Just an excuse for a lame post because I LOVE this graphic, Kerry on Open Thread Style Anything you want to share about the anti-war Boooosh years? Did you vote for Kerry/Edwards in 2004? Why ? It was because McDreamy Edwards was on the ticket, right? Discuss…..
I stand with Mumia and fight for his freedom because I believe in his innocence. I have no doubt that he is a political prisoner.—
Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) April 24, 2013
Those were tweets from Marc Lamont Hill, self styled “Hip-Hop Intellectual”. IOW – a better educated version of Touré Neblett.
So who is Mumia Abu Jamal? Here’s what Wiki has to say:
Born in Philadelphia, Abu-Jamal became involved in black nationalism in his youth, and was a member of the Black Panther Party until October 1970. Alongside his political activism, he became a radio journalist, eventually becoming president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. On December 9, 1981, Officer Faulkner was shot dead while conducting a traffic stop on Abu-Jamal’s brother, William Cook. Abu-Jamal was injured by a shot from Faulkner and when further police arrived on the scene, he was arrested and charged with first degree murder.
Going on trial in 1982, he initially decided to represent himself, but was repeatedly reprimanded for disruptive behavior and given a court-appointed lawyer. Three witnesses testified that they had witnessed Abu-Jamal commit the murder, and he was unanimously convicted by jury and sentenced to death, spending the next 30 years on death row.
On December 9, 1981, in Philadelphia, close to the intersection at 13th and Locust Streets, Philadelphia Police Department officer Daniel Faulkner conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle belonging to William Cook, Abu-Jamal’s younger brother. During the traffic stop, Abu-Jamal’s taxi was parked across the street, and Abu-Jamal ran across the street towards the traffic stop. At the traffic stop, there was an exchange of fire. Both Officer Faulkner and Abu-Jamal were wounded, and Faulkner died. Police arrived on the scene and arrested Abu-Jamal, who was found wearing a shoulder holster. A revolver, which had five spent cartridges, was beside him. He was taken directly from the scene of the shooting to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital where he received treatment for his wound, the result of a shot from Faulkner.
The prosecution presented four witnesses to the court. Robert Chobert, a cab driver who testified he was parked behind Faulkner, identified Abu-Jamal as the shooter. Cynthia White, a prostitute, testified that Abu-Jamal emerged from a nearby parking lot and shot Faulkner. Michael Scanlan, a motorist, testified that from two car lengths away, he saw a man, matching Abu-Jamal’s description, run across the street from a parking lot and shoot Faulkner. Albert Magilton, a pedestrian who did not see the actual murder, testified to witnessing Faulkner pull over Cook’s car. At the point of seeing Abu-Jamal start to cross the street toward them from the parking lot, Magilton turned away and lost sight of what happened next.
The prosecution also presented two witnesses who were at the hospital after the altercation. Hospital security guard Priscilla Durham and Police Officer Garry Bell testified that Abu-Jamal confessed in the hospital by saying, “I shot the motherfucker, and I hope the motherfucker dies.”
A .38 caliber Charter Arms revolver, belonging to Abu-Jamal, with five spent cartridges was retrieved beside him at the scene. He was wearing a shoulder holster, and Anthony Paul, the Supervisor of the Philadelphia Police Department’s firearms identification unit, testified at trial that the cartridge cases and rifling characteristics of the weapon were consistent with bullet fragments taken from Faulkner’s body. Tests to confirm that Abu-Jamal had handled and fired the weapon were not performed, as contact with arresting police and other surfaces at the scene could have compromised the forensic value of such tests.
The defense maintained that Abu-Jamal was innocent of the charges and that the testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses was unreliable. The defense presented nine character witnesses, including poet Sonia Sanchez, who testified that Abu-Jamal was “viewed by the black community as a creative, articulate, peaceful, genial man”. Another defense witness, Dessie Hightower, testified that he saw a man running along the street shortly after the shooting although he did not see the actual shooting itself. His testimony contributed to the development of a “running man theory”, based on the possibility that a “running man” may have been the actual shooter. Veronica Jones also testified for the defense, but she did not see anyone running. Other potential defense witnesses refused to appear in court. Abu-Jamal did not testify in his own defense. Nor did his brother, who said at the crime scene, “I ain’t got nothing to do with this.”
But wait! There’s more!
Abu-Jamal did not make any public statements about Faulkner’s murder until May 2001. In his version of events, he claimed that he was sitting in his cab across the street when he heard shouting, then saw a police vehicle, then heard the sound of gunshots. Upon seeing his brother appearing disoriented across the street, Abu-Jamal ran to him from the parking lot and was shot by a police officer.
So Mumia was just minding his own business and trying to help his brother when a cop shot him for no reason. Then some total stranger ran up, grabbed Mumia’s gun, killed the cop, dropped the gun next to Mumia and fled the scene. Anyone who says otherwise is a liar and probably a racist.
This “political prisoner” status is what Dzhokar “Jahar” Tsarnaev can look forward to. He’s a cop-killer too.
BTW – In 2012 an appeals court vacated the death sentence and now Mumia is serving life without parole.
Note: Daniel Faulkner was not available for comment.
Yesterday I ran across a curious item at RealClearPolitics, wherein a reporter questioned Jay Carney about the Gosnell case, specifically President Obama’s stance on abortion survivors. Here’s part of the exchange:
ED HENRY: The president, as a state senator in 2003, voted against a bill that would provide medical care, as I understand, to babies who would be born after a botched abortion like this. The president at the time said he couldn’t support it as a state senator because he felt like any doctor in that situation would take care of a child. When you hear this kind of evidence, it suggests there’s at least one doctor who apparently did not. I understand you can’t deal with the deliberation of the case. But is there some legislative solution, or at least a conversation that needs to happen in Washington because on guns you were just saying we need common-sense reform. We need to save lives. In this case, do we need to be saving lives as well?
JAY CARNEY: Well, again, you’re relating it to a case that I can’t comment on and the president can’t comment on. I would simply say that the president’s position on choice is very clear. His position on the basic principle that, as President Clinton said, abortions ought to be safe, legal and rare is very clear. I just don’t have comment that could shed light on this specific case.
Bolding mine. My mind, which has been trained to critically think by one of America’s finest academic institutions (Indiana University), immediately wondered: why? Why can’t Carney or Obama comment on this case? It’s not like this president has never commented on cases involving law enforcement before, or on pending criminal cases in general. Here’s a short list of such instances when he could and did comment:
- Henry Louis Gates arrest controversy
- Trayvon Martin Case
- Aurora Shooting
- Sandy Hook Shooting
- Hadiya Pendleton Murder
That’s five I can recall right off the top of my head. You may remember others, and if you do, post ‘em in comments. What makes this case so special that he can’t comment? It’s certainly a puzzler.
Remember the blog rules. #1 is: It would be irresponsible not to speculate. This is an open thread.
Snow day here in the Midwest. We got 6 inches of snow here in Indianapolis last night, but it’s melting already. My class is cancelled, so I’ve been reading around the intertubes to see what’s up. Found a few stories for ya.
First up is this bizarre case of a Mississippi state law maker who everyone agrees was an awesome, upbeat lady, but who they say may have killed herself at–get this–a former lawmakers home. Spidey senses definitely tingling on this one.
Mississippi Bureau of Investigation officials are looking into the death of state Rep. Jessica Upshaw, who was found at a residence in Simpson County on Sunday.
The 53-year-old Republican lawmaker from Diamondhead in Hancock County died of a gunshot wound to the head, Simpson County Sheriff told WLBT-TV.
“It appeared to be self-inflicted,” he said.
“She’s always been a very strong, quiet leader for the Gulf Coast and was one of the smartest people I ever met,” DeLano said. “I’d give her a bill, she would read it and could tell whether it was the same bill introduced five years ago.”Upshaw, an attorney, was known for her ability to read extremely fast. She could zip through a lengthy legislative bill and know its particulars in minutes.
Currie said Upshaw was excited to see her grandson. “She has a new grandchild —she was so proud. … I know she has a lot she wanted to live for.
The Associated Press is so skeptical it put “kills herself” in quotation marks in the headline.
In other news, Cyprus has a new deal. Tyler Cowen warns:
1. Output on the island could easily decline by 25% or more, and I don’t think that will involve much subsequent mean-reversion. There will be a deflationary shock, an uncertainty shock, an “austerity shock,” a credit contraction shock, and a few other negative shocks as well. The Cypriot government will not be fiscally well situated to support the safety net or automatic stabilizers.
2. It’s never a good sign when a deal is structured so that no one has to vote on it. (Correction: various European legislatures may be voting on it, but no one in Cyprus.)
3. The deal itself still doesn’t cough up all the money, but rather relies on subsequent tax increases and privatizations to come up with at least another billion euros. Believe it or not, the numbers don’t add up.
5. I wonder if the two main banks even have the money they claim they do. Who tells the truth going into a deal like this?
Lots of other stuff going on, too. Rob Portman’s son came out, and Claire McGaskill came out in favor of gay marriage and quoted the Bible. Kelsey Grammer and Matt Lauer are continuing their quest for image rehabilitation. Also, Geo. Zimmerman’s brother is not helping his case, but that’s really no reason for the left to employ the Guilt-by-Association fallacy.
What’s up in your world today? I’m making Marsala-Mushroom beef stew and grading.
This is how assimilation into the Borg takes place:
President Barack Obama’s gun control agenda is looking more doomed by the day, but gun control advocates still haven’t said a word to complain.
That’s no accident.
The White House knew its post-Newtown effort would require bringing key gun control groups into the fold. So the White House offered a simple arrangement: the groups could have access and involvement, but they’d have to offer silence and support in exchange.
The implied rules, according to conversations with many of those involved: No infighting. No second-guessing in the press. Support whatever the president and Vice President Joe Biden propose. And most of all, don’t make waves or get ahead of the White House.
In exchange: a voice in the discussions, a role in whatever final agreement is made and weekly meetings at the White House with Biden’s chief of staff, Bruce Reed — provided they don’t discuss what happens there.
“The implication is very, very strong when they are calling these meetings and we are all sitting there,” said one regular attendee, who like the others, would only speak about them anonymously. “It’s not like they’re being bullies, it’s them bringing everybody together, not being one-off meetings with groups that might be interested in things other than the bottom line, not providing the forum for that kind of stuff.”
“You’re glad to be in the room,” another participant in the Reed meetings said. “Because this issue has been dead for a long time and now there’s a real opportunity there.”
For the White House, which wouldn’t comment about Reed’s meetings or the relationships with the gun control groups, this strategy was about ensuring the president had a united front as he pushed for new laws — and that he won’t shoulder the blame if and when the negotiations fail.
But he’s forced a major change on some of Washington’s noisiest advocates: the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Third Way, Michael Bloomberg’s Mayors Against Illegal Guns and Americans for Responsible Solutions, the organization founded by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and her husband, Mark Kelly. In past fights, gun control groups sparred with each other and got used to dictating the agenda to allies in Congress.
Now they’re just happy to be included in the discussion, and still holding out hope that something might happen.
The best part? The White House serves free Kool Aid at all the meetings!
Resistance is futile.
The Borg are a collection of species that have been turned into cybernetic organisms functioning as drones of the collective or the hive. A pseudo-race, dwelling in the Star Trek universe, the Borg force other species into their collective and connect them to “the hive mind”; the act is called assimilation and entails violence, abductions, and injections of cybernetic implants. The Borg’s ultimate goal is “achieving perfection”.
This is NOT an Onion parody:
The Canadian student who wrecked a “Free Speech Wall” at Carleton University less than a day after it was installed continues to create headlines.
Before Arun Smith destroyed the wall — really a very large board wrapped in white paper — students had written messages on it such as “QUEERS ARE AWESOME,” “Obama Murders with Drones” and “traditional marriage is awesome.”
That last statement seems to be the one that aroused the violent ire of the gay rights activist.
On Wednesday, Smith appeared on Sun News, a Canadian news and opinion cable channel, to defend his previously expressed view that “not every opinion is valid, nor deserving of expression.”
“We have to operate on affect and harm to marginalized communities,” the human rights and sexuality major added.
Smith went on to describe his anti-free speech views at some length, frequently harping on his concern about “the context of the words.”
“Inclusive, safe spaces are not places where you can have unregulated free speech. Unregulated free speech is something that leads to hate speech every single time,” the human rights and sexuality major said.
“There’s a difference between sort of what we say colloquially — ‘I hate this,’ ‘I hate that’ — and what is fundamental hate speech, which is a form of oppression,” Smith carefully contrasted. “If I were to say ‘I hate bigots,’ that’s not hate speech and, you know, everyone in the world is willing to agree with me on that, and anyone who doesn’t probably should reexamine their personal convictions.”
Smith also assured viewers that there is “a difference between hate and oppression” and called himself a simultaneously powerful and powerless person.
Carleton College is a small liberal arts college in Minnesota best known for setting a Guinness world record for the largest number of people spooning.
Tomorrow’s leaders today.
America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. – Andrew Shepard
Should President Obama be willing to print a $1 trillion platinum coin if Republicans try to force America into default? Yes, absolutely. He will, after all, be faced with a choice between two alternatives: one that’s silly but benign, the other that’s equally silly but both vile and disastrous. The decision should be obvious.
For those new to this, here’s the story. First of all, we have the weird and destructive institution of the debt ceiling; this lets Congress approve tax and spending bills that imply a large budget deficit — tax and spending bills the president is legally required to implement — and then lets Congress refuse to grant the president authority to borrow, preventing him from carrying out his legal duties and provoking a possibly catastrophic default.
And Republicans are openly threatening to use that potential for catastrophe to blackmail the president into implementing policies they can’t pass through normal constitutional processes.
Enter the platinum coin. There’s a legal loophole allowing the Treasury to mint platinum coins in any denomination the secretary chooses. Yes, it was intended to allow commemorative collector’s items — but that’s not what the letter of the law says. And by minting a $1 trillion coin, then depositing it at the Fed, the Treasury could acquire enough cash to sidestep the debt ceiling — while doing no economic harm at all.
So why not?
How about because it’s completely insane? It’s the equivalent of saying “I’m not broke, I still have some checks left.” It’s also a violation of the principle of checks and balances. Remember when liberals had a conscience?
My respect for economists has dropped considerably the past few years and my respect for Paul Krugman has gone past zero and is in negative numbers now.
Just when you think Democrats can’t get any stupider they go and prove you wrong.
More news from the frontline of the War on Women.
And this is from the guy that Michael Hirsh of The Atlantic called “The Most Influential Vice President in History.” Looks like it’s working. Here’s the latest 4Chan spoof.
Chillax. The GOP may be okay with women being beaten up, but your Vice President just want to frisk them! And 4Chan just wants to mock them. WTFE. 8)
This is an open thread.
“You know, like a lot of liberal Americans, I was excited when Barack Obama took office four years ago. But it’s a very different world now, and Mitt Romney is a very different candidate. One with the vision and determination to cut through ‘business as usual’ politics’ and finally put this country back on the path to the zombie apocalypse. Romney is ready to make the deep rollbacks in healthcare, education, social services, and reproductive rights that will guaranty poverty, unemployment, overpopulation, disease, rioting – all crucial elements in creating a nightmare zombie wasteland. But it’s his commitment to ungoverned corporate privilege that will nose-dive this economy into true insolvency and chaos. The kind of chaos you can’t buy back. Money is only so much paper to the undead. The 1% will no longer be the very rich, it’ll be the very fast. Anyone can run, fight, make explosives out of household objects or especially do parkour of any kind – you’ll want to stick with them, unless they read Ayn Rand.
Look, I don’t pretend to see the future. No one knows for sure if they’ll be the super-fast 28 Days Later zombies or the old-school shambling kind. But they’re out there, and they need brains. So, whether you’re a small business man just trying to keep his doors open, a single mom so concerned for her son’s welfare that she’ll run to embrace him when he’s clearly infected and going to bite her. Or a strung-out ex-military type, who’s been out there too long and is taking the kind of damn-fool chances that’ll get us all killed, you need to ask yourself, ‘Am I ready? Am I ready for the purity and courage of Mitt Romney’s apocalyptic vision?’ Mitt’s ready. He’s not afraid to face a ravening, rasping hoard of sub-humans, because that’s how he sees poor people already. Let’s all embrace the future, stop pretending we care about each other, and start hoarding canned goods. Because if Mitt takes office, sooner or later, the zombies will come for all of us. ”
Well there you go. How can anyone argue with that?
A new video from the founders of a celebrated advertising agency features children “of the future” singing about the aftermath of a Mitt Romney presidency: A world where sick people are required to “just die,” the atmosphere is “frying,” gays can be “fixed” and “oil fills the sea.”
The children, who stare blankly at the camera throughout the video, even take pains to explicitly mention that they blame “mom and dad” for all those horrors.
The weirdest thing is that the people who made this clip think it will help Obama.
Progressive opinions on Barack Obama’s first term are as conflicted as his record. These differences are a sign of a diverse and spirited left, and we welcome continued debate in our pages about the president’s record and policies. But that discussion should not obscure what is at stake in this election. A victory for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan in November would validate the reactionary extremists who have captured the Republican Party. It would represent the triumph of social Darwinism, the religious right, corporate power and the big money donors who thrive in a new Gilded Age of inequality. It would strike a devastating blow to progressive values and movements, locking us in rear-guard actions on a range of issues—from the rights of women, minorities, immigrants and LGBT people to the preservation of social insurance programs and a progressive tax structure. Inside the Democratic Party, Obama’s defeat would embolden the Blue Dogs and New Dems, who have greased the party’s slide to the right. Whatever disappointments we have with Obama’s first term—and there are many—progressives have a profound interest in the popular rejection of the Romney/Ryan ticket.
It’s true that many issues of fundamental importance have been absent from this election—from catastrophic climate change and staggering rates of poverty to the militarization of foreign policy and the continued growth of the national security state. Their omission has been enabled to a degree by the Republican Party’s rightward lurch, as well as the Romney team’s recurring gaffes and its naked hostility to vast sectors of the American electorate. As a result, the president has been successful, so far, in running a campaign that appeals to key progressive constituencies (women, Latinos, LGBT people) but without the broad call for change that distinguished his 2008 election.
As such, we have no illusions about the audacity of hope, no faith that the re-election of President Obama alone will accomplish the radical change this magazine has championed. For America to be on a different path in 2016 from that of 2012, progressive movements will have to “occupy” all the levers of power—in Washington, in the states and in the streets.
Ever seen someone making a complete fool of themselves and it’s so embarrassing that you go past feeling bad for them and start to get to get angry at them? You want to slap ‘em and shake ‘em and kick ‘em in the ass and yell “Get a fucking grip and show some self respect!”
Yeah, it’s that bad.
One of the reasons why Barack Obama is regarded as the greatest orator of our age is that he’s always banging on about some other age yet to come — e.g., the Future! A future of whose contours he is remarkably certain and boundlessly confident: The future will belong to nations that invest in education because the children are our future, but the future will not belong to nations that do not invest in green-energy projects because solar-powered prompters are our future, and most of all the future will belong to people who look back at the Obama era and marvel that there was a courageous far-sighted man willing to take on the tough task of slowing the rise of the oceans because the future will belong to people on viable land masses. This futuristic shtick is a cheap’n’cheesy rhetorical device (I speak as the author of a book called “After America,” whose title is less futuristic than you might think) but it seems to play well with the impressionable Obammysoxers of the press corps.
And so it was with President Obama’s usual visionary, inspiring, historic, etc., address to the U.N. General Assembly the other day: “The future must not belong to those who bully women,” he told the world, in a reference either to Egyptian clitoridectomists or the Republican party, according to taste. “The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians,” he added. You mean those Muslim guys? Whoa, don’t jump to conclusions. “The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam,” he declared, introducing to U.S. jurisprudence the novel concept of being able to slander a bloke who’s been dead for getting on a millennium and a half now. If I understand correctly the cumulative vision of the speech, the future will belong to gay feminist ecumenical Muslims. You can take that to the bank. But make no mistake, as he would say, and in fact did: “We face a choice between the promise of the future or the prisons of the past, and we cannot afford to get it wrong.” Because if we do, we could spend our future living in the prisons of the past, which we forgot to demolish in the present for breach of wheelchair-accessibility codes.
But wait! There’s more:
The Obama campaign has rolled out a new Twitter campaign: “For all”. In it, celebrities and Obama supporters have uploaded images of themselves with their hands over their hearts, pledging to support his re-election bid. The creation of the Twitter feed appears to be in response to a video of Mitt Romney discussing his chances of winning over 47 percent of the electorate, which pays no federal income tax.
In April, the Obama campaign rolled out the campaign slogan “Forward,” which was immediately ridiculed for its similarity to Communist China’s “Great Leap Forward.” Like the Obama team’s last attempt to motivate its liberal base, the new campaign is open to plenty of criticism from the right; it’s the kind of propaganda Chairman Mao might have adopted. Worse, it fits into the narrative of Obama supporters as individuals more inclined to pledge allegiance to a politician before their country.
Just when you thought those fuckers couldn’t get any creepier . . .
(Via Weasel Zippers)
Dougie J at Buffoon Juice:
I hate myself for thinking this, let alone writing it, but after Obama wins reelection this November, I want to start reading more conservative stuff so I can try to see where they’re coming from. Because we are going to have to deal with them long after we become the de facto majority party.
This is unintentional satire. Buffoon Juice was one of those places gloating about the “permanent Democratic majority” three and a half years ago.
Kool-Aid is a helluva drug.
DougJ at Buffoon Juice:
I know we write this type of post over and over again here, but I can’t stop myself…
I don’t want to make this another Firebaggers versus Obot post. I’m an Obot but I agree with some of the Firebagger criticism about Obama’s handling of the economy and mortgage issues.
I was at a party Friday night with a bunch of other liberal people. We talked about politics, and they all agreed everything was worse, all sad panda type stuff, no progress. I brought up ACA, which they kind of pooh-poohed, and I brought up that I didn’t think I’d see a black president in my lifetime, and now I have. They said he was bi-racial, so not such a big thing. I said you think that matters to the fringe, look at how they talk about him.
Then they got going on how awesome Clinton was relative to Obama. I countered that he didn’t pass anything as big as ACA. They couldn’t argue with that, but had some other stuff about how great the economy was and it was all his doing.
Why can’t Democrats just get behind Obama, admit ACA is a big win, admit Obama’s election was a big win? I’m a mopey, pessimistic, anxious, depressive person, but I still can’t understand it.
Look, we’re going to win in the end, make this country more inclusive, beat back the corporatocracy. It’s going to be a long hard slog, but we’re lucky to have some of the people we do on our side, including Obama.
It’s time to cheer up.
Excuse me for a moment.
Okay, that’s better.
If you think that post is bad you should read the comments.
I think my favorite part is DougJ’s focus on race. It’s unintentionally revealing – it shows that DougJ judged Obama on the color of his skin rather than the content of his character.
“Because he’s black” is not a reason to vote for anyone unless you’re using it as a tie-breaker between two equally good candidates. Hillary Clinton was the superior candidate. Plus she’s a she. Why was it more important to elect a black man instead of a woman?
Ever heard of James Harris? He was the first black starting quarterback in the NFL. His career was less than distinguished.
Ever heard of Doug Williams? He was the first black quarterback to win a Super Bowl. He even won the MVP for the game.
Which milestone was more important?
Barack Obama will always be the first black President of the United States. William Henry Harrison will always be the first POTUS to die in office. Andrew Johnson will always be the first POTUS to be impeached. Nixon will always be the first POTUS to resign.
Sometimes being first ain’t such a great thing.
A young Kossack wants to know what is wrong with her daddy:
I grew up in Wisconsin, and I went to undergrad at Madison. My parents grew up in Wisconsin, and went to undergrad at Madison. My grandparents grew up in Wisconsin, and also went to Madison.
My grandparents are dead now. But my parents still live in Wisconsin. My brother and I have relocated to our respective coasts – NYC and LA.
My mother is a teacher, and has been a teacher and respected union organizer for 40 years – her entire career. We grew up with excellent insurance and financial security. Now, my father has many chronic diseases, and my mother provides the insurance benefits that they depend on. Her union has a good relationship with the school board, but their contract is up soon, and no one can promise what will happen after that. Eventually my father will be too disabled to work. Premiums have already increased by 15% this past year.
So in speaking to my mother today, can any of you explain to me why my father voted for Walker?
Three generations of my family have grown up in Wisconsin, given back to Wisconsin, and have appreciated the lessons for life we learned there. And yet, my father is voting for Walker. Walker, who is actively engaged in destroying my parents’ livelihood and retirement (and mine, and my fellow abortion rights advocates’).
I simply can’t get my mind around WHY. This goes beyond voting against one’s own interest. I don’t even know what this is.
And the (almost) worst part? At the YMCA where my father swims, his coffee klatch of old men say he’s “too liberal” and they really need to convince him to become more “conservative.” He says this with pride. One day I said to him, “what’s further right? Fascism?”
I really used to wonder how ordinary, good Germans watched the takeover from the sidelines, or didn’t leave. And now I know. But I still don’t understand.
Over 200 comments, and no one asks the basic question: Why don’t you ask him?
Here are a few of the comments:
Stories like this make me wonder
gosh, could this happen to me as I get older?
My personal favorite:
The ability to process the newly incredible amount of information available in our newly incredible information environment/society/culture is key.
That’s why the “next” generation stepping up and pressing for power is so important. The ability to process large amounts of information, which is demonstrably generational due to technology, simply cannot be overstated. It is, really, a bit unfair. But in our modern world, we really do have to give an unprecedented amount of influence to…..to put it bluntly….smart people.
And of course, smart people are (through the use of Occam’s Razor if nothing else) overwhelmingly Liberal.
Well said. Bravo. I have often quipped that the
GOP system is based on a sort of group think and if you stray from the herd then you are one of them – a faceless, nameless other devoid of American principles, unholy and barely human. It’s a caricature of everything worthy of hate and the violence that comes with it. They call them liberals and democrats or any derivative of those words. Sigh. This is our political reality where the rhetoric is believed and people vote accordingly.
I’ve said it elsewhere …
… it’s long past time we switch from “we shall overcome” to “by any means necessary.”
And of course:
We elected America’s first non-white President
a scant four years ago. A backlash was inevitable, and RepubliCorp has exploited it mercilessly.
A lot of older Americans thought unions were just fine… until they started admitting “coloreds”. They thought public education was dandy… until the schools were desegregated.
None of these folks consider themselves to be racist. They would be offended to be called as such. It’s buried too deep. But “crypto-racism” explains much of what is otherwise seen as irrational conservatism.
People whose parents fled to the suburbs during the sixties carry the virus of their parent’s overt racism… but it’s been carefully channeled into a vague resentment against government in general.
Walker’s heavy conservative support in Wisconsin’s suburbs point to this.
The general consensus at Cheetoville seems to be that everyone except them is stupid. Apparently they are immune to the propaganda that controls so many other people’s minds.
That’s why they support Barack Obama.
I would be worried about their authoritarian tendencies if they weren’t so hapless.
The left is never gonna “get it” until they understand that conservatives (most of them anyway) are intelligent, informed, sane, rational and of good moral character – they just disagree about the way things ought to be.
Yes, there are some idiots and nutjobs on the right. But there are plenty of them on the left too. Once you concede that there is nothing “wrong” with the other side, you are forced to debate and defend your ideas with them.
Either way, someday your kids will be wondering what is wrong with you, too.
David “Spoony” Atkins:
Here we go again.
We now know that the Obama Administration traded away the public option in order to gain support from the hospital industry for the Affordable Care Act. And we know that it traded away, among other things, the importation of cheaper drugs to PhRMA in order to secure their support for the bill.
Some of these details were known long ago, of course. Good policy was scuttled in order to secure industry support. The question is why it was done, and whether it could have been done any other way.
The Affordable Care Act barely squeaked through with a minimum number of votes as it was. Had either PhRMA or the hospital industry come out against the bill to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars in ads against those who considered voting for it, it would never have had a prayer of passing. The blessing of PhRMA and the hospitals was a necessary condition for the passage of any bill, which is part of why single-payer was never on the table in the first place.
Replacing Barack Obama with a “stronger progressive” won’t solve this problem, because the problem lies with the system, not with the person in the Oval Office.
The power to defeat PhRMA and the hospitals won’t come from the top down. It will come in two ways: 1) from the bottom up via progressives rolling them over state by state; and more importantly 2) through campaign finance reform that prevents them from threatening the careers of every politician in Washington if they don’t get their way.
What we do about that is up to us. It’s not entirely clear what the strategies for success will be, but the strategies for failure are obvious: waiting for a progressive savior who will never come because the structures of politics no longer allow it, and assuming that decentralized and disorganized angry people power will magically bring about change.
It’s going to be a long, hard slog. And it’s going to take organizing on a variety of fronts, chief among them campaign finance reform, that don’t seem to immediately impact the problem. But if one wants to cure a disease, it’s important to treat the underlying problems, not just the symptoms. But no one is going to save us from this morass but ourselves.
Been there, done that, Dave.
We organized. We saw the value of the internet and formed online communities. We blogged, we donated, some of us went to Yearly Kos/Netroots. Then one day a small clique of online activists decided they were smarter than everyone else and that democracy was too inefficient to accomplish their goals. They decided that Obama was The One, and that those evil Clintons and their low-information supporters needed to be purged from the Democratic party.
You were one of those online activists, Dave. So was your blog-mate Digby. We were the people you screwed over.
So fuck off, Dave.
p.s. You guys sold us out during the heath care reform debate too – you decided that single payer wasn’t doable so you put all your effort into the public option – just like Obama told you to do. He fucked you over the same way you fucked us over.
With a track record like yours, I’d be too embarrassed to be giving anyone advice. Especially to the people who were right all along.
Remember when Hillary tried to kill Bobby Kennedy?
At a town hall event in Ohio this afternoon, a woman asked Mitt Romney what he would do to roll back the size of government, and commented that President Obama “should be tried for treason.” She didn’t explain why Obama had committed treason — which is punishable by death. Her comments received a big round of applause from the audience.
Romney responded to her question, but didn’t condemn or acknowledge her comments on treason.
It’s gonna be a looooooonnnnnng six months until election day.
Byron York turns one smear into another:
Despite a few positive touches, no one will be surprised to learn that “Game Change,” the movie, will present an overwhelmingly negative portrait of Palin. Roach — he also directed the one-sided, pro-Gore “Recount” about the 2000 election — even goes beyond the book to throw in some new material from his own research. Roach also compressed some events and turned descriptions of conversations into dialogue that may or may not have actually happened.
But put that aside. Why did Hollywood focus on only one-half of “Game Change”? The other half would have made a great movie.
It was certainly the most compelling part of the book, with no end of dramatic moments. The Clinton-Obama version of “Game Change” could have focused on the racially charged effort among white Democrats to stop the first black man with a serious chance of winning their party’s presidential nomination.
The alternate “Game Change” could have featured the spectacle of Bill Clinton, the nation’s “first black president,” doing everything he could, risking his own reputation and place in history, to stop an actual black man from winning the office.
The alternate “Game Change” could have featured white Democratic party elders torn over the Clinton-Obama contest, loyal to Mrs. Clinton yet impressed by Obama’s ability to speak “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one” (in the infamous words of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid).
And then there was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. What a great role the fiery preacher from Chicago would have made! “Game Change” — the book — reported that Obama and his top aides knew all along that Wright would be a problem, and yet did nothing about it until Wright’s “Goddamn America” sermon burst into the news.
The alternate “Game Change” could have featured top Clinton aide Harold Ickes’ suggestion that the campaign hire a private investigator to probe Obama’s connections to Wright. “This guy has been sitting in the church for twenty f–king years,” Ickes is quoted in the book as saying. “If you really want to take him down, let’s take him f–king down.” Screenwriter Danny Strong — he also worked on “Recount” — couldn’t have written it better himself.
The movie also could have focused on Hillary Clinton’s anger at Obama’s ability to escape the Wright mess unscathed. “Just imagine, just for fun, if my pastor from Arkansas said the kind of things his pastor said,” Clinton told aides, according to the book. “I’m just saying. Just imagine. This race would be over.”
Neither Sarah Palin nor Hillary Clinton is currently running for elective office. Either or both of them may or may not run again in the future. Sarah Palin is a private citizen. Hillary Clinton is our Secretary of State.
I was aware that “Game Change” was a hit-job on Sarah. I didn’t know until now (although considering the authors it’s really no surprise) that it was also a hit job on Hillary.
The only thing “racially charged” about the 2008 Democratic primary were the charges of racism emanating from the Obama campaign. You could just as easily argue that supporting Obama was an effort to stop the first woman with a serious chance of winning the presidency. Bill Clinton was supporting his wife, not opposing Obama. Those “white party elders” York mentions were not loyal to Hillary, they secretly supported Obama from the beginning.
As for the Wright controversy, regardless of what may have been discussed in private the Hillary campaign avoided the issue and took no part. The alleged statement by Hillary is entirely accurate. Any other Democrat would have been sunk by such a close association with Wright (or Rezko or Ayers.)
The worst part about the race card strategy pursued by the Obama campaign is that it has given the Republicans a new issue to use against Democrats. Long after Obama is gone they will keep talking about it.