Always good to get an endorsement from Dildo_Baggins_.

Always good to get an endorsement from Dildo_Baggins_.

(Source: twitter.com)

“Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.”
Oscar Ameringer (via politicalprof)
Another fairly damning examination of stadiums being publicly financed for private gains:

Lesson 1: If you pull often enough on state and municipal levers, the gold of public subsidies inevitably tumbles into your hands.
Last week I strolled from the Mississippi River and the sylvan parks that line its banks, past the elegant Guthrie Theater and handsome condos, to a construction site and its forest of giant yellow cranes. A new stadium for the Vikings is rising here with a roof and state of the art everything. It is undeniably impressive, as it should be: This Taj Mahal will cost state and city taxpayers more than half a billion dollars.
Through their lobbyist, the Wilfs noted that they would pay rent on this stadium, which is grand of them. The project will also create a jewel of a public park next to the stadium.
Unfortunately, this park will not be as public as advertised. The fine print gives the Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority control on most weekends other than those during the deep chill of winter. (The Vikings may place a soccer team in the stadium, which would extend their control of the park.)
The city remains on the hook for park maintenance. According to an analysis conducted for the Park and Recreation Board, the park came without any financing to pay for its upkeep.
“They’re running circles around us like we’re rubes,” former Gov. Arne Carlson said. “You have children living outside in parks and tents. We don’t have the money to take care of that problem. But we have hundreds of millions of dollars to pour into Zygi Wilf?
“It’s an embarrassment, really.”

See also: Cincinnati, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas.

Another fairly damning examination of stadiums being publicly financed for private gains:

Lesson 1: If you pull often enough on state and municipal levers, the gold of public subsidies inevitably tumbles into your hands.

Last week I strolled from the Mississippi River and the sylvan parks that line its banks, past the elegant Guthrie Theater and handsome condos, to a construction site and its forest of giant yellow cranes. A new stadium for the Vikings is rising here with a roof and state of the art everything. It is undeniably impressive, as it should be: This Taj Mahal will cost state and city taxpayers more than half a billion dollars.

Through their lobbyist, the Wilfs noted that they would pay rent on this stadium, which is grand of them. The project will also create a jewel of a public park next to the stadium.

Unfortunately, this park will not be as public as advertised. The fine print gives the Vikings and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority control on most weekends other than those during the deep chill of winter. (The Vikings may place a soccer team in the stadium, which would extend their control of the park.)

The city remains on the hook for park maintenance. According to an analysis conducted for the Park and Recreation Board, the park came without any financing to pay for its upkeep.

“They’re running circles around us like we’re rubes,” former Gov. Arne Carlson said. “You have children living outside in parks and tents. We don’t have the money to take care of that problem. But we have hundreds of millions of dollars to pour into Zygi Wilf?

“It’s an embarrassment, really.”

See also: Cincinnati, Atlanta, Miami, Dallas.

Mike Ditka Still Regrets Not Preventing Obama’s Presidency:

“Biggest mistake I’ve ever made,” Ditka said. “Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn’t be in the White House.”

I don’t know that “Da Coach” would’ve beaten Obama in 2004, but let’s face it: He certainly wouldn’t have done worse than Alan Keyes.

Mike Ditka Still Regrets Not Preventing Obama’s Presidency:

“Biggest mistake I’ve ever made,” Ditka said. “Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn’t be in the White House.”

I don’t know that “Da Coach” would’ve beaten Obama in 2004, but let’s face it: He certainly wouldn’t have done worse than Alan Keyes.

What Ted Cruz Doesn’t Understand About Green Eggs and Ham:


The Democrats’ bet on the Affordable Care Act is that it’s like green eggs and ham—they’re convinced the public will like it when they try it.




Conservatives like Cruz claim that this is wrong. That Americans will taste the green eggs and ham and they’re going to hate it. But their actions speak otherwise. They’re desperate to repeal the law before it’s implemented. And in terms of the 2012 elections, that was fair enough. But they lost in 2012. Now instead of acting like they’re confident that the voter backlash to the green eggs and ham will power them to victories in 2014 and 2016, they’re engaging in flailing desperate tactics to make sure nobody tries the green eggs and ham. Because deep down they fear that Dr. Seuss was right.

What Ted Cruz Doesn’t Understand About Green Eggs and Ham:

The Democrats’ bet on the Affordable Care Act is that it’s like green eggs and ham—they’re convinced the public will like it when they try it.

Conservatives like Cruz claim that this is wrong. That Americans will taste the green eggs and ham and they’re going to hate it. But their actions speak otherwise. They’re desperate to repeal the law before it’s implemented. And in terms of the 2012 elections, that was fair enough. But they lost in 2012. Now instead of acting like they’re confident that the voter backlash to the green eggs and ham will power them to victories in 2014 and 2016, they’re engaging in flailing desperate tactics to make sure nobody tries the green eggs and ham. Because deep down they fear that Dr. Seuss was right.

“We armed the jihadis in Afghanistan, they won, and elements of them turned against us. You cannot redouble our efforts in Syria for a political solution after we’ve blown the crap out of the place. The absolute blindness of our political and governing elites to the fact that this country has no credibility in this part of the world continues to amaze and astound. We tell the people there that we are waging a limited, targeted war, and they will tell us, fuck you, you’re killing people here again. We have arranged that part of the world to the point where we get blamed for everything. It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is. Please, Mr. President, don’t listen to the people you’re listening to any more.”
Charles P. Pierce, “THE CASE IS NOT MADE
Why Wendy Davis Needs To Run For Governor in 2014:

For the first time in a long time, Democrats have momentum and hope. If she doesn’t run, what message does that send to our party, and who else can credibly carry the mantle of that renewed enthusiasm? If she doesn’t run, it will pop the balloon of hope and optimism Texas Democrats feel, one that is grounded in something concrete — a viable candidate for governor at a moment when the stars all seem to align in her favor.
Wendy Davis’s own story is incredibly emotionally stirring, as a single mom living in a trailer park who worked her way to Harvard Law School and now the State Senate. Her narrative would arguably make her the most compelling figure in the race for governor, as she embodies what happens when our leaders give people the opportunity to climb the ladder of success, rather than use their power to take opportunity away from others.
I understand that it can be difficult to run with the added pressure of being the “savior” of a party or even an issue position. But I can only assume that Davis has seen worse in her life than a bad day on the campaign trail, and can run with the knowledge that losing isn’t going to send her back to the circumstances where her narrative began.

While she would likely be facing a well-funded opponent in Greg Abbott, it’s hard to imagine she’d find a more hypocritical one than the wheelchair-bound Attorney General who believes the Americans with Disabilities Act is unconstitutional and is now a champion of tort reform despite collecting $6 million so far from his own lawsuit settlement.

Why Wendy Davis Needs To Run For Governor in 2014:

For the first time in a long time, Democrats have momentum and hope. If she doesn’t run, what message does that send to our party, and who else can credibly carry the mantle of that renewed enthusiasm? If she doesn’t run, it will pop the balloon of hope and optimism Texas Democrats feel, one that is grounded in something concrete — a viable candidate for governor at a moment when the stars all seem to align in her favor.

Wendy Davis’s own story is incredibly emotionally stirring, as a single mom living in a trailer park who worked her way to Harvard Law School and now the State Senate. Her narrative would arguably make her the most compelling figure in the race for governor, as she embodies what happens when our leaders give people the opportunity to climb the ladder of success, rather than use their power to take opportunity away from others.

I understand that it can be difficult to run with the added pressure of being the “savior” of a party or even an issue position. But I can only assume that Davis has seen worse in her life than a bad day on the campaign trail, and can run with the knowledge that losing isn’t going to send her back to the circumstances where her narrative began.

While she would likely be facing a well-funded opponent in Greg Abbott, it’s hard to imagine she’d find a more hypocritical one than the wheelchair-bound Attorney General who believes the Americans with Disabilities Act is unconstitutional and is now a champion of tort reform despite collecting $6 million so far from his own lawsuit settlement.

Mugambi Jouet points out at Salon that a lot of the coverage surround Warren Hill’s potential execution “focused on the death penalty process – i.e., the drug used to lethally inject him — but not on whether executing someone is inherently problematic.”:

Back in 1972, the Democratic Party’s platform notably vowed to “abolish capital punishment,” depicting it as “an ineffective deterrent to crime, unequally applied and cruel and excessive.”
Now the nation’s two major parties tend to unquestioningly embrace the death penalty in principle. How did we get there?
Democrats live in the shadow of Michael Dukakis, who was asked an emotionally-charged question by a journalist during a 1988 presidential debate against George H.W. Bush. Would Dukakis hypothetically support executing a man who raped and murdered his wife? “No,” Dukakis calmly answered, “I think you know that I’ve opposed the death penalty during all of my life.” Dukakis’ response is credited by some with having helped cost him the election, as critics depicted his unwillingness to kill in vengeance as a character flaw. Never mind that Massachusetts, the state he governed, had a relatively low crime rate but no death penalty. Dukakis allegedly lacked the moral high ground for believing that society cannot show that killing is wrong by killing people.
Ambitious politicians took note. The number of executions in America surged in the 1990s with the encouragement or tacit support of most Democratic and Republican leaders. In 1992, when then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was out of state campaigning for the presidency, he returned to Arkansas to signal support for his state’s execution of a seriously mentally impaired prisoner. Clinton later declared “no one can say I’m soft on crime.” The 1996 Democratic Party platform boasted about the enactment of new legislation making the death penalty applicable for more federal crimes — a stark contrast with the 1972 platform’s abolitionist stance.

Mugambi Jouet points out at Salon that a lot of the coverage surround Warren Hill’s potential execution “focused on the death penalty process – i.e., the drug used to lethally inject him — but not on whether executing someone is inherently problematic.”:

Back in 1972, the Democratic Party’s platform notably vowed to “abolish capital punishment,” depicting it as “an ineffective deterrent to crime, unequally applied and cruel and excessive.”

Now the nation’s two major parties tend to unquestioningly embrace the death penalty in principle. How did we get there?

Democrats live in the shadow of Michael Dukakis, who was asked an emotionally-charged question by a journalist during a 1988 presidential debate against George H.W. Bush. Would Dukakis hypothetically support executing a man who raped and murdered his wife? “No,” Dukakis calmly answered, “I think you know that I’ve opposed the death penalty during all of my life.” Dukakis’ response is credited by some with having helped cost him the election, as critics depicted his unwillingness to kill in vengeance as a character flaw. Never mind that Massachusetts, the state he governed, had a relatively low crime rate but no death penalty. Dukakis allegedly lacked the moral high ground for believing that society cannot show that killing is wrong by killing people.

Ambitious politicians took note. The number of executions in America surged in the 1990s with the encouragement or tacit support of most Democratic and Republican leaders. In 1992, when then-Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was out of state campaigning for the presidency, he returned to Arkansas to signal support for his state’s execution of a seriously mentally impaired prisoner. Clinton later declared “no one can say I’m soft on crime.” The 1996 Democratic Party platform boasted about the enactment of new legislation making the death penalty applicable for more federal crimes — a stark contrast with the 1972 platform’s abolitionist stance.

“My concern is that the very existence of this kind of capability chills free speech in a disastrous way. I cannot see how there can be investigative reporting of the national security community, when the identity, the location, the metadata, and really the contents of every communication between a journalist and every source, every journalist, every source, is known to the executive branch, especially one that has been prosecuting twice as many journalist — sources as any president before. … Moreover, my even larger concern is, I don’t see how democracy can survive when one branch, the executive branch, has all the personal communications of every member of Congress, and every judge, every member of the judiciary, as well as the press, the fourth estate that I have just been describing.”
Cool cover, bro. Good luck beating this guy though.

Cool cover, bro. Good luck beating this guy though.

sinidentidades:

Remember how those senators were shaken and panicked when the protesters kept busting into the chambers?

They should always be like that. 

They should never be comfortable.

They should always feel like their decisions can stir a crowd like we saw today. 

Scenarios

jeffmiller:

chaptertwelve asked:

So. Given what we’ve learned in the past few days, and bearing in mind what we may learn in the days ahead, what do you imagine as our best and worst case scenarios in terms of a path forward? How do you see all of this playing out in the near and distant future?

1.  Best case scenario, public outcry grows, and politicians feel pressured to put protections into the law that require probable cause for individualized warrants, and prohibit the blanket kind of surveillance that’s been used by the administration.  The FISA court is changed in some way that makes it an actual check on potential abuse.  Perhaps the Supreme Court is permitted to review all FISA judgments in camera in some kind of audit for abuse.

2.  Worst case scenario, most of the public never cares about the surveillance.  Other stories push the issue from the news, and the government continues to amass large amounts of private information concerning all citizens.  The FBI starts to access this information for non-terrorist cases.  Other government agencies do the same.  The IRS checks your online purchases.  The EPA monitors purchases of materials that might pollute.  Those who express controversial opinions or visit controversial websites are watched.  Rogue government employees access private data for their own person gain—selling it to interested parties, blackmailing people engaged in extramarital affairs, stealing identities.  You’ll come home from work to find that your home has been ransacked by a SWAT team pursuant to a warrant issued by a secret court for unspecified reasons.  

I fear that that the most likely outcome is closer to 2 than 1.  Consider how crazy the drug war has become—the massive amounts of money spent to fight it, the increasingly militarized local police forces that enforce prohibition, the asset forfeiture laws that take private property from innocent citizens without any due process, and the massive incarceration of millions of people for extraordinarily long periods of time.  At the beginning of the drug war, you’d be laughed at for suggesting that this would happen.  But it did, because people just didn’t care, and drugs were scary.  Terrorism is scarier than drugs, so you can imagine how that’s going to play out.

(reposted for reblogging)

Emphasis added.

(P.S. Hey Tumblr, your mobile app is fucking terrible.)

“Civil liberties are not something you get to ‘trade,’ not least because they don’t all belong to you. They belong to me, too, and to the woman at the next table here at the Commonwealth Avenue Starbucks — Oh, c’mon, you knew where I was anyway, NSA guys. — and to the four people who just walked down the street past the big plate-glass window. You give yours away, you’re giving mine away, too, whether I want you to do so or not. Therefore, we all surrender those civil liberties. We do not trade them because we don’t get anything back. And it’s not like we can cut another deal later to get them back.”
“Perhaps most disturbing about the Attorney General’s letter is that it leaves totally unexplained why the United States has killed so many innocent non-American citizens in its strikes in Pakistan and Yemen. Yet, from my investigation on the ground in a variety of countries, I’ve become convinced that we are making more new enemies than we are killing terrorists. We must confront the realities of the full impact of our ‘targeted’ killing program, particularly when innocent civilians are killed, so that we can have a real debate about whether our counterterrorism strategies are enhancing or degrading our national security.”
“So, you know, it’s either timely ‘justice’ or it’s grave injustice. But either way, it’s quick. And apparently Florida legislators just like their justice or injustice to happen quickly. … If you have to kill a few innocent people in order to get revenge as fast as possible against several dozen guilty people, well, that’s a good deal, right? … I’ll just go ahead and answer my own question: No, Florida, it’s not.”