Monday, March 21, 2011

Weekly Roundup, March 14-20, 2011

By Blueberry Tart

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why we need gun control (and why we don't have it)

Sunnyjane’s excellent guest post looks into the politics of regulating guns in the United States. Gun violence is a rampant problem that defies (real) common-sense solutions. Some of the litany of shame: Columbine, Washington area sniper, Red Lake, MN, Lancaster County, PA, Virginia Tech, Omaha Mall, and now Tucson. In a powerful comparison, the post shows that in 2007 alone, about three times as many Americans were killed by gun violence as have died to-date in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and the attacks of 9/11, combined. The number of deaths of children is especially staggering. Sunnyjane then documents the rise in both gun violence and violent rhetoric of the right-wing since Barack Obama won the Democratic nomination and then the presidency. The meme that it’s people, not guns, that kill people is so flimsy, yet the extreme positions of the NRA continue to prevail over reasonable solutions, including more rigorous background checks of those buying guns. SJ exhorts us to hold the NRA and the Supreme Court accountable for their roles in fostering gun violence.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Palin blames President Obama for oil-gas prices

Graph from February 2008

(but it's probably President Obama's fault anyway, right, Sarah?)

Kathleen reports on the most recent Sarah Palin Facebook screed, blaming President Obama for the recent rise in oil and gas prices. Palin’s deceptive criticisms ignore the reality of how oil and gas prices react to world events, and that the U.S. has a limited supply which is not adequate to meet our voracious appetite for these commodities. Opening the ANWR or the Chukchi Sea have so much risk and so little potential for solving our problems. “Drill, baby, drill” is a simplistic mantra that solves nothing, but only offers a catchy slogan that obscures the complexities of how to address our oil-gas dependency. It is worth noting that, as Palin's popularity plummets, Republicans in Alaska are now distancing themselves from her energy policies while Governor.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wake Up to the Dangers of Deregulation

It is absurd that Republicans can call for more deregulation, when deregulation (and lack of regulation in the first place) has proven so damaging to Americans’ safety, health, welfare, economy and jobs. During a nuclear crisis, Republicans have the audacity to call for more nuclear power, just as they called for more offshore oil drilling during the Deepwater Horizon disaster and resisted gun regulation after Columbine, Tucson and other gun tragedies. It is the Republican MO: call for LESS regulation to forestall regulatory reforms that could address the weaknesses that allowed these disasters to happen. This strategy needs to be called out for what it is each time it happens; it is against the interests of the American people. It is anti-American.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Oliver North and the Rewriting of History

photo and text from

Remember Ollie North? Nomadic Joe traces the connections between the abuse of power of the Reagan Administration during the Iran-Contra Affair and the abuses during the regimes of George Bush I and II and the rise of the extreme right-wing that we see today. One of the common threads is Dick Cheney, whose “quest to accumulate unaccountable power” and disdain for Congress and the Constitution grew into the extremism of the Republican Party of today. Another chilling connection links North and the Contras to the drug trade. Nomadic Joe points out the irony of how, despite being convicted on three felony counts, North escaped any consequences for his illegal activities and was treated by many as a hero; Joe contrasts this to the current treatment of Bradley Manning. Watch the video of George Mitchell if you want to remember what civility in politics was like.

Some comments and links:

Jollyroger: Mama Grifter as President would be a disaster that dwarfs even the worst nuke meltdown.

Sunnyjane: Sarah Palin wouldn't know real intellect and humor if she met them at the intersection of Victimhood Boulevard and Paranoia Avenue.

Linda1961: Scott Walker and the WI GOP better watch out - The Ides of March hasn't been kind to tyrants!

Maelewis: It is easy to see why Rebecca enjoys being the alter ego of pretty, charismatic Sarah. RAM is almost like Cyrano writing love letters for the tongue-tied lover, or whispering poetry for him to recite to the beautiful Roxanne from behind the bushes. Except Cyrano loved with all his heart and poured out messages of beauty. Rebecca seems to have anger issues. (She spent days finding seven other people who used the term 'blood libel' to justify her use of an objectionable phrase).

Older_Wiser2: What good does it do society for someone to to have 100 pairs of shoes… when a child has none? What good does it do society to live in a 15,000 sq ft mansion when we have the homeless? What good does it do society to have an Ivy League education and simply use it to enrich oneself when our children can't read, write and do simple arithmetic? What good does it do for society to be able to hire the best doctors when an expectant mother cannot get medical care for herself and her baby? What good does it do society to have a comfortable, rich retirement when someone's elderly parents live in a shack and skimp on food, medicine and heat? Because this is what is happening and will continue to happen if we don't organize and continue to fight for what is right for the entire society.

Ltl1: A related quote from "Gooserock" over at dKos: "No nuclear plant has ever been designed to withstand ownership evasion of standards and regs."

PA_John: Does anyone have a chart that shows the financial benefit to major corporations due to their sizable tax breaks from the Federal gov't? i.e. Company .... Net Profit .... Tax cuts provide savings of $$$ I would be very interested to see how the Federal handouts to corporations stacks up to the "handouts" we provide to frivolous activities, such as the NEA, Planned Parenthood, NPR, etc. I suspect the data will show a vast gap between the corporate handouts and the 'frivolous' handouts, with much more of the benefit going to the companies.

dusty17: ...My question to all of you is does this make sense? We elected a person as President with a Constitutional Law Background and he is now doing his job exactly as the Constitution lays out whether we like it or not he is doing his job. I think that is why his approval rating are going up as well people are seeing he is not a reactionary like the 2 Bushes or even Clinton. The GOP and the Koch Bros are pissed for that very reason as they are only happy when the US is in a state of chaos so they keep drumming up more fake chaos to distract us from their plan but it didn't work this time.

Aview999 found this on 23 reactors in the U.S. with the same design as Fukushima No.1, this on reactor design flaws, and this from Der Spiegel (here is one excerpt from longer, interesting article).

Conservative Die Welt writes: "The earthquake of March 11 was no terrorist attack. But its political and psychological consequences will be as great as 9/11 because it has shown what a terrorist attack on nuclear plants would look like…Faith in redundant, coincidence-proof security precautions has been wiped out by Fukushima. The high-tech democracy Japan has shown what could happen if an Internet attack on German or French nuclear reactors were to happen as it did with the 'Stuxnet' program against the Iranian nuclear program. Or if a determined, technologically skilled terrorist group were to seize control of a power station. One knew it before. Seeing it has made the difference."

Wooljunkie linked to this excellent comment.

ProChoiceGrandma pointed this out on Alternet on TEPCO building nuclear plants in TX.

NomadicJoe linked to this excellent piece on financial deregulation.

HopeforAmerica found this great comment on Salon: IRTV had also reported that some people at India Today weren't happy with the selection of Palin as a keynote speaker, on account of her being a no-account failed former politician with a shrinking base of support and a mostly illusory influence on American affairs…

Also this on judge blocking Wisconsin anti-labor law.

Cheeriogirl had many excellent links; here is one.

TruGal found this (prepare to be outraged).

CaliGirl22 pointed out this site on the “dark red secrets” of Sarah and Bristol.

Alwaysthink linked to DailyKos on ALEC and the Koch Bros.

BellPeppery alerted us to a 100-mile long oil slick in the Gulf.

Major hat-tip to Pundit Commentator for the live-blogging of Palin’s India speech!

The Last Word from Jimi Hendrix (with H/T to Linda 1961):

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."



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