Sunday, February 12, 2012

Nat Turner is No More--use this as an archive of your favorites

Please check the new tablet of my thoughts on Tumblr at The Posthumous Journal of Dangerfield Newby.

Who's Dangerfield Newby? Look it up; here's a hint--Harpers Ferry. Rebel. Martyr. Allegory for love and sacrifice...and a pinhole that became a crack that became a fissure that broke apart a monolith no one thought would fall.

See you there.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Why Sarah Blows [people other than her husband] Part I

The latest piece of idiocy, as chronicled by Mother Jones here.

And yet we should be afraid, not laugh or shrug. Really? Let's juxtapose to another context: elaborate election tours and dog & pony shows for brainless fans, not taken seriously by conservative establishment & big business [but strives for being coopted/used], appeals to and misuses jingoist glory and mythology, creates a personal mythology, surrounded by cult-like believers, plays on reptilian brain fears and yearnings of aimless folks...if I were a 90 year old German Jew living in the US, I'd be having post traumatic flashbacks about now...

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mitt Romney phoney "Misery Index" Attack on Barack Obama shows he's part of the Misery

This week, singer John Legend repeated his aim to donate his Bush Tax Cut millionaire's windfall to help offset cuts in the arts, and help Americans--especially African Americans--who are unemployed and facing eviction or foreclosure. Contrast this with this week’s other news: former Massachusetts governor and possible 2012 presidential aspirant Mitt Romney penned an op-ed in The Boston Herald purporting to offer a blueprint for "more jobs."

Governor Romney titled this piece “Obama Misery Index Hits All-time High” -- as if it were a real piece of objective reporting. Trouble is, the op-ed, its title and its economic blueprint, are all smoke. The “Obama Misery Index” is a fairy tale, invented by, well, Mitt Romney. Meanwhile, real people are suffering.

The smoke does carries the piquant taste of Mitt Romney’s wealth-enhancing plan. That is, continued wealth for commercial and investment bankers, hedge fund managers, greedy CEOs seeking any finance vehicle to give them a short term jump, former derivatives pushers and their trickle-down lenders. In other words, the folks who brought us the misery in the first place appear to be Romney's true constituents. No smoke there.
Concomitantly, fables like a “Misery Index” cloak such reality from average Americans, including the “Joe the Plumber” types who abandoned Romney in 2008 when he sought the Republican nomination against John McCain and who flock now to Tea Party activism (financed by the not-so-populist Koch Brothers).

Perhaps the only truth Romney engages in the op-ed is that the President “outsourced” the spadework of job-creating economic policy to former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D. Nevada) and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D. Ca.). Laying anything at Congress's doorstep invites pork and pandering, not policy. And indeed, I have long considered Barack Obama, like Jimmy Carter (target of the original “misery index” label in 1980, pinned by Ronald Reagan) a technocrat, a Spock, a wonk.

Yet from there, Mitt Romney’s "truth" becomes vapor.

Reduce ruinously high taxes on "employers," he says. Maybe with lower taxes, less regulation, jobs will return, even from overseas outsourcing? First, all, according to sources like the World Bank-IMF, the Tax Policy Center, Organization of Economic Cooperation & Development and our own Federal Reserve and U.S. Department of Commerce, American employers pay some the lowest, not highest payroll taxes (unemployment insurance, social security-related, etc.) in the industrialized world, and indeed nations with both higher payroll taxes on employers and taxes wealthy citizens now have:

· Higher living standards

· Lower consumer debt, lower crime, lower teen pregnancy and out of wedlock births, lower infant mortality, lower income inequality between among the rich, poor and middle class, lower healthcare costs, lower excessive CEO compensation

· Higher personal investment rates, home ownership rates; lower healthcare costs and income disparity—unlike the U.S. where despite the 2008-09 economic meltdown, the rich get richer the poor poorer, the middle class more burdened.

Mitt Romney doesn't discuss those ironies, of course. Nor would he bother touching this: the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that most U.S. and foreign corporations doing business in the U.S. pay almost no corporate income tax. This means that huge foreign corporations paid no federal income taxes measuring year 2005—before the Wall Street collapse— despite $372 billion in gross receipts. Most of the largest U.S. companies paid little or no federal income taxes despite $1.1 trillion in gross sales. Accordingly, when Mitt Romney claims that outsourcing jobs is a response to Obama’s “big government” and taxes on the rich, he’s fooling us. Coupled with this smokescreen is the fact that long before Barack Obama took office, the U.S. been effectively mortgaged itself to China, India, Europe and nations in the middle east; foreign governments and corporations now own trillions our foreign debt and assets.

Tea Party leaders and Republicans in general are still divided over giving Mitt Romney a pass for another blueprint—the very liberal 2005 Massachusetts healthcare reform package Romney himself created...and from which Barack Obama borrowed as a model for his own plan! Now Romney attacks "Obamacare" in the op-ed as contributing to “misery?” Frankly I thought it was a lack of affordable healthcare coverage that causes misery. Accordingly, is Mitt Romney embodying irony or hypocrisy in his op-ed? As with Wall Street, it would appear that Mitt Romney may consider patriotism is a virtue until it interferes with making money. But it's not merely the millionaire’s and Wall Street welfare system-- rejected by folk like John Legend—that's disturbing. What’s also nettlesome is Mitt Romney trying to hide the real reason's why he's invented a “Misery Index.”

In case you slept through the first part of this essay, I'll make it clear: he’s part of the misery. His personal net worth was $250 million when he surrendered the GOP nomination to John McCain—including holdings in foreign export credit corporations and bank stock. Of course, in the op-ed he trumpets his private sector experience in "creating jobs." That experience accrued mainly through his association with Bain & Co., an investment and venture capital business with tax-free fund holdings in Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, and has raided and bankrupted big companies like Staples and Kay Bee Toys. Jobs, pensions, health insurance—all gone.

Back in 2008 (after the Florida Republican primary), a black conservative friend (I will have to keep the name close to the vest) lamented Mitt Romney’s crash and burn. I chuckled and said that it had nothing to do with conservatives doubting his bona fides in favor of Mike Huckabee or vacuous rock stars like Fred Thompson or Rudy Giuilani. Rather, I mused, “Romney reminds people of ‘Lumberg’ in the movie Office Space. He’s a smarmy white boss who lays you off then takes his own golden parachute to do the same at some other place.”

No number of op-eds decrying Obama’s 2009’s Stimulus package, or “Obamacare” or extolling tax cuts, cuts in social services, destroying regulating worker safety, consumer protection, regulating banks and wall Street and CEO pay, or exhorting an end to affirmative action, gun control, abortion and birth control, etc. etc. can create a true Misery Index, or dispel what I can call “The Romney Smoke.” As rich as John Legend might be, he’ll always seem more one of “us”—we average Americans demanding jobs and economic justice--than Mitt Romney.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Woodrow Wilson...and Egypt...?

The Fox/rightwing blog propaganda apparatus decries the very notions they exhault when the "aggrieved" peoples yearning to be free are proper red state whitefolks: liberty & democracy.
We love to bathe in hypocrisy--and conveniently forget, either out of ignorance or a bootstrapping law of the jungle position that we can destroy democracy in the name of self defense. When you invoke the law of the jungle, do you whine in hypocrisy when it's then used against you?

Look, you either respect the right of the people in a sovereign country or captive colonies (like 13 of them in 1775) to shake off a dictatorship, or have the balls to say only we in America dictate what democracy is. How the Egyptians get there, well, we can help them, but in the end, that's on them. You take the good with the bad.

If I had a time machine I'd have killed off every member of the Continental Congress from south of the Mason Dixon (with a few exceptions) so as not to carry that taint into 1789...and thus 1861, and 1961, and now. But that can't happen, so even if there's the taint of some wingnut mullahs as part of this movement, so what? Again, that's on the Egyptian people, and no American president, or Israeli or Congressional blowhards, have the right to manipulate this or tell them otherwise.

Another southerner who I didn't like, Woodrow Wilson, did have the good idea of a notion called national self-determination. All I expect from Obama is that he will confirm that notion. Not liberty and democracy. Nope. Just the right to deal with my own house as I see fit. Even a Tea Partier ca. 2011 can get with that, right?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Boehner's DC Voucher Boner

Regard the story in the Washington Post, describing the Speaker's (and Joe Lieberman's) bright idea to re-introduce (e.g. force, so much for getting government off your back) vouchers to DCPS. I guess Boehner's buddies can set up something called the "True Patriot Voucher School," 'cause these kids, as parents know, ain't going to St. Albans as advertised.

I had more respect for Newt Gingrich as Speaker, for Newt wasn't a hack & an ignoramus like Boehner. Vouchers are a scam. The parents of DC knew this and know it still, and all the GOP wingnuts succeed in doing with this issue is--SURPRISE--unite two bitter enemies in a common cause: the Rhee/Race to the Top/Teach for America reformers, and the teachers union apparachniks & "community activists." Not smart. But this was never about smarts...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Long form journalism is not dead

Amazing documentary from Frontline, produced by a friend of mine

Image Award actually don't make me retch

The NAACP announced it's 2010 Image Award nominees. See the full and category lists here.

Many folks have long grimaced at this aspect of the NAACP's reach and there have been some crazy choices in the past, Lord knows. Moreover, the finances & culture of the event, and influence of the plutocracy, has long been grist for commentators.

In the book biz category I can finally say (1) I'm pleased and (2) I am glad to see personal friends nominated.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Republican Heroes of yore not like the Tea Party Extremists & Corporate Puppets of today

Boehner weeps for his dad. Cantor mumbles. Palin communes with bears. One of the least diverse, least intellectually-equipped group of freshmen Congressmen invades Washington soon--to lead, create, fix? Nah, to attack and tear up. I was asking many of these folks' supporters what portraits of famous Republicans they felt these folks would hang on the walls of their new offices.

Some suggestions:

Ronald Reagan, of course. But do any one of these folks understand the man and his policies, his struggles, any more than the devil marxist kenyan muslim mythology with they find refuge regarding Obama (or climate change, or science/evolution for that matter?). Or...

Joseph McCarthy. Yikes. Ayn Rand--huh? She wasn't a Republican (or even a citizen?). Rush Limbaugh. Stands to reason. NASCAR pioneer Richard Petty. Ditto. John Wayne. Phyllis Schlafly. Strangely, no Dick Cheney, or either Bush. Thomas Jefferson. Um, no--he founded what is the Democratic Party now. Jefferson Davis. Of course. But yeah, he was a Democrat before he was a traitor. Hmmm....

Well, I decided to stop the madness, and the ignorance. A fool's errand, given this Congress. I compiled my list of Hero Republicans of Yore-- people who should be on the walls of the new Congress. Given the backgrounds of the victors, and the demographics of their supporters, I doubt they will agree. Thus they sow the seeds of their own failure, just like Newt in '97-98. it goes:

Abraham Lincoln. A no brainer; without him there is no GOP. Funny that he was even more unpopular than his illinois cohort with the darker skin, Mr. Obama. When he was elected many of the ancestors of the GOPs principal human power base decided to tear up the Constitution they crow about now (as hammered home by Roger Taney in Dred Scot), leave and declare war on the Stars and Stripes....all because some wanted to keep black folks as pets, most wanted the economic and political power slavery provided, and poorer ones, as now, needed someondy...anybody...lower than them on the totem pole. Indeed three years and thousands of dead, wounded, homeless and starving American later, Abe would have lost the election had William T. Sherman not brought great news of conquest in Georgia. What might have been? Well the nails in that coffin, so to speak, began to hammer tightly around 1948 when the Dixiecrats changed parties; by Nixon's election in 1968 the South was solidly Republican, but not the GOP Abe expressly envisioned post war.

Thomas Nast, political cartoonist. Invented the Republican Elephant (and Democratic Donkey); arch foe of urban Democratic machine politics (and sadly, by implication, ethnic white voters). Still he supported black folks rights and progressive/reform causes, including corruption within his own party, which was turning increasingly into the party of Wall Street and railroad interests.

James Garfield. 20th President of the US. Union war hero, so that takes him out of the running a lot of rednecks presently. But this man died...LITERALLY DIED...fighting the corruption of federal government workers and patronage, as well as a bloated federal budget. Half of these sots coming to Congress likely have no clue what happened to this man, and the debt, again literally, they owe him.

James G. Blaine. Senator from maine in the 1870s and 80s and US Secretary of State. He kept the GOP on a moderate, overtly pro-big business course, opposing Radical Reconstruction (was he the Evan Bayh and Blanche Lincoln of the 19th century?) and buffering liberal Republicans like Carl Schurz and Sen. Roscoe Conkling. But more so, he envisioned the US as a world power, and advocated military readiness to extend American influence not only in the rest of the Americas & the Caribbean, but also to make the Pacific an "American Lake." Blaine was also a hypocrite who tried to play both ends, and in that, he's a good role model for modern Republicans. Lost a close election to fellow Princetonian and Democrat Grover Cleveland--first Dem to win the White House since before the Civil War.

Mary Hay. Suffragette, Temperance and Prohibition leader, founding member of the League of Women Voters and one fo the first women to sit on the Republican National Committee. Getting the 19th Amendment passed for the 1920 election produced nowhere near the blood and tears spent in the quest for civil rights for African Americans, but it was still a feat no one thought possible during the time of the FOUNDING FATHERS--about whom the Tea Party bumpkins bleat. Yes, things sucked back then for women. Republican Mary Hay changed all of that. She transformed the GOP and transformed America. Of course her pushing Prohibition may have been a terrible idea, but it was the Volstead Act that helped push WOMAN POWER to the fore. She was also a Progressive, a la Republican Sen. Bob LaFollette, reformer-writer Upton Sinclair (who went from Republican to Socialist!) and fellow suffragette and Michael Moore prototype Ida Tarbell (who did to Standard Oil and the railroads what Moore wanted to do to GM, gun and tobaccomakers et al). And yep, Ida was a Republican. Imagine that. So was Margeret Sanger, who fought for reproductive rights--birth control, the right to receive and disseminate family planning information and...uh oh...abortion. She wasn't vindicated in Roe. Rather, she was vindicated in Griswold v. Connecticut. And guess who opposed his own state's position in that case? Sen. Prescott Bush--W's granddad, hater of McCarthy & friend of fellow liberal Republican Nelson Rockefeller. Yikes.

Theodore Roosevelt. Again, a no brainer. For some reason, Teddy's on Glenn Beck's shit list, as if trust busting and creating the national parks/conservation is big government and social engineerign run amok? Teddy was a Progressive too, married to political reform. He tried, half-assedly but still tried, to quell racial terrorism in the South, and held Booker T Washington as one of his close advisors. Under TR, the US legitimately became a world power, and the navy and US Marine Corps truly came into their own as the fist of that power. Then there was the Panama Canal. But again, current Republicans don't seem to give a damn. He's too East Coast. Too...Yale. And that canal: Big Gov, alright. Stimulus money...too many black workers on the payroll. But hey, Jimmy Carter gave it away. The wimp!

Edward Brooke. Senator from Massachusetts, 1967-79. Howard University grad, DC native, like yours truly. And supposedly, Barbara Walters' chocolate lover. That miscue aside, one of the sharpest minds and cagey legislators in the Senate. Was he lead on Fair Housing Act, Equal Credit Act, banking Reform, foreign aid, less restrictive trade/tariff policies. Early supporter of Nixon but then turned on Tricky Dick when he nominated racists/unqualified pols Haynesworth and Carswell to the US Supreme Court. He was the first GOP Senator to openly call for Nixon's resignation as Watergate came to a climax in '74. A statesman. Remember them--folks like Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, Everett Dirksen (another prominent Republican who jousted with JFK and LBJ, and would likely laugh at McConnell, DeMint...and snicker at Boehner and Cantor). The next time these pathological Uncle Toms & self-promoters...from Clarence Thomas to Allen West to Mike Steele and MLK's their mouths, may Ed Brooke sting their tongues. Learn from this dude, brothers & sisters. Learn.

Dwight D. Eisenhower. 34th President of the US. A moderate. Yes, a moderate. Would look at these folks today and grin a bit and say, "darn fools." Despite the revisionist conservative view, he didn't regret appointing Earl Warren to the Supreme Court, or setting the 101 st Airborne Division loose on good patriotic white Christian folk in Little Rock, Arkansas, when these evil Commie agitators likely convinced dopey blacks to try to attend Central High School. Yes, we were locked in the Cold War, and yes, John Foster Dulles was his bulldog Secretary of State. But in 1956, Ike came about as close as any US President to putting a foot in the ass of three of our closest allies: Britain, France...and Israel. ISRAEL--no lie? No lie. Over the Suez Crisis. Nat wrote his Princeton thesis on that. Get it along with Kagan's, Sotomayor's and Michelle's at the Seely Mudd Library, fanboys. Indeed, Israel's actions allowed the Soviets' cover to invade Hungary to put down a democratic revolt against Communism...and the world was on the brink yet again. What did regret: bailing out France in Vietnam. Lord have mercy. And GOP stalwarts in 2010 might want to recall that it was he who warned of the military-industrial complex. see here. Note this preamble to a clip from the film "Good Night and Good Luck," here.

Ike don't sound like no Patriot Act fan in that second clip, do he? LOL. Well general, your party needs you, for even your twisted VP from Cali. was downright tame compared to what we have now. Abe, Teddy, James, can you help, too?

Monday, November 01, 2010

VOTE tomorrow...for me.

Fear, ignorance, selfishness, atavism will always triumph, so just write off the Democrats in Congress. Instead, write-in Christopher Chambers for Mayor of Washington DC.


Because you don't fight fire with fire. You blow out its oxygen...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

WikiLeaks: Americans don't care about Iraq

Abdication of networks and New York Times. So much for "liberal bias!" (smile)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Bishop Eddie Long: Are we African Americans, or Niggers?

Chris Rock rang this bell years ago. What are we?

Forget the hatemongering of gays. Check this out:

“We’re not just a church, we’re an international corporation. We’re
not just a bumbling bunch of preachers who can’t talk and all we’re
doing is baptizing babies. I deal with the White House. I deal with
Tony Blair. I deal with presidents around this world. I pastor a
multimillion-dollar congregation. You’ve got to put me on a different
scale than the little black preacher sitting over there that’s supposed
to be just getting by because the people are suffering.”

Nuff said. Read between the lines. Stop being niggers and start being African Americans...

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hold the phone...Fox's "Judge" Andy Naps Napolitano says Bush and Cheney should have been indicted for torture?

My favorite wingnut gumba with a Princeton degree (other than Justice Alito), Andrew Napolitano, said it loud and clear. Indict them for torture and lying about it. W. and Uncle Dick.

Of course maybe he can claim too much Chianti, as this was the same guy who wrote a book decrying Reconstruction, the NAACP, the 50s and 60s Civil Rights Movement and the Civil Rights and Voting Acts as evil...but hey.

Check it out here. He's on C-SPAN, by the way, not Fox. The real no spin zone?

Friday, July 09, 2010

Glenn Beck calles Reconstruction "evil"

Of course. And Avatar as well (why can't liberals make "Birth of a Nation" over again?). Now he's sending the love to Senator Joseph McCarthy as a hero.

Wake up, America. There's fascism out there, all right. But it ain't in the White House.