Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Last Call

Your assignment this evening:  ABL's post today at The Grio on "Obamabots".

Professional Left bloggers tend to hail from the first-responder blogs, those that gained popularity and readership during the Bush years, a period of liberal togetherness, and which have maintained their status despite the proliferation of "independent or "New Left" blogs such as mine, The People's View, PoliticusUSA, Addicting Info, Pragmatic Obots Unite, POV, and others.

The Nation, Salon, Daily Kos, and Firedoglake are no longer the go-to blogs for liberals. Indeed, these blogs have become destinations of last-resort, due to the anti-Obama sentiment that permeates these blog communities, sentiment which is, in my view, at least partially based on race. And, although the notion that criticism of Obama might be race-based is a notion with which white liberals are apparently not ready to wrestle, that notion is widely discussed among New Left bloggers of all races.

She's getting the long overdue attention she deserves, folks...and she's absolutely right throughout this article.  Check it out.

Turtle Boy Blows A Gasket

If you were still wondering whether or not the GOP is in neck deep in flop sweat right now, listen to two minutes of Mitch McConnell.

It must be the fault of those Republicans in Congress. It must be the fault of those rich people. It must be the fault of those people on Wall Street. I don't think the American people are going to fall for it. He's been president now for three years -- for three years. We've run the national debt up 35 percent as he's tried to prime the pump and borrow and spend our way into prosperity. I think complaints about Congress fall on deaf ears. He owned the Congress for the first two years. They did everything he wanted. Everything. The only thing they forgot to do -- I don't know why they overlooked this -- they forgot to raise taxes. But they did everything else.

Yep.  Mitch is selling the GOP doing nothing right now.  He thinks this is going to win his party full control of Washington, and that you will reward him for stopping Congress from passing a jobs bill when more than half of Americans say that jobs and the economy are the single most important issue.  Funny how that works, huh.

Barney, Frankly On Occupy Wall Street

Rep. Barney Frank had some tough love for Occupy Wall Street protesters on Rachel Maddow's show on Monday night:  Where were you guys in November 2010 when we needed you in the voting booth?

[S]imply being in a public place and voicing your opinion in and of itself doesn't do anything politically. It is the prerequisite, I hope, for people getting together and voting and engaging things.
And I understand some of the people on Occupy Wall Street are kind of critical of that. They think that's conventional politics.
Well, you know, the most successful organization in America in getting its views adopted is the National Rifle Association. They are in many cases a minority. But in addition to everything else they do, they very effectively identify who the members of the Congress are, the legislatures and vote for them.
So, as I said, I welcome the Wall Street energy. I don't agree with everything some of the people say. I agree with the general thrust of it. But it's not self-executing. It has to be translated into political activity if it's going to have the impact. And -- you know, I would just say, the last thing, we had an election last year in which people who disagree with them, and disagree with me and with you, got elected.
I want to be honest again here. I don't know what the voting behavior is of all these people, but I'm a little bit unhappy when people didn't vote last time blame me for the consequences of their not voting.

And he has a very salient point.  If you agree with the Occupy Together movement and you choose not to vote, then the Republicans win.  Really is that simple.

Lawsuit Stupidity

According to online court records, Gil Harrington and the estate of Morgan Harrington have filed a lawsuit against Regional Marketing Concepts Inc., which operates under the name RMC Events. RMC provides security at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville.

Morgan Harrington was attending a Metallica concert at John Paul Jones Arena the night she disappeared. Police have said at some point, Harrington left the arena. When she tried to reenter, security guards refused to let her back in, citing a no-reentry policy.

According to The Roanoke Times, the lawsuit is for $3.5 million. It was filed on October 11.
I would like to know just what parents think they are responsible for, and how they blame a public venue for enforcing a well known policy.  Everyone who attends events of this nature knows there is a one-way-door policy.   You go out, you stay out.  The fact that a young woman decided to leave, wander outside and hitchhike is far more problematic than a guard doing their job. 

I feel for the parents, this loss must be devastating.  Also the fact that this bears on them would be painful, but no less factual.  The reality is, just because you drop your child off does not mean the adults around them are responsible for them.  In this case, the victim was a young but legal adult.  It reminds me of a local lawsuit several years ago that came from a woman who dropped her eight-year-old son off at a bookstore at the mall and left him unattended for at least four hours.  The boy was kidnapped and assaulted, and the woman tried to sue the bookstore for failure to prevent him from leaving.  This is the same principle.  Nobody could have forced Morgan Harrington to stay on the premises.  The unfortunate reality is that when a person puts themselves at risk, sometimes the risk leads to injury or death.  Morgan was 20 years old, a legal adult and responsible for herself.  I am not saying in any way that she deserved to be a victim, but I am saying she is the only one responsible for the decision to leave and put herself in harm's way.  We should be able to walk around at night and not fear for our safety, but reality is quite different.

Anger is the first reaction for most people who find themselves grieving.  It's been long enough now that the parents should advocate smarter choices, speak out to young adults who don't realize the possibilities that come from their actions... and in turn teach responsibility by demonstrating an understanding of their liability, Morgan's liability, and the lack of liability of the arena who had no legal options in allowing her to walk away.

In Which Bon Thinks The CDC Is Full Of Beans

The CDC has calculated the cost of "binge" drinking, and defined binge drinking as four to five drinks. On top of a lot of theoretical math, including work productivity and "other alcohol-associated medical problems" this seems like a study in wasting science and manpower.

How does this knowledge help, exactly?

The study looked at costs that included _ among other things _ lost work productivity, property damage from car crashes, expenditures for liver cirrhosis and other alcohol-associated medical problems, and money spent on incarceration of drunk drivers and criminals using alcohol.

The CDC estimated excessive drinking cost society nearly $224 billion in 2006, the most recent year for which all necessary statistics were available. That worked out to about $1.90 per drink, 80 cents of which was spent by federal, state or local governments, the researchers estimated. The rest came from drinkers, their families, private health insurers, employers, crime victims and others.

Most of that was related to binge drinking, in which four or five alcoholic beverages are consumed on one occasion.

"Binge drinking results in binge spending," said CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.

CDC officials noted that while some health benefits have been associated with, say, a glass of wine each day, there are no health benefits linked to excessive drinking. They also said the new study likely represents an underestimate of the total cost.

In the end, it all comes down to an estimate, and one that could have been made clearer. On our yearly trip to Tunica, MS I enjoy four or five drinks through the course of an evening, and I am pretty sure I have not gone on a bender.  I disagree with their definition of binge drinking and I have to wonder how they accounted for the responsible drinkers as well.  I see no plus or minus, just vague hints at the figures and how they were determined.

Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to diminish the issue we have with binge drinking or the cost to the victims and the innocent. I just happen to disagree with this entire article, and would love to hear what you guys think. Am I wrong? Does this feel like a trumped up "we had nothing to do so let's study this" release to you as well?

The 4-1-1 On The 9-9-9 Plan, Con't

Matt Yglesias sums up what Herman Cain's awful 9-9-9 Plan means for the middle class in this pair of charts showing the change in the average American's yearly tax burden:

And yes, this means for working class Americans earning between $10k and $40k a year, you can expect to pay 10% of your entire yearly income more in taxes under the plan, while your average millionaire will save about $450,000 a year.  Oh, and it'll add trillions to the national debt too because of lost revenue, to the point of needing to go well beyond the draconian cuts Paul Ryan and friends demanded in the House earlier this year in order to "balance" the budget.

But maybe that's the point.  Hey "Tea Party Real Americans who work for a living" what part of "massive middle class tax hike" do you still not get about Cain?

Mittens Versus Foreclosuregate

If Mitt Romney ends up Preadient, he's got a great plan for fixing the housing depression.


“As to what to do for the housing industry specifically — and are there things that you can do to encourage housing? One is, don’t try and stop the foreclosure process,” said Romney. “Let it run its course, and hit the bottom, allow investors to buy up homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up, and let it turn around and come back up.

“The Obama administration has slow-walked the foreclosure process that long existed, and as a result we still have a foreclosure overhang."

No Willard, we have a "foreclosure overhang" because  the banks have engineered tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of additional foreclosures with intent of clogging the system so badly that the country is forced to simply give all the houses to the banks and throw the tenants out.  President Obama has "slow walked" the process because there are a lot of discrepancies, problems and outright lies in it, all of them favoring the banks that have already taken billions in taxpayer dollars and even more billions in interest free loan guarantees.

So yeah, as someone who has written extensively about Foreclosuregate, let me say you've got no idea what you're talking about there Mittens, and the banks are counting on someone like you absolving their crimes.


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