Monthly Archives: March 2012

LUV News on Iran Corruption

RED, WHITE, AND CORRUPT

Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour thinks Iran is “the Number One threat to peace and stability.” He also claims that Iran has a goal of “destroying Western civilization and its foundational values.” How ironic, then, that his very own lobbying corporation, BGR Group, has a connection to Iran. A financial connection. BGR represents a Russian bank that financed a company to help build the Bushehr nuclear plant. Hmmm. Could it be that money trumps “principle” in Barbour’s mind? And that while he’s busy fear-mongering on the one hand, he’s collecting cash in the other?  Perish the thought!

LUV News on the Military Budget

HYPOCRISY IN DEFENSE CUTS


In an agreement between President Obama and the Congress last year, massive cuts will have to be made to government spending, including our bloated “defense” department, although most of our government leaders agreed to this part of it kicking and screaming all the way. You can take the last crust of bread from any starving child without so much as a raised eyebrow, but nobody touches the holy Nuclear Mafia.

Two reports in British news this morning unintentionally expose the hypocrisy.  The first mentions, “The Pentagon said on Thursday it expected hundreds of thousands of layoffs across the defense industry if lawmakers did not take action to avert the looming $500 billion in defense budget cuts.”

But why is it that hundreds of thousands of people must lose their jobs? The second piece headlines, “Exclusive: U.S. sees lifetime cost of F-35 fighter at $1.45 trillion.”  Not long ago we thought of that much money in terms of the entire national debt, not just the cost of one weapons system.

“Defense” people are obviously not as important as the multimillion-dollar salaries of Nuclear Mafia executives and the billions in profits going to Nuclear Mafia investors from taxpayers. The Nuclear Mafia finances our elections and has more power over our mass media than any other consideration.

The Borowitz Report

Greece Buys Mega Millions Ticket

Prime Minister Travels to Convenience Store in Indiana

ZIONSVILLE, INDIANA (The Borowitz Report) – In a move that raised many eyebrows among financial ministers across the Eurozone, the nation of Greece today purchased a Mega Millions lottery ticket in the hopes of winning a jackpot topping $540 million.

Prime Minister Lucas Papademos made the extraordinary purchase himself, traveling to a convenience story in Zionsville, Indiana where he briefly chatted with the Hoosier Lottery’s Mega Millions mascot.

While the odds of winning the jackpot currently stand at 1 in 176 million, experts say that the odds of Greece solving its financial problems on its own are approximately 1 in 975 zillion.

The Greek Prime Minister acknowledged that buying a Mega Millions ticket might appear to be a desperate move to the outside world, but added, “At this point it was either that or sell the Parthenon to Mark Zuckerberg.”

Asked why he purchased only one lottery ticket, Mr. Papademos said, “That’s all we had money for, and even that we had to borrow from Germany.”

Mario Piperni on the Problem with Mittens

To Know Romney Is To Loathe Him

March 30, 2012 By

Yes, there are another seven months to go before the general election…and yes, issues like the economy and the health care law will have an effect on the final outcome. You can also count on Republicans uniting (begrudgingly as it may be) once Romney wins the nomination.

But it’s charts like this one which must be giving conservative strategists sleepless nights.

Steve Benen:

…the likely GOP nominee has a problem that’s hard to fix: the more folks see him, the less folks like him… Since disliked candidates usually lose, this should cause some discomfort in Republican circles.

Romney has been campaigning for this job for the last six years so it’s hard to imagine what he can do differently at this point to reverse his favorability numbers. Probably not much. He is what he is.

Keeping the Public in Public Radio

This post, “Radio’s digital dilemma: broadcasting in the 21st century,” on the University of Illinois website, pretty much says it all — Big Money (and NPR) muscled compliant FCC into a system designed to make a few people rich and thwart competition, ends up being trash:

The interaction of policy and technological development in the era of “convergence” is messy and fraught with contradictions. The best expression of this condition is found in the story behind the development and proliferation of digital audio broadcasting (DAB). Radio is the last of the traditional mass media to navigate the convergence phenomenon; convergence itself has an inherently disruptive effect on traditional media forms. However, in the case of radio, this disruption is mostly self-induced through the cultivation of communications policies which thwart innovation. A dramaturgical analysis of digital radio’s technological and policy development reveals that the industry’s preferred mode of navigating the…

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LUV News on Ambidextrous Politics

Yesterday I listened to corporate “news,” which was headlining about the Pope visiting Cuba. The mass media spin was that the Pope is pushing a “Capitalist Jesus,” not in so many words, but that is the gist of it. If only Cubans would embrace corporate control for “freedom,” they could give up their health care and become wage slaves for Big Agribusiness, they seemed to be saying. Why is it I’ve always seen a communist Jesus in page after page of the Christian Bible, instructing followers “What you do to the least of them, you do to me”? In corporate media, Jesus represents the 1%.

The Democrat/Republican scam was outed by Kevin Zeese, who pointed out while demonstrating before the Supreme Court, he noticed all those supporting Obama’s health care plan were Democrats, and most of those opposing the Nixon/Romney/Obama plan were Republicans. Had McCain won the last election and pushed Obamacare, as Obama pushed Romneycare, the two groups would switch sides in their protests. They are not protesting principles, they are protesting that the plan is or is not Democrat or Republican, like brain damaged zombies, as the system makes mush of their minds. Were they awake, they would see that whether Republican or Democrat plans, they are being screwed, big time, on behalf of the Medical Mafia.

While all the arguing goes on about who is the most Republican or Democrat, the world is on fire with wars, global warming, massive wealth disparity, a complete absence of democracy everywhere — so some of us who care about the public interest are planning to disrupt the system by exposing hard facts, teaching as many millions as we can about what’s really happening around the corporate media mind control machine in what we are calling the Democracy Movement, or Occupy. The American Spring begins tomorrow, and LUV News will be in Washington DC for it.

But those who run the system are aware that they have now created a world in which a tiny few control nearly everything — the governments, the wealth, the mass media, the laws, and frighteningly, the police and military with which to crush us should their other powers fail them. Not being stupid, the 1% are changing the laws rapidly, under Presidents Bush and Obama, to get rid of civil rights which might get in their way. Obama’s secret ruling that he can kill whoever he wants anywhere in the world for any reason without evidence is just the latest example, after wiretapping became commonplace, and so many billions of emails and phone conversations were copied that a new building, one of the largest on the planet, is being erected in Utah to house the NSA data with which to spy on us.

Bob Seger, in “Lookin’ Back,” said “When the war comes, the cops’ll be on their side.” The war the 1% fear most is the rise of an aware population wishing to establish democratic principles, and they are counting most on the subservience of police forces to maintain control.  —Jack

Mario Piperni Kicks Racist Ass

A Racist Rant

March 29, 2012 By

The quote below is a blatant and ugly racist comment written by a reader of right-wing blogger Sister Toldjah. She wrote a piece finding fault with Rep. Bobby Rush for wearing a hoodie on the floor of the House in support of murdered black youth Trayvon Martin. One of her reader’s took the opportunity to lecture on blacks in America.

I fully understand the urge that many minorities in this country feel to participate in our system of government, which is not a Democracy as most people believe, but is in fact, a Republic. I’m not going to mince words here and try to align myself with all the politically correct idiots in the world. I can’t name a more worthless bunch of individuals, than the politically correct idiots we deal with every day.

Yes, this country is made up of many people, from many different backgrounds and many different countries. Given that History of America, the only race that has not been able to assimilate into the fabric of this great country is Blacks. I refuse to call them African-Americans, because they are not African-Americans. They are Americans, just like you and I. But of all the people who have made it to these sacred shores, they are the only ones who have never found their place here. All the other strange people who came here from strange lands, found a way to make a home here. They assimilated. They found a way to make life work in this new country. In doing so, they enriched American life as we know it. Ever go to New York and visit, “Little Italy?” Yes, it is totally Italian, but at the same time it is totally American.

I am well aware of the sins upon black people that my relatives of previous generations have visited upon these people. My question is simple. How long do we, as individuals who had nothing to do with it, have to pay for it?

I am totally sick of this polite game we play with the Black people in this country. They contribute absolutely nothing to this country. Instead, they suck this country dry by their dependency on welfare. They vote Democratic. What a surprise.

Please email me the first time black people in this country actually contribute something that makes this country better. And don’t tell me Obama was something they gave us that made this country better. I could shoot myself.

I publish the racist comments not because I believe every person on the right holds the same views on blacks as the bigot who wrote them. I published the comment because if the election of Barack Obama has revealed anything, it’s that racism is alive and well in America. The only difference between the remarks above and those of many conservatives, those both in and out of politics, is that under the cover of anonymity, racists are more honest in expressing their bigotry.

Fox News personalities and Republicans in Congress don’t have that luxury so their racism is couched in code words and faux rage over liberal angst. If Trayvon Martin was a white 17-year old kid shot by a black vigilante who was yet to be arrested, the right would openly be calling for the lynching of the killer.

I sense that the last three paragraphs of the racist rant I quoted above is one which is more prevalent in American society than many would wish to admit.

(h/t: Atrios)

The Borowitz Report

An Argument Against Healthcare

From the National Alliance of Funeral Directors

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – The following message was released today by the National Alliance of Funeral Directors:

This week, several Republican Supreme Court Justices have argued that the Affordable Care Act supported by the Obama Administration is unconstitutional. At the National Alliance of Funeral Directors, we couldn’t agree more.

It was Revolutionary War hero Patrick Henry who said, in 1775, “Give me liberty or give me death.” From that moment on, legal scholars have agreed that the Constitution guarantees every American the liberty to be dead. Here at the Alliance, we will fight for your right to be dead to the death.

Let’s take a look, if you will, at the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which protects every American’s right to shoot another American. It says nothing about giving the person who is shot health insurance to prevent him from dying. This cherished constitutional right to shoot people and make them dead is currently recognized in all fifty states, most recently Florida.

In commenting on the Affordable Care Act this week, Justice Samuel Alito compared the Obama healthcare plan to burial insurance. Coincidentally, burial insurance is the Republican healthcare plan, and one that we enthusiastically support. Under this plan, every American would be mandated to buy a coffin from one of our member-owned and operated funeral homes. May we recommend the Peaceful Valley Royale,™ a luxury mahogany casket with sienna satin interior and the finest imitation antique nickel handles ($2899).

As the organization representing America’s funeral directors, gravediggers, embalmers and cremators, we are confident that the Supreme Court will ultimately do the right thing and decide that healthcare flies in the face of every American’s constitutional right to the pursuit of deadness. And when they do, we’ll be waiting for you.

Sincerely,

The National Alliance of Funeral Directors

Not So Supreme

There is no ‘Cornhusker kickback’

via Newsvine – Steve Benen – Articles by Steve Benen on 3/28/12

 

Associated Press

Artist rendering of Paul Clement arguing in front of the Supreme Court yesterday.

It’s not fair for anyone to expect Supreme Court justices to become experts in every area of every law that comes before them. There are simply too many cases, spanning too broad a legal spectrum.

That said, it’s not unreasonable to think justices should be relatively well informed about the basics of health care law, since literally tens millions of Americans are counting on them to make a fair and reasoned decisions. It makes displays like these rather embarrassing.

There was in a strange moment in today’s severability argument at SCOTUS. Justice Antonin Scalia referred to a deal that Sen. Ben Nelson once made, to make a hypothetical point about what could take down the law.

“If we struck down nothing in this legislation but the — what’s it called, the Cornhusker kickback, okay, we find that to violate the constitutional proscription of venality, okay?” asked Scalia, talking to Paul Clement. “When we strike that down, it’s clear that Congress would not have passed it without that. It was the means of getting the last necessary vote in the Senate. And you are telling us that the whole statute would fall because the Cornhusker kickback is bad. That can’t be right.”

In this case, Scalia doesn’t seem to realize that the so-called “Cornhusker kickback” wasn’t included in the Affordable Care Act; it was taken out before passage. Scalia probably heard something about it on Fox News, assumed it was true, and internalized his party’s talking points. More than two years later, the conservative justice is still parroting a claim that has no basis in fact — indeed, he’s practically boasting about it during Supreme Court oral arguments.

Scalia is bringing to the discussion all the sophistication of a House freshman appearing at a Tea Party rally.

And while this was a glaring example of policy ignorance, the larger issue is that the Scalia and other justices have routinely struggled this week with the basics of health care economics and the details of the law itself. Henry Aaron highlighted a question from Alito yesterday that was “painfully detached from an understanding” of the underlying issue, or even “how insurance works.” Paul Krugman added today, “Astonishingly, many of the justices appear not to understand that health care isn’t like the market for cars or broccoli.”

It’s problematic enough that Americans lack confidence that Supreme Court justices will be objective and fair; it’s worse that we can’t count on justices to do their homework, either.