Some people are posting about how they can't understand the looting in Baltimore.
Can you understand the pain of knowing that the police in YOUR neighborhood just arrested someone who looks like you and appear to have fatally severed his spine in custody? Just for running away? I mean, with cops like that in the area, no wonder Freddie Gray was running! A cop stop of someone unarmed and charged with no crime can result in death. And not just in this one neighborhood of Baltimore.
Can you understand that there's been a nationwide slew of these deaths where officers responsible often get off without penalties? And that cellphone technology has enabled people to finally document a national horror that's gone on since on long before cell phones?
Can you understand that while the situation has improved for blacks, certain forms of institutionalized oppression have been going strong since slavery? And how furious and distrustful of the system this would make you if you couldn't fully escape such a system in centuries?
Can you understand that Maryland's governor is trying to cut education by $95 million but that prison budgets in the state increased? One ticket out of poverty is education and the government is taking that ladder to success away from the poorest while giving tax cuts to wealthy real estate developers? Can you understand the hopelessness that would trigger?
Can you understand that there is a horrific police torture tactic known as a nickel ride? The nickel ride is so gruesome that I'm shocked that it happens enough to warrant a nickname. It's when police handcuff a suspect, place him a van and drive so recklessly that the suspect is intentionally injured. Can you understand that torture is considered illegal against enemy combatants overseas, yet police meant to serve and protect are using it against US citizens before their trials? In Baltimore and Philadelphia, millions in damages have been paid to victims of these nickel rides. So this isn't an urban myth.
Can you understand that no one is suggesting that looting is helpful? Al Sharpton and other community elders and pastors took to the streets to urge calm among the youth who were looting and throwing things at cops. But as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, "A riot is the language of the unheard." Sometimes, it's the only way to have your voice heard if you aren't a wealthy developer. I'm not condoning looters--I imagine that most protestors would agree that these opportunists are seizing on the chaos to break the law for personal profit. So the looters don't think they are helping anyone or any cause. The protestors are not all looting just because this footage runs on a loop on the news. Two different groups. Both black, but one group is protesting and/or rioting and one much smaller group is looting. But the police force is breaking the people of Baltimore. Attacking them. Taking them on nickel rides. And killing them. Their lives are in danger from police. Have they no right to fight back in the form of a riot after decades of this? I don't want to see police hurt. Nor should a minority be.
And finally, can you understand that many people were posting this weekend about a media black-out on the peaceful protests in Baltimore? Peaceful protestors asking for faster information about Freddie Gray's very suspicious death didn't snatch headlines, especially when our news is dominated with an interesting but ultimately meaningless entertainment story about a celebrity transsexual. Yet as soon as there is rioting and looting, protestors are the lead story on every news broadcast.
If you can understand any of these points, maybe you can better understand the flaming outrage coming from Baltimore. The city has declared a state of emergency. But it seems like black males in many states have lived in a state of emergency for many years.
Most Americans say they don't want war. Yet the Democrats' only presidential pic is to the right of Obama on foreign policy and all the GOP candidates are hawks except for possibly Rand Paul? Be careful what you wish for--no one knew that George W. Bush would begin a disastrous, hawkish foreign policy when he was elected either. Either you want peace or you don't. Hillary's past positions are hawkish for a Democrat. And you reach peace by electing a hawk? Dream on!
CODEPINK'S MEDEA BENJAMIN: "Announcing her latest campaign for the presidency, Hillary Clinton declared she was entering the race to be the champion for “everyday Americans.” As a lawmaker and diplomat, however, Clinton has long championed military campaigns that have killed scores of “everyday” people abroad, from Iraq to Yemen. As commander-in-chief, there’s no reason to believe she’d be any less a hawk than she was as the senator who backed George W. Bush’s war in Iraq, or the Secretary of State who encouraged Barack Obama to escalate the war in Afghanistan. If her nomination is as sure a thing as people say, then antiwar organizing needs to start right away."
"n 2011, when the Arab Spring came to Libya, Clinton was the Obama administration’s most forceful advocate for going above and beyond a no-fly zone to depose Muammar Gaddafi, whose U.S.-trained security forces were killing Libyans with the help of weapons and equipment provided by his erstwhile allies in the US, Britain and France. She even out-hawked Robert Gates, the defense secretary first appointed by George W. Bush who was less than enthusiastic about going to war. When Libyan rebels carried out an extrajudicial execution of their country’s former dictator, her response was sociopathic: “We came, we saw, he died,” she said, smiling and laughing. That sent a message that the U.S. would look the other way at crimes committed by allies against its official enemies."
Most hilarious 4 minutes of climate change television ever. Maybe the Climate Council should host a statistically representative climate debate?
Posted by The Climate Council on Wednesday, February 4, 2015
The optics of Loretta Lynch's slow confirmation are great for Democrats. It makes them look like the party of change--they're making history by nominating the first black, female Attorney General. How progressive of them! But those nasty, obstructionist Republicans blocked the vote on her just like they do everything. Good Dems! Bad Repubs! There's an election coming up and we now know who stands with women and blacks, don't we? No, we don't.
Too bad there's no liberal voice in this, just as there is no liberal candidate in our presidential election. Loretta may be historic and I'm all for breaking down barriers for women and people of color. But what is she actually for? All we know is that the idiotic Republicans filibustered her nomination despite the fact that she's considered a highly skilled prosecutor. They even had the nerve, MSNBC will tell you, to delay her vote the last time by tying it to a sex trafficking bill. While Ms. Lynch is known for effectively prosecuting sex-trafficking cases. Oh, the hideous irony! And during earlier confirmation hearings, those crazy Republicans hated current Attorney General Eric Holder so much that they actually asked her "You're not Eric Holder, are you?" To which I wish she's whipped off her wig, slapped on a mustache, vogued right up to the C-Span camera and said Yesth, gurl!
We got so wrapped up in the delay that no one mentions the down side of her confirmation. The UK's Guardian called her "often noncommittal in fielding questions." (Sounds like Hillary.) Because who doesn't want noncommittal justice? Her more committal statements are surprisingly conservative on several issues. She disagrees with Obama that alcohol is more dangerous that marijuana. She supports capital punishment--which is a position more likely to be held by a Republican than a Democrat. She defends the NSA surveillance on US citizens as "constitutional and effective". Yeah, well I'm sure it is effective but Americans happen to like their privacy. When leaks by Edward Snowden made it clear to what degree we were being spied on, Obama was forced to make a speech in 2014 promising a "new approach" and "greater limits" on surveillance than just nabbing all of our data at all points and keeping it forever. Of course, his speech sounded concerned but did little to curb the NSA's growing role--a continuation of the policy of that popular visionary George W. Bush. I'm glad that Ms. Lynch, in such a position of authority to mete out justice to the entire nation, sides with Obama and Bush against the wishes of the American people on the degree that the government is spying on us.
But that ain't, all folks! While serving as US attorney for eastern NY, Lynch negotiated a $1.9 billion fine for HSBC bank after they were caught money-laundering for Mexican drug cartels. Many consider this fine, with no chance of criminal charges, as the equivalent of an expensive slap on the wrist. With her confirmation, have we moved even closer to connected Wall Street cronies in Obama's revolving Cabinet door for Wall Streeters as the Democrats moved further away from progressives like Elizabeth Warren?
GUARDIAN: "Obama’s nominee for attorney general negotiated a deal with HSBC two years ago that saw it avoid criminal charges but Lynch says DoJ still has powers to act.
Her confirmation by the Senate had been considered all but guaranteed, but the renewed focus on the settlement she reached with HSBC two years ago has created an unexpected challenge. In 2012, lawmakers from both parties criticised the deal, under which HSBC controversially escaped criminal charges and kept the banking charter that allows it to operate in the US.
One of the most outspoken critics of the deal at the time, Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren, returned to the fray on Tuesday, saying prosecutors must “come down hard” on HSBC if the bank is found to have colluded with US tax dodgers.
“The government comes down hard on individuals who break the law time after time, and it should do the same for large financial institutions,” the Massachusetts senator said in a statement to the Guardian.
“The new allegations that HSBC colluded to help wealthy people and rich corporations hide money and avoid taxes are very serious, and, if true, the Department of Justice should reconsider the earlier deferred prosecution agreement it entered into with HSBC and prosecute the new violations to the full extent of the law.”
Stephanie Taylor, the co-founder of Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a national grassroots organisation and leading voice on Wall Street reform, said: “These revelations put Elizabeth Warren’s question about HSBC back on the table for Congress, regulators, and Loretta Lynch: what illegal activity does it take to shut a bank down? The public wants accountability for corporate crime.”
Hedda Lettuce and I were interviewed for this article on how drag make-up tips can benefit women.
"Lady Bunny remembers being struck by the way thin lips and dark colors made her look more like a “razor-lipped snapping turtle” than a diva. Instead, she sticks to coral shades and liquid eyeliner, naming the 1960s as a key inspiration."
Anyone who lied about Iraq or is responsible for us attacking them--including Hillary Clinton--should be punished. But who was in charge of punishing Cheney? Obama and Attoney General Eric Holder, who immediately claimed as soon as Obama was elected that Bush and Cheney's impeachment was "off the table" so that Obama could go on to commit his own war crimes.
How to Tie a 200-Pound Turban—Sikh Style!2,460 feet of fabric. 200 pounds. Meet Baba Avtar Singh, a Sikh who lives in Northern India known for wearing one of the largest turbans in the Punjab: http://vogue.cm/1DhdnPD
Posted by Vogue on Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Here's an in-depth interview with folks from Baltimore about the shocking death of Freddie Gray, who appears to have had his spine fatally severed by police who apprehended him for the crime of running while black. While some may wonder why he ran if he wasn't guilty of something--check out this video and some of the area police's record and you may understand it a little better. Baltimore police have paid over $6 million in damages to their victims since 2011. Which taxpayers foot the bill for. This isn't just in Baltimore--it's in Ferguson, Staten Island, Charleston and wherever Michael Brown and Tamir Rice, the boy police shot for having a toy gun. It's getting hard to keep track of black men killed by police nationwide. And just a wee reminder, police are supposed to protect us. Not kill us.
EDDIE CONWAY: The incident actually occurred under one of the police cameras that has been operating for years in that community, and they have been using that camera to make numerous drug arrests over the years. And for some reason, that day, that camera did not work. It would have been directly over Freddie Gray’s head. It would have recorded everything that took place.
"The Trans Pacific Partnership is a bi partisan attack on working Americans supported by Republicans, Obama and Hillary. Wake Up. When you endorse Hillary you support the demise of the working class.
Jill Stein 2016 Green Party of the United States. These progressives never required evolution. They always supported equality.
Greens are influential throughout Europe and are part of the ruling coalition of Sweden. They have doubled support in the UK this year and are very strong in Germany. They have MPs in Canada, Australia, Norway and Finland.
There are other options. You just have to chose them." --Bruce Baron
At odds with his own party, at odds with unions but joined with Republicans with this trade deal. Just because you care more about challenges on Drag Race than laws governing 40% of the world's trade doesn't mean they don't exist and that they won't have a devastating effect on the economy for years to come. Losing jobs, lower wages if you can get a job, monopolies for pharmaceutical companies, internet neutrality and the environ and even US sovereignty taking a hit.
Especially if either Hillary or a Republican wins the presidential election. Hillary called the TPP "the gold standard" of trade agreements. (Though of course she isn't saying much about the deal now because she's on a listening tour to try and seem more humble.) The people you elect are out to screw you in favor of huge corporations and you just sit back and take it. I'm beginning to think that the unengaged people of this country deceive the tragic "leaders" that they get. If you don't own one of the multi-national corporations which wrote this deal in secret with Obama and this trade deal doesn't upset you deeply, voters like you are a huge part of the problem.
Obama and Hillary have the nerve to talk about how the evil Citizens United puts dark money into politics with anonymous donors. Yet this trade deal is the exact result of sinister, corporate forces out to screw American workers. In pushing this agreement, Obama is proving that he's eager to pay back his own campaign donors and leave this mess as his legacy. The TPP is the goal of the 1% Hillary claims she will "topple." How can you believe someone who is saying that they'll "topple" themselves? Politicians like these have killed the Democrats as a party of working Americans. Time for a third party when you see a Democratic president joining against 85% House Democrats but getting support from almost all Republicans.
Democrats Balk At Obama Plan To Cut Funding For Workers Hurt By Trade Deals
Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich: "Last week, the National Employment Law Project reported that 42 percent of U.S. workers make less than $15 an hour.
But even $20 an hour isn’t enough if the work is unpredictable and insecure.
These days it’s not unusual for someone on the way to work to receive a text message from her employer saying she’s not needed right then.
Although she’s already found someone to pick up her kid from school and arranged for childcare, the work is no longer available and she won’t be paid for it.
Just-in-time scheduling like this is the latest new thing, designed to make retail outlets, restaurants, hotels, and other customer-driven businesses more nimble and keep costs to a minimum.
Software can now predict up-to-the-minute staffing needs on the basis of information such as traffic patterns, weather, and sales merely hours or possibly minutes before.
This way, employers don’t need to pay anyone to be at work unless they’re really needed. Companies can avoid paying wages to workers who’d otherwise just sit around.
Employers assign workers tentative shifts, and then notify them a half-hour or ten minutes before the shift is scheduled to begin whether they’re actually needed. Some even require workers to check in by phone, email, or text shortly before the shift starts.
Just-in-time scheduling is another part of America’s new “flexible” economy – along with the move to independent contractors and the growing reliance on “share economy” businesses, like Uber, that purport to do nothing more than connect customers with people willing to serve them.
New software is behind all of this – digital platforms enabling businesses to match their costs exactly with their needs.
The business media considers such flexibility an unalloyed virtue. Wall Street rewards it with higher share prices. America’s “flexible labor market” is the envy of business leaders and policy makers the world over.
There’s only one problem. The new flexibility doesn’t allow working people to live their lives."
I eat meat and I'm fat, so I have no business telling anyone to what to eat. But this is something to consider if we want to be serious about climate change. --a bitter drag trying to gum a very dry, unsalted brown rice cake.
"As California experiences a massive drought, we examine the overlooked link between water shortages, climate change and meat consumption. With some 98 percent of the state suffering from a water crisis, California Gov. Jerry Brown ordered residents and businesses to cut water use by 25 percent. It is the first mandatory statewide reduction in California’s history. One group not facing restrictions is big agriculture, which uses about 80 percent of California’s water. According to the Pacific Institute, 47 percent of a Californian’s water footprint is in meat and dairy products. We are joined by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn, directors of the documentary, "Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret." The film contends livestock is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution despite many environmental organizations’ relative silence on the issue."
I found it on a gay pride site. I realize that the whole world is becoming more aware of certain words like retarded, fag and tranny being offensive to some. But I personally would much rather have slurs slung at me than anything which is going to cause physical damage like a stick or stone! But maybe that's just my cis male white gender dysphoric employed clown privilege talking. What do you think?
Look out, NYC! My mom, Lady Becky aka The Queen Mother, is hitting NYC tomorrow. Here is the nut in one of my wigs! She'll be attending Lypsinka's 60th birthday party, seeing Jinkx Monsoon and Peaches Christ in Return To Gray Gardens and generally terrorizing the NYC drag community with her sweetness, homespun charm and flair for dancing up a storm to absolutely any kind of music--though Motown hits really get her to rockin'. I'm so lucky to have not only a mom who accepts me as a big ol' drag queen, but who will also let me put her in drag to make a fool out of her! Charo, Patti, Grace Jones, Diana Ross, Melba Moore and Carol Channing--I love you all to pieces, but momma's my #1 diva!
Thanks -- and read on for the email we sent you last week, and more details.
This week marked Tax Day. Each and every year, major for-profit corporations avoid paying billions in taxes by exploiting complicated tax loopholes like inversions, valuation discounts and real estate investment trusts.
But the Obama Administration can use executive actions to close egregious loopholes and stop corporations from hiding profits in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands.
In 1952, the corporate income tax accounted for about 32 percent of all federal tax revenue. Today, despite record-breaking profits, corporate taxes bring in just 11 percent.
But some members of Congress still don’t think that corporations should pay what they rightfully owe. Yet some of these very same members of Congress are saying we need to enact savage cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other programs that help the most vulnerable Americans in order to pay down the national debt.
Let’s make sure these profitable corporations pay what they owe.
OBAMA SAID HE'D ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE--WITH FOSSIL FUELS?
FROM FRIENDS OF EART: PLEASE SIGN IF YOU AGREE.
Today marks five years since one of the worst environmental catastrophes in recent history -- the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. The BP-operated drilling rig exploded on April 20, 2010, killing 11 people and pouring oil into the Gulf of Mexico for the next 87 days.
But five years later, it appears we haven’t learned our lesson about offshore drilling. The Obama Administration continues to allow Big Oil to drill in our waters -- risking another devastating accident.
We need your help to show President Obama that we don’t want another Deepwater Horizon.
There’s no such thing as safe and responsible offshore drilling. Balls of oil tar continue to wash onto Gulf beaches, fish catches are still down by a third, and many wildlife species have yet to recover. Instead of protecting our beaches, oceans, and coastal economies, the Obama administration is increasing deepwater oil drilling in the Gulf, and opening up new areas in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans.
The administration seems to think that we can solve the climate crisis and protect our planet simply by making drilling safer. But new safety regulations aren’t enough to prevent another Deepwater Horizon or to protect our climate. The only way to stop another catastrophic oil disaster and prevent the worst impacts of climate change is to keep our fossil fuels in the ground.
President Obama has made preventing climate change a key part of his legacy. But if he continues to allow fossil fuel development on our public lands and waters, he’ll be undermining all of the progress his administration has made.
What if you weren't terribly excited about Hillary but you accepted her as the lesser of two evils and it didn't even work?
"To win, Democrats need to deviate from their strategy of forcing Hillary Clinton down our throats, and instead engage the voters who would stay home in November if they had to choose between HRC and a Republican. These voters are the same ones that stayed home last November.
American voters always traditionally hate incumbents and incumbent parties, and 2016 will be no exception. In fact, 2016 will likely be the biggest referendum on the establishment since Barack Obama’s landslide victory in 2008, when the Republican agenda was roundly rejected in favor of something ostensibly completely different. But if Democrats allow the media to turn Hillary Clinton’s campaign into a coronation and eliminate all competition early, they’ll be setting themselves up for Scott Walker to become the next president, which would be a disaster for America."
There are 6 loopholes in tax law that make it possible for the world’s most profitable corporations to pay nothing in taxes, then turn around and rake in millions of dollars — your tax dollars! — in refunds.
These loopholes must be closed, and they must be closed now.
LET ME TRY TO SEEM YOUNG & COMPLAIN ABOUT MY CELLPHONE!
OK--iphone autocorrect is a little out of control. Between my stubby, arthritic fingers and fading eyesight, I almost just sent a text about having "he" instead of "me" spin at a "fag" instead of "gay" pride event. And even worse, the other day I sent a text about "sicking" someone's d(ck instead of sucking it. Which might be true but you don't want to let your trick know it beforehand.
Want to know why a Republican candidate like Rand Paul is being considered by some Democratic/Independent voters? Because he's against war with Iran. His party hates it because they love any war, but Rand doesn't want war because tea partiers are against big government and he sees war as an expenditure. I don't want war because it's amoral. So I feel it's a disgrace for a democratic NY Senator to throw a kink into Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. Schumer isn't just some wacky nobody with a bee in his bonnet against Iran because his donors support Israel. He's a party hot shot who is presumed to be Harry Reid's replacement as minority leader. Yet he's to the right of Obama.
Get used to Schumer's hawkish brand of Democrat. Because Hillary is one of them.
Schumer Is Squeezed on Various Sides Over Iran Deal
Anyone serious about gay rights is going to recognize our main obstacle: Christians. I walked past a gay-friendly church the other day and they had a placard outside with some biblical quote which seemed to support gays. But they're just doing the same thing that anti-gay fundamentalists do--cherry-picking the BIble for whichever verses suit their cause. The anti-gay legislation in Indiana, Arkansas and Louisiana are all based on religious discrimination. It's time to start discriminating back at the nasty people who use the Bible and their religion as a weapon against gays. Without religion to back them up, they'd just be hateful bigots.
HUFFPO: Fellow Liberals, Please Stop Claiming Jesus Accepts LGBT People by Chris Sosa
"There's a troubling trend in liberal America: the desire to marginalize right-wing Christians by claiming they don't understand their own religion. While this is true in a number of respects, it doesn't change the fact that they're right about something: Paul condemns queer folks. And there isn't a shred of evidence that Jesus was a fan either, assuming he existed.
I'm all for dismissing opinions that are damaging and harmful. But we can't do so by being openly insincere and insecure in the process. Queer identity, as it's commonly understood (if it even is commonly understood today), wasn't a concept until very recent history. The entire Bible had been finished for over a millennium by the time the word "gay" came to exist.
What the Bible does do is prescribe behavior. Gay sex is not once directly described in a positive manner, and it's explicitly condemned in the Hebrew texts. When Christians tell you that their book calls you an "abomination," they're more right than wrong. Despite how infrequently it occurs, clobber passages are there.
Sure, David and Jonathan seemed to have had a little thing going on up in that field. And it's certainly true that writers of the Bible had varying positions on sexual norms. We can see that from the evolution between the way the earliest texts describe women to the way Jesus describes women.
But there's an incredibly good reason LGBT folks and their allies should agree with anti-gay Christians that the Bible condemns them: if we bother arguing that the Bible supports us, we're conceding its validity as a moral text. And once we free ourselves from its shackles, fundamentalists can just use it to abuse the next minority group unfortunate enough to stumble across their path."
Kshama Sawant won her Seattle City Council seat with only small donations. She's a socialist. Here are her comments in a discussion about Hillary's run which includes Hillary supporters and detractors from the left. It's an excellent debate from non-corporate media in two party which is well worth watching.
KSHAMA SAWANT: I wanted to start by first, you know, talking about something that’s probably on the minds of a lot of people, that, you know, Hillary Clinton is a woman. She is, as others have stated, is all but certainly going to get the Democratic Party nomination, and it would be fantastic to have a woman in the White House, you know, showing the strides that women are making. And I certainly understand where that’s coming from. But, you know, we have to look at her record, and not only at her record. Her record speaks for itself. This is not the record of anybody who would—even remotely could claim that they were upholding the interests of women or children, as, you know, Robert has clearly stated—you know, the gutting of welfare and all the other things that she’s been involved in.
But it’s also a larger question of the Democratic Party establishment itself. I mean, let’s assume hypothetically that Hillary Clinton wasn’t a cynical opportunist, which she is, but she was genuinely going to represent the interests of the, you know, tens of millions of working families that are looking for genuine representation. Or let’s say hypothetically somebody else, who may be less of a warmongering representative, gets the Democratic Party nomination. The question is: Are they going to be able to carry out anything like a working-class agenda, anything remotely approaching social change, if they get to the White House on the basis of the Democratic Party apparatus, which rests completely and utterly on the Wall Street money? And that’s the question we are examining.
Ultimately, the argument of lesser-evilism, if we are going to stay with lesser-evilism, that argument works until perpetuity. It’s never going to be a good time to break from the two-party, or, you know, the two-big-business-party machinery, and build an independent alternative, because you can always make the claim that, well, you know, if we ran a left candidate this year, in 2016, it’s not going to work, so let’s just hunker down and vote for Hillary because she’s better than the Republicans. But what that lesser-evilism argument is missing is the big, big chunk of America that is completely disengaged from politics; if you look at the approval ratings of U.S. Congress, if you look at the percentages of people who go to the polls, and if you look at the polls that show that 60 percent of Americans are fed up and frustrated with the two-party system and want something different, you’re missing that whole big chunk of America that is completely missing in this esoteric argument about whether Hillary is better or some other candidate should get the nomination.
Ultimately, the question that needs to arise at this moment is to—is the responsibility of the left. This is a responsibility of the left to begin the process of building a left alternative, a political structure that represents working families, because, whether we like it or not, there is a gaping vacuum where the most of America is not present, and if we don’t occupy that vacuum, the right will. And it is absolutely an urgent task. And for people who might think that, well, you know, people aren’t ready for it, no, they are absolutely ready for it. And as you said, Amy, you know, we’ve shown in Seattle that you can not only run as an anticorporate candidate, as an alternative to Democrats, but you can also win. And after winning the election, you can actually carry out a very, very effective and successful working-class agenda.
And, you know, lastly, about the—you know, I know that arguments will come up about, well, you know, we can’t do this at the national level; it’s OK to do it at the local level. I think that’s a false dichotomy, because Seattle is a good example. Here, there are no Republicans to speak of. There is just a Democratic Party establishment. All the problems that people face are at the doorstep of the Democrats. And this year, in my re-election year, you will see the Democratic Party establishment going to war against my campaign and making sure—trying to make sure that I don’t get re-elected. Why? Because at the end of the day, that establishment does not support the agenda of working people. What about climate change, action on climate change, student debt, single-payer healthcare, the gutting of public education, attacks on teachers’ unions? All of this lies at the doorstep of the Democratic Party establishment, and, you know, working people need an alternative.
HITLER WAS ON METH! "According to a 47-page U.S. military dossier, a physician filled the Fuhrer with barbiturate tranquilizers, morphine, bulls' semen, a pill that contained crystal meth, and other drugs, depending on Hitler's momentary needs, the Daily Mail reports. By this account, Hitler downed crystal meth before a 1943 meeting with Mussolini in which the Fuhrer ranted for two hours, and took nine shots of methamphetamine while living out his last days in his bunker."
Before Congress left on their holiday recess, they passed a budget that would cuts taxes for the wealthiest Americans while also slashing funding for earned benefits and critical programs such as food stamps and education. This week, Congress returns to Washington and further demonstrates their contempt for the middle class by spending Tax Day voting to cut taxes for the richest 0.2% of Americans.
As if the $3 trillion tax giveaway to the super-rich embedded in their budget wasn’t enough, they now want to deliver an additional $269 billion tax cut that would only impact two out of every 1,000 estates. Tell House Speaker John Boehner that the super-rich should pay their fair share—they don’t need another tax cut. Don’t touch the federal estate tax! The estate tax has been slashed twice already--In 2001 as part of the Bush tax cuts, and again in 2012. It has been reduced to the point where it now only effects estates worth more than $5.4 million for individuals or $10.9 million for couples. Instead of repealing it, Congress should restore the estate tax to its pre-Bush levels and could use that income to expand Social Security.
Obama has removed Cuba from the list of terrorist nations. How big of him.
But he still hasn't honored his own campaign promises to close Guantanamo which he's been making since 2007. That's the US military prison located in Cuba where suspected terrorists are held for a decade or more without a trials. Some of these prisoners have been tortured and many of them are released as innocent years later. Whoops! We just imprisoned you for a decade, tortured you and then released you with no charges. Three men were tortured to death. Who is the terrorist nation again? Obama should add the US to that list. His foreign policy makes no sense.
Hillary is not only likely to make history as the first female democratic nominee for president. She's also be making history another way. This is the first time that there hasn't been a democratic party challenger for the White House democratic primary challenger for the White House since Johnson took over from a dead JFK in 1964, which explains his lack of opponents. Hillary is the result of how far the Democrats have sunk as a party. Is this all ya got? No difference of voices, no fresh ideas, just the coronation of the candidate with the most money. And yet you dream that you're free and that your America wants to spread democracy all over the world. We don't even have it here!
A few tidbits from the press: Yesterday, Barney Frank was explaining Hillary's policies to Mika whatever her name is on MSNBC's Morning Joe. Someone needs to explain them after that vague video announcement. But you'd think that a former senator from the liberal stronghold of Massachusetts might hold her feet to the fire a bit more.
Barney claimed that Hillary would take on Wall Street. Um, sorry Barney! Try telling that to all of her top donors--who are from Wall Street. Yes, the Wall Street taxpayers bailed out when they crashed the economy. Yes, Wall Street that caused the mortgage crisis. Yes, Wall Street where CEOs are making record profits while most of us are barely out of a recession.
Barney claimed that Hillary would be the first president to make addressing climate change an upfront issue in her campaign. Yet she encourages fossil fuel production and has been silent on the Keystone pipeline. And scientists recently claimed that 80% of fossil fuels needed to stay in the ground to keep the disaster that's here from becoming much worse. Either you support fossil fuels or want to halt climate change. Can't do both! But didn't she look cute at that gas station campaign stop? She's so folksy now!
Barney was correct in saying that Hillary, unlike any of the Republican candidates, will not repeal Obamacare. Whew! She won't repeal Obama's version of Romneycare which was a step towards reform when we needed a leap. Most other industrialized nations have state health care and pay less for almost every procedure and pill. But that's too much to expect from the USA. We readily embrace corrupt politicians because they're the lesser of two evils.
Barney also mentioned women's issues. I get it. She's a woman who's been a daughter, a mother, and a grandmother. So therefore, she's concerned with women's issues. I guess that means equal pay for women and abortion rights. So women, if those are your main issues, Hillary is your best bet. If you aren't as concerned with equal pay because you don't have a job, maybe she's not the candidate for you. Under Obama, Democrats became the party of trying to export jobs through the TPP. That's the secret trade agreement that Obama is trying to ram through Congress and it's opponents call it "NAFTA on steroids." (Hillary's husband passed NAFTA.) And will that equal pay for women even extend to Walmart? Hillary was on their board for years and they are the preeminent poster child for abusing unions and individual employees with no benefits, keeping workers part time so that they won't qualify for benefits and can't even afford to shop there.
It's nuts to think "Her a woman. Me a woman. Me vote her and her gonna do me right." How did that work out with Obama, our first president of color? Blacks have been hit hardest by the recession, their voting rights are being compromised 50 years after Selma and people are out in the streets all over the nation protesting policemen who kill black men and don't get charged. So if Hillary is as beneficial to women as Obama was for blacks, get ready for sharia law. But look on the bright side. You don't have to fuss with your hair as much in a burqa.
I caught Rachel Maddow last night interviewing a key Clinton campaign operative. After the interview, she thanked him heartily for appearing on her show. It was an attempt to brown nose which turned into a back-handed compliment. She thanked him because, she said, the Clinton campaign was notoriously secretive. How can you be secretive when running for president and you have to do interviews all the time? Here's how. You have no challengers and all the money in your party locked up. There won't be a primary debate because the other losers in your party tow the party line right down into the drain. So you can win by simply not being Republican. And tweeting from gas stations and other homey locations designed to fool us that you aren't who you were when you lost last time.
We've got lawmakers in Congress angling for war with Iran--and undermining the nuclear deal Obama is trying to strike.This headline reads that some of these lawmakers seem to have forgotten the immense damage they did by voting for the completely unnecessary Iraq war. And Bob Corker claims to have enough votes to override a veto from Obama. But just think--would Hillary even consider a veto against war in Iran?
Now we said in the last election that America is tired of war and nation-building abroad. That's why Obama won, even though after he won he went back into Iraq and Afghanistan and fudged the withdrawal dates several times. We never really left Pakistan but those are mainly drone wars, so they don't count. Oh, and added a few new spats in Syria, Ukraine, Yemen--I've lost count. Well, the America that's tired of war is in for years of disappointment. All GOP candidates represent eternal war except possibly Rand Paul. And Democrats have only one choice who is both a friend of Israel which wants war with Iran and who was one of those misinformed, bloodthirsty senators who voted for the Iraq war. That's why she lost to Obama two terms ago. Go ahead and talk to me about Hillary being the lesser of two evils. But the Iraq war was very evil and it's still going on today.
One million Iraqis died in the Iraq war. They never attacked the US or were a threat to us. And Hillary helped! Gee, I wish she cared as much about all people as she does gay people. How could she be so supportive of one group and then vote to use our tax dollars to murder a million people when there was no evidence against them? Oh, that's right. Gays have fundraisers for her so she supports us. Defense contractors have fundraisers for her too. Sorry, muslims! Y'all need to give her some money...or else! War's back in the headlines. Get used to it. You're paying for it. That's a nice thought while you're doing your taxes!
Many of you sneered when I critiqued Hillary's campaign announcement as weak and policy-free. Maybe you'll listen to a professor of law and political science from Yale making some of the same points? Bruce Ackerman claims he'll probably vote for her but still has this to say:
Hillary Clinton's Bad Beginning
Hillary Clinton's campaign announcement is an insult to the presidency. It represents a total capitulation to the political consulting business -- two-and-a-half minutes of marketing images, without anything resembling serious argument.
Madison Avenue has replaced Madison at the center of the Republic. Clinton's 30 second appearance in her grade-B advertisement is a tribute to sound-bite democracy. The triviality of her performance is heightened by apologists who are already reading deep meanings into her two-liner: "The deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion." (See here and here.)
Nothing compelled Clinton to choose this path to emptiness. To the contrary, she has the nomination locked up, giving her the freedom to define her campaign on her own terms. If she found a face-to-face format most congenial, a fifteen minute video would have sufficed to set out her core political commitments.
She has chosen instead to leave all of us in the dark. This will make it easier for her to fine-tune her message to exploit the particular weaknesses of the Republican who wins the primaries. But it is all too likely that she will leave her supporters guessing about the seriousness of her progressive commitments, whatever they may turn out to be.
At the end of the day, this evasive strategy won't prevent me from casting my ballot for Hillary on Election Day -- since a third Clinton term will save us from a fourth Bush term, or something even worse.
Nevertheless, even if she makes it to the White House, her Madison Avenue campaign is a grim augury for the future. If Clinton has so utterly failed to stand up for anything at a moment of such great political strength, is there any reason to expect her presidency to serve as a platform for an ambitious campaign for progressive values?
Or will 2020 be a year of deepening liberal alienation -- in which Hillary Clinton's performance as America's first woman president serves to emphasize the shattered hopes inspired by Barack Obama's "Yes We Can?"
Saw Pedro Almosovar's Wild Tales yesterday. A friend recommended it after her neighbors told her is was about revenge and for "twisted people." I assume that's because the humor is dark. It begins with one tale which reminds one of the Germanwings crash--not sure how they got away with that but these stories are set in Argentina and clearly written long before the real, recent crash into the Alps. The Guardian calls it "a delicious chocolate box of nastiness." Highly recommended. And see it in on a big screen for optimum effect! And by big screen I don't mean an iPhone 6!
"Because when families are strong, that's when America is strong." --Hillary Clinton is her long awaited campaign announcement video. What the f#ck does that shit mean? It means absolutely nothing, but it might sound good to someone with no ability to analyze anything. What a strong message from the Democrats only choice for president. She included more footage of other people than of herself in her own announcement video. No doubt, the people cast in her propaganda piece were chosen by ad execs to manipulate rosy feelings towards her. Because she has no policies as of yet. The only Democrat burning to lead this country has no platform except gibberish about strong families. She did also mention that average Americans are still struggling and that too much power is going to those on top. And the ones on top are precisely the ones who have donated to her campaign the most. Even if other Democrats wanted to run, they couldn't. Because Hillary has locked up all the donors. But don't worry, the woman waiting in the wings to run for president for decades is going on a listening tour to hear what issues we care about. And then ignore them once she gets our votes. How about a leader with a strong vision who already knows what we need?
Perhaps more insane than anything, Hillary has been making the rounds claiming that becoming a grandmother has spurred her to action. Too bad the actions she'll be spurred to are a still giant question mark after this bullshit announcement.
As Christians are sufficiently emboldened to spout their extreme beliefs which include killing gays, they're bring themselves closer to the radical Islam which the US see it as our duty to wipe out in the rest of the world. Elected officials in Indiana, Arkansas and now Louisiana are now calling for businesses to feel free to discriminate against people who offend their religious beliefs. This video clip shows a sermon about killing gays. And let's not forget that it was US Christians who helped Uganda (and possibly Nigeria) craft their Kill The Gays laws. Obama, like every other president for decades, continues to address The Family's annual Prayer Breakfast which includes the authors of Uganda's Kill The Gays laws. Maybe he should have another "epiphany" about that as he had one over gay marriage.
And this is far broader than bakeries or pizzerias refusing to make cakes for gay weddings. This includes religious hospitals refusing to admit abortion patients, scientologist pharmacists refusing to fill prescriptions for anti-depressants, Jehovah's witnesses doctors/nurses refusing to perform or assist on blood transfusions--the list goes on and on. More than one religion looks down on gays and birth control, so family planning aids or even condoms may not be available along with AIDS meds. And how are you going to go on barebacking binges without your Prep?
There's buddhism, but I can't think of many other religions which don't think of gays as sinful. Or that women should be kept under a man's thumb. Isn't it time to dispense with outdated religions altogether? It's always used as a weapon against gays. Without the ancient and contradictory Bible, these religious leaders would just be considered violent bigots who want to murder us. By supporting religion you're only handing them a weapon to use against you and your rights. If your brand of Christianity is kinder and more forgiving towards gays, why don't you pressure your religious leaders to stand up to and refute the bigoted Christians? One type of Christianity is judgmental, hateful and behind the times. But the other type focuses on Jesus's teachings of love and forgiveness. Of course, if homosexuality wasn't wrong in the eyes of most religion we wouldn't need forgiveness. Why do you want to be a part of a club which sees your very existence as sinful? In doing so, you're arming the enemies of GLBT. And as this post shows as do the recent laws in Indiana, Arkansas and Louisiana, gays have some very powerful and ugly enemies. Amen.
Oh, and if this pastor's goal is to kill people with AIDS, the disease is now hitting black communities harder than gays. So I guess killing blacks is next if you follow this pastor's "logic." And you thought that was the police's job!
Obama's latest lie. Last month, he claimed that Venezuela was an "unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States."
This month: "We do not believe that Venezuela poses a threat to the United States."
What changed in a month? After Obama first declared VZ a threat and imposed sanctions on several of it's top officials? What changed is that now Obama is headed to a tour of Latin America pushing his job-killing TPP trade agreement, a secret dirty deal which he's trying to ram through Congress with no discussion. While you were forwarding cute Easter pics of the first family, here's how Elizabeth Warren describes the TPP: “If a final TPP agreement includes Investor-State Dispute Settlement, the only winners will be multinational corporations.”
Why are you continuing to support a man who seeks to destroy your jobs? Do rosy images of his wife and kids in holiday duds concern you more than your own jobs? Your ignorance is destroying your own future. Not a nice guy. Not concerned with the average working American. Not even bothered with telling the truth because he knows that you'll be pacified with Easter outfits.
The "liberal" news. MSNBC's Chris Matthews was buzzing about Hillary announcing her candidacy this Sunday. One talking head/paid spin doctor was good enough to lay out Hillary's strategy in advance. Apparently, she'll make a controlled video announcement. IE--no questions from pesky reporters who could easily punch holes in her platform, which she's still deciding on during her "listening tour." But her camp wants it to look small and intimate, not like she's the inevitable candidate surrounded by a dozen secret service men. Because that the entitled "I'll now ascend over the unknown black guy" didn't work last election. So she'll try mute that impression of political rock star to appear intimate, meeting with people in their homes, etc.
In other words, before her platform or even her candidacy are announced, she's already seeking to disguise who she is. I laugh at people who claim that she's an effective leader. Possibly so. But where the hell is she going? Somewhere less progressive than Obama is all we know. (Obama, the disappointment to most progressives.) Good luck with your one sad choice, Democrats.