04/01/2011 archive

from firefly-dreaming 01.4.11

this is an Open Thread

Essays Featured Friday the 1st of April:

When Love Comes to Town Late Night Karaoke ROCKS!

Six Brilliant Articles! from Six Different Places!! on Six Different Topics!!!

                Six Days a Week!!!    at Six in the Morning!!!!

Friday Open Thoughts from slksfca are Sacred & Profane

Mishima Leaves DailyKos on a Huffy!


Foods of the Supergods from patric juillet tells of some of the healthiest foodstuffs you can eat.

Afternoon music from Timbuk3: The 100 Greatest Rock Songs of All Time!

Tonight #91  

The latest chapter of My Little Townfrom Translator Etta & Roy Chandler  


Evening Edition

Evening Edition is an Open Thread

Now with 48 Top Stories.

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Seven UN workers killed in Afghan Koran protest


1 hr 15 mins ago

MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan (AFP) – Seven foreign UN workers were killed Friday in Afghanistan by protesters angered by a Koran burning in the United States, the provincial governor said, in what appeared to be the deadliest attack on the United Nations there since the 2001 invasion.

“Seven UNAMA employees have been killed, out of which five are Nepalese and two others are Europeans, one woman and one man,” Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor said, referring to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

Five protesters also died in the unrest in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, and 20 were injured, the governor told reporters. At least 20 were arrested over the attack, which was claimed by the Taliban.

What Is Morality?

In my previous two entries, I discussed why it is important for people who call themselves left-wingers to have a solid moral foundation.  To sum up, one cannot call one’s self a progressive or a liberal and support the extreme right-wing policies of those in government.  To support Obama’s continuation and expansion of Bush-Cheney fascist policies, whether directly or by refusing to challenge him electorally, or by simply remaining silent in the face of ongoing crimes and usurpation of Constitutionally delegated powers, is immoral.

But what is morality, and how should the American left apply it to politics?

WWL Radio #103 The Road to Sedition

Friday, April 1st at 6pm EDT!

Listen live by clicking the link icon below:

Listen to The Wild Wild Left on internet talk radio

The call in number is 646-929-1264 to join the conversation!

The live chat link goes live around 5:45, and can be found at the bottom of the show page when you listen, or by clicking the link below.


Tip: In order to comment in chat, you must create a BTR account, its free and only takes seconds. I read chat while on air, so make yourself heard.

Its the First of April, and we are being played as fools. I wish it were something so blythe as a prank. The Ruling Class of this country have initiated and succeeded in Sedition against every principle we were taught our country stands for; every action is Sedition against you, me, we the People.

PhotobucketState by State they illegally restrict our rights and our ability to redress our complaints. They outlaw Unions, they restrict aid, threaten our very right to representation.

Nationally, the Uniparty blows smoke up our collective hineys, while continuing the process of extraction upward to move the wealth of the land into a few Oligarch’s hands.

Internationally, the Military Industrial Complex continues its march toward hegemony and terror.

All the while the people continue to be distracted by shiny lies, false-flag enemies and the kabuki theater of Good Cop/Bad Cop that our two-party system has become. The Left, as well as the Right continue to believe that a D or an R is their only option, rather than trashing the corporate funded lot of them, and rallying behind a new Party, in some twisted logic of “lesser evil” that makes the Rich squeal in delight.

You fight fire with fire, and sedition with sedition. Only is it really sedition to defend ourselves and refuse to comply with those who have co-opted our government; demand freedom, health, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?

We are being FORCED down this road. To live as slaves or die as free men.

Game On.

Miss the show? The podcasts are available at the link above, or at the Wild Wild Left

Join Wild Wild Left Radio every Friday at 6pm EST, via Blog Talk Radio, with Hostess and Producer Diane Gee to guide you through Current Events taken from a Wildly Left Prospective….  her Joplinesque voice speaking straight from the heart about the real-life implications of the Political and the Class War on everyday American Citizens like you.

Controversy? We face it. Cutting Edge? We step over it. Revolutions start with information, and The Wild Wild Left Radio brings you the best in information and op/eds from a position that others on the Left fear to tread…. all with a grain shaker of irreverent humor.

WWL Radio: Bringing you “out there where the buses don’t run” LEFT perspective with interviews, op/eds and straight talk since January of 2009!

April Fools

An April Fools Day Joke-

A Word About Digital Subscriptions to The Huffington Post

Arianna Huffington

Posted: 04/ 1/11 07:55 AM ET

Today marks a significant transition for The Huffington Post Media Group, as we introduce digital subscriptions for employees of The New York Times. It’s an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in The Huffington Post. If you are not an employee of The New York Times, you will continue to have full and free access to our news, information, opinion, and the rest of our rich offerings. If you are an employee of The Times, you may view one free article a month or choose one of our NYT Employee Digital Subscription Plans®. In our most popular plan, Times employees can view the first 6 letters of each word at no charge (including slideshows of adorable kittens). After 6 letters, we will ask you to become a digital subscriber.

Not An April Fools Day Joke-

Jim Messina Is a Perfect Choice to Be Obama’s Campaign Manager

Robert Creamer

Posted: 04/ 1/11 09:06 AM ET

I’m not sure we could have gotten a Public Option no matter what the president did or did not do. The Senate filibuster, the health insurance lobby, and Senator Lieberman were our chief obstacles. The administration and Senate leadership had negotiated a deal with progressive Senators to include a Medicare buy-in for people from 55 to 65 years of age — which would have been a huge advance. But then the insurance industry told Lieberman — who had favored the plan — to drop it. And that was that.

I think Messina and others, like David Axelrod, would agree that there were mistakes made in the campaign. One of those was allowing the battle to go on for so long — indulging Senator Baucus’ attempt to get bipartisan compromise over so many months that it amplified our opponent’s ability to dominate the air waves. By the way, I don’t know that Messina could have personally done a lot more to get Baucus off of the bipartisan program more quickly — notwithstanding their close relationship — though I suspect he tried.

The White House was being told that the bill had to go through the committee process in order to keep sixty votes. Getting Baucus to move that process more quickly would have required a major confrontation, that at the time the White House apparently did not think would be productive. In retrospect Messina may view it differently, I don’t know.

Another problem was not shifting soon enough to framing the battle as a fight with the insurance industry — a message frame that ultimately allowed us to win. But the decision for the administration not to use the insurance frame early was not made to “coddle” the industry. It was made to keep their money off the airwaves as long as possible. I think there is now general acknowledgment that the campaign would have been better off moving to the insurance frame earlier.

Also Not A Joke-

Veal Appeal: Whitewashing of Health Care Reform Battle Continues

By: Jon Walker

Friday April 1, 2011 10:11 am

Over at the Huffington Post, in an attempt to defend Jim Messina, Robert Creamer reaches for the absolute biggest brush he can find to totally whitewash the actual history of the health care reform battle.

The problem for the public option wasn’t that the president didn’t fight hard enough for it. It’s failure to make it in the laws was the result of President Obama actively fighting hard against it, while lying about this support. It was confirmed by the New York Times that President Obama sold out the public option in a deal with the hospitals in exchange for their support of the law. His many behind-the-scenes efforts to undercut it shows he was committed to the secret deal.

In the end, it was fully proven without a doubt that the filibuster wasn’t ever a real obstacle to the public option. The Affordable Care Act was finished with a reconciliation bill that can’t be filibustered and could have included a deficit-reducing public option. The fact that it didn’t speaks volumes.

Punting the Pundits

“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”

Paul Krugman: The Mellon Doctrine

“Liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate the farmers, liquidate real estate.” That, according to Herbert Hoover, was the advice he received from Andrew Mellon, the Treasury secretary, as America plunged into depression. To be fair, there’s some question about whether Mellon actually said that; all we have is Hoover’s version, written many years later.

But one thing is clear: Mellon-style liquidationism is now the official doctrine of the G.O.P.

Two weeks ago, Republican staff at the Congressional Joint Economic Committee released a report, “Spend Less, Owe Less, Grow the Economy,” that argued that slashing government spending and employment in the face of a deeply depressed economy would actually create jobs. In part, they invoked the aid of the confidence fairy; more on that in a minute. But the leading argument was pure Mellon.

Robert Reich: The Awful, Unsaid Truth: We’re Heading Back Toward a Double Dip

Why aren’t Americans being told the truth about the economy? We’re heading in the direction of a double dip – but you’d never know it if you listened to the upbeat messages coming out of Wall Street and Washington.

Consumers are 70 percent of the American economy, and consumer confidence is plummeting. It’s weaker today on average than at the lowest point of the Great Recession.

The Reuters/University of Michigan survey shows a 10 point decline in March – the tenth largest drop on record. Part of that drop is attributable to rising fuel and food prices. A separate Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence, just released, shows consumer confidence at a five-month low – and a large part is due to expectations of fewer jobs and lower wages in the months ahead.

Pessimistic consumers buy less. And fewer sales spells economic trouble ahead.

Laura Flanders: Bringing the Budget Protests to New York

From Wisconsin to Indiana to right here in New York-the state capitol in Albany Wednesday night echoed as well with chants of “This is what democracy looks like” as protesters occupied the halls to protest budget cuts to education.

This time, it’s a Democratic governor, Andrew Cuomo, in the driver’s seat, and while he’s not threatening to take away union negotiating rights, the budget pushed through at 1 am contains steep cuts to primary education spending, the State University of New York, and job creation. It also allows the millionaires’ tax to expire-that’s a surtax on incomes over $1 million.

On This Day in History April 1

This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.

Find the past “On This Day in History” here.

April 1 is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 274 days remaining until the end of the year. April 1 is most notable in the Western world for being April Fools’ Day.

On this day in 1700, English pranksters begin popularizing the annual tradition of April Fools’ Day by playing practical jokes on each other.

Although the day, also called All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery. Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. These included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.

Historians have also linked April Fools’ Day to ancient festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises. There’s also speculation that April Fools’ Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.

April Fools’ Day is celebrated all around the world on the April 1 of every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools’ Day, April 1 is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day where everyone plays all kind of joke and foolishness. The day is marked by the commission of good humoured or funny jokes, hoaxes, and other practical jokes of varying sophistication on friends, family members, teachers, neighbors, work associates, etc.

Traditionally, in some countries such as New Zealand, Ireland, the UK, Australia, and South Africa, the jokes only last until noon, and someone who plays a trick after noon is called an “April Fool”.

Elsewhere, such as in France, Italy, South Korea, Japan, Russia, The Netherlands, Germany, Brazil, Canada, and the U.S., the jokes last all day. The earliest recorded association between April 1 and foolishness can be found in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (1392). Many writers suggest that the restoration of the January 1 as New Year’s Day in the 16th century was responsible for the creation of the holiday, but this theory does not explain earlier references.

Six In The Morning

Britain in talks with 10 more Gaddafi aides

Inner circle turn their backs on besieged Libyan dictator

By Cahal Milmo, Oliver Wright and Donald Macintyre in Tripoli Friday, 1 April 2011

The British Government said it was in urgent talks with up to another 10 senior figures in Colonel Gaddafi’s creaking regime about possible defection following the dramatic arrival in Britain of the Libyan dictator’s chief henchman for much of his 40 years in power.

As former foreign minister Moussa Koussa was reported to be “talking voluntarily” to British officials yesterday, the Libyan regime was desperately struggling to limit the damage of the stunning desertion, suggesting he was exhausted and suffering from mental problems.

DocuDharma Digest

Regular Features-

Featured Essays for March 31, 2011-


Obama Ain’t No “LibruL”

In case no one has yet recognized this little point of fact, just take a look at his right wing, Wall St, banker, corporations, protect the wealthiest staff. From the flat out obnoxious Rahm Emanuel to his latest addition of former GE CEO, Jeffrey Immelt to head his jobs council, Obama has surrounded himself with the people that he was voted into office to keep out of government. Obama’s deputy chief of staff, Jim Messina (not the singer), who never saw a right wing idea he didn’t like, was appointed to head Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. If you don’t know who Jim Messina is, you’re not alone unless you are a member of a progressive group that has tried to work with this White House, like Campaign for America’s Future, Health Care for America Now (HCAN) or Servicemembers Legal Defence Network (SLDN). Messina came into the Obama circle in June of 2008 after having service as chief of staff for corporations favorite Democrat, Sen. Max Baucus (MT) as the campaign’s chief of staff (with David Plouffe remaining the top dog). In a Mother Jones‘s article in by David Corn questioned:

As the presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, Obama is now the leader of a political entity that includes idealistic, reform-seeking, public-interest do-gooders as well as corporate-minded professionals connected to the pay-to-play system deeply rooted in the nation’s capital. (I’m not saying Messina is one or the other.) Unifying such a party under the banner of change will have its challenges. Obama’s campaign is now being partly run by a fellow (presumably a talented political operative) who served a Democrat who helped enact major legislation Obama depicts as harmful to the nation. Is that a sign Obama can reach out to those with whom he disagrees, or is it an accommodation to the ways of Washington?

I think we have the answer to that question and in The Nation, Ari Berman writes an in depth article about Messina as Obama’s “enforcer”:

In March 2009 the Campaign for America’s Future, a top progressive group in Washington, launched a campaign called “Dog The (Blue) Dogs” to pressure conservative Blue Dog Democrats to support President Obama’s budget. When he heard about the effort, White House deputy chief of staff Jim Messina, who was regarded as the Obama administration’s designated “fixer,” called CAF’s leaders into the White House for a dressing down, according to a CAF official. If the group wanted to join the Common Purpose Project, an exclusive weekly strategy meeting between progressive groups and administration officials, CAF had to drop the campaign. We know how to handle the Blue Dogs better than you do, Messina said. Not wanting to sour its relationship with the White House at this early date, CAF complied, and the campaign quickly disappeared from its website. Despite Messina’s assurance, however, the Blue Dogs would remain a major obstacle to the realization of the president’s legislative agenda.

These were the same tactics used to stifle GLBT organizations during the campaign to repeal DADT (which is very apparently still in effect). Joe Sudbay at AMERICAblog Gay points out Messina’s role in putting DADT repeal on the back burner of the Obama legislative agenda:

Gay rights was another major issue on which Messina clashed with Obama supporters. The relationship between the administration and gay rights groups was strained from the outset, when Obama chose Rick Warren to deliver his inaugural invocation. “It is difficult to comprehend how our president-elect, who has been so spot-on in nearly every political move and gesture, could fail to grasp the symbolism of inviting an anti-gay theologian to deliver his inaugural invocation,” wrote Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), in the Washington Post.

After reading the op-ed, Messina sternly rebuked Solmonese during a meeting at the White House. “I’m never going back to another meeting like that again,” Solmonese angrily told his staff afterward. From then on, HRC, to the consternation of other gay rights groups, toed the administration line.

With Messina as a top liaison to the gay rights community, the White House was reluctant to make repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) a key legislative priority. “The White House, under Rahm and Messina, suffered from political homophobia,” says Joe Sudbay, who writes about gay rights issues for AMERICAblog. “They’re not homophobes in the traditional sense of the word, but they think it’s dangerous to do gay issues in politics.” Groups that questioned Messina’s strategy, such as the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, were frozen out of key White House meetings. “I felt like he was constantly angry with those of us who would not fall in line,” says Alex Nicholson, executive director of Servicemembers United (no relation to SLDN).

It’s pretty clear to anyone not blinded by Obama’s so-called “light” that Messina was appointed to throw any of the progressives and liberals that had helped elect Obama in ’08 under the bus to protect Obama right wing corporate agenda. Starting with Clinton and now Obama the Democratic party has been turned into the party of Reaganomics and big money. Obama’s re-election will certainly seal the deal to sell out America.


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