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"Richie threatened to stab me. Should I press charges?"

This was the call I got while at work over a month ago from my roommate Charlie. Richie is our other room-mate. Charlie had just moved in about a month or two ago. Richie had been my roommate for about four months.

"Wait, what?" I responded.

Charlie explained, "Richie is really drunk. He threatened to stab me with a kitchen fork. He got up in my face saying I stole something from him. I'm in my room now and I'm wondering if I should call the cops."

"Hang on a second Charlie, I'm still at work, let me call you back in ten minutes." I replied.

I didn't get that long, soon I had another call on my cellphone. This time it was my landlord.

"Richie has to move out immediately. He just called me, drunk, cursing and screaming. I want him gone by the end of the week. Either he goes or I'm going to evict all three of you." my Landlord told me.

Luckily my shift was almost over, so I called a good friend to discuss this, and after my shift ended and I had clocked out we met for beers to talk things through.

     Richie had been on a vodka bender for the better part of a week. He had done this before when his grandfather passed away, he drank vodka noon and night but I let it pass as he was mourning. I didn't realize then that going on drunken vodka benders was what he does. This time he had gone too far.
    My friend, riled up, said we should just go to my apartment and throw him out. I could tell my friend was too heated so when we parted I told him to go home and I would handle it myself. I've been in this apartment for the better part of four years now, all the utilities were in my name and I have a good relationship with the landlord. I wasn't about to lose my apartment because Richie can't handle his liquor.

   So I went back to my apartment to find Richie drunk and staggering. He came up to me immediately to make his case in slurred speech. I cut him off "I don't care. I want you out at the end of the week."

    Voices rose. Richie said he wasn't going to leave. He asked if I would call the cops. I told him I would if he refused to pay his rent and refused to leave. That made things worse. Richie insisted that real men don't call the cops, that we could work things out. I told him there was nothing left to work out, he threatened the new roommate Charlie and cursed out the landlord. The landlord said either Richie goes or all of us are getting evicted. Richie had to go. That was that.

   "You can't make me." Richie stated, his voice rising.

   "The hell I can't." I replied. "Either you're gone in a week or come next Saturday I'm putting all your shit in the streets and changing the locks."

   My name is on the lease. Richie's is not.

   The argument escalated. Richie began to pace back and forth, swaying as he did so. I was losing my patience. Richie continued to holler and pace back and forth, pleading his case. I was having none of it. Eventually Richie took a quick step towards me and said "I'm not going and that's that. And what are you going to do about it you fat fuck?"

   So I punched him square in the nose.

   This, in hindsight, was a very poor decision on my part. More about that later.

   He went falling back, breaking a framed picture of Mohammed Ali he had left on the floor. His nose was flattened. Blood came down from his nostrils and a gash opened under his eye. He got up and we got tangled up, he tried to hockey-shirt me but I wrapped my arms around him and slammed him to the floor, dropping my weight down on top of him. Then I dragged him through our hallway and to the front door, meaning to toss him out. I had him headlocked in one arm while I tried to unlock the door with the other when he wriggled free.

   Now there was a total ruckus. Richie demanded another fight. He boasted that I knew he could take me. He said if I didn't call the cops we could have a rematch then and there. By then I had grown tired of this lunacy. I told him no, we won't have a rematch, I want you the fuck out of here by Saturday. So he walked away down the hall to his room and said over his shoulder as he left "You'll get yours on your way to work, watch."

   So I followed him down the hall shouting "What did you say?" He closed his door on me and I kicked it open. He closed the door again and I kicked it open again. This time the door hit him in the face when I kicked it. We argued again. Holy hell was being raised. Eventually Richie decided it was okay to call the cops on me and threatened to do so. I grabbed my computer from my room and a few things and threw them in my bag and got the hell out of there. I stayed that night at a friends house who lives in my neighborhood.

    The next day I told the landlord the whole story. My landlord likes me and wanted Richie out so we called the cops to explain the situation and see if we could get Richie evicted. No dice. he had been there for more than 30 days, it was a matter for the courts now. So I made myself scarce around my apartment for the next few days. I didn't want to be confronted with a drunken, fork wielding maniac holding a grudge. It wasn't until that Friday when I went home to sleep a bit around midnight so I could get up in time for work the next morning at ten that things came to a head.

   And that was when the cops came to my bedroom door to place me under arrest.

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WASHINGTON—In what is being regarded as a further provocation on top of his already controversial address before Congress, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu doubled down against President Obama Tuesday with a PowerPoint presentation on the perils of the Affordable Care Act.
Read the whole thing here. As usual the Onion gets right to the point with satire. And this whole Netanyahu speech orchestrated by Boehner was a farce quite deserving of satire. Netanyahu's visit was designed by the GOP to do one thing, and that was to throw egg in the face of President Obama. Because all right wingers are saying is give another war with no defined exit strategy a chance. Again.

This is the song that never ends . . .

Deliciously, the Onion ended this short piece with the level of absurdity both the GOP and Netanyahu deserve.

At press time, Netanyahu was asking if he might have a few more minutes for an abbreviated version of his PowerPoint on the troubling unanswered questions that still surrounded Benghazi.
  The only thing missing was Netanyahu berating an empty chair.


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To those who watched Joni Ernst's State of the Union response, you saw a full denial of reality.

Did Joni Ernst RESPOND at all to what Obama said in her response? No. She essentially talked right over his speech.

How is it a response when you don't even respond to the words you just heard? Joni Ernst essentially answered Obama's statements by instead not acknowledging they happened but by answering a wholly unasked question of her own invention. The GOP as a whole didn't even hear what Obama had just said. Their canned response(s) were simply folksy platitudes answering the question no one was asking, and that question was "I wonder what is on Fox News right now?"

This wasn't a GOP response to a speech the Democratic President had just made on the State of our Union, this was a five minute infomercial on what the GOP wants to appear like. And even then they still failed. What I learned about the GOP from Joni Ernst is a folksy tale about Joni Ernst, a mishmash of talking points targeted solely at the GOP base and a bunch of nothing.

If this is all the GOP has in an election where people actually show up to vote they are screwed. Their response to a question about the state of reality in America is to say "Yeah, but the real problem is {Insert folksy GOP platitude here}"

more below the fold . .

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This election cycle has made it obvious that the two major political parties in America inhabit entirely different realities.

One party wants to talk about how to lift millions of working class people out of poverty.

The other party doesn't even want to talk about that. They are too busy shitting their pants while tilting at windmills.

The ever shifting fear kaleidoscope of the Right Wing freak out du jour is frankly exhausting. I don't know how these wingnuts maintain the energy to be constantly terrified at so many things at once, but regardless of what Republicans are shitting themselves over at any given moment the central cause of their freak out is obvious. It's Obama's fault.

This is an off year election, and base turnout is of a prime importance. Since the GOP can't talk about their tremendously unpopular policy proposals they have to stick with what their base likes, hating on Obama.

The thing for me is that most of what the GOP base freaks out over and blames on Obama doesn't even make sense

More below the fold  

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I have marched. I have protested. I even did a few interviews.

And what I have learned in that time is that none of that matters if you don't vote.

In the last few months I have been working full time. It leaves me very little energy to engage in the kind of activism and writing I enjoy participating in. Honestly, I have missed it a lot.

So when a friend got in touch with me about a project he was working on I jumped at the chance to get involved.

The premise is simple. We need to give Democratic voters a REASON to vote, something tangible to fight for, while at the same time drawing a line in the sand for Democratic candidates as a way for them to earn our support or be replaced by someone who will.

When last I wrote I mentioned this project, now that it has gotten off the ground a bit I'd like to share it with you all and get your take on it.

Here is the website we have put up, please give it a link and check it out . . .

I have signed this pledge and I strongly encourage you to do the same. I'm tired of getting emails that just ask for $3, I want to see a Democratic party that STANDS for something, and I hope this is where it starts . . .

slightly more below the fold. . . .

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So how do we get our people fired up to get out there and vote?

We all know how tremendously important turnout is on election day, especially in off year elections.

I firmly believe that what motivates Democrats and Republicans to vote are entirely different things, even when boiled down to the base emotions entwined with each parties base. The GOP operates on fear, the Democratic party does not. As odious as the GOP and their failed ideas have become that alone is not enough to get people to vote against the GOP in off year elections. We need to give people something to vote FOR when they vote Democratic.

It is my belief that the things that motivate democrats and left-leaning voters to get out and vote on election day are truly steeped in hope. The hope that things get better. Fear doesn't motivate the left. Optimism is what motivates the left, but it can't be empty optimism either.

To that end I'd like to open a discussion on HOW to get people motivated to vote, and I think the key to that is a policy issue.

I believe we need our own version of the "Contract with America", something short and sweet written in language anyone can easily communicate that expresses the goals and policy solutions that Democratic officials should be driving towards. The Democratic party has a platform, it is a long read and full of wonky stuff that fall flat on the ears of people who are not political junkies. We need to compress and refine that platform into a contract and a pledge that states clearly "This is what we stand for, this is what we will do when elected, and this is what you stand to gain when you vote for Democrats"

So a couple of friends and I have been trying to boil down an easy one or two page statement, something that anyone can print off and show to their fellow citizens and elected officials. Something that not only clearly articulates HOW we are going to solve the many problems Americans are facing but also a document that will allow us to hold our elected officials feet to the fire once they are in office.

On that subject, regarding policy, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. I have my own ideas which I will share later in this post but I'd love to hear the opinions of other people who want to Get Out The Vote and start making a difference.

Because if we want to seriously start winning in states that are demographically shifting blue, states like Texas, Georgia and North Carolina, if we want to start electing solid Democrats instead of GOP-lite industry shills in places where Dems are guaranteed to win like New York and California we need to start giving Democratic leaning voters something to vote FOR instead of just pointing to Republicans as something to vote against.

More below the fold . . .

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Last week Louie Gohmert did a conference call with E.W.Jackson.

Yup, it's time for this weeks edition of "Drunk Current Events with Louie Gohmert"

Herein, Congressmen Gohmert explains that children fleeing to the southern US border were instructed to lie about why they came here so they can rape women, which means Obama is the real war on women. Also this is worse than if Iran nuked Israel or something.

    The congressmen went on to say that “the penetration of criminals and terrorists across our southern border” represents a threat to the U.S. comparable to the threat of a nuclear strike from Iran against Israel.


     He likened the immigrant “invasion” to D-Day, warning that undocumented immigrants were responsible for over six hundred thousand crimes in Texas over the past five years, including thousands of homicides and sexual assaults.

     Gohmert called President Obama’s immigration policy the real “war on women” because it allowed immigrants to cross the border to rape women.

   I, for one, am sick and tried of the stupid shit Republicans say. It all boils down to Noun/Verb/Scare white people shitless.

    Sure, those kids were coached to lie so they could come here and rape women. Either that, or they are genuinely fleeing a humanitarian disaster. Whatever.

    These are the intellectual leaders of the GOP, insipid, marble mouthed meatheads who are only good at one thing, scaring the piss out of America's dumbest white people.

 slightly more below the fold

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Republicans now have Obama right where Obama wants them to.

  And consider the odd situation in which that leaves the President. As much as he has been under attack from Republicans over executive authority, he has a political incentive to bait Republicans into talking more about impeachment, which would both build pressure for it within the GOP and force them to deny it to the media. The best way for him to do so is to take more unilateral action on issues like immigration. That would incense Republicans, who would then rush to the cameras to decry his lawlessness, which would lead journalists to ask them whether they’re going to impeach him, which would lead them to tie themselves in knots denying it. Obama would get both the policy results he wants and the political benefit of making his opponents look like they’re about to drag the country into a repeat of the farce of 1998.

So yes, the talk of impeachment is in part a plot by the White House. But they’re only exploiting the pressure that exists within the GOP — pressure that John Boehner and the rest of the party leadership helped create. And if you think you’ve seen Republicans squirming uncomfortably over the question up until now, just you wait.

Bold text added by the diarist

  I'd strongly encourage you to read the whole piece by Paul Waldman quoted above. It clearly illustrates that Obama now has a clear incentive to troll the shit out of extremist Republicans who hate him more than they love America.

   Because Republicans decided on the day of Obama's first inauguration to oppose everything this President does. Their goal was to sabotage Obama's Presidency and America's recovery for their own political gain.

Even if that would hurt average Americans

Especially if that would hurt average Americans and impede our nation's economic recovery. That way they can run on the outrage they themselves created.

Even if they previously supported the idea Obama was trying to pass into law.

And that worked in 2010. It also failed miserably in 2012.

Now it is 2014 and the GOP strategy seems to be "Second term, same as the first"

Oppose everything, watch NOTHING improve, hobble Obama's second term. And blame the lack of progress on, you guessed it, Obama.

But Obama is NOT going along with it.

He is using the powers available to him as Chief Executive to get shit done, with or without a recalcitrant, petty partisan driven GOP House of Representatives.

So sue me

Or impeach me

Which the GOP has (sued him)

Which countless wingnuts claim they should (impeach him)

Now, unless Sarah Palin is a Democratic plant it is laughable to say that all of this impeachment talk started with Obama's WH. Impeaching Obama is a laughable proposal outside the GOP, kind of like every other GOP idea.

But just because no one outside the GOp takes it seriously doesn't mean the GOP base won't cling to it until the bitter end (see Palin, Sarah)

For years the GOP has been saying Obama is lawless, a tyrant, a dictator, and weak, or whatever. Whatever they can get to stick to a wall. The problem is NONE OF THAT CRAP will stick to a wall outside of the sound proof echo chamber that is the GOP's incestuously amplified corporate media machine.

At the beginning of Obama's second term The Heritage Foundation advised Congressional Republicans to ditch all the governing bullshit and stick to inventing scandals. All of those nothing burger scandals have FAILED to resonate with anyone outside the GOP echo chamber. Let's take a look at some of those failed GOP noise machine trumped up "Scandals".

IRS "scandal" = FAIL
Bundy Ranch = racist outburst + FAIL
Bergdahl = FAIL, fizzled out in a week
Obamacare won't help anyone = FAIL
and on and on it goes.

The GOP has tried to avoid governing as much as they can. But that lack of desire to do government stuff ran head first into the wall that the GOP wants to build on the Mexican border.

Because the GOP's newest self-manufactured "Crisis" was along the southern border. OMG! there are immigrants and refugees coming here! Aren't you southern state white people who fear and loath immigrants angry?, asked Republicans. Why won't Obama do something said the screechweasels on the right!?!?

So Obama started saying he would "do something"

And that made the screechweasels screech even louder.

How dare Obama do things?!? He isn't the "Decider". He is a tyrant or something, and Republicans started whipping up their hardcore base with promises of impeachable offenses that Republicans are entirely incapable of articulating without using terms so vague it might appear at the bottom of a credit card agreement.

This leaves President Obama in the perfect position to keep Rope-a-Doping these GOP clowns as hard as he wants to.

GOP won't pass any immigration laws? Obama can issue some executive orders. Shit will get done. Democratic constituencies will appreciate those moves, it will infuriate the GOP base further, increasing the demands for impeaching Obama over arggle barrgle something something, which will remind Dem voters to get off their asses and vote in 2014, and so on and so forth.

So Very Serious Republicans like Paul Ryan say Impeachment talk is a 'ridiculous game"

Guess what, fuckface, YOU BUILT THAT. Don't come whining to the rest of us when that thing Republicans built blows up in the face of Republicans.

And Obama knows it.

More below the fold

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Multi-millionaire Nick Hanauer is no dummy. He sees the writing on the wall.

I'd strongly suggest you read this entire piece titled "The pitchforks are coming . . . for us Plutocrats"

And what do I see in our future now?

I see pitchforks.

At the same time that people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country—the 99.99 percent—is lagging far behind. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.

But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.

And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.

Read more:

  I remember hearing a phrase during Occupy, "If you won't let us dream we won't let you sleep". What happens when real opportunity for everyone below $100k evaporates entirely? What happens when people can't find decent paying jobs that they can afford to live on? What happens when people have had enough?
   I don't want things to get that bad. I have often tried my best to get out in front of the problem before it gets worse. I don't have the resources or clout to be heard, my lack of money as speech prevents that, but Nick Hanauer does, and he is spelling it out for his uber-rich compatriots, cut the shit out before you unleash all hell on yourselves.
   No society can sustain this kind of rising inequality. In fact, there is no example in human history where wealth accumulated like this and the pitchforks didn’t eventually come out. You show me a highly unequal society, and I will show you a police state. Or an uprising. There are no counterexamples. None. It’s not if, it’s when.

Read more:

  Slightly more below the fold . . .
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So Rand Paul wants to run for President in 2016. Rand also wants to run to keep his Senate seat at the same time in case his White House bid doesn't work out.

In order to do so Rand needs the Kentucky state legislature to pass a law that would allow him to appear twice on the same ballot, as Senator and for the Presidency, something that has happened several times since LBJ first did it. Of course, the Republican controlled Kentucky State Senate happily obliged, they passed a one paragraph bill to let Rand run for Senate and the White House. The Assembly in Kentucky is controlled by Democrats and they said, hmmmm, let me think, no.

Yeah, it must suck to have the Senate pass something and then have a lower legislative body kill it.

Rachel Maddow did an excellent job covering this last night

My own thoughts and more below the orange infinity . . .

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Martin Weinberg has been a good friend of mine for quite some time. Almost as long as I've been blogging here at Daily Kos.

You might know him better by his Daily Kos user handle alpolitics. And he is running for a Judge seat in Alabama.

A little background from Martin's campaign website . . .

    Martin has been a practicing attorney in the State of Alabama since 2004. He primarily represents clients, most of whom are lower income individuals, in criminal defense matters, civil rights and personal injury litigation as well as social security disability claims.

    He practices in Municipal, State and Federal Courts throughout the State of Alabama. Martin has also represented governmental agencies, small businesses, and non-profit corporations.

about Martin Weinberg

   Martin has been endorsed by the United Mine Workers and other community activists and reputable attorneys.

    Back when Martin and I were both posting at his old website (no longer online) we worked our tails off fundraising for solid Progressives and covering other news through the 2010 election cycle. Things didn't go well for Democrats that year, but it taught me a valuable lesson about being engaged and active in the political sphere, lessons I have not forgotten.

   There is very little to be found in the news on this obscure local Alabama Judge race. Very few hyper-local elections get any coverage at all but I thought this one deserved a little, since Martin Weinberg is an outstanding candidate for this position as well as a long standing member of the Daily Kos community who has contributed a lot to progressive causes over the years.

   Slightly more below the fold . . .

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I've been having a running debate with Luke Rudkowski on twitter about this whole Bundy Ranch thing. I've met Luke on the road and found him to be an amiable guy, but we have differences. Very stark, irreconcilable differences.

That said, he shot me over a video to watch on this whole BundyRanch hoo hah. He asked me to tell him what I thought of it, and since it is hard to respond to a ten minute video on twitter I thought a short post would answer him better.

The heart of the video: Senator Harry Reid and his son set out to screw Cliven Bundy for personal profit. posted on this subject and rated the claim false, as in, the opposite of truth.


    Now, Occam's Razor tells us that often the simplest answer to something is the most accurate, but before I get into that lets look at the claim that Senator Harry Reid is conspiring with the Bureau of Land Management to sell Bundy Rancher property to the Chinese to build a massive solar farm.

    Somewhere along the way in the reporting of this brouhaha, the conspiracy theory arose that the showdown between Cliven Bundy and the federal government wasn't really about grazing cattle or endangered tortoises, but was actually about a deal between Harry Reid, the senior U.S. Senator from Nevada (and the current U.S. Majority Leader), and a Chinese company eager to build a solar plant on the disputed land . . .


    However, the theory that Reid's putative involvement in the Bundy dispute was motivated by a desire to somehow profit from the building of a solar plant falls flat in the face of two basic facts: The site that ENN Mojave Energy was planning to buy in order to build a solar plant is nowhere near the public land Bundy has been disputing with the government, and ENN gave up the solar project and terminated its agreement to buy land to house it as far back as June 2013 . . .


    Even the conservative Breitbart site debunked this conspiracy claim, noting:

Despite the obvious partisan gain to be had if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's son Rory (a failed 2010 Nevada gubernatorial candidate) had somehow been involved in a "land grab" affecting the Bundy family ranch operation — the facts just do not pan out as such. Indeed, Rory Reid did in fact have a hand in plans to reclassify federal lands for renewable energy developments. Just northeast of Las Vegas and Nellis Air Force Base, plans were drawn by Reid allies to potentially develop 5,717 acres of land for such use. While it would be fair to claim that such activity was in Bundy's relative neighborhood, the federal lands once leased by the family were more than 20 miles away, east of Overton, Nevada
  When Britebart thinks a conspiracy theory is too illegitimate to run with "despite the obvious partisan gain to be had" you have a problem. A big problem. And I know it involves Harry Reid and Solar energy, two thinks that conservatives aren't exactly big fans of, but let's think about this for a minute.

    The simple answer: Cliven Bundy didn't want to pay grazing fees to us public land he does not own

    Or the long answer: It's a conspiracy involving Harry Reid, the Chinese Government and Big Solar energy to screw over poor innocent Cliven Bundy, who could be just like your dad.

   Slightly more below the fold . . .

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