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Monthly Archives: August, 2005

The Politics of Slander

With the president’s poll numbers dropping and anti-Iraq war sentiment rising, the Heritage Foundation is sponsoring an event built around the premise that the anti-war movement is anti-American.

US poverty rate continues to rise

Stark reality of the American dream.
For those reality-based fin-de-siecle among us, a recent paper (pdf).
from the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics compared social mobility in developed countries and found the US and UK at the bottom of the pile. If you are born poor/born rich in the US, you are more likely to remain poor/remain rich than in other developed countries. “International comparisons of intergenerational mobility show that Britain, like the United States, is at the lower end of international comparisons of mobility. Also intergenerational mobility has declined in Britain at a time of rising income inequality.” The mobility deficit in the US appears to arise from both educational differences and race. In the UK, mainly education. “America and Britain have the highest intergenerational persistence (lowest mobility). Germany is around the middle of the estimates, while the Nordic countries and Canada all appear to be rather more mobile.” Socialism = social mobility? Wasn’t that supposed to be the best thing about unbridled capitalism? “However, the idea of the US as ‘the land of opportunity’ persists; and clearly seems misplaced.” It is annoying when data gets in the way of a good fantasy.

Clean Concise Comprehensive

Peter Daou of the Daou Report states the obvious in a crisp clear manner: Why do a majority of us see the Iraq conflict in moral terms? Because our honor rests with our collective intelligence. Read and decide for yourself.

You, me? Regular folks… The moral majority, the thinking, caring masses. Never forget that.

Did I mention William Rivers Pitt’s piece “Here’s the Funny Part “? Digest, dicuss, disseminate.

We are many.

Two Crackpot Pats and Bush Vacation Humor

I’ve mustered up a new batch of political poems: two limericks about a pair of our country’s Crackpot Pats, Pat Robertson and Pat Boone; and a poem and haiku about Bush’s extended vacation and his summer reading list. Here’s my Pat Robertson limerick:

A Broadcasting Preacher Named Pat
By Madeleine Begun Kane

A broadcasting preacher named Pat,
Who quite frequently talks through his hat,
Seems to think it’s God’s will
That we Prez Chavez kill.
Then we’ll take all his oil, and that’s that.

You’ll find all four of the poems here and my podcast version is here.

Venezuela to seek legal action against Robertson

CARACAS, Venezuela, Aug 28 (Reuters) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday his government would take legal action against Pat Robertson and potentially seek his extradition after the U.S. evangelist called for Washington to assassinate the South American leader.

Robertson, who later apologized for the remark, said he was expressing his frustration with Chavez’s constant accusations against the administration of President George W. Bush.

“I announce that my government is going to take legal action in the United States … to call for the assassination of a head of state is an act of terrorism.” Chavez said in a televised speech.

The fiery left-wing critic of Bush’s foreign policy who frequently charges the U.S. government is plotting to kill him, called Robertson “crazy” and a “public menace.”

He said Venezuela could seek Robertson’s extradition under international treaties and take its claim to the United Nations if the Bush administration did not act.

If only Chavez offered us Jamaica’s price for oil (they’re paying Venezuela $40 a barrel under agreement) as a reward, I’m sure we could arrange for Robertson’s head to be sent on a silver platter.

Vote Early, Vote Often for Chuck Penn

(New Andy Warhol series of Chuck’s posters)

They’re having a poll of Chuck Penn vs. Bob Casey over at the Daily Kos, which right now Chuck is winning, which is impossible since he lost the vote at MoveOn, which hasn’t released its tallies, which has probably got Chuck interested in ballot integrity. I presume most American Samizdat readers/writers are members of the Daily Kos. If so, please cast a vote for Chuck Penn. (Actually, you can vote once even if you aren’t a member.) Remember: the party’s annointed choice, Bob Casey, is a pro-lifer, pro Iraq war, and isn’t even as progressive as Bill Frist on stem cell research. And, oh, he’s open minded toward arctic drilling. He actually offers very little contrast to right wing nutjob Rick Santorum and will depress the democratic party base.

Update: Good catch from Comments From Left Field. It’s a funny Daily Kos entry from Chuck Penn.

In contrast, other Casey supporters take him at his word when he publicly opposes a woman’s right to choose. The 2004 Democratic Senate candidate, Joe Hoeffel, acknowledges Casey’s core pro-life/anti-choice position. For months, in fact, Mr. Hoeffel has repeated this same statement about Bob Casey, Jr: “On all issues other than a woman’s right to choose, Bob Casey is a progressive Democrat.”

And for months I have kept my powder dry while our campaign documented Mr. Casey’s truly conservative profile on critical issues such as stem cell research, the death penalty, the U.S. policy in Iraq, the assault weapons ban, separation of church and state, living wage legislation, universal health care, GLBT rights, preserving an independent judiciary (Terry Schiavo case), and drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. So, for Mr. Hoeffel to argue Mr. Casey is “progressive” on “all issues” other than choice is an extraordinary stretch. Such a stretch, in fact, that Mr. Hoeffel has mostly backed away from making such claims. In addition, Mr. Hoeffel should be credited for his honesty on Mr. Casey’s opposition to a woman’s right to choose and his determination to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Returning to Harrisburg and Lt. Gov. Knoll’s “reverse spin” — where she didn’t challenge my claims to being the only progressive on all issues other than a woman’s right to choose — but literally heckled me (“No, that’s not true, that’s not true!”) when I correctly said that I was the only candidate committed to upholding a woman’s right to choose.

Read the whole thing as they say.

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