Monthly Archives: September 2010
This appeared in OpEdNews today:
September 30, 2010
Obama Will Triumph — So Will America
By Frank Schaeffer
#Continued the draw down the misbegotten war in Iraq
#Thoughtfully and decisively picked the best of several bad choices regarding the war in Afghanistan
#Gave a major precedent-setting speech supporting gay rights
#Restored America’s image around the globe
#Banned torture of American prisoners
#Stopped the free fall of the American economy
#Put the USA squarely back in the bilateral international community
#Put the USA squarely into the middle of the international effort to halt global warming
#Stood up for educational reform
#Won a Nobel peace prize
#Moved the trial of terrorists back into the American judicial system of checks and balances
#Did what had to be done to start the slow, torturous and almost impossible process of health care reform that 7 presidents had failed to even begin
#Responded to hatred from the right and left with measured good humor and patience
#Stopped the free fall of job losses
#Showed immense personal courage in the face of an armed and dangerous far right opposition that included the sort of disgusting people that show up at public meetings carrying loaded weapons and carrying Timothy McVeigh-inspired signs about the “blood of tyrants” needing to “water the tree of liberty””
#Showed that he could not only make the tough military choices but explain and defend them brilliantly
Author’s Bio: Frank Schaeffer is a New York Times best selling author. He is a survivor of both polio and an evangelical/fundamentalist childhood, an acclaimed writer who overcame severe dyslexia, a home-schooled and self-taught documentary movie director, a feature film director and producer of four low budget Hollywood features Frank has described as “pretty terrible.” Frank’s nonfiction includes “Keeping Faith-A Father-Son Story About Love and the United States Marine Corps” and AWOL-The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes From Military Service and How It Hurts Our Country.” Frank’s latest book is, “Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back.”
- Barack Obama’s war on the Tea Party is doomed to fail (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Today in Washington – September 21, 2010 (redstate.com)
- Republicans can’t add (nowpublic.com)
Joe Miller, who won the Republican nomination in Alaska with the support of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party, isn’t arrogant. Gee, no, not at all. That’s why he cut a bunch of Tweets from his Twitter account. Fortunately, The Mudflats, my favorite Alaskan site, saved a screen dump before he cut them:
So… he’s shopping for office furniture and looking for a House and the election hasn’t happened yet. And Lisa Murkowski has decided to run as a write in… so it’s a 3-way race. And I understand Alaskans don’t like arrogant politicians.
This is one to watch.
- Tea Party Casualty Lisa Murkowkski Wages Establishment Comeback (huffingtonpost.com)
- Tea Party Victim Wages an Establishment Comeback in 2010 Election (politics.usnews.com)
- New Murkowski Ad Takes Direct Aim At The Tea Party (outsidethebeltway.com)
- Following Palin to Kentucky (politicalwire.com)
This is the kind of job to have. Be elected to maintain and improve our Nation, get swamped by letters and blogs and broadcasters from the great majority of Americans pleading with you to attend to the problems, blame each other for doing nothing, and go home to campaign for office again. On top of that, you get paid pretty well to do all of this.
I am disgusted with Congress, both the people I voted for and trusted and supported and the people I already expected this crap from. As I have said in previous posts, we seem to have no system that works to really keep this political joke from being told. Voters seem to have no real control… that control is granted (and now endorsed by the Supreme Court) to major corporations and foreign countries.
Will questions be raised in the next month of campaigning which will find truth in what a candidate will actually stand for, actually DO? Is honesty too much to ask for? If candidates are prepared to spend outrageous amounts of their own money to shut opponents out of the media (Linda McMahon has pledged to spend $50 Million of her own dough in CT, a state where a Senate election used to find $13 Million as outrageous), will we find out what they would hope to accomplish when (not if) elected?
I doubt it sincerely. And yet, if I decide not to vote, I am paying into the problem. What choices remain? Think back to a country founded by patriots who saw the domination of money (ie: the British Government and The King) and power as a threat to their lives and freedom. What would they say if they saw us today?
- Tax Cut Extension in Limbo as Lawmakers Skip Town (politics.blogs.foxnews.com)
- And They’re Out! Congress Flees D.C. to Campaign for 2010 Election (politics.usnews.com)
- And they’re out! Congress flees DC to campaign (sfgate.com)
- Linda McMahon’s Surge: Ads, Voter Anger Propel Senate Bid, but Doubts Linger (politicsdaily.com)
- Bob Burnett: The 2010 Elections: What’s at Stake? (huffingtonpost.com)
- Jeffrey Jones, ‘Ferris Bueller’ Star, GUILTY In Sex Offender Violation (huffingtonpost.com)
- “Ferris Bueller” actor sentenced in sex offender case (omg.yahoo.com)
- “Ferris Bueller’s” Jeffrey Jones Ordered To 250 Hours Community Service (popcrunch.com)
- ‘Ferris Bueller’ Star — Guilty in Sex Offender Violation (tmz.com)
I love reading Ramona’s pieces. This one began:
“Fox News and the C of C thank you for voting Republican. But don’t call us, we’ll call you.
So, all you “Mad as Hell” people who idolize Fox “News” and their partners in crime, the Koch Brothers, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Republican Party, let’s hear what you’ve learned from that bunch you’ve been following so religiously. What’s the plan? What’s marvels are in store for you when they take out the government and make it obsolete?”
…and then went on:
- Tea Party’s roots lie in backlash against Obama (cnn.com)
- Fox News Panel Puts a Happy Face on the Extreme Right’s Takeover of the Republican Party (crooksandliars.com)
Penn, who directed such great films as Bonnie And Clyde, The Miracle Worker, and Little Big Man, was one of the most influential directors of our time, changing the way films were made – director-based instead of studio-based. He died one day after his 88th birthday.
From the NY Times bio:
1953, Penn was writing and directing live TV productions for the Philco Playhouse and Playhouse 90. Earning a shot at feature films, Penn combined the Method acting concentration on character psychology with the story of legendary Western outlaw Billy the Kid in The Left-Handed Gun (1958). Starring Paul Newman as Billy and shot in crisp black-and-white, The Left-Handed Gun emphasized ’50s rebel neuroses over pastoral spectacle, becoming more of a character study of youthful revolt spiked with dramatic violence than a typical good vs. bad oater.
Tony Curtis, who died last night, was active as a performer for five decades. Not bad for a Lower East Side Jewish boy. Bernard Schwartz (Tony’s real name) was born on June 3, 1925, to Helen and Emanuel Schwartz, Jewish immigrants from Hungary. Emanuel operated a tailor shop in a poor neighborhood, and the family occupied cramped quarters behind the store, the parents in one room and little Bernard sharing another with his two brothers, Julius and Robert.
In the 1950s Curtis appeared in Some Like It Hot and The Defiant Ones, among many others, with major leads that took him through the 1970s. Later in life he did smaller parts, but never really stopped acting. His final screen appearance was in 2008, when he played a small role in “David & Fatima,” an independent budget film about a romance between an Israeli Jew and a Palestinian Muslim. His character’s name was Mr. Schwartz.
He is survived by his 6th wife and his first daughter (with Janet Leigh), Jamie Lee Curtis.
- ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ Director Arthur Penn Dies (pbpulse.com)
- ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ director Arthur Penn has died (cnn.com)
Anyone who spends a couple of hours switching around between CSpan and CSpan2 in an afternoon gets a real feeling of despair watching political parties working against each other instead of for the rest of us. For the last couple of days I’ve been watching both Houses debate trade issues (always coming back to how China screws us by devaluing the Yuan), Federal spending on things that are not making our economy any better, and both sides claiming they are addressing the things the American people want them to.
To tell the truth, everything is going to get worse. While the Republicans are working as hard as they can to make sure the Democrats accomplish as close to nothing as possible, thus getting their party’s numbers up in the coming election and perhaps getting control of the HofR or the Senate, they don’t seem to realize that if they gain power the Democrats will pull the same crap on them. If one says, as an American, I’d like both sides to work together, it is pretty much ignored.
So what do these politicians do? They spend most of their speeches on the floor complaining about each other. They don’t do the easiest things… the things that would increase employment (for which we would gladly pay necessary taxes), things that would get us out of military overexpenditures as the last international empire builders, things that would rebuild our infrastructure which the last 25 years of tax cuts have allowed to crumble. What are we able to do about it?
Do we turn into something like the Tea Party which is manipulated by the Republicans and based on white greed and racist contradictions? Do we try to convert our existing parties to be actual representatives of our concerns and needs and not those of extremely wealthy and manipulative international corporations? How do we do it?
This is so depressing I can hardly breathe.
After putting this post up this afternoon, I was looking at some videos of Rachel Maddow and found one commenting on the Republican hypocrisy related to the Recovery Act that she did last February. Amazing how this relates to the same garbage going on between parties… and how serious this problem will get if the Republicans take over either (or both) Houses in November. Take a look:
- Bob Cesca: Killing the False Equivalency “Both Sides” Meme (huffingtonpost.com)
- CBO’s Elmendorf tells Republicans what they don’t want to hear (washingtonmonthly.com)
- Are we heading for a replay of 1930s? (telegraph.co.uk)
- Leo Hindery, Jr.: Tea Party Politics & Economics: Brews Too Bitter To Swallow (huffingtonpost.com)
The current issue of Rolling Stone has an investigative article by Matt Taibbi entitled: Tea and Crackers: How corporate interests and Republican insiders built the Tea Party monster. Allow me to say that it is both amazing and revealing. Here is a brief section… please, please, please go in and read the whole thing… you will not regret it:
By Matt TaibbiSep 28, 2010 7:01 AM EDT
This is an article from the October 15, 2010 issue of Rolling Stone.
It’s taken three trips to Kentucky, but I’m finally getting my Tea Party epiphany exactly where you’d expect: at a Sarah Palin rally. The red-hot mama of American exceptionalism has flown in to speak at something called the National Quartet Convention in Louisville, a gospel-music hoedown in a giant convention center filled with thousands of elderly white Southerners. Palin — who earlier this morning held a closed-door fundraiser for Rand Paul, the Tea Party champion running for the U.S. Senate — is railing against a GOP establishment that has just seen Tea Partiers oust entrenched Republican hacks in Delaware and New York. The dingbat revolution, it seems, is nigh.
“We’re shaking up the good ol’ boys,” Palin chortles, to the best applause her aging crowd can muster. She then issues an oft-repeated warning (her speeches are usually a tired succession of half-coherent one-liners dumped on ravenous audiences like chum to sharks) to Republican insiders who underestimated the power of the Tea Party Death Star. “Buck up,” she says, “or stay in the truck.”
Stay in what truck? I wonder. What the hell does that even mean?
Scanning the thousands of hopped-up faces in the crowd, I am immediately struck by two things. One is that there isn’t a single black person here. The other is the truly awesome quantity of medical hardware: Seemingly every third person in the place is sucking oxygen from a tank or propping their giant atrophied glutes on motorized wheelchair-scooters. As Palin launches into her Ronald Reagan impression — “Government’s not the solution! Government’s the problem!” — the person sitting next to me leans over and explains.
“The scooters are because of Medicare,” he whispers helpfully. “They have these commercials down here: ‘You won’t even have to pay for your scooter! Medicare will pay!’ Practically everyone in Kentucky has one.”A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can’t imagine it.
After Palin wraps up, I race to the parking lot in search of departing Medicare-motor-scooter conservatives. I come upon an elderly couple, Janice and David Wheelock, who are fairly itching to share their views.
“I’m anti-spending and anti-government,” crows David, as scooter-bound Janice looks on. “The welfare state is out of control.”
“OK,” I say. “And what do you do for a living?”
“Me?” he says proudly. “Oh, I’m a property appraiser. Have been my whole life.”
I frown. “Are either of you on Medicare?”
Silence: Then Janice, a nice enough woman, it seems, slowly raises her hand, offering a faint smile, as if to say, You got me!
“Let me get this straight,” I say to David. “You’ve been picking up a check from the government for decades, as a tax assessor, and your wife is on Medicare. How can you complain about the welfare state?”
“Well,” he says, “there’s a lot of people on welfare who don’t deserve it. Too many people are living off the government.”
I’d love to go on here, but I owe it to Rolling Stone to have you go THERE.
- The best and funniest Tea Party exegesis ever…. (tagg-lines.com)
- Taibbi among the teabaggers [Pharyngula] (scienceblogs.com)
- Following Palin to Kentucky (politicalwire.com)
- Matt Taibbi Drills LeBron, Jim Gray, ESPN (thebiglead.com)
I’m killing time in Hagerstown at the Higher Ground Coffee Shop, sipping my coffee while I wait before going to Dr. Khan’s office. I have a “legs and toes” test this morning…don’t ask, I don’t know, something to do with mu diabetes and my nerves…and I had to borrow Elly’s car to get there. To do that, I had to drop her off at work at 8:30, 2 hours before my Dr.’s appointment. Therefore I pick a coffee shop with a WiFi hookup.
This afternoon I’m working on getting some money for parts from my dead car… money I can put into Linda’s Subaru. I’ll start with Brown’s, since one of the guys there said he had someone who might be interested. I’m not sure how much I trust them, though… they could have found my car dead when it overheated two weeks before and I spent over $1200.00 on having a radiator put in and other parts. Shepherdstown is a small area, though, and I don’t have access to a lot here, so I’ll have to give them a shot.
- Today is National Coffee Day! (suddenlyfrugal.com)
This article in this morning’s HuffPo really got to me, especially after yesterday’s Cloture failure on Offshore Business practices.Here’s the start of the article… go in and read the rest:
- More Party Of No: Sen. Jim DeMint Says He’ll Block All Legislation He Doesn’t Clear (alan.com)
- Jim DeMint Threatens to Block All Legislation (littlegreenfootballs.com)
- Jim DeMint’s One-Man Government Shutdown (news.firedoglake.com)
- Jim DeMint Vows To Shut Down Senate (outsidethebeltway.com)
Vote for Manchin…here’s why:
- Hugh Hewitt: Raece Agead In West Virginia (hughhewitt.com)
- In WV, Popular Governor Manchin Hindered by the D Next To His Name (blogs.abcnews.com)
- HRC to Join One Nation Working Together March in D.C. (pinkbananaworld.com)
- Free Speech TV to Broadcast Exclusive Live Coverage of ‘One Nation’ March in Washington D.C. (prnewswire.com)
- Celebrities Danny Glover, Scott Bakula, Anne-Marie Johnson, Valerie Harper and Mike Farrell Join One Nation Working Together (prnewswire.com)
- Planes, Trains and ‘BlogMobiles’: One Nation Working Together Supporters Embark on Nationwide Journey (prnewswire.com)
I hope active progressives will take this to heart:
“It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election. There may be complaints about us not having gotten certain things done, not fast enough, making certain legislative compromises. But right now, we’ve got a choice between a Republican Party that has moved to the right of George Bush and is looking to lock in the same policies that got us into these disasters in the first place, versus an administration that, with some admitted warts, has been the most successful administration in a generation in moving progressive agendas forward.
“The idea that we’ve got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible.
“We have to get folks off the sidelines. People need to shake off this lethargy, people need to buck up. Bringing about change is hard — that’s what I said during the campaign. It has been hard, and we’ve got some lumps to show for it. But if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren’t serious in the first place.
“If you’re serious, now’s exactly the time that people have to step up.”
Well, I’m serious. And I’m going to do everything I can to keep the Mitch McConnells and John Boehners from dragging us back into the pit we have been crawling out of. Please join me… get your friends to vote, wherever you are (I’m in West Virginia where the Senate Race is now looking like a major competition!)
- Democrats must shake off lethargy: Obama (alternet.org)
- Obama: Democratic voter apathy ‘inexcusable’ (sfgate.com)
- Obama: Democratic voter apathy ‘inexcusable’ (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Obama Rolling Stone Interview: Calls Out ‘Irresponsible’ Democratic Voters For Apathy (huffingtonpost.com)
- Democrats dismiss Republicans’ new ‘Contract with America’ (alternet.org)
- Obama Aims To Rekindle Some Of His 2008 Campaign Magic Ahead Of Midterms (huffingtonpost.com)
Requiring a 60 vote plurality to avoid filibuster on the Senate bill S.3816 to tax overseas investments to keep jobs from being taken away from our shores (see yesterday’s post “Why it’s important that we get behind Senator Byron Dorgan…“), the opportunity to correct a real problem was killed by a when only 53 Senators voted for Cloture. This fell seven votes short of allowing the bill to even be discussed by the Senate.
Along with the Republicans who all voted this out was that traitor to the Middle Class Joe Lieberman (Asshole – CT) who is, hopefully, going to be retired at the end of his term. A vote against this bill really indicates who may be in the pockets of big corporations that refuse to pay taxes to the country they made their mark in as they give 50¢ an hour jobs to Mexicans and the Chinese. I’m beginning to think that some of the Teaparty complaints may have some validity (it’s too bad they are so stupid about so many other things.)
Note: It has just been announced that former President Jimmy Carter has been hospitalized in Cleveland, OH. The former President has been on a book tour where he has been making three or more appearances a day… possibly draining on an 86-year-old.
We wish President Carter our best and hope he is back out on the tour soon.
- Why it’s important that we get behind Senator Byron Dorgan… (underthelobsterscope.wordpress.com)
- What’s A Filibuster? (seeingtheforest.com)
- Dorgan criticizes Lieberman actions (politico.com)
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- Handy Web Typography Tools (aext.net)
There was a heavy rain last night, which is great, since it has been so dry around here throughout the Summer and into the Fall. Our rainfall is a couple of inches below last year and it is not likely to catch up, so any big rain is welcome. And it keeps me from having to water the garden today, saving our water bill a tiny bit.
However, as I got out of bed this morning (at the urging of my dogs who were waiting to walk) and looked out the window, I saw the sunshine lighting up the puddles on our wet back deck and looked up to a blue sky with white, fluffy clouds. And while Yahoo’s weather report on my monitor says we will have partial rainfall this morning, it looks to me like it’s gone.The weather report goes on to say that rain is likely to return on Thursday, so I guess I’ll be ready when it comes. Maybe by the weekend we’ll have nice weather (hope it stays cool, too… the last couple of days have been great.)
Today I’m getting back to my car hunt, in case something happens with Linda’s Subaru and that doesn’t go through. I also want to find out about transferring license plates from my dead car and I also want to see if I can sell the Toyota Echo off for parts. Even a few bucks to go into the next vehicle would be appreciated. Anybody out there interested? It has a new radiator and everything but the engine is in good shape. drop me an email at email@example.com if this is something you might want.
- Weather: Welcome back, sun (seattlepi.com)
- Blogg post: 23/09/2010 Cool and rainy.. (j5uliana.wordpress.com)
- Defining Weather (brighthub.com)
“So two years ago America broke up with you, because you had badly mistreated her. … And you come back rapping on our door, hat in hand, and you say, ‘Baby, I know you love me. But if we get back together, I pledge to you, I promise you, I will still try to f*ck your sister every chance I get.'”
And that about sums up the GOP’s approach to the Middle Class…
- ‘Postcards from the Pledge’ (washingtonmonthly.com)
- CAUGHT: Stewart Shows GOP’s ‘New’ Pledge Exactly The Same As The Old (VIDEO) (huffingtonpost.com)
- David Gregory Plays Jon Stewart Clip To Bash Boehner and GOP (newsbusters.org)
Dorgan (D – North Dakota) is the Senator who introduced legislation, S. 260, to shut down a tax loophole that rewards U.S. companies that move U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas. The legislation would close the loophole that allows U.S. multinational companies to defer paying income taxes on profits they make from the U.S. sale of the products manufactured in foreign factories, until those profits are returned to the United States, if ever. Manufacturers who remain in the United States receive no similar subsidy.
While passage of this law has obvious benefits for the U.S., it has been something Dorgan has been trying to get through for ten years.
You may not believe it, but when a U.S. company closes down a U.S. manufacturing plant fires its American workers and moves those good-paying jobs to China or other locations abroad, U.S. tax law actually rewards those companies with a large tax break called deferral. The tax code allows these firms to defer paying any U.S. income taxes on the earnings from those new foreign-manufactured products until those profits are returned, if ever, to this country. If a company making the same product decides to stay in this country, it is required to pay immediate U.S. taxes on the profits it earns here.
– Senator Byron Dorgan
Examples of products that used to be manufactured in America but now are being made in China or Mexico or other countries? How
about Nabisco Fig Newtons, which are now made by 50¢ per hour workers in Mexico. Or Huffy Bicycles, formerly made in Ohio, now made in China by 33¢ per hour workers. Or Etch-a-Sketch. Or La-Z-Boy furniture. Or Fruit of the Loom underwear. The list goes on and on.
And we support the outsourcing of products in two ways. When we go to Wal-Mart or K-Mart (companies that demand our products at the lowest prices) and purchase them we give tacit support to the throwing away of American jobs. But that isn’t the only way we support major corporations who screw Americans out of their jobs…we give them tax breaks for doing it! These are called “Deferrals” and they are totally legal.
We have lost so many jobs, especially in the 8 Bush years when close to 750,000 jobs a month disappeared as work making everything
from solar panels to Radio Flyer Wagons went to China, Mexico, and other countries where child labor at 50¢ per hour for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, can create products for minimum corporate expense. It will be extremely difficult to bring jobs back, but without changing the law so that tax breaks go to those who remain in America to carry out manufacturing and not to those who rob us of jobs and send the production overseas.
The Senate is debating the issue today. Needless to say, no Republicans are stepping up to the plate yet and Republican leader McConnell (R-Kentucky) has stated that no problem exists. The President signed legislation today to make $50 Billion Dollars available to banks for loans to small businesses. Hopefully, this will create employment and perhaps see new products manufactured in our country.
One could hope.
- Former President George W. Bush, U.S. Senator Byron Dorgan, DOE Assistant Secretary Cathy Zoi to Address Windpower 2010 Conference & Exhibition (eon.businesswire.com)
- Senate Democrats Make One Last Push At Jobs Bill (huffingtonpost.com)
- Huffpost Hill – September 22nd, 2010 (huffingtonpost.com)
- Durbin Says Senate Won’t Pass Tax Cut Extension Before Election (businessweek.com)
Linda is getting a new car (through her company, I think… it’s a Ford Fusion that she had to order in Illinois) and when she gets it she would sell me her Subaru Outback (1998 and very well maintained) at a good price. I checked to see if this was a car that could get beyond the 250,000 miles that are on it and, from all I’ve read so far, in well-maintained condition this could get twice that amount of mileage and still be running. With my rate of driving (about 12,000 miles a year) I’d probably be long dead before that amount of miles was hit. The only problem here is that Linda doesn’t know when her new car will get here… it may take a couple more weeks, which would leave me in my carless condition for longer than I wanted. However, I’ll deal with it as well as I can.
The first week of Thurber Carnival is over and I don’t have a call until Friday night, so that’s one more thing I can put out of my mind. Now I have to arrange getting to two Doctor appointments this week and two or three next week. It won’t be easy, but it can be done.
Rex Babin in the Sacramento Bee:
Perhaps the Teabaggers are suffering from shortness of view…
– and –
Chan Lowe in the South Florida Sentinel (reprinted from 2009):
Perhaps McCain can tell…
– and –
Matt Davies in The (Westchester NY) Journal News:
Perhaps the Congress will get back to this after the election…
– and –
Joel Pett in the Lexington Herald-Leader:
Perhaps real Americans are uneducated and closed minded…
- What’s a Gumby Suit? (livescience.com)
Governor Dean’s organization is trying to keep the best progressive Congressfolk in place as they are challenged by very dangerous people from the right. I pass on this message I received from him this morning:
- ‘Cheddarbomb’ for Russ Feingold (americablog.com)
- Sen. Feingold Faces Tight Race In Wisconsin (npr.org)
- Cheeseheads wouldn’t do this, would they? (washingtonmonthly.com)