Friday, October 29, 2010

Via JMG: A Boot to the Head ... From Michael Moore

Michael Moore, "There she was, thrown to the pavement by a Republican in a checkered shirt. Another Republican thrusts his foot in between her legs and presses down with all his weight to pin her to the curb. Then a Republican leader comes over and viciously stomps on her head with his foot. You hear her glasses crunch under the pressure. Holding her head down with his foot, he applies more force so she can't move. Her skull and brain are now suffering a concussion. The young woman's name is Lauren Valle, but she is really all of us. For come this Tuesday, the right wing - and the wealthy who back them - plan to take their collective boot and bring it down hard on not just the head of Barack Obama but on the heads of everyone they simply don't like."

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Via SacBee / Bizarro:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Vua JMG: Foreclosuregate Explained: Big Banks on the Brink

Peter White, Truthout: "Scandal is spreading across Wall St. like a very bad case of poison ivy. A rash of fraudulent home foreclosures has exposed some of the nation's biggest banks to an even worse condition ... bankruptcy. Until late 2007, the money boys on Wall St. made a bundle in the housing market. After the bubble burst, they were just itching to cash in on the down side, calling in all those bad loans they made and selling off millions of repossessed homes. According to RealtyTrac, Inc., which compiles such data, lenders foreclosed on 3.2 million properties in the last three years, 288,000 in the last quarter, the highest number on record."
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Via JMG: America By Movies

Via JMG: Cool Art Watch

The above sculpture titled Non-Sign has been erected at the American-Canadian border near Vancouver.
reposted from Joe

The RepubliCorp Pledge of Allegiance!

Facebook Quote of the Day (via Tim Van Den Bos):

They can out spend your candidate. They can drag you down and stomp on your head because you are carrying a sign they don't like. They can even try to ruin your life because you can't be bought. What they can't do is take away your convictions, your soul, or your vote.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Via Mother Jones: How Obama Lost the Narrative

ON his first day back from summer vacation, President Obama appeared in a sweltering Rose Garden to talk about the economy. The latest numbers were disheartening—growth slow, consumer spending weak, housing sales down, unemployment near 10 percent. Obama reported that he'd just met with his economic team. He pointed out that his administration had already taken "a series of measures" to boost the economy, and that his aides were "hard at work" looking for more. He offered no specific proposals, and after five minutes he went back inside, taking no questions from the sweating reporters.
With the Democrats' poll numbers falling in tandem with the economic indicators, the best Obama could offer were a few modest proposals. At a moment when his party was facing a possibly catastrophic drubbing, the president appeared on the defensive, his economic leadership anemic. How had Obama lost his groove? Here's one account. —David Corn

Via JMG: Matt Damon's Birthday Wish

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Derek Walcott - Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.


Paul the Octopus, who correctly predicted the winners of the World Cup, was found dead in his tank today. An aquarium spokesperson says the death was from natural causes and stressed that Dutch soccer fans are totally not suspected in Paul's demise.

reposted from Joe

Via JMG: Republican Woman...stay away from me

VIa JMG: Paul Krugman | Friends, Romans, Countrymen: We Are Ages Apart

Paul Krugman, Krugman & Co.: "The United States is not ancient Rome - we are not Romans, and they were not Americans.... In an Oct. 2 column in The New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman quotes a passage from Lewis Mumford's 'The Condition of Man,' a book about the decline of ancient Rome and its parallels with the United States's situation today.... This comparison is a common trope, and I don't have any problem with Mr. Friedman's using it. But I do think we should be aware that Roman society was very different from all modern equivalents. "

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Hey Texas: Don't Mess with California -

Via SacBee:

Facebook Quote of the Day:

Maggie wrote:

"Thanks Daniel. So I love Senator Al Franken's analogy -- read on: “Here’s my analogy,” Franken said, warming up for his monologue. “It’s both more kinetic and, frankly, far more accurate.”

In Franken’s version — delivered at a Democratic rally at the University of Minnesota — Republicans didn’t just drive the car (the economy, in Obama’s metaphor) into a ditch, causing a recession. They flipped it over, rolled down a river bank and dropped it off a 2,000-foot cliff.

“We, the American people, were in the back seat, and the Bush administration removed all the seatbelts,” Franken yelled as he leaned over the top of the podium, clutching a stack of paper in his hand. “So we were all flying around the interior of this car.”

Where Obama has bugs in his metaphorical ditch, Franken had alligators. And rather than the mud in Obama’s ditch, the car hit “jagged rock” when it reached the bottom of Franken’s cliff.

At which point, Franken said, “George W. Bush jumped out of the car.” The crowd squealed.

Obama, he continued, dove in through the window and took over, getting the car up those 2,000 feet, out of the ditch and onto the road.

Later, before the president told his own, ever-expanding version, he admired Franken’s.

“Although I guess Al kind of embellished it,” Obama said. “There were alligators in it.”


Monday, October 25, 2010

Via Huffington: An Open Letter to Juan Williams from Michael Moore

Dear Juan,

Sorry to hear you got fired by National Public Radio for saying on Fox that you get nervous when you see Muslims on a plane with you. It was dumb to say such a thing, but I don't think saying one dumb thing should be a firing offense. (I do think an NPR journalist wanting to take money from Fox News to be a regular commentator should be a firing offense, but that's another story).

But there's more to this -- and some important things that everyone is missing.

For instance, what you said about Faisal Shazad, the Pakistani immigrant who wanted to bomb Times Square. When he was being sentenced this month, he claimed, according to you, that his attempted attack was just "the first drop of blood." We can't let political correctness blind us to this, you explained.

I guess Shahzad made a big impression on you, because after being fired you went back on Fox and told them, "You can't ignore the fact what has recently been said in court with regard to 'this is the first drop of blood in a Muslim war against America.'"

Sadly for you (and this is also why you shouldn't be working for a real news organization like NPR), Shahzad never said that. If you were a real journalist, you would have quoted him accurately. What he actually said was that he was the "first droplet of the flood," not blood. But I know how easy it is to mishear things when scary Muslims are talking. And I guess it's not a huge difference anyway.

What really matters is that you're 100% right: We shouldn't let political correctness stop us from paying close attention to what people like Shahzad say. The problem is you just haven't taken it far enough.

So Juan, I'm asking you to join me on a crusade -- whoops! scratch that, let's call it a "mission" -- to publicize these statements by Faisal Shahzad as widely as possible. Because most of the media have not spent much time on what he had to say.

Here's what he said at his recent sentencing (after talking about being a droplet in a flood):
[Saladin] liberated Muslim lands... And that's what we Muslims are trying do, because you're occupying Iraq and Afghanistan... So, the past nine years the war with Muslims has achieved nothing for the U.S., except for it has waken up the Muslims for Islam. We are only Muslims trying to defend our people, honor, and land. But if you call us terrorists for doing that, then we are proud terrorists, and we will keep on terrorizing until you leave our land and people at peace.
And this is what Shahzad said when he plead guilty back in June:
I want to plead guilty, and I'm going to plead guilty 100 times over, because until the hour the U.S. pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan, and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan, and stops the occupation of Muslim lands, and stops killing the Muslims, and stops reporting the Muslims to its government, we will be attacking U.S., and I plead guilty to that.
Then there's email that Shahzad sent to a friend in 2006:
Everyone knows the current situation of Muslim World... Friends with peaceful protest! Can you tell me a way to save the oppressed? And a way to fight back when rockets are fired at us and Muslim blood flows? In Palestine, Afghan, Iraq, Chechnya and else where.
And then there's what Shahzad was telling friends and relatives even before that:
Mr. Shahzad had long been critical of American foreign policy. "He was always very upset about the fabrication of the W.M.D. stunt to attack Iraq and killing non-combatants such as the sons and grandson of Saddam Hussein," said a close relative. In 2003, Mr. Shahzad had been copied on a Google Groups e-mail message bearing photographs of Guantánamo Bay detainees, handcuffed and crouching, below the words "Shame on you, Bush. Shame on You."
So what do you say, Juan? Now that you have a new $2 million contract with Fox, let me come on with you for some in-depth discussions about the terrorists' real motivations. We can't let another day go by letting the PC brigade stop us from telling the truth: Terrorists aren't trying to kill us because they hate our freedom. They're killing us because we're in their countries killing them.


Michael Moore
P.S. If you want to understand suicide bombings, be sure to read the new book that studied every instance of it for the past 30 years. It's been used by many groups of many religions, not just Arabs and not just Muslims. And almost all such terrorism has one motivation in common: occupation by foreign militaries.

P.P.S. Here's something else that I'd sincerely love to talk about with you: what do you think when you see rich middle-aged white men talking on TV about how they get nervous around African Americans on the street? And then they explain that we can't let political correctness stop us from talking about black-on-white crime?

Does it drive you crazy that they say this without even being conscious of the history of far greater violence by white people toward blacks? And do you maybe understand now how those middle-aged white guys get it so wrong?

UPDATE: Juan, you probably remember in 1986 when the Washington Post Magazine ran a Richard Cohen column defending jewelry store owners who wouldn't buzz in young black men. It caused such a big controversy that the New Republic ran a bunch of responses to it, including one by you. You might find it interesting to go back and read what you wrote then -- for instance, "Racism is a lazy man's substitute for using good judgment... Common sense becomes racism when skin color becomes a formula for figuring out who is a danger to me."

FOX Keeps Fear Alive. Restore Sanity, Drop FOX.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Via SacBee:

What Happened to Change We Can Believe In?

PRESIDENT Obama, the Rodney Dangerfield of 2010, gets no respect for averting another Great Depression, for saving 3.3 million jobs with stimulus spending, or for salvaging GM and Chrysler from the junkyard. And none of these good deeds, no matter how substantial, will go unpunished if the projected Democratic bloodbath materializes on Election Day. Some are even going unremembered. For Obama, the ultimate indignity is the Times/CBS News poll in September showing that only 8 percent of Americans know that he gave 95 percent of American taxpayers a tax cut.

The reasons for his failure to reap credit for any economic accomplishments are a catechism by now: the dark cloud cast by undiminished unemployment, the relentless disinformation campaign of his political opponents, and the White House’s surprising ineptitude at selling its own achievements. But the most relentless drag on a chief executive who promised change we can believe in is even more ominous. It’s the country’s fatalistic sense that the stacked economic order that gave us the Great Recession remains not just in place but more entrenched and powerful than ever. 

make the jump here to read the full article

Meg Uses the Internet

Via JMG: Christine O'Donnell Confesses To Using Campaign Money For Personal Expenses

Teabagger loon, "ex-gay" advocate, and not-a-witch Christine O'Donnell has admitted that she's been illegally using campaign donations to pay her rent.
[O'Donnell] acknowledges using campaign money to pay part of the rent on her current town house. Her attorney maintains someone with the Federal Election Commission approved the arrangement, although the commission's rules say candidates can't use campaign money for their mortgage or rent "even if part of the residence is being used by the campaign."
The watchdog group Citizens For Ethics in Washington responds: "Ms. O'Donnell has spent years embezzling money from her campaign to cover her personal expenses. Republicans and Democrats don't agree on much these days, but both sides should agree on one point: thieves belong in jail not the United States Senate."

reposted from Joe

Via Truthout: Eight False Things the Public "Knows" Prior to Election Day

Dave Johnson, Campaign for America's Future: "There are a number of things the public 'knows' as we head into the election that are just false. If people elect leaders based on false information, the things those leaders do in office will not be what the public expects or needs."

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Via Truthout: "War Does This to Your Mind"

Kathy Kelly, Truthout: "Khamad Jan, age 22, remembers that, as a youngster, he was a good student who enjoyed studying. 'Now, I can't seem to think,' he said sadly, looking at the ground. There was a long pause. 'War does this to your mind'.... He and his family fled their village when Taliban forces began to attack the area."

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