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Fox News and Hate Radio won the election.

People only know what they hear, and the media has all been pulled down to the level of Fox News.

So, yes, we shoulda done this and coulda done that – and all that's correct and fine. But none of it matters to the voter watching television or listening to the radio – and that's just about everyone.

What does matter is what they hear.

When the White House press corp elects the Fox News representative as their association president (and they did) it's a sign that the media is over, done, no longer truthful or informative or independent.

We do need to do stuff, but first we have to free the media from Fox and the influence of Fox. Until that happens we'll mainly be talking to ourselves.

A Southerner in Yankeeland


People working in politics, economics, government, or policy have got to find life very frustrating. How they keep from coming home and banging their heads against the wall at the end of the day is amazing. How they stop from jumping up on top of their desks and screaming must take superhuman restraint.

They're forced to argue against policies and legislative bills and newspaper columns and public speakers who are proposing things that have been debunked, discredited, or defeated time and time again. They're asked to devote all their time and energy to stopping insanely destructive acts.

And it's all on purpose.

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Republican congressman Bill Johnson has volunteered to personally pick up the $24,000,000,000 tab to the American people, for his vote for the shut down of the U.S. government.

The congressman said he was going to "man up" and "face the consequences of my actions." It was unclear whether Johnson would pay the funds out of his own pocket, as he first indicated, or would seek help from the Republican National Committee and the Tea Party.

Johnson, known in congressional circles as a blithering idiot with no understanding of the basic facts of the American economy, is known for making rash, nonsensical statements. Often basing his political positions on misinformation he heard on talk radio or the internet, he has a reputation in the House as having no sense of embarrassment and is unacquainted with the concept of personal responsibility, which is why his mea culpa came as such a surprise to other legislators.

"That Bill," one of them chuckled. "Somebody's going to have to sit him down and explain the concept of blame shifting to him. Besides, he don't have twenty-four billion dollars, so what's he thinking?"

A Southerner in Yankeeland


If the economic future of our country goes into negotiations between the President and the GOP house leadership it would be harmful for one side to start from a position of wanting to return to the status quo, while the other side comes at the discussions demanding concessions.

The pro-American side should surprise the GOP by making equally large demands that the economy moves in a positive direction. We could introduce plans on a number of economic fronts, focusing on restoring jobs cut by the GOP, and increasing employment and therefore business, especially for the widely-defined middle-class. Not as attachments to a clean bill, perhaps, but as talking points.

This will make the GOP's veins bulge and make their faces turn red, but it will effectively illustrate the different goals of the parties, re-focus the emphasis from GOP goals to Democratic goals, and (finally) give the media a situation where there are actually two sides making demands and negotiating for their constituents.

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Here's a quick little story for you. It's about Deregulation, common sense, and business in the South (and other places).

I posted it as a comment to a fine diary by cassandracarolina,  and I had the thought that it might be interesting to other folks.......

A few years back I got a call from an insurance agent wanting to sell me a health policy for my employees. We chatted for a while about the present policy, and what she could offer.

Then I asked her where the company was based.


I told her sorry but I couldn't do business with her.

Shocked, she asked why not.

Texas is against government regulation, I said, and that means that everything is weighed toward the company, and the customer – in this case, me – has no protection. What y'all have just done to tort laws is a good example. Why would anyone do business with a company based in Texas?

She called back two days later with some double-talk but it didn't change anything.

Let me hasten to add that there are many fine business people in Conservative areas, and they produce many fine products and run fine retail and service businesses. Not everyone is a red area is a red. In my state we get 40% of the votes, but the clowns get 60% so they run things. But 40% is a whole lot of people, so I don't paint with a broad brush.

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Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 10:14 AM PDT


by A Southerner in Yankeeland

The Republican war on women shows no sign of abating. Why should it? It's a core belief of Conservatives that women are inferior, just as it's a core belief that non-whites are inferior. To respect women goes against this fundamental Republican belief.

A recent article in The New Yorker will hit you hard in the solar plexus, and could bring a compassionate person to tears. It's a short but powerful story.

Women have gotten the short end of the stick through most of history, and the treatment of women is a good measurement of a society's level of advancement. Brutal, ignorant and primitive societies treat women different and worse than those societies treat men. Advanced societies are movements for the equality of women.

To even have to say that we stand for decency is in itself bewildering. Of course we stand for decency. But the need to say it arises from seeing such a large group on the other side promoting the subjugation, humiliation, and belittling of women.

Te book "What's the Matter with Kansas?" by Thomas Frank caused quite a stir. It said that Conservatives such as those from Frank's home state, voted against themselves (for Republicans), and it proposed reasons why this was so.

Conservative women, and especially religious Conservative women, have been voting against themselves since they got the vote in the 1920s. (They got the vote thanks to the activism of Liberal women and men.) All the advancements of women have been the result of the work of Liberal women and men.

Though someone could still write a book with the title "What's the Matter with Women?" it looks like Conservative women are starting to catch on. Those I know have changed their beliefs on certain individual issues, and more and more I see a drift toward Liberalism. This isn't happening a lot in the religious right, at least in my experience, but it is happening elsewhere.

This seems like a Golden Moment for Liberalism and the Democratic Party.

Take a moment to read the on-line posting of the Lapore article. If the words of Ben Franklin's sister don't hit you in the gut I don't know what to say.

A Southerner in Yankeeland


Benghazi and the IRS are Republican scandals in every sense.

Republicans cut the security budgets of our embassies in order to further their "small government" philosophy for transferring wealth from the middle-class to the ultra-wealthy. When the embassy at Benghazi was attacked it could not sufficiently defend itself. How can there be any doubt that the terrorists noticed the Republican caused vulnerability of the embassy, and that that was an important factor in the attack?

The Republicans then created a fake scandal, saying that it was the fault of the Democrats.

Republicans cut the budget of the IRS in order to further their "small government" philosophy. As a result a single person in an office in Cincinnati had to examine the sudden flood of new, apparently political organizations claiming tax exempt status. Under-funded and under-staffed, a quick sorting method was used, one that was perfectly logical in light of the commonality of these new organizations.

The Republicans created a fake scandal, saying it was persecution by Democrats.

A reporter leaked information that government security divisions said was harmful to national security. The Department of Justice investigated by tapping the phone of the reporter and a great many other people. This continuation of Bush-Republican policies by the Obama administration was turned into a fake scandal by Republicans.

Obama and Holder should be criticized for being so Republican.

Imagine, now, what the Republican reaction would have been had all these things occurred during the Bush-Republican era.

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Multi-billionaire David Koch, half of the Kansas team of hit men attempting to destroy the American economy, recently put some of his vast wealth to work, going after public radio.

The Koch brothers are currently reported to be attacking accurate journalism by considering making a bid for the Tribune Company, owners of some of the largest and most influential media companies in our country.

Tribune Company owns:
The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angles Times, The Baltimore Sun, the Orlando Sentinel, the Hartford Courant, El Sentinel (Orlando), and ten other newspapers.
Tribune also owns three cable television networks (including the Food Channel), WGN radio in Chicago, and television stations in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Washington D.C., Houston, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Denver, Indianapolis/.Bloomington, New Orleans, St. Louis, San Diego, and ten other cities. Tribune also owns other internet sites and various television shows.

It's not know if the Koch brothers are attempting to buy all Tribune Company properties or just segments of the media giant.

A clue as to what might happen to these already right wing influenced media outlets may be seen in the recent actions of David Koch.

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Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:32 PM PDT

The New Pope

by A Southerner in Yankeeland

Rome (Reuters) – A new Pope has been chosen. Thousands cheered as the new Pope of the Roman Catholic church stepped on to the balcony of St. Peter's in Rome this afternoon. Reuters was able to reach the papal offices shortly after the white smoke appeared in the newly erected smokestack above the famed church and administrative headquarters of the 1.2 billion member church.

We spoke to the papal secretary who replied with laughter when we asked the name of the new pope who will lead his denomination through the turbulent times the church is now experiencing. The laughter turned into hysteria and the secretary dropped the phone, breaking the connection.

A call to the papal quarters was answered by the new pope himself. In a worldwide exclusive (Must credit Reuters) the pope introduced himself as Francois-Marie Arouet, "Better known as Voltaire," he said modestly.

"It did come as quite a surprise," he admitted. "First, because I'm a Deist, or maybe an Agnostic or Atheist, depending on the political winds in Paris. And second because, geez, man, I'm dead. I died over 200 years ago. I mean, c'mon."

Asked what name he would go by as the supreme pontiff Voltaire replied, "It's not like I was prepared or anything. I dunno. Maybe something for the Americans, since they've never really had a shot at getting one of their own into the office. Bob. How 'bout Bob? Pope Bob. Yeah, I kinda like that. Easy to say, isn't it?"

We agreed, and inquired about his plans for the future of the church. "Ya got me," Pope Bob said. "Gimme some time to get used to this, ya know? I'm still coming to terms with the clothes and the red slippers and the ring kissing. That bit was a little disconcerting, lemme tell ya. Kissing my ring? How weird is that."

The world hadn't been aware that Voltaire was even on the ballot, and it turned out neither was he. "There's something a little off about voting for a pope, at least there is to me. Voting? These old guys are supposed to be the closest to their god, right up there, and I figured they'd all just get the same magic word from on high. That would make sense for them. But they had to vote on it? Too weird, man."

We mentioned that it took five ballots. "Exactly!" Pope Bob exclaimed. "The top guys, you gotta figured they all prayed for guidance, right? And they got different answers! What's with that, man? Their god's a jokester? How could anybody follow what these guys say, if they can't even get a straight answer from their god? Did a bunch of them hear wrong? That doesn't make them sound too reliable as conduits of the word, now does it? I don't know, the voting, the miscommunications with their god, it all sounds a little fishy to me. But, what the hey, they ended up making a good choice. Listen, I gotta go now. They want me to wave and say stuff in Latin. Let me give you my cell number. Call me later."

A Southerner in Yankeeland


Just finished a very good book. Fiction.

If you're a dog lover and enjoy crime/mystery novels, as I do (3, all pound mutts), you might want to take a look at this:

The dog is a major character. I can't recall a book that features a dog in the way this one does, and you'll root for her more, or at least as much, as the main human character.

Not part of the Cole/Pike series, but it has a strong crime plot, strong writing, lots of action, and you'll get misty-eyed.

A Southerner in Yankeeland


Guess some folks are a little more webby than I (MWTI), and feel a little more emotional about DK (ALMEADK) than I do. I'd never heard of TTFN and didn't know what the heck y'all were writing about. Turns out it's just holy crap I'm outta here (HCIOH) in a pseudo British jacket. (Thanks to a post from MisterOpus1 for explaining this.)

So I read a few of them. Don't expect to ever read another one after this, but the idea of banning them strikes me as equally dramatic and silly (EDS). Though the idea of someone getting upset reading them, and then reading more, so that they become STRT (Sick and Tired of Reading Them), is so high up the silly ladder that I suspect someone harboring that feeling is in danger of falling off. Head first, no doubt.

HAT (Here's a thought): You don't ban something because you don't like reading them, or because you think they're immature and overly dramatic. Folks are different. On any given day we're apt to run into someone smarter than we are and someone not as smart as we are. Different cultures and...well, hey, you know about all the differences among people so I don't have to list them. But to ban those posts? Naw. Isn't right, isn't prudent.

And, of course, if reading those kinds of diaries makes you sick and tired I would suggest the solution conjured up by the native Hciohs of the ancient Southeastern swamps: Don't fucking read them (DFRT).

Now, if you wanna ban something how about all those dumb initials that everyone uses because, frankly, I'm sick and tired of reading them (STRT).

A Southerner in Yankeeland


Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 10:24 AM PST

An Open Letter

by A Southerner in Yankeeland

An Open Letter to Roger Ailes, CEO of Fox News; Wayne LaPierre, Spokesman for the NRA; Talk Radio Hosts, both National and Local; Paranoia and Conspiracy Web Sites; and Tea Party Members of State Legislatures and the U.S. Congress.

Stop inciting people to murder.

The violently mentally ill and the gullible are killing children, their wives and themselves, and complete strangers. They have been riled up and given spurious motivations, in a land of easily available high-tech weapons, by you, all to achieve short term political or financial goals. Then they go out and kill.

Intense fear, terror, hate and paranoia are wide spread  – all emotions that were rare in our country thirty years  ago. Americans should be able to feel safe going to a movie, sending their children off to school, visiting a mall, and going to their workplace. But today they're scared that wherever they go one of the unstable or gullible people that you incite will show up, locked and loaded.

You inspire an atmosphere of terror, hatred and division for the base reasons of greed and political power. Stop. Americans are fed-up with the ugliness you provoke. We resent your attempts to turn our country into a  place ruled by violence, injustice and hatred. We rebel at seeing so many lifeless bodies.

We want the America that stands for good, for morality, for honesty and fairness that we used to know. We want you to stop inciting people to hatred and paranoia.

We want you to stop tearing our country apart.

Stop now.

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