Wonder why we have so many intractable anonymous posters at blogs spouting right wing drivel?
Working in tandem with Freedom Works, The Leadership Institute, and the official Tea Party Patriots, Americans For Prosperity (AFP) continues to sink a sizable portion of its $5,176,500 Koch allocation into what just might be called "re-education camps" throughout the country, training and paying graduates in the miracles of social networking tactics to effectively tweet, blog, ning, network, and chalk up some extra cash in the name of reclaiming America!
These 'retraining camps' are happening in community centers just down the street from where you live.
I wonder if the Tea Party folks will ever realize they've been played?
Just a little of your tax dollar supplied security protection for the Koch Compound...
The US is as responsible as anyone for the human rights abuse in Egypt. We have supported the Mubarak regime and many others around the Middle East as long as they let American Interests have their way with the native natural resources. Unfortunately the system cannot be maintained forever and eventually the people can't stand it anymore. The problem is that when the totalitarian regime is taken down by the people, the groups most likely to move into the power vacuum are other totalitarian regimes, such as the radical Islamic religious organizations. Of course this just robs the people of their revolution.
The tipping point in Egypt may well be the release by WikiLeaks of compromising state department documents that prove their government has been colluding illegally with foreign interests for decades against the well being of the populace of Egypt. Does 60 minutes applaud WikiLeaks doing the job 60 Minutes has claimed to be doing all these years...Rooting out corruption and hypocrisy?
It's all the more frustrating to watch this crap (60 Minutes interview with WikiLeaks' Julian Assange) after having spent days watching actual live television news reporting from Egypt on Al Jazeera English. The lack of journalism in the United States is not a function of the medium of television. It is a function of many systemic weaknesses, but also of our willingness to treat the pretense of journalism like the real thing.
WASHINGTON, D.C./January 24, 2011 – On January 21, 2011, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) issued a Hatch Act Report titled Investigation of Political Activities by White House and Federal Agency Officials During the 2006 Midterm Elections. The report describes OSC’s findings following an investigation that revealed that White House Office of Political Affairs (OPA) employees, as well as high-level agency political appointees, violated the Hatch Act through a number of practices that were prevalent during the months leading up to the 2006 midterm elections.
So can we go back and rescind the laws they passed using Congressmen who were illegally elected?
This is one of the three Whooping Cranes shot and killed in Georgia after they left Tennessee. The reward for information leading to the conviction of whoever did this has increased to over $20,000 through donations. There are only about 400 whooping cranes left in the wild and in one act someone has wiped out more than 3% of the Eastern population. .
In its presentation to the TWRA Commission on its proposal for hunting Sandhill Cranes, the FWS stated that the population that migrates through Tennessee (93 birds left) is classified by them as "non-essential" and that they do not have the same level of endangered species protection as the western population. They also stated that they cannot guarantee that whooping cranes will not be shot accidentally and that no action is taken against someone who claims that they killed a whooping crane accidentally.
Here is what these birds looked like in happier days. Note the juvenile coloration in both pictures.
It is absurd for Tennessee to be considering a hunting season on Sandhill Cranes when the consequences of the things that could go wrong are so awful.
United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has been on the take for many years now. The money has gone to his wife in the form of "consulting fees" from the Heritage Foundation, a right wing think tank. This, in and of itself, is not a crime in today's America. But Clarence, knowing what he and his wife were doing was wrong, tried to hide this for 20 years on his federally required financial disclosure forms. Over that time. the Mrs. Clarence Thomas has apparently been paid two million dollars or so, but Clarence checked "none" in the box requiring disclosure of "Spouse's Non-Investment Income".
Isn't amazing at how damned cheap it is to buy a Supreme Court Justice? A lousy $100,000 a year gets you Billions and billions of dollars worth of returns and the ability to buy elections without fear of reprisal. Think of the 5-4 Supreme Court decisions Where Clarence Thomas's vote has enabled that have totally reshaped, destroyed, our America. chief among those are the Bush v. Gore travesty where the court decided that it would be unfair to actually count the votes in Florida and the even greater travesty of Citizen's United where it was decided that Corporations are now people and can spend unlimited amounts of money to influence campaigns but that actual people still have to abide by campaign finance laws. Once you own the Supreme Court the world is your oyster. Or cash box might be more accurate.
Whether you consider $100,000 a year chicken feed or fortune, Clarence Thomas has been an unwaveringly reliable vote for the interests on the right. You have to admit that once bought, Clarence Thomas stayed bought. What does surprise me though is that apparently Justice Thomas must have some vestigial conscience left somewhere in his existence. Otherwise why would he have bothered to lie on his disclosure forms? He felt guilty at what he was doing and by checking "NONE" perhaps he could pretend that he was not really casting his vote for money.
Now the right is going to go all cavalry on us. like when they come riding over the hill to stamp out those nasty native Americans who are trying to stop General Custer from shooting their women and children. The right will say, "Hey, it's an honest mistake." "Those forms are hard." And frankly I am willing to accept that, but let's just note that the Justice Department is currently prosecuting several other people for exactly the same transgression, which carries a five to eight year prison term. As much as I would like to see Supreme Court Justice Thomas behind bars I would settle for Clarence Thomas going just the short distance to nurture that tiny bit of conscience he has left, the one that he tried to put salve on by pretending he wasn't on the take, the conscience that was only strong enough to make him lie and not man up to his malfeasance. Let that bit of conscience move him, move his heart to do the right thing and resign. Think of how much he would save his country by avoiding the agony of impeaching a Supreme Court Justice.
There is one problem with this scenario and it is a problem I have with most all officials who are found to have committed some form of bribery or another...The acts they committed for that money are allowed to stand. Geroge W. Bush will still have been our president and millions will still be dead as a result of his futile wars.
Perhaps we can at least reverse the Citizens United decision, which could well stand as the cornerstone of the destruction of America's concept known as "We the People".
A corporate leader who increases profits by slashing his work force is thought to be successful. Well, that’s more or less what has happened in America recently: employment is way down, but profits are hitting new records. Who, exactly, considers this economic success?
I am wondering if we will ever again in this nation see a President stand up for the middle class. Will we hear the President call for an end to the tax laws that encourage sending our manufacturing jobs overseas? Will we hear the President call for encouraging "Buy American" policies? Will we hear the President call for policies that encourage entrepreneurship? Will we hear the President call for protecting American technologies that are crucial to new energy alternatives?
What is good for "We the People" is not necessarily good for the bonus check of the CEO's of multinational corporations. If we don't hear that fact being stated and a plan outlined that will promote small business growth, the policies that put America in the sorry state it is in will still be in place and next time there will be no borrowing power left to bring us out of the depression that will inevitably take place.
“We are at a fork in the road. The Republican House Leadership demonstrated last week that its highest legislative priority is to prevent 30 million Americans from seeing a doctor when they are sick. We can let Republican control of the House of Representatives doom us to no progress, no change, for the next two years. Or
I can exercise my powers under the Constitution and our laws to deliver the change we need.
“I choose the latter. As for the Republican leaders, they can lead, follow, or just get out of the way.
About that socialism thing that's supposed to be such a bad idea...Entrepreneurs do really well in countries with a strong socialist component to their system...
Although America remains near the top of the world in terms of entrepreneurial aspirations -- that is, the percentage of people who want to start new things—in terms of actual start-up activity, our country has fallen behind not just Norway but also Canada, Denmark, and Switzerland.
Get the bad stuff out of the way early in the term, right Bill? Claiming a "commitment to transparency and openness" while reversing Governor Bredesen's executive order creating "transparency and openness" by holding the executive branch of Tennessee State government to a higher standard is a pretty crappy thing to do. Look...If you think how much money you make on the side on cigarettes, beer, lottery tickets and gasoline is none of the people of Tennessee's business, even though you are heading up the government that is supposed to regulate those things in the people of Tennessee's best interests, well then at least have the balls to come out and say so like an honest man or woman. This looks like you spit in our pie and are trying to tell us you did it to make it taste better. Your commitment to transparency reads instead like a commitment to not being straight with the people of Tennessee.
Here's the actual press release:
For Immediate Release: Contact: David Smith
Sunday, January 16, 2011 (615) 254-4799
GOVERNOR BILL HASLAM SETS STANDARDS FOR
TRANSPARENCY, OPENNESS IN EXECUTIVE BRANCH
Haslam Issues Three Executive Orders Non-Discrimination, Transparency and Openness
NASHVILLE – Governor Bill Haslam today signed three executive orders setting out his commitment to transparency and openness in state government. He also established a comprehensive ethics policy for the Executive Branch and detailed his position on diversity in state employment practices.
“Government works better when people have input into the process, you are open to alternatives and examiner them, and then you explain why the decision was made,” Gov. Haslam said. “The rule should be the more you can be in the open, the better.”
Executive Order No. 2011-01 requires every employee of the Executive Branch to annually disclose the same information as the legislative branch. The Counsel to the Governor will serve as the chief ethics officer and will administer the policies and maintain all records related to the ethics policy.
Executive Order No. 2011-02 sets out the unwavering policy of the Executive Branch to facilitate the right of Tennesseans to know and have access to information with which to hold state government accountable. Extensive training is required for all members and employees of the Cabinet and Departments of the Executive Branch relating to open meetings, open records, ethics and disclosure requirements. The order also maintains the state’s open government website.
Executive Order No. 2011-03 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, gender, color, national origin, religion, age, and political affiliation or against otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities. The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development also is directed to inform and instruct all companies considering Tennessee as a business location that the prevailing policy of non-discrimination must be reflected in their employment practices and workforces in Tennessee.
Copies of the Executive Orders can be found here, here and here.
...The writ of the Founding Fathers has upheld the ability of Americans to worship and practice religion as they choose, including the right to believe in no religion at all. However, these liberties are not self-sustaining, and require a stalwart commitment by each generation to preserve and apply them...
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2011, as Religious Freedom Day.
How many times have I read, "Well, they both do it," in response to some comment pointing out some inference of violence by Republicans toward Democrats? Well, they don't both do it. In fact, the Left has repeatedly called for a reduction in the tone of political debate and warned that something was bound to happen if we didn't change...something like the assassination attempt on Congresswoman Giffords. At the moment Giffords was shot in the most cowardly fashion from behind by an insane man, Sarah Palin's website was displaying a graphic with the title, "We diagnosed the problem...You prescribe the solution." The graphic displayed a rifle sight on Giffords District and 19 other Congressmen who had voted FOR the Health Care Reform bill. The person who shot Giffords also killed 6 people. His writings indicate he was angry about health care reform.
Sarah Palin has now given a speech in which she said her campaign was all about taking personal responsibility and that she was NOT responsible in any way for what happened and that any one who says otherwise is committing "blood libel."
It was Sarah Palin's "I Am Not a Witch" moment.
How does a human being with any brain wave at all claim she is a victim because she is just exercising her Right to Free Speech when only a few days ago she was calling for the assassination by the CIA of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange for exercising his right to Free Speech? This is insanity!
Conservative mouth pieces have scoured around and found a map that the Democratic Party put out and said it showed that Democrats did it first. The map did not have rifle sights on it and it was 6 years old. They also managed to find one instance of President Obama using the old saw about taking a gun to a knife fight. Metaphor is not a threat. This is not a call for somebody to shoot conservatives. These are two rather benign instances over many years and they are not equivalent to the incessant drumbeat by the Right for "Second Amendment Solutions" to political discourse.
Melissa McEwan writes:
Let's Get This Straight: There is No Leftist Equivalent to the Right's Violent Rhetoric
The shooting in Tucson was not an anomaly. It was an inevitability, and as long as we play this foolish game of "both sides are just as bad," it will be inevitable again.
When you heard the terrible news from Arizona, were you completely surprised? Or were you, at some level, expecting something like this atrocity to happen?
Put me in the latter category. I’ve had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach ever since the final stages of the 2008campaign.
...So will the Arizona massacre make our discourse less toxic? It’s really up to G.O.P. leaders. Will they accept the reality of what’s happening to America, and take a stand against eliminationist rhetoric? Or will they try to dismiss the massacre as the mere act of a deranged individual, and go on as before?
So, is this a turning point or just the beginning?
“I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue..."
Clarence Dupnik, the Sheriff of Pima county where Gabrielle Giffords was shot today, was on tv tonight. Sheriff Dupnik talked about Arizona becoming the mecca for hate and bigotry. He repeated over and over that the non-stop vitriol coming out of the mouths of radio and tv personalities, It may be free speech but it is NOT without consequences".
Here's a similar ad with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' name on it.
Response for the Palin camp:
"We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights. It was simply cross-hairs like you'd see on maps," said Rebecca Mansour on the Tammy Bruce radio show. Moreover, there was "nothing irresponsible" about the image, and to draw a line connecting Palin and Saturday's shooting is "obscene" and "appalling."
A good and dear friend forwarded an email which contained a letter from a 94 year old veteran who disparaged Barack Obama for all the debunked reasons that we call "zombie lies". Debunked over and over they still get repeated as fact and gullible people believe them when they hear them referred to on Fox or wherever. The real question is why such crap ever gets traction? I sent the letter written by Fox Detox in reply to the Veteran back to my friend. I got an email back thanking me but still worrying that our country was going to hell and that Obama takes too many vacations.
So here goes:
To My Friend,
Let me correct a couple of things for you. Obama, by all insider accounts, works his ass off. He is a type A person's type A person. he also plays as hard as he works and I admire that greatly. I have talked to two people who have been in work sessions with him and they both said they have never encountered a person who runs a meeting as well or as productively and that there is no question that Obama is by far the smartest guy in the room. He does his home work and knows his stuff. My problem with him is that he has the wrong people in the room at times.
I think Barack Obama should take a page from the "good kings" of old and go out in the country side in disguise to see how the people are getting along, what they think, what they need, and how they feel. It's tough to really understand what it means to have your factory close and your job shipped to China when you live inside the most unproductive, yet prosperous, political city limits on this planet. Our leaders need to feel our pain and right now, they don't. A fair number of them don't care, but I believe Barack Obama does. He simply isn't omniscient. He needs better information.
From what I see so far, Barack Obama is a great man and a historical figure. Unfortunately I also think that he is opposed at this time in history by men who are not great, more like evil at their core, and who unfortunately will also be historical figures. I agree that our country is going to hell but we disagree on who is sending it there. I am certain it is not President Obama. When you l;ook at results only, and not the massive disinformation campaign being run by Karl Rove and others, Obama has had an incredibly successful first two years. Why do we think otherwise? It is all about the information we are receiving. Massive corporations own the mainstream media, and the mainstream media is lying to us.
This disinformation campaign is being supported on a far more egregious and radical level by the people who send these emails around.
The complaints about Obama are of no substance whatsoever. "He's a socialist". He's a Marxist", "He's a racist", "He hates America", "He takes too many vacations". This letter from a bigotted ignorant man disguised as a war veteran is exactly the same thing...A character assassination with no basis in fact when examined. When you think about this it becomes apparent that this old man disgraced himself and the American ideals he fought for by letting his name by put on a letter which attempts to make us want to heap scorn on our President but which actually cannot stand the light of fact and clear thought. The evil people who send these things out depend on our ignorance. We fight them by becoming aware of the truth and standing up for it.
In his first year as President, Obama spent all or part of 26 days on vacation, which is a bit more than Presidents Carter (17) and Clinton (20) but way less than Republican Presidents Reagan (42 days) and George H. W> Bush (40 dys). When President George W Bush was taking his vacations the media line was "he needs his rest". Well, he must have needed a ton of rest because he took 69 days of vacation his first year including the entire month of August. Barack Obama has taken about two weeks of real vacation and , counting the longest over Christmas and Thanksgiving, and some long weekends in the same amount of time and you think he "takes too many vacations". I don't fault you for thinking that. You have been led to think these things. Ask yourself why you think that? Who gave you that idea? Whoever it was, they are not your friends and are not friends of America.
When Barack Obama came into office the number one fear that Republicans had was that he would try to reinstate the "Fairness Doctrine" which requires truth in media and news to be labeled as news and opinion to be labeled as opinion. Obama went on to other things and after thinking about this and seeing what our media has become, I think this was Obama's biggest single mistake.
Senate Republicans have used the secret hold to prevent the Senate from discussing bills their lobbyist masters don't like.
The GOP has used, not the actual filibister, but a rule they enacted called the secret hold to destroy the ability of the Senate to function. I have lost respect for Senator Alexander in several instances over the past few years but this time he has stooped to stating an out right lie. Democrats are proposing to walk back Senate rules to a time when a Senator had to stand up in front of his peers and make a stand against legislation he believes will not serve the nation. This allows a Senator to have as much time as he can physically endure to make a case for his position and the principles that back it up. What Senator Alexander and his fellow Republicans have been doing is to use the "secret hold" to prevent even the Senate from even debating bills that don't serve their lobbyist masters. Forcing Lamar to stand up and speak when he opposes something is not "cutting off the voices" as he maliciously claims, but as any rational person can plainly see, it is just the opposite in fact.
When you say something that you know full well is not true, you are a liar.
Democrats don't want to stifle Lamar Alexander, just the opposite. They want Lamar to stand up and speak when he feels so strongly about something. As it stands now, any one of 100 people can stop all discussion in the Senate. If a "secret hold" is placed on a bill, No one can speak. There is no debate. And no one is supposed to know who did it. Republicans have used this tactic hundreds of times in the last few years to prevent anyone from speaking either for or against hundreds of bills, like the one that would have ended the tax breaks for Corporation who close American factories and send our jobs to Asia.
This is the coward's way, Lamar. It is the way of thieves to steal people's voices and claim you are protecting them. What you have become, sir? Let me refresh your knowledge of the English Language just a bit...here is a definition from Webster's Dictionary:
1: to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive
2: to create a false or misleading impression
That is the definition of the intransitive verb, "lie".
It must disappoint most Tennesseans to see Lamar Alexander sink to this sad level of false discourse. Senator Alexander's record of service to Tennessee is stained by his apparent service to lobbyists instead of his people.
I am a Democrat because I have no choice. I prefer to work from within a flawed organization and try to infect it with a real Progressive ideology, even though as is often said, "The Democratic Party eats its own young." This contrasts with the Green party which gnaws its own legs off and doesn't have young, or the Republican party which eats every body else's young while the nanny drives Republican offspring to the private school. So, since I don't see driving off a cliff in a hay wagon to have much of a future, I am a Democrat by default.
My most favorite Congressman, Alan Grayson, is no longer a Congressman. I sent him money in his re-election bid and so did a lot of other Progressives but It was not enough to balance the train loads of cash spent by outside special interests. Enough money can make a straight talking man of the people look like a clown and a clown look like something other than the bizarre right wing ideologue that he is. Grayson was beaten by a bizarre right wing ideologue.
I understand how this happened because my own Congressman, Lincoln Davis, was beaten by a candidate that nobody knew, nobody knows, and nobody has seen since his victory speech. How many conservative candidates can get elected who have a French name? My new Congressman, Scott DesJarlais, has no history of political involvement and ain't from around here but he got elected. When one of Lincoln's aides went to look at media buys during the campaign he found that the media had already been bought but not by DesJarlais. It had been bought by a host of outside 527 political groups. Want to know who the main target of these 527 groups was in this election cycle? ...The very people that were closest to Republicans in the Democratic Party...The Blue Dog Democrats. Lincoln Davis was a prominent Blue Dog Democrat. He is now an ex-congressman. He ran away from his own party's president as hard as he could. Had he gotten the Obama votes from his own District he would probably still be in Congress.
The Democratic Party is fractured a the moment. The old DLC guard has steadily moved toward the right and big corporate money since the Clinton years. In doing this, they left their base...Us!
The message has been, "We're just like Republicans, only nicer." Well as it turns out, you can be pretty danged rotten and still be nicer than Republicans. This is a huge opportunity for the Democratic Party, only so far, it has failed to energize its base, which by my count should be 294 million of the 300 some odd million people in the United States of America. What the heck is going on? Even if you factor out the wedge issue crazies, the gun fetishists, the homophobes, and the ultra right crazies, that should still leave two thirds of Americans.
When will the national Democratic party learn what most of us out here in the boonies already know? Our nation is in a headlong rush toward fascism and plutocracy and the national Democratic Party seems to be trying to compromise with the Devil to only take half its soul.
The very entity institutionalized in our Constitution that is supposed to inform Americans so that the electorate can make informed decisions has become nothing more than a water carrier for those whose fortunes depend on misleading American citizens. (I said that)
This is a staggering scandal for the media. I have yet to see a straightforward, non-ideological, non-argumentative piece in any major paper that describes the actual condition of Social Security. The core fact is that Social Security has not contributed a dime to the deficit, but has piled up trillions in surpluses, which the government has borrowed and spent. Social Security’s surpluses have actually offset the impact of the deficit, beginning with Reagan.