From Paul Krugman’s Conscience of a Liberal, who says economists aren’t creative and funny?
Saving Ryan’s Privatization
I came across this exclusive article on The Raw Story, a site you should really bookmark if you haven’t already. It addresses how Glenn Beck is on a crusade to change how people view the teachings of Jesus Christ. Now I’m not a religious person according to most people’s definition, but I have read a lot of the Bible and particularly the words attributed to Jesus. The way Glenn Beck has interpreted them, if he has actually read them, is crazier than hell. I don’t listen to or watch Glenn Beck, but I often read stories about him and his impact on our politics. He is a crazy man who has risen to be the representative of many of the crazies in our country. They have their hero now that they can relate to, get comfort from and in many cases get their marching orders from. He preys on these people with emotion, twisted logic (the chalkboard) and really takes advantage of these people’s fears like no one has ever done. Not only that, but he is taking their money from them. I was heartened when I saw this article from The Raw Story, here is a piece of it…
Dan Nejfelt, a communications associate with advocacy group Faith in Public Life, has been high on Beck’s smear-list ever since his group began running Christian radio ads quoting scripture as a way of encouraging believers to stop paying attention to the right-wing Fox News personality.
The group, which says their ads are sponsored by over 100,000 members nation-wide, has gone so far as to target their ads for every city Beck is visiting this summer.
How cool is that? They are fighting back against Beck, who is subtly destroying our public discourse and lowering it into the depths of hell. More from Raw Story…
“Not only are you wrong, the vast majority of people of faith know that you’re wrong,” Nejfelt said, lobbing his words directly at Beck in an exclusive interview with RAW STORY. “We’re going to keep doing what God tells us to do. We’d appreciate it if you’d stop doing what you’re doing.”
The conversation took place following a recent exploration by RAW STORY into Beck’s latest assault on the teachings of Christ. Beck claimed, in the second such attack since March, that “liberation theology” is the driving force behind Christian efforts to help the poor and make peace among men, and that President Obama is a secret subscriber to such a philosophy, which he thinks has become the front for humanity’s evils.
In a media advisory put out the same day as RAW STORY’s exploration of Beck’s gospel, Faith in Public Life says:
Beck has frequently used his television and radio programs to distort the Christian commitment to social justice, a central principle of Christianity rooted in Biblical values and also emphasized in diverse religious traditions.
In March, the host urged his listeners to leave their churches if pastors talked about social or economic justice. Even after prominent clergy from across the faith and ideological spectrum refuted his arguments, Beck has continued his smear campaign by equating social justice with Marxism and Nazism.
“Would you support a leader who said Jesus’ teachings can lead to Nazism or who attacks Christian pastors for preaching the full Gospel? Then why do so many Christians tune in to Glenn Beck?” the ad asks.
Beck also recently alleged that the Jewish concept of the common good led to the Holocaust, saying, “This is exactly the kind of talk that led to the death camps in Germany.” Faithful America is airing the ad on Christian stations to reach viewers and listeners who frequently tune into Beck’s programs. While Beck may think he speaks for Christians, thousands have signed petitions rejecting his views and expressing their outrage. The ads are part of Faithful America’s “Driven by Faith, Not by Fear” campaign, an effort to counter the fear, lies and hateful rhetoric of extreme pundits and the Tea Party.
It’s one thing to not support the society that you live in, but it’s quite different to start a campaign to undermine it. What on earth could be Glenn Beck’s reasoning for this…..oh wait, why in the hell am I even thinking that he has the ability to reason. Doh! Even more from The Raw Story…
“People have been working for social justice for a long time,” Nejfelt explained. “This isn’t something that cropped up in talking points last week. This is a centuries long committment, and not just in the christian community.
“Along comes this Glenn Beck character and tries to paint this very sacred concept as though it was hatched by the Nazis or the Marxists. It was kinda like, such a foundational insult to our faith that we just felt we had to respond. It’s not just faithful America: it’s people across the country. It’s a cause for outrage. I’m glad to be a part of helping to channel it and stand up to say no, you’re wrong. What you’re doing is wrong and we’re not going to stand for it.”
Nejfelt explained to RAW STORY: “To worship God and to obey God involves loving your neighbor. Loving your neighbor involves more than just praying for peole and being kind. We need to bring about conditions on earth for people to flourish. Trying to turn society into a place where needs are met are completely in accordance with what God commands. To love your neighbor as yourself is part and parcel to that.”
Hell yes, it’s about time christians stood up to this kind of hateful rhetoric. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that Nejfelt and Faith in Public Life are anomalies. A large segment of the christian community in America has crossed over into the realm of politics and in my opinion, bastardized their own beliefs to fulfill some political agenda. Glenn Beck is just tapping into that scene and using to his advantage….roll the Goldline commercial.
One in three Native American women will be raped at least once in her lifetime. And that’s why President Obama’s signing of the Tribal Law and Order Act today is so vital. Tribes will now have the right–and the resources–to investigate and prosecute rapes perpetrated by non-Natives on tribal lands.
Because until today, Native women raped by a non-Indian assailant had virtually no recourse. With rare exceptions, only federal law enforcement authorities have had jurisdiction to arrest and prosecute non-Native offenders on tribal lands. And historically, federal authorities have cared little about such cases: Federal authorities routinely decline to prosecute more than 50 percent of all violent crimes committed in Indian Country; the rate of declination is much higher for sexual assault cases.
Today that will change. The Tribal Law and Order Act will substantially expand tribal jurisdiction over non-Native offenders for crimes of sexual violence, and providing desperately needed resources to tribes to help them prosecute such cases. Introduced in 2009 in the House by Rep. Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-SD) and in the Senate by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), the legislation is a watershed in tribal law. Provisions include:
• Deputizes tribal police to arrest and prosecute non-Natives who commit crimes on tribal land
• Provides tribal police with access to National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and other federal databases containing criminal records and other information
• Requires the Department of Justice to maintain records on all declinations and to share that information, as well as any evidence, with tribal authorities
• Requires federal officials to turn over to tribal authorities any documents and testimony that may aid tribal court prosecutions
• Raises the maximum sentence that tribal courts can impose on an offender from one to three years
• Provides tribal police with targeted training in evidence collection and interviewing of sexual and domestic violence survivors
• Requires the Indian Health Service (IHS) to implement consistent protocols at all facilities for treating sexual assault survivors
• Reauthorizes and enhances programs to support tribal police, courts, and corrections programs
• Provides programs for at-risk young people on reservations.
I heard about this fucking bullshit on NPR over a year ago and have talked about doing a documentary about it because up until today, when our awesome president signed this law, those motherfucking rapists have been getting away with it. They’ve been ruining these young girls’ and women’s lives and deserve to rot in jail for it – in a cell with “Bubba”.
(Guest blogger – Staci)
I’ve heard many anecdotes regarding the reluctance of the Black community to get behind the LGBT people and their fight for rights. Generally, these supposed reasons are assumed to be based in religion and adherence to the scripture. We’ve been chastised, ridiculed and even endured attempts at shame – to motivate movement towards their belief that gay rights equates to civil rights. Here is the issue for me and many that I know. To compare the challenges that gay people endure to the atrocities that Black people experienced, borders on insult. Any possible compassion flies right out the window when someone is attempting to convince us that these are two concepts with a common basis. How can they possibly be on the same plane? People who are gay have not experienced the systematic challenges that the black community faced for hundreds of years. How can one use the same argument when you self identify as gay, but one glance identifies ethnicity? At what point in time was it punitive to teach a gay person to read or have that same person recognized as 3/5th of a person and in fact, to be referred to as cattle and/or property and sold as such? How many families have been broken up and sold apart because of sexual identification?
I fully understand that there are some asshole folks out there that get their “fun” antagonizing people strictly due to sexual orientation, but generally, there is no risk of loss of life. Conversely, there was a time in history where this same “fun” ended the life of a black person and instilled enough fear to make entire families pack up and move under the cloak of darkness.
To my friends in the gay community that are trying to change minds and hearts – maybe think about changing your methods. Most people understand fair vs. unfair and can get behind it. To say that not having the right to marry somebody of the same sex is the same as the rights to equal and fair housing, education or the rights to be treated as a human being, will only continue to alienate the support that may be gained with a different argument.
Very busy today, sorry about the lack of post(s). Here are some photos for your enjoyment, taken on the beautiful campus of Grand Valley State University.
Photos by Extreme Liberal
The story is here, thanks to Steve Benen. Now, let’s cut to the video of Peter Gabriel honoring Stephen Biko who was murdered by the apartheid government of South Africa.
Kenneth Feinberg was on Morning Joe this morning and Mika was her usual moralistic self and kept hounding Kenneth Feinberg to “name names”. She had a certain blood lust in her eyes and voice, she really wants to vilify every one of those damn employees who received those bonuses. Thankfully Mike Barnicle finally said what I was thinking, (paraphrasing) do you really want to print these people’s names and on a Monday morning come in here and talk about how someone’s house was burned down. Think about it for a minute, if you worked for a big financial company and were given a bonus, would you give it back? Is the problem the person receiving the bonus or the ones at the top giving them out? Last time I checked, we lived in a capitalist country. Let’s have the argument on whether it works or not, but until then we better get used to seeing huge salaries and bonuses.
It ought to be interesting to watch as the Obama haters try to spin the Wikileaks post of 90,000 pages of raw intelligence and put all the blame for the last 10 years of the Afgan war on the current administration. It began even before the post was up and surely will continue for weeks to come. The media which is made up of a bunch of journalism and physical education majors will become intelligence experts and start spewing out their uninformed opinions, tainted by their desire to get ratings. It should be fun.
My take on it so far is that this isn’t new, if anyone had been listening to critics of the Bush administration for 8 fucking years, they would say to themselves “tell me something I don’t know”. Seymour Hersh has been telling us about this stuff all along, but apparently since the potential to hurt the Obama administration is wrapped up in this one, they are going to all of a sudden get all righteous on us. If you look at the Huffington Post headlines, assholes that they are, you will see the haters in full throated bullshit spin mode. Here are just a few of their headlines with my critique of how each is misleading….
‘A DEVASTATING PORTRAIT OF THE FAILING WAR IN AFGHANISTAN’
The report goes through December of 2009 when President Obama changed policy in Afghanistan. So phrasing it in the present tense is just a bit misleading. We could have the argument whether it is still failing after a year and a half since Obama has changed course, but characterizing the Wikileaks stuff as current it misleading. I highly recommend you go check out Rachel Maddow’s reporting from Afghanistan which thankfully was honest and thorough and she is no hawk, brother.
‘WHITE HOUSE TRIES TO SPIN REPORTERS’
No shit, your kidding me. The White House NEVER tries to spin reporters. What a stupid ass headline that simply tries to make the current White House the scapegoat. I’m sure Huffington Post would prefer the White House just say nothing, let the media spin it – after all, they are the real experts on the military and intelligence, right?
One thought I had almost immediately is that the information in these documents justifies the Obama Administration’s deliberations leading up to the policy change in Afghanistan. If anyone was wondering why it took so long, now you have your answer. The military under the Bush Administration fucked up both the Afghan War and the Iraqi War, many in the military finally said it after Obama took over. I’ve heard and read many accounts from military people who praise the current administration for changing course after the disastrous course Bush had us on. Remember how Rumsfeld, Feith, Cheney, Armitage and the rest of the neo-cons thought they knew how to run a war better than the generals? When Bush finally axed those idiots and brought in Robert Gates and implemented the “surge” strategy, that’s when things in Iraq finally turned around.
My last thought for now was prompted by Zbigniew Brzezinski who was on Morning Joe this morning. He pointed out the obvious, which ALWAYS eludes the Morning Joe panel that WAR SUCKS! When you put young men and women in situations where their lives are at stake and they are asked to kill people for no good reason, shit is going to happen. These people who are getting all verklempt about the atrocities that have happened in Afghanistan, I ask them to name one war in the history of mankind that was clean. I didn’t have to read any Wikileaks documents to know that war sucks, I’ve known that since I was a kid watching the Vietnam War on television and wondering if my oldest brother was ever coming home.
H/T to Steve Benen for both the clip and the transcript and commentary below. Why doesn’t the president do this everyday?
“This week, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives offered his plan to create jobs,” the president explained. “It’s a plan that’s surprisingly short, and sadly familiar. First, he would repeal health insurance reform, which would take away tax credits from millions of small business owners, and take us back to the days when insurance companies had free reign to drop coverage and jack up premiums. Second, he would say no to new investments in clean energy, after his party already voted against the clean energy tax credits and loans that are creating thousands of new jobs and hundreds of new businesses. And third, even though his party voted against tax cuts for middle-class families, he would permanently keep in place the tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans – the same tax cuts that have added hundreds of billions to our debt.
“These are not new ideas. They are the same policies that led us into this recession. They will not create jobs; they will kill them. They will not reduce our deficit; they will add $1 trillion to our deficit. They will take us backward at a time when we need to keep America moving forward.”
If you listen really carefully at the 3:44 mark, you’ll notice that the president actually chuckles, just a little, when describing just how ridiculous Boehner’s approach to job creation really is.
I had a lot of fun searching around Youtube for Richard Pryor clips. I think I’ve seen every stand up video he ever made but I came across some TV appearances that were new to me. Below are some of my favorite clips (that were on Youtube, I couldn’t find some of my all time favorites), I hope you laugh as hard as I did.
Timothy Geithner reinforced the Obama administrations pledge to let the tax cuts for the wealthiest in our country expire, but continue them for the middle and lower income earners, you know, over 95% of us. Everyone get prepared to hear the same tired old “supply side” economics argument from the lobbyists for the rich, the Republican Party. Remember how those tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 were going to bring prosperity and good times to everyone? And where were we in 2007 when the economy started to tank or in late 2008 when the sky was falling, the next great depression was just around the corner, doom and gloom was everywhere….and President Obama hadn’t even been sworn in yet. I remember hearing idiots on the right trying to blame Obama for the crash even before he took office. Some claimed that it was because Wall Street was afraid of a Democratic president…blah, blah, blah. If Wall Street is so fearful maybe they ought to find another line of work. The corporate welfare they’ve always received from Republicans has made them a bunch of whiny, scared, overpaid babies. They often verge on holding a gun to the American people’s heads, “give us tax cuts or we won’t create any jobs.” Here is a bit from The Wall Street Journal…
“We believe it is appropriate to let those tax cuts that go to the most fortunate expire,” Mr. Geithner said at a breakfast with reporters.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California appeared to back Mr. Geithner in ruling out a compromise. “Our position has been that we support middle-income tax cuts,” she said at a press briefing. “The tax cuts at the high end have increased the deficit enormously and…have not created jobs in the eight years of the Bush administration.”
These same people like to rail against government handing out money to poor people, but when it comes to handing it to them, the rich, they are all about that. And they say with a straight face that they are the job creators. Really, with record profits last year in all sorts of industries……prove you are the job creators, create some fucking jobs then and quit your goddamn whining. I have a bachelors degree in business and never in any of my classes did they teach me that the way to have a successful business is to rely on the government for handouts. They never taught us that to be profitable, you had to skirt tax laws, set up shop overseas, outsource our labor to impoverished nations for cheap labor and expect the government to not tax you in order to make a profit. Unless I missed that lecture, I was in my early 20’s after all. We did certainly get a lot of supply-side pimping from economics professors, however. I remember arguing with professors about it and would love to have a sit down with one of them now and say, how did that work out for you?
SIDE NOTE: I am nearing a milestone of 1000 comments on this new blog. Two more and I hit the grand mark. Who will it be…..there is no prize, sorry. :)
Booman, who is “The Man” in my book has this great post that I recommend you just click on and go read. Other things actually happened in the world this week that I’m sure you won’t be able to find in and amongst the blathering about that right wing blogger and Shirley Sherrod.