage

Mehlman is the perfect Republican poster boy: fights to deny rights of people and minorities to which you yourself are a part of.

Add tea baggers on Medicare yelling about getting the Government out of their health care and anyone not making $5 million who votes Republican.

NOTE: Savage is OK with Mehlman now using his clout and contacts to fight for gay rights. What a mensch

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Colbert: The Mighty Morphin Martyr Rangers

Too funny.

Beck hopes to inspire an 8-year old to be the next George Washington 25 years form now: a hatchet-wielding, toothless slave owner.

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Your House Is Burned: Who's At Fault Rebuilding It?

Okay, here's a heavy-handed analogy, followed by a brief quiz:

So, some guys burn a house down.

Then they walk away.

Another guy comes along, sees the charred remains and wants to rebuild. He tries to gather materials but is thwarted by the friends of the guys who burned the house down.

Having little choice, he tries to get money to buy materials from those same guys.

They take the money, give him some materials to rebuild, but when he tries to use them, they knock the materials out of his hands. He bends down to pick them up and they knock them out of his hands again.

Sometimes they trip him.

Sometimes they make up scary stories about him.

They force him to give time and energy towards things that make no sense instead of toward rebuilding the house they burned.

And they never really let him get started with the rebuilding of the house they burned down.

Question: is the whole thing the new guy's fault?

Answer: if you are a Republican, then yes.

The only action Republicans have taken in 2 years is inaction.

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Palin: Nationalistic, Hawkish, Vapid, And Above All Dishonest

Roger Ebert’s post on the Park 51 project is a must-read, but this bit about Sarah Palin was especially good:

6. Somewhere on the Right is an anonymous genius at creating memes. Sarah Palin floats a suspicious number of them: Death Panels, Ground Zero Mosque, 9/11 Mosque, Terror Babies. Her tweets are mine fields of coded words; for her, “patriot” is defined as, “those who agree with me.” When she says “Americans,” it is not inclusive. These two must have been carefully composed in advance to be tweeted within 60 seconds of each other:

     palin 21-38-56.jpg

By using the evocative word “shackles” she associates Dr. Laura’s use of the N-word with the suffering of slaves. By implying Dr. Laura was silenced by “Constitutional obstructionists,” she employs the methodology of the Big Lie, defined in Mein Kampf as an untruth so colossal that “no one would believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” She uses the trigger word “reload” to evoke her support of Second Amendment activists while attacking “activists” for evoking the First.

She really does represent everything that is wrong with conservatism in this country. Quite the avatar for a dying movement.

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Catholic Church Involved In 1972 IRA Bomb Cover-Up Sheds Light On Cordoba

Mollie Wilson asks, relative to Cordoba mosque in NYC:
"On one level, it’s the same dynamic we’ve seen revealed in the sex-abuse scandal applied to a different crime. But it’s also the real-life illustration we didn’t know we were looking for on the question of how much responsibility ordinary believers ought to take for the worst atrocities committed in the name of their religion. After all, the Catholic church wouldn’t tolerate, let alone harbor, terrorists. Certainly not terrorists implicated in the death of eight-year-old girls. Would it?"

Partisan v Stupidity

"It would be nice to dismiss the stupid things that Americans believe as harmless, the price of having such a large, messy democracy. Plenty of hate-filled partisans swore that Abraham Lincoln was a Catholic and Franklin Roosevelt was a Jew. So what if one-in-five believe the sun revolves around the earth, or aren’t sure from which country the United States gained its independence? But false belief in weapons of mass-destruction led the United States to a trillion-dollar war. And trust in rising home value as a truism as reliable as a sunrise was a major contributor to the catastrophic collapse of the economy. At its worst extreme, a culture of misinformation can produce something like Iran, which is run by a Holocaust denier. It’s one thing to forget the past, with predictable consequences, as the favorite aphorism goes. But what about those who refuse to comprehend the present?" - Timothy Egan

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The Jon Stewart On Beck's "I Have A Scheme"

Beck claims he had no idea 8/28 was MLK's speech, yet he is trying to "take back the Civil Rights Movement".

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Libertarian Utopia Meets Reality

Timothy B Lee tackles seasteading, "a program for political reform based on a proliferation of self-governing ocean colonies":

If all you care about is avoiding the long arm of the law, that’s actually pretty easy to do. Buy a cabin in the woods in Wyoming and the government will pretty much leave you alone. Pick a job that allows you to deal in cash and you can probably get away without filing a tax return. In reality, hardly anyone does this. To the contrary, people have been leaving rural areas for high-tax, high-regulation cities for decades.

Almost no one’s goal in life is to maximize their liberty in this abstract sense. Rather, liberty is valuable because it enables us to achieve other goals, like raising a family, having a successful career, making friends, and so forth. To achieve those kinds of goals, you pretty much have to live near other people, conform to social norms, and make long-term investments. And people who live close together for long periods of time need a system of mechanisms for resolving disputes, which is to say they need a government.

Conservatives long for time, an idyllic past, that exists in their minds but does not have any bearing with current ways of life and the costs involved. Government is ALWAYS the problem, yet they want the same Government to protect and maintain the entire country. They never follow through on any of the cuts they campaign on and just pass all the costs on to the next generations through debt and rising deficits.

The fact is, the Government is not going anywhere and taxes are going to cover the costs of running it. Deal with it.

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More Empty Homes Than Homeless: An American Travesty

About 3.5 million US residents (about 1% of the population), including 1.35 million children, have been homeless for a significant period of time. Over 37,000 homeless individuals (including 16,000 children) stay in shelters in New York every night. This information was gathered by the Urban Institute, but actual numbers might be higher.

Fox Business estimates, there are 18.9 million vacant homes across the country.

3.5 million people without homes; 18.9 million homes without residents.

No magic bullet answer, but it shows how America is a bubble culture and can over-react to most things.

Banks will bulldoze before they let another option like affordable housing take root.

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Liberalism v Conservatism: A Debate

Via DougJ at Balloon Juice:
"I’ve always been liberal, proud to call myself liberal, and if people who want fiscal sanity and a decent health care system think they should call themselves “progressive” instead, I’ll all myself a progressive instead. If there’s two sides and one of them is wrapped up in meaningless ideology and the other is at least somewhat interested in attaining practical goals, I’ll call myself whatever the practical side calls itself.
Right now, pragmatic people call themselves liberals and ideological people call themselves conservative. That’s painting with a broad brush, I realize, but it’s pretty much true. I’m not sure any of that has to do with liberalism or conservatism per se. I don’t know if it means that Burke and Bobo’s other idols suck and their liberal equivalents are awesome. But I do think that fact that conservative pundits talk so much about Burke and Hayek and (let’s be honest) Reagan, while liberals talk more about exactly how much large the stimulus should have been and how much money we could have saved with the public option…that is telling."
Simply put, conservatives are mostly interested in shrinking government, no matter the effect, liberals are interested in getting the government to provide certain services, not in growing government per se.
Or, the main difference is that conservatives look back to a supposedly idyllic past which they work to recreate, while liberals tend to look forward to a potentially idyllic future. 
You decide. I find we cannot change or recreate the past, so pragmatism has no place in achieving conservative goals, which are ultimately based on nostalgia and other emotions.

The Strategic Dimension of the Mosque Debate

"Islam did not attack the United States on 9/11. It is simple collectivism—the denial of individual agency that libertarians reject—to believe that the tiny band of thugs who perpetrated the 9/11 attacks speak for an entire religion, culture, or creed. Our sympathy to families of 9/11 victims and our vestigial fears should not allow us to indulge gross and wrong generalizations about individuals of any faith." - Jim Harper

"The debate itself sends signals: If the United States were predominantly anti-Muslim, this debate wouldn’t be happening. If our political leaders had the power to decide matters of religious observance, this debate wouldn’t be happening. The debate is helping to show Muslim populations around the world—who might not know otherwise—that we think and debate about these things, that we are a functioning democratic republic, and that our country is undecided about the position of Muslims in the United States or, at worst, weakly anti-Muslim."

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McCain Beats McCain

   “No incumbent out there last night suffered a more decisive defeat than Senator John McCain. Who, last evening was rejected by voters for his anti-tax cut, anti-border fence views. Instead they voted for a candidate who took the exact opposite position of John McCain, dark horse candidate John McCain.  John McCain really tapped into the anti-McCain sentiment. So Senator McCain, our heartiest congratulations and condolences on your victorious defeat.” - Stephen Colbert

“No incumbent out there last night suffered a more decisive defeat than Senator John McCain. Who, last evening was rejected by voters for his anti-tax cut, anti-border fence views. Instead they voted for a candidate who took the exact opposite position of John McCain, dark horse candidate John McCain.

John McCain really tapped into the anti-McCain sentiment. So Senator McCain, our heartiest congratulations and condolences on your victorious defeat. - Stephen Colbert

Republicans with double standards and hypocritical changing views from year to year are not a problem. It's a reflexive mechanism to help never accept blame for anything.

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Bush Campaign Chief and Former RNC Chair Ken Mehlman: I'm Gay

Ken Mehlman, President Bush's campaign manager in 2004 and a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, has told family and associates that he is gay.

Ken managed the most anti-gay Presidential campaigns in modern history. He spent his entire adult life attacking and taking away human rights from groups he was a member of. Classic Republicanism and conservatism.

Funny that Ken now feels comfortable to come out in a climate of tolerance towards gay and lesbians that he spent his whole life trying to destroy and undermine. What an evil man.

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Logic: Right Wing Style

Avoiding reality for decades.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Collateral From Idiots: NYPD Charges Man With Muslim Hate Crime

Thank you, hateful Tea Bagger and Conservative Americans for making crazy people feel like they can act out:

The New York Police Department has confirmed to TPM that a cab driver in Manhttan was allegedly stabbed by a passenger who asked if the cabbie was Muslim, and says the incident is being treated as a hate crime. The suspect has been charged with attempted murder and other crimes.

All the hypocrites wrapped in their Constitutions and Bibles need to wake up and remember what they say believe in has to be lived up to.

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Muslim Populations In Venn Context

The Republicans love their boogie men.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Truth: Billboard Goes Up In Arizona

GOP And Identity Politics

Republicans have 8 years of Bush plus zero new ideas, aside from extending failed tax cuts for the mega-rich.

So they spend their time attacking Obama as a black man. Gutless.

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Democrats Should Propose A "People's Tax Cut"


Republicans are calling the Democrat’s proposal to end the Bush tax cuts on the richest 3 percent a “tax increase,” and demagoging that it will hurt the economy and small business. This is baloney, to put it politely. Let me count the ways:

– Bush’s ten-year tax cut was designed to end this year, so it’s not a tax increase.

– Ending it for the rich simply returns them to the Clinton tax rate, which was hardly confiscatory (reminder: the Clinton years were damn good for business).

– Small businesses would barely be affected. Only 3 percent of small business owners earn over $250,000. And because it’s a “marginal” tax rate, the Clinton tax would apply only to the portion of their incomes over $250,000.

– Yet extending the Bush tax cut to the richest Americans would give them a $36 billion bonus next year. ($31 billion of this would go to billionaire households.) And that $36 billion would be added to the budget deficit.

– And it wouldn’t even stimulate demand and jobs, because the very rich save (rather than spend) more of their disposable income than the rest of us.

– Finally, ending the extention for the top is fair. Income inequality has become so grotesque that the top 3 percent of households rake in almost a third of total income (the highest portion since 1928).

But by the time Democrats explain all this, it’s too late. The Republican furor over a “tax increase” has framed the debate.

Republicans understand the art of tax demagoguery: Put the other side on the defensive by forcing them to explain why a “tax increase” is warranted and they lose regardless.

So instead of playing defense, Democrats should go on the attack.

Accuse Republicans of being shills for the rich.

And don’t stop there. Do tax jujitsu. In addition to ending the Bush tax cut for the rich, put forward another proposal for growing the economy that cuts taxes on lower-income Americans.

Democrats should propose eliminating payroll taxes on the first $20,000 of income, and making up the revenue loss by applying payroll taxes to incomes above $250,000.

This would give the economy an immediate boost by adding to the paychecks of just about every working American. 80 percent of Americans pay more in payroll taxes than they do in income taxes. And because lower-income people get most of the benefit, it’s likely to be spent.

It would also give employers an extra incentive to hire because they’d save on their share of the payroll tax. And most of the incentive would be directed toward hiring low-income workers – who have taken the biggest hit on jobs and pay during the recession.

It wouldn’t add to the deficit. Lost revenues would be made up by applying payroll taxes to income exceeding $250,000. This is certainly fair. As it is now, the Social Security payroll tax doesn’t apply to any income over $106,000. Having the tax kick in again at $250,000 would draw on the top 3 percent of earners, who (as noted) now rake in a larger portion of total income than they have in more than 80 years.

Call it the People’s Tax Cut, and let Republicans explain why they’re against it.

Bush and Republicans' "spend and borrow" got us into an economic hellscape that took a $770 billion stimulus to get us out of. Their tax cuts failed. Why double down?

We the people, not the mega-wealthy or off-shore corporations with tax shelters and tax credits, we the 97% of regular people need the relief in this time of sacrifice.

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Republicans Hot And Cold On Constitution

The Republicans claim to be strict Constitutionalist, except when they want to change it:

Republican Rep. Paul Broun of Georgia won his seat in Congress campaigning as a strict defender of the Constitution. He carries a copy in his pocket and is particularly fond of invoking the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

But it turns out there are parts of the document he doesn't care for — lots of them. He wants to get rid of the language about birthright citizenship, federal income taxes and direct election of senators, among others. He would add plenty of stuff, including explicitly authorizing castration as punishment for child rapists.

This hot-and-cold take on the Constitution is surprisingly common within the GOP, particularly among those like Broun who portray themselves as strict Constitutionalists and who frequently accuse Democrats of twisting the document to serve political aims.

Republicans have proposed at least 42 Constitutional amendments in the current Congress. If they don't like something, that's a position. You can't go changing everything in the Constitution to score political points on any given day.

Republicans like to cherry pick the Constitution just as much as they like to cherry pick the Bible.

Cherry picking is just a Christian thing to do. When you want to impose gun restrictions, they point to the Constitution and say, "fuck people's feelings. It's my RIGHT to carry a gun". When it's the question of the mosque, they point at people's feelings and say "Fuck their rights. Show some consideration toward the FEELINGS of the people". It's the Party of Hypocrisy.

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Republican Exceptionalism

Everyone has Constitutional Rights except:
  • Muslims
  • Gays
  • Latinos
  • Pregnant women
  • Babies born in America to immigrants
Bush’s gamble with tax cuts, increased borrowing, and historic spending, which promised to create jobs, ownership, and prosperity but FAILED on a global scale, should involve all Americans paying their share except:
  • the mega-wealthiest top 1% who got the toxic tax cuts in the first place
  • Corporations who fund the Tea Baggers and use them as identity politics pawns
The massive economic failure that Republicans pushed deregulation, lack of oversight, underfunded protective agencies, and changes to banking and investment houses to create bubble upon bubble has accountability to all politicians except:
  • Republicans

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Kansas Billionaire Koch Brothers’ War Against Obama And American Ideals

With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred, died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge. The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch—who, years ago, bought out two other brothers—among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

The Kochs are longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation.

The Koch brothers outbid ExxonMobil in funding organizations that discredit climate change.

The Kochs fund opposition campaigns against many Obama Administration policies—from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program.

The Kochs believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry—especially environmental regulation.

They inherited their family billions and now want to dismantle all that is fair about America to "conserve" their own wealth. Complete dicks!!!

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Gutting The Middle Class: The GOP's "Mission Accomplished"

Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future by Robert B. Reich.

When the nation's economy foundered in 2008, blame was directed almost universally at Wall Street. But Reich suggests a different reason for the meltdown, and for a perilous road ahead. He argues that the real problem is structural: it lies in the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the top, and in a middle class that has had to go deeply into debt to maintain a decent standard of living.

The Middle Class is under attack from the Right Wing. The Corporations and wealthiest Americans have played the Tea Baggers and Fox Noise viewers like a fiddle.

Made them simply fear a President's known birth certificate and in return got their devotion and blind faith to stand against every bit of legislation and policy that would actually helped them.

Obama passed the biggest Middle Class tax cuts in history and their mantra is "taxed enough already".

The Tea Baggers are all nascent deficit hawks, clamoring about every nickel spent, yet want to extend toxic Bush tax cuts to the top1% and add $700 billion to the deficit. WTF?

Unless you're making 5 million a year, you're not a Republican. Don't let your white skin fool you.

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Newt The Lizard

Crawling on his belly, looking for other low-lifes to rally.

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What Your Opposition To Gay Marriage Means

Palin's Word Salad Performance Art Tanking

Sarah Palin can't sell tickets to her word salad performance art -- in Florida.

"An Evening of Hope with Sarah Palin," an event featuring the former Alaska Governor, was supposed to be a minor blockbuster in Jacksonville, Florida, next week, but not everything has gone as planned.

Slow ticket sales have forced event organizers to move the function from the 2,936-seat Moran Theatre to the significantly smaller 609-seat Terry Theatre.

"Real America" appears to be shrinking.

This is a good sign for America.

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The Southern Strategy Lives On

"The president says he's a Christian. I take him at his word," McConnell told Meet the Press host David Gregory.

This statement leaves some doubt, of course, which is precisely what he meant to do. It's a dog whistle for the extremists and radicals. Obama is "not one of us". Therefore, everything he does can be opposed with righteous lunacy.

Lee Atwater and Strom Thurmond are smiling in Hell somewhere.

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The Righ Wings' "The Expendables"

Milky Joe Takes On The GOP

“And I talk to you, my Republican brethren,” he said into the camera. “I don’t know how much longer you’ll be my brethren. I’ll be honest. I’m looking for a conservative party that actually believes in small government and not engaging in Wilsonian wars but that’s another discussion.

“I’m just talking, you know, as a friend. I promise you this. You’re going to be embarrassed. You’re going to look back two, three, four years from now and this is going to be dark blot on your record if you don’t speak out against New Gingrich and the voices of hate.

“This is an embarrassment and you need to speak out against it” - MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough told Republicans Monday that they should “speak out against Newt Gingrich and the voices of hate.”

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Krugman: Bush's Dysfunctional Tax Cuts Need To Go

And there’s a real chance that Republicans will get what they want. That’s a demonstration, if anyone needed one, that our political culture has become not just dysfunctional but deeply corrupt.

What’s at stake here? According to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, making all of the Bush tax cuts permanent, as opposed to following the Obama proposal, would cost the federal government $680 billion in revenue over the next 10 years. For the sake of comparison, it took months of hard negotiations to get Congressional approval for a mere $26 billion in desperately needed aid to state and local governments.

And where would this $680 billion go? Nearly all of it would go to the richest 1 percent of Americans, people with incomes of more than $500,000 a year. But that’s the least of it: the policy center’s estimates say that the majority of the tax cuts would go to the richest one-tenth of 1 percent.

These damaging tax cuts were corrupt and dysfunctional when Republicans rammed them through Congress using, of all things, Reconciliation. Funny how Republicans hated Reconciliation when Health Care reform was involved but loved it back then.

They were also set to expire after nine years to avoid the headlines of a 10-year calculated effect on the budget which would have pointed out how bad this lack of tax revenue would hurt America. Bastards.

Obama is standing firm against the rich cry babies. It's time America stands up for the less privileged, the aging, the teachers, the police and firefighters. Their voices don't have the money to go against the wealthy, but the future of America needs to hear them.

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Afghan War Running Low On Logic

Obama needs to get out of the failed Bush Foreign Nation Building business and focus on the US for a bit. Less bombs, more schools.

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Talk The Talk And Walk The Walk

Michael Ian Black Keepin' It Real

"Hitler is just a buzz word. Which is actually part of my problem with him saying it in such a blithe way. In a weird way, by equating policy disagreements with a genocidal egomaniac, you’re actually disrespecting Hitler. You’re actually bringing his evil down to the level of the mundane, which we should never do. Obama is Hitler because he created a consumer protection agency? C’mon."

Michael Ian Black reacts to a heckler comparing Obama to Hitler.

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