Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Night Fun and Culture: Tegan and Sara










Romney interrupted by DREAM & LGBT advocates @ first rally as US candidate


Catholic League’s Bill Donohue Defends Conservative Franciscan's Advocacy for Understanding of Man-Boy Love

What's the difference between the Catholic Church and NAMBLA?

One has tax exempt status and gets to demand control over women's reproductive health.

From  The New Civil Rights Movement: http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/1-catholic-leagues-bill-donohue-defends-pedophile-sympathizing-priest/news/2012/08/31/47879

Donohue, for his part, has also called rape victims of the Catholic Church’s pedophile priests “professional victims,” and “a pitiful bunch of malcontents” unable to move on.

by David Badash
on August 31, 2012


Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, issued a statement yesterday defending Father Benedict Groeschel, who earlier this week blamed child victims of pedophile priests for their rapes
Calling Groeschel’s service “heroic,” and his record “impressive,” Donohue claims Father Groeschel merely “hypothesized how a young person (14, 16 or 18, as he put it) could conceivably take advantage of a priest who was having a nervous breakdown.” Groeschel told the National Catholic Register that in a “lot of the cases, the youngster — 14, 16, 18 — is the seducer.”
READ: Famous Roman Catholic Priest Blames Children For Their Rapes
Donohue calls Groeschel’s record of screening applicants to the priesthood “impressive,” yet, as The New Civil Rights Movement posited yesterday, perhaps someone in the past 40 years should have realized that the gatekeeper was a sympathizer to rapists of children? Did no one ever examine Groeschel’s batting average?

The Catholic Church has been plagued with thousands of pedophile priests, enabled by Catholic leadership up to and including Pope Benedict XVI, (certainly in his previously role,) and men like Donohue, who attack groups like SNAP and demean and discredit those victims who speak out.

Speaking of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abuse By Priests — whom Dolan has called a “phony victims’ group” — David Clohessy, SNAP’s Executive Director, writes of the Groeschel issue that “the real issue isn’t that Groeschel makes such hurtful, stupid and Todd Akin-like remarks.(Many Catholic officials have thought and said much the same. We suspect many still do right now.)”

Continue reading at:  http://thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/1-catholic-leagues-bill-donohue-defends-pedophile-sympathizing-priest/news/2012/08/31/47879

Father Benedict Groeschel, American Friar, Claims Teens Seduce Priests In Some Sex Abuse Cases

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/29/father-benedict-groeschel-teens-seduce-priests_n_1840900.html

By
08/29/2012


In a recent interview with the National Catholic Register, Father Benedict Groeschel, of the conservative Franciscan Friars of the Renewal, said that teens act as seducers in some sexual abuse cases involving priests.

It's been close to a decade since an investigation into clergy sex abuse cases by The Boston Globe unearthed a shocking scandal and cover-up that rocked the foundations of the Catholic Church in the U.S. and around the world.

Ten years may have passed, but the wounds have yet to fully heal in America, especially in light of the recent Penn State allegations, as well as the trial of Monsignor William Lynn, former secretary for the clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

In light of this, the recent comments by Groeschel seem both puzzling and jarringly out of step with current sentiments.

In an interview with the National Catholic Register posted this week, Groeschel was asked about his work with the very conservative Friars of the Renewal, a breakaway order he founded 25 years ago. The conversation took an interesting turn, however, when the editor asked about the 78-year-old's work with sexual abuse perpetrators.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/29/father-benedict-groeschel-teens-seduce-priests_n_1840900.html

See Also: Catholic newspaper scrubs interview after priest says children are ‘seducers’

Shulamith Firestone, radical feminist, wrote best-seller, 67

From The Villager:  http://www.thevillager.com/?p=7172

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON August 30, 2012

Shulamith Firestone, a pioneering feminist who shot to fame at age 25 with her best-selling book, “The Dialectic of Sex,” was found dead in her East Village apartment on Tuesday. She was 67.

Alerted by neighbors, who had smelled a strong odor from her apartment, her superintendent peered in through a window from the fire escape and saw her body on the floor. Her landlord, Bob Perl, said she had probably been dead about a week. He said her one-bedroom unit included rows of books, including Greek classics.

Suffering from mental illness, she had shut herself off from contact with other people. Perl said the cause of death is unclear at this point — police said it wasn’t starvation — and that the coroner’s report should provide an answer.

Perl purchased the building, 213 E. 10th St., in 1993, and figures Firestone lived there, on the fifth floor, for about 30 years.

“She was not well for many years,” Perl said, noting that her family members and “strangers” would pay her rent when she was unable to. “She was a prodigy. But she had been ill for so many years, she lost contact with the outside world.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.thevillager.com/?p=7172

Two Codepink Women disrupt Paul Ryan inside Convention Center during RNC inaugural speech


Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital

It's a long article and you might want to buy a hard copy of Rolling Stone for this one rather than following the links

From Rolling Stone:  http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-20120829

How the GOP presidential candidate and his private equity firm staged an epic wealth grab, destroyed jobs – and stuck others with the bill

By Matt Taibbi
August 29, 2012


he great criticism of Mitt Romney, from both sides of the aisle, has always been that he doesn't stand for anything. He's a flip-flopper, they say, a lightweight, a cardboard opportunist who'll say anything to get elected.

The critics couldn't be more wrong. Mitt Romney is no tissue-paper man. He's closer to being a revolutionary, a backward-world version of Che or Trotsky, with tweezed nostrils instead of a beard, a half-Windsor instead of a leather jerkin. His legendary flip-flops aren't the lies of a bumbling opportunist – they're the confident prevarications of a man untroubled by misleading the nonbeliever in pursuit of a single, all-consuming goal. Romney has a vision, and he's trying for something big: We've just been too slow to sort out what it is, just as we've been slow to grasp the roots of the radical economic changes that have swept the country in the last generation.

The incredible untold story of the 2012 election so far is that Romney's run has been a shimmering pearl of perfect political hypocrisy, which he's somehow managed to keep hidden, even with thousands of cameras following his every move. And the drama of this rhetorical high-wire act was ratcheted up even further when Romney chose his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin – like himself, a self-righteously anal, thin-lipped, Whitest Kids U Know penny pincher who'd be honored to tell Oliver Twist there's no more soup left. By selecting Ryan, Romney, the hard-charging, chameleonic champion of a disgraced-yet-defiant Wall Street, officially succeeded in moving the battle lines in the 2012 presidential race.

Like John McCain four years before, Romney desperately needed a vice-presidential pick that would change the game. But where McCain bet on a combustive mix of clueless novelty and suburban sexual tension named Sarah Palin, Romney bet on an idea. He said as much when he unveiled his choice of Ryan, the author of a hair-raising budget-cutting plan best known for its willingness to slash the sacred cows of Medicare and Medicaid. "Paul Ryan has become an intellectual leader of the Republican Party," Romney told frenzied Republican supporters in Norfolk, Virginia, standing before the reliably jingoistic backdrop of a floating warship. "He understands the fiscal challenges facing America: our exploding deficits and crushing debt."

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-20120829

Codepink arrests Condi Rice for War Crimes during RNC 2012




Bernie Sanders Applauds Obama for Supporting Citizens United Amendment

From PoliticusUSA:  http://www.politicususa.com/bernie-sanders-applauds-obama-supporting-citizens-united-amendment.html

By: Jason Easley
August 30th, 2012


Sen. Bernie Sanders is praising President Obama’s support for his constitutional amendment and movement to overturn Citizens United.

Yesterday, during a Reddit chat, Obama announced his support for Sen. Sanders’ efforts to overturn Citizens United, “Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress – to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn’t revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.”

Sen. Sanders responded to Obama in a statement, “I applaud President Obama for expressing support for a serious effort to restore the democratic foundations of our country that are under severe attack as a result of the disastrous Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United.”

Let’s be honest, President Obama isn’t going to sway the electorate by supporting the movement to overturn Citizens United. The truth is that most Americans still don’t understand Citizens United and the impact that it is having on both our electoral system and our government. The Sanders led campaign to get rid of Citizens United is currently just as much about education as it is policy change.

Continue reading at:  http://www.politicususa.com/bernie-sanders-applauds-obama-supporting-citizens-united-amendment.html

The Last Stop on the Right's Crazy Train

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-besen/the-last-stop-on-the-rights-crazy-train_b_1837691.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay%20Voices


08/29/2012


The crazy train, built by the religious right and accelerated by the Tea Party, must stop before it goes off the rails and inflicts severe damage on America. It is unclear what the ultimate aims of these extremists truly are or where they ultimately want to take this country, but it is increasingly clear that people like Rep. Todd "Legitimate Rape" Akin have a markedly different vision of this nation than the rest of us. As their rhetoric grows more reckless, the fundamentalism more inflexible, the "facts" more fantastical, the threats more menacing, the politics more petulant, and the demands increasingly dictatorial, one has to wonder where this precarious road leads.

The right's incoherent hatred of its caricature of government mixes uneasily with its worship of weapons that have virtually nothing to do with hunting or helping protect families from intruders. Their unfounded attacks on America's foundations are as offensive as their stockpile of weapons appears to be offensive. We used to call such efforts sedition, but now they are simply an audition for some GOP and Tea Party candidates. For example, a Lubbock County, Texas, judge, Tom Head, made an appearance on a local television show in which he offered a wild, anti-UN conspiracy theory and suggested rebelling against President Barack Obama and assassinating him. According to The New York Times:
"[Obama] is going to try to hand over the sovereignty of the United States to the U.N.," Mr. Head said on Fox 34 last week. "O.K., what's going to happen when that happens? I'm thinking worst-case scenario: civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war, maybe. And we're not talking just a few riots here and demonstrations. We're talking Lexington, Concord, take up arms and get rid of the guy."

And if the president did send in United Nations troops, Mr. Head continued, "I don't want 'em in Lubbock County. O.K. So I'm going to stand in front of their armored personnel carriers and say, 'You're not coming in here.' And the sheriff, I've already asked him. I said, 'You gonna back me?' He said, 'Yeah, I'll back you.'


Well, I don't want a bunch of rookies back there," Mr. Head said. "I want trained, equipped, seasoned veteran officers to back me."
Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wayne-besen/the-last-stop-on-the-rights-crazy-train_b_1837691.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay%20Voices

Workers Feel the Pain of Bain

From Truth Dig:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/workers_feel_the_pain_of_bain_20120829/

By Amy Goodman
Posted on Aug 29, 2012


TAMPA, Fla.—Four hardy souls from rural Illinois joined tens of thousands of people undeterred by threats of Hurricane Isaac during this week’s Republican National Convention. They weren’t among the almost 2,400 delegates to the convention, though, nor were they from the press corps, said to number 15,000. They weren’t part of the massive police force assembled here, more than 3,000 strong, all paid for with $50 million of U.S. taxpayer money. These four were about to join a much larger group: the more than 2.4 million people in the past decade whose U.S. jobs have been shipped to China. In their case, the company laying them off and sending their jobs overseas is Bain Capital, co-founded by the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

We met the group at Romneyville, a tent city on the outskirts of downtown Tampa, established by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign in the spirit of the Hoovervilles of the Great Depression. A couple hundred people gathered before the makeshift stage to hear speakers and musicians, under intermittent downpours and the noise of three police helicopters drowning out the voices of the anti-poverty activists. Scores of police on bicycles occupied the surrounding streets.

Cheryl Randecker was one of those four we met at Romneyville whose Bain jobs are among the 170 slated to be off-shored. They build transmission sensors for many cars and trucks made in the United States.  Cheryl was sent to China to train workers there, not knowing that the company was about to be sold and the jobs she was training people for included her own.  I asked her how it felt to be training her own replacements after working at the same company for 33 years:

“Knowing that you’re going to be completely out of a job and there’s no hope for any job in our area, it was gut-wrenching, because you don’t know where the next point is going to be. I’m 52 years old. What are we going to do? To start over at this point in my life is extremely scary.”

Cheryl and her co-workers learned that the Honeywell division they had been working for had been sold to Sensata Technologies. They researched Sensata. “We found out this summer that it was owned by Bain [Capital],“she said. “Then we found the connection between Bain and Governor Romney. And that just spurred a little bit of emotion ... we wanted to stand up and fight back and take a stand for the American people and for our jobs.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/workers_feel_the_pain_of_bain_20120829/

Conservative Racist John Derbyshire: Blacks are 'Radically Ill-Fitted for Life in Bourgeois Society'

From Right Wing Watch:  http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/derbyshire-blacks-ill-fitted-life-bourgeois-society

by Brian Tashman
on Thu, 08/30/2012


After losing his job at the National Review, John Derbyshire has found a new home at the White Nationalist website VDARE where he can even more openly spew vitriol at minorities, as he did yesterday in his column comparing the situation of African Americans in the U.S. to the Roma, better known as gypsies, of Europe. “In both cases you have a big racial-ethnic bloc of people who are, for whatever reason—discuss among yourselves—radically ill-fitted for life in bourgeois society,” Derbyshire writes. “In both cases, actual bourgeois citizens opt for ethnic disaggregation: for the gypsies to be moved on, for separation by white flight from the underclass blacks. National authorities respond appropriately, with expulsion and incarceration.”
With views like these, it makes you wonder why National Review took so long to fire him.
The thing I find myself wondering is: are these truly, as I said back then, different kinds of problem—underclass blacks in America, gypsies in Europe?

In both cases you have a big racial-ethnic bloc of people who are, for whatever reason—discuss among yourselves—radically ill-fitted for life in bourgeois society.




In both cases, well-intentioned Left activists—under the banner of Civil Rights in the U.S.A., Human Rights in Europe—propose social-engineering solutions that would cost scads of public money, even as all our public money is vanishing into chasms of debt. Many of the proposed solutions have already been tried; all of them rest on implausible assumptions about human nature.


The best that either bloc has come up with on its own is the absurd-yet-sinister crackpot mock-militarism of the Nation of Islam.


In both cases, actual bourgeois citizens opt for ethnic disaggregation: for the gypsies to be moved on, for separation by white flight from the underclass blacks. National authorities respond appropriately, with expulsion and incarceration.

It's all Another Republican Con Job


Money in Politics: Where Is the Outrage?

From Common Dreams:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/08/30-12

by Bill Moyers and Bernard Weisberger
Published on Thursday, August 30, 2012 by Common Dreams


We might wish the uproar from the convention halls of both parties these busy weeks were the wholesome clamor of delegates deliberating serious visions of how we should be governed for the next four years. It rises instead from scripted TV spectacles — grown-ups doing somersaults of make-believe — that will once again distract the public’s attention from the death rattle of American democracy brought on by an overdose of campaign cash.

No serious proposal to take the money out of politics, or even reduce its tightening grip on the body politic, will emerge from Tampa or Charlotte, so the sounds of celebration and merriment are merely prelude to a funeral cortege for America as a shared experience. A radical minority of the super-rich has gained ascendency over politics, buying the policies, laws, tax breaks, subsidies, and rules that consolidate a permanent state of vast inequality by which they can further help themselves to America’s wealth and resources.

Their appetite for more is insatiable. As we write, Mitt Romney, after two fundraisers in which he raised nearly $10 million from the oil and gas industry, and having duly consulted with the Oklahoma billionaire energy executive who chairs the campaign’s energy advisory committee, has announced that if elected President, he will end a century of federal control over oil and gas drilling on public lands, leaving such matters to local officials more attuned to industry desires. Theodore Roosevelt, the first great advocate for public lands in the White House, would be rolling in his grave, if Dick Cheney hadn’t already dumped his bones in a Wyoming mining shaft during the first hours of the Bush-Halliburton administration.

We are nearing the culmination of a cunning and fanatical drive to dismantle the political institutions, the legal and statutory canons, and the intellectual and cultural frameworks that were slowly and painstakingly built over decades to protect everyday citizens from the excesses of private power. The “city on the hill” has become a fortress of privilege, guarded by a hired political class and safely separated from the economic pressures that are upending the household stability, family dynamics, social mobility, and civic life of everyday Americans.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/08/30-12

The Real Convention Is at Cracker Bay

From Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cenk-uygur/mitt-romney-yacht_b_1842680.html


08/30/2012


One of the reasons this Republican convention has been so deathly dull is that the real action isn't at the convention. It's at Cracker Bay. That's the name of the yacht where the Romney team just hosted 50 partiers, including some of his top donors. This was one of about a dozen events outside of the convention where they had private meetings with donors giving more than $1 million dollars to his campaign. Over $1 million a piece. Now, where do you think the real policy gets made?

You think Mitt Romney gives a damn what a delegate thinks? The only delegates that matter were on that yacht. They call this group the "Victory Council." This is made of people who are literally millionaires and billionaires and who dictate what Mitt Romney's positions will be. He's a legendary flip-flopper, but if you want to know what he really thinks you had to be on that boat.

"It was a really nice event. These are good supporters," said billionaire Wilbur Ross, an energy industry executive, according to ABC News. I bet it was. Mitt Romney just revealed his energy plan a couple of days ago. Are you going to be surprised to find out that it massively helps energy companies? A really nice event is where you pay a million bucks and you get billions back if the candidate you supported wins the presidency.

It's clear what Mitt Romney owes these people. What do you think he owes you? Ann Romney said that Mitt was a man who would not fail. She's right; he will not fail his donors. He is a good businessman, so he will give them the service they paid for.

They're so brazen the boat they were meeting on was flying a Cayman Islands flag. As one local put it, even their yacht doesn't want to pay taxes. In the old days, you'd be a little embarrassed about things like this and it would be huge news if you got caught. Now people treat it like it's perfectly normal.

Paul Ryan recently went to get the blessing of billionaire GOP donor Sheldon Adelson. Soon after he was picked and before getting ready for their convention, he had to stop everything and kiss the ring of their boss. This is sick. It is obvious legalized bribery and it's being done right in front of our eyes. And the press hardly notices as our democracy leaves shore along with that boat full of millionaires.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cenk-uygur/mitt-romney-yacht_b_1842680.html

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fear and Loathing in Florida 2012

From Truth Dig:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/fear_and_loathing_in_florida_2012_20120829/

By Alan Minsky
Posted on Aug 29, 2012


History repeats itself; the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.  —Karl Marx

TAMPA, Fla.—The real truth in America is hard to come by these days; even the Paul Ryan Wikipedia entry has been whitewashed, omitting that he was voted the biggest brown-noser in his high school class.


As I do not believe, in contrast to most of the press corps here, that Orwellian double-speak is the highest form of human communication, I cannot attend a political convention and not feel the anxiety of Hunter S. Thompson’s influence. However much respect books like “The Making of the President” series merit, it’s the bourbon and crank-fueled honesty of “Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72” that truly captures the zombie-like soullessness of the political lapdog class.

What to make of the 2012 Republican model?

It didn’t take long to realize this convention was dominated by the same country club set that’s been running this party for decades. Fears that some new monstrous tea party/Christian fundamentalist hybrid has seized the GOP’s helm were readily dispelled as the first busloads of late-night partyers arrived in downtown Tampa on Monday night. Anyone anticipating rabid creationists from the Wichita PTA was confronted with the bland secularism of Laura Ashley and Brooks Brothers.

I explained to one woman in her early 30s that she was the first Republican I’d spoken to this week. She laughed and asked me where I was from. Los Angeles, I told her, then followed up: “Do you really support all the platforms in your party—about women, family and all of that?” She replied, “The Republican Party is pro-business; I’m a businesswoman.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/fear_and_loathing_in_florida_2012_20120829/

GOP's Nightmarish Response to MLK's "I Have a Dream"


Poverty: The New Growth Industry in America

From The Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-baker/poverty-the-new-growth-in_b_1833158.html


08/29/2012


Recent trends in poverty rates should have the country furious at its leaders. When we get the data for 2011 next month, we are likely to see yet another uptick in poverty rates, reversing almost 50 years of economic progress. The percentage of people in extreme poverty, with incomes less than half of the poverty level, is likely to again hit an all-time high since the data has been collected.

The situation is made even worse by the fact that so many of those in poverty are children. In 2010, 27 percent of all children in the country were reported as living below the poverty level. For African-American children, the share in poverty is approaching 40 percent.

Many will blame the welfare reform law in 1996 that passed with bipartisan support. That is appropriate. This bill involved a great deal of political grandstanding and removed guarantees that could have protected millions of families in a severe downturn like what we are now seeing.

Advocates of this bill who now profess surprise at the result need to turn to a new line of work. There were plenty of people at the time who warned that the lack of federal guarantees could lead to severe hardship in an economic downturn. No one has a right to be surprised on this one. The surge in the poverty rate in a downturn like the present one was a predictable and predicted outcome of the legislation.

However, there is the other side of the story, the overall state of the economy, which is the more important cause of the increase in the poverty rate. The vast majority of the people in this country rely on work for the bulk of their income and that would also be true for the tens of millions of people in poverty, if work was available. These people cannot find jobs in today's economy, or at least not full-time jobs that pay anything close to a living wage.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dean-baker/poverty-the-new-growth-in_b_1833158.html

‘Fetal personhood’ ballot initiative fails in Colorado

From Raw Story:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/29/fetal-personhood-ballot-initiative-fails-in-colorado/

By Eric W. Dolan
Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Anti-abortion activists in Colorado have failed to place a proposed “fetal personhood” amendment on the state’s 2012 ballot.

Personhood Colorado announced earlier this month that it collected 112,121 signatures for the ballot initiative. But the Secretary of State said the group only submitted 106,119 signatures. Based on a random sample, the Secretary of State projected that only roughly 85,800 of those signatures are valid, falling short of the 86,105 valid signatures needed to qualify of the ballot.

“Because the percentage of presumed valid signatures falls between 90 percent and 110 percent of the 86,105 valid signatures needed, the office is required to perform a line-by-line analysis of every signature submitted,” the Secretary of State explained in a press release.

Personhood Colorado told the Independent they planned to file a protest of the decision.

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, praised the defeat of the ballot measure.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/29/fetal-personhood-ballot-initiative-fails-in-colorado/

From the Fringe in 1992, Buchanan’s Words Now Seem Mainstream

From a Nazi Sympathizer's fringe speech to mainstream Republican Policy in 20 short years.

The late Molly Ivins said this about Buchanan's speech, "I hear it sounded better in the original German." Alluding to Buchanan's spirited defense of a Nazi Death Camp Officer.

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/30/us/politics/from-the-fringe-in-1992-patrick-j-buchanans-words-now-seem-mainstream.html

By
Published: August 29, 2012


TAMPA, Fla. — Twenty years ago, Patrick J. Buchanan rocked the Republican convention in Houston by declaring there was a “cultural war” taking place for the soul of America, denouncing the Democratic Party as one that supported abortion, radical feminism and the “homosexual rights movement.”

“The agenda Clinton and Clinton would impose on America — abortion on demand, a litmus test for the Supreme Court, homosexual rights, discrimination against religious schools, women in combat — that’s change, all right,” said Mr. Buchanan, a conservative commentator who was a rival to President George Bush in the 1992 campaign. “But it is not the kind of change America wants.”

The speech — along with similarly sharp-edged addresses by the evangelist Pat Robertson and Marilyn Quayle, the wife of Vice President Dan Quayle — pushed issues like abortion, gay rights, religion and the role of women in society to the front of the stage, often loudly. Supporters of Mr. Bush pointed to the tone of the convention as one of the reasons he lost the election that November to Bill Clinton.

Yet Republicans gathered here to nominate Mitt Romney suggest that those speeches would hardly give them pause today. What many viewed as the fringes of the Republican Party 20 years ago have moved closer to the mainstream — evidence, Mr. Buchanan said, of the extent to which a Republican establishment that was once relatively moderate on social issues has been pushed rightward by grass-roots conservatives.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/30/us/politics/from-the-fringe-in-1992-patrick-j-buchanans-words-now-seem-mainstream.html

Miners forced to attend Romney's rally


Deficit Hawk Hypocrites

From Common Dreams: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/08/29-3

by Bernie Sanders
Published on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 by Common Dreams

Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and the Republican Party are now mounting a massive attack against Social Security and other programs. Using "deficit reduction" as their rationale, they are attempting to dismantle every major piece of legislation passed since the 1930s that provides support and security to working families.

They are being aided by at least 23 billionaire families, led by the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelson, who are spending hundreds of millions of dollars in this campaign as a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision. Despite paying the lowest effective tax rate in decades, the billionaires want more tax breaks for the very rich. Despite the fact that the elimination of strong regulations caused the Wall Street meltdown and a terrible recession, the billionaires want more deregulation. Despite outsourcing of millions of good-paying American jobs to China and other low-wage countries, the billionaires want more unfettered free trade.

At this pivotal moment in American history, it's important to note how we got into this deficit crisis, who was responsible and what is the fairest way to address it.

Let us never forget that when Bill Clinton left office in 2001, this country enjoyed a healthy $236 billion SURPLUS.

Under George W. Bush and his fellow "deficit hawks," we went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bush and Congress "forgot" to pay for those wars that will end up adding some $3 trillion to our national debt. Where were Paul Ryan and the other "deficit hawks" when we spent trillions on wars and added to the deficit? They voted for those policies.

Under George W. Bush and his fellow "deficit hawks," we gave huge tax breaks to the wealthiest people in this country, which cost $1 trillion over a decade. Where were Paul Ryan and the other "deficit hawks" when Bush and Congress spent a trillion dollars on tax breaks for the very rich and added to our national debt? They voted for those policies.

Continue reading at:  http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/08/29-3

College Students Are Going Homeless and Hungry -- And Corporate America Is Trying to Exploit Them

From Alternet:  http://www.alternet.org/college-students-are-going-homeless-and-hungry-and-corporate-america-trying-exploit-them

A look at the growing numbers of homeless and hungry college students trying desperately to make ends meet--and those who are willing to exploit them.

By Adam Turl
August 27, 2012


As the mainstream press frets that the much-touted "economic-recovery" appears to have lost steam, the economic crisis continues to escalate for ordinary people.

With official unemployment holding steady at 9.5 percent (real unemployment is much higher), and with the state budget cuts producing yet more tuition increases, a growing phenomenon is sweeping the nation: homeless and hungry college students.

National Public Radio (NPR) reported in late July: "For many college students and their families, rising tuition costs and a tough economy are presenting new challenges as college bills come in. This has led to a little-known but growing population of financially stressed students, who are facing hunger and sometimes even homelessness."

While no exact figures are available, the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth reports a large increase in homeless students.

"We're hearing from the college presidents and leadership that more and more students are struggling," Michelle Asha Cooper of the Institute for Higher Education told reporters. "Some are taking out pretty large amounts of student loans to finance their education as well as their living costs. Some are enrolling part time, some are even dropping out."

The University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) even created an "Economic Crisis Response Team" to help homeless and hungry students stay enrolled. NPR reported the story of one such UCLA student, Diego Sepulveda, who ended up homeless after losing his full-time job at Subway. Now Sepulveda alternates between sleeping in the library, student center and friend's couches, catching occasional showers in a school gym.

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/college-students-are-going-homeless-and-hungry-and-corporate-america-trying-exploit-them

Paul Ryan and the GOP's New "Dog Whistle Politics"

From Truth Out:  http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11204-paul-ryan-and-the-gops-new-dog-whistle-politics

By Joan Walsh
Wednesday, 29 August 2012

 
I have a problem with liberals who dismiss the white working class as hopelessly Republican and racist, because they ignore something interesting: in 2008, our first black president got a higher share of their votes than any recent white Democrat in this generation, including John Kerry, Al Gore, and even Bill Clinton. A New York Times analysis found that Obama won 46 percent of whites without a college degree who earned between $30,000 and $75,000 a year, to Bill Clinton's 44 percent. He kept John McCain's edge with that group to 6 points, when George W. Bush won them by 35 points against John Kerry four years earlier. And in some swing states, such as Ohio, the "Obama coalition" ultimately included the white working class.

Yes, many of those voters raced back into the Republican column in 2010, when the GOP ran up a 30-point edge in midterm congressional races, and for much of 2011, Democrats talked about a strategy to keep the White House without winning Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, key swing states he took in 2008. But I'm not sure why we'd conclude that those voters' problem was mainly racial, or that they had run back to the GOP for good. Had they shaken off their racism in 2008, only to have it return like a stubborn virus in 2010? 

Did the president become more black? What if their reaction derived from frustration with Democratic leaders who hadn't pursued an economic turnaround agenda aggressively enough, at a time when unemployment stood at more than 10 percent—and almost 15 percent for whites without a college degree?
The GOP's new dog-whistle politics, trashing white people in coded language once reserved for blacks, opens new opportunities for Democrats—if they can help those white people translate the new GOP rhetoric. In a 2012 debate, then-front-runner Rick Santorum approvingly quoted from Charles Murray's Coming Apart, hoping his listeners wouldn't know that this time Murray was scolding white people. After Georgetown University student Sandra Fluke supported President Obama's insurance regulations mandating cost-free contraception, conservatives began trashing the young white law student as a "welfare queen" wanting birth control on the taxpayers' dime.

But "dependent voters" aren't just a problem to the GOP because they eat up our tax dollars. "Republican supporters will continue to decrease every year as more Americans become dependent on the government," Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint wrote in his shrill 2012 book Now or Never. "Dependent voters will naturally elect even big-government progressives who will continue to smother economic growth and spend America deeper into debt. The 2012 election may be the last opportunity for Republicans." Wisconsin conservative representative Paul Ryan, he of the "Ryan Plan" to abolish Medicare, divides the electorate into "makers" and "takers."

Continue reading at:  http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/11204-paul-ryan-and-the-gops-new-dog-whistle-politics

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Newsroom - Tea Party is the American Taliban


GOP Platform: Abortion Ban Approved By Republicans In Tampa


By Philip Elliot and Alan Fram
08/28/12

TAMPA, Fla. -- Republicans emphatically approved a toughly worded party platform at their national convention Tuesday that would ban all abortions and gay marriages, reshape Medicare into a voucher-like program and cut taxes to energize the economy and create jobs.

The document opens by warning that while the American Dream has long been of equal opportunity for everyone, "Today that American Dream is at risk." It pledges that the GOP will "begin anew, with profound changes in the way government operates; the way it budgets, taxes and regulates."

Both parties routinely approve platforms at their conventions every four years, meant to encapsulate their principles and goals. Much of their details are customarily ignored when it comes to actually governing.

Even so, a poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found more people interested in the GOP platform than in the upcoming acceptance speeches by presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan. The survey found that 52 percent said they were interested in learning about the Republican platform, compared to 44 percent interested in Romney's speech and 46 percent interested in Ryan's.

Continue reading at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/28/platform-abortion_n_1837571.html

The 99% Take on the Republican National Convention


Despite mixed feelings about Obama, protesters fight Mitt Romney, the 'King of the 1%'

By Arun Gupta
August 28, 2012

Politics is an elaborate chess match, and in St, Petersburg one small strike was staged against the Republican National convention on Aug. 26 that revealed the thrust of President Obama’s 2012 re-election strategy.
As panicky Republicans cancelled the first day of the convention on Monday because of Tropical Storm Isaac, the focus on Sunday was the “RNC Welcome Event” at Tropicana Field. These days no major convention event is complete without a counter-protest, and in downtown St. Petersburg nearly 500 people gathered Sunday to march to the sports stadium and voice their displeasure at what they derided as “the world’s largest  cocktail party .”

Given the spitting rain and gusts, the turnout was better than expected. And given the months of  police and press hype that a mob of mayhem-wreaking anarchists would crash the RNC, the protest rally around Mirror Lake seemed more like a festive Sunday in the park.

A couple of hundred people milled about as Dave Rovics belted out crowd pleasers like “ I’m a Better Anarchist than You .” A handful of buses pulled up and disgorged more protesters who came from far away as Miami, New York city and Wisconsin. The rally and protest was organized by the  Florida Consumer Action Network , a local grassroots organization focused on public policy issues.

Few anarchists were in evidence, apart from a scrum of fidgety black-clad youth who melted into the rally after drawing stares. It felt like an Occupy-related event with a giant puppet of Romney tagged with a “King of the 1%,” and chants of “We are the 99%.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/99-take-republican-national-convention

Your Boss Can Tell You To Campaign for Todd Akin - or You're Fired!


Newt Gingrich at the RNC: The wealthy are more ‘noble’

"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." Denis Diderot


By Megan Carpentier
Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) might not have the role he initially wanted at the Republican National Convention — that of nominee — but he’s nonetheless using his time wisely. With the help of the RNC, he’s launching Newt U, an apparently ongoing effort in partnership with the Washington Post Company’s for-profit education arm, Kaplan. At the end of the second session of Newt U on August 28, 2012, he explained more about the thinking behind the his and Kaplan’s efforts.

“There are three key intellectual arguments that we have to get much better at making, and this is part of the reason that we are creating the whole concept of a Newt University and developing our site at newtuniversity.com, because we think these kind of arguments our own activists, our own volunteers, and next generation need, because the schools are so far to the left we have to create online capability to sort of counter the false information, the false ideologies,” he told the crowd.

Among the “false information” and “false ideologies” Newt U intends to arm its students to counter is the supposed idea that public service is noble and the personal acquisition of money is not.

“We need to reassert,” he said, “the nobility of creating jobs and wealth.” Though it was Gingrich whose supporters, during the primary campaign, released a long-form ad attacking current nominee Mitt Romney’s (R-MA) method of wealth creation later defended by Gingrich, he told today’s crowd: “If you listen to people like Obama, there’s this contempt that sort of says you know, ‘If you go into public service and you end up as a good bureaucrat, that’s really noble,’ but if you’re to take the same skill level and go out here and just create wealth, it’s ‘That’s really not noble, that’s somehow beneath us.’”

Continue reading at:  http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/08/28/newt-gingrich-at-the-rnc-the-wealthy-are-more-noble/

The Natural Use of a Woman? Making Babies for God's Army No Matter the Risk


by Vyckie Garrison, No Longer Qivering
August 28, 2012

During a recent interview on the Today Show, Jim Bob Duggar blurted out, "It's fun trying!" when asked if he and Michelle were actively seeking to have another baby.  Today's host, Savannah Guthrie responded to the mega-dad's salacious remark with, "Jim Bob - you sly dog!"

Viewers may have come away with the impression that TLC's "19 & Counting" celebrity parents, Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar hold very casual, perhaps even avant-garde attitudes regarding sex and sexuality.

But a quick look beneath the surface reveals that America's most celebrated Quiverfull couple believe and espouse decidedly unhealthy ideas when it comes to sex and babymaking.

Although Jim Bob makes frequent displays of romantic affection toward his prolific wife, Michelle, which would suggest that the couple might enjoy sex for non-procreative purposes, the "biblical family values" advocates-- whose "literal" interpretations of scripture inspire the Duggars to receive each and every pregnancy as an unmitigated blessing from God--also teach that the primary purpose of woman is to conceive and bear sons, i.e., "arrows" for God's army.

Consider Romans 1:27: "And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."

Quiverfull movement leader, Mary Pride, in her seminal book, The Way Home: Beyond Feminism and Back to Reality, offers the following interpretation of "the natural use of the woman" ...

Continue reading at:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2012/08/27/natural-use-woman-jim-bob-duggar-says-its-fun-trying-baby-20

To Republicans, women are simply the sum of their parts

The GOP's adoption of an anti-abortion platform is further indication of a party that has no clue about reproductive life


guardian.co.uk, Thursday 23 August 2012

There's no doubt that Todd Akin's stunningly misguided understanding of female anatomy, as seen in his claim that raped women can't get pregnant, represented yet another instance of the Republican party's estrangement from science. But the GOP's refusal to grapple with facts goes beyond biology: there's some very basic mathematics that they appear ignorant of as well.

The polling showing just how unpopular the party's official anti-abortion position (adopted by the platform committee this week and identical to the policy that Akin tried to use junk science to support) is as follows: just 20% of Americans believe abortion should be "illegal in all circumstances", compared to 25% who say that it should "always be legal" and the vast majority – 52% – who say that it should be "legal only under certain circumstances".

You can make the party's official position compatible with the more moderate view of the actual Republican candidates only with a kind of magical thinking. This was well put by the party chairman Reince Priebus earlier this week: "This is the platform of the Republican party. It's not the platform of Mitt Romney." Ta da! Pay no attention to the men behind the curtain. Hey, look: there's Ann!

Ann Romney and 14 other women will speak at the Republican national convention (where the platform will be officially adopted) – almost half of the full list of those invited to address the gathering. But those women dress a campaign stage on which actual female elected officials are outnumbered by men about 10 to one, a gender gap that probably doesn't alarm Republican political operatives so much as the equally stark gap that exists in the polls.

Continue reading at:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/23/republicans-women-simply-sum-parts

Paul Ryan’s Social Extremism

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/opinion/paul-ryans-social-extremism.html

Editorial
August 26, 2012


Mitt Romney, who will be officially nominated this week as the Republican nominee for president, appears to trim his social convictions to the party’s prevailing winds. There is no doubt, however, about where the party’s vice-presidential candidate stands. A long history of social extremism makes Paul Ryan an emblem of the Republican tack to the far right. 

Mr. Romney’s choice of Mr. Ryan carried some risks, considering Mr. Ryan’s advocacy of overhauling Medicare, but it has sent the strongest signal of solidarity to those who have made the party unrecognizable to moderates. Strident conservatives had been uneasy with Mr. Romney, but it is the rest of the country that should be nervous about conservatives’ now-enthusiastic acceptance of the Republican ticket. 

Mr. Ryan is best known as the face of Republican budget-cutting, though his ideology runs much deeper. For years, he has been a reliable vote against workplace equity for women, opposing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for women to file wage-discrimination lawsuits, and two similar measures.

The full outpouring of hard-right enthusiasm is based, to a large degree, on Mr. Ryan’s sweeping opposition to abortion rights. He has long wanted to ban access to abortion even in the case of rape, the ideology espoused in this year’s Republican platform. (Mr. Romney favors a rape exception.) Mr. Ryan also co-sponsored, along with Representative Todd Akin of Missouri, a bill that would have narrowed the definition of rape to reduce the number of poor women who can get an abortion through Medicaid. 

Continue reading a: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/27/opinion/paul-ryans-social-extremism.html

Why won't God make hurricanes disappear?


More Maine parents skipping their kids’ vaccinations as whooping cough spreads


By Jackie Farwell, BDN Staff
Posted Aug. 24, 2012

New federal data show more Maine parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children, a trend that worries health providers as an outbreak of whooping cough continues to worsen and students prepare to go back to school.

Vaccines are crucial to sparing both children and adults from whooping cough and other dangerous and preventable diseases, said Dr. Michael Ross of Husson Pediatrics in Bangor.

“Lack of their use leads to outbreaks like this,” he said.

Maine has recorded 411 cases of whooping cough this year, nearly five times the number of cases reported at this time in 2011. Most cases of the highly contagious disease have struck children ages 7-19. Within that group, two out of every 1,000 children ages 7-10 have been diagnosed with whooping cough in Maine this year.

The outbreak ranks Maine among the top 10 states in the nation for the incidence of whooping cough, or pertussis, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Whooping cough, which can spread through the coughing and sneezing of an infected person, has touched every county in the state. Cumberland, Somerset, Penobscot and Androscoggin counties have been hit the hardest.

The rise in Maine mirrors a nationwide trend. Washington state has declared an epidemic of whooping cough with more than 3,500 cases this year. The disease has been blamed for 13 deaths in the United States in 2012, mostly among infants under 3 months old.

Continue reading at:  http://bangordailynews.com/2012/08/24/health/more-maine-parents-skipping-their-kids-vaccinations-as-whooping-cough-spreads/