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Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  

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Steve Bannon didn’t just make Breitbart a safe space for white supremacists; he’s also welcomed a scholar blacklisted from the mainstream conservative movement for arguing there’s a connection betw…

Source: Birther Tries to Flim Flam Blacks  

Written by slothropia

August 27th, 2016 at 11:08 am

Breitbart Wants Violence

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Here’s another sign that we are living in the New Wiemar Republic, where political insanity is the norm. Speaking to a group of Massachusetts Tea Thingies, Andrew Breitbart discussed how he was constantly under attack from the Left (which presumably includes anyone who is not a rabid Republican):

“I’m under attack all the time,” he said. “The call me gay. There are death threats… There are times when I’m not thinking as clearly as I should, and in those unclear moments, I always think to myself, ‘Fire the first shot. Bring it on.’ Because I know who’s on our side.

“They can only win a rhetorical and propaganda war. They cannot win. We outnumber them in this country and we have the guns I’m not kidding. They talk a mean game, but they will not cross that line because they know what they’re dealing with. ”

I don’t know what a “propaganda or rhetorical war” is. Maybe he is referring to “elections”. And given that the Tea party is one of the most unpopular groups in the U.S., I don’t know why he seems to they he and his kind have some numerical advantage. And who is it that he thinks wants to instigate some violent confrontation with the Right?

Perhaps there are no rational answers to these questions, since Breitbart is clearly an irrational, defensive paranoid. In any case, here is the Breitbart in all his raving, Youtube glory:

Written by slothropia

September 19th, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Aaron (Schock) and Me on Social Securiy and Debt Ceiling

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Following is the correspondence I have endured with my Congressman over the last few days:

Representative Schock,

Two days ago I inquired about the possibility of social Security Checks being delayed or canceled, as I am a Social Security pensioner. You responded as follows:

Dear Mr. Jones,

Thank you for contacting me with regard to the payment of Social Security monthly benefits in the event of a government default.

In the event of a government default, the government would lose authority to borrow more money, but it still will continue collecting regular tax revenue—which is substantial. The President is then responsible for prioritizing government expenditures, so it is up to him to decide which obligations are to be met. I see no reason whatsoever that President Obama would voluntarily chose not to pay Social Security recipients on time for the full amount of your monthly benefit.

I further believe—but cannot guarantee—that if the President were to chose to hold up Social Security checks that the Congress would ensure payments would be made up to recipients very quickly once an agreement on raising the debt limit is reached. But again, I see no need to interrupt Social Security benefits for even a few days.

Most importantly, I am hopeful that we will avoid such a situation entirely by reaching an agreement soon from the intense negotiations which are ongoing.

I absolutely understand how deeply many seniors rely on their Social Security checks for basic needs and that any interruption in benefits—even if only for a few days—would cause great difficulty for many seniors. As one member of Congress, I intend to do everything in my power to prevent that from happening.

These negotiations are contentious and intense because of the tremendous consequences for our country. We have to stop borrowing money because sooner or later it needs to be paid back with interest. It is immoral for the current generations of Americans to enslave the next generations to a mountain of debt.

Current plans to deal with the deficit take great pains to ensure that everyone over age 55 will keep receiving 100% of both your current Social Security benefits and stay on the current Medicare program. Again, there is absolutely no reason to delay the payment of Social Security benefit checks for even a few days because of any plans to deal with our national debt.

I do not support measures to change or reduce Social Security or Medicare benefits for current retirees or those about to retire in the next ten years. Beyond that, we are working on strengthening both programs to meet the needs of the next generations of Americans to retire and support themselves financially.

Thank you very much for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future with regard to this or any other issue.


My reply to you is this:

You and your party are wrecking this nation’s economy with your phony deficit hysteria. You are going to put millions more out of work and into poverty. How do you sleep at night?

I am sick of your talking points. Pull your head out and start thinking for yourself instead of parroting whatever madness Grover Norquist tells you to spout.

If I miss any Social Security checks I will hold you and your party responsible.

The GOP should grow up and govern or go out of business. Much more of this nonsense and maybe the voters will put you out of business.


Larry Jones

What Cenk Said

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Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Obama is losing the debate against the right by not engaging in it. His slightly firmer positions in the presser today were baby steps only.

Written by slothropia

June 29th, 2011 at 8:35 pm

What Atrios Says

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I agree with Ezra that creating jobs is more important than appearing to fight for jobs, whatever the hell that last one is, but at some point we’re going to have an election campaign. Trying to get through backroom deals which may or may not have much positive effect on the economy won’t be enough, either. At some point it’s time to explain what you would like to do for the economy, and why the bastards on the other side are against it.

And, if I may, doing so would be good politics as well as good policy. Ezra Klein disagrees, as you can see if you follow the link in the quote above. Part of Klein’s argument is as follows:

Ron Klain, former chief of staff to both Al Gore and Joe Biden, thinks President Obama needs to make more of a show of fighting for job-creating policies. “The greatest risk to the president will be if the American people believe the administration isn’t trying hard enough to tackle the jobs problem,” he writes. “That is why it is imperative for the administration to do more — proposing new ideas, initiatives and job-creation programs — and without delay. It may not succeed, but it must get ‘caught trying’ to do more to spur job creation.”

This advice appeals to me. It’s what I’d like to see happen. But I also think it’s wrong, and if I were advising President Obama, I’d advise him not to take it.

Ezra has a lot more faith in the Republicans acting rationally than I do. Meanwhile, Obama needs to make the case for more stimulus and job creation by the federal government. The current House may not go along, but by winning the economic debate, the President can help change the House from red to blue.

Written by slothropia

June 29th, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Obama Has a Problem

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Way back on June 4, just after we learned that the unemployment rate had gone back up to 9.1%, Carrie Budoff Brown and Glenn Thrush at Politico wrote a piece about how the President would have to adjust his re-election strategy to account for the dismal economy. One point they made was that Obama has tied at least one hand behind his back by ceding the austerity to the Republicans:

By ceding the argument to Republicans that the deficit is the problem, Obama helped steer the focus in Washington to cutting government spending, robbing the White House of its ability to argue for more stimulus measures. At the same time, the rise in fuel prices over the past six months has offset efforts late last year to boost consumer spending and job creation.

Responding to Politico, Digby wrote:

I don’t doubt that President Obama will be re-elected. The Republicans are offering no reasonable alternative and the Tea Party faction led by Paul Ryan is certifiably nuts. I’ll be shocked if they even come close. But that doesn’t absolve the administration of responsibility for coasting on the economy because Larry Summers assured them that everything would be fine by 2012. This economy has been going sideways for some time now and the no-drama Obama team should have awakened from their slumber and recognized it.

This week, Joan Walsh at Salon observes that Obama has lost his Bin Laden bump and his approval ratings have come back to Earth. Walsh is less sanguine about Obama’s chance for survival in 2012:

But I still see reason for Democrats to worry. Re-energizing the party’s progressive base is key to the president’s 2012 strategy, and some parts of the base are dissatisfied. AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka outlined his plan to pay more attention to his union’s own political structure and spend less on the Democratic Party and specific candidates, and other unions are saying the same thing. Particularly on the issue of the economy, there’s a risk of core constituencies being demoralized, and demobilized. Since I’ve been critical of the president before, let me say here that I don’t believe there were many concrete measures he could have taken to accelerate the recovery and reduce unemployment, because Republicans in Congress dug their heels in to fight on day one, and conservative Democrats wouldn’t go along, either. My main concern has been Obama’s failure to use his presidency to tell voters a story about our changing economy, and even when he didn’t have the votes in Congress, to lay out what he thought was the right course.

The point is Obama has disappointed a large portion of his base. It still seems hard to picture any Republican defeating him, but if unemployment remains high, and if the President does not seem to care or seems unwilling to offer solutions or lead the debate against the Republicans, the so called enthusiasm gap of 2010 can be repeated in 2012.

Most (but certainly not all) of the Democrats I talk to are fed up with Obama’s leadership, but see no alternative but to support his re-election. A primary challenge to the President would not surprise me. I would expect him to survive, even if the challenge is a strong one.

At the same time, Congressional Republicans have convinced millions that they are unfit to govern. The House is up for grabs (as long as Washington Democrats don’t give too much away in budget negotiations), and the Dems might do well in the Senate elections as well. Obama might need Nancy Pelosi’s coat tails to survive as President.

Written by slothropia

June 17th, 2011 at 8:28 pm

What New York 26 Says About Republicans

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Democrat Kathy Hochul won a special election over Republican Jane Corwin to represent New York’s 26th Congressional District last night. This was the first time a Democrat has won the district since the last ice age ended. Most observers attribute GOP failure in this election to the unpopularity of the Paul Ryan budget, which includes a provision to change Medicare from a single payer health insurance system to one where seniors would receive annual vouchers to pay part of the premiums for private health insurance.

Republicans spin defensively and blame the result on the Tea Party candidate, jack Davis split the GOP vote. But Davis got 8% of the vote Hochul pot 47% and Corwin 43%. Let’s be generous and give 6 of Davis’ points to Corwin. She’s up to 49% but so is Hochul. It’s still a disastrous result for the GOP.

The other excuse Republicans are offering is that Democrats “demagogued” over Medicare. Truthfully stating what a piece of legislation does apparently now counts as demagoguery.

Again, the consensus among pundits is that the Ryan budget and its changes to medicare gave the election to the Democrats, ut this did not happen in a vacuum. The political context the Republicans have helped create since the 2010 election also helps explain their current predicament.

Since their massive victories last November, Republicans at every level have demonstrated and inability to govern seriously. They have naked ly pushed a corporatist agenda in Washington and in every state capitol where they have power. As a result, governors like Scott in Florida, Walker in Wisconsin and Kasich in Ohio have earned low approval ratings and stiff opposition. Recently, a Democrat in Jacksonville Florida was elected Mayor for the first time since the end of the last ice age (again with the ice age reference?). A few weeks ago, voters in a deep red state assembly district in New Hampshire elected a Democrat in another special election.

House Republicans in Washington have joined the GOP circus as well. They were elected because voters were angry with the Democrats over the economy. Republicans also attacked Democrats for reforming Medicare, and many voters accepted the argument. Never mind how fair or logical any of this was. The voters expressed themselves, and they are always right.

Since taking power in the House the GOP has defunded Planned Parenthood, voted to repeal the affordable Care Act and passed the Ryan budget plan with its destruction of Medicare as we know it. No legislation to address unemployment has been considered or passed. The list of Republican silliness is much longer.

So yes, the GOP attack on Medicare played a big part in their loss in New York 26, but it may be that voters there were also sending Republicans about their entire approach to government.

Can they change their approach in time to retain control of the House next year? Will the Teabaggers let them?

Fortunately for the Republicans, the Democrats aren’t sure they want to win next year. How else to explain Steny Hoyer’s insistence today that Medicare is on the negotiating table?

The White House may also giver the republicans some comfort in the coming election cycle. President Obama’s job approval ratings went through the roof with the assassination of Bin Laden, but they are coming back down now. The economy is still bad, and unemployment is still uncomfortably high. If Obama and his party do not begin to show some interest in this issue, they could still lose the Presidency next year, though the GOP shows no sign of nominating a competitive candidate.

Written by slothropia

May 25th, 2011 at 8:33 pm

The Democrats’ Dilemma

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Paul Krugman has a column in today’s NY Times about how Washington is ignoring unemployment, the issue that is most important to U.S. voters:

Jobs do get mentioned now and then — and a few political figures, notably Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House, are still trying to get some kind of action. But no jobs bills have been introduced in Congress, no job-creation plans have been advanced by the White House and all the policy focus seems to be on spending cuts.

Recent polling also shows that voters in the U.S. are adamant that Social Security benefits not be cut. Digby today wrote about Representative paul Ryan’s response to Harry Reid’s statement that there will be no cuts to Social Security as long as harry Reid has anything to say about it. Ryan is quoted thusly:

I’m boggled. That just boggles my mind…I would argue, even though, it’s not really a driver of our debt, it’s not a significant part of our debt problems, it would build great confidence, fixing Social Security on a bipartisan basis, because it would tell not only the credit markets that Americans are getting their act together, it would buy us more time and space with them, it would show that our government’s not broken.

Digby then notes how Ryan and the White House may be drifting toward common ground, a common position, on Social Security cuts:

Now it’s possible that the Democrats will successfully use this to discredit Ryan on this subject and inform the American people that even the most strident safety net destroyers know that SS is not a deficit issue. And maybe the public is jaundiced enough about the “markets” that they will see this for the silly reasoning it is. Let’s hope so.

But the audience Ryan was trying to reach with that statement has just a little bit more power than all the rest of us put together on this. His name is Barack Obama and he has long signaled that he really, really, really wants to make a deal (aka the Grand Bargain).

And Ryan just backed Tim Geithner in what’s been reported as the battle for Obama’s soul within the White House:
Geithner and his lieutenants argue that benefits reform will give the markets confidence that Obama and Congress have the will to address the problem of long-term national debt…
I suspect Geithner is just blathering nonsensical CW and that Ryan is just lying outright, but if you don’t care about the reasoning, this sure looks like bipartisan agreement to me. And everyone knows we’ve got a president who loves bipartisanship.

I think I detect a disturbing pattern here (and I am far from alone in doing so). A majority of American voters, and a super majority of Democrats, liberals progressives and other assorted malcontents, want their government to be proactive about creating jobs It’s their top priority. At the same time they are unalterably opposed to ny reduction in Social Security benefits. In response – or more accurately, in non-response – the Obama administration ignores unemployment and plays footsie with the Randian wing nuts who want to privatize Social Security.

Anthony Weiner and other House progressives are not satisfied with Obama’s leadership on these and other vital issues:

“We’ve spent a lot of time waiting for Godot when it comes to the Obama White House, and we kind of — to some degree — have to internalize the idea that, you know what? That’s probably not the way to go,” Weiner said. “We have to start initiating some of this.”

In regards to Obama’s approach to budget battles and the labor strife instigated by right wing Republicans and the budget , Dennis Kucinich has this to day:

The only regret I have is that the White House isn’t fighting back against this. It’s one thing to say, ‘Well, I stand behind the workers — how far behind, I don’t know.’ It’s another thing to say, ‘I stand with them and in front of them to protect their rights.’ And I’m waiting for that to happen.

Here’s the problem for the Democratic party: They nominated a Democrat in Senator Obama and elected a Republican President. Of course, not every action of President Obama has aided the conservative cause, but a lot of the big decisions he has made have done just that. The wars continue while millionaires and billionaires keep their tax cuts.

Can the Democratic party afford to renominate a small c conservative Republican enabler for President in 2012? Can they afford no to renominate a sitting President who still claims to be a Democrat? Scylla and Charybdis. A rock and a hard place.

The Republicans are split right now between a few moderates and a relatively pragmatic establishment on one hand and the certifiable right on the other. Will Barack Obama eventually precipitate a split in the Democratic party between aforementioned small c conservatives and a GOP enabling right wing versus a progressive, liberal wing?

Written by slothropia

March 17th, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Wisconsin Update With Eyewitness Account

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The Governor of Wisconsin wants to clear demonstrators form the state Capitol building. Last night TPM reported:

Madison, WI — In a major victory for the protesters at the Wisconsin state Capitol — who were supposed to clear out at 4 p.m. CT today, but have remained inside in the hundreds — Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs has announced that those protesters still in the building will be able to stay the night.

Protesters will be able to sleep on the ground floor, as cleaning is done of the upper floors. Tubbs said there had been no decisions made yet on what the policy would be for successive nights.

“There will be no arrests, as we said before, there will be no use of force,” Tubbs said. “We want the people to continue to cooperate and work within the guidelines and the laws of the state of Wisconsin. So there’ll be no one asked to leave the Capitol tonight.”

Michael Perillo of the Peoria Area Peace Network was in Madison yesterday and here is what he saw:

Sun, February 27, 2011 8:07:30 PM
Protesters in Madison Capitol Building

I’m in Madison, WI right now. I left the Capitol building not too long ago after police gave the last warning for everyone to leave. I thought I wasn’t going to make it out. From what I’ve heard, the police decided not to arrest those who stayed behind to risk arrest. Instead, they are staying together as one. The police are even handing out bedding for the protesters to sleep on. I’m still trying to figure out in my head what I just saw. I will always remember what happened in that rotunda today, until the day I die.

I’m at a local radio station and using their computer. I have to leave in a hurry, but I just filmed a lot of what happened in the rotunda of the Capitol Building and will share more of it later this week. I have two of those videos posted at youtube. These activists are standing strong, and though it did get heated for a moment between the each other, there was no violence. Please circulate these videos.

Also courtesy of Michael, here are two videos of events in the capitol building.

Bruce Springsteen and Tom Merello played Madison a few days ago in support of the effort there. Here is a video of the two of them performing “The Ghost of Tom Joad” in 2009:

Written by slothropia

February 28th, 2011 at 10:37 am

Aaron Schock, Destroyer of the Middle class

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Well, the holidays are over and I’m out of egg nog so it’s time to climb out of my cozy little burrow and engage the world, or at least the blogosphere, once more.

And I have drafted a provocative title for my first post holiday post, no? Do I really mean to say that Aaron Schock is trying to destroyed the middle class in the U.S.? Why yes, yes I do. Please allow me to ‘splain.

Schock is a Republican, and the Republicans in congress do not talk much these days about unemployment and the need to create jobs. They do talk a lot about “balancing the budget” and reducing federal spending. They see the deficit and national debt as a crisis but unemployment not so much. What most economists will tell you however is that it is going to be pretty hard to do much about deficits until unemployment is solved.

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s my favorite Nobel Economics laureate, Paul Krugman:

What the government should be doing in this situation is spending more while the private sector is spending less, supporting employment while those debts are paid down. And this government spending needs to be sustained: we’re not talking about a brief burst of aid; we’re talking about spending that lasts long enough for households to get their debts back under control. The original Obama stimulus wasn’t just too small; it was also much too short-lived, with much of the positive effect already gone.

It’s true that we’re making progress on deleveraging. Household debt is down to 118 percent of income, and a strong recovery would bring that number down further. But we’re still at least several years from the point at which households will be in good enough shape that the economy no longer needs government support.

But wouldn’t it be expensive to have the government support the economy for years to come? Yes, it would — which is why the stimulus should be done well, getting as much bang for the buck as possible.

But of course, Schock and his reactionary party opposed the inadequate stimulus proposed by Obama and disposed by Congressional Democrats. stimulus Obama supported. And based on the year end tax cut sell out and GOP rhetoric, Republicans don’t care about the deficit anyway, as long as taxes for the wealthy are cut and the rich become richer.

On December 30 of last year the Peoria Journal Star published one of their periodic puff pieces written by Karen McDonald and based on an interview with Rep. Schock (or maybe just a press release – hard to tell) in an attempt to convince Schock’s constituents that he has their best interests at heart, that he is working to make life better for the good people of the fightin’ 18th. The piece, touches on the plans Schock and the GOP have for the upcoming congress:

Schock recently was appointed to Congress’ most powerful committee – the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee – for the 112th Congress. It also has jurisdiction over trade policies, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and Medicare, among other responsibilities.

He said top priorities for the new Congress will be approval of the nation’s free trade agreement with South Korea – recently reworked from its original 2007 form to address concerns from both sides – and free trade agreements with Colombia and Panama. They are important to growing the agriculture economy in the 18th District and manufacturing base, Schock said.

When Congress reconvenes Jan. 5, Republicans will be in charge of the House and hold more seats in the Senate.

“We can’t fix the unfunded liabilities in our entitlement programs and make significant cuts in federal spending with just a Republican House. These efforts will require bipartisan support,” Schock said.

So Schock wants to “fix the unfunded liabilities in our entitlement programs and make significant cuts in federal spending “. That is, he wants to cut and/or privatize social security and medicare while taking demand out of the economy during a period of high unemployment and under employment. So why would anyone who is not stinking rich vote for this guy?

Is it just me or does it not seem odd that Schock fails to mention a determination to fix unemployment as his primary goal in the upcoming Congressional session? He seems to think that trade deals will give the economy a boost, based apparently on the success of NAFTA in creating new employment in this country . Caterpillar, a major employer in Schock’s district, have created a lot of new jobs recently – in other countries.

Schock has it easy since getting the GOP nomination in Illinois 18 back in’06. His political life could become more interesting now that Illinois has lost a seat in the House of Representatives. He may find himself running in a district not so friendly to GOPers and Tea Baggers next time. Maybe that will encourage the Congressman to moderate his views and join with the Democrats on some House votes. But I doubt it.

Written by slothropia

January 4th, 2011 at 12:21 pm