Friday, January 13, 2006

What's it going to take?

From firedoglake:
...It is a dangerous time to be an American. We live under virtually unchallenged one party rule, and that one party is on a rampage to make torture morally acceptable. Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman invite screaming racist Michelle Malkin to lunch, and today Peter Kirsanow is paraded before the Senate by the GOP as an "expert." Both of these people applaud rounding up American citizens and putting them into concentration camps....

I agree. Today’s Right is a dangerous, extremist movement fully capable of the excesses of twentieth century fascism. The polite response to this threat by the media, The New York Times, for example, and also the Democratic Senators leaves this movement unchallenged. It baffles me. I wonder what it will take to energize an effective resistance. You would think defending and advocating torture as acceptable American policy would be enough. But of course it is not. Nor is it enough that we wage a war of aggression on falsified pretenses, keep prisoners in camps without trial or the protection of international law, have a government that flouts the law and illegally taps communications, spies on dissenters, and gets caught accepting huge bribes from special interests.

I am contemptuous of all those Democrats in privileged and influential positions who give the Right a forum, who do not challenge them bluntly and forcefully on every single issue. It strains me greatly to be minimally civil to Republican family members, Republicans I work with, and old Republican friends, all of them ordinary people, simple members of the chorus but none-the-less vital parts of this terrible engine.

Go read firedoglake and check out Nancy Pelosi:

WASHINGTON Jan 12, 2006 — House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said Republicans had created "one of the most closed, corrupt congresses in history" and urged the House ethics committee to investigate GOP lawmakers linked to lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

"It's hard for the American people to understand how corrupt it is here," the California Democrat said at a news conference.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Good stuff

Here are the opening paragraphs in a terrific post at firedoglake on Alito and the managed media coverage. If you go there and read the entire post, you very likely will want more and will end up scrolling down and down for quite a good read.

It is remarkably frustrating to blog the Alito hearings, feel the righteous indignation of people in the comments sections all over the blogosphere that the supreme court is in danger of making a major lurch to the extreme right with the potential appointment of a bigoted, sexist, entitled, slavering chickenhawk like Alito, and see it reflected nowhere in the traditional media.

Every time it feels like some momentum is being gained, CNN blows it all away with the sweep of a facile headline. Pick up a paper or turn on cable news and on cue they are parroting all the GOP's talking points -- Alito's a moderate, he'll keep an "open mind" on abortion, and oh the poor frumpy sobbing wife.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Same Old Shit

Same old Democratic Senators, gasping, awash, half rotted in the stream like dying salmon.

This paragraph from Altercation's coverage of the Alito hearings about sums it up.

The Senators, with few exceptions, used their allotted time to pontificate rather than to learn something about Alito or give him enough rope to hang himself. They spent countless minutes spouting off their views, followed by close-ended questions he could answer or refuse to answer in a sentence or two. Walter Shapiro at Salon has more on their artless questioning.

God help us if another Democratic Senator wins the presidential nomination.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The case for fighting Alito's confirmation

From Crooks and Liars:

The Democrats are a party in urgent need of a good fight. And the Alito nomination presents the perfect opportunity for Democrats to demonstrate that they are willing to wage a real battle for the things they believe in. Two core Democratic principles, at least, are at stake in these hearings, and are clearly threatened by the Alito nomination:

(1) whether we live in a country where the President has the right to declare himself to be above the law and can freely violate whatever laws he wants; and, (2) whether the privacy rights which are the bedrock of individual liberty in this country will be decimated by the Supreme Court, thereby returning us to the days where women were prohibited by the state from having abortions and where the Federal Government is able to intervene in our lives and restrict our liberties in the most personal and private spheres, from our most intimate relationships to the way we die....

via The Sideshow to Unclaimed Territory

There's much more here and it is all very good.

Rewriting personal histories

You would think a Supreme Court Justice wannabe, a super star media whore and an Oprah favored author would have the nuts to fess up and come clean with the past. Apparently not.

Alito is lying to the Senate about his membership in the Concerned Alumni of Princeton (CAP). For the facts about his awkward attempts to cover up this membership and why it matters, go here: LINK

For Diby's assassination of Alito (and his homeboys), go here: LINK

For additional coverage of Alito and his hearings, go here: LINK, and scroll down. For a bonus, Russert, who also has trouble coming clean, is depantsed.

If you're interested in joining the fun with the James Frey ain't I something (no, you're not) Oprah book fraud, read the great Wolcott, here: LINK

Monday, January 09, 2006

To hell with pensions. Give it all to the rich.

Here’s more evidence, from the New York Times, of the class war being waged aggressively by the privileged corporate elite against people who work for a living. Slowly but surely we are being stripped of any security. The value of contributions made by wage earners and salaried workers to corporate success is scorned as the fabulously rich renege on obligations to life long employees while hauling cash home by the barge load.

The article is long, but here’s the first two paragraphs:

More Companies Ending Promises for Retirement

The death knell for the traditional company pension has been tolling for some time now. Companies in ailing industries like steel, airlines and auto parts have thrown themselves into bankruptcy and turned over their ruined pension plans to the federal government.

Now, with the recent announcements of pension freezes by some of the cream of corporate America - Verizon, Lockheed Martin, Motorola and, just last week, I.B.M. - the bell is tolling even louder. Even strong, stable companies with the means to operate a pension plan are facing longer worker lifespans, looming regulatory and accounting changes and, most important, heightened global competition. Some are deciding they either cannot, or will not, keep making the decades-long promises that a pension plan involves....

From farther into the article:
...Pension advocates said they were dismayed that rich and powerful companies like I.B.M. and Verizon would abandon traditional pensions.

"With Verizon, we're talking about a company at the top of its game," said Karen Friedman, director of policy studies for the Pension Rights Center, an advocacy group in Washington. "They have a huge profit. Their C.E.O. has given himself a huge compensation package. And then they're saying, 'In order to compete, sorry, we have to freeze the pensions.' If companies freeze the pensions, what are employees left with?"...

You have to wonder when people will get pissed off enough to do something.