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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 50,958

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Robert Reich: When we give up on democracy, the 1 percent ‘run everything and they get everything’

“Most people want an economy that spreads the benefits of prosperity instead of sending it all to the top,” he said. “Most never again want to bail out Wall Street. Most want big money out of politics and don’t believe corporations are people.”

“And yet, many people have become deeply cynical about politics — voter turnout in the midterm elections was the lowest it’s been in 70 years,” Reich added. “But let me tell you something — if we join together, we can continue to make change.”

“But if we give up on politics, we give up on our democracy,” he concluded. “And if we give up on democracy, we don’t stand a chance.”

“That’s what the moneyed interests want — it’s been their intention all along. Then they run everything, and they get everything.”

Watch Robert Reich’s 2014 year in review:



Anti-terror plan to spy on toddlers 'is heavy-handed’
Nursery staff and childminders are given 'duty' to report toddlers they suspect of being at risk of becoming terrorists under new Home Office measures

Nursery school staff and registered childminders must report toddlers at risk of becoming terrorists, under counter-terrorism measures proposed by the Government.

The directive is contained in a 39-page consultation document issued by the Home Office in a bid to bolster its Prevent anti-terrorism plan.

Critics said the idea was “unworkable” and “heavy-handed”, and accused the Government of treating teachers and carers as “spies”.

The document accompanies the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, currently before parliament. It identifies nurseries and early years childcare providers, along with schools and universities, as having a duty “to prevent people being drawn into terrorism”.


I believe this will be interpreted by the GOP as “YOUR CHEERIOS, I AM PEEING IN THEM”.

Well, this should cause plenty of soiled diapers among the stalwarts of the Wingnut Wurlizter. Per the NYTimes:

HONOLULU — President Obama plans to spend the weeks leading up to his State of the Union speech traveling across the country to promote different themes from it, a new approach by the commander in chief to the annual address to Congress.

In previous years, the administration waited until the day before the speech to disclose what the president planned to talk about, hoping that the element of surprise increased its news value and reach. Typically, Mr. Obama went on the road the day after the address, like the two previous presidents, to push his agenda.

But starting on Wednesday, according to the White House, Mr. Obama will begin a three-day, three-state trip in which he will lay out new executive actions and legislative policy proposals for higher education (Tennessee), housing (Arizona) and jobs (Michigan)…

The administration has not said whether Mr. Obama plans to do any additional traveling after the speech. But officials said they had changed their approach because they wanted the president to contrast with, and perhaps overshadow, Republicans, who will be taking over control of the Senate when the new Congress convenes on Tuesday…

“The president is eager to get to work, and looks forward to working with the new Congress on policies that will make sure middle-class Americans are sharing in the economic recovery,” the White House said. “There are a number of issues we could make progress on, but the president is clear that he will not let this Congress undo important protections gained — particularly in areas of health care, Wall Street reform and the environment.”


"It's as clear as the skin on his face!!"

via: http://www.balloon-juice.com/2015/01/04/sunday-morning-open-thread-umpeech/

The left must remember that leaders do not make movements; rather, movements make leaders.

SUNDAY, JAN 4, 2015 03:58 AM PST
Three secrets to revitalizing liberal America
New year, same old problems


2014 was not a good year for the left. Republicans now have a stranglehold on the House, where they control the most seats they’ve had since 1948. That lead will likely last for decades. Democrats didn’t just lose the Senate, they have significantly diminished their chance of regaining it in 2016. Republicans control 31 governorships, as well as 68 of 98 legislative chambers. And of, course, the Democratic party has shown itself to be only nominally liberal, with the current frontrunner for 2016 raising money from Wall Street financiers. The left then has two problems: how to get Democrats winning and how to get Democrats to avoid becoming a party permanently in the callous hands of capital.

Currently, much of the hope for a more liberal Democratic party rests on the shoulders of Elizabeth Warren, who is being drafted to run against Hillary Clinton. While Warren is formidable, it was only six years ago that the left laid its hopes for victory on a single individual and found itself sorely disappointed. The left must remember that leaders do not make movements; rather, movements make leaders. Instead of vacillating from one hero to another, the left must create a formidable power base from which to both defeat Republicans and shift Democrats to the left. This will require a three-pronged approach: mass mobilization of the non-voting population, a stable of progressive leaders and a reduction in the influence of money in politics.


........... a progressive America will require work. While it is easy to crown Obama or Warren savior and wait in anticipation for change, those who do so are waiting for Godot. There have been successes over the last year: the Working Families Party helped re-elect Governor Malloy, a consistent progressive (something possible partially because of public financing. Demos (my organization) has been doggedly ensuring that states comply with Motor Voter and we’ve had victories on Same-Day registration. These wins were difficult, but they compound into more victories down the road. But simply anointing another progressive to lead the movement will only lead to disappointment.

Much More About The Three secrets to revitalizing liberal America:
Let's get to work:

Would it surprise you to learn that the Senate’s 46 Democrats got 20 million more votes than it’s 54

The Senate's 46 Democrats got 20 million more votes than its 54 Republicans

Updated by Dylan Matthews on January 3, 2015, 10:00 a.m. ET @dylanmatt dylan@vox.com

On Tuesday, 33 US senators elected in November will be sworn in by Vice President Joe Biden — including 12 who are new to the chamber. The class includes 22 Republicans and 11 Democrats, a big reason why the GOP has a 54-46 majority in the Senate overall.

But here's a crazy fact: those 46 Democrats got more votes than the 54 Republicans across the 2010, 2012, and 2014 elections.

According to Nathan Nicholson, a researcher at the voting reform advocacy group FairVote, "the 46 Democratic caucus members in the 114th Congress received a total of 67.8 million votes in winning their seats, while the 54 Republican caucus members received 47.1 million votes."

Here's what that looks like in chart form:


story here:

New Year Reflections


Suggested New Year's Resolutions For The NRA

1. We will stop referring to ourselves as a “civil rights” organization that defends “human rights.” It is a sacrilege to people actually killed or harmed by civil and human rights abuses.

2. We will stop pointing at Chicago and saying gun laws don’t work. We will admit the majority of Chicago crime guns are trafficked from states and counties with loose laws.

3. We will stop saying “the government is going to take your guns” to block federal laws. The confiscation we announced 7 years ago never happened.

4. We will stop blaming “mental health” problems for U.S. gun violence. We admit every country in the world has mental health problems but they don’t have Newtowns and Virginia Techs.

5. We admit fighting universal background checks arms criminals and that “armed criminals” sells more guns to “good guys.” Ka-ching.

6. We acknowledge that “outlaws” don’t have guns in the 28 EU countries, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and other countries with strict gun regulations. We also admit, grudgingly, they are not “tyrannies.”

7. We will stop our insulting comparison of guns to knives, hammers, cars and swimming pools–none of which kill when used as directed. On the same day as the Sandy Hook massacre, 20 Chinese school children were attacked with a knife and none died.

8. We accept responsibility for the armed vigilante movement popularized by George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn. We admit “carry” laws are the biggest revenue infusion since “Obama is going to take your guns.”

9. We will stop defending sales to civilians of non-defensive weapons like TrackingPoint’s “can’t miss” sniper rifle. We admit they are ready-made for insurrectionists, terrorists and hate groups.

10. We regret our work to help suspected domestic abusers keep their guns while under orders of protection. We admit this costs many women’s lives and that our sleazy sales pitch to tell women to arm themselves too just makes things worse.


Uncle Sam: "I quit...I Just Vape Now!"

CLEVELAND-Manner of death of a woman who died in Cleveland police custody has been ruled a homicide.

CLEVELAND - The manner of death of a woman who died in Cleveland police custody has been ruled a homicide.

A report released Friday by the Cuyahoga County medical examiner says the woman died after she was physically restrained in a prone position. A heart condition and bipolar disorder were also factors, according to the report.

Tanisha Anderson died Nov. 12 after losing consciousness in the custody of officers while having a mental-health episode. Relatives say the 37-year-old was schizophrenic and claim an officer used excessive force.

Her family said at a news conference nearly two weeks ago that they wanted more answers about what happened and that Cleveland officers need better training on dealing with mentally ill people.

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