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The Sochi Winter Olympics*

*some restrictions may apply

The Sochi Winter Olympics* *some restrictions may apply

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I just called Senator Richard Burr's office to register my displeasure at his participation in blocking the Manchin-Toomey amendment. The staffer who answered the phone told me something that I'm looking to verify.

He said that the amendment would make it so that if you were, say, at a gun range and a friend wanted to fire a few shots with your gun, the friend would have to undergo another background check at the point of transfer to do so, and then you would have to undergo another one when he handed it back.

This sounds fishy to me. He also said that Manchin-Toomey was not filibustered, but needed 60 votes because it was an amendment. Anyone got any insights on it? I would like to rebut intelligently, but I'm not one to read legalese. Thanks.

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Michael Brown, ex-FEMA head, has advice, criticism for Obama about Hurricane Sandy

Holding a press conference at FEMA yesterday might have been a bit premature, given that the most serious impacts of the storm are not expected until later today, he feels.

...

For a FEMA director, Brown says, timing is always an important question: When is it most effective for the president to make an announcement?

"He probably could've had a little more impact doing it today," says Brown.

Wow. Um. I think this guy needs to shut his damn word hole and crawl back under his rock. You do know that we all still remember who you are and what you did, right?

Oh, and then, he goes here:

"One thing he's gonna be asked is, why did he jump on this so quickly and go back to D.C. so quickly when in...Benghazi, he went to Las Vegas?" Brown says. "Why was this so quick?... At some point, somebody's going to ask that question.... This is like the inverse of Benghazi."
What a d-bag.  
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One thing I've found interesting and hopeful and under-remarked about the Amendment One issue is the fact that the first and most visible organizers against the amendment, as far as I've seen, has been Triad People of Faith. For most of my lifetime, we as a nation have associated faith with Conservatism. But it was not always so, and I believe it is not warranted -- religious Conservatives have simply been the loudest over the past forty years. People of faith in this country have been instrumental in ending slavery and segregation, in fighting militarism and corporatism, in prophetic witness against poverty and for universal healthcare. And now People of Faith are taking the lead against homophobic demagoguery. I'm happy to have them on my side.

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Fri Apr 13, 2012 at 12:18 PM PDT

Stand whose ground?

by PatrioticallyIncorrect

I think that trying to divine George Zimmerman's motives or racism in the Trayvon Martin shooting is ultimately futile and pointless (which is why the media wants us to dwell on it). The point is the racist assumptions behind these "stand your ground" laws. All the justifications offered for Zimmerman's actions seem as though they would have been more applicable to Martin than to Zimmerman -- Zimmerman seems to have stalked (hunted?) this young man through the neighborhood, then confronted and ultimately killed him. If Trayvon had been the killer, does anyone honestly believe that "justifiable homicide" would have once been used to describe the incident? No. Of course not. Furthermore, whatever futile defense Martin allegedly put up is only used as justification for his murder, painting him as a violent, aggressive black criminal. Martin appears to have tried to stand his ground. But that law wasn't written for him, and I think deep in our hearts, we all know it.

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I’ve grown cynical, believing no matter what leaders we elect, things will keep getting worse for most Americans as the wealthy use government to redistribute our wealth and freedom to themselves at an ever-increasing rate.

But we once had liberal and progressive leaders from both parties who used government to expand economic security and personal freedom, materially improving the lives of Americans: Lincoln, both Roosevelts, Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson.  They all did so over forceful opposition from powerful conservative forces.  

Then Reagan popularized the self-fulfilling belief that “government is the problem.”  The American people have largely bought Reagan’s great lie, and we now only expect from our government waste, corruption and impoverishment.  As long as that’s what we expect, that’s what we’ll get.  

Once, we did expect more of our government of, by, and for the people.  We demanded leaders make the government work for us, not against us.  We must again expect that our governement will do us good and not harm.  We must again demand that our leaders expect the same.  Until we do, we will continue to see our wealth and freedom siphoned off by a wealthy and powerful few.  

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Wed Jul 27, 2011 at 06:00 PM PDT

"Entitlements"

by PatrioticallyIncorrect

The reason that Social Security and Medicare are "entitlements" is because we, the working people of America, paid cash money for them as FICA taxes. Of course we are entitled to the services that we have bought and paid for. Raiding those services up to subsidize the wealthy is theft. Return tax rates on the rich to 1950s levels & close corporate tax loopholes, and the problem is fixed immediately!

<-- Sent to my local newspaper

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I was volunteering at the Obama campaign offices today, and fielded a call from a woman who was reporting possible voter suppression fraud being committed in Greensboro, NC.  Now before I get any further, I want to say that nothing is confirmed, and there is a distinct possibility that the story was merely the result of one person's confusion.  But I figured that I should put it out there to see if anyone else is hearing any similar stories.  That might help us determine whether or not this is something to be concerned about.  Details are over the jump...

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Over on one of my other favorite blogs, Emphasis Added, I was just arguing with one of the regular conservative commenters on the subject of whether or not a Democratic president would have the nads to do what needed to be done to keep Americans safe.  Out of that discussion, I came up with the following reasons why our next Democratic president will do a better job protecting us against anyone or any force that poses a real threat to America or Americans.  
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Between An Inconvenient Truth, Gov. Schweitzer's recent diary on energy strategy, DarkSyde's recent diary on peak oil, and a conversation I had with a Jet Propulsion Labs engineer on a plane trip recently, I've been doing a lot of thinking lately, and have come to the conclusion that the whole philosophical underpinning of the environmental movement is entirely unsuited to support the changes actually needed in our society.  Modern environmentalism has all the structural integrity of Boston's Big Dig.  

That's why we have to pit Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana vs. Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant of Prussia.  Two men enter.  One man leaves.  In the balance: the fate of our environment and our nation's energy security.

Make the jump to see how it all goes down...

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Amendment XXVIII (proposed): Money is not speech.

Amendment XXIX (proposed): Corporations are not people.  

Leading up to the 2006 midterms, Democrats should pledge to enact these two constitutional amendments.  This would do many things.  

First, they are simple, straight forward and hard to argue with.  Basically, they are just statements of obvious fact.  But they would have profound progressive reverberations through our legal and political fabric.  

Second and third on the flip...

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Thu Mar 16, 2006 at 06:17 AM PST

V for Vendetta

by PatrioticallyIncorrect

I will be there opening weekend.  I'm excited, but also scared by this one.  I loved much of V when I read it in the late '80s.  (Particularly the parts Alan Moore had written years before in England.  I found that the ending he wrote for DC at the time kind of unraveled for me -- but that could be smoothed over in a screen play.)  I also loved the intro he wrote for the DC printing in the late '80s.

But I'm a bit scared of this thing being made now.  

more...

Poll

Will you be seeing V for Vendetta on opening weekend?

59%49 votes
19%16 votes
20%17 votes

| 82 votes | Vote | Results

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