Friday, October 31, 2008
I must be having flashbacks (never drop acid and watch The Ten Commandments). I seem to remember something from the bible about people dancing around a golden bovine. Hmmm, what could it be? Oh yeah! Like this!
Modern evangelicals are so ignorant of their own religious history! There are layers upon layers upon layers of irony here. Not sure even where to begin.
Just be aware, that this kind of thing could cause Charlton Heston to reanimate and return to kick your ass! And nobody wants that!
Honestly, if you're going to pray to a "false idol", might as well pray to Jobu. At least you'll get some rum out of the deal.
Notice how flat the average wages are and how much profits at Exxon-Mobil have grown since 2000. Exxon-Mobil grows 250% while real wages stagnate. Feeling "trickled-down" on yet? Ready for a little wealth-spreading?
He's apparently claiming that he hasn't been convicted.
"I've not been convicted yet," the Alaska Republican insisted Thursday in a meeting with the editorial board of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. "There's not a black mark by my name yet, until the appeal is over and I am finally convicted, if that happens. If that happens, of course I'll do what's right for Alaska and for the Senate ... I don't anticipate it happening, and until it happens I do not have a black mark."Umm, Senator, when that jury foreman said the word "Guilty!" several times, that means you were convicted. I may not be a lawyer, but I've seen enough episodes of Law & Order to know that when they say that word, it's game over on the whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing. You, sir, are a convict.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
It's amazing that the GOPers think that this will stick. I laughed all the way to the polls and voted for Obama. I'm really looking forward to the 40 years the Republicans will need to spend in the wilderness to re-discover their roots.
Well, with any luck it will take more like 100 years. Take lots of sunscreen and send us a postcard once in awhile to let us know how you're doing.
She punches through the bottom of the barrel and begins her descent into hell.... This hateful ad accuses Kay Hagen, her Democratic opponent of taking "godless money." Not exactly sure what that means. Does that mean that atheists are not entitled to contribute to political campaigns? What bigotry. What hate. Atheists have rights as much as theists. Just not in Dole's vision of America.
It's easy to take potshots at atheists. We're an easy target for the religious majority in this country.
At least we atheists can look back to the founding fathers for support of our lack of faith.
Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person's life, freedom of religion affects every individual. Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the "wall of separation between church and state," therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. --Thomas Jefferson
Freedom of religion means freedom from religion!
Obama is behind in Bill-O's world because to admit otherwise would create a level of cognitive dissonance in his mind that he simply cannot accept. The rest of us see the electoral map something more like this.
David Sedaris, the humorist and author, asks the simple question "Who are these undecideds" in a very funny article in the New Yorker.
I leave it to you, dear reader, to separate the chicken from the shit.
To put them in perspective, I think of being on an airplane. The flight attendant comes down the aisle with her food cart and, eventually, parks it beside my seat. “Can I interest you in the chicken?” she asks. “Or would you prefer the platter of shit with bits of broken glass in it?”
To be undecided in this election is to pause for a moment and then ask how the chicken is cooked.
I mean, really, what’s to be confused about?
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
This analysis clearly shows that cutting the capital gains tax actually costs money and is therefore a really poor stimulus.
By comparison, other options—such as infrastructure spending, aid to states, food stamps, and unemployment insurance (UI) benefits—are much more cost-effective because they target the needs most likely to channel money back into the economy. Mark Zandi from Moody’s Economy.com estimates that each dollar of refundable tax rebates only boosts GDP by about $1.26, while each dollar of infrastructure spending could provide a $1.59 boost. Not only are many of these stimulus options more effective, but they also have the added benefit of assisting those hardest hit by the downturn and tackling long-standing infrastructure needs that would lower transportation costs, decrease traffic, and increase business productivity.If that's socialism, then color me Red and call me "Comrade!" I'm for what works.
Zandi’s analysis also shows what doesn’t work as stimulus: a variety of tax breaks for corporations and wealthy individuals, which cost over twice as much as they return to the economy.
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"I'm deeply disappointed," he said in an interview. "It surprises me. I don't think he had a jury of his peers."Hmmmm, a jury of his peers. What would "a jury of his peers" look like to Representative Young, I wonder? Probably nothing like the jury that Stevens had in DC which was mostly African-American. There aren't too many African-Americans back in Anchorage, that's for sure. So does he mean that African-American's aren't Senator Stevens' peers? Or is it just DC residents that aren't his peers? And why aren't they his peers?
What is he trying to say here? Do you think he means peers as in Peers of the Realm? They would certainly be more white than the DC jury, that's for sure. Do you think they'd be more forgiving of Senator Stevens' little indiscretions?
Perhaps. But now we'll never know. Because Stevens was tried by a jury of his peers, 12 Americans sitting in judgment of a corrupt public official. It's the way the system was designed to work. And work it did.
|From Accidental Incidents|
Yes, just a sprinkling of religious wingnuttery to go with the racism demonstrated by our fellow citizens in Pensyltucky. You can always count on the WorldNutDaily to reach for the stars when it comes to true wingnuttery, and they don't disappoint with this noxious screed from hate-filled Janet Porter. It's like every right-wing bit of hate rolled into one, condensed, easy-to-digest nugget! (I refuse to link to the site, so if you must, go find it on your own)
You cannot be a Christian and vote for Obama
To all those who name the name of Christ who plan to willfully disobey Him by voting for Obama, take warning. Not only is our nation in grave danger, according to the Word of God, so are you.
It must be really nice to have a hot-line to Christ for this election. Is she actually saying that Christ would vote for McCain? Really? What bible is she reading?
(I cut a bunch of the usual anti-choice rhetoric here about how Jesus loves little babies. GET OVER IT!!!! IT'S A FETUS NOT A BABY!!!! If you don't want to have an abortion, don't have one. Meanwhile, the rest of the women in the nation will go about their reproductive business without government or church interference in their well-established right to privacy. Same goes for marriage. If you don't want to have a same-sex marriage, DON'T HAVE ONE! But stop pretending you can tell others what to do with their lives.)
Obama will use your tax dollars to kill innocent children [aka FETUSES], and then he'll take your paycheck and use it to "spread the wealth around."Didn't Jesus "spread the wealth around" when he broke up the money changers game in the Temple? Wasn't Jesus for social justice and equality? I don't remember Jesus talking about socialism except that "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" line. Kind of reminds me of Marx's line "From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." Was Jesus a Marxist???
Be forewarned: If you willfully disobey God on life and marriage because of race or false hope for the economy, you will usher in the kind of change that brought the Soviet Union to collapse.I don't recall Jesus having an opinion about gay marriage. Or how gay marriage would bring about the end of the world. In fact, there isn't a single reference to homosexuality in the whole new testament, is there? But then, that never stopped these idiots from claiming what they claim. "Jesus Crucifies Fags".
What I do recall is this passage from Matthew 7: 1 - 2. "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Judgment is reserved for the almighty, it is not for us to judge the behavior of our fellow men and women. It's funny how the wingnuts always forget about that passage. I guess they're too busy judging people.
But the warning goes far beyond that. To those who think that God's grace gives them license to willfully disobey Him without consequences – think again:You know, I read that last paragraph in Matthew and I don't get how you get from that to the end of the world. All he's saying is that if you don't follow Jesus you're a fool. Then he uses an analogy that it's a foolish man who builds his house upon the sand. There is no logical connection between "you're a fool" and "end-of-the-world" here. What "interpretation" of that paragraph gets you to "end-of-the-world?" It's not an order to follow the teachings, Matthew is saying you'd be a fool not to, just like that fool who built her McMansion on a sandbar, but it ends there.
Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?" And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!" (Matthew 7:21-23)
That deals with your eternity. Matthew 7:26-27 says if you don't obey God, prepare for a crash even sooner that that:
But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn't obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash (Matthew 7:26-27).
I just hope you won't take the rest of the nation with you.
She's totally nuts.
The mind reels at the illogic of it all.
If the word of God matters more to you than your perception of personal gain, Joel 2:12 issues a call to repentance I pray you will heed:"Now, therefore," says the LORD, 'Turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning'" (Joel 2:12).
Then obey Him in the voting booth and out of it. If not, do us all a favor and quit calling yourself a Christian.
Yesterday, Senator Ted Stevens was found guilty of corruption. It is a sign of the health of our democracy that the people continue to hold their representatives to account for improper or illegal conduct, but this verdict is also a sign of the corruption and insider-dealing that has become so pervasive in our nation’s capital.Senator McCain is right. Senator Stevens is unfit to serve in the United States Senate. The question on the table is, will Bush pardon Stevens before he leaves office?
It is clear that Senator Stevens has broken his trust with the people and that he should now step down. I hope that my colleagues in the Senate will be spurred by these events to redouble their efforts to end this kind of corruption once and for all.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Everything Republicans say or do this election cycle turns to shit. It's amazing to watch. So now, besides being the Muslim "Manchurian Candidate" who seeks to create a Caliphate based in Washington, DC, Obama is a "Socialist." As I've written before, this isn't necessarily the insult the GOP thinks it is, nor is it accurate. But Hendrick Hertzberg boils down the Republican argument to a deligtful distilate.
The Republican argument of the moment seems to be that the difference between capitalism and socialism corresponds to the difference between a top marginal income-tax rate of 35 per cent and a top marginal income-tax rate of 39.6 per cent.Got that? Socialism = 4.6% change in the top marginal income-tax rate. But like most Republicans, the lies hide the truth of their own culpability in the exact same behavior they accuse Democrats of pursuing. In this case, Sarah Palin's Socialist Alaska.
For her part, Sarah Palin, who has lately taken to calling Obama “Barack the Wealth Spreader,” seems to be something of a suspect character herself. She is, at the very least, a fellow-traveller of what might be called socialism with an Alaskan face. The state that she governs has no income or sales tax. Instead, it imposes huge levies on the oil companies that lease its oil fields. The proceeds finance the government’s activities and enable it to issue a four-figure annual check to every man, woman, and child in the state. One of the reasons Palin has been a popular governor is that she added an extra twelve hundred dollars to this year’s check, bringing the per-person total to $3,269.Holy "Redistribution of Wealth" Batman! Comrade Governor Palin is way better at this Socialism stuff than Obama. Remember the Simpson's Episode in Season 5, Cape Feare where Sideshow Bob steps on all those rakes? It's a perfect metaphor for the McCain / Palin campaign.
A few weeks before she was nominated for Vice-President, she told a visiting journalist—Philip Gourevitch, of this magazine—that “we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.” Perhaps there is some meaningful distinction between spreading the wealth and sharing it (“collectively,” no less), but finding it would require the analytic skills of Karl the Marxist.Onward and Upward to a bright Socialist Alaskan Future Comrades!
Three Putnam County voters say electronic voting machines changed their votes from Democrats to Republicans when they cast early ballots last week.Win at any costs. Party before Country.
This is the second West Virginia county where voters have reported this problem. Last week, three voters in Jackson County told The Charleston Gazette their electronic vote for "Barack Obama" kept flipping to "John McCain".In both counties, Republicans are responsible for overseeing elections.
Shelba Ketchum, a 69-year-old nurse retired from Thomas Memorial Hospital, described what happened Friday at the Putnam County Courthouse in Winfield.
"I pushed buttons and they all came up Republican," she said. "I hit Obama and it switched to McCain. I am really concerned about that. If McCain wins, there was something wrong with the machines.
"I asked them for a printout of my votes," Ketchum said. "But they said it was in the machine and I could not get it. I did not feel right when I left the courthouse. My son felt the same way.
"I heard from some other people they also had trouble. But no one in there knew how to fix it," said Ketchum, who is not related to Menis Ketchum, a Democratic Supreme Court candidate.
Ketchum's son, Chris, said he had the same problem. And Bobbi Oates of Scott Depot said her vote for incumbent Democratic Sen. John D. Rockefeller was switched to GOP opponent Jay Wolfe.
"I touched the one I wanted, Rockefeller, and the machine put a checkmark on the Republican instead," Oates said of her experience Thursday.
Three Hialeah voters say they had an unusual visitor at their homes last week: a man who called himself Juan, offering to help them fill out their absentee ballots and deliver them to the elections office.
The "win at any cost" GOP strategy is going to backfire here. This corrupt Cuban GOP machine is coming down.
The voters, all supporters of Democratic congressional candidate Raul Martinez, said they gave their ballots to the man after he told them he worked for Martinez. But the Martinez campaign said he doesn't work for them.
Juan ''told me not to worry, that they normally collected all the ballots and waited until they had a stack big enough to hand-deliver to the elections department,'' said voter Jesus Hernandez, 73. 'He said, `Don't worry. This is not going to pass through the mail to get lost.' ''
Hernandez said he worries his ballot was stolen or destroyed. He and two other voters told The Miami Herald that the man was dispatched by a woman caller who also said she worked for Martinez. But the phone number cited by the voters traces back to a consultant working for Martinez's rival, Republican congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart.
What arrogance to walk along silently while one of your staffers commits assault and battery on a member of the public. A public you, sir, are supposed to represent. What hubris. What douchebaggery.
On Friday, two Feder staffers approached Congressman Wolf in a public location to ask him some questions. Two different individuals who were accompanying Congressman Wolf (staffers? relatives? friends?) assaulted the Feder staffers, as you can see quite clearly in the video. The first Feder staffer was hit with a cane and then punched. The second staffer (as you will see on the video) was pinned to a wall and forcibly held there. All of this took place in the presence of Congressman Wolf, who stood by and did nothing to intervene.I hope this elicits the same response that Bachmann's McCarthyesque tirade on Hardball elicits. Take a minute and contribute to Judy Feder, his opponent. I kicked in $25 to her campaign. What can you give?
Sunday, October 26, 2008
While "Joe the Plumber" may be a tool of the Republican party (and a tool in his own right), it is not cool that people in the Ohio state government may have invaded his privacy to dig up dirt on him.
Information on Wurzelbacher was accessed by accounts assigned to the office of Ohio Attorney General Nancy H. Rogers, the Cuyahoga County Child Support Enforcement Agency and the Toledo Police Department.
It has not been determined who checked on Wurzelbacher, or why. Direct access to driver's license and vehicle registration information from BMV computers is restricted to legitimate law enforcement and government business.
They need to be taught what a theory is, obviously. They don't yet know that evolution is. It's a fact. It's an indisputable explanation for life on Earth.
Some students burst into tears when a high school biology told them they’d be studying evolution. Another teacher said some students repeatedly screamed “no” when he began talking about it.
Other teachers said students demanded to know whether they pray and questioned why the had to learn about evolution if it was just a theory.
And this isn't some hyper-individualistic ecstatic response to the evil of evolution. No, it's being taught to these children.
“I’ve seen churches train students to come to school with specific questions to ask to sabotage my lessons,” said Bonnie Pratt, a biology teacher at Northview High in north Fulton County. “We need parents and the community to understand why and how we teach evolution.”How special is that? Trained to close their minds. Trained to forgo individual choice and thought. Yes, that's what religion is good for. Ignorance and fear. Well done, religidiots.
Mr. McCain seems spectacularly unable to talk about economics as if it matters. He has attempted to pin the blame for the crisis on his pet grievance, Congressional budget earmarks — which leaves economists scratching their heads in puzzlement....
I suspect that the main reason for the dramatic swing in the polls is something less concrete and more meta than the fact that events have discredited free-market fundamentalism. As the economic scene has darkened, I’d argue, Americans have rediscovered the virtue of seriousness. And this has worked to Mr. Obama’s advantage, because his opponent has run a deeply unserious campaign.I think that that is a terrific way to look at it. The majority of Americans finally realize that politics matters. Who's in office matters. What they say and do about policy matters.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Republican John McCain is not going to make his election night remarks in the traditional style — at a podium standing in front of a sea of campaign workers jammed into a hotel ballroom. Oh, the throng of supporters will hold the usual election night party at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix on the evening of Nov. 4.Unable to face the crowd of morose, half-drunk wingnuts, perhaps? He can't face the people he and his campaign have utterly failed. He's a joke.
But the Republican presidential nominee plans to address another group of supporters and a small group of reporters on the hotel lawn; his remarks will be simultaneously piped electronically to the party inside and other reporters in a media filing center, aides said.
I wonder if McCain's written his concession speech yet. Good riddance to him and his Caribou Barbie. Time for America to get to work cleaning up the last 8 years of corrupt autocracy left behind by McCains friends and allies.
Thomas Patterson, a government professor at Harvard's Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy, called the arrangement "unusual" but said the campaign may simply be bowing to the reality that the candidate's remarks are geared toward the televised audience rather than those in the hall.
"Addressing your supporters election night is one of those traditions in politics, like where you choose to launch your campaign," Patterson said. "Why wouldn't you want the energy of the crowd? And if you're going to lose, you almost need it even more."
Thursday, October 23, 2008
He then asks her if she's a "feminist." Her answer? "I don't like putting people in categories."
Her whole campaign is about labels and categories! Barrack Obama is a "terrorist" or a "socialist." There's a "real America" found in the back water hickvilles of the white-trash South. The rest of us are in fake America. Unreal.
Watch the clip. Marvel at the giant sucking sound coming from her ears as the black hole in her head gets a little bigger (yes, I know singularities have no size, but that's beside the point!)
I challenge anyone to post a comment with a link to a video showing any other cable news channel with such an egregious example of the double-standard so loved by Faux News. $150,000 worth of clothes is money well spent but a couple of $400 haircuts and you're "out of touch with the American people."
The Washington Post is reporting that several al-Qaida and Taliban websites are coming out in favor of the McCain / Palin ticket.
Al-Qaeda is watching the U.S. stock market's downward slide with something akin to jubilation, with its leaders hailing the financial crisis as a vindication of its strategy of crippling America's economy through endless, costly foreign wars against Islamist insurgents.
And at least some of its supporters think Sen. John McCain is the presidential candidate best suited to continue that trend.
"Al-Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election," said a commentary posted Monday on the extremist Web site al-Hesbah, which is closely linked to the terrorist group. It said the Arizona Republican would continue the "failing march of his predecessor," President Bush.
So does this mean that McCain is "palling around" with terrorists?
Two sources aware of ad buys in Minnesota say that the National Republican Congressional Committee is pulling its media purchases from Bachmann's race.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
So "Just Folks" Sarah went on a little shopping spree while she was in Minneapolis for the RNC convention. Trouble is, she use RNC money to do it. Oh, and she spent $125,000 on clothes. Let me repeat that...
What did she buy? Here's the list
- $49,425.74 from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York
- A $75,062.63 spree at Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, site of the GOP convention
- $295 for a top of the line baby stroller for the governor's infant
Could the McCain/Palin "campaign" (it's more like a death march at this time) be any more inept and/or corrupt?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
The first thing we want to do is calculate the DPMO (Defects Per Million Opportunities). To do that, we will define an Opportunity as one registration card. A defect is a card that cannot be processed due to some fraudulent issue with the card (duplicate, fake name, dead person, etc.).
For our data, we'll use information from Cleveland where ACORN led a very successful voter registration drive. There are other places where one can get data, but they're all in the same ballpark from a DPMO stand point.
Let's run the numbers, shall we?
- Total number of cards: 65,000
- Total number of defects: 80
- DPMO: 1231
- Sigma: 4.6
- Yield: 99.998%
The last Western country to turn to the IMF was Britain, which called the international lender of last resort in 1976 when the banking system was facing collapse and foreign currency reserves had run dry.Of course this bailout won't really do much good for Iceland's decimated banking system
Economists gave warning that $6 billion would not be sufficient to refloat Iceland’s devastated banking system because the Government needs so much foreign currency to buy basic supplies for Icelanders.Hopefully, Icelanders wont starve or freeze this winter.
It wasn't until 1967, that a judge in Virginia, Leon Bazile, heard a case from a white man and a black woman who were denied a marriage license under Virginia's Racial Integrity Act. Writing his opinion, he stated
"If Chief Justice Warren and his associates had known God's word and had desired to do the Lord's will, I am quite confident that the 1954 [Brown v Board of Education] decision would never have been made," Falwell boomed from above his congregation in Lynchburg. "The facilities should be separate. When God has drawn a line of distinction, we should not attempt to cross that line."
Falwell's jeremiad continued: "The true Negro does not want integration.... He realizes his potential is far better among his own race." Falwell went on to announce that integration "will destroy our race eventually. In one northern city," he warned, "a pastor friend of mine tells me that a couple of opposite race live next door to his church as man and wife."
Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.This case, Loving v Virginia ended up at the US Supreme Court where the majority found that
Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, a person of another race resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.Amazing. It's a constitutional issue, not a "states rights" issue. Based on this precedent (and our legal system is all about precedent) it's not much of a leap from the ruling in Loving v Virginia to a ruling that affirms
The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by sexual preference discriminations. Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, a person of the same sex resides with the individual and cannot be infringed by the State.Why is that so hard for people to understand this? Just to refresh everyone's memory on Section 1 of the 14th amendment
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.Equal Protection. It was good for interracial couples. It's good for gay couples. It's the right thing to do.
"There is always a charge that socialism does not fit human nature. We've encountered that for a long time. Maybe that's true. But can't people be educated? Can't people learn to cooperate with each other? Surely that must be our goal, because the alternative is redolent with war and poverty and all the ills of the world." -- Frank ZeidlerI reread my tongue-in-cheek posting about actual socialists rejecting Obama and it made me think. What the hell is wrong with socialism anyway? The National Review Online is chock full of articles linking Obama and the Democrats to a socialist agenda as if this is the ultimate pejorative. If only that acusatory linking were true! If only we could get a Progressive elected President instead of a moderate centrist like Obama.
Our political scales are completely out of whack. We've allowed the center to slip too far to the right allowing the wingnuts to acuse someone like Obama of being a "socialist." Frankly, we could use a little socialism about now to rebalance our political system. Too long have the radical right-wing had their thumb on the balance tilting "centrist" far to the right.
Socialism is a political philosophy that champions a collective responsibility for our well-being. Contrast that to the collective irresponsibility advocated by the radical individualistic wingnutty elements in our society. Their approach hasn't worked all that well. We've got a $10 trillion debt (and climbing), we're in hock up to our eyeballs and none of them thinks they have any responsibility for America's situation. Certainly nobody on the right is willing to accept any responsibility for the chaos they've wreaked upon this country.
When Biden says "It's patriotic to pay taxes", he's right!!! It's patriotic to take responsibility for your nation and for your nation's debts and obligations. It's the very definition of patriotic. It's acting responsibly to address the issues facing our nation.
The conservative political and economic agenda views the treasury as a big Visa card for them to finance the redistribution of wealth upwards at the expense of the middle-class. The Democrats (the last party to balance a budget, by the way) have become the party of fiscal responsibility. But Socialists have been known to act in a fically responsible way, too. Take the place where I live, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Milwaukee has the distinction of having the last great Socialist mayor, Frank Zeidler. He was mayor of Milwaukee from 1948 to 1960. During the height of the McCarthy (another Wisconsin native) Red Baiting scare, this openly socialist mayor presided over a golden age in Milwaukee.
John Nichols has an excellent article in The Nation entitled "'Socialist' is not an epithet." In it, he writes
Zeidler, an old-school American socialist who served three terms as the mayor of Milwaukee from 1948 to 1960, died two year ago at age 93. His passing was mourned by Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, who recognized the gentle radical as one of the most honorable men ever to cross the American political landscape.
Zeidler actually ran for president in 1976 as the nominee of the American Socialist Party. In fairness, it was more an educational campaign than a serious bid for an office that the former mayor never really coveted. Like so many of the great civic gestures he engaged in over eight decades of activism, Zeidler's 1976 campaign promoted the notion that: "There's nothing un-American about socialism."
Contrary to the revisionist history preached by so many bloviating wingnuts, socialism has a long history in American politics dating back to the Progressive Era. The Progressive Era laid the foundations for the New Deal and later for the War on Poverty. It was a time of great political and economic upheval and experimentation in the United States. It was a time both of thought and of thuggery. Unfortunately, all we seem to have left is thuggery.
In Zeidler's youth, America's Socialist Party was a contender. During the 1920s, there were more Socialists in the Wisconsin legislature than Democrats, and a Wisconsin Socialist, Victor Berger, represented Milwaukee in the US House. When Norman Thomas sought the presidency as a Socialist in 1932, he received almost a million votes, and well into the 1950s Socialists ran municipal governments in Reading, Pennsylvania; Bridgeport, Connecticut and other quintessentially American cities – including Zeidler's Milwaukee.Socialism is a political philosophy that recognizes the strengths of both the collective and the individual. And as it was practices in America, it was a driving force for social justice, worker's rights and shared responsibility.
For millions of American voters in the past century, socialism was never so frightening as John McCain would have us believe. Rather, it was a politics of principle that added ideas and nuance to a stilted economic and political discourse.
"Socialism as we attempted to practice it [in Milwaukee] believes that people working together for a common good can produce a greater benefit both for society and for the individual than can a society in which everyone is shrewdly seeking their own self-interest," Zeidler told me in an interview several years ago. "And I think our record remains one of many more successes than failures."We could use a little more of that kind of collectivist thought right now.
Monday, October 20, 2008
In typical fact-free conservative bloviation, the "socialist card" being played against Obama has no anchor in reality. At least no reality that actual socialists believe in.
John Bachtell, the Illinois organizer for Communist Party USA, sees attempts by Sen. John McCain's campaign to label Obama a socialist as both offensive to socialists and a desperate ploy to tap into fears of voters who haven't forgotten their Cold War rhetoric.So the next time you hear some conservative blathering on about how Obama is a socialist, you can explain that you know he's not a socialist because you've never seen him at the meetings.
Well, I just had one of those moments. Turns out that Powell is not the only former Republican big-shot to endorse Obama. A much more surprising one has emerged: Ken Adelman. In an e-mail he outlines why he has chosen to support Obama and we learn once again that Sarah Palin is quite the boat anchor for the GOP ticket.
The most important decision John McCain made in his long campaign was deciding on a running mate.You betcha'!
That decision showed appalling lack of judgment. Not only is Sarah Palin not close to being acceptable in high office—I would not have hired her for even a mid-level post in the arms-control agency. But that selection contradicted McCain’s main two, and best two, themes for his campaign—Country First, and experience counts. Neither can he credibly claim, post-Palin pick.
Although this article falls somewhat in the category of "this time we really, really mean it," The Economist presents a stark vision of Zimbabwe's future if something doesn't change soon. The failure to implement any kind of power-sharing between "Dictator-for-all-Eternity" Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has Zimbabwe at the brink of complete collapse. The failure of mediator Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa, has pushed Zimbabwe to the brink yet again.
Zimbabwe is dying. It is hard to imagine the misery worsening, yet it is. The currency is worthless. Swathes of public-sector workers are no longer getting paid enough even to buy a few loaves of bread a month; many are not getting paid at all. More than 80% of the people are thought to have no job, beyond subsistence and barter. Some 3m in a population of around 12m have fled abroad. Harrowing reports are filtering out that people are starting to die of starvation. More than 1.4m are suffering from HIV/AIDS. The UN’s World Food Programme is trying to keep 2m people alive with food handouts but says that another 3m may need feeding by early next year if mass starvation is to be averted. Mr Mugabe’s thugs are still beating and sometimes killing supposed backers of Mr Tsvangirai.So while we weep for our depreciated 401k and IRA accounts, let's remember there are people in the world who are governed by the most incompetent and feral leaders the world has ever seen. Leaders who make Kim Jong Ill look capable and rational. The country is beyond hyper-inflation (approaching 1,000,000,000%) and people are going to start dying unless someone does something soon.
In a later update, he indicates that they hit $488,000 on the way to $500,000 by the end of today.
24 hours ago, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann announced that all those who disagree with her are "Anti-American." Since then, the outpouring of support for my campaign has been extraordinary. Since Congresswoman Bachmann's outrageous remarks, my campaign has raised $438,346.57, and we're working to reach $500,000 by 5 p.m. today. Congresswoman Bachmann's extreme ideology divides people, but her comments on MSNBC's Hardball have united all of those who believe that I will jump start the ecomomy on Main Street by creating jobs and rebuilding our infrastructure. As a Minister and Mayor, I brought people together. I believe that we build by addition, not division. I want to thank you all. It is now clear that we have the momentum to win and I ask for your financial support. I will keep everyone posted.
The myth that McCain is for the little guy is just that. A myth.
But what’s really happening to the plumbers of Ohio, and to working Americans in general?
First of all, they aren’t making a lot of money. You may recall that in one of the early Democratic debates Charles Gibson of ABC suggested that $200,000 a year was a middle-class income. Tell that to Ohio plumbers: according to the May 2007 occupational earnings report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income of “plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters” in Ohio was $47,930.Second, their real incomes have stagnated or fallen, even in supposedly good years. The Bush administration assured us that the economy was booming in 2007 — but the average Ohio plumber’s income in that 2007 report was only 15.5 percent higher than in the 2000 report, not enough to keep up with the 17.7 percent rise in consumer prices in the Midwest. As Ohio plumbers went, so went the nation: median household income, adjusted for inflation, was lower in 2007 than it had been in 2000.
I don’t want to suggest that everyone would be better off under the Obama tax plan. Joe the plumber would almost certainly be better off, but Richie the hedge fund manager would take a serious hit.But that’s the point. Whatever today’s G.O.P. is, it isn’t the party of working Americans.
Cuba's unexpected arrival into the big oil league could increase pressure on the next administration to loosen the embargo to let US oil companies participate in the bonanza and reduce US dependency on the middle east, said Jones. "Up until now the embargo did not really impact on us in a substantive, strategic way. Oil is different. It's something we need and want."Maybe we'll finally end this assinine embargo of little Cuba and try some "constructive engagement" for awhile.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I looked at the racial composition of voting-age (18+) population in these 44 cities as according to the 2000 census.** They are, on average, 83.3 percent non-Hispanic white, 7.5 percent black, 5.2 percent Hispanic, and 4.0 percent "other". By comparison, the US 18+ population in 2000 was 72.0 percent white, 11.2 percent black, 11.0 percent Hispanic, and 5.9 percent other. Thirty-four of Palin's 44 cities were whiter than the US average.Now have a look at Obama's (and the real "Real America")
Over the same interval, Barack Obama had public events scheduled in 48 distinct cities. The racial composition of these cities was 69.8 percent white, 17.4 percent black, 8.9 percent Hispanic, and 4.0 percent other. The percentage of whites very nearly matches the US average 72.0 percent; 22 of Obama's cities were whiter than average, and the other 26 were less white than average. Obama, however, has visited cities with a relatively larger fraction of blacks than in the US as a whole.Palin's "Real America" is a racist's dreamland.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
But McCain's voter fraud worries -- about Acorn or anyone else -- are unsupported by the facts, said experts on election fraud, who recall similar concerns being raised in several previous elections, despite a near-total absence of cases.So can we please go back to talking about Joe the Plumber now? Oh, wait... Never mind.
"There's no evidence that any of these invalid registrations lead to any invalid votes," said David Becker, project director of the "Make Voting Work" initiative for the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Becker should know: he was a lawyer for the Bush administration until 2005, in the Justice Department's voting rights section, which was part of the administration's aggressive anti-vote-fraud effort.
"The Justice Department really made prosecution of voter fraud of this sort a big priority in the first half of this decade, and they really didn't come up with anything," he said.
"We're chasing these ghosts of voter fraud, like chickens without a head," said Lorraine Minnite, a political science professor at Barnard College in New York who has researched voter fraud and fraud claims for most of the past decade. "I think it's completely overblown, I think it's meant to be a distraction."
She has no business doing the people's business.
Friday, October 17, 2008
An ACORN community organizer received a death threat and the liberal activist group's Boston and Seattle offices were vandalized Thursday, reflecting mounting tensions over its role in registering 1.3 million mostly poor and minority Americans to vote next month.And this
A female staffer in Providence, R.I., got a threatening call from someone who said words to the effect of "We know you get off work at 9," then uttered racial epithets, he said.Will McCain or Palin "repudiate" these malicious and hateful deeds? I'm not holding my breath.
McCain's campaign didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
Negrophilia afflicts U.S.I'm sure that goes a long way to explain this.
Posted: October 16, 2008
1:00 am Eastern
Yes, America is a racist nation – but not in the way Democrat presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama and his cohorts Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Father Michael Pfleger, Otis Moss III and James Meeks would have us believe. Many of those whites who will cast votes for Obama on Nov. 4 are suffering from negrophilia, an inordinate affinity for blacks (as opposed to antipathy toward them).
Racism is a disease of the empowered. It is a tool of the oppressor not of the oppressed. Blaming the victim is easy if you're a hater like the people who produced these images.
I remember a long discussion I had with a grad student friend about ritual and the "rain dance." The common perception among Americans is that natives do the rain dance to bring on rain. It's an attempt on the part of the ritual participants to bend the universe and nature to man's will and make it rain. This is a very western view of cause and effect.
But that's really a critical misunderstanding of the purpose of the "rain dance," or any other ritual for that matter. It's not a simple matter of material cause and effect, but something much more interesting. The "rain dance" is a form of kinesthetic (physical) memory. It's a way of remembering what to do when it does start to rain. In cultures that lack written language, ritual often serves as a form of collective memory for the group. Actors in the ritual may perform pantomime actions which mimic the physical activites of planting, or they may do other, more symbolic gestures which are part of the groups collective understanding.
So instead of some fantastical dance to bring on rain, it's really a mechanism to recall the memories of what needs to be done when the rain comes. Cool, huh?
So it's surprising that in this election, people are doing all kinds of interesting things that mimic the Western ideas about "rain dances" and the misunderstanding of cause and effect. Attempting to influence nature by manipulating the indicators of reality. One such event is happening now on the InTrade site.
For those who don't know, InTrade is a quasi-stock trading site where people buy and sell based on real-world situations like elections.
According to reports from InTrade, someone is infusing hundreds of thousands of real dollars into propping up the "stock" of John McCain. Why would someone do this?
Given that InTrade has been remarkable accurate at predicting outcomes of elections, does this investor believe that by propping up or artificially inflating the McCain stock that this will somehow cause McCain to win? Is he or she doing a kind of election year rain-dance in the hopes of a McCain monsoon at the polls? That's a lot of money to bet on magical thinking.
“The trading that caused the unusual price movements and discrepancies was principally due to a single ‘institutional’ member on Intrade,” said the company’s chief executive, John Delaney, in a statement released Thursday. “We have been in contact with the firm on a number of occasions. I have spoken to those involved personally.”
After an extensive investigation into the suspicious trading patterns, Intrade found no wrongdoing or violation of its exchange rules, the company said.
Citing privacy policies, Delaney would not elaborate on who the investor was or whether or not that investor was affiliated in any way with a political campaign.
According to Delaney, this investor, who boosted the McCain prediction significantly over the market value and above the levels of competing predictive-market Web sites, was using the Intrade market to protect other positions and hedge other investments.
Overall, if the trader’s motive was to influence the Intrade market, he was remarkably successful. He singlehandedly kept the probability of Obama winning the election on Intrade about 10 percent lower than Betfair and IEM for more than a month.
It’s unknown how many tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars the trader lost in process.
“If the investor did this as investment, not to manipulate Intrade, he is one of the most foolish investors in the world,” Rothschild said.
Each candidate had the opportunity to perform and it was magical. Both did very well.
Here is McCain's (apologies for the Faux News feed!)
And here is Obama's (from MSNBC)