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Archive for the ‘speaking truth to power’ Category

A few Republicans are not trying to blame Obama for what Bush did

Posted by Charles II on August 14, 2012

If all Republicans were like Bartlett and Stockman, I’d have to reconsider which party to vote for. While I disagree heartily with them on many things, they have been honorable in accepting blame for bad policies. Via Ritholtz,

David Stockman, Reagan Director of OMB, in the NYT:

PAUL D. RYAN is the most articulate and intellectually imposing Republican of the moment, but that doesn’t alter the fact that this earnest congressman from Wisconsin is preaching the same empty conservative sermon.

Thirty years of Republican apostasy — a once grand party’s embrace of the welfare state, the warfare state and the Wall Street-coddling bailout state — have crippled the engines of capitalism and buried us in debt. Mr. Ryan’s sonorous campaign rhetoric about shrinking Big Government and giving tax cuts to “job creators” (read: the top 2 percent) will do nothing to reverse the nation’s economic decline and arrest its fiscal collapse.

Bruce Bartlett, Reagan and GHWB adviser:

Although it was quickly overshadowed by his choice of Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, Mitt Romney released an important document last week by his principal economic adviser…economists Glenn Hubbard of Columbia, N. Gregory Mankiw of Harvard, John B. Taylor of Stanford and Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute….

Much of the Romney paper is taken up with reviewing the poor economic recovery, which is undeniable. Reading it, however, one is left with the impression that the recession occurred on President Obama’s watch because of policies he is responsible for.

Just to be clear, the National Bureau of Economic Research, the private research group that determines the starting and ending points of recessions, says the latest economic downturn began in December 2007 and ended in June 2009.

The opposition of every Republican to the 2009 stimulus was a major factor in its inadequate size.

… it was Republican policies during the Bush administration that brought on the sickness and Republicans in Congress who have denied the economy an adequate dosage of the cure [i.e., stimulus]. Now they want to implicitly blame President Obama for causing the recession and the failure of stimulus to fix the problem, asserting that fiscal stimulus is per se ineffective.

One only wishes that Democrats would speak this plainly. Instead, some are complicit in why the stimulus is too small–a few are even giving their support to the Republican lie–and not enough are speaking out clearly on what stimulus is and why–of course!–it works (and why taxes have to be raised eventually to pay for it). Stockman and Bartlett, right-wing cranks though they may be, deserve a lot of credit for showing integrity.

Posted in budget, capitalism as cancer, Republicans, speaking truth to power | Comments Off on A few Republicans are not trying to blame Obama for what Bush did


Posted by Charles II on December 22, 2011

Scott Walker has an admirer.

Image from Baraboo News Republic

Posted in Republicans, speaking truth to power | 1 Comment »

Oakland heads for a general strike/Hedges models verbal non-violence

Posted by Charles II on October 27, 2011

To see how verbal nonviolence works and overwhelms the opponents of its practitioners, see Chris Hedges (via Avedon).

Oakland is going to need it. The wounding of Iraq veteran Scott Olsen will precipitate an attempt at a general strike; the police obstructed the medical treatment of Olsen, aiming flashbangs directly at medics (see also David Dayen). These police actions appear to me to represent assault with a deadly weapon, with no mitigating circumstances. Read this account by FBI agents on injuries they suffered from the detonation of a defective flashbang in 2008 to understand how deeply irresponsible firing flashbangs was:

That’s when, Bain says, the flash-bang grenade in his vest just blew up.

“The car is on fire,” Bain recalled. “I was told later I was on fire. Smoke billowing in the car. It was obviously chaos.”

Scanzano remembers “it was like being in combat. There was smoke and fire in the vehicle, and I knew that we were in trouble.”

An ambulance rushed the three agents to a nearby hospital.

“To me, it felt like someone just whacked me in the back with a baseball bat as hard as they could,” said Bain, recalling the incident, which happened four years ago.

Bain suffered severe bruising, a concussion and burns to his neck and ears. All three agents said they have experienced hearing loss.

Beanbag rounds have a similar safety profile, which is to say that they are potentially lethal.

Click for more on general strikes
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in abuse of power, General strike, Occupy movement, speaking truth to power | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Censor THIS, Short Ride! Over 200 WikiLeaks Fans Set Up Mirror Sites

Posted by Phoenix Woman on December 5, 2010

Let’s see them try to shut down over 200 WikiLeaks mirror sites around the globe. And if anything bad happens to Assange, expect that number to mushroom.

Here’s the list of mirror sites (“Spiegel” is German for “mirror”):

Oh, and if anything bad does happen to Assange or to WikiLeaks, their supporters are ready, willing and able to unleash the “history insurance” option, all two gigabytes of it.

Posted in speaking truth to power | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Ted Koppel Ignores How GOP, Cons Forced Murrow Off The Air

Posted by Phoenix Woman on November 16, 2010

Keith Olbermann steps up to address — and destroy — Ted Koppel’s faux-history and hypocritical invocation of Cronkite and Murrow as alleged gods of “balance”:

…There was the night Cronkite devoted fourteen minutes of the thirty-minute long CBS Evening News to a report on Watergate which devastated the Nixon Administration, one so strong that the Administration pressured CBS just to shorten the next night’s follow-up to eight minutes. There was the extraordinary broadcast on Vietnam from four-and-a-half years earlier in which he insisted that nothing better than stalemate was possible and that America should negotiate its way out, “not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.” All that newscast did was convince the 36th President of the United States to not seek reelection. The deserved and heartfelt sadness at the loss of a great journalist and a great man had been turned into a metaphor for the loss of a style of utterly uninvolved, neutral  “objective” reporting. Yet most of the highlights of the man’s career had been of those moments when he correctly and fearlessly threw off those shackles and said what was true, and not merely what was factual.

It has been the same with every invocation of Edward R. Murrow: Murrow would never have stood for the editorializing of today in his newscasts! The Murrow radio reports from London rooftops during the Blitz of 1940 are replayed – and forever should be – and their creator is offered as a paragon of “straight” reporting. Yet it is never mentioned, that as they happened, CBS was pressured to stop those searing explosions of truth, because our political leaders believed they would unfairly influence Americans to side with the British when the nation was still officially neutral and the Republican Party was still completely convinced that there was a deal to make with the Nazis. President Roosevelt did not invite Murrow to the White House to congratulate him on his London reports because they were “fair and balanced.”


Similarly, the journalism students of now seven different decades have studied the Murrow broadcasts about Senator Joseph McCarthy from 1954. These are properly lauded as some of the greatest moments not merely in the history of American Journalism; they are considered such in the history of America. The story is told that a cowering, profit-hungry press stood idly by – or even rode McCarthy’s paranoia for circulation and ratings – while the blacklist and the fear grew. And then Murrow slayed the dragon.


Always left out, sadly, is the fact that within hours of speaking truth based on facts, Murrow was attacked as a partisan. The Republicans, and the Conservative newspapers, and the Conservative broadcasters described – in what they would have insisted was neutral, objective, unbiased, factual reporting – that in smearing the patriotic McCarthy, Murrow was a Democrat, a Liberal, a Socialist, a Marxist, a Communist, a traitor. Always left out, sadly, is the fact that these attacks worked. Within 12 months, Murrow’s “See It Now” program had lost its sponsor and been reduced from once a week to once a month. Within 18 months it had been shifted from every Tuesday night at 10:30 to once in awhile on Sunday afternoons at 5 — becoming, as one CBS producer put it “See It Now And Then.”


Mr. Koppel does not mention – nobody ever does – that the year in which Edward R. Murrow helped save this democracy by including his own editorial judgment in “The News,” was the last year of his life throughout which Murrow appeared on a regular prime-time news broadcast. He would be eased out of CBS entirely in seven years and would be dead in eleven.

The great change about which Mr. Koppel wrings his hands is not partisanship nor tone nor analysis. The great change was the creation of the sanitized image of what men like Cronkite and Murrow – and H.V. Kaltenborn and Elmer Davis and John Charles Daly and H.R. Baukhage and Howard K. Smith and Eric Sevareid and Dan Rather and Peter Jennings and George Polk and even Ted Koppel – did. These were not glorified stenographers. These were not neutral men. These were men who did in their day what the best of journalists still try to do in this one. Evaluate, analyze, unscramble, assess – put together a coherent picture, or a challenging question – using only the facts as they can best be discerned, and their own honesty and conscience. And if the result is that this story over here is a Presidential chief of staff taking some pretty low-octane bribes and the scandal starts and ends there, you judge all the facts, and you say so. And if the result is that that other story over there is not just a third-rate burglary at a political office, but the tip of an iceberg meant to sink the two-party system in this country, you judge all the facts, and you scream so.

Insist long enough that the driving principle behind the great journalism of the television era was neutrality and objectivity — and not subjective choices and often dangerous evaluations and even commentary — and you will eventually leave the door open to pointless worship at the temple of a false god. And once you’ve got a false god, you’re going to get false priests. And sooner rather than later, in a world where subjective analysis is labeled evil and dangerous, some political mountebank is going to see his opening and seize the very catechism of that false god, words like “objective” and “neutral” and “two-sided” and “fair” and “balanced,” and he will pervert them into a catch-phrase, a brand-name. And he can create something that is no more journalism than two men screaming at each other is a musical duet.

Thanks, Keith.

Posted in GOP/Media Complex, Keith Olbermann, media, Media machine, mediawhores, news media, speaking truth to power | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Elizabeth Warren: Ms. Amazing

Posted by Charles II on November 11, 2010

If you have a slower connection, you may want to download it.

November 05, 2010

The 14th annual Mario Savio Memorial Lecture & Young Activist Award will feature consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren in a talk entitled “Main Street First: Fixing Broken Markets and Rebuilding the Middle Class.”

The inspiration and driving force behind the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Elizabeth Warren has been described as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” (Time), “a whipsmart consumer warrior,” (S.F. Chronicle), and “a person who will stir up a lot of trouble” (Forbes). She has appeared frequently on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Dr. Phil, and the Rachel Maddow Show. An expert on credit and economic stress, Warren is known for her ability to simplify complex financial issues and for her fierce independence and advocacy on behalf of middle-class families. She is the Gottlieb Professor of Law at Harvard University and is the author of nine books, including, with her daughter, the best sellers All Your Worth: the Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan and The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle Class Parents Are Going Broke.

The Memorial lecture honors the memory of the late Mario Savio, a spokesperson for Berkeley’s Free Speech Movement (1964), and the spirit of moral courage and vision which he and countless other activists of his generation exemplified. The evening includes a presentation of the Mario Savio Young Activist Award, which recognizes young people engaged in the struggle to build a more humane and just society. It is co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Library, the Goldman School of Public Policy, the Free Speech Movement Cafe and the Graduate Assembly.

Posted in financial crisis, speaking truth to power | Tagged: | Comments Off on Elizabeth Warren: Ms. Amazing

And Now, A PSA From D.C. Douglas, Former GEICO Ad Voiceover Artist

Posted by Phoenix Woman on May 19, 2010

Douglas is the gent who was fired from his voiceover gig after he left a message on the voicemail of FreedomWorks, Dick Armey’s right-wing lobbyist teabagger-backing group. Here’s what he has to say about that:

Remember, kids: Don’t drunk-dial FreedomWorks at 1-888-564-6273. If you must call, do it stone-cold sober and be polite and factual. They hate that most of all. If you can work in mention of Armey’s horndoggy misogynistic women-as-meat history, including the sexual harassment scandal involving Anna Weninger, please do.

Posted in Dick Armey, speaking truth to power | 1 Comment »

Thursday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 22, 2009


Mike Stark is kicking ass and taking names.

— But of course the teabaggers aren’t at all racist, right? Right?

— Give it up, Timmy: Our absentee governor’s Presidential aspirations got another kick in the shorts as pro-GOP pollster Scott Rasmussen’s Rasmussen Reports poll on the 2012 Republican hopefuls shows Pawlenty with only 4% support. And it’s not something that can be blamed on low name recognition, either: Republican base voters seem to genuinely and actively hate him, as 28% of them gave his name as the answer to this question: “Regardless of who you would vote for, which candidate would you least like to see win the Republican nomination in 2012?”

Posted in health care, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, Silly Republicans, speaking truth to power | Comments Off on Thursday Morning News Roundup

Monday Morning News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on March 9, 2009


CNBC blowhards rendered delightfully speechless after Jon Stewart’s epic and unassailable takedown of them.

Frank Schaeffer, whose father helped create the modern-day “religious right”, has a message for the Rush-worshipping Republicans and the GOP in general: “When your new leader Rush Limbaugh calls for President Obama to fail he’s calling for more flag-draped coffins. Limbaugh is the new ‘Hanoi Jane.'”

Landlord Nation? In a trend that shows signs of spreading to other cities, out-of-town investors are buying up Detroit’s foreclosed houses and turning them into rentals or rent-to-own properties.

— President Obama is moving to undo Bush’s limits on stem-cell research, limits that essentially ended whole swaths of medical research in the US. Republican House Whip Eric Cantor sputters some nonsense about it being a distraction from solving America’s economic issues, when in fact taking the chokehold off of stem-cell research will help stimulate the economy by boosting medical-related R&D.

Posted in Detroit, economy, eedjits, GOP/Media Complex, Republicans, science and medicine, Silly Republicans, speaking truth to power, stem cell research | 2 Comments »

The Orlov Plan

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 14, 2009

I was poking around the internets yesterday and was reminded of this gem of a 1961 column by humorist Art Buchwald, quoted by Atrios almost six years ago. It seems that Art wrote about this Russian spy named Serge, who was boasting to him of his espionage prowess:

“I used to be in charge of all Communist subversive activity in the United States,” he said.

“You were?” I asked in amazement.

Yes. Perhaps you have heard of the Orlov Plan?”

I admitted I hadn’t, though I explained it was because I hadn’t kept up much on subversive activities in the United States recently.

The Orlov Plan,” he said, swigging down another vodka, “was the most masterful subversive plan ever devised in the cold war. I received the Fourth Order of the Lenin Cross for it.”

“What was it?” I asked.

“I was in charge of all internal subversion in the United States from 1950 to just a few months ago. For years we had been trying to infiltrate the unions and the liberal groups, but we made little headway. We were wasting our money. The U.S. was stronger than ever, its policy towards the Soviets had toughened, and little damage was being done to American morale.

“I realized something had to be done. Then I hit upon it- the Orlov Plan.

The only people willing to wreck the United States government, I discovered, were the extreme right-wing groups. They were being ignored, and yet they were the key to all internal subversion. I laid out a plan. I would have my agents organize a program working through the extreme right wing which would stand the United States on it’s head.

First I would get the right wing to accuse President Eisenhower of being a Communist. Then I would get them to call their own high government officials traitors. Then I would see that the right wing attacked American United Nations representatives. I also would convince the right wing that Russia didn’t have atomic weapons.

Then I would encourage rumors that everyone in the State Department was either a Communist or a homosexual. I gave order to wreak havoc in the armed services by turning military officers against civilians. I even proposed they impeach Chief Justice Warren of the Supreme Court. I laid out different attacks on anyone who advocated better education or health facilities in the United States. And the topper was that anyhone who disagreed with this would be accused of being a card-holding Communist.

“When I proposed the plan in Moscow, the Kremlin thought I was crazy. But they figured they had nothing to lose. Well, you can see the results for yourself. The seeds of doubt about America are being planted by their own people, and we’ve been making more progress in wrecking the U.S. Constitution in the last few years than my predecessors have been able to do since the revolution.”

Then you mean all these extreme right-wing groups are really Communist dupes?” I asked in surprise.

“Exactly, they’re doing the Lord’s work for the Soviet Union, and most of them don’t even know it.”

Some things never change.

Posted in Constitution, Constitutional crisis, Republicans, Republicans acting badly, Republicans as cancer, speaking truth to power | 9 Comments »

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