Manic Progressives

Monday, October 01, 2012

Do You Know Your Enemy?

Just to continue with the theme below—I’ve got no confessions about any third-party voting I’ve ever done. But I do want to cop to an interesting thing I did just recently: I filled out a voter registration form.

Yeah. As I recently admitted, I’m old enough to have been participating as a voter for the past 20 years, and truth be told—I have!  But the PA voter ID law and my checkered past caught up with one another when I realized my voter registration and my legal ID names didn’t match. (True story: IRL, my name is not Vixen Strangely. It feels like it should be, sometimes.)  So, even though I have voted at my polling place for 10 years now with this discrepancy without a hitch, I found myself having to get my papers in order to avoid a possible hassle.  Not a big deal, but people who don’t pay attention might not have thought to do it.  So I submitted a change form to make sure my voter registration matched my legal ID.  Which is cool for me, because I a) have a legal ID and b) have the mobility and means to download the form, figure out how to fill it out and where to send it and c) realized it was necessary to do this before the deadline. I’ve had photo ID—in a few names! But the Powers That Be nearly made me a provisional ballot voter for this go-round. 

This is because of the fetish that Republicans have made of voter fraud. Voter fraud, as such, does not happen very often at all—the actual machinations involved to make in-person voter fraud worthwhile are just nonsense. How many bodies could you actually get to stand in a voting line, to vote under names you for some reason already know are registered and not previously voted under, over and over again, until you get a significant enough number to sway an election? (I dunno, but it seems like too much work.)  But registration fraud and disenfranchisement could happen and not-surprisingly, do among those who think voter fraud is a real thing.  And the GOP is there!

Now, I don’t begrudge people their right to pretend they can send psychic messages to the national parties through their abstinence from voting or their symbolic choice to vote for a third party that will not win.  But I hate like hell the SOB’s that would take away even that fingertip grip on voter choice from eligible people. To my mind, that’s a pretty good reason to vote against those schmucks even if you can’t tell the difference between the party that supports DOMA and the one that made marriage equality part of their platform, or the party that supports torture, versus the one that, well, doesn’t. 

Ballots: vote them while you’ve got them.

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 10/01/12 at 11:20 PM
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One in 1,784

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I spent the weekend ass deep in sheetrock, tile and half-assembled cabinets, attempting to reconstruct my kitchen. While catching up on the blog this morning, I read that TBogg, LGM, DougJ, Mistermix and Balloon Juice commenters are Manichean monsters. Not that this is anything new, mind you: liberals who vote for compromised Democrats (and there is no other type of elected or electable official) are routinely—with cicada-like regularity, one might say—accused of heartlessly casting aside the poor, the innocent victims of pointless wars, the uninsured, the homeless, the mentally ill, women, the LGBT community, people of color, etc., as so many bumps in the road to 270 electoral votes.

Perusing the threads on this topic here and elsewhere, I was struck—as others were—by the resemblance to the arguments I myself advanced in 2000—back when I was the sanctimonious twit saying that there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Bush and Gore. I was wrong. I learned my lesson. In my own defense, all I can say is that the consequences of my casting one of the 1,784 votes in Florida that was the official margin of difference between Bush and Gore were unimaginable at the time, at least to me.

And I’ve regretted it ever since and will until the day I die. Seriously. I number that vote among the worst things I’ve ever done as a human being on this planet, even though I’ve done more stupid and mean things than I care to remember, and despite the fact that my motives in that case were fairly pure.

I don’t expect my fessing up to this and saying I learned my lesson and regret my third party vote in 2000 will change anyone’s mind who is contemplating a similar move in 2012. It’s not only that I remember well my own self-righteousness 12 years ago, though I do. It’s that anyone who can’t draw the blindingly obvious lesson from that debacle—which isn’t exactly ancient history—is probably just not persuadable.

So what should the disaffected liberal do? Well, sack up, for one thing: Ridicule from someone on a blog isn’t exactly a Hellfire missile up the poop chute. Advocate for your goddamn position with facts and figures—at the grassroots level—even if someone is mean to you on a blog! Persuade the people who don’t currently give a shit, which is, sadly, most of the American public. Get involved in politics at the local level, where your voice is potentially louder. All these are good and worthy goals.

Empowering politicians who think the US isn’t sufficiently aligned with the Likud Party in Israel isn’t a good and worthy goal. It wasn’t in 2000, and it isn’t today. Your actions have consequences. Own them. And for Christ’s sake, quit whining about it.

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 10/01/12 at 08:35 AM
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Poll dancing

Memeorandum yesterday:

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Posted by YAFB on 03/14/12 at 08:47 AM
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Psych! Operation SOAHC*

Daily Kos is lit up at the moment by a little scheme Markos and Chris Bowers have cooked up, titled Operation Hilarity. Markos proclaimed the initiative on Wednesday:

Announcing Operation Hilarity: Let’s keep the GOP clown show going!

It’s time for us to take an active role in the GOP nomination process. That’s right, it’s time for those of us who live in open primary and caucus states—Michigan, North Dakota, Vermont and Tennessee in the next three weeks—to head out and cast a vote for Rick Santorum.
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If you live in one of those states, pledge to participate in Operation Hilarity by voting or caucusing for Rick Santorum. Click here for Michigan, here for North Dakota, here for Tennessee and here for Vermont.

If you live anywhere else, please contribute $5 to our Facebook ad effort to turn Democrats out in those elections. You can see a sample ad at the top right of this post.

Hilarity wasn’t much in evidence in the swift backlash from many Kosites who thought this was a really dumb and quite possibly counterproductive idea, which prompted Chris Bowers to try to re-sell the joke a couple of hours later:

How Operation Hilarity will work

This didn’t go down any better among the courted conspirators, and as of last night there were numerous diaries on the Kos rec list denouncing or criticizing the plan for a variety of reasons.

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 02/16/12 at 07:31 AM
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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Ron Paul: Would you buy a used democracy from this man?

Much virtual ink has been spilled in the past few days about Ron Paul’s leftier-than-thou credentials, especially regarding warfare. What does his campaign’s senior adviser, Doug Wead, have to say about all that?

Megyn Kelly: You know, one of the issues, obviously you know, that Congressman Paul’s most controversial on is his foreign policy stance, and in particular Israel and Iran, and whether he would allow Iran to get the bomb. He’s said he doesn’t want it, but he doesn’t want it because he’s worried that the United States will then go to war with Iran, and he doesn’t want that, just the same as he didn’t want the Iraq War, he thinks we’re too ... too prone to attacking other countries and to ... injecting ourselves militarily .... Newt Gingrich came out and said given that kind of attitude and policy stance, it would be a tough choice for Americans if the choice came down to Barack Obama versus Ron Paul, and Ron Paul is to the left of Barack Obama on certain issues, including foreign policy with respect to Iran. To those voters and to Newt Gingrich, what do you say?

Doug Wead: Yeah, yeah, I totally disagree with ... that idea he’s to the left or the right. He’s pro-Constitution. He’s in favor of taking the idea of war ... he’s not against war. He was the only public figure in 1981 to stand up and defend Israel’s right to defend herself and take out those Iraqi nuclear facilities. He’s not against war, he’s in favor of going to the US Congress as the Constitution says, debating it, committing to war, getting in, winning it, then getting out. He’s against these endless wars that just happen ... at a whim because somebody ... believes that someone’s a threat to the United States. If they’re a serious threat to the United States and/or our allies, then let’s take it to Congress, let’s discuss it, let’s commit, and let’s get in and win it and get out.

Not so much shuck and jive as shock and awe.

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 01/03/12 at 12:09 PM
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Monday, January 02, 2012

drpaul2012!

I have my first new blog crush of the year: drpaul2012 (“America’s 57th President, If He Can Just Hold On”), wherein the Dr. Zeuss theme is pursued mercilessly.

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In this book, you’ll find out who stuck the cactus up Dr. Paul’s ass. He dispenses some tough love to the lazy people mucking it up for the rest of us. Dr. Paul explains the difference between “makers” and ”takers” and how being a maker is preferable unless you’re taking business risks or making babies. Tony Robbins credits this book with changing his life and writes a moving foreword. (Ha! “Moving foreword” cracks me up every time I read it.)

Enjoy!

Posted by YAFB on 01/02/12 at 09:47 AM
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Friday, December 23, 2011

The third part of a trilogy’s always the best one

previous entries in series here and here


It’s the most wearying time of the year
There’ll be lots of eye-rolling
As purity trolling
Kicks into high geeeeaaaar
It’s the most wearying time of the year!

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It’s the slap-happiest season of all
contradictions are height’ning
While sphincters are tight’ning
O’er a third-party braaaawwwwl
It’s the slap-happiest season of all!

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There’ll be lots of infighting
And personal slighting
And commenters throwing their poo
There’ll be jokes about Nader
And ‘bout how Darth Vader
Was lesser of two evils too

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It’s the most tedious time of the year
And it’s so damn depressing
With Tru-Proggies prefacing
“Leader” with “Deeeeaaaar”
It’s the most tedious time of the year!

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There’ll be snark about ponies
And such sanctimoni-
-Ousness it’s like give me a break
Yes, we’re all disappointed
But fuck self-anointed
Saviors of the Left with a rake

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It’s the emo-iest time of the year
When the difference ‘tween that
And the fucking of rats
Ain’t entirely cleeeeaaaar
It’s the emo-iest time
Whine about O-iest time
Jesus Christ, I hate this time
Of the yeeeeeeaaaaaar!

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Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 12/23/11 at 04:52 PM
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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I am PUNY, hear me ROAR!!!!

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As LTMidnight pointed out in the comments to gil’s post down yonder, PUMA’s BAAAACK. Or something very like it. Because it worked out so well last time. HuffPo’s Sam Stein reports:

Huffington Post reader Andrew Rohrberger (via an Off The Bus submission) grabbed a copy of the audio of the “Run Hillary 2012” robocalls that are reportedly being made in an attempt to persuade the secretary of state to run for the White House.

The script leads one to believe we’d be living in a veritable utopia if only Clinton had won in 2008.

America would be better off today if Hillary Clinton was our president. The Wall Street robber barons would be jailed, young people could afford college and find jobs and six million homeowners wouldn’t face foreclosure. We need to change our course. Please sign our petition to draft Hillary Clinton for president.

Clinton’s not running, of course. And it’s remarkable to see that people are still holding out hope that she might change her mind. That said, the call represents an extreme version of the type of buyer’s remorse that Obama faces in the months ahead.

Sure, Sam, some disgruntled and highly gullible self-proclaimed lefties are ripe for the ratfucking picking. From the Left:

I can’t say I am surprised by any of this. President Obama’s support is tepid at best and among some demographic groups, nonexistent. If there was ever an election campaign ripe for a third party challenger, I believe 2012 is it.

If Hillary decides to jump in at the 11th hour, she will have my support and the support of my Blog.

Well, polls this far out are pretty meaningless, but about that “tepid support.” Do you mean among Democrats?

The narrative that Obama is losing the base was debunked by a new CNN poll which found that support for the renomination of the president has tied an all-time high.

The CNN poll found that overall 81% of those surveyed thought that the Democratic Party should nominate Obama again. Only 18% of respondents thought that the Democratic Party should go with a different candidate.

Or do you mean among the electorate at large?

Aided by comparison to the vastly unpopular Congress, Barack Obama has advanced to a 49 percent job approval rating in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll - his best showing since spring, and one that, if it holds, that may put his re-election prospects back within reach.

Run Hillary 2012.net was registered through a proxy service and there’s no contact info at all on the site, so whoever’s behind it evidently doesn’t want to be publicly identified. Funny that.

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 12/20/11 at 06:20 AM
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Friday, October 28, 2011

At Last! An Obama Primary Candidate We Can All ... Er ... Who?!

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With electoral registration deadlines looming fast, the tension is all but palpable as we wait to see who will finally answer the call to primary Obama in 2012. That tension has only been tentatively relieved by the entry into the race of advertising manager and financial services consultant Darcy Richardson, from Florida.

You have to dig fairly deep in the media to find much coverage of Richardson’s announcement of his run in the New Hampshire Primary a couple of days ago—like the Boston Globe‘s “Political Intelligence” blog, that’s how deep. And he’s not even the headliner there, ranking behind some of the Republican entry:

“I wanted something out of the ordinary to do this winter,” said Linden Swift, an 81-year-old retiree from Indiana who failed in his effort to plan a vacation to Ireland. “It seemed like running for president was a good second choice.”

Mr. Richardson already has a nascent Web presence, and is prominent enough to warrant his own Wikipedia page, which reveals something of a winning streak:

Although a registered Democrat and elected Montgomery County precinct committeeman at the time, Richardson was nominated to run for the position of Pennsylvania Auditor General in 1980 on the Philadelphia-based Consumer Party’s ballot line. In that race he finished third with 48,783 votes.

In 1988, the Consumer Party again nominated Richardson, this time to run for U.S. Senate. That same year, Richardson was the national campaign manager of former Senator Eugene McCarthy’s presidential campaign. McCarthy was also running on the Consumer Party ticket. Richardson was later a senior advisor to McCarthy’s final presidential campaign, in which he ran as a candidate in the Democratic primaries.

He’s a published author, and other sources reveal he’s not without that all-important media experience:

... Richardson has been quoted in major publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer, and has written numerous articles for a wide range of publications.  He has also been a guest on several nationally-syndicated radio talk shows, ranging from the progressive “Thom Hartmann Show” to Joseph Farah’s conservative “WorldNetDaily Radioactive” program.

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 10/28/11 at 06:49 PM
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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sirota Enters My Friend’s School Board Race - Loaded With Whoppers - UPDATED

Although I’m a resident of Denver normally I wouldn’t bother to write about local issues, such as a school board race, as this is not a blog focused on any particular geographic location and frankly school board elections are pretty much snooooze newzzz.  However one of the candidates for the Denver School Board in the current election, Emily Sirota, happens to be married to David Sirota.  And on Friday he just put up a piece about the election at Salon titled “W enters my wife’s school board race”.  Yes, “that” W.

He then goes on to conclude that local politics have been totally hijacked by large Republican, corporate interests and that his wife, just trying to run a little neighborhood campaign, is a victim of these nefarious forces.  Well, if Sirota thinks this is worthy of a piece in Salon then I guess it should at least merit a reference at Rumproast, especially since I actually happen to reside in the school district in question, have four kids who’ve graduated from Denver Public Schools and follow DPS issues closely, and have known Sirota’s opponent, Anne Rowe, for years since our kids were in the same elementary school.

Therefore I consider myself uniquely qualified to fact check this pack of lies that Sirota attempts to pass off as some sort of responsible journalism.  Which starts off with the title.  George Bush has, in fact, nothing to do with the school board elections.  He did happen to be in town the other day for a roundtable discussion on education but did not make any reference to the Sirota/Rowe race or the school board election in general.

read the whole post »

Posted by marindenver on 10/23/11 at 03:45 PM
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Categories: MessylaneousPoliticsManic Progressives

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sedition! Cats and Dogs Sleeping Together! Outlook: Hails of Frogs with a 50% Chance of Boils

Hold the front page—Terrible hack Dana Loesch of the inaptly named Breitbart organ Big Journalism has a scoop!

Journolist 2.0: OccupyDC Emails Show MSM, Dylan Ratigan, Working With Protesters To Craft Message

Big Journalism has learned that the Occupy Washington DC movement is working with well-known media members to craft its demands and messaging while these media members report on the movement. Someone has made the emails from the Occupy D.C. email distro public and searchable. The names in the list are a veritable who’s who in media.

Journolist 2.0 includes well known names such as MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan, Rolling Stone’s Matt Tiabbi who both are actively participating; involvement from other listers such as Bill Moyers and Glenn Greenwald plus well-known radicals like Noam Chomsky, remains unclear. The list also includes a number of Occupy organizers, such as one of the Occupy Wall Street main organizers Kevin Zeese.

As John Cole observes, this news is as earthshattering as the fact that Breitbart himself is an opportunist maniacal asshole (I paraphrase):

Has anyone at Breitbart HQ watched so much of five minutes of Ratigan over the course of the last two years? Read any Taibbi? They aren’t secretly doing anything- Dylan Ratigan has been screaming about this stuff for years. Hell, Taibbi just publicly gave advice to #OWS.

I am shocked—SHOCKED, I tell you—to think that some in the media might help a protest movement to foment unrest. So are the commenters at Big Journalism, as you can see if you don your knee boots and gasmask and tread warily into the mire (and may I say, you look quite fetching in them, even on a Monday morning):

Petroglyph 14 hours ago
This is seditious and treasonous. There is no other definition which I can think of to describe people who have turned on America and wish to destroy it. They should be treated as such. We ARE under attack.

There’s much more like this over at the link, where the commie Ratigan and his ilk are taking a pasting:

Charm2 14 hours ago
Good work Big Jornalism! I look forward to seeing how the commie apparatchiks deal with this revelation.

read the whole post »

Posted by YAFB on 10/17/11 at 10:40 AM
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Wallstock! Gallery: Foley Square

Yes, a great upheaval has been upheaving right practically on the Polly metaphorical doorstep~a huge improvement from what happened on my actual doorstep every Saturday night when I lived in the Village~but any old hoo, here are pictures of it! I’ll be posting them in dribs and drabs as I recover from the clouds of earnestness that roll over Zucotti Park every time I go. All the manifold possibility in the air, the bright eyes of the idealistic youths~they so sap a snarky person’s energies.

Impure and hardened individual that I am, I’ve tried to compensate for my aversion to chanting “hey hey ho ho” by taking the kids clean socks and spare umbrellas. I don’t know if I’m warming Libertarian toes or sheltering Anarchists, but how else can one little Obot co-opt this burgeoning movement?
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Posted by Mrs. Polly on 10/11/11 at 03:25 PM
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Friday, September 16, 2011

“When in danger, when in doubt…”

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“Run in circles, scream and shout!”

My sister and I use this wry couplet to deride a certain branch of our family tree that reacts to crises real and imagined with hair-pulling panic and hysteria. We don’t find it particularly helpful or effective. In fact, it frequently makes things worse.

Perhaps we’re related—by marriage—to the Carvilles of Louisiana. Former Bill Clinton campaign manager James Carville this week urged the president to respond to the daunting political challenges he faces by panicking. And firing people. An indicting others.

Recommending the freak-out strategy is something of a pattern with Carville. Hey, maybe it works for him. And it is nice to imagine that his neo-con shill wife is reaping her earthly reward via wedlock with an explosive anger-fetus.

But is Carville’s advice really sound, even when you analyze the more substantive points? Jason Linkins has a good rundown of why it’s really not here. Among his points is that if President Obama fires his appointed staff, he’ll transform the West Wing into a howling, tumbleweed-infested void since the Republicans have adopted the policy of refusing to approve any Obama administration appointment on general principles.

Carville advises the president to indict the Wall Street greedheads who brought our economy to its knees. And certainly the prospect of seeing those bastards frog-marched warms the cockles of my little socialist heart.

But there’s one leeetle problem with that: Thanks to the repeal of the Glass Steagall Act (signed by Carville’s former boss), the financial shenanigans that torpedoed our economy—while wildly imprudent scams—were for the most part legal.

Anyhoo, I’m confident Mr. Obama will continue to ignore Carville’s concern-trolling. As well he should.

Posted by Betty Cracker on 09/16/11 at 06:54 AM
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Monday, September 12, 2011

This Is Just Wrong! President Hugged By Adorable Children

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I’m sure I don’t have to point out that there is something horrifically “off” about this picture—have you ever seen anything more awful than whatever it is? Please feel free to express your revulsion, because where to begin! I cannot. Even. Start.

TPM has a gallery of official White House photographer Pete Souza’s late summer pictures of the President interacting with citizens of every stripe—except that baby; how do we know that baby’s a citizen? Why didn’t anybody check that baby’s papers? Why didn’t the baby check the President’s papers? No, instead the baby slumbers, just like the American public.

(There is, actually, one shrieking plea for a caption contest, which if I’d any sense as a blogger, I’d have led with, but inasmuch as the Baggery contingent has help enough, I decided they didn’t need mine.If anybody can deduce which one and pre-emptively fill the snark-caption-vacuum with Roastiness, Mnmnt will appreciate, and Blingee it. Thnx.)

Posted by Mrs. Polly on 09/12/11 at 01:53 PM
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Friday, September 02, 2011

Obama Cancels Tighter Smog Regulations

GOPers had a stick to beat him with either way. So he made the decision that’s prudent and defensible.

It’s easy to sell a $90 billion hit to the manufacturing and power industries when people are fed, housed and less worried about their jobs and retirement than they are about the distant statistical odds of ozone-caused lung disease. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.

You want President Palin? Have Obama go on live TV and announce that incremental improvements in air quality are more important than jobs and keeping energy costs down. I dare you.

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 09/02/11 at 12:41 PM
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Categories: NewsPoliticsBarack ObamaManic Progressives

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