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The link is here. Only posting it at all cuz it's my home place.


In other Iowa news ....

Following two Saturday protests, a group of Occupy Des Moines demonstrators have decided to establish a 24/7 occupation outside of President Obama’s Des Moines campaign office.

[...] Demonstrators decided to establish an occupation after arriving at the office at 621 E. 2nd St. to find the doors locked and the office closed, said Frank Cordaro, with the Catholic Worker.

“It started this morning when we came to air our grievances to the president and he locked us out,” Cordaro said. “We decided this is no time to give up this space.”

[...] By 2:30 Saturday afternoon, demonstrators had set up two tents and hung a sign on the office door, reading “Obama’s former headquarters.”

Apparently they plan to stay 24/7 until they get rousted by the authorities. I kind of like it. Wonder how this plays out ... don't imagine Obama would like to see this become trendy.


(Volume II is here.  I updated the news broadcast a li’l bit again.)

 


The draconian anti-immigrant, anti-Fourth Amendment law, ‘Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act’ was crafted by ALEC*, a right-wing organization formed to create legislation favorable to large corporations including for-profit prisons and other anti-worker measures.  The Arizona legislature passed the bill in April of last year.  Four of the most onerous portions were struck down on December 9 by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco in April 2011.  According to the Washington Post:

The appeals court blocked four elements of the new law: making it a state crime to be in the country illegally and failing to register with the federal government; making it illegal to seek work or to be working when not authorized; requiring state and local officers to try to determine the status of someone arrested, stopped or detained if they believe the individual might be in the country unlawfully; and allowing the warrantless arrest of anyone who they have probable cause to believe might have violated laws that would make them deportable under federal law.


Indeed. I would actually go so far as to say the New Hampshire Union Leader has intentionally lied. And the saddest part of this whole thing is that they do it for a totally stupid reason.

Apparently, way back in the misty reaches of political battles past, Newt Gingrich was the man who blew up a deal that would have allowed HW Bush to avoid raising taxes gotten the GOP a bunch of stuff from the Democrats in exchange for a more-modest-than-the-final-result tax increase. The suggestion was made by John H. Sununu in an interview discussing the flaws Gingrich brings to the table compared to other candidates. Newt didn't like the criticism and apparently *really* wanted to respond. But being the largely spineless slimeball we've all grown to expect and somewhat loathe, he didn't actually have the guts to answer his accuser directly. Not particularly shocking, really.

The more interesting part is that  the New Hampshire Union Leader, perhaps anxious to have their newly-endorsed candidate do well in the polls, was perfectly willing to flat-out lie to their readers to help a brother out. The Union Leader decided it was appropriate to approach the meat of the Sununu criticism with a he-said, he-said argument between Sununu and a "Gingrich aide," using their own journalist as the facilitating interlocutor - offering Newt an unaccountable secret ability to directly spin the Sununu interview however he wanted without getting a speck of mud on his shoes. Unfortunately for the NH Union Leader, Newt's spokesman gave the whole game away in a recent NYT article.


Inconvenient People

Friday, 09 December 2011 20:01 By: wendy davis

Hey, brothers and sisters, I hope you’re doing well tonight.  Better than I am, hopefully.  I’ve been feeling a bit low lately for a bunch of different reasons, and one of the worst parts of it is that I can’t even feel very pissed off by the newest round of outrages and assaults promulgated by the PTB lately; I just don’t have the energy for it; too much loss recently, and the attachment to the feelings around it.  I don’t even have much room for joy, or Christmas, which I ordinarily really love.  Don’t even have much of the funny going on; yeah…I like to (rather embarrassing to admit)  think I’m pretty hilarious most of the time.   ;o)

 


X-mass

Friday, 09 December 2011 19:10 By: Miguel

Well, I’m back.  Here, at my childhood home.  I’m in south-central Pennsylvania for the holiday season.  I’m staying with my father who is dying of cancer.  I’m here as a son and care-giver.  Expending personal energy to keep him in his home and comfortable as his time among us dwindles.  Returning to the US and this area is always a bit of a culture shock for me.  Dad watches TV a lot,  and his hearing is failing.  I deserted the medium of television 20+ years ago.  Now I’m sitting in the television room with him and his girlfriend, watching the boob-tube at elevated decibels.  Abandon conversation all ye who enter here.

Hannukah and Christmas are almost upon us.  The caring/giving nature of humanity is expressed every 6 minutes during the nightly news as the celebration of the rededication of the temple and the birth of our savior approaches.  Coats for Kids.  Step right up!  We’re gonna donate enough coats so that no kid goes cold and numb, with their cold blue fingers clutching their cold blue moms, when they hit the morgue.  It is kind of heart warming.  I can feel my heartstrings being plucked.  Then I veer off into thoughts of those people standing up advocating death to those unable to afford health insurance.  I’m thinking of others applauding the guy who sent more people to the electric chair than any other Texas Governor.  Zrrrrwppp!  {rewind}  *lights flicker, then dim, then surge back to 120V * There’s a huge disconnect here.  I mean who cares whether you gave coats to comfort some poor white, brown, and black trash kids, but then turned around and denied them medical treatment?   All while paying twice what any other intelligent country pays for their health care?

It’s the holiday gestalt here in the heartland.  It’s a time to paper over the obvious flaws, and celebrate the seasonal outpouring of good cheer, good will, and help for our fellow men however superficial the form of that help may be.  The next story up is about Americans who’ve abandoned their homes, and are moving around the country living in their motor homes in KOAs seeking out communities that offer a surplus of jobs, which pay more than minimum wage.  They’re feeling OK about it all, and the reporter is playing it like maybe these people are onto something.  Like maybe we should all be thinking about the nomadic lifestyle, and the opportunities and adventures that await us when we finally cut the strings of our public and private safety nets.  I mean, think about all the cool s#%t Mad Max got to do once the infrastructure finally gave out.  *A scantily clad Tina Turner rotates endlessly in my apocalyptic dreams*    Still, I suppose cashing in the house and taking to the highway has some distinct advantages over the traditional American dream.  At least, should you find your neighbors to be not so copacetic, you can just fire up the RV in the morning, and move on to the next migrant camp.  If you can afford the gas.  Still, something about the portrayal of these hapless vagabonds doesn’t ring true.  Like maybe, probably, they liked it better before their personal lives went into a tailspin.  Before they realized how truly they’re on their own now.  I’m thinkin’ Kevin Costner in “Waterworld”, (second only to “The Postman” in Costner-kitsch).  Smokers

Then again, maybe we are just a band of plucky, happy idiots ready to shoulder whatever crap gets slung at us.  But it’s odd.  I can’t help but feel like these “stories” are really constructions of some astute enablers of the status quo.  They seem designed to make us all feel better about situations which have very little to offer in the “feel-good” department.  They seem designed to keep the somnambulists in our midst thinking happy thoughts.  Dreaming dreams.  Not focusing on the real and present danger.  Not recognizing the predator in our circle as we happily bumble along sending a few overcoats to those poor unfortunate kids.  That guy in the alley who wants to roll you for your wallet, is wearing a suit and tie.  How bad can it be?

Still, I harbor hope.  Somewhere here amongst us is a Che, a Gandhi, an Adams, a Maccabee, mayhaps just a kid, who may spark a revolution against the PTB.  Maybe it’ll be a communal effort ala OWS.  Maybe they’ll inspire a new religion, or at least a public holiday, before the PTB then co-opts the new kid or the new movement.  Until then, if you see shit coming down, run with it as long and as far as you can.


So, despite all attempts to avoid it,  the Republican primary has finally forced it's way into non-ignorability. We really need a couple more weeks and some additional data to see what this surge that is Newt really means, so in the meantime a bit of speculation and minor predictions.

#1 Newt is very unlikely to be the nominee. Sorry Dems. Your last hope is going to fade and Obama will be facing his pasty alter-ego in the general election.

#2 If Newt makes a race of it, Romney will not bow out until the last possible mathematical route is gone. He'll be Hillary.

#3 Ron Paul is going to outperform expectations. Of course, he has an amazingly low bar at this point.

#4 Regardless how he performs, Ron Paul will not concede the race until the last primary has been completed.

I'm intrigued by Iowa this year, but don't have anything to add on that specific race yet. Depending on what happens with Ron Paul's numbers, it might actually turn into a very interesting early GOP primary season.


Dlp67 at my.firedoglake.com covers Judge Frances McIntyre's decision pretty well.  Not content to follow SCOTUS Clark v. Community for Creative Non-Violence.,  she stunningly based her decision on (i) a dictionary definition of 'occupy' that showed the act is hostile in  the intent 'to seize and hold land' , and that (ii) no matter how much Occupiers claim to be non-violent, the public not only doesn't get their message, but their endeavor causes hostile reactions from police protecting the space for other citizens.

From the ruling:

"There is little likelihood that Occupy Boston’s professed message can be understood from their act of occupation, either.  It has not generally been perceived as benign by those occupied.  Essentially, occupation is received as a hostile act, an assertion of possession against the right of the true owner.  Municipalities across this country have responded in kind to the act of occupation, frequently by police force.  I take this as a showing that the act of occupation is not understood to communicate plaintiffs’ intended message of egalitarian democracy. . . ."


(Michael Lewis* has a great satirical letter ‘ Advice From the 1%: Lever Up, Drop Out’ at Bloomberg.  I loved it, but as I can’t bring it all here, I thought I’d fiddle with it, update it and add a bit here and there; he’ll be in green, and I hope he won’t mind.  Much.)  ;o)

The rabble has been driven from the public parks. Our adversaries, now defined by the freaks and criminals among them, have demonstrated only that they have no idea what they are doing. They have failed to identify a single achievable goal.


I See Dead Men Walking*

Sunday, 04 December 2011 09:40 By: wendy davis

* Someone who is about to die; someone condemned, whether aware of it or not

Please understand that this is a dark read; it comes from a place near the abyss some of us reach now and again.  The dark truth can sometimes be freeing and offer inspiration for action, so I offer it in that spirit.  Or else I’m just manifestly dangerous, and should be visiting Nurse Ratched for a time…   As an FYI, I do seem to pulling out of this physically and psychically uncomfortable place as I always do.   ~ wd


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