Posts Tagged ‘grover



05
Aug
11

‘manufactured crisis’

Thanks Michele

24
Jul
11

is treason the word?

Washington Post (Thank you Ladyhawke)

July 19

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Thom Anderson (SCNow.com): “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

That is the oath that members of the United States Congress, both houses, take as they begin their duties. Sounds good, but a majority in this Congress put an asterisk on it. Maybe they had their fingers crossed as they recited the oath.

The asterisk concerns a pledge, developed in the ‘80s by a 20-something fellow named Grover Norquist, who grew up rich and privileged, received two degrees from the dreaded Harvard, and then went directly into partisan, highly ideological company in the Reagan White House where he got the “inspiration” for the oath. An Internet search indicates he has never worked in the “real America” that right-wingers so revere, only in strong ideological company.

… When they sign this pledge, politicians promise that under no circumstance, not war, not danger of the government defaulting on legally and properly owed debt, not danger that the infrastructure will crumble us into Third World status, will they tolerate an increase in government revenue….

In other words, when these politicians swore before God and their country that they take their obligations “freely” and “without any mental reservation,” they were not truthful. How can they claim to face their obligations in Congress freely when they have made a prior pledge they consider unbreakable not to do certain things? They can’t.

…. This pledge of which most voters are unaware has been taken by some Congressmen since the 1980s. It was a major reason that a “conservative” president and Congress not only failed to pay for a war that has gone sour but cut taxes as they entered it, turning an inherited surplus into a huge deficit.

They also added an expensive Medicare drug benefit without funding, further increasing the deficit. This higher cost they created, they now use as an excuse to scrap Medicare.

Also, you wouldn’t pick a music-hater to conduct an orchestra. Why pick a government-hater to run your country? When electing people who are against government, think of Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen. They don’t have real governments.

Full article here – thanks again Ladyhawke

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Let’s never forget, Norquist is the traitor Firedogfake’s Hamsher teamed up with when they campaigned together for the resignation of Rahm Emanuel:

Kevin Drum (Mother Jones, December 2009): Apparently Jane Hamsher has decided that a healthcare bill that provides a trillion dollars worth of benefit to low and middle income workers is so odious that mere opposition isn’t enough. Nor is opposition that increasingly employs the worst kind of right-wing talking points. No, it’s so odious that it deserves a scorched earth campaign against the Obama White House in partnership with Grover Norquist. Hard to know what to say about this. What’s next? A joint Twitter campaign with Sarah Palin? A letter writing campaign cosponsored by Richard Viguerie? A joint lawsuit with Orly Taitz? Jeebus.

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Nicholas D. Kristof (NYT): If China or Iran threatened our national credit rating and tried to drive up our interest rates, or if they sought to damage our education system, we would erupt in outrage.

Well, wake up to the national security threat. Only it’s not coming from abroad, but from our own domestic extremists.

We tend to think of national security narrowly as the risk of a military or terrorist attack. But national security is about protecting our people and our national strength — and the blunt truth is that the biggest threat to America’s national security this summer doesn’t come from China, Iran or any other foreign power. It comes from budget machinations, and budget maniacs, at home.

…. on this issue, many House Republicans aren’t serious, they’re just obsessive in a destructive way. The upshot is that in their effort to protect the American economy from debt, some of them are willing to drag it over the cliff of default.

…. Republican zeal to lower debts could result in increased interest expenses and higher debts. Their mania to save taxpayers could cost taxpayers. That suggests not governance so much as fanaticism.

More broadly, a default would leave America a global laughingstock. Our “soft power,” our promotion of democracy around the world, and our influence would all take a hit. The spectacle of paralysis in the world’s largest economy is already bewildering to many countries. If there is awe for our military prowess and delight in our movies and music, there is scorn for our political/economic management.

While one danger to national security comes from the risk of default, another comes from overzealous budget cuts — especially in education, at the local, state and national levels. When we cut to the education bone, we’re not preserving our future but undermining it.

… “The attack on literacy programs reflects a broader assault on education programs,” said Rosa DeLauro, a Democratic member of Congress from Connecticut. She notes that Republicans want to cut everything from early childhood programs to Pell grants for college students. Republican proposals have singled out some 43 education programs for elimination, but it’s not seen as equally essential to end tax loopholes on hedge fund managers.

So let’s remember not only the national security risks posed by Iran and Al Qaeda. Let’s also focus on the risks, however unintentional, from domestic zealots.

Full article here

17
Jul
11

bits & pieces

Hiya everyone, sorry I wasn’t able to be around much yesterday, hopefully I’ll catch up later today. Just to say, thanks so much for the great response to the ‘Here we go again‘ post below – but honestly, I can’t take any credit at all for its content, that’s down to the excellent work being done by bloggers like:

Extreme Liberal: Adam Green’s Dishonest Attack And Appeal For Cash (here)

Progressive Electorate: Jane Hamsher’s Accountability Now PAC Raises $$ Questions (here)

Rcade (Daily Kos): How Jane Hamsher Spends Her PAC Money (here)

Drumsnwhistles: Federal Election Commission to Jane Hamsher: Tell us more, please (here)

Workbench: How Jane Hamsher Spends Her PAC Money (see here)

Osbornelink: Nixon had a word for people like Jane Hamsher (here)

Mother Jones: Strange Bedfellows Indeed (Hamsher and Grover Norquist) (here)

HistoryByDay (Young Turks): Jane Hamsher – Bought And Sold? (here)

Rooted Cosmopolitan: Media Types: Don’t Call Someone Who Works for Republicans a Disaffected Progressive (here)

W.E.E. See You: Lip Synching Liberals – WEE Told You So (here)

Osbornelink: Jane The Hamsher Strikes Again (here)

Moderate Left: Can’t Shake the Devil’s Hand and Say You’re Only Kidding (here)

Drumsnwhistles: Jane Hamsher’s crusade to hand government back to conservatives (here)

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I’m sure I’ve left out lots more great links – if you think of any please add them in the comments and I’ll update the post. And if you can, read through those links, they reveal so much.

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Update – thanks Hopefruit:

Smartypants: Some of you probably read a recent article by Eclectablog titled Why I will never post another word at My.Firedoglake.com. He also posted it at Daily Kos.

Apparently Hamsher saw it because according to this post at Angry Black Lady, he got the following email from one of her employees:

The chances of you becoming a paid front pager somewhere have dropped significantly … Jane will never forget and she will bad mouth you to the major blog owners if your name comes up. She is a friend of Marcos [sic] and Josh Marshall and the guys who run the American Prospect and pretty much anyone on the liberal side of the blogs and you’ve made a major career fuck up.

…. It’s past time for folks to wake up and smell the rancid brew this woman is creating …. What this email does expose is her motives and strategy. I think it’s high time that word got out and people started to ask proprietors at blogs like Daily Kos, Think Progress and the American Prospect to stand up and show their independence by denouncing Hamsher and any associations they might have had with her.

…. If the cost of being a paid liberal blogger is kowtowing to someone who will try to destroy your career if you say something negative about her, I won’t pay that price. I probably make more money in my day job than Jane does keeping the internet safe from pragprog Obama supporters and I can blog circles around her doing it as a hobby.

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Read the full post here – and read Eclectablog on his experience here.

And see this post from Smartypants from June about Matt Osborne – he was “offered a paid writing gig in “the movement” (his term), but was told that if he took it, he would have to dial back the criticism of Hamsher”. (See Osborne’s Tweets from Netroots Nations here – thanks Angry Black Lady)

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A writer at ExiledOnline had a similar experience to Eclectablog – see here

“….. Within minutes after this article was posted, Michael Whitney of Firedoglake sent Mike Elk, author of this article, the classic Hollywood death-knell: “You’ll never work in this town again.” Whitney, who once ran a labor blog for Firedoglake until it was taken down because it was so poorly put together and drew such anemic traffic, now serves as Vice President of the Membership Board for Firedoglake. Apparently one of his duties is acting as Hamsher’s hall monitor, policing the internet for anyone not sufficiently worshipful of his employer.”

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BWD posted a Deepak Chopra article today at The Only Adult In The Room (see below) which made me think of this line from the Moderate Left link above. It was a reference to Hamsher teaming up with Grover Norquist in their anti-Rahm Emanuel campaign and her working against the President’s healthcare reform efforts (remember, she teamed up with the Tea Party on that issue: see here):

“She is now working with people who do not wish to improve the Obama Administration, but instead wish to destroy it.”

And that’s been the way since day one, even before he had a chance to ‘betray!’ them. She and her Firedogfake sheeple will team up with literally anyone to try to defeat the President in 2012 – even Norquist and the Tea Party!!- regardless of the consequences for America. And still they call themselves progressives.

Any way, here are some extracts from that Chopra article:

Deepak Chopra: One of the virtues of being on the liberal side of politics is that total obedience isn’t required …. In a political climate where it feels as if the inmates are running the asylum – as in the current Republican threat to default on America’s debt – the prevailing sanity of President Obama is something that others and I have taken for granted.

We cannot afford that luxury any more, I’m afraid.

For many reasons, this is the moment when loyalty is going to count the most. That’s a hard sentence to write. Liberal politics is based on a non-regimented, all-inclusive approach to democracy. Freedom of thought is paramount. But certain harsh realities must be faced. For thirty years and more, the progressive tradition has been severely undermined, dating back to Nixon’s “Southern strategy” (coddle the racists) and Ronald Reagan’s smiling reactionary agenda (AIDS victims deserve what they get), through the first President Bush’s Willie Horton strategy (another boost for racism) and the second President Bush’s deceptive “compassionate conservatism.”

It was such a relief to return to humane, non-ideological governance when President Obama won in 2008 that we underestimated the debasing effect that two generations of right-wing indoctrination has had …

…. all of us who have taken advantage of our liberal heritage to question and criticize President Obama need to step back and consider the radical nature of the opposition, from the Supreme Court down to the local precinct … …. Since 9/11, playing upon fear has been wildly successful for the right wing – it re-elected a catastrophic president…

If ever there was a time to stand behind the captain, this is it. Not because pluralism and free expression are wrong. They aren’t and never will be. But like Churchill calling upon a coalition cabinet in the depth of the war years, it’s paramount that we see the greater danger for what it is. Attention was drawn to the cover of a recent issue of the Economist, which showed a tall President Obama towering over a squabbling handful of pygmy Republican rivals for the presidency. The headline read, “He Could Still Lose.” We need to remember that if that were to happen, it wouldn’t be because President Obama made too many mistakes or failed to pass a sufficiently liberal agenda. The reason would be that all of us forgot the 30-year reign of reactionary administrations (minus the Clinton years) and the power of debased politics to keep coming back, again and again.

Read the full article here

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Forgot to post this yesterday:

And this can never be posted enough:

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15
Jul
11

here we go again….

I posted this (here) the other day (see more at osborneink):

HistoryByDay (March 2010)

That’s right, ‘progressive’ OUTRAGE! peddlers Miss BP (aka the Hamsher creature, Tea Party and Grover Norquist buddy) and Republican/Libertarian Gary Johnson’s Number One fan (aka Greenwald) paid themselves $24,000 each for “strategic consulting” from Accountability Now donations – precisely $24,000 more than they donated in 2008 and 2010 to candidates challenging “corporate-controlled incumbents”, as they promised Accountability Now would do.

And how was most of their money raised? By sending out hysterical emails to their sheeple distorting the words of President Obama, firing up the hate …. and then pleading for donations to fight this dastardly traitor.

Well, well, well …. here we go again:

The Reid Report: Adam Green runs the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, an entity designed to automatically disgorge mass solicitation emails attacking President Obama every time the president speaks, thereby raising copious amounts of cash to … um … what do they do, exactly? Oh, right… to buy a few ads attacking President Obama and the occasional Republican.

Green and his fellow travelers on the anti-Obama left have been spoiling for a fight with the White House on entitlements, which these folks are apparently convinced Barack Obama is about to feed into a giant shredding machine …. but Green’s latest fundraising email, which landed in my in-box just after 7 p.m. on Monday (and was headlined BREAKING, even though the news it refers to happened hours earlier, at 11 a.m.) opens on an exquisitely dishonest note:

BREAKING: Obama outrage.

Joy-Ann,

BREAKING: Today, in a press conference, President Obama came right out and said it: He’s pushing for benefit cuts in important programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

You and 175,000 others boldly pledged that if Obama actually cuts Medicare/Medicaid benefits, you’ll take your money and volunteering elsewhere in 2012.

Green then urges recipients to sign a pledge not to give money to the Obama campaign if he cuts Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security ….. presumably, they should give money to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee instead…

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Ah yes, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee:

Wow, $725.2k of funds raised in 2010 went on “administrative costs”, $503,788 of that on “salaries and benefits” ….. oh, look:

OpenSecrets

Good. Grief.

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Read ExtremeLiberal on this very issue here

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Very interesting post from last year:

Workbench (2010): …. PACs have different policies regarding whether they compensate the people who run the committees. Some don’t accept one cent of donor money and devote it all to their cause, while others pay themselves salaries, travel expenses and office rent. I interviewed Darcy Burner, a former Democratic Congressional candidate from Washington state who runs the not-for-profit Progressive Congress Action Fund, to learn whether it’s common for left-wing PACs to pay themselves. “The bigger PACs require full-time staff to operate — to raise money, to vet candidates [and] to file reports,” she said. “I think the key question would be more one of whether people giving the money understand what it will be used for. … There’s a trust relationship with donors that requires some truth and transparency about how money is going to be used.”

Read the full post here

09
Jul
11

the professional left’s heroine…. (updated)

Read Shoq’s experience with Miss BP here – and their Twitter exchange here

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This gem of a 2010 story by David Weigel (now Slate) in the Washington Independent can never be re-posted enough:

Weigel was reporting on an anti-healthcare reform Tea Party rally where he spoke to one of the organizers and speakers, Kathryn Serkes. She told him:

“I’m in contact with folks on the progressive side. They’re saying right now that Pelosi’s almost there with the votes. What they’re saying is that there’s some serious arm-twisting – their words were union thuggery. One progressive source told me that there was serious union thuggery this weekend, targeting Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.).”

The source, she confirmed, was Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake.

Weigel emailed Hamsher to ask her if she was, in fact, working with the Tea Party on the issue and if she had used the term “union thuggery” in her conversations with Serkes.

Hamsher didn’t reply, instead posting this at Firedoglake in response to his report (‘Tea Party Activist Working With Firedoglake’s Hamsher on HCR Whip Count’ – here)

“Dave Weigel isn’t a journalist, he’s a smear-monger that makes things up and projects his own fantasies onto his stories ….I know Katherine, we were on MSNBC together and we’ve spoken about working on the pot legalization measure in California in the future …. she tells me that when Weigel approached her and asked her who her “source” was, she didn’t say. He said “It’s Jane Hamsher, isn’t it…I’ve been around.” According to Katherine, she didn’t respond.

….I’m not “working” with the tea partiers on health care. But Weigel doesn’t care about the truth …. He’s just a fantasist printing propaganda, and the Washington Independent has no higher standards than to print it.”

Problem?

Weigel had a recording of his conversation with the Tea Party woman:

SERKES: They’re saying that there’s some serious arm-twisting, and their words were union thuggery.

WEIGEL: Who’s the they?

SERKES: The progressive side. A progressive source told me that there was serious union thuggery going on this weekend.

WEIGEL: Is this the Firedoglake folks?

SERKES: It’s Jane. You’re figured it out.

WEIGEL: I’m not new at this.

SERKES: She said they were after Altmire this weekend. Yeah, because Jane and I last talked Saturday.

Hamsher’s response to being outed?

“Weigel has now posted the audio tape of his conversation with Katherine Serkes at the Tea Party event, in which he does not inform her that he was taping her. The recording confirms that she did use my name, however. I’ve asked Weigel twice now if at any point prior to this segment he informed her that she was being recorded, and he has not responded.

…. attending a Tea Party event and taping attendees without their knowledge, then posting that tape to discredit them in support of passing the health care bill, sounds more like the actions of a Democratic political operative …. he aspires to be a member of a cliquish, insider set with the moral flexibility to align themselves with anyone in power.”

Ah yes, the big issue here was the recording, not the fact that it had been revealed that Hamsher was working with the Tea Party towards their common goal: the defeat of President Obama’s healthcare bill. Or that Serkes quoted Hamsher using Tea Party speak: “Union thuggery.” Note how she failed to address being exposed, instead resorting to personal abuse.

(Links: here and here)

After exposing Hamsher, Weigel asked for “an apology and a retraction” – he’s still waiting.

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Fox and Friend:

Yep, she joined in on Fox News’ ‘Kill The Bill’ campaign, appearing on the network soon after calling for a boycott of it.

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This story, from May of this year, is an eye-opener too:

Mike Elk (ExiledOnline, May 2011): Yesterday I confronted Jane Hamsher, founder of Firedoglake, over her refusal to honor a labor boycott against the Huffington Post that two major writers unions have called for.

… Hamsher wasn’t satisfied merely crossing the picket line: She went on the offensive against boycott organizers … In an email exchange with several members of the labor movement, Hamsher jeered at the writers’ union organizers, mocking their organizing efforts….

In response to Hamsher’s outrageous anti-labor attacks, I wrote to one of these listserv groups on which both Hamsher and I were members: “Jane Hamsher the last person I would ever want to have as my shop steward” … this was not the first time Hamsher has taken a position hostile to workers’ rights and labor ….

…Hamsher also attacked Sal Roselli (president of the National Union of Healthcare Workers) implying that he was an Italian thug, an old tactic used by anti-labor PR people to smear labor activists as mobsters ….

….When I raised this ugly episode yesterday in the context of Hamsher’s attacks on the HuffPo boycott, Hamsher responded to me, “You’re just halucinating [sic] now, Mike. I never ‘tried to get people fired from their jobs,’ nor did I ever use ‘race baiting language to paint Sal Roselli as a thug.’….You’re either really mentally ill, or incredibly malicious.”

….. This was a new low for Hamsher…….

Full post here

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See here

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See here

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Rooted Cosmopolitan

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Five years ago she posted this photoshopped picture of Joe Lieberman as a ‘black’ man on Huffington Post, in an attempt to describe his efforts to “woo African American voters”. The photo was promptly removed, and she offered a ‘sorry if you were offended’ apology.

Link

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Osborneink.com (December 2010): Jane the Hamsher is one of the cool kids… yet she wouldn’t recognize progress if it smacked her in the face, and so far has achieved nothing resembling progress on any front. Indeed, I have been waiting for someone to tell me what this woman’s “progressive” credentials are.

She is first and foremost a self-aggrandizing publicity whore whose Accountability Now PAC has so far given $0 to progressive candidates in the first two years of its existence while spending $285,272. If she ran a non-profit this way, it would get shut down. As things stand, the PAC (which also counts Kos and Glenn Greenwald as operators) has only made noise.

…. Hamsher’s kill-the-bill madness included an appearance on FOX News just months after her own call to boycott the network. She later returned to that channel spouting nonsense about cap-and-trade. Her recent appearances on Lawrence O’Donnell leave me convinced progress is not her purpose.

Jane has a troubling problem with transparency and truthfulness…..

Full post here

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rcade (DK, March 2010): Firedoglake publisher Jane Hamsher has become one of the most polarizing figures in the liberal blogosphere, moving people sharply to the pro or con column with her outspoken opposition to the health care reform bill, appearances on Fox News bashing the Obama administration and the letter she sent with conservative activist Grover Norquist demanding the resignation of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

Hamsher wields a lot of influence by operating two Democratic political action committees, FDL Action PAC and Accountability Now PAC. By the end of 2009 these PACs had accumulated $454,000 from thousands of individual donors….

The Federal Election Commission reports show that Hamsher’s PACs are a significant source of income for Firedoglake, but my experience trying to question her about them suggests that she’s not big on transparency.

… Accountability Now collected $113,695 in donations during 2009, as it reported to the FEC, and spent $169,992 that year on nine consultants … including Hamsher ($24,000) and PAC cofounder Glenn Greenwald ($24,000)….

Full post here

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HistoryByDay (March 2010)

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WeeSeeYou

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Osborneink: …. Jane Hamsher is quite obviously accepting money from BP. Why is that important? Because according to Hamsher, anyone who takes money from the oil company is guilty of selling out:

“Carbon cap and trade was a scheme cooked up by BP and Enron lobbyists in the mid nineties. BP has subsequently dropped millions of dollars into the coffers of green groups to pave the way for it. Obama’s cry to pass Kerry-Lieberman as punishment for BP is not only highly ironic, it’s also illustrative of just how broken our national discourse around environmental issues has become.

Until progressive groups successfully address the challenge of funding themselves independent of the elite individuals and institutions that act as enforcers of a corporate agenda, they will not be able to successfully advocate for progressive causes. Any success they might have will mean that their funding dries up, and they will cease to exist.”

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Link

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ABL (BalloonJuice):

See full post here

ABL’s Balloon Juice post refers to this campaign promoted by ‘figaro’ at FDL:

ABL (Balloon Juice):

The post about “Afro-Americans” needing an “education program” appeared on FDL on May 18 – it’s still there, never removed.

05
Jul
11

‘a grand old cult’

Richard Cohen (Washington Post): Someone ought to study the Republican Party. I am not referring to yet another political scientist but to a mental health professional, preferably a specialist in the power of fixations, obsessions and the like. The GOP needs an intervention. It has become a cult.

To become a Republican, one has to take a pledge. It is not enough to support the party or mouth banalities about Ronald Reagan; one has to promise not to give the government another nickel. This is called the “Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” issued by Americans for Tax Reform, an organization headed by the chirpy Grover Norquist. He once labeled the argument that an estate tax would affect only the very rich “the morality of the Holocaust.” Anyone can see how singling out the filthy rich and the immensely powerful and asking them to ante up is pretty much the same as Auschwitz and that sort of thing.

….. Something similar has happened with global warming. It has become a conviction of much of the GOP that you and I, with our cars and factories and leaf blowers and barbecue pits, are off the hook – innocent of cooking the atmosphere. That being the case, it therefore is not the case that anything has to be done about it. Only much of science, common sense and your average walrus differ, but the GOP soldiers on. This is a version of Nancy Reagan’s pledge: Just say no.

….the net effect is to establish an intellectual barrier for admittance to the presidential race: Independent thinkers, stop right here! If you believe in global warming, revenue enhancement, stimulus programs, the occasional need for abortion or even the fabulist theories of the late Charles Darwin, then either stay home – or lie.

This intellectual rigidity has produced a GOP presidential field that’s a virtual political Jonestown. The Grand Old Party, so named when it really did evoke America, has so narrowed its base that it has become a political cult…..

Full article here

Thank you Loriah

08
Jun
11

night everyone

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden head toward the Oval Office Private Dining Room for lunch, June 8, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

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See you tomorrow 😉




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