User Picture

The Womb Lottery

By: Alan Grayson Tuesday November 25, 2014 11:56 am

I’m happy that President Obama finally has moved forward with immigration reform. But the six-year-long White House Bad Messaging Plague (WHBMP) continues unabated. We’re in danger of losing the public on this issue even before the first work permit is issued.

President Obama’s executive order removes the loaded guns pointed at the temples of five million human beings, who also happen to be undocumented U.S. immigrants. It is a sincere act of compassion and mercy that has eluded House Speaker John Boehner for years, Boehner’s utterly hypocritical nattering about the urgent need for immigration reform notwithstanding. If Boehner had ever looked up from his shot glass, he might have seen their sad eyes, and felt some urge to confer simple dignity on them.

But that’s not how the White House staff is telling it. Last night, I received the White House staff’s talking points, embargoed until 6 pm. (I received them at 6:03 pm, but nevermind.)

● The President will “help secure the border.” (This is the first thing – the very first thing! – that they said.)

● The President will hold undocumented immigrants “accountable.” How is he holding them “accountable” for entering or remaining in America without permission? By letting them stay.

● The President will “fix our broken immigration system.” How will he fix it? By not enforcing it.

● The President will “prioritize deporting felons not families.” Just as he has deported commas from that phrase, I guess. (Good alliteration, though.)

Please understand: I’m in favor of President Obama’s action – very much so. But this framing by the White House staff just . . . stinks.

Here is a test for you: Is there anything in these talking points that could not have come out of the Bush White House? Answer: No.

I’ve seen a poll or two in my life, so I understand that the terms “secure the border,” “accountability,” “fixing the broken [fill in the blank]” and “families” poll very well. Families, yay! Felons, boo! I’m very happy, and indeed relieved, that we Democrats now have established our bona fides as the anti-felon party.

I noted that the White House’s very lengthy (i.e., numbingly repetitive) talking points never mention Boehner or the Republicans – not even once. Instead, the White House extends its devastating six-year-long attack on “Congress,” which has succeeded in: (a) driving Congress’s approval rating down to single digits; (b) delivering the House to the Republicans in 2010; and (c) delivering the Senate to the Republicans in 2014. If some Higher Being did a retroactive global search and replace on every White House statement since Jan. 20, 2009, searching for “Congress” and replacing it in each instance with “Republicans in Congress,” Democrats would have supermajorities right now in both Houses.

Here is the basic problem: Fox News has gotten into their heads. If you think that the primary purpose of immigration reform is “securing the borders,” then your name is Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly or Sean Hannity, not Robert Gibbs, Jay Carney or Josh Earnest.

With all due respect, these White House staff talking points are a pitiful effort to put a right-wing mask on a left-wing policy – and a meritorious and virtuous left-wing policy at that. But as Professor George Lakoff has demonstrated, even when you rebut the right wing’s arguments, you’re inadvertently reinforcing them. (As he puts it, “Don’t think of an elephant!” You can’t. Once the subject of elephants comes up, you’re going to think about elephants, whether you like it or not.)

Look, this is important. The basic rules of existence for five million people are in play. Please, just this once, can’t we be progressives? What is so wrong with that?

Let’s try it this way: Every one of us draws a ticket in the womb lottery. Six Waltons had winning tickets; they were born billionaires. The victims of fetal alcohol syndrome have losing tickets; they suffer from terrible physical and mental disabilities.

There are seven billion people alive today. Only a quarter of a billion of them won the womb lottery, and they were fortunate enough to be born in the United States. Almost fifty million more worked the system well enough to acquire U.S. citizenship. But there are over ten million people who love America so much – so very much – that they left behind their communities, their families, their property, their jobs, and they came here or remain here without the permission of our government. They didn’t win the womb lottery, so it’s too late for them to be born here. They feel that they were born in the wrong country. Their passports are not blue. But they want to fix that problem. They want to make it right. They can’t be American citizens by birth, but instead, they desperately want to be American citizens by choice.

Isn’t that a good thing? That people love what we have created so much that they want to be a part of it, and contribute to it. This isn’t a threat, it’s a heartfelt compliment.

My mother is an immigrant. My grandparents were immigrants. We are all the sons and daughters of immigrants, and we are all the children of God. Can we please, please respect each other, and live together in peace and dignity?

Think of it this way: For whatever reason – lax enforcement of immigration laws, oppression in other countries, the need to survive, whatever – these five million people are our new sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. The polite thing to do is to welcome them. Repeat after me: “Welcome to the American Family, and thank you for contributing to the American Experience.”


Rep. Alan Grayson


Senator Schumer’s Chamber of Commerce Toadiness…

By: jaango Tuesday November 25, 2014 11:23 am

Senator Schumer’s Chamber of Commerce Toadiness   

New York Senator Chuck Schumer is attempting to rewrite his history for being ‘captured’ by the Wall Street crowd as well as the Chamber of Commerce, with his latest pronouncement in which he disagreed with President Obama.  And such Schumer has repeatedly proven himself to be a hypocrite, as well.  a hypocrite too.

To wit, the following from Bloomberg Politics.

“Unfortunately, Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them” in electing Obama and a Democratic Congress in 2008 amid a recession, Schumer of New York said in a speech in Washington. “We took their mandate and put all our focus on the wrong problem — health care reform.”

Schumer said Democrats should have addressed issues aiding the middle class to build confidence among voters before turning to revamping the health-care system. He said he opposed the timing of the health-care vote and was overruled by other party members.


When the Democrats, back cloak room of the Senate chamber discussed Card Check and subsequently, Obama tossed Card Check into the proverbial trash can, Schumer’s allegiance to the Wall Street Crowd as well as the Chamber of Commerce, knew of no upper bounds in gentility when it came to addressing the prevalent issues facing the Middle Class and the Working Class.  However, he sure knew of the lesser bounds in gentility, and thusly, showed his true colors for his newly acquired neo-liberalism and this from a former Progressive in the House.  And obviously, he learned much at the knee and during the  reign of now stellar Senator Hillary Clinton from New York.

And for those of us and who are the “minority” know well that Schumer’s the Big Dunce in American politics. As such, he knows no Shame. And New Yorkers should be embarrassed for having an iconic two-fer, Cuomo and Schumer. And yet, he’s ascended onto the Power Curve as the “messenger” for the Democrats, and this has irritated the hell out me, given that I am a staunch Democrat.



Methinks Robert McCulloch doth protest too much

By: Masoninblue Tuesday November 25, 2014 6:00 am

Cross posted from Frederick Leatherman Law Blog

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Good morning:

Prosecutor Robert McCulloch’s angry, defensive and crazy rant last night criticizing the media and the internet for allegedly whipping up public support for charging Darren Wilson with a crime for killing an unarmed Michael Brown raising his hands in the universal sign of surrender proved beyond doubt that he is unfit to hold the office of Prosecuting Attorney for St.Louis County.

He believed all along that Wilson was justified in killing Michael Brown and should not have been charged. His obvious bias in favor of Wilson, when considered together with the unlawful release of information that was presented in secret to the grand jury, reveals that Wilson did not need a lawyer because McCulloch was his staunchest defender.

Little wonder that Wilson, the cop who refused to fill out an offense report about the shooting, decided to waive his right to remain silent and testify before the grand jury.

The outcome was rigged from Day One and has no legitimacy.

Look at these photographs of the diminutive Wilson, who is 6’4″ and 210 pounds.

Notice in particular the incredibly nasty suborbital eye socket fracture.

The secret reverse star-chamber proceeding seasoned with selective leaks cooked up by McCulloch should be universally condemned.

Over Easy: Putting it all together

By: cmaukonen Tuesday November 25, 2014 4:55 am

Transmitter 1933

Went to Westside Market today to do my shopping for the next two weeks. I knew that Wednesday it would be a zoo, with tons of people doing shopping for Thanksgiving.  West 25th street paving was done so not so big a hassle driving it today. Much warmer with the temps in the 60s but off and on rain.

One of the members of our theatre group set up a private FB group for us all to exchange photos and stories and memories of when we were together putting on shows at the university and sometimes elsewhere.  A lot of them concerning how each of us had to often improvise and even make our own props. Or get the set to fit and work in the Science Auditorium, essentially a glorified, oversized janitors closet.

Amazingly we managed to get it all put together for opining night and nearly everyone said how fortunate they felt they were to have had the opportunity to do theatre there even though the facilities were crude at best. The experience had helped and empowered them once they were out in the real world. Such as this set for Journey’s End.

Despite this or maybe because of it, it was fun.

Kind of reminds me of after my father’s death and we had moved down to Florida. I had no money and my radio and electronic stuff was up north somewhere but neither my mother or I knew where. My father gave it to someone since he did not want to move all that stuff. So I was there with essentially nothing. I scavenged from behind TV repair shops for old junked TVs and radios and such. Removed the tubes and parts and built amplifiers and shortwave things on pieces of wood and such. Not unlike this.   But it was fun and like the theatre experience, I and everyone else learned a lot doing it.

And the satisfaction you get putting it all together.


Immigration problem solved: Israelis got dual citizenship so why not Mexicans?

By: Jane Stillwater Monday November 24, 2014 8:55 pm
     Currently Republicans have their knickers all in a twist with regard to illegal immigration from Mexico, right?  Well, I have the answer to that one.  Let’s just grant dual citizenship to Mexicans.  Then Mexicans in this country will no longer be illegal!  Problem solved.
     “But, Jane,” you might say, “if we do that, America will become overwhelmed and we will lose control of our country.”  Yeah.  That indeed could happen.  Just look what happened when we granted dual citizenship to Israelis.  They took over America quick as a wink.  You might have a point there.
     In 1967, Israeli leaders unilaterally gave the order to attack and destroy the USS Liberty — and our American leaders went along with that  At least Mexico has never attacked a US warship.  There’s that in Mexico’s favor, right?
     Almost no member of Congress and President of the United States has ever been elected in the last several decades without the backing of the America-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).  Imagine if Mexicans had their own AMPAC!  Yikes.
     Israel put pressure on America to make the decision to go to war with Iraq — and we Americans are still paying for that mistake.  And let’s also take a look at the Project for a New American Century, America’s current guidebook on how to screw up the Middle East.  At least half the people who wrote that damning document possessed dual citizenship with Israel.  And who benefited from all its resulting endless and bloody wars?  It wasn’t us Americans, no no no.
     “But Jane, undocumented Mexicans are taking our jobs!”  Yeah well.  But dual-citizen Israelis are also taking our jobs too.  And our tax money.  And our weapons industry.  And our government positions.  And our real estate agents too.  Re-Max is now advertizing the sale of condos in the Occupied West Bank.  But if we gave dual-citizenship to Mexico too, then Re-Max could be selling condos in Occupied Juarez as well!  I’d buy one.  Would you?
     “But what about terrorists?” you might ask next.  You’re right again.  That too could be a problem.  But it is also coming to light already that dual-citizen Israelis have been supporting the ISIS terrorist organization behind our backs all along.  And they still support ISIS.
   So if Mexicans also had dual citizenship, then their ISIS-like drug lords might come with that package-deal too, which would not be a good thing.  But surely an occasional drug-lord beheading south of the border can’t be as bad as the daily beheadings by ISIS, which are sponsored by the dual citizens of Mossad.

And then there are all those mass graves that have been recently discovered in Mexico.  According to an article in “The Nation” with the hilarious title of “This Mass Grave isn’t the Mass Grave you have been looking for,” journalist Greg Grandin states, “There were at least 26,000 disappearances and 83,000 homicides” in Mexico.

109,000 dead in Mexico?  That’s a mere drop in the bucket in relation to population percentages when compared to the number of Palestinians that have been butchered and/or “ethnically cleansed” by Israelis in the past 60-odd years — almost 80% of all Palestinians.

Mexican drug lords are almost puny when compared with Israeli warlords — who really think big.
2,133 Palestinians were murdered in Gaza just this past summer alone.  750,000 Palestinians were either murdered or driven off their land back in 1948.  At least 33 known mass grave sites of dead Palestinians have been found and there many more mass grave sites that are as yet unknown.  Along with the American Indian holocaust, the German/Polish/French Jewish holocaust, various African holocausts over the centuries and the Holocaust in Tibet, this Palestinian holocaust is one of the largest and most tragic in history (so far).

What has happened and is still happening in Palestine is very much like that nightmarish WW II ethnic cleansing of Germany, France and Poland.   And, like that earlier tragic time also, we hardly ever hear anything about this ethnic cleansing in the media either except from a few alarmists like me.  All we ever hear about here in America is when a few Palestinians struggle to fight back to protect their families and land — and then they are instantly labeled “terrorists”.  How come Jews in the Warsaw ghetto and Tibetans in Lhasa weren’t labeled “terrorists” too.

And how come no one in America ever hears about the Israeli Caliphate or the Israeli State in the Levant (ISIL) — like we constantly do about its nightmarish ISIS blowback.

All in all, I think that giving dual citizenship to Mexicans is a great idea.  Just look how well it turned out when we gave dual citizenship to Israelis!

Chuck Hagel an American Hero- “He took the job to end the war–not start another one,”

By: jbade Monday November 24, 2014 5:21 pm

One of the few surprises about the Obama Administration was the selection of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. Hagel’s record of challenging  Bush’s warmaking was one of the few bright spots for the antiwar brothers and sisters before, during and after the Iraq debacle. Hagel, a war veteran, was one of like three Republicans against the Iraq war, at the time most Democrats were still eating freedom fries.

The likely cause was stated by one of his close associates

From RT

“He took the job to end the war–not start another one,” this associate of Hagel said.


If this is true he is a hero. It would be right in character with the man. He wasn’t going to go along with increased/continued blood-lusting, it is the most logical conclusion.

The bad news, get ready to escalate in/on Iran, Syria, Ukraine, Russia,Yemen,Pakistan, Somalia, Venezuela,All of Africa, the South China Sea, Afghanistan,Iraq the Philippines- thank heavens Libya is to  destroyed to escalate in/on.

Best wishes brother Chuck, thanks for your efforts directed at the cause of peace and being man enough not to be a part of something so broken.

BREAKING: Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Has Been Reached [Update]: No True Bill on Any of the 5 Indictments

By: wendydavis Monday November 24, 2014 1:14 pm


I’ll update as needed.  Among the various media announcements, it’s not clear if the decision itself will be announced, or simply just that the GJ has made its decision and has been released.  Maybe we should just go with Anderson Cooper[Updated: The Puppet Masters' scribes are saying that the presser will either be at... 4, 5, 7, or 8 o'clock CST.]  Until then: Dance.

Why yes, Mr. President, Holder: we know. Pfffft. Can’t wait until you install Loretta Lynch.

ST. LOUIS (KMOX)  November 24, 2014 1:34 PM

KMOX News has received word from the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s office that a Ferguson grand jury decision has been reached.

Gov. Jay Nixon’s plane is arriving at Lambert Airport this hour.

A source close to the situation says Nixon is here to take part in a news conference planned sometime later today. The content of the news conference is not yet clear.

Earlier today, KMOX News asked the spokesman of St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch to appear on the air to go over the timeline of the grand jury.

Why are so many Americans so crazy?

By: David Seaton Monday November 24, 2014 10:45 am

Over half of surveyed Republicans said they believe that the president is a socialist Muslim who wants to take away gun rights and turn over U.S. sovereignty to the U.N. What’s deeper, though, is the vitriol of those beliefs, with a substantial number of Republicans believing that Obama resents America’s heritage (47 percent), is the “domestic enemy that the U.S. Constitution speaks of” (45 percent), wants to use an economic or terrorist event as an excuse to take dictatorial powers (41 percent), is doing some of the same stuff that Hitler did (38 percent), and may, in fact, be the Anti-Christ (24 percent). Daily Beast  

Just to begin by giving a quick answer to the question posed by the title of this post, “Why are so many Americans so crazy?”. The answer is that living in a cloud of misinformation, they are being driveninsane.There is always the temptation to see certain people as reasonable when they aren’t. “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18″, was the favorite bible passage of Lyndon Baines Johnson and it describes the basic attitude of all successful negotiators. The lesson learned from the epic battle to pass a more than tame and mediocre health bill or the reaction to legalizing human beings that have risked their lives to come to America, is that it is impossible to negotiate with whipped up insanity.

All of this insanity, from tea party to Obama being Antichrist is about using racism to distract people from seeing clearly what is right in front of their faces.

Essentially what we have is Rupert Murdoch in the role of Joseph Goebbels nightly on Fox.

The idea is very simple, classic really. The system is in crisis, social inequality is widening and hardening, so stimulating paranoia and racism is a simple and effective way of keeping people from thinking about things like taxing the rich in order to get good public schools, affordable health care and other such Bolshevik twaddle.

To understand this craziness we have to turn it inside out. The first thing about it that catches my attention in the Harris and similar polls is that a significant portion of the American population is totally paranoid and extremely suggestible. If we discount genetics and/or some hallucinogen that has been added to the water, we would have to look at objective factors to account for this vulnerability.

Color in the United States is just a “warning signal” that history has walked into the room. But even history doesn’t explain it all. Our history of slavery is pretty horrible, but slavery was horrible in Cuba and Brazil too. However, Cubans and Brazilians are much more relaxed about color. Americans, though, are not really relaxed about much of anything.

Our culture is Calvinist: brittle and inflexible even in its hedonism, where, with predestination, the devil literally takes the hindmost.

Although in many parts of Europe, for example, losing, being maudit, is considered romantic, the worst put down in American English is to call someone a “loser”.

Therefore, Americans are obsessed with “winning” and “losing”.

This makes American racial tension different…