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Member since: Sun Jul 11, 2004, 07:58 PM
Number of posts: 39,405

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Do you think more Syrians have been killed by Assad than Iraqis killed by Bush?

It's funny but Kerry seems more animated to oust Assad than he did to oust Bush when Kerry was a candidate himself.

Have people in Washington never heard that saying about "Take the plank out of your own eye before you take the speck out of someone else's?"

Do you think the NSA would be doing as much if they DIDN'T use private for-profit contractors?

It seems like whenever private contractors are in the mix, there's a tendency for their use to metastasize, so they can get more profits from our tax dollars.

Obvious cases in point are private prisons that lobby for more "get tough" laws to create more need for their product, and every defense contractor.

Snowden was, after all, working for a private contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton.

Right wingers are always concerned about bureaucrats getting power hungry and wanting to control more people and money and therefore growing their agency beyond any real need.

But isn't that more likely if someone isn't just controlling money but putting it in their own pocket?

Sandra Fluke NOT running for Henry Waxman seat

Source: Politico

In a surprising turnabout, women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke will not run for retiring Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-Calif.) seat, and instead said she plans to run for a spot in the California state Senate.

“I am extremely moved by the outpouring of local and national support I have received since I announced that I was considering running for office,” Fluke said in a statement. “While I strongly considered offering my candidacy for Congress, I feel there is a better way to advance the causes that are important to our community.”

She said she hopes to run for the state Senate post held by Ted Lieu, who has his eyes on Waxman’s seat. The district, California’s 26th, includes West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, and Santa Monica.

“I believe that the families and communities of this district - from West Hollywood to West LA and from Santa Monica to Torrance and beyond - deserve to have a fresh perspective from a new generation of progressive leadership in Sacramento, and I am eager to get to work fighting for the causes that matter most to our future as a community, state and nation,” Fluke said in the statement.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/02/sandra-fluke-henry-waxman-california-seat-103149.html?ml=la

I'm glad to hear this. Since she has no track record in politics, voting for her would be a crap shoot.

Instead of "income inequality" why not frame as "Why aren't American workers paid what we're worth?"

I get income inequality and agree it's a problem, but to those who don't follow politics and especially for those whose only source of information right wing talk radio and Fox News, "fixing" inequality sounds more than a little like giving hardworking people's money to layabouts.

By contrast, if you focus on how much more productive we have become and how many more hours we work, while our income went DOWN and corporate profits went UP, that is hard to deny as an issue of fairness.

"I made you more money, and you're paying me LESS?"

I don't know if this idea can be boiled down to as few words as "income inequality" but I bet some of you could come close.

Another advantage of this formulation is it can lead to seeing the need for a union. It's always better to get people to ask for something instead of you trying to sell it to them.

What did Rep. Michael Grimm mean when he threatened to break reporter "like a little boy"?

What the fuck is that?

Doesn't it sound like some kind of Freudian slip, confession some past crime or sexual fantasy?

I could see how a hothead could come up with throwing someone off a balcony (they were on a balcony), but the little boy remark is not something I could imagine coming out of my mouth in a moment of anger.

Anybody have a different take on this?

POLL on TPP Fast Track poll

What I find shocking here is not that TWO-THIRDS of Americans oppose fast-tracking TPP, but that a slight majority of DEMOCRATS FAVOR IT.

On some poll questions, not having enough options can skew the results, like on health care reform, so on the left "opposed" it not because they didn't want health care reform but because they wanted something different.

In this case, it's hard to see how there could be any distortion in the question since "fast track" can only mean they support passage of the TPP.

Does anyone here have an explanation for Democratic voters supporting TPP fast track?

Also, while entirely unscientific, Do you support TPP? Do you support fast-tracking it? Could those two issues be different?

By more than two to one, voters say they oppose (62%) rather than favor passage of fast-track negotiating authority for the TPP deal. Among those with a strong opinion, the ratio climbs to more than three to one (43% strongly opposed, just 12% strongly favorable). Demographically, opposition is very broad, with no more than one-third of voters in any region of the country or in any age cohort favoring fast track. Sixty percent (60%) of voters with household incomes under $50,000 oppose fast track, as do 65% of those with incomes over $100,000.

While opposition is relatively uniform both geographically and demographically, the survey data reveals a sharp partisan divide on the issue. Republicans overwhelmingly oppose giving fast-track authority to the president (8% in favor, 87% opposed), as do independents (20%-66%), while a narrow majority (52%) of Democrats are in favor (35% opposed).

The survey goes on to simulate a public debate over the merits of fast track and the proposed TPP trade deal, by presenting each respondent with an equal number of arguments made by organizations supporting and opposing fast track. Respondents indicate whether they find each argument convincing, and then have the opportunity to express a more fully informed judgment on the issue of fast-track authority. However, voters’ informed judgment is the same as their initial response: overwhelming opposition to fast track.

* At least 50% of voters find eight different opponent arguments to be very or fairly convincing (more than 60% for four of them), but not a single argument by supporters meets that standard.


One way an underdog could win 2016 primaries: dump corporate education reform and embrace educators

Whatever good Obama does will be tainted by a corrupt K-12 public education policy (now creeping into higher ed) that lets the Wall Street hedge fund managers and billionaire "philanthropists" dictate education policy, not for the good of students or the country as a whole, but to privatize it and maximize their profits from it.

Actual teachers have lost a voice in the highest circles of the Democratic Party. They still need our votes, but once we vote, we're told to shut up and sit down, so the rich people can tell us how to do OUR job for THEIR benefit.

Testing companies dictate how often we need to test. Curriculum like common core are developed by companies who will sell the books and software necessary to implement it, and anyone who makes the right political donations can start a for profit charter school that siphons off money meant for real public schools, which would be okay if they actually did a better job, but they do not.

Oddly, the touted advantage of charters is that they are free of the micromanaged curriculum of public schools, so teachers and administrators are free to do what they think will work for their students. If the profit motive were not involved, there would be a much simpler way to execute this idea: give that freedom to regular public schools.

No one goes into education hoping to get rich. We want to make a difference in kids lives and make enough money doing to give our families a middle class standard of living.

Those dictating education policy now see it as the next part of the commons they can privatize and divert our tax dollars into the way they do in the Department of Defense with weapons contracts.

And like those weapons, whether or not the education we pay them for works will take a back seat to their profits.

What is more frustrating is after their crimes that caused an economic collapse, not only are we NOT punishing them, we are giving them something else to destroy for their profit: our children's futures.

The Democrat who calls bullshit on this corrupt policy will get my vote in the primary and likely the vote of every teacher suffering under this.

THIS MODERN WORLD TOON: If Terrorists poisoned 300,000 people's water supply

This is kind of the flip side of the other question that makes the "War on Terror" look absurd: "What's more likely to kill you than a terrorist attack?"

VIDEO: War & Deodorant

They should play this ad whenever Washington is trying to whip up war fever.

Since Kerry demands Assad must go, we don't support any dictators as bad or worse do we?

Obviously in our history we have our Pinochet, Papa & Baby Doc, Suharto, Marcos, Rios Montt, the Shah, China during Tiananmen Square...

But we don't support any dictators who oppress their own people and actively prevent democracy anymore, do we?

It's not like we support Saudi, a theocracy that makes Iran look like Sweden, or the guy in Uzbekistan who boils political opponents ALIVE, right?

We haven't recently backed any military coups against democratically elected governments like the one against Zelaya in Honduras in 2009, have we? Or the multiple coup attempts against Hugo Chavez during the Bush years?

Because if any of that was true, people might suspect that all the tears about Syria's human rights abuses and dictatorship, even if true, are the excuse not the reason for trying to remove Assad.

Why is our government trying so hard to get rid of Assad?
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