Archive for December 12th, 2008

UAW response to the Senate vote. (video)

Dec 12, 2008 in Uncategorized

It’s a must see. Despite all concessions, the Senate Republicans still turned down the deal. Also, Gettelfinger talks about anti-union propaganda at a Kentucky Toyota plant that claims that Toyota actually pays their workers more than the Big Three. Furthermore, he references this article (the same article Toyota uses to base their claim) that states that the UAW is losing its appeal because of their inability to compete with Toyota’s high wages.

(more…)

Poor misguided fools.

Dec 12, 2008 in Politics

Ropelight:
“…the party of the Appalachians…” Well now…
Compared to the slime coming out of Chicago these days, the Appalachians look pretty darn good. Just my cup of tea. Skyline Drive, Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smokey Mountains. Yep, sounds good. Y’all come see us when ya can.

While rightwingers marvel over the corruption of Chicago, USA Today does some number crunching.

Guess who’s the most corrupt state? North Dakota.

Then look at the map and see where the most corrupt states in the US are.

Now look at Appalachia.

The heart of the Republican Party.

On a per-capita basis, however, Illinois ranks 18th for the number of public corruption convictions the federal government has won from 1998 through 2007, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Department of Justice statistics.

Eat the crow, boys. Then crap it and make love to it.

-jb

Mixed martial arts in high schools.

Dec 12, 2008 in Sport

NYT reports on an excellent development: the foundation of a MMA club at a high school. The only condition is that the students don’t actually punch or kick each other. They train for everything, but when they spar it’s just grappling jiu-jitsu style.

I was frequently derided as a faggot in high school because I didn’t play sports. If I could have done it over again I would have taken wrestling and stomached some early defeats, but while other guys were playing football I was in my garage hitting and kicking a punching bag, dutifully practicing moves from movies like “Bloodsport” and “Big Trouble in Little China.” By the time I tried Tae-Kwon-Do in college I already had a pretty good right foot, but even then I was learning the best stuff from a buddy in my dorm (shout out to John Trunnell, one of the earth’s finest and funniest guys), who knew more about what wins a real fight than any of those pompous authoritarian fools in that Tae-Kwon-Do class. Now that I’m in my thirties and living in the big city, now that the UFC has become a national phenomenon instead of a niche rental at Blockbuster (referred to by John McCain as “human cockfighting”), there are classes in MMA all around. I hope to enroll in one when I have better money and health insurance to cover injuries, but at 35 I’ve still not yet had the opportunity to get the kind of training I’ve always wanted. So what an opportunity it would have been to get real martial arts training in high school instead of prancing about in costumes applying importance to ball-handling.

-jb

Republicans must enjoy their minority status.

Dec 12, 2008 in Uncategorized

A Hill staffers points out that the Republicans have just written the script for every political ad that is going run for the foreseeable future in the Rust Belt and beyond:

It is possible that there was some sort of covert nod-and-wink between Bush and the Senate GOP that the latter could have their cake and eat it, too. Senate Republicans could posture against unions (and try to set the UAW up as the villain) and vote against the bill, while Bush would subsequently use the TARP authority for a bridge loan.

In the long run, the political fallout from this maneuver (whether Bush invokes TARP authority or not) means that the GOP has not only written off New England and the Mid-Atlantic, but the Midwest, and is hunkering down in its Dixie and Plains base. The GOP used to consider Indiana as a given, Ohio as a must, and Michigan as a like-to-have. Now all three are gone, along with Wisconsin and Minnesota.

via TPM.

-mg

Stewart dismantles Huckabee on gay marriage.

Dec 12, 2008 in Uncategorized

It’s not about logic, it’s not about the law, it’s not about winning a debate. They can’t win on those grounds. It’s just about trying to keep 50% of the people convinced they’re not doing anything wrong by deeming homosexuals second-class citizens.

Video here due to gross HTML-skillz deficiency.

-jb

Doh! -or- Bush serves at the behest of the evil unions! Take your pick.

Dec 12, 2008 in Uncategorized

Democrats are chomping at the bit to “save” the auto industry (read: blackmail) by pouring taxpayer money into an industry that can’t compete. But is it really a good idea to save an industry so incompetent and burdened by union-backed gimmes?

From todays NYT:

WASHINGTON — President Bush and the Treasury Department signaled on Friday morning that they would consider dipping into the $700 billion bailout program for financial institutions to aid the Big Three car companies, after Republican senators refused to support a compromise proposal to rescue the automakers.

I await excoriating posts about how the Bush Administration is propping up a failed industry and by extension, antiquated unions.

-mg

The victorious conscience.

Dec 12, 2008 in Christian Right, teh gay

Support caring for the environment, getting squishy on gay marriage, AND you voted for Obama?

“It was time for him to go,” Tom Minnery, a Focus on the Family senior vice president, said Thursday. “He no longer represents the view of evangelicalism. He has not represented those views for some time.”

The man in question is Rev. Richard Cizik.

A fixture in Washington for nearly three decades, Cizik has played a key role in bringing evangelical Christian concerns to the political table. But in recent years, he earned enemies in the movement for pushing to broaden the evangelical agenda. His strongest focus was on “creation care,” arguing that evangelicals have a biblical responsibility to the environment that includes combatting global warming.

To be fair, Cizik doesn’t come out in support of gay marriage, officially, though his comments weren’t firm enough to please those adamant that their religion dictates the citizenship status of homosexuals. His thoughts represent a mind struggling to put aside extremism and reconcile his conscience with the world around him and those in need of his compassion, rather than use a few passages in the Bible selectively to foster hatred and discrimination. Civil unions are still a form of second-class treatment for gays, but it’s more than many evangelicals can bear to “suffer.”

Still, there is pressure on Cizik to recant, and he is staying out of the limelight. It’s important for those who are supportive of equal rights and religious (especially those who are supportive of equal rights because of their religion) to reach out to him and others like him.

-jb

And our media isn’t fit for the times either.

Dec 12, 2008 in Barack Obama, Economy, Journamalism

Because they need to hear ten different times that Obama had nothing to do with Blah-son-of-a-bitch’s corruption (and remain unsatisfied), real problems don’t warrant air time.

Here is some food for thought. I lost my job last Tuesday. I don’t give a whit about what’s happening in Illinois. I have a chronically ill husband, I care for my elderly ailing mother, and I have an 11-year-old son. In less than two months my severance pay will run out and so will my health insurance, which my husband depends on for his care. So, you can probably understand why as important as this issue is to the media, it is not at the top of my list.

I don’t regularly watch television, but [Thursday] when I tuned in to President-elect Barack Obama’s press conference, I wanted to hear what he had to say about health care, how it would impact me. As noted above, in two months, my severance pay runs out, and so will my health care. I can’t afford Cobra. So, you can see why I hoped reporters would ask questions that mattered to me and I am sure thousands of others.

No doubt, it was inevitable there were going to be questions about the Blago guy in Illinois. But after three questions, thank God for the Reuters reporter, we got to health care. I happened to be watching ABC, and guess what, Charlie Gibson cut away. That question was not juicy enough for him– not enough to give us the viewers a chance to hear how Obama plans to pay for the health care he is promising.

Instead, a glib Gibson gets on to explain about how the [president-elect] dodged questions. I know in Gibson’s world this doesn’t matter one iota… But why disrespect us. Why does he think that this Blago issue matters to me today, when I am worried where the next meal is going to come from for my family?

Hey, buddy…Charlie Gibson knows where his next meal is coming from, so buck up and grab dem bootstraps!

-jb

$15 billion to keep the US auto industry alive vs. trillions for Wall Street, no questions asked.

Dec 12, 2008 in Clueless Conservatives, Corporate shenanigans, Economy, Politics

The discrepancies are starting to come to a boil…what CEO of a major financial behemoth is getting dragged in front of Congress to have their homework demanded or else? Why is the political class so fast to throw up their hands and say “Whatever you want!” to AIG so they can keep circulating money on paper, yet so slow to talk about doing something to save mortgages?

This week’s drama has centered around the auto-companies, who affect the employment of millions, asking for $25 billion, a pittance compared to what is being thrown at the financial sector to scant avail. Now they’ve been hounded and harassed and bargained down to $15 billion, with pay cuts for CEOs that would be unthinkable for Wall Street moguls (even the golden parachute provision was engineered to not apply to anybody who’s currently in charge).

I was initially suspicious of the auto bailout, at least until I heard they were only asking for $25 billion. I later said, install conditions, accountability, and the means to produce vehicles for the modern era (already I’ve heard rightwingers drooling about buying big gas-hogs again now that you can fill up your car without a mortgage). As I see it right now, the auto bailout can do more good for the economy than ten times the amount thrown at Wall Street, so…

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a fierce critic of the bailout, said the failure of the bill could hurt his auto-state colleagues, but noted, “politically, I think Republicans can show a real difference [with Democrats] here.”

I’m glad this Republican has his priorities straight. Surely them Southern Republicans, free from the nefarious influence of Michigan, can think with their principles.

…pitting Rust Belt and auto-state senators who joined Democrats in a plea for federal aid against their Southern colleagues who represent states where foreign-owned automakers constitute a significant economic presence

Great job!

We are reflecting our deepest priorities, our very nature, in our response to the Siege of the Invisible Hand. Given the urgent need to completely restructure how business and politics is handled in America, given that we have little choice but to re-align our priorities or else have it done forcibly, Republicans like Jim DeMint represent the Old Guard…of Nothing. Nothing but politics and self-interest, when we need them to get the country repaired.

-jb