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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 50,717

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Why Vote?

Why vote, when politics are vile, the right wing is a pack of intransigent bullies and the politicians who call themselves progressive inevitably go belly-up and give in to them? Obama, the guy who stood for hope, turned out to be just another good-looking guy who let us down, and a true progressive like Bernie Sanders – I’m at an age where I go for older men! – probably doesn’t stand a chance.


........here’s a political argument for those of you who consider yourselves too revolutionary to engage in anything as reformist as voting:

That’s a position of pure privilege.

Why? Because the revolution may take a little while to get underway. I’ve been working on this one myself for close to half a century, and see how far we’ve gotten! In the meantime, all those reformist half-measures do have a huge impact on real peoples’ lives, often the people with the least resources and who are most impacted by policies. They might determine things like whether or not someone goes to jail for life for a petty drug offense, or spends years in solitary, or gets tried as an adult when they’re sixteen. Or whether a pregnant teen can get on food stamps, or get a safe, legal abortion, or get medical care if she keeps her child. They determine whether old people can keep the pensions they worked for or whether corporations pay taxes.

And no, they never work perfectly, or make the deep, structural changes we might like to see. But even incremental change can make the difference between life and death for someone.

And when the right wing is working so hard to keep the young, the poor, and the non-white from voting, why on earth would you want to help them?


great stuff:

Red Light States

Conservative states are more likely to search for sex and porn online


"Congressman: ‘I Am A Scientist’ And There’s No Evidence Of Manmade Climate Change"

“Well, I am a scientist,” Benishek responded. “You know, I believe in peer-reviewed science. But, I don’t see any peer-reviewed science that proves there is man-made catastrophic climate change.”

Benishek is running for re-election in Michigan’s 1st Congressional District, which he first won in 2010. His opponent, Democratic nominee and Army veteran Jerry Cannon, has said he does believe in global warming, according to ABC 10 News.

According to his congressional website, Benishek earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Michigan back in 1974. He went on to graduate from Wayne State Medical School in 1978, and has since worked as a general surgeon in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and worked part-time at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center in Iron Mountain.

Data from the website OpenSecrets shows the oil and gas industry has been Benishek’s third biggest supporter in the 2013-2014 election cycle, having given his campaign $58,550. Leadership PAC’s were his largest supporter, with health professionals just behind. And Follow the Money ranks Benishek’s total haul from the oil and gas industries since 2010 at over $125,000.

As for climate scientists themselves, a recent roundup of peer-reviewed literature in the field found a 97 percent agreement that humanity’s carbon emissions are a major driver of climate change.


the rest:

How the ape brain assesses risk


no offense to apes:

NYPD cop takes $1,300 from man, pepper-sprays him in the face when he complains

NYPD cop takes $1,300 from man, pepper-sprays him in the face when he complains


Lamard Joye was stopped by police Sept. 16 in Coney Island after confronting officers who roughed up a young man nearby, said the man’s attorney.


One of Joye’s friends begins recording video, posted online by the New York Daily News, that shows an officer standing face-to-face with Joye, who oustretches his arms and says, “You see this?”

The officer then reaches into Joye’s pocket and pulls out a handful of cash, and smacks his face and calls him an “asshole” when Joye asks him to return the money.

The video shows the officer squirt pepper spray at Joye, who retreats as onlookers accuse the cop of stealing his money.



Leon Panetta Is What’s Wrong With D.C.

Leon Panetta Is What’s Wrong With D.C.
Obama’s former defense secretary is out with a scathing new memoir about his time in the White House. But why should we buy anything he says?

When Harry Truman apocryphally said, “if you want a friend in Washington, buy a dog” he might have had someone like Leon Panetta in mind. Not content with letting Republicans pummel his old boss, President Obama’s former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense released a new memoir this week that attacks Obama for “losing his way” on foreign policy, for sending “mixed messages” to allies and enemies alike and for failing to use military force more promiscuously in protecting US interests in the Middle East.

There is more here, however, than just DC-style situational loyalty. In Panetta’s obsessive focus on the politics of national security, his fetishization of military force and his utter lack of strategic vision, what is also evident is the one-dimensional foreign policy thinking that so dominates Washington—and which Panetta has long embodied.


Panetta likes to present himself an “honest,” “straight-talking,” aw-shucks kind of guy—the son of Italian immigrants who has lived the American Dream. But in reality he is the quintessential example of how Washington corrupts. Principles are conditional and where you sit is where you stand; politics trumps policy, even bad policy that puts American lives at risk; military force is a magic elixir not only in solving international problems but in burnishing one’s public image (though it appears for Panetta that this mainly applies to Democrats); it’s also the most important criteria in how you judge a president’s national security decision-making and his or her requisite strength.

During a recent interview on CNN, Panetta took a break from bashing the president who appointed him to two Cabinet offices to offer one of those platitudes that long-time DC denizens love to state without a moment of introspection. “Logic doesn’t work in Washington,” he said.


the rest:

Study: Voter ID laws cut turnout by blacks, young

Study: Voter ID laws cut turnout by blacks, young
AP foreign, Wednesday October 8 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) A nonpartisan congressional study has found that stiffer state voter ID laws have damped election turnout, disproportionately affecting blacks and younger people.

The Government Accountability Office found that election turnout in Kansas and Tennessee which tightened voter ID requirements dropped more steeply than it did in four states that didn't change their identification requirements.

The report found that in those two states, voter turnout was more sharply reduced among young people than among the middle-aged and among blacks than whites and others.

Young people and blacks generally tend to support Democratic candidates.


The report also:

—Examined 10 other studies that found that the portion of registered voters with driver's licenses or state ID's ranged from 84 percent to 95 percent. In seven of the studies, blacks had a lower rate of ID ownership than whites;

—Found that in 17 states, the costs of acquiring the required ID's ranged from $14.50 to $58.50;

—Evaluated multiple studies that detected few instances of in-person voter fraud, but said it is difficult to gather data that would produce a reliable overview of the problem.


(SCOTUS) Ruling: No same-day registration in NC election

Source: News Observer

RALEIGH, N.C. — Same-day registration won't be allowed during early voting in North Carolina and Election Day ballots cast in the wrong precinct won't be counted this fall after the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked a ruling that had set aside parts of a 2013 election law.

A majority on the nation's highest court agreed to halt the ruling of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Two justices dissented.

The decision means the full law will remain enforced while the state and civil rights groups that challenged the law prepare for trial next summer. The full law was enforced during the May primary as well.

Early voting begins Oct. 23 and the registration deadline remains Friday, as originally planned.

Read more: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/10/08/4218024_us-supreme-court-sides-with-nc.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

Carter unhappy with Obama’s policies in Middle East

Carter unhappy with Obama’s policies in Middle East
Posted Wednesday, Oct. 08, 2014
Special to the Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH — Former President Jimmy Carter put down his hammer at a Meadowbrook Habitat for Humanity project Tuesday for a wide-ranging interview that touched on subjects such as the Obama administration’s use of drones, women’s rights and faith.

“I really object to the killing of people, particularly Americans overseas who haven’t been brought to justice and put on trial,” he said. “We’ve killed four Americans overseas with American drones. To me that violates our Constitution and human rights.”

In May 2013, the Obama administration acknowledged that it had killed four American citizens in drone strikes in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2009.

Carter said it was hard to figure out exactly what President Obama’s policy is in the Middle East.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/10/07/6182968/carter-unhappy-with-obamas-policies.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

McConnell Steps Out From Behind The Curtain & Speaks to Big Blue Nation ---It's a Disaster.

Today he stepped from behind the curtain and called into a radio show. And spoke.

Then this week on Monday a reliable poll drops and Grimes is up 46-44.
McConnell gets beat up on the radio by Jones again on Monday and Tuesday.

Finally McConnell calls in himself just a few minutes before eleven today. He will come in on in five minutes. Obviously tactical . . . he denies Jones a chance to prepare.

McConnell is combative throughout the interview. Condescending. Won't answer questions. Scripted. A disaster.

Why is this important? This is the LARGEST audience that will hear the candidates. Many more people (I'd suspect) listened to McConnell today on the radio than will hear Grimes and McConnell debate on Monday night on public television.

I've linked to the interview via Ky Sports Radio. It's 14 minutes long and well worth a listen in learning about McConnell's condescension and sense of entitlement that he is Kentucky's senator. And as a sidenote, he tries to play to the Kentucky audience that he is a HUGE Kentucky fan. Everyone knows this is a bunch of crap.


Anyway. Listen on. This is an important one if you're following this race.

The McConnell Interview on Kentucky Sports Radio:




Joe Sonka
Multiple conservative friends in KY telling me that McConnell was a disaster on KSR today.
fwiw. #kysenhttps://twitter.com/joesonka/status/519888488179961856
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