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Stephen Greenhouse chronicles the growing fight for a decent wage.

Often relegated to the background, America’s low-wage workers have been making considerable noise lately by deploying an unusual weapon — one-day strikes — to make their message heard: they’re sick and tired of earning just $8, $9, $10 an hour.

Their anger has been stoked by what they see as a glaring disconnect: their wages have flatlined, while median pay for chief executives at the nation’s top corporations jumped 16 percent last year, averaging a princely $15.1 million, according to Equilar, an executive compensation analysis firm.

...

Many low-paid workers feel their employers have put an invisible ceiling on their wages, with little prospect of ever making more than $10 or $11 an hour, as corporations have focused on keeping wages competitive and maximizing profits to benefit shareholders. The richest Americans have benefited mightily from corporate America’s record profits and the stock market’s repeated highs.

Feel? I think they do more than feel there's a cap on their wages. Even people in full time positions are very aware that service and technical tracks within companies are often strictly limited in their pay, while for management the only limit is what they can get away with.

Why are workers so angry that they're willing to risk their jobs? Well, because of situations like this.

Caterpillar has pioneered two-tier wage systems, in which workers hired after a certain date are consigned to a significantly lower wage scale than others, and it recently pressed its longer-term employees into accepting a six-year wage freeze. Many Caterpillar workers ask why the company insisted on a pay freeze when it reported repeated record profits — $5.7 billion last year, amounting to $45,000 per Caterpillar employee.

Caterpillar’s chief executive, Douglas Oberhelman (whose compensation has increased more than 80 percent over the last two years), says the freeze was vital to keep wages competitive with rival companies. “I always try to communicate to our people that we can never make enough money,” he recently told Bloomberg Businessweek. “We can never make enough profit.”

A system that rewards management for starving workers is intrinsically immoral. That's not capitalism, it's just cruelty.

Leonard Pitts tosses in his two-cents on the subject.

As fast food workers around the country protest for higher wages, we learn that McDonald’s offers advice to help them live on the wages they make which, while not technically bupkes, do amount to a paycheck you can pretty much have the driver cash for you on the bus ride home. In December, for example, Bloomberg profiled a Chicago man who, after 20 years with the burger giant, earns $8.25 an hour — and doesn’t get 40 hours a week. This, as McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson pulled down, according to the Wall Street Journal, a compensation package worth $13.8 million last year.

The impossibility of doing so has been attested to by everyone from writer Barbara Ehrenreich in her book Nickel and Dimed to noted obstetrician Cliff Huxtable, in that episode of The Cosby Show where he uses Monopoly money to teach young Theo the value of a good income. It has also been attested to by the people trying to do it. But all that notwithstanding, the McBudget insists it can be done.

There should be a strict relationship between executive pay and the pay of the lowest paid workers at a company. Nothing else is going to force this gap to narrow.

Come on in, let's see what else there is to talk about.

The New York Times editorial board looks into efforts to fill the enormous hole in civil rights that the Roberts court dug earlier this summer.

In a federal lawsuit first brought by black and Hispanic voters against Texas over its redistricting maps, the Justice Department relied on a rarely used provision of the act, Section 3, to ask a federal court to require Texas to get permission before making any voting changes in the state.

Until last month, Texas already had to get such permission under the act’s “preclearance” process. This process had long been the most effective means of preventing racial bias in voting laws in states with histories of discrimination. It required state and local governments that wanted to change the laws to first show there would be no discriminatory effect. In Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the act as unconstitutional; that provision laid out the formula that determined which jurisdictions had to get permission.

...

This is why Mr. Holder’s decision to rely on Section 3 in the Texas case is so significant. Section 3 — also known as the “bail-in” provision — may be the most promising tool we have to protect voting rights after Shelby. It allows courts to identify jurisdictions that are passing intentionally discriminatory voting laws and then “bail” them in as needed — that is, require them to get permission before establishing new voting rules.

Stephen Stromberg looks into the apoplexy that's broken out on the right over Holder's application of the Voting Rights Act post-gutting.
If you believe a handful of Texas Republicans, Attorney General Eric Holder’s new effort to enforce the Voting Rights Act in their state and elsewhere brazenly defies the Supreme Court, which struck down part of the law in June. “This end run around the Supreme Court undermines the will of the people of Texas,” Gov. Rick Perry said.

“The Supreme Court message to the Justice Department was clear — don’t mess with Texas,” Rep. Lamar Smith insisted. “But Eric Holder and the Justice Department aren’t listening.”

It would be amazing if that’s actually what Chief Justice John Roberts and the court majority said. But, in reality, the attorney general’s move to use the Voting Rights Act provisions the Supreme Court left in place is perfectly consonant with the ruling, and not just in a technical sense. It also comports with the court’s logic. Anyone who says otherwise didn’t read it, didn’t understand it, or didn’t let that stop him. Lamar Smith apparently confused the 24-page decision with an asinine bumper sticker.

Any time I heard the "Don't Mess with Texas" phrase these days, I can't help but think of Lewis Black.

Ross Douthat cranks up the way back machine for the GOP.

What [the GOP] lacks, for now, is the self-awareness to see how it falls short of its own ideal, and the creativity necessary to transform its self-conception into victory, governance, results.

The theory goes something like this: American politics is no longer best understood in the left-right terms that defined 20th-century debates. Rather, our landscape looks more like a much earlier phase in democracy’s development, when the division that mattered was between outsiders and insiders, the “country party” and the “court party.”

...

Bolingbroke is largely forgotten today, but his skepticism about the ways that money and power intertwine went on to influence the American Revolution and practically every populist movement in our nation’s history. And it’s his civic republican ideas, repurposed for a new era, that you hear in the rhetoric of new-guard Republican politicians like Rand Paul and Mike Lee, in right-wing critiques of our incestuous “ruling class,” and from pundits touting a “libertarian populism” instead.

Theirs is not just the usual conservative critique of big government, though that’s obviously part of it. It’s a more thoroughgoing attack on the way Americans are ruled today, encompassing Wall Street and corporate America, the media and the national-security state.

Douthat wins the award for most convoluted theory of what's wrong with his own party, least accurate depiction of what the right wing of his party is about, and absolutely no understanding of how his party is viewed outside of pundit land. Just think of it as the George Will In Training Award.

Emily Barker launches into a comparison of the often tricksy rules of magic vs. the difficult interpretation of some legal matters. Which should be fun, but never gets there.

Anne Hornaday goes to Fruitvale Station and finds not just racial prejudice, but white privilege

When Hollywood tackles race directly, it’s usually by way of uplifting allegories like “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” “Crash” and “The Help,” each of which, in its own way, perpetuates the consoling idea that eradicating racism is simply a matter of purging our negative prejudices.

Rarely do films ask audiences to grapple with the deeply embedded, race-based habits that give white Americans an edge in everything from housing to employment, or the positive racial profiling that grants white people countless free passes.

Indeed, far from being confronted with the pernicious legacies of official discrimination, white audiences tend to have their assumptions about race reinforced. Black people are far more likely to go see movies with majority-white casts than vice versa. And whereas movies about African Americans have tended to be confined to comedies and urban dramas, the white experience has long been represented across a diverse range of genres, stories and characters.

Dana Milbank creates the most fearsome, and disgusting, hybrid in history -- the McWeiner.
Most news accounts treated these as two separate scandals: Anthony Weiner, the disgraced Democratic congressman and would-be mayor of New York, had been exposed again as a digital flasher, sending “selfie” pictures of his privates to women. Bob McDonnell, the Republican governor of Virginia, was found to be taking gifts and loans from a businessman McDonnell had helped. ...

Their offenses are similarly pointless: Weiner threw away a promising career by exchanging smut with women he claims he never met. McDonnell, once mentioned as a possible presidential candidate, undid his reputation by accepting sums — a $6,500 Rolex, a $15,000 splurge at Bergdorf Goodman — that were trivial compared to those he could have earned after leaving office.

Mark Udall and Ron Wyden call for an end to the NSA's mass data collection.
We have had concerns about domestic surveillance authorities for several years. Through our oversight work on the Senate intelligence committee, we have become convinced that the government needs to scale back overly intrusive surveillance activities to better protect Americans’ constitutional privacy rights and that this can be done while protecting U.S. national security. We have not been able to fully engage the public on these issues because the executive branch insisted on keeping its interpretation of the law secret. Although we would have preferred that this discussion had been sparked by a more transparent executive branch, rather than by unauthorized leaks, we welcome an open debate about the federal government’s dragnet collection of Americans’ phone records under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act.

Our view of this program is shaped by our experience with the NSA’s bulk e-mail records collection program. Concerned about this program’s impact on Americans’ civil liberties and privacy rights, we spent a significant portion of 2011 pressing intelligence officials to provide evidence of its usefulness. They were not able to do so, and it was shut down that year. This experience demonstrated to us that intelligence agencies’ assessments of the effectiveness of particular collection programs are not always accurate, and it led us to be skeptical of claims about the value of collecting bulk phone records.

They have my support. I'm not so frightened of terrorism that I'm willing to give up... well, anything, really.

Doyle McManus says that President Obama's best defense, is going on the offense.

President Obama sounds like a man back on the offensive.

The president is reprising his core message that what the economy needs is more federal spending on popular priorities such as infrastructure and education, not less.

And his stump speeches last week in Illinois, Missouri and Florida put Republicans on notice that he will blame them if a standoff over spending results in a government shutdown or a financial crisis over the federal debt ceiling this fall.

...

House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) doesn't seem to think so. When asked recently about the glacial pace of legislation in the House, he responded: "We should not be judged on how many new laws we create. We ought to be judged on how many laws that we repeal."

Boehner has a point. The number of bills a Congress passes is no guarantee that it's doing important work. Roughly a third of the measures Congress passes are inconsequential actions such as renaming post offices.

But there's also a flaw in Boehner's argument. Although the current Congress is on pace to pass even fewer laws than the previous one (which set a modern record for lack of productivity), it hasn't succeeded in repealing many laws either. The GOP-led House has voted nearly 40 times to repeal all or part of Obama's healthcare law, for example, but hasn't succeeded in overturning the act — although it has cut its funding.

The bolding is mine. No matter how you measure it, the Congress is a failure. But then, failure is what the Republicans want.

Andy Coghlan says you can blame your poor night's sleep not on what's on your mind, but what's in the sky.

The new analysis showed that by most measures, the 27 volunteers tested closest to a full moon experienced the worst sleep. For example, they showed brain activity related to deep, non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep for 30 per cent less time on average, relative to participants who slept during a new moon. "You feel less refreshed if you don't get enough NREM sleep," says Cajochen. ...

It took full-mooners five minutes longer on average than those in the other groups to get to sleep, and they also rated sleep quality as 15 per cent lower.

Hey, at least we only have one moon. Imagine trying to sleep around Saturn.

Originally posted to Devil's Tower on Sat Jul 27, 2013 at 11:14 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Full moon huh? (5+ / 0-)

    And I thought I was awake at 3am cause I had a headache.

    "You are what you write, not what you look like."

    by PHScott on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 12:07:08 AM PDT

  •  Senators Udall and Wyden: TRUE patriots. (12+ / 0-)




    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us. ~ J. Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 12:20:15 AM PDT

  •  Loved the Louis Black clip (12+ / 0-)

    especially the ending, about all the different ethnicities.

    NYC might not be a melting pot (fondue it ain't) but it's certainly a wonderful stew of people from all over the world.

    Irony takes a worse beating from Republicans than Wile E. Coyote does from Acme. --Tara the Antisocial Social Worker

    by Youffraita on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 12:28:40 AM PDT

  •  Just wanted to say thank you Mark Sumner (11+ / 0-)

    for a really great Abbreviated Pundit Roundup. I was incensed, then amused (Lewis Black), then incensed again, and again. Workers wages, voting rights, and the lack of progress in Congress are such important issues and you have highlighted them in an exemplary manner. I look forward to your next installment. Best wishes.

    "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.2, -7.9

    by helpImdrowning on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 01:12:26 AM PDT

    •  wages/profits (6+ / 0-)

      Mark wrote

      A system that rewards management for starving workers is intrinsically immoral. That's not capitalism, it's just cruelty.
      --and I disagree.  The CEO is mandated to maximize profits and long term prospects--and is rewarded by a board often under his control.  It was this aspect of capitalism that led to sweat shops.  Unions were formed about 150 years ago to be a countervailing force--and were successful in the US from about the Depression to Reagan.

      Unless strong militant unions have a rebirth, we are going to return to those shitty days of long ago.  History repeats itself--but usually it sneaks up--this time it's plain to see.  If not a strong union, there will be rebellion--fracturing--and hardship.  Capitalism is abusive--selfish--by design.  When we complain about inequality, we're ignoring the cause and highlighting the symptom.  Trumka, the ball is in your court and the clock is just about exhausted--strike while you still have some power.

      Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

      by melvynny on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:48:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't understand what you disagree about? (0+ / 0-)

        As you stated Mark wrote:

        A system that rewards management for starving workers is intrinsically immoral. That's not capitalism, it's just cruelty.

        you go on to disagree, yet your argument seems to agree wholeheartedly with the assessment that Mark laid out, I am confused. Please elaborate the differences here. Thank you.

        "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.2, -7.9

        by helpImdrowning on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:04:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  is (7+ / 0-)

          It IS capitalism--cruelty is just a component.

          Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

          by melvynny on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:10:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes, I also agree that (5+ / 0-)

            in capitalism, starving workers to maximize profits is simply called "surplus value," and it's expected.  Any moderation of this is usually a result of well organized labor.

            Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

            by KibbutzAmiad on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:15:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  As laid out in Thorstein Veblen's (8+ / 0-)

            Theory of the Leisure Class over a century ago.

            As it finds expression in the life of the barbarian, prowess manifests itself in two main directions—force and fraud. In varying degrees these two forms of expression are similarly present in modern warfare, in the pecuniary occupations, and in sports and games…The two barbarian traits, ferocity and astuteness, go to make up the predaceous temper or spiritual attitude. They are the expressions of a narrowly self-regarding habit of mind. Both are highly serviceable for individual expediency in a life looking to invidious success. Both also have a high aesthetic value. Both are fostered by the pecuniary culture. But both alike are of no use for the purposes of the collective life.
            Emphasis mine.

            As Veblen is at pains to point out, the Makers, those who do the actual work, are traditionally women and slaves—today, wage slaves‐and are held to be of no account, while the Takers receive all honor for misappropriating all of the fruits of actual labor via financial and governmental shenanigans. It is no accident that Mitt Romney inverted the Makers/Takers distinction in front of a Taker audience.

            Similarly, Adam Smith, whom the Takers pretend was one of their own.

            Everything for ourselves, and nothing for other people, seems, in every age of the world, to have been the vile maxim of the masters of mankind.

            Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

            by Mokurai on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:29:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  my favorite (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Stude Dude, happymisanthropy

              Galbraith's Countervailing Powers-- he thought labor could balance the power of business and government--I think it still might--but, if not soon, that balance will happen in Europe and Japan sooner.

              Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

              by melvynny on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:44:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Historically, the Magna Carta a peculiar case, (5+ / 0-)

              some move toward "democracy" in government has been the association of people to limit those rapacious takers' abusive excess. The Magna Carta was peculiar in that it was just lesser wolves trying to limit the power and gain rights from the alpha wolf—but it was a start setting out some good principles.

              We form governments to protect us from rapacious exploitation. Kings were to lead a group in protection from other groups. We supposedly evolved into a more democratic and voluntary protection system. But here people began to forget, after a horrible time of the Great Depression and war, letting a well funded and organized propaganda system culminate in the "great" actor president. We let that happen. Eternal vigilance went to sleep and be drugged with unrestrained capitalism good, government bad songs. Our modern right wing was formed by old takers funding a machine to dumb down generations of voters.

              Unions, opposed by "government" are pretty helpless as we see right now with their legal rights under challenge in courts and Congress. We'd damn well better wake up and retake government! Time is late, because those same takers are trying to take the vote away as well in every state they firmly control. If we sit back in the next elections waiting for "demographics" or other "natural" processes to save us it may be too late.

              The vote. "Use it or lose it" does apply.

              The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

              by pelagicray on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:38:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  violence (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pelagicray, Stude Dude

                Sadly, rarely do people become freer without force/power/violence--or at least the threat of same.  The 20th century saw union leaders as thugs--just as the South saw post Civil War government as carpetbaggers.  Words used to dis pioneers--people pushing back at tyrants.  We probably don't teach Orwell in high school anymore--some kids might realize how they're being lied to by language usage.

                Civil Rights was given a boost by Ike sending in troops to Little Rock, by the riots of the 1960s, by some New Yorkers getting killed trying to register "Negro" voters.  What's wrong with Utopians is they don't recognize the inane evil within most men (gender here is probably somewhat appropriate).  

                Right now, there is an opening for a resurgence of union power.  If all municipal workers go out on strike--including cops and fire--when Detroit pensions are diminished, the spark might bring a resurgence.  Won't happen--the police unions have been bought off--as in all totalitarian regimes.

                Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

                by melvynny on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:03:18 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I am seeing little chance of a resurgence of (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  melvynny, Odysseus

                  union power in a nation increasingly fragmented by both technology and hyper individualism. I have some despair we can even work together enough to even save our democracy, what there is of it.

                  From a recent comment:

                  We, male, female, white, black, immigrant, straight, gay, environmentalist, science based—whatever—must view 2013 in some states like Virginia and all in 2014 as important as Gettysburg in that old war. There is no excuse for not turning out and voting at least to deny the worst, chose the better of a bad choice if that is the only option. Gettysburg didn't win that war, but it was the high tide of the other side's attempt to win.
                  We fail this time and it may be too late for simple demographics and all that to win at a newly rigged roulette table.

                  The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

                  by pelagicray on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:53:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Glad to see Paul Ryan's makers vs takers (3+ / 0-)

              reversed on its head and explained/defined truthfully  Now, why don't Democrats ever frame the argument this way, on their own terms?  Sometimes, they seem to accept Ayn Randian regurgitations.

              The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

              by micsimov on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:38:48 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Thorstein (0+ / 0-)

              Absolutely. And Thorstein was so wise as to eschew the effort of making his bed. (one of the few things I retain from Econ 101, 1962).

          •  What exactly does the CEO of (5+ / 0-)

            McDonald's do to justify such an obscene salary?

            "Onward through the fog!" - Oat Willie

            by rocksout on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:22:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  he (0+ / 0-)

              He sucks off, and controls the Board of Directors.  It used to be called an interlocking directorate.

              Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

              by melvynny on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:39:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  CEO pay vs. everybody else (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Calamity Jean, rocksout

              Address it like this:
              Nearly all major corporations are publicly traded, because the financial markets are the cheapest, fastest way to raise money, and there is more money there than anywhere else.

              BUT, publicly traded companies are subject to regulation (SEC, CBOT in the US; their equivalents in other nations.)

              SO, have the SEC impose a rule on any corporation listed on a stock exchange:

              The total compensation paid (salary, stock options, use of corporate cars and jets, pension plans, gold-plated insurance of every kind, tuition reimbursement for children, vacation and holiday pay, golden parachute payments in case you are actually fired, signing bonuses, any other kind of bonuses, ETC---the whole package has a number on it) to the HIGHEST PAID employee cannot be larger than 150X that of the lowest paid employee, including independent contractors and payments to firms that provide goods and services to said corporation (parking, cleaning, HVAC, etc.)

              SOOoooo.....if Dick and Jane vacuuming Richie Rich's corner office at 3am make $10/hour, (full time for a year= $20,000), then Richie's total compensation for the year will be $3,000,000.

              You want to give Richie a raise? Go right ahead!...but Dick and Jane move right on up with him! And, since it is lousy for morale for the cleaning crew to be making $45,000/year (so Richie could make $6.750,000) while front line sales are stuck at $25,000, supervisors are still at $38,000, everyone else gets raises too.

              The rich we will always have with us, but the obscenely, decadently, arrogantly, condescendingly, tin-eared and hard-hearted rich, we can restrain.

              FWIW.

              Shalom.

              "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

              by WineRev on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 10:28:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Please take into consideration it is early here (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          melvynny

          and maybe I am a little slow on the uptake ;P I appreciate your tolerance of any slowness I may be experiencing.

          "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.2, -7.9

          by helpImdrowning on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:11:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  morning thought (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            helpImdrowning, micsimov

            Everyone thinks they're slow, yet smart in the early morning--by noon, they are embarrassed by their own "genius." After a couple of drinks at night, they return to that slow and smart mode.

            Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

            by melvynny on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:17:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Genius seems to escape me no matter (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              micsimov, happymisanthropy

              what the time of day :D

              "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.2, -7.9

              by helpImdrowning on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:41:02 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  relative (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                helpImdrowning

                Smart is a relative term--you're so much smarter than the Republican party members.  So genius comes down to how you compare to fellow progressives--if you're in the top 20% of that group, you're in the top 10% of Americans--and that could be counted as genius considering all the misinformation media has thrown your way.

                Under capitalism, man exploits man. Under communism, it's just the opposite. John Kenneth Galbraith .

                by melvynny on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:22:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Second help's comment! (8+ / 0-)

    Thank you for the APR!  It's essential to me as my morning coffee.

    Have a good day, everyone!  Well, if possible, have a good day.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:40:51 AM PDT

  •  The article about Fruitvale Station (11+ / 0-)

    reminded me that we read the book, "Black Like Me" in the 9th grade (1970) and the author came to our school and gave a lecture. It really made me look at the world differently (and not in a good way).
     Granted, it was a story of a man passing as a black man down south in the early 60s, and things have changed drastically down there, but there is still the lingering effects of two centuries of oppression.
    I don't really think a white person can understand what it's like to live as a black person and thus can't fully comprehend such a thing as "white privilege". Though as a woman who has worked in a a male dominated culture her entire career, I certainly have had a brief taste of it more than once.
    I really would like to see that book updated and released again.

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:48:25 AM PDT

    •  I'm anxious to see Fruitvale Station, hoping to go (5+ / 0-)

      this week.  My daughter, who is also a progressive, says she will go with me.  She "thinks" she understands discrimination, but she needs more of an eye opener.

      Your mention of Black Like Me reminded me of one of my all time favorite movies, Imitation of Life which I still cannot watch without a box of tissues on hand.

      I don't really think a white person can understand what it's like to live as a black person and thus can't fully comprehend such a thing as "white privilege". Though as a woman who has worked in a a male dominated culture her entire career, I certainly have had a brief taste of it more than once.
      Well put, skohayes.  I too am white and have always insisted that most white males have no idea, no clue what discrimination is like as they've never lived it.  I can say that growing up Catholic in the south and with a mother who was a yankee gave me another first hand opportunity to brush the surface of the discrimination AAs face.

      As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

      by JaxDem on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:27:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Douthat gets some good pushback (18+ / 0-)

    to his pretentious bullshit article:

    Farm Bill, Farm Bill, Farm Bill. That's all you need to know. This column tries to put lipstick on the pig that is seeking to consolidate the stranglehold the wealthy have and increase the shameful distribution of wealth and influence in this society. The attack on food stamp support says it all. The GOP couldn't care less. They make America a disgrace among the "developed" nations. Pseudo-intellectual blather such as today's column doesn't change the facts. The GOP represents a very ugly and brutal America.
                     ...........................................
    It continues to amaze me that both NYT "conservative" columnists, Douthat and Brooks, write eloquent columns accurately cataloging the idiocies of todays Republican party, yet then try to discern some non-existing "populism" (i.e. a concern for the population as a whole, rather than just the 1%), sounding somewhat desperate in their columns.

    The notion of "libertarian populism" is self-contradictory.
    Ayn Rand, venerated by libertarians, is the ultimate expression of self-centered elitism, a complete disregard for the wants and needs of anyone but oneself. The whole effort to put a "populist" spin on such an amoral philosophy is exactly the dilemma which Republicans find themselves in.

    This hopeless duplicity is reflected in the 47% comments by Mr. Romney - BEHIND CLOSED DOORS - while pretending to be concerned for a larger constituency on the campaign trail (actually, he was never very convincing at that).

                .....................................................
    Today's conservativism is unintelligent, bellicose, dishonest, corrupt, exclusionary, myopic, and ideological. It is almost as if the movement had as its guiding principle the fervent adoption of every undesirable quality. Perhaps it is just the inevitable outcome of the Nixon/Reagan southern strategy, and the creation of a self-reinforcing alternative reality on talk radio and Fox News. But for whatever reason, the modern conservative movement has become increasingly repulsive to decent, moderate, and educated Americans.

    I don't know what it will take for the conservative movement to reform itself, but I think conservatives and Republicans have to ask themselves whether, by corrupting the political process, they haven't corrupted themselves, with the paradoxical effect that the means that they are using to achieve power are costing them the possibility of power -- and, worse, depriving them of the ability to govern effectively should they regain it.

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 03:56:36 AM PDT

    •  dbsweden opines..... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, helpImdrowning, Stude Dude

      'It is said that the way to get a mule's attention is to whack it between the eyes with a two-by-four. To get the attention of the current crop of Republicans in Washington, Mr. Douthat needs to break out the birch rod...the two-by-four referred to above.'

    •  right populism is ... ugly! (9+ / 0-)

      there is populism in the right wing.  its a blatant appeal to white males by using sexism and racism.  the only sense in which its libertarian is that part of the right wing argument is that government gives advantages to women and people of color.  therefore government needs to be dismantled.

      so "libertarian populism" is a fancy way of saying "sexist racist".

      "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

      by noofsh on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:45:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What is even more mind boggling, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, eagleray, happymisanthropy

      to me anyway, is how can almost half the population of the United States ascribe to any of this bullshit? It is truly perplexing how so many can be so gullible/ignorant about such an important reality. How can you not know that many of your leaders truly despise you and see you as fodder for their never sated machine. It reminds me of a sick song my mother told me about from the 1930's or 1940's boy scouts song repertoire:

      Away out in the forest
      There lived a mean old man
      His name was Mr. Johnny Rebeck
      And he could surely plan
      All the neighbors' cats and dogs
      Were always at his feet
      So he invented a machine
      That turned them all to meat

      Oh Mr. Johnny Rebeck,
      How could you be so mean
      We told you you'd be sorry
      For inventing that machine
      All the neighbors' cats and dogs
      Will never more be seen
      They've all been ground to sausages
      In Johnny Rebeck's machine

      One day a boy came walking,
      He walked into the store
      He bought a pack of sausages
      And placed them on the floor
      Then he began to whistle,
      He whistled up a tune
      And all the little sausages,
      They danced around the room

      Oh Mr. Johnny Rebeck,
      How could you be so mean
      We told you you'd be sorry
      For inventing that machine
      All the neighbors' cats and dogs
      Will never more be seen
      They've all been ground to sausages
      In Johnny Rebeck's machine

      One day the darn thing busted,
      The darn thing wouldn't go
      So Johnny Rebeck climbed inside
      To see what made it so
      His wife she had a nightmare
      While walking in her sleep
      She gave the crank a great big yank
      And Johnny Rebeck was meat

      Oh Mr. Johnny Rebeck,
      How could you be so mean
      We told you you'd be sorry
      For inventing that machine
      All the neighbors' cats and dogs
      Will never more be seen
      They've all been ground to sausages
      In Johnny Rebeck's machine

      People need to understand, this is how the top 1% see the rest of us.

      "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.2, -7.9

      by helpImdrowning on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:52:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Boy, that last comment is a keeper! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, Egalitare

      "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

      by SottoVoce on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:50:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Republican Party was founded on two (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, freerad, AnnCetera, micsimov

      principles—opposition to slavery and support for corporate profit. As far as the corporations were concerned, however, their opposition to slavery was only that it deprived them of free (well, cheap) labor and access to labor, capital, and markets in the South.

      Ex-slaves became nominally free labor. (Although Jim Crow is deservedly called Slavery by Another Name, the title of a book by Douglas A. Blackmon, subtitled The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II.) As such, they came under corporate anti-labor policies, manifested in union-busting as soon as unions began to form, when White unions would not allow Black membership.

      The South lost the Civil War militarily, but won the peace with Jim Crow laws and the Klans. A century later it lost the Civil Rights battles in the courts and the Congress, but won the Republican Party via the Southern Strategy. Now the racist South and the Republican Party are on their way out as they lose the generational and demographic battles, and we can begin to celebrate the rise of a Progressive South, as I have documented in Diaries here from time to time.

      The Young South is Ours

      Neil Gaiman on Anti-South Prejudice

      Second Civil War or Tipping Point?

      But first, before we can party, we have to actually win those battles.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:03:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Conservatism today seems little more than (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude, skohayes

      dumb-downed populism:  Bachmann, Cain, West, S. King, Santorum, Perry, Gingrey, Akin, O'Donnell, Engel, TRUMP, Beck, Palin.  Of course, these people are part of the clown caucus and while they shouldn't be underestimated, the really dangerous ones are Cruz, Paul, Rubio, & Mike Lee.

      The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

      by micsimov on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:49:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So is that it? (7+ / 0-)

    Governor Utrasound gets to apologize for being a corrupt bastard, lie about the company receiving benefits and keep his job because he likes it? Is the only repercussion getting lumped in with Weiner by Dana Milbank? No shame.

    “Gov Bob McDonnell releases important statement: Repaid loans, apologized,”

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:45:48 AM PDT

    •  Oh yeah, (6+ / 0-)

      "Sorry about taking that $140,000 from that fake drug company so I would promote that fake drug. I forgot about that!"

      This is a problem never talked about with the one term limit on governors in Virginia- there are no consequences to this kind of behavior- you're not running again, you'll need a cushy job when you get out after 4 years, why not pander to the rich guy with the fake drugs?

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:08:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Turns out he didn't even have to (0+ / 0-)

      According to a new story on HuffPost, it's completely legal in VA for pols to use their campaign funds for personal expenses -- so Mrs. McDonnell used close to $10,000 to buy clothing for her new role, and it's legal.

      So the Gov's real error is not being subtle about it. If the money had gotten laundered through his PAC, no problem at all.

  •  about Section 3 of the Voting Rights Act (13+ / 0-)

    maybe my memory has failed, but I distinctly remember in oral arguments that Anthony Kennedy - who provided the 5th vote to overturn Section 5 - asked why Sections 3 and 4 could not continue to be used to ensure that minorities were not discriminated against by states and local jurisdictions.   And clearly Section 2 remains in effect in any jurisdiction in which there has previously been either a consent decree or a court order.

    In that sense, it seems clear that the Justice Department does have tools that it can use.

    And I would suspect that in many cases they could get stays of the new restrictions while the cases are being pursued, on the grounds that denial of voting to a large group is potentially far more damaging than the percentage of improper votes that might otherwise be cast.

    Of course, as the Justice Department continues on such a path, we can hope one possible aspect of sheer stupidity from the Tea Party Republicans in the House -  where they vote to bar the Justice Department from spending money to enforce Sections 3 & 4 of the VRA.  That would make clear to anyone still too dense to understand what they are doing what their intent is.

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:54:01 AM PDT

    •  Exactly right about tea-publican and (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xxdr zombiexx, skohayes

      Republican intent with regard to voting rights.

      "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.2, -7.9

      by helpImdrowning on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:34:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes. (4+ / 0-)

      It's been amazing to me how those on the right have stopped trying to cover their actions.  The truly shocking behavior of the NC government in the past weeks was carried out without a hint of shame.  They no longer feel the need to pretend.

      "It ain't right, Atticus," said Jem. "No, son, it ain't right." --Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

      by SottoVoce on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:54:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  AG Holder has promised to follow up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694

      the case recently filed against Texas to put it back on the preclearance list with more suits against other states. As I understand it, the suits cannot be filed until the new laws are signed and go into effect, and DoJ lawyers have a chance to put briefs against what is actually in the laws as finally passed into final form. NC Gov. Pat McCrory just signed the worst voter suppression law in the country, so they should be next up.

      It appears to me that in the states trying to suppress Democratic voting (Blacks and other minorities, women, the young, the old, anybody who is less likely to have the mandated ID and to have more trouble getting the documentation to acquire it) getting back on the preclearance list is treated as a badge of honor, of virtuous resistance to Federal tyranny, because the Liberty and States Rights Dog Whistles mean having the right to deny rights to others. And now they don't care who else knows it, because the idea is that nobody else would have anything to say about it if the laws were to go through.

      If that sounded incoherent and self-contradictory, you understood it correctly.

      Ceterem censeo, gerrymandra delenda est

      by Mokurai on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:16:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Section 4 was struck down which effectively (0+ / 0-)

      renders Section 5 moot unless, and until, Congress devises a new Section 4 formula.

      The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

      by micsimov on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:54:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Take each Congressman to the woodshed. (6+ / 0-)

    Congress's failures need to be front page news every day or the week. It needs to be held responsible for every problem that hasn't been dealt with on every Sunday Talk Show. And every Congressman involved in holding the House hostage should be verbally ripped at every Town Hall and Rally for said Congressman.

    There should be no peace for these idiots. No excuses. No patience. No sanctuary. Either they get back to work and start doing the jobs they were voted to do or they leave office and let someone more capable do the jobs.

    We as a nation are letting these fools crash our government. We should be biting at their heels on a daily basis as they show their faces in public. Paparazzi should be hounding them with news people asking them why nothing is being done and when they will get things running again. We shouldn't be waiting for the next election to beat our Congressman.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:07:22 AM PDT

  •  GO Holder!!! (6+ / 0-)

    Love that he is taking on Texas like this! The guy deserves credit for going for the throat on the Voting Rights abuses.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:08:21 AM PDT

    •  I agree with you that it is nice to see the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Heart of the Rockies, Odysseus

      Attorney General of the US go after Texas and other States for Voting Rights abuses, however, where has he been on every other human right's issue such as going after those who committed torture in our name, or those who committed financial fraud that brought down our economy in 2008 with continuing devastation wrought on so many of our people?  I really, really want to like this guy, but he has made it very difficult to do so.

      "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.2, -7.9

      by helpImdrowning on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:25:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Glass half empty? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        METAL TREK

        It never helps to fault someone when they are doing the right thing once in a while.

        Praising them when they do so doesn't excuse lapses, but it does go a long way to making them see which way is best.

        "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

        by Wynter on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:10:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, I am definitely a glass half full (0+ / 0-)

          kind of person. These don't qualify for that. Getting one out of more than five doesn't make the grade.

          "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.2, -7.9

          by helpImdrowning on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:47:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But it doesn't mean... (0+ / 0-)

            you have to be annoyed at someone when they have done something good. Praise the act, not the person.

            We all have made bad choices. Being petty shouldn't be one of them.

            "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

            by Wynter on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:04:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It seems you might take your own advice, just (0+ / 0-)

              because I disagree with you about the AG doesn't mean I am annoyed, however from the tone of your comment, you seem to be, so who is really being petty here?

              "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.2, -7.9

              by helpImdrowning on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 04:21:25 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Calling it what it is. (0+ / 0-)

                No insult, just the way I see your position. Holding grudges because a pol doesn't exactly do what you want them to do 100% of the time is just being unrealistic. They are individuals that think in their own way, have their own agenda, their own priorities, and their own motivations.

                Yours seems to be a bit tilted towards "I want it my way", but that just leads to a life of disappointment after disappointment. Take a moment and smell the roses when they bloom.

                "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

                by Wynter on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:26:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Simply because I don't agree with the actions of (0+ / 0-)

                  Attorney General Holder, is a far cry from "I want it my way", and a life of continuing disappoint. However, your comment has made me smile, so thank you. And although I don't happen to have any rose bushes at the moment, I do have a lovely heirloom vegetable, fruit, and herb garden which I have grown from seed and happily tend to every day.

                  These are jalapenos and chives:

                  These are heirloom tomatoes:

                  These are heirloom roma tomatoes:

                  These are my heirloom cantaloupes:

                  More jalapenos and Armenian cucumbers:

                  No roses, but wild flowers:

                  There are also Vidalia onions, strawberries, garlic, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and basil. Sorry, but you asked for it. I will share photos and stories of my garden with anyone....;D

                  "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.2, -7.9

                  by helpImdrowning on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 07:21:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Next up, N. Carolina (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      micsimov, Wynter
  •  the lack of living (15+ / 0-)

    wage jobs is one of the primary roadblocks to economic recovery.  My (adult) children both have degrees and are making near minimum wage in dead end jobs.  They would spend money - if they had money to spend.  They would purchase condos or cars or furniture or services.  And millions are in this position.  

    If you do not earn a living wage, you cannot participate in the economy except in a minimal way.  And this halts further job creation - no demand exists where no means exist.

    How hard is this for the right to grasp?

    Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

    by KibbutzAmiad on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:13:31 AM PDT

  •  Being unemployed affects my sleep (8+ / 0-)

    I grit my teeth in my sleep and I have bizarre dreams.

    LAst week I ended up in a dream where I had agreed to fight Kimbo Slice, which is terrifying. Worse, it was a re-match because I had apparently beat him previously, so he was stoked. I had no clue how I had survived a fight with him to begin with, let alone win. I really like Kimbo, but in the real world he'd kill me in seconds.I'd rather fight a car.

    My gear was misplaced, I kept him waiting - all of which made him madder. Then I was putting on bright red shoes and he just lost it. I woke up then.

    Another time I had to go live in a personal care home run by a controlling old woman. Classic creepy house up on a hill. I had to follwo all sorts of instructions I'd NEVER agree to in real life. And the place was haunted - arcane symbols would appear on the walls and I was told to just ignore it.

    Feeling trapped was the theme, in a fight for my life was the flavor.

    UGH.

    •  to be unemployed in (5+ / 0-)

      today's America is to be in a real life horror story, sadly.  It's no wonder you are having these terrifying dreams.

      Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

      by KibbutzAmiad on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:29:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm very worried about my friend (4+ / 0-)

        who worked for the district court as a clerk and got laid off during the last budget cuts. Even though she had worked for the district for 13 years, since she had just transferred to a different court office, they counted her as being "last hired" and thus, the first to go .
        Now's she 58 and looking for a new job. Her chances are slim to none at that age, unfortunately.

        “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

        by skohayes on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:14:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I do not (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          micsimov, skohayes

          understand age discrimination in hiring.  What is the downside to hiring someone in their 50s or older??? It is horrible, obviously going on though illegal, and ignored by the government, like so many other aspects of the jobs crisis.

          Justice For Will Will spent his brief, courageous life fighting for the rights we all take for granted. Please share his story to support the fight!

          by KibbutzAmiad on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 07:21:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Re: Douthat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx

    I wouldn't be quite so down on Russ.  I think he may be reflecting the views of a considerable portion of those who call themselves tea partiers.   The wonder is that they continue to support the Republican party, which is the personification of a "court" party.

  •  RE: Corporate refusal to provide a proper wage (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tobendaro, maryabein, AnnCetera, micsimov

    Painting in large strokes -

    After slavery ended, peonage grew in its place; people once slaves by law, were now essentially slaves by debt. They were forced to stay on plantations to pay of debts then likely never could do.

    One of the oddest things about slavery - to me - were slaves with highly specialized knowledge of agriculture. They were required and needed to travel to differnt places off the plantations and were provided slave badges

    Slave badges were used in Charleston, SC, for a number of years in the eighteen hundreds as a type of annual license that permitted slaves to hire out their time for money, which was then shared with the slaves' owners. The badges were made of metal with the year, number of the badge, and a job category (such as Servant, Porter, or Mechanic) stamped in the metal. The earliest badges that have been found were made in 1800, and they were created every year after that up to 1865, when the result of the American Civil War ended the practice of slavery.
    Longwinded idea grotesquely shortened, what I call the American Consumer Society has been built on peonage and the credit card is the new slave badge, so to speak.

    Americans buy, buy, buy, go deep into debt and are forced to work to pay it off, stuck with jobs they can't afford to quit, saddled with junk they don't need.

    The modern slave masters - the rentiers and other capitalists - keep wages crappy because they can. It's not like people can just refuse to work - they cant.
    We have to pay the Man every 30 days for our continued freedom to come and go and do largely as we please.

    We have a veneer of freedom. Some of us are aware of this, others aren't.

    Again - this is 3 paragraphs of an larger idea, grossly simplified - not a peer-reviewed dissertation.

    I recommend Africans in America: America's journey through slavery for those who have not seen it.

  •  John Dickerson, Christian extraordinaire (6+ / 0-)

    thumps Reza Aslan, a Muslim, for writing a book about Jesus.

    Media reports have introduced Aslan as a “religion scholar” but have failed to mention that he is a devout Muslim.
    His book is not a historian’s report on Jesus. It is an educated Muslim’s opinion about Jesus -- yet the book is being peddled as objective history on national TV and radio.
    “Zealot” is a fast-paced demolition of the core beliefs that Christianity has taught about Jesus for 2,000 years.
    Aslan is not a trained historian. Like tens of thousands of us he has been formally educated in theology and New Testament Greek.
    He is a bright man with every right to hold his own opinion about Jesus—and to proselytize his opinion.
    As a sincere man, Aslan’s Muslim beliefs affect his entire life, including his conclusions about Jesus. But this is not being disclosed. “Zealot” is being presented as objective and scholarly history, not as it actually is—an educated Muslim’s opinions about Jesus and the ancient Near East.
    Warning, Fox News link:

    Liberal media love new Jesus book 'Zealot', fail to mention author is Muslim  

    What's the name of that guy who calls himself an "historian" that is constantly on Fox News?
    Oh, yeah, David Barton:

    David Barton says Americans have been misled about their history. And he aims to change that.

    “It’s what I would call historical reclamation,” Barton explains, in his soft but rapid-fire voice. “We’re just trying to get history back to where it’s accurate. If you’re going to use history, get it right.”

    Barton has collected 100,000 documents from before 1812 — original or certified copies of letters, sermons, newspaper articles and official documents of the Founding Fathers. He says they prove that the Founding Fathers were deeply religious men who built America on Christian ideas — something you never learn in school.

    For example, you’ve been taught the Constitution is a secular document. Not so, says Barton: The Constitution is laced with biblical quotations.

    “You look at Article 3, Section 1, the treason clause,” he told James Robison on Trinity Broadcast Network. “Direct quote out of the Bible. You look at Article 2, the quote on the president has to be a native born? That is Deuteronomy 17:15, verbatim. I mean, it drives the secularists nuts because the Bible’s all over it! Now we as Christians don’t tend to recognize that. We think it’s a secular document; we’ve bought into their lies. It’s not.”
    More:
    We looked up every citation Barton said was from the Bible, but not one of them checked out. Moreover, the Constitution as written in 1787 has no mention of God or religion except to prohibit a religious test for office. The First Amendment does address religion.
    BBH interviewed Evangelical historians who say that Barton, who only has a bachelor’s degree (and not in history, but in Christian education, from Oral Roberts University), is wildly distorting American history to serve his activism.
    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/...

    “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

    by skohayes on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:39:23 AM PDT

    •  Oh... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wintergreen8694, skohayes

      Snap

      Barton, the founder and leader of WallBuilders, is best known for claiming that America was founded as a Christian nation and wrote a book entitled The Myth of Separation. He says the founding fathers intended only Christians to hold office, citing early documents to back that falsehood. Barton has no training as a historian beyond a bachelor’s in religious education from Oral Roberts University.

      Barton’s historical revisionism goes beyond that. In a DVD, “Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White,” he paints the Democratic Party as responsible for the travails of black Americans, conveniently omitting U.S. history after 1965 and the GOP’s subsequent racist “Southern strategy.”

       - - - - -

      In 2010, Barton joined the battle to bowdlerize the Texas social studies curriculum for public schools, supporting efforts to excise Martin Luther King Jr. and 1960s farmworker activist Cesar Chavez from textbooks. As reported by Washington Monthly, Barton said King didn’t deserve to be included for advancing minority rights because “[o]nly majorities can expand political rights.”

      In 2012, a new member of Alabama Public Television’s ruling body pushed the network to air a documentary series produced by Barton. Two top executives were fired after determining that Barton’s historically inaccurate videos, which promote his Christian view of the nation’s founding, were inappropriate for public broadcasting. Several members of the Alabama Educational Television Commission quit in protest of the firings.

      He's a freak.
  •  You're never too old to start... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, Crashing Vor, micsimov

    Listen to The After Show & The Justice Department on Netroots Radio Join us on The Porch Tue & Fri at Black Kos

    by justiceputnam on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:39:24 AM PDT

  •  On this day in 1914.....The war to end all wars (7+ / 0-)

    begins as Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia.

    'Let the last man on the right brush the Channel with his sleeve'......Schlieffen

  •  "We can never make enough money." (5+ / 0-)

    Precisely. And precisely why the Revlon v. MacAndrews "maximizing shareholder value" model is irrational. If "we can never make enough," every corporation must, logically, grow to consume the known universe.

    "They get the net
    They want the gross
    The only way to win
    Is if you die with the most.
    They want it all"

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 05:49:17 AM PDT

  •  That *IS* fucking capitalism. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, maryabein

    Denial is an ugly thing.

    Mr. Universe is a known degenerate Robotophile, and his sources include former Browncoat Traitors. What is their agenda in leaking top secret information about the Reavers and endangering us all?

    by JesseCW on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:00:51 AM PDT

  •  AP reports that 4 in 5 in US faces poverty and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, Stude Dude

    joblessness at some point during their lives.  Cuts across all racial groups.

    http://www.sfgate.com/...

  •  Republicans like 18th century England so much (3+ / 0-)

    because it was a time and place of vast wealth and power in the hands of a few while everyone else lived in destitution.

  •  Ya know.... (5+ / 0-)
    Caterpillar’s chief executive, Douglas Oberhelman (whose compensation has increased more than 80 percent over the last two years), says the freeze was vital to keep wages competitive with rival companies. “I always try to communicate to our people that we can never make enough money,” he recently told Bloomberg Businessweek. “We can never make enough profit.”
    Making money is the pursuit of business.  That's also the reason one works.
    However, making outrageous amounts of money with the sweat of the 'little guys' who don't reap any of the rewards for their much underpaid labor is obscene.
    Someone needs to tell these CEO folks AND their enablers AND their shareholders that yes, you can make too much profit, especially when the very people you depend on for that profit are making poverty wages.
    No one, NO ONE, is worth 13, 14, 15 million dollars compensation.  And a compensation which has increased 80% over two years?  How about increasing the regular guys (you know, the little people, the 99%, who labor away for peanuts so the mighty CEOs can tend to their vacation homes and their fleet of antique cars and break a sweat at 'charity' golf classics) work by 80%?  Or 70%? Or 60%?  Or even a measly 50%?  Let the people who work for you actually be able to purchase what they make.  Worked very well for Henry Ford.

    I think, therefore I am........................... Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose....AKA Engine Nighthawk - don't even ask!

    by Lilyvt on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:18:09 AM PDT

  •  The link of employee pay with executive pay is (4+ / 0-)

    part of the solution, but you also need to link taxation in there as well.  For example, you could set the following sort of links.  If the top executives pay exceeds 50 times the median wage of employees excluding all salaried managerial workers, then the top executives pay is taxed at 90 percent of all the amount above 50 times the median of THEIR employees.  If top executives (and board member) exceeds 40 times but is less than 50 times their employees median wage, then all above 40 times is taxed at 70 percent rate.  If top executive pay exceeds 30 times but less than 40 times their median employee wage, tax is 50 percent.  A link of taxation rate with pay ratio would work better in enforcing such a link since everyone would have an interest in establishing and monitoring that ratio (from employees to the IRS and shareholders).  Pay would have to include all calculated benefits including stock options (for employees and employer).  The interesting thing about a pay ratio applying per company instead of an absolute rate of income applying (as now) is that executives and employees would develop a common interest in the performance of the firm as well as in the division of its profits.  Shareholders and stakeholders would both benefit from this.  Today, shareholders often get shafted by excessive executive pay and benefits as much as employees do.  If executives feel the pain of taxes grow as their greed grows, then you have a system that would reign in the currently unlimited greed wrecking the US for everyone.

    America needs a UNION NEWS channel. We (unions) have the money, we have the talent. Don't buy 30 second time slots on corporate media, union leaders; fund your own cable news channel and tell the real story 24/7/365

    by monkeybrainpolitics on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 06:20:18 AM PDT

  •  Regarding the moon thing ... (3+ / 0-)

    Did they consider shutting the blinds?

  •  Those obsessing with NSA issues.....Wyden and Udal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude

    Until I hear them be as passionate in the plight of Black men, unemployment, stop and frisk, over jailing, over prosecuting, the lack of quality education, jobs for those in the inner cities, Voting issues, women issues, etc.....

    I will totally tune them out.

    Those who are supporting Rand Paul for NSA......is see you all the same way.

    19% unemployment of Black men is a crisis.  Over jailing of Black men is a crisis.  Racism is a problem.  Not able to vote is a problem.  Detroit is a problem.  And those pretending that NSA is more of a problem by supporting Rand Paul are totally messed up and they are part of the problem.

    This pres was hounded to make it OK for the LGBTQ.....he has and yet he is dehumanized daily.....Clinton was given an award.  Pres spoke as Us in every mass shootings that he attended and every storm related events that he attended to comfort those in need.  But Lord, if he says Trayvon would have looked like his son, had he one......a true statement or he would have been Trayvon 35 yrs ago.......Many whites cringe.  Why?  It is true.  Only when president Obama speaks about Black men.....are the racists coming out doubling and tripling down to further otherize him.  

    Jobs and inequality are the issues here and those wanting the discussion to be on NSA are just as those attacking from the right.  

  •  I've worked in fast food (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Stude Dude, Odysseus

    and after eight hours in that kitchen, unless you're Superman, you're not going to have the energy for eight hours more.

    Quidquid id est, timeo Republicanos et securitatem ferentes.
    Bail North Carolina in!

    by Sura 109 on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 08:13:11 AM PDT

  •  Just have to say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    UnionMade
    A system that rewards management for starving workers is intrinsically immoral. That's not capitalism, it's just cruelty.
    Capitalism IS cruelty, there is no way around this basic fact.

    "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

    by US Blues on Sun Jul 28, 2013 at 09:20:15 AM PDT

    •  Mr Russ got this much right... (0+ / 0-)

      'American politics is no longer best understood in the left-right terms that defined 20th-century debates."  Salute, and please make sure all the GOPs attempting to undermine the ACA get the memo.  

      Not only is the ACA not 'creeping socialism'; it's in essence justified by no less a luminary than F.A. Hayek's Road to Serfdom that lot's of people like to tout without having read.

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