Monday, September 27, 2010

Quote of the Week

"Truth is, there are only two things that the United States is not running out of: Rich people and bullshit."
-- Bill Maher

And while you're at it, read the whole article "When Will Obscenely Rich A**holes Stop Crying About Taxes?" by Bill here.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


This is (pro parte) why I love this guy! Wish I'd been there.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Why I'm Voting Tea Party

A tip o' the Mirsky hat to I'm Voting Tea Party.

Even if Barack Obama is left-handed.

Now, go there and buy a T-Shirt to wear at the Oct. 30 Stop the Insanity rally in DC.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Finally, Something So Right

President Obama just appointed populist hero Elizabeth Warren to establish and lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau!!

This is the boldest step Obama's taken so far to rein in the big Wall Street banks. And it's a major victory for grassroots progressives who rallied for Warren.

The banks fought to keep her out of this job—and now that she has it, they'll do whatever they can to keep her from exercising her full authority. That's why we need to get the word out—to make sure she has the grassroots support she needs to aggressively police Wall Street.

Top Five Things You Should Know About Elizabeth Warren

1. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was her idea. Here's why she thinks this agency is so critical: "It is impossible to buy a toaster that has a one-in-five chance of bursting into flames and burning down your house. But it is possible to refinance your home with a mortgage that has the same one-in-five chance of putting your family out on the street."1

2. The Republicans are so scared of her, they tried to pass a law blocking her from leading the agency. Republicans in Congress and the big Wall Street banks have always been against Warren leading the new consumer agency. Republicans even offered an amendment that was widely understood as designed to block Warren. That amendment failed.2

3. She is one of the most prominent, successful and fierce female lawyers in America. Coming from working-class roots, she graduated from high school as a debate star at 16. She finished law school when she was nine months pregnant. And she has repeatedly been named one of the 50 most influential female lawyers by the National Law Journal and was twice nominated as one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People (among other honors).3

4. She spoke truth to power about the failed foreclosure program. The Home Affordability Modification Program was supposed to save homeowners from losing their homes but has left many deeper in debt than they were before. Warren used her position on the Congressional Oversight Panel to bring the voices of these disaffected homeowners right to the decision makers in the administration and demand accountability. 4

5. She may have actual superpowers. She once calmed a crowd at an NBA game with her encyclopedic basketball knowledge. She explained the financial meltdown so clearly to Jon Stewart that he said it made him "want to make out with" her. And there's a viral cowboy rap video about her.5

Here is Elizabeth Warren's reaction to the news, with more information on her new role:


1. "Making Credit Safer: The Case for Regulation," Harvard Magazine, June 2008

2. "GOP Tried To Block Elizabeth Warren From Heading Agency She Proposed," Huffington Post, October 27, 2009

3. "Elizabeth Warren," Wikipedia

4. "Elizabeth Warren is Bostonian of the Year," The Boston Globe, December 20, 2009

5. "How HAMP Makes Elizabeth Warren The Only Choice For Consumer Protection," The New Deal 2.0, July 22, 2010

"Got a New Sheriff," Main Street Brigade

"Elizabeth Warren is Bostonian of the Year," The Boston Globe, December 20, 2009

"Jon Stewart to Elizabeth Warren: Let's Make Out," Talking Points Memo, January 27, 2010

A tip of the Mirsky hat to for the above.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Who Are The Kings of Corporatocracy Bankrolling and Manipulating Half-Wit Tea-baggers?

"I hope we shall... crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of our country."
~ Thomas Jefferson, letter to George Logan. November 12, 1816

Their names are Koch (pronounced "Coke"), the third generation scions of Wichita-based Koch Industries, the largest privately-held corporation in America. While their wealth began with oil (and still provides a giant share of their billions), they are the owners of such familiar brands as Northern tissue, Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups and Vanity Fair napkins. Their held companies have also been frequently named in various incidences of industrial water and air pollution.

With person
al wealth valued (each) at somewhere around 14 or 15 billion dollars (putting them somewhere around the 19th richest people on the planet), the philanthropic arm of their privately held mega-corporation, ensconced in three Koch Family Foundations, is used in ways largely byzantine and secretive to pursue a hard right-wing, corporatist agenda that ultimately serves their selfish interests.

In what follows a great family tradition (afterall, Papa Fred, from whom these self-espoused "self-made" men inherited their initial fortune, was one of the founders of the John Birch Society in 1958), the Koch Brothers have pumped millions of dollars into mass-producing fake grass-roots organizations all across the country, including Patients United Now (anti-health care reform), Hot Air Tour (anti-global warming), Free Our Energy (pro-offshore drilling), No Stimulus (tried to kill Obama's economic recovery plan) and Save My Ballot Tour (tries to keep workers from joining unions), via Americans for Prosperity, their umbrella front factory. These pseudo NGOs manufacture all sorts of hoked-up studies, alarmist talking points, deceptive attack ads, divisive hate messages, celebrity and religious endorsers, and a menagerie of media stunts, all meant to stymie any progressive legislation that would inconvenience their corporate agenda. Most recently, they are pouring millions into an effort to kill California's Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32) via a ballot proposition. And David Koch made a $15 million dollar gift to the Smithsonian Institution to fund a disingenuous display on climate change that whitewashes its industrial causes and devastating effects - in essence, more than flirting with junk science. And this is our National Museum of Natural History and science!

And it is Americans For Prosperity Foundation that bankrolled Glenn Beck's theater of the absurd tea bagger love fest two weeks ago in DC. While Charles Koch quietly minds the store at Koch Industries HQ in Wichita, the younger and flashier former playboy David lives high on the hog in New York City, where he has become something of a high-rolling patron of the arts and likes to deny any connection to the Tea Party.

Before Koch Bros. partner-in-slime Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation began providing a daily entourage of televised right wing enablers with the common touch, Charles Koch started the Cato Institute in 1977, the intellectual arm of libertarian corporatist blather.

While there are clearly some Tea Party members who applaud the Libertarian goals of ending all corporate regulation, and dismantling Social Security, Medi
care and Medicaid, the vast majority of tea baggers are just ill-informed, easy to manipulate nitwits. They are utterly clueless to how they are being used to create an America that they probably would not want to live in. Blind them with religion, mesmerize them with televised ideological propaganda masquerading as fact, and like Pavlov's dogs, they will rally at your will to cut their own throats.

Now, someone try and "refudiate" that.

Know thine enemy; a Koch Brothers Bibliography:

Jane Mayers's New Yorker article: "Covert operations: the billionaire brothers who are waging a a war against Obama."

Yasha Levine's New York Observer article "7 Ways the Koch Bros. benefit from corporate welfare."

Jim Hightower: "Two Multibillionaire Brothers Are Remaking America for Their Own Benefit"