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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
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Barack Obama Is Out Of Fucks


Barack Obama Is Out Of Fucks

Ben Dreyfuss
Jan 20

If you’re a liberal this paragraph from the end of Obama’s State of the Union has to excite you:

I have no more campaigns to run. My only agenda for the next two years is the same as the one I’ve had since the day I swore an oath on the steps of this Capitol — to do what I believe is best for America. If you share the broad vision I outlined tonight, join me in the work at hand. If you disagree with parts of it, I hope you’ll at least work with me where you do agree. And I commit to every Republican here tonight that I will not only seek out your ideas, I will seek to work with you to make this country stronger.

Obama has zero fucks left to give. This is good. This is smart. To quote Mark Manson’s wonderful “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A Fuck”:

Developing the ability to control and manage the fucks you give is the essence of strength and integrity. We must craft and hone our lack of fuckery over the course of years and decades. Like a fine wine, our fucks must age into a fine vintage, only uncorked and given on the most special fucking occasions.

Obama also made a fairly convincing case that Congress is giving too many fucks.

So the question for those of us here tonight is how we, all of us, can better reflect America’s hopes. I’ve served in Congress with many of you. I know many of you well. There are a lot of good people here, on both sides of the aisle. And many of you have told me that this isn’t what you signed up for — arguing past each other on cable shows, the constant fundraising, always looking over your shoulder at how the base will react to every decision.

Imagine if we broke out of these tired old patterns. Imagine if we did something different.

Understand — a better politics isn’t one where Democrats abandon their agenda or Republicans simply embrace mine.


TOM TOMORROW: Charlie Hebd'overload

DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/01/19/1358556/-Cartoon-Charlie-Hebd-overload

Obama Ditches the Centrists: How a Break From Neoliberalism Boosted His Popularity


SATURDAY, JAN 17, 2015 08:00 AM EST

Obama ditches the centrists: How a break from neoliberalism boosted his popularity

The president's more popular than he's been in nearly two years. Here's why that should have neoliberals scared


All that said, both Wang’s data and an anecdotal impression of recent (not-conservative) media will tell you that Obama’s ascending popularity kicked off sometime between late November and mid-December. Not incidentally, this was also the period when the president began not only acting more aggressively in terms of using his power unilaterally, which he’s actually been doing in some form or another since last year, if not earlier, but also supporting policies that could be easily characterized as typically liberal. In November, he announced a major change in how the federal government handled undocumented immigrants, which predictably cost him support from working-class whites but further established his party as the pluralist, multicultural alternative to the overwhelmingly white GOP. And in December, he not only spoke more frankly about his blackness than he had at any point in his presidency, but also announced a break from a half-century-plus-old policy by taking steps to normalize relations with Cuba.

Having walked head-on toward what have historically been two of the Republicans’ most effective attacks on Democrats — the party’s association with nonwhites and its “softness” in the realm of foreign policy, especially regarding communists — Obama went even further in January by unveiling a plan to offer millions of Americans a college education for free. He did this despite the fact that the policy would easily be described by conservatives as promoting “big government” (as indeed it was), and despite the fact that the plan’s funding would be unapologetically redistributionist. Much more than the Affordable Care Act, which also relied on using high-end taxes to provide health insurance for the working class and the poor but did so through an embrace of subsidies and by relying on market incentives, Obama’s college plan represented a straightforward argument for having government do what a broken market could not. This was not a DLC, neoliberal-style proposal to encourage the market to act, through outsourcing and tax incentives. This was simply using government.

To many, that probably seems like a distinction without a difference. But that would only be true if the neoliberal model of deregulation, outsourcing, privatization and free trade that was made Democratic Party orthodoxy by Bill Clinton (and Labour Party orthodoxy by Tony Blair) could actually reach traditional liberal ends through traditionally conservative means. You’ll certainly be able to find those who disagree, but I believe the verdict is in, and it is negative. That doesn’t mean the era of neoliberal government is over, of course; there are still plenty of high-profile “New Democrats,” like Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo or the woman who is likely to be the party’s next presidential nominee. For that matter, Obama’s recent “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative and his continued support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade proposal show that he himself has hardly made a clean break from the “third way.”


BREAKING: Supreme Court Will Decide Same-Sex Marriage Constitutionality This Term

Source: CNN / Associated Press / SCOTUSBlog

@SCOTUSblog: All four same-sex marriage petitions are granted.

@SCOTUSblog: Questions: does the 14th Amend. require permitting same sex marriage (90 mins argument) or to recognize a marriage from another state (60)

@SCOTUSblog: Get in line now: SSM arguments at SCOTUS will be the week of April 27; very likely April 29.

Supreme Court agrees to take on same-sex marriage issue

By Mary Kay Mallonee, CNN
Updated 3:37 PM ET, Fri January 16, 2015

(CNN)The U.S. Supreme Court decided Friday it will tackle the issue of whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, or whether states are allowed to ban gay marriage.

The nine justices are expected to hear oral arguments in April and deliver a ruling by June.

Supreme Court gay marriage decision could have 2016 impact

The Court had before it petitions from four states -- Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky and Michigan - all in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals which recently went against the national trend and upheld gay marriage bans. The court granted petitions for all four states.

Earlier this month Florida became the 36th state in the country, in addition to the District of Columbia, to allow gay marriage.


Read more: Link to source

And the Oscar For Best Headline Goes To...


...The Oakland Tribune.

Jason Parham

1/16/15 11:55am

Friday's front page of the Oakland Tribune captures the whitewashed Oscar nominations with a flawless headline.

After yesterday's announcements, there were, among other categories, blaring omissions from the Best Director (Ava DuVernay), Best Actor (David Oyelowo), and Best Cinematography (Bradford Young) slots. But maybe that's not so surprising when you consider "the overall academy is still 93% white" and 76% male.

Writing for the Tribune, David E. Early noted: "For the second time in 14 years, not one actor of color was among the 20 nominees in the best actor and supporting actor categories for men or women."

Most Measles Patients in Disney Cases Unvaccinated, State Says

Source: Bloomberg News

Most Measles Patients in Disney Cases Unvaccinated, State Says

By Anna Edney
January 15, 2015 5:42 PM EST

Most of the children and young adults in California who contracted measles in an outbreak linked to Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park hadn’t been fully vaccinated against the disease, state health regulators said.

Twenty-eight people in California have come down with measles linked to the adjoining Walt Disney Co. parks and just three were fully vaccinated, the state’s Department of Public Health said in an e-mail Thursday.

The outbreak is the worst linked to a single chain of transmission since measles was eliminated in the U.S., according to the department. Health officials in 2000 declared that the disease was no longer native to the U.S., meaning cases occur when others bring it into the country.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease that spreads through the air, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While there have been a few hundred cases at most documented in the U.S. each year since 2000, 2014 saw a sharp increase to 644 cases representing 23 outbreaks, the CDC said. The majority of people who got measles were unvaccinated, according to the Atlanta-based agency.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-15/most-measles-patients-in-disney-cases-unvaccinated-state-says.html

UK Prime Minister on Fox News 'Expert:' "Clearly a Complete Idiot"


UK Prime Minister Shames Fox News Expert For Islam Bashing


Citizens in the United Kingdom — including Prime Minister David Cameron — are expressing frustration with Saturday’s episode of the Fox News show Justice with Judge Jeanine, blasting one of the show’s guests for making wildly inaccurate claims about Islam and a British city.

In a segment meant to discuss “no-go zones” — or regions in Europe that are supposedly off-limits to non-Muslims — host Jeanine Pirro called on guest Steven Emerson, a Fox News terrorism “expert” whose career is riddled with hyperbolic claims, inaccurate reporting, and even suspicious financial arrangements. After riffing on “no-go zones” as “a country within a country,” Emerson specifically cited the British city of Birmingham as home to a population that is “totally Muslim.”
“And in Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in,” he said. “And parts of London, there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to Muslim, religious Muslim attire. So there’s a situation that Western Europe is not dealing with.”

Check out a video of the exchange — complete with Pirro’s seemingly horrified reaction to Emerson’s remarks — below:

Unfortunately for Emerson, almost all of his claims are either unsubstantiated or wildly inaccurate. Birmingham’s Muslim population is large, but still doesn’t even make up a quarter of the city: according to the 2011 UK census, 21.8 percent of Birmingham is Muslim, compared to 46.1 percent that are Christian and 19.3 percent that don’t identify with any religion. Emerson’s assertion that Birmingham’s Muslim population is “a country within a country” is also dubious, and vague descriptions of “Muslim religious police” who “beat” and “wound seriously” people in London is unprovable without specific examples.

TOM TOMORROW: And Then - The Hot Takes

Supreme Court rejects Louisiana same-sex marriage case, takes no action on 4 others

Source: Reuters

@BreakingNews: Supreme Court rejects Louisiana same-sex marriage case, takes no action on 4 others - @Reuters http://t.co/UMDS8HuKTQ/s/7wU8

@SCOTUSblog: No new grants; Court refuses early review of Louisiana SSM case, as expected. Other SSM cases will be reconsidered Friday and likely granted

Supreme Court rejects Louisiana gay marriage case, takes no action on four others

WASHINGTON | Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:56am EST

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court, which is in the midst of deciding whether to take up the issue of gay marriage, on Monday declined to take an early look at a challenge to Louisiana’s state ban.

The court took no action on four other pending cases concerning gay marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, but could act on those cases as soon as later this week.

The decision not to hear the Louisiana case was not unexpected as gay rights advocates had sought to skip the regular judicial process by seeking Supreme Court review before the case had been decided by an appeals court. Gay rights advocates representing the Louisiana plaintiffs said in court papers there is a “pressing need” to resolve the issue once and for all.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which has jurisdiction over the state of Louisiana, heard arguments in the case on Friday and has not yet ruled. The same court is also weighing challenges to bans in Texas and Mississippi.

In the Louisiana case, a federal district court judge upheld the state ban in September 2014.

If the court were to take up one or more of the gay marriage cases, it would then issue a ruling that would determine whether 14 remaining state bans will be struck down. Gay marriage is currently legal in 36 states.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSKBN0KL1G220150112

Joan Walsh: "Almost every major urban riot of the 1960s ... was touched off by police misconduct"

Almost every major urban riot of the 1960s – Harlem and Philadelphia in 1964, Watts in 1965, Newark and Detroit in 1967 – was touched off by police misconduct.



MONDAY, DEC 29, 2014 07:00 AM EST

New York’s epic white backlash: How a horrid 1960s relic is still with us today

O’Reilly, Hannity and a defiant NYPD are fighting battles of 50 years ago. The chaos ended but the backlash endures

- snip -

White New Yorkers fear a return to the bad old days of riots, escalating crime and attacks on police. In the 1970s, 46 officers were killed in the line of duty, according to the New York Times, and 41 more in the 1980s. Before these latest murders, the last police killing was in 2011.

- snip -

It wasn’t just race: the flight was driven by crime and arson and riots, and a sense that the world was unraveling. I tried to write about some of this sympathetically in my book: the transformation of New York in the 1960s and 70s was scary. Crime and arson rates spiked: the murder rate jumped 150 percent between 1965 and 1973; property crime jumped by a third. Some of my uncles and cousins were cops and firemen, including my mother’s two brothers. She worried about them every day, and so did I.

But for a whole lot of people, it was all about race. Conservatives made sure of that, with William F. Buckley running for mayor in 1965 mocking the liberal idea that social factors drove the rising crime rate – as if poverty and racism could “make Negro crime any less criminal.”

Significantly, that comment came in a debate over whether cops needed civilian review. Almost every major urban riot of the 1960s – Harlem and Philadelphia in 1964, Watts in 1965, Newark and Detroit in 1967 – was touched off by police misconduct. When Mayor John Lindsay appointed a police review board, Pat Lynch’s Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association sponsored a ballot initiative to repeal it. To the shock of liberal Manhattan, a coalition of outer-borough Jews and “white ethnics” voted with the cops.

- snip -

Excessive force by police, and rampant racism, was never acceptable, not even in the years of crime and chaos. But what stuns me now is: crime is way down. Arson is almost non-existent. There are no more riots. Most protests against police abuse are peaceful. Sure, there are a few saboteurs smashing windows and punching cops, but you’ll also see a whole lot of protesters trying to stop them – and it seems most of the violent folks are white.

With one critical exception: Ismaaiyl Brinsley, the mentally ill Brooklyn native who shot his ex-girlfriend (an Air Force reservist) in Baltimore, then shot Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu.

Even before those murders, despite the overall calm, the defense of the cops had been just as shrill and unyielding and frankly anti-democratic as it was when crime was spiking in the 60s and 70s. It’s no accident Rudy Giuliani became the national spokesman for the cops’ point of view. Sean Hannity, the pride of Nassau’s Franklin Square, turned his show into a headquarters for the defense of Darren Wilson, the Ferguson officer who killed an unarmed Mike Brown in August.

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