President makes his pitch to liberals, we'll get those revenues next time. Watch the video. [...]
Read The Full Article:
Republican pal tells me: "In poker terms, Obama has three 9s while Boehner had a pair of 4s, and Boehner is walking away from the table in much better shape than Obama....."[...]
Read The Full Article:
Just ten days before the recall elections in Wisconsin, the offices of We Are Wisconsin PAC in LaCrosse have been completely gutted by fire.
Fire officials in La Crosse are continuing to investigate a Saturday blaze that destroyed the regional offices of We Are Wisconsin, a union political action committee (PAC) that has pumped millions of dollars into supporting Democratic candidates in the upcoming recall elections.
The La Crosse Tribune reports that the cause of the fire, which started at about 9:30 a.m., remains unknown. Firefighters thought they had the blaze under control in the afternoon, however, that wasn't the case and it continued into the evening, the newspaper reported.
We Are Wisconsin used the building at 432 Jay St. to oversee its efforts in the 32nd Senate District recall election, which will be held Aug. 9. Incumbent Republican state Sen. Dan Kapanke is being challenged by Democratic state Rep. Jennifer Shilling in that district.
A spokesman for the group told the La Crosse Tribune that the group's office was a total loss.
Color me very cynical about this. Very.
I knew Raśl would come out fast against the Conservative Consensus mem that was all over Talking Heads TV yesterday and has been all over the Twitter Machine since rumors started breaking last night. He came out fast and unambiguous:
?This deal trades peoples? livelihoods for the votes of a few unappeasable right-wing radicals, and I will not support it. Progressives have been organizing for months to oppose any scheme that cuts Medicare, Medicaid or Social Security, and it now seems clear that even these bedrock pillars of the American success story are on the chopping block. Even if this deal were not as bad as it is, this would be enough for me to fight against its passage.
This deal does not even attempt to strike a balance between more cuts for the working people of America and a fairer contribution from millionaires and corporations. The very wealthy will continue to receive taxpayer handouts, and corporations will keep their expensive federal giveaways. Meanwhile, millions of families unfairly lose more in this deal than they have already lost. I will not be a part of it.
Republicans have succeeded in imposing their vision of a country without real economic hope. Their message has no public appeal, and Democrats have had every opportunity to stand firm in the face of their irrational demands. Progressives have been rallying support for the successful government programs that have meant health and economic security to generations of our people. Today we, and everyone we have worked to speak for and fight for, were thrown under the bus. We have made our bottom line clear for months: a final deal must strike a balance between cuts and revenue, and must not put all the burden on the working people of this country. This deal fails those tests and many more.
The Democratic Party, no less than the Republican Party, is at a very serious crossroads at this moment. For decades Democrats have stood for a capable, meaningful government-- a government that works for the people, not just the powerful, and that represents everyone fairly and equally. This deal weakens the Democratic Party as badly as it weakens the country. We have given much and received nothing in return. The lesson today is that Republicans can hold their breath long enough to get what they want. While I believe the country will not reward them for this in the long run, the damage has already been done.
A clean debt ceiling vote was the obvious way out of this, and many House Democrats have been saying so. Had that vote failed, the president should have exercised his Fourteenth Amendment responsibilities and ended this manufactured crisis.
This deal is a cure as bad as the disease. I reject it, and the American people reject it. The only thing left to do now is repair the damage as soon as possible.?
"The Republicans have been absolutely determined to make certain that the rich and large corporations not contribute one penny for deficit reduction, and that all of the sacrifice comes from the middle class and working families in terms of cuts in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, LIHEAP, community health centers, education, Head Start, nutrition, MILC, affordable housing and many other vitally important programs.
"I cannot support legislation like the Reid proposal which balances the budget on the backs of struggling Americans while not requiring one penny of sacrifice from the wealthiest people in our country. That is not only grotesquely immoral, it is bad economic policy."
The Washington Post (via their email summary):
Did Obama capitulate ? or is this a cagey move?? It was President Obama?s bottom line, a position he repeated in every recent public utterance on his debt-ceiling talks with Congress: Any deal must be ?balanced? with spending cuts and tax increases. But in his eleventh-hour stare-down with tea party-infused Republicans, with a possible government default on the line, Obama blinked. The deal to trim the federal deficit by more than $2 trillion and increase the government?s borrowing limit contains no guarantee that tax increases will be part of the equation. After weeks of presidential demands for sacrifice by corporate jet owners and hedge-fund managers, those taxpayers and others can rest easy ? at least for now. Liberals were furious as the terms of the agreement came into focus Sunday, and yet another capitulation by Obama on economic policy threatened to further dampen enthusiasm among the core Democratic voters he will need to win reelection next year. But for a White House eager to improve its standing with centrist independents who have been fleeing Obama, even a losing deal can be a winning strategy.First off, the President has proven once and for all that his word is the proverbial boy who cried wolf. Regardless of what the President "demands," he doesn't mean it, won't push for it, and will gladly settle for less. It's hard to believe how this is now cause for celebration. The man has ruined his word.
I've made this point numerous times before. I'll make it again, because, Jesus Fuck Me Christ, a lot of you are truly, deeply, stupefyingly dumb.
So we have the debt ceiling deal, yet another step on the road to the impoverishment, brutalization and death of all those who are not sufficiently blessed to be part of the ruling class or of the ruling class's endlessly helpful adjunct, the media-blogger complex. For the cognitively impaired, which seems to be most people, that complex includes all "leading" bloggers on both right and left -- that is, Instapundit and his fellow gangsters on the right, and Atrios, Digby, et al. and their fellow gangsters on the left. I use "right" and "left" as those terms are commonly used. Let us please skip the onanistic pleasures of analyzing at interminable length what might make up the "true" right or left: most of those who contemplate such matters are only perpetuating the existing system while pretending they aren't. If you regularly engage with the present political system, you're perpetuating it. The rest is details. More on that issue soon.
Lots of people are celebrating or moaning about the "triumph" of the Tea Party. Apologies: I meant to say the crazy Tea Party. Which triumphed! I betcha some of those who say they will fight to the death to defend Social Security, Medicare, etc. would like to be "crazy" like that. They might actually succeed! Well, they might if you assume their actual and proclaimed goals are the same. Usually, and almost always in politics, they aren't.
And lots of people are celebrating or moaning about Obama's "stupidity," "weakness," "incompetence," and so on. I must confess to having a weakness for the popularity of this self-deluding ploy. In the midst of horror, it's a wonderful momentary relief to enjoy a hearty laugh. I especially like the ongoing theme at Digby's House of Mirth and Lies: "If only Obama understood all these issues the way I do, if only he were smart like me, none of this would be happening!" No, I'm not providing links to all this crap. If you've been following the latest "crisis" in even a cursory fashion, you've seen scads of pieces repeatedly announcing all these themes. And, Jesus Fuck Me Christ, I'm not going to direct people to shitty sites. They have far too many readers as it is.
I'll say it again. I suggest you slowly sound out the words this time. Maybe you'll begin to understand what they mean.
When one considers the destructive powers of the weapons at his command, as well as the bloodily murderous enthusiasm with which he uses them, and when one contemplates the enormous powers he enjoys entirely apart from and in addition to those weapons, Obama is the single most powerful individual in the entire history of humankind.
I'll say it once more. I'll bold it. Again, sound out the words:
Obama is the single most powerful individual in the entire history of humankind.
This is the goal toward which Obama diligently worked for years. This is what he wanted: the power of life and death over countless millions of people, and potentially over all of humanity. During that time, he was bracingly clear about what he would do once he achieved that cherished goal. Some of us told you all about this in the summer of 2008, and even a year earlier. Obama told you exactly what he would do. Most people convinced themselves -- contrary to all the available evidence, even when that evidence directly contradicted their illusions -- that Obama would do precisely the opposite of what he himself said he would do.
But now that Obama continues to do exactly what he said he would do, most of those who voted for him and viewed him as "transformational," "transcendent," and blahblahfuckingblah, talk nonstop about his stupidity, weakness and incompetence. Therefore, I state again:
Obama is the single most powerful individual in the entire history of humankind -- and he's accomplishing exactly what he set out to do.
So tell me again: who's stupid? Who's weak? Who's incompetent? Who was outmaneuvered? (I note, and it's an important point, that many people made the same profound error with the monstrous George W. Bush.)
The fundamental problem for most people is a very simple one. They are unable to look at Obama, or any one of many similar figures, and say:
Impoverishment, brutalization, destruction and death are his aims. He has said so, repeatedly. Impoverishment, brutalization, destruction and death are what he wants to achieve. These are evil goals, and this is a deeply evil man.Why are the vast majority of people unable to say this? I'll begin to explain why next time.
Uganda’s infamous Anti-Homosexuality Bill — which would impose the death penalty or life imprisonment for some homosexual acts — was been cast aside when Uganda’s Parliament ended last May, but it may soon be coming back to life. As Box Turtle Bulletin’s Jim Burroway notes, “there are persistent reports that the bill may be resurrected sometime in mid- to late-August” and Ugandan MP Otto Odonga, “who has said that he would apply to be a hangman even if it were his own son who was gay and at the gallows, confirmed to Warren Throckmorton that the bill will be brought back ‘perhaps by the end of August,’ and that it would pick up ‘from where the last parliament ended.’”
Days after every other major presidential candidate had spoken out on raising the debt ceiling, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said today that he opposes the deal struck last night between the White House and congressional Republicans. “While I appreciate the extraordinarily difficult situation President Obama?s lack of leadership has placed Republican Members of Congress in, I personally cannot support this deal,” he said in a statement. Romney had completely dodged the issue until now, leading the conservative Daily Caller to mock Romney for “going AWOL on [the] debt debate,” putting a picture of the former governor on a milk carton asking, “Have you seen me?”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) wants people to think he is Mr. States’ Rights. He thinks Texas should have the right to flout Medicaid laws, ignore federal education laws and thumb its nose at environmental regulations. He notoriously proposed having Texas secede from the union, and he has a long record of support from pro-Confederate groups.
As it turns out, however, Perry only really thinks that states should have the right to do what he wants them to do. Last week, after Perry briefly claimed that respecting the 10th Amendment means respecting New York’s right to treat gay couples with dignity, he almost immediately went grovelling to the leader of an anti-gay hate group to pledge his fealty to an anti-gay constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. This weekend, Perry added women’s reproductive freedom to the list of things he things states should be forbidden from respecting:
[Perry's] spokeswoman, Katherine Cesinger, said by e-mail today: ?Gov. Perry is proudly pro-life and successfully championed strong pro-life legislation in Texas including parental consent, this year?s sonogram bill and a budget that significantly defunds abortions in Texas. The governor has long supported overturning Roe v. Wade, and would support amending the U.S. Constitution, with the backing of Congress and the states, to protect innocent life.?
So Perry completely supports a conservative state’s right to flout progressive laws ensuring clean air or health care for the poor, but he would also rewrite the Constitution to prevent progressive states from governing the way they want to govern.
Lest there be any doubt, Perry’s belief that things like environmental regulations are completely optional has no basis in the Constitution. The Constitution gives national leaders sweeping power to regulate “commerce…among the several states,” and that includes the power to regulate polluting industries and polluting products such as automobiles. Similarly, while states do have the right to simply refuse Medicaid or federal education funds altogether. They may not, as Perry believes, simply suckle at the federal teat without also agreeing to obey Medcaid and education laws.
Simply put, Perry’s beliefs about the Constitution are radical even among the most radical tenther conservatives. He doesn’t simply misread the founding document to write essential health, education and environmental laws out of existence — he then ignores his own supposed loyalty to states rights to give the finger to gay couples and women.
When the accused Norwegian right-wing terrorist Anders Breivik‘s so-called manifesto surfaced on the internet in the aftermath of the attacks, many commentators quickly took note of the citations to — and wholesale reproduction of pieces by — a group of American bloggers who fancy themselves “counter-Jihadists.” Though no mainstream media outlets alleged that any responsibility for the attack rested with Islamophobic bloggers like Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, the clear influence they had on Breivik’s anti-Muslim ideology garnered coverage in outlets like the New York Times.
Now Geller and Spencer are leveraging all the attention to raise funds from their supporters. In the past week, both Geller and the David Horowitz Freedom Center — the group that houses Spencer’s Jihad Watch blog — sent out e-mail portraying themselves of victims of what Horowitz, in his letter, called attacks from the “international left.”
In his July 26 email, Horowitz wrote that Spencer was under scrutiny “[b]ecause some of Robert’s ideas happen to have been cited by the lunatic responsible for the carnage.” According to a ThinkProgress analysis of Breivik’s so-called manifesto, Spencer and his Jihad Watch blog were cited a combined 162 times in the 1,500-page document. (Horowitz was cited once.)
Horowitz goes on to offer up a pamphlet he and Spencer are writing — titled: “Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future” — and asks for donations, linking to a page to donate online:
In return I ask you to please give as generously as you can to help us keep Robert, myself and my team of writers here at FrontPage and Jihad Watch turning out the work that keeps the left and its Muslim extremist allies at bay and keeps us in their gun sights. [...]
Help us build up our legal defense fund against the coming witch hunt. [...]
Thank you for standing by us again as we take the battle once more to those who want to kill free speech as the first step of their plan to disarm America.
Then on July 29, Geller — who, combined with here blog Atlas Shrugs, was cited 12 times in Breivik’s screed — sent out a fundraising e-mail of her own, co-signed by her long-time ally Spencer:
Robert and I speak the truth day in and day out and stand on the front lines of freedom. [?]
And now they want to shut us up!…
Your Contribution TODAY goes directly to the Protection of Free Speech and Speaking Out Against Islamic supremacism.
For donations of $250 or more, Geller and Spencer will send you a “free DVD copy of our acclaimed movie The Ground Zero Mosque: Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks!” or, for donations of $500 or more, you can get a personally signed copy of Geller’s book ?Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance.”
Supporting their argument, Geller and Spencer cited the media’s reporting that Breivik considered himself a “Christian”: “mainstream media called this savage a CHRISTIAN, and tried to blame the murder of those innocent souls on ‘Radical Christianity!’ It is unbelievable!”
Breivik’s notion that “there are no important theological differences between jihadists and so-called ‘peaceful’ or ‘moderate’ Muslims” is lifted almost directly from the writings of Geller, Spencer and the “counter-jihadists.”