Sunday, August 7, 2011

Last Call

And now, a bedtime story.

Imagine how she would have "handled" the debt ceiling issue.

Sleep well, America.

They Were Always Crazy Of Course

The Washington Post's big "behind the scenes" piece on how the Tea Party took over the GOP and decided to make every day Hostage Taking Day in DC is helpful in understanding why we got into the situation we're in.

How the shorthand of 2010 grew into the showdown of 2011 is the story of a Republican resurgence that brought immense advantage to the leadership but also created immense expectations among this new breed of lawmaker. Having built a majority on ideology, the GOP leadership found itself struggling to control a rambunctious rank and file determined to live up to the bold rhetoric that had brought it to Washington.

The newcomers took Cantor seriously when he urged them in January to see the debt ceiling as leverage. Democrats called the GOP irresponsible for gambling with the economy and the nation’s flawless credit. Republicans countered that an epic clash over the debt limit was inevitable, given the outcome of the election and widespread anger with runaway government spending.

When the deal was finally done and the threat of an economy-rattling default averted, the newcomers’ disdain for compromise had proved effective. They got most of what they wanted and gave little ground.

The new majority emerged emboldened — and hankering for the confrontations to come — even as the financial markets and much of the country reacted with unease about what had just happened.

It went way, way beyond partisan bickering and straight into the nightmare stuff of fanatical true believers.  Fanatics who would never budge, never give in, and always be on the attack.  In short, they were never going to cooperate because the goal was not to cooperate, but to cause as much damage as possible and hang it around President Obama's neck.

It worked in 2010.  They are counting on us to make it work again in 2012.

All Out In Wisconsin

The Tea Party is absolutely terrified of the Wisconsin state senate recalls of the GOP who went to bat for union-busting GOP Gov. Scott Walker, and they are going all out with the hate speech.

The founder of Tea Party Nation claimed liberal ideology is responsible for "a billion" deaths over the last century during a raucous rally here Saturday in support of one of the six Republican state senators facing a recall election Tuesday.

"I will tell you ladies and gentlemen, I detest and despise everything the left stands for.  How anybody can endorse and embrace an ideology that has killed a billion people in the last century is beyond me," said Tea Party Nation CEO Judson Phillips.

Phillips, who a day prior likened protesters of Gov. Scott Walker to Nazi storm troopers, urged a few hundred tea party supporters to turn out for State Sen. Alberta Darling, who is in a ferocious battle with Rep. Sandy Pasch to hold onto her suburban Milwaukee seat.

But he wasn't the only speaker to use loaded language to gin up the crowd.

Vince Schmuki, a leader of the Ozaukee Patriot tea party group compared the recall effort to a terrorist attack.

"This is ground zero," said Schmuki.  "You remember what the term ground zero means?  We have been attacked."

The defense of the union-busting record of Wisconsin Republicans?  It doesn't matter cause Nazi Liberal terrorists cause genocide!  Don't think the Tea Party guys have gotten their scorched earth tactical orders from the Koch machine and will do anything and everything to disrupt, distort, depress and disenfranchise voters on Tuesday in Wisconsin?  Pay attention, please.

They know that if they win here, they have the means and the method to take over every state in the nation with the same tactics and boilerplate ALEC legislation as in Wisconsin.  They know that all they have to do is refer to their opponents as genocidal terrorists and they win because the public will become too disgusted to even care enough to participate in the system.  2010 proved that can work.

"There's no point in fighting the Tea Party, give them what they want and let's salvage what we can" is exactly what they are playing for.  We have a chance to stop them in Wisconsin on Tuesday.


AMHERST, N.Y. (AP) - A New York mother who yelled "let him die" when her disabled son started choking in a restaurant has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.

Erie County District Attorney Frank Sedita says Foigelman and her 43-year-old son were at the Boulevard Family Restaurant in June when he began choking on food. Witnesses say the woman tried to stop other patrons from helping her son and calling 911. He says she also repeatedly shouted "let him die." The son is OK.

Sigh.  And it's only a misdemeanor.

How You Know It's Bad

You know it's bad when you would come closer to voting for Roseanne Barr than Sarah Palin.  Because not in a million years did I think such a sentence would be uttered, even by a tabloid.  That either choice could be even possible is a sign of how bad things are.

You know it's worse when our government makes token murmurs and puts on a good show about caring about journalists snooping on cell phones.  Meanwhile we have a problem with police trying to access and scan cell phones without any kind of oversight.  The Patriot Act was supposed to be temporary and Obama continues to quietly let it continue without explanation.

You know it's worst of all when we start to turn on each other.  Our rights are disappearing one by one.  Our government is overstepping itself and the real war on terror may be fought between citizens and those intended to serve them.  Religious tolerance is an expectation for every citizen, yet it is still used as a reason to deny recognition for a growing gay population.  Half of Americans have to fight to make decisions for their own reproductive system.  We have possible candidates who do not know the story of Paul Revere.  Even the third grade version.  According to recent news, we are subject to laws that have not even been fully explained to us.  Our government is leaving open-ended and unregulated powers to set the stage for when they are ready to use them.  We can't trust our own, and that is a scary damn idea. Sure, we knew they weren't buying $150 hammers and $75 toilet seats, but for the first time in American history we are being snooped without warrants and powers given to law enforcement that have not been explained to citizens.  There is no good faith anymore, nor should there be

There's a lot more going on, and little happening to turn it around.  If all goes well and we start recovering, who is going to repeal the Patriot Act?  Will government just do away with their illegal powers and if so what would keep them from just calling them back up if they wanted?

London Really Calling Very Very Loudly

A community vigil for a man slain by police in the north London neighborhood of Tottenham turned bloody last night as rioting broke out and dozens were arrested.

Rioters took advantage of a vigil for a man killed by police and turned violent Saturday night, tossing petrol bombs and "missiles" at officers and looting stores, London's Metropolitan Police said Sunday.

"The behavior by a criminal minority put police officers, fire brigade personnel and the public at significant risk," Cmdr. Adrian Hanstock said in a statement.

At least 42 people were arrested and 26 officers were injured, police said.

The violence came amid protests over the killing of Mark Duggan, who was riding in a cab when he was killed Thursday. Police stopped the cab in an attempted arrest, and soon shots were fired, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said.

The commission did not say who shot the 29-year-old, nor why the cab was stopped.

"The death of Mr. Duggan is extremely regrettable," Hanstock said. "It is absolutely tragic that someone has died, but that does not give a criminal minority the right to destroy businesses" and "steal from their local community."

The Duggan shooting has set off what has already been a rough stretch for London in recent months.  Tottenham is part of London's black communities and relations between the people and police haven't been good.  Duggan's shooting on Thursday came as a shock to many in the neighborhood as he was pulled over for what London Metro police were calling a "pre-planned" arrest as part of Operation Trident, the city's anti-gun task force.

The main problem is that the police have yet to give a clear answer as to why Duggan was shot, only that shots were fired.  All we know for sure is that the weekend vigil for Duggan's death turned violent last night.

There are a lot of unanswered questions here.
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