The House was debating a bill last night that would provide up to $7.4 billion in health care aid to rescue and recovery workers who have faced health problems since their work in the wake of the September 11 attacks. The bill ultimately failed to get the needed two-thirds majority, 255-159, and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) was not happy about it. Not one bit.
In a rant that lasted for almost two minutes, a hopping mad Weiner railed against "cowardly" Republicans who claimed they were voting against the bill because of "procedure." Weiner spat: "It's Republicans wrapping their arms around Republicans, rather than doing the right thing on behalf of the heroes!"
I was under the impression that the emergency teams who responded to the terrorist attacks of 9/11 are considered American heroes. The nation's support for these men and women is unequivocal and unending.
At least, that was my impression. I guess I underestimated congressional Republicans again.
House Republican leadership is advising its members to vote against a bipartisan bill that would, among other things, bolster medical support to Sept. 11 victims.
... We're left with Republicans, in an election year, taking a bold stand against funding for medical care for 9/11 heroes.
Show your concern for your local Progressive, or Liberal Congressman or Candidate. Please feel free to substitute your name.
Dear Democratic Incumbent or Candidate,
I’m writing this to let you know I’m worried, worried about you. You see, the last group of Democrats that won in 2008 by such a “mandate” promised progressives, liberals and moderates to get us out of the financial and military mess the Bush Administration got us into.
We see that for whatever reason, most of the Democrats we voted in are now supporting bills that benefit Big Business, Banks and the Military over the concerns of tax payers. They promised us help with a health care bill but didn’t deliver. They promised no more funding for the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan but continue to throw our tax money at corrupt regimes (the ones over seas, too). They promised to bring home American soldiers so no more would have die for an illegal war, but didn’t deliver. They promised relief from credit card rip offs, but didn’t deliver. They promised help for the housing situation and help to families facing foreclosures and families who lost their homes because of greedy bankers and Wall Street schemes, but didn’t deliver. They are even thinking of reducing or gutting social security, Medicare and Medicaid so millions of seniors will suffer and most probably die well before they normally would have.
But the main reason I’m writing this is about my concern for your political future. You see, there’s this talk about the Republicans winning big in November 2010 and 2012 because the Democrats in power didn’t do nearly enough for the people they pledged to represent and the people are blaming the Democrats! Imagine that! Based on the Bush years, a Republican takeover of the House or Senate this year or in two could spell another long term disaster for the country and people...and your political ambitions.
Now this Republican sweep won’t affect most of the Senior Democrats already in Congress because when they lose their seats, they’ve already shown business what they can do for them and they can always go to work for Corporate America as consultants or lobbyists and make an exceptionally fine living. But if you’ve only been in Congress a few years, why, businesses may think you don’t quite have what they want yet or aren’t sure enough of you. They will look elsewhere (probably your Republican replacements) for those coveted, high paying positions that could have been yours.
If you are an aspiring candidate promising what you can’t deliver, chances are you’ll lose to a Republican next election. And since the mood of the people is swinging away from the Democrats making it more and more probably that you will lose the election, you will also lose your chance at all the big money you could make after you leave office! Now that can’t be good, can it?
You see, if you don’t help the people you promised you’d help, there’s a good chance that you WILL lose the coming election. And if you lose the election, well, there goes the chance at that great business or K Street offer!
I’m really concerned for you! I mean, how can a business expect to hire you if you don’t first show you can be supportive of their agendas? And the only way to do that is get into office. And the only way to stay in office to build the trust of business is to do the will of the people so they’ll keep electing you so you can keep impressing business. I know that’s a bit of a conundrum and it means you’ll sometimes have to compromise to the people instead of business but that’s politics. Call it the Political “Circle of Life.”
With the advent of Citizens United, you may think most support for you will come from business and won’t worry about constituent contributions. Those big bucks can also go to your opponent. And no matter how many millions business spends on you and your opponent, it still comes down to one person, one vote. If you should win and those voters don’t like what you did while in office or what you promised during your campaign (and didn’t deliver), all that money won’t keep you there.
Even if you don’t think of the voters as people you depend on for your job, at least think of your family. How would you like to have to survive on a paltry private sector job when you have visions of everything a political career would offer?
During your campaigning, please consider what could happen if you don’t support the views of progressives, liberals and moderates. You could be just as easily outsourcing a job you want - YOUR JOB - that coveted political position - and your financial future, to a Republican. Wouldn’t that be just terrible?
The House prepared Tuesday to send President Barack Obama a major war-funding increase of $33 billion to pay for his troop surge in Afghanistan, unmoved by the leaking of classified military documents that portray a military effort struggling between 2004 and 2009 against a strengthening insurgency.
The House of Representatives on Tuesday gave final approval to a nearly $59 billion emergency spending bill, the bulk of which would go toward the U.S. troop buildup in Afghanistan.
Specifically, the bill includes almost $33 billion for Afghanistan, along with over $5 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, almost $3 billion for Haiti relief programs and $68 million for the oil disaster response in the Gulf of Mexico.
It now goes to the president for his signature.
H R 4899 QUESTION: On Motion to Suspend the Rules, Recede from the House Amdt, and Concur in the Senate Amdt
The reconstruction money was from oil revenue it was entrusted with between 2004 and 2007, according to a newly released audit that underscores a pattern of poor record-keeping.
The Defense Department is unable to properly account for $8.7 billion out of $9.1 billion in Iraqi oil revenue entrusted to it between 2004 and 2007, according to a newly released audit that underscores a pattern of poor record-keeping during the war.
Of that amount, the military failed to provide any records at all for $2.6 billion in purported reconstruction expenditure, says the report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, which is responsible for monitoring U.S. spending in Iraq. The rest of the money was not properly deposited in special accounts as required under Treasury Department rules, making it difficult to trace how it was spent.
Though there is no apparent evidence of fraud, the improper accounting practices add to the pattern of mismanagement, reckless spending and, in some instances, corruption uncovered by the agency since 2004, when it was created to oversee the total of $53 billion in U.S. taxpayer money appropriated by Congress for the reconstruction effort.
"It's harder to tell whether the elected officials and their appointees in sensitive places like the Securities and Exchange Commission and the FBI had a clue as to the scale of misconduct in the financial sector, or if they were bought off plain and simple, or just too stupid to understand what was going on all around them. The term "regulatory capture" provides valuable insight. How could Christopher Cox at the SEC fail to notice the stupendous malfeasance in the mortgage-related securities rackets. Why isn't he working for fifty cents a day in the laundry of Allenwood Federal Correctional Facility? Why is the grifter of Countrywide mortgage favors, Christopher Dodd, still free to guzzle the fabled bean soup in the Senate lunch room? I could go on in this vein for two hundred pages, but you get the drift."
This week is going to be all about Afghanistan. That's thanks to Wikileaks, an online depository for the kinds of documents that are not, under any circumstances, supposed to be publicly disclosed, much less posted on the Internet. Today the site has published some 92,000 U.S. classified government documents chronicling five years of the war in Afghanistan. As The New York Times puts it, they are, "a daily diary of an American-led force often starved for resources and attention as it struggled against an insurgency that grew larger, better coordinated and more deadly each year." [snip]
Wikileaks multiplied the impact of the release -- perhaps by an incalculable amount -- by disclosing the documents weeks ago to three of the biggest western news institutions: The New York Times, The Guardian in London, and Der Spiegel in Germany. Each news outlet has taken a different tack and used varying judgments as to what to publish and what to censor.
As the documents spread, more revelations, patterns, and possibly even more disclosures will follow. Certainly there will be talk of this journalistic moment’s likeness to the publishing of the Pentagon Papers in 1971.
A lot of sensitive information about the war in Afghanistan has been leaked thru Wikileaks, and the Guardian has set up a site to examine it. The New York Times and Der Spiegel were also recipients of the classified information and are doing their own articles. There is plenty of disturbing stuff. One thing that is disturbing is the Taliban's incredible indifference to protecting innocent civilian life.
One of the best investigative journalists who has been reporting on America's wars is Seymour Hersh. Hersh has been ahead of the pack -- revealing hard-to-believe atrocities far before the political marketplace was often ready or willing to accept his reporting.
The extraordinary posting on WikiLeaks of more than 92,000 classified documents on America's military activities in Afghanistan and Pakistan confirms Hersh's claims of battlefield executions and death squads.
U.S. officials have condemned the release of thousands of secret military and intelligence reports about the war in Afghanistan by the website Wikileaks.
The more than 91,000 documents, released Sunday, reveal new details about the war in Afghanistan, including the close relationship of the Pakistani military with Afghan insurgents. They also describe numerous accounts of brutality, corruption, extortion and kidnapping committed by members of the Afghan police force.
The documents were written by soldiers and intelligence officers, Wikileaks said.
Shocking in scope if not in content, the leak of 91,000 classified U.S. records on the Afghanistan war by the whistle-blower website Wikileaks.org is one of the largest unauthorized disclosures in military history.
The documents cover much of what the public already knows about the troubled nine-year conflict: U.S. spec-ops forces have targeted militants without trial, Afghans have been killed by accident, and U.S. officials have been infuriated by alleged Pakistani intelligence cooperation with the very insurgent groups bent on killing Americans.
WikiLeaks posted the documents Sunday. The New York Times, London's Guardian newspaper and the German weekly Der Spiegel were given early access to the records.
The release was instantly condemned by U.S. and Pakistani officials as both potentially harmful and irrelevant.
White House national security adviser Gen. Jim Jones said the release "put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk." In a statement, he then took pains to point out that the documents describe a period from January 2004 to December 2009, mostly during the administration of President George W. Bush. And, Jones added, before President Obama announced a new strategy.
I don't know if Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry has ever met Daniel Ellsberg or not, but with this statement -- which stands in stark contrast to the condemnatory comments from the White House about the WikiLeaks Afghanistan War Logs -- Kerry shows he has a respect for Pentagon Papers moments. . .
"However illegally these documents came to light, they raise serious questions about the reality of America's policy toward Pakistan and Afghanistan. Those policies are at a critical stage and these documents may very well underscore the stakes and make the calibrations needed to get the policy right more urgent."
The American people are hurting. As a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, homes, life savings and their ability to get a higher education. Today, some 22 percent of our children live in poverty, and millions more have become dependent on food stamps for their food. [snip]
But, not everybody is hurting. While the middle class disappears and poverty increases the wealthiest people in our country are not only doing extremely well, they are using their wealth and political power to protect and expand their very privileged status at the expense of everyone else. This upper-crust of extremely wealthy families are hell-bent on destroying the democratic vision of a strong middle-class which has made the United States the envy of the world. In its place they are determined to create an oligarchy in which a small number of families control the economic and political life of our country. [snip]
Today, not content with huge tax breaks on their income; not content with massive corporate tax loopholes; not content with trade laws enabling them to outsource the jobs of millions of American workers to low-wage countries and not content with tax havens around the world, the ruling elite and their lobbyists are working feverishly to either eliminate the estate tax or substantially lower it. If they are successful at wiping out the estate tax, as they came close to doing in 2006 with every Republican but two voting to do, it would increase the national debt by over $1 trillion during a ten-year period. At a time when we already have a $13 trillion debt, enormous unmet needs and the highest level of wealth inequality in the industrialized world, it is simply obscene to provide more tax breaks to multi-millionaires and billionaires.
That is why I have introduced the Responsible Estate Tax Act (S.3533).
Pilot Capt. Brian Bews ejects as his a CF-18 fighter jet plummets to the ground during a practice flight at the Lethbridge County Airport on Friday, July 23 for the weekend airshow in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. The pilot was taken to Chinook Regional Hospital with undetermined injuries.
Shirley Sherrod, the Department of Agriculture employee forced to resign over misleadingly edited footage showing her making "racist" remarks at an NAACP meeting, has lashed out at Fox News and conservative journalist Andrew Breitbart, accusing their journalistic practices of being a manifestation of racism.
"When you look at their reporting, this is just another way of seeing that they are (racist)," Sherrod told MediaMatters' Joe Strupp.
Her comments came ahead of Wednesday's apologies to Sherrod from White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who took the blame for Sherrod's forced resignation. [snip]
As the political tide quickly shifted in Sherrod's favor, embarrassed reporters and bloggers began to backtrack on their reporting of Sherrod's comments as "racist" earlier this week. At Fox News, which played an instrumental role in publicizing the video, a news host even suggested that the network didn't air the story to begin with.
Responding to an NAACP press release in which the activist group said it was "snookered by Fox News and Tea Party Activist Andrew Breitbart" into believing Sherrod had treated a white couple in a racist manner 24 years ago, Fox's Bret Baier responded: "Fox News didn't even do the story. We didn't do it on Special Report, we posted it online...."
However, MediaMatters has chronicled the extensive coverage given the story on Fox News before it turned out the tape had been edited to make an anecdote about racial reconciliation appear to be a racist rant.
In the wake of the embarrassing scandal, everyone from the White House to the news media is being criticized for its handling. But many prominent voices are now speaking up about what they see as a pattern of disinformation and deceit coming from conservative activist journalists.
Tonight, we're taking on the story of Shirley Sherrod. An African American worker at Agriculture, she lost her job yesterday after Andrew Brietbart's Big Government site posted video of her recent speech to an NAACP gathering. In the version posted by Big Government, Sherrod says that she wasn't as motivated to help a white farmer who talked down to in her former job, in the 1980s.
It appears that Big Government left behind the moral of Sherrod's story, which is that she came to see the importance of treating people equally. Meanwhile, the white farming family in question defends Sherrod, saying she saved their land.
Rachel Maddow looks at the full context of Shirley Sherrod's comments and points out the spinelessness of the White House in buying into yet another Fox News/Breitbart smear job and how, like feeding a dog from the table, handing heads to the right wing only encourages the use of dishonest tactics. [ 13:35 ]
* * * * *
NAACP chief on being 'snookered' by Fox News
Benjamin Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, talks about the mistake he made believing Fox News propaganda in the case of Shirley Sherrod, and how the NAACP has been handling being targeted by tea party activists. [ 12:02 ]
Sherrod belonged to an organization set up during the civil rights era specifically to help black farmers. So, yes, she had some reservations the first time she was approached for help by a white farmer. Then she sent him to a white lawyer for help, because she thought the white lawyer would help one of his own kind. But she learned an important lesson that day: When you're poor, no one wants to help you, no matter your race!
Because the entire point of Sherrod's story was to illustrate how her eyes were opened to that fact, she went on in her speech to explain that she "eventually worked with the man over a two-year period to help ward off foreclosure of his farm and ... eventually became friends with him and his wife."
This has been corroborated by the actual discriminated-against white people in question.
But that part isn't in the clip that Breitbart posted.
But even if we were to “win,” what then? As Tom Engelhardt wrote last week on the website TomDispatch.com, “We would be in minimalist possession of the world’s fifth poorest country. We would be in minimal possession of the world’s second most corrupt country. We would be in minimal possession of the world’s foremost narco-state, the only country that essentially produces a drug monocrop, opium. In terms of the global war on terror, we would be in possession of a country that the director of the CIA now believes to hold 50 to 100 al-Qaeda operatives (‘maybe less’) -- for whom parts of the country might still be a ‘safe haven.’ And for this, and everything to come, we would be paying, at a minimum, $84 billion a year.”
Echoing the bigoted and right-wing contortions of the National Republican Trust PAC and disgraced Tea Party leader Mark Williams, Sarah Palin has sent the world of Twitter on fire this afternoon, with a series of Tweets about the proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center.
She pulled down one of them after concocting the word "refudiate" and then used the word "refute" incorrectly. [snip]
'Refudiate,' 'misunderestimate,' 'wee-wee'd up.' English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!'
As Billy Boy so wisely noted in The Tempest:
You cram these words into mine ears against
The stomach of my sense.
One guy goes to prison for 12 years.
The other outfit writes a check out of petty cash.
UPDATE 1: Rueters: "American International Group Inc agreed to pay $725 million to settle a long-running securities fraud lawsuit led by three Ohio public pension funds, in one of the largest class action settlements in U.S. history."
At its annual convention in Kansas City, the NAACP on Tuesday issued a report stating that the loose alliance of Right-wing interests collectively known as the "Tea Party" had "racist elements" within its ranks. Putative leaders of the movement roundly denounced the allegation. Sarah Palin, often seen as the unofficial representative of the new American Right, asserted that the NAACP's accusation of Tea Party racism was "...false, appalling and is a regressive and diversionary tactic to change the subject at hand." Mark Williams, billed as the "Tea Party Express spokesman," refused to say that the Tea Party does not welcome racists, instead asserting, "Racists have their own movement. It's called the NAACP."
Even as the Tea Party's media representatives were denying the charge leveled by the long-standing civil rights organization, its own members seemed to be working at cross purposes to the benignly non-racist image Palin and others were trying to set forth. The Right-wing Washington Times, owned and controlled by the shadowy ex-convict Sun Myung Moon, founder and head of the global cult known as the Unification Church, headlined an editorial attacking the NAACP with the title, "Kill the Crackers," apparently accusing the NAACP of trying to incite murderous violence against Whites. Further depleting the credibility of denials from Tea Party officials, White supremacy Websites quickly published their own attacks on the NAACP in particular and, in some cases, Black activists more generally. A number of Right-wing commentators and officials brought up a case of voter intimidation by the New Black Panther Party as exemplary of African-American racism targeting Whites.
As if the rank-and-file factions had not already offered troubling evidence contrary to denials of racism within the Tea Party, the seemingly official "North Iowa Tea Party" bought ad space on a billboard in Mason City, Iowa, and posted an appalling sign associating U.S. President Barack Obama with Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Lenin.
Despite the claim by North Iowa Tea Party founder Ben Johnson that the sign would 'remain up for a month,' it was hauled down within a day as national Tea Party personnel scrambled to distance the movement from a (quite literally) towering example of its members' troubled mentality and outrageously preposterous hyperbole.
The NAACP accused the Tea Party of having racist elements in its ranks. Notwithstanding the furious denials of this allegation by Sarah Palin and other inspirational forces within the movement, the actions, words, and behavior of Tea Party members provide ample evidence that the Tea Party, for all its apparent lack of central command and control, does in fact have powerful undercurrents not only of racism, but also of nativism and generalized vitriol.
From the daily, appalling statementsboth direct and in coded languageof Right-wing extremists like radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh to the vile racial epithets hurled at Congressmen of color during last year's run-up to passage of national health care legislation (with the Tea Party claiming that these distinguished men were lying about the ugly incident), from gun owners openly parading firearms outside buildings where President Obama was speaking to racist diatribes published on Websites of White supremacists and their militias, the hate directed against Blacks, against immigrants, and against the United States government, itself, is palpable.
To the extent that the Tea Party cannot meaningfully change the values of its membership, the movement has yet to demonstrate its fitness to assume national power, given that it has not yet summoned the courage to openly embrace its character.
She remembers the moment. The photographer took her picture. She remembers her anger. The man was a stranger. She had never been photographed before. Until they met again 17 years later, she had not been photographed since.
The photographer remembers the moment too. The light was soft. The refugee camp in Pakistan was a sea of tents. Inside the school tent he noticed her first. Sensing her shyness, he approached her last. She told him he could take her picture. "I didn't think the photograph of the girl would be different from anything else I shot that day," he recalls of that morning in 1984 spent documenting the ordeal of Afghanistan's refugees.
The portrait by Steve McCurry turned out to be one of those images that sears the heart, and in June 1985 it ran on the cover of this magazine. Her eyes are sea green. They are haunted and haunting, and in them you can read the tragedy of a land drained by war. She became known around National Geographic as the "Afghan girl," and for 17 years no one knew her name.
The mysterious Afghan girl whose direct gaze has intrigued the West for so long is Sharbat Gula. She lives in a remote region of Afghanistan with her husband and three daughters.
Sharbat was located nearly two decades after her picture appeared on the cover of National Geographic magazine in 1985. She had no idea her face had become an icon, said Steve McCurry, the photographer who made the famous portrait for National Geographic in 1984, and who tried to find her again during many subsequent trips he made to Pakistan and Afghanistan. [snip]
When Sharbat agreed to have her picture taken for the second time in her life, she came out from the secrecy of her veil to tell her story. She wanted the people around the world who knew her face to know that she survived the refugee camp in Pakistan.
She married and had four daughters, one of whom died in infancy. She lives in obscurity, according to the customs and traditions of her culture and religion.
Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing the things historians usually record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues. The story of civilization is the story of what happened on the banks. Historians are pessimists because they ignore the banks for the river.
Good evening boys and girls,
I had some trouble sleeping last night. Counting sheep, warm milk and white noise didn't make any difference. Still couldn't sleep. What to do? I know! Read a novella! Those usually put me right to sleep. Now, where to find a good one? How about whitehouse.gov? Sounded great! I was getting sleepy already.
After looking through the enormous list of fiction to read there, I came across this. Just what I needed to get me to the First Star to the Left and Straight On Till Morning!
I recommend this to any of you who have problems getting to sleep.
Transparency and Open Government
Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies
SUBJECT: Transparency and Open Government
My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.
Government should be transparent. Transparency promotes accountability and provides information for citizens about what their Government is doing. Information maintained by the Federal Government is a national asset. My Administration will take appropriate action, consistent with law and policy, to disclose information rapidly in forms that the public can readily find and use. Executive departments and agencies should harness new technologies to put information about their operations and decisions online and readily available to the public. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public feedback to identify information of greatest use to the public.
Government should be participatory. Public engagement enhances the Government's effectiveness and improves the quality of its decisions. Knowledge is widely dispersed in society, and public officials benefit from having access to that dispersed knowledge. Executive departments and agencies should offer Americans increased opportunities to participate in policymaking and to provide their Government with the benefits of their collective expertise and information. Executive departments and agencies should also solicit public input on how we can increase and improve opportunities for public participation in Government.
Government should be collaborative. Collaboration actively engages Americans in the work of their Government. Executive departments and agencies should use innovative tools, methods, and systems to cooperate among themselves, across all levels of Government, and with nonprofit organizations, businesses, and individuals in the private sector. Executive departments and agencies should solicit public feedback to assess and improve their level of collaboration and to identify new opportunities for cooperation.
I direct the Chief Technology Officer, in coordination with the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Administrator of General Services, to coordinate the development by appropriate executive departments and agencies, within 120 days, of recommendations for an Open Government Directive, to be issued by the Director of OMB, that instructs executive departments and agencies to take specific actions implementing the principles set forth in this memorandum. The independent agencies should comply with the Open Government Directive.
This memorandum is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by a party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.
This memorandum shall be published in the Federal Register.
By the way, tucked away at the bottom where someone forgot to remove it was a little blurb that left me smiling. Rahm and Barry talking:
Rahm: That sure was some use of English during the campaign, Mr. President.
Barry: Thanks, Rahm. I knew the transparency thing would make believers of them after 8 years of Bush.
Rahm: Little did they suspect transparency can mean one-way! And we're in the darkened room watching them using our transparency!!
Barry: If you think that's good, wait until they figure out my other campaign rhetoric. Get a good night's sleep, Rahm. We need to be refreshed tomorrow to get Wall Street all the money it wants.
Rahm: Good night Mr. President.
"This book is to be neither an accusation nor a confession, and least of all an adventure, for death is not an adventure to those who stand face to face with it. It will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped shells, were destroyed by the war."
"Like the bail out of Wall Street, the BP oil spill disaster makes evident – if more evidence was needed – that, in the United States, the corporations and the government have merged into a single power, a destructive force founded on the mindset of Empire, seeking domination of nature through technology, and control of consciousness through incessant indoctrination via the corporate-controlled media. There is zero possibility that our atrophied electoral system will interrupt or impede this juggernaut."
Suffer here a brief post that begins with the juxtaposition of quotes from two men of different eras:
"You look like a f***ing pig in heat, and if you get raped by a pack of n***ers, it will be your fault."
Oral statement to ex-girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva, 2010
"[Y]our persons, fortunes, wives, and daughters, shall be subject to the wanton and unbridled rage, rapine, and lust of Negroes, mulattos and others, the vilest and most abandoned of mankind."
Benjamin Franklin Plain Truth, 1747
Readers interested in Mr. Franklin's race-bating about Negroes and claims about Jews, Swedes, Germans, and others of "swarthy" skin or other suspect features diminishing the Anglo-Saxon nature of the emerging American society can read Chapter 12 of the Vernon Johns Society's analysis of structural racism in America or go to the relevant referential material in Franklin of Philadelphia, by Edmond Wright (1986: Harvard University Press).
Notwithstanding the possibility that civilizations can evolve deepening understandings of rightful thought and action, the people of the present era should not be held to a standard of enlightenment any more refined than the people of the past, certainly not within the cabin of the broad and long-lived arc of Western Civilization. Cruelty, inhumanity, hate, and injustice swiftly emerged as undesirable and were understood as such well before the time of our Founding Fathers. Hate to advance personal will, Mel Gibson's choice, is no different in dimension than hate to promote political agenda, Benjamin Franklin's choice, although the scope of damage wrought by the latter can be staggering, especially to the extent that it allows for those of generations long afterward to believe that a place for intolerance exists within a society that poses otherwise to be kind, humane, good, and just.
The great and venerated are no less immune than the small and vile to the blackness of hate, be it for private injury or public consumption. Station in life and time of word and deed make no exception and, far more importantly, provide no excuse.
Rightly, loudly, and unrelentingly condemn and ostracize the hateful little men of our dayeach in his own way, the Mel Gibsons, the Glenn Becks, the Rush Limbaughs, and their equally ugly kindbut at considerable peril ignore the venerated leaders who spoke and wrote with equal brutishness: the future will be no better if we seek unflinching inspiration from those who chose to lead by reprehensible words in the time when words were not merely expressive of sentiments, but formative of a nascent country.
Bloomberg: "Tesla Motors Inc., an electric carmaker working with Toyota Motor Corp. on battery-powered autos, said it will deliver two rechargeable prototypes to Toyota this month as a first step in their alliance.
"Toyota, the world’s largest seller of hybrid autos, in May said it would invest $50 million in Palo Alto, California-based Tesla and jointly develop electric models with the startup."
YAHOONEWS: "It's the kind of publicity any university might dream about: An instructor uncovers a possible flaw that's causing some of the world's most popular cars to accelerate suddenly. His ground-breaking work attracts interest from Congress and reporters worldwide.
"But as Southern Illinois University's David Gilbert sought to show that electronics might be to blame for the problem in Toyotas, the world's largest automaker tried to cast doubt on his findings. One Toyota employee even questioned whether he should be employed by the school, which has long been a recipient of company donations."
Recent discontent among GOP loyalists with Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele has led to rumors of a palace coup to install Sarah Palin as RNC head. While at least some of the reporting about the idea is no doubt trial balloon material hoisted by her backers (possibly against her wishes to remain in the financially lucrative private sector), party insiders do seem to be taking the idea seriously enough not to categorically and openly repudiate the proposal to make Palin the RNC Chairwoman in order to officially recognize the GOP's energetic Right-wing faction that has coalesced under the "Tea Party" banner.
Dark Wraith Publishing, which provides news, editorials, and entertainment via The Dark Wraith Forums, Big Brass Blog, and other online properties, herewith endorses former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin to replace Michael Steele as Chair of the Republican National Committee. Dark Wraith Publishing further encourages the leadership of the GOP to install Sarah Palin forthwith and without delay in this responsible and high-profile position.
"LOS ALTOS, Calif. — No need for tears, but the well-off are losing their master suites and saying goodbye to their wine cellars.
"The housing bust that began among the working class in remote subdivisions and quickly progressed to the suburban middle class is striking the upper class in privileged enclaves like this one in Silicon Valley.
"Whether it is their residence, a second home or a house bought as an investment, the rich have stopped paying the mortgage at a rate that greatly exceeds the rest of the population."
ALL Senators and Representatives are Adulterers, Fornicators, Homosexuals, Lesbians, Drug Addicts, Pedophiles and Pederasts (and other things too numerous to mention)!
Is that a fair statement? If members of Congress can use quasi-political logic to determine that all unemployed would rather live off benefits from the government than find a job, it has to follow that all members of Congress are, by their logic, Adulterers, Fornicators, Homosexuals, Lesbians, Drug Addicts, Pederasts, Pedophiles and worse – because of the actions of those in Congress (like Craig, Foley, Gingrich, McCain, to name a few).
How many members of Congress have we discovered who fit right into one or more of those categories over these last years? You know their names. I guess that means all of Congress is like them. (Congressional Logic?)
The list and links below are not even close to complete, but they’ll give you an idea of the thinking of the parasites that make these asinine statements.
Sen. Jon Kyl (R-idiot -Ariz.),
Ben Nelson (D-idiot - Ne.)
Sen. Judd Gregg (R- idiot - N.H.)
Rep. Jason Altmire (D- idiot - Pa.),
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D- idiot - Calif.)
Rep. John Linder (R- idiot - Ga.)
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R- idiot - Utah)
Rep. Dutch Ruppersburger (D- idiot - Md.)
Rep. Adam Schiff (D- idiot - Calif.)
Jim Clyburn (D- idiot - S.C.)
Kent Conrad (D- idiot - N.D.)
Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D- idiot - Pa.)
These “things” that try to pass for humans want to eliminate basic help for ALL long-term unemployed because they think ALL long-term unemployed would rather sit home and eat crusts of bread than try to find a job. Even if they CAN find a job that pays, at best today, minimum wage with no benefits but with the added Federal, state and local taxes, expenses of healthcare and transportation, not to mention such luxuries as food, shelter and utilities are they better off working?
These Congressional parasites who are granted $174,000 of taxpayer money each year plus perks, expect Americans to find a dwindling number of minimum wage jobs American Business with the complicity of Congress has allowed over the recent years to be outsourced. Americans and their families (values important to Religious Congressional hypocrites) are expected to exist on less than $300 per week. And if they can’t, so what?
None of this really surprises me any longer. Those in power from Obama on down have an agenda of their own and it doesn’t include the American people at least as equals and at least as human. But it DOES include the affluent. Whether the long-term unemployed live or die doesn’t seem to be a concern to these Congressional Senators and Representatives and President who can spend billions to kill American soldiers for the interests of corporations. They proclaim false notions of protecting America from enemies abroad while allowing Congress, the President and Corporate America to "kill" Americans through direct and indirect action, in their own country.
It’s almost Scrooge-like that they believe if (when) these Americans die…
"they had better do it now, and decrease the surplus population!"
Stopping the extremists of the Right does not involve a whole lot of moderation, accommodation, and high-minded intellectualization. Until progressives understand this deeply and fully, the Right will continue its ascendance.
The posters and other graphics I provideand shall publish with increasing frequencywill not take quarter with idiots, fools, seditionists, sunshine patriots, and hypocrites. Be uncomfortable with them at your leisure; unwaveringly choose the high road at our nation's peril.
It is "a war begun for no wise purpose, carried on with a strange mixture of rashness and timidity, brought to a close after suffering and disaster, without much glory attached either to the government which directed, or the great body of troops which waged it. Not one benefit, political or military, has (name of country deleted) acquired with this war. Our eventual evacuation of the country resembled the retreat of an army defeated."
Try to name the country and the year.
Answer is at the New Statesman.
In the hours before the business ended on the hill for the July 4th break, some senators were busy. Extending unemployment benefits for desperate workers unable to find jobs? Or perhaps protecting residents of the Gulf? Well, some Democratic senators were trying to, but GOP senators were hard at work - protecting BP, of course!
Although the US House of Representatives voted 420 to 1 to give the presidential commission investigating the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico full subpoena power.
The Senate blocked it. The Senate repuglicans, that is.
No subpoena powers. No real investigation.
You know, I feel that most of our so-called representatives have sold us out, to some degree or another. But at least there are a number of dems attempting to do something for the average citizen! Does the repug contingent even pretend to anymore? God, they make me sick!
Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe.
Beck plans university, hires Dr. Stoner and the rights favorite pseudo-historian
Only "extreme" insiders are cool enough for this school.
That's apparently the one requirement to get new media content directly from a few individuals who Fox News opinion host Glenn Beck has selected to lecture on politics, U.S. history and the right-wing's ideal vision for a theocratic America.
Yes, you read correctly: Glenn Beck is launching what he calls a "university," and only subscribers to Beck's "Insider Extreme" club (memberships start at $9.95 per month) are allowed access.
Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.
"...President Obama made a very interesting remark when the financial regulation package passed in the senate the other day. He said the bill would make sure that "Main Street is never again held responsible for Wall Street's mistakes."
"That was the sound of something going over America's head. Something about the size of Rodan the Flying Reptile. And frankly I don't think the president even meant to be coy or deceptive. It just means he doesn't get it either. Never again....
"What the fuck?
"Why even this time? Why isn't there an army of federal attorneys out there, their teeth bristling with subpoenas, beating the bushes in every lane and skyscraper floor of lower Manhattan (and Fairfield County, Connecticut, not to mention a thousand office parks around the USA) to roust out the grifters and swindlers who took Main Street to the cleaners this time.
"The audacity of cluelessness! And the hilarity of "next time."
"Earth to President Obama: there isn't going to be a next time. This time was enough to git 'er done. Wall Street - in particular the biggest "banks" - packaged up and sold enough swindles to unwind 2500 years of western civilization. You simply cannot imagine the amount of bad financial paper out there right now in every vault and portfolio on the planet. Enough, really, to sink any company even pretending to trade in things more abstract than a mud brick or an hour of labor. What's more, the cross-collateralized obligations between them are so vast and intricate that all the standing timber in North America could not be fashioned into enough pick-up sticks to represent the hideous death-dealing tangle of frauds waiting for the wing-beat of a single black swan to come crashing down."
In two separate research voyages, independent scientists have detected what were described as "astonishingly high" levels of methane, or natural gas, bubbling from the well site, setting off a chain of reactions that suck the oxygen out of the water. In some cases, methane concentrations are 100,000 times normal levels.
Other scientists as well as sport fishermen are reporting unusual movements of fish, shrimp, crab and other marine life, including increased shark sightings closer to the Alabama coast.
Larry Crowder, a marine biologist at Duke University, said there were already signs that fish were being driven from their habitat.
Oil spewing from the blown BP well is entering the food chain. Marine biologists have discovered oiled crab larvae in uncontaminated marshes. Oil from the Gulf is being taken into otherwise uncontaminated areas by contaminated crabs.
Offshore, in deep water, methane levels as high as 10,000 above normal have been confirmed by new data.
The Coast Guard has put new restrictions in place across the Gulf Coast that prevent the public - including news photographers and reporters covering the BP oil spill - from coming within 65 feet of any response vessels or booms on the water or on beaches.
This is the third major revelation in the last week to undermine Bobby Jindal's claim to have effectively managed Louisiana's response to BP's oil spill...
According to the New York Times, Jindal claims he vetoed the measure to strengthen the state's position if it pursues legal action against BP. But given that the documents Jindal has now sealed to the public would be discoverable in any such case, his argument is transparently bunk.
Last week, CBS revealed that despite Jindal's attacks on the Obama administration for not delivering enough resources, Jindal was holding up the deployment of 5,000 National Guard troops authorized by the Obama administration. Over the weekend, the New York Timesreported that experts at the state and federal level had panned Jindal's response, saying the state was ill-prepared for the spill and that Jindal's attacks on the Federal response smacked of political calculation designed to distract attention from his own failures.