Appearing at a National Rifle Conference over the weekend, Romney surrogate, gunslinger and Colonel Sanders look-a-like Ted Nugent frothed at the mouth like a rabid dog proclaiming that if Barack Obama is re-elected in November, “I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year.” He also barked that Obama’s head should be chopped off (see video). Isn’t there a law against that?
Hey Ted, you vile piece of dinosaur shit, I hope to fuck that Obama is re-elected and you stay true to your words. I’ll stand in line to piss on your grave.
Update: New York Magazine reports that the Secret Service is aware of Nugent’s remarks and they’ve begun an investigation.
Arguing for more fairness in the nation’s tax code, Senate Democrats tried to bring legislation forward that would establish a 30% floor for households earning $1 million a year. Tried and failed. Predictably, the evil GOP strangled this baby in the crib so that their corporate masters won’t have to pay their fair share.
Senate Republicans on Monday blocked a move to open debate on the so-called Buffett Rule, ensuring that a measure pressed for months by President Obama and Senate Democrats to ensure that the superrich pay a tax rate of at least 30 percent will not come to a decisive vote.
But the fierce debate preceding the 51-45 vote — the Democrats were nine votes short of the 60 they needed — set off a week of political wrangling over taxes that both parties insist they are already winning.
Senate Democrats intend to return repeatedly to the legislation, named after the billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has complained that he pays a lower effective tax rate than his secretary. On Thursday, House Republicans will counter with a proposed tax cut for businesses that they say would spur job creation but would cost the Treasury almost exactly what the Democrats’ tax increase would raise.
Republicans say they like that contrast, and their language ahead of the vote on a motion just to take up the Buffett Rule was harsh and aimed squarely at Mr. Obama, who first proposed a 30-percent tax rate floor for anyone earning at least $1 million a year last September. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican minority leader, went to the Senate floor and all but called Mr. Obama a liar.
“By wasting so much time on this political gimmick that even Democrats admit won’t solve our larger problems, it’s shown the president is more interested in misleading people than he is in leading,” Mr. McConnell said of the Buffett Rule push.
Democrats said they saw that as a sign of weakness. Pointing to a Gallup poll from last week that indicated 60 percent of Americans supported the proposal, including 63 percent of political independents, Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, called the Republican response “proof positive” that “for first time in decades, maybe generations, they’re on the defensive on their signature issue,” taxes.
After he made that comment, a CNN poll was released putting support at 72 percent, including 53 percent of Republicans.
The Democrats have vowed to return to the Buffet Rule again and again. It’s an issue they should use to its full advantage, bludgeoning the Republicans senseless with it, by making it THE topic of the Spring and Summer months and lovingly placing it on their heads like a paper Burger King crown… or around their necks like a noose.
Why show these bastards any mercy when they’ve got their backs to a rather steep political cliff?
Just who does the GOP leadership thinks it’s fooling anymore? (Fox News viewers and Teabaggers aside, of course.) The Great Republican Crack-up of 2012 continues to pick up speed!
Below, Senator Bernie Sanders gives ‘em hell on the Senate floor yesterday:
A retrospective of the work of film-maker Peter Watkins will take place at the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), in Oslo, between the 7th and 14th May.
Watkins is a great and important film-maker, whose career spans over 5 decades and includes such works of brilliance as Culloden (1964), the story of an English massacre of the Scots, retold as an analogy to the Vietnam War; The War Game (1965), the essential banned drama of the after-affects of a nuclear war; Punishment Park (1970), a harrowing imagining of the National Guard pursuing members of the counter-culture; Edvard Munch (1973), Watkins’ personal take on the life of the artist; and La Commune (de Paris, 1871) (1999), an examination into the cause and effects of political interpretations of historical events, through the re-telling of revolution in France.
The retrospective will include screenings of Watkins’ key films, with a discussion of his work.
Peter Watkins: A Retrospective will start with the screening of Edvard Munch, Watkins’s film on three decades of the life of the artist, and will be followed by a public discussion in which the director will address, together with members of the cast and the technical team, the meaning of the film, both at the time it was released and today. Edvard Munch, considered by Watkins the most personal film he has ever made, dramatises three decades of the life of the artist and provides a raw and haunting portrait of the creative process as embedded within the spirit and the social relations of its time.
This will be followed by screenings of Watkins’s other Scandinavian projects, The Gladiators (1968), Evening Land (1976), and The Freethinker (1992–94), a biography of August Strindberg with four different timelines and a spiral structure that will be shown on the 100th anniversary of the artist, writer, and playwright’s death in 1912. Additional screenings will include The War Game (1965), Punishment Park (1970), and La Commune (de Paris, 1871) (1999), films in which the dramatisation of historical past or the present results in revealing political assessments that are at the same time critical reflections on filmic language, distribution networks, and media in general.
Central to much Watkins work is the role of mass media within society and its insidious effects. Here, in an interview from 2001, Watkins discusses the damaging role of mass media, in particular the misunderstanding in the role of mass communication, and how the contemporary media landscape allows little space for independent and critical thought. Though Watkins may sound like a man with bad indigestion, his thinking and analysis is clear and still hugely relevant.
Filmed in Philadelphia during the first Earth Day in April of 1970, Circuit Earth is a fascinating glimpse at the roots of the ecology movement and a sad reminder of how little things have changed when it comes to humanity’s relationship to our planet in the 42 years since the film was made. The environmental crisis continues and is getting worse as we continue to not learn from our mistakes.
Circuit Earth The idea behind “Circuit Earth” was to draw connections between concern for the environment and spiritual impoverishment manifested by war, overpopulation, mindless consumption, and drug addiction. This “underground” documentary raised issues that are now in the mainstream, including the impact of warfare, climate change, and population growth on the environment. It focused on concerns that are as true today as they were then, such as the dependence on fossil fuels, which is at the core of the energy debate today. Circuit Earth anticipated the need for a holistic and global approach to the environment that requires an informed citizenry as well as knowledge-based political leadership. This film underscores the global nature of technology and the environment, and the complex interaction of natural and human systems.
Featuring Allen Ginsberg, Sen. Ed Muskie, the Broadway cast of Hair, Jerry Rubin, Alan Watts, Redbone and Ed Sanders of the Fugs.
Circuit Earth was shown in 1971 and at a few conferences, but was never in distribution and has not been released on video.
Medical insurance mandates are nothing new, as Einer Elhauge, a professor at Harvard Law Schoo, explains at The New Republic:
In making the legal case against Obamacare’s individual mandate, challengers have argued that the framers of our Constitution would certainly have found such a measure to be unconstitutional. Nevermind that nothing in the text or history of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause indicates that Congress cannot mandate commercial purchases. The framers, challengers have claimed, thought a constitutional ban on purchase mandates was too “obvious” to mention. Their core basis for this claim is that purchase mandates are unprecedented, which they say would not be the case if it was understood this power existed.
But there’s a major problem with this line of argument: It just isn’t true. The founding fathers, it turns out, passed several mandates of their own. In 1790, the very first Congress—which incidentally included 20 framers—passed a law that included a mandate: namely, a requirement that ship owners buy medical insurance for their seamen. This law was then signed by another framer: President George Washington. That’s right, the father of our country had no difficulty imposing a health insurance mandate.
Elhauge joined an amicus brief supporting the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. You can (and should) read his entire piece at TNR.
This brings to light some extraordinary “lost history” that the Reichwing needs to consider as they hone their threadbare, tissue-thin arguments to deny healthcare to their fellow man…
Noam Chomsky has long advocated simply reading the Wall Street Journal if you wanted to understand the mindset of the ruling class. No special detective work is necessary to divine the attitudes and intentions of the rich and powerful. In the pages of their house organ you could find what you were looking for, often with unvarnished bluntness.
It’s good advice, but today, the WSJ isn’t the only place to look for hints of ruling class attitudes. In a column published today at Huffington Post, Dr. Klaus Schwab, the founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum poses a salient question: If this is the end of Capitalism, then what’s next?
One of the criticisms of capitalism centers on the widening gap between winners and losers due to the so-called turbocapitalism that is a result of global competition. In this context, the so-called Nordic model demonstrates that a high degree of labor market flexibility and social welfare systems do not have to be mutually exclusive—indeed, they can actually be combined to very good effect. This type of economic policy also enables countries to invest in innovation, childcare, education and training. The Scandinavian countries, which underwent a similar banking crisis in the 1990s to that which we are now experiencing in other Western economies, have shown that by reforming regulation and social welfare systems, flexible labor and capital markets really are compatible with social responsibility. So it is no coincidence that these countries are now among the most competitive economies in the world. [Emphasis added]
Other aspects of the criticism of capitalism that are worthy of serious consideration are excessive bonuses, the burgeoning market in alternative financial instruments and the imbalance that has emerged between finance and the real economy. However, we do see some progress in these areas thanks to mounting pressure from the general public, governments and also the market.
So even though capitalism was not laid to rest in Davos, it is fair to say that capital is losing its status as the most important factor of production in our economic system. As I outlined in my opening address in Davos, capital is being superseded by creativity and the ability to innovate—and therefore by human talents—as the most important factors of production. If talent is becoming the decisive competitive factor, we can be confident in stating that capitalism is being replaced by “talentism.” Just as capital replaced manual trades during the process of industrialization, capital is now giving way to human talent. I am convinced that this process of transformation will also lead to new approaches within the field of economics. It is indisputable that an ideology founded on personal freedom and social responsibility gives both individuals and the economy the greatest possible scope to develop.
If this is the sort of intellectual currency that was circulating around Davos this year, I think this is a pretty strong indication that the Occupy backlash is having a big effect. You’d hope that by now the elites must know that the natives are restless!
Obviously a worldwide group-mind consensus is demanding, if not exactly the end of Capitalism, certainly a major rethink/reformation of the way it is practiced in the 21st century. The world is a different place than it was before the Industrial Revolution, it’s high time we updated the operating system to reflect those changes.
It’s just getting to be so fucking stupid, isn’t it?
Michael E. Porter, a Harvard University professor cited by Schwab in his essay, explains why business leaders must focus on “shared value creation.”
The Olympics are coming! O, yes they are. And It’s been relentless, ever since 2005, when London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has jollied along the British public with daft ads, events and exhortations to get behind 2012.
No matter that the country can’t afford it - latest figures for the estimated cost of hosting the Games has risen from £9.3bn (GBP) to between £12bn and £24bn (GBP). No matter that there is high unemployment. No matter that there is a world-wide recession. No, no, no. Let’s forget all about that and enjoy some bread and circuses.
It strikes me that rather than London hosting the Games, or any other country for that matter, it might have been an idea to keep the Olympics in Athens, thereby helping Greece out of its economic meltdown and bringing the country a regular and sustainable income. It would also make better far better and more sensible economic use of the £9 billion’s worth of buildings erected for Athens 2004, which are now abandoned, derelict, and vandalized.
But fuck all this whinging - the Lympics Are Coming! And here are The Exploding Heads - Mark Davison and Anthony Richardson - to get us in the mood! But first a word of warning:
“This video has very little to do with the actual Olympic Games. We didn’t copy the London 2012 logo. I simply imagined a suitable logo and did it on paint. Maid Marian, an Owl, the cast of Sister Sister and Home Improvement, Geoffrey from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Des Ree will not feature at the London Games.”
In a rambling speech today before a group of onlookers in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Rick Santorum pulled out of the race for President…and the heavens wept.
In his typically brain-addled style, Santorum recalled some of the highlights of his campaign:
Even fun things like the sweater vest—amazing thing, that sweater vest. From then on the sweater vest became the official wardrobe of the Santorum campaign . . . We sourced that sweater vest to a company that was making them here in the United States.”
Expect the sweater vest-wearing, right-wing, religious zealot to re-emerge like the walking dead in 2016.
“My role is that of a reporter.” – Mike Wallace on the debut of The Mike Wallace Interview
With the death yesterday of TV journalist Mike Wallace at age 93, we’ve already seen many remembrances of him as the man who—along with producer Don Hewett—created the American institution we know as 60 Minutes in the tumultuous American year of 1968. It’s impossible to short-change Wallace’s 38-year legacy as both gate-keeper of that show and pioneer of the “gotchya question” interview technique that defines much of our current news media landscape.
But it behooves us to also have a good look at the man’s stint as the host of The Mike Wallace Interview, the spartan and penetrating late-night program that broadcast nationally from 1957 through 1960. Wallace was 18 years into a broadcast career (mostly as a radio announcer and game show host) as he launched the show based on Night Beat, a similar and more groovily-named program he’d hosted locally in New York a couple of years earlier. During the show’s tenure, he brought a fascinating array of folks to the American public eye, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Pearl Buck, Eric Fromm, Lily St. Cyr, Aldous Huxley and many others.
Besides its solid bookings and now-surreal-seeming live-ads for its benevolent sponsor Philip Morris, TMWI distinguishes itself with a bare-bones visual setting to focus viewer attention on the substance of the personalities interviewed. Dare I say the only two journalists I can think of who’ve truly adapted the show’s black-background format with similar grace and talent are Charlie Rose and Dangerous Minds’ own Richard Metzger.