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I just find it really interesting when Republicans and libertarians think they need to vote for Republicans because they are more fiscally conservative than Democrats. It's the single biggest lie sold by the Republican Party to attract votes.

And there is no bigger contrast than the recent headlines on Republican and Democratic policies.

The first day Obama walked into office he was faced with a 1.2 trillion dollars in deficit.

Now the latest is that the deficit continues to fall:

The White House said Friday that the federal government’s budget deficit will drop to $583 billion this year, the lowest level of President Barack Obama’s tenure.
Last year’s deficit was $680 billion. The latest update from the White House budget office is also $66 billion less than the administration predicted earlier this year when releasing the president’s budget.
Meanwhile Republicans just voted to increase the deficit by 287 billion dollars, which include- wait for it- tax cuts, with:
The largest part of the [tax] cut, worth more than $263 billion, is making permanent so-called bonus depreciation, which allows businesses to write off the cost of capital investments and improvements much more quickly
This tax cut has almost no positive effect on the economy, according to the Congressional Research Service.

If anyone still believes that the Republican Party cares about anything but the rich, that person is delusional.

Discuss

Mon May 26, 2014 at 06:39 AM PDT

Advice on a sexual harasser

by coolelegans

So I'm a bit confused since I never faced this situation before and I would love to have anyone's opinion on the matter. First I would like to point out that Im an Indian American male raised mainly in the United States, though I was born in India. Im currently working on my PhD- the program has small class sizes, and there are a lot of foreign students, especially Indians and I have many friends from this group.

My problem is with a couple of Indians who were raised in India, but are here to get their PhDs (let's call them A and B). They act very strange around women and have said strange things about women that have made me, and my friends who are women and targets of their statements, uncomfortable. It is possible that they were raised in a culture in which their sexuality was repressed, and they don't really understand what they are doing. But it is also possible that they are feigning naivete. I know that a lot of guys in India are a bit sexually repressed, they ogle women shamelessly, they grope them. I know it happens in America too, but it's on another level in India. Im not sure if this is a problem with my friends, but I suspect it is. They are generally very nice and polite, but every once in a while they say things that bother me.

 For example, A wanted to know whether a friend of mine was interested in him. I did my duty as a friend and asked her and she said no. When I reported her response to A and he said "that's what they always say, but invite them for drinks, and after a few, they'll be ready to sleep with you". That made me really uncomfortable. Both of them are approached me for information about my female friend's relationship status several times. It was insistent and almost belligerent. My friend told me that they cornered her when she was alone to ask about it. She is very uncomfortable around them. They sit with us at lunch, and I've asked her a couple times to ask them to stay away, but she says it's not a big deal and that she doesn't want everyone in the program to think badly of her (it's a very small program and he knows a lot of people). It's like she's accepted having negative attention constantly in her life.

Another female friend told me that she never wanted to talk about A again- it seemed like he lied to break up her relationship with someone- which might just be a personal matter, but she was so angry and ashamed that I'm suspecting that he may have done something more, though Im not sure what.

The thing is none of this has affected me personally, and if anything, they are both good friends to me. Just the other day, when I was upset, and A asked me to go to dinner with him and we talked and bonded. When women aren't involved he gives great advice.

The women they are bothering would rather just ignore them, but it bothers me that no one stands up to them. Should I convince my female friends to do something about it? They are getting angry at me when I press them. Should I talk to an authority figure about them? They are kind to me so I would feel guilty to do that. Should I attempt to convince them that they should treat women with respect? But that assumes that they are naïve, when it is quite possible (if A is capable of lying to destroy a relationship) that they are manipulative and know what they are doing.

 This is a weird situation for me because they seem very respectable and nice in every other way. They aren't the stereotypes that I expect a sexual harasser to be. I feel guilty for bonding with A when he hurt my friends, and I would also feel guilty going to an authority figure.

Please let me know what you guys think I should do.

Thanks for all the responses. One thing I should clarify, these two friends do not grope or ogle as ar as I know, but Im just pointing out what a lot of Indian guys have been known to do, and Im not sure whether they are immersed in this culture as well.

Discuss

... would you care that it was a sellout to corporations?

If you were the mother of a child who came back from Iraq, would you care that Obama hasn't cut defense spending enough?

What if you were a gay soldier who no longer needs to fear keeping his identity a secret? How much would you care that Obama was centrist?

I just find it interesting when people argue that Obama is too centrist or a sellout. It might even be true. Heck I don't agree with him on a lot of things. But every time I donate my time or money to get him or a Democrat elected, I do it proudly. Not because I get everything I want or even most of what I want, but because people's lives are changing for the better. That change is real. There are mothers out there who are thankful right now for the change we wrought. Don't forget that. Isn't that happiness worth all the sweat and tears you put into getting Obama elected, even if you didn't get most of what you wanted? For me it is.

Think of it another way, if you've given up- the real, corrupt bad guys won. The rich and powerful want the average guy to be disillusioned because if we choose not to exercise the power we have, they get more powerful. The corrupt running the system need you not to care, they need you to give up in order for them to continue to exercise their hold on the system. Are you going to let them do that? So we can either try to change it, even in incremental ways by electing a guy like Obama, or not.

The fact that we are only getting incremental change shows us how difficult our path it. It tells us what our ancestors had to go through when they fought for justice. It makes us value the opportunities we have. People died doing what we are trying to do. So why shouldn't we suffer a little?

And why should we be tired? Im really excited. I can't wait to push hard the next time to do more. Think of it this way, if things were perfect, then what's the point? I'd be really bored. I'm in this fight because Im needed. Because I can change things, and because there is ALWAYS more to change for the better. I got up today, worked my butt off and got only a bit of change? Great, Im going to get up tomorrow and work just as hard to get a little more.

And by the way, if you're upset because someone told you to STFU... welcome to the internet! Don't let that stuff get to you. You're worth more than what some anonymous person tells you. Just ignore it and keep doing what you're doing.  

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This is really funny. There was apparently a pro-life rally yesterday in Washington D.C to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision. And thousands of people attended.

Now for thousands of people to attend a rally outside with frigid temperatures is commendable. Frankly, they seem unaware that their preferred legislative actions actually increase abortions (is female foeticide higher in India, where it's illegal or in America, where it's legal?), but it's an impressive feat nonetheless.

But this isn't enough for Redstate or LifeNews, which I frequent because of their hilarious, oblivious posts, which claim that HUNDREDS of thousands of people attended the rally.

The same site that calculated this number which was off by a factor of a hundred, also calculated that 57 million fetuses have been aborted since Roe v Wade, which is making the rounds in conservative circles. Ted Cruz posted that number up on his Facebook page yesterday.

These guys are living in their own bubble, just making up random numbers. But I say- why stop at "hundreds of thousands"? "Billions of Americans" sounds better. So let's use that instead.

Discuss

Mon Oct 28, 2013 at 02:57 PM PDT

What Doctors think of Obamacare

by coolelegans

I don't normally repost almost completely from another source, but I think this article is an exception.

It goes through the aspects of their patients' lives that prevent them from getting care, or only allowing them to get care when it's too late and too expensive.  This is a story that explains how simply having insurance can save a life.

It puts into perspective all the petty discussions the Right is having on Obamacare. They care about political points, we, liberals, care about saving lives.

And this article is not simply op. ed., but an article written in the New England Journal of Medicine, a highly respected medical journal that most doctors keep in touch with.

Some interesting passages below the fold

Continue Reading

Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 02:27 PM PDT

An online debate about Abortion

by coolelegans

So, recently, I debated someone about abortion. I like to do a lot of online debates, especially about abortion since it's such a charged topic, and I follow a formula which seems to work very very often and I wanted to share it with you guys if you think you ever get into an argument with a really kooky uncle. As always, keep it polite, but keep it honest- don't be afraid to call them out.

Continue Reading

I'm sick and tired of hearing from right-wing clowns that Obama's foreign policy on Syria is a failure. Even though Syria agreed to disarm its chemical weapons without the United States firing a shot, or spending a dime, or losing one life, somehow this is a complete and abject failure just because Putin was involved.

Well I want to remind everyone of what a REAL failure looks like in the following video, which shows that Bush couldn't even get a hand shake from ANY foreign policy leader. I'm not remind you of this out of glee. He was my President as much as a Republican's.  We should all be embarrassed by the public shaming that Bush endured when he had to walk with his head hanging on the world stage.

And you are going to call Obama a failure or an embarrassment? Give me a break.

Discuss

Thu Jul 18, 2013 at 01:36 PM PDT

Unbelievable Racism from Drudge

by coolelegans

Here is the front page of Drudge Report yesterday:

On the top left hand corner you will see a link that reads: Jeantel: 'Trust me, I am educated, I have a 3.0'...

Interestingly, the article that it links to is titled: Rachel Jeantel on Trayvon Martin Friendship: He Never Judged Me". Only at the very end of the article does Jeantel mention anything about her own education. The focus of the article is on her views on Trayvon and her actions in court. Yet, if you look at all the comments, they are all vitriolic, and racist and focus on Jeantel's intelligence and her GPA, just as the title in Drudge directed them.

Look at the first comment:

Raymond Smith • a day ago −
3.0 is her IQ, not her GPA
The comment is uprated 343 times and down rated only once. Hmm, I wonder where these commenters are coming from?

This is what the Drudge readership is made out of, and clearly it is fueled by Drudge or he wouldn't race bait with such an incendiary title.

Continue Reading

There is a very similar case to the Trayvon Martin trial. You can read about it here.

The woman also fired her gun like Zimmerman. She also lives in Florida. She invoked the "stand your ground" law, while Zimmerman invoked his right to self defense.

But here are the differences. She didn't kill anyone- she had fired warning shots. She was actually defending herself against her abusive husband. She was found guilty and is sentenced to 20 years in prison.... and she's black.

What is wrong with the court system, when you have two very similar cases that end with completely different verdicts- with a single glaring difference between the defendants in both cases?

Discuss

Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 08:58 PM PDT

Trayvon can still get justice

by coolelegans

Because this is not just about Trayvon's death. This is about racism- Trayvon was profiled, and  Rachel Jeantel was humiliated during the trial. Poverty and racism are at the root of all of this. So let this be a signal for America that the fight for racial equality is not even close to over. We need to take over where the previous generation left off. Where Trayvon left off.

We need to fight to make sure this doesn't happen again. We can still get him justice, if another child doesn't die like this.

And we can also give Trayvon's father some peace:

That's what Trayvon's father wants. And that's what we should fight for.

We need to make another push for gun control, for health and education and most of all to get rid of that "stand your ground" law.  

Discuss

Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 06:27 PM PDT

I Love Nancy Pelosi

by coolelegans

TPM reports about this icing on the cake from Nancy Pelosi.A reporter asked her a question about Michelle Bachmann's reaction to the DOMA ruling where Bachmann says "the decision today cannot undo God's word".

Nancy Pelosi responds: "Who cares?"

Watch the video it's awesome:

The expression on her face: it's not annoyance, or anger. She genuinely doesn't give a shit about what Bachmann has to say. And her chuckling afterwards is adorable.

I guess Bachmann's five minutes are pretty much up. Beck and Palin, make room for one more.

Discuss

NYT reports:

The amount is a matter of debate, but by any measure significant: between $1.2 billion, projected by Gov. Jerry Brown, and $4.4 billion, the estimate of the Legislature’s independent financial analyst. The surplus comes barely three years after the state was facing a deficit of close to $60 billion.
California, a state dominated by the Democratic Party, fixed a problem that Republicans in the legislature created and refused to solve.

After Bush's deficit was cut in half by Obama, mainly by increased revenue, California reinforces the point that raising taxes on the rich decreases the deficits without hurting the economy. We should never again here the refrain that "we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem". That lie should be dead and buried.

Having said that there is now a battle between the more fiscally conservative Governor Brown, who wants to pay down the debt, and others who want to invest in the poor. But I'd like to remind you that this battle between Democrats is a battle between adults. When the Republicans are out of the picture, we actually end up debating real problems.

Discuss
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