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A letter from Mitt Romney: "About my finances" / ghost written by Andy Borowitz

SOUTH CAROLINA – Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney has released the following letter to the American people:

Dear American People:

Over the past several days, my personal finances have been distorted into a grotesque caricature by the mainstream media, pundits, and other people who can count. I am writing to you to set the record straight by explaining my finances in terms the American people can relate to.

Let’s say you bought a bottle of Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1982 for $5,000. A couple of years later, what do you know, you sell that same bottle for $10,000. So you just made a profit of $5,000 through your own hard work. How much of that should you pay to the government? I’d say fifteen percent.

Now let’s say you have a fellow mowing the lawn at your 7,000 square foot home in La Jolla, and he turns out to be an illegal. You say, “No way, Jose” (Jose is actually his real name) and send him packing. He doesn’t deserve his full paycheck, since he lied to you in Spanish, but it wouldn’t be fair to give him nothing, either. So you pay him fifteen percent.

Now let’s pretend the United States of America is like one big restaurant. Not a fancy restaurant, mind you, but one that only gets two Michelin stars. And let’s say that you order a meal of Beluga caviar, white truffles and gold shavings, washing it down with your favorite beverage, Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1982. The bill arrives and it’s quite a hefty one for a working stiff who only made $375,000 last year in speaking fees. (That’s right: minimum wage.) So when it comes to toting up the bill, how much should I tip the waiter, who in case you’re having trouble following this metaphor is the IRS? You got it: fifteen percent.

I think I’ve now shown, using these real-life examples that everyone can relate to, that no one should ever pay more than fifteen percent on their taxes. If you have been paying more than that, you should get rid of your loser accountant pronto. That’s another thing I have in common with regular Americans: we like firing people.

So – now that I’ve laid it out in simple terms that even you can understand, do you agree that you and Mitt Romney have a whale of a lot more in common than you thought? I’ll bet you ten grand you do.

Au revoir,



Oblivious I signed on to DU this am and it was NOT THERE: my first thought

on assessing the situation, after nodding in agreement with the solidarity action was this:
"I hope that Skinner gets to play with his children all day long".

Then with a new appreciation I thought about the night and day / year round availability of DU, and smiled a lot when I missed DU today and sent good thoughts hoping it worked out well for the Administrators to have a really strange day,

but now I noticed bookmarks have appeared, so the work goes on.

(Thanks for the bookmarks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

STOP SOPA: Why MichaelMoore.com Will Be Blacked Out Wednesday, January 18th ...says Michael Moore

From my email inbox. I therefore cannot link it to a source. You can probably still find the links he mentions on his website www.michaelmoore.com until midnight.

STOP SOPA: Why MichaelMoore.com Will Be Blacked Out Wednesday, January 18th ...a note from Michael Moore

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012


My websites MichaelMoore.com and Mike's High School Newspaper will both be going dark for 24 hours starting at midnight tonight in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act now before Congress. I'm proud to join with Wikipedia, Reddit, Boing Boing and thousands of websites in this action to raise awareness of this huge threat to an open internet.

I think we all knew that the powers-that-be would eventually try to kill the world wide web as we've come to know and love it. I'm sure it's just an accident that these bills are being proposed after a year where uprisings around the world were literally started on the internet. This is a scary device to those in power and I'm sure they rue the day they allowed us to talk freely to each other. They weren't thinking about the revolution that would cause -- they just saw it as a way to sell more stuff. Oops. And now they want to rein it in.

Please take the time to learn about SOPA (and its twin Senate bill, PIPA) and then call AND fax AND email your Representative and Senators tomorrow. Let's melt their phone lines and computers. We've got to use the internet while we still can to organize, fight back and stop this.

The good news is the Obama administration says it doesn't support the bills in their current form (but he said that about the National Defense Authorization Act -- and then went ahead and signed it after changes that still left its most dangerous provisions intact).

We can win this. But we've got to pour it on right now. I'll see you on the other side tomorrow night at midnight!


Michael Moore

P.S. Part 2 of the Tavis Smiley Show with Cornel West, Barbara Ehrenreich and me airs tonight late night on PBS. Part 3 tomorrow night. Find your local station and showtime here.

P.P.S. There's a powerful film opening wide on Friday, 'Extremely Loud and Incredible Close.' It's one of my favorite films of the year. Go see it if you're in the mood for a deeply moving experience.

"Romney Under Pressure to Prove He Was Manufactured in US" as reported by Andy Borowitz

Romney Under Pressure to Prove He Was Manufactured in US
Rivals Demand He Produce Label

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (The Borowitz Report) – Controversy swirled at the Republican debate in South Carolina last night as Mitt Romney’s rivals pressured the GOP frontrunner to prove that he was manufactured in the United States.

The other candidates for the Republican nomination repeatedly pounded the former Massachusetts governor on the issue throughout the night, demanding that he produce a label proving that he was made in the U.S.A.

The attacks came amid rumors that Mr. Romney was assembled in a plant overseas, possibly in France, where a microchip was installed enabling him to speak French.
Romney Under Pressure to Prove He was
Manufactured in US
Rivals Demand He Produce Label

“At a time when we are losing an increasing number of manufacturing jobs to other countries, can we really afford to have a President who wasn’t made here?” asked former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

Former Senator Rick Santorum joined in the attacks, saying that if it is proven that Mr. Romney was assembled overseas he might be liable for tariffs and customs duties.

Texas Governor Rick Perry abstained from the attacks, but only because he seemed unclear as to who Mr. Romney was.

The former Massachusetts governor did little to tame the controversy, flailing his arms wildly at one point as smoke billowed from his head.

“Attendez!” Mr. Romney barked stiffly, drawing hoots from the debate audience.

Perhaps in an attempt to deflect attention away from the controversy, the Romney campaign announced today that the candidate had received the endorsement of the IBM supercomputer known as Watson.


Wikipedia black out coming for 24 hours

Wikipedia, the popular community-edited online encyclopedia, will black out its English-language site for 24 hours to seek support against proposed U.S. anti-piracy legislation that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said threatens the future of the Internet.
The service will be the highest profile name to join a growing campaign starting at midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday that will see it black out its page so that visitors will only see information about the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

source, no further text

Great Chinese State Circus - Swan Lake

Maybe not quite what Tchaichovski had in mind for the choreography, but it works very beautifully for me.


On MLK Day: How a Racist Criminal Justice System Rolled Back the Gains of the Civil Rights Era

On MLK Day: How a Racist Criminal Justice System Rolled Back the Gains of the Civil Rights Era

By Amy Goodman and Michelle Alexander and Randall Robinson
Printed on January 16,

On this eve of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, we host a wide-ranging discussion with TransAfrica founder Randall Robinson and author Michelle Alexander about the mass incarceration of African Americans that has rolled back many achievements of the civil rights movement. Today there are more African Americans under correctional control, whether in prison or jail, on probation or on parole, than there were enslaved in 1850. And more African-American men are disenfranchised now because of felon disenfranchisement laws than in 1870. Alexander, whose book "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness" is newly released in paperback, argues that "othing less than a major social movement has any hope of ending mass incarceration in America or inspiring a recommitment to King's dream... My view is that this has got to be a human rights movement. It’s got to be a movement for education, not incarceration; for jobs, not jails; a movement that acknowledges the basic humanity and dignity of all people, no matter who you are or what you have done." 
AMY GOODMAN: On this eve of Martin Luther King’s birthday, you write about King in the book. You write about how he once shows up in Richmond and the inspiration of Gray when he saw him speak. Did you meet Dr. King?
RANDALL ROBINSON: He came to my high school. And he walked down my aisle. This was just after the beginning of the bus boycott, and he had become a national figure. And my brother Max and I were sitting on the aisle. And my father, who taught history at the school, was back behind us. And he shook our hands, and I looked back at my father. I looked back at my father. It was a special, special and memorable moment. But even Dr. King is said to have said about this lost memory that, to quote him, "The Negro knows nothing of Africa." I think he said that with some pain and some distress.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to turn to a clip of Dr. King. This is from the famous address in 1963, August 28th.
REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.

for all of it go to:
for the print version go to:

Jim Hightower says organize in 2012

Jim Hightower says organize in 2012

It's a new year, at last. I say "at last" because 2011 was a rough ride, politically.
Here's a summary of the bigger bumps: non-stop congressional gridlock, Donnie Trump's short-lived presidential candidacy, the working-class depression, Obama's serial surrenders to raw Republican partisanship, Newt Gingrich's presidential bid, the re-emergence of Wall Street's Gordon Gekko arrogance, right-wing governors gone wild, Rick "Oops" Perry's campaign for the White House, more tax breaks for corporations — and, at year's end, there were signs that both Sarah Palin and The Donald might still run for president after all. (That could set up a titanic clash of big hairdos.)
Yet we shouldn't despair about last year's many political downers, for they have prompted a series of promising uprisings at America's grassroots. Progressives in states such as Wisconsin, Ohio, Montana, Colorado and Mississippi (yes, Mississippi!) have fought hard to roll back the tea party's excesses. The Occupy eruption all across the country has lifted spirits, revitalized grassroots organizing and put some real "move" into social movements as we head into 2012.
In January, for example, a strong and savvy coalition will mobilize a nationwide campaign for repealing "corporate personhood" and the Supreme Court's infamous Citizens United ruling. Also, the rise of the non-corporate economy is booming, with millions of Americans turning to co-ops, credit unions, farmers markets, fair trade shops, and other local enterprises that ordinary people control, not absentee profiteers.
Plus, strong, genuinely populist candidates are running for Congress this year, including Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts, Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin, Norman Solomon in California, Ilya Sheyman in Illinois and Eric Griego in New Mexico.
We have important work to do, so don't moan about 2011. Organize in 2012.


Quote on MLK memorial to be changed after complaints

Quote on MLK memorial to be changed after complaints

WASHINGTON –  A quote carved in stone on the new Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington will be changed after the inscription was criticized for not accurately reflecting the civil rights leader's words. 
The inscription currently reads: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness." The phrase is chiseled into one side of a massive block of granite that includes King's likeness emerging from the stone. It became a point of controversy after the memorial opened in August. 

A spokesman for the U.S. Department of the Interior said Friday that Secretary Ken Salazar decided to have the quote changed. The Washington Post first reported on Friday the decision to change the inscription. 
The phrase is modified from a sermon known as the "Drum Major Instinct," in which the 39-year-old King explained to his Atlanta congregation how he would like to be remembered at his funeral. He made the February 1968 speech just two months before he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn. 

In the speech, King's words seem more modest than the paraphrased inscription: "Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter." 
Poet Maya Angelou previously said the truncated version made King sound like "an arrogant twit" because it was out of context. 


Never Go Naked to Knife Fight in South Carolina

Bare-Knucked Politics in South Carolina; To understand politics in South Carolina, one needs to be aware of the quote from the Unionist James Louis Petigru who responded to the state's decision to secede from the United States in December 1860 by saying, "South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum."

Never Go Naked to Knife Fight in South Carolina

By Chris Lamb

U.S. Sen. John McCain soundly defeated Texas Gov. George Bush in the Republican New Hampshire primary in January 2000 to become the frontrunner in the campaign to win the GOP's presidential nomination.

The Bush campaign knew it needed to win in South Carolina, the first primary in the South, to stop McCain. To do so, the Bush campaign stopped at nothing, running one of the ugliest campaigns in modern U.S. politics.

It used anonymous push polling to ask registered Republican voters if they would vote for McCain if they knew he had fathered an illegitimate black daughter. Fliers of McCain and his adopted Bangladeshi daughter were widely distributed. In addition, other push polls and fliers said that McCain's wife Cindy was a drug addict and that McCain, a decorated Vietnam veteran who spent years as a prisoner of war, was a traitor. Other accounts claimed that McCain was also a homosexual and/or mentally unstable.

To exacerbate things, McCain had promised that he wouldn't use attack ads in South Carolina. The statement, however well meaning, was self-defeating, violating the conventional wisdom that one should never go naked to a knife fight. Bush won the South Carolina primary and eventually the GOP nomination, serving two terms as president.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who just won the New Hampshire primary, needs to keep in mind what happened to McCain in South Carolina or else he will find himself dazed and confused, and talking out of both sides of his mouth. Again.

link to all of it

Chris Lamb is a professor of Communication at the College of Charleston, in Charleston, SC, he teaches courses in journalism and media studies. He has written hundreds of newspaper columns that have appeared in the Washington Post, Los Angeles
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