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A Resolution to Benefit the United States of America and the Democratic Party

WHEREAS, it was the 50-state strategy of the Democratic National Committee under former Chairman Howard Dean that enabled the Democrats to retake Congress in 2006 and paved the way for enhanced gains of the Obama wave of 2008;

WHEREAS, the Democrats dropping the 50-state strategy after Obama's election in 2008 coincided with the SuperPAC-funded and astroturfed Tea Party movement to enable Republicans to retake the House and take over state legislatures installing and seemingly entrenching Tea Partisans who have no interest in good faith bipartisan negotiations;

WHEREAS, it is a choice by the Democrats to abandon the 50-state strategy and no longer allocate resources, run candidates, or otherwise engage in efforts to offer the voters in the reddest red state districts an alternative to the Republican Party or even expose them to a message that conflicts with their right-wing bubble;

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Why is it that one of the most powerful arguments against opponents of same-sex marriage so often gets completely ignored by supporters of same-sex marriage?

Once again, during yesterday's oral arguments in Hollingsworth v. Perry, a social conservative, Justice Alito, threw out this canard:

"Traditional marriage has been around for thousands of years."
This false framing of the marriage issue presumes that opposite-sex marriage has remained static and unchanged throughout human history and the development of civilization and that only now with the advent of same-sex marriage is this institution about to change, when nothing could be further from the truth.

Women know better.

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I'm sure multiple kossacks have already made this point, but I feel like this can't be stressed enough...

The Blunt Amendment is NOT an "Anti-Contraception Amendment."

The Blunt Amendment is an "Anti-Comprehensive Health Insurance Amendment."

‘‘(A) FOR HEALTH PLANS.—A health plan shall not be considered to have failed to provide the essential health benefits package [...], to fail to be a qualified health plan, or to fail to fulfill any other requirement under this title on the basis that it declines to provide coverage of specific items or services because—
'‘(i) providing coverage (or, in the case of a sponsor of a group health plan, paying for coverage) of such specific items or services is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan; or
 (ii) such coverage (in the case of individual coverage) is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the purchaser or beneficiary of the coverage.
I keep hearing this crazy amendment described in the media as just being about an attack on birth control pills, even in the progressive media, and it's kind of driving me nuts.

While I definitely think targeting women the way the GOP has is pretty disgusting...

I think describing the Blunt amendment as merely an anti-contraception amendment fails to capture just how insanely radical and destructive this proposal is when there is so many other aspects of medical care that the GOP wants to take away from you. This is their attempt at repealing PPACA by distracting the media with birth control talk in doing so.

So anyway I just thought I'd compose a list of religious/moral beliefs that your employer could adopt to get out of giving you comprehensive health insurance.

Enjoy!

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There's big Supreme Court news tonight that the justices have decided to grant an emergency appeal to Texas Republicans, who had their pro-GOP redistricting map thrown out and redrawn by a lower court because of its violations of the Voting Rights Act and its denial of representation opportunities to Latinos.

From the LA Times:

In an unusual move, the justices announced they would schedule special arguments on Jan. 9 to decide whether Texas and other Southern states may proceed to hold elections under new redistricting plans that have not been approved under the Voting Rights Act.

The fast-track case will pit Texas Republicans against Latinos and Democrats who say the state's congressional delegation should more closely reflect the surge in the Latino population.

The outcome could also affect who controls the House of Representative
s, political experts said.

"The Supreme Court is going to be thrust into the unusual position of deciding a case with immediate partisan consequences," said Richard Hasen, a law professor and election law expert at UC Irvine. "It is no exaggeration to say that with three or four additional Democratic seats at issue under the original court-drawn plan, the decision could help decide control of the House."

That this decision was announced on a Friday evening, the time when all politically unpopular or controversial news is released, makes me nervous.

After the rulings this court has had in recent years with Bush v. Gore, Citizens United and allowing to stand the Indiana voter ID law that set up a new poll tax and set off this craze in state legislatures to deny voting to typically Democratic voting groups, I am very suspicious of yet another step by SCOTUS into the political question realm.

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So it's come full circle.

Remember that faux-populist rant from CNBC's Rick Santelli against bailouts for underwater homeowners to the cheers of floor traders that started that whole Tea Party craze way back in February 2009?

You may not know that this spark that so emboldened Wall Street opposition to bailouts for Main Street didn't actually take place on Wall Street.

The launch of the Tea Party generally and the Chicago Tea Party specifically happened on the trading floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

The same Chicago Mercantile Exchange, which since its 2007 merger with the Chicago Board of Trade is the WORLD'S LARGEST DERIVATIVES EXCHANGE.

Oh and yes, these are the same folks who gave us this response to the 99 percent protesting at Occupy Chicago:

One would think to get to this point that Chicago and Illinois had been a pretty good home for CME Group dating back to CME's start in 1898 and CBOT's start in 1848. I mean that's only a combined 276 years in Chicago. That's all.

But guess what? CME, which reported 900 million in profits last year, just can't do on such a meager pittance.

So in this week's Veto Session of the Illinois General Assembly in Springfield, CME Group is currently shaking down Illinois taxpayers for the tune of $75 MILLION PER YEAR!

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This weekend the new Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial on the National Mall will be dedicated in Washington, D.C.

The original ceremony was intended to coincide during the 48th anniversary of the "I Have A Dream" speech,

which was itself delivered during the 100th anniversary year of the Emancipation Proclamation,

but Hurricane Irene postponed the Martin Luther King, Jr. monument dedication in August.

Yet I find it interesting and extremely congruent that the dedication will now take place in the backdrop of the Occupy Wall Street protests where Americans across the country are gathering together to cash the very same "promissory note" that Martin Luther King sought to make good upon in his call for racial and economic justice in accordance with the "unalienable rights" of "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness" promised to all Americans by our glorious Declaration of Independence and Constitution.

King's words in 1963 echo loudly in Zuccotti Park and across the country:

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.

Martin Luther King Jr. did not intend these statements as literal demands for money, but merely called for a level playing field of opportunity. He called upon our political and financial elites to recognize how an existing corrupt system hinders economic security, the same way that Martin Luther led a fight to get political and financial elites of the 16th century to recognize how an existing corrupt system hindered spiritual security. This fight was the Protestant Christian Reformation.

I think it's now time for a Protestant Capitalist Reformation.

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Anyone else watch tonight's interview with General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt on "60 Minutes"?

I want to THROW UP.

For most of this interview I have hardly been able to process all the dumb, out-of-touch things he says but I will try to recount some of them here.

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From HuffPo:

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) joined Herman Cain among the ranks of Republican pols who are unimpressed with the Occupy Wall Street protesters and their nationwide counterparts, calling them a "ragtag mob" and "anarchists" on the Laura Ingraham radio show Friday.

"The fact is these people are anarchists. They have no idea what they're doing out there," King said. "They have no sense of purpose other than a basically anti-American tone and anti-capitalist. It's a ragtag mob basically."

As Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler would say before Erin Burnett ripped off their retired Weekend Update bit for her new show:

Unfortunately, yes, Peter King, REALLY did take time out from planning his next McCarthy-inspired Muslim Inquisition hearing to disparage the #occupywallstreet protesters as "anti-American" simply for expressing a viewpoint with which he disagrees.  He even called the group "a bunch of angry 1960s do-overs," which while I can't claim to exactly understand, sounds kind of like a compliment to me. (Who wouldn't want to a do-over of the 1960s where we never escalated the war in Vietnam, where the JFK, RFK and MLK assassinations never happened, and where Nixon's 1968 election via the Southern strategy was defeated?)

But anyway, if #occupywallstreet really WAS a "ragtag mob" of "anarchists" and "anti-American," why does Peter King act like these descriptions would preclude him from supporting their movement?

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I'm sorry, I wholeheartedly agree that Obama is the baddest ass I've ever seen... BUT... can we get one at least one rec diary on the stunning and disgusting new front on the War on Women™ launched by the Anti-Woman Party today?

Here's my attempt at offering one up.

In case you're wondering about this disgusting and despicable development you didn't hear about from the MSM today, I'm of course talking about the Criminalizing Abortion Through the Tax Code Act. HR 3.

No. I'm not going to fall for using the misleading title for this legislation that the Republicans came up with , which a previous DKos diary did.

I hope no other Democrats do either.

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I'll leave to others to tear apart his radical and disastrous agenda-driven dismantling of Medicare and Medicaid.

What galls me the most about the proposal is the alleged "revenue-neutral" wealth redistribution tax reform that Ryan slaps on to this supposed deficit-reduction plan, just for fun.

From the WSJ op-ed he wrote:

Tax reform: This budget would focus on growth by reforming the nation's outdated tax code, consolidating brackets, lowering tax rates, and assuming top individual and corporate rates of 25%. It maintains a revenue-neutral approach by clearing out a burdensome tangle of deductions and loopholes that distort economic activity and leave some corporations paying no income taxes at all.

There's a lot messed up about that statement, but just honing in on his plan to lower all individual income tax rates to 25 percent...

Who would see a tax cut in Ryan's budget?

EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF CONGRESS!

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I know all of us are focused on the current Wisconsin-led labor fight and budget wars at the state and federal level, but I think it's a mistake to not take a look at the bigger picture.

Our cash-strapped country and states aren't facing huge deficits in a vacuum. Republicans are using these deficits to dismantle this country's social safety net and attack labor unions in a time of unquestioned funding for a war without end or objective.

And how is that war going? Let's ask Defense Secretary Bob Gates.

In my opinion, any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 'have his head examined,' as General MacArthur so delicately put it," Gates told an audience of West Point cadets last week.

Let's be clear here: the U.S. defense secretary is now telling West Point cadets that them fighting in Asia or the Middle East or Africa in the future is essentially pointless.

So why are we still presently sending them there?

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By now I'm guessing most folks have heard about the latest troubling story out of Rolling Stone regarding our flailing efforts in Afghanistan.

It has been laid bare to the public that some in military are so desperate to prolong this war that they are willing to resort to illegal and immoral means to manipulate the civilians that represent us citizens into continuing our Afghan adventure.

To anyone who has heard Dwight Eisenhower's farewell address warning of the military-industrial complex, this is not surprising.

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