this n that

I think the GOP has lost its collective mind. Firstly, consider this: GOP to Newt: Leave Paul Ryan Alone! Then look at this: Reports: Tommy Thompson In, Ryan Out For Wisconsin Senate Seat. Include Boehner’s recent comments about the Republicans absolutely yes supporting Ryan’s Kill Medicare budget and public disapproval over gutting Medicare and I really wonder whether or not that would give Gingrich a boost in his campaign. I never thought I’d see Gingrich looking like the sane one in the bunch, though… Given this and other reactions: Club For Growth: Gingrich’s Record Has ‘Frequent,’ ‘Serious’ Problems — I’d almost wonder if they were afraid of his candidacy appealing to conservative voters who aren’t in for the batshit crazy. Digby seems to be thinking along the same lines: Newtie on the spit.

You know, crazy like Ron Paul: Ron Paul’s Latest Government Bugaboo: Mississippi Flood Control. I’d almost think they actually were trying to kill us all, except then who would they have for serfs?

SPLC has a lovely story here: Next Generation of Freedom Riders Committed to Justice

But this visit was more than a history lesson about events that occurred half a century ago. It was about today. It was about passing on those lessons learned 50 years ago to a new generation. And it was about letting them know that the march for justice continues.

Several of the students were enthralled by a presentation by Mark Potok, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, which monitors hate groups and other extremist organizations. They learned that despite the progress since the days of the Freedom Riders, much work remains.

In fact, hate groups across the country now number more than 1,000 and have increased by nearly 70 percent since 2000. We’re seeing rising xenophobia and demonizing rhetoric as extremist organizations react to the changing demographics of our country, symbolized by the election of President Obama. Antigovernment conspiracy theories and racist propaganda, once relegated to the radical fringe of society, are now regularly repeated on TV and radio by mainstream politicians and media personalities who should know better.

The more I see what 20 somethings are working on these days — Power Shift, US Uncut, protests — the more optimistic I get…

More budget battle analysis: The Battle Is Squared, and Why We Need Budget Jujitsu. As succint a summary as I’ve seen:

If the only issue were cutting the federal deficit by four or five trillion dollars over the next ten years, the President and Democrats wouldn’t have to cave in to this extortion. That goal can be achieved by doing exactly the opposite of what radical Republicans are demanding. We can reduce the long-term budget deficit, keep everything Americans truly depend on, and also increase spending on education and infrastructure — by cutting unnecessary military expenditures, ending corporate welfare, and raising taxes on the rich.

I commend to you the “People’s Budget,” a detailed plan for doing exactly this — while reducing the long-term budget deficit more than either the Republican’s or the President’s plan does. When I read through the People’s Budget my first thought was how modest and reasonable it is. It was produced by the House Progressive Caucus but could easily have been generated by Washington centrists — forty years ago.

But of course the coming battle isn’t really over whether to cut the long-term deficit by trillions of dollars. It’s over whether to shrink the government we depend on and to use the savings to give corporations and the super-rich even more tax benefits they don’t need or deserve.

It really is that simple. It really boils down to whether the government will continue to borrow from — and become ever more beholden to — the superrich & the corporatocracy in this country, or whether it will return to taxing the superrich & the corporatocracy. More here: Government Hits Debt Ceiling as Parties Squabble. Not only that, but what they say versus what they do…? Yeah: OOPS! Historic ‘Spending Cut’ Bill Increased Spending By $3 Billion. And more on our lovely Paul Ryan: ‘The drivers of our debt’. Why are the GOP propping this idiot up? (Wait, don’t answer that, that was rhetorical.) Of course the “drivers of our debt” are not from the last two years: The facts are hard to ignore and impossible to dispute. As the CBPP explained, “[T]he economic downturn, President Bush’s tax cuts and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years.”

Looks like Meredith Baker is feeling the heat: FCC Commissioner Turned Comcast Flunky Defends Herself. Good.

Good to see charges being but together: Hate crime charges in Baltimore McDonald’s beating case.

It’s like he’s trying for the AssHat of the Year Award: Wisconsin Governor Moves To Block Hospital Visitation Rights For Same-Sex Couples.

Glenn Greenwald continues to point us toward information on the Administrations war on whistleblowers: Jane Mayer on the Obama war on whistle-blowers. More on the appalling story of the prosecution of Thomas Drake, for example: Former N.S.A. Official Is Charged in Leaks Case

Meanwhile interesting developments in Palestine and Israel: Abbas urges UN: Recognize Palestinian state, pave way for legal action against Israel and Here comes your non-violent resistance. The Arab Spring winds continue to blow…

And about making us more “secure” with that border fence? Really? Doesn’t sound like it to me: The town on the wrong side of America’s drugs war. The intersection of the border, immigration and the war on drugs is an interesting, if deadly (both literally and to our rights) one: The War on Drugs v. the Constitution (also: Supreme Court Ruling: Cops Can Knock Down Your Door If They Smell Pot — plz don’t remove Ginsberg anytime soon, PLZ).

This is nothing new, it’s been going on for years and it was inevitable a case like this would come up: DNA in Untested Rape Kit Matches Cleveland Serial Killer’s. It will only get worse if the budget wars go on with austerity approaches. I can’t help but think about all the attempts to remove health care from women (all that nasty abortion-inducing reproductive health stuff that sends GOPers into mass collective vapors) — even if exceptions are kept for rape, for example, I can see them saying “Yeah, well you haven’t PROVED it was a rape!” Because no rape kit analysis, no investigation, no suspects, no nothing. It’s all of a piece with general hatred of women.

Lately I have been seeing flashes of intelligence from USA Today. I can’t decide if this is actual, or because the rest of the media landscape is that much more dismal… Our view: America, pick your climate choices.

I am not actually all that interested in l’affaire Schwarzenegger — in part because I am so utterly unsurprised by it — but this is one of the more thoughtful articles I’ve seen — and I never did understand why Shriver gave up her career in journalism. I really didn’t. (I still don’t understnad what happened, but it sounds like she wishes she hadn’t, either.) Schwarzenegger baby scoop brings truth to questions about Shriver split, political wives.

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