Saturday, November 15, 2014
Friday, November 14, 2014
attribution: screenshot from Twitter
A clueless Ted Cruz rages against Net Neutrality
After Ted Cruz sent out the tweet above, he got some surprisingly vicious comments–from conservatives. A sample of the feedback left on his Facebook page from self-identifying Republicans. Follow me below the fold for all the enjoyable wingnut outrage.
Ed Piper: As a Republican who works in the tech industry I can say that this statement shows you either have no idea what you are talking about or you are bought and paid for by the American Cable monopoly. This is amazingly an stupid statement and is disheartening.
Keith French: Ted, I am as conservative as they come.... I want government out of just about everything... and I hate to say it, really hate to say it, but Obama is right on this one. I do not want my access and internet speed controlled by my ISP. It will be. The internet has been an open forum with little to no restrictions, that will change and not for the better. Bottom line, do not go against freedom of the net just because Obama is for it. Even an old blind squirrel finds a nut once in awhile.
Joey Camp: As a Republican whom also works in IT like Ed... You have no clue what you are talking about or you are company bought and paid for.
A Jinnie McManus: Goddammit, stop making my party look like morons and look up net neutrality. It doesn't mean what you and your speechwriters think it means.
James Nelson: Have to disagree with the Senator on this one. AT&T and big cable have proven they can't be trusted and net neutrality is necessary to keep fair competition. These big monopolies own their own competing streaming services and want nothing more than to be able to relegate competitors to an internet slow lane.
Marvin England: Ted Cruz, as a tech and fiscal conservative in Texas who generally votes Republican, I am incredibly disappointed by your completely inaccurate statement. Please read up on what Net Neutrality actually is and fire any staff you have who are advising you on technical matters.
Sam Adams: Senator Cruz, you are wrong on this one. As a conservative voter and IT professional, I can assure you that Net Neutrality is a GOOD THING. Internet providers (who are also content owners) can't be trusted (as has already been proven) to allow consumers equal access to content from their competitors. This is why the government needs to ensure Net Neutrality as it protects the consumer from the bias of their Internet provider. This is especially true since we don't have real competition in this space.
Adam Huzzey: Go find whatever rock you crawled out from under Ted and stay under it! Proud republican here, but not so proud to be blind like the good senator. Look how "great" our free market Internet is!!! I pay $100 a month for 15mbs / 100gb p/m capped Internet. Yep, those "free" markets really make it better lmao
David Vogelpohl: Texas employer here... This is really the wrong issue for you. Drop this quickly and move on to something else before it's too late. You're starting to look like a Tea Party whacko growling for his corporate masters. Move on before you embarrass the Republicans out of the next presidency. Net neutrality is about ensuring a free market. America loves a free market. But hey, be against free markets and America. It's cool. I'm sure no one will think of you when their Netflix slows down who wouldn't have before
Jimmy Lee: Wow. I am embarassed that I supported you Ted. Face palm. I think it's time that I "unlike" your FB page.Those are just a very small sample of the more than nearly 3,000 comments on his Facebook page. Of course, low information voters pepper the comments with support of the would-be presidential contender's page. While he's doing a great job of locking up their support, he seems to have lost the more sane part of the party. If he wanted to kick-off his bid for the White House with a bang—mission accomplished!
Originally posted to Scout Finch on Thu Nov 13, 2014 at 01:05 PM PST.
Republished from Daily Kos.
The categories for France, Denmark. and Romania are really dumb compared to the seriousness of the others. Visit Thrillist for a breakdown. A huge version of the map is here. (Via JMG reader Aaron)
Labels: alcohol, drugs, economy, education, Europe, European Union, hospitals, maps, medicine, prison, slavery
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Politifact has published a "Pants On Fire" response to a story making the rounds in Teabagistan which claims that Obamacare death panels have "executed their first patient." From the story:
According to recent reports, a group of death panels organized under Obamacare ordered their first execution. "Following a hearing by the president’s Patient Resource Efficiency Board (PREB), 86-year-old Dorothy Zborknak has been ordered to death. The reason? According to the administration, she is no longer useful. "Zborknak worked at Fleur de Lis Florist in Chicago for nearly forty years, before she made the decision to retire in 1998. Since that time, she has struggled with a host of health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney failure. Unfortunately, the cost of her care just became too expensive," claims Peter Johnston, a member of the Chicago PREB. "Under the Affordable Care Act, we have the power to make choices about end of life care and I stand by our ruling. I know it will be hard for the family to accept what’s going to happen. But from a financial standpoint, this was a very easy decision."The story is, of course, from a satire site. It apparently made its first social media appearance in early September on a teabagger Facebook page titled The Patriot. A sample comment there: "This was fore-warned in Romney's political ads. TOO many people didn't want a Mormon in the White house, so they voted in a Muz Slime instead!" And another: "All you OVOMIT voters and stupidly OVOMIT lovers READ THIS. You too WILL GET OLD and when his people decide you no longer useful to the world you too will reap the rewards of your DUMB ASS VOTES you sold out for a free phone and the likes. Enjoy knowing that your time is coming as well as the ones who had more sense than to vote for the evil MUSLIM FOREIGNER."
That post on Facebook has been shared nearly 5000 times. (Tipped by JMG reader David)
Labels: crackpots, crazy people, Golden Girls, Obamacare, PolitiFact, Sarah Palin, Tea Party, teabaggers
Reposted from Joe Jervis
From the New York Times:
The abysmally low turnout in last week’s midterm elections — the lowest in more than seven decades — was bad for Democrats, but it was even worse for democracy. In 43 states, less than half the eligible population bothered to vote, and no state broke 60 percent. In the three largest states — California, Texas and New York — less than a third of the eligible population voted. New York’s turnout was a shameful 28.8 percent, the fourth-lowest in the country, despite three statewide races (including the governor) and 27 House races.Colorado and Oregon, two states with voting by mail, had double the voter turnout of New York, which has no early voting. Maine, which allows early voting, had the highest turnout in the nation at 59.3%.
Over all, the national turnout was 36.3 percent; only the 1942 federal election had a lower participation rate at 33.9 percent. The reasons are apathy, anger and frustration at the relentlessly negative tone of the campaigns. Republicans ran a single-theme campaign of pure opposition to President Obama, and Democrats were too afraid of the backlash to put forward plans to revive the economy or to point out significant achievements of the last six years. Neither party gave voters an affirmative reason to show up at the polls.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The reason we're not more upset about the ever-expanding pay gap? We're clueless about how big it really isLes Leopold, AlterNet
This article originally appeared on AlterNet.
The American people have spoken. But what did we really say about inequality?
At first glance, it seems that extreme inequality mattered little to the majority of voters who put pro-business candidates into office. After all, the Republicans, along with far too many Democrats, are certain to cater to their Wall Street/CEO donors. Do Americans really want an ever-rising gap between the super-rich and the rest of us?
An important study (“How Much (More) Should CEOs Make? A Universal Desire for More Equal Pay”) by Sorapop Kiatpongsan and Michael I. Norton provides insight on why Americans aren’t more upset about rising inequality: It shows we are clueless about how bad it really is. Their analysis of a 2009 international survey of 55,187 people from 40 countries found that when it comes to understanding the severity of inequality, we’re the most clueless of all.
Americans are virtually blind to the growing gap between CEO pay and the pay of the average worker. As the chart below shows that gap has increased dramatically. In 1965, for every dollar earned by the average worker, CEOs earned $20. By 2012, that gap mushroomed to 354 to one.
For every dollar earned by an average worker, the CEO gets..
Source: AFL-CIO, Hargreaves, Mishel & Sabadish
But, when asked in the survey, Americans grossly underestimated this gap. Instead of 354 to 1, the Americans in representative survey think it is only 30 to 1. When asked what the ideal pay gap should be, Americans say that a fair gap would be about 7 to 1.
More amazing still, the survey results, combined for all countries, show that the misperception of inequality doesn’t significantly vary by age, gender, income, political leanings or education.
Make the jump to read the full article here
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
"No American freedom is currently at stake in Afghanistan. It is impossible to imagine an argument to the contrary, just as the war in Iraq was clearly fought for the interests of empire, the profits of defense contractors, and the edification of neoconservative theorists. It had nothing to do with the safety or freedom of the American people. The last time the U.S. military deployed to fight for the protection of American life was in World War II – an inconvenient fact that reduces clichés about 'thanking a soldier' for free speech to rubble. If a soldier deserves gratitude, so does the litigator who argued key First Amendment cases in court, the legislators who voted for the protection of free speech, and thousands of external agitators who rallied for more speech rights, less censorship and broader access to media. Wars that are not heroic have no real heroes, except for the people who oppose those wars. Far from being the heroes of recent wars, American troops are among their victims." - David Masciotra, in a Salon essay titled "You don’t protect my freedom: Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy."
RELATED: The Salon piece has generated predictable outrage from the right wing. Yesterday Todd Starnes began contacting Salon's advertisers.
Barack Obama took a strong stance on Monday on new 'net neutrality' regulations being drafted by the Federal Communications Commission, saying the agency should reclassify broadband to regulate it more like a public utility. The FCC has received nearly 4 million comments after Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed new rules that prohibited Internet service providers from blocking any content, but allowed deals where content providers would pay ISPs to ensure smooth delivery of traffic. Obama, who campaigned on the issue of net neutrality, said the FCC's new rules should explicitly ban such paid prioritization deals and sided with consumer advocates who have pushed for the FCC to reclassify ISPs so that they can be regulated more like a public utility.Read the White House statement.
Monday, November 10, 2014
THIS WEEK'S ECONUNDRUM
By 2016, solar power will be as cheap or cheaper than electricity from the conventional grid in every state except three. In other words, we're only a few years away from the point where, in most of the United States, there will be no economic reason not to go solar.
Sunday, November 9, 2014
PCCC Op-Ed In The Hill: Democrats lost on Tuesday, as widely predicted. But for months, pundits got wrong what Democrats would need to win.
PCCC Op-Ed In The Hill:
By Adam Green and Stephanie Taylor, PCCC Co-Founders
Democrats lost on Tuesday, as widely predicted. But for months, pundits got wrong what Democrats would need to win.
There was rumor that youth turnout, Latino turnout, and cutting-edge Get Out The Vote practices would tip the balance in close races. But when "close" elections are decided by 7 to 12 points, something much bigger is happening.
Pundits say President Obama was unpopular. Score one for the pundits. But the critical question is: Why was the president so unpopular?
Did voters not show up because of Syria, Obamacare, or Ebola? No.
Was President Obama proposing some big liberal idea, sparking backlash? No. It's hard to remember the last time the President offered a big idea.
Jobs and economic security are consistently the top issues voters say they care about in red, purple, and blue states. But Democrats did not have a united economic agenda in this election.
Voters did not wake up on Election Day thinking that their ability to have a job, have affordable college education, or to retire with security was at stake. It was a Seinfeld-ian election about nothing. And nothing does not inspire potential voters to vote. In the absence of big ideas, Democrats lost.
(Of note, some Democrats campaigned as Republicans. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) campaigned as the "most conservative Senate Democrat" -- but voters chose a real Republican over a fake one.)
However, someone did spark energy this election cycle. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) attracted standing-room only crowds in red and purple states. Democrats who didn't want to be seen with the president were proud to be seen with Warren.
And Warren was the most popular Democrat on the campaign trail for a reason: Her message of taking on Wall Street, reducing student debt, and expanding Social Security benefits is popular everywhere.
While progressives such as Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Jeff Merkley (D-ore.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) won re-election -- and Representatives Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) and Mike Honda (D-calif.) won their close races -- they won because they have consistently been economic populists and local voters knew that. But for other Democrats across the nation, nothing substitutes for a clear, authentic, united Democratic message focused on big ideas.
Moving forward, something needs to change for Democrats. We need a bigger politics. We won't win our own tidal wave elections unless we can build a movement around big ideas -- like free college education, full employment, Medicare for All, expanded Social Security, and real reform of Wall Street.
We need to make these issues so central to the national debate that candidates actively campaign on these ideas. And we need to start now.
Hillary Clinton may be coming around to this strategy. In the final few weeks of the campaign, she tried to sound more and more like Sen. Warren. (While not hitting the language precisely, the intent seemed admirable.)
Progressives will be organizing in states like New Hampshire and Iowa to ensure that all Democrats running for president take a position on -- and campaign actively on -- Elizabeth Warren's bold populist agenda. This is the path to victory in the primary and general election.
A national progressive movement stands ready to work with those leaders in Congress who choose to recognize this imperative and step up to champion big ideas.
And if Obama makes Warren's agenda the centerpiece of his agenda in 2015, his popularity will rise and Americans will get the debate about big, bold ideas that we deserve.
Focusing on big ideas is the path forward for progressives and Democrats. The Warren wing of American politics is ready to lead.
Green and Taylor are co-founders of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, at BoldProgressives.org