Friday, January 29, 2010

New Osama Bin Laden Tape: Blasts US For Climate Change


You know, the guy's right that the US and the rest of the industrial nations are responsible for global warming.



That being said, however, Osama's latests statement feeds right into the teabaggers' paranoid and xenophobic feed-back loop that global warming is a hoax dreamed up by Al Gore to fleece patriotic Americans out of their hard-earned money.



And this many be paranoid on my part but I'm beginning to think Osama, al Qaida, the Saudi royal family and the Republican Party are all part of a conspiracy to keep the world hooked on oil.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Consortiumnews.com

Consortiumnews.com

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Highlights:
From Nixon’s debacle, the Republicans learned important lessons, including their need to build a media infrastructure of their own to protect future Republican presidents from “another Watergate.” Nixon’s former Treasury Secretary Bill Simon took the lead in pulling together wealthy conservatives to invest in right-wing media and think tanks. [For details, see Lost History.]

The Left extracted an opposite lesson from Watergate. Feeling a false confidence that the mainstream news media would continue performing a watchdog role, progressives mostly dismantled what had been a thriving “underground” media of newspapers, magazines and radio stations, which had grown up amid the youthful opposition to the Vietnam War. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “The Left’s Media Miscalculation.”]
In the 1980s, the American Left followed a different path, ignoring the importance of having a media infrastructure that could get out its message, instead favoring vague concepts like “organizing” and “going back to the roots.” The Left embraced the bumper-sticker slogan, “think globally, act locally,” and abandoned the front lines of Washington's information wars..

What money the Left did spend on national politics was devoted heavily to “campaign finance reform,” pushing for laws and regulations that supposedly would limit special-interest donations given to political parties and candidates. While well intentioned, the logical flaw of this approach was that it limited what could be spent by politicians on campaigns but ignored the Right’s unrestricted – and unmatched – investment in media.


After Bush prevailed, Nader and his followers refused to accept any blame for the outcome, claiming instead that it was Gore’s fault for not winning his home state of Tennessee, or having a lousy recount strategy, or any number of other excuses.

It had become a trademark of the Left’s purists to almost never take responsibility for anything, but rather to assume the role of critic. They would typically find fault with whatever compromise the pragmatists judged necessary while pretending that the American people were ready to rally to the banner of radical change if only the Democrats would blow the bugle.

The reality was that many middle- and working-class Americans were now identifying with the Right’s anti-government “populism” -- as promoted by the pervasive right-wing media -- not with the Left’s unheard explanations for why government intervention was needed to address social ills.


Ironically, Ralph Nader, whose candidacy helped make the Roberts and Alito appointments possible, stepped forward to denounce the ruling, saying it “shreds the fabric of our already weakened democracy by allowing corporations to more completely dominate our corrupted electoral process.”

Nader’s solution was to propose a constitutional amendment that would “prevent corporate campaign contributions from commercializing our elections and drowning out the civic and political voices and values of citizens and voters.” However, Nader presented no practical way for such a constitutional amendment to be enacted.

Another irony of the expanding power of corporate money is that it will surely be disguised in “populist” garments meant to deceive simpleminded Americans who will think they are joining a movement to free the Republic from the threat of Big Government, when they will actually be handing the Republic over to corporate titans, including some fronting for foreign money.

And to top off this past week, Air America – after many stop-and-go moments – finally came crashing to earth, declaring bankruptcy and closing up shop.

Its demise was interpreted by some liberal pundits as a sign that progressives shouldn’t bother to invest in talk radio because progressives supposedly are too nuanced in their viewpoints, while talk radio is all about simplistic bombast.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Bank Shot: Independents And Dem Base Still Aligned In Anger

So the good people of Massachusetts have elected a white, suburban, coordinator class conservative who, remarkably enough, looks a little bit...no a lot...like Mitt Romney.Oh, but Scott Brown's not just another "professional" politician! He drives a pick up!



The reactionary right controls the media, with the exception of the Internet and they want to get their hands on it, so they control the message. Simple as that.



You can rant and rave about corporate Democrats and third parties all you want, it ain't gonna change a thing. The left, or whatever stands for the left in this country, has let the forces of reaction control the message. Writes Robert Perry:

"One of the Left’s favorite slogans became “think globally, act locally.” In practice, that meant favoring local activism (such as direct philanthropic spending on projects like feeding the poor or buying up endangered wetlands) over national media (i.e. building the kind of informational infrastructure that the Right had).



"So, it was not so much that the Left lost the “war of ideas” to the Right over the past three decades; it was more that the Left abandoned the battlefield.

ConsortiumNews.com



The modern Republican Party is a party of used car salesmen with unlimited access to the media and an sleep-walking electorate with the attention span of a mosquito. How else can a cadre of slick, professional politicians recast themselves every couple of years as "Washington outsiders?"
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Posted this at Alternet.org

While money is the primary influence on the conduct of both major parties I have come up with a shorthand definition to distinguish between them: Democrats are systems managers, Republican used car salesmen.

The Coakley-Brown match up in Massachusetts, even though both candidates are attorneys, illustrates this nicely.

Scott Brown is running, as nearly every Republican has since 1980, as a Washington, D.C. outsider and champion of smaller government, i.e. cut welfare for the poor and cut taxes for the rich. Never mind that as a lieutenant-colonel in the Massachusetts Nation Guard Brown's sucked off Uncle Sam's tit for thirty years, knowing, in this day and age of the All Volunteer Force our soldiers and Marines and National Guardsmen are sacrosanct heroes whose asses the rest of us must kiss with great regularity, I'll get some flack for even entertaining this thought.

And even though Brown maintains a law practice focusing on divorce and adoptions, for most of his adult life, when he wasn't collecting a US Treasury check for one-weekend a month and three weeks a year with the Guard, he has been since 1992 a professional politician. Yet he sells himself as some one untainted by big money politics. Absolute bullshit which the teabaggers are eating up with gusto as they have since 1980. Some people never get it.

Coakley, on the other hand, is a long time law-and-order Democrat, a prosecutor since 1982. She's the kind of competent systems manager, i.e. coordinator, the establishment Democratic Party elders love so much these days. Intelligent, bland and a good administrator, Coakley is the kind of politician who would be good at running a state or federal agency, as she does in her capacity as Massachusetts Attorney General.

So what this election boils down to is, colorless though competent jurist versus a huckster, a lawyer-huckster at that.

So when some one tells you there isn't a dime's worth of difference between the two major political parties, you can say there is: Democrats are systems managers, Republicans used car salesmen. One party, the Democrats, is content to competently manage the status quo. The other, the Republicans, sees the status quo as a means to an end for self-aggrandizement and enrichment at their teabagger partisans' expense for the benefit of their major political campaign donors.
Alternet.org

Linn County Republican ponders loyalty resolution « Iowa Independent

Linn County Republican ponders loyalty resolution « Iowa Independent

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Frank Rich: The Great Tea Party Rip-Off


Amazing, isn't it? Frank Rich articulates what many on the progressive left see and yet many heart and soul teabaggers remain blind.



Like deer caught in the headlights of Sarah Palin's smile and Michael Steele's bald pate, the mostly white, mostly suburban tea party movement is ready to hand the fortunes of this nation back over to the "free market" fundamentalists who have done such a splendid job of ruining the national economy to this point.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jimi Hendrix fans have a new experience in store - latimes.com

Jimi Hendrix fans have a new experience in store - latimes.com

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Big Bonuses Could Turn Tea Parties Against Banks


From the WSJ report: " If a company is doing well, they don't have a problem with it. Most people in the tea-party movement are capitalists....If the company in question is one that received a government bailout -- totally different story."



In other words one of the right's usual motives, envy, rears its ugly head. it is the usual petty envy that some one is getting something that the average teabagger thinks he/she isn't, and it is being paid for by his/her tax dollar, hence the hatred of so-called entitlement programs.



It does not seem to matter to teabaggers that Hank Paulson was the architect of the TARP bailout end the end of George Dubya Bush's lame-duck second term. Nor does it matter that many of these same teabaggers must have endorsed passage of the Gramm-Leach Act, gutting the New Deal era Glass-Steagall Act which lead to the '08 financial crisis, questions of privacy aside. That's all ancient, ancient history. Teabagger live for the present just like they did when they were hippies.



It is the lame-brained worship of the Rand-Friedman-Greenspan "free market" economy which has brought the nation to this juncture. And members of the teabagging movement as are culpable as the most corrupt politician.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Monday, January 11, 2010

Consortiumnews.com

Consortiumnews.com

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Oliver Stone: Hitler An 'Easy Scapegoat'


First of all these quotations are out of context, so I can only hazard a guess as to Oliver Stone's intention.



That being said, I shall hazard a guess that Stone's "Hitler is an easy scapegoat" is that too many politicians cite the Nazi dictator's terrible and unforgivable genocide as emollient for current Israeli depredations visited upon the Palestinians.



And there should be no controversy about the Soviet Union's role in World War II, or the Great Patriotic War as Russians name it. Stalin, after all, was a monster like Hitler. But unlike Hitler Stalin was slightly more sane though that does not absolve him for his sociopathic personality.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Exploring race: Sen. Harry Reid and the 'double standard'

Exploring race: Sen. Harry Reid and the 'double standard'

Sunday, January 10, 2010

News Flash! Nader admits to being "spoiler"

St. Ralph Nader, patron saint of the Ideologically Pure Left, is reported to be considering not running for US Senate from the State of Connecticut!
Nader's Senate prospects hit snag with Dodd's retirement

By MARIA RECIO
McClatchy Newspapers

WASHINGTON -- What's up with Ralph Nader?

The three-time presidential candidate and consumer crusader, mostly under the political radar while hustling a new book of fiction, also has been quietly thinking about doing something completely different: running for the U.S. Senate.
The intriguing prospect of running against embattled Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., in his home state this year has hit a snag, however. Dodd made the surprise announcement Wednesday that he'll be retiring, leaving the race open to a strong Democrat, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

That has Nader, 75, known for his "spoiler" role in the 2000 presidential election, re-thinking his chances.

"The attraction is a three-way race," Nader said in a telephone interview. His voice raspy from a cold, Nader - "I never get sick" - spoke from his home in Washington. "It's less likely to have a three-way race with such a strong candidate."

Blumenthal, who's held the attorney general position since he was first elected in 1990, has a reputation for pursuing consumer and environmental causes.

Dodd was a more inviting target for Nader, who's among the critics of the chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee for his handling of the financial crisis and for benefiting from a favorable mortgage from scandal-ridden Countrywide Financial Corp.

Nader was looking at a contest as the third option between a weakened Dodd and a Republican opponent; among the candidates is Linda McMahon, former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.

And what, pray tell, would St Ralph running against Chris Dodd accomplish besides getting an asshole Republican elected?

And getting another asshole Republican elected to the US Senate would get the peasants to rise up how, St. Ralph?

Well, gee, St. Ralph, how'd you like the Bush years? And the Clinton years post-1994, those were great weren't they, St. Ralph?

In some ways I can understand the concept of making things worse before they get better. I've even said myself that these white, suburban fucks making $70,000 a year and less who vote Republican, because Republicans cut the social safety net out from under niggers, spics and all other lazy Democratic welfare dependents, deserve to get a taste of their own medicine when the economy goes tits up. But would that really make these guys more amiable to a more socialist agenda or merely drive them into even more virulent fascism? Well from what I've seen in the past thirty years or so the lower income white collar classes of Suburbia USA are growing increasing fascist, witness the teabagger movement.

My biggest complain with St. Ralph and his ilk of the IPL is that while their criticism of the system is correct they only offer mealymouthed solutions like, people got to get organized, fight the system, buy local, act global and so on, and nothing changes.

But what really sticks in my craw about the leading lights of the American IPL like St. Ralph is that most are members in good standing of the coordinator class with the financial wherewithal to withstand only the most severe of economic downturns. And like their opposites on the reactionary right, leaders of the IPL are for the most part products of the nation's leading institutions of higher learning. Quoting from "Can We Rescue the Republic Before the Dark Politics Take Over?" by Kirk Nielson, posted at Alternet.org, December 25, 2009,"...Harvard, Yale, Princeton and most elite schools "do only a mediocre job of teaching students to question and think." Elite universities are in the business of producing "hordes of competent systems managers" not critical thinkers. And there is the crux of the dilemma of what ails the United States.

Politics is firmly in the hands of one, and only one, socio-economic class, the coordinator, or system manager, class. My short hand for the difference between establishment Democrats and Republicans is simple: Democrats are lawyers, Republicans are insurance salesmen. That may seem overly simplistic but all one need do to verify it is scan the biographies of US Congressman and Senators.

The great genius of the coordinator class since the end of World War II was to create the illusion that the United States was a truly classless society, as opposed to the faux classless societies of the Soviet Union and Maoist China, where all its citizens had a chance to move up the economic ladder.It wasn't true fifty years ago and it is even less true now.
Good article posted at Alternet.org on Cerberus Capital.
Cerberus Capital: Literally Blood-Sucking the Poor to Make Their Billions

By Mark Ames, AlterNet. Posted January 9, 2010.
Wall Street vampires. Lately, a lot of Americans, including myself, have used the bloodsucking monsters as a metaphor to describe the Wall Street billionaires who rule us, and who are ruining us. Like so many awful stories of the past few years, it turns out that these Wall Street vampire-billionaires really exist, literally. Like all vampires, they live in remote castles, and they feed themselves by luring poor, desperate humans into their dens, hooking them into blood-pumping machines and sucking out their plasma for mind-boggling profits.

Cerberus Capital, one of Wall Street’s most notoriously ruthless leveraged-buyout firms (or “private equity firms” in PC-speak), recently made a $1.8 billion killing on its human plasma investment, a company called Talecris. Talecris was purchased for a mere $82.5 million just four years earlier, meaning Cerberus made 23 times its investment on human plasma. This was accomplished by the most savage, heartless means possible: by paying peanuts to impoverished human plasma donors, who increasingly come from Mexican border towns to blood-pumping stations set up on the American side, jacking up the price of plasma by restricting supply (a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission accused Cerberus Plasma Holdings of “operat[ing] as an oligopoly”), and then selling the refined products to the most desperately ill—patients suffering from hemophilia, severe burns, multiple sclerosis and autoimmune deficiencies. The products cost so much—one, IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin) cost twice the price of gold as of last summer—that American health insurance companies have been dropping or denying their policyholders in increasing numbers, endangering untold numbers of people.

Tomas Asher, chairman of a company that trades in plasma, described the business this way: "It's like selling hog bellies or wheat or beef. It gets sold all over."

Profiting from ruined American lives is nothing new to Cerberus. (The company takes its name from the legendary three-headed attack dog of Greek legend who guards the gates of Hell, making sure no condemned soul ever escapes. How appropriate.) Cerberus is the same shady fund that bought Chrysler and GMAC in 2007 and drove them into the ground, blamed everything on unions (even after firing 30,000 Chrysler employees), and dumped the companies onto American taxpayers—but only after lining up tens of billions in taxpayer-funded bailout funds. Cerberus is led by some of the most aggressive "free market" Republicans of our time. The chairman of Cerberus is former Treasury Secretary John Snow, who oversaw the destruction of America’s economy while serving under Bush from 2003 to 2006, bragging during his tenure, "We are the envy of the world."

Snow bragged again in 2007 after Cerberus acquired Chrysler, "Over 25 years ago, when Chrysler faced bankruptcy, it turned to the United States government for assistance. Today, Chrysler again faces new financial challenges. But it is private investment stepping in to inject much-needed support." A year later, Snow was running around Washington begging and screaming for government handouts.

Joining Snow as international chairman for Cerberus is former Republican Vice President Dan Quayle, the pampered imbecile who couldn’t spell “potato” correctly. Two more perfect vampires couldn’t have been invented than Quayle and Snow for the America of the Bush Era—peanut-brained, sleazy jerks.

The top vampire in Cerberus is the fund’s founder, billionaire Stephen Feinberg, a major Republican Party campaign donor with a hardcore fetish for Harleys and big guns. Supposedly Feinberg was very uncomfortable with taking all those socialism-esque billions from American taxpayers. The New York Times described him as "a longtime free-market enthusiast and a Republican who never envisioned himself needing the government for help.”


My Comment
The true genius of evil bastards like Cerberus founder Stephen Feinberg is that they have the where withal to control the media and the message to get those who suffer the most due to their financial shenanigans to defend and even admire them.

As noted in the article above Feinberg and Cerebus:...bought Remington, America’s oldest firearms manufacturer, and since then they’ve snapped companies making everything from bullets to silencers... And what was one of the biggest unfounded rumors circulation round the right wing moron-o-sphere? the Barack Obama ammunition ban. At the height of this lunacy NRA members were urged to buy a lifetime supply of ammunition. And, of course, when this NRA fueled and funded panic created shortages of ammunition, not only for gun dealers but law enforcement, the NRA blamed the president.

I can imagine Feinberg and NRA vice-president-for-life Wayne La Pierre meeting for congratulatory sessions of mutual masturbation for hoodwinking their working class stooges once again, and for a tidy profit.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Unemployment Rate Holds Steady At 10%, 85,000 Jobs Lost In December


As poorly as the big investment banks and the Fed managed the economy since the 1999 Banking Modernization Act a major recessions was in the cards.



This current recession will be harder for the country to recover from since beginning with the consumer electronics industry in the1970s major Wall Street investors have consciously hollowed out the domestic economy by outsourcing manufacturing to countries with slavery-level wages for workers. The socio-economic class landscape of the United States is taking on the look of a Third World country, a large and impoverished lower class, a small though extremely wealthy upper class and an almost non-existent middle class.



Just about the only unionized blue-collar, heavy manufacturing industry which has not been outsourced into extinction is the manufacturing arm of the military-industrial complex. I am sure the patriotic board members of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon etc are entertaining the thought of depending more on our foreign allies for low-cost, high-tech weapons of mass destruction.



The sad fact is ever since Ronald Reagan declared the industrial economy dead and that the dawning to the so-called service (servant?) economy the nation has been on a downward economic spiral. Manufacturing will come back to the United States in the future, when workers will willingly accept hard, dirty factory jobs for below current hourly minimum wage.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

A challenge to Senator Jim DeMint to a debate on TSA collective bargaining rights

A challenge to Senator Jim DeMint to a debate on TSA collective bargaining rights

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What's Ahead for the Economy and Politics in 2010

Reich clearly sees what other so-called pundits fail to.



And his concluding two sentences summarize the entire GOP platform, philosophy and grand plan for regaining a majority in the US House and Senate. The real brilliance of current Republican strategy since Ronald Reagan is that it has effectively brainwashed working-middle class Americans, the very segment of the population hurt most by GOP tax and federal spending cutting policy, into voting against their own best economic self-interests.



The failure of establishment Democrats, especially those of the Clintonian DLC caucus, is acting too much like Republicans. In the up coming election cycle the GOP offers nothing yet Democratic fecklessness gives them hope that their brand of nihilism will resonate with Americans.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Sunday, January 03, 2010

PolitiFact: Dick Cheney Falsely Says Obama Won't Admit The U.S. Is At War Against Terrorists


I think that if Mr. Richard "Six-Deferments" Cheney wants to legitimize this so-called war on "terror" he demand his friends and colleague in the Republican Caucus in Congress introduce a bill declaring war on terrorism and Islam.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost