Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Protest Coleman - Who and Why

Off of a comment thread on Bitch PhD - is there any reason to protest against Norm Coleman? Or is it pointless, because it's just a legal case right now?

I think there are reasons to protest.

First, there's Norm Coleman, who is indeed an actor in the play but by no means the most powerful. He loses with the general public, somewhat, by continuing to twitch. But he gains with his Republican donor money base by delaying.

Then there's that Republican money base, which wants to keep the seat locked down in permanent NO territory. Can't invoke cloture when there's no-one in the seat! See here:

Then there's Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a progressive Democrat who wants to be seen as 'fair', and Tim Pawlenty, who I maintain has less power than previously maintained, what with the veto override last year (bridge fall down money overridden) and being passed over for Yukon Barbie for the VP nod. These two could certify, and protest could make a difference there.

THEN there's the US Senate, which could ignore Minnesota altogether and just seat him.

So there's plenty of political actors, not Coleman, in that mix. Protest could change media coverage, perception of strength, etc.

Actually, I'd target Ritchie to say he's willing to sign the statement in light of the not-so-expedited MN Supreme Court timeline. That would be calls and letter writing. Then would be Pawlenty, which ups the pressure on him and that's a good thing.

Or a 'Throw in the Towel' game - it's like lawn darts - paint a big open-mouthed Norm on a bit of plywood, cut to give the hair wave, and show up at festivals with towels with tennis balls wrapped inside and see if you can 'toss the Norm towel'. Winners get little bags of cash and a job at a right-wing think tank. Losers get one of their two Senate votes taken from them.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hold them accountable

Right wing violence will occur and it will be backed by media like Fox and politicans like Bachmann and Perry from Texas.

When some nutbar goes off - like they do and have done - we gotta pump up the volume and challenge folks - what do you think about this? These people claim to be pro-life, but they use violence for their cause. As a pro-lifer, do you condone this action? Call them on it.

Obama: In it to win it

Good post at the Booman Tribune about poker and politics. Apparently, the Republicans overplay their hands, and in this case they don't have the political chips to back it up.

[Obama]... made concessions to the House GOP during the stimulus debate and he got absolutely nothing in return. In essence, he folded a good hand and lost a pot that rightfully belonged to him. The Republicans had been bluffing about bipartisanship. He's not about to trust them again over the signature domestic issue of his campaign: health care reform.

Ahh, what a difference community organizing and a spine and soul make. Steve Perry in Minnesota did a great analysis in 2002 about the Democratic Party - that they were in it to lose it. They didn't care. There needed to be two parties and they would take that role, with some jobs, some positions, some perks, and no control of the process. Keep things quiet.

Frankly, Bill Clinton was like that, at least as far as Wall Street and the military-industrial complex were concerned. Want some spending? Let's do some bombing. Want some deregulation? Here, and here's some more. NAFTA? No problem.

Barack Obama is in it to win it. The order of major bills is important and the order has been thought out and determined. Start like Roosevelt did - one for the banks, keep Wall Street happy. Then buy some votes AND do some good with the second one, some Big Old Federal Pork, Just What the Economy Ordered (I am very supportive overall of the stimulus bill, even if larded with corporate crap) keep the cities and states happy. And he opened the process and gave some to the Republicans and got nothing, and nothing again.

So now he has set the narrative, and can legitimately roll all over them on something that's very popular.

Obama's claiming power. While the USA may be a relative 'change of government is orderly' country, the assholes who were just in there are, well, assholes, and vindictive, and anti-democratic, and, well, neo-fascist. (OK, not EVERY one was a neo-fascist, but Cheney in the Undisclosed Location with a DOJ Memo sounds like the end of the Clue game on who killed the Constitution.) Anyway - ugh, and those dudes won't give up easy.

But Obama's chipping away. Got the northern banks vote to split the Republicans on the bank bailout, and got the stimulus through. Yes, the Republicans are filibustering EVERYTHING, which, of course, used to be anathema but is now best patriotic practice. And yes, Obama hasn't moved against the intelligence community (actually, he's setting up the opening steps of that dance) but he had a meeting with the credit card companies the other day about being jerks, and the meeting with the auto industry CEOs was not a love-athon (although not as dramatic, perhaps, as Ozymandius's meeting with the auto and oil CEOs in Watchmen. At about 1:50 in this video)

The corporate media is a problem. The world and the rest of the country are, statistically, in hot infatuation with Obama so far, as far as polling data goes. Really it is. But not if you watch cable news, where there is still a strong Republican bias. Not just Fox, mind you, but the rest of the news is acting as a Republican propaganda vehicle. (Fox is just off-the-edge, pure lies part of the machine. The kook who legitamizes the right-wing agends.) There is some MSNBC, but the heart of most of the networks and cable news departments are broadcasting a very biased political narrative. This will be a problem for Obama, but the existance of SOME outposts, and the great lefty Internet, help mitigate that.

This, actually, gives me hope for the labor bill. If Obama succeeds in getting a just plain policy / new program bill like the health care bill through, that'll grease the wheels for the Free Choice Act.

The only drawback to calling the Republicans bluff is that they're threatening civil war if they don't get their way. Or succession, or federal non-compliance, or whatever you want to call it. Their electoral base IS the south, after all. Nice to have a Yankee negro in charge to put down the War Between the States - the Rematch.

Labornerd FTW

Something I caught I don't know where - academic, radical, good sense of history - Labornerd.

Something I got there - 1935 newsreel on the split between AFL and CIO.

OH - and thanks for the last week's hit counts. I'd been averaging 5 a day (with the lame posting schedule) and this last one was about 10 a day. (I'll ignore the extra hits I generated myself when I plugged in on Mike's router.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NYT Inanity: Dowd


I love being alive right now.

I've had this infection in my brain. A song I've been listint to over an over. It first came to me when I went to Slumdog Millionaire, finally, and I was like - dam, that's some hot soundtrack. Which I score from a friend.

So I'm listening to it, and then this cut comes on - I'd heard it somewhere before - comes to me and I'm like - dam, that's the song.

It's M.I.A.'s Paper Planes and I've listened to it about twelve times today. I was reading about it last night, and you should listen to it, here's the new official Fucking Smarmy UTube Link, which has the commercial and you can't embed it.

But that's another rant. This tune is really catchy. Like, I just restarted the video, put it on big screen, and watched it again. And cried. And sighed. And restarted it.

So I had to track M.I.A. down, and I was right, she was the Sri Lankan singer who'd been big in England, punk sensibility, and political - her dad was a Tamil Tiger and she supported the movement. And what she said about the song was that she wrote the chorus - all i wanna do - bang bang bang bang (click) ching - is take your money - because she's looking at white folks, looking at immigrants, and the white folks are thinking that all these dirty scum are there to take the money. Except she threw in the guns and money ching to make you think.

So - if you haven't or can't listen to it, the controversy about the song is those gunshots. Apparently, black people can't have songs with shooting or guns in it, but white bands can. So when she did this on Letterman? They first bent the shots different, which was OK, but then took them out totally when it was live. (I should link the article I read about it, I suppose. I hate digging for links, though.)

So then there's M.I.A. herself, Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, who's hot and street and arty and sassy and in other words is another in the series of female vocalists I've gone gaga over.

And THEN, I'm reading about how it's got a Clash sample, and I'm like - dam, I like the Clash. Wonder which one it is? Wonder if I'd recognize the sample? And thanks to a commenter at the lyrics site, they said what it was.

This one I can embed. Heh.

Which is fucking amazing Clash lyrics too. So this chick's got her historic perspective in place (and recognition of what makes a mindsuckingly powerful beat) and it's like DANG.

I love being alive right now.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fuck Nigger Haters

I use Sitemeter to see who's clicking into this blog. It tells me lots of things, like how many hits, how many page views, etc. etc. Since almost no-one comments here, the hit count is one of the few things that gives me the egoboost that's part of blogging. (Very like doing pirate radio w/o a call-in number - sending words into the void...)

So I'm looking at why people came here - what referrals were. What page they came in on. And the article about the racist, treasonous statements by Texas Governor Rick Perry when he encouraged Texans to fuck the Fed and stand for State's Rights got some hits. Which came from Google.

What were the search terms?

"fuck nigger", "The nigger president", just plain "nigger president", "fuckblack" (one word - looking for African American porn or what?), and the alltime loser "kill nigger president today" which this blog is now the seventh hit on Webcrawler.


So for those of you who aren't racist, I wanted to share what darling gems our fellow e-citizens are tossing into the void. For those of you who are? Well, I'm of two minds. One mind wrote the title to this post. On the other hand, take a look at how your life has changed since this man hit the White House. Maybe not for the better - but that's the economy. Are you in a state that's getting federal aid? Why, yes, you are. Are you going to see some of that? Probably. Has the world ended in a firey apocolypse? Uhhh, no. So maybe you should take a deep breath, and chill.

Saul Alinsky, that dangerous community organizer, talks about language, about how sometimes you use it to shock. Like I did. And it looks like I get some of that shock as well.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Obama Scores in Trinidad!

People might freak out, and rightly so, about how the American Empire is flexing it's hard brutal muscle in the Middle East. But as Noam Chomsky first pointed out to me, the real game during the long Cold War was two empires putting down revolts inside their spheres - the Warsaw Pact for the Russians, and most of South and Central America for the US.

The Monroe Doctrine called it - we're the bosses in North and South America. After the Spanish lost it came the long slow squeeze of Team USA and our Manifest Destiny.

I've long written about the Americas; from the Zapatistas to the Contras, from the Colombian right-wing paramilitaries to Hugo Chavez in Venezuela there's some amazing things going on and basically they get swept under the rug.

And some of the stuff they do - amazing! The Indymedia movement was based on a Zapatista model, which laid a lot of groundwork for the blogosphere. The Zaps' focus on neo-liberal economics was a huge eye opener to me. And now that the US military has been tied up in the Middle East, the chance of American military action into the hemisphere has been reduced, which is one reason why, I think, we didn't invade Venezuela under the hardline Bush2 regime.

So here's Obama, and he's got some big question marks on how he'll act in regards to foreign policy. Al Giordono, who's 'The Field' has some amazing analysis, has long focused on the politics of the Americas. The Narco News Bulletin has been his passion and project for a long time.

His article, Trinidad - opportonities don't happen, they are made, covers pretty well some major points of the Obama Latin America trip. Thing number one - Mexico's president is a Bush clone, an fucker, and as legitamate as, well, Bush2 himself. (The election was stolen from the left by using the same kind of voter suppression tactics that were used in Florida in 2000 and Ohio in 2004)

But number two and three - Obama's announcing that he's noticed the Cold War is over, and gave Chavez a photo op. The Cuba blockade is headed out, it seems, and Obama's not being an abject prick to Chavez, unlike some. While the Cuban thing will get more press, likely, Giordano points out

The bigger opportunity in Trinidad for Obama, should he seize the moment, is for the US president to begin to normalize relations with Venezuela. Although the Bush Administration denied any involvement in the attempted 2002 coup d’etat against Venezuela’s democratically elected president, most Latin Americans don’t buy it. At very least, Washington lent support to that coup by recognizing the illegitimate dictator-for-a-day, Pedro Carmona, before the Venezuelan people overturned his short-lived military regime seven years ago this week

Haven't read the full statement yet, but here's a thousand word comment.

US President Barack Obama and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez

“At Times We Sought to Dictate our Terms. But I Pledge to You that We Seek an Equal Partnership”

Full Obama statement here

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Texans to Nigger President - Fuck Off

I can't believe this. I guess the right wing is in some way going for it - trying to pull the South back out of the country, or something.

The Governor of Texas is telling people to rebel against the Federal government.

"Where’re you gonna’ stand? With an ever-growing Washington bureaucracy, or are you going to stand with the people of this state who understand the importance of state's rights"

Just in case you don't understand, the issue of 'states rights' was used by the racist Southern governmental system to defend their 'right' to discriminate against nigras. So when you hear Perry say "an ever growing Washington bureaucracy", just substitute "that damn Yankee nigger in the White House" because that's what a callout for states rights MEANS, and then they clap at the end.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Double-O Bama's Licenced a Kill

So the pirates and the captain and Obama and stuff... what a load of bullshit. I'm sorry, but a dude in a boat and a destroyer is a distraction, not an issue of world shaking import. I don't care. Seriously, if you want to fix something in Africa you could do something for Darfur.

However, it shows that Obama can give the order to kill. It's a blood barrier that's been crossed. He's made, he's no Jimmy Carter.

I think it was kind of shitty. Personally, you can talk with folks, and if they were at the 'please just let us go' stage? Maybe you cut that deal.

On the other hand, armed robbery with boats and ordinance IS a dangerous pastime. There was a bit of 'state of war' with the seizing and the use of force.

But again Obama understands his Chicago street.

He knows he needs to have that tough. Depending on how things go, he might be tough enough to keep us out of the next adventure that corporate America wants to get Uncle Sam to kick ass on.

OK Norm, you're done.

The ruling is out - the Minnesota 2008 Senate vote was legitimate, and Al Franken is the elected Senator. You're done, Norm.

You're like my bad dream of neoliberalism and neoconservatism. You rose to power on a corporate-fueled shift to the right, and you shifted with it. You grabbed camera time to diss the UN, and you got schooled by George Galloway, and now you've been schooled by the voters in the state of Minnesota.

Even your Independence Party stalking horse couldn't save you.

Time to throw in the towel, Mr. Coleman, and go into right-wing think tank obscurity. Hope you can pay your mortgage off.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Snippet of the Browse 2

Two good posts

Pandagon and Shakespeare's Sister are two of my long time regular reads. They're
brilliant, and have lots of brilliance, including the two awesome women who sadly showed that John Edwards wasn't quite ready for prime time. (no! Sheesh, you people.)

Anyway - Amanda and Melissa rock. And so do Jesse and Misty (and other folks over there.) Misty put together two things - this video, and this quote from Melissa on hate speech, or "is you trying to shut my freedom of speech down."

Melissa's quote:
...if you really feel obliged to complain about having to expand your vocabulary beyond gay and bitch and retard, that says something decidedly more unflattering about you than it does about the people who object to your lexicon. Plenty of us have managed to figure out that refusing to use language which perpetuates oppression is not enslaving oneself to the language police. It's just doing the basic work required of someone who doesn't want to be a fucking asshole.

Jesse Taylor, who cracks me up routinely, came up with this gem, which I'll link but rip in full...

Pulling A Full Grandpa Simpson

Is George Will even trying anymore?

Umpires—the only people who are on the field during the entire game and the only ones indifferent to the outcome—were depicted in pre-Civil War drawings wearing top hats and carrying walking sticks. An account of the (supposedly) first game between organized teams—June 19, 1846, in Hoboken, N.J.—mentioned the umpire fining a player six cents for swearing.

Grandpa Simpson:

One way to get rid of them is to tell ‘em stories that don’t go anywhere. Like the time we went over to Shelbyville during the war, I wore an onion on my belt....which was the style at the couldn’t get those white ones, you could only get those big yellow where was I? Oh yeah, the important thing was I was wearing an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time, you couldn’t get those… (trails off)

I suppose it’s better than lying about global warming...sort of. Less likely to get you shellacked by every single other writer at the newspaper, as they’ll all be asleep.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Letter to Norm Coleman: Concede

Dear Mr. Coleman,

In a short time, the three-judge panel will make some announcements. They will find that the Minnesota Senate election was sound, and that Al Franken won it.

It's time to throw in the towel. You lost the election in Minnesota to Al Franken. You should concede, and cease further legal challenge.

You can, of course, continue legal action. You have legal avenues available, and you have a goodly amount of Republican money to fund further expensive legal challenges.

You were my Mayor for two terms, and my Senator for one. I've demonstrated against you, voted against you, spoken and written against you, and I firmly and resolutely love writing these words: You lost. I won't pretend impartiality, by any means.

But I'm not here to gloat, I'm here because I'm upset with you. Actually, not you. More the Republican money sources.

So I guess my letter is to them - the people that have already donated $25 million to your legal cases. That's on top of the $25 million you spent DURING the election.

You guys are clever, sometimes. I have to congratulate you for coming up with a relatively inexpensive way to game the system.

You- the Republican financial establishment - have successfully bought a vote in the Senate. It's a limited vote, because it only votes one direction - NO. And it's not as nimble as other votes - doesn't really count in committee, but still, for the big budget and other votes that are happening right now, it's a solid NO vote. By keeping Franken from being seated, you have bought one vote.

So stop it!

I'm tired of you Republican financial people stealing one of my state's votes. It's profoundly undemocratic, although you don't really care about that. It's a good scam for as long as it lasts, until people start noticing and getting pissed off.

I know, it's hard to give up the access to the corporate welfare gravy train. It was a great run, but things have changed. Instead of trying to block moderate legislative reforms, how about you go back and figure out how to clean up your broken industries? Financial systems, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, energy folks - you've all got stuff you should be doing.

And Norm? You watched my job go because you were getting points beating up the unions. You got to office as a Democrat and switched for your own political gain. Wellstone would have beat you, but his plane crashed. You have my deep and lasting political enmity, but you had that before. Remember that press conference by the river?

You'll be kept around, of course; you are a decent spokesmodel, with your shiny teeth and all. And Laurie and you can finally get that divorce, that's fine, look at Gingrich. Anyway - one last thing...


yours, nihilix

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Twin Cities Catholic Archbishop Jumps the Shark

From the Minnesota Independent -

Archbishop Nienstedt calls Obama ‘anti-Catholic,’ vows to pull support from Notre Dame

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has called President Obama an “anti-Catholic politician” and has condemned the University of Notre Dame for inviting Obama to speak at the school’s graduation in May. Archbishop John Nienstedt wrote to protest the invitation because of the president’s support for women’s abortion rights, embryonic stem cell research and civil unions for same-sex couples.

OK - the Pope lets back into the Church some dudes who got kicked out around the time of Vatican 2 for, among other things, being a little anti-semitic. Then the new pope, who was a member of the Hitler Youth during WW2, decides that his conservative theology should advance in the Church and does things like re-allow Latin mass, and let these guys back in to the church - reversing their excommunication (for defying an order from Rome, no less.)

(Scary Pope)

So the new Archbishop Nienstedt comes in, all conservative, and he immediately starts going after "the Homosexuals," clamping down on two of the most left-wing Catholic churches, things like that. And now - he wants Notre Dame to not invite Obama for his abortion politics. (Oh - the Archbishop and the Holocaust Denier probably hung out together since they were both outstate Catholic priests for years together.)

What a load of baloney. I respect a lot of my Catholic roots, but obedience to a church hierarchy not so much, when the Archbishop defines 'Catholicism' as simply issues of fetal politics.

Obama is a very pro-Catholic politician. If you look at the ten points that the Office of Social Justice came up with, he hits home runs on a lot of them. Caring for the poor, being against the war and the death penalty, respect for workers. Catholic social doctrine is very much in line with Obama's administration. I seem to recall several times where he was taking a position that he was getting grief for from the left and thinking he was being kind of Catholic - can't remember specifics, though.

I'm sorry, but this is just too far to the right for me. Crazytalk.

Here's the letter:

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
President, University of Notre Dame
400 Main Building
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Dear Father Jenkins:

I have just learned that you, as President of the University of Notre Dame, have invited President Barack Obama to be the graduation commencement speaker at the University’s exercises on May 17, 2009. I was also informed that you will confer on the president an honorary doctor of laws degree, one of the highest honors bestowed by your institution.

I write to protest this egregious decision on your part. President Obama has been a pro-abortion legislator. He has indicated, especially since he took office, his deliberate disregard of the unborn by lifting the ban on embryonic stem cell research, by promoting the FOCA agenda and by his open support for gay rights throughout this country.

It is a travesty that the University of Notre Dame, considered by many to be a Catholic University, should give its public support to such an anti-Catholic politician.

I hope that you are able to reconsider this decision. If not, please do not expect me to support your University in the future.

Sincerely yours,

The Most Reverend John C. Nienstedt
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis