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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 52,114

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GOP too extreme, Germany's conservative party supports Hillary

Traditionally, Germany's Christian Democrats (CDU), the party of Angela Merkel, have been closely aligned with the Republican Party. Merkel even supported (initially) George W. Bush and the US invasion of Iraq. Since becoming chancellor, however, Angela Merkel and her party have staked out a number of progressive positions - embracing renewable energy, implementing a minimum wage, fighting intolerance against immigrants, just to name a few - while the Republican Party has moved further to the extreme right, becoming the Party of Jefferson Davis.

Today the leadership of the CDU says it can no longer stand with the Republicans. Instead, the conservatives will support Hillary Clinton: (note: my translation).

After Hillary Clinton announced that she's running for president as the Democratic candidate, the CDU decided to abandon its traditional orientation with the conservative Republicans. "The fundamental message of the GOP is today no longer aligned with the Christian Democratic principles, " said Armin Laschet, leaders of the CDU in North-Rhine Westphalia and deputy chairman of the national party. "The Republicans fight against the social market economy; on the one hand they demand tax breaks for the super-wealthy while on the other they seek to eliminate universal health insurance. Their aggressive rejection of multilateral diplomacy for resolving international conflicts is not appropriate for the 21st century.


In the last presidential election the Republicans were only able to achieve a majority among older white men. Immigrants, women and younger voters went with the Democrats."

While this shift in support from a traditional European ally may be disappointing to some in the GOP, they can still count on support in France from Marine Le Pen's neo-fascist Front National, whose anti-immigrant program mirrors the GOP platform.


"Die Republikaner bekämpfen die soziale Marktwirtschaft, indem sie einerseits Steuergeschenke für Superreiche verlangen und andererseits selbst die Krankenversicherung abschaffen wollen. Die aggressive Ablehnung multilateraler Konfliktlösungen vieler Republikaner passt nicht ins 21. Jahrhundert."


Just arm everybody and everything will be ok!

I think the NRA runs our foreign policy, too. Just arm everybody and everything will be ok!

WASHINGTON — To wage war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is using F-15 fighter jets bought from Boeing. Pilots from the United Arab Emirates are flying Lockheed Martin’s F-16 to bomb both Yemen and Syria. Soon, the Emirates are expected to complete a deal with General Atomics for a fleet of Predator drones to run spying missions in their neighborhood.

As the Middle East descends into proxy wars, sectarian conflicts and battles against terrorist networks, countries in the region that have stockpiled American military hardware are now actually using it and wanting more. The result is a boom for American defense contractors looking for foreign business in an era of shrinking Pentagon budgets — but also the prospect of a dangerous new arms race in a region where the map of alliances has been sharply redrawn.

Pity the defense contractors:



Michelle Obama Speaks Out On Native American Struggles: "We Literally Made Their Culture Illegal"

"Make no mistake about it – we own this,” Michelle Obama continued.

Speaking to Generation Indigenous, Michelle Obama touched on Native American history and today’s youth and how the United States government has ultimately stripped them of their heritage due to systemic discrimination, abuse and racism:

“You see, we need to be very clear about where the challenges in this community first started. Folks in Indian Country didn’t just wake up one day with addiction problems. Poverty and violence didn’t just randomly happen to this community. These issues are the result of a long history of systematic discrimination and abuse.”

“Let me offer just a few examples from our past, starting with how, back in 1830, we passed a law removing Native Americans from their homes and forcibly re-locating them to barren lands out west. The Trail of Tears was part of this process. Then we began separating children from their families and sending them to boarding schools designed to strip them of all traces of their culture, language and history. And then our government started issuing what were known as ‘Civilization Regulations’ – regulations that outlawed Indian religions, ceremonies and practices – so we literally made their culture illegal.”

These comments are truly groundbreaking coming from the First Lady. They speak volumes of the Obama Administration’s strive to be inclusive to all and remember our history’s stains. While Republicans, from state laws in Michigan and Wisconsin to acts of Congress, continue to throw Native Americans under the bus, the First Lady shares in their plight. I am sure Republicans will cry reverse racism and throw their hands in the air accusing her of pandering to anti-white “causes.”


William Shatner’s $30 Billion Kickstarter Campaign to Save California

Exclusive: William Shatner’s $30 Billion Kickstarter Campaign to Save California

William Shatner. Wow. He’s 84 years old, looks 65, and juggles a schedule that would exhaust a team of 10. Book projects, TV projects, tech projects, horse-riding projects, charity projects. And his willingness to embrace the tech world is impressive; he’s got YouTube channels, he’s conducted Kickstarter projects, and he has a huge Twitter presence: more than 2 million followers. (He’s tweeted 30,000 times so far — and yes, it’s really him.)

The hour he spent with me in a Yahoo Tech Mix interview wasn’t even enough to scratch the surface.

Exclusive: William Shatner’s $30 Billion Kickstarter Campaign to Save California
We’ll post more of that interview shortly, but this bit couldn’t wait: “You’re gonna get a scoop here,” Shatner told me. This is it.

“California’s in the midst of a 4-year-old drought,” he said. “They tell us there’s a year’s supply of water left. If it doesn’t rain next year, what do 20 million people in the breadbasket of the world do? In a place that’s the fifth-largest GDP — if California were a country, it’d be fifth in line — we’re about to be arid! What do you do about it?”

Here’s the plan:


James Carville: “If Jeb Bush loses New Hampshire, they’ll get Mitt Romney back in the race.”

Democrats will also be watching Bush’s New Hampshire effort closely, as a sign of how much of a free-for-all the GOP nominating process is likely to become.

“Jeb Bush has to win New Hampshire. It’s a must-win for him, because he will lose Iowa. You’ve got to win one of them, particularly if considered to be something of a front-runner,” Democratic strategist James Carville said at a panel discussion in February celebrating the New Hampshire primary’s upcoming 100th anniversary.

“I will go further,” Carville said. “If Jeb Bush loses New Hampshire, they’ll get Mitt Romney back in the race” — a reference to the GOP’s 2012 nominee, who briefly flirted with the idea of making a third bid for the White House.

So far this election cycle, Bush has made only two swings through the state, compared with a half-dozen or more by such likely rivals as Christie, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former technology executive Carly Fiorina, Paul and former New York governor George Pataki.


Get Vaccinated with the Surgeon General & Elmo!

The Marco Rubio Budget Plan


Bill Maher: GOPers ‘Prostitutes’ to Donors by Denying Climate Change

Bill Maher ended his show tonight by going after Republican “zombie lies” on the environment and basically calling them “prostitutes” for denying climate change just to satisfy donors.

He ripped into candidates like Rick Perry, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz for raising serious questions about established science on climate change, before saying the whole thing was “never about facts to begin with.”

Maher said the donors are “making their money killing the planet” and as long as people like the Kochs continue to give Republicans tons and tons of money, nothing’s going to change.

Watch the video below, via HBO:

I know here at DU, Maher is not always on OUR side, but THIS is REALLY GOOD!:

"We are all serfs now"


Financial Feudalism

Once upon a time—and a fairly long time it was—most of the thickly settled parts of the world had something called feudalism. It was a way of organizing society hierarchically. Typically, at the very top there was a sovereign (king, prince, emperor, pharaoh, along with some high priests). Below the sovereign were several ranks of noblemen, with hereditary titles. Below the noblemen were commoners, who likewise inherited their stations in life, be it by being bound to a piece of land upon which they toiled, or by being granted the right to engage in a certain type of production or trade, in case of craftsmen and merchants. Everybody was locked into position through permanent relationships of allegiance, tribute and customary duties: tribute and customary duties flowed up through the ranks, while favors, privileges and protection flowed down.

It was a remarkably resilient, self-perpetuating system, based largely on the use of land and other renewable resources, all ultimately powered by sunlight. Wealth was primarily derived from land and the various uses of land. Here is a simplified org chart showing the pecking order of a medieval society.

Ye Old Pecking Order

Feudalism was essentially a steady-state system. Population pressures were relieved primarily through emigration, war, pestilence and, failing all of the above, periodic famine. Wars of conquest sometimes opened up temporary new venues for economic growth, but since land and sunlight are finite, this amounted to a zero-sum game.

But all of that changed when feudalism was replaced with capitalism. What made the change possible was the exploitation of nonrenewable resources, the most important of which was energy from burning fossilized hydrocarbons: first peat and coal, then oil and natural gas. Suddenly, productive capacity was decoupled from the availability of land and sunlight, and could be ramped up almost, but not quite, ad infinitum, simply by burning more hydrocarbons. Energy use, industry and population all started going up exponentially. A new system of economic relations was brought into being, based on money that could be generated at will, in the form of debt, which could be repaid with interest using the products of ever-increasing future production. Compared with the previous, steady-state system, the change amounted to a new assumption: that the future will always be bigger and richer—rich enough to afford to pay back both principal and interest.

With this new, capitalistic arrangement, the old, feudal relationships and customs fell into disuse, replaced by a new system in which the ever-richer owners of capital squared off against increasingly dispossessed labor. The trade union movement and collective bargaining allowed labor to hold its own for a while, but eventually a number of factors, such as automation and globalization, undermined the labor movement, leaving the owners of capital with all the leverage they could want over a demoralized surplus population of former industrial workers. In the meantime, the owners of capital formed their own pseudo-aristocracy, but without the titles or the hereditary duties and privileges. Their new pecking order was predicated on just one thing: net worth. How many dollar signs people have next to their name is all that's necessary to determine their position in society.

New Pecking Order

the rest:

Woman Cites Religious Freedom Law To Defend Her Right To Feed The Homeless

Joan Cheever of San Antonio has been serving meals to the city’s homeless for 10 years. But last week, police officers handed her a ticket with a potential fine of $2,000. Despite having a food permit for the food truck she cooks out of, which she calls the Chow Train, she was cited for transporting and serving it from a different vehicle.

But that hasn’t stopped her from continuing to hand out three-course meals to the homeless. On Friday, she went back to Maverick Park with 50 supporters to hand out food, and this time she wasn’t ticketed. Cheever has argued that she has a right to feed the homeless under Texas’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act because she considers it exercising her religious beliefs.

Her situation has caught the attention of the city council. Councilman Ron Nirenberg called for a hearing on how city police deal with its homeless population, which numbers nearly 3,000, saying, “We need to do what we can to identify smart policy that helps us encourage compassion, rather than discourage it.” Their tactics have come under scrutiny before after an investigation found that in under two years, they had handed out more than 12,000 citations to the homeless themselves for violating ordinances aimed at criminalizing homelessness. Offenses range from “aggressive panhandling” to sitting or lying down in a public right of way.

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