Blog Archives

In case you missed it, here is last night’s debate…

The whole video is below:

Feel free to post your comments.

 

Even Conservatives are criticizing and condemning Romney’s comments on the mid-east tragedy yesterday…

A morning where Joe Scarborough, Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal and dozens of other conservatives are appearing on television and the press stating their disappointment in the anti-Obama words of Romney yesterday. That he politicized an incident where Americans should all evaluate the circumstances and support each other and the President, Romney seems to be trying to show Rush Limbaugh that he is a tough competitor. He has an inappropriate way of showing his ability to lead if he were in office.

RPW Chairman Reince Priebus

Reince Priebus

This is more than a gaffe (although we’ve had a number of these, and it spread through his whole campaign staff… especially Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus, someone whose comments throughout the election process has been unapprovable. Here’s a guy who should be canned rather than be allowed access to the Press.

Making a political broadside against the Commander In Chief in this situation does not even come close to understanding foreign policy. The Republicans circling the wagons does very little to support his election possibility.

Leftist columnist Alexander Cockburn dead at 71.

 

Alexander Cockburn, radical columnist for The Nation and editor of the political newsletter CounterPunch, died Friday in Germany at age 71.

He had been receiving treatment for two years for cancer and lived in recent years in Petrolia, Calif. He was known for an acidic pen that spared few on either the left or right for hypocritical or corrupt policies.

His last column in The Nation covered the “culture of rabid criminality” in the international banking system. He predicted that even reform and tough enforcement wouldn’t save it from eventual collapse.

“He was an extraordinarily provocative, polemical, elegant columnist and writer. And he certainly was someone who never wavered in dissenting from what was the conventional line.”

 – Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation.

Cockburn was born in Scotland in 1941 and raised in Ireland, the son of the British novelist and Communist Claud Cockburn. In the 1970s and 80s he wrote for the Village Voice, but was fired for taking a $10,000 grant from the Institute of Arab Studies to write a book about Israel’s invasion of Lebanon. He also had a column for a time in the Wall Street Journal.

While writing for The Nation he became known for his battles in print with fellow columnist Christopher Hitchens. He co-founded CounterPunch on line with St. Clair in 1996.

 

 

Robert Reich on Regressives vs. Progressives…

Reich outlines what is really being fought for in 2012 and beyond.

Listen up!

 

Quote from a Conservative:

Romney’s campaign ”belief that it’s about the economy and only the economy, and that they need to keep telling us stupid voters that it’s only about the economy, has gone from being an annoying tick to a dangerous self-delusion.”

Bill Kristol

Always interesting when a fairly extreme neocon points a finger at Romney’s treatment of potential voters.

Has the Republican House Sealed its Fate?

“Based on the historical record we can confidently predict that if a large number of incumbents lose their seats next November, it will be because 2012 is a wave election and that almost all of the defeated incumbents will come from the party on the losing side of the wave.”

– Alan I. Abramowitz, Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science at Emory University

Boehner Leads the Ranks of the Inverted

So Boehner turned out the lights and sent the House home, even though Democrats were calling for a continuing discussion to get the interim Payroll bill of the Senate passed, giving 60 days to come up with the final compromise without attacking the economic lives of middle Americans.

Even the Wall Street Journal, not a left leaning publication, tried to get the Republican leader and his Tea Party Poopers to see the three reasons that made the House Majority the bad guys:

Reason #1: House Republicans allowed the Senate to break for the Christmas holiday without explicit orders it would need to come back. In fact, Politico notes that the silence from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is deafening. Reason #2: The Senate passed its legislation by a bipartisan 89-10 vote, raising the question whether a conference committee could produce a deal that could get 60-plus Senate votes. Reason #3: The House GOP didn’t allow an up-or-down vote on the Senate bill, suggesting that it could have passed if they did. Those three reasons will be hard for the House GOP to explain away if the tax cut expires after Dec. 31.”

We are left with no payroll tax cuts for 160 million workers and aid for several million long-term unemployed Americans expiring on Dec. 31. If the Republicans wanted to make Obama look good in this situation, they couldn’t have done it better.

The question now is what will the majority of Americans think when an extra cut comes out of their paychecks and they bring their anger into the public venue (think of the Occupy movement)? Too bad we can’t vote for House members tomorrow!

The Death of Vaclav Havel and remembering his interaction with Zappa

Former Czech President Vaclav Havel died on Sunday in his country house in Bohemia… age 75. The artist/playwright who came into power on what was called the “Velvet Revolution” and created a democracy out of a Communist satellite was summed up by the NY Times:

A shy yet resilient, unfailingly polite but dogged man who articulated the power of the powerless, Mr. Havel spent five years in and out of Communist prisons, lived for two decades under close secret-police surveillance and endured the suppression of his plays and essays. He served 14 years as president, wrote 19 plays, inspired a film and a rap song and remained one of his generation’s most seductively nonconformist writers.

All the while, Mr. Havel came to personify the soul of the Czech nation.

Many people, however, are either unaware or forgetful of the brief relationship between Havel and Frank Zappa. This from the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Havel was a life-long supporter of The Plastic People of the Universe, the Czech underground, nonconformist rock band that fought against the Czechoslovak totalitarian regime.

Under the communist regime, the vast majority of western music was banned, yet the country’s dissidents and its underground movement widely circulated prohibited music that focused on free expression and human rights, such as The Velvet Underground and The Mothers of Invention, led by Lou Reed and Frank Zappa, respectively.

These two bands achieved huge fame in erstwhile Czechoslovakia despite being forbidden by the authorities, and they were favorites of Mr. Havel. The former president said these musicians were among his dear, personal friends.

In January 1990, Mr. Havel appointed Mr. Zappa as Special Ambassador to the West on Trade, Culture and Tourism, and cited Mr. Zappa as one of his many sources of inspiration. The two men were close friends before Mr. Zappa’s death in 1993, and the American musician was active in Czechoslovakia’s transformation back to a free-market economy.

Here are 4 Videos of the Zappa’s visit to the Czech Republic in 1990:

…and for today, here’s our music break … Frank Zappa is our Papa, recorded by Michael Kocab and musicians in Prague.

(Michael Kocab, composer of rock and classical music, singer, politician responsible for the withdrawal of the Soviet Army from Czech Republic in 1991. Member of the Czech Parliament, adviser of President Vaclav Havel, Leader of group Prague Selection and Prague Selection II (Prazsky Vyber)was also a close friend of Frank Zappa.)

We haven’t heard about former Democratic campaigner John Edwards in a while…

… then this turned up on the Atlantic Wire:

The Federal Election Commission ordered John Edwards to pay $2.3 million back to the U.S. Treasury from his candidacy in the 2008 presidential primaries. In a routine audit, the FEC says the campaign received $2.1 million more in federal matching funds than it was entitled to, which it now must repay, as well as $141,000 in what The Wall Street Journal calls “stale-dated checks.” The Edwards campaign committee still had $2.6 million in its coffers as of June 30. A lawyer for Edwards is disputing the ruling.

Looks like this will just about wipe out the bank roll. I wonder what he’ll do with the last .3 million (oh, I imagine the lawyer gets it.)

A last quote for the day…

“In thirty minutes, 18 State Senators undid fifty years of civil rights in Wisconsin.

“Their disrespect for the people of Wisconsin and their rights is an outrage that will

Sen. Mark Miller

never be forgotten.

“Tonight, 18 Senate Republicans conspired to take government away from the people.

“Tomorrow we will join the people of Wisconsin in taking back their government.”

– Wisconsin Senate Democratic Leader Mark Miller

No further comment necessary.

Quote of the Day from a Conservative Republican Retiree

Paul Craig Roberts was the Chief Architect of Reaganomics at the Treasury Department. He has edited and written for the Wall Street Journal, been a fellow at the Hoover Institution and is now a syndicated columnist at age 70.

But he did not support George W’s wars and doesn’t support the wars we are currently in. Dan Froomkin has done a piece on him today on HuffPo, called A Reagan Republican Makes A Case Against The War — And His Own Party. Here’s a quote from Roberts:

The GOP has changed. Under the influence of the neoconservatives, the GOP is becoming a Brownshirt party.

I am a constitutionalist, a civil libertarian who believes that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are the FIRST things to be defended, not the last to be defended or that can be pushed aside in the name of “national security.” Without the Constitution and the civil liberties that it guarantees, there can be no security.

When it comes to the market economy, I am a realist. I understand that, compared to a nation of farmers and artisans, a market economy–especially under free trade, jobs offshoring globalism–subjects people to massive economic insecurity and requires a strong social safety net. The idea that Republicans are espousing that the social safety net can be sacrificed in the name of deficit reduction in order to pay for wars of hegemony is insane, inhumane, and evil.

I wonder if any Republicans listen to their own former Party leaders?

And here are some notes from Democracy For America…

This, of course, is being sent out with a fundraising request from DFA:

The Wall Street Journal reports — “Conservatives in Wisconsin are getting nervous that three Republican state senators may defect on the collective-bargaining reform vote.”

NBC news in Wisconsin reports — “four moderate Republicans are wavering and could break with the GOP and vote against Walker’s budget repair bill.”

And Talking Points Memo reports on a brand new poll by a Republican leaning pollster — “Rasmussen Poll: Almost Six In Ten Wisconsin Voters Disapprove Of Gov. Walker.”

Keep up the good work folks… Act Blue is collecting
their donations, I guess.