It’s funny in a dark ironic way to hear conservatives talk about freedom and capitalism. They think corporations should have the right to organize and send an army of lobbyists to Washington to literally write legislation which benefits them. They do not think workers should have the right to organize to protect themselves against an employers abuse of power. In other words conservatives think the plantation model is the best form of capitalism for America. One that benefits the wealthiest and most powerful and protects the wealth and powerful from the demands of the peons who make their wealth for them. Let’s say you’re a Captain of Industry – a regular John Galt – who opens up a shipyard to make the fastest most technologically advanced freight ships the world has ever known. Galt is free to do that and over the course of his lifetime he might actually get one ship built. If he wants to be wealthy and make lots of ships he is going to need workers. All the wealth he accumulates is thus partly do to his enterprising idea, but that idea would have been nothing more than day dreams without labor. In America we call people like Galt Captains of Industry. We profile them in magazines. Interview them on TV. Write books about them. Yet they stand on the shoulders of the men and women whose labor was an essential ingredient to their success. Certainly people with ideas and initiative should reap rewards from same, but why do conservatives venerate these people and not the very essential workers who make not just Galt’s wealth possible, but because of the interconnected nature of a modern economy, everyone’s wealth possible. Why do conservatives refer to America’s workers as thugs or as lazy. Conservatives seem constitutionally unable to talk about labor without calling them thugs. The occasional incident where a union member get in a scuffle with someone – there those thugs go again. Why is it those scuffles are proof of endemic thuggery but 300,000 farm workers made sick by pesticides is not thuggery. America’s history is filled with incident after incident where the Galts were safe in their nice offices when workers were killed because of unsafe working conditions. Corporations belong to manufacturing and other business associations whose aim is to promote their interests. Workers are frequently threatened with the loss of their job if they even talk to a union. In the conservative dust trap – or mind – business is always the pure angel and the worker always the lazy thug. Businesses want to discriminate based on gender – hey that’s not thuggery – that is the utopia known as the conservative plantation model for capitalism. Bosses have rights, employees have the rights bosses feel like giving them. Can you smell the freedom and liberty. Senate Republicans Vote Unanimously Against Bill To Help Guarantee Fair Pay For Women
Today, Senate Republicans voted unanimously against legislation to close the pay gap between women and men. The Senate voted 58-41 against allowing debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help end discriminatory pay practices against women. It had already passed the House.
More than 45 years after passage of the Equal Pay Act, the pay gap shockingly persists with women still earning on average 77 cents to every man’s dollar. According to the National Women’s Law Center, “This persistent pay gap translates to more than $10,000 in lost wages per year for the average female worker.” The gap is even worse for women of color: African-American women earn 61 cents and Latinas earn 52 cents for every dollar a white non-Hispanic man earns.
Republicans thugs just committed a grievous act against the average American to preserve the vaulted rights of corporate America to run their plantations the way they want. In a free and open democracy the rights of people who just do an honest day’s work for a living should count as much as the rights of the plutocracy.
Glenn Beck has cited recent, short-term increases in commodities prices to fearmonger over rising inflation — an explanation that economists tell Media Matters is “nonsense” because of the extreme volatility of such prices.
Yesterday, Beck opened his Fox News show by claiming that “this morning, I read a report out of China. Walmart, Gap and JC Penney are now worried about, quote, ‘terrifying’ rise on cotton prices that could skyrocket your clothing prices by as much as 30 percent by spring. That’s inflation — radical inflation.”
Beck has also cited the National Inflation Association’s estimates of massive increases in food prices in the near future, which the group based on rising commodity prices and attributed to the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy.
But according to Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman, these claims don’t add up.
“Commodity prices are very variable — they soared in 2007-8, probably in large part because of Chinese demand, plunged in 2008-9, thanks to a global slump, and have now recovered most but not all the losses,” said Krugman. “They really tell you nothing about underlying inflation, which has been steadily declining.”
This is the kind of dry economic stuff most people don’t pay attention to. It gets an enormous amount of traction with the right. Not because the millionaires like Beck, Sarah Palin or the Koch brothers will be affected, but because the low information voters that hang on every word Beck grunts would he hit pretty hard.
Soon enough, other posters show up to marvel at the train wreck (“Hahahaha goodness! This is madness!” writes someone called Raven). Willow starts to sound like someone who feels cornered. She lobs a bomb at the whole crowd: “Sorry that all you guys are jealous of my families success and you guys aren’t goin to go anywhere with your lives.” This backfires with everyone except Imran. “Ima be a dentist ” he writes. “kinda wanted to be a politician. But after all this I just don’t know.”
High school hasn’t changed much since my day. Once the insults start flying no one is going to let the opposition have the last word. Both young women, hopefully, will outgrow their quick resorts to being crude as an answer to critics. What is more disturbing to me is the false sense of accomplishment. Their parents were thrown into the spot light and have exploited that to make millions. Their family’s sudden fortune was by way of real accomplishment and hard work? The girls themselves are enjoying the windfall of their parent’s marketing themselves as hybrid politicelebs. They seem well on their way to living in the legendary bubble of conservative fortune. Good things happen to them because they are some how special and deserving compared to the ordinary folks. There is no sense of humility, of the acknowledgment of luck and of being grateful for their good fortune. Partly the girls fault – they are in their teens thus old enough to have some grasp of the concept of humility – though it is mostly their parents fault. Sarah’s thin skin and proclivity for vindictiveness is now legendary. It seems to be rubbing off on her children.
Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta certainly earned the Medal of Honor bestowed upon him Tuesday, said the American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer. But continuing to award the medal to people who save American lives instead of to those who kill the enemy has “feminized” the medal, Fischer contends.
Giunta, 25, of Hiawatha, rushed into enemy fire to aid fellow soldiers during a harrowing battle in Afghanistan in 2007. When his platoon was ambushed, Giunta pulled a wounded soldier to safety, and in the process was struck by two bullets himself. He recovered to help mount a counterattack, eventually reaching another injured soldier. Giunta continued pressing ahead in search of Sgt. Joshua C. Brennan, the third wounded soldier and one of Giunta’s best friends. When he found two insurgents attempting to carry away Brennan, he opened fire, killing one and wounding the other.
Brennan eventually died despite Giunta’s efforts.
For his courageous actions, President Barack Obama awarded him the medal, the first to a living soldier since the Vietnam War.
“When we think of heroism in battle, we used the think of our boys storming the beaches of Normandy under withering fire, climbing the cliffs of Pointe do Hoc while enemy soldiers fired straight down on them, and tossing grenades into pill boxes to take out gun emplacements,” Fischer wrote on his blog Tuesday. “That kind of heroism has apparently become passe when it comes to awarding the Medal of Honor. We now award it only for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them.”
So strange. Where to begin. Saving lives is something women do, real men kill? Anything life affirming is feminine and not of much value, men need to get back to maiming and killing to reaffirm their manhood? Soldiers who save lives are wimps who are not doing their jobs? Needless to say Preacher Fischer has never served in the military much less on a battlefield. A commenter at the link shares some stories about Iraq and Afghanistan the preacher should read.
Detainee Acquitted on Most Counts in ’98 Bombings. To which Hugh Hewitt – who for some mysterious reasons has a radio show and is published in newspapers for the acuity of his insights, writes, President Obama, Eric Holder and 5 Members of the United States Supreme Court: What Will You Say Now To Families of the Victims of the Embassy Bombings?
Today’s travesty of justice can be laid at the feet of President Obama, Attorney General Holder and the five justices who have systematically destroyed every attempt by the Congress and President Bush to create a coherent system of military tribunals for terrorists.
224 innocents were killed by this terrorist, including 12 Americans. They will never receive justice because of the absurd legal theories of a small group of justices and the refusal of Barack Obama and Eric Holder to demand of their left-wing colleagues in the Congress a continued insistence on military tribunals.
The defendant, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani was captured in 2004. That was plenty of time for Bush and a right-wing administration who thought they had unlimited powers during war time to have any kind of tribunal they wanted, but never got around to it. Ghailani was tortured so that tends to taint any evidence. No one to blame for that except conservatives like Hewitt and Bush. The conservative lack of accountability at work. Their screw ups are always someone else’s fault. Technically Ghailani will be serving twenty to life, but for all practical purposes just say life. So Hewitt is just whining while he wets his adult diaper. The practical results are the same – Ghailani rotting in prison until he dies. What if Bush had tried Ghailani in a military tribunal? The rules concerning evidence received under torture would have been the same, The Ghailani verdict and American justice
Then there is the false premise — found at the center of every attack on the Obama DOJ’s conduct here — that the key witness would not have been excluded had Ghailani had been put before a military commission at Guantanamo. That is simply untrue. The current rules governing those military tribunals bar the use of torture-obtained evidence to roughly the same extent as real courts do. Anyone who doubts that should simply read Rule 304(a)(1) and (5) of the Military Commissions Manual, found on page 205 of the document:
[304(a)(1)] No statement, obtained by the use of torture, or by cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. . . . whether or not under color of law, shall be admissible in a trial by military commission . . . .
[304(a)(5)] Evidence derived from a statement that would be excluded under section (a)(1) of this rule may not be received in evidence against an accused who made the statement if the accused makes a timely motion to suppress or an objection . . . .
The only exceptions to those exclusionary rules are essentially identical to those used in the judicial system, which were applied by Judge Kaplan but found to be inapplicable (“the evidence would have been obtained even if the statement had not been made; or  use of such evidence would otherwise be consistent with the interests of justice”). As The New York Times’ Charlie Savage pointed out this morning, “Judge Kaplan strongly suggested in a footnote that a military commission judge would have excluded that testimony, too, pointing to restrictions against the use of evidence obtained by torture in military trials.” Savage went on to note: “still, arguments over the factual details of the case were overshadowed by the political dynamics of the verdict” — meaning that nobody is going to let the facts get in the way of a nice right-wing, fear-mongering, liberty-attacking orgy.
Everyone should know by now conservatives think terrorists are super human. Unless an officially sanctioned wing-nut shoots a terrorist with a silver bullet, drives a stake through their heart and mumbles some incantation then we’re all going to be forced to wear burqas.