April 8, 2010 archive

Finally. (updated)

I really don’t have the time to write this up, but I wanted to draw your attention to this series on HuffPo.  In is quite an indepth, inside look and well worth the whole read.  Despite the cheerleading, there are pissed-off liberals.  We are not alone.  Enjoy.

Power Struggle: Inside The Battle For The Soul Of The Democratic Party

Doug Kahn, a big Democratic donor and heir to the Annenberg fortune, is not giving any money to candidates running for office this year even though he has donated more than $200,000 to candidates in past election cycles.

“The people who are really liberal, like me, are disgusted. And the ones I’ve talked to are just saying, forget this. They’re throwing their hands up. They’re not going to give money,” says Kahn.

In 2008, says Kahn, he asked the DCCC to list candidates who had an outside shot of beating a Republican and weren’t currently getting much party backing. He jumped in and gave the maximum contributions, donating to several of the 34 Democrats who voted against health care reform. In 2010, he says, he’ll spend his money in a different way. “Anger is a real motivator,” says Kahn.

The Florida donor plans to spend $100,000 between two districts currently held by Blue Dogs. He’ll come in during the last few weeks and spend money educating Democratic voters about the Blue Dogs’ record. “I’m convinced that if they know what the voting records of some of these people are — that is, Blue Dogs — a significant percentage, a percentage that could beat the Blue Dog, will simply not vote. I might be wrong about that, but I’m going to try it out,” says Kahn.

Kahn says he doesn’t yet know which districts he’ll attack and has no interest working to defeat a Blue Dog who is already going to lose. He wants Blue Dogs on the edge and he wants to push them off. The purpose, he says, is not to teach those particular dogs a lesson, but “to move the Blue Dogs who are in the House to have some fear of Democratic voters.”

Pelosi worked to muzzle progressives who said they could never vote for the watered-down Senate version. “I told the members, the members who said, ‘I’m never voting the Senate bill,’ I said, ‘Fine. Let me take care of that, but to the extent that you go out and say that, you are empowering the insurance industry and those who are trying to say just do a small bill,” she said. “That empowered them: ‘See, she’s never going to be able to pass the bill, so why don’t we just go for this thing, which happens to be what the insurance company is advocating.’ So we’re saying, ‘No, you have to have the courage to go for it, and what is it that we can put over the finish line that is strong and tough as possible, giving the president his opportunity to strive for bipartisanship?”

There’s a whole lot more.  

Afternoon Edition

Afternoon Edition is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Toppled Kyrgyz president refuses to quit

by Matt Siegel and Tolkun Namatbayeva, AFP

57 mins ago

BISHKEK (AFP) – The toppled president of Kyrgyzstan defied calls to resign Thursday after a bloody people’s uprising as the country’s new rulers announced plans for elections and the disbanding of parliament.

As Russia and the European Union vowed to support an interim government, the man chased from power after a five-year rule said the nation faced catastrophe.

Although his exact whereabouts were unknown, Kurmanbek Bakiyev told Russian radio he was in southern Kyrgyzstan and had no plans “to leave at the moment”, and released a statement insisting that he would not throw in the towel.

The path of the warm heart………

cross posted at Firefly-dreaming

My partner in life turned me on to the Dog Whisperer……..

and it has become my favorite program on the whispering box…….

and I acknowledge Ceasar Millan for being one of my primary inspirations for growth today….

from the moment I laid eyes on him I realized I had been gifted a teacher…..

a soul to make visible something I had not found yet in life……

a teacher of balanced male energy…….

and now I have set out on a journey to embody something other than angry dominant male energy……

every program has two domains……

bringing the dog(s) into present time so that they can enact different behavior in the present….

and then bringing the humans into the present so they can enact calm assertive leadership for their dog(s)……..

and from where I stand there is a deep possibility in the work he does for all of us……

because there is something we seek in the process of politics…..

and it is not there…….


Open Times

Through The Looking-Glass

The whole smoke and mirrors act that’s going on over there is an attempt at consolidation of the Democratic Party’s takeover of the Republican Party’s one time position at center-right and fully conservative on the political spectrum. This has in fact happened, and is being glaringly highlighted almost daily by the conservative positions the Obama administration has taken.

1. War Maintenance. Pull-down in Iraq is made up for by expansion in Afghanistan. This way the MIC and war profiteers can keep the money flowing.

2. Domestic Spying/Decimation of the Bill of Rights. Nothing has changed, Obama’s got DoJ defending illegal policies of the Bush admin.

3. Energy Non-Policy. Huge new subsidies to coal, nuclear and petroleum/natural gas industries, pittance for renewables or necessary infrastructure (grid replacement).

4. Women’s Rights. Under the bus right at the HIR starting gate.

5. GLBT Rights. No one’s allowed to talk about it – Don’t ask, Don’t tell.

6. Nuclear Slouch. Too sloppy to be called “policy,” Obama has authorized the production of new nuclear weapons and the new START is a joke. He’s still wasting trillions (when the accounting’s done) on a missile defense system that can’t be made to work and couldn’t prevent an attack if it did work.

Hail to the Murderer in Chief

The cult of Obama has reached a new plateau of surreal achievement in accepting the practice of summary execution of US citizens by presidential decree. This is somebody’s idea of showing that Obama is “tough.” We should be grateful that the collective wisdom on the political display of toughness does not extend to showing the drawing and quartering of captured “terrorists” on cable television, but there are still a few more years left in Obama’s term of office, so we can’t rule anything out.

How did it come to this? How did the most highly educated and affluent society in the world accept the practice of killing of its citizens by Presidential decree? The answer is broadcast video propaganda. I believe that television is the most highly perfected mechanism for the propagation of hysterical fear that has ever been invented. The evil linkage between television propaganda and American electoral politics has created a toxic witches brew that is dissolving our democracy. Americans have been conditioned to be so deeply afraid of “threats” that they are willing to grant unlimited power to a government that will keep them “safe.”

This is why we now have a Murderer in Chief in the White House.  

Sound Off

I don’t know but I bin told

New World Order it ain’t so bold

Eisenhauer Bill and John

Warned us all but now their gone

911 and Northwoods too

Make a fine deceptive brew

Fiat money Madoffed me

Ponzi scam for all to see

401s for you and me

Built the Chinese Factory

Drywall dogfood kid toys  too

Comes back as a toxic brew

It don’t matter what you say

Murdoch owns your mind today

If you don’t like it what they say

Microsoft can make your day

Flying pigs and birdies too

Make a fine and deadly brew

Myth for me a myth for you

Taliban and Qeada too

NSA knows all you say

Is the SWAT team on their way

Docudharma Times Thursday April 8

Thursday’s Headlines:

Kyrgyzstan Opposition Says Rule Will Last 6 Months

North pole marathon due to begin: racers to run 26 miles on ice at -30C


U.S. looks to nonnuclear weapons to use as deterrent

Egg-farm video is latest salvo in Humane Society’s animal-rights campaign


Don’t blame us for Stalin’s slaughter, says Putin

Plastic gondola plan provokes anger in Venice

Middle East

Iran is still holding 35 journalists after crackdown, human rights group says

Move over American Idol: Hissa Hilal in finals of Arab reality TV poetry contest


The Big Question: Who are the Naxalites and will they topple the Indian government?

US seeks thaw in ties with Myanmar


Egyptian pro-democracy demonstrators beaten, arrested in Cairo

Latin America

Rio floods: Why did more than 100 people die?

The Life-and-Death Significance of Democracy

Even among the micro-elite of economists who have won the Nobel Prize, Amartya Sen is a super-star, because once upon a time he proved something that actually matters.

Famines aren’t caused by lack of food.

This was about as much of a surprise as Jesus feeding the multitude with five loaves and two fishes, but verily “all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over,” and likewise the starving residents of Bengal in 1943 and Bangladesh in 1974 and the Sahel in 1968 (and ongoing) could have been fed, if only a messed up system of economic entitlements hadn’t starved them.

And out of the background of his already astonishing analysis, Professor Sen extracted yet another discovery even more astonishing to anyone invested enough in the problem of hunger to be surprised by anything about it.

Famines never occur in democracies with a free press.

During the Bengal famine of 1943, for example, production of rice in Bengal was actually greater than in 1941, when there was no famine. But at that time Bengal was controlled by the United Kingdom, which continued to export rice from Bengal while 10,000,000 Bengalis died of starvation and diseases related to malnutrition.

While India was ruled by England, about 25 major famines ocurred, but after India became an independent democracy…


And meanwhile in nearby Bangladesh, where democratic institutions are weak and their otherwise impotent army dominates politics and society, famines continue to occur with depressing regularity.

Amartya Sen is as familiar to almost every post-secondary student in the Third World as almost every American is familiar with Mickey Mouse, and if you ever wonder why crowds in the Ukraine and Peru and elsewhere are willing to risk their lives to establish or protect democracy, although Americans run happily in and out of Wal-Mart while their Constitution is eviscerated, it may be because Third-World agitators understand that democracy is always a matter of life and death, and after we lose control of politics and the media, almost all of us will also almost inevitably lose everything else.  

Muse in the Morning

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Muse in the Morning


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Second Act…

Story Time Is Over

History is always written by the winners.  Native Americans know it, African Americans know it, Palestinians know it, working class people in every country in this world know it, every gay man or woman who has ever lived knows it.  Everyone who has ever been beaten into submission by the power of armies, by the power of economic might, by the power of entrenched religion, entrenched conformity, entrenched bigotry, entrenched conservative ideology knows it . . .  

History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books, books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe.  As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?’

And what is Obama’s healthcare reform bill, but a fable agreed upon?  

By Reid.  By Pelosi.  By the Democrats.  By the reciters of fables at Daily Kos.  Check out the recommended Fable List there and behold all of the happy endings.  Hansel and Gretel follow the trail of crumbs to incremental change and everyone lives happily ever after.  Snow White ate the Poison Option and fell into a purist coma, but Prince Charming kissed her and she awoke in beautiful Healthcare Reform Land, where everyone, even the Three Bears and Three Little Pigs and Rumpelstiltskin and Pinocchio and most of the Seven Dwarfs got to take a first step towards having affordable health insurance.

That’s one small step for the Three Bears and their friends, one giant leap for the health insurance industry.

Triangulation Base here, the Vulture has landed.

But I digress . . .

It doesn’t matter when you check that place out, they’re always off to see the Wizard. Everyone is dancing down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City of More and Better Democrats, where Steny the Tin Man will get a heart, Harry the Cowardly Lion will get courage, and Barack the Scarecrow will finally get a fucking brain. Whatever you do, don’t tell them they’re on a Yellow Brick Road to nowhere, the big bad wolves of Kos Communications Inc. will huff and puff and blow your house down, clean slate or not.            

Happy endings at Daily Fables are only for the true and faithful believers in Humpty Dumpty.   I’m not sure what they’ll do when Humpty falls off that Wall of Centrism, and all of Rahm’s horses and all of Rahm’s men can’t put him back together again, but if their past attitudes are any indication, far left fringe Naderites, Docudharma deadenders, radical Teabagger empowering firedogging firedoggers, Cindy Sheehan worshipping attention whore purists, and instant gratification political neophytes like us will get the blame.

On Making Coal Mining Safer, Or, “It’s The Fines, Stupid!”

By now more or less everyone is aware that there has been a disastrous mining accident in West Virginia this week.

There are many people dead, and at the time this is written it is still possible that survivors might be found.

We don’t know much about why these disasters happen, for the most part, and we don’t really understand how to make things better.

Today, I’m here to fix some of that.

By the end of today’s story, you’ll understand a lot more about why people die in mines than you do now-and as an extra bonus, we’ll also discuss a radical new way to bring market forces into the process of making mines safer.

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