Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Short Announcement

To all my loyal readers and friends,

As you might have noticed, I have been taking a break from writing blog posts lately. The whole Google thing discouraged me a little. (For the full story, go to: 
http://progressedge.blogspot.com/2012/11/google-and-post-that-disappeared.html)

I still haven't found a way to resolve that problem without deleting every supporting quote. And Google has no right to insist that bloggers who are not simply stealing content do something like that.  If that is allowed, the copyright laws will be used to censor information by anybody who doesn't like what they read. Anyway..

As you might know, before the election, I was writing on average three times a week and that's a hard schedule to maintain.  I think I deserve some time off for good behavior. :)

Besides that, the time seemed right to take a break until the first of the year. The holidays will be occupying minds more than politics, hopefully.

So, with your permission, I will be re-charging my batteries over the holiday season. But I plan to drop non-research-type posts in every now and then. 

Thanks to you all for your support. It means a lot to me. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

To the Fiscal Brink: Will the GOP and the 1% now destroy the US economy?

by Nomad

B
rinkmanship is defined by Wikipedia as ”the practice of pushing dangerous events to the verge of disaster in order to achieve the most advantageous outcome.” 

When it comes to the US economy- which has been hobbling along like a forsaken three-legged dog- both parties have been testing the wills of their opposition and how it will end is, at the moment, anybody’s guess. What started out as intransigence on the part of the Republicans soon became open obstruction not only to the president’s proposals but to any good-faith negotiation at all. But sometime last year, things took a strange turn. 
To understand how this escalation happened, we need to return to Wikipedia:
In order for brinkmanship to be effective, the threats used are continuously escalated. However, a threat is not worth anything unless it is credible; at some point, the aggressive party may have to back up its claim to prove its commitment to action.
For the last year- but mostly all through Obama’s first term- the Republican refused to budge when it came to the budget. Austerity ( at least, selectively defined), they claimed, was the only way out of this national debt problem. With the impending automatic and across the board budget cuts called sequestration, that threat is very creditable indeed. 

How the nation could have found itself in such a mess is perhaps an example of the breakdown in the political system. With the defeat of their candidate in the election, the Republicans now find themselves in a bind, an inexcusable situation, largely of their own making. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Election Night, Cargo Bar- 2008

by Nomad

I
t was exactly four years ago. Another election night with all of the apprehension and lip-biting that goes with the political event. Having watched the election for those several months that I was back in the US, I kept asking myself whether it was actually possible that Old man McCain and his cartoon sidekick, Sarah Palin might actually win. No, definitely not. Well, maybe. What if..

I had been living in Staten Island- the least appreciated borough of New York City- for a few months as I sorted out some family business. Although Staten Island seemed the complete antithesis of New York City in so many ways, the shimmering lights of the towers of Manhattan were in clear view across the harbor. On that night I chose to be a recluse and keep my distance. 
I had my reasons, though, looking back, they do seem pretty silly. 

As the election results filtered in from various states, I sat at home, in front of my laptop checking all the usual sites for information and then confirmation. I had, I admit, hesitated a little about going out. The neighborhood was primarily minority and poor. In the rush of an unexpected Obama loss, I thought that I might be conceivably be mistaken for a symbol of white elitism. It seems silly now but at that time, I thought: why take any chances? It probably had a lot to do with my Midwest upbringing than any real threat.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Musical Sanity Break - Crazy Baldheads


Perhaps reggae music is becoming a little passe nowadays- a little too much "No Woman, No Cry" in waiting rooms?)  but this has always been one of my favorite Marley songs. I thought you might like this music to go voting by.

By the way, don't let the opening rooster scare you. He's harmless. 
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Monday, November 5, 2012

Teddy Roosevelt and Citizens United


This quote comes from Roosevelt's State of the Union Address- December 3, 1906. In that speech- which is evidence of Roosevelt's long windedness- we also find this quote:
There are at this moment wealthy reactionaries of such obtuse morality that they regard the public servant who prosecutes them when they violate the law, or who seeks to make them bear their proper share of the public burdens, as being even more objectionable than the violent agitator who hounds on the mob to plunder the rich.
To read the entire speech go to this link.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Small Town in Illinois that Bishop Jenky Forgot

Bishop Daniel Jenky by Nomad


Strange Remarks from a Bishop
Back in April of this year, Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Illinois began a rambling sermon called "A Call to Catholic Men of Faith" with this observation: 
There is only one basic reason why Christianity exists and that is the fact that Jesus Christ truly rose from the grave.
It's quite a strange statement when you think about it but so boldly stated that few had to courage to challenge it. The resurrection was only one aspect of the Christ story. What about Christ providing a model through his love to all humankind, rich or poor, male or female and morally righteous or fallen? What about the Gospel of the all-forgiving Lord which was quite different than the image of God in the Old Testament? What about his command to the flock to "love thy neighbor"?  
According to Bishop Jenky, it was the miraculous reanimation of the flesh of Jesus which is "the only one basic reason why Christianity exists."

It must have been quite baffling to hear a bishop make such a statement. But there was quite a bit more in store for the congregation.

About three-quarters of the way into the lecture, the bishop’s remarks took an even more surprising turn. He used the pulpit to attack the president’s policies on healthcare by telling his parishioners:
Hitler and Stalin, at their better moments, would just barely tolerate some churches remaining open, but would not tolerate any competition with the state in education, social services, and health care.
In clear violation of our First Amendment rights, Barack Obama – with his radical, pro abortion and extreme secularist agenda, now seems intent on following a similar path.
Now things have come to such a pass in America that this is a battle that we could lose, but before the awesome judgement seat of Almighty God this is not a war where any believing Catholic may remain neutral.
This fall, every practicing Catholic must vote, and must vote their Catholic consciences, or by the following fall our Catholic schools, our Catholic hospitals, our Catholic Newman Centers, all our public ministries -- only excepting our church buildings – could easily be shut down. Because no Catholic institution, under any circumstance, can ever cooperate with the intrinsic evil of killing innocent human life in the womb.
Many across the country criticized these provocative remarks. By attempting to equate Obama to both Hitler and Stalin, Jenky tried to stir up public fears with visions of rampant fascism and outlandish notions of  shutting down of the Catholic Church. It was clear that Bishop Jenky was diving into uncharted waters. 
At that time , it sparked me to investigate the Church’s more recent history with fascism. (It was a rewarding investigation.)

A Church Without a Flock?
In point of fact, as far as a so-called Catholic conscience goes, according a survey by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute, most U.S. Catholics ( 60 percent) think the church should focus more on social justice and helping the poor, even if it means focusing less on issues like abortion. 
And there's still worse news for Jenky.
A survey in September found that President Barack Obama holds a 54%-39% advantage over Mitt Romney among Catholics- despite the bishop's appeals.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Video of Romney Voters in Ohio

I thought this was probably the saddest thing I've seen from the entire campaign- and as we know that's a pretty strong statement. Clearly the dumbing-down of the American voters has been successful as far as the Republican party is concerned. It's practically a national security problem when voters are this ignorant.  
Poor Chase Whiteside has to keep a straight face throughout the interview no matter how ludicrious the remarks. ("You think Buddhists are taking over the country??")

It makes one seriously consider requiring an IQ test to register for a Voter ID. 

A Message to the Republican Party from Joe

A Message to the Republican Party from Joe

Republican Party Homeless Veteran Trickle Down

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Charlie Manson vs. Michele Bachmann

coincidenceBachmann 
“We’re in a state of crisis where our nation is literally ripping apart at the seams right now, and lawlessness is occurring from one ocean to the other. And we’re seeing the fulfillment of the Book of Judges here in our own time, where every man doing that which is right in his own eyes—in other words, anarchy.”  Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 6, 2004.
Manson:
Manson told me ... that he personally believed in law and order. There should be "rigid control" by the authorities, he said. It didn't matter what the law was - right or wrong being relative - but it should be strictly enforced by whoever had the power. And public opinion should be suppressed, because part of the people wanted one thing, part another.
     "In other words, your solution would be a dictatorship," I remarked.
     "Yes."
Vincent Bugliosi, from Helter Skelter © 1974 Curt Gentry and Vincent Bugliosi:
All jokes aside, speculation has been high that Bachmann might actually lose her House seat to Democratic challenger Jim Graves. The polls showed a tight race all summer but most surveys suggest that Bachmann with her hefty $15 million war chest, will be back in Congress after the election. 
As one source reports:
According to a poll released [two weeks ago] by theMinneapolis Star-Tribune, Bachmann leads Democratic challenger 51-45 percent, with four percent undecided.

A KSTP/Survey USA poll released Oct. 12 showed Bachmann ahead, 50-41 percent.

Those are fairly convincing numbers.
Jason Easley, writing for PoliticusUSA, gave this assessment for why she has been in such a struggle to hold onto her job: 

But it might be Bachmann’s national political ambitions that will be most responsible for her undoing. Nothing turns off the folks at home like the feeling that they are being used as stepping stones by their ambitious elected officials. Bachmann’s brief presidential campaign also put her right wing extremism on full display. Because of this, it will be nearly impossible for her to come back to the middle and court Independents after what took place on the national stage earlier this year.

Clearly strategists for the Republican Party, which has been the source of a great deal of her support, have decided that Bachmann is worth the risk. And that's revealing decision given her talent for making a spectacle of herself and for making outrageous statements on Fox News. 
Ultimately their decision to back this Tea Party crusader may come back to haunt them and provide the Democratic party a steady stream of outlandish quotes.

__________________________

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