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Member since: Sat Sep 9, 2006, 03:59 PM
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Charles P. Pierce: Romney "is the perfect marionette in the puppet show that the new big money has

made out of our politics"


Romney continues to stubbornly refuse, in the face of a general outcry from within his own party, to release more than two years of his tax returns. He is the most easily mockable candidate in decades. (By contrast, it took real work, and a lot of money, to make John Kerry look ridiculous.) And, most spectacularly of all, only four years after the excesses of unregulated vulture capitalism nearly ate the world, stealing everything it could steal and wrecking what was left behind, with 25 million Americans either underemployed, unemployed, or vanished from the statistics entirely, the Republicans not only have chosen as their nominee a guy who made almost every dime of his money in the legalized freebooting that passed for a business community over the past 30 years, but also they have decided to run him as the guy who will fix the broken middle class, and return the country to full employment, by re-instituting all the policies that created the disaster in the first place.


As should be clear by now, the forces that make Romney a formidable candidate are far stronger than the forces that make him a ridiculous man. Nothing he does to embarrass himself in public is bad enough to overwhelm the power of what a truly remarkable liar he has become. No misstep is bad enough that it cannot be disappeared from our collective mind by a few dozen more commercials. The memory hole in this election is located in Sheldon Adelson's wallet. His is the most purely cynical campaign in recent memory, selling to a battered economy the very policies that battered it in the first place, and doing so confident in the knowledge that the country has forgotten, or has become completely confused, about what was done to it. And cynicism sells best to the cynical.


For going on 40 years now, we have been encouraged in our cynicism by the very forces of which Mitt Romney is a perfect product. The ideal of a self-governing political commonwealth did not break down in the public mind because we got smarter, or it got obsolete. It was deliberately demolished, brick by brick, by people who knew what they were doing and did it very well. They replaced it with an artificial form of populism by which self-government was destroyed as a viable option so that something called "government" could be created in its place as a kind of alien entity. The political commonwealth that was the underpinning of self-government was replaced by a consensus of cynicism freely arrived at. The entire political system was complicit in this development, but the political rewards fell almost exclusively to the rising vandal conservatism that reached its apotheosis under George W. Bush. Barack Obama supposedly was elected as a reaction against all of this and, by the time he was in office for a month, people already were calling him a failure. Now, running for re-election, the strongest and most effective sub rosa argument against the president returning to office seems to be that he failed to break down the cynicism that we are too terrified to admit is the only viable political energy left in a desiccated political process. So, perhaps, the country turns to a man who has fashioned his entire political career out of the energy of that cynicism, who can ride it like a wave.

Romney is the ideal presidential candidate for people who have been taught to hate and fear the government he purports to want to lead. He is the triumph of the cynical paradox of the person who runs for political office on the premise that he is not a politician, a sucker play for which we fall, over and over again. He is the perfect marionette in the puppet show that the new big money has made out of our politics, an exercise in political mummery guaranteed to intensify the cynicism that most people feel about the system by increasing their distance from it. (The spate of voter-suppression laws work to do this, too. Distance people from the political process that produces the people who make their laws, and you distance them from influencing how those laws get made, which makes them either futilely angry, or depressingly docile. In either case, you get what you want.) He is the perfect product of the political age we created for ourselves.

More at CPP's Esquire blog: Romney, a Gaffe-Proof Candidate for Our Cynical Times

Charles P. Pierce: Willard Romney, America's unofficial ambassador of stupid....The Culture of Oops

The Culture of Oops

Willard Romney, America's unofficial ambassador of stupid, has been working his magic in Israel for the past couple of days. This time, having learned his lesson in Great Britain, he's picking on people who can't fight back, and hauling "the hand of Providence" in as an accessory after the fact.

"And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things," Romney said, citing an innovative business climate, the Jewish history of thriving in difficult circumstances and the "hand of providence." He said similar disparity exists between neighboring countries, like Mexico and the United States.

He's also brought out Baghdad Dan Senor to rattle some sabers at Iran, pledged his love to Bibi Netanyahu, called Jerusalem the "capital" of Israel, and did everything he could to warm the withered cockles of the heart of Sheldon Adelson, the crooked casino mogul who went along because he apparently is going to run American foreign policy under the Romney administration. Stop this man before he diplomatizes again.

You're seeing the whole short post.

Links within the post:


2) As Romney Tours Israel, Sheldon Adelson Is The Money Behind The Visit

Universal access to contraception could be a life saver

In 1999 the CDC declared family planning one of the 10 greatest public health achievements of the twentieth century. It said, "Smaller families and longer birth intervals have contributed to the better health of infants, children, and women, and have improved the social and economic role of women."

He points out that we have the highest teen pregnancy rate among "developed" countries.

Adolescents have higher rates of preterm birth, low birth weight infants, and infant deaths. Teen mothers are more likely to drop out of high school, remain single, live in poverty, and rely on public assistance. Their children are more likely to have behavioral problems, rely heavily on public health care, drop out of high school, and become teen parents themselves. The cycle keeps repeating with these negative societal costs and an $11 billion annual cost to US taxpayers.


Contraception is literally lifesaving for women with serious medical conditions. A woman's ability to control her fertility is critical if she has heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. For these women, an unplanned pregnancy can worsen their health and, for some, could be fatal. Contraception allows these women to prevent pregnancy altogether, or to postpone a pregnancy until such time as their health improves.


Contraception is a basic and essential element of women's preventive health care and a basic public health necessity. Family planning is about freedom-the freedom to decide when and if to have children. Every woman should have this freedom through access to the same core set of essential health benefits, including contraception, regardless of what state she lives in, her income, or her employer's beliefs.

And much more at the link: Universal access to contraception could be a life saver

Written by James T. Breeden, M.D., president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Jim Hightower: Pigheaded Republicans....dogmatic, obstinate & obtuse! Classic Hightower!

Here’s some useful advice from an old country saying: Never try to teach table manners to a pig — it doesn’t work, it’ll wear you out and it just annoys the pig.

The same advice goes for anyone who thinks they can teach even a bit of common sense to the preening political ideologues who’ve taken over the Republican Party and the U.S. House of Representatives. As we’ve seen in their incessant, pigheaded attacks on the health-care reform law, their minds are not merely fogged up with extremist anti-government theories, they’re impervious to rational thought.


Their greatest failure, however, is that they offer no alternative to Obamacare. During the debate on their latest attempt to repeal the law, a Democratic lawmaker asked for a copy of the GOP’s health-care plan so he could read it aloud to other members. Silence in the chamber.


No surprise — I doubt this bunch can walk and chew gun at the same time. Though they’re a tenacious bunch! Maybe not tenacious, more like dogmatic, obstinate and obtuse, too. Pigheaded — yeah, that’s it.

A few other gems:

They throw "hissy fits"
They're into "political peacocking"
They're "just plain stupid"

And so much more. God I love Jim Hightower!

We Shall Not Be Moved! Homeless advocates & city council members protest Berkeley proposed "sit ban"

Berkeley, California - Amber, 24, who’s been living on the streets half her life, was sitting on a sunny sidewalk in downtown Berkeley last week, cuddling her three-month-old puppy and talking to a friend. But if voters approve a measure the city council placed on the November ballot, sitting on the sidewalk – after a warning – could cost her 75 dollars.


Although the council chambers was packed with those opposing the law, the city council, at the end of a dramatic meeting that went past midnight on Jul. 11, approved putting the sit ban to a vote. The proposed ordinance is similar to statutes in Seattle, Washington, Anchorage, Alaska and Santa Cruz, San Francisco and Palo Alto, California. It would ban sitting on the sidewalk in commercial areas between seven a.m. and 10 p.m.


Once the public speakers queue wound down, the meeting took an unexpected turn when several activists stood up and led the public in the civil rights protest song, “We Shall Not Be Moved.”

The three councilmembers opposing the sit ban joined the sing-along, as the five other councilmembers present left the room. When they returned, in the midst of chaos, the majority voted to place the measure on the ballot.

The rest of this heartbreaking article is at Truthout:
Being Young and Homeless in the US Could Get Even Worse

Damn, we've become a heartless country. Let's starve people, screw the workers 'til they have no resources and end up homeless and then let's make sure they can't sully our precious streets and god forbid people should have to see, hear, have anything to do with "those people." Except they're no longer treated like people......those entities.

Bill Moyers: The Cowardly Lions of Free Speech -- must read or watch the video!


"For three weeks in May, Republican super-PACs took turns attacking Democratic senator Claire McCaskill in TV ads. Republicans hadn't held their primary—it's not until August 7—but McCaskill wound up trailing all three of the GOP candidates in polls. Now McCaskill, unnerved, is struggling to recover.

"That's what super-PACs can do. When they emerged in 2010 and worked in tandem, they were a critical force in the Republican landslide in the congressional elections. This year they're playing an even bigger role. The size and reach of their efforts dwarf what they did two years ago."


And if "free speech" is a right, why all the secrecy? Why hide from voters where the money is coming from? Why not openly say you're downright proud to be exercising your First Amendment rights and that writing checks is your patriotic duty? Instead, conservatives across the country are fighting to keep their sugar daddies secret. According to their guardian angel in Congress – the highly leveraged Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – the right wing opposes disclosure laws because the super-rich just might be bullied and harassed by the rest of us who want to know who's buying our elections. So that the editorial page of "The Wall Street Journal," asks us to have pity on billionaires and those little ol' corporations and their CEOs who just might have their tender feelings hurt; if they were exposed to boycotts and pickets – were it known which candidates they were buying.

SCOTUS essentially said to the 1%: "America is yours for the taking, for the buying."


That's what George III thought, too. Which brings us back to our celebration of the 4th of July, to the Declaration of Independence and Thomas Jefferson, who seems to have thought that a little uprising now and then would be good for what ails us. This time the overweening power is not the monarchy but plutocracy, the convergence of the political, religious and corporate right that would keep us in the dark about where all that money is coming from, and who it's buying, until one day we wake up and our country is no longer our own. Fortunately, those orange jump suits come in one size fits all. So remember, moneyed lords and ladies, what King George learned the hard way – you can only push your subjects so far.

I can't possibly do this unbelievably powerful piece justice selecting 4 paragraphs -- I urge everyone to read it.
THe Cowardly Lions of Free Speech

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