October 26th, 2010

garf i love winter

Attack on the Middle Class

Attack on the Middle Class!!

THE REMARKABLE thing about the American middle class is that we still have one, given the job losses, housing bust, and 401(k) wipeout of the past three years—and considering that for 35 years, politicians (and the bankers who own them) have been hammering away at middle-class institutions. The assault began in the 1970s, when New York City's fiscal crisis and California's property-tax revolt marked the start of a long decline in public services. Next came the recession and anti-union policies of the early 1980s, whose whip's end hit the black working class especially hard. (Automakers have long been among the nation's largest private employers of African Americans. In the late '70s, one in every 50 African Americans in the workforce was employed in the industry.) Thanks to the UAW, the automakers provided good jobs and pensions for workers who, in many cases, had a high-school education at best. When Chrysler hit the ropes in 1979, Congress did pitch in with a $1.5 billion loan guarantee (I worked on that bill as an economist for the House banking committee), but the decade that followed still pummeled autoworkers—as they did all of American manufacturing.

The consequences are still unfolding. Total employment of manufacturing workers peaked in 1979, and three decades later, we're in the endgame. Jobs in the sector are down by about a third since 2000—some 6 million lost. Most of them will never be replaced. Nothing can stop the Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese, and others from making shoes and ships and sealing wax at wages we can't compete with. And nothing will.

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Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

Obama can "take his endorsement and really shove it."

RI Dem: Obama can 'shove it' for not endorsing him

The Democratic candidate for Rhode Island governor told President Barack Obama on Monday to "shove it" after learning Obama would not endorse him.

Frank Caprio's campaign last week said he would welcome the president's endorsement. But on Monday, the same day Obama was set to make his first visit to Rhode Island as president and a day after the White House said Obama would not endorse anyone, Caprio angrily told WPRO-AM that Obama can "take his endorsement and really shove it."

Caprio's independent opponent, Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican senator who served with Obama for two years, gave a high-profile endorsement to Obama ahead of the Democratic primary in 2008.

Obama is scheduled to visit a factory in Woonsocket and then attend two fundraisers in Providence for congressional candidates. Caprio had been invited to the tour and one of the fundraisers, but he indicated he would not attend after learning Sunday night that the White House publicly announced it would not endorse him.

"It's an agenda that they're driving," he said.

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The Assassination of Dr. Tiller

Part 1 of 6 (the rest available at source link):

TRIGGER WARNING for anti-choice shock images and the part where 3 of Tiller's patients tell us about their cases.


I want to punch the face in of the jackwagon at the very end that was all "Tiller's dead, on to the next villain". Go Fuck Yourself you murderous, evil, pompous Jay Mariotti looking shit-for-brains.

Richard Cohen Thinks Clarence Thomas is the Real Victim

In elementary school, some kid must have plastered a "kick me!" sign on Clarence Thomas's back -- and it has never been taken off. Every 20 years or so, some woman surfaces to accuse the now-Supreme Court justice of being a male chauvinist pig -- to resurrect an old term from the tie-dyed era -- but falls frustratingly short of making a case for true sexual harassment. Thomas stands nearly alone on the court in his shallowness of his scholarship and the narrowness of his compassion. But when it comes to his alleged sexual boorishness, he stands condemned of being a man.

His latest accuser is an old flame of his, Lillian McEwen -- lawyer, prosecutor, administrative judge and, some desperate publisher willing, author of a manuscript detailing time kept with Thomas way back in the 1980s, a bit before the modern era. The revelations -- so banal as to comprise a virtual exoneration -- are that Thomas was obsessed with women, likes them big-breasted, and indulged in a critical viewing of pornography. For this, The Post gave McEwen some 1,500 words, which, in this day and age, is a veritable king's ransom of words -- about two of my standard op-ed columns. I am, understandably enough, mortified. Collapse )


At least many comments call him out on this. The fuck, Washington Post? How did you think this was OK?

London school claims to have eradicated anti-gay bullying

A school in north London says it has virtually eradicated anti-gay bullying by teaching pupils about gay history.

Stoke Newington secondary school was one of the first schools to adopt LGBT History Month five years ago. It is now also a diversity training centre, training other teachers how they can educate pupils about homosexuality and different families.

Pupils learn about Oscar Wilde and Alan Turing, while Andy Warhol and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert also feature in lessons.

Elly Barnes, a teacher at the school and the diversity course leader, said that the key was “educating and celebrating”.

She told the Guardian: “My focus is eradicating homophobia from all schools and educational establishments by giving staff the confidence and resources to do it, along with demonstrating good practice and changing opinions under the banner of ‘educate and celebrate’.

“Many teachers are scared of celebrating LGBT as they are worried pupils will judge them and will assume they are gay,” she said.

“In fact, to them, we are just a blob giving them information. Over the five years, I’ve only had three pupils ask whether I am gay.”

Ms Barnes added that a number of pupils had felt comfortable enough to come out and said: “I used to hear the word gay being used all the time, as a derogatory term. Now we hardly hear that.”

A recent report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission said that two-thirds of gay students are bullied at school. Seventeen per cent said they had received death threats.

Research for gay charity Stonewall in 2009 found that while the majority of teachers see homophobic bullying among children, only one in ten said they had received specific guidance on tackling the problem.

Source: Pink News
Something positive for a change.

GOP Candidate Ken Buck: 'I Disagree Strongly With The Concept Of Separation Of Church And State' (VI

WASHINGTON -- Colorado Republican Senate candidate and Tea Party favorite Ken Buck last year said he "strongly" disagrees with one of the bedrock principles of American society: the separation of church and state.

"I disagree strongly with the concept of separation of church and state," said Buck at a forum for GOP Senate candidates last year. "It was not written into the Constitution. While we have a Constitution that is very strong in the sense that we are not gonna have a religion that's sanctioned by the government, it doesn't mean that we need to have a separation between government and religion. And so that, that concerns me a great deal."

In his statement, he also criticized President Obama for calling the White House Christmas tree a "holiday tree." "It's just flat wrong in my mind," he added. His remarks were captured by the site ThinkProgress, which also has video.



As former solicitor general Paul Clement points out, the phrase "separation of church and state" is not technically in the First Amendment. It's a phrase coined by Thomas Jefferson, who wrote in 1801 that "religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God" and argued the Constitution required "building a wall of separation between Church & State." But as ThinkProgress' George Zornick notes, the Constitution does prohibit the endorsement or establishment of a state religion.

This issue of "separation of church and state" also recently tripped up Senate Republican candidates Sharron Angle and Christine O'Donnell. In a June interview, Angle denied that the "separation of church and state arises out of the Constitution."

"Thomas Jefferson has been misquoted, like I've been misquoted, out of context," said Angle. "Thomas Jefferson was actually addressing a church and telling them through his address that there had been a wall of separation put up between the church and the state precisely to protect the church from being taken over by a state religion. That's what they meant by that. They didn't mean we couldn't bring our values to the political forum."

More recently, in a Delaware Senate debate, O'Donnell asked, "Where in the Constitution is the separation of church and state?" When Coons responded that the First Amendment bars the government from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, O'Donnell replied, "You're telling me that's in the First Amendment?" The audience audibly gasped.

Additionally, as FactCheck.org has documented, Buck's claim about the White House Christmas tree is "hooey." The Huffington Post contacted the Buck campaign for comment but did not receive a reply.

UPDATE, 12:17 p.m.: At a July 12 Tea Party meeting, Buck said that "the secularism that is developing in this country is a very scary concept." He has also advocated for the public posting of the 10 Commandments. As a Windsor 912 meeting on June 3, Buck explained in more detail his thoughts on separation of church and state:

Yes, we have separation of church and state. We don't want a state-sponsored religion, but no it doesn't mean that churches and government should never interact, and that wall that people are trying to form between the two and punish religion is something that I think has gone in the wrong direction, and I think what President Bush did with faith-based programs that worked with the government is exactly the right idea.


While we have a Constitution that is very strong in the sense that we are not gonna have a religion that's sanctioned by the government, it doesn't mean that we need to have a separation between government and religion.

Yes, you fucktard, not having our government sanction any religion IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE MEANS!  It amazes me how much the right wing Evangelical Christians have in common with countries that are ruled by conservative Muslim governments....they both want to see their country ruled as a theocracy.....so long as it's their particular brand of religion that's in charge, that is.

donk... donk... donk...

Why Did 17 Million Students Go to College?

Two sets of information were presented to me in the last 24 hours that have dramatically reinforced my feeling that diminishing returns have set in to investments in higher education, with increasing evidence suggesting that we are in one respect “overinvesting” in the field. First, following up on information provided by former student Douglas Himes at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), my sidekick Chris Matgouranis showed me the table reproduced below (And for more see this).

Over 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees (over 8,000 of them have doctoral or professional degrees), along with over 80,000 bartenders, and over 18,000 parking lot attendants. All told, some 17,000,000 Americans with college degrees are doing jobs that the BLS says require less than the skill levels associated with a bachelor’s degree.

I have long been a proponent of Charles Murray’s thesis that an increasing number of people attending college do not have the cognitive abilities or other attributes usually necessary for success at higher levels of learning. As more and more try to attend colleges, either college degrees will be watered down (something already happening I suspect) or drop-out rates will rise.

The relentless claims of the Obama administration and others that having more college graduates is necessary for continued economic leadership is incompatible with this view. Putting issues of student abilities aside, the growing disconnect between labor market realities and the propaganda of higher-education apologists is causing more and more people to graduate and take menial jobs or no job at all. This is even true at the doctoral and professional level—there are 5,057 janitors in the U.S. with Ph.D.’s, other doctorates, or professional degrees.

This week an extraordinarily interesting new study was posted on the Web site of America’s most prestigious economic-research organization, the National Bureau of Economic Research. Three highly regarded economists (one of whom has won the Nobel Prize in Economic Science) have produced “Estimating Marginal Returns to Education,” Working Paper 16474 of the NBER. After very sophisticated and elaborate analysis, the authors conclude “In general, marginal and average returns to college are not the same.” (p. 28)

In other words, even if on average, an investment in higher education yields a good, say 10 percent, rate of return, it does not follow that adding to existing investments will yield that return, partly for reasons outlined above. The authors (Pedro Carneiro, James Heckman, and Edward Vytlacil) make that point explicitly, stating “Some marginal expansions of schooling produce gains that are well below average returns, in general agreement with the analysis of Charles Murray.” (p.29)

Now it is true that college has a consumption as well as investment function. People often enjoy going to classes, just as they enjoy watching movies or taking trips. They love the socialization dimensions of schooling—particularly in this age of the country-clubization of American universities. They may improve their self-esteem by earning a college degree. Yet, at a time when resources are scarce, when American governments are running $1.3-trillion deficits, when we face huge unfunded liabilities associated with commitments made to our growing elderly population, should we be subsidizing increasingly problematic educational programs for students whose prior academic record would suggest little likelihood of academic, much less vocational, success?

I think the American people understand, albeit dimly, the logic above. Increasingly, state governments are cutting back higher-education funding, thinking it is an activity that largely confers private benefits. The pleas of university leaders and governmental officials for more and more college attendance appear to be increasingly costly and unproductive forms of special pleading by a sector that abhors transparency and performance measures.

Higher education is on the brink of big change, like it or not.


Tea Partiers Make No Damn Sense. Also, Bears Defecate In The Woods.


There’s a Republican Party, There’s a Democrat Party, There is No ‘Tea Party’

Am I the only one who feels like yanking my teeth out with needle nose pliers when he hears questions about what the ‘Tea Party’ is up to? What candidate they’ll promote, which direction they’ll move next, and how the ‘Tea Party will influence upcoming election? Am I the only one? Okay, let’s clear this up – (unless of course I’ve taken too many rim shots to the head and have simply lost my mind, but)… there is no ‘Tea Party.’

It is not a political party. Tea Parties are political gatherings in which concerned and outraged American citizens express their outrage at government spending and crippling legislation and reaffirm collectively their devotion to American Constitutional values.

But there is no Tea Party, there is no Conservative Party, and there is no Liberal Party. We have basically a two-party political system, the Democrats and the Republicans. All other ‘parties’ act as spoilers in political elections. Third party candidates end up swaying election results as to hurt the very people they were hoping to help: themselves. They split the vote. Witness two past presidential election votes in which Ross Perot split the Republican vote, awarding both elections to the Democrat, Bill Clinton. Ralph Nader has been a thorn in the Democrats’ side with his Green Party…or is it the Peace & Freedom Party…or was it the Nutjobs & Pudwhacks for Mindless Change Party, I don’t remember. Anyway… There is no Tea ‘Party’.
But there is a Libertarian Party.

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Another failure of an editorial, brought to you by Big Hollywood

If they're not interested in forming their own party, then why are they actively throwing Liberal Republicans and people they don't like under the bus? Also, why are they always trying to solicit the LOLbertarians? Finally, I made the macro, so feel free to steal.

R.I.P. Paul

 BERLIN — Sea Life Aquarium says that Paul the Octopus who gained worldwide fame with his perfect World Cup predictions has died. He was 2 1/2.

Aquarium spokeswoman Ariane Vieregge in Oberhausen said Tuesday that Paul seemed fine when checked on late Monday night but was found dead in his tank Tuesday morning.

She says that it was normal for an octopus of his type to die at that age and that he had died of natural causes.

Paul correctly predicted the outcome of all seven of Germany's games plus Spain's victory over the Netherlands in the final.


I didn't like all of your predictions, Paul, but R.I.P. :/
MISC - moustache

My Opponent Knows Where Washington Is On A Map; I Don't, And I Never Will

By Ron Johnson
Republican Candidate For Wisconsin Senator

As your Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, I'm grateful to have this opportunity to reach out to the people of Wisconsin and draw some distinctions between myself—a D.C. outsider—and Russ Feingold. The incumbent is a classic tax-and-spend liberal who, if elected, will increase the deficit even further. But most importantly, Russ Feingold is a career politician who knows exactly where to find our nation's capital on a map.

Me? I don't have the slightest idea. If somebody asked me right now where Washington, D.C. is, I would say north, but that's really just a shot in the dark. I am literally clueless.

You see, Russ Feingold has been a senator for nearly 20 years. He knows the Beltway backwards and forwards. Heck, I bet he could even tell you which state Washington, D.C. is in. I, on the other hand, don't even know what the "D.C." stands for, and I never will. I'll die before I acquire that information, and that is my promise to you.

Is D.C. where Mount Rushmore is? Beats me. Ask Russ Feingold.

Truth be told, I never even heard the name "Washington, D.C." until I decided to run for the Senate. When I am elected, I will have no idea how to get there or where I'm supposed to go. Will there be buildings there? Is it temperate, rainy, hot, or arid? Do people speak English in this place, this Washington, D.C.?

I haven't the foggiest. But you know who does? You know who probably knows what year Washington, D.C. was founded and who it's named after? Russ Feingold, geography whiz and soon-to-be-former senator from the great state of Wisconsin.

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Rhode Island to vote on dropping 'Plantations' from its name


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This state's official name — The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations — is more than just a mouthful. To many, it evokes stinging reminders of Rhode Island's prime role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Voters next Tuesday will decide whether to change the name by dropping the words "and Providence Plantations." The issue has been debated for years, but lawmakers last year authorized a ballot question for the first time following an impassioned debate over race relations, ancestry and history.

"You go anywhere and you mention plantations and what automatically comes to a person's mind is slavery," said Nick Figueroa, 41, a member of a legislative minority advisory coalition that backs changing the name.

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To be honest, I had no idea Rhode Island was more than Rhode Island. You learn something new every day.

Any Rhode Island residents out there? How do you feel on this matter?
music | Cindy Mayweather

ONTD_Political's PotD: October 26, 2010.

Japan and the Holocaust | The young man’s monochrome portrait is at least 70 years old, the whites all faded to yellow, but it is still clear he had style. His hair is slicked down, eye arched, suit perfect with matching tie and handkerchief.

He also had the good fortune to escape Europe in the early days of World War II. The photo, a gift to the man who helped him escape, is one of seven recently discovered snapshots that cast light on a little known subplot of the war – even as Germany sought to seal Jewish Europeans in, a small army of tourism officials from its main ally, Japan, helped shepherd thousands away to safety.

Photos by Tatsuo Osako
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Source: "Japan and the Holocaust" | In Focus | Denver Post
mus | like a bird in a cage

Iraq's Tareq Aziz sentenced to death, Vatican appeals

Iraq's high tribunal Tuesday passed a death sentence on Tareq Aziz, once the international face of dictator Saddam Hussein's government, over the persecution of Islamic parties, the court said.

The death sentence was the first to be handed down to Aziz, who was well known in foreign capitals and at the United Nations before Saddam's downfall. He rose to prominence at the time of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and the 1991 Gulf War, when he was foreign minister.

"The court today issued the death sentence on Tareq Aziz and four others for committing crimes against humanity. The charge of elimination of religious parties was classified as crimes against humanity," Judge Mohammed Abdul-Sahib, a spokesman of the Iraqi High Tribunal, told Reuters.

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No words

School Official Wants Gays Dead

Arkansas school board member Clint McCance believes "queers" and "fags" should kill themselves — that is, if they don't get AIDS and die first.

While schools across the country are taking action against bullying and suicide, a board member of an Arkansas school district is using his Facebook page to encourage "queers" and "fags" to kill themselves.

Clint McCance is a board member in the Midland school district in western Arkansas. Responding to a call to wear purple last Wednesday to support LGBT youth, McCance wrote the following message on his Facebook page: "Seriously they want me to wear purple because five queers killed themselves. The only way im wearin it for them is if they all commit suicide. I cant believe the people of this world have gotten this stupid. We are honoring the fact that they sinned and killed thereselves because of their sin. REALLY PEOPLE."

Initially, six people "liked" McCance's message. He also received supportive comments, though some challenged his statement. A commenter wrote, "Because hatred is always right." That led McCance to write, "No because being a fag doesn't give you the right to ruin the rest of our lives. If you get easily offended by being called a fag then dont tell anyone you are a fag. Keep that shit to yourself. I dont care how people decide to live their lives. They dont bother me if they keep it to thereselves. It pisses me off though that we make a special purple fag day for them. I like that fags cant procreate. I also enjoy the fact that they often give each other aids and die. If you arent against it, you might as well be for it."


McCance responded with, "I would disown my kids they were gay. They will not be welcome at my home or in my vicinity. I will absolutely run them off. Of course my kids will know better. My kids will have solid christian beliefs. See it infects everyone."

It's not clear if McCance has taken down the thread, since his Facebook page is private — the messages were made available to The Advocate via a forwarded screen capture. The superintendent of the Midland school district was unavailable and a phone call to the principal of the Midland High School was not returned. There was no response to e-mails to the superintendent and to the secretary of the Midland school board.

"Clint McCance has put a face on the hate that devastates our young people," says Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese. "McCance shouldn't be allowed near children, let alone managing their education. We call for his immediate resignation from the school board."


Oh wow. This guy... And read the comments at your own risk.