Originally posted as a note on my Facebook page.
The long & short of the ongoing "fiscal crisis" is that it is, at this point, an artificially manufactured crisis that is causing serious real-world issues. The delusion & deceptive "national conversation" that the traditional media insists on promoting isn't helping.
Case in point: a piece from the Washington Post1 makes the following statement:
Ideally, the budget environment for weather and climate research wouldn’t be an either/or situation. State of the art computing resources should be available to both areas.But during a time when our nation faces a fiscal crisis and the government is having to make tough choices about what the highest priorities are - leadership within NOAA and Congress should take a close look at the balance of resources...
There are a couple of things wrong with that. The first one that leaps out and grabs my face like one of the creatures from Alien is "during a time when our nation faces a fiscal crisis" - really? Simply letting the Bush-era tax cuts for the rich expire would substantially resolve that, but the fiscally feral Republican, Tea Party & Libertarian extremists keep pushing for more tax breaks for the wealthy...hoping, apparently, that the rest of the nation is either too pre-occupied or distracted to notice just how much damage that those tax cuts have done, or who has benefited. Make the jump»
Oh holy crap - the nutbars of the GOP & Tea Party (& associated Santorum-coated Gingriches) will have a field day with this one: Muslims Declare Jihad on Dogs in Europe, by Soeren Kern of StonegateInstitute.org
Of course, they don't realize that the "Sharia Law" call-outs they make against Muslims - and the back-and-forth justifications of each side, per the article - sound JUST LIKE their own b.s. when promoting their "Christian values" agenda. But that won't stop 'em making laws against "Sharia law" in the US...they don't see the disconnect between such idiocy & their own Talibanesque encroachment upon the Constitution with their "Christian values" (values they loudly promote to garner religious support, but consistently & resolutely fail to uphold in their own lives & dealings).
Yesterday, after a year of battering by the forces assembled by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and funded by the likes of the Koch brothers, progressive America finally successfully fought back. But the victory is small, and will prove Pyrrhic (as 2008 victories have proven to be) if progressives feel they can now relax. Make the jump»
Yesterday, we visited the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on the Hudson River side of Manhattan. I discovered that the Intrepid was one of the aircraft carriers whose planes my father may have directed to refueling stations as a radio operator on Leyte Island during the naval Battle of Leyte Gulf (while the battle for the island was going on around him). We also toured the Growler, a submarine in use in the early 1960s.
While watching a video in line to get on the sub, I was struck by a section on the history of submarines. After talking about the lack of success of the Turtle in the Revolution (an attempt to find a way to break the British blockade), the story turned to another blockade of American coasts, almost a century later. The blockaders were explicitly compared to those British of the earlier war and were not named as anything other than “the enemy.” The hero of the segment was a “Confederate planter” identified as a “patriot,” a man named H. L. Hunley. My jaw dropped.
How could anyone, there, at a museum dedicated to the armed services of the United States, find it acceptable to refer to the United States Navy as “the enemy” and call a rebel against the country a “patriot”? Make the jump»
In London, Thom Hartmann found and bought the only first-person account of the 1773 Boston Tea Party in existence.
George R. T. Hewes coined the phrase, 'the Boston Tea Party' and authored the history of the party that led to the American colonists' overthrow of the East India Company puppets, their British colonial rulers.
The original tea party was caused by the granting of corporate tax cuts to the biggest corporation in the world, the East India Company. The rulers of the colonies wanted to kill their indigenous colonial competition who were also trying to sell tea against the wishes of the global mega-corporation.
The American experiment in democracy was the result of that revolution. Make the jump»
There has been a lot of failure going on around us these days. Whether we are talking about political failures to come to real solutions that will actually solve many of the problems we see everyday, or we are talking about economic failure that is effecting nearly every American out there. Even a basic failure to communicate with a basic level of dignity that can lead to any of the possible solutions.
I watched President Obama's eulogy in Tuscon last night. I am not going to get very deep into any particular analysis of it beyond saying it was almost exactly the kind of statement that needed to be made from our leadership at this time.
I was, however, a little bit disturbed with the reactions of the crowds to the speech. This was a eulogy, not a campaign speech, and many seemed to be taken aback by the crowds' reactions.
It made me feel uncomfortable, at times, hearing people cheering at a eulogy for people that died. Not just cheering but with catcalls and an exuberance that was unsuitable for an solemn event of this type. And watching the speech I could not help but see some slight cringing by the President as some in the crowd reacted that way... Reacted, as some facebook friends put it, almost like they were spectators at a sporting match or watching a rock star on stage.
I know Bloggers are not the only ones that noticed it. CNN has some notes from some of their regular contributors: Make the jump»
America in Decline: Why Germans Think We're Insane
AlterNet / By Democrats Ramshield
A look at our empire in decline through the eyes of the European media. (December 26, 2010)
As an American expat living in the European Union, I’ve started to see America from a different perspective. Make the jump»
People who claim that the Tea Party is a party "of the people, by the people and for the people" are ignoring just what kind of "people" these folks are "for" -- it's not United States citizens, it's citizens who are "like them." They ignore the diverse mix of cultures, races and ethnicities that combine to form our nation's people.
"Tea Baggers" more aptly describe the hateful, fearful, angry insanity that grips them.
So does the term "lunatic fringe."
With any luck, the FBI -- along with DHS and the Secret Service -- are keeping track of these dangerous, unstable individuals. And with a bit of due diligence, perhaps they've assembled enough evidence to start pressing charges against them in a way that helps ensure a trial that will expose their insanity and bring out the facts that they appear to be so ignorant, and yet so angered & fearful, of.
The YouTube video posted above contains some violent, inciteful rhetoric. Here's a couple of choice tidbits (any errors in transcription are mine):
06:00 - 06:25 minutes in:
"I don't care how this gets painted by the mainstream media. I don't care if this shows up on YouTube, because I am convinced that the most important thing that the founding fathers did to ensure me my first amendment rights was they gave me a second amendment. And if ballots don't work, bullets will."
07:47 minutes in:
"When I say I'll put my microphone down on November 2nd if we haven't achieved substantial victory, I mean it. Because at that point, I'm gonna go up into the hills of Kentucky, I'm gonna go out into the midwest, I'm gonna go up in the, ah, Vermont and New Hampshire, ah, outreaches, and I'm gonna gather together men and women who understand that some things are worth fighting for, and some things are worth dying for."
Where the hell was the outrage during the Bush/Cheney administration? Why are these folks so ignorant of the party mostly responsible for not only dropping this nation off an economic cliff while gutting our social and national security safety nets? Why don't these idiots look at the record of the party that was in power, and see how that party has been steadfastly working to prevent the current Administration from addressing and resolving the issues caused by the previous two?
That's the key: they're only angered about losing an election. Since they only favor democracy when it works in their favor, they show their true colors when reality catches up to them...and those colors most certainly aren't red, white and blue.
Their calls to insurrection and for assassination certainly aren't very Christian, either.
It's time that the FBI, Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security begin taking action and bring some charges against some of these imbeciles, before more poor unbalanced fools takes up arms and start shooting indiscriminately.
Otherwise, calls for sedition and treason, as well as shout-outs for the assassination of duly elected government officials, may well spark a violent conflagration between the steadily-increasing numbers of unbalanced, desperate people and the rest of our citizenry.
C'mon, folks -- do your jobs, if you've got enough direct evidence to enable you to move to counteract the rising tides of fear, loathing, anger and resentment before it turns into something even more ugly.
From Taegan Goddard's Political Wire, Marco Rubio's message can basically be boiled down to a combination of "thanks for the campaign money" and "it's not me, it's radical you": Make the jump»
You are willing to let these people run this country? This is the America you want? This is the America you are willing to permit? These are the kinds of cranks, menaces, mercenaries and authoritarians you will turn this country over to?
If you sit there next Tuesday and let this happen, whose fault will that be?
Keith Olbermann offered one of his "Special Comments" on 10/27/2010 9:33:43 PM ET entitled "If the Tea Party wins, America loses." The Tea Party -- fondly known more often by a riff drawn from their own initial choice of a name, the Tea Baggers -- represents the worst cross section of the lunatic fringe with racists, homophobes, corrupt Republican conservatives and wholly uninformed segments of the citizenry.
If they, or their Republican party counterparts, gain or maintain any presence in Congress or in state governments this coming November, America loses -- big time. For specific examples, and for the entire Special Comment, play the video.
An excerpt from Keith's comment begins below the video.
It is as if a group of moderately talented performers has walked on stage at a comedy club on Improv night. Each hears a shout from the audience, consisting of a bizarre but just barely plausible fear or hatred or neurosis or prejudice.
And the entertainment of the evening is for each to take their thin, absurd premise, and build upon it a campaign for governor or congressman or senator. The problem is, of course, when it turns out there is no audience shouting out gags, just a cabal of corporations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and political insider bloodsuckers like Karl Rove and Dick Armey and the Chicken Little Chorus of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.
And the instructions are not to improvise a comedy sketch, but to elect a group of unqualified, unstable individuals who will do what they are told, in exchange for money and power, and march this nation as far backward as they can get, backward to Jim Crow, or backward to the breadlines of the '30s, or backward** to hanging union organizers, or backward to the Trusts and the Robber Barons.
Result: the Tea Party. Vote backward, vote Tea Party. And if you are somehow indifferent to what is planned for next Tuesday, it is nothing short of an attempt to use Democracy to end this Democracy, to buy America wholesale and pave over the freedoms and the care we take of one another, which have combined to keep us the envy of the world.
And it continues. Full transcript here.
A few weeks ago Lupatifer passed on reports of the documented flood of foreign money being funneled into the right wing Chamber of Commerce's campaigns which the Chamber has directed mostly at pushing the right wing's corporate agenda and which has resulted in more recent allegations of threats of violence by the Chamber of Commerce and directed at the watchdog groups tracking the foreign money flood.
Now, we have more reports of foreign money polluting and distorting the American campaign process:
As the Wonk Room has extensively documented, nearly all of the Republican candidates for Senate — both incumbents and challengers — dispute that the United States must take action to fight global warming pollution, while many of them deny that global warming exists in the first place. “There is much debate in the scientific community as to the precise sources of global warming,” claims Pat Toomey, the GOP Senate candidate in Pennsylvania. “Global warming is ‘the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,’” says Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK).
It remains to be seen if that stance will pay off at the polls, but for many of these global warming deniers, it already has paid off in the form of sizeable donations from overseas polluters. A new analysis by Climate Action Network Europe has found that large European companies that are among the continent’s biggest greenhouse gas polluters have been dumping large amounts of money into U.S. Senate races, almost exclusively to candidates that oppose the idea of taking action to stop global warming.
ThinkProgress has already documented how money from foreign oil companies is being directed to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which is running a $75 million ad campaign against Democratic candidates, and these direct candidate contributions from European polluters exceed the amount that oil billionaires Charles and David Koch have donated to Senate campaigns.
Even odder, given the fringe Tea Party's ranting and raving about the "evuls of Europe" and conspiracies of "New World Orders"?
These rich European polluters are directing their money towards Tea Party Candidates, as well: Make the jump»
The other day, I invited someone to be friends on Facebook--we have a huge number of mutual friends, so it seemed the thing to do. I got back this message:
You ask me to friend you but you list yourself as "Very Liberal." No way dude. You are brainwashed to say and think wrong things. When you become an independent thinker, try me again.
What are we afraid of?
Matt Taibbi (IMHO one of the best political writers of our time) has an excellent piece (Tea and Crackers) coming out in the Oct. 15th issue of Rolling Stone. It is long, but well worth the read. It got me thinking about all this Tea Party hullabaloo.
Taibbi points out the hypocrisy of the party platform and the fact that its leaders are selling out to the Republican establishment (Rand Paul) ... but I will get back to the Taibbi piece and its conclusions later.
As human beings we all have basic needs, physical, psychological and spiritual. Based on Maslow's hierarchy of need our most basic needs for survival are:
Air, water, and food are metabolic requirements for survival in all animals, including humans. Clothing and shelter provide necessary protection from the elements.
What happens when these basic needs are threatened, or if there is the perception that these needs are being threatened? People start to become afraid. When this fear is perpetuated and magnified by politicians and the media, a voting block is created that is not only highly motivated, but malleable as well. Politics made personal. Make the jump»