Friday, July 30, 2010

Fuck It, Lets Cut Food Stamps!

You have GOT to be shitting me...

Hot Sauce!!!

Anthony Weiner lets the Republicans have it!!!

YouTube Doubler

Oh evidently he saved some up just for Peter King too!



MORE OF THIS PLEASE!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Five Blind Senate Democrats

Contrary to popular belief, at least five Democrats think the filibuster rules are working jusssssssssssst fine.

Senior Democrats say Reid will not have the votes to change the rule at the beginning of next year.




“It won’t happen,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who said she would “probably not” support an effort to lower the number of votes needed to cut off filibusters from 60 to 55 or lower.




Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) echoed Feinstein: “I think we should retain the same policies that we have instead of lowering it.
“I think it has been working,” he said.




Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) said he recognizes his colleagues are frustrated over the failure to pass measures such as the Disclose Act, campaign legislation that fell three votes short of overcoming a Republican filibuster Tuesday.




“I think as torturous as this place can be, the cloture rule and the filibuster is important to protect the rights of the minority,” he said. “My inclination is no.”






Sen. Jon Tester, a freshman Democrat from Montana, disagrees with some of his classmates from more liberal states.




“I think the bigger problem is getting people to work together,” he said. “It’s been 60 for a long, long time. I think we need to look to ourselves more than changing the rules.”




Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who is up for reelection in 2012, also said he would like the votes needed for cloture to remain the same.
“I’m not one who think it needs to be changed,” he said.


If you are like me and vehemently disagree with them, I think you should let them know.

Senator Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Phone: (202) 224-3841
Fax: (202) 228-3954

Daniel Akaka
141 Hart Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Telephone: (202) 224-6361

Fax: (202) 224-2126

Jon Tester
724 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-2604
Phone: (202) 224-2644
Fax: (202) 224-8594

Mark Pryor
255 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg

Washington, D.C. 20510

p: (202) 224-2353

f: (202) 228-0908

Ben Nelson
720 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: 1-202-224-6551
Fax: 1-202-228-0012

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Looks Like Its Time To Give Chris Dodd A Call/Fax/Letter/Email

Check out Chris Dodd talking out of both sides of his mouth.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd recast doubts this afternoon about whether Elizabeth Warren could garner enough votes to head the newly created consumer financial protection bureau, one day after White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs called her "very confirmable."


"I don't know, that's the question, how does he know that?" Dodd said in response to a question from TPMDC on his way in to the Democrats' weekly policy lunch.


"She's qualified, no question about that. The question is whether she's confirmable," Dodd added. "The issue is [if] you can't confirm somebody, if you go six or seven months without someone in that job, you've got a problem."

snip

Some have argued that she be given a recess appointment if a minority of senators block her confirmation. Dodd objects to that idea.




"I think that would be a huge mistake," Dodd said, in response to a question from TPMDC. "Recess appointments. No, no, no."


"I think those are, you know, Republicans used to do it, I think that's a mistake," Dodd added. "Except in the most extreme circumstances where you need someone because of an emergency pending, but as a routine matter, I think it's a fundamental mistake."


So let me see if I have this straight. Chris Dodd thinks Elizabeth Warren is DEFINITELY qualified. But he's scared she won't be confirmed....

And even though he acknowledges she's qualified, if Republicans block her like they have blocked many other appointments strictly for partisan purposes, he is against the administration recess appointing her?

You know, its funny because in the first instance Dodd is kind of going after Robert Gibbs for saying she is confirmable as if its not his place to say it. Well guess what Chris? Its not YOUR place to worry about whether the administration would recess appoint her if you and the Senate Democratic leadership fails to do its job and get her confirmed with 59 Dem votes.

I think Senator Dodd needs to know how everyone feels about Elizabeth Warren being confirmed as the head of CFPB don't you?

U.S. Senator Chris Dodd
448 Russell Building | Washington D.C., 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2823 | Fax: (202) 224-1083


30 Lewis St Suite 101 | Hartford, CT 06103
Tel: (860) 258-6940/(800) 334-5341 —CT only
Fax: (860) 258-6958

The Public Is On Your Side

Any Democrats in Congress skittish about repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should read this polling from National Journal ASAP!

Regarding the tax cuts, 30 percent of Americans believe all of Bush's 2001 and 2003 cuts should stay in place. That compared to 31 percent who believed that all of them should be repealed. Twenty-seven percent take the route Obama campaigned on: Tax cuts for the wealthy should be repealed, while the others should stay in place.


Sign up for E-Mail Alerts to be notified of poll updates. That sentiment was consistent across income lines. Among those making more than $75,000, 26 percent said only the tax cuts for the wealthy should be repealed. For those making $30,000 to $74,999, 31 percent concurred. And among those making less than $30,000, 28 percent said the tax cuts for the wealthy should be overturned.


Independents hewed closest to the overall sample. Twenty-seven percent said all the tax cuts should be kept in place. Thirty-two percent said they all should be repealed. Twenty-seven percent said the tax cuts for the wealthy should be repealed, but the middle class cuts should be kept in place.

For those scoring at home 59% of INDEPENDENTS support repealing some or all of the Bush tax cuts.

This is a no brainer at this point and any Democrat who can't see that simply doesn't want to. And for those who don't want to?

We are coming after your ass...

Remember When Republicans LOVED David Cameron?

Somehow I think the honeymoon's over

(CNN) -- British Prime Minister David Cameron called Gaza a "prison camp" on Tuesday, a blunt description from a major Western leader about the besieged Palestinian territory.


Cameron made the remarks in the Turkish capital of Ankara, which he was visiting to forge a new relationship with Turkey and show his support for Turkey's membership in the European Union.


"Let me also be clear that the situation in Gaza has to change. Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp," Cameron said, according to a 10 Downing Street transcript of a speech he made on Tuesday.

So while conservatives and Republicans on this side of the pond have been trying to make Turkey into some kind of villian and enemy of the state after the flotilla deaths, David Cameron is on the other side of the pond making nice with them and telling the damn truth.

Unfortunately this issue is an equal opportunity corrupter. There won't be many Democrats lining up with Cameron either on the issue of Gaza and Israel's illegal and inhumane blockaed. And that is a shame we will all wear for some time.

TNC Does It Again

Maureen Dowd wrote a bullshit column ostensibly hitting President Obama and his team for not being "black enough" because of the administration's response to the Shirley Sherrod episode which got a lot more play than it should have earlier this week. It seems as if people don't realize that its her shtick to bring down Democratic Presidents by questioning their manhood in any way possible. This "he's not black enough" trash has been a drum she's been beating for quite some time and the Shirley Sherrod incident just gave her another opportunity. And if you notice not once in that long ass bunch of bloviating did she ever take the time to even mention FoxNews or Andrew Breitbart, as if the doctored video of Sherrod shut appeared one day out of thin air.

Ta Nehisi Coates on the other hand wrote a post about the reality of the situation as it stands. As he says of people who keep calling for a national conversation on race, "talk is cheap"!

Expecting an American conversation on race in this country, is like expecting financial advice from someone who prefers to not check their bank balance. It's not that the answers, themselves, are pre-ordained, its that we are more interested in questions than answers, in verdicts than evidence. Even now, there are people who insist--in spite of the actual video--that the NAACP audience is actually cheering for Sherrod to not help the white farmer.




Put bluntly, this is a country too ignorant of itself to grapple with race in any serious way. The very nomenclature--"conversation on race"--betrays the unseriousness of the thing by communicating the sense that race can be boxed from the broader American narrative, that you can somehow talk about Thomas Jefferson without Sally Hemmings; that you can discuss Andrew Jackson without discussing his betrayal of the black artillerymen who fought at the Battle of New Orleans; that you can discuss the suffrage without Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells or Frederick Douglass; that you can discuss temperance without understanding the support of the Klan; that you can discuss the path to statehood in Florida without discussing Fort Gadsen; that you can talk Texas without understanding cotton, and so on.




It's not so much that we don't know--it's that we aspire to not know. The ignorance of the African-American thread in the broader American quilt--the essential nature of that thread--is willful, and the greatest evidence that the spirit of white supremacy walks with us. There was a lot of self-congratulation around the justice done on Shirley Sherrod. It's premature. The thing will happen again. Race isn't a "distraction" from Obama's agenda--it's the compromised, unsure ground upon which this country walks everyday. It is the monster, and it will not be evaded writing Shirley Sherrod off to the machinations of the 24-hour news cycle.

What's most irritating is the same mainstream media folks who keep calling for this mythical national conversation on race, are the same people who as soon as the word racism or racist enter the discussion will bend over backwards to defend the likes of Rush Limbaugh or Pat Buchanan lest they be criticized by right wingers. What they really want is a national lie about where we are as a country on race to make everyone feel better.

Sorry folks, that's just not going to happen.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Betting On Suffering DOES Matter

Meet the real Jeff Greene (R) Florida

No Both Side Don't Do It, EJ Dionne Edition

E.J. Dionne speaks the truth that no one in the mainstream media dares say:

Yet the Obama team was reacting to a reality: the bludgeoning of mainstream journalism into looking timorously over its right shoulder and believing that "balance" demands taking seriously whatever sludge the far right is pumping into the political waters.








This goes way back. Al Gore never actually said he "invented the Internet," but you could be forgiven for not knowing this because the mainstream media kept reporting he had.






There were no "death panels" in the Democratic health-care bills. But this false charge got so much coverage that an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll last August found that 45 percent of Americans thought the reform proposals would likely allow "the government to make decisions about when to stop providing medical care to the elderly." That was the summer when support for reform was dropping precipitously. A straight-out lie influenced the course of one of our most important debates.






The traditional media are so petrified of being called "liberal" that they are prepared to allow the Breitbarts of the world to become their assignment editors. Mainstream journalists regularly criticize themselves for not jumping fast enough or high enough when the Fox crowd demands coverage of one of their attack lines.






Thus did Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander ask this month why the paper had been slow to report on "the Justice Department's decision to scale down a voter-intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party." Never mind that this is a story about a tiny group of crackpots who stopped no one from voting. It was aimed at doing what the doctored video Breitbart posted set out to do: convince Americans that the Obama administration favors blacks over whites.






And never mind that, to her great credit, Abigail Thernstrom, a conservative George W. Bush appointee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, dismissed the case and those pushing it. "This doesn't have to do with the Black Panthers," she told Politico's Ben Smith. "This has to do with their fantasies about how they could use this issue to topple the [Obama] administration." Instead, the media are supposed to take seriously the charges of J. Christian Adams, who served in the Bush Justice Department. He's a Republican activist going back to the Bill Clinton era. His party services included time as a Bush poll watcher in Florida in 2004, when on one occasion he was involved in a controversy over whether a black couple could cast a regular ballot.

It is great to see Dionne take on Ombud Andy and crush his ass right in his own paper. Its way past time for the media to keep giving right wingers the benefit of the doubt and presenting their race baiting theories as just "the other side of the argument". Until they start rejecting these wingnut fantasies and focusing on the real issues, we all will continue to suffer from our failed media experiment!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Suckers

First you have this from Dana Milbank:

Taxes? The nonpartisan Tax Foundation in May described Americans' tax burden in 2009 as the lowest since 1959.

Then you have this from yahoo business:

The 22 statistics detailed here prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the middle class is being systematically wiped out of existence in America.


The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer at a staggering rate. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a blinding pace.

And yet you have a bunch of middle class white Tea Baggers who are yelling about taxes and are going to have a shit fit when the Obama administration allows the tax rate for the wealthy go back to what they were during the Clinton administration.

These two facts should be pointed out early and often when Republicans and the media try to portray the Tea Party as anything other than an arm of the Republican Party.

Nobody is that damn stupid.

Elizabeth Warren At CFPB Is A No Brainer

Treasury Secretary Tim Geitner was on "This Week" this morning and he was asked about Elizabeth Warren heading the Consumer Financial Protecton Bureau

Host Jake Tapper asked Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner if he supported Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

"She is a enormously effective advocate for reform," Geithner replied. "Probably the most effective advocate for reform for consumers for consumer protection in the country."

"She has huge credibility and she played a decisive role in helping make the public case for reform and she was early on this, way ahead of everybody else," Geithner told Tapper.

But does the Treasury Secretary have concerns about a woman who has been so sharply critical of him in her role as independent supervisor of the $700 billion bank bailout?

"I don't have concerns and I should say in that context that she has been playing a very important role in providing oversight over the programs we put in place to break the back of this financial crisis

Geitner stopped short of actually saying he endorsed her to the post but this should be a no brainer for the Obama administration. If they want to fire up the base before the mid term elections AND nominate the person most folks see as the most up to the job of protecting consumers they will nominate Warren immediately. And not only will they nominate her, they will fiercely promote her for confirmation.

I talked the other day about the need for Harry Reid to be willing to pick a fight he may not win and this time it applies to administration as well. If Warren is opposed and her nomination doesn't go through but the administration and Harry Reid and the overwhelming majority of Democrats are seen as pushing for confirmation then that will be a damn sight better than not nominating her at all because they are scared she won't be confirmed.

This is one battle out of many that can define for voters who they are voting for in the fall. Do they want folks who are really pushing to protect them from businesses that try to screw them? Or do they want the folks who want to make sure big business has every chance to screw them?

If they have any sense in the White House they will announce Elizabeth Warren's nomination to the post ASAP!

Pay What You Owe!!!

This is sickening

Black farmers, due $1.2 billion for a legacy of discrimination by the Agriculture Department, suffered a new and disheartening setback this week, despite the national spotlight provided by the quickly disavowed firing of a black department worker.


The Senate refused again to pay the bill.


Opponents say it's a question of where the money would come from, and that's a a major issue with an election nearing and voters up in arms about federal spending.


Late Thursday, the Senate stripped $1.2 billion for the claims from an emergency spending bill, along with $3.4 billion in long-overdue funding for a settlement with American Indians who say they were swindled out of royalties by the federal government.


Even the attention the Shirley Sherrod case brought to the issue of discrimination at the Agriculture Department couldn't bring lawmakers together on a deal. Instead, Republicans and Democrats alike proclaimed their support for the funding — appeasing important constituencies — while blaming the other side for not getting anything done.


The result: Thousands of black farmers and Indian landowners will keep waiting for checks that most lawmakers agree should have been written years ago.


"If you say you support us, then, damn it, do it!" said John Boyd, a Virginia farmer and the lead organizer for the black farmers' lawsuits.


Sherrod's resignation under pressure from the Agriculture Department over her comments about race, and the subsequent White House apology, brought fresh attention to the black farmers' claims. In explaining why he acted so hastily in asking her to resign, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said he and the department were keenly sensitive to the issue of discrimination and race given the agency's dismal track record on civil rights.


It's a record that Vilsack routinely describes as "sordid."

snip

The money for both the black farmers and the Indian landowners was stripped from the Senate war-funding bill Thursday after the House had passed it earlier this month. Senate Republicans objected to a variety of other Democratic priorities as well, insisting they be paid for rather than adding to the federal deficit.


Democrats have offered a variety of proposals, including one package that included tax increases on oil companies and multinational companies. Republicans have objected, calling instead for spending cuts elsewhere.


"This is an interesting game we're playing around here," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday when asked about the black farmers' money, arguing that Republicans are simply stalling the funding.


A spokesman for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the money belongs in annual appropriations bills the Senate hasn't passed yet.


These farmers fought their asses off for this settlement and the government agreed to pay it. Its funny because I don't remember anybody looking at the deficit before we passed TARP to prop up the banking sector. But now they are using the deficit to delay payments to the folks they already agreed to pay?

I don't know how many Democrats will make this a campaign issue but I am going to make it a campaign issue for me and this blog that's for damn sure. And just as soon as I can find the names of those who voted against this funding I'm for damn sure posting them and if there is a Democrats name on their I am going to let them know my displeasure early and often and their info will be going up as well.

That these people were discriminated against is a shameful part of our history. That we are now refusing to pay them what we owe to them is criminal!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

President Obama's Netroots Nation Video

Some of us need to watch this over and over again for some perspective.

Maybe Its Not "Clap Louder" But "Dial Faster"

Let me start off by saying I understand the progressives and liberals who are dissappointed with President Obama. On many different issues I share their frustration. But I think that all of us, myself included, are guilty of being assholes about this to an extent.

Yes, I said ASSHOLES.

In the video clip of Van Jones I put up last night he talked about people continuing the fight and not getting dissolutioned with President Obama because things haven't gone exactly as we would like. Predictibly some folks, even some whom I generally agree with, took it as though he was telling us to STFU and just applaud President Obama and never complain about anything he does. But I think that totally misses his point and maybe many of us have been totally missing the point since inauguration day last year.

Here is the deal and people can not like it but its still going to be the truth. President Obama and a Democratic Congress is the best if not the only way we will see progressive policies put in place in the next 6 or hopefully 8 years. As much as I understand liberals and progressives who don't want to blindly back Democrats, that is just the plain and simple fact. With the radicalization of the Republican Party, not only is there about zero chance they would pass the kind of legislation we would like to see if they take back over Congress and or take the Presidency in 2012, they would also very likely try their damndest to undo the meager gains we have made thus far in less than two years.

Is that REALLY what we want? Really?

But here's the deal, do we have to push President Obama to pass the kind of stuff we want?

Absolutely.

Is there a way we can do it and at the same time either not damage his Presidency and or boost Democrats in general?

HELL YES

Thing of it is for far too long we have focused our fire on President Obama instead of the people we really should be going after and that's the Conserva Dems in the Senate. Yeah the Conserva Dems in the House are irritating as hell, but as for now they don't hold any power. The Conserva Dems in the Senate however hold an enormous amount of power.

That's not to say we haven't went after some of them like Blanche Lincoln. I was all for getting behind Bill Halter and either voting her out or pushing her to the left, the latter of which we did.

But what about the other folks we have let slide by?

Everyone says its no use going after Ben Nelson because he comes from a red state and he doesn't give a fuck.

Im calling BULLSHIT on that.

We still have 59 Democrats or so called Democrats in our caucus but instead of needing one Republican vote we end up needing two or three because Conserva Dems like Ben Nelson are not a reliable vote for cloture.

That's un fucking heard of. I don't give a shit if he votes against a measure after it reaches the floor. But he, and others, won't even allow an up and down vote at time.

But we train all of our ammo on President Obama. Many liberals and progressives, I'll be honest with you, even come off as the most racist commentators over at right wing websites at times when they call Obama weak or infer that its Rahm Emmanuel running the White House rather than Obama.

Really? Fuck outta here with that bullshit.

Ed Schultz/Cenk Uyger/Jane Hamser Im staring straight at you.

One thing about the Republican base is this, they hold people's feet to the fucking fire. And not the President's feet. Think about this, when Bush proposed immigration reform, even the kind we wouldn't like, did wingnuts go after him?

Or did they go after the Senators who would have to vote for it in order for it to pass?

They labeled that shit amnesty and dared a Republican to vote for it.

And they didn't just bitch and moan on a blog or go on MSNBC and try to bring down Bush over it. They lit Republican Congressional switchboards up like it was Christmas. They wrote op eds, letters to the editor and letters to their lawmakers.

But we seem to be above all that.

Say what you want about Rush Limbaugh, the muthafucka gets results. He tells his ditto heads to call whichever douche bag Republican isn't towing the line and they blow the phone lines up.

What do we do?

We have online circle jerks and do the wingnuts work for them by bashing President Obama.

And what has it gotten us?

Not a helluva lot.

Oh we got some historic legislation for your ass. But we have a President that can't even campaign for the GOOD Democrats we WANT to win because his approval numbers are under water. And is it any wonder when actual independents see wingnuts bashing President Obama on FoxNews then change the channel to CNN and MSNBC and see liberals and progressive doing the exact same thing?

So how about we go after the assholes who deserve it. Everyday Americans should know the name of Ben Nelson and Mary Landreiu and Evan Bayh and Blanche Lincoln and not in a good way. Their offices should be inundated with calls, especially now when we are STILL trying to pass a damn jobs bill. Why haven't many liberal or progressive blogs put up the numbers to these assholes' offices and asked their readers to call until their fingers turn red?

I saw folks like John Cole do it, who isn't even really a liberal or progressive, during the health care reform fight. But on a bunch of other blogs of people much more pivotal to the movement all I saw was bitching and moaning. And not about THEM but about President Obama.

And you know what, maybe President Obama IS too much of a centrist. Maybe he DOESN'T fight as hard as we all wish he would. Well got dammit lets do the fighting for him. If Democrats get their shit together and pass strong bills he is going to sign them, period. If you don't like President Obama then kick the asses of the people who write the bills and vote on them so they will send him something you "think" he doesn't want. The day will never come when he can or will veto a bill because its too liberal or progressive. But it has to get to his desk first.

I know we like to brag that we have advantages over the wingnuts online and with social media etc, but guess what sometimes going old school gets more results. Sending a tweet might get ignored, making a phone call or a dozen phone calls won't.

So hey, instead of clapping louder how about we all start aiming better at the folks who really are holding up progress and dialing faster and sending snail mail and sending faxes until we make it uncomfortable for them to continue on the path they have been on. At the very least they will become marginalized and the rest of the base as well as independents will have someone new to hate. And in turn we stop making it more likely that the Republicans take back power and fuck up the country again.

Its really a modest proposal when you think about it. And deep down are you more angry at President Obama or Ben Nelson?

You can guess my answer to that question.

And if you didn't notice Im back to blogging with gusto. In a few days I will have those numbers up to call and harrass the shit out of the Conserva Dems holding up the jobs bill. I hope the few people who actually read my blog will join me in making their life hell one phone call at a time!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Van Jones At Netroots Nation

President Obama On Fin Reg And Unemployment Benefits

President Obama got too more victories this week but it was largely overshadowed by the Shirley Sherrod debacle.  Getting financial regulation passed even though its not as strong as most of us would have liked is a legitimate reason to beat his chest.  So is extending unemployment.  But I hope he realizes that this has to only be a start.  If that small jobs bill doesn't get passed and there isn't more economic stimulus on the way the mid terms will be a blood bath no matter what kinds of speeches he gives.

Death To False Equivalencies!

Some mainstread media folks seem hell bent on not holding Andrew Breitbart and FoxNews to account for smearing Shirley Sherrod.  Their lame ass excuse seems to be "well both sides do it". Greg Sargent writing at WaPo is not going for it.

Lauer tells us that there's "biased media" on both sides. But while Breitbart may indeed be "biased," that fact has nothing whatsoever to do with what Breitbart did, which is actively mislead his audience. You can be biased without actively misleading.


The conventions of media neutrality apparently require us to keep saying that "both sides do it." But let's drill down on what "it" really is. If by "it" we mean making editorial decisions -- what story to cover, what quotes to seek, who to interview, etc -- that are to some degree rooted in one's political preferences and beliefs, then yes, both sides do it.


But if by "it" we mean purveying information to readers or viewers that's designed only to achieve a political objective, with no effort whatsoever to ascertain its accuracy, true significance, or context, then the answer is: No, both sides don't do it.


Do some left wing commentators say crazy things? Sure. But high-profile commentators on the left, for instance at networks like MSNBC, inarguably hold themselves to a higher factual standard than Glenn Beck and Bill O'Reilly. (Yes, they apologized to Sherrod. So what?)

The problem people on the left have with FoxNews and or Breitbart and their allies has never been that they are partisan. The problem is that they LIE to push their partisan aims. While purporting to report the news, they instead act as a propaganda organ regurgitating every talking point, repeating every false attack and when all else fails manufacturing controversy out of whole cloth. But if nobody in the mainstream media has the balls to call them out for it they will continue to get away with it much as they did for most of the Bush administration, much as have since President Obama got into office.

When will people like Matt Lauer have the courage to say what a blind man can see?

I wouldn't hold my breath.

Perfect Timing Jim Webb

Just as race issues have returned to the forefront of political debate, Virginia Sen. James Webb (D) on Friday reiterated his opposition to some affirmative action programs and suggested that white Americans are being "marginalized" by current government policies.


In a Wall Street Journal op-ed headlined "Diversity and the Myth of White Privelege," Webb writes: "Forty years ago, as the United States experienced the civil rights movement, the supposed monolith of White Anglo-Saxon Protestant dominance served as the whipping post for almost every debate about power and status in America. After a full generation of such debate, WASP elites have fallen by the wayside and a plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers."


This is not a new topic for Webb, whose complicated views on race-based programs were an issue in his 2006 Senate campaign, when some of his fellow Democrats complained that Webb sounded like a Republican. In a 2000 book review, also published in the Wall Street Journal, Webb wrote that affirmative action "has within one generation brought about a permeating state-sponsored racism that is as odious as the Jim Crow laws it sought to countermand."

WaPo

LOL I guess Jim Webb is angling for a job on FoxNews when his term runs out. Are you fucking kidding me? So "white priviledge" is a myth, wealth gap be damned, and affirmative action = Jim Crow.

Its "Democrats" like Jim Webb that make people want to stay at home and sit on their hands. Lets not forget that this muthafucka opposed closing GITMO and is on the fence about DADT. And now he appears to be endorsing the notion that its really the black folks who are racist against the good white folks.

Man, FUCK Jim Webb, I don't give a fuck who he is running against in 2012. If you go out to vote for that asshole you might as well vote Republican. Seriously.

The Only Racists FoxNews Sees

I wish I was good at doing video mashups because there is one that is just begging to be made. It would have clip after clip of FoxNews personalities calling Shirley Sherrod a racist, in no uncertain terms, over and over and over again. Then it would switch to Glenn Beck calling President Obama a racist and other's calling Van Jones a racist. But then at the end it would go to clips of those same FoxNews personalities defending the likes of Rush Limbaugh and other conservatives and Republicans who do and say a lot more blatantly racist things. They will frame it as just being satire or they will warn people not to jump to conclusions. It will show footage of the doctor from Florida who sent the picture of Pres Obama photoshopped into a witch doctor with a bone through his nose, being a panelist on Glenn Beck's show.

Id like to see that mashup because people love video evidence nowadays and nothing would be more eye opening than a video that shows how far FoxNews has gone and is willing to go to convince their viewers that the only racists in America any more are black. Its an amazing feat they are trying to pull off that flies in the face of all logic, but for the people who actually watch FoxNews its easy to see that they are at least convincing them. It will serve as just further proof that FoxNews is not even close to a news organization and instead is a propaganda outfit.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Strengthen Social Security

Coming Home To Roost

On the heels of the Breitbart character assassination, shouldn't credible news organizations start taking a longer look at FoxNews. Especially when these kinds of incidents keep happening?

The Tides Foundation, which prosecutors in California say was among the targets of the anti-government unemployed carpenter Byron Williams before he got into a chaotic shootout with several law enforcement officers Sunday, is also a favorite topic of Fox News host Glenn Beck.


Beginning in 2009 (and as recently as last week), Beck has repeatedly included the group -- along with ACORN, the SEIU and George Soros -- in his cabal of liberals and liberal organizations that are supposedly agents of President Obama's plan to spread Marxist and socialist ideas throughout the United States.


Of course, that doesn't mean that Beck necessarily inspired or influenced Williams' alleged plan to attack the Tides Foundation. But the group has been something of a whipping boy for Beck over the last year.


Williams was charged yesterday with allegedly opening fire on police officers on Interstate 580 in Oakland, California, while on his way to "start a revolution" by attacking members of the ACLU and the Tides Foundation. Williams was reportedly upset about "the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items," in the words of his mother. (Which, we have to admit, do sound like words Glenn Beck might say).

I just want to know how many more people have to be threatened or hurt or in some cases killed by folks echoing FoxNews propaganda before the media really starts reporting these stories.

His Words, My Sentiments

Keith Olberman brangs it on home!



Its The Economy Stupid

The Democrats have been given the biggest break ever. The question is what will they do with it?

Shortly after the vote, the majority leader, Senator Harry Reid, turned to the small-business bill, one of the few items left on the Senate’s dwindling agenda before the August recess. Indeed, it had been on the floor intermittently over the last several weeks, only to be pulled to make way for other legislation including the extension of unemployment insurance.


But with some Democrats viewing the small-business bill as critical to their political prospects in November, Senate Republicans were not about to let it through easily, and have insisted on a chance to offer amendments.


In a bid to save the bill, Democrats released a new version of it on Wednesday night without a $30 billion lending program. But Mr. Reid immediately introduced an amendment that would restore the fund, and he continued to block any Republican amendments. Democratic aides said talks with the Republicans would continue, and they were still hopeful that some form of the measure would be approved.


President Obama called on the Senate to approve the bill in a statement in the Rose Garden on Monday. “We all have to continue our efforts to do everything in our power to spur growth and hiring,” he said. “And I hope the Senate acts this week on a package of tax cuts and expanded lending for small businesses, where most of America’s jobs are created.”


He also raised the issue in his weekly radio and Internet address on Saturday. The White House said Mr. Obama would continue pushing for the bill.


“Small businesses are the engine of private sector job creation, and the president will fight against any attempts by the partisan minority to block progress on legislation that helps our economic recovery,” a spokeswoman, Amy Brundage, said.


Senator Mary L. Landrieu, Democrat of Louisiana and chairwoman of the small-business committee, who is a main author of the legislation, said the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, seemed intent on denying Mr. Obama and the Democrats a chance to pump up the economy ahead of the midterm elections.


“I think Senator McConnell knows and believes this bill could actually create millions of jobs and doesn’t want to give the president and Democrats credit for doing what we do, which is standing up for the middle class,” Ms. Landrieu said.


“If Democrats don’t stand for small business, I don’t know what we stand for,” she added. “I don’t want to go into this election standing for Wall Street and big business.”


The main point of disagreement is the centerpiece of the legislation: a proposed $30 billion lending program that would make credit available to small businesses through local banks. Some Republicans have decried the proposal as a mini “bailout” and said they would vote against it.


The most prominent potential Republican supporter of the bill, Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine and the senior Republican on the small-business committee, said Wednesday that she firmly opposed the $30 billion program because it echoed the huge bailout of Wall Street, the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which has become a political liability for lawmakers who supported it even though many economists say it was a success.


“It has all the quality and features of the TARP program,” Ms. Snowe said in an interview outside the Senate chamber. “I think we’ve been down that road.”

NYTimes

Now Olympia Snowe basically signaled, whether she was trying to help Democrats or not, what the tact will be from Republicans to try to turn folks against the bill. They are going to call it TARP II or some such to try to demonize the bill.

First off if they try it the Democrats can co opt the message. The primary problem folks had with TARP wasn't the size or how effective it was, because in the end most realize it worked. The problem for most folks was that TARP was a bailout of the assholes who got us in this mess while the average person on "Mainstreet" was neglected.

So hey, Democrats can call this TARP II, a bailout of mainstreet. A bailout of the little guy. A bailout for the folks who weren't doing anything wrong but still got killed by the recession.

Framing a bailout as one that targets mainstream is pretty much a winner. It has the advantage of both being true AND of putting Republicans in a defensive posture for not supporting a bailout of mainstreet.

But on another front this situation can be pushed for as long and as hard as Democrats want to. THE number one issue in the midterms will be the economy. So how do you build up momentum going into the elections? You be seen fighting your ass off to create jobs.

One of the main tactical problems I have with Harry Reid is he hates taking losses. If he doesn't have the votes for cloture on a particular bill then he simply will never file for cloture. But while this keeps his scorecard pretty it allows Republicans to avoid taking tough votes. And in fact it lets some of his corporate Democrats off the hook as well. But he is looking to get reelected this fall as well so maybe, just maybe self preservation will kick in.

Think about the reprecussions if he decides to stay in session until a jobs bill of some sort gets passed. If he says screw an August recess and the one issue the Democrats are working on every day is jobs jobs jobs. And every day conversely the Republicans are seen working against jobs jobs jobs. And the media will have no choice but to cover it because staying in session through a recess is not a "normal" thing. So every day you get wall to wall coverage of Democrats going on the floor to yell at Republicans to let them pass a jobs bill. And every day you see Republicans squirming trying to figure out how to combat the line that they don't want to bailout mainstream.

It would make for compelling TV.

I realize this is probably a pipe dream but if it happened it would undoubtedly be a game changer. One that you can't buy. One group is fighting for jobs, one is fighting against and there won't be any bs excuses this time about it not being paid for because it IS paid for.

Lets hope someone has the sense to pick up on this...

Dismantled

Rachel Maddow did the Lord's work tonight.  I imagine FoxNews is gonna be in full defensive mode tomorrow.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Damn I need a cigarette!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Justice!!!

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack Wednesday accepted full responsibility for the ouster of USDA regional official Shirley Sherrod and said he offered her a more senior position in the department, which she is considering.

The White House earlier apologized to Sherrod, saying it acted before knowing all the facts. Sherrod, who is African-American, was essentially fired amid charges of racism stemming from an edited video tape released by the conservative Internet publisher Andrew Breitbart.

Vilsack's statement came as pressure mounted on officials to give Sherrod her job back. "This was my decision and I made it in haste," Vilsack said of Sherrod's ouster.

"For the last 18 months we have focused on a long history of civil rights claims against the Department of Agriculture -- tens of thousands of claims...I made it a goal that we would try to reverse that history, [and that I] would not tolerate discrimination in any way shape or form." He added, "I did not think before I acted, and for that reason this poor woman has gone through a very difficult time."

AOL

This is a step in the right direction of justice. I don't know if Mrs. Sherrod will accept or reject the job offer but at least the Obama administration recognized the offer should be made regardless.

I wish I could say this incident would definitely lead to the White House taking a different tact when dealing with these right wing assholes but unfortunately I don't think it will. The only time anything will change is if their outrage is met with our outrage and we stop bitching and moaning online and instead take to the streets and the phone lines and the emails just like they do.

Its all up to us now.

Breitbart's Bitch Assness

Out of all of my ranting about this situation with Shirley Sherrod I need to make one thing clear, the person with the most culpability in this is Andrew Breitbart.

Yes the Obama administration overreacted in firing Mrs. Sherrod.

Yes the NAACP acted like cowards hurrying to throw Mrs. Sherrod under the bus to cover their ass after their Tea Party resolution.

Yes some commentators like CNN's Roland Martin should have waited before passing judgment on Mrs. Sherrod.

But one person and one person only put the edited video out expressly hoping that they would destroy Mrs. Sherrod's career and therefore damage both the NAACP and the Obama administration. And that person is Breitbart.

This situation is no different than the bullshit ACORN tapes which were edited in the worst possible way. And yet people bought it hook line and sinker.

Well now that the video itself has been debunked, its time to hold this asshole accountable.

I know that he has said he didn't edit the tapes. Well you know what? Why in the hell should that matter? I don't buy it but even if I did, imagine how apoplectic he would be if someone edited a tape like that of Sarah Palin, or Mitt Romney, or any other leading right wing figure. Do you think he, or the rest of the right wing noise machine for that matter, would care that the person didn't edit the video and instead just posted it?

HELL NAWL!

Matter of fact we have a perfect example in Dan Rather of what happens when actual journalists make the mistake of presenting fake or doctored evidence.

So why then would any press organization take this bastard seriously ever again?

And lets be clear about something. This coward Breitbart has changed his story several times. He first put the video up with the verifiable lie that it was proof that AS AN USDA EMPLOYEE Mrs Sherrod had discriminated against a white farmer.

He still hasn't owned that.

Then he went on CNN and cast aspersions on the Spooners trying to say they might be fakes because he was holding on for dear life to the lie that Mrs. Sherrod had in fact discriminated against some poor white farmer and caused them to lose their land.

And now he claims to feel sorry for Mrs. Sherrod, not because he put up doctored video to get her not only fired but also to assassinate her character, but instead because the mean old Obama administration overreacted. Which was exactly what he hoped they would do from the start.

Not only that, NOW he claims the video was supposed to show the audience agreeing with racism. So for him the video still showed racism in the NAACP.

Well two notes on this. Its seems only fat pasty white racist assholes can't seem to understand that the NAACP and nobody else expects that any organization is 100 % without racism. The key is what does each organization do about it. The NAACP showed they are willing to throw a great woman under the bus just to avoid even the appearance that they countenance racism.

Andrew Breitbart and the rest of the Tea Party acolytes however insist there is NO racism in the Tea Party. Doesn't matter how many signs everyone sees, doesn't matter how many black legislators are called nigger or spit on, doesn't matter how many billboards are put up. None of that really counts in their world.

And that is THE fucking problem most of us have with the Tea Party. Because unless and until they admit they have a problem they will never actually deal with it.

But secondly lets talk about what actually happened on the tape because I see some people rushing to caress Breitbart's balls and run with his new justification.

Mrs. Sherrod tells a story about Mr Spooner where in Mr Spooner came to her with a, in her words, "superior" attitude. In layman's terms he was being an asshole. And it was because he was being an asshole that she thought to herself about how hard she should work for him. You see she wasn't working for the government. She was in point of fact working for a co op of black farmers. So literally she didn't have to do very much to help Mr. Spooner.

At the point in the video where she talks about Mr. Spooners' "superior" attitude you hear gasps in the audience and noticeable grumbling from folks who I imagine had had similar encounters in their lifetimes. Then when Mrs. Sherrod talks about then deciding how much help she was going to give him the audience laughs.

Why?

Because hating assholes is universal!

Its not as if her focus was on his whiteness and how she was against white folks. Her story was focused on the fact that he talked to her as if her was better than her and or knew more than she did. We have all experienced these kinds of assholes in our life. And I'm sure many of us, if we were in such a position, would also consider not helping that kind of asshole out if we didn't have to.

Quite frankly, had she been talking about a black man coming in with the same kind of attitude and she told the audience she considered not helping him you would expect the exact same reaction. That the audience was made up primarily of NAACP members did not and does not mean that the man's whiteness was the cause of the laughter.

In fact it would take quite a leap of logic to discern that it was the cause in the first place.

But that's where Breitbart is trying to lead everyone now. After trying to convince us that Mrs. Sherrod is a racist who discriminated against white folks as a USDA official failed and after trying got convince us that the Spooners weren't really the people she referred to in the speech failed, and after trying to convince us that he really didn't mean any harm towards Mrs. Sherrod, this is what he has come up with now.

And the fucked up thing is several media outlets are uncritically reporting this load of bullshit.

Well at some point fellow lefties and you centrists out there we are going to have to get in the game if we ever want to start winning it. Right wingers spend all their time complaining complaining complaining about different media outlets and their coverage. And they don't just complain to their friends or on their blog, they send letters to the editor, letters to the ombudsmen, letters to members of congress. They call these same folks over and over to create controversies even if there aren't any.

Us sitting on our asses and complaining on twitter or ranting on blogs ain't gonna get it. Its time to put up or shut up because if not this won't be the last time this kind of shit happens to people like Shirley Sherrod. Being in anyway a part of the Obama administration has put a target on everyone and the only way to get them off is us. WE can either help to change the way our media covers this kind of bullshit or we can watch the right wing rack up scalps.

And the first project should be to demand Andrew Breitbart's banishment from every credible media outlet. No more giving him the benefit of the doubt nor allowing him to come on and tell lies to cover his ass. After ACORN and Mrs. Sherrod its time to get these folks to cut bait and banish him strictly to FauxNews and conservative media.

I'm down, are you?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hey Tom Vilsack

You need to watch this video



And then give Shirley Sherrod her job back asshole.

Thanks

The White House Is Full Of Cowards



(CNN) -- Shirley Sherrod, a former USDA employee who resigned after a controversial video surfaced, told CNN Tuesday that the administration, who pressured her to step down, "wasn't interested in hearing the truth."


Sherrod said she was asked to resign because "you're going to be on Glenn Beck tonight."

An NAACP statement applauding her resignation after the release of the video clip "hurts," former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod said Tuesday.

"That hurts, because if you look at my history ... I've done more to advance the causes of civil rights in this area than some of them who are sitting in those positions now in the NAACP. They need to learn something about me. They need to know what I've contributed over the years."

The clip showed her talking about a white farmer said Tuesday her remarks were taken out of context.

Sherrod, the department's former state director of rural development for Georgia, told CNN on Tuesday the incident she discusses in the clip took place more than two decades ago, and she recounted it to an audience to make the point that people should move beyond race.

"I was speaking to that group, like I've done many groups, and I tell them about a time when I thought the issue was race and race only," Sherrod said on CNN's "American Morning" from her home in Albany, Georgia. The incident took place in 1986, while she worked for a nonprofit and before she joined the Agriculture Department, she said.

"I was telling the story of how working with him helped me to see the issue is not about race. It's about those who have versus those who do not have."

Sherrod resigned Monday after conservative media outlets aired the video, in which she says she did not give the white farmer "the full force of what I could do" to help him avoid foreclosure.

A Georgia woman who said she believes her husband is the white farmer referenced in the clip told CNN on Tuesday that Sherrod was helpful to her family and that the couple never felt she was being racist while trying to assist them in avoiding foreclosure.


"She treated us really good and got us all we could," said Eloise Spooner of Iron City, Georgia. Spooner said she remembered that Sherrod helped find an attorney to help her husband, Roger.


She said she doesn't believe Sherrod is being treated fairly.

Conservative website publisher Andrew Breitbart originally posted the video, which was quickly picked up by Fox News. The video claims Sherrod's remarks were delivered March 27 to an NAACP Freedom Fund banquet, but it is not clear that is the case, nor is it clear where the event was held or how many people were in attendance.

The poor-quality video shows Sherrod telling her audience that the farmer she was working with "took a long time ... trying to show me he was superior to me." As a result, she said, she "didn't give him the full force of what I could do. I did enough."

To prove she had done her job, she said, she took him to a white lawyer.

"I figured that if I take him to one of them, that his own kind would take care of him," she said.

Sherrod mentioned that the lawyer would help the farmer with a bankruptcy filing but did not say in the clip whether his farm was saved.

She told CNN that at the time, she was working with a nonprofit association aimed at assisting farmers in Georgia and the Southeast. In the end, she said, the lawyer did not help the farmer and she "had to frantically find a lawyer who would file a Chapter 11 to stop the foreclosure."

She said she, the farmer and his wife wound up being friends.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday he had accepted Sherrod's resignation.

"There is zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA, and I strongly condemn any act of discrimination against any person," Vilsack said. "We have been working hard through the past 18 months to reverse the checkered civil rights history at the department and take the issue of fairness and equality very seriously."

Sherrod told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution there were white people, including a mayor, at the banquet where she spoke. "Why would I do something racist if they were there?"

The NAACP issued a statement late Monday backing Vilsack's decision.

"Racism is about the abuse of power. Sherrod had it in her position at USDA. According to her remarks, she mistreated a white farmer in need of assistance because of his race," said Benjamin Todd Jealous, president and CEO of the civil rights group. "We are appalled by her actions, just as we are with abuses of power against farmers of color and female farmers."

"Her actions were shameful," Jealous continued. "While she went on to explain in the story that she ultimately realized her mistake, as well as the common predicament of working people of all races, she gave no indication she had attempted to right the wrong she had done to this man."

Sherrod said Tuesday that it was "unfortunate that the NAACP would make a statement without even checking to see what happened. This was 24 years ago, and I'm telling a story to try to unite people."

CNN

Sheryl Cook for one and whomever put her up to the call to force Shirley Sherrod to resign are cowardly sacks of shit. Because the NAACP picked a pissing match with the Tea Party a woman who by all appearances has done the hell out of her job had to resign. And why? Because once again Andrew Breitbart gets away with doctoring a video because he knows Democrats and particularly those Democrats in the White House right now are pussies. Run from every fight. Scared of every debate. Constantly giving up their lunch money to the right wing bullies.

Oh and Ben Jealous you need to come out and apologize as well. Didn't even have the facts of the video correct but damn near tripped over yourself rushing to condemn somebody you made no effort to communicate with just to cover your ass because of that Tea Party resolution. And to think I actually took up for that effort. I should have known that because it made you vulnerable to the same racism charges by right wingers that you wouldn't hesitate to throw the first black person they went after under the damn bus.

Roland Martin is officially a joke now. This clown still won't even admit he was wrong. Fuck him too!

This shit is depressing enough to have me drinking before noon!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Random Thoughts

There are a few things rattling around in my head so I figured I might as well blog them out.

First, with the news that Republicans now want to repeal an as yet to be signed into law financial regulatory reform bill which, lets be honest, is kinda weaksauce anyway, Democrats have a tremendous opportunity.

No its not that lame ass "Party of No" bullshit that Democrats have been screaming and nobody has been listening to.

Instead the combination of running on a repeal of health care reform and financial regulatory reform can be used against Republicans with a demographic which faitfully comes out to vote whether in midterms or Presidential elections. The elderly.

Why? Well first off most of them have already gotten their donut hole check and I'll bet they are pretty happy about that. And I'll bet that htey won't want to lose that or will they be happy that if health care reform were to be repealed the donut hole would open back up. Secondly Republicans in various races have started talking up privatizing Social Security again. You combine that with repeal of financial reform and the financial collapse of 2008 and hey you got some pretty good fearmongering material there.

Just saying.

For Seniors a vote for a Republican is a vote against their own interests and most of them actually get that concept.

As for Democrats running in the midterms worried about the recession holding them back. Trust me on this, IT WILL! So how do you combat that?

I have a very simple idea. Find a liberal economist, and believe me there are plenty of them. Then work with them on ideas of how to bring job creation to your district or your state. Come up with a price tag for it and then you are all set. Go to the press or on the floor of the house and propose your job creating ideas for your state or district in a bill. And in this bill you pay for your job creation with a percentage of the revenue that will be raised after the Bush tax cuts for the top percent are allowed to expire.

This works on a lot of levels. First and foremost it shows that no matter what Republicans and some asshole Dems think, YOU want to create jobs for your constituents even if it means spending money. Second it shows that you want to be fiscally responsible by paying for it which will appeal to the fake ass deficit hawks. But there is another element which may be even more useful.

See you can get a CBO estimate on how much revenue will be created by the Bush tax cuts expiring. Then when you say you are going to pay for your job creation with some of that money people will also start to notice just how much money we are talking about here. And more than that they will notice how that money can be used for their neighborhoods and communities. So instead of this abstract notion of "sharing the wealth" or "socialism" they get to see a real benefit from tax policy that mirrors what happened during the Clinton years.

So the people who really have been snookered will come around and get behind you. And the folks who don't will be exposed for the hypocrites they are.

Don't get me wrong, I doubt if the legislation will pass, but if enough Democrats get together and do this or even make one bill and have a bunch of co sponsors it WILL get attention and folks WILL notice.

On another note, the NAACP just made it easier to call the racism out in the Tea Party. Why? Because as much as folks reflexively recoiled at the resolution the NAACP passed, in subsequent days many news orgs have actually dug into the Tea Party and started to do the reporting on them and their racist elements that had been neglected up until now. And now that concrete evidence that they attract white supremecists and have leaders who regularly use racist rhetoric is coming out from straight reporting rather than opinion journalism then when you call them out you can do as Republicans regularly do and shield yourself by reading directly from various news articles. I mean they can't blame you if you are just reading what others write, correct?

What this does is puts Tea Party activists on notice that any more racist bullshit at their rallys and from their members will get them noticed for all the wrong reasons. Call me crazy but I can see the potential for this to create a huge chasm within their "movement" and possibly be the beginning of the end of folks taking them seriously at all.

Oh and for real Democrats running for election this fall, its time for you to do some Conservative bashing. That includes Blue Dog Dems. You see them doing all kinds of hippie punching in their campaigns and beating their chest out about standing up to their own party, well lets start sticking out our chest and saying we aint taking that shit anymore. The best person to beat up on right now is Ben Nelson. Ask Democrats if that's really who they want to see representing them, asking for the Cornhusker kickback, working to weaken every piece of legislation passed since President Obama came into office, and refusing to allow up and down votes on critical issues like unemployment benefits.

Want to fire up your constituents to come out and vote for you and give you a fighting chance? Then you better take your gloves off not only when it comes to your Republican opponents but also the obstructionists in your own party. I can just about guarantee you that you would have an Act Blue page full of donations and liberal and progressive activists on the ground helping your campaign if you came out slamming the Ben Nelsons of the world who only serve to make it harder for Dems to get elected.

One more thing. Find a way to get booked to the Rachel Maddow Show. She is the best in the business right now at interviewing and it raises your profile along with hers which can only help both of you.

PS One more thing, specifically for Senate candidate Kendrick Meek but its applicable to any other Dem running for Senate for the first time or whom have never supported a filibuster.

Filbuster reform is a major issue for Liberals and Progressives. That some members of our own caucus aren't allowing up and down votes is beyond frustrating. Its also killing some of the things we need right now even tough average Americans don't get that. They just see inaction and think its all the Dems fault.

A way to make this a campaign issue is to say something along the lines of, "I believe in debate, I believe that Democrats have the best ideas and I like to argue my case, but at some point the time for debate is over and when that time comes I believe in majority rule. I believe that the majority should be able to get an up and down vote on legislation they introduce no matter which party is in office. Because the truth is, in order to hold the majority in the Senate, you have to represent the majority of America and those people deserve to have their voices heard. There will be other elections after that for the people to decide who was right and who was wrong"

Seriously man, this is an absolute winner. Republicans talk about majority rule but they would never commit to something like that and neither would "centrist" Democrats.

Hey, just a suggestion.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

So Wait, There WAS Wrong Doing In The Gaza War?!

JERUSALEM — The Israeli military said Tuesday that it had indicted “a number of” officers and soldiers for their actions during Israel’s three-week offensive in Gaza in the winter of 2008-9, including a staff sergeant accused of deliberately targeting at least one Palestinian civilian who was walking with a group of people waving a white flag.


The announcement came nearly 18 months after the end of the war, and on the day that Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was scheduled to meet in Washington with President Obama in an effort to improve strained ties. A spokesman for the Israeli military denied any link between the timing of the announcement the prime minister’s trip.


According to the army statement, the chief military prosecutor has decided to take disciplinary and legal action in four separate cases, including some highlighted by human rights groups and by a scathing United Nations report on the war. The report, by a committee led by Richard Goldstone, a South African judge, was published in September 2009 and pointed to evidence of possible war crimes.


The offensive came as a response to years of rocket fire against southern Israel from Gaza, and after Hamas, the anti-Israel Islamic militant group, took full control of Gaza in mid-2007. Up to 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the war.


Israel refused to cooperate with the Goldstone mission, arguing that the mandate was biased from the outset, and it rejected the report. It also resisted calls by Israeli and international human rights organizations for an independent Israeli investigation outside the military framework.

snip

In a third case, the chief of staff ordered disciplinary action against an officer who ordered an aerial strike on a militant involved in launching rockets. The man was standing outside the Ibrahim al-Maqadma mosque, the army said, and the shrapnel caused what it called unintentional injuries to civilians inside. The Goldstone Report said that an Israeli projectile struck near the doorway of the mosque, in northern Gaza, during evening prayers, killing at least 15 civilians who were mostly inside.


The military said that the officer had “failed to exercise appropriate judgment,” adding that he would not serve in similar positions of command in the future and that he had been rebuked.


In addition, the chief military prosecutor ordered a criminal investigation by the Military Police into an air strike on a house that held about a hundred members of the extended Samouni family in Zeitoun, a district of Gaza city.


That case stirred particular outrage around the world as Palestinian paramedics were prevented by Israeli forces from reaching the house for days after the initial strike. Red Cross officials then publicized their discovery of four emaciated Samouni children who had been trapped in the home with the corpses of their mothers. In all, up to 30 Samounis died.


The white flag episode has been widely publicized. According to Palestinian witness testimony gathered by Human Rights Watch, the Goldstone mission and others, a group of 28 Palestinian civilians from two families set out on Jan 4, 2009 in the Juhr al-Dik area, south of Gaza city, trying to evacuate the area after their homes were shelled.


According to the witnesses, the group was fired on from the direction of some Israeli tanks. They said that Majida Abu Hajjaj, in her 30s, was killed while waving a white flag. Her mother, Rayya, was also fatally shot.

New York Times

Can't wait to hear all those denunciations from lawmakers that will never come and see all the outrage from pundits on my TV that will never be shown.

And remember that if you even so much as suggested that anything like this happened in the aftermath of the Israeli seige on Gaza you were deemed anti Semetic or insufficiently supportive of Israel.

SMDH

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fuck Ben Nelson!!!

This is EXACTLY the kind of BULLSHIT  Kendrick Meek should be calling out.  Do we want another fucking Ben Nelson in the Senate?

HELL NO!!!

My Meek Manifesto

If I could subtitle this post it would be "Define What It Means To Be A Democrat"

I have fallen off on blogging as much for a variety of reasons. Life certainly gets in the way at times. But its also because I have felt somewhat powerless in some areas. I see good Democratic legislation constantly being watered down to appease one or two Republicans even when it alienates some Democrats. I keep seeing Democrats dropping the ball in the messaging wars. I keep seeing a few Democrats being just as obstructionist on important issues like unemployment insurance as their Republican peers.

And I continue to see Kendrick Meek's campaign treading water.

It doesn't have to be this way. It really doesn't.

I know Meek's people will point out that we still have a long time yet to the election and that they are on the path to victory against Greene in the Democratic primary but honestly I am no longer buying the bullshit. Too many traditionally Democratic supporting institutions have either split their endorsement between Meek and Charlie Crist or have jump shipped to Crist all together. Right now there is no momentum with his campaign even though there have been plenty of opportunities for him to generate plenty.

Again it doesn't have to be this way.

Now I don't know what Meek's people are telling him but I have some recommendations of my own. I don't get paid to give people advice and I don't go to all the cocktail parties with the power players in Florida but I do have a wealth of common sense and to me that's what is needed in his campaign.

First of all I'll go on record and say I thought Meek's campaign misplayed how to handle Crist when important legislation was on the table. Its not that I wanted Crist to not veto the right wing education bill and the right wing abortion bill, far from it. But Meek's campaign basically went after him in such a way that when he did veto those items he was able to endear himself to the very voters Meek will need in November to win. And he did it with Meek getting little to no credit for pushing him in that direction.

That is the problem with running against a sitting governor. At the moment Crist has the power to approve or veto legislation that will help him in his campaign. While we want him to do the right thing, we should also want him when he does so to not get much credit for doing so and to contrast it between his previous beliefs. As it stands the guy is getting way with having more flip flops in the last 6 months of his political career than any politician ever. And that's not an exaggeration. At least Arlen Specter really was a moderate Republican most of his career so some of his viewpoints stayed consistent when he switched parties. What issues has Crist stayed consistent on since his "conversion"?

I can't think of any.

And yet you have Democrats DEMOCRATS flocking to this guy who was a flaming right wing asshole just a few short months ago.

Here's the deal. It is apparent at this point that he who wins the Democratic voters wins this election. That's not opinion, that's a fact. No matter what Crist is going to pick off some Republican votes from Marco Rubio. Some but not most. He will undoubtedly get some independent voters. But if the Democrats in Florida voted in a united fashion for Kendrick Meek he wins. No ifs ands or buts about it. The ONLY way Crist wins is if he pulls a sizable percentage of Democrats to vote for him. The ONLY way Rubio wins is if Democrats split evenly between Crist and Meek and Rubio unifies the Republican voters. The last scenario isn't friggin likely. But Crist winning on the shoulders of Democrats is becoming more likely by the day.

We simply can't allow that to happen.

For Meek, this primary against Jeff Greene has given him the perfect opportunity to take shots at Crist through attacks on Greene. The one way he can win the primary and start momentum going against Crist is to talk early and often about what it means to be a Democrat. What are core Democratic issues. What are the issues most important to Democratic voters?

And the truth is he can even use the vetoes to his advantage. He should be pointing out that as those bills came to Crist's desk Democrats were on the edge of their seats. Why? Because nobody knew if he would veto them or not. Would that possibly be the case if he was really a Democrat?

HELL NO

There isn't a Democratic governor in this country that would have even considered either measure. In fact is highly likely that if we had a Democrat as governor Republicans wouldn't have even wasted their time on such legislation. But they did was their time. Why? Because there was at least a chance Charlie Crist was going to sign them into law.

Is that the kind of "independent" Democrats want to represent them in the Senate. And remember that Greene is more of a so called "centrist" Dem so you can make the same argument against him. Ask the people, when major Democratic legislation comes up that goes to our core issues do you want to be on the edge of your seat every time??? Or do you want to be able to rest easy knowing that you have a REAL Democrat in office who is true to our principles?

"Filibuster" and "up or down vote" should be words that Meek finds a way to work into every campaign stop, TV appearance, radio interview. Say it with me "Although I may disagree with the administration at times when Democratic platform issues come up I will work hard to iron our those differences and although a filibuster is a tool that is always at the ready, I believe that major legislation deserves an up or down vote. Isn't that what a Democracy is about?"

There isn't another guy in this race who can or will say that. As a matter of fact its probably the clearest dividing line of this election. There are three other people who are likely to be obstructionists if elected. And then there's Meek who will be there to get shit done.

There's plenty of data on how filibusters have skyrocketed since President Obama has taken office. USE IT. Hell Meek should be running to every media outlet everyday talking about this right now as fin reg continues to be filibuster as people in Florida are still feeling the effects of the financial meltdown and as thousands of Floridians are being kicked off their unemployment benefits because Republicans and again at least one "centrist" Dem are filibustering that as well.

Ask the people, if you lose your job through no fault of your own and your family is just getting by on unemployment insurance do you want a Senator whom you know will vote to overcome a filibuster of those benefits or do you want one you can only "hope" will vote as a REAL Democrat?

That's not the hope and change we voted for 2 years ago!

And lets look at some of the major Democratic issues and how Crist's tenure as governor measures up. Discrimination against the LGBT community by putting a ban on gay marriage? Check. Fucking up our health care system then trashing President Obama for finally passing health care reform? Check. An educational system that hasn't progressed much if at all? Check.

And again Greene is the perfect foil because he's an inarticulate idiot who has absolutely no grasp on local or national issues important to Democrats. I should point out that Greene thinks we should stay in Iraq and Afghanistan forever. Hmmm wonder what Crist thinks?

And for the life of me I can't understand why Meek isn't on TV more. Fuck FOXNEWS, none of those people are voting for you. Go on MSNBC at least 3 times a week. Go on with Rachel Maddow to talk about the race as she has raised her profile now. Send press releases to Greg Sargent at the Plum Line or Josh Marshall over at TPM or any other Dem friendly outlet at least once a week.

MAKE NEWS DAMMIT

Get some real live fire breathing liberals down here to Florida too. Why Meek hasn't had Alan Grayson punching for him is beyond me but dammit that needs to change like yesterday. You can't herd Democrats by being a weaksauce centrist. It just won't happen. You get Democrats to vote Democrat by BEING a damn Democrat. That's what this race is about now and whether Meek wins or loses will be as a result of how well he recognizes that or doesn't.

I know some will make excuses about money but that's bullshit to me. Youtube is free, going on TV and radio is free, if you write them yourself press releases are for the most part free. Its time to start kicking some ass and getting in gear because the more the Meek campaign looks as if it has no chance the more that will end up being a self fulfilling prophecy.

I hope that Kendrick Meek wakes up and starts running a better and stronger campaign but I'm not convinced he will which sucks because he really is the best candidate. But the problem is if nobody ever KNOWS that he's the better candidate because he never makes the case that he's the better candidate then it really doesn't matter.

I can't take the thought of having another Joe Lieberman or Ben Nelson in the Senate being fake Democrats and pissing on us every chance they get, but it looks like that's what we're headed for unless something changes soon.