lunadelcorvo: (Elizabeth Warren)
"Look: The modern national Republican party is a hot mess, a simmering pot of angry reactionaries driven by selfishness and willful ignorance, whose guiding star is not governance but power, and whose policies and practices are tuned to build an oligarchy, not nurture a democracy. Its economic policies are charitably described as nonsense and its social policies are vicious; for a party which parades its association with Jesus around like a fetish, it is notably lacking in the simple compassion of the Christ. There is so little I find good or useful in the current national GOP, intellectually, philosophically or politically, that I genuinely look on it with despair and wonder when or if the grown-ups are ever going to come back to it. Before anyone leaps up to say that the modern Democratic Party has problems of its own, know that I do not disagree. But if your practical choices for governance of the country are between the marginally competent and the actively malicious, you go with the marginally competent.more here, if you want to read the whole thing )

I didn't write the above, but I wholeheartedly agree with it. It is much like Bill Maher's astute assessment: "There is a big difference between a disappointing friend and a deadly enemy. Of course the Democrats are disappointing. That's what makes them Democrats. If they were any more frustrating they'd be your relatives. But in this country they are all that stands between you and darkest night. You know why their symbol is the letter 'D'? Because it's a grade that means good enough, but just barely. You know why the Republican symbol is 'R'? Because it's the noise a pirate makes when he robs you and feeds you to a shark."

Don't love Obama? Fine. But DO NOT stay home on Nov. 6th" - do not hand us over to the actively malicious GOP because Obama isn't quite as wonderful as you'd hoped in 2008. Welcome to real life - few things are as wonderful as we hope. Jobs, grocery stores, cars, vacations, you name it - life is a constant balance between expectation and disappointment. But you can't sit out life, you have to make choices, find the best alternatives and work with them. You can't sit out the political process* because it isn't all you want it to be either. Do we need to drastically overhaul the electoral system? Hell yes! Should we outgrow the two-party hegemony? Long overdue! But does that excuse each and every person from the responsibility of participating in the system in the meantime? Hell no!

Go vote, and vote Obama!

(* and like it or not, at this point, a third party vote might as well be staying home. Do I like this? No. Is it the reality? Yes. Imagine if all the 3rd party votes in 2000 had gone to Gore.... It sucks, yes, but [once again, welcome to real life], a 3rd party vote might as well be gift-wrapped for the GOP.)
lunadelcorvo: (Kim Possible)
Romney & the GOP keep saying Obama hasn't done anything, that he doesn't have a record to run on. Well, here's a list of what he HAS done. It's a pretty damned amazing list of really important accomplishments (especially considering he's has a Congress with the stated goal of obstructing his every move).

Read the list and tell me - doesn't it make you want to see what we can accomplish if we let him finish his to-do list?

1. The first bill President Obama signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, to help women fight back when they don't get equal pay for equal work.

2. His Recovery Act supported millions of jobs and helped to stave off a second Great Depression.

3. He pushed for and won middle-class tax cuts that benefitted every American worker, and saved the typical family $3,600 in taxes over the last four years.

4. President Obama rescued the auto industry, and now GM and Chrysler are healthier than they've ever been. The American auto industry has added nearly a quarter of a million jobs since June 2009 -- and they most likely wouldn't exist right now without President Obama's leadership.

5. He doubled funding for Pell Grants, helping to make college more affordable for nearly 10 million families.

6. His student loan reform ended billions in subsidies to banks serving as middlemen and reinvested those savings directly into students.

7. The President established the American Opportunity Tax Credit, worth up to $10,000 over four years of college.

8. His Race to the Top Initiative helped spur nearly every state to raise academic standards.

9. His tax cuts, social-welfare programs, and economic policies lifted nearly 7 million Americans above the federal poverty line in 2010.

10. President Obama has signed 18 tax cuts for small businesses since taking office.

11. We've seen 5.2 million new private-sector jobs over the last 31 months.

12. The unemployment rate is at the lowest level since President Obama took office.

13. Health care reform -- passed after decades of failed attempts by every previous President -- provides affordable health coverage to every American and will lower premiums by an average of $2,000 per family by 2019.

14. Obamacare expanded access to lifesaving preventive care such as cancer screenings and immunizations with no out-of-pocket costs for 54 million Americans.

15. Obamacare ends insurance discrimination against the 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.

16. Because of Obamacare, over 3 million more young adults have health insurance today than would if the new law hadn't passed.

17. The parents of over 17 million children with pre-existing conditions no longer have to worry that their children will be denied coverage.

18. President Obama has ordered the overhaul of federal government regulations to make them smarter, practical, and more efficient. Just a fraction of these commonsense initiatives will help save businesses $10 billion in the next five years alone.

19. His historic investments in clean energy have helped more than double the amount of electricity we obtain from wind and solar sources and helped increase biofuel production to its highest level in history.

20. President Obama is doubling fuel efficiency standards, which will save drivers more than $8,000 at the gas pump, not to mention lessen the impact of automobiles on our environment.

21. President Obama has taken unprecedented action to address climate change, reaching historic international agreements to curb carbon emissions, and taking action here at home to reduce carbon pollution from our vehicles and promote clean energy production.

22. He has taken historic action to protect our environment -- signing one of the largest expansions of protected wilderness in a generation and putting in place standards to reduce toxic air pollution that will save thousands of lives.

23. President Obama fought for and won landmark Wall Street reform that reins in the abuses that led to the financial crisis and ends the era of taxpayer bailouts and "too big to fail."

24. Wall Street reform created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the nation's first federal agency focused solely on consumer financial protection -- and the Bureau is already protecting families from unfair and abusive financial practices from Wall Street banks and shadowy corners of the financial industry.

25. As part of President Obama's commitment to transparency, the White House has posted its visitor records online for the first time ever.

26. President Obama's all-of-the-above approach to energy has helped cut the United States' dependence on foreign oil to its lowest level in 20 years.

27. President Obama responsibly ended the war in Iraq.

28. He announced a plan to end the war in Afghanistan and transition security responsibility to the Afghan people.

29. President Obama sent the largest security assistance package to Israel in history and funded the Iron Dome system, which is protecting Israeli homes and schools from rocket attacks.

30. President Obama rallied the international community to implement the toughest sanctions on Iran in history.

31. Through the President's historic increases in Veterans Affairs funding, he has expanded and improved healthcare and job training access for our returning veterans.

32. President Obama negotiated the New START Treaty with Russia to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in both countries. At the same time, he also secured commitments from dozens of other countries to lock down nuclear materials.

33. His administration naturalized 11,146 military service members as U.S. citizens in 2010; more than in any year since 1955.

34. President Obama set a bold new plan for the future of NASA space exploration, using the skill and ability of the private sector for short trips to the International Space Station, while building a new vehicle for exploration of distant space, and doing everything in his power to support the economy on Florida's Space Coast.

35. President Obama recognizes that tourism is one of America's largest economic engines; he's worked to encourage international visitors to come here, maintaining our security while keeping millions of Americans in good, paying jobs.

36. He has affirmed his personal support of marriage equality, directed the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA in federal courts, and took the practical and compassionate step of extending hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners.

37. He fought for and won the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, allowing gay and lesbian members of the military to serve openly for the first time in history.

38. When Congress failed to fix our broken immigration system, his administration did everything in its power to improve it, streamlining the legal immigration process and announcing a policy that lifts the shadow of deportation from hard working young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

39. Oh, and he gave the order to send troops in after Osama Bin Laden -- and has decimated al-Qaeda's senior leadership.
lunadelcorvo: (Can it be A time now?)
(reposted from This DailyKos story.)

Slate has produced a Romney income calculator that lets us find out how many hours or days it took Mitt Romney to match our incomes in 2010, and it is good fun to plug in different numbers to get multiple perspectives on just how ridiculously rich Romney is. (Find it HERE)

For instance, in 2010 it took Mitt Romney 10 hours and 40 minutes to earn the median individual income of $26,400. It took him 16 hours and nine minutes to earn the mean income of $39,959. It took him three days, eight hours, and 53 minutes to earn the $200,000 that by some measures puts you in the top 1 percent; or five days, 19 hours, and seven minutes to earn the $344,000 that puts you in the top 1 percent by another measure.

Conversely, if you earn a low-to-modest income of $40K, it would take you 541 years, 6 months, 12 days, 6 hours, 20 minutes, and 9 seconds to make what Mitt made in 2010.

And don't forget, however much more money Romney makes than you, he also quite likely pays a lower tax rate. So make your next stop the DNC's Romney tax calculator, to compare your tax rate to Romney's and find out how different your taxes would be if you paid at the rate he does. (Not included in the calculation is the cost of all the accountants and lawyers he pays to help him avoid paying taxes.)

So, how long does it take Mitt Romney to make your income, and how much would you save on taxes if, like him, you only paid 13.9 percent?
lunadelcorvo: (Clio Muse of History)
I really want to say no. I really want to insist that the 'Texas has the right to secede,' 'I'm proud of how many people I've executed, never mind if some of them were innocent,' NAR/Dominionist Perry is too far right even for the Tea-party-crazed, ever more radical right wing to nominate. I'd like to, but I can't. Because I'm not certain he isn't going to end up being the Republican nominee.

This article on DK is a better overview of why than I could assemble: The Republican Debate: Rick Perry may be the candidate the GOP has been looking for (though look to see a long post about Perry of my own drafting soon).

The ultimate question in the face of a Perry nomination then, is whether he is sufficiently outrageous and repugnant to bring out the left, despite feeling abused, ignored and forgotten by our representatives, including the President. In part, I think that will depend on how closely the left is watching the GOP field now, in the run-up to the primaries, and how long their memories are once the nominee rewrites his (or her) entire rhetoric to aim towards the center for the election itself.

Which is why I think it is really important for everyone with even the slightest lean to the left being rational, sane, or reasonable to watch closely what these candidates are saying now, when they are speaking to their own.
lunadelcorvo: (Default)
THanks again to Talk2Action, a really good article that clarifies a lot of the 'media muddle' that the recent discussion of dominionism and the New Apostolic Reformation has stirred around the airwaves. Fairly short, but detailed and readable. Definitely worth a look.

| Inside the Christian Right Dominionist Movement That's Undermining Democracy
lunadelcorvo: (Celtic Queen)
Just wanted to boosT the signal on this excellent piece on National Public Radio's Fresh Air:

The New Apostolic reformation: The Evangelicals Engaged In Spiritual Warfare

It represents what I believe to be the first serious, relatively mainstream, piece on the New Apostolic Reformation to hit the airwaves. As such it is a terrifically important piece of journalism in terms of (hopefully) opening up some real dialog on what motivates the current crop of religious right movers in politics. Give it a listen: there is a streaming version and a PodCast version, or a transcript online if you'd rather read it.
lunadelcorvo: (Drama lama)
There isn't a satirist out there that has a chance of running out of material!

lunadelcorvo: (Ask the devil to behave)
I have decided to see just how bad things are. I took the transcript of Keith Olbermann's Special Comment "If the Tea Party wins, America loses," with its laundry list of the insanity from the Tea Party, and checked it against the election results. Let's see how many of the nutjobs he mentions won their races, shall we? I bolded those who won, italicized those who did not. If the race has not been called, it's underlined with the percent up or down in parens. Remember, as you read, the people whose names are in bold are now numbered among our nation's lawmakers. I warn you, it's not a pretty picture....

The list portion is under a cut, for those who want to preserve their belief that America makes any kind of sense at all. (And because it's long, but mostly the former) )

Olbermann closed by saying, among other things: "You are willing to let these people run this country? This is the America you want? This is the America you are willing to permit? These are the kinds of cranks, menaces, mercenaries and authoritarians you will turn this country over to?"

The answer is apparently yes. Not all the loonies made it, true. Some of the most bizarre were weeded out, true. But a lot got it. A whole lot. Over the next two years, we MUST fight to take it back, to discredit the insane Tea Party, to push these lawmakers to reveal their flaws, show their agendas. And in two years, we have to make it right. The democratic congress blew it in the last two years. And we blew it this fall. We have two years to get our shit together and make damned sure we don't blow it again.
lunadelcorvo: (Ask the devil to behave)
It seems we have a Republican house, and are damn close to having a Republican Senate, or at least a Senate with no clear majority. This is no real surprise, although it is a bit of a disappointment. However unrealistic, I had rather hoped for a surge of 'not gonna let it happen' from the Left. (Rand Paul? Really!? You thought this was a good idea? SRSLY!?!)

So now what? If the GOP is as uncooperative as they have promised they will be, I suppose this will be a few years in which there will be a terrific noise and bluster, and little real action. There is of course, talk of impeachment, but I hope I am not optimistic to say I think that threat has no real weight behind it. Clearly, the White House will be able to get nothing done, which is to say that it will accomplish even less than it has so far, which isn't saying much.

All in all, I'd rather have a mid-term shift than a term-end sweep. At this point, I guess the best possible thing is to hope that the Tea Party Right make such collective asses of themselves that even the mouth-breathing, slack-jawed, knuckle-dragging electorate in this country will have no choice but to show them the door for a good long time.

I just wonder what this place will look like by the time people figure out they've been had?
lunadelcorvo: (Foucault discourse)
Get out and vote! Many people fought hard for you to have the right to vote. Of course, you can choose not to exercise that right. But today - this is a day that could change so many things, for better or worse. I know many of the Democratic candidates are disappointing. Trust me, we have some duds here, too. But look long and hard at the alternatives before choosing not to vote, or to vote third party. If your Republican candidates are anything like mine, or many of the ones we've seen in recent weeks, is this *really* the election you want to walk away from? Do we want Christine O'Donnell and Rand Paul and others like them plotting the course of our futures, even for a few years?

Please, vote today.



Things I need to remember:
• Asking for help is not, as it turns out, fatal.
• Laughing is easier than pulling your hair out, and doesn't have the unfortunate side effect of making you look like a plague victim.
• Even the biggest tasks can be defeated if taken a bit at a time.
• I can write a paper the night before it's due, but the results are not all they could be.
• Be thorough, but focused.
• Trust yourself.
• Honesty, always.

Historians are the Cassandras of the Humanities



RSS Atom