by Joan McCarter for Daily Kos
Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 05:20 PM PDT
The progressive advocacy group Americans United for Change is taking on the GOP, running versions of this ad on broadcast television in the districts of Reps. Steve King (R-IA), Sean Duffy (R-WI), Chip Cravaack (R-MN), and Paul Ryan (R-WI).
“What are House Republicans thinking asking millions of seniors, the less fortunate and the disabled to make more sacrifices and the richest among us to make less,” says AUC executive Tom McMahon in a statement.
If Republicans have their way, there would be no more guaranteed Medicare benefits for America’s seniors, only a guarantee of paying more and more out of pocket for less care after being left to the mercy to the private insurance industry. There would only be a guarantee that millions of Americans would lose their jobs – only a guarantee that America’s poor and disabled will live sicker and die younger while millionaires get another tax break they don’t need and the nation cannot afford. This is not a path to prosperity, only a path to bankrupting seniors so Paris Hilton and BP can have another tax break. And there’s nothing courageous about that.
The television ads are in addition to robocalls the organization began making last week in 23 districts for a total 360,000 calls. But Americans United for Change isn’t the only game in town. The House Majority PAC, a new Democratic Super PAC, has launched a six-figure ad buy with radio ads targeting 10 Republican House members.
In what it’s calling a “substantial” media buy, the House Majority PAC is rolling out 60-second radio spots accusing Republican members of voting to “gut Medicare.”"Just days ago, Sean Duffy voted for the Republican budget plan that’s going to have the wealthiest Americans lining up at the trough,” says one spot targeting freshman Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.). “It protects billions in subsidies for big oil, and cuts taxes by trillions for the wealthiest Americans and big corporations. That’ll just make the deficit worse.”
The nine other GOP targets are Reps. Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Rick Crawford (Ark.), Allen West (Fla.), Chip Cravaack (Minn.), Charlie Bass (N.H.), Ann Marie Buerkle (N.Y.), Joe Heck (Nev.), Francisco “Quico” Canseco (Texas) and Blake Farenthold (Texas).
The biggest chunk is being spent against West, in FL-22. The good news is outside progressive and Democratic groups recognize the political value of protecting Medicare. Hopefully they’ll help convince Democratic electeds that the push for austerity and the subsequent hurt on the middle class is a really bad idea.
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The Corrs And Bono-Summer Wine
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Posted in Peace, tagged Capitalism, Cold War, Communism, corporation, Democratic Party, Economy, Lobbyist, neoliberal, Wall Street on April 25, 2011 |
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The Corporate State Wins Again
Posted on Apr 25, 2011
By Chris Hedges
When did our democracy die? When did it irrevocably transform itself into a lifeless farce and absurd political theater? When did the press, labor, universities and the Democratic Party—which once made piecemeal and incremental reform possible—wither and atrophy? When did reform through electoral politics become a form of magical thinking? When did the dead hand of the corporate state become unassailable?
The body politic was mortally wounded during the long, slow strangulation of ideas and priorities during the Red Scare and the Cold War. Its bastard child, the war on terror, inherited the iconography and language of permanent war and fear. The battle against internal and external enemies became the excuse to funnel trillions in taxpayer funds and government resources to the war industry, curtail civil liberties and abandon social welfare. Skeptics, critics and dissenters were ridiculed and ignored. The FBI, Homeland Security and the CIA enforced ideological conformity. Debate over the expansion of empire became taboo. Secrecy, the anointing of specialized elites to run our affairs and the steady intrusion of the state into the private lives of citizens conditioned us to totalitarian practices. Sheldon Wolin points out in “Democracy Incorporated” that this configuration of corporate power, which he calls “inverted totalitarianism,” is not like “Mein Kampf” or “The Communist Manifesto,” the result of a premeditated plot. It grew, Wolin writes, from “a set of effects produced by actions or practices undertaken in ignorance of their lasting consequences.”
Corporate capitalism—because it was trumpeted throughout the Cold War as a bulwark against communism—expanded with fewer and fewer government regulations and legal impediments. Capitalism was seen as an unalloyed good. It was not required to be socially responsible. Any impediment to its growth, whether in the form of trust-busting, union activity or regulation, was condemned as a step toward socialism and capitulation. Every corporation is a despotic fiefdom, a mini-dictatorship. And by the end Wal-Mart, Exxon Mobil and Goldman Sachs had grafted their totalitarian structures onto the state.
The Cold War also bequeathed to us the species of the neoliberal. The neoliberal enthusiastically embraces “national security” as the highest good. The neoliberal—composed of the gullible and cynical careerists—parrots back the mantra of endless war and corporate capitalism as an inevitable form of human progress. Globalization, the neoliberal assures us, is the route to a worldwide utopia. Empire and war are vehicles for lofty human values. Greg Mortenson, the disgraced author of “Three Cups of Tea,” tapped into this formula. The deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocents in Iraq or Afghanistan are ignored or dismissed as the cost of progress. We are bringing democracy to Iraq, liberating the women of Afghanistan, defying the evil clerics in Iran, ridding the world of terrorists and protecting Israel. Those who oppose us do not have legitimate grievances. They need to be educated. It is a fantasy. But to name our own evil is to be banished.
We continue to talk about personalities—Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama—although the heads of state or elected officials in Congress have become largely irrelevant. Lobbyists write the bills. Lobbyists get them passed. Lobbyists make sure you get the money to be elected. And lobbyists employ you when you get out of office. Those who hold actual power are the tiny elite who manage the corporations. Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, in their book “Winner-Take-All Politics,” point out that the share of national income of the top 0.1 percent of Americans since 1974 has grown from 2.7 to 12.3 percent. One in six American workers may be without a job. Some 40 million Americans may live in poverty, with tens of millions more living in a category called “near poverty.” Six million people may be forced from their homes because of foreclosures and bank repossessions. But while the masses suffer, Goldman Sachs, one of the financial firms most responsible for the evaporation of $17 trillion in wages, savings and wealth of small investors and shareholders, is giddily handing out $17.5 billion in compensation to its managers, including $12.6 million to its CEO, Lloyd Blankfein.
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Posted in Economy, Politics, tagged Afghanistan, economic and political mess, Economy, iraq, Libya, Mos Eisley Cantina, Pakistan, Politics, President Obama, Qaddafi, the Horn of Africa, Yemen on April 25, 2011 |
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Politicking in the Mos Eisley Cantina
Monday 25 April 2011
by: Davidson Loehr, Truthout
Our economic and political mess became more clear once I realized that most of the important political deals take place in the Mos Eisley Cantina. You know the scene from the first “Star Wars” movie in 1977: a dark, smoky bar located somewhere in a twilight zone: a liminal and lawless hideout where the ethically reprehensible is the norm.
We know our elected officials don’t do their political work up in the daylight of our world, because none of the big ticket laws they pass have anything to do with what the majority of our citizens want. There are differences between the two political parties, but they’re differences of degree, not kind. How can it be that the people we elected to serve us routinely sell us out to the highest bidders?
The majority of US citizens are against our illegal invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan, and our bombing of Libya to remove Qaddafi, the brutal dictator we have coddled for decades. And a majority of our citizens would also be against our other four military operations – in Yemen, Pakistan, the Horn of Africa and Columbia – if they knew about them. Most of us were not fooled when President Obama said he unilaterally authorized bombing Libya because his heart bled for the half million citizens Qaddafi will probably kill – though for the past week, it seems we’ve stopped caring. If our hearts really bled that easily for the slaughter of innocents, why didn’t we invade countries that had no oil? And if we think the death of a half million innocents is repugnant enough to demand preventative action, what about President Clinton’s sanctions against Iraq, which caused the deaths of half a million Iraqi children? When asked on US television if she [Madeline Albright, US secretary of state] thought that the death of 500,000 Iraqi children from sanctions in Iraq was a price worth paying, Albright replied: “This is a very hard choice, but we think the price is worth it.” (See here.)
The majority of our citizens want our soldiers brought home now. As John Kerry said to our House Foreign Relations Committee in 1970 about the ongoing Vietnam War: “How do you ask someone to be the last person to die for a mistake?” Today’s answer seems to be that members of Congress do it without much genuine emotion, because wars – whether right or wrong – are immensely profitable for some of the corporations whose lobbyists woo our representatives in dark places. And few if any of their children are going to be in those wars.
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Billy Idol – White Wedding
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Posted in Domestic Terrorism, Right Wing, Right-Wing Extremists, tagged Denver News, domestic terrorism, FBI, Fbi Investigation, isolated incidents, Possible Suspect Colorado, Possible Suspect In 4/20 Bombing, Right-wing extremism, right-wing violence, Southwest Plaza Mall, Southwest Plaza Mall Bomb on April 25, 2011 |
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Crooks and Liars- By David Neiwert
April 25, 2011 08:00 AM
[Video from Denver's Channel 9 News]
John earlier reported on a bizarre case involving an attempted bombing of a mall in Littleton, Colorado, on the anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in that town last Wednesday.
It seems they’re catching up to the would-be bomber — or at least, they’ve identified him:
Earl Albert Moore, 65, served a federal prison sentence for bank robbery and was released just seven days before authorities believe he left a poorly crafted bomb in a stairwell in Jefferson County’s Southwest Plaza Mall.
Authorities found a small fire, two propane tanks and a crude pipe bomb on Wednesday, the anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre, which prompted mass evacuations and put a community on edge.
Records from the Federal Bureau of Prisons show Moore was released from custody April 13 and remained on supervised parole at the time of the alleged bomb attempt.
Court records show he robbed a West Virginia bank of $2,546, assaulted a bank employee and used a deadly weapon in the course of the 2005 robbery.
It also appears that he has quite a background — including both a tax-resistance case and at least one very interesting tattoo:
Moore’s criminal record in Colorado dates back to 1984 with a drug possession charge. He served six months in state prison on a felony burglary charge out of Arapahoe County in 2004.
VIDEO AND MORE HERE
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