Thank you for the link. Democracy Now had a program today that featured Darcy Burner, who delivered an “After Aaron” address to the Freedom to Connect conference, and Derek Khanna, a “GOP rising star” (according to DN) who “wrote a policy brief for the Republican Study Committee entitled ‘Three Myths About Copyright Law and Where to [...]
frang commented on the diary post Obama’s Right-Hand-Man Offers Social Insurance Program Cuts, Again. by TomThumb.
I’ve just received my “substitute cat food” letter from Dick Durbin. It isn’t just The Droner and his advisors. It’s all the Democrats who do as O and their major campaign contributors tell them to do. The email response I received from Durbin mentions “substitution bias” in determining cost of living increases:
The CPI tends to [...]
frang commented on the blog post FDL Book Salon Welcomes Chris Hedges, Days of Destruction Days of Revolt
I think most of us would view Chris’s method as being very much applicable to building movements. As you disagree, what method do you believe is useful for movement building?
frang commented on the blog post The Off-Screen Violence of an NYPD Shooting in Times Square
A former high school classmate of mine suffered from mental illness. He took to hanging around a Catholic church on Chicago’s southwest side, which apparently irritated the priest there. According to the newspaper account I read, the priest knew my classmate was mentally ill so I presume he informed the police when he called them. When two cops showed up, my classmate panicked and broke an aerial off a car. The cops claimed that he was waving the aerial around and because of this, because they claimed it was a deadly weapon, they shot and killed him. Both my classmate and the cops were white. The cops never faced any repercussions, not even a reprimand. This all happened many years ago.
I was appalled when I read about what happened but what upset me even more was the reaction of those I told. All of the nice, white, liberal or liberal-leaning, college-educated people I worked with thought this killing was entirely justified. This tolerance and, in some cases, praise for police violence goes back a long way.
frang commented on the blog post Health Care Reminder: The True Power of the Bully Pulpit
Rather than representing incremental progress, the mandate to purchase corporate health insurance serves to enshrine the practice of having a third party get between those who need care and those who provide care while dictating the terms of that care. In other words, corporate insurance companies provide no value for the money and often only act as obstructionists to providing care.
Insurance premiums continue to rise in Massachusetts. According to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine, Romneycare has had no effect on bankruptcies due to medical bills. Obamacare, based as it is on Romneycare, will probably perform the same way and it will leave 23 million people uninsured.
I have no doubt that this law will be used to argue for the privatization of Medicare rather than be used as a stepping stone to achieving Medicare for All. I believe that much of the support for the mandate in 2008 was based upon having a “government option” which was interpreted by many as a program similar to Medicare. Obviously, that didn’t happen.
So, yeah, the bully pulpit works but I can’t get excited when it’s used for programs that I believe will be used against us and for mandating that everyone buy corporate products. But then, I’m not a tribalist.
frang commented on the blog post Obama’s Death Panels: Jeremy Scahill at the Drone Summit [VIDEO]
Gee, thanks for letting me comment (not).
Thanks for this. I’m going to send it to every Obama-loving supporter I know who is still talking to me.
frang commented on the blog post Obama Announces Expedited Review for Southern Half of Keystone XL Pipeline
Now that it appears Romney will get the nomination, I wonder if Obama figures he better cash in before he loses in November. The most recent polling only puts Obama 3-4 points ahead of Romney and this is while the Republicans are battling one another instead of concentrating their attacks on Obama.
While I couldn’t bring myself to vote for Obama in 2008, I never expected this level of betrayal from him. Will his 2012 campaign slogan be “Every campaign promise left behind”?
The “letter” is from the Borowitz Report. Another good one from last October:
The following is a letter released today by Lloyd Blankfein, the chairman of banking giant Goldman Sachs:
Up until now, Goldman Sachs has been silent on the subject of the protest movement known as Occupy Wall Street. That does not mean, however, that it has not been very much on our minds. As thousands have gathered in Lower Manhattan, passionately expressing their deep discontent with the status quo, we have taken note of these protests. And we have asked ourselves this question:
How can we make money off them?
The Rage Fund will seek out opportunities to invest in products that are poised to benefit from the spreading protests, from police batons and barricades to stun guns and forehead bandages. Furthermore, as clashes between police and protesters turn ever more violent, we are making significant bets on companies that manufacture replacements for broken windows and overturned cars, as well as the raw materials necessary for the construction and incineration of effigies.
It would be tempting, at a time like this, to say “Let them eat cake.” But at Goldman, we are actively seeking to corner the market in cake futures. We project that through our aggressive market manipulation, the price of a piece of cake will quadruple by the end of 2011.
frang commented on the blog post On Keystone XL, Republican Reactions, and Controlling the Debate
Sustaining elevated levels of environmental damage for oil that will be sent to the Gulf through a 2,147 mile pipeline that cannot be “intensely monitored” due to its length and that will, for the most part, be exported to Asian markets instead of pushing for more funding for public transportation and for R&D on optimizing cleaner energy sources makes so much sense (but only to oil companies, their paid lackeys and victims of fossil fuel industry propaganda).
The Moose Jaw Times-Herald has an article (from 2009 so it is a little old) on the known, possible and expected impact of the continued development of Tar Sands:
“The gaping, smoky open pits often equated with oilsands mines will sprawl across about 500 square kilometres.”
“One U.S. scientist has estimated that those effects (of destroying portions of the surrounding forest) will reduce songbird populations by 166 million birds over the next 30 to 50 years.”
“The Alberta Cancer Board has found cancer rates about 30 per cent higher than anticipated in the downstream community of Fort Chipewyan, with blood and lymphatic cancers double the expected rate. The board didn’t consider possible causes.”
“The oilsands use a lot of water and much of it ends up in vast tailings ponds, which are now the size of the city of Vancouver, and they’re growing. The ponds are toxic. About 1,600 ducks tried to land in one last year and most died, covered in oily sludge. The ponds are separated in some places from the Athabasca River only by large earthen dams. One study suggests that up to 11 million litres of tailings leak out every year”
Since these quotes are from 2009, I expect that those tailings ponds are quite a bit larger.
frang commented on the blog post What Oligarchy Means: Small Groups of Multi-Millionaires Funding Almost All SuperPACs
But ..but Russ Feingold, who was the Democratic poster child for campaign funding reform and civil liberties and who is now one of the Obama campaign’s co-chairs, thinks that aside from the Big Money thing, the Obama presidency has just been short of great. Sure, he thinks that Obama taking Big Money from PACs is a bad thing, but hey, there’s this:
“I mean, can you imagine how happy the Republicans had been if they had had the president that got Osama bin Laden, al-Awlaki and Gaddafi out of power? He’s fine on that.”
“The question there is, is there a doctrine where if somebody is an American citizen and they are clearly affiliated with an enemy power and it is impossible to get them—if that’s true, and that’s what I don’t know—if it’s impossible to get them any other way, is it justified? I would say, probably.”
If you can stand catapulting the propaganda without throwing up a little, his interview with an abnormally complacent Amy Goodman is on the DN site. I don’t know how Amy can look at herself in the mirror after this interview and her piece in The Guardian.
frang commented on the diary post PA Must Reads: Soup Kitchens & Self Sufficiency Programs Under Pressure & Marcellus Public Health Issues by ThirdandState.
Very informative post about the continuing class warfare. To me, the most important info is about the lack of any federally sponsored study on the health impact of the Marcellus Shale development. I guess with Obama pushing fracking, he wouldn’t want anything like a study indicating that the fracking process is very bad for people’s [...]
frang commented on the diary post Time for a Firedoglake Obama 2012 Campaign Slogan Contest Yet? by EdwardTeller.
Vote Obama …because there are still one or two promises he hasn’t had a chance to break.
My favorite: Vote for Jill Stein.
frang commented on the blog post People Feeling More Confident About the Economy and Obama
Great news for Obama, not so great for the rest of us. I see BO just signed the bill allowing for the two-month extension of the very bad idea tax “cut” (notice that it’s no longer referred to as a “holiday” and any effort to allow it to revert will no doubt be tagged a tax increase). Now BO is being “forced” to make a decision on Keystone within two months. Then, when another extension is required, there will be another odious requirement attached to which BO will “acquiesce” (i.e., doing what he wanted to do but now with the cover of the evil Republicans making him do it).
frang commented on the diary post Dear Irena Briganti: Anyone Ever Fired for On-Screen Errors at Fox? by spocko.
Yes, Fox News lies and is a propaganda outlet but the 8.6% figure itself is a lie. The U-6 is about 16% and when you count in those who have been unemployed so long that they’re no longer counted, some economists believe the figure is about 23%. I really don’t know why the U-3 is [...]
frang commented on the blog post Reid Heads Off Republicans, Ties Payroll Tax/UI Bill to Omnibus Spending Package
The extension of the payroll tax cut will not create jobs or give a whole lot of help to working people but it will set up Social Security for future dismantling. It’s a gimmick designed for the 2012 elections by the Democrats who think this will help them win. It might just backfire.
I just received an email from my Republican senator (I have to agree to accept his emails if I want to send him pre-fab emails from any organizations). In it, there was a poll about the payroll tax cut but before the poll there was this:
Social Security provides peace of mind to over 40 million American seniors. Since its creation under President Roosevelt, Social Security has been funded through the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). Social Security is not a welfare program. It is a retirement security program funded by contributions from each American worker to support senior citizens who met their Social Security obligations when they were asked to contribute to the system.
Of course, I know that, as a Republican, he’s itching to destroy SS. That doesn’t negate his point about Social Security being a program for workers financed by workers. I do know that his own poll had about 84% agreeing with him. My formerly popular Democratic senator is currently polling at 47% approval with 44% disapproval and this is in a pretty blue state.
frang commented on the diary post Washington’s Debt Panic and the Real Social Debt in America by Michelle Chen.
Those words from NELP need to be repeated again and again until they break through the corporate media.
frang commented on the diary post Not Just Seniors, Most People Don’t Like OWS or Tea Party by fairleft.
Considering that OWS was virtually uncovered by media for some time and that it has been around for a much shorter period than the Tea Party (which was very early on co-opted by the Republican Party and their Big Money backers, thereby guaranteeing favorable media coverage), I think OWS is doing rather well. If you [...]
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