May 25, 2012 archive

Edumacashun Preznit

A proud conservative and supporter of the privitization of education.

After all, Kaplan Prep is the only profitable part of the Washington Post.

Obama Campaign Proud of Bashing Teachers’ Unions

By: David Dayen, Firedog Lake

Friday May 25, 2012 9:38 am

It looks like we’re going to have six more months of the Obama campaign trying to prove that their candidate has conservative values and believes in conservative ideas.

(T)he question becomes, why does Stephanie Cutter, Deputy Campaign Manager for Obama 2012, feel so strongly about needing to broadcast that teachers’ unions don’t like her candidate? Is this a typical approach for campaigns? Don’t you normally want to tout support rather than opposition?

Not when it comes to teachers’ unions, apparently. And who needs them, they only represent 3.2 million members in the National Education Association and 1.5 millionb in the American Federation of Teachers. And they only represent one out of ten delegates on the typical Democratic National Committee Convention floor. It makes perfect sense for the head of the party to display his independence from such a marginal group.

Education “reform” is a pretty contentious topic with a split in the Democratic coalition. But Obama has always lined up on the opposite side of the unions on the matter. Not only that, he boasts of it.

Of course this is a pattern. The previous tweet from Stephanie Cutter highlights the President’s commitment to austerity, proudly stating for the record that federal spending has slowed down under Obama to the largest degree since the Eisenhower Administration. So we’re going to have six months of the President’s allies stating the record, showing all of Obama’s conservative positions on a host of issues. You would think this would be the role of, say, a primary challenger to the President from the left. But no, it’s the President’s own campaign doing this.

His education policies are generally disfavored by teachers’ unions, and I should add, disfavored by reality, because the data on charters and teacher evaluations is weak to the point of totally being debunked.

Not that reality should stand in the way.

Propaganda Is Not Just Misinformation

It is shameful that Mother Jones publishes bullshit like this-

Is Congress Really Authorizing US Propaganda at Home?

By Adam Weinstein, Mother Jones

Tue May. 22, 2012 3:00 AM PDT

(T)he outcry in this case seems misguided. For starters, the proposed law doesn’t permit the spread of any information that isn’t already available to the American public. Moreover, the amendment could conceivably bring more of the government’s overseas information operations into the sunlight, a good thing.

The argument against Thornberry’s and Smith’s amendment appears to be pretty straightforward: We only want US propaganda peddled to foreign populations, but not to our own! In reality, though, most “public diplomacy” is mundane boilerplate about America’s purple mountains’ majesties.


Pentagon Contractor Admits To Perpetrating Online Smear Campaign Against USA Today Reporters

By Adam Peck, Think Progress

May 24, 2012 at 6:21 pm

The former head of a group that contracts with the Pentagon to produce propaganda material used oversees has admitted to launching a similar disinformation campaign against two U.S.-based reporters.

In April, two USA Today journalists claimed they were the victims of a deliberate “reputation attack” after they wrote a series of stories about the Pentagon’s contracts with groups that specialize in the production of propaganda. Days after the journalists began speaking with officials at the Pentagon and other sources for the story, fake websites and social media accounts set up in the names of the two reporters were mysteriously registered and began trying to discredit the stories.


Elmer Fudd’s Debut.

A Wild Hare

Third Way Electoral Victory!

Crossposted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

How The Blue Dog/DCCC Axis Really Operates

Howie Klein, DownWithTyranny

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

(T)he Blue Dogs lost half their members in the 2010 elections because Democratic voters refused to show up at the polls to vote for them, a completely rational decision since the Blue Dogs refuse to support Democratic principles, policy or values. This weekend the Salt Lake Tribune explains how Matheson is trying to grow the Blue Dog caucus and has “hired the Blue Dogs’ first campaign strategist and overhauled the coalition’s recruitment effort, trying to get stronger candidates to run in districts he thinks Democrats can reclaim.” The article doesn’t mention Steve Israel’s insidious role in this venture, embracing all 11 right-wing Blue Dog candidates this year, many of them running against progressives in primaries where the DCCC has promised to stay neutral, a lie that never goes away.

Here’s how it works in district after district across the country.

A real Democrat enters the primary and along comes a Blue Dog. The Blue Dog PAC and the Blue Dog incumbents fill the Blue Dog candidate’s coffers with contributions. The most corrupt corporate whores on Capitol Hill, the Blue Dogs get their sleazy lobbyist friends– many of whom are Blue Dog ex-congressmen and former Blue Dog staffers– to shower even more cash on candidates who they know will “play ball.” Then Matheson and Barrow go to a very sympathetic Steve Israel and whine about the neutrality policy, claiming it isn’t a real contest because the real Democrat has raised so little money and their candidate is flush with cash. Israel then “reluctantly” adds the Blue Dog to one of the bogus “Red-to-Blue” lists– lists that signal wealthy Democratic donors that these are the candidates the party is backing.

That’s how a reactionary and corrupt operative like Hayden Rogers, who opposes almost every single plank the differentiates Democrats from Republicans, has wound up as the Democratic candidate in western North Carolina. Israel is already spending money on the race even though there is virtually no chance that Rogers will win.

It’s a scenario that plays out endlessly in district after district. Millions of donor dollars will be wasted to rescucitate the all-but-extinct Blue Dogs but smart money says that 2013 will find less of tehm– not more– in Congress.

And all those wasted millions… could have been used to elect actual Democrats like Dave Gill in Illinois, Carol Shea-Porter in New Hampshire and Patsy Keever in North Carolina, who beat, against all odds, well-financed conservative challengers but are now being starved for cash by Israel and the DCCC.

If you’d like, you can help real Democrats here — while the DCCC fights to elect anti-Choice, anti-gay, anti-working family fanatics like Hayden Rogers and the 10 other Blue Dogs they’ve taken under their wing.

(h/t Gaius Publius @ Americablog)

Formatted for presentation.

On This Day In History May 25

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

May 25 is the 145th day of the year (146th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 220 days remaining until the end of the year.

On this day in 1977, Stars Wars opens with an intergalactic bang as the first of George Lucas’ blockbuster Star Wars movies hits American theaters.

Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, originally released as Star Wars, is a 1977 American epic space opera film, written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga: two subsequent films complete the original trilogy, while a prequel trilogy completes the six-film saga. It is the fourth film in terms of the series’ internal chronology. Ground-breaking in its use of special effects, unconventional editing, and science fiction/fantasy storytelling, the original Star Wars is one of the most successful and influential films of all time.

Set “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away”, the film follows a group of freedom fighters known as the Rebel Alliance as they plot to destroy the powerful Death Star space station, a devastating weapon created by the evil Galactic Empire. This conflict disrupts the isolated life of farmboy Luke Skywalker when he inadvertently acquires the droids carrying the stolen plans to the Death Star. After the Empire begins a cruel and destructive search for the droids, Skywalker decides to accompany Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi on a daring mission to rescue the owner of the droids, rebel leader Princess Leia Organa, and save the galaxy.

Produced with a budget of $11 million and released on May 25, 1977, the film went on to earn $460 million in the United States and $337 million overseas, surpassing Jaws as the highest-grossing film of all time at the time. Among the many awards the film received, it gained ten Academy Award nominations, winning six; the nominations included Best Supporting Actor for Alec Guinness and Best Picture. Lucas has re-released the film on several occasions, sometimes with significant changes; the most notable versions are the 1997 Special Edition and the 2004 DVD release, which have modified computer-generated effects, altered dialogue, and added scenes.

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