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appal_jack

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Gender: Male
Hometown: North Carolina
Member since: Wed Aug 11, 2004, 06:57 PM
Number of posts: 3,278

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The fights over Trade Agreements, etc. indicate otherwise.

I'd be happy to consign Penn to the dustbin, but his influence still leaves a mark. True closure on his influence would be shown by advocating for unions and environmental groups to have a seat at the table during the very beginning of future trade agreement negotiations, further protections we lost when Glass-Steagal was repealed, an end to all private prisons, a complete cessation of the War on (some) Drugs coupled with a comprehensive tackling of addiction as a public health crisis, robust citizen oversight of police departments, true public infrastructure projects, and single payer health care.

This is low-hanging fruit that the Democratic base wants and the national Party should seize. The influence of Penn and his ilk are the only logical reason why it is not happening yet.

-app

Charlie Pierce calls-out Mark Penn (& Clintonism)

http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/news/a56163/mark-penn-democrats/

--------------------------------
There's another recent addition to the list of Questions No Sensible Person Would Ask, thanks to the Thursday edition of The New York Times.

"What's Mark Penn Thinking About Things These Days?"

In his latest iteration of his life's creative work, tentatively entitled Searching for Sister Souljah, Penn demonstrates the timely grasp of the political zeitgeist that enabled him to lead Hillary Rodham Clinton to the presidency in 2008. No kidding. If this guy gets within 10 city blocks of your campaign headquarters, call the local hazardous waste unit immediately. Call the guys who pull pythons out of the plumbing in Florida. Call the River Monsters dude. Anything to keep this walking pile of terrible advice at a safe distance. Mark Penn's counsel should never be taken internally.

(snip - lots of quotes from Penn showing him to be Republican-lite at best, and batshit racist barking corporatist mad overall)

Finally, proof positive that Penn fell unconscious during 1993 and never woke up. He missed the battle over the stimulus plan in 2009, and that was at the tail end of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. He missed eight years of nearly unlimited obstruction. The "issue" has been hijacked by the president*, but the policy hasn't been. He has proposed nothing, and the budget proposed by both his administration and the Republican congress goes backwards on this issue.

Come to think of it, Barack Obama's presidency doesn't figure into Penn's calculations at all. That can't be an accident. There's more code in this column than you would have found in Los Alamos in 1945. All of the issues that Penn advises the Democrats avoid also happen to be issues of significant importance to the most reliable Democratic voters of all: African Americans-and other minorities, women, and all the combinations thereof.

Mark Penn had his Sister Souljah moment. He never got over it.

----------------------------------------

Pierce does a good job of showing how the DINO-corporatist wing of the political consultant class intends to continue to take the Democratic base for granted, thus further eroding Democrats' chances of electoral gains and true policy progress. Penn & his ilk should crawl under a rock in shame.

-app

Bigoted Homophobe Steve Scalise's Life Was Saved by a Queer Black Woman

Steve Scalise, the House Majority Whip who was shot by a gunman who attacked a congressional baseball practice on Wednesday, has kept company with racists. He was forced to apologize for speaking at an international conference of white supremacists, and reportedly referred to himself as “David Duke without the baggage.” Following Scalise’s shooting, Duke praised him for “defending white civil rights.”

Scalise has also been described as one of the most anti-LGBTQ politicians in Washington. He’s voted against LBGTQ rights over and over again. He also authored Louisiana’s ban on same-sex marriage. Like many of his ilk, he said he was only trying to protect “traditional” marriage.

So it is a point of especially delicious irony that Scalise, who survived the attack (and is reportedly in critical condition), may owe his life to a queer black woman.

Crystal Griner, a Capitol Police officer, was one of two special agents on Scalise’s security detail yesterday who helped take down shooter John Hodgkinson. People at the scene said that the two officers prevented an all-out “massacre” on the field that day, engaging in a firefight with Hodgkinson before killing him.


A few more biographical bits about Griner at the source, along with this excellent photo from her college basketball days:

https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media/image/upload/s--k6sLwFw8--/c_scale,fl_progressive,q_80,w_800/t0bzmbaxzuhckgmfcdei.png

Both wounded officers, Griner & Bailey, are African American. They acted as professionally and courageously as possible by engaging and overcoming a rifle-wielding murderer with only their service pistols.

Steve Scalise will hopefully fully recover, and then learn from this experience. Hopefully, he will work to undo some of the harm of his past bigotry.

Source: http://fusion.kinja.com/bigoted-homophobe-steve-scalises-life-was-saved-by-a-qu-1796135276

-app

Obama had his chance to shape the TPP into a truly progressive agreement, but failed.

Or maybe Obama did exactly what he intended: say that the TPP would protect US workers and the environment, while negotiating an agreement that would do anything but that (just like all the other trade agreements negotiated before then under Obama: S. Korea, etc.). Either way, the duplicity about the TPP helped fuel Trump's fake populism, which is a shame.

Regardless, why did the US trade negotiator under Obama not push for enforceable worker and environmental standards? Why have private courts open to investors, but closed to workers, unions, and environmental advocates? Obama was not right about the TPP, and his failure on this front, plus the choices made in pursuit of the TPP contributed to the Republican now in the White House.

-app

Is anyone else worried about this Shrubya appointee?

I've heard how serious he is, a dedicated professional, yada yada yada. But remember when he was appointed? (September 4, 2001 I believe) And by whom? (George Dubya B*sh)

Look, I don't want to derail this conversation into Creative Speculation territory, but is a Republican-appointed law officer really who we want on this job? And not just any Republican, but the administration that lied us into a $1 Trillion war of choice that exacerbated just about every situation across the Middle East?

Plus, yes, we should talk about Mueller's role in the official 9/11 conspiracy theory that 19 guys with box cutters were able to defeat all North American Air Defenses for a period of hours, such that the asymmetric forces of two passenger jets hitting two buildings somehow managed to collapse THREE buildings (WTC 1, WTC 2, & WTC 7) neatly into their own footprints.

Flame away if you'd like, but I am not optimistic.

-app

I will only support pro-choice candidates, and Bernie should do the same.

I guess I was/am what some DU'ers would call a "Sandernista," and sure, I'll wear the mantle on a lot of issues and a lot of the time. But endorsing Mello was a dumb move, Sanders. My stand with Bernie is significantly predicated on him standing for the absolute right for women to make choices about their reproductive and sexual lives without undue government interference.

Fetal ultrasound image bills such as the one Mello sponsored (!) explicitly violate both 1st Amendment (i.e.- no to mandated speech) and 4th Amendment (i.e.- yes to privacy) Constitutional guarantees. I have no use for any politician willing to shred the Constitution in this manner.

-app

NC lawmakers want to shield factory farms

NC lawmakers want to shield factory farms from big damage payments to victims

Legislation moving through the North Carolina General Assembly would prevent people living near the state's numerous factory farms from recovering more than token damages in civil lawsuits where the farm's corporate owner is found responsible for harming them.

The proposal comes with such litigation already underway. In 2013, more than 500 residents of eastern North Carolina took legal action against Murphy-Brown LLC, the hog-growing subsidiary of Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, which is owned by Shuanghui Group of China, the world's fourth-largest pork producer. Under contracts with local growers, Murphy-Brown owns the hogs at about two-thirds of farms in North Carolina, the second-biggest hog-producing state after Iowa.

North Carolina allows hog farms to store animal waste in massive open-air lagoons before spraying it on open fields, a practice that leads to water pollution. Murphy-Brown is embroiled in separate ongoing litigation with the Waterkeeper Alliance over its alleged failure to comply with a 2006 agreement to clean up groundwater contamination at 11 of its hog operations in the state. The lawsuits filed by the neighbors detail many other problems associated with the farms, including sickening stenches, swarming flies, chronic illnesses and piles of animal carcasses left in roadside "dead boxes."

Despite the serious claims of harm documented by the plaintiffs, House Bill 467 and a companion measure, Senate Bill 460, would limit compensatory damages in such so-called "nuisance" lawsuits. In the case of permanent nuisances, the legislation would limit damages to "the reduction in the fair market value of the plaintiff's property caused by the nuisance, but not to exceed the fair market value of the property." In the case of temporary nuisances, it would limit damages to "the diminution of the fair rental value of the plaintiff's property caused by the nuisance."

Environmental advocates blasted the legislation, with N.C. League of Conservation Voters (NCLCV) lobbyist Dan Crawford describing it as "nothing more than lawmakers putting a foreign-owned company ahead of the long-term health and safety of the very communities who have been forced to endure the harms of hog waste for decades."



Much more at this excellent link, including documentation of the egregious environmental racism implications of this awful bill, which has already passed the NC Assembly in 73 seconds, when put up for a vote out of order and without any debate.



Source:
https://www.facingsouth.org/2017/04/nc-lawmakers-want-shield-factory-farms-big-damage-payments-victims

-app

Idiot Gorsuch willfully ignores American/enlightenment concepts of rights.

The very core of our Constitution rests upon the ideas that (1) just government only legitimately rules with the consent of the governed, that (2) our rights are natural and expansive and government's powers are narrow and exist only where specifically enumerated.

A person's natural right to life is as fundamental as it gets. A (government-chartered) corporation's 'right' to property is always subordinate (corporate personhood and rights are notions I contend every founder would dispute: generally-respected but not inalienable corporate prerogatives and privileges are certainly possible and even arguably necessary in complex societies).

The fact that Gorsuch does not see this should immediately disqualify him from the Supreme Court. Hell, it should disqualify him from a mid-level appellate position.

-app

4) Creating a distraction from much worse crimes.

The present occupant of the White House is a distraction, a carnival barker with a pretty lady by his side up onstage shouting loudly so that the pickpockets can work the crowd with wild abandon. From the Dominionist and anti-woman Vice President on down, we can see the real purpose of this regime.

Even the 18% of eligible American voters who rallied to the fake populism of a billionaire blowhard will not get what they voted for. Instead, we are facing a racist attorney general who wishes to re-institute segregation and increase unjustified incarceration. We face an Education Secretary expressly committed to bankrupting people via student loans, while tearing down our remaining public educational infrastructure. An EPA head who hopes to pillage rather than protect the environment. A Treasury Secretary who had his hand very deep in the till during the recent emptying of the Treasury via a massive housing bust. I could go on, but the point is NO ONE other than extreme racists and members of the rarefied 1% voted for what they are about to get. There certainly are people who hate either the name or even some details of 'Obamacare,' but how many really voted to reduce health coverage provided by the ACA and Medicare overall? How many voted to give more money to rich people at the expense of regular people and the nation as a whole? Such a theft requires a big distraction.

-app

D'Souza would prefer a civil rights movement frozen in the past

In D'Souza's world, there 'used' to be racism, and then some hazy, distant, entirely whitewashed and inoffensive civil rights figures mentioned that they had a dream and the reasonable white people said, "Oh yes, of course."

What D'Souza's blinkered and pinched ideology prevents him from seeing is that John Lewis did important civil rights work in the 1960's, and he has been doing important civil rights work ever since. Because the struggle against racism, poverty, and injustice is ongoing and very much unfinished.

John Lewis is a hero, and D'Souza is a worthless shitstain.

-app
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