I'm a supporter of gay rights.
And not a closet supporter either.
From the time I was a kid, I have never
been able to understand
attacks upon the gay community.
There are so many qualities that
make up a human being...
By the time I get through with all the things
that I really admire about people,
what they do with their private parts is probably
so low on the list that it is irrelevant.
Born January 26, 1925
Read The Full Article:
State of the punditry (SOTP), Wednesday edition.
An overwhelming majority of Americans approved of the overall message in President Obama's State of the Union speech on Tuesday night, according to a CBS News poll of speech watchers.
According to the poll, which was conducted online by Knowledge Networks immediately after the president's address, 91 percent of those who watched the speech approved of the proposals Mr. Obama put forth during his remarks. Only nine percent disapproved.
Last year, 83 percent of viewers approved of Mr. Obama's State of the Union remarks.
"Tuesday night's State of the Union audience is more Democratic than the nation as a whole, which is typical for a President Obama speech and indicates that the speech-watchers were predisposed to like what Obama said," noted CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "When George W. Bush was president, his audiences were more Republican than the general public at that time, and his speeches were usually well-received for that same reason."
Polling bumps from State of the Union addresses are largely the stuff of myth. That's the message of before-and-after polls conducted over the last three decades. What might add a twist to this year's address, however, is an unusual context -- a new Republican House Speaker seated behind President Barack Obama and a recent bump in Obama's job approval ratings -- that could make for some unexpected impact.
Democracy Corps focus group:
This was a difficult audience for Obama, yet his speech largely won them over. It was a heavily Republican-leaning group (48 percent Republican, 18 percent Democratic) that split their votes in 2008 (48 percent Obama, 48 percent McCain) but had moved away from the President over the past two years. At the outset, majorities expressed disapproval with his job performance and unfavorable views of him on a personal level.
Despite this Republican tilt, Obama saw significant shifts in his overall standing — larger even than after his well-received State of the Union address last year. His overall job approval among these voters jumped by 26 points (10 points more than he gained last year) while his personal standing flipped from decidedly cool (30 percent warm versus 62 percent cool) to much warmer (52 percent warm, 27 percent cool).
I've argued for a while that American decline is the specter haunting our politics, and that this could be the president's undoing -- or provide him with the opportunity to revive his presidency. Obama has clearly decided to take that challenge on, embracing the idea of America as an exceptional nation that always, well, wins the future. And he also believes that the "win the future" theme will be the key to winning a future election that is less than two years away.
EJ also points out that optimism beats pessimism. Well, we saw that with the SOTU speeches last night. If anyone has insta-polls or focus groups on Ebenezer Scrooge's or Howard Beale's GOP SOTU responses, let me know.
Brad DeLong on where we'd be if Romney won:
I see only two key policy differences between RomneyWorld and ObamaWorld. Had Romney been elected president in 2008 we would not have repealed the military policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." And had Romney been elected president in 2008, Elizabeth Warren would not now be Assistant to the President for Consumer Financial Protection.
Otherwise? As far as policy is concerned, we would be smack on the mark that we are on now.
But the politics would be very, very different.
Think, first, of the Republicans — their legislators and office holders, their spinmasters, stenographers, and intellectuals. All Republicans except a small grumbling fringe would be crowing about how ObamaCare — oops! I mean RomneyCare — is the golden mean between continued tolerance of a dysfunctional system and rash experimentation with overregulation. All would be saying that Republicans were able to get things done because they were not overambitious or free-market-phobic.
Obama Offers Something for Everyone in Expansive State of the Union Speech
Focusing on America as a nation of big ideas, President Obama told Congress on Tuesday night that he wants to reorganize the federal government to make it serve a more competitive nation while also simplifying the tax code, doubling exports in three years and investing in free enterprise that drives innovation.
In a speech that clearly aimed at tacking toward the middle, the president offered suggestions that may be welcomed by many of his political opponents -- reducing federal spending, abolishing cumbersome regulations, cutting the deficit and even changing his signature health care law.
No, of course he didn't. But he could have. He should have.
Blue Texan reminds us that rethuglicans use the SOTU to double-down on reich-wing insanity, even in the face of huge midterm losses.
Smirky's 2007 SOTU was a giant Fuck You to the nation that had just voted to reject his entire administration.
The least Obama could have given a nation that let dems keep the Senate was a reason to keep believing.
Instead, we got pabalum and pandering to the teabaggers.
Medical malpractice reform? Veto earmarks? Are you fucking kidding me?
This isn't bipartisanship; this is unconditional surrender.
From now on, every time somebody mentions Obama and "the center" in the same sentence, hit back hard with this:
"The only way Obama can move closer to the center is if he takes a giant leap to the left."
Big media reax here, here, here, and here. Blog reax here, here, here and here. Paul Krugman on the Ryan response. Oops. Heh.What did you think of the speech? My reaction: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.[...]
Read The Full Article:
Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., upstaged rising House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., by delivering her own State of the Union response, courtesy of the Tea Party Express, but that?s merely the latest high-profile instance in which the tea party has[...]
Read The Full Article:
This time, it's not BP, but rather Chevron at the center of an oil disaster controversy. The final arguments against Chevron have been made in Ecuador where plaintiffs are asking for $113 billion in damages. Unlike the Gulf Coast, access to the rain forests of Ecuador made it more challenging to cover the story, but as the court case nears its end, photos related to the alleged disaster are available. (See below.) As we've seen around the world with other oil-related disasters, the human suffering is widespread and the oil industry is reluctant to accept their responsibilities.
This particular case started in 2003, though the legal challenges stretch back to 1992. The plaintiffs argue that Texaco dumped 16 billion gallons of heavily polluted waste water from their oil production operations into waterways in the Amazon between 1964 and 1990. Chevron acquired Texaco in 2001, and claims that its subsidiary "fully remediated its share of environmental impacts" before 1992.To see the extent of the damage, click through for photos. Here are photos from the Rainforest Action Network and here is another set from Lou Dematteis.
But the Amazonian communities represented in the case say otherwise. The oil company, their lawyers state in the final argument obtained by Mother Jones, knowingly dumped millions of gallons of the toxic waste into the rainforest, taking no action to minimize the risks it posed to communities in the region. The company also dug 900 open, unlined pits for dumping "drilling muds," which the plaintiffs describe in their filing as "a toxic soup of oil drilling byproducts that includes barium, heavy metals (e.g., chromium, lead, and zinc), chloride, petroleum compounds, and acid." Thousands of gallons of oil also leaked from the pipeline running through the region, which the company repeatedly failed to report or address, they argue.
The plaintiffs report contamination from toxic chemicals at 45 sites they inspected in the area. Further, they point to Chevron's own internal memos obtained in the case as evidence that the company knew about legacy of pollution at the sites. And they say that the remediation work the company took at the sites was a "sham" intended to fend off lawsuits.
If you think the "lost decade" of stock returns seen in the United States since 2000 is bad, you probably haven't been paying attention to Japan. Japan's . . . → Full Story: The Most Undervalued Stocks in the World
Read The Full Article:
Muse in the MorningTime for a break from poetry...in order to create some art.The American ideal, after all, is that everyone should be as much alike as possible.--James BaldwinMasque 5 I know you have talent. ?What sometimes is forgotten is that being[...]
Read The Full Article:
When a school district repurposes a building, or a sandwich shop takes the political pulse of its neighborhood, is it news? Sure, especially if you live down the block. But when newspapers downsize, those stories [and journalists to cover them] are often the first to get chopped from the news budget. That?s where Patch.com comes [...]Related posts:
The police apparatus in Egypt is much stronger than in Tunisia though the frustration level among the people can't be that much different. For those fed up with the extended rule of Hosni Mubarak, they know that when he passes, his son is waiting in the wings. The Guardian:
Egyptian police used teargas and rubber bullets and beat protesters in a bid to clear thousands of demonstrators from a central Cairo square late last night after people had taken to the streets earlier today demanding the end of President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule in mass demonstrations inspired by the toppling of the government in Tunisia.
Cairo was the scene of violent clashes as thousands of protesters from separate demonstrations converged on Tahrir Square, the central plaza. Demonstrators waved Egyptian and Tunisian flags, hauled down a billboard for the ruling NDP party and chanted "depart Mubarak" at the 82-year-old leader, who will face elections later this year. One policeman died in the Cairo violence.
Two protesters were killed in Suez, east of Cairo, as other demonstrations took place around the country.