(via xkcd: Congress)
Draw the Line - Sign the Bill - SPREAD THE WORD (by ReproductiveRight100)
‘Ah, right wing media. Can’t live with them. Can’t stop conservatives from being misled by them.
So President Bush had massive tax cuts for the wealthy and destroyed the economy while ballooning the deficit. But do conservative media declare the tax cuts for the wealthy obviously don’t work? Of course not. In fact they call for deeper tax cuts for the rich. And, let’s see, a bunch of Wall Street firms and banks go under, spinning the economy into a near total collapse. But do conservative media declare unregulated capitalism doesn’t work? Of course not. In fact, they call for less regulation. Oh, but let a solar company fail, and suddenly the whole technology doesn’t work — even though thee U.S. solar industry had $1.8 billion in net exports last year.’
So President Bush had massive tax cuts for the wealthy and destroyed the economy while ballooning the deficit. But do conservative media declare the tax cuts for the wealthy obviously don’t work? Of course not. In fact they call for deeper tax cuts for the rich.
And, let’s see, a bunch of Wall Street firms and banks go under, spinning the economy into a near total collapse. But do conservative media declare unregulated capitalism doesn’t work? Of course not. In fact, they call for less regulation.
Oh, but let a solar company fail, and suddenly the whole technology doesn’t work — even though thee U.S. solar industry had $1.8 billion in net exports last year.’
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Avi Lewis talks to Cornel West, professor of African American Studies at Princeton, hip hop artist, and one of the most controversial academics in the US about the state of democracy for African-Americans in the US today, US foreign policy, global recession, and his dispute with Lawrence Summers.
Many of the toughest sentencing laws responsible for the explosion of the U.S. prison population were drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, which helps corporations write model legislation. Now a new exposé reveals ALEC has paved the way for states and corporations to replace unionized workers with prison labor. We speak with Mike Elk, contributing labor reporter at The Nation magazine. He says ALEC and private prison companies “put a mass amount of people in jail, and then they created a situation where they could exploit that.” Elk notes that in 2005 more than 14 million pounds of beef infected with rat feces processed by inmates were not recalled, in order to avoid drawing attention to how many products are made by prison labor.
Democracy Now! National and Global News Headlines for Thursday, July 14, 2011 (by democracynow)
It seems those who support using violent rhetoric are now preaching peace & justice, or at least some of those who have presidential ambitions, e.g. Sarah Palin are doing so, but a lot more preaching of peace & justice will have to go on to begin to make up for the violent rhetoric that has been used & is being used in American politics today, mostly on the right-wing of the conservative party, which in a probably related turn of events is now the dominant ideological force in the conservative party, much more so than the left-wing of the rather conservatively liberal party.
I suppose it’s possible that the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords — who was out speaking with constituents, some of whom were harmed, in her Arizona district when a gunmen in his 20s reportedly walked up to her and began shooting — had nothing to do with this:
It’s possible. But whenever a politician is harmed in an act of violence we have to pause for a moment to think 1) this is comparatively rare in this country, for which we should be thankful, and 2) in light of it’s rarity, what could have caused it? Isolated individuals with distorted views of reality and a tendency towards violence are always to be found, but it’s hard to separate this shooting from the sometimes extreme rhetoric against Giffords, a Democrat, leading up to her November re-election, the high number of death threats against President Obama, and the increasing anger under which many operate politically these days.
The hate-mongers will try to back away from responsibility in this, as they always do, but violent rhetoric, unpinned from facts and reality, gives solace to those nursing extreme fears.
— Monica Potts
Posted by Monica Potts on January 8, 2011 3:35 PMRead more at www.prospect.org
Dear START Supporter,
Right now you have an opportunity to change history.
Today is the National Day of Action to reduce our nation’s nuclear stockpiles by demanding that the U.S. Senate ratify the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
As you read this, activists from across the country are meeting with senators to deliver your letters and show them that we demand a reduction in our nuclear stockpiles. Even if you’re not in Washington, you can lend your voice to this powerful effort.
Call your senators right now and tell them to ratify New START before the end of the year.
Get your senators’ phone numbers , then watch this short video and share it with five friends—you’re part of a movement.
Demanding zero starts now! Pick up the phone and help change our nation’s future.
The world has enough nuclear weapons. In fact, we could use a lot less. The United States has 10,500 nuclear weapons. Russia has 14,000. The arms race is long since over, and it’s time we reduce the stockpiles and secure the materials before they fall into the wrong hands.
This past April, President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) which, if ratified by the U.S. Senate will, reduce each country’s nuclear stockpile by a third, and open up both nations’ programs for more transparent inspections and verification.
Let your senators know that this issue is important to you by sending them a letter and calling them right now.
Thank you for your support and activism,
The Demand Zero Team
Talking points for New START
If calling your senators’ offices about New START sounds frightening, it shouldn’t be. These are our elected officials, who are legally required to listen to what you have to say. It will take about two minutes, and you don’t need to have expert knowledge on the issue to voice your opinion.
Here is a quick guide to calling your senators on New START, from our partner organization WAND (Women’s Action for New Directions).
- Find out whether your senators support START or not at TakePart.com/START. You will find a list of every senator who currently doesn’t support START, along with their phone numbers.
- If one or both of your senators isn’t on the START page, it’s because they support the Treaty! Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to be connected to their office(s). Tell them thanks for all the support!
- Use this sample message when you call, or feel free to say whatever you like:
“Hello, my name is [your name]. I am calling from [your city/town], and I want to urge Senator ____ to support the ratification of the New START. I am hopeful that Senator _____ will support this treaty and the goal of a more safe and secure future when s/he votes on the New START Treaty on the Senate Floor. Could you please make sure the Senator gets this message?”
And that’s it! The receptionist will take note of your message and make sure it gets passed on. Let others know you took the time to call and update your Facebook or Twitter status!Read more at www.takepart.com
Ads for the DVD show Jones’ eyes above the words, “Death camps Are Real.”
Jones’ Obama Deception film claims that “Obama is continuing the process of transforming America into something that resembles Nazi Germany, with forced National Service, domestic civilian spies, warrantless wiretaps, the destruction of the Second Amendment, FEMA camps and Martial Law.”
An April 17, 1999, Austin American-Statesman article (retrieved from Nexis) reported that, even then, Jones believed that FEMA was “building hundreds of concentration camps on military bases with separate areas for men, women and women with children.”
BP oil spill a deliberate act. Jones has pushed the theory that the BP oil spill was a deliberate attack. Jones co-wrote a June 8 article headlined, “Evidence Points To BP Oil Spill False Flag.” A false flag event is an operation carried out by a powerful entity to deceive the public into thinking it was carried out by someone else. False flag examples cited by conspiracy theorists include the Oklahoma City bombing, and 9-11 attacks. From Jones’ article on Infowars.com:
- Sales of shares and stocks in days and weeks beforehand
- Halliburton link, acquisition of cleanup company days before explosion
- BP report cites undocumented tampering with well sealing equipment
- Government uses disaster to push for Carbon Tax, Nationalization talk
Troubling evidence surrounding the Deepwater Horizon explosion on April 20th suggests that the incident could have been manufactured.
Jones has discussed “evidence” that the spill was a false flag event on his radio program. A program posted on Jones’ YouTube channel on June 20 states that Jones “reveals why he is now sure it’s a 100% false flag event to usher in the global carbon tax talked about at the G-20 summit.”
Jones was pretty good in A Scanner Darkly. That was a work of fiction. He is not so good at nonfiction, unfortunately for all of us American citizens and citizens of the world that want to reduce pollution, normalize immigration, and promote global cooperation and unity … .
(Editor’s note: Whatever your political beliefs, we can all agree that people say the dumbest things. Below, you’ll find some some stupid conservative quotes put together by Sasha Brown-Worsham. For equally stupid — and funny — gaffs made by their liberal counterparts, read 50 Dumb Liberal Quotes.)
When politicians and pundits mess up, flub their words, or make Freudian slips, they often do so in the most spectacularly hilarious ways.
Former Vice President Dan Quayle reminded us not to lose our minds. (That would be a truly terrible loss, after all.) And Sarah Palin volunteered that that she was keeping an eye on Putin — and on all of Russia — from her perch up there in Alaska (you betcha!).
Below, you’ll find 50 more of the dumbest conservative quotes we’ve come across.
No matter what your politics, we hope you’ll have a good laugh.
- “When the President does it, that means that it’s not illegal.” ~ Richard M. Nixon
- “We spent a lot of time talking about Africa, as we should. Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease.” ~ President George W. Bush
- “The only way to reduce the number of nuclear weapons is to use them.” ~ Rush Limbaugh
- ”My grandmother was not a highly educated woman, but she told me as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed. You’re facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don’t think too much further than that. And so what you’ve got to do is you’ve got to curtail that type of behavior. They don’t know any better.” ~ South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, arguing against government food assistance for poor residents.
- “The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews.” ~ Jerry Falwell
- ”Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on you.” ~ Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-North Carolina)
- ”We need to uptick our image with everyone, including one-armed midgets.” ~ Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.
- “You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.” ~ George W. Bush
- ”Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.” ~ Rush Limbaugh
- “I couldn’t imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Chanukah.” ~ President George W. Bush
- “Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.” ~ Rep. Michelle Bachmann
- ”The greatest threat to America is not necessarily a recession or even another terrorist attack. The greatest threat to America is a liberal media bias.” ~ Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)
- “He is purple - the gay-pride color, and his antenna is shaped like a triangle - the gay pride symbol.” ~ Jerry Falwell’s warning to parents that “Tinky Winky,” a character on Teletubbies, may be gay
- “Welcome to President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and my fellow astronauts.” ~ Dan Quayle
- ”The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” ~ Pat Robertson
- “Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.” ~ Sarah Palin
- “‘Refudiate,’ ‘misunderestimate,’ ‘wee-wee’d up.’ English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin new words too. Got to celebrate it!’” ~ Sarah Palin
- “Go back to what our founders and our founding documents meant — they’re quite clear — that we would create law based on the God of the bible and the Ten Commandments.” ~ Sarah Palin
- “What I don’t know is what the unexpected might be.” ~ John McCain
- “We have a lot of work to do. It’s a very hard struggle, particularly given the situation on the Iraq-Pakistan border.” ~ John McCain (the countries share no common border)
- “I love California; I practically grew up in Phoenix.” ~ Dan Quayle
- “If we took away women’s right to vote, we’d never have to worry about another Democrat president.” ~ Ann Coulter
- ”I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out under another, then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.” ~ Rep. Michele Bachmann
- “We just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.” ~ Ann Coulter
- “I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.” ~ George W. Bush
- “Do you have blacks, too?” ~ George W. Bush
- ”We need to execute people like (John Walker Lindh) in order to physically intimidate liberals.” ~ Ann Coulter
- “When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh shut up’ I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining.” ~ Glenn Beck
- “I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.” ~ George W. Bush
- “Well, I learned a lot….I went down to (Latin America) to find out from them and (learn) their views. You’d be surprised. They’re all individual countries” ~ Ronald Reagan
- ”I even accept for the sake of argument that sexual orgies eliminate social tensions and ought to be encouraged.” ~ Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
- “Rarely is the questioned asked: Is our children learning?” ~ George W. Bush
- “Exercise freaks … are the ones putting stress on the health care system.” ~ Rush Limbaugh
- “As yesterday’s positive report card shows, childrens do learn when standards are high and results are measured.” ~ George W. Bush
- “Good Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions.” ~ Jerry Falwell
- “If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.” ~ George W. Bush
- “I am not worried about the deficit. It is big enough to take care of itself.” ~ Ronald Reagan
- “Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them.” ~ Jerry Falwell
- ”It may be a blessing in disguise. … Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. Haitians were originally under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon the third, or whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, we will serve you if you will get us free from the French. True story. And so, the devil said, okay it’s a deal. Ever since they have been cursed by one thing after the other.” ~ Pat Robertson
- “AIDS is not just God’s punishment for homosexuals; it is God’s punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals.” ~Jerry Falwell
- “Facts are stupid things.” ~ Ronald Reagan
- “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” ~ George W. Bush
- “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on —shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.” ~ George W. Bush
- “Too many good docs are getting out of the business. Too many OB-GYNs aren’t able to practice their love with women all across this country.” ~ George W. Bush
- “Trees cause more pollution than automobiles.” ~ Ronald Reagan
- “This foreign policy stuff is a little frustrating.” ~ George W. Bush
- “I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started.” ~ Donald Rumsfeld
- “She wears little eye-patch underwear. So, the other day she came here with her underwear, Thursday. And so, we had made love Wednesday—a lot! And so she’ll, she’s all, ‘I am going up and down the stairs, and you’re dripping out of me!’ So messy!” ~ State Rep. Mike Duvall (R-Calif.) on a live mic referring to an affair with a lobbyist
- “I am here to make an announcement that this Thursday, ticket counters and airplanes will fly out of Ronald Reagan Airport.” ~ George W. Bush
- “I think I was unprepared for war.” ~ George W. Bush
Image via Facebook.com
The largest attack campaign against Democrats this fall is being waged by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a trade association organized as a 501(c)(6) that can raise and spend unlimited funds without ever disclosing any of its donors. The Chamber has promised to spend an unprecedented $75 million to defeat candidates like Jack Conway, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Jerry Brown, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), and Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA). As of Sept. 15th, the Chamber had aired more than 8,000 ads on behalf of GOP Senate candidates alone, according to a study from the Wesleyan Media Project. The Chamber’s spending has dwarfed every other issue group and most political party candidate committee spending. A ThinkProgress investigation has found that the Chamber funds its political attack campaign out of its general account, which solicits foreign funding. And while the Chamber will likely assert it has internal controls, foreign money is fungible, permitting the Chamber to run its unprecedented attack campaign. According to legal experts consulted by ThinkProgress, the Chamber is likely skirting longstanding campaign finance law that bans the involvement of foreign corporations in American elections.
In recent years, the Chamber has become very aggressive with its fundraising, opening offices abroad and helping to found foreign chapters (known as Business Councils or “AmChams”). While many of these foreign operations include American businesses with interests overseas, the Chamber has also spearheaded an effort to raise money from foreign corporations, including ones controlled by foreign governments. These foreign members of the Chamber send money either directly to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, or the foreign members fund their local Chamber, which in turn, transfers dues payments back to the Chamber’s H Street office in Washington DC. These funds are commingled to the Chamber’s 501(c)(6) account which is the vehicle for the attack ads:
– The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has created a large presence in the small, oil-rich country of Bahrain. In 2006, the Chamber created a local affiliate called the “U.S.-Bahrain Business Council” (USBBC), an organization to help businesses in Bahrain take advantage of the Chamber’s “network of government and business relationships in the US and worldwide.” As the USBBC’s bylaws state, it is not an actual separate entity, rather it is simply an office of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s 501(c)(6) trade association. Many of the USBBC’s board members are Bahrainian, including Aluminum Bahrain, Gulf Air, Midal Cables, the Nass Group, Bahrain Maritime & Mercantile International, the Bahrain Petroleum Company (state-owned), Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company, and First Leasing Bank. With each of these foreign board members to the USBBC contributing at least $10,000 annually, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce raises well over $100,000 a year in money from foreign businesses through its operation in Bahrain. Notably, the membership form provided by the USBBC directs applicants to send or wire their money directly to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The membership form also explicitly states that the foreign-owned firms are welcomed.
– Like the Chamber’s involvement in Bahrain, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce operates in India through a group called “U.S.-India Business Council” (USIBC), which has offices around the world but is headquartered in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Dozens of Indian businesses, including some of India’s largest corporations like the State Bank of India (state-run) and ICICI Bank, are members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce through the USIBC. Annual membership dues range from $7,500 to $15,000 or more, and the money is given directly into the Chamber’s 501(c)(6) bank account. Like the USBBC, the USIBC generates well over $200,000 a year in dues for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from foreign businesses. On the USIBC website, many of the groups lobbying goals advocate changing American policy to help businesses in India. Under the manufacturing policy goal, USIBC boasts that it “can play a helpful role in guiding U.S. companies to India, while supporting various policy initiatives that will enhance India’s reputation as a major manufacturing and investment hub.”
– Many foreign “AmChams” or Business Councils operate outside the direct sphere of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce but nonetheless send dues money back to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. For instance, the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt is a separate entity based in Cairo that raises hundreds of thousands of dollars from both Egyptian firms and American businesses. However, the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt calls itself “the most active affiliates of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in the” Middle East. Another foreign chamber, like the Abu Dhabi AmCham, which includes American firms and Esnaad, a subsidiary of the state-run Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, claims that it is a a “dues paying member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and part of the global network of American Chambers of Commerce.” In Russia, the relationship between the American Chamber of Commerce there and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce here is opaque. This might be because many of the dues-paying members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia are Russian state-run companies, like VTB Bank, and controlled by the Russian government. Asked by ThinkProgress if the Russian Chambers pay dues back to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Ksenia Forsheneva, the membership development manager at the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, replied, “Unfortunately the information that you require is closed for the public.”