Daily Archive: 01/19/2012

Jan 19 2012

Motherfucking SuperPACs in our Motherfucking Government!

Modern Stage Combat

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ek hornbeck, The Stars Hollow Gazette, and DocuDharma– your go to SuperSource for embeddable The Definitely Not Coordinating With Stephen Colbert Super PAC advertising.

<iframes> use Suicidal Sweatshop Chinese Child Labor!

Meet me at Camera 3- (they’re people!).

Our story so far-

Mitt the Ripper- Serial Killer?

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Not Abel?

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What about NO do you not understand?

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Related-

ek, don’t you think you’re a little old to be scouring the InterTubes

Yes, yes I am.

Today’s EARTH SHATTERING DEVELOPMENTS!!1!

36%!!!!!!

Mothers I’d like to Focus Group.

And Cain has a great singing voice.

Jan 19 2012

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”.

Amy Goodman: The Day the Internet Roared

Wednesday, Jan. 18, marked the largest online protest in the history of the Internet. Websites from large to small “went dark” in protest of proposed legislation before the U.S. House and Senate that could profoundly change the Internet. The two bills, SOPA in the House and PIPA in the Senate, ostensibly aim to stop the piracy of copyrighted material over the Internet on websites based outside the U.S. Critics, among them the founders of Google, Wikipedia, the Internet Archive, Tumblr and Twitter, counter that the laws will stifle innovation and investment, hallmarks of the free, open Internet. The Obama administration has offered muted criticism of the legislation, but, as many of his supporters have painfully learned, what President Barack Obama questions one day he signs into law the next. [..]

When Internet users visited the sixth-most popular website on the planet during the protest blackout, the English-language section of Wikipedia.org, they found this message:

“Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge.

“For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet.”

In a world with fresh, Internet-fueled revolutions, it seems that U.S. politicians are getting the message.

New York Times Editorial: Online Piracy and Political Overreach

For months, it seemed as if Congress would pass an online antipiracy bill, even though its main weapons – cutting off the financing of pirate Web sites and making them harder to find – risk censoring legitimate speech and undermining the security of the Internet. But the unmovable corporations behind those bills have run into an unstoppable force: an outcry by Internet companies led by Google and Wikipedia that culminated in an extraordinary online protest on Wednesday.

Lawmakers have begun peeling away from the bills, notably Senators Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican who cosponsored the Senate version, and John Cornyn, the powerful Texas conservative. They dropped out after Wikipedia’s English language site went dark and Google put a black bar on its homepage on Wednesday. [..]

We are happy that the drive to pass antipiracy legislation has slowed enough that Congress might actually consider all its implications carefully. Lawmakers can now act wisely to create tools that can help combat the scourge of online piracy without excessive collateral damage.

Katrina vanden Heuvel: Two Years Later: Showdown With ‘Citizens United’

On December 30, the Montana Supreme Court delivered a New Year’s gift to the nation, upholding a century-old ban on corporate political expenditures in state elections. The decision has gone underreported amidst the hoopla of the Republican primaries-even as super PAC spending skyrockets and there is an emerging understanding of its corrosive impact-but the Montana case sets up the first direct challenge to the disastrous Citizens United decision as we approach its second anniversary.

Free Speech For People – a national non-partisan campaign challenging the fabrication of corporate rights under the US Constitution-filed a friend- of-the-court brief in the Montana case. It led a coalition that included the American Sustainable Business Council, a network of more than 70,000 businesses across the country; the American Independent Business Alliance; and a local supermarket business and non-profit corporation.

George Zornich: Keystone XL Is Dead-Again

For the second time in as many months, the Obama administration has rejected the Keystone XL pipeline – a hugely controversial project that would traverse the length of the country from Nebraska to the Gulf of Mexico, carrying heavy and dirty tar sands oil from deep in Canada. [..]

But Republicans successfully revived the project during the end-of-year negotiations on the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance. Democrats desperately wanted these measures, and the final bill included a provision that would force the State Department to issue a decision on Keystone within two months.

Today – less than even one month since the payroll tax cut bill was passed – the State Department announced they were denying the permit. In a statement, President Obama endorsed that decision: “As the State Department made clear last month, the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment.”

Leslie Savan: Colbert Raises Cain

Stephen Colbert, the all-but-declared candidate for the president of the United States of South Carolina, and Jon Stewart, the man in charge of the Colbert Super PAC, are not technically, legally, or otherwise coordinating campaign plans-as they stated at one point in perfect unison last night. But in a frenzy of non-coordinatism, these two citizens united to get Stephen on the SC ballot, even though the ballots have already been printed and write-ins aren’t permitted. How? By running an ad equating a vote for Herman Cain, who dropped out of the race in last month but is still on the ballot, as a vote for Stephen Colbert. [..]

It’s only fitting that Cain, whom Rachael Maddow earlier revealed as not a candidate but a brilliant performance artist, play host to performance artist Colbert’s frankly parasitic campaign. After all, the comedic Republican primary, with its clown car full of jokesters (from Romney saying that the $374,000 he made in speakers fees last year is “not very much” to Gingrich’s blowing audible racist dog whistles during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day debate) is as funny as anything out of Comedy Central.

John Nichols: Scott Walker Admits His Defeat Would Stall the GOP’s Antilabor Push

Even Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was acknowledging Tuesday that the one million signatures that had been gathered on petitions seeking his recall and removal from office were all but certain to force him to face a new election.

Walker still thinks he will win that election.

But if he loses, and polling suggests that is a very real prospect, Walker has admitted that the anti-GOP agenda of Republican governors and presidential candidates will be dealt a blow.

Indeed, Walker suggests, Republican governors will be less inclined to attack public-sector unions. And he suggests that Democratic governors will also recognize that assaults on the rights, the benefits and the pensions of state, county and municipal employees and teachers are politically unwise.

E. J. Dionne, JR.: So Much for a Populist GOP

Members of the tea party insisted they were turning the GOP into a populist, anti-establishment bastion. Social conservatives have long argued that values and morals matter more than money. Yet in the end, the corporate and economically conservative wing of the Republican Party always seems to win.

Thus was Mitt Romney so confident of victory in Saturday’s South Carolina primary that he left the state briefly on Tuesday for a fundraiser in New York City. And why not? The power of big money has been amplified in this campaign by the super PACs let loose by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision and lax regulation.

You cannot watch the morning news shows in this state without confronting an intricately confusing blitz of ads, some paid for by candidates, others by the supposedly independent PACs. One kind is indistinguishable from the other.

Jan 19 2012

On this Day In History January 19

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.

January 19 is the 19th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. There are 346 days remaining until the end of the year (347 in leap years).

On this day in 1853, Giuseppe Verdi‘s opera Il Trovatore receives its premiere performance in Rome.

Il trovatore (The Troubadour) is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play El Trovador (1836) by Antonio Garcia Gutierrez. Cammarano died in mid-1852 before completing the libretto. This gave the composer the opportunity to propose significant revisions, which were accomplished under his direction by the young librettist, Leone Emanuele Bardare, and they are seen largely in the expansion of the role of Leonora.

The opera was first performed at the Teatro Apollo, Rome, on 19 January 1853 where it “began a victorious march throughout the operatic world”. Today it is given very frequently and is a staple of the standard operatic repertoire. It appears at number 17 on Opera America‘s list of the 20 most-performed operas in North America.

Cultural references

Enrico Caruso once said that all it takes for successful performance of Il trovatore is the four greatest singers in the world. On many different occasions, this opera and its music have been featured in various forms of popular culture and entertainment. Scenes of comic chaos play out over a performance of Il trovatore in the Marx Brothers‘s film, A Night at the Opera. Luchino Visconti used a performance of Il trovatore at La Fenice opera house for the opening sequence of his 1954 film Senso. As Manrico sings his battle cry in “Di quella pira”, the performance is interrupted by the answering cries of Italian nationalists in the audience. In Italian Film in the Light of Neorealism, Millicent Marcus proposes that Visconti used this operatic paradigm throughout Senso, with parallels between the opera’s protagonists, Manrico and Leonora, and the film’s protagonists, Ussoni and Livia.

Anvil Chorus Il Trovatore Preston Opera

Jan 19 2012

Both SOPA And PIPA Stopped For Now

It certainly been an eventful day. The two bills, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), were defeated Wednesday by an internet blackout of key web sites and the avalanche of petitions, street protests, e-mails and phone calls to congressional members.

When the powerful world of old media mobilized to win passage of an online antipiracy bill, it marshaled the reliable giants of K Street – the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Recording Industry Association of America and, of course, the motion picture lobby, with its new chairman, former Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat and an insider’s insider.

Yet on Wednesday this formidable old guard was forced to make way for the new as Web powerhouses backed by Internet activists rallied opposition to the legislation through Internet blackouts and cascading criticism, sending an unmistakable message to lawmakers grappling with new media issues: Don’t mess with the Internet. [..]

Congress now follows Bank of America, Verizon and Netflix as the latest institution to be forced to change course by an internet led revolt.

It was especially dismaying that First Amendment stalwarts, like Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, were sponsoring this bill. It took Republicans in the House, assisted by Paul Ryan (R-WI) and, initially, six Republican senators to get both bill pulled from consideration. To his credit, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) was a one man road block to PIPA until the Republicans, pressured by their House compatriots, pulled their support.

So, besides Sen. Wyden, why weren’t there more Democrats opposed? Why were they even supporting a bill that would infringe on free speech and hurt job growth in the technology field? Follow the money. Hollywood, the music and movie industry, are a big supporters of anti-piracy and IP protection laws and Democrats.

Former Senator, Chris Dodd (D-CT), who forswore a lobbying career but is now CEO of Motion Picture Assn. of America, railed against technology companies such as Google, Mozilla and Wikipedia calling the blackout a “stunt”:

“It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and who use their services,” Dodd said in a statement. “It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today.”

It wasn’t until Saturday that President Obama spoke out about the most controversial portions of the House bill that would require Internet service providers to block infringing websites but said nothing about PIPA, the Senate version, and fell short of saying he would veto the bill.

Up until the last few days the media, especially television and cable have been pretty silent. Chris Hayes of MSNBC’s “Up with Chrishosted a debate with NBC Universal’s General Counsel, Richard Cotton, Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit.com, former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) and former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Since it became apparent that the traditional media was missing the boat on one of the biggest news stories of the year, they all started jumping back on the ship.

Wednesday night, Mr. Hayes was a guest on “The Rachel Maddow Show” where he and Rachel talked about the power and effectiveness of the online protest in influencing Congress who by and large didn’t understand the bills or the internet.

Will this stop these two bills? No, it won’t. As Wikipedia points out in its thank you to its visitors, “we’re not done yet”

SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith stated that the House of Representatives will push the bill forward in February. Senate sponsor Patrick Leahy still plans for a PIPA vote on January 24.

Moreover, SOPA and PIPA are symptoms of a larger issue. They are misguided solutions to a misunderstood problem. In the U.S. and abroad, legislators and big media are embracing censorship and sacrificing civil liberties in their attacks on free knowledge and an open Internet.

Although support has slipped in both the Senate and the House, there is a Senate vote on PIPA scheduled for January 24, and the House will be moving forward as well. It is important to keep the pressure up on both houses. We expect changes that appear to tone down the damaging effects of the laws, without addressing their fundamental flaws.

Keep calling your representatives! Tell them you believe in a free and open Internet!

It looks like this is just start of the war to save the internet.

Jan 19 2012

What about NO do you not understand?

Double Negative

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<iframes> are evil.  EVIL I tells ya.

SuperPAC pr0n– Jon and Stephen “not co-ordinating” in front of a lawyer.

It feels so good to be bad.

Jan 19 2012

Not Abel?

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Who’s your go daddy(.com)?  <iframes> use Suicidal Sweatshop Chinese Child labor!

Meet me at Camera 3- (they’re people!).

Oh, you want to know about The ONLY Question of any Political Significance in 2012.

Google informs me that there may be more than one herb involved, get your lips off that bong you smoke suckers.  We have got to get to the big story-

But I won’t.  Yet.  We need some exploratory committee first.

WØRD.

Jan 19 2012

The ONLY Question of any Political Significance in 2012- Part 2

Capitalism Out of the Closet

By Taylor Marsh

13 January 2012

It’s a mistake to see the 28-minute video above and think this is just about Mitt Romney. He rightly earns the role of diabolical villain in the video, but what he represents is why Occupy Wall Street rose up in the first place. Romney’s a master at playing the Wall Street system, which even the film above stipulates is facilitated by investment bankers who helped Mitt Romney and others like him work the current system that collapsed in 2008, caused the current unemployment rate, but also the hollowing out of the American middle class that started a long time ago.



The caterwauling over Mitt Romney tapping the core of American capitalism for his own benefit is rooted in partisanship and doesn’t address the wider reality, which is that there are hundreds of Mitt Romneys in this country, many of whom got the Bush tax cut extensions, which Pres. Obama gladly gave and never really mounted a nationwide fight against. If you truly understand the calamity facing our middle class there is no way morally or in good conscience you could possibly back down from this fight, turning it into a war if you have to. Yes, a class war, but when Democrats hail compromise and gut Dodd-Frank or go along to keep things moving how innocent are they for watching what’s developed under their own backers and bundlers?

Using Steve Rattner’s defense of Mr. Romney and Bain Capital as an example, what are Democratic venture capitalists and heads of holding companies and investment bankers supposed to do in the shadow of this damning video that reveals the sausage making that is our economic system? As Rattner reveals, Democrats in his class can feel his pain and you can bet they’re just glad it’s Romney and not them.

That Wall Street Democrats are fleeing Obama’s side because of hurt feelings and would certainly find common cause in the onslaught that would be unleashed on Mitt Romney if he’s the nominee, who is one of their own, is another interesting tidbit of this tale. Sympathy vote, anyone? More likely, they’ll send cash.

If Occupy stays relevant, the entire American Corporation class will have to go underground, because Mitt Romney may be the star of the film, but they’re mirror images of this man and his methods and we’ve heard a lot about who’s been hurt lately, but now it’s in a film reel.



That Obama reelect will trumpet the video and all of its parts in the general election season, freaking out their own Democratic version of the Mitt Romney class, is wrought with irony.

What we need is a different kind of conservation about the country we are going to be in the 21st century and that’s not coming from any direction or either political party. The only thing that matters to the partisans is putting their sock puppet in power, while the money men just keep on funneling the system to the top.

It no longer matters who ends up in the White House and Congress anymore, because the Mitt Romneys of this country are the ones really in charge and they won’t allow anyone else in, buying politicians and the presidency.

Jan 19 2012

My Little Town 20120118: Old Cars

Those of you that read this regular series know that I am from Hackett, Arkansas, just a mile or so from the Oklahoma border, and just about 10 miles south of the Arkansas River.  It was a rural sort of place that did not particularly appreciate education, and just zoom onto my previous posts to understand a bit about it.

My dad was passionate about old cars.  As far back as I can remember he would restore them, some to keep and some to sell.  When we moved to North Little Rock when I was three, he had been working on a 1919 Model “T” Ford Touring.  He put it on a trailer and brought it with us so he could finish it.  There will be more on that car later.

I also remember him with a 1923 Studebaker Touring, a 1949 Willys Jeepster, a 1955 Ford Thunderbird, and his pride and joy, a 1941 Packard 110.  I helped with some or all of the restorations on all of these cars, but was too little to do much with the Model “T”.  However, there are more memories associated with the cars.