|No Fear of Freedom||
|Anti-right rants from an obnoxious lumpen proletarian. Aiming to Arm the Choir.|
July 30, 2004
Ain't That Peculiar, Baby?There were reports not so long ago that Bushco was pressuring Pakistan to capture major terrorist figures before the election, and especially on July 27, 28, and 29. And now this report:
Embassy bombings figure captured in Pakistan
A major al-Qaeda operative, who had a $25 million bounty on his head for his alleged role in the 1998 bombings at U.S. embassies in East Africa, has been captured by Pakistani authorities, federal law enforcement and intelligence officials said Thursday.Peculiar as can be. (Hey, it's not my fault my life comes with a soundtrack. Blame my mother. Or Rock and Roll. Or FDR. I don't care.)
posted 7:30 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 29, 2004
More on Repukes Gutting ConstitutionDum Luks posted the following in the comments section regarding the Repukelican House o' Reps attempt to destroy the independent judiciary and all rights for everybody.
Kevin Drum gives the constitution quote which may be interpreted to give congress the power to make 'exceptions' to the judiciary's power.
I don't know what Drum actually posted, and I'm not sure I care. He worries me. Here is all of Article 3, Section 2:
Section 2. The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, under their authority;--to all cases affecting ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls;--to all cases of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction;--to controversies to which the United States shall be a party;--to controversies between two or more states;--between a state and citizens of another state;--between citizens of different states;--between citizens of the same state claiming lands under grants of different states, and between a state, or the citizens thereof, and foreign states, citizens or subjects.Now, II read that as, in part, in all cases where a state is a party, the Supremes have original jurisdiction. I see nowhere where the Congress is given the right to make exceptions or regulations regarding original jurisdiction.
It seems odd to me that it has taken over 200 years for Congress to claim that it can restrict the court in this way. It seem stranger to me that our vaunted "free," "liberal" press is not talking to a bunch of people who are Constitutional scholars. I think a lot of us would be very interested.
If, somehow, this idiocy does stand up, then it's time to change the Constitution, and fast. Don't kid yourself for a second that this is about Gay marriage or Gay rights. This is about everybody's rights. What if the Congress had forbidden the Court to rule in Brown vs. Board of Education? Jose Padilla (as in, kiss habeas corpus goodbye)? Habeas corpus only goes back to at least 1679. But pick any right for anyone. All of a sudden all our rights will be subject to the whims of a majority of the lechislature where, as we know, the biggest lechers are Repukes. And why not? It's easy to be a lecher when you flat don't give a shit about other people.
posted 1:42 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 25, 2004
Be All The Guinea Pig You Can BeReport: Bigger breasts offered as perk to soldiers
NEW YORK (Reuters) -- The U.S. Army has long lured recruits with the slogan "Be All You Can Be," but now soldiers and their families can receive plastic surgery, including breast enlargements, on the taxpayers' dime.That's quite a perk - if you're dumb enough to let a military doctor do elective surgery on you. My wife has a scar on her belly 12 inches long and an inch wide, and it's jagged. An Air Force surgeon cut her for some female plumbing problem. Army doctors are thought to be worse than Army cooks. The cooks kill only a very few soldiers. The doctors not only kill more, they mutilate the rest. And think about this:
The magazine quoted an Army spokeswoman as saying, "the surgeons have to have someone to practice on."
posted 11:27 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Good QuestionWhat ever happened to conservative Republicans?
by Gerald Plessner
Plessner says we need a new term to describe Republicans because they're obviously not conservative any more. I agree. He suggests the term orthodox. Orthodox what I'm not sure, except in the case of Republican Libertarians, who he would call orthodox Libertarians. I disagree. I like to call them radicals, but in the cases of far right Republicans, the neocons and Bushco, I prefer a stronger term. Fascists. I wouldn't put Libertarians, or libertarians, in that category though. Having read a fair amount about libertarianism, and about as much Ayn Rand as any normal person can stomach, I'm inclined to put Libertarians in a different category. Damn fools. (Hate mail welcomed.)
You don't do the right thing by following the right rules. You do the right thing by looking at each situation and figuring out the most effective way to do the right thing. Rigid rules are a hindrance, not the road to salvation. At any rate, Plessner is right that Republicans aren't conservatives anymore, and they haven't been for a long time. Maybe there's a way to lump them all into one category. How about dickheads?
posted 9:45 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 23, 2004
Why I Hate "Conservatives"Because they're evil rat bastards, that's why. Decent people don't sign on to this sort of bullshit.
Hysteria, race, and reality, from Orcinus.
The [Seattle] Times also ran columns by noted conservative Henry McLemore, who frequently attacked the presence of Japanese descendants on the West Coast. In one column, headlined, "This Is War! Stop Worrying About Hurting Jap Feelings," McLemore fulminated: "...I am for the immediate removal of every Japanese on the West Coast to a point deep in the interior. I don't mean a nice part of the interior, either. Herd 'em up, pack 'em off and give 'em the inside room of the badlands. Let 'em be pinched, hurt, hungry and dead up against it. ... Personally, I hate the Japanese. And that goes for all of them."Nowadays, it's Muslims instead, but they were evil motherfuckers then, and they're evil motherfuckers now. They use "pragmatism" as an excuse for the racist bile. Fuck "conservatives." I have no intention of trying to reason with such people. They're not reasonable people. What would be the point?
My only intention is to call evil motherfuckers evil motherfuckers, and, if they dare to attack the decent folks, do all in my power to kick their nasty asses. To paraphrase Sonny Boy Williamson II, motherfuck the motherfuckin' "conservatives." And when I write "conservatives," I mean right wing, fascist, little Dick Cheney heads.
posted 2:32 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Bush Panders To BlacksActually I think he's pandering to whites who don't want to think they belong to a racist party. He's gotta know he ain't gonna swing a significant number of black votes.
Bush Urges Blacks Not to Back Democrats
The president suggested perhaps the Democratic Party had started taking black voters for granted.Did Dems earn it? No. Do they deserve it? No. But its Dems or Repukes, and most blacks would have to be crazy to vote GOP. But check this:
[Bush] did not mention his opposition to affirmative action in a case that touched off opposition in Michigan and nationwide.In other words, affirmative action in education is divisive, unfair and, worst of all, unconstitutional. But affirmative action to expand minority business ownership is perfectly OK! Good thing for Bush that his re-election chances apparently don't depend on his actually making sense. Ya know, I 'bout half-ass understand the whole mythos over logos thing, but logos hasn't taken this kind of pounding in quite some time.
posted 11:11 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 22, 2004
Surprise! More GOP Lies.How do you tell when the fascist wing of the GOP is lying? Their lips are moving. (That's also how you can tell when the lead singer's off key.)
Cheney Urges Cap on Malpractice Awards
A report by the Department of Health and Human Services found that expenses traceable to legal liability fears contribute between $60 billion and $108 billion a year to the total $1.6 trillion health care bill. Legislation imposing a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages would result in 4 million more people receiving health insurance, according to Congress's Joint Economic Committee.
That would be a savings of 3.75% to 6.75%. Onliest thing is:
An analysis by the Congressional Budget Office said the malpractice bill would benefit physicians and the government but would reduce private health insurance premiums a scant 0.4 percent.
Hmm. Who to believe? The serial liars of Bushco, or the CBO. That's a tuffy.
"The Bush administration largely gets it backwards," said Columbia University law professor and physician William M. Sage. "They say health care is expensive because of lawsuits. I say lawsuits are expensive because of our health care system."I'm inclined to believe him, too, because Bushco always gets it wrong. WMD? Iraqis welcoming US troops? The cost of the war? How long US troops would be in Iraq? The cost of the Medicare prescription drug bill? This list could go on and on.
posted 5:50 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
House Votes to Destroy Independent JudiciaryHouse Votes to Curb Same-Sex Marriage
Their headline gets it wrong, mine gets it right. If I had more room I'd have added Removes Annoying Check/Balance That Founding Fathers Foolishly Placed in Constitution.
The House measure, also supported by the administration, offers a different approach. It would forbid federal judges from requiring one state to recognize a same-sex marriage licensed in another.This is not a new idea. The fascist wing of the Republican Party has pushed other bills that would end the more than two century old idea of an independent judiciary.
"I rise in defense of the Constitution, in defense of the separation of powers," said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, a Maryland Democrat. "What's next? No judicial review of laws that restrict freedom of speech or religion?"I would love to know where in the Constitution Congress is given the power to tell the judiciary what it can and cannot rule on. I can't find it.
I'm pretty happy with lifetime appointments of independent judges who interpret the Constitution. Where I think an extra check on the judiciary should be added is in the confirmation process. It should definitely require a 2/3s vote to confirm any federal judge. That would make it far more likely that fair and moderate judges would be confirmed.
If Congress can tell the judiciary what to do, then we have no check at all, but merely a bureaucracy subordinate to Congress. In that case, kiss all your rights goodbye. Congress will be able to change them whenever they want with a mere majority vote.
While Democrats called the bill unprecedented, backers said Congress had moved before to limit courts' authority on matters from cleaning up hazardous waste to protecting trees.Now this shit really pisses me off. Democrats said. Backers said. How the hell hard would it be for the reporter to find out the truth of the matter and put it in the story? Nothin' but friggin' stenographers. Journalism has devolved into little more than a Satanic joke.
posted 5:17 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Repukes Just Love Black FolkReport Reveals Bush Administration Has Blocked Court-Approved Payments to Black Farmers
Aggressive legal tactics by the Bush administration have deliberately undermined a landmark 1997 civil rights settlement with African-American farmers, turning the claims process into another chapter in a long history of discriminatory treatment by the US Department of Agriculture.Funny how this shit keeps happening to black folks at the hands of Republicans, ain't it? Cute how Ronnie Da Raygun, that wonderful man, eliminated the USDA's Office of Civil Rights. Astonishing how Repukes nevertheless whine constantly about blacks not voting Republican.
posted 1:18 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 21, 2004
American Lives Are The Important LivesNot long ago I posted about how some Muslims think that non-Muslims are less than human, or at least less than Muslim humans. Just more evidence of the evil nature of Islam. Uh-huh.
Security Remains an Issue, but U.S. Envoy Is Hopeful
On one point, Negroponte was clear: The United States would oppose any effort by the Iraqi interim government to grant amnesty to fighters who have participated in attacks on Americans. Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has said that the government is working on a broad amnesty proposal for insurgents.
So this administration feels it's OK to grant amnesty to those who've attacked Iraqis, just not to those who've attacked Americans. Because Iraqis are less human relative to Americans. Just more evidence of the evil nature of the fascist (dominant) wing of the Repukelican Party. (My comment about Islam and evil was sarcastic. My comment about the Bush fascists was not. I know you right wingers have a hard time figuring this shit out.)
NOTE: I've been fighting a computer problem the last few days and it really cut into my posting. I think I've got it mostly fixed now.
posted 3:10 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 18, 2004
Sounds Like Bush All OverFormer HBS Prof Blasts Bush
Bush called the film, The Grapes of Wrath, corny. Corny. I think we can fairly assume that he never read Steinbeck's book. It's the response of a man who has no idea what compassion is.
Tsurumi - now a professor of international business at Baruch College in the City University of New York - said he remembers the future president as scoring in the bottom 10 percent of students in the class.
It's only one man's word, but that shoe's sure a nice fit.
posted 8:10 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Conservative Forces Deliver The GoodsCivil Service Has Morphed Into U.S. Inc.
Diminishing the government workforce increases the role of private contractors, and the mixed results go undebated.
Heh. Mixed results is too generous an assessment. Largely unknown results is more like it.
BOSTON — For two decades, Congress has been engaged in a bipartisan effort to shrink the size of government. But today, although fewer people appear on federal payrolls, more people than ever work for the U.S. government.So, the great "conservative" push to "reduce" government has been a wild success. I'm serious. It's had exactly the results they were hoping for: a huge transfer of taxpayer money from government to the "private sector." And let's all just admit, right here, right now, the Democrats are conservatives. The Republicans are the far right.
Nobody represents liberal (Progressive, socialist, whatever. You can call it what you want to, I call it messin' with the kid.) goals on economic issues. That's why the Dems have lost the working class. And the reason is money. Dems want to tap into that same motherlode the Repukes have: The wealthy elites. They figure they can get away with social "liberalism" as long as they don't challenge the wealthy on the issues they truly hold near and dear. That was the DLC plan, and look how well it's worked. The Dems will be lucky to ever get back in power.
Nobody knows exactly how many contractors the government employs. Paul Light of the Brookings Institution estimates that the federal budget funds a "shadow government" of nearly 6 million contractors, about half of them in defense. That means contractors outnumber civil servants and military personnel by a ratio of 2 to 1.I'd be willing to bet that we don't get value for money. Between the profit margins demanded and the rampant fraud in government contracting, I can't see how the contractors can be more efficient from the point of view of the taxpayer.
Finally, how should this large and growing army of workers be managed? The rules governing how and what the government buys are designed to ensure fair competition. But more than half of government contracts are awarded without full competition, according to Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan budget analyst. Giant contractors have become adept at gaming the system. Once firms win big contracts — often using low-ball initial cost estimates — the government becomes so dependent on their services that it's almost impossible to get rid of them.This privatization idiocy coupled with the deregulation idiocy is laying waste to America. People seem to think there was never any reason for regulations or government agencies. They seem to think they were forced on unwilling voters by evil liberals like Teddy Roosevelt and FDR. They've apparently never read American history other than that they found in their approved text books. Where has deregulation helped the small consumer? Not in Pennsylvania, sure as hell not in California or the Northwest. Dennis Kucinich was practically run out of Cleveland for refusing to privatize the city electric utility. He later returned as a hero after people saw that he had absolutely done the right thing, and saved them money.
People really need to hold their collective breath until Bush Bum's voluntary pollution controls kick in and people stop getting seriously sick and even dying from air pollution. Only they can't, cause they ain't never gonna kick in. Voluntary regulations are idiotic, no surprise in Bush's case. If it was something they were gonna do voluntarily anyway, no one would've suggested regulation.
And privatization is almost certainly costing us more money for less service. It sure ain't savin' us any money. So what was the point? Oh, yeah, to put more money in the pockets of the rich. It's only right. After all, they own the government.
posted 7:12 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 17, 2004
Bush Must Be A MagicianBush Extends Debate on Values to Children
Drug use and violent crime among teenagers have decreased dramatically, while children raised in households with married parents are less likely to live in poverty, the president said Saturday in his weekly radio address. He cited a newly issued government report to claim progress.And Bushy Boy's takin' credit for all this. But:
U.S. teen birth rate hits record low in '02
Twenty-three girls per 1,000, ages 15 to 17, gave birth in 2002, a decrease of 40 percent since 1991, according to the report. Births among girls ages 18 to 19 also dropped to historic lows. The largest decreases were among black teens, who once had the highest rates.So teen birth rates declined at an average of 3.33% per year from 1991 to 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available. In 2001, they declined by 8%, which is a chunk but I don't see how Bush could have had anything to do with it. In 2002, they declined by 5.5%, also quite good, also not enough time for Bush to have anything to do with it. What, did he save our children with the sheer magic of his magnetic personality?
The Bushies will try to make you imagine that the other stats, violence, drugs, alcohol, make a bit better case for Bush, but I don't see how. Don't programs take a while to set up and a while longer to have an effect? Has Bush even started any, or is he just promising to? I'm sure he's claimin' credit for someone else's work here.
posted 4:16 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Damned, Anti-Values Hollywood LiberalsThen there's them pro-family values Republicans:
Sex pros get ready for party
With thousands of Republicans set to invade the city this summer, high-priced escorts and strippers are preparing for one grand old party. Agencies are flying in extra call girls from around the globe to meet the expected demand during the Aug. 30-Sept. 2 gathering at Madison Square Garden.Tip O'The Tam to Omnium.
posted 8:54 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
GOP's War on Workers ContinuesNLRB Nixes Unions for Graduate Students, posted at From the Trenches, shows how much the Repukes and their NLRB care about basic human rights. The right of workers to organize is considered fundamental to democracy in less fascist parts of the world.
posted 7:28 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Any Lie At All -- Fox "News"FOX guest cited phantom poll to blast NAACP and boost Bush
posted 7:08 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
The "Liberal" Media's Double StandardCable coverage of Whoopi Goldberg's v. Dennis Miller's remarks: 19-2
posted 6:18 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 16, 2004
How Madness Masquerades As SanityI'm not sure I like the title of this piece, but I sure like what it talks about.
U.S.: Patriotic Pride and Fear
posted 11:34 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 15, 2004
How To "Bias" The NewsOne Man's Flip Is Another Man's Flop , from CJR's Campaign Desk.
The Bush campaign has been remarkably successful at getting the press to buy the notion that John Kerry is a flip-flopper.And this despite the fact that it can be, and has been, thoroughly documented that Bush is the flip-flopper-in-chief. The incredible pro-Republican bias of the media can only be explained if it is the result of a giant conspiracy. Well, actually, no. You can't maintain a conspiracy that big. Campaign Desk touches on part of the explanation.
This isn't because the press is "biased" in favor of Bush. Rather, it's because the press is biased towards pre-existing storylines -- and because it allows itself to be unduly swayed by negative attacks made by the campaigns. If the GOP is more aggressive than the Democrats in drawing reporters' attention to possible instances of their opponent flip-flopping -- and they are -- then those instances will receive more press attention. Thus the press ignored Bush's about-face, both because Democrats haven't made an issue of it, and because it doesn't fit the accepted image of the president as "strong but stubborn."In other words, reporters are lazy. That ain't it either. The Columbia Journalism Review has the real story. A tale of the decline of a formerly great newspaper as written by an award winning reporter who was there. What's Become of the PROJO's Mojo? Why I Quit. If you care at all about why the media is such a mess today, read the whole story. It's a tale that's been repeated at nearly every corporate owned daily in the country.
The short version is they cut the shit out of the reporting staff and editors started treating reporters like drones, telling them what they would cover instead of asking them what they were working on. When five reporters on a beat are replaced by three, and three are replaced by one, sumpin's gotta give, y'all. Ya know, like spadework.
Yer on deadline and overworked, it's just a lot easier to repeat whatever the campaigns or the government spokesman are saying. Re-writing press releases is a helluva lot easier than doing in depth reporting. Pre-existing story lines save a lot of time too. Investigative reporters have all but disappeared, partly, maybe mostly, due to pressure to improve the corporate bottom line.
Add to this the PR firms working behind the scenes, the right wing think tanks and publications, and all the rest of the propaganda apparatus funded by right wing billionaires and corporations, and you can see how a reporter with very little time to check facts or dig deeper into the press release he's been handed will end up just regurgitating the right wing line.
posted 11:27 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Wow! A Democratic Economic Decision.Gas wealth fuels populist experiment in Bolivia
SANTA CRUZ, BOLIVIA – For centuries, Bolivian laborers toiled to unearth silver, gold, and tin, only to see most of the wealth benefit a small number of elites and foreigners.And all it took was for the country to be so close to violent revolution by the poor that the elites are scared shitless. Kinda how things were in the US during the depression. Is that what it takes to get the people to stand up for themselves?
posted 10:40 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Illinois Goes DemocraticAnd over, of all things, cultural issues. I used to have parents-in-law from Illinois who were rock-ribbed Republicans. You can imagine how thrilled they were with me. One time my father-in-law, a devout Catholic who never used foul language, called me the worst epithet he could think of. "Oh," he said, "you're a free thinker." I'd never heard that phrase used as a curse before.
Like a surprising, to me, number of people, they were Repubs because they were born Repubs. There are Dems like this too, people who seem to think their political party and their vote are determined the same way as their religion and nationality. You vote for the party you're born into. Period. But it seems Illinois is losing its religion.
Suburb shift turns state blue
Of course, much of the change is due to that social liberalism. I used to get that crap from elitest reporters all the time. "Oh, I'm socially liberal, but fiscally conservative." As if they were incapable of understanding that what they were really saying was, "It's wrong to mistreat people because of their race or sexual orientation, but fuck the poor."
Oh well. I'll take it. Not voting for Repukes is at least a step on the road.
posted 10:23 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Columbine Father's Petition Drive
I am writing to you and a few other bloggers asking for help. My name is Tom Mauser and my son Daniel was killed at Columbine High School. If we don’t stand up to President Bush and the NRA right now, the assault weapons ban will expire and AK47s and Uzis will be back on our streets.Not that extending the assault weapons ban is unimportant, but the most important line in Tom Mauser's email is ". . . prove that bloggers can make a difference!" I'm a little worn down right now. The lies go on and on and on. Not just the politicians, but the media spin masters called pundits, reporters, astroturf campaigns . . . don't even get me started on TV news. TV news is to information what GW Bush is to honesty. Like Neil Young said, "Rust never sleeps." But I have to.
I feel like every campaign from now on will start from the premise that the candidate who best distorts reality wins, and the American people will be the losers. Yeah, I know that's not completely new, but the awful level it has descended to is unprecedented, and I doubt it's ever going to crawl out again. Still, to have any chance of ever making this government serve the interests of the majority instead of the elites, we've got to prove we can move voters. This is one way to do it. Here's the link to my petition page. I've also added it to the sidebar. I hope other bloggers will use the link in Tom's email to add their blogs to the fight.
posted 9:38 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Thatcherism (And Reaganism) KillsInequality Kills You
In fact, inequality in status leads to higher stress for those with less power and status, so argues a new book, Status Syndrome: How Your Social Standing Directly Affects Your Health and Life Expectancy.
I've made that argument meself and now Nathan Newman helps back me up.
posted 2:04 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
This Was The Right Thing To DoPassengers Give Troops First-Class Seats
posted 1:41 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 14, 2004
Any Lie At All -- The NY PostNew York Post rewrote 2000 election history Like they're the only ones.
A July 12 New York Post editorial informed readers that there was no evidence Florida voters were disenfranchised in the 2000 presidential election. The paper -- owned by media mogul Rupert Murdoch -- editorialized: "There is no credible evidence that a single voter was disenfranchised in 2000 for any reason whatsoever. Not one."
posted 5:29 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
It Sure Disgusts MeAlso via Brad DeLong:
Matt [Yglesias] is bewildered, perhaps because he read Max Weber's Politik als Beruf at too early an age, found it convincing, and cannot conceive of people who approach politics not as a way to fight for a better world but as an arena for self-expression. If he could grasp that today's Naderite left is concerned with little other than striking an aesthetically correct oppositional stance, he would be less bewildered (but, I think, more disgusted).Just more friggin' elitists, in this case politically (or aesthetically) correct elitists. Another way to say, "I'm better than you." OK, we all have that tendency, but when that tendency leads you to assist in the destruction of America well, sorry, I can't just let it go. It's way past time for the Naderites to rejoin reality.
posted 4:28 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Giving Bushwa The Benefit Of The DoubtFrom Michael Isikoff via Brad DeLong:
The CIA official quickly responded: "Let's keep in mind the fact that this war's going to happen regardless of what Curve Ball said or didn't say," he wrote. "The Powers That Be probably aren't terribly interested in whether Curve Ball knows what he's talking about."The benefit of the doubt in this case amounts to, "Yeah, I believe that in the run-up to the war the Administration might have been so certain it was right that it was unwilling to hear the truth." Which hardly amounts to saying, "Oh, well that's OK, then."
Did they lie or were they delusional? Ever the question, though I don't know why. It's certainly one or the other, and the one's just as bad as the other. How in the hell can anybody vote for this guy?
posted 4:13 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 11, 2004
Real Good News - Union DivisionI'm sick to death of "leftists" and "progressives," who know about as much about the labor movement as your average ignorant, half-wit right winger, dumping on unions. The AFL-CIO has started a community affiliate organization, Working America, for non-union folks. From the NYT, via Nathan Newman:
The A.F.L.-C.I.O. quietly began this effort last year in two cities and has expanded it to a total of 400 canvassers in 10 cities, including Cleveland, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Tampa, Fla. The aim is to enlist one million nonunion people to join the labor federation's new community affiliate, Working America. Thousands of people who have signed up have joined hands with union members to send President Bush letters and e-mail messages opposing changes in overtime rules and urging an end to tax breaks that encourage companies to send jobs overseas.Yeah buddy, way to lie your ass off. Now explain this:
She said the time was opportune to create Working America, because for the first time in years opinion polls show that most Americans would like to join a union, but many are unable to do so because of intense opposition by employers.
Unions have been severely damaged not by their own mistakes and flaws, though they certainly have flaws and have made mistakes, but by a sharp rightward turn in government that has turned labor law intended to help unions into a weapon for destruction of unions. In the last two decades unions have tried, and generally failed, to find a way around that hard reality. Now, I think the AFL-CIO may have hit on the right strategy. We have got to organize and educate people. We have got to help the Dem Party realize that they will always be the ugly stepsister to the Repukes when it comes to the wealthy elites and corporate money. Politicians want power, that's their main thing. Really, there's not much point in being a politician if you don't have power. We have got to show the Dems that we can deliver that power with large numbers of people, votes, instead of money, though we can probably come up with a fair amount of money as well.
It's all about organizing. How many of you "left-of-center" types who bash unions are doing any organizing? Every organizer I've ever met or read about, and I'm including community organizers, has been pro-union. Even in its weakened condition, the labor movement has an organizing framework from which to begin.
In one of his last messages from his death row cell, Joe Hill sent a telegram to fellow Wobbly "Big Bill" Haywood. The message would emerge as a rallying cry for workers and protestors for generations to come:
UPDATE: Service Employees International Union is doing the same thing with Purple Ocean.
posted 7:39 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Had Enough Horseshit Yet? A "Booming" Economy.Nathan Newman links to a commentary by Stephen Roach, of the notoriously left wing firm Morgan Stanley. Roach argues that the jobs created in this "recovery" have skewed largely toward the low wage sectors. I know, this is supposedly still arguable. But Roach also notes:
An even more dramatic picture of the quality of recent job growth emerges from the survey of households. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the count of nonfarm persons at work part time — both for economic and non-economic reasons — increased by 495,000 over the February to June 2004 interval. That amounts to an astonishing 97% of the cumulative increase of 509,000 in total nonagricultural employment as captured by the household survey over this period.Ya might wanna read that again. Fully 97% of nonagricultural jobs created were part time. Remember what the Repukelicans so desperately want to say, and in one case did say. "It's the booming economy stupid." And we supposed to say, "Thankya, massa Bush."
Newman concludes with:
This "recovery" is like no other in post-WWII history. Job growth is anemic and the jobs created generally stink. Profits are soaring, wages are stagnant, and benefits are being slashed.Hmm, what's happened since WWII? Oh, I know! I know! America's moved way far to the right.
I don't have much more respect for the Democratic Party's leadership and pols than I do for Repukes. They're both tools of the wealthy elite. But I have quite a bit more respect for the Dems rank and file. The Dems can be changed for the better because of them, and the far right has provided a map for how to do it. And no, it doesn't involve voting for Nader or the Greens. Starting after the defeat of Goldwater in 1964, they worked their asses off to change the once relatively respectable Republican Party into the deranged (Supply side economics?), Confederate flag waving, NAACP snubbing Repukelican Party we know and hate today.
They did it by working from the inside, capturing county chairmanships, delegate slots, school board seats, etc. I think the same thing can be done with the Democratic Party. Republicans were moved far to the right and the Dems moved right with them, effectively moving the center much farther to the right. We can move the Dems to the left. At least, we sure as hell better try. This is a two party system, which I hate, but if it's ever gonna change, one of the major parties will have to change it. There just isn't any other way. And holding your progressive nose and voting Democratic is where it starts, but it's not where it ends.
posted 6:43 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 10, 2004
Civilization's Gonna Die!Bush Presses Case Against Gay Marriage
WASHINGTON - President Bush says legalizing gay marriage would redefine the most fundamental institution of civilization and that a constitutional amendment is needed to protect it.What in the fuck is it with the right wing and the downfall of civilization?
Gay marriage will threaten civilization! Terrorism, if not utterly eliminated from existence, will destroy civilization! Britney Spears will cause the downfall of civilization! OK, that last one might be true.
What in the hell do right wingers think civilization is, a house of cards? I got news for you goofuses. Civilization ain't all that fragile. It's been around for 1,000s of years and survived a lot worse than anything facing us today, except nukes or maybe environmental disaster. And it'll take a fair number of nukes to end civilization. One here and there ain't gonna do it.
Anybody who's buying that stupid-ass argument needs to have their head examined, and soon. Opposition to gay marriage is based on nothing more than superstition, not that I'm expecting the majority of Americans to recognize that any time soon.
Uh when my right hand itches -- I gets money for sho'
But when God talks to me -- that's psychosis, don't cha know.
posted 4:12 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
OK, Now It's Good NewsFla. Scraps Flawed Felon Voting List
But if a judge hadn't ordered the state to release the list, the public would never have known about the serious flaws.
posted 4:07 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Time For GOP To Stop WhiningBushCo initially claimed that Bush couldn't address the NAACP due to scheduling conflicts. Not surprisingly, that was a lie. It turns out Bush won't address the NAACP because they hurt his widdle feelings. Seeing the Forest has a little exercise in, well, seeing the forest on this issue.
All I gotta say is it's way past time for the Repukes to quit whining that blacks don't vote Repukelican. I only know one black Republican and you'd never know he was black except that he makes it a point to tell you. He's family. He's a Military officer currently in Iraq, his second tour, and I'm not too sure he's gonna be voting for Bushy Boy this time around. His poor wife's worried sick and I doubt she will either.
For you right wing assholes who think I don't support the troops, tell me, you think I want family killed over there? I've never done anything but support the troops. It's that smirking jackass in the White House who's never faced fire in his life that I don't support
posted 3:28 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Sumpin' Still Smells Funny In FloridaUnintentional, My Ass
Somehow, Florida managed leave nearly all Hispanic felons off their voter purge list, and Florida may be the only state in the union where Hispanics are more likely to vote Republican than Democrat. Feature that.
posted 10:08 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
The "Values" DebateFirst things first, I criticized Richard "Little Dick" Cheney for transforming "American values" into "conservative values" in attacking John Kerry. At the time I was unaware that Kerry actually had said he represented conservative values. I don't know what the hell Kerry was thinking, but that lets Cheney off the hook for this one relatively minor issue. I try to correct my mistakes when I find them. All I can say is, oops and mea culpabilly.
Now, lemme drag my hammer back out, cuz if I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning, I'd hammer in the evening, all over Bush/Cheney.
Repukes criticize Kerry/Edwards "hate fest."
Chase called Bush a liar and suggested that the United States invaded Iraq "just so he could be called a wartime president." Newman said Bush's tax cuts were "borderline criminal," and singer John Mellencamp performed a song that referred to the president as a "cheap thug."Oo-whee, that's some awful shit those people said. No wonder the Bush/Cheney perpetual campaign has criticized the event as a hate fest. Cuz, by and large, Americans are a bunch of prissy-ass pantywaists who recoil in horror at such awful behavior.
Thank God big, hairy Bush and his buddy Little Bitty Dick hold to conservative values, like telling Senator Leahy to go fuck himself on the Senate Floor. Ya know, strong, conservative values, like lying your ass off whenever it suits your purpose. Lying to Congress and the public about the costs of the Medicare prescription drug bill. Lying about who will benefit from massive tax cuts. Or, ya know, even little shit, like lying the country into an unnecessary (and therefore immoral) war, in violation of international law, that has cost the lives of 1,000s of Iraqis, over a thousand American soldiers [Correction: Over 1,000 coalition deaths, over 880 American deaths.], and left many thousands more of each maimed for life. There's some mainstream American values for ya.
Speakin' a lyin' us into war, I see there's a big push on to blame the CIA for that. The declassified version of the October 2002 National Intelligence estimate was considerably altered from the original. Caveats and dissents were removed. Assessments were changed into statements of fact. See Key Revisions Were Made to CIA Document. If the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee is telling the truth, then the gross, hairy Bush Admin's statements about the justifications for war went well beyond what was in the classified NIE.
I know the prez, any prez, can't read every word that crosses his desk, and I know that this prez ain't real big on readin'. But we're talkin' about war here. If Bush didn't lie about the reasons for war, then he's shown himself to be a total incompetent. Either way, how can any American who gives half a damn about American values or conservative values vote for Bush?
I'm serious about that question. I'd really like to know. How 'bout it, piggy? I know you're still out there shadowing me. I see all your visits at Sitemeter. Oops, I forgot. You're no longer allowed to comment here, are ya? So why are you still reading me, piggy? Are you hoping to get me arrested for something I say? If so, good. I'm pretty much hopin' for the same thing.
posted 6:55 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 09, 2004
Any Lie At All: Kerry's The Flip-FlopperPresident Bush: Flip-Flopper-In-Chief
This is way too good to be missed.
posted 4:14 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
UnFreakin' Believable!At least it woulda been before Dubya got selected.
Everything's Ideological--Even Science
More than 4000 scientists, 48 of them Nobel Prize winners, got together to blast the [Bush Administration's] politicization of science for ideological reasons. 4000 of them.Of course, the Bushies are denying it. They'll tell any lie, any lie at all. Lying is a way of life for them.
posted 1:26 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Must Read For Anti-Minimum WagersIn The Minimum Wage and the EITC, Brad DeLong quotes Steven Landsburg's article in Slate:
Now that we've re-evaluated the evidence with all this in mind, here's what most labor economists believe: The minimum wage kills very few jobs, and the jobs it kills were lousy jobs anyway. It is almost impossible to maintain the old argument that minimum wages are bad for minimum-wage workers. In fact, the minimum wage is very good for unskilled workers.I get the strong impression from what he writes that somebody's been manipulating which minimum wage studies got published. Soon, maybe, the right will have to come up with a new lie to oppose the minimum wage. After all, they dassn't admit that they're cheap labor conservatives.
posted 10:36 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
By Any Means At AllPAKISTAN FOR BUSH.
A third source, an official who works under ISI's director, Lieutenant General Ehsan ul-Haq, informed tnr that the Pakistanis "have been told at every level that apprehension or killing of HVTs [high-value targets] before [the] election is [an] absolute must." What's more, this source claims that Bush administration officials have told their Pakistani counterparts they have a date in mind for announcing this achievement: "The last ten days of July deadline has been given repeatedly by visitors to Islamabad and during [ul-Haq's] meetings in Washington." Says McCormack: "I'm aware of no such comment." But according to this ISI official, a White House aide told ul-Haq last spring that "it would be best if the arrest or killing of [any] HVT were announced on twenty-six, twenty-seven, or twenty-eight July"--the first three days of the Democratic National Convention in Boston.
posted 4:54 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Crocodile Tears Over The "Uncivil" Left"We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals -- and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship," Grover Norquist told the Denver Post. "Bipartisanship is another name for date rape." And "liberal" pundits are saying to the rapists, "Here, let me help you get my clothes off." Rob Salkowitz at Emphasis Added gets it.
Defining Dissent Down
We live in a time when liberal values are under sustained and merciless attack. Our opponents are not interested in reasoning with us or compromising. They don't give a damn what anyone to the left of Colin Powell (if that) thinks about anything and are so convinced of their own rightness that they seize every opportunity to cut opponents out of the conversation. They lie, mislead, withhold important information, shout down and belittle critics rather than engage their ideas, and respond with dark threats when their authority is challenged. If it takes someone like Michael Moore to answer fire with fire, so be it. This is not the time to be splitting intellectual hairs, when the entire conception of the liberal state is at risk.Tip O'The Tam to Orcinus.
posted 2:57 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 08, 2004
Screw The Rules, AgainHouse GOP Defends Patriot Act Powers
But the victory came only after GOP tactics infuriated Democrats and a number of Republicans. The vote, scheduled to last 15 minutes, dragged on for 38 minutes despite outraged shouts and a unified chant of "shame, shame, shame" from Democrats across the aisle.Being a Repukelican means using any means at all. (Sorry, Butch. I know you're not all evil. Just most.)
posted 9:35 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
More "Good" News From IraqAP: Iraq Insurgency Larger Than Thought
BAGHDAD, Iraq - The Iraq insurgency is far larger than the 5,000 guerrillas previously thought to be at its core, U.S. military officials say, and it's being led by well-armed Iraqi Sunnis angry at being pushed from power alongside Saddam Hussein.Political opposition. Sweet. Can anybody explain to me why Bush is still doing so well in the polls? I know Kerry sucks, but Bush is like a vacuum cleaner powered by a top-fuel dragster engine.
posted 9:01 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
LIes Have ConsequencesThe lie that killed my son
Reading all the critics of Fahrenheit 9/11, you haven't heard much about Lila Lipscomb, have you? I know I haven't read much about her, yet she is the most powerful argument in Moore's F9/11. She tears your heart out. Why doesn't the right deal with her? They don't dare, that's why. They don't dare much, cowards that they are.
posted 7:17 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Good Things Happen TooS. Africa as Seen in a Mirror
South Africa's transformation amazes me. I know it's not perfect (What is?), but it's amazing nonetheless.
posted 6:46 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Cosby Takes Responsibility - Will We?Cosby Paying for Education of 2 Students
Mark Twain, who I think was the greatest American writer, did a similar thing. He felt whites owed it to blacks because of what we've done to them. I'm glad Bill Cosby is doing it, but when will American society take responsibility for the past, and the present?
posted 6:29 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Imprisonment Rate Reason To Question PolicyLand of the Free Factoid
We imprison more of our population than any country in the world. Many times more than most countries. Either our incarceration rates are too high, in which case shouldn't we ask, "Why?" Or our crime rate is way too high, in which case shouldn't we ask, "Why?" Are there any "conservatives" asking why?
posted 6:09 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Hot Damn! I'm A Conservative!Prudence, Progression, and Permanence: The Conservative Philosophy of Russell Kirk
Russell Kirk outlined ten conservative principles; below I've excerpted those which a progressive would have the most difficulty disagree (sic) with:But the right wing sure ain't.
posted 6:03 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Discrediting Those Damn Liberal AcademicsJuan Cole tries to separate truth from lunacy.
Mylroie as Bush Rasputine
Peter Bergen, veteran journalist and al-Qaeda expert, raises the question of whether the bizarre and crackpot theories of Laurie Mylroie have undue influence high in the US government. Mylroie alleges that Iraq was behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, a thesis for which there is no evidence whatsoever. Yet she seems to have convinced Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz of it.Now I think liberal thinktanks are more reliable than right wing thinktanks, but that's my best guess. I don't actually know. To my knowledge, all so-called thinktanks publish without peer review. I much prefer peer reviewed academics. They might be liberal, but at least somebody checks up on their work. I want the closest approximation to objective reality that I can get. Peer review helps a lot. Murray and Hernstein's The Bell Curve was never submitted for peer review, it had an enormous effect on the race debate in this country (It's still being cited by half-wit racists.), and when academics did examine the book they found it was full of shit. I want peer review. That's the kind of stupid left winger I am.
posted 5:21 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 07, 2004
What Is Truth?Yah, Ok, socialists can be dull people. But I ain't lookin' for perfection, I'm lookin' for a better world. I don't know that socialism wiill lead to that. But I know that money is not the measure of all things that matter to human beings. Is Orwell wrong? I don't know. But I know that greed is not the measure of all things.
Follow the links. See what you think.
posted 6:42 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Attacking Langston HughesThe Conservatives attempts at attacking Langston Hughes
Follow the links. Let Langston Hughes defend him self. If you don't cry at his self defense, then fuck you. Fuck you in the ass. Assuming you wouldn't like that. I'd as soon kill you as look at you. Langston Hughes was a decent, honest man. Can a right winger say the same?
posted 6:12 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
If It's Legal, It's Not WrongReport: Bush Legal in Medicare Withholding
Yeah. Legal, maybe. But any way you cut it the Bush Administration told a major lie about major legislation to both congress and the public. Bush is the only member of the Administration who bears responsibility for what his Administration does. Nobody's been fired. Bush is directly responsible for that lie, and ignorance is no excuse. How can anyone, in good conscience, vote to reselect Bush?
posted 10:32 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Right Wing Consistency - Waste And Fraud DivisionPentagon Deputy's Probes in Iraq Weren't Authorized, Officials Say
WASHINGTON — A senior Defense Department official conducted unauthorized investigations of Iraq reconstruction efforts and used their results to push for lucrative contracts for friends and their business clients, according to current and former Pentagon officials and documents.Where are all the right wingers we usually depend on to scream, "Waste and fraud! Waste and fraud!" like fucking parrots on an endless loop? Jesus, the Gropinator got elected by parroting that crap back to people. Now, all of sudden, they act like deaf, mute, and blind monkeys. Couldn't have anything to do with which party's in power, could it?
posted 8:58 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Stupid Campaign TricksThe Bush/Cheney campaign and many on the right are floating the meme that John McCain was John Kerry's first choice as running mate. Maybe I'm too sophisticated to get campaign propaganda. I don't know. I rarely get accused of sophistication, that's all I know. But hasn't Bush/Cheney been portraying John Kerry as much too liberal? And isn't claiming that Kerry's first choice for VP was a moderate Republican in direct conflict with the too liberal claim? If Kerry's first choice was McCain, doesn't that argue that he was eager to work with moderates and centrists? I don't think that's a compliment, but most people would. I just don't see how this campaign meme helps the Repukes.
posted 8:45 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
How Free Should Speech Be?Doubts grow over religious hate law
David Blunkett could face severe difficulties getting his resurrected pledge to criminalise incitement to religious hatred through parliament, it emerged today.I doubt either law would stand up to constitutional restrictions in the US, specifically the First Amendment. I don't think the US is the most free country in the world, but I do think we probably have the most free speech. Overall, I think that's probably good. I'd rather suffer the excesses of too much free speech than too little.
I think freedom of belief is fundamental to a democracy. Ya might could talk me into restricting racial hate speech, but even that's touchy. No way you could talk me into restricting religious hate speech. Freedom of belief. Religion is belief. Everyone, pro-religion or con, must have the freedom to believe as they choose, and they must have the right to express their belief. The primary difference between religious and racial hate speech to me is, religion is a belief. You can choose your beliefs. I know many people would find it difficult to change their religious beliefs, but it can be done. You have no choice about your race. Even if it's ever determined that some race is inferior to others, you'd still have to be a sick fuck to abuse members of that race because of it.
Don't nobody come on to me with that "meritocracy" bullshit, neither. Even if desirable (doubtful) a meritocracy is impossible because no one knows what merit is. It's all opinion, no facts.
posted 8:10 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Science, Racism, And Decent ConservativesOrcinus sez:
I don't give enough credit to serious conservatives who make real efforts to repudiate the racist element of the right. Tacitus deserves a round of applause.I got to agree with Orcinus so I'm going so far as to put Tacitus on the blogroll. At least until I come across something he's written that's truly stupid. If you read on to the comments section, be prepared for some seriously scientific arguments, as well as some seriously pseudo-scientific ones.
The pro-racists and anti-racists all accuse each other of ideological bias on race. That certainly seems true of the pro-racists, it's harder to judge the anti-racists. But, since I'm regularly accused of ideological bias, I'm going to say again that I don't believe I have an ideology. Here's how Merriam-Webster's defines ideology:
1 : visionary theorizingClaiming that I'm a visionary theorizer would just give me way too much credit. I don't have a systematic body of concepts. I'm not too systematic about much of anything. It's probably a character flaw. Definition b would label everyone ideological, and I think that's a bit much. Throw it out. Then c gets into integration. I'm about as integrated, mentally, as I am systematic.
But that's the dictionary definition. Here's why I think I'm not ideological. There isn't a single idea in my head that is not subject to change in the light of new information. Not even my most precious idea, that the best form of government known to man is representative democracy and that government's sole just authority derives from the informed consent of the governed. I believe that passionately, but I'll change my view given the right combination of logic and evidence.
Probably my second most passionate view is that I hate racism. I'll tell ya when I'll accept that one race is superior to another. When there is a consensus of scientific opinion saying that. I doubt that will happen. Near as I can tell the current scientific consensus is that, biologically, race doesn't even exist. But if it happens, I'll change my views. I believe global warming is real and that human activity significantly contributes to it. Why? Because that is what the huge majority of atmospheric climatologists believe. These people who think they can reasonably decide about such an issue based on their own analysis crack me up. Probably 99% of them can't even understand the math. I know I can't. It's ridiculous to think that an individual non-specialist can make a more accurate decision about global warming than the specialists in the field can. We pretty much, most of us, just have to trust science. And don't tell me some scientists disagree on global warming. Of course some do. Some scientists will always disagree in any field. It's idiotic to demand 100% consensus before you'll accept something.
A word to those who claim that this "faith" in science is no different from "faith" in God. I can't see the evidence for God. Maybe it's there, but I can't see it. I can see the evidence of the effectiveness of the scientific method all around me. My trust in science is not based on faith, it's based on experience, evidence, and reason. See the difference?
posted 7:06 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 06, 2004
The Shame Of Cheap Labor "Conservatives"The shame of American homelessness
The economic crunch faced by America's working poor is stark. Since 1979, U.S. housing costs have tripled. Some of that growth is the result of well-meant initiatives, such as slum clearance and rigorous building-code enforcement that forces rents upward. But governments have not compensated for the low-income housing deficit with more rent subsidies or more public housing. Both, in fact, have been gradually disappearing. Meanwhile, real pay, in dollars adjusted for inflation, went up just 1 percent from 1979 to 2003, the same period housing costs went through the roof.They don't adjust the change in housing costs for inflation, and they should have. But if you use the trusty-dusty CPI inflation calculator you will find that real housing costs, the biggest part of any working person's budget, rose 20% while real wages rose 1%. This was during a period in which America as a whole got indisputably richer. Measured by the increase in GDP, America got 90% wealthier. Nearly double. But real wages went up one percent over the same period. That huge increase in wealth sure didn't go to much of anyone in the bottom 60%. Ya know, the majority?
My question to any working person would be, don't you feel cheated? Republican or Democrat, I don't care. Don't you feel cheated? Throw out the ideology, throw out the wedge issues, all I'm asking is, don't you feel cheated? Because you should. Do you honestly think that the wealthy elite who collected most of that new wealth are really that much better than you? I don't.
You could look at some of the abuse I've taken on this site, though I doubt you'll feel like hunting for it. I will try to honestly summarize some of it. I'm an idiot because I used to be a janitor. Remember the days when there was no shame in honest work? I'm a mental defective because I've never risen above the working class. The same working class my great grandfather belonged to, and there was no shame in it in his day. The same working class that my grandfather started in, though he did rise to a high executive position eventually. The same working class that my mother, an LVN, was a part of. And there was never any shame in their being working class. Now I'm supposed to hang my head in shame for being a member of the working class because some Republican says so. If you're one of those who think that, I got a little message for you: Sit on it and rotate, motherfucker. I'm at least as good as you and probably better. Money is not the measure of all things.
Like most Americans, I'm working class. Therefore I don't deserve to make a decent living, not should I be allowed to reproduce. Who says? By what authority? It's way past time working class people in this country started voting for their own interests. Yeah, I know, neither party truly represents our interests. The liberal elites don't really give a shit about us, as right wingers love to point out, but the conservative elites, who seldom get mentioned, are downright hostile towards us. For better or worse, I think the Dems are where we have to start. If you strongly feel differently, I can understand that. If that's the case, then work to change the Republican Party. Make them represent us. Someone should sure as hell be representing our interests. We are the majority.
Cross-posted at From the Trenches.
posted 6:31 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Who Won Florida In 2000?Not the official result, but the result of a fair and reasonable count. I don't know for sure. Right wingers think they do know. They cite the Florida consortium recount as proof that Bush would've won the recount. That's certainly what most of the headlines said. In this example, it's even in the lead.
Florida recount study: Bush still wins
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A comprehensive study of the 2000 presidential election in Florida suggests that if the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed a statewide vote recount to proceed, Republican candidate George W. Bush would still have been elected president.That's the lead, but I swear I don't see how the rest of the story supports it. And it's supposed to.
The story reports that the consortium use several different count scenarios. Under Gore's four county recount strategy, they found Bush still would of won. That scenario was very unlikely to take place because the Florida Supreme Court had already rule for a statewide recount of undervotes. But that's the only scenario reported under which Bush would have won. And that's not a statewide recount, as the lead suggests. Under three other scenarios, Gore would have won. And that's without counting deliberate vote suppression and disenfranchisement. So how can anyone claim that the consortium showed that Bush would have won?
If anyone has better information on this, I'm interested.
posted 11:51 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 05, 2004
Is This Why The Right Says Bad Things About Soros?Soros Invests in His Democratic Passion
For two decades, [George] Soros has spent billions of his own money on an international network aimed at building civil society in authoritarian or onetime communist countries. In recent years, he has focused on the former Soviet states of Central Asia — places where governments may welcome his money but feel threatened by his commitment to democracy.And it seems to be having the same effect in the US.
posted 12:29 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Somethin's Not Right - In The "Liberal" MediaBrad DeLong sez:
A normal person, reading Jonathan Weisman in the Washington Post on June 8, would conclude (i) that Steven Moore is an economist, and (ii) that Kevin Hassett, Eric Engen, Glenn Hubbard, Greg Mankiw, and many other economists are "reevaluating" the view that budget deficits are a significant minus for the economy, believe that "the argument against deficits is more about self-righteous moralism than economics," and broadly agree with Richard Cheney's declaration that "deficits don't matter":Why is the Washinton Post selling, in a news story, the idea that deficits don't matter?
Puggy Pearson won the world championship of poker many years ago. He was a life time professional player. He said about cheating that he could sit down in a game and, in a relatively short period of time, know if there was cheating going on. He didn't mean that he necessarily knew who was cheating or how, only that he could tell the game wasn't going right, things didn't add up. As Puggy said, "Somethin's not right." That's how I feel about the media.
posted 8:35 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Tell Me This Ain't A PlutocracyA Failure of Fairness
When corporate executives gush over any bill with the word "fairness" in its title, consumers had best check their wallets. The proposed Class Action Fairness Act, which big-business leaders and their friends in the U.S. Senate may pass Tuesday after years of trying, is a distressing example.
posted 8:14 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Proud To Be An American . . .MORE THAN 100 CHILDREN IMPRISONED; REPORT OF ABUSE BY U.S. SOLDIERS.
The TV Magazine also reported of evidence and eye witness reports according to which U.S. soldiers also abused children and youthful detainees. Samuel Provance, a staff sergeant stationed in the now infamous Abu Ghraib prison said that interrogating officers had pressured a 15 or 16 year old girl. Military police had only intervened when the girl was already half undressed. On another occasion, a 16 year old was soaked with water, driven through the cold, and then smeared with mud.Right wingers have tried to equate being proud to be an American with loving America. You don't have to be proud of your child to love your child. Same goes for America, which is good, cuz it's gettin' pretty damn hard to be proud of America.
posted 7:35 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Moore's A Greedy, Manipulative BastardThat's what the right claims, but. . .
Moore: pirate my film, no problem
Controversial film-maker Michael Moore has welcomed the appearance on the internet of pirated copies of his anti-Bush documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 and claimed he is happy for anybody to download it free of charge.Yup. Moore is a greedy bastard who only makes films for the money. The right, on the other hand, is filled with high-minded people of principle. Ya know, principles like private property is sacrosanct.
Ironically, the burgeoning underground market for Moore's much-debated documentary has been championed by both sides of the political divide. While left-wing sites promote the film’s message, opponents of the high-profile polemicist are urging people to "steal" their copy, thus denying its director his cut of the profits.People of high-minded principles. Except when their not. Except when they turn into modern-day Abbey Hoffman's saying, 'Steal this movie.' Except even Hoffman told people to steal his own book, not somebody else's.
posted 7:02 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
July 04, 2004
What Could Be In The MediaEndangered Species: The Crusading Press
Follow the links. It's damned interesting.
posted 1:48 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
The "Magisterial" PresidentThis is the second story on the president's appearance in West Virginia that uses the word. Both stories paraphrased, one citing "experts," this one citing "analysts," so I don't know what was actually said, but one synonym for "magisterial" is dictatorial. Sounds about right to me.
Bush Extols American 'Values' in West Virginia
Analysts said the Independence Day appearance gave the president a opportunity to step outside the confines of partisan politics and appeal to voters on a holiday that underscores the magisterial stature of the presidency.
posted 12:43 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
It's The 4th Of JulyThis is an X song, but it was written by Dave Alvin, formerly of the Blasters.
4th Of JulyDon't ask me to explain it, but that's how I feel on the 4th of July. Maybe like I love America, but America don't love me. I think you'd have to hear it, the plaintiveness. Heyyy, baby, it's the 4th of July.
posted 12:30 PM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Jonah Goldberg's PatriotismI didn't see this earlier. It is the LA Times companion piece to Michael Moore's version of The Patriot's Act below. I'm sure not approving of everything he says, but maybe if more of the right wing would talk and write like this we would be within reaching distance of understanding that we are Americans who disagree, often vehemently, it's true, but not enemies out to eliminate each other. It would be nice to believe so, at least on the 4th of July. Heyyy, baby, it's the fourth of July. I love Dave Alvin, loved the Blasters more.
The Patriot's Act
Although I think it's absurd to argue that questioning a candidate's positions is the same as questioning his patriotism, it's all to the good that Democrats are fighting Republicans for the mantle of who's more patriotic. Indeed, something similar has been taking place on the academic left. Even the left's dashboard saint, Ralph Nader, can speak eloquently about the grand patriotic tradition of citizen activism that stems from the American founding.Of course, back before the Iraq war I was arguing with right wingers who insisted that nationalism (not patriotism) was a good thing and that I was an asshole for suggesting it wasn't. I wonder, am I deceived by the online community? Is there a good and decent, if misguided by my lights, right wing movement out there in the real world that is being ill-represented by the vicious, ugly, thug bastards who so often represent the right on the net?
I'm ready to call this idiotic political war off any time the right is ready to do so. But the right has to actually stop it. They have to repudiate the Coulters, the Hannitys, et al. They have to stop equating disagreement with evil. My guess is the fight's still on.
posted 11:38 AM by Phaedrus | Link | |
Iraqi "Sovereignty"The Reincarnation of Saddam Hussein
According to the Los Angeles Times, "U.S. and Iraqi authorities took pains to make the court proceedings appear to be solely an Iraqi undertaking."Soviet style show trials anyone? Any government that lies as consistently as the US government does, that uses words in the wonderful Alice in Wonderland, 1984 sort of way the US government does, is, at the very least, aiming for something similar to totalitarianism. And when the news media goes right along with them, what am I supposed to think?