The Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Jeff Darcy did some mansplaining via a cartoon in Saturday's edition, not only completely misrepresenting Wendy Davis and her position on abortion in general, but also stating in an accompanying editorial that her shoes are "blood-red pink" and claiming that she's an "advocate" of late-term abortions, stated in a way that would insinuate that she is actually pro-abortion.
So, I've lost my first Facebook friend in the aftermath of the Newtown shooting. I've known my (no longer) friend, whom I'll call Mr. Gun-totin', for many years. He has long been a gun rights advocate, and frequently posts on Facebook with pictures of weapons and quotes about liberty and so forth. He has also commented on several occasions about the "tyranny" of the government and his belief that there would be a day when the government would finally come take all our guns. The argument began when I posted the Malcolm Trumbull tweet back to Rupert Murdoch. Mr. Gun-totin' first wanted to argue the difference of automatic vs. semi-automatic weapons, which, aside from completely missing the point, was initially Rupert Murdoch's error so I responded that he should take it up with Mr. Murdoch. I also noted that Murdoch's birth country, Australia, has had zero mass shootings since instituting strict gun control regulations. He posted an NRA video from several years ago that quoted statistics about a rise in Australian crime that were unsourced and out of context. When I pointed that out, with a link that refuted his assertions, he finally posted, "Pass your laws and see how many obey it in America. Make people like me felons, and force us into a violent confrontation over it. I wont thank you for it."
Well, I responded.
It's a glaring example of not even caring to present the façade of impartiality:
The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.
"We are all Norwegians," tweeted Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt in the aftermath of the Oslo terrorist attack. For some world politician to adopt the phrase has now become part of the ritual of healing and signalling unity when these horrible events occur. At the time of Bildt's tweet, it was unknown that the terrorist was right-wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik, but that didn't stop the right in this country of engaging in the abhorrent ritual of speculation as to how radically Islamic the terrorist must be. Washington Post writer Jennifer Rubin not only indulged in it shamelessly, but then posted a dubious 'retraction' which included the rationale, "there are many more jihadists than blond Norwegians out to kill Americans." While that statement may be true, it mocks and obscures the reality that there have been far more acts of terror planned or perpetrated by fundamentalist Christians and right-wing extremists on American soil -- over twenty in the last two years.
The perpetrator of the Norway attacks is reported to have tweeted the John Stuart Mill quote, "One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests." In this way, one fundamentalist could be hoping to inspire others to rise up as well. In his country, as in ours, there are ample outlets for extremist fires to be stoked. And even the public faces of conservatism and religion, after a time of hollow condemnation or denial, will return to engaging in exactly the kind of rhetoric that can ignite a fundamentalist in a way that ends up collaterally damaging 100,000 lives. Fundamentalism and extremism in America aren't adequately shunned by our society as a whole -- especially our government, our media and our religious institutions. Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere commented in a press briefing, "I think it's appropriate to underline that politically motivated violence that Norway has seen in the modern age has come from the extreme rightist side." These are words the likes of which you wouldn't hear from high ranking officials in our government. Similarly, I wouldn't expect to see any major mainstream media outlet devote a share of their journalistic resources to the topic that was in proportion to the actual threat. And I certainly don't expect any prominent Christian leaders to suggest an initiative that directly addresses the problem of fundamentalism that results in acts of domestic terrorism.
In this way, the leaders of the most powerful institutions in this country are failing us. As a society, when we don't acknowledge we have a problem, we are simply asking for the ensuing crisis. Well America, we have a right-wing problem. It's not solely Christian, but it's definitely conservative. Unfortunately, the violent acts that have been committed are now just part of the din of American life, all of them taken individually and not part of a larger pattern. But the politics of Anders Behring Breivik -- right-wing, anti-immigrant and anti-government -- are the politics of Rush Limbaugh, who has millions of listeners in this country. They're the politics of Timothy McVeigh. They're the politics of Herman Cain and Sarah Palin. And they're the politics of the Tea Party. Will a leader of the Tea Party stand up today and say, "We are all Norwegians"? Perhaps it could happen. But tomorrow, I am willing to bet their words and deeds will again suggest something more akin to "we are all right-wing terrorists." Because 100,000 who have only interests is equal to the force of One person with a belief.
The next terrorist attack on American soil will likely be committed by a conservative. The greatest terror threat to Americans is from the right wing. This cannot be stated enough, and it is information that should be noted in any government or journalistic report about terrorism in this country. That we as a society are still allowing this crisis to form insinuates a cowed majority and a populace that has collectively decided not to acknowledge its flaws... there are others, conveniently, to blame. But let us make no mistake- conservatism is the ideological manure for home-grown terrorism.
Medicare and Social Security are not entitlements, they're part of the social contract we sign on to when we enter the workforce. The Medicare and Social Security contracts to which we have been faithfully adhering can and will be changed unless we take an unprecedented step - we need to make it known that any and all changes to the social contracts as they have existed for decades will be met with a class action lawsuit.
Ryan Plan? Everyone under 55 could be a party to a class action lawsuit - the enactment of such a plan would amount to the theft of billions of dollars that under-55s have paid into the system, which presumably would not be repaid (but the rich get to keep their tax cut).
Catfood Commission? A proposal that raises both the Social Security tax and the retirement age, while at the same time lowering the corporate tax rate, constitutes a breach of contract for everyone who has been paying into the system until now. We pay more for longer and get less, and social welfare is replaced with corporate welfare. It's a bait and switch.
Bloomberg is reporting that in the IAEA's opinion, "melted fuel in the No. 1 reactor building may be causing isolated, uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions." This conclusion comes as a result of research conducted after it was admitted that TEPCO workers observed neutron beams at the site at least 13 times.
The Bloomberg article also goes on to say that Japan may now be seriously considering entombing the plant in concrete, as opposed to dismantling it which could take up to thirty years. The possibility of exposure to further neutron beams adds another danger to workers at the site.
This is just a quick update. I am not a scientist, engineer or any kind of nuclear expert, whatsoever. But I try to only source my information from "credible" sources.
The article has this to say about
neutron beams the "uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions":
Nuclear experts call these reactions "localized criticality," which will increase radiation and hamper the ability to shut down the plant. The reactions consist of a burst of heat, radiation and sometimes an "ethereal blue flash," according to the U.S. Energy Department’s Los Alamos National Laboratory web site. Twenty-one workers have been killed by "criticality accidents" in the past, the site said.
If you haven't heard of merchantsshouldpaytheirshare.org, get ready for your daily outrage...
Their ads are running on the front page of Talking Points Memo.
The debate over the skin on DKos today seems fairly short-sighted. The truth is that there is a regime that controls Iran that has a long-standing and fairly well-earned hatred of the U.S., completely as a result of foreign policy decisions from our country's past.
It is of vast import to separate the citizens of Iran from the regime that controls their lives, but it is equally important to understand that the regime, not the citizens, controls Iran's foreign policy and has in the past been a state sponsor of terrorism.
So, while we may be on the side of the reformers and the opposition movement in Iran, it is still important to understand that the regime that still controls the country is very much our enemy, and has on multiple occasions in the past sponsored attacks against Americans and our allies. Furthermore, the goal of the skin is, in my opinion, quite a noble one: to make Americans understand that climate change is not a tree hugger issue; it's a national security issue.
Sorry, you just don't get it. The passage of this bill isn't so much about what happens regarding health coverage reform; it's about demoralizing your base a mere 11 months before a critical midterm election. Hell, Republicans screwed things up, but at least they weren't cowards with their majorities. They rammed things through with blatant disregard for what was good for the country, showing loyalty to ideology over anything resembling compassion for their constituents. They were able to coast on the fumes of good will despite the morass of bad governance. I don't condone this modus operandi for Democrats, but let's be honest: every American who sees this pathetic effort by Democrats, in spite of their overwhelming majorities, can only come away with the impression that Democrats just can't get the job done.
It's embarrassing and we can already see 2010 shaping up to be a potential disaster.
This is meant to be a call to action, and I'm asking for your help to spread this message to every progressive blog. The time has come to kick Joe Lieberman out of the caucus once and for all. He needs to learn that actions have consequences, period. We have previously been told that he is with us on "everything but the war," but now it is all too clear that this just isn't the case. And just so it is understood that this isn't just about health coverage reform, I have listed reasons for his expulsion from the caucus, after the jump...
First I want to say this diary isn't meant to belittle anyone or take away from the reality that millions are uninsured and need proper health care (indeed, "people are hurting"). But as it stands, if you can't afford health insurance now, you're not likely to be able to afford the public option in the house bill:
The budget office said "a less healthy pool of enrollees" would probably be attracted to the public option, drawn by the prospect of looser rules on access to specialists and medical services.
As a result, premiums in the public plan would be higher than the average for private plans. That could nudge healthy middle-class workers and their families to sign up for private plans.
So not only does this version of "reform" not even come close to covering the 50 million uninsured, but it actually could end up helping the for-profit insurance industry.
UPDATE: this is a brief analysis of the domestic political effects of this news. i understand that the international reaction is different, but that doesn't have a whole lot of bearing on obama's domestic support, or how american media outlets will cover it.
sure, the right wing will go nuts. but in their eyes the final nail in the nobel coffin, in terms of legitimacy, was al gore (preceded of course by jimmy carter). but this morning (after the chuckle we had when thinking about the slap in the face this is to george w bush), when i told my wife that obama had won the nobel prize, it occurred to me that this maybe wasn't such a good thing after all. the reason: because my wife, lifelong liberal and feminist, replied incredulously, "what for?"
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