Author Archives: NECS
Since my election in 1980, as part of the Reagan Big Tent, the Republican Party has moved far to the right. Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats. I now find my political philosophy more in line with Democrats than Republicans.
~ Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) announcing his decision to switch from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party, thus giving the Democrats 60 seats once Al Franken is seated.
What does this mean for the filibuster? Very little. Senator Ben Nelson and Specter are still going to moderate votes in the Democratic Caucus, but it will make it easier for Specter to vote with the Democrats. He will no longer have the scorn of an entire caucus when he makes tough choices on bills like the stiumlus.
What this does signify is a massive blow to the Republican Party. This is strong evidence that the Republican Party has relegated itself to being a Southern Regional Party… far too conservate for even mainstream Republicans. To those who think 2010 will be a rough year for Democrats… think again.
Appropriately Re-Posted Photo
Today is the day of Tea Parties – otherwise known as April 15th or Tax Day.
1) This is not a grassroots movement. This is an AstroTurfing movement. What does that mean? Instead of springing from people coming together it is being sponsored and pushed my large, national organization. The group Americans for Prosperity is a well financed, heavily staffed organization that is coordinating the activities of national tea baggers.
Additionally, Fox News has been pushing these tea baggers hard core for weeks. The line between reporting and supporting the movement seems to be blurred in much of the Fox News coverage. An excellent report on this has been developed specifically on this subject by Media MattersÂ – the summer home of one Dana Cronyn.
2) These tea parties are giant hissy fits.
Giant, non-productive hissy fits.
I am all for freedom of speech, but these tea parties address the most annoying arguments of the emerging right-wing freakout. We are not even 100 days into the Obama Administration and the Right-wing is working itself it a nervous breakdown like none seen since the South collectively spasmed and removed itself from the Union.
Loyal Democrats in 2000 begrudgingly supported George W. Bush after he was appointed President of the United States. We were expected to support our President by the Right-wing – anything else was subversive. The former Vice President did not attack the new administration, like Dick Cheney has done recently, and mass protests across the country were not organized toÂ whine about No Child Left Behind.
Most of all – not a single blue state threatened to leave the Union. Texas Governor Rick Perry declared his state’s sovereignty from the United States Federal Government. It seems that the tea bagging movement is still completely confused over who won and who lost last November’s election. At some point the hypocritical freakout must stop, otherwise the Right is dooming itself to irrelevancy.
This man is kind of insane.
â€œI tend to be morose sometimesâ€
~ Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas on life. The New York Times has a fascinated piece detailing the Supreme Court’s most guarded and silent justice at a recent dinner hosted by the Bill of Rights Institute. Justice Thomas went on to reminisce about the good ol’ days of prayer in schools and marching around the schoolhouse with a flag and crucifix.
Noteworthy, Justice Thomas also revealed that he is not really that into rights. Thomas’s constitutional philosophy is that our “rights” must be adequately countered by our “responsibilities” and “duties.” He believes that sometime we just complain too much and have far too many rights.
To me… that is insane.
Yes We Can (Hold Babies) – European Edition
Recently President Obama travelled to Europe, Turkey, and Iraq in a his first large-scale trip abroad that resulted in massive international relations coup. His trip featured 18 bilateral meetings with world leaders – two major speeches (Prague and Ankara) – hosted two town hall meetings (France and Turkey) – six news conferences with a total of 35 questions – and traveled approximately 10,000 miles. Obama’s trip was a PR triumph, while he began the slow process of rebuilding America’s relationship with our allies across the globe.
Some Post-Trip Diagnosis
From whitehouse.org: The White House posted a great gallery of photos from the trip. These photos are interesting in that they are not the usual photo op photos, eg Obama + Foreign Head of State + Flags. They depict various behind the scenes instances that would not usually be released to the public. Also, some badass Air Force One/Marine One photos.
From Salon: Our man Juan Cole shreds conservative punditry for their negative reaction to Obama’s trip. He compares the hysteria of the right to the insanity caused by War of the Worlds radio broadcast and describes the Republican sphere of commentary as:
The weeping and trembling of Sean Hannity, Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh and William Kristol underlined once again that the right-wingers are playground crybabies who kick and scream and faint whenever they do not get their way.
Professor Cole then proceeds to tear down every part of Republican criticism and perfectly throws their arguments back in their faces. This piece is perfect evidence that the insane arguments made by the right are easily defeated one fact is used against them.
Governor Granholm’s officed release this photo of our dearest Governor upholding her end of a bet with North Carolina’s Governor Perdue. In addition to posing with North Carolina athletic gear and eating a Krispy Kreme with North Carolina blue icing she also personally donated $100 to a charity of Governor Perdue’s choice.
Note the Michigan State Ball strategically placed in the background.
May this never happen again.
My new series on Right-Wing Conspiracy Theories in the Obama Administration
Last weekend Richard Poplawski killed three Pittsburgh policemen with a AK-47. Since his arres a debate has exploded over Poplawski’s motives for deliberately setting up an ambush to gun down the officers. He has been linked to the right-wing, neo-nazi website Stormfront and his writings have ventured in and out of the land of psychotic conspiracy theories. Of note, Poplawski’s current state of paranoia was spurned by his belief that President Obama was actively working to ban all firearms in the United States.
This conspiracy theory has been reververating across the right-wing blogosphere since the campaign. Powerful groups, like the NRA, poured millions of dollars into creating the image of Barack Obama as an enemy of the Second Amendment. The NRA claimed that Obama was going to ban the sale and manufacturing of all firearms, ban the use of firearms for self-defense, ban hunting, and ban all rights to to carry a firearm. The claims of the NRA have been repeated across right-wing blogs, radio shows, and main stream news networks as reality. For example, Glenn Beck has been a platform for this echo chamber…
In this piece an expert, a gun store owner, is interviewed about federal policy, the economy, and the national psyche. The media is allowing buffoons like Beck and gun store owners to act as experts on the state of our nation. Instead of engaging representatives from the Obama Administration and mainstream think tanks in a conversation about the future gun control in our nation the MSM allows falsehoods to pass as pure fact. Glenn Beck may be an unfair example, considering he is a bit unhinged, but there are other instances of the MSM allowing for right-wing, conspiracy viewpoints to be presented on natiional television without being challenged. This is just as harmful as actively promoting these viewpoints.
The fact is – President Obama has staked a careful, moderate stance on gun control (factcheck.org). In fact, this is one area where I actually disagree with President Obama. The furthest he has gone in promoting gun control has been calling for making the assault weapon ban permanenet (an already toothless piece of legislation, banning high-powered ammunition like those that killed the police last weekend, and strengthening registration laws. By mutating these facts the right-wing echo chamber has perpetuated the neurotic beliefs of right-wing crazies. It has driven them to taking up gun control as the ventilation of their conservative frustration since the 2008 election.
Creating lies that are allowed to fester perpetuates the anger and psychotic beliefs of those in the fringe of our nation.
We will be live streaming at the first plenary session @ 11:30am – 12:30 pm and from 3:45PM-4:30PM.
We may be periodically be streaming from breakout sessions throughout the day!
Because I love it…
From Salon: I generally put either funny or political things in my Blog Digest, but I thought this article was rather important. This article about a mother struggling with her Autistic child was especially touching. This is a story told by a mother who loves her Autistic son, but is learning how to deal with him as an adult. Really moving.
From Huffington Post: Some righteous anger over the illegitimate anger of Obama’s use of the Teleprompter. I personally enjoy listening to a President with prepared, thoughtful remarks instead of a President that utters words like “preeance freeance.”
From Huffington Post: A cartoonist volunteers to take the burden of the death threats issued at AIG executives in exchange for their pay.
From guardian.co.uk: From our UK brothers and sisters – a detailed look at the history and future of LEGO. THE BEST TOY EVER CREATED AND THE REASON MY CHILDHOOD WAS A HAPPY ONE.
From Indexed: How I feel at PSIP meetings…
From Daily Intel: Apparently Sean Penn and Natalie Portman were spotted making out. You read that correctly. Read it twice if you have to. It killed a small part of me.
From Daily Intel/South Park: How the Treasury decides who gets a bailout.
From Talking Points Memo: Josh Marshall examines how our economic disaster is putting the Social Contract under intense pressure. I got confused reading this, but I did come away with a strangely apocalyptic feeling.
From Daily Intel: For those who ride subways or metro things. Basically, if you are not an American and you live in NYC you care about this. Some New Yorkers are complaining about rate hikes on those underground trains. Here is a good Myth/Fact sheet about MTA rate hikes.
From Crooks and Liars: Bill O’Reilly sent his goons (producers) to literally stalk a liberal blogger. It was really nasty, but our the blogger is standing strong. Here is his excellent retort!
From Kanye: The really cool trailer for Where The Wild Things Are. Watch it. Love it.
From Kanye: He thinks these headphones are cool. So do I.
It is becoming more evident daily that President Obama is the smooth-talking robot for the left wing of the Democratic Party.
Governor Granholm & Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop: Awkward
This week Michigan House Republicans presented their plan to solve the State’s budget problems: cut state worker salaries. They proposed cutting state the salaries of 52,000 state employees by 5% and reduce the benefits for retirees. Additionally, they called for a 5% across the board cut in state spending.
This plan is completely shameful for two reasons.
1) Asking state employees to accept a 5% cut in their salaries is highly hypocritical considering not a single House Republican will voluntary return a percentage of their own income, as Governor Granholm does.
Granholm, a Democrat, has returned 5 percent or 10 percent of her $177,000 salary every year since taking office in 2003 as Michigan has struggled with a weak economy and ongoing budget problems. She recently urged other elected officials to do the same, especially lawmakers since they have so much say in the state budget.
Not a single House Republican has returned any portion of his or her income. How can you ethically ask the people that clean up our parks, guard our prisons, and pave our roads to take a cut in pay when you yourself refuses to even consider the notion.
2) A 5% cut across the board is fundamentally the worst plan that could be proposed to fix our state budget. Across The Board cuts class funding from efficient programs, thus making making them inefficient, and fails to fix inefficient programs. These cuts allow inefficient programs to continue to exist, but in a small form.
In a recession good government programs are essential to creating and economic turn around, but wantonly slashing funding merely handicaps these programs.
Partaking in a bipartisan effort to address inefficient programs in a direct manner addresses the problem and will hopefully bring about reform to programs that desperately need it.
Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-MN-Crazy Town) once again makes a name for herself for being crazy crazy crazy. Watch the clip above and realize that any University undergrad has a better understanding of the American Constitution and the power of the Federal Government in times of crisis. She is dumb. If the Republican Party insists on being the party of blind opposition and ignorance they will never emerge from the “wilderness” Tom Delay, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove rammed their party into in the last eight years.
She is dumb.
Here is Bachman commenting on the Cap and Trade proposal (which the Republicans have branded an energy tax):
â€œI want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us â€˜having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,â€™ and the people â€“ we the people â€“ are going to have to fight back hard if weâ€™re not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States.â€
There is a difference between being hte LOYAL opposition and just being in opposition. Historically, the opposition is still loyal to the nation and occupies a place to keep the majority party in place. Bachman is intent on ruining Obamas program and any chance for success since the Republican Pary refuses to put forward any comprehensive alternatives to Obama’s plan.
Michelle Bachman is a dumb person. There. I said it.