Monday, March 31, 2014

Just getting Used To...

...blogging again. Gaaaack! (I hate learning curves)

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Everett woman reportedly shoots herself outside store
EVERETT — An Everett woman reportedly shot herself Friday morning while parked outside a Home Depot. The woman, 24, allegedly was walking around the parking lot, asking strangers to help her unjam a semi-automatic handgun. The store is located in the 11900 block of Highway 99. Someone called 911 about the woman’s behavior and Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies were on scene within a minute, sheriff’s Capt. Susy Johnson said. A deputy located the woman in a vehicle parked in the loading zone in front of the store. When the woman saw the deputy she reportedly put the gun to her head and pulled the trigger, Johnson said. Paramedics raced the woman to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. An update of her condition was not immediately available. No one else was injured. The shooting remains under investigation.
Seriously, when is this going to stop? How many more do we sacrifice to the Gun Fetish Death Cult?

Friday, July 08, 2011



We're here. It's been a long trip, but here we are

It's feudalism. We're serfs. The unelected Republican minority government dictates the terms and lays down the law.

Resistance is apparently....futile.


Thursday, July 07, 2011

Agreed...With Reservations...

Another Take

Josh Marshall | July 7, 2011, 2:26PM

A very interesting counter-take on the question of the structural impediments hurting the Dems and favoring the GOP from TPM Reader JB. I partly agree with the take ...

I read you piece today on the Democrats failure of the political aspect of politics this morning. I think you need to take a step back and look at the larger picture. Nate Silver's piece today makes clear that the terms conservative and Republican are converging with everyone else favoring the Democrats. In this scenario, turnout composition explained the results in 2008 and 2010 more than population realignment. I bring this up because I think we will look back at this moment as the chaotic time that the old order turned to the new. In my opinion, we are seeing the remants of the soon-to-be old power structure see their grip on power slip with the predictable response of ever greater efforts to hold power through cohesion, projections of power, and inflexibility. I would change the term pollsters use here from enthusiasm to desperation or fear. The end is coming. The demographics are clear. Majority minority is marching closer every day. Their team is the long-term loser, the horse and buggy to the Model T. We are now in the Battle of the Bulge phase of this transition. I don't think the transition will be smooth nor do I think that Democrats can't lose elections, but the behavior seems to fit to me. Democrats will compromise because the future is theirs while Republicans have to hold on to every vestige of their order remaining as though their lives depend on it...because it does. Tomorrow is not bright for them.

I agree somewhat...with the difference being that I want the Dems and particularly this President to take the lead in moving into the new order. With an agressive populist, progressive pro-worker, pro-people program.

So many points can be made many opportunities are being lost.

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Finally...The Republican JOBS Program...

Union Workers Replaced With Prison Labor Under Scott Walker’s Collective Bargaining Law

By Alex Seitz-Wald on Jul 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm

While Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) law dismantling collective bargaining rights has harmed teachers, nurses, and other civil servants, it’s helping a different group in Wisconsinites — inmates. Prisoners are now taking up jobs that used to be held by unionized workers in some parts of the state.

As the Madison Capital Times reports, “Besides losing their right to negotiate over the percentage of their paycheck that will go toward health care and retirement, unions also lost the ability to claim work as a ‘union-only’ job, opening the door for private workers and evidently even inmates to step in and take their place.” Inmates are not paid for their work, but may receive time off of their sentences.

I wish I thought this was funny.

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In Honor Of St. Ronnie Ray-Gun...

July 06, 2011 04:00 PM

Republicans Fail the Reagan Litmus Test

By Jon Perr

On July 4, U.S. officials, foreign dignitaries and conservative luminaries gathered outside the American embassy in London to unveil a $1 million statue of Ronald Reagan. As it turns out, the timing was more than a little ironic. Because even as the Gipper was honored in Britain, it's increasingly clear he would have no place in today's Republican Party.

From Grover Norquist's anti-tax promise and the Republican Study Committee's "cut, cap and balance" pledge to the draconian anti-abortion oath of the Susan B. Anthony List, hardline conservative litmus tests are proliferating at a dizzying pace. And Ronald Reagan would have failed them all.

If a reanimated Ronald Reagan suddenly appeared in 2011, there is little question his GOP descendants would brand him a Republican In Name Only (RINO) and cast off him off into the wilderness. (As California Rep. Duncan Hunter put it, "a more moderate/former liberal like Ronald Reagan...would never be elected today in my opinion.") Here's why:

1.Reagan tripled the national debt
2.Reagan raised taxes 11 times
3.Reagan expanded the size of government
4.Reagan supported the "socialist" Earned Income Tax Credit
5.Reagan negotiated with terrorists in Tehran
6.Reagan sought to eliminate nuclear weapons
7.Reagan gave amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants
8.Reagan approved protectionist trade barriers
9.Reagan signed abortion rights law in California
10.Reagan eventually debunked AIDS myths Republicans continued to perpetuate

A real turd of a President and the man who fired (and landed) the first slavo against working Americans.

This will be part of a series "honoring" the asshole's 100th birthday.

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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

YIKES! Frank Rich...

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Frank Rich: Obama’s failure to take on Wall Street may cost him re-election

by John Aravosis (DC) on 7/05/2011 11:45:00 AM

From Frank Rich writing in NY Magazine.

As good times roar back for corporate America, it’s bad enough that CEOs are collectively sitting on some $1.9 trillion in cash.... But what’s most galling is how many of these executives are sore winners, crying all the way to Palm Beach while raking in record profits and paying some of the lowest tax rates over the past 50 years.

The fallout has left Obama in the worst imaginable political bind. No good deed he’s done for Wall Street has gone unpunished. He is vilified as an anti-capitalist zealot not just by Republican foes but even by some former backers. What has he done to deserve it? All anyone can point to is his December 2009 60 Minutes swipe at “fat-cat bankers on Wall Street”—an inept and anomalous Ed Schultz seizure that he retracted just weeks later by praising Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein as “very savvy businessmen.”

Obama can win reelection without carrying 10021 or Greenwich in any case. The bigger political problem is that a far larger share of the American electorate views him as a tool of the very fat-cat elite that despises him. Given Obama’s humble background, his history as a mostly liberal Democrat, and his famous résumé as a community organizer, this would also seem a reach. But the president has no one to blame but himself for the caricature. While he has never lusted after money—he’d rather get his hands on the latest novel by Morrison or Franzen—he is an elitist of a certain sort. For all the lurid fantasies of the birthers, the dirty secret of Obama’s background is that the values of Harvard, not of Kenya or Indonesia or Bill Ayers, have most colored his governing style. He falls hard for the best and the brightest white guys.

He stocked his administration with brilliant personnel linked to the bubble: liberals, and especially Ivy League liberals. Nearly three years on, they have taken a toll both on the White House’s image and its policies. Obama arrives at his reelection campaign not merely with a weak performance on Wall Street crime enforcement and reform but also with a scattershot record (at best) of focusing on the main concern of Main Street: joblessness. One is a consequence of the other. His failure to push back against the financial sector, sparing it any responsibility for the economy it tanked, empowered it to roll over his agenda with its own. He has come across as favoring the financial elite over the stranded middle class even if, in his heart of hearts, he does not.
The ultimate indignity, though, was a Washington Post / ABC News poll showing Obama in a dead heat with Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney! If any belief unites our polarized nation, it’s the conviction that Romney is the most transparent phony in either party, no matter how much he’s now deaccessioning hair products. It’s also been a Beltway truism that a Mormon can’t win the Republican nomination, let alone a Massachusetts governor who devised the prototype for “ObamaCare.” But that political calculus changed overnight. That this poseur could so quickly gain traction, even if evanescently, should alarm Obama.
“A nation cannot prosper long when it favors only the prosperous,” Obama declared at his inauguration. What he said on that bright January morning is no less true or stirring now. For all his failings since, he is the only one who can make this case. There’s nothing but his own passivity to stop him from doing so—and from shaking up the administration team that, well beyond the halfway-out-the-door Geithner and his Treasury Department, has showered too many favors on the prosperous. This will mean turning on his own cadre of the liberal elite. But it’s essential if he is to call the bluff of a fake man-of-the-people like Romney. To differentiate himself from the discredited Establishment, he will have to mount the fight he has ducked for the past three years.

The alternative is a failure of historic proportions. Those who gamed the economy to near devastation—so much so that the nation turned to an untried young leader in desperation and in hope—would once again inherit the Earth. Unless and until there’s a purging of the crimes that brought our president to his unlikely Inauguration Day, much more in America than the second term of his administration will be at stake.

It's's detailed (it IS Frank Rich after all), and a must read. The comments reflect a lot of what I feel as well BUT...

...don't think the Republicans aren't going to "concern-troll" Obama from the left.


Richard Cohen Nails It...Here's The Whole Column:

Richard Cohen Opinion Writer

A grand old cult

July 4

Someone ought to study the Republican Party. I am not referring to yet another political scientist but to a mental health professional, preferably a specialist in the power of fixations, obsessions and the like. The GOP needs an intervention. It has become a cult.

To become a Republican, one has to take a pledge. It is not enough to support the party or mouth banalities about Ronald Reagan; one has to promise not to give the government another nickel. This is called the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” issued by Americans for Tax Reform, an organization headed by the chirpy Grover Norquist. He once labeled the argument that an estate tax would affect only the very rich “the morality of the Holocaust.” Anyone can see how singling out the filthy rich and the immensely powerful and asking them to ante up is pretty much the same as Auschwitz and that sort of thing.

Norquist’s pledge refers not only to tax increases but also to closing any loopholes, no matter how egregious, that would bring the government more money “unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates.” Almost all the GOP’s presidential candidates have taken this oath, swearing before God and Grover Norquist to cease thinking on their own, never to exercise independent judgment and, if necessary, to destroy the credit of the United States, raise the cost of borrowing and put the government deeper into the hole.

Yet another pledge concerns abortion. It is called the “Pro-Life Leadership Pledge,” and it was conceived by the Susan B. Anthony List, an antiabortion group. Once again, most — but not all — of the GOP presidential candidates have signed it. In general, it demands a complete antiabortion position, not just personal opposition but opposition to judges, health officials and others who might, totally inexplicably, permit abortion. The pledge is silent about the usual exceptions — rape, incest, etc. — but Marjorie Dannenfelser, head of the Susan B. Anthony List, tells me the intent is to prohibit all abortions — even, say, the early termination of a 12-year-old’s pregnancy caused by incest. This, in other words, is the Pro-Hypocrisy Pledge.

Excuse me if I skip over other pledges and move to other matters. The hallmark of a cult is to replace reason with feverish belief. This the GOP has done when it comes to the government’s ability to stimulate the economy. History proves this works — it’s how the Great Depression ended — but Republicans will not acknowledge it.

The Depression in fact deepened in 1937 when Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to balance the budget and was ended entirely by World War II, which, besides being a noble cause, was also a huge stimulus program. Here, though, is Sen. Richard Shelby mouthing GOP dogma: Stimulus programs “did not bring us out of the Depression,” he recently told ABC’s Christiane Amanpour, but “the war did.” In other words, a really huge stimulus program hugely worked. Might not a more modest one succeed modestly? Shelby ought to follow his own logic.

Something similar has happened with global warming. It has become a conviction of much of the GOP that you and I, with our cars and factories and leaf blowers and barbecue pits, are off the hook — innocent of cooking the atmosphere. That being the case, it therefore is not the case that anything has to be done about it. Only much of science, common sense and your average walrus differ, but the GOP soldiers on. This is a version of Nancy Reagan’s pledge: Just say no.

Not every GOP candidate adheres to all of these cockamamie beliefs. Mitt Romney has not signed the antiabortion pledge (he has some quibbles), and in the Senate, Tom Coburn has broken with Norquist about raising revenue. But the net effect is to establish an intellectual barrier for admittance to the presidential race: Independent thinkers, stop right here! If you believe in global warming, revenue enhancement, stimulus programs, the occasional need for abortion or even the fabulist theories of the late Charles Darwin, then either stay home — or lie.

This intellectual rigidity has produced a GOP presidential field that’s a virtual political Jonestown. The Grand Old Party, so named when it really did evoke America, has so narrowed its base that it has become a political cult. It is a redoubt of certainty over reason and in itself significantly responsible for the government deficit that matters most: leadership. That we can’t borrow from China.

Nuff said.

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Fight Back? Who...US???

What if You Held a Class War and No One Showed Up?
By Kevin Drum Fri Jul. 1, 2011 9:20 AM PDT.

National Review's Robert Costa interviews rising right-wing attack dog Marco Rubio:

Rubio tells us that he will respond to Obama’s recent press conference, where the president reveled in class-warfare bluster....“Talking about corporate jets and oil companies,” Rubio says, missed the point. “Everybody here agrees that our tax code is broken,” he says, and he is open to discussing tax reform. “But don’t go around telling people that the reason you are not doing well is because some rich guy is in a corporate jet or some oil company is making too much money.”

Watching Obama brandish such talking points made Rubio wince. “Three years into his presidency, he is a failed president,” he says. “He just has not done a good job. Life in America today, by every measure, is worse than it was when he took over.”

“When does it start to get better?” Rubio asks. “When does the magic of this president start to happen?”

Today is one of those days where I hardly know how to react to things anymore. Part of me shrugs at this stuff: politics is politics. Of course Republicans are going to call a Democratic president a failure. What else would they do?

But then, for about the thousandth time, my mind wanders over the past ten years. Republicans got the tax cuts they wanted. They got the financial deregulation they wanted. They got the wars they wanted. They got the unfunded spending increases they wanted. And the results were completely, unrelentingly disastrous. A decade of sluggish growth and near-zero wage increases. A massive housing bubble. Trillions of dollars in war spending and thousands of American lives lost. A financial collapse. A soaring long-term deficit. Sky-high unemployment. All on their watch and all due to policies they eagerly supported. And worse: ever since the predictable results of their recklessness came crashing down, they've rabidly and nearly unanimously opposed every single attempt to dig ourselves out of the hole they created for us.

But despite the fact that this is all recent history, it's treated like some kind of dreamscape. No one talks about it. Republicans pretend it never happened. Fox News insists that what we need is an even bigger dose of the medicine we got in the aughts, and this is, inexplicably, treated seriously by the rest of the press corps instead of being laughed at. As a result, guys like Marco Rubio have a free hand to insist that Obama — Obama! The guy who rescued the banking system, bailed out GM, and whose worst crime against the rich is a desire to increase their income tax rate 4.6 percentage points! — is a "left-wing strong man" engaged in brutal class warfare against the wealthy. And Rubio does it without blinking. Hell, he probably even believes it.

We are well and truly down the rabbit hole. The party of class warfare for the past 30 years is fighting a war against an empty field and the result has been a rout. I wonder what would happen if the rest of us ever actually started fighting back?

Good Question...when indeed.

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This Is So Insulting On So Many Levels...

Let’s Unveil One for the Gipper

Posted on Jul 4, 2011

This Fourth of July, during a transatlantic Age of Austerity, roughly 2,000 people paid to attend a private celebration near the American embassy in London’s Grosvenor Square, where a memorial statue of Ronald Reagan was unveiled. British Foreign Secretary William Hague and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice were among the event’s distinguished guests.

It was not popular demand that brought an immortal image of the 40th president of the United States to the English capital. The event was organized by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation as part of a two-year-long Reagan Centennial Celebration marking what would have been his 100th birthday. —ARK


But this is the Age of Austerity. The party is now a scaled down event for the creme de la creme. This year, the big 4 July event in London was held in Grosvenor Square just across from the American embassy and it was a private affair not hosted by the US government. A statue of Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States, was unveiled.

... The creation of the statue—total cost $1m—did not grow out of a public clamour for a fitting memorial to the late president (though Westminster City Council made an exception to its usual rule refusing permission for statues until 10 years have passed since the subject’s death).

The event is part of a year-long series of big occasions to mark the centenary of Reagan’s birth, organised by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. In the weeks prior to the London unveiling, statues have been unveiled and conferences convened in Krakow, Budapest and Prague.

The decline and fall of the middle-class started with this guy. The opening battle of the war was the decertification of the Air Traffic Controllers Union in August of 1981. It's been downhill for working Americans ever since.

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