Saturday, November 22, 2008

Petitions and Such

A long time ago, when I first started a blog, my intent was to use it as a clearing house for petitions and other action items that were found in my inbox.

This was at a time before the 2006 elections when we all felt absolutely powerless and we were watching our entire country go down the tubes. We were angry, frustrated and terrified.

My contention was that even doing a little action – taking that anger and turning it into something productive – would help us to feel as though we were doing something, anything, to save our country.

The situation is different now. We are at the helm and we are driving this ship. Why worry about petitions and crap right now?

For one thing, we still have 58 long days of watching helplessly as this Administration pushes through last minute “fuck you” rules and regulations (or removes rules and regulations.) Right now it is imperative that we are paying attention. It is imperative that we are making noise.

Take, for instance Senator Feingold’s call for all of us to come forward and speak out now against possible Presidential pardons. Possible bullshit blanket Presidential pardons. We have to make noise now.

However, we also have to make noise once Obama and the Democratic Congress take office. Obama needs a movement. It will be impossible for him to implement Progressive change unless he has a movement behind him, unless the people back him, unless our Representatives hear from us – demanding what we want. It is more important now, than ever, to “sing louder.”

Click “read more” for a list of petitions to sign and action items that require our assistance.

Petitions and Active Campaigns

(Note: Many of these orgs have several active petition campaigns; I have linked to their petition pages rather than linking to individual petitions.)

Support Representative Nadler’s bill, HR 1531, against Bush pardons.

Democrats dot com list of petitions and active campaigns.

Sign up to make calls to GOTV for Georgia’s special election.

Courage Campaign’s active campaigns

Tell President-Elect Obama to “go for it” and shoot big!

Vote on how CREDO will spend their money! (This one is too fun.)

CREDO Campaigns

True Majority Campaigns

Save America’s Wolves

Use this easy form to submit letters to the editor against Bush pardons for himself and his criminal Administration and for Impeachment.

California residents – please write letters to the editor against your GOP legislature’s severe budget cuts.

Impeach Bush to stop pardons.

Choose Obama’s top priorities.

Support the Apollo Alliance.

Donations Requested:

I know that most people are financially fucked (it is true in my neck of the woods) and I know that we all contributed massively to the recent elections. Unfortunately, because the economy is so bad, the orgs most hurt are those organizations who do good works in our communities. It is a catch 22 – they are needed most right now to feed our hungry and house our homeless and they are normally the first to suffer from the belt tightening that is being done everywhere.

A couple of things to consider:
a) Most of the below requests for donation are tax deductible and it is almost year-end.
b) Why not give donations for Holiday presents or request that donations are given in your name for Holiday gifts that you receive? Or, give gift subscriptions to Progressive publications as presents?

Truthout has been sending out a desperate call for donations.

Franken needs donations for the recount. (Remember, Romney is paying Coleman’s fees.)

Hillary is still trying to pay off her campaign debt. (DNC is offering a DVD of Hillary’s Denver speech for a donation of $50.)

The Progressive needs donations. (Or, better yet, subscribe!)

Courage Campaign needs funds to Repeal Prop 8

Shop the Free Press store (Again, gift time is coming!)

Join the Progressive Book Club

Wildlife Adoption and Gift Center

True Majority gift center (Get your free pie lapel pin, too.)

Support NARAL; support Martin

Cross posted at Progressive Action Spot.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

The Wackiness Continues


Petty, childish, immature, selfish, clueless, vindictive, rude, out of touch, stupid and disgusting.

John McCain feels so used.

Mitch gives Harry the silent treatment.

Karl thinks he is some kind of respected expert, (so we can add delusional to the list.)

The solution, according to the GOP.

Fabulous. These dumb fucks really believe that they have a solution to their problems. They actually posit that the reason that the people have rejected them fully and what they need to do to fix it, is that they have not been Right Wing enough – so they need to move further to the Right and that will solve everything.

More power to ya, dumb asses.

Conservatism and Neo-Conservatism and “Compassionate-Conservatism” and Republican and GOP…whatever these dinks want to call themselves, is dead. It is dead. They have proven that their philosophy of lawlessness and Market-As-King and offering up the country to the wealthy and Pre-Ventative War; this philosophy is dead. The mask is off, the people have seen the truth.

Go, go farther Right. I will pay your train fare.

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It's All About The Granite Countertops

Here we are again - using Der Untergang's subtitles to mock whatever silliness is going on in real life . .

Bouns points if you notice the wingnut stupid.

(h/t to BoingBoing)

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The Big Three - Addendum

Nothing much to add except just a link to an article published Oct 25 (!) by the WSJ:
In all this lies a tale of hubris, missed opportunities, disastrous decisions and flawed leadership of almost biblical proportions. In fact, for the last 30 years Detroit has gone astray, repented, gone astray and repented again in a cycle not unlike the Israelites in the Book of Exodus.

It wasn't that American auto executives were always malicious and stupid while the Japanese were always enlightened and smart. Japanese car companies have made plenty of mistakes, most recently Toyota's ill-timed move into full-sized pickup trucks and SUVs. But just as America didn't understand the depth of ethnic and religious divisions in Iraq, Detroit failed to grasp -- or at least to address -- the fundamental nature of its Japanese competition. Japan's car companies, and more recently the Germans and Koreans, gained a competitive advantage largely by forging an alliance with American workers.

There's some good history there, but some of the digs the article makes at the UAW are a bit annoying.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Big Three

The current problem of “The Big Three” is not one of their own making – it is a problem of the media. Until we fix the current messaging of the media (including the Left) we cannot win this one.

By “winning” I mean saving American manufacturing.

(Yep, there's more. Click 'read more' for the rest of it.)

Pelosi just came out and said, of the Auto Companies, that “until they show us the plan, we won’t show them the money.”

The auto makers have, in fact, fucked themselves over the years. They have lied to the Congress, they have lied to the people, they married themselves to the oil companies, they have not put forward the products that the people need and in some cases they have pulled products off the market that the people wanted (see: “Who Killed the Electric Car.”) Yes, they have fucked themselves – and yes, they caused a lot of this – but that is not the current problem.

I am so frustrated with the reporting over this $25 Billion dollar Bridge Loan. [It is a loan, not a bailout. The auto makers have already promised to pay interest and have come up with terms, etc.] It has been just absolute bullshit. The media did not spend 1/10 of the time discussing the Trillion Dollar Bailout (that already happened,) that they have spent arguing about how horrible this Bridge Loan would be.

I am glad that people are discussing this (the other bailout should have been discussed as well,) but the myths that are being floated, just suck. Take a look at some of the crap written.

Chrysler is not publicly owned – so ‘fuck em.’

GOP suddenly care about being fiscally responsible.

And gawd-dammit it is not about the executives.

And, for christsakes, enough of the whole corporate jet BS. These executives could have ridden together, but their jets are not just for “comfort and convenience” – they also serve as offices so that the CEOs can continue to work, while traveling.

Enough about the Executives. Enough about the jets. Enough about how filing for bankruptcy. (Filing for bankruptcy will not work with “The Big Three.” Referring to the automotive industry as “The Big Three” ought to be the first clue as to why bankruptcy is not an option. If one fails, the others go. In addition, they will not be able to restructure, because they cannot get loans: see: the Credit Crisis in the US. Also, people tend to not buy vehicles from auto companies that are in bankruptcy because people would like to know that their warranties will be honored and they cannot be honored by a company that might not be there when you need to use your warranty. The people who think bankruptcy is an option (like Romney,) are Dumb asses.)

Enough about the unions and legacy costs being the problem. The legacy costs and the unions are not the problem. Killing the unions has long been the goal of these assholes and the BS reporting of the media helps to serve this beast. The real motivation of the Right is to destroy the unions. (This is probably the real motivation behind the media corps crappy 'reporting' as well.)

In addition, I have heard the GOP talking points about how “small business is the backbone of America” and that the government should invest in “small business.” What is the great benefit of “small business” and why might the Right Wing wish to promote it so: no benefits, no retirement, that explains the GOP's love of small business. I like small businesses too - I work for one, but small businesses do not have the ability to pay for healthcare or retirement and in many cases cannot pay the best wages either. The greatest benefit to small business - the greatest investment that government could make - would be Universal Healthcare and a restructuring of our retirement system. (This would also be the greatest benefit to the auto makers...more on that later.)

The GOP care only about the wealthy, they do not care about the middle class. They have proven this repeatedly and I have a hard time believing that they still have any constituency at all.

Meanwhile, the Dow is down, down, down under 8,000. That is a 50% drop.

In other grim financial news, the Feds are guarding against deflation. Deflation is a really bad thing.

There are some great charts here on the history of job losses. The article goes on to say:
“The best read on total establishment job creation during the latest expansion is 7.2 million jobs. So far the economy has lost 1,179,000 jobs or 16.66%. So let's assume we see a rate of job destruction on parallel with the worst rate in the last 60 years. That would bring total job destruction to 3.6 million.

Now -- remember that we've already lost 1.2 million jobs. This means we have an addition 2.4 million to go. At a 240,000/month job loss clip (the rate we saw last month) we've got 10 months of heavy job losses left. That places the end of the news of terrible job losses somewhere next summer. And that assumes we'll see a rate of job destruction on par with the worst rate of the last 60 years.”

Looking at the above situation, it only makes the auto industry situation more dire. If we lose the, minimum of, 3,000,000 jobs that the auto industry will take down with it we are looking at a serious, serious financial situation. The idea that any lawmakers would even toy with the notion of not helping the auto industry is unfathomable to me.

We have to save manufacturing in the United States of America. It is a National Security issue. It is a moral issue – we are talking about the very survival of millions and millions of people and their families.

I am so disgusted that the GOP thinks that the jobs of bankers are more valuable to the US than the jobs of auto workers and their suppliers. The GOP also thinks that employees of “The Big Three” earn too much money. In addition, they do not like the competition of the union workers wages with their non-union constituency. Many of the Republican Senators speaking out against this bridge loan represent non-American automobile manufacturers who employ non-union auto workers in their non-union states. (Free Market my ass.)

The greatest untold story in all of this is that the auto manufacturers do have new business plans. The problem is that the media has not reported it that way so the Dems have to play the game and put off the vote until December 2nd.

So, now it is up to the auto makers, us, and the media, to report the truth. Two out of the three companies (Ford and Chrysler) have CEOs who are new to them and new to the auto industry. They were all turning a profit 1st quarter this year – the credit crunch has killed them. Auto sales have dropped some 30-45%. It is just a horrible situation for them. The Big Three has also renegotiated all of the contracts with UAW, the workers have offered a ton of concessions and they have begun to retool for more environmentally sound vehicles. In addition, GM is introducing to the marketplace some fabulous new battery technology.

I have also not heard but a few small blips that some of the real problems with the auto companies and their contracts is that we do not have Universal Healthcare and we have really shitty structuring of retirement costs. The media also will not report on this and God Bless Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for saying it when they give her a mike.

I know that the auto companies have, in the past, made horrible decisions. But that was then and this is now. We must save American manufacturing, unions, good wages and the American Dream. This is really what it is all about. It is time that we reframe it in this way.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

You've Got To Be Kidding

Via BoingBoing:
The Wall Street Journal, Friday November 14th, reports on "culture clashes" between the brokers of Merrill Lynch and the bank that bought them, Bank of America. . ."Merrill staffers joke that Bank of America employees are recognizable in the elevators by their less expensive attire and American-flag lapel pins."
The bare truth is that they have lived this lifestyle by taking people's money in return for worthless advice. Their specialty is knowing what's good for themselves, not understanding what's happening in the market.
Meanwhile, the rest of us whom owe to Bank of America, think that they're all financial scum who could use a week of forced service at the local food bank or counseling those who declare bankruptcy because of medical bills.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"You can sleep with the enemy, just not my brother"

Just in case you haven't read about it.

What kills me is that the Dems didn't strip Sen. Lieberman of his chairmanship of Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, or his membership on Armed Services, but his membership of Environment and Public Works. It was like hearing that the Enron CEO was sentenced to 24 months at Cupcake Minimum Security Prison. Oh, Ow! Ow!

But if Joe had been endorsing and running around with say

. . Ralph Nader?

The press would be swiffering up little bits of charcoal in order to have an interview with Holy Joe. And he'd be blackballed against any further runs as Democrat ever again.

Update: Here's a different take, and I have to admit I love the imagery. (h/t to Athenae)

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The Pushback and 2012 Has Started

Obama won, and therefore, all those conservatives and their 501c's and special interest groups will be going into torpor, only to re-emerge for the class war in two years, right?

Wrong. I just got push polled this evening.

The pusher was (I believe) Americans United for Life, whom I won't link to, but the address is It stars push poll hall of famer Mike Huckabee, who coincidentally would love to be the 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee. Since a depressed and significantly reduced GOP caucus nominated Huck in Iowa last January, he knows where his most fertile ground is.

Obviously, it was an anti-choice call, but specifically it was designed to push the meme that when Obama comes into office, he will rescind gag rules, let your daughters get knocked up & have an abortion party without your consent in every city and town across America. Planned Parenthood was made a target, no surprise, and the Freedom of Choice Act was cited several times in ways that equated it to an Executive Order instead of a piece of real legislation.

Gonna be an interesting 4 years.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Taking Bets: How Long Until it is Pulled

(Picture courtesy of via Politico. By now, though, you can probably find it all over the has been out for a few hours already.)

Dubya has never been known as "bright" - he is, contrarily, quite gullible. Not bright plus very gullible, leads to pictures that one will regret for the rest of one's life.

I saw this in Politico.

The comments led me to the definition of "the shocker." Unbelievable. When I read the definition, I too, spit coffee.

If I were in college and had the opportunity to meet the Pres and get my photo taken and the President were Dubya....I imagine that I might have done the same.

Holy Fuck.

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