Apr 082014

I’m writing for tomorrow and missing sleep because they are upgrading my building’s main entrance directly below my window.  The racket is horrid.  I guess this will be going on for about three weeks, but when they’re done, there will be much better disabled access, a plus for me.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:00 (average 4:40).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A riveting scene unfolded in Congress today as a tearful Speaker John Boehner took to the floor of the House to tell his colleagues, “I don’t want to live in a world where seven million people get affordable health care.”

Tears streaming down his cheeks, Rep. Boehner appeared unable to maintain his composure as he delivered a speech interrupted by blubbering and sharp intakes of breath.

“What kind of a world is it where anyone can go on the Internet and get health care they can afford?” he said. “Not a world I’d care to live in, or leave to my children.”

In his satire, Andy has captured the Republican dream, a world where the labor of the people goes to fulfill the whims of the 1%, not to meet people’s needs.

From Daily Kos: Nixon’s Southern Strategy.

The Southern Strategy is a strategy for gaining political power by exploiting the greatest number of ethnic prejudices. Kevin Philips, Republican and Nixon campaign strategist, speaking about this strategy in a 1970 interview with the New York Times:

From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

This strategy has been used since President Johnson and Democrats in Congress passed the Civil Rights Act to build the Republican party.

Examples of this strategy were evident as recently as 2008 and 2012 as Republicans took up their assault on Medicaid, Social Security, labor unions, and Obamacare – programs which, though they benefit more white seniors, retirees, women, and children, have been sold to many Americans as handouts to lazy, undeserving blacks and minorities.

Yet you never hear the "liberal media" (at least since the 1970 NY Times) talking about the use of this strategy. At least not like this:

"P (President) emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to." – H.R. Haldeman’s diary, President Richard Nixon’s White House Chief of Staff

This is just one of 15 things everyone would know, if there were a liberal media. Click through for the other 14.

From NY Times: The Senate is expected to easily approve legislation Monday restoring unemployment benefits to nearly three million people, throwing the bill to a divided House where Republicans favor starkly different approaches to the issue.

Six Senate Republicans joined all 55 Democrats last week to end debate on legislation that retroactively restores benefits cut off Dec. 28 and extends them through June 1, clearing the way for passage Monday.

Seven House Republicans from high-unemployment regions or swing districts plan to send the House speaker, John A. Boehner of Ohio, a letter coinciding with Senate passage to urge him to take up the Senate bill or a similar measure.

Other House Republicans are pressing to attach to the Senate bill what they call job-creation measures: building the transcontinental Keystone XL pipeline; consolidating job training programs; or raising employer-mandated health care coverage to employees who work 40 hours a week, rather than 30, as written in President Obama’s health care law.

But many House Republicans oppose passing the unemployment benefits under any circumstances, arguing that such “emergency” benefits are no longer needed nearly six years after they were first extended at the outset of the recession.

First group of Republicans are ones in didtricts that are noy Gerrymandered to the hilt. They fear for their jobs now, but they will join the second and third group as soon as the elections are over. Under no circumstances should Democrats cave-in to the Republican sedition of the second group.




  15 Responses to “Open Thread–4/8/2014”

  1. You foresaw Andy's article didn't you TC!  The Daily Kos article is exceedingly good – if we HAD a liberal media they would have asked those questions – the Reich Wing have been doing the old 'holler and shout' about libruls being everywhere and got the daft 'apworths in charge believing them!  Oh for people of intelligence and conscience and compassion to be in charge!

    New Yorker – how did the GOP get away with all that gerrymandering – were the Democrats in those districts asleep?  Have they woken up yet and are they determined to right wrongs?  I do hope so!  To treat the unemployed so vilely is unconscionable and also stupid – and I hope the GOP voting like that get kicked out at the next election and become unemployed themselves!


  2. New Yorker: "“I don’t like to get so emotional,” he (John Boehner) said. “But when seven million people signed up for Obamacare, a part of me died.”" That's ok, John… We'll let you go… sniff, sniff…

  3. 4:04 This flower's for you, TC. It's official. You do much better on the puzzles when you're tired than when you're well rested. I can't beat you when you need sleep.

  4. New Yorker ~ Poor Agent Orange should just give up the ghost. We won't miss you when you're gone, Johnny.

    Daily Kos ~ I launch into hysterical laughter every time I hear someone use the phrase "liberal media". Where on earth is it?

    NY Times ~ They just don't care! The Senate RepublicanTs who jumped ship and voted to extend benefits feared for their seats in the next election. Otherwise they woudn't have voted for the extension. There aren't enough in the House in fear for their seats to do the right thing for their constituency. Demoocrats cannot cave in to their demands. This is their newest hostage. Don't negotiate with these terrorists!

    Cartooon ~ Oh brother! Not another amendment they don't like.

  5. Has anyone read this interesting little tidbit from the past? Mayhaps Chickenhawk Cheney will have to answer for his crimes???


    • Seeing Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld shackled and dragged to Den Hague for an official War Crimes appearance is a dream of mine.

      (And I don't think this advanced Rand Paul's hope of being the GOP nominee.  Maybe he'll run as a third-party candidate.)

  6. Time 3:13 –

    Thanks goodness for Andy Borowitz, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and the other voices of sanity.  We do not have Mark Twain or Will Rogers but these guys walk tall in their shadow.   They each have a method for turning a mess into humor and with that humor often a light bulb effect.

    It is interesting that the "southern strategy" is not talked about much anymore.  It is as real today as ever but expanded to be the southern strategy of poor whites, and all people of color most particularly using language about inner city people.  By overwhelming numbers the poorest are not people of color but white women and children.  Who needs SNAP?  Mostly children and the elderly.  All people living at or near the poverty line need to learn about these tactics.  One thing Americans love to hate is the poor.

    LBJ once said: "If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him someone to look down on and he'll empty his pockets for you." –Lyndon Johnson

    Lyin Ryan is using exactly that tactic when he says that SOME of THEM just lie around on the sofa watching TV and collecting benefits.  He knows it's a lie, informed people know it's a lie, but once those things are out there the right wing blogosphere is clogged with writers talking about those lazy, worthless people and so for those who chose ignorance, it becomes a twisted truth.

    It is note worthy that the passage of the restoration of unemployment benefits comes quickly on the heels when the republicans are spending most of their time at home and campaigning.  

    Bill Maher on his show is playing a game called "Flip a District" and all one needs do is send in the name of the useless Representative from their district and the most votes will become a focus.  Right now only a few have made it to the board.  One who said, "unless Bill Maher has a lot of money he is no threat to me…." (paraphrased) Though even with this attitude of having a shoe-in for the district these folks are not laughing or turning this gambit to their advantage. They are fighting mad.  The brighter ones, those who have a sense of humor could turn this to an advantage, but they will not.  

    In what is a major victory for the president, House Republicans will vote on three bills next week that correct small issues and unintended consequences in the ACA.

    Politico (via Slate) has the details:

        "t leaders of both parties do not expect any heated debate.House Republican leaders are planning to bring up three changes to Obamacare next week — but unlike dozens of prior bills, these are more minor measures that are not expected to be controversial. All three bills essentially fix drafting errors, perceived oversights or unintended consequences in the president’s Affordable Care Act. They have bipartisan support and are scheduled to be considered under a suspension of the rules, which limits debate and requires support from two-thirds of House members — a signal that leaders of both parties do not expect any heated debate.    They hold some political significance, however, because they allow Republicans to push back against the Democrats’ talking point that the GOP is only interested in holding votes to pick at Obamacare’s flaws. They also represent the reality that Obamacare is now fully implemented — and not fixing errors could be more damaging to opponents than being perceived as trying to make Obamacare work better."

    What makes this news all the juicier is that Boehner and company introduced these bills last Friday while conservatives were distracted by CPAC. The right wingers were screaming about repeal from across the river the Republican leadership was submitting legislation that improves the law. On at least fifty previous occasions, Republicans tried to pass off attempts to repeal the law as improvements. In this case, Republicans are actually doing their jobs.

    The answer to why the House Republicans are trying to improve the ACA can be found the polling. The popularity of repeal has sunk to a record low. The vast majority of Americans say that they want to keep and improve the law.

    [….] It’s all but over. These small pieces of legislation mark a major shift, and a big win for President Obama.


    Thanks for this, TC I still can not beat your record on the puzzle.  I hope for your sake the building improvements move along quickly.

  7. 5:23  Well, I didn't quite drown trying to reach it.

    New Yorker – The only thing missing is a little reference to his intention to keep trying to sabotage it.  Just because 7 million signed up for it, he and his cronies won't stop wasting our money voting to repeal it.  While you were in the artocle, did you see the cover picture?

    Daily Kos – The whole article is very revealing, and I bookmarked it.  The only thing that surprised me about the Southern Strategy part, however, is the implication that the NYT actually printed that quote in 1970.  They certainly wouldn't print it now!  I also note that all 15 things are FACTS.  A Liberal Media wouldn;t have to spread falsehoods, fantasies, and conspiracy theories.  Reality has a liberal bias.

    NY Times – Gerrymandering – Every 10 years there is a census.  After the census, the Census Bureau resulta are applied to to the national population.  Some states gain one or more House seats, some states lose.  These states MUST reapportion their Congressional Districts.  But I think that even states that keep the same number of House seats are required to look at the state population and reapportion if necessary, unless of course they only have one House seat in the state.  Every state has its own procesudes for doing this.  Democrats are WAY behind on monitoring this process.  Some states have processes in place that favor Republicans.  In other states the Governor gets to appoint a committee to reapportion.  If the Governor is Republican, only a court challenge will give the state an apportionment approaching sanity.  We are paying so much attention to issues and emergencies that we have not invested much effort on apportionment.  We need to do so, and we need to do so starting as early as 2016, since Governors elected in 2018 will be in place to affect the next apportionment.  Yes, Pat A, I guess you could say Democrats were asleep.

    Cartoon – I think the last Amendment they liked was the 18th.

    Miscellaneous – Has everyone seen this?  http://www.peaceteam.net/action/pnum1171.php  And this? http://www.peaceteam.net/share.php  This may get some attention if enough of us do it:
    http://act.credoaction.com/letter/fed_cans/?akid=10353.2616308.Tl3cYC&rd=1&t=1  Then there's this: http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/04/02/oregon-mother-kills-her-4-year-old-son-because-she-thought-he-was-gay?roi=echo3-19859044671-18957244-f0baeec99adba15d9e94bea08567065c&cmpid=tpdaily-eml-2014-04-07  Finally, 2 videos, one of Elizabeth Warren in Minnesota and one of an add even more feel-good than graham crackers:

    (Yeah, I've been saving up)

  8. I hope they get done with the remodeling sooner.  We live in a small subdivision where most of the residents are young and still working.  I hate week ends because they are all home making racket.  Can;t take a nap on Saturday anymore.

    The New Yorker:  Andy seems to know the speaker well.  I am sure it is killing him that so many have access to health care who are not wealthy.

    Daily Kos:  I read the whole article and shared it on Facebook.  We have only media that is controlled by corporations who determine what we will hear and read.  My son works for a newspaper company that owns 28 papers. He was quickly disillusioned about what he could and could not print if he wanted to keep his job.

    NY Times:  I could chew nails reading about the Republicans response to extending unemployment benefits.  The workers who need this money are only out of work because of 8 years of Republican government under Bush and nearly six years of Republican obstructionism under Obama.  I wish for each of them to be unemployed, bankrupt, and destitute, maybe then they could see why we need these umbrellas of protection.

  9. Puzzle — 3:21 Never was there a rose as sweet as a water lily!

    The New Yorker — Love Andy!  It is about time that the Weeper of the House and his whole cadre, stepped aside, aka retirement or unemployment, so that the people could have their needs met.  Enough of this 1% bullshit!

    Daily Kos — I just laugh at the thought that there is a liberal bias in the media.  How can there be a liberal bias when the likes of right wing media like Faux Noise are screaming hard and loud.  They are like weed killer chocking off the liberal point of view as being fantasy.  Further they treat their media role as entertainment because let's not forget, the right sees the people as unintelligent sheeple.  Great article.

    NY Times —

    "… such "emergency" benefits are no longer needed…" as posited by some Republicanus/Teabaggers.  They probably would not be needed had the Republicanus/Teabaggers in Congress not obstructed jobs bills, infrastructure spending etc ad nauseam.  But they did and the political infighting and obstruction is not helping the recovery and working against the every person.  Republicanus/Teabaggers need to be put in their places, THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE!

    Cartoon — Oh wouldn't the Republicanus/Teabaggers just love to repeal this.  With so many states being Republicanus/Teabagger, the state legislatures would then "elect" the senators and there would be a definite shift in the Senate to Republicanus/Teabagger rule.  That move would definitely screw the people!

  10. Thanks all.  Did taxes.  I'm pooped.

  11. 4:48 – Puzzle – It simply amazes me the lengths that Republicans will go to deny Health Care to American Citizens… 🙄

  12. […] Open Thread–4/8/2014. […]

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.