Our regular featured content-On This Day In History April 23 by TheMomCatPunting the Pundits by TheMomCatThese featured articles-Pique the Geek 20120422: The Isotope Effect by TranslatorPelt the President with the Pill by T. P. AlexandersSunday Train:[...]
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In fact, let's make that three things ... remember last week when the first couple of daily tracking polls from Gallup came out, showing Romney leading President Obama by a whopping few points? Here are just a few (emphasis on "few") of the breathless headlines that day:
And one week later, now that the daily tracking shows Obama up over Romney 47-44 percent, there must be a media firestorm ... headlines blaring the news that Obama is winning, speculation on what caused Romney's spectacular dive in the polls and of course a screaming siren at Drudge, right? Not so much?from the Moderate Voice:
So Mitt? Shut up.
Seattle's Archbishop J. Peter Sartain is a busy guy. He's involved in getting his flock motivated to put an anti-marriage equality measure called Referendum 74 on the ballot in Washington, even though local priests and congregations are resisting. Now[...]
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EFFRep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), primary sponsor of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) bill, is "confident" that the House will pass his bill on Thursday, despite the fact that the White House has criticized the approach taken in the bill, suggesting President Obama might not sign this version.
You might have heard that there were amendments that made the bill less dangerous. The ACLU, along with many other groups, including the Center for Democracy and Technology, Free Press, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Constitution Project, are still opposed to it because it still poses serious dangers to individual privacy.
The bill still allows private companies to share information about their customers with each other and with the government with little more than an assertion that this information sharing is necessary for national security. No warrants, no subpoenas, and this law supersedes any other privacy protection law. Oh, and this, too: it would immunize companies from either criminal or civil liability for personal data shared under CISPA. So they have basically no incentive not to collect as much information as they can about their customers.
- CISPA still allows companies to share lots of sensitive and private information about our internet use with the government. [...]
- CISPA still lets military agencies such as the National Security Agency directly collect the Internet records of American citizens who use the public, domestic, civilian Internet. [...]
- CISPA still lets the government use the private information it collects about us for any purpose it deems fit outside of regulation. [...]
It's still a bad bill. Tell Congress to stop CISPA.
Remember Sandra Fluke? She's the law student who sent Rush Limbaugh into a multi-day rage for daring to speak out on behalf a friend who needed access to contraceptives for non-reproductive medical reasons. As a result, Limbaugh decided she was a promiscuous slut and prostitute who needed to videotape herself having sex for Limbaugh's own sexual gratification.
Overall, Limbaugh attacked Fluke an astonishing 53 times over three days. We took snippets of each of those attacks and spliced them together for the world to see, then uploaded it to YouTube.
Today, we got notice from YouTube that the clip had been pulled for copyright violation:
Dear dkostv:The video is clear Fair Use. It's not even a close call. We've already asked YouTube to reconsider. And I'd be happy to litigate this issue with Limbaugh's lawyers in court, if they want to take it that far.
We have disabled the following material as a result of a third-party notification from The Rush Limbaugh Show claiming that this material is infringing:
53 of Rush Limbaugh's most vile smears against Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke
But I am perplexed?why is he suddenly so shy and retiring about his views on Sandra Fluke? He should be thrilled that us liberals are helping spread his noxious views. Or is he now embarrassed by them? In either case, we put the video up on Vimeo:
This isn't 1823, no matter how much Limbaugh might wish it so. He gets the video pulled from one place, it'll simply pop up somewhere else. If he really wants it offline, he's going to have to meet us in court. And even that won't do the trick.
That darn First Amendment will get in his way.
Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk (D)
Gov. Scott Walker's alleged reason for repealing Wisconsin's Equal Pay Enforcement Act was that "In the past, lawyers could clog up the legal system." But, in a letter to Walker, former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk, who is running for governor in the upcoming recall election, and Democratic state Reps. Christine Sinicki and Chris Taylor challenge that claim:
Since the Equal Pay Enforcement Act was signed into law in 2009, we reasonably assume you are claiming there has been an exponential rise in state lawsuits regarding pay discrimination claims filed by women in Wisconsin.In fact, Sinicki suggested on a press call that there may have been no such cases; Taylor, though, noted the deterrent effect of a strong equal pay law. Such a deterrent is definitely needed, especially in Wisconsin, where women earn 75 cents for every dollar men earn, below the national rate of 77 cents for every dollar. And that's what Scott Walker is working to protect.
Contrary to your claim, you have provided no evidence that in the two-year period since passage of the Equal Pay Enforcement Act that pay discrimination lawsuits are "clogging" the legal system.
Wisconsin presents a rare experiment of what happens when Koch brothers' and ALEC prescriptions for government are put into place; the results are plain and ugly.
Targeting the working class, about whom Abe Lincoln said "all that serves labor, serves the nation. All that harms labor is treason," is not just terrible macro-economics, it's anti-American.
"When Wisconsin ranks dead last in something as important as job creation, it?s obvious we have a problem. While the overall economy and our Midwestern neighbors are adding jobs at a pace consistent with our national recovery, Wisconsin shouldn't be losing jobs, and yet since Scott Walker became governor, we're worst-in-the-nation," stated Michelle McGrorty, executive director of the Greater Wisconsin Political Fund. "Scott Walker's job-killing agenda of slashing education and job training while lavishing tax giveaways on his corporate donors has been a miserable failure."
The sector of Wisconsin doing well now is the dozens of Scott Walker cronies, whom he turned into political appointees with hefty raises?all rubber-stamped by the Republicans in the legislature. And of course those contributors to the Scott Walker campaign who are the recipients of massive taxpayer gave-aways.
Joyce L. Arnold, Liberally Independent, Queer Talk, equality activist, writer.
Finding the humor, or creating it, is crucial in advocacy, not to mention in life in general. It?s not ignoring, avoiding or minimizing the deluge of serious stuff dumped on us daily. Rather, humor can be a way to focus on ?issues,? take an energy-building break, or both. And Deity or Not-Deity knows, we need some laughs during another round of presidential politics, now played out under the ?corporations are people? Citizens United world in which the 1% look down on the 99% with a ?nyah, nyah, nyah, nyah? smirk of state sanctioned superiority.
From Yes! Magazine, by Sven Everlein:
Since long before Abbie Hoffman dropped dollar bills into the New York Stock Exchange?unleashing hilarity as Wall Street traders scurried to gather up cash?humor has been used as a potent political weapon. It can expose the absurdities and inequities of consumer society. It doesn?t need big bucks to be effective or contagious?Occupy has shown that creativity and imagination can be powerful enough to build a national movement.
That?s followed by several examples, including the story of Eric Hensal, owner of a ?small, Silver Spring, Maryland, public relations company,? Murray Hill Inc. The morning the SOTU Citizens United decision was announced, Hensal initiated the ?Murray Hill Incorporated is Running for Congress? campaign. From that website:
Until now, corporations only influenced politics with high-paid lobbyists and backroom deals. But today, thanks to an enlightened Supreme Court, corporations now have all the rights the founding fathers meant for us. It was their dream to build the best democracy money can buy.
The Yes! piece includes another example of humor related to Citizens United, from the Backbone Campaign, who staged a flash mob at a Target store in Seattle. ?People are People? becomes ?Target ain?t people, so why should it be / allowed to play around with our democracy??
For more examples of humor in the face of (take that both ways) political / corporate legally sanctioned shenanigans, check out Attacking Oppression with Laughter, and Don?t Forget the Funny, an interview with Andy Bichlbaum, ?one of the masterminds of the Yes Men.? A snippet:
(Interviewer): Does using fun … change the way the message is communicated?
(Bichlbaum): Definitely. If you?re angry about something, you rant. But pushing facts down people?s throats doesn?t work. Humor can really sideswipe this problem. It?s like there?s a wall between a person and if you make a joke, it?s a crack in the wall.
A crack in the wall. Given the barriers designed, built and maintained by and for Wall Street, Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court ? and our election system, designed to prevent any serious challenges to those in two party power ? we need lots of cracks. And Yes!, some of it comes by way of humor.
(Occupy Fun poster via Occupii)
Easily, tomorrow's most important race, at least for progressives, is the primary in the heavily blue new 17th congressional district in the northeastern part of the state that pits progressive Matt Cartwright against the Machine-backed corrupt Blue Dog Tim Holden, who represented the old-- relatively red-- 17th district south and west of the new district. We've been making the case for Cartwright and why Holden is too corrupt and too conservative to be given another term in Congress. But for anyone who lives in the area-- or who has friends or relatives who live in the area-- I want to ask you to remember one final thought before voting. and it isn't even my own. This thought comes from Eugene Kiely and Ben Finley of FactCheck.org who make the point that Tim Holden is a lying sack of shit who, in his desperation, has resorted to smearing Matt Cartwright with the hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate bribes being sent his way by Democratic congressional corruptionist-in-chief Steny Hoyer. Their startling and horrifying report:
Rep. Tim Holden falsely claimed in a recent TV ad that his opponent won a multimillion-dollar lawsuit in exchange for campaign contributions to a corrupt judge. In fact, a jury-- not the judge-- awarded $3 million to lawyer Matt Cartwright?s client in that case. The Holden campaign told us it had no evidence to prove the donation had any influence over the judge during that trial. The campaign pulled the ad after just one day on the air.
This is not the first time that the veteran Democratic congressman has accused his primary opponent, Cartwright, of making improper campaign contributions. In an earlier TV ad, Holden sought to link Cartwright to the infamous ?kids-for-cash? scandal that sent two Pennsylvania judges to prison. In that ad, Holden criticized Cartwright for contributions he and his law firm made to judges who accepted kickbacks for sending juveniles to for-profit juvenile detention facilities. Again, the campaign contributions from Cartwright and his law firm were unrelated to the corruption case. It was merely a case of guilt by association.
The Times-Tribune editorial board usually does not endorse in primary elections. But because the Democratic primary will pick the ultimate winners in several races, the board has decided to endorse in those races.
17th Congressional District: Matt Cartwright
Due to egregious gerrymandering, the 17th Congressional District has been redrawn along a convoluted route that includes Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, Easton and Pottsville.
The 10-term incumbent is Rep. Tim Holden of Schuylkill County, dean of the state congressional delegation. But Mr. Holden never has represented more than 70 percent of the people in the redrawn district. It is clear from his record, and from his astonishingly dirty campaign, that he is out of step with the redrawn district.
The editorial board endorses Scranton lawyer Matt Cartwright.
Mr. Holden has voted against progressive initiatives such as the most sweeping housing finance reforms, greater consumer protections, energy reform and health care reform.
In an interview, Mr. Holden declared that he always had heeded the advice of the late Rep. John Murtha, who had told him to keep his mouth shut and make friends. In keeping with that approach, Mr. Holden refused to debate Mr. Cartwright while visiting county Democratic committees in search of endorsements.
Mr. Holden's campaign was an affront to voters. Some of his ads attempted to tie Mr. Cartwright to judicial corruption, in the process smearing jurors and a woman who had suffered due to an incorrect cancer diagnosis.
There were negative elements to Mr. Cartwright's campaign, but they focused on Mr. Holden's record rather than his personal integrity.
Overall, Mr. Cartwright focused on tax reform, health care and education reforms.
Mr. Cartwright would be a vocal and active representative. He needs to temper his lawyer's adversarial mind-set, however, to recognize that progress in Washington requires compromise.
Lately we seem to be awash in officials who labor strenuously at elevating ineffectiveness to an art form capable even of bringing about their re-elections.
They and the party leaders with whom they cavort have gone out of their way to support Cartwright?s opponent, who so often follows his finger headlong into every-which-way the wind blows.
Cartwright?s opponent, U.S. Rep. Tim Holden, voted against the 2010 health insurance reform law, its coverage of pre-existing conditions and its provision extending coverage to your son or daughter in their early 20s unable to find affordable health insurance on their own.
Cartwright?s opponent also voted to exempt natural gas drillers from the Safe Drinking Water Act requirement that they list those chemicals forced underground in the drilling process. This travesty, known as the ?Halliburton Loophole,? is now in our national Safe Drinking Water Act.
What has become of the Congress when elected representatives go out of their way to oppose common-sense insurance reforms while voting to keep under wraps the dangerous chemicals that gas drillers pump underground?
Can?t you just hear the crisp snap of insurance industry fingers and the crackle of chemical drillers as congressmen pop out of their seats to do their bidding?
Matt Cartwright wants to put a stop to such behavior and go to Washington to re-establish a strong voice for Northeastern Pennsylvania within the halls of Congress.
It is a daunting task for sure, but Cartwright possesses the necessary skill set to lead the way and make a difference.
...When the new 17th Congressional District was drawn by the cartographers in Harrisburg so as to weaken Northeastern Pennsylvania by dividing our population centers and diluting our influence, Matt Cartwright leaped into the race to unite and strengthen the entire region.
Throughout this campaign Matt Cartwright has demonstrated an extraordinary energy, intelligence and the natural leadership that the job requires and that the Pennsylvania congressional delegation so desperately needs.
Cartwright has all the tools. He is the most promising congressional candidate I?ve seen from this region in more than three decades.
On Tuesday vote Matt Cartwright for Congress ?. and for Northeastern Pennsylvania.