Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Move Your Money!

Wall Street has ceased to be about capitalism, which involves investing in companies that produce goods and services of value and has turned into a casino, betting (not investing) on derivatives and credit default swaps that produce no inherent value. In the process they have damaged the U.S. and world economy and squandered the wealth of millions of innocent Americans.

They have used their money to usurp the people's representation in our government, change the rules that governed themselves and thereby created a crisis whereby the money paid by the citizenry in taxes had to be used to save them and avert a complete global meltdown, diverting attention and resources from other critical needs and boosting federal debt.

Too big to fail should mean too too big to exist, but they'll fight this and any other regulation tooth and nail with their undo influence and bribery. A new movement has been started to encourage people to move their money out of the big Gall Street banks and into community banks to send a message and punish the greedmongers: http://moveyourmoney.info/

Personally, I'd encourage people to join a credit union instead, but I think their on the right track. Take your money away from the bankster-robberbarron-riverboat-gamblers and put it in your own community!

video

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Fallacy of the GOParty Line

Because they must criticize Obama no matter what he does or says, all the little GOPpositionsits, including of course Paully the Parrotboy” Ryan are running around spouting the same approved gandabyte talking point; if we set a time table, our enemies will just wait us out. The thing is, if you have audacity to think about it for a moment, this tired old party line (they said the same thing about Iraq) falls apart utterly. And of course they conveniently ignore the inconvenient truth that President Obama explicitly stated that the drawing down of forces would be contingent on conditions on the ground.

If the matter was as simplistic as the GOPsters “logic” would have us all believe (or as their mental constructs allow) the Taliban need only have stopped fighting a couple years ago and we’d be leaving now based on favorable conditions on the ground, in country. They could then start their movement back up again. But movements don’t work that way, they’re like sharks, they either move or they die.

So we see yet again that when exposed to a modicum of critical thinking the GOPlogic that seems to make sense on the simplistic surface is hollow in the middle like a rotten tree. But I guess they feel they must come up with something negative with which to prop themselves up. And of course, never meeting a war they didn’t love, they’ll never be satisfied with anything less than war without end, amen.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Weapons of Mass Murder Should Be Illegal

It’s time make hand guns like the Fort hood shooter used illegal. These weapons are easily concealed, highly powerful and with high capacity, easily interchangeable clips they allow a shooter to spray hundreds of bullets in a few minutes and reload in seconds. They are weapons of mass murder, serving only evil and have no legitimate purpose whatsoever. In fact their only purpose is to kill people, lots of people, quickly.

The Virginia Tech shooter fired 170 rounds in 9 minutes and left 32 people dead and 30 more people horribly injured. The Fort Hood shooter fired 100 bullets in 3 minutes. He had high capacity magazine clips with 20 rounds per clip. With a gun in each hand that’s 40 rounds before he has to reload and he reloaded more than once which only takes seconds when exchanging clips. Frankly, with barrages like that I’m amazed they both didn’t kill more innocent people.

If either of these shooters had to reload more often and spend more time doing it they would have been quickly overwhelmed by the crowd of people who were their intended victims. But these semiautomatic guns stack the deck entirely in the favor of the mass murderer.

If you want to have a revolver or a deer rifle for self defense and sporting purposes, fine. Can these weapons also be misused? Of course, but they don’t place the kind of overwhelming force into one person’s hands that these weapons of mass murder do. You say it’s your constitutional right to own weapons of mass murder? You’re wrong, you can’t own machineguns, grenades, bazookas or a host of other arms either. That is because they serve no legitimate non-military purpose while delivering much too highly concentrated destructive force, endangering public safety. Anyway, when the Second Amendment was written a very skilled musketeer could manage at most four inaccurate rounds per minute. Reality has changed with the times.

And for those of you naive enough to think you need these kinds of weapons as hedge against a tyrannical government. Think again. Look at the resistance in Iraq. They quickly found that fighting the American military with guns was a sure way to die. That’s why they resorted to tactics like car bombs and IEDs. Thinking you’d fare any differently with your little pistol is plain foolishness.

Yes, people kill people and with these weapons of mass murder one person can kill lots of other people in a few seconds. The only people who think we need these guns are the profiteers who make and sell them, their lobbying arm the NRA, gun nuts and just plain nuts. Of the 14 worst mass shootings in the last 40 years 7 of them have been here in America. This time we need to actually do something and rid ourselves of this kind of dangerous garbage before it happens again.

Monday, November 16, 2009

United Healthcare Against Reform But For Penalties

Yet another reason for me to hate United Healthcare, the health insurance company selected for me by my employer, largely because Wisconsin is not a competative health insurance market. 75,000 UH employees and that's just one insurance company!

Gee, do you think there's a little overhead cost there for our healthcare system? The entire U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which runs the Medicare program for 100,000 million Americans has only 60,000 employees! Yeah no public option AND higher penalties for people who don't become customers in the custody of their monopoly. Nice. I wish I could fire their ass.

From Friday's Democracy Now! http://www.democracynow.org/2009/11/13/headlines

Insurance Giant Recruits Employees to Oppose Public OptionThe nation’s largest health insurer is recruiting employees to lobby against congressional proposals for healthcare reform. Newly released emails show UnitedHealth Group wrote 75,000 employees this week to ask them to lobby their senators against inclusion of a public insurance option in the Senate healthcare bill. Form letters provided to employees also call for imposing higher financial penalties on Americans who choose not to buy health insurance.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Names of the Dead Website

Congressman Alan Grayson, who gained in notoriety for succinctly summarizing the GOPish plan for healthcare "don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly," has created a website http://www.namesofthedead.com/ to honor the 44,000 Americans who die every year, because they don't have health coverage according to a Harvard University study and of course to shame those who would stand in the way of preventing the equivalent of twelve 9/11s a year, every year, year after year.

Monday, October 26, 2009

GOPocrits

The list of 55 GOPocrits who oppose the Public Option for others, but are on Medicare themselves http://weiner.house.gov/news_display.aspx?id=1364 is as follows:

Rep. Ralph M. Hall; Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett; Rep. Sam Johnson; Rep. C.W. Bill Young; Rep. Howard Coble; Sen. Jim Bunning; Sen. Richard G. Lugar; Rep. Don Young; Sen. Charles E. Grassley; Sen. Robert F. Bennett; Rep. Vernon J. Ehlers; Sen. Orrin G. Hatch; Sen. Richard C. Shelby; Rep. Jerry Lewis; Sen. James M. Inhofe; Rep. Ron Paul; Rep. Henry E. Brown; Sen. Pat Roberts; Sen. George V. Voinovich; Sen. John McCain; Rep. Judy Biggert; Sen. Thad Cochran; Rep. Harold Rogers; Rep. Dan Burton; Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon; Rep. Frank R. Wolf; Sen. Christopher S. Bond; Rep. Michael N. Castle; Rep. Joe Pitts; Rep. Tom Petri; Sen. Lamar Alexander; Rep. Doc Hastings; Rep. Cliff Stearns; Rep. Sue Myrick; Rep. John Carter; Sen. Mitch McConnell; Sen. Jon Kyl; Rep. Phil Gingrey; Rep. Nathan Deal; Rep. John Linder; Rep. Kay Granger; Rep. John L. Mica; Rep. Walter B. Jones; Sen. Jim Risch; Rep. Ed Whitfield; Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner; Rep. Virginia Foxx; Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison; Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite; Sen. Saxby Chambliss; Sen. Michael B. Enzi; Rep. Elton Gallegly; Rep. Donald Manzullo; Rep. Peter T. King; Rep. Ander Crenshaw

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Old Glory Is So Yesterday


Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign http://wisdc.clearsender.com/tracker.php?link=220888262::239::59516 has written a great piece about "conservative" judicial activism and the danger to our Constitution and our democracy posed by a forthcoming Supreme Court ruling that could blatantly hand OUR government and OUR so-called representatives over to the concentrated power of the big corporations once and for all: http://www.wisdc.org/blog/2009/10/old-glory-is-so-yesterday.html
We the Corporations, in order to make it illegal to form a union, provide for our legal defense, promote our welfare and secure the blessings of resources to ourselves and our subsidiaries, do ordain this revised Constitution of the Corporate states of America.
“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power” - Benito Mussolini
“When facism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.” - Sinclair Lewis
"The really dangerous American fascists, are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power. - FDR's Vice President Henry Wallace, April 1944.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Baucus Bill Bogus!

So now we find out, thanks to Bill Moyers (Indefatigable Defender of Democracy) and the Public Accountability Initiative's LittleSis database that the "heathcare bill" to be voted on tomorrow by the Senate Finance Committee was NOT written by Sen. Max (Prophet for the Insurance Profiteers) Baucus. The bill was in fact written by the former Vice President for Public Policy for Wellpoint Insurance, the biggest profiteer of them all. Talk about the fox guarding the people's house!

Read the Moyers article here: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/10/10-0

My favorite passage from the article references David Graham Phillips who in 1906, (in the last Gilded Age) wrote "The Treason of the Senate" for Cosmopolitan Magazine including the following quote;

"Treason is a strong word, but not too strong, rather too weak, to characterize the situation which the Senate is the eager, resourceful, indefatigable agent of interests as hostile to the American people as any invading army could be, and vastly more dangerous: interests that manipulate the prosperity produced by all, so that it heaps up riches for the few: interests whose growth and power can only mean the degradation of the people, of the educated into sycophants, of the masses toward serfdom."

The public outrage provoked by Phillips and other muckrakers contributed to the ratification of the 17th amendment to the Constitution, providing for the direct popular election of senators, who until then were elected by easily bought-off state legislators. Where is our outrage today!

Monday, October 05, 2009

InFOXication and GOPish Sincerity

Glenn Beck rubs Vick's under his eyes to cry on cue and give the appearance for his teabaggin indoctrinants of heartfelt concern and sadness for America. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kj4I2f0ZO6g

What a creepy and disturbing little deceptaCON / GOPropagandist he is.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


We are pleased to announce that the Burlington Area Progressives (BAP), in conjunction with Organizing For America (OFA) and Health Care for America Now will be beginning our fall schedule with

Health Care Forum
September 24th
CATHE Building,
125 East State Street
Burlington, WI
begins at 7PM

Featured speaker: Brian Rothgery of Health Care for America.
This group was just featured on the Stephen Cobert Report and
Brian is the Wisconsin representative for them.

Penny Sharp, manager of the largest
state certified mental health outpatient clinic in Southeastern WI.

Our third speaker will be a volunteer from
Organizing for America


Topics will include problems with our existing health care system in the US and alternatives and solutions. Following the presentations (aprox. 1 hour total) we will have an open discussion forum with a Q&A format.
We look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

One Stop Shopping for Election Thievery & CU vs FEC

In a consolidation of control, Electronic Solutions & Software (ES&S) the largest maker of blackbox voting machines will buy the division of Diebold, Premier Election Solutions that is the second largest producer of blackbox voting machines: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/9/8/headlines

So we as the American Public not only do not own our elections or our representatives, the lobbyists have bought and paid for those, but we increasingly do not own the very machines we're to cast our ballots on. In fact we're not even allowed to see the codes that make them work and ensure that votes are counted properly.As we saw in Ohio in 2004, the real prospect that a few thousand votes might have been flipped in a swing state in a close election is all that is necessary to call into question the electoral results and there democratic representation.

Oh well, today's opening arguments before the Sumpreme Court in the case of Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission may just overturn rules against corporate contributions put in place by Teddy Roosevelt beginning in 1907 and strengthened and upheld as precedent ever since: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/06/AR2009090601188.html

If that happens our elections, our country, our government, our democracy and our freedoms may finally be absorbed as wholly owned subsidiaries of the corporate state.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Healthcare Security

Perhaps we liberals/progressives should be framing the debate in terms of Healthcare Security. There seem be a lot of people out there who are expressing callous indifference to the uninsured. After all they've got their's and everyone else be damned. But are they sure they're secure? Do they have security with regard to healthcare? Of course not!

If these people want to be afraid of something and obviously they do, then why not the specter of losing their coverage?

I know personally that I have health coverage, in fact it seems to be pretty good so far as my family and I have made use of it, which isn't extensively. But do I have security, do I feel secure in that coverage? Hell no!

With premiums going up 15% to 25% per YEAR my employer may decide/be forced to discontinue coverage.
OR
The insurance company selected by my employer may decide not to pay for treatment if I or a family member gets seriously ill.
OR
The insurance comapny selected by my employer could use recision and drop us from the rolls entirely if I or a family member gets seriously ill.
OR
I could lose my job and therefore my coverage.

Notice that NONE of these potentialities have ANYTHING to do with "PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY" on my part. It's all pretty much out of my hands.

Am I unique among Americans in this regard? Hell NO! I am the norm. And I and most American's have little if any security when it comes to healthcare. We're all one step away from having our families becoming one of the uninsured with no meaningful access to critical healthcare if the need arrises.

And anyway I feel that the I've got mine, let them (and their kids) get their's is not only short sighted and foolish, but also self-centered and morally bankrupt.

Healthcare Security for ALL!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

GOPish Fear and Loathing in Racine

Are the GOPsters ginning up the next Timothy McVeigh? We’ve already had rightwing terrorist nuts murder a doctor who provided abortions and a security guard at the Jewish museum in DC. Now extremists are showing up at events with President Obama armed with guns and wearing t-shirts the same slogan that McVeigh wore - The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."

We’ve got ignorant people scared to death by lies GOPropagated by the usual GOPropagandists so that their spouting all manner of crazy and hateful things with veiled threats of violence (and some actual minor altercations). And they’re stupidly accusing Obama of being both a fascist and socialist as if he could be both, a prime example of their appalling ignorance of history and political ideologies.

And now we have a direct threat of violence in Racine, presumably Paul Ryan’s Thursday August 27th “Listening Session” at 1:30-2:30pm at Gateway Tech Room #114, 901 Pershing Drive. The following email was recently sent to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) as reported by the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/08/unions-receive-increasing_n_254704.html

“You socialist f---s have the nerve to say stop the violence at the town hall meetings when they weren't violent until you p---ies showed up because your n----- leader obama said to?????? When we have ours in Racine, Wi, I want you there. I want one of your little b----- to put his hands on this Marine. I want one of you to look or talk to me wrong. I'll be the last thing your ignorant faux body guards will remember for a very long time. You can f---ing guarantee that.”

I guess this racist “Marine” either didn’t understand it or didn’t mean it when he swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. He apparently believes he’s justified in using violence against an American citizen who has different beliefs than he does or who looks or talks to him in a way that he deems to be “wrong”. Unfortunately he doesn’t appear to be alone in his zealotry, the wing-nutti are coming out of the woodwork like flying ants.

These idiots are seriously off their rockers and they’re being whipped into a frenzy by the Republicans and their corporate funded shell groups like Dick Armey’s Freedom Works and the Teabaggers. But what is really scary and grossly irresponsible on the part of the GOPsters is that it is the fear and hatred that these people harbor that is being played up and manipulated. It is their racism, xenophobia and their deluded notion that they need to “take our country back” for “real Americans” because they lost an ELECTION!

It’s a very dangerous game that the Republicans are playing with these frightened and ignorant people and when the next one acts out violently on his delusions the Republicans will bear no small responsibility for their shameful incitement and demagoguery.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

A Closer Look at Paul Ryan's Closer Look

The following excellent analysis of yet another attempt at deception by Paul Ryan (this time on healthcare) is published with permission of the Author, Kelly Gallaher of Yes We Can Racine. http://yeswecanracine.com/

Congressman Paul Ryan has been very busy talking about the health care crisis and touting his plan called “The Patients’ Choice Act”. My local newspaper invited him to write a series of articles to examine the “facts” of current legislation. After reading his article on July 27th, I realized they offered it with no rebuttal or factual verification. A day later, I received a mailing from Ryan criticizing current health care reform proposals while stressing the benefits of his plan. Ryan’s plan sounds great, while U.S. House of Representatives Bill H.R. 3200 sounds scary. This time I sat down and read very closely every idea and derision posed in Ryan’s mailing. With a small amount of research I was able to refute every statement of criticism contained in the mailing. All of them. I was also able to dismantle the benefits Congressman Ryan claims his “Patients’ Choice Act” contains and discovered a pattern of distorted language designed to misrepresent and confuse constituents about health care. I will illustrate a few of the worst:

Regarding his proposed tax refund of $5,700 for every family or $2,300 for individuals, Ryan says:

“My plan, The Patients’ Choice Act, ensures universal affordable health care for all Americans.” and “Allows everyone to use this tax credit to select from a group of comprehensive health insurance plans that fit their specific needs-just like Members of Congress and federal employees do now.”
• Last year family coverage in the private market averaged $13,000 and exceeded $16,000 per year in some states and is predicted to keep rising nationally. A figure far more than double the tax credit would allocate.
• Republican Senator Richard Burr admitted that Ryan’s credit is not sufficient to cover American families. Burr says “that probably won’t meet the equivalent of an FEHBP (Federal Employees Health Benefit Program) plan.” Even Ryan’s friend in Congress says this isn’t equivalent to the coverage they have.
• Under Ryan’s plan, families with employer paid insurance would be taxed on the entire amount the employer contributes just as if it were wages.
• Replacing the current employer tax exclusion with an individual tax credit would significantly weaken employer-based coverage because individuals receive the credit and employers no longer have an incentive to contribute.
• Unlike health reform proposals that the House and Senate committees are developing, Ryan’s plan does not set meaningful minimum standards on what benefits insurers must cover. It doesn’t limit deductibles or out-of-pocket costs leaving private insurers to determine those themselves state by state.

On current proposals being debated in the House and Senate, Ryan says the following:

“Total costs would exceed $1 trillion.” and “Creates an entitlement that will cost another trillion over the next ten years, on top of the trillions the government is already scheduled to spend on health care.”
• The initial report by the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) in early July calculating estimated costs has been used by Ryan and his colleagues frequently and unfairly. The CBO did not calculate savings that health care reform will produce. On July 20th the CBO recalculated that the H.R. 3200 reform bill would not only be budget neutral, it will produce a surplus of $6 billion over time.
• The real threat to government spending is the system we have now. According to the Kaiser Foundation: by 2018 health care costs are expected to top $4.4 trillion if nothing is done.
• House and Senate committee reforms would reduce overuse of expensive healthcare technology and cut back on preventable medical error-two of the greatest cost drivers in the entire system. According to the Center for Health Research: comprehensive reform could save as much as $1.4 trillion over ten years.

Perhaps the worst lie Congressman Ryan is telling:“A recent study predicts two out of every three Americans will lose their current employer-provided insurance under the government plan.”
• The “recent study” he refers to is a study conducted by the Lewin group who is wholly owned by UnitedHealth Group (UHG), one of the nation’s largest insurers. The Lewin Group is part of Ingenix, a subsidiary of UHG that was accused by the New York attorney general and the AMA for helping insurers shift medical expenses to consumers by distributing skewed data. In January, UnitedHealth paid a $400 million dollar settlement covering conduct going back to 1994.
• According to Center on Budget and Policy Priorities it is Congressman Ryan’s “Patients’ Choice Act” that “would significantly erode employer-based coverage” while it “fails to create a viable alternative for people losing employer coverage.”

Lastly, Congressman Ryan decries government interference in health care. However, he completely avoids discussing that his plan for the uninsurable constitutes a huge government system itself. Nearly 100 million chronically ill Americans (representing up to 75% of health care spending) who cannot afford coverage except at colossal premium costs would be funneled into a state/government run health insurance exchange with prices and language determined by private carriers in each individual state. Ryan’s plan is devoid of the competition a public option offers and entrusts insurance companies to police themselves.

Ultimately, Congressman Ryan’s “Patients’ Choice Act” benefits for-profit, private health insurance companies by retaining and defending their central role in this billion dollar industry. Perhaps then, it is no coincidence that the insurance industry has been Congressman Ryan’s top contributor since 1989. In fact, he has received $1,143,560.00 in campaign contributions from health care industries over the last decade.

As 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance every single day, Paul Ryan offers nothing new; he is obstructing real reform and offering us more of the same. His “Patients’ Choice Act” is a retread of two bills already introduced in 2008 and both were recycled by John McCain in his unsuccessful run for President. In contrast, H.R. 3200 has included 160 Republican amendments, which proved to be smart, constructive and bipartisan, but you won’t hear that from Paul Ryan.

I believe we will have comprehensive health care reform this year and I hope it will be a good plan. It is clear that my U.S. Representative, Paul Ryan, intends to play no role in helping to shape this historic legislation. He said last week on MSNBC, “let’s have an honest debate.” My reply to him is: you first.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Waterford Solidifies Status as Racine Co.'s Reactionary Refuge

Waterford took a great pains on Saturday to solidify it's status as Racine County's refuge for reactionary wingnuts. As we ussually do on the 4th, we went to our friend's house in Waterford to watch the parade. It's typically a nice little parade, a few too many trucks one can see on any road any day of the year and not enough marching bands pounding out John Phillip Souza, but nice nonetheless. But this year I was aghast to see a pickup truck in the parade flying too large confederate flags. I stood and booed.

What kind of moron thinks that the stars and bars has any place in a parade celebrating the 233rd anniversary of the declaration of independence of our nation!? What official approved of the moron's entry into the parade? I sat back down and thought the whole thing was some kind of a fluke when another big confederate flag goes by. I stood and booed again.

I was so taken a back by this display of drool that I didn't even notice the groups or businesses that were advertizing themselves in this disgusting way.

Let us recall that Waterford is the town where last year a minority student, a wonderful young man by the way, who grew up in the area was driven out Waterford High School by repeated racist harassment by other students that went largely unchecked by the administration. It is also Waterford where I was shocked to hear a grandmotherly woman tell Paul Ryan to bomb all those sandnigger's in the middle-east. What's it gonna be next year Waterford, the imperial dra-goon of the ku klux fux leading the grand march?

Let us also remember the this is WISCONSIN, you know the north, the Union, the side of right and the side that won the civil war thank God and put an end to the attrocity of slavery that that pathetic flag stands for. To parade this symbol of racism and national division down Main Street on the Fourth of July was absolutely repugnant and totally inappropriate.

Unfortunately, despite (perhaps because of) the fact that we've elected a black president this sort of small mindedness still comes out of the wood work. We have a country where people have a right to this sort of rednecked bigotry and ignorance. But that doesn't mean we have to let them put it on public display while celebrating our nation's birthday. Shame be upon you Waterford!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Another Blow to Utopian Conservative Ideology

Behavioral Economics explains why the conservative totem of Free-Market Fundamentalism is a fallacy. IF free markets existed (they don't) they would not work as the pitchmen of the GOP would have us all believe: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104803094&ft=1&f=1001

Why not?

-Humans are easily overwhelmed by choices
-Humans are easily overwhelmed by information
-Humans don't have the information they need or the time and resouces to gather it
-Humans routinely make poor decisions even when they have good information
-Humans are lazy by nature
-Humans are not rational actors in their own self-interest as economic models assume
-Humans are not as intelligent, on average as economists who assume that other humans will make decisions like they do.

Once again we see the wishful thinking of conservative dogma running headlong into the pillars of human nature and getting knoocked back squarely on its ass.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

What a Lying Little Dickster

"You know, Dick Clarke. Dick Clarke, who was the head of the counterrorism program in the run-up to 9/11. He obviously missed it."-- Dick Cheney, on Richard Clarke

Subject lines of Richard Clarke emails to Bush Administration prior to 9/11/01:

"Bin Ladin Public Profile May Presage Attack" (5/3/01)
"Bin Ladin's Networks' Plans Advancing" (5/26/01)
"Bin Ladin Attacks May Be Imminent" (6/23/01)
"Bin Ladin and Associates Making Near-Term Threats" (6/25/01)
"Bin Ladin Planning High-Profile Attacks" (6/30/01)
"Planning for Bin Ladin Attacks Continues, Despite Delays" (7/02/01)

Oh yeah, and what, in front of Congress and the Camera's, did Condi have to admit was the title of the Presidential Daily Intelligence Briefing from Early August 2001? - Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside United States.

I guess that little Dickster was too busy with the secret Energy briefings where he was dividing up Iraq's oil fields among his cronies to take a clue and so he was caught completely unawares. Now he's got to spin and find someone else to take the blame.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Morsels of Truth - Cookies Beat Torture

The Dickster is of course lying about the torture he authorized and it's effectiveness. He can't help it, he lies out of reflex now the habit is so ingrained. And he's a frightened and pathetic little man. But it turns out that what really worked, what really provided the most and the best actionable intelligence was a cookie, sugar free cookies to be precise: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1901491,00.html

One of the FBI's top experts on terrorism and interrogation and a harsh critic of the bu$hite tactics of torture, Ali Soufan, interrogated the man closest to Osama who has ever been in custody, his bodygaurd Abu Jandal. A man charged with protecting Bin Laden and ensuring that he was never captured alive. He got nowhere until he gave the diabetic man sugarfree cookies. He thereby showed him respect and became a human being in his eyes instead of an evil westerner.

Soufan has testified before congress about the ineffectiveness of torture and says that contrary to Cheney's claims that torture was used succesfully it was these types of methods, not the harsh techniques, that prompted al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah to give up the identities of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the 9/11 attack and Jose Padilla the dirty bomber. Soufan says that once the CIA brought a private contractor to start the rough stuff, Zubaydah stopped cooperating.

Apparently, top experts in the field of interrogation agree with Soufan that resorting to torture, means you've lost control of the situation and leads to poor results compared to standard techniques. I know personnally I'd spill my guts for some oatmeal scotchies warm from the oven. But I can't help but wonder, if the recruiting pamphlets that Al Qiada is handing out all over the middle-east showed Americans bearing cookies instead of chains, electrical wires, sexual/religious humiliation and water-boarding might they not be having the success they've had at demonizing us with our own actions.

Anyway you can't be a beacon of light when you're working on the darkside like the slimebucket war criminals, Cheney and friends.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Fundamentals of Rightwing Domestic Terrorism

Once again we see domestic terrorism arising from the wing nuts on the extreme right in this country. It looks like the guy (Scott Roeder) who shot the abortion provider has been affiliated with antigovernment groups like The Freemen (of Jordan MT standoff fame) and the Kansas Unorganized Citizen Militia, a former Commander of which refered to him as a Good Ol' Boy. Yeah "good" right. (Commander - Unorganized, how stupid is that?). Reoder was also convicted of criminal use of explosives and possessing bomb components. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090601/ap_on_re_us/us_tiller_shooting

Apparently inspired by fundamentalist religious zeal, this fanatical terrorist forgeting about the inconvenient Thou Shalt Not Kill and Vengience Is Mine Sayeth the Lord stuff gunned the man down in his church while he was ushering and his wife was singing in the choir. While Operation Rescue President Troy Newman disavowed any connection between Mr. Roeder and his organization, it's interesting to compare the statement made by Newman about the victim legal activities:

  • "We are shocked at this morning's disturbing news that Mr. Tiller was gunned down, Operation Rescue has worked for years through peaceful, legal means, and through the proper channels to see him brought to justice. We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning."

And this post on Operation Rescue's website apparently made by the murderer:

  • "Bleass everyone for attending and praying in May to bring justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp,"

Bringing justice. Isn't that what the fundamentaist islamic terrorists claim they're trying to do with their bombings and beheadings and Sharia Law? I ask you.

Hey shouldn't we send this guy to Gitmo and and give him some "enhanced encouragement" to tell us who his congregants, I mean cell memembers are? Where's the Dickster when we need him? Will these groups with which he is affiliated be declared terrorist organizations and have their assets frozen? Should the FBI start secretly attending church services and snatching white looking men off the streets for secret indefinite detention and send them to say Egypt or Syria or other black sites for torture and interrogation? Or is that treatment only reserved for people who look less like "us"?

Once again we see rightwing fundamentalism steadfastly reducing spirituality to it's lowest common denomination.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

GOPster Torture and Murder by Proxy

It's entertaining to see Cheney with his 18% approval rating rounding the the talk show circuit making excuses for his crimes and working hard to drive the Republican Party to the extreme wing-nut margins by choosing Rush limbaugh over Colin Powell and calling Powell a Democrat (soon to be Democrat-Socialist per GOPorthodoxy).

But before we on the left embrace the exiled Powell, lets not forget that Powell KNOWINGLY and dutifully lied to the U.N, DIRECTLY paving the way to the Neocon's illegal and very deadly war in Iraq. He's got a long long repentant path to walk before he can redeem himself. And while El Snortbo lies everyday and is in a very real sense directly responsible for the messes our country is in due to conservative dogma run amock, one would be hard pressed to make the case that any one of his lies led DIRECTLY to murder like Cheney's and Powell's.

By the way, here is what Russ Feingold (who is not a documented liar like the three GOPsters above) had to say about the torture memos Cheney wants declasssified to promote his rationalization and war crimes defense in the court of public opinion; "Nothing I have seen — including the two documents to which former Vice President Cheney has repeatedly referred — indicates that the torture techniques authorized by the last administration were necessary, or that they were the best way to get information out of detainees. The former vice president is misleading the American people when he says otherwise."

But speaking of murder, this story http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/11/AR2009051103412.html was also reported in Tuesday’s Democracy Now!, so you know it's credible: http://www.democracynow.org/2009/5/12/headlines

A key witness (and victim) Ibn al-Sheikh al-Libi of both the Bu$hites torture and their war promoting lies is conveniently DEAD (supposedly of suicide) in the hands of our new best friend and all around good guy Muhmar Quadaffi of Libya, into whose care our CIA delivered him from their blacksite archapelago. This is HUGE!

Al-Libi was captured by the CIA and when he didn't tell them what they thought he should, they rendered him to Egypt where he was severely tortured (including beatings, waterboarding and mock burial) in our names and on our behalf. To end this torture done at the behest of the Bu$hites, al-Libi agreed to tell his torturers anything they wanted. What they wanted and got was false testimony that Saddam was working with al-Qiada to obtain chemical weapons to kill Americans and that's exactly what they got. This information along with other fabrications was used by Colin Powell and the Neocons to sell the debacle in Iraqle to the American people.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that the bu$hites launched their illegal and unconstitutional torture regime to cover their lies and lead us into the quagmire of Iraq from which we cannot (and will not be able to for years) extricate ourselves and which is has now killed tens of thousands (minimum) of innocent people. The ugly truth is coming out and into focus and the more Dick talks the more appearent it becomes what an absolute scumbag he is.

George, Dick, Condi and the rest of the gang are war criminals, plain and simple and they need to be brought to justice before they flee to Uruguay (or is it Paraguay, I forget) like the good little fascists that they are.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fossil Industry's Smoldering Gun

Remember when it became clear that the tobacco industry had pooled their money to buy “scientists” to skew their data in order to confuse and mislead the American People and their policymakers about the real dangers of smoking? Well that day has now come for the fossil industries (coal, oil and auto) represented by the Global Climate Coalition (GCC) in draft documents that are proof positive that the “scientists” on their payroll knew as early as 1995 that human induced global warming was real, that it was happening and that the science behind it was irrefutable and they said so. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/science/earth/24deny.html?_r=3&hpw

That inconvenient and unprofitable information was of course suppressed by maleficent corporate entities concerned about their private harvest in the next few quarters and not about the fruits for all mankind in the next quarter century or quarter millennium.

In the draft documents that the auto industry was ironically forced to reveal during the discovery process of its law suit to stop California regulations to limit greenhouse emissions the GCC “scientists” stated the following:

“The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied.”

That inconvenient truth was removed the final version of the document as the GCC used their the might of their money and high paid public relations firms to fight the Kyoto Protocol and any curbs on emissions.

Today we are in the Know. Everyone but the GOPsters, the GOPropagandists, their corporate sponsors and their mislead anti-science and anti-intellectual minions (i.e. the 20% of American dead-enders) recognize the reality that we face as a planet. But we’ve lost more than a decade while the greedy profiteers like ExxonMobil have harvested from us handsomely while mortgaging our children’s future.

As a people, it’s time for us to have civil and perhaps even criminal recourse against individuals and groups like the fossil industries that are found to have fomented ignorance and misinformation to confuse and delay allowing them to privatize the profits while socializing the associated costs.

And as soon as Al Franken is seated as the 60th U.S. Senator providing a filibuster proof majority it’s time for the party of “Know” to push the Party of “No” aside, put teeth back into measures to ensure corporate responsibility and move us beyond the age of the fossil industries to a sustainable and renewable future.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

GOPolicy vs the Rule of Law

Apparently to Karl Rove whether one should act legally or illegally is merely a difference in policies between the current administration and the gang of thugs for which he served as Minister of GOPropaganda. On Tuesday Rove in his capacity as paid GOPundit on America's premier pro-torture network Faux news gurgitated the following rant for Desk Chief for Insanity - Sean Hannity:

"What the Obama administration has done in the last several days is very dangerous. What they've essentially said is, If we have policy disagreements with our predecessors, what we're going to do is we're going to turn ourselves into the moral equivalent of a Latin American country run colonels in mirrored sunglasses. And what we're going to do is prosecute, systematically, the previous administration, or threaten prosecutions against the previous administration, based on policy differences."

I guess Karl feels that following and upholding the law is a policy choice that need not burden GOPolicy makers. Then, in what would be an astonishing example of bald faced (not to mention headed) hyprocrisy if it came from anyone but a bu$hite he continued his spewings as follows:

"Is that what we've come to in this country? That if we have a change in administration from one party to another, that we then use the tools of the government to go systematically after the policy disagreements that we have with the previous administration?"

Gee Rover, perhaps you've heard of a little thing called the U.S. Attorney scandal under which at your direction, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez attempted to misuse the power of the executive branch government to take action against political opponents, timed to influence elections. Remember how your macheiavllian maneuverings resulted in jail time for innocent people (pawns to you) like Georgia Thompson in the Democratic Doyle Administration here in Wisconsin and Democratic Governor of Alabama Don Siegelman you disgusting little man? Doesn't that sort of backstabbing political hackery remind you of say Castros Cuba or our guy in Argentina, Augusto Pinnochette?

Apparently Karl's memory has much stricter bounds than his dumbfounding hypocrisy as he once again tries to pathetically play his old faux patriotism card of "real Americans vs those people from true blue states like say Illinois as follows:

"Now that may be fine in some little Latin American country that's run by, you know, the latest junta. It may be the way that they do things in Chicago. But that's not the way we do things here in America."

So Herr Karl, if I drive a few miles south am I going to need Mein Paperien or am I already outside of your Amerika? I guess I should take comfort in the knowledge that you and your foxvolken ilk are no countymen of mine.

Perhaps you're right that it really does come down to policy differences. On the left hand we have the founding principle of the American Republic, a nation of laws not men, a rejection of the dictatorship of aristocracy and the divine right of kings. Whereas on the extreme right hand we have the GOPolicy of criminals like you, that laws are made for the little people, not the bluebloods of the GOPster elite.

Maybe I'm only dreaming that equal justice will be served, but I hope the Barbara Bush lives long enough to have her "beautiful mind" troubled by her Georgieboy's having to answer and pay for his crimes from Abu Grahb to Bahgram to Gitmo and beyond along with his co-conspirators, Roverboy and the rest.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Sick Around America and Wisconsin

Man I wish I'd known about Ben Meren's 5:00 show yesterday ( http://www.wpr.org/webcasting/audioarchives_display.cfm?Code=bme )a half an hour earlier whan our insurance guy was here with yet again higher rates, deductibles, and co-pays, talkin HSA's and bemoaning our turn to socialism (yeah right). I am fortunate to still have coverage, for now.

Ben's show was an hour long uninterrupted interview with the documentarian who produced to Sick Around America ( http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/ ) which will air tonight at at 8:00 of channel 10 Milwaukee Public Television. This is a follow-up to last years Sick Around the World which showed how Japan, Taiwan, Switzerland, Germany and the U.K. all get much better healthcare, health outcomes and cover all of their citizens at much less cost than in the U.S.

Some of these courties use private insurance, some public, some a combination. All of them have better systems that the the U.S. hands down. In fact the U.N. ranks the U.S. 36 in terms of healthcare. WE'RE 36! WE'RE 36! WE'RE 36!

Of course our health insurance sales man had not seen the show and proceeded to repeat the rightwing radio BS about invadin canadians marauding for health care south o the border.

The horror stories on the Sick Around America show were bad enough, but then our fellow Wisconsinites called in with theirs tales of woe that could happen to anyone of us, no matter what job you have, no matter how solid you think your coverage is.

Our health care system is broken. If we fixed it, business owners who are staffing with part timers could afford to hire people who want full time to work full time. And that would go a long way to supporting family values and the dignity of work and help create an environment where wages are more in line with the cost of living.

Channel 10 tonight at 8:00 or Channel 11 CPTV at 9:00. Open your eyes and be informed.

Friday, February 27, 2009

GOPsterland Slayings

At least 8 people are dead from eating salmonella tainted peanuts and hundreds more have been made ill. GOPsterism is once again in the center of complicity. Why you ask? Two of the core tenents of the GOPster faith are:

- Greed is Good
- Regulation is Wrong

So what we've had is a lax regulatory environment where a producer can "self-regulate" allowing him to knowingly ship contaminated peanuts for over a year without getting caught because the delays in shipping were costing him money. If people hadn't gotten sick and they weren't able to trace it back to the source he'd probably still be doing it. Where are the inspectors? Where are the routine reporting requirements?

So in addition to the sick and the dead we've got an entire industry that is suffering through no fault of their own from the farmers who grow the peanuts, to the processors, to companies that use the peanuts in their products, to the wholesalers and retailers, employees, shareholders, all the way to consumers. And these are only those directly effected.

This comes from regulatory agencies being starved of the resources to do their jobs, a GOPster tactic raised to a fine art under the bu$hites and from regulators that are too cozy with the regulated community and not sufficiently working in the public interest, which is their core mission.

Here we have yet another example of why greed is bad, even deadly, and why sensible regulation is not only good for the public at large, it's actually good for business.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Charles Darwin!

Thank you Mr. Darwin for helping to reveal the marvelous workings of the creation. For providing a scientific basis for ethics, the golden rule and how being community minded has allowed humans to be fruitful and prosper together. May we take these lessons and apply them globally, that we might progress further on that path rather than perish from the fear and loathing still lodged in our primitive reptilian brain stems.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Rotten Core of the GOPconomy

At the rotten core of the GOPconomy: Too much wealth in too few hands.

The “conservative” policies of the last 30 years have inexorable lead to too much wealth in the hands of the uber-rich and too little in the hands of the poor and middle class. This is a condition that is very bad for our economy, for any economy and our society and democracy as well. One need only look at the conditions of the third world where a very few control the vast majority of the wealth and most of rest are dirt poor to see examples of why this is not a good thing and why we shouldn’t be going there like we have been.

It would be bad enough if this were the fairy-tale “free-market” working to cause the condition of an economy that does not serve most of the people, it is not. The fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as fairies, frog princes or free markets. These changes have been the direct and conscious result of conservative economic ideology put into practice for three decades. Just ask Warren Buffet who complains that his secretary pays a much higher percentage of her modest income in taxes than he does and says that there is indeed a class war in the U.S. and his class is winning.

Consider these changes (inflation adjusted) in our situation as country:
• The country has twice as much wealth as it did 1980
• A worker that produced $1.00 of value in 1980 now produces $1.70 in the same amount of time
• Almost all of the income growth from the two items above has gone to the top 0.1 and 0.01%
• The top 0.11% now reap the largest share of all income since the late 1920s, (coincidence? I think not)
• 90% of Americans have seen their real wages drop over this time
• The average American makes $73/wk less than they did in 1973.

These are the results of a government whose defacto policy has been to further enrich the rich rather than to build and strengthen the middle class as was the case after the depression and WWII. This is a government that has not only backed away from responsible regulation of markets, but actually worked contrary to transparent market forces and then when the inevitable wages of greed and corruption come due, (at least once per decade over the last 30 years and accelerated under Bu$h), the public is stuck with the bill, shifting the burden down the economic ladder.

Spurred on by the likes Greenspan and predatory lenders, the middle class has now used up the equity that they had been borrowing against to support their consumption of their heretofore middle class lifestyle which could longer be supported by their declining real wages. Now the middle class do not have the wealth necessary to continue to support consumption so they are pulling back on their spending which is further hurting their ability to consume as a group since that causes more of their cohort to lose their jobs or at least feel so insecure in their employment that they're saving instead of spending. Saving is a good thing you say, that money will be loaned out and invested? Not so right, not now anyway.

The uber rich have little incentive to loan/invest the vast sums of money they've accumulated since the dawn of Reagan corporatism by hording to themselves almost all the huge gains in productivity realized lo these one score years and ten. In part this is because there's low confidence that they will be paid back even by those with good credit. Why they may lose their jobs and no matter how good your credit is you can't pay your bills if you lose your job. But even more importantly, they don't want to invest because in an economy driven overwhelmingly by consumerism (bigger even than the dysfunctional financial sector) there's no point in investing when your customers, the folks who do the vast majority of consuming in this country don't have the money to buy your product. So rather than invest, the wealthy look for safe havens like T-bills where at least they can preserve most of their wealth for later. These kinds of investments don't produce jobs or pay wages and so this exacerbates the problems on the other side of the tracks.

In short, our economy has become like a battery where all the charge has migrated and there's not enough potential left to support dynamism. Seems to me it's time for a recharge/redistribution of potential back toward the other pole so we can get the flow going again. Instead through the endless bailouts we're distributing even more wealth to wrong pole where it will sit idle.

We need more than the short fix of government spending to kick start jobs and spending. We need a restructuring of government and tax policy to promote the commonwealth more and the exclusivewealth less.

Monday, January 12, 2009




Greetings All!

Looking for your January stimulus package? You are totally invited to the Burlington Area Progressives celebration and charity fundraiser: BAP's Bye Bye Bush, Bring On Obama Bash!

CONGRATULATIONS!
We've waiting for, and working toward, these moments for lo these many years. So let's have a blast, mingle with old friends from the campaign trail, meet new ones, help our neighbors and keep the momentum of our progressive networks moving forward. We've got a lot of cleaning up to do, but we might as well start with a splash of panache!

CONGREGATE!
Saturday January 24th at 7:00 PM
American Legion Hall
1027 New Street
Union Grove

CONTRIBUTE!
Admission is $10
Everyone is welcome so bring your compatriots
All proceeds will go to local area food banks and homeless shelters

CONVIVE!
Evenings festivities headlined with gypsy swing music by 4th Street Elevator
Warm up provided by Girl with Guitar and Word, Rock & Law

There will be hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar
Dress is casual to cocktail
Please RSVP to bapbash@gmail.com

Grasp for more information at http://www.burlingtonareaprogressives.com/ or call (262) 514-3047
View map at http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=1027+New+St.+Union+Grove&ie=UTF8&ll=42.692278,-88.049412&spn=0.026433,0.054932&z=14

Lose that cabin fever and excersize your right to freedom of association!

CONCLUDE