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Michael Moore on the Class War: Wisconsin shows America how it’s done

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Michael Moore’s speech in Wisconsin is truly a MASTERPIECE of political oratory. You have to watch it, it’s absolutely riveting. One of the most vital statements of brutal political and economic fact that an American citizen has ever said with the eyes of the world upon them (and Moore’s never been shy in that department, has he?). To Michael Moore, I say “Bravo, sir.” And to the brave working (and retired!) people of Wisconsin and the Democrats on the lam fighting these over-reaching Republican goons on our behalf, you are the very, very best amongst us in a dark time in our nation’s history.

Heroes. Citizens.

Citizens. Heroes.

Talk about speaking truth to power, this is a knock-out. Moore’s words, the crowd, the moment. It’s stunning theater.

The fight in Wisconsin makes me prouder to be an American than I have ever been in my entire life. It makes me glad to be alive right now as the scales fall from the eyes of so many people at once all over the world.

The best part is that you know damned well that Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin and the rest of the gasbag rightwing punditocracy are going to pull this speech apart tomorrow. Translation: Every one of those fuckers will have to watch it. Brilliant!

I laughed, I cried and I felt REALLY REALLY HAPPY AND ENERGIZED. What a fantastic gesture for Michael Moore to make and it came at EXACTLY THE RIGHT TIME.

That speech was a profound shot of adrenaline. A part of history. A thing of great beauty.

Please watch forward his speech to everyone you know and have ever met or will meet in the future. Here’s how it starts out:

America is not broke.

Contrary to what those in power would like you to believe so that you’ll give up your pension, cut your wages, and settle for the life your great-grandparents had, America is not broke. Not by a long shot. The country is awash in wealth and cash. It’s just that it’s not in your hands. It has been transferred, in the greatest heist in history, from the workers and consumers to the banks and the portfolios of the uber-rich.

Today just 400 Americans have more wealth than half of all Americans combined.

Let me say that again. 400 obscenely rich people, most of whom benefited in some way from the multi-trillion dollar taxpayer “bailout” of 2008, now have more loot, stock and property than the assets of 155 million Americans combined. If you can’t bring yourself to call that a financial coup d’état, then you are simply not being honest about what you know in your heart to be true.

And I can see why. For us to admit that we have let a small group of men abscond with and hoard the bulk of the wealth that runs our economy, would mean that we’d have to accept the humiliating acknowledgment that we have indeed surrendered our precious Democracy to the moneyed elite. Wall Street, the banks and the Fortune 500 now run this Republic—and, until this past month, the rest of us have felt completely helpless, unable to find a way to do anything about it.

 
A commenter on YouTube quipped “Imagine if Obama gave a speech like that!” Worth pondering. I hope that the President at least watches this speech, that would be a start in the right direction!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Theater of Hate: How YOU can contact California’s anti-Muslim politicians

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By now, we’ve all probably seen the video of the anti-Muslim hate rally in Orange County, CA. These REPUBLICAN idiots should be ashamed of themselves, but chances are of course, that they feel completely self-satisfied about their actions. Why allow them this pleasure?

Each of these REPUBLICAN politicians who spoke at the anti-Muslim hate rally should resign, effective immediately, so as not to bring any more shame on the great state of California. Why not exercise YOUR right of free speech and let these folks know exactly how you feel about their disgusting behavior? Last time I checked, this was still America and these folks DESERVE SOME FREE SPEECH, don’t ya think?
 
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You can reach REPUBLICAN Congressman Ed Royce here (I just called both offices, it was fun!)

1110 E. Chapman Ave, Suite 207
Orange, CA 92866
T (714) 744-4130 F (714) 744-4056

2185 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
T (202) 225-4111 F (202) 226-03
 
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Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly, also a REPUBLICAN, said this at the hate rally: “I know quite a few marines who would be happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.” Was she implying that our marines should be put in service of killing the people who were attending the charity event???

Vile Teabagger Deborah Pauly can be reached here:

Here is her Twitter account:
@YnotDebPauly

Email address:
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Facebook profile:
www.facebook.com/deborah.pauly

How I wish I had a phone number for her, but so far, no luck… Deborah Pauly is also the first pol in the OC to call for CA following Arizona’s plans for illegal immigrants!

You can contact her fellow members of the Villa Park city council here. Why not cc them on anything you send? Can’t hurt!
 
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Ethically-challenged wingnut asshat REPUBLICAN Representative Gary Miller has three offices, two in CA and one in Washington, DC.

Send your love to Rep. Miller at one (or all three) of the following addresses:

2349 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Phone: 202-225-3201
Fax: 202-226-6962

1800 E. Lambert Road
Suite 150
Brea, CA 92821

Phone: 714-257-1142
Fax: 714-257-9242

200 Civic Center
Mission Viejo, CA 92691

Phone: 949-470-8484

Go get ‘em. They NEED to hear from you!
 
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Also among the non-elected protesters were Rabbi Dov Fischer of Young Israel of Orange County, Irvine Jewish activist Dee Sterling and Chapman University adjunct professor of law Karen Lugo. It was Karen Lugo (a pal of Michele Bachmann) who said “This is not about hate [...] We are not hatemongers. The word ‘Islamophobia’ is an effort to chill us. The Constitution was never meant to allow a tyranny of a minority.”

She’s a freakin’ LAW PROFESSOR and she makes a statement like that in this context! Lugo must have a severe irony deficiency, eh? (Or else she’s just a flaming idiot). Best of all? Lugo is a member on the California Advisory Committee to the US Civil Rights Commission!!!

Unfortunately, here’s that vile video again if you want to psych yourself up for the task:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Terry Southern on Rush Limbaugh: ‘Unspeakable slime and putrefaction’
03.03.2011
05:08 pm

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History
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In 1968 Esquire magazine hired Terry Southern, William Burroughs, Jean Genet and John Sack to cover the volatile Democratic Convention in Chicago.
 
Some voices from the counterculture are so sorely missed in these turbulent times. Kurt Vonnegut, William Burroughs, George Carlin… wouldn’t you just love to hear what they would have to say about the Tea party, Sarah Palin or the GOP’s misguided anti-union putsch? Sadly we never will, but thanks to Nile Southern, we can read exactly what his father, the celebrated satirist, novelist and screenwriter, Terry Southern thought about Rush Limbaugh. Although these unpublished observations were made in the 1990, they still seem pretty fresh today, if you ask me!

12/3/93

Mr. Howard Stern
c/o Simon and Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, N.Y. 10020

Dear Howard Stern:

As a long time admirer of your wit, and your enduring integrity re the First Amendment, I was intrigued by your recent expression of the interest in the “actual weight” of the outlandish pumpkin head of the total A-hole, R. Limbaugh. By grand good chance, a friend of mine is a professor in bio-physics here at the university, and, with some sophisticated instruments, and his professorial savvy, he was able to take the measurements necessary for the calculations directly off the video screen. Howard, you will be interested to learn that the weight came in at a whopping 58 ½ pounds; that’s right, fifty-eight and a half pounds of unspeakable slime and putrefaction – perhaps the most concentrated conglomeration of homophobic spleen, racist venom, rancid anti-fem menstrual corruption, all infested with coprophillic and child-abuse fantasies ever to accrue in a single enclosure – Howard, they say that stench of this monstrous vessel will send the needle of an E-Meter right through the side of the goddamn box! Can you believe that he is allowed to regurgitate this foul muck under the guise of public buffoonery? It is outrageous; in his case, I would be obliged to shut down the First Amendment pronto. And yet, you, apparently are so unaware of him as to express only a passing curiosity about the “actual weight” of his pumpkin head. This was disappointing, because you, Howard Howie Stern, have the ideal forum from which to blast this vomitman A-hole. Should you, hopefully, decide to do so, let me tell you that one of the best ways to get his goat, to set him hopping, so to speak, is to confront him (and his moronic viewers) with a few of what he calls his ‘action-warthogs’. Evidently there also exists video tape footage of this horrendous coupling. Howard, they say the imagery will make an ambulance attendant puke.

I’m enclosing a short piece which I think may amuse you. With all best wishes for your continuing and most highly deserved success,

Terry Southern
East Canaan, Connecticut

*******

March 23, 1995

The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY

To The Editor:

Readers of every stamp and kidney are increasingly perplexed by your failure to respond to the xenophobic rant of the so-called ‘radio commentator’ RASH LAMEBRAIN. To dismiss his remarks as merely the dotty musings of a curmudgeon/buffoon (a la Major Hoople) is to be unaware of the scope and focus of their calculated savagery – which has now progressed from comparing the President’s daughter with a dog, to ridiculing persons dying of AIDS. Why hasn’t at least one of your great champions of truth and decency (Lewis, Rich, Quindlen) been allowed to counter his unopposed spew of sleaze and putrefaction? The fact that they have not is painfully reminiscent of another era of fear and silence in recent American history.

Terry Southern
East Canaan, Connecticut

*******

The Most Delightful bit of poetic justice I’ve seen lately happened when, immediately following the Okla City disaster, the crypto curmudgeon/buffoon Rash Lamebrain started barking his mad dog mantra “Bomb the Arabs! Bomb the Arabs!” only to discover the next day that the initial suspects of the deed were the very mirror image of himself – two mindless rednecks. The irony was absolute.

Terry Southern,
East Canaan, Connecticut.

Thank you Nile Southern/Michael Simmons!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Video of disgusting anti-Muslim Teabagger rally

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Via the heroic and always on-the-money Glenn Greenwald comes this nauseating video of a truly hateful mob of so-called Christians and Teabaggers as well as various Republican government officials staging an anti-Islam demonstration outside of a harmless Muslim charity fundraising event in Yorba Linda, California last month. It breaks my heart to see such virulent hatred and ignorance and fear of the “other” in this day and age. Greenwald says it best:

I think what was most striking about that video is that the presence of small children didn’t give these anti-Muslim protesters even momentary pause; they just continued screeching their ugly invective while staring at 4-year-olds walking with their parents.  People like that are so overflowing with hatred and resentments that the place where their humanity—their soul—is supposed to be has been drowned.

 

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Why dummies want to take Wisconsin
03.03.2011
02:06 pm

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In which embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker gets what he deserves, a good **cking.

The latest from the brutal satirists behind Mock the Dummy. Lorne Michaels should be offering these “Dummies” a contract to produce these for SNL.

Please share far and wide, this is guaranteed to annoy your teabagger relatives!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Union Workers Defend Their Rights As GOP Goose-Steps For Tea Party Billionaires
03.02.2011
03:08 pm

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The view on the ground in Wisconsin and Ohio from New Left Media. If Gov. Kasich doesn’t back down, he’s going to get “Walkered” too. Could two prominent Republicans be THAT stupid? Hopefully not, but I wouldn’t put anything past these guys. Even money says Kasich looks at the mess he knows is brewing on his doorstep and backs down. Crank-call victim Walker, however, just isn’t that smart, has shitty political instincts and he’s already dug himself in way too deep. Walker’s misguided “My-way-or-the-highway” approach was never going to work in a union state like Wisconsin. The man’s a buffoon, a Republican buffoon (Walker has the most idiotically Republican-looking face I think I have ever seen).

Look for Walker to push his anti-labor legislation through in the coming days with some parliamentary chicanery and then for all hell to break loose around him. Walker might not even make it all the way to the recall process, in my estimation, he might have to resign long before it can legally take place. He’s not going to be able to delude himself that he’s “Reagan Jr”. anymore when he gets forced out of office…

Over the last two weeks, tens of thousands of workers and their supporters have flooded the Wisconsin and Ohio state capitols, pushing back on their newly-elected Republican Governors’ attempts to revoke collective bargaining rights for public workers.

Other than the flashes of anger Ohio crowds showed when they were curiously shut out of their statehouse, the protests have been entirely peaceful, even jovial, with the Wisconsin capitol having an atmosphere similar to a pep rally.

WI Gov. Scott Walker and OH Gov. John Kasich have claimed budget crisis as the impetus for their efforts, but their accounting is spurious, and unions have already agreed to reductions in pay and benefits. Wisconsin public workers have yielded to all of Walker’s fiscal requests, making Gov. Walker’s insistence that he must cut collective bargaining rights to cut the deficit even more dubious.

Many of those we interviewed, including union leaders, did not believe that the revocation of their rights was necessary to balance budgets, but was rather part of a coordinated effort to dismantle unions and reduce their large financial and organizational contributions to progressive politics.

As Governors Walker and Kasich hold staunch, refusing even to negotiate, the protests in Wisconsin and Ohio continue, joined by thousands of others from states across the nation.

This NEW LEFT MEDIA film was produced and edited by Chase Whiteside (interviews) and Erick Stoll (camera). Additional camera by Matt Wisniewski.

These guys are fantastic. I really admire Chase Whiteside, he’s an outstanding young man. Please help New Left Media spread clip this around, won’t you?
 

 
Via Joe.My.God (and his title, too)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Help put this powerful pro-union commercial on TV in Wisconsin
03.02.2011
10:29 am

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Bold Progressives have a powerful new TV commercial that eloquently pushes back against the Walker/Republican/Koch Brothers/Tea party union-busting agenda in Wisconsin, with the words of union members themselves.

It’s these brave people vs. the wealthy fat cats who have destroyed this country and want to give us more of the same. It’s these brave people who are fighting the class war, on behalf of all working people.

You can donate to ActBlue to help buy local airtime in Wisconsin. Working Wisconsinites need your support! Even $3 will help a lot!
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Political corruption (and what to do about it): A primer
03.01.2011
06:39 pm

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Professor Lawrence Lessig, lectures on “corruption” at Harvard’s Thinks Big forum. Essential viewing. Stay with it until the end.
 

The framers left open a path to amendment that doesn’t require the approval of Congress: a convention. Article V of the Constitution requires Congress to call a convention to propose amendments if 34 state legislatures demand it. Any proposed amendment would then have to be ratified by both houses of 38 state legislatures (three-fourths of the states). This entails 76 separate votes in the affirmative by two houses of 38 state legislatures. Easy to do? No. But possible? Certainly, yes. There hasn’t been a time when there has been such anger and frustration directed at our nation’s capitol. There hasn’t been a moment when the opportunity to organize to build a movement among the states has been as real. The beauty of a convention is that it would provide a forum of possibility for conservative Tea Party types who might want an amendment calling for a balanced budget, or a line-item veto for the president as well as progressives who would like to amend the constitution to make it possible to enact meaningful campaign finance reform. The only requirement is that two-thirds of the states apply, and then begins the drama of an unscripted national convention to debate questions of fundamental law. It would be a grand circus of democracy at its best.

—Lawrence Lessig and Mark McKinnon

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Wisconsin’s class war endgame: Recall the Republicans

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No matter which way that things go in Wisconsin in the short-term, the writing is certainly on the wall for the increasingly hapless-looking Republican governor Scott Walker and probably his GOP buddies in the statehouse as well. And what nasty graffiti it is. Walker has to be one of the most tone-deaf politicians of this generation (which is saying a lot) and he’s leading his GOP troops right off a cliff. Of ALL the places to take on unions… Wisconsin? Good lord, what an idiotic decision that was, even if Walker did get to pretend for one brief (very brief) “shining moment” that he was the reincarnation of Ronald Reagan busting the unions…

No one can take that away from him. But his job can be taken away and I’d wager the odds are that it will happen. Very few people hated Gray Davis in California—we found him incompetent—can the same be said of Wisconsin’s opinion of Walker? It was political suicide for him to step on the tails of so many badgers. Walker can—and probably will—be recalled by Wisconsin voters who are already sick of his stupid Republican face after just a matter of weeks. He has to be in office for one year before that can legally happen, but I should think that gives angry Wisconsinites plenty of time to organize his political demise.

From The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel:

With recall drives being threatened on both sides, this report by a Democratic targeting expert argues that both Gov. Walker and GOP state lawmakers are vulnerable to recall challenges because of the intensity of feeling among opponents to Walker’s budget proposals.

It was done by Wisconsin’s Ken Strasma, who did micro-targeting for the 2008 Obama campaign, and concludes that among people who dislike what Walker is doing, “very large numbers are willing to take some action about it,” said Strasma in an interview.

The obvious cautionary notes: Strasma works for Democratic and progressive clients (he said he did this survey and analysis on his own, not for a client).  For either side planning recall campaigns, the threshold for signatures is very high in Wisconsin (25% of the number of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election).  And no recalls can occur before a year has passed from the time the targeted official was elected.

If I lived there, I’d be standing in the Rite Aid parking lot with a clipboard every weekend myself. I’ll say it again: This is one of the biggest, most important developments in American civic life in DECADES. If you don’t understand why, you aren’t paying enough attention.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Poll finds large number of Britons would support a non-violent, non-thuggish anti-immigration party
02.28.2011
03:03 pm

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This is not good: A new poll conducted in the UK has found that nearly half of the respondents said they might support a nationalist political party if such a party existed that was non-violent and eschewed the fascist trappings that normally accompany such groups. Ouch! In Great Britain? How can this be?

Huge numbers of Britons would support an anti-immigration English nationalist party if it was not associated with violence and fascist imagery, according to the largest survey into identity and extremism conducted in the UK.

A Populus poll found that 48% of the population would consider supporting a new anti-immigration party committed to challenging Islamist extremism, and would support policies to make it statutory for all public buildings to fly the flag of St George or the union flag.

Anti-racism campaigners said the findings suggested Britain’s mainstream parties were losing touch with public opinion on issues of identity and race.

The poll’s findings are at odds with the perception that the UK is more moderate than say, France or Holland, with their highly visible anti-immigration politicians. A spokesperson for the Searchlight Educational Trust, the gruop who commissioned the poll, told The Guardian newspaper, “This is not because British people are more moderate, but simply because their views have not found a political articulation.”

Read it and weep at The Guardian website.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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