Mc Mike's Journal
Member since: Wed Nov 23, 2011, 05:50 PM
Number of posts: 1,237
Number of posts: 1,237
decision by the 5 member conservative majority.
"The debate was important because it cut to the heart of what the conservative majority promised in their 2014 Hobby Lobby decision, the last Supreme Court challenge concerning Obamacare’s contraceptive regulations. The 5-4 decision saying certain for-profits didn't have to cover birth control pointed to the very accommodation for religious nonprofits that the nonprofits are objecting to now.
“The effect of the HHS-created accommodation on the women employed by Hobby Lobby and the other companies involved in these cases would be precisely zero,” Alito wrote then."
Now the same rightwing court members (minus Scalia) are lining up to mad-dog that accomodation with unknowledgeable pot shots. So they used it as an excuse for their abysmal Hobby Lobby decision, saying 'see, our ruling won't hurt anything, because there's this HHS accomodation'. Now that they rammed Hobby Lobby through with those specious arguments, they suddenly don't know why the accomodation should even exist. Apparently, in their mind, it existed only to justify their Hobby Lobby ruling.
Posted by Mc Mike | Tue Mar 29, 2016, 09:18 AM (0 replies)
Here's a nice piece of hopeful analysis, from Josh M Marshall's blog, telling us about the fake idea that dRumpf will appeal broadly to low income resentful whites. It has some not-pie-in-the-sky, useful reality-based data observations, which refutes the mass media's pretense that the moderate income white American electorate will switch in embittered droves to the gop's far-right candidate:
" We can see from the polls and the rallies that Trump draws heavily from the white middle and working classes. A more specific marker is voters who do and don't have a college degree. But this isn't 1950 or 1965. The vast majority of those people are already Republican voters, if not always registered Republicans.
Here's the more operative question: if we're using the stereotype of 'white working class' voters, how many white working class voters do you think Trump will pull in the general election who voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012? That second part of the equation is the critical one. Because if it's voters who were already in the Republican column it doesn't really matter in terms of reevaluating the 2000-2012 era electoral map. (Democrats would certainly love to get back some of those white voters; but that's a different question.) My gut sense is that the Obama '08, '12/Trump '16 number is pretty small. Maybe extremely small. If nothing else that hunch is backed up by a lot of highly suggestive if not dispositive polling data.
Let's consider some data.
In 2012, Mitt Romney won 59% of the white vote to Obama's 39%. And he lost. (In 2008, with McCain, it was 55% to 43%.) The most notable number is that Trump currently seems to be substantially underperforming that number. An ABC/Washington Post poll from early March found that Trump was winning white voters by a margin of 49% to 40% against Clinton. That's definitely winning the white vote. But it is not even close to the margin Mitt Romney got and still lost.
That number alone, if it holds up at all, should stop a lot of the 'reshuffling the deck' thinking in its tracks. That theory posits a sort of Braveheart-esque raging last gasp of white people putting Trump over the top. But at least at the moment, he's doing dramatically worse among whites than either of the last two guys who lost. That is, to put it mildly, a big problem for Trump.
The truth is that Trump would not only need to win dramatically more white voters than Romney (who lost); he'd need to expand the white electorate. Indeed, this claim comes up again and again. Trump, we're told, can motivate demoralized white voters who haven't voted recently or ever. But as Romney campaign strategist Stuart Stevens notes, this is fantasy. There aren't any missing white voters. The voting rate among whites has been going up like other demographic subgroups in recent years. There just aren't any missing ones out there, unless you opt for heroic/unicorn theories of turnout. "
This isn't to say that we shouldn't take dRumpf or any other far right creep nominee seriously. But this piece struck me as important and positive because though I've been paying attention to the unusual deference to (and shilling on behalf of) dRumpf by the media, I hadn't been seeing through the scary threatening bogeyman the same media was crafting about 'the massive legion' of angry white disaffected Americans who were going to put the dRumpenfuhrer over the top. The same media who's dishonestly pushing him is also dishonestly lying about demographics, in order to push him. It's 2 + 2, and I had been misreading it.
On an unrelated note, the blog's Tierney Sneed has been turning in some fantastic, very enjoyable reporting on TPM for a while now, and I just wanted to mention how good both her info and style are.
Posted by Mc Mike | Sat Mar 26, 2016, 08:35 PM (0 replies)
I don't mind if one attacks Islam as a philosophy, or if one finds that many good and wonderful people can be found within the g o p. Neither of those issues form the basis of my reply to the o.p.
The simple issue for me is that these terror attacks occurred, then certain 'critical thinkers' in the right wing began stating that the religion of Islam and all its adherents made them happen, which is wrong. The o.p.s implication that the victims' own 'incorrect' critical thought analysis -- that 'Islamic refugees and Islamic people in general aren't murderous terrorists' -- is what tragically led to their deaths -- that implication is also just wrong.
I frankly DO indict millions of repuglican people, because they see the ideas and performance of their leaders, and wholeheartedly back them anyway. Or they don't have the tiniest scintilla of a clue about those leaders' ideas and performances, and vote to put them in power anyway. And no such endorsement of those terrorist attackers by hundreds of millions of Islamic religious adherents occurred; the small number of terrorists didn't run on a platform of terrorist action, then get the go-ahead supportive endorsement or vote 'in favor' from the rest of Islam. So one who conflates anti-repug sentiments with anti-Islam sentiments on this issue (or any other) is way off base, staggeringly so. The super super majority of Islam's adherents are simply practicing their faith and not committing violent massacres, but the practice of boosting promoting adhering to the repugs is an attack on billions of other people, as it aims to put our country's very considerable power in the hands of people with abhorrently bad ideas who promise to do very bad things with that power.
I'm hard pressed to come up with 'democratically elected' sharia governments you may be thinking about, when you discuss "Islamic leaders who promise policies and enact laws that are fascist and they are supported by people who vote them into power in the name of Islam", in your post. I do know about a ton of western backed feudal monarchies, Standard Oil installed strongman dictators, beaucoup west-sponsored coups that toppled democratically elected leaders in Islamic nations, one party elections with mandatory participation, weapons shipments to and intel backing of radical islamic sects for geopolitical purposes, the elimination of moderate oppositional leaders, etc. Which democratic Islamic countries are you thinking of here, obe? I've been paying attention for a long time, but apparently I'm playing catch up.
Despite what the american taliban repug party aims for, there is a very big difference between religion and political party, at least according to the people who founded our system of government. That's a key reason for our separation of church and state. Under our system, one can feel free to criticize any and all religions, for whatever reason they want, and speak freely about their critical thinking on the subject. Where the boundary exists is that religous zealots can't take control of our gov and use its tremendous powers to go after people who have the 'wrong' religious philosophies/belief systems, to enforce their own zealous religious beliefs. And secular political parties can't circumscribe peaceful legal religious practice. Religion can't take over gov, and gov can't take over religion, which is how it should remain.
So what exactly is the 'appropriate action one should take' regarding this terrorist attack, in your estimation, obe? The way I have it figured, determining the right course of action won't come from the unclear thinking and spur of the moment gut reaction feelings discussed in the o.p., and it certainly won't resemble anything that our kind opponents in the gop are pushing for, now.
Posted by Mc Mike | Fri Mar 25, 2016, 02:06 PM (1 replies)
Their top power creeps have an initiative they want to put over, like stealing publicly owned land, or eliminating womens' rights, or scapegoating immigrants or religious minorities, or demonizing federal enforcement agencies. Then up pops a crazy, well-armed right wing group of dirtbag lackey whitie zealots, who pull out their weapons, commit crimes, threaten and use violence, kill people and blow stuff up. And simultaneously the repug power brokers' other dirtbag lackeys, in elected positions and think tanks and media, rationalize defend excuse justify and legislatively codify those exact same initiatives.
They're always threatening civil war, it's a subtext in every fake grievance and outrage they scream and whine about. This legislative angle is just civil war by stealth, because they're sneaky little cowards, and as long as they get exactly what they want, they don't care how they get it. They're like spoiled toddlers with adult bodies and guns.
Posted by Mc Mike | Sat Jan 23, 2016, 10:32 AM (1 replies)
Repug Helen Chenoweth, after the Ok. City bombing:
"The most peaceful and responsible thing this body could do is listen to the complaints of people who have resorted to violent action."
U. S. Congresswoman (Republican, ID)
Debate, House of Representatives shortly after the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, 1995
The repug zoo, after OKC:
"Last week, (Speaker of the House) Gingrich declared that Westerners have a "genuine fear" of the federal government that Easterners and city dwellers should try to understand.
Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.) has declared his sympathy for Westerners angry at government, saying: "I don't disagree with their arguments." And Rep. Helen Chenoweth (R-Ida.) has said plainly that citizens "have a reason to be afraid of their government." Rep. Steve Stockman, a Texas Republican, acknowledged last week that he had written an article in the June issue of Guns & Ammo magazine suggesting that the Clinton Administration had organized the 1993 raid by federal agents on the Branch Davidian religious compound near Waco, Tex., with an eye on bolstering public support for gun control.
Two leading GOP presidential candidates, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas and Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas, have not been so outspoken. But both have joined the call for hearings into alleged government wrongdoing in the bloody Waco raid and in the 1992 shootout with white supremacist Randy Weaver in Ruby Ridge, Ida. When former President George Bush renounced his National Rifle Assn. membership last week over NRA fund-raising literature that called federal agents "jackbooted thugs," Dole made it clear that he would not follow suit. And Gramm is scheduled to address an NRA convention later this month at which a more militantly anti-government NRA faction is expected to oust leaders who have sought a less political role for the organization." "
Repugs Steve King, and Scott Brown, after Joseph Stack's kamikazi attack on IRS building:
"Yet some could still understand Stack’s anti-government frustration, or as Republican Congressman Steve King said: “It’s sad the incident in Texas happened, but by the same token, it’s an agency that is unnecessary and when the day comes when that is over and we abolish the IRS, it’s going to be a happy day for America.” Said Republican Senator Scott Brown of Stack: “You don’t know anything about the individual. He could have had other issues, certainly. No one likes paying taxes, obviously. But the way we’re trying to deal with things and have been in the past… people want us to do better. They want us to help solve the problems that are affecting Americans in a very real way.” "
Posted by Mc Mike | Mon Jan 11, 2016, 10:30 AM (1 replies)
Posted by Mc Mike | Wed Dec 30, 2015, 04:14 PM (0 replies)
Just the last couple of days. Is there a fix for it?
Posted by Mc Mike | Tue Dec 15, 2015, 06:40 PM (1 replies)
1) Everyone knows that bush outsourced Homeland Security and FEMA to political hacks, where FEMA had been run by actual emergency managers before. A year before Katrina, they gave a private group called Innovative Emergency Management a half million dollar contract to write up a "catastrophic hurricane disaster plan for the city of New Orleans". Of course, after the disaster, FEMA was unable to verify that the document even existed, so bush's pig buddies just stole the money. It was pointed out that it wasn't much of a disaster relief evacuation plan if nobody could even locate the document, after the disaster occurred. IEM's sweetheart contract was actually just another example of corporate-welfare fraud by the ultra-rich nazi lame-o's that are so close to bush, and it endangered the public and led to deaths.
That's not hyperbole, it's a fact.
An interesting sub-plot is this: Greg Palast reported that IEM said in a press release (when they got the private contract a year before the flood), that they had "teamed" with renowned expert James Lee Witt, Clinton's FEMA head, to come up with a plan. But then Witt issued a statement saying that he wasn't involved with IEM at all. They just lied, made something up to make it seem like they had some kind of credentials to get a private contract for emergency management.
Interestingly, Al Frankin discussed 'lying about James Witt' in his book Lies... (on page 2) when he discussed pro-bush media bias. During the first pres. debate in 2000, bush lied and said that by far, the vast majority of his tax cuts were going to the people at the bottom, when in fact the bottom 60% got 14.7% of the money. The media said nothing. But in the same debate Gore said he visited a Texas fire disaster site with James Lee Witt. Actually he visited the site with Witt's deputy, he visited 17 other disaster sites with Witt. There were scores of stories written about how Gore lied during the debate about his involvement with Witt! It was obviously a much more important issue than bush's debate lie, or the subsequent lie of bush cronies that resulted in a 4 figure body count for US citizens.
2) And there is no final body count for the death toll. The '1800 dead' figure is artificially deflated. The private contractor that got the job of recovering bodies was SCI (Kenyon). There's a lot of good archived info on this site:
(See post 11, by DU member Snot)
Mark C Miller's book Cruel and Unusual pointed out that the repugs hung their 'impeach Clinton' efforts on the idea that Clinton 'lied under oath'. But when l'il bush was governor, SCI was a big donor of his which engaged in a lot of illegal practices, including desecrating bodies in cutrate shoddy botched embalming procedures and death threats against Ms. Eliza May, the head of the TX Funeral Services Commission. On 7/20/99, in order to prevent a deposition in her wrongful termination suit, l'il bush submitted a sworn affidavit that said he had no conversations with TFSC, SCI, or his staff about this 'FuneralGate' controversy, he had no knowledge of any of the facts in this case, and he never asked anyone on his staff to improperly interfere in this case. The sworn affidavit was entirely false. L'il bush lied under oath. And our country's media outlets failed to report his lying under oath.
So when Katrina's body count was swelling toward 9/11-level bodycount numbers, l'il bush's admin gave a sweetheart no-bids contract to SCI to 'recover' the bodies. Its wholly owned subsidiary Kenyon spent $17 million dollars on a facility that 'handled' 900 bodies, failed to identify 10% of them, failed to inform the families of 12% of the identified dead, etc. Bodies kept turning up, months after the job was 'done'. And there was plenty of wiggle room for SCI to not identify or report dead victims of the hurricane, since so many of them were from the poorest part of our country's population, and the bush admin had made sure to scatter their refugee families all over the country in temporary housing.
Simply put, one hand washed the other here. L'il bush's team got to avoid the inevitable comparison to his 9/11 failures that a body count over 2700 would bring, got to avoid the inevitable conclusion that his handling of Katrina was another national security failure, and that massive climate-change-caused environmental catastrophes are national security issues. And he got to give big campaign donors a lot of our tax dollars. SCI got our money, performed their job incompetently as usual, and got to help out their crooked buddy with his propaganda efforts. The relationship between bush and SCI is one where they engaged in a ton of felonies together.
3) I can't write about the sweetheart contract Blackwater's mercenaries got to provide security 'military policing' in NO, because it would take years of typing to categorically cover l'il bush and the repugs' hateful crooked thieving evil Katrina 'efforts'. But Naomi Klein and Jeremy Scahill report excellent info on that issue in their books Shock Doctrine and Blackwater.
Posted by Mc Mike | Fri Aug 28, 2015, 10:22 AM (3 replies)
(link included in the Americablog link).
The shift of votes to benefit repugs at precincts with over 350 voters, reminded me of Michael Collins' study of l'il bush's '04 'win' coming from (allegedly, according to the NEP's strained reconciliation attempt) '4 million new white big city voters', as described in Prof. Mark C. Miller's book Loser Take All, pp 97-115.
"Miller reveals a more sophisticated election theft in 2004. I wrote the chapter, "Election 2004: The Urban Legend" (by Michael Collins, see disclosure*) based on research by Internet poster " anaxarchos " who discovered some remarkable anomalies in the final exit poll for 2004: Bush won reelection in the nation's "big cities" (500,000 > pop.).
The national exit poll is sponsored by the Media Consortium consisting of the Associated Press ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and CNN. It provides the acknowledged source of national data on who voted, where, and why. There was great controversy generated by the unintentional release of a late Election Day exit poll showing Kerry winning by 3%. The official version, released the day after the election had Bush winning by 3%.
We examined the official exit poll and discovered data that casts serious doubt on the claimed vote totals. According to the official version of the exit poll:
-- 2004 was not a red versus blue election, as reported. The rural sector in 2000 was 23% of the total vote but in 2004, it was just 16%. Bush total votes were down by two million in 2004 compared to 2000 in that segment. Bush lost significant ground in red states in 2004 and started the election in the hole.
-- Bush made spectacular gains in "big cities" (pop. 500,000 or greater) going from 26% to 39% of the total votes in that segment. According to the official exit poll, he picked up these gains largely with the help of four million white big city voters, ghosts so to speak, who rose from their graves and other hiding places to hand the election to Bush.
-- According to the official exit poll, the Bush big city magic took place amidst a 66% increase in big city voter turnout compared to a more modest 16% national turnout increase using reported vote totals.
There was no 66% increase in big city turnout. Actual big city vote totals, available election eve or shortly thereafter, show big city turnout slightly below the national average. The exit poll's 66% turnout increase and the four million white ghosts were the only way to make the poll agree with the election results, neither of which was accurate.
According to the official exits, Bush became the first president to be re-elected while both losing significant ground in his base and, at the same time, making it up in hostile territory, the nation's big cities. The same people who gave us this mess did the exit polling for the 2008 primaries and will conduct the 2008 national exit poll in November. "
It can't be conclusively stated that the 'over 350 voter precinct' flip is the same as the 'urban legend' red shift, because I don't have the big city precinct'size' numbers. But that central tabulator flip looks like a reasonable mechanism to explain the 4 million new big-city white 'ghost' bush supporters, who 'officially' gave him the victory, when he was hated in all the Dem big cities, and had done absolutely nothing in terms of 'pro-big city' policy, or big-city voter outreach.
Posted by Mc Mike | Sat Aug 8, 2015, 11:45 AM (0 replies)
Or even covertly.
I back Rep. Conyers in his work against repug election theft, and his work on behalf of his non-NOI constituents, and his Congressional Black Caucus work.
I think that pols like John C. and Jesse Jackson are within the range of the money and force arms of the NOI. For a very long time, the schism between Chicago and NY crime had Detroit on NY's side, the same as in Pgh., where I live. But Detroit is perilously close to Chi., and Farrakhan's money and connections are big. If you look at where the NOI comes from, how it was formed, where it gets its money and influence, you're looking at far-right bircher money and far-right intel.
If presented with any organized effort to lobby Rep. Conyers to never associate with the anti-Gay, anti-Semitic, anti-Woman, pro-Black Nationalist Farrakhan, I will be on board 100%. You're right about Conyer's attendance of the 2 '14 speech, but I won't throw the baby out with the bathwater regarding Rep. Conyers on this. In fact, I believe that the far-right who hates LGBTs also hates Conyers, and purposely forced him into this position to further schisms between groups of people they hate.
I see a bit of a parallel between Conyer's association with Farrakhan, and Moscone and Milk's association with Jim Jones. I believe the far right would have attempted to kill Harvey Milk, anyway, but the proximate cause of the Milk and Moscone assassinations was the murder of Rep. Ryan when he was investigating Jonestown. It is very much alluded to in Fierstein's documentary, Shilt's book, and Bay Area LGBT activists efforts at the time.
Jones already had a crazy and murderous record from his "People's Temple's" time in Ukiah, CA. He moved to S.F., with his big money and large personnel resources, and was a political force to be reckoned with when the Moscone Milk group took SF mayor and Supervisors. Aides to Milk were troubled by the behavior of the Jones personnel, and Milk cautioned them that the group was crazy and dangerous. Moscone put Jones in charge of the Housing Authority, but I believe he was forced to do so, not because the Jones people passed out flyers for the coalition, but because Jones had big money right wing backers who had to be contended with, by the Mayor and City Supervisors.
There is no doubt that Milk and Moscone were opposed to the insane moves by Jones, in Jonestown and S.F. The far-righties behind Jones felt that Moscone and Milk were going to blow the whistle, when Jonestown came crashing down, which explains their being murdered much better than twinkies can. There have been ridiculous efforts to tar Moscone and Milk with 'association with Jones', but the fact that they were assassinated puts the lie to this far-right effort to engender a schism between groups that the far-right hates.
Antecdotally, in my city, there was an isolated, high-crime housing project called Westgate Village. Back in '90 -'91, the 'Security' for this project was provided by the NOI. They decided that they didn't like an illegal card game being run in one of the units, and some of the Fruit of Islam attacked the place in force. They got their asses handed to them in unarmed combat, by the residents, and other members came back to fire-bomb the unit. Unfortunately, they didn't know the area, were out-of-towners like the rest of the Fruit of Islam security force, so they hit the wrong unit, and burned a single-mother and her family out of their home (no deaths). I just mention it because it was a high profile display of Housing Authority corruption, municipal fraud, increased influence of Chicago organized crime in Pittsburgh, and sweetheart contracts given to the Nation of Islam. The firebombing wasn't part of the policy of the Dems who run our area, it was purely a Farrakhan initiative, though the NOI got the contract for security through Dems. And Pittsburgh's own Black Moslem leaders were already on the record years before, in calling Farrakhan 'the biggest fool on the face of the Earth'. The Black residents of Westgate Village, and the non-aligned Black Moslems in Pittsburgh, didn't like Farrakhan, and don't back him on anything, including his anti-LGBT 'theories'. He speaks for the far-right, not Blacks, Moslems, or Democrats.
Farrakhan is from the right, of the right. People within his org's armreach have to deal with him. Conyers is wrong, but not bad.
Posted by Mc Mike | Sat Mar 7, 2015, 11:06 AM (1 replies)