Category Archives: Friday Grab Bag

Friday Grab Bag: Yes, black people still face discrimination!

For many self-righteous whites, racism against blacks can only exist if there is a white sheet, a burning cross or a lynching involved.  By making these overt, violent acts (now largely consigned to history), the de-facto threshold for discrimination, they effectively sidestep any responsibility for ongoing, lingering prejudice and its effects on our society.  In fact in a nation where the standard of living is dropping and competition for employment is cutthroat, many have embraced a new cult of white victimhood and resentment.  SP

“Republican guru Karl Rove recently appeared on Fox News to dispute the idea that America is a “Christian nation.” And he was right to do so, but not because our country lacks an overarching canon. We certainly do have a national religion — it’s just not Christianity. It’s Denialism.

Some branches of this religion deny the science documenting humans’ role in climate change. Others deny tax cuts’ connection to deficits and deregulation’s role in the recession. But regardless of the issue, Denialists all share a basic hostility to facts.

As this know-nothing theology expands, none of its denominations claims a bigger membership than the one obsessed with race. Today, many reject the fact that black people typically face bigger obstacles to economic and political success than whites. Instead, they insist that whites are oppressed.”

via Yes, black people still face discrimination – Race – Salon.com.

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Friday Grab Bag

I suppose if this guy had taken a picture of his privates and sent it to someone (in violation of no actual laws), then we could hound him out of Congress, otherwise… no.

Rivera Disputes Report of FBI and IRS Investigations

Or you could threaten to shoot union members, not figuratively, literally… Maybe that could get you removed from office… er, no.

NH GOP Politician to Unions: ‘Better Not F#%k with Me’ Or I’ll Shoot

Of course if they do get you out of office, don’t worry, no matter how bad the economy is for everyone else, there’s always some work out there until you can get back in…

Chart of the Day: The Shortcut From K Street to Capitol Hill

Imagine living in a country where the government actually investigates real corporate crime.

More discrepancies come to light in the Murdoch scandal

Greenpeace just released a report highlighting the connection between 15 members of Congress and the coal companies that “own” them.

Polluting Democracy: Coal Plays Dirty on the Hill

And look, here’s Eric Cantor popping up once again…

From the report:

Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA), District 7

“Safety and environmental concerns are legitimate and must be addressed. That much

we can all agree on.”

House Majority Leader

In top 25% of House members receiving campaign cash from fossil fuel companies7

Coal Plants Polluting Cantor’s District23

Bremo Bluff (owner, Dominion Virginia Power [a subsidiary of Dominion]), in district.

• No mercury controls.

• Minimal nitrogen dioxide controls.

• No sulfur dioxide controls.

Potomac River Generating Station (owner, GenOn Energy), within 100 miles of district.

• No mercury controls.

• Minimal nitrogen dioxide controls.

• Minimal sulfur dioxide controls.

Chesterfield Power Station (owner, Dominion Virginia Power

[a subsidiary of Dominion]), within 100 miles of district.

• No mercury controls.

• Minimal nitrogen dioxide controls.

• Minimal sulfur dioxide controls.

There are 2 other coal-fired power plant within 100 miles of District 7.

Impact Annually of These Three Coal Plants6

• Deaths: 154

• Heart Attacks: 317

• Asthma Attacks: 2,600

• Hospital Admissions: 116

• Chronic Bronchitis: 96

• Asthma ER Visits: 129

Yearly Costs: $1,191,860,0006

Coal Polluters Support Representative Cantor

Fossil fuel industry has given Cantor $655,547 since the 2000 election season. Coal donors include Dominion

Resources ($157,947), National Rural Electric Cooperative Association ($24,900), and NiSource Inc ($18,750).7

Friday Grab Bag

“…the military is pursuing a new strategy….” Pentagon discloses largest-ever cyber theft:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/07/14/national/main20079424.shtml?tag=re1.channel
~~~~~~~~
“Does the administration agree? Or does it have a different plan?”
How to Shave a Bundle Off the Deficit: Spend Less on Nukes
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/07/how-to-shave-a-bundle-off-the-deficit-spend-less-on-nukes/241844/

~~~~~~~~

Kevin Drum at MotherJones thinks having the debt ceiling is “goofy”.
“Why wasn’t it repealed long ago by a majority party tired of the opposition using it to score political points?”
Remind me again why we have a debt ceiling:
http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/07/remind-me-again-why-we-have-debt-ceiling

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Here’s a February DailyKos on means testing that still works today. Our less than creative options have been downsized and consolidated – which always reminds me of my bedtime way back when. “Which book for tonight … this one or that one?”

The case against means testing Social Security:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/02/20/947639/-The-case-against-means-testing-Social-Security
Means testing is expensive and it’s not the agreement we had when we paid for the policy. Integrity counts. I personally would like to try a voluntary “patriotic” opt-out for those in the upper echelon thoughtful enough to refuse social security because -they -don’t -need -it. Wouldn’t a list of their names be telling? That’ll never happen ….
~~~~~~~~
Ralph Waldo Emerson ~

We are students of words: we are shut up in schools, and colleges, and recitation-rooms, for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bag of wind, a memory of words, and do not know a thing.

Think about it. Once they start, our kids are in public school about 16,380 hours (P – 12). That only leaves 5.72 years out of 13 for them to experience life awake and not in school before they graduate. Ouch.
540 hrs – preK public school 1 yr
16,380 hrs -180 days in public school per year @7hr k-12
33,215 hrs – sleep @7hrs x 13 yrs
=50135 hrs or 2,089 days or … 5.72 years

~~~~~~~~

Here’s my favorite video about teaching. Toshiro Kanamori is teaching a class. REALLY teaching a class.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=armP8TfS9Is&feature=related

~~~~~~~~

And finally this one. Have a nice weekend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0lZ4d161h0&feature=share

speech: A Historic Filibuster on Corporate Greed and the Decline of Our Middle Class
by Bernie Sanders
art: “Morning In America”, June 18, 2011
artist:  Ligorano/Reese
video: …A THOUSAND CUTS

music: composer/violinist Michael Galasso

DPKennedy

Friday Grab Bag

“...and the Koch brothers, saw that it was good...”

House GOP also plans EPA cut of 18 percent. Politico

But who cares what the people want… cut taxes!

Nearly 80 percent of voters favor a millionaire’s surtax HuffPost

It may be too late, by putting it on the table, he’s made the most successful program in American History, a bargaining chip, we should be furious.

Democrats to Obama: Don’t cut Social Security and Medicare. The Nation.

When the right talks about taking back their country, this is what they mean.

GOP Voter Suppression and “Jim Crow” The American Prospect

SP

Friday Grab Bag

From the American Prospect:

REASON TO GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING
Countering the trend of ever-increasing health insurance profits, Blue Shield of California announced it would refund its excess earnings to its policy holders and put a cap on future profits.

The War On Nature.

Bruce Babbitt is right.  Conservative in Congress are dead set on destroying four decades of environmental progress, and worse the Obama administration and some Democrats seem disinterested in stopping them.  In early May, APV asked Virginia Senator Jim Webb to help protect the Clean Air Act by allowing the EPA to do its job.  It wasn’t the first time that Democratic law makers, sometimes with the best intentions have served to aid radical, right wing ideologues and their corporate allies by seeking to water down some of our most important environmental laws.

http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/energy-a-environment/165395-congress-has-declared-war-on-the-environment

Consumer Affairs

I think we need Elizabeth Warren in Washington.  She can do so much more good in a policy role than as just another candidate and politician.

Strongest Progressive in the Room

The Banks

A small victory, you have to wonder how the Banks and their friends will “fix” this.

“Those fees topped $20 billion last year, according to industry reports.”

Banks Defeated In Senate Vote On Debit Card Fees

“By coming close to victory, banks are likely to be emboldened to fight other regulations being drawn under the Dodd-Frank bill.”

Have a great weekend, see you next week.

Friday Grab Bag.

Transportation

There are more calls for a renewed spending package for transportation at the federal level.  With the GOP in a state of permanent (selective), budgetary freak out, it probably won’t happen, but it’s worth looking at anyway.  As part of the 2009 Recovery Act a lot of money flowed to the states to be used to fund so called “shovel ready” projects that would provide a quick jolt to the disastrous jobs situation inherited from the Bush collapse of the previous year, while beginning to address the infrastructure crisis that’s built up via decades of neglect.  It was an impressive investment and in many ways it did what it was supposed to do short term.  Of course a lot of that money went to road construction (STP), which produced less job hours per dollar/per month, rather than public transportation, and because of the disproportionate influence of rural states in Congress,  a lot of money went into rural projects that were often less urgently needed but very politically expedient.  Some States controlled by the GOP like Florida, and Wisconsin even returned transportation stimulus funds rather than encourage the Obama administration’s clearly “socialist”, attempt to jump start the economy through insidious high speed rail lines.  So now, with a GOP controlled House and a filibuster friendly Senate, the GOP is sitting on transportation funding while the nation’s bridges crumble and the commuter rail system continues to atrophy.

Opinion: The necessity of infrastructure cash – Rep. Jerry Nadler – POLITICO.com –

Study: $2 trillion needed for U.S. infrastructure – The Washington Post.

On Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court, you remember them from the recent Judicial election (yes they elect their judges in Wisconsin, go figure), where the progressive candidate was going to unseat the conservative until a county clerk with close ties to the GOP and a history of election day “irregularities” and errors, “found” an extra 15,000 votes that guaranteed the conservative a win, will probably overturn the ruling, but this is still a victory.  Governor (for now) Walker and the boys in the State Senate are in for a long, hot summer.

The Maddow Blog – Breaking: Judge strikes #Wisconsin union-stripping law.

Energy:

The days when you could be out “shootin at some food”, and have your bullet set off a geyser of “bubbl’n crude” are fast coming to an end.  Energy extraction, at least fossil fuel energy extraction is getting expensive and very dirty.  The oil companies hold out a lot of hope for Canadian oil shale and tar sands, but the process of extraction is an ecological nightmare, and only seems profitable if the price of oil gets a lot higher and stays there (think they know something they’re not telling?).  There’s been a move afoot in Congress to build a huge pipeline from Canada down south to get all that “black gold and tundra tea” to the waiting SUVs of America.  It’s an international pipeline so it’s being held up at the State Department, which is a good thing, consider dropping a line opposing this bad idea, see below.

Tell the State Department: Stop the Canadian tar sands pipeline.

Interesting story about the wide spread use, and perhaps abuse of a psychological test that is meant to diagnose psychopathy in prison inmates.

http://www.npr.org/2011/05/26/136619689/can-a-test-really-tell-whos-a-psychopath

The Movement:

Reading this made me very proud of the members of APV, we’re already doing a lot of what is suggested here.  Still this is a great resource and one we’ll be using in the future.  Check it out.

http://www.thenation.com/article/160704/ten-things-start-movement

Sarah Palin, the occasional Governor of Alaska has a movie coming out (and no, not that movie), about how incredible she is.  It’s modestly called “the Undefeated” cause, you know she only lost that one time as part of a ticket in a national election.  Any way, the gang at Balloon Juice have been collecting alternate titles… enjoy and have a great weekend and holiday.

http://www.balloon-juice.com/2011/05/25/so-much-awesome-in-one-place/