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Gender: Male
Hometown: Kansas City, Mo.
Home country: USA
Current location: Washington DC
Member since: Mon Jul 12, 2004, 03:35 PM
Number of posts: 3,222

Journal Archives

"If the Republicans take over the House, Senate, and the White House, then so be it."

There is an absolutely legitimate basis for being disenchanted with certain aspects of the Democratic Party but this attitude that Republican seizure of all the levers of government is acceptable is the height of irresponsibility. Dismissing as mere "fear-mongering" an accurate vision of what an unbridled Koch Brothers perversion of our politics is reprehensible.
We see the nihilists on the right hell-bent on destroying every shred of a social safety net. The nihilists on the left seem to be hell-bent on standing aside and letting it happen.
W's administration was a pluperfect disaster on every level. We should remember that the Tea party started largely as a rebellion against Bush for being too moderate. A Tea Party dominated GOP in control of the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of government would pose an existential risk to our form of government and serious folks ought not dismiss this inevitability with a shrug and a "so be it".

My favorite part of the movie is when William Macy comes home from work.

He enters his perfect 1950's home, hangs up his hat and coat and calls out his everyday greeting of "Hi, honey, I'm home." Hearing no response from his dutiful 1950's wife, he wanders around the house trying to find the someone who is always home when he gets there. The look of bewilderment at the disruption of his routine and the concern that one of the pillars of his life is missing is written all over his face. In so many ways that look is a visual expression of what conservatives feel as so many of the pillars of their belief system have fallen. Black are equal, women are independent, Gays can marry and pot is legal. Just like Macy, they are swept up in changes that they don't understand, don't approve of and cannot stop.

Zimmerman had jury of his peers.

Trayvon had Zimmerman as his judge, jury and executioner. Anyone who still believes that America is a post racial society is delusional. Listening to B37 removed any such thoughts I had.

A good argument can be made that the GOP is the most destructive force in US history.

The Republican Party fairly gets credit its opposition to slavery and its limited support of the progressivism of Teddy Roosevelt. In almost every other crucial policy debate and in every critical period of our history, the party of the right has behaved atrociously.
It isn't only that whenever the choice was/is between what is good for the nation as a whole as opposed to the narrow self interest of the monied class, they unerringly line up with the plutocrats.
They have coupled their slavish devotion to great wealth with some of the most undemocratic, dishonest tactics imaginable.
It was not enough to oppose FDR on policy matters. He and his wife were vilified in the most crude possible ways.
It wasn't enough to take issue with Truman/Acheson/Marshall foreign policy. These patriots and innocent by-standers were called traitors and communists.
It wasn't enough to debate those who were opposed to the Vietnam War. Nixon and his party, burgled, audited and disparaged honest skeptics of a tragic, misguided conflict.
It wasn't enough to offer opposition to Bill Clinton's centrist efforts. The GOP impeached him on his reckless sexual behavior, while libeling Bill and Hillary as drug, dealing, murderous hillbillies.
And now we have a modern Republican Party that is so hateful about both Barack and Michelle Obama, that they have thwarted every attempt to pull this country out of the ditch that W and his Party drove us.
This is a record that ought to shame them into silence. The saddest aspect of the situation is that the Ryans, Cruzs and Bachmans perpetuate policies and tactics which are reprehensible.

I hope we give into the anti-gun "hysteria" this time.

After Columbine the NRA and its allies slow walked legislative initiatives until the emotional reaction to the tragedy subsided.With Aurora and Oregon there was very little political reaction. We have become so jaded to this type of events and so despairing that politicians have the courage to stand up to the gun lobby that, until today, we have accepted the status quo. We better not let this process play itself out again. We need to embrace the anger and revulsion that today has generated.
The children who survived were told as they were led from the killing zone to close their eyes so they would not see the horror of kindergartners being slaughtered in their school.We cannot continue to close our eyes. We need to hold politicians accountable for upholding the key reason for government. This time they have to choose to protect citizens rather than kowtow to the likes of Wayne LaPierre.

On the Anniversary of Bobby's Death, One of his Favorite Poems Comes to Mind.

The Lamentation for Owen Roe O'Neill captures the sadness of the Irish nation at the loss of a great leader when he was sorely needed. Here are some excerpts:

“DID they dare, did they dare, to slay Eoghan Ruadh O’Neill?”
“Yes, they slew with poison him they feared to meet with steel.”
“May God wither up their hearts! May their blood cease to flow,
May they walk in living death, who poisoned Eoghan Ruadh.”

“Wail, wail ye for the Mighty One. Wail, wail ye for the Dead,
Quench the hearth, and hold the breath—with ashes strew the head. 10
How tenderly we loved him. How deeply we deplore!
Holy Saviour! but to think we shall never see him more!

“Sagest in the council was he, kindest in the hall,
Sure we never won a battle—’twas Eoghan won them all.
Had he lived—had he lived—our dear country had been free: 15
But he’s dead, but he’s dead, and ’tis slaves we’ll ever be.

“Wail, wail him through the Island! Weep, weep for our pride!
Would that on the battlefield our gallant chief had died!
Weep the Victor of Beinn Burb—weep him, young and old:
Weep for him, ye women—your beautiful lies cold!

Soft as woman’s was your voice, O’Neill! bright was your eye,
O! why did you leave us, Eoghan? Why did you die? 30
Your troubles are all over, you’re at rest with God on high,
But we’re slaves, and we’re orphans, Eoghan!—why did you die?”

The Irish seem drawn to the tragic and tragedy remains his family's companion. I have to believe that as he would recite these words to a crowd, he knew it was a foreshadowing of his own death. I was as devastated by his loss as was Thomas Davis, the author of the poem, for O'Neill. He wept for Ireland, I still weep for the US.

Chris Hayes show this am was remarkably good.

It started out with the best discussion on education policy that I have ever seen on TV and moved effortlessly to a discussion of private equity that was just as informative.
MSNBC needs to be appreciated for the quality of programming it airs. Hayes and Perry have remade my weekend viewing habits. The discussions are informed; time is allowed to explore topics in depth; the panels are populated by new, smart people; and the hosts know how to guide the interaction. The shows are a breath of fresh air and put to shame the insipid David Gregorys and the tired and tiresome George Wills and their ilk on the broadcast networks.
Thanks MSNBC for this stellar programming.

So let me be sure I have this straight.

A Republican congressman calls 80 elected Democrats communists. One of the biggest contributors to the GOP war on Obama says that he hopes the President's teleprompter is bulletproof. Limbaugh accuses the White House of orchestrating the increase in racial tensions in the country by his comments about Travon. And the story that has the corporate media in high dudgeon is the in-artful but essentially true comments of an independent Democratic consultant on a talk show.
I think Hillary Rosen had the right take then and the right reaction now. Presenting Ann Romney as a credible source on the problems of women is laughable on its face. Apologizing to her for the clumsiness of her words was what a civil person does when causing offense inadvertently. But calling this kerfuffle faux outrage is right on the money. The RW has been doing this for years. They routinely hit us with charges of treason, anti Americanism and lack of moral standards and then go crying to the media for the slightest of missteps or the harshness of the truth spoken by us.
I like what Obama said about Ann Romney. He should stay above the fray. But the rest of us ought to think twice before attacking our own when the GOP hand-wringers start their caterwauling.

I have no problem condemning Maher for some of his language.

He may think he is funny but he is just being crude and sophomoric. That said, there is no equivalence between Maher and Limbaugh. Whether you compare the volume of vile remarks or impact of same, Limbaugh is a cancer on the body politic while Maher truly is just a comedian.
The GOP, which likes to call Rush merely an entertainer, recognized him as a driving force in their victories in the 90's. They have cultivated Rushbo's audience and his favor over the years. The fact of the matter is that Limbaugh is the authentic voice of a Republican Party that has degenerated into an anti-woman, anti-science and racist conglomeration.
So, Bill, I do wish you would grow up. In the words of the older comics you can be funny without working blue.
And as far as Limbaugh and the GOP is concerned, you are on the wrong side of history and demographics. Ms. Fluke merely provided you the opportunity to demonstrate clearly how despicable you are.

Don't believe this bilge about evangelicals, Newt and the power of redemption.

I see a lot of pious baloney about how good Christians are willing to forgive and forget about Newt's chronic, disgraceful behavior because of their faith based belief in forgiveness. I don't remember any of these RW preachers and priests calling for understanding of Bill Clinton and his inability to control himself.
The fact is that what motivated their disparate reactions to similar behavior is fear and hatred of some of the personifications of the changes wrought by the 60's.
Many of these people hated Bill and Hillary then and Obama now as emblematic of the feminist, anti-war, pot smoking and civil rights advocating generation that turned their comfortable world view upside down.
Most of these religious folks that have found their compassionate side for Newt don't care what he has done in the past or will do in the future. They are willing to overlook this amoral charlatan because they think he can push the occupiers, the aggressive women, the uppity blacks, the uncowed gays into their places once again.
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