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Sen. Bernie Sanders, socialist senator and American hero
12.07.2010
09:52 am

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Current Events
Heroes
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Senator Bernie Sanders (VT), the only socialist (not a “top Democrat” as the clip indicates) member of the US Senate tells it like it is. A must see-clip. I agree with him 2000%. About time someone said this. What the fuck is wrong with this country?

“Millionaires and billionaires do not need huge tax deductions, that’s the simple truth. If we’re serious about creating jobs in this country, which should be our main priority, that’s one worst way to do it. Much better to take that money, invest in our roads, bridges, railroad systems, infrastructure—you create jobs doing that.”

“Our Republican friends have got to be held accountable. The issue is the insult, the outrage that they want tax breaks for billionaires but they can’t in their heart come up with extending unemployment compensation so millions of families in this country can have a modicum of security. I believe, politically, we can rally the American people around that cause.”

 
Let’s hope he’s right. And fuck Obama and the Democrats, this deal is LAME. And furthermore, while they held the MAJORITY, why didn’t they CEMENT unemployment benefits into law to continue indefinitely in states where the rate of unemployment is over a certain threshold? Instead we’re being offered two more years of the Bush tax cuts on millionaires and billionaires in exchange for 13 months?? Is Obama bending over backwards—or merely bending over—to assure the Teabaggers that he doesn’t hold an anti-American, “Kenyian” viewpoint (as retardedly espoused by Newt Gingrich)?

We’re truly getting to well past the point where other countries (you know, the ones with universal healthcare and paid maternity leave and stuff like that) are just going to feel sorry for how fucking stupid we Americans are.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Alan Grayson explains why tax cuts for the rich are so IMPORTANT to right-wing pundits on FOX News
12.03.2010
06:55 pm

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Heroes
Politics

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I’ll be so sad to see Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) go, but I suspect we haven’t seen the last of him. Grayson is one of the few Democrats to show any kind of a spine against the GOP. He’s practically the only Democrat to say the worlds “class war” because he’s not a pussy and he doesn’t mince words. This clip, of Grayson comically flaying the millionaires on Fox News shilling for the continuation of the Bush tax cuts, is Grayson at his straight-talking best. After all, if something saved you six or even seven figures in taxes, you’d probably be for it, too…

They want tax cuts for the rich because they want a tax cut for themselves. What do I mean by that? Let’s take a look at the people who are really in charge, the ones who actually run the Republican party.

Let’s start with this gentleman here, the man with the cigar, Rush Limbaugh. Doesn’t he look happy? According according to Newsweek, he makes $58.7 million a year, and extending the tax cuts means he’ll have another $2.7 million. Mega dittos, Rush, and mega money. Let’s look at the next one.

Here’s Glenn Beck, according to Newsweek Glenn Beck makes $33 million a year as a pundit and extending the Bush Tax Cuts means a cool $1.5 million for Glenn bBeck’s ongoing imitation of Howard Beale from Network. Now let’s look at the next one.

Sean Hannity. Newsweek says that Sean Hannity, this man of the people makes $22 million a year from his act on Fox. And that means the Bush Tax cuts mean an extra $1 million. $1 million for Sean Hannity. Maybe he can afford some anger management classes. Let’s take a look at the next one.

Bill O’Reilly. He makes a modest $20 million a year from his gig on Fox. That means that the Bush tax cuts give him not quite seven figures, nearly $914,000 of extra cash. It’s easy to see why Bill O’Reilly wants to see the Bush tax cuts extended. And I have to say, he’s no pinhead when it comes to that.

And Now, Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin has made $14 million this year from cashing in on her fame. In fact, she’s done a better job of turning fame into cash than anyone in American history. $14 million. So she wants the Bush tax cuts extended so she can make an extra cool $638,000. As she was—as she would gesture (shoulder shrug.)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Language of nightmares: The alphabet according to George W. Bush
12.03.2010
03:09 pm

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Media
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Pittsburgh filmmaker Lenka Clayton’s ‘Qaeda Quality Question Quickly Quickly Quiet’  strafes us with the ABCs of post-9/11 propagandistic buzzwords. Bush’s political oratory: a spewing of consonants and vowels with a machine gun staccato, a torrent of linguistic shrapnel.

In recent weeks (since the publication of his memoirs), George W. has been waging a media campaign to resurrect his disastrous Presidency from the hell pit of infamy. And the media has been all too willing to aid him in his revision of history.

Just as a reminder, here’s a crash course in the madness of King George.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Creepy Barack Obama Urn
12.03.2010
10:58 am

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Politics
R.I.P.

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Now you or your loved ones can sleep forever with angels inside Obama’s head. This handy Obama urn will cost you $2,600.

You can thank me later for helping out with your last minute holiday gift.

Cremation Solutions: Tomorrows Traditions

(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Fela Kuti: Music is the Weapon
11.26.2010
09:55 am

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History
Music
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It didn’t take long after his death in 1997 for the indomitable spirt of Fela Kuti, Afrobeat legend, political revolutionary, musician, composer and performer, to rise again. His singular musical cross-pollination of African drumming, Bitches Brew-influenced jazz rock and James Brown-influenced guitar funk has gained cultural currency in the past decade far beyond what he achieved in his lifetime.

The wildly popular Broadway musical about him, Fela! (directed and choreographed by the great Bill T. Jones, and financed in part by Jay-Z, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith) has been nominated for 11 Tony Awards and was recently visited by First Lady Michelle Obama. The upcoming Beyonce Knowles album is said to be heavily influenced by Kuti’s Afrobeat sound.

Below, a fascinating documentary on Fela Kuti titled Music is the Weapon. This intimate 1982 film was directed by Stéphane Tchal-Gadjieff & Jean Jacques Flori.
 

 
Via Pathway to Unknown Worlds

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Turkey Revolution Will Not Be Televised
11.25.2010
08:37 am

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Amusing
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Apparently, the turkeys are plotting total world domination.

(via YBNBY)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Long live Chalmers Johnson, American apostate and anti-imperialist
11.21.2010
07:37 pm

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The new generation of public intellectuals and pundits owes a lot to guys like Chalmers Johnson, who died yesterday at 79. This guy was one of the foremost experts on both America’s ascension as an empire and its inevitable decline, and he wrote the now-classic books Blowback and The Sorrows of Empire
.

Like Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal, Johnson’s formed his worldview during the Cold War; his friend the progressive realist Steve Clemons calls him “a one time hard-right national security hawk” in the great piece he wrote today about the man. Most of us discovered Johnson after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and he’d cultivated his views about American imperialism. The Left in this country loved the irony of this academic with the old-school-Establishment-wonk demeanor breathing fire against Yankee hegemony. He’ll be missed.
 

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
Comic Relief: The Adventures of Unemployed Man
11.18.2010
11:09 am

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Art
Economy
Literature
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Pop Culture

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Unemployed Man and his trusty sidekick, Plan B (who was forced out of the workplace for being too expensive to insure by his former employer) have a word with the “Hero in Chief” in a panel taken from Erich Origen and Gan Golan’s The Adventures of Unemployed Man graphic novel.

Obama better have a fuckin’ Plan B is all I can say…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Jay-Z and Cornel West in discussion: apparently not fit for MTV
11.16.2010
02:47 pm

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Art
Books
Music
Politics
Race

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Shawn Carter a.k.a. hip-hop mogul Jay-Z sat down yesterday with top African-American public intellectual Cornel West at the New York Public Library for a talk—moderated by Library director Paul Holdengräber—that was to be centered ostensibly around his memoir Decoded, but ranged through a wide variety of topics and modes.

It bears notice that despite Jay-Z’s superstar pop status and the hype surrounding the book, the appearance didn’t bear an airing on, say, MTV. I truly wonder why.

Love him or hate him, Carter’s journey from Bed-Stuy’s Marcy Houses projects to mega-millionaire mogul maps almost directly to the 30+-year story of hip-hop from marginalized urban phenomenon to global cultural movement. And West’s contextualization of the rhymer’s work and writings within the urban African-American artistic experience is pretty striking.

The status commonly accorded to Jay-Z as the greatest rapper of all time amounts to truly tedious hype. But there’s no denying that the man’s got power, perspective and a dangerous mind. 
 

 

Posted by Ron Nachmann | Leave a comment
Not so distant rumblings: The coming GOP civil war over abortion rights
11.12.2010
10:31 am

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Although you have to take nearly everything you read on crackpot blog World Net Daily with, not just a grain of salt, but an entire mountain of it, every now and then you can find some useful information there. Hardly ever, I grant you, but still there is at least some value in checking in at WND from time to time to get what the crackpot-on-the-street viewpoint is in America (i.e. the kind of stuff Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann would read and think was true).

Sometimes, it’s pretty straightforward what you find there, such as this article indicating that a voter survey by a conservative group, Concerned Women for America, found that only economic issues trumped moral/ethical issues in the minds of many who voted. Considering that it’s mostly older Americans and evangelicals who vote in midterm elections, this is unsurprising, but it also lends absolute credence to the theory that the Democrats really lost because their base couldn’t be bothered to show up. The same can’t be said of the GOP, because they came out in droves last week.

But here’s the thing that’s brewing in the background, which will be coming to the foreground in the months ahead: Encouraged by a large turnout by social conservative voters, pro-life activists are demanding immediate returns from the massive GOP electoral victories in the U.S. House of Representatives.

What in practice this will mean, in the short-term, I can’t predict, but the standard GOP trope of giving lip service to repealing Roe v. Wade during the campaign, getting elected with the conservative Christian vote and then promptly doing nothing about it—a time-honored tradition dating back to the Reagan years—has been played out. These people want action and they want it now. From WND:

A separate poll conducted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition found that evangelical Christians formed “the largest single constituency in the electorate in the 2010 midterm elections.”

Evangelicals represented 29 percent of the vote in the 2010 midterm election, nearly a third of the total, and they broke nearly 4:1 for the Republicans. Another 12 percent of voters were religious Catholics, who voted 3:2 for Republicans.

Even if those numbers do sound rather high, what does this tell us about the civil war that’s about to break out among GOP members of Congress? Clearly, a Republican candidate can no longer get elected without appealing to the wingnut and evangelical wings of the party constituencies. The Tea party has, for all intents and purposes, already taken over the GOP and drives its agenda, but at the moment, some familiar faces are still in office, like Richard Luger, Lindsay Graham, Orrin Hatch, Olympia Snow and other establishment, moderate Republicans. There’s already been noises made from Tea partiers about bumping off Hatch, Snow, Graham and Luger. If they don’t get what they want out of the perceived mandate of the midterm vote, things could get very bloody in the GOP.

One thing seems certain and this is the fact that the Senate and Congressional Republicans of the Bush era we came to know and loathe so well are—sooner rather than later—going to get pushed out. The battle seems to me like it has already been won.

“Pro-lifers now have the majority in the House,” said Jill Stanek, a prominent prolife columnist and blogger. “I’m optimistic the Republican leadership got the message they’re on a two-year probation and they’re going to do as much as they can to help the preborn.”

“I think that’s true,” said Nance. “The Republicans were given the majority again on a wait-and-see basis. They shouldn’t misunderstand that the vote was for their party. It was for specific principles and against the monstrously unpopular Obama initiatives like health care, with its pro-abortion provisions, and the bailouts. If the Republicans want to be successful they have to address the issues that gave Boehner the gavel.

“We will be there to hold them accountable.”

Former Colorado Rep. Marilyn Musgrave, now a director with the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, noted that her organization succeeded in both electing pro-life women to Congress and removing pro-abortion women.

“We helped elect eight new prolife women, and our expectation is they will show a great deal of courage on this issue,” Musgrave told WND.

Do I think that there will be a repeal of Roe v. Wade? Honestly, no. They’ll posture about it, but it’ll go down in committee or just get vetoed, or tied up in court in a worse case scenario. That’s what the pols will do, but will that be enough this time? But what I am fascinated to see is how the Republican establishment is going to be pushed to the margins of their party by the extremists on this issue. And it’s going to happen…

The current iteration of the GOP’s overal identity and platform already bears scant little resemblance to the party of Eisenhower, Nixon or Reagan. When the last GOP member of the Bush-era Congress has been dumped by the Tea partiers, will they even keep the Republican name and trademark? What would even be the point?

Pro-life leaders tell Republicans they’re ‘on probation’ (World Net Daily)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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