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Mario Piperni on Repug Roadblocks

Another Day, Another Vote – Indiana, NC and Wisconsin

May 9, 2012 By

Election roundup:

Indiana.

As polls forecast, the Tea Party’s efforts to cleanse the GOP of any impure conservatives has Dick Lugar out and teabagger Richard Mourdock in. Mourdock is the new Republican nominee for Lugar’s senate seat…but not without a stern warning from Lugar.

If Mr. Mourdock is elected, I want him to be a good Senator. But that will require him to revise his stated goal of bringing more partisanship to Washington. He and I share many positions, but his embrace of an unrelenting partisan mindset is irreconcilable with my philosophy of governance and my experience of what brings results for Hoosiers in the Senate. In effect, what he has promised in this campaign is reflexive votes for a rejectionist orthodoxy and rigid opposition to the actions and proposals of the other party. His answer to the inevitable roadblocks he will encounter in Congress is merely to campaign for more Republicans who embrace the same partisan outlook. He has pledged his support to groups whose prime mission is to cleanse the Republican party of those who stray from orthodoxy as they see it.

This is not conducive to problem solving and governance. And he will find that unless he modifies his approach, he will achieve little as a legislator. Worse, he will help delay solutions that are totally beyond the capacity of partisan majorities to achieve.

Good advice but it’s falling on deaf ears. Republicans have no desire to advance the concept of governance in Indiana or anywhere else in the country. It’s about gaining power and pushing a far-right agenda and nothing more. Lugar strayed across party lines once too often to satisfy the radicals who currently control and fund the Republican party.

So, was Lugar part of the Republican’s filibustering, obstructionist politics in the Senate? Yes he was…but he was also one of the few Republicans left in Congress who had an understanding that there existed a bigger picture which extended beyond strict, party dogma. With Lugar’s departure, the Republican party has just climbed another notch on the Sociopath/Crazy scale.

Prediction: Lugar gets some kind of high profile position in President Obama’s second term administration.

To further prove Lugar’s point about Republican’s “rejectionist orthodoxy and rigid opposition”, here’s what Mourdock said this morning in regards to his understanding of bipartisanship.

“I certainly think bipartisanship ought to consist of Democrats coming to the Republican point of view.”

Wonderful. That sums up the entire right-wing’s approach to politics and is exactly what Dems and Obama were forced to deal with over the last three years. Anything short of Obama in the White House and Dem majorities in the House and Senate (filibuster-proof) is going to be a painful, drawn-out, four years of more obstructionist politics.

North Carolina.

In 1875, NC passed a constitutional provision which stated that “all marriages between a white person and a Negro or between a white person and a person of Negro descent to the third generation inclusive are, hereby, forever prohibited.” It took 96 years (1971) before the racist provision was removed from the state charter.

Yesterday, voters in North Carolina approved a state constitutional amendment which reads, “marriage between one man and one woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized.”

Way to go, NC. You have another 100 years of bigoted, intolerant legislation to enjoy.

Wisconsin

Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett is the Democrat slated to go up against Scott Walker in the June 5 recall election. A reader sent in a first-hand account at yesterday’s polls in his role as an election inspector.

Act 23, which is the Wisconsin voter ID law, is still under court injunction, so photo IDs weren’t needed to vote.  Surprisingly, same-day registration is still allowed by showing a valid state ID and proof of residence (like a recent utility bill, lease, bank statement or pay stub with a current address).

Most of the voters were pleased not to have to follow Act 23, although a fair number offered their cards without being asked and seemed surprised when told it wasn’t necessary.  Expressed voter sentiment was definitely anti-Walker (but keep in mind what I said about the ward’s demographics [liberal-leaning]), and most of the people seemed pleased with their experience.  […]  An overwhelming majority of people seemed to be positive about being out to vote, even when there were long lines, and many expressed appreciation for the poll staff.  Most people seem to think we’re volunteers selflessly serving our community – they must have us confused with campaign workers, who mostly go unpaid.  The work is mind-numbing and tedious, full of niggling little details, and the people who do have bad experiences and frustrations usually blame us.  I have to admit, though, that there is a certain amount of feelgood that goes along with the job.

He wrapped up with…

That’s three elections down for the year and three more to go.  The recall general election is on 5 June, which means there will be an intense four weeks of negative ads, people pounding on my door, ads stuffed in my mailbox and not answering the phone unless I recognize the caller ID.  To that end, I’ve posted the sign I’ve attached to my front door.

LUV Update

Missed posts while out of town and out of touch:

MICROSOFT FRANKENFOOD

Bill Gates is selling us out again, now pushing frankenfood on behalf of his agribusiness friends, using false claims. A cursory glance shows Gates has invested in Monsanto and other agribusiness giants.

We’ve pointed out in the past that he’s undermined his own Microsoft employees by bringing in foreign workers who work for less pay. His Gates Foundation, for which corporate media praise him, is used as a tax writeoff, not the noblest reason to do “charity” work [emphasis added].

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) requires the poor farmers of the world to pay the corporation with the patent for seeds, so that they can’t have the traditional free seeds they keep from the previous year’s crop, making farming prohibitively more expensive. We also have no idea if GMO crops can survive disasters, as the natural seeds have endured ice ages, droughts, insect infestations, floods and other disasters. If we become dependent on GMO seeds we may find ourselves in periods of mass starvation at some future date.

We have long said that if Bill Gates wants to effectively spend money to make a better world, he could back a cable company or satellite network capable of reaching the masses with public interest viewpoints and news, which would cause an outbreak of democracy to occur (which can’t happen in darkness), in which the people would demand a fairer system without the hunger, homelessness, and other side effects from creating billionaires.

* * *

DIVIDE AND CONQUER

Just as protest movements are full of protesters, they are also full of infiltrators. You won’t have one without the other. Even though history is ripe with examples, newcomers are still often surprised. During the demonstrations at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, 1 out of 6 participants was a government agent. So it was inevitable that the Occupy movement would also be beset by infiltrators and agents provocateurs — people from outside trying to stir up trouble. Then when the media reports that “protesters turned violent,” credulous readers believe it. Thus the movement is discredited. Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, two of the organizers of the Occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC last year, identify the most common behaviors of infiltrators in this piece at Truthdig.

* * *

MILITARY LIES

Andrew Cockburn puts his finger on one of our biggest problems with the Pentagon — lies.

Interviewing generals and admirals, we’ve been told that many of them are offered lucrative jobs with the Nuclear Mafia as they retire, for their Pentagon contacts, to sell out the American people by pushing taxpayer-funded corporate weapons systems that are not needed, may not function as promised, and cost fortunes to build.

* * *

FIRST ANNUAL LOWER THAN WHALE POOP AWARD

LUV News is proud to present the first annual Lower than Whale Poop award to National Public Radio, for their tireless efforts to keep public interest candidates out of the presidential race.

LUV on NPR’s Chavez

ALBA UNITY GROWING IN LATIN AMERICA

Cuban news has a great article this morning on the recent ALBA summit in Venezuela.  The Bolivaran Alliance for the Americas was formed by several Latin American nations in response to the “free trade” agreements which benefit the 1% at the expense of the masses.  The American mass media does not allow a peek into alternative ways of thinking about economics, particularly involving systems which benefit the 99%, such as ALBA, so this sort of thing is mass media top secret.

This morning NPR did another of its hatchet jobs on Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, who was behind forming ALBA.  NPR spoke only of the Venezuelan opposition, without pointing out they are the oligarchs and ruling class of the past who are not supported by the masses (Chavez has a 57% approval rating in recent polling).  Nor did NPR point out that the US government financially supports this opposition to a democratic Venezuela (such reporting is why NPR gets funding from defense cheats, banksters and polluters).

We had to go to Russian news this morning to find a piece showing Chavez is currently working on a plan to get unemployment in Venezuela down to 3%.  Our own government does everything it can to keep unemployment high enough to drag down wages and benefits on behalf of our ruling Forces of Greed, one of the factors contributing to our growing inequality, and would never attempt to move toward realistic 3% unemployment levels.  They do identify the current 20% as 9%, by omitting a great many categories, such as those who’ve given up looking for a job, those in the world’s largest prison/jail population, and those working part time while desperately seeking full time employment.

LUV News on NPR

NATIONAL PENTAGON RADIO

This morning NPR’s Morning Edition did a piece about an Iraqi woman, described as fiction (so one wonders why this would appear on a “news” program), who says when she saw the American troops coming to invade she “cried tears of joy” (listen here if you want to hear propaganda so extreme that FOX News would reject it).

NPR spread the lies of the Bush regime about weapons of mass destruction to justify the illegal invasion of Iraq, and its talking heads, particularly Scott Simon, pushed for war week after week leading up to Shock and Awe.  At the time, we are proud to say, LUV News was reporting facts by the world’s foremost experts on Iraqi weapons saying there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq (we also opposed the war beforehand and ran opinion pieces by peace activists who were not allowed into the mass media).

Hopeless propagandists, NPR is still spinning the war, having, as far as we know, never apologized for the lies that resulted in so many deaths, so much destruction, leaving millions still refugees.

LUV News on Endless War

NATIONAL PENTAGON RADIO


NPR’s Talk of the Nation propagandist Neal Conan had Andrew Exum from the Center for a New American Security, an extended arm of the National Security State, on yesterday’s program to hype:

“I think the important thing is because the United States military is held to, frankly, a higher standard than any other military, we have to be seen as being accountable. And that when atrocities take place, you have to see some sort of accountability take place in a transparent way that make sense for not just U.S. voters but, quite frankly, for the world at large.”

The program was titled “What lessons should Americans draw from the Iraq War?”  Peace movement people, who aren’t allowed into the American mass media system, were not invited to comment as guests.

“Held to a higher standard than any other military?”  Even the Commanders in Chief, Bush and Obama, have not been so much as investigated for all the lies, illegal wars (Iraq, Libya), countless massacres of innocents, torture and other horrors in violation of international law and the Constitution.

Conan found nothing wrong with what the guest he’d invited had to say, letting the comment stand, although he often interrupts callers and guests who stray from the National Security State line to “correct” them for comments that don’t strictly follow fealty toward the National Security State and corporate greed at any cost to the public interest.  All of the worst problems we have could be improved easily if we were allowed a single mass media public interest option, preferably a TV network required to be on cable systems, from which most Americans get their TV.  Democracy is impossible in the darkness, as ignorant people are controlled people.

When one reads American foreign policy in the mass media, it is always the same opinion, in the New York Times, Fox News, NPR — wherever one looks.  The American people are told who the good guys are and who the bad guys are.  They shift from time to time, Saddam Hussein was a “good guy” when he was murdering leftists in Iraq, and on the payroll.  He was even eventually promoted to president, after which he was given components for chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons systems (all of the forms of weapons of mass destruction) together with missile technology, with the approval of the Reagan Administration.

For reasons we’ve not been told, Saddam was moved to the “bad guy” list and the American people were bade by their mass media to hate him, after he met with US Ambassador April Glaspie, who signaled US non-interest in an attack by Saddam on Kuwait to set him up for a US invasion by Daddy Bush.  All US mass media participated in spreading lies about Saddam’s soldiers murdering babies in hospital nurseries to get public support behind the invasion, just as they spread the weapons of mass destruction lies when Bush’s idiot son invaded more than a decade later.

Saddam was executed before he could testify in court, many think because he would have revealed his complicity in working for the Empire all those years, as the American people were being told by their mass media that he was the devil.  This changing image of Saddam has been duplicated many times in modern history with other dictators — all mass media agreeing in unison to cover up for them when they are on the payroll, and paint them as evil when they either disobey or after they get ousted by their own populations, as happened with Marcos in the Philippines, Samoza in Nicaragua, and more recently Mubarak in Egypt (after it became obvious he was a goner).

On the current bad guys list is Pakistan, again for reasons unexplained.  They have certainly helped both the Bush and Obama regimes with the Empire’s phony “war on terrorism,” allowing supply lines to run through their nation, allowing drone bombing of their Western Frontier population (mostly women and children have died in this) and set up checkpoints to watch for Taliban crossing the border to or from Afghanistan.  Yet corporate media, as always in unison, often stick their microphones in front of people who make it sound as though Pakistan is our enemy.

For some reason late in November the USA decided to attack two Pakistani outposts dedicated to watching Taliban movements in coordination with NATO.  NATO had been advised of their positions and knew their coordinates.  It seems unlikely it could have accidentally attacked these Pakistani soldiers.  Shaukat Qadir, previously a Pakistani brigadier, whose reporting has been outstanding enough that we keep going to him for information beyond the crap we get from our mass media, asks the questions about this important event that the cowardly sycophants of the US mass media will not, in the following piece.

But there is another twist in this from an al Jazeera column today.  Congress is pushing the president to send more weapons to Georgia, knowing this will infuriate Russia, which a short few years ago went in to South Ossetia to defend those people against what appeared to be an act of genocide by the Georgian army (although US corporate media spun it as an attack by evil Russia, in pushing as they are for a renewed Cold War on behalf of the weapons sales of their owners, advertisers and board members).

Russia is currently allowing NATO forces to move supplies to Afghanistan over Russian territory as the only major land route left with Pakistan having cut off supply lines because of the US belligerent acts previously mentioned.  It is believed the Russians will shut down the Northern supply line if the US sends weapons to Georgia.  All of this is unsettling,  Another war could break out from all this saber rattling, and the US mass media is either asleep or in bed with the National Security State in hushing all of this.

What if the Empire’s desperate ruling Forces of Greed believe that capitalism is crashing and burning, and a more massive war could distract the masses while giving a boost to the most pathetic economy we’ve had since the Great Depression (for all but the rich, who are no longer connected to the working class because of globalization).  If our forces in Afghanistan have their supplies cut off, there may be cries for war with either Pakistan or Russia, as corporate media talking heads shout “Our troops are helpless, running out of ammunition,” and as brutal as the psychopaths who run the Empire are, they might be willing to allow American troops to die to have an excuse to go to a bigger war to save corporate capitalism from the trash heap it appears to be headed for.  —Jack

LUV News on National Propaganda Radio

THE MAJOR PROTEST TODAY


The big protest today will be the attempt to shut down West Coast ports from California to Alaska. The Democracy Movement appears to be split on this, with most in support of it, but with reservations.

Since the movement hasn’t completed one of its major goals yet, that of educating the masses around the corporate media about what is happening, there is concern that there may not be enough support at this time to accomplish the goal of shutting down the ports, and if it fizzles, may make it appear that the movement is weak and not supported by the public. Another concern is that organized labor, having signed agreements that they will not participate in such activity, may be distanced from the action.

It would appear our mass media is attempting to drive a wedge between protesters and labor on this issue, and we would advise readers to look for this in mass media coverage as the protest continues throughout the day.

Internationally, corporate media are showing their usual hypocrisy by which protests they emphasize and which they ignore. This morning National Security State propagandist Steve Inskeep said on NPR that the protests in Russia were against Prime Minister Putin, who he identified with the corporate media pejorative “strong man,” although, as far as we know, Putin hasn’t authorized his government to murder citizens or imprison them for life without evidence, as have our own leaders Bush and Obama, not identified as “strong men” in corporate media.

As we’ve explained, the Russian protest was against perceived fraud in the election, but Putin is shown in polling to be the most popular person in Russia (although many protesters did speak out against Putin). Putin’s popularity has never fallen below 65%, a number Obama would die for. In 2007 Putin’s popularity hit 81%, the highest of any leader in the world. This morning there was a demonstration in support of Putin, ignored by Inskeep apparently because it goes against his National Security State propaganda viewpoint.

A trend has begun in Western media to put Putin in a bad light, and some Russians believe they are trying to turn public opinion against Putin as a mass media goal. If so, the Western corporate media often get what they set out to accomplish, dominating the airwaves as they do in shaping public opinion around the world.

Inskeep replaced Bob Edwards at NPR years ago, apparently because Edwards had been too objective.  There is little chance that will happen with Inskeep.

And later:

We signed onto the Democracy Movement in May, long before the Occupy Wall Street group formed in New York.  We did so knowing things could go bad, but we trusted the organizers, knowing they are good people, and we watched as, before taking over Freedom Plaza in Washington, participants began by teaching nonviolence. We knew there would be no violence from the protesters from the start, anybody following LUV News even for a short time knows our position against violence.

So we were enraged to hear on NPR repeated descriptions of police crackdowns on protesters across the land announcing that “protesters were mostly nonviolent,” without noticing that all of the violence was instigated by police. The people who make these reports are lower than whale poop, because illegal wars costing millions of lives, bankster bailouts enriching the wealthy, the polluting of our natural environment and other major criminal activities wouldn’t be possible if the masses were even somewhat informed by giving them the public interest side of things neglected by NPR and other mass media.

It gets more maddening every day that we don’t have a second opinion in our mass media, representing the public interest.  —Jack

HD Radio

Thinking of buying an HD radio for that special someone? Think again. The overlords of radio have been desperately trying to make some return on their big investments in the junk science, but the latest development, noted here in our sister blog on public radio, is just more of the same shit — spectrum grab that would like to muscle out the little guys in radio.

LUV Network on National Propaganda Radio

Listening to Diane Rehm on NPR yesterday, we noticed she had on a guest from one of the corporate-funded think tanks, as she usually does, telling us Social Security is going broke. He didn’t mention that the government has actually borrowed from Social Security for decades in order to finance corporate welfare, and nobody on the program pointed out that he was lying through his teeth. That is what the “senior fellows,” from the major think tanks are expected to say in return for the corporate funding.  Corporations don’t throw money away — these contributions are considered to be investments.

All of the NPR/PBS programs that deal in “news” analysis can be expected to invite these guests, and you will hear them announced daily, “X,” a senior fellow from the American Enterprise Institute, Hoover Institution, Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, etc., appearing on Morning Edition, The PBS NewsHour, All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, etc. Their goal is always to sell out the public interest. Their tentacles are deep into the so-called “news media,” all of the major TV and radio networks, newspapers, news magazines — the entire mass media spectrum.

Often their views are said to be on the programs for “balance,” as though any truth that gets out must be balanced by lies. They constantly scheme to privatize more of the government, to rid the public of Social Security, Medicare and other social programs, and introduce lies with which to combat science, including “we must burn oil and coal, there is no such thing as global warming,” combined with “we must spend more on weapons for the military,” and “we must cut corporate taxes to spur the economy.” There is no hole in the mass media, these lies are scattered over the entire electronic and print corporate-viewpoint media empire.

Pam Martens, in this piece, goes deeper into it, following the tentacles of the Koch brothers who’ve devoted their lives to destroying any semblance of democracy in the land and extending the plutocratic oligarchy.  Until citizens understand they are controlled by their mass media, nothing will change, which is why we do LUV News  —Jack

NPR Takes the Low Road

This post courtesy of the Daily Beast describes the middle-of-the-road tactic taken by NPR during the latest repug hostage crisis — describing it in reality as the lowest low:

Every time I hear NPR (that allegedly socialistic outfit) describe the latest act of terrorism in neutral terms, the reporter taking care to blame “both sides,” interviewing an expert who is prudent enough to know that on NPR’s 501(c)(3) air she must, if she wants to be quoted again someday, hold responsible the mysterious and mostly unnamable failings of the amorphous “system” for this or that Republican hostage-taking exercise, I wonder if these people hear themselves and understand how they’re misleading America. NPR is better than most places, so surely they must, just as many elected Republicans must just as surely be a little ashamed of how they’re acting in public. What can change it? Only a crisis (I mean an actual one) so deep and threatening that even NPR must call things what they are, and even some Republicans must say, “OK, there is such a thing as collective action, and we’d better undertake it.” Until then? More Lofgrens.