Tag Archives: political

Jon Stewart Shows C-SPAN How To Handle Racist Callers

Posted by: Audiegrl

Jason Linkins~”The Daily Show” did an enjoyable segment about the recent on-air incident on C-SPAN, in which a caller from North Carolina went on a racist diatribe about how the network takes too many calls from black people and should thus be renamed as BLACK-SPAN.

What was very nice about the clip was the way Jon Stewart was not afraid to be servicey, offering host Bill Scanlan some advice on how to handle the situation. Like: don’t just casually shuffle your papers, as if nothing is happening! Like: don’t adopt a “the customer is always right” attitude about the racist idiot mumbling nonsense on your teevee show.

To demonstrate how Bill Scanlan was doing it wrong — which is something I imagine Jeffrey Goldberg can appreciate — Stewart helpfully scripted how calls like this should go in the future.

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A Disappointing Return to Political Games with Severe Consequences for Those Who have Lost Their Jobs

Posted by: BuellBoy

Written by Dan Pfeiffer is White House Communications Director
Cross-posted from WhiteHouse.gov

On Thursday, Democrats and Republicans came together in the House to pass an emergency bill that will temporarily extend benefits for American workers and small businesses. It showed that in times of great need, our elected officials can still set aside their differences to do right by the American people.

But just when we thought we were seeing progress, we have been confronted with a disappointing return to tactics that could be harmful to the American people, with Senator Bunning (R-KY) blocking the extension of several critical priorities for middle-class families. If Senator Bunning gets his way, hundreds of thousands of people could be ineligible for COBRA tax credits for health coverage created by the Recovery Act; 400,000 individuals who cannot find work will lose their unemployment insurance; thousands of small businesses will lose access to credit; transportation projects and public safety programs across the country would be halted; critical transportation safety personnel will be furloughed at a time of increased concern about the safety of our roads and highways; and 600,000 doctors across the country who care for our seniors and veterans could be subject to a 20 % pay cut, including 8,105 in Senator Bunning’s home state of Kentucky.

Make no mistake about it: this bill is too important to fall prey to the political games of one person. If Senator Bunning succeeds, it would have a devastating effect on millions of people as early as Monday.

There’s nothing wrong with someone taking a principled stand for something they believe in, but Senator Bunning voted to extend these same benefits in 2008. Over the past decade, unemployment insurance extensions have been passed as emergency measures under Republican and Democratic Congresses alike. So what we’re seeing right now is politics at its worst. It’s a perfect example of why so many Americans are fed up with Washington.

We need to think about how our actions will impact the American people, because they sent us here to work for them. We need to put an end to the gamesmanship, and do whatever is in our power to put Americans back to work. They expect and deserve nothing less of us.

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The Political Dictionary

Posted by: TheLCster

Alright, let’s start at the beginning. As many of us know we have a two party system in the U.S. This implies that while an individual may hold any personal political leaning he or she, when voting, tend to belong to one of two sides. This differs from other countries that hold a multi-party system such as India, Norway, and the U.K. Most people have this part down. I begin to laugh, however when it comes to the personal political leanings of individuals.

If you possess the intellectual fortitude to earn a driver’s license, then you should be more than capable of choosing your words more wisely when discussing politics. In short, watching some political demonstrations has become like watching Cops: I just grab the popcorn, put my feet up, and watch people make fools of themselves.


Liberal

“Liberalism is the belief in the importance of equality and individual liberty. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, although most liberals support fundamental ideas such as liberal democracy, written constitutions, free and fair elections, human rights, free markets, free trade, and secular society. These ideas and policies are often accepted even among political groups that do not openly profess a liberal ideological orientation. Liberalism encompasses several intellectual trends and traditions, but the dominant variants are social liberalism, which became popular in the 20th century, and classical liberalism, the original incarnation of liberal philosophy.”

Conservative
“Conservatism is a political attitude that advocates institutions and traditional practices that have developed organically, thus emphasizing stability and continuity.”

Libertarian
(no this is not someone who enjoys the deuy decimal system…) “Libertarianism is a term for political theories that advocate the maximization of individual liberty in thought and action and the minimization or abolition of the state. People referring to themselves as libertarians hold viewpoints across the political spectrum, ranging from pro-property to anti-property (also known as “right” and “left”, respectively) and from minimal state (or minarchist) to anarchist. These views can be incompatible with each other, resulting in disagreement over who is a libertarian. All schools of libertarianism declare a strong advocacy for the rights to life and liberty, but they have divergent definitions of liberty.”

Socialist
“Socialism refers to the various theories of economic organization advocating either public or direct worker ownership and administration of the means of production and allocation of resources.[1][2][3] A more comprehensive definition of socialism is an economic system that has transcended commodity production and wage labor, where economic activity is carried out to maximize use-value as opposed to exchange-value and thus a corresponding change in social and economic relations, including the organization of economic institutions and resource allocation; often implying advocacy for a method of compensation based on the amount of labor expended. Most socialists share the view that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital and derives its wealth through exploitation, creates an unequal society, does not provide equal opportunities for everyone to maximize their potential, and does not utilize technology and resources to their maximum potential nor in the interests of the public.”

Fascist
“Fascism is a radical and authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to organize a nation on corporatist perspectives; values; and systems such as the political system and the economy. Scholars generally consider it to be on the far right of the conventional left-right political spectrum, although some scholars claim that fascism has been influenced by both the left and the right. Fascists believe that a nation is an organic community that requires strong leadership, collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong. Fascists identify violence and war as actions that create national regeneration, spirit and vitality. Fascists claim that culture is created by collective national society and its state, that cultural ideas are what give individuals identity, and thus rejects individualism. In viewing the nation as an integrated collective community, fascists claim that pluralism is a dysfunctional aspect of society, and justify a totalitarian state as a means to represent the nation in its entirety.”

Nationalist
“Nationalism generally involves the identification of an ethnic identity with a state.[1] The subject can include the belief that one’s nation is of primary importance.[2] It is also used to describe a movement to establish or protect a homeland (usually an autonomous state) for an ethnic group. In some cases the identification of a homogeneous national culture is combined with a negative view of other races of cultures.”

Feminist
“The term feminism can be used to describe a political, cultural or economic movement aimed at establishing equal rights and legal protection for women. Feminism involves political, cultural and sociological theories, as well as philosophies concerned with issues of gender difference. It is also a movement that advocates gender equality for women and campaigns for women’s rights and interests.”

Anarchist
“Anarchism is a political philosophy encompassing theories and attitudes which consider the state to be unnecessary, harmful, or otherwise undesirable, and favor instead a stateless society or anarchy. Individual anarchists may have additional criteria for what they conceive to be anarchism, and there is often broad disagreement concerning these broader conceptions. According to The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, “there is no single defining position that all anarchists hold, and those considered anarchists at best share a certain family resemblance.” There are many types and traditions of anarchism, not all of which are mutually exclusive. Strains of anarchism have been divided into the categories of social and individualist anarchism or similar dual classifications. Anarchism is often considered to be a radical left-wing ideology, and much of anarchist economics and anarchist legal philosophy reflect anti-statist interpretations of communism, collectivism, syndicalism or participatory economics; however, anarchism has always included an individualist strain, with that strain supporting a market economy and private property, or unrestrained egoism that bases right on might.”

Nazi Party
“The National Socialist German Workers’ Party, commonly known in English as the Nazi Party was a political party in Germany between 1919 and 1945. The party’s last leader, Adolf Hitler, was appointed Chancellor of Germany by president Paul von Hindenburg in 1933. Nazi ideology stressed the failures of communism, liberalism, and democracy. It also stressed the “racial purity of the German people”, as well as Northwestern Europeans and persecuted those it perceived either as race enemies or Lebensunwertes Leben, that is “life unworthy of living.”

Green Party
“A Green party or ecologist party is a formally organized political party based on the principles of Green politics. These principles include Social justice, reliance on grassroots democracy, nonviolence, and support for environmentalism causes. “Greens” believe that the exercise of these principles leads to world health.”

Tea Party
“The Tea Party movement is a fiscally conservative and populist protest movement in the United States. It emerged in early 2009 partially in response to the federal government’s stimulus package, officially known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The movement originated in anti-tax protests, and arose in response to the increase in the national debt as a result of the stimulus package, as well as the revelations about bonuses paid to AIG executives in March 2009 and has been most visible through the Tea Party protests of 2009. The name “Tea Party” is a reference to the Boston Tea Party, whose principal aim was to protest taxation without representation in the British Parliament rather than protesting taxes in general. Tea Party protests have nevertheless sought to evoke similar images, slogans, and themes to this period in American history.”

In short, I think that we should all take a second out of our day to remember no matter how absurd the opposing party or point-of-view may seem, they may be aligned with yours and don’t even know it. Similar to religion, many of our political parties or philosophies have historical roots in others. Some parties even advocate ideals that are similar to an opposing party’s (such as the Green Party’s reliance on grass roots democracy and the Tea Party’s reliance on the same). It is absurd to call President Obama a Fascist or Socialist when his ideals plainly do not align with that party’s. It is furthermore absurd to hold a Tea Party or Anarchist Convention and proudly declare that you taught yourself all of this information either via postal mail or your local public library. Although I do not think we all believe in the same ideals, I only ask that you take a second to look at that the other person is supporting. However, if they don’t even know, please feel free to give them a history lesson!

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Auto-Tune The News #10 Takes On Scott Brown, The Super Bowl

Michael and Andrew Gregory are back with their TENTH installment of “Auto-Tune the News.” So far they’ve taken on Sean Hannity in a gorilla costume, spiced up climate change speeches by GOPers, and used Arianna Huffington’s serious words on the drug war to make light of their own reckless youths. Now they’ve moved on to the Super Bowl, Scott Brown, and turtle fences.
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The Bidens’ Love Story: Jill & Joe Talk Policy Fights, Lunch & Political Marriages On Good Morning America


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Award Winning Actor Robert DeNiro to Play Governor George Wallace in ‘Selma’

Posted by: Audiegrl

Alabama Gov. George Wallace stands at the entrance of Foster Auditorium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., 1963

Deadline Hollywood is reporting that Robert DeNiro has been cast as Alabama Governor George Wallace in director Lee Daniels’ (Precious) upcoming civil rights film, “Selma“, which is about the 1965 march in Alabama that was “the political and emotional peak of the civil rights movement.”

Robert Deniro

Award-winning Actor Robert DeNiro

Wallace was the controversial political figure known for his Southern populist pro-segregation attitudes. He famously said in his 1963 inauguration speech, “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.”

To stop desegregation by the enrollment of African-American students Vivian Malone and James Hood at the University of Alabama, Wallace stood in front of Foster Auditorium on June 11, 1963, until federal marshals, Deputy Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach, and the Alabama National Guard forced him to step aside. (see clip below)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led marches between Selma and Montgomery, Alabama to protest Wallace’s unwillingness to give African-Americans their rights. The violence against peaceful marchers led to a famous statement by President Lyndon B. Johnson that ultimately led to the signing of the Civil Rights Act.

President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Civil Rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr., Whitney Young and James Farmer on January 18, 1964

Some of the other key roles that need to be cast in Daniels’ film include President Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King, Jr.

ComingSoon.net did an brief interview with Daniel’s last October, and discussing the film, he said, “It’s a moment in time in Martin Luther King and LBJ’s (life) around the signing of the Civil Rights.

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The Death of U.S. Political Democracy For The People

Posted by: LibbyShaw

Will the Senator from Wal-Mart please yield to the Senator from Halliburton? The Congressman from Black Water has 5 minutes remaining before the Congresswoman from United Health may speak.

Mark your calendars, folks. January 21, 2010 is the day the radical and activist Supreme Court of the United States delivered the U.S. Democracy into the hands of the corporate sector and special interests groups. According to an article in the New York Times corporations, lobbyists and unions can now legally purchase their candidates of choice.

“We have got a million we can spend advertising for you or against you – whichever one you want,’ ” a lobbyist can tell lawmakers, said Lawrence M. Noble, a lawyer at Skadden Arps in Washington and former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission.

The decision yesterday will usher in unimaginable numbers of Swift Boat attack ads. Corporate fat cats can now threaten and bully politicians to do their bidding or else.

“It will put on steroids the trend that outside groups are increasingly dominating campaigns,” Mr. Ginsberg said. “Candidates lose control of their message. Some of these guys lose control of their whole personalities.”

“Parties will sort of shrink in the relative importance of things,” he added, “and outside groups will take over more of the functions – advertising support, get out the vote – that parties do now.”

Front row: Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Antonin G. Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. Back row: Associate Justices Samuel A. Alito, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor.

Some have called the SOTUS decision a power grab that is intellectually dishonest.

In opening the floodgates for corporate money in election campaigns, the Supreme Court did not simply engage in a brazen power grab. It did so in an opinion stunning in its intellectual dishonesty.

Many of those commenting on the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission have focused on the power-grab part. I agree with them. It was unnecessary for the court to go so far when there were several less-radical grounds available. It was audacious to seize the opportunity to overrule precedents when the parties had not pressed this issue and the lower courts had not considered it. It was the height of activism to usurp the judgments of Congress and state legislatures about how best to prevent corruption of the political process.

“If it is not necessary to decide more, it is necessary not to decide more,” a wise judge once wrote. That was Chief Justice John G. Roberts — back when — and dissenting Justice John Paul Stevens rightly turned that line against him.

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Republicans naturally and predictably love this recent ruling. But of course they would. Republicans embrace and fully support authoritarian forms of government. And the sad truth of the matter is the GOP has always worked for the corporate sector.

It is devastatingly unfortunate that Republican voters have never been able to understand the hard, cold and mean reality of those they elect into office. Politicians take an oath to serve the people in their districts but many merely give their constituents nothing but empty rhetoric. If one were to closely examine one’s Republican lawmakers’ voting records one would find who their elected officials really work for.

My guess is the teabaggers will wraps it head around the reality of the SCOTUS decision like we progressives have, for the only one imperative we do share in common is a collective outrage over the corporate takeover of the U.S. government and its legislative process by special interest groups and corporations.

But unfortunately teabaggers, unlike progressives, are far too easily led astray by the likes of Dick Armey, one of the numerous behind the scenes leaders of the teabagger movement. Armey’s main mission is to promote the interests of the health care industry. He and his organization, Freedom Works, uses teabaggers as its tools.

Republicans and teabaggers alike have been led to believe that the government is the root of everything evil while progressives know that government is the only force that can and will protect us from the evils of self-serving greed mongers of the corporate sector.

We are where we are today b/c the corporate sector has been enabled to run rough shod over the American people. We are broke. There are no jobs. We lost homes. We lost retirement savings. Meanwhile on Wall St. the fat cats who can now purchase politicians get richer by the minute.

Elections have consequences. The nice guy or girl candidate with whom to have a beer could very well be an anti-political democracy devil in disguise who has every intention of throwing the middle and working classes to the lions.

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Oh, and Prince Alwaleed, grandson of the King of Saudi Arabia and the largest individual shareholder in Citigroup and second biggest shareholder in News Corp (Murdock’s FOX “News”) doesn’t like Obama’s tax on the banks.

Who would have thought?

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Former Obama, McCain Aides, Plouffe and Schmidt Join at University of Delaware

Posted by HershelWellingtonIV

David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt

David Plouffe and Steve Schmidt

US News and World Report/Paul Bedard—In an unusual alliance fostered by their alma mater, the top aides to 2008 presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama are joining forces to build a new political center at the University of Delaware. Obama campaign manager David Plouffe and McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt are working to develop the university’s first Center for Political Communication, a coup for the Blue Hens, who also count Vice President Joe Biden among their alumni.

Their teaming comes as Schmidt and Plouffe are trying to finish their degrees: Both attended UD, but neither graduated. Schmidt says he is finishing up three hours at the university, and Plouffe is working toward a full degree, too. Plouffe has deep Delaware roots, having grown up in Wilmington. More recently, he bought a Ford hybrid from his brother at a dealership in Wilmington.

GradYD_lgThe two have been instrumental in the development of the Center for Political Communication, which will combine several academic disciplines—political science, communication, visual communication, marketing, sociology, business, and perhaps others. Plouffe and Schmidt are helping to develop courses and areas of instruction at the campus in Newark, Del. “We’ve adopted the moniker of ‘epicenter of politics’ as a kind of banner under which to develop the initiative and conduct the programs,” says Ralph J. Begleiter, the university’s Rosenberg Professor of Communication. “Among other things,” he tells our Suzi Parker, “we’re working on new courses—and combinations of courses—around significant developments in digital communication technologies used in the 2008 political campaigns. And we’re especially proud to be doing all this in a completely and appropriately nonpartisan manner, evidenced by the strong support and input of Schmidt and Plouffe.”

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Meet Elinor Ostrom: The First Woman to Win the Nobel Prize in Economics

Posted by Audiegrl

It is an honor to be the first woman, but I won’t be the last~Elinor Ostrom

Elinor Ostrom, Nobel in Economic Science Laureate

Elinor Ostrom, Nobel in Economic Science Laureate

Elinor Ostrom, the Arthur F. Bentley professor of political science and professor of public and environmental affairs at Indiana University, will receive this year’s Nobel in Economic Science. The announcement was made Monday morning in Stockholm, Sweden. Ostrom is the first woman to win the prize in Economics since it was founded in 1968, and the fifth woman to win a Nobel award this year — a Nobel record.

She will share it with Oliver E. Williamson, who is at the Walter A. Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. The two will share the prize for their separate work on economic governance, organization, cooperation, relationships and nonmarket institutions.

nobel_prize_1Ms. Ostrom’s work focuses on the commons, such as how pools of users manage natural resources as common property. The traditional view is that common ownership results in excessive exploitation of resources — the so-called tragedy of the commons that occurs when fishermen overfish a common pond, for example. The proposed solution is usually to make users bear the external costs of their utilization by privatizing the resource or imposing government regulations such as taxes or quotas.

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Women in Nobel Prize History

Two-Time Nobel Winner and Scientist Marie Curie

Two-Time Nobel Winner and Scientist Marie Curie

The Nobel Prize in various categories has been awarded to women 41 times between 1901 and 2009.

Marie Curie is the only woman to win two Nobel prizes; one in Physics, 1903 and one in Chemistry, 1911. Marie Curie is considered the most famous of all women scientists. In 1903, her discovery of radioactivity earned her the Nobel Prize in physics. In 1911, she won it for chemistry.

Irene Curie was the daughter of Marie Curie. She furthered her mother’s work in radioactivity and won the Nobel Prize in 1935 for discovering that radioactivity could be artificially produced.

A total of 40 women have been honored with a Nobel Prize since 1901, with the latest recipient, Elinor Ostrom, the only woman in the category of Economic Sciences.

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Texas Governor Perry May Have Put a Lid on Arson Report

Posted by Libby Shaw

Republican Governor Rick Perry

Republican Governor Rick Perry

According to the Houston Chronicle Perry received an arson report from an expert in 2004 but he won’t reveal if he read it before Todd Willingham was executed.

In a letter sent Feb. 14, three days before Willingham was scheduled to die, Perry had been asked to postpone the execution. The condemned man’s attorney argued that the newly obtained expert evidence showed Willingham had not set the house fire that killed his daughters, 2-year-old Amber and 1-year-old twins Karmon and Kameron, two days before Christmas in 1991.

On Feb. 17, the day of the execution, Perry’s office got the five-page faxed report at 4:52 p.m., according to documents the Houston Chronicle obtained in response to a public records request.

But it’s unclear from the records whether he read it that day. Perry’s office has declined to release any of his or his staff’s comments or analysis of the reprieve request.

A statement from Perry spokesman Chris Cutrone, sent to the Chronicle late Friday, said that “given the brevity of (the) report and the general counsel’s familiarity with all the other facts in the case, there was ample time for the general counsel to read and analyze the report and to brief the governor on its content.”

A few minutes after 5 p.m., defense lawyer Walter M. Reaves Jr. said he received word that the governor would not intervene. At 6:20 p.m. Willingham was executed after declaring: “I am an innocent man, convicted of a crime I did not commit.”

Cameron Todd Willingham, executed in Texas

Cameron Todd Willingham, executed in Texas

In the past, as recently as during George W. Bush’s term, gubernatorial reviews were made public. Rick Perry, however, does not believe any of his or his staff reviews should be.

A Forensic Science Commission was about to disclose a report that seriously questions the arson evidence in the Willingham case. But Perry had immediately fired three of the Commission’s members, including the Chairman. The meeting at which the report would have been revealed was canceled.

His 2004 execution gained renewed prominence this year after the newly formed Texas Forensic Science Commission, created by the Legislature to explore and fix forensic flaws, released a report that criticized the arson evidence. Two days before the panel was to review that report, Perry abruptly replaced three members, including the chairman, and the meeting was canceled. The governor also attacked the report, according to other media reports.

The report reveals that the investigators in Willingham’s case made serious errors and had relied on junk science.

The five-page opinion faxed to Perry’s office on Willingham’s execution day in 2004 was the first. It said investigators made “major errors” and relied on discredited techniques akin to an “old wives tale.”

It was authored by Dr. Gerald Hurst, an Austin-based arson expert who holds a doctorate in chemistry from Cambridge University.

By 2004, Hurst already had received national media coverage for helping to obtain a string of high-profile exonerations by debunking arson evidence in other criminal cases. Hurst said in an interview that his previous analysis of flaws in another Texas arson-murder case had helped prompt the Board of Pardons and Paroles in 1998 to free a woman convicted of setting a fire that killed her infant son. She had served six years of a 99-year sentence.

By his actions one can only assume that Governor Rick Perry is attempting to cover up his negligence. Otherwise, he would admit if he did nor or did not read the report. For a man with 20 executions on his watch, one would think Governor Perry should, at the very least, want to know if the state has executed an innocent man. A person’s life is far, far more important than an election outcome.

Please call Rick Perry’s office and demand that he release all reports at 512 463 1782. Please also check Scott Cobb’s post over at the The Burnt Orange Report and Daily Kos. He provides links to a petition and the site to send an email to Perry.

Texas must immediately declare a moratorium on all executions until a complete and thorough review of all procedures on all levels is done by an outside, non-partisan board of experts. One innocent death is one too many.

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