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Health Care & Environment

07.21 Greta Thunberg: ‘They see us as a threat because we’re having an impact’ [We love a sane smarty-pants! Trump, you won't understand any of this, so just go off and tweet or chant, or whatever...]

07.20 Until Emissions Drop, Nothing Has Been Accomplished: The Climate Resistance Handbook Is Here. [Trump can't be bothered as the world turns into a large cinder. His laser focus is on personal greed.]

07.20 Cargo ships are emitting boatloads of carbon, and nobody wants to take the blame [1:19 video; Governments must commission to fight deadly shipping emissions, previously omitted in climate summit agreements....]

07.20 Babies Born Near Oil and Gas Wells Are Up to 70% More Likely to Have Congenital Heart Defects, New Study Shows

07.20 Giving 'Upper Hand to Corporate Polluters,' EPA Drops Surprise Inspections

07.20 With Petition to Congress, 100,000+ People Demand Green New Deal 'That Fixes Our Food System' [Realtime proactive response to reality—now and threatening—doesn't get attention in this greed focused administration]

07.19 Trump administration won't ban pesticide tied to childhood brain damage [There is no truth to the persistent rumor that chlorpyrifos pesticide was heavily used at Trump's childhood home in Queens]

07.19 'Unprecedented' Decline of Plants and Animals as Global 'Red List' Reveals Nearly One-Third of Assessed Species Under Threat

07.17 ‘Off-the-charts’ heat to affect millions in U.S. in coming decades

07.17 Planned Parenthood president Leana Wen forced out by board [Given that states have lost abortion rights on political grounds recently, Wen's philosophical approach to protect abortion rights based on ‘health care’ was smarter – therefore it was that smarter strategy that was killed at the secret meeting.]

07.17 Billions of air pollution particles found in hearts of city dwellers

07.17 What is happening in America's Cancertown is tragic, immoral and evil [Niggardly white government policies could change to produce better students, better jobs and net revenue instead of costs. But it seems they enjoy more cruelty—like Trump.]

07.16 US aid cuts to UN agency will hurt vulnerable women and children, critics say

07.16 Trump abortion restrictions in effect for taxpayer-funded clinics

07.15 The response to DRC’s Ebola crisis isn’t working. Here’s what we need to do

07.15 Extinction Rebellion protests block traffic in five UK cities [Non-corporate human animals make their annoying bleating sounds...]

07.14 A Glacier the Size of Florida Is Becoming Unstable. It Has Dire Implications for Global Sea Levels [The willfully ignorant needn't read more, Trump]

News Media Matters

07.19 Fox News’s star names excuse the inexcusable after Trump's latest racist attack

07.18 In Sinclair's New 'Must-Run' Segment, Former Trump Adviser Tries to Defend Racist Attacks on 'the Squad'

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

07.21 Of course Donald Trump is a racist – and his Wall Street enablers know it

07.21 A court ruled it was legal for guards to strip search female inmates and force them to remove their tampons in front of male officers for a 'training exercise' [The frequency and degree of immorality and degradation being reported in the media is very disturbing, as if society has been reprogrammed overnight to be more like the worst behavior of Nazi Germany]

07.21 THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS GETTING CRUSHED IN FUNDRAISING: “THEY NEED TO GET THEIR SHIT TOGETHER” [Since so-called moderate Democrats will prostitute themselves in many conceivable ways (offering that special quid pro quo) they have effectively become competitively ANTI-PUBLIC, like Republicans. Whereas progressive Democrats must promise not to take corporate donations at all as an effective litmus-test. The DNC refuses to raise funds for moderate and progressives separately, and thus donations fall short. Which is it to be: 1) Will the DNC change? or 2) Must progressive Democrats become corporate whores too? or 3) Maybe you don't need corporate contributions at all if your policies are fantastic?]

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 State and Local Taxes Are Worsening Inequality

07.21 We're no longer in Brave New World. We're back in 1984. [1:35 video; Our despicable President is at it again]

07.21 BALTIMORE'S FILTHIEST HOODS [7:38 video. Ask your governments, why are our cities so much worse than Europe's? Why is our healthcare worse and so much more expensive? And why are our Billionaires so much richer? Ask if those results of bad government are all related, and why? Are they all caused by a power-elite with greed-obsessed immorality?]

07.21 Nancy Pelosi's Dem Socialist Challenger Shahid Buttar: "We're Gonna Win" | Full Interview [5:43 video]

07.21 Jon Stewart goes viral excoriating Rand Paul after blocking vote [9:02 video]

07.21 Nicolle Wallace Refuses to Broadcast Trump Live [5:43 video]

07.21 Sassy Bernie Sanders Sh*ts on Jeff Bezos on His Home Turf... Numerous Times [17:22 video]

07.20 Puerto Rico: top US politicians join chorus calling for governor's resignation

07.20 Fact check: Trump says Puerto Rico got $92 billion. They've seen only a fraction [If he opens his mouth, Trump's lying.]

07.20 "Trump Says Go Home, Ilhan's Community Says Welcome Home": Rep. Omar Greeted With Cheers of Love and Support in Return to Minnesota

07.20 WATCH: Amid Extreme Anti-Refugee Push, Trump Displays Neither Interest Nor Knowledge of Asylum Seekers' Plight in Oval Office Meeting

07.20 Trump Denies Being at North Carolina Rally [Not sure if Trump supporters 'get' satire, but here goes....]

07.19 Are progressives working on a climate plan for 2021? You bet.

07.19 House Democrats demand Hope Hicks clarify testimony after Cohen document dump

07.19 The 51 most outrageous lines from Donald Trump's repugnant North Carolina rally

07.19 The Real Meaning of ‘Send Her Back!’

07.18 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Breaking up Homeland Security

Justice Matters

07.19 UN urged to act over 'purge' of Turkey's lawyers by Erdogan

07.19 DOJ Releases Strong Evidence of Trump’s Campaign Finance Violations But No Explanation of No Charges [The statement]

High Crimes vs. Human Rights

07.19 Conscientious objectors of first world war – their untold tales [The record proves they were morally right by avoiding violent early deaths of their cousins and themselves]

Economics & Corrupt Capitalism

07.18 Corporate tax cuts blocked at least 15,000 affordable homes in California. Here’s how

International & Futurism

07.21 Millions face hardship as Zimbabwe comes close to ‘meltdown’

07.21 Spain set for socialist-led government after Iglesias deal [Some loaded drama going on here...]

07.20 US to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia in face of 'credible' regional threats [Working with Osama bin Laden's godfathers, Trump wants to profit like Erik Prince (for-profit education secretary Betsy DeVos' brother) of Blackwater infamy (hurriedly renamed ‘Academi’), the U.S. taxpayer to pay inflated costs while Trump siphons off long-term emolument largesse]

07.20 Iran on 'dangerous path' with seizure of Stena Impero, says UK [Which is this, a tit or a tat?]

07.20 'Dark satanic mills': Tony Abbott continues his crusade against wind turbines [Too much CO2 air pollution makes you stupid, and turns your country into an “Idiocracy” (1:36 video clip)]

07.20 Bolsonaro declares 'the Amazon is ours' and calls deforestation data 'lies' [Lazy and willfully stupid whenever it serves his purpose, just like Trump. “And the rest of you can all go to hell.” Again, just like Trump. Has your country turned into an “Idiocracy”? (1:36 video clip)]

07.19 U.N.'s Bachelet says Congresswomen opposing Trump are 'fantastic'

07.19 Iran makes 'substantial' nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions [Was barbaric Saudi Arabia—whose citizens were more involved in the 9-11 attacks—the wrong ally all along?]

07.19 “The Task Ahead Is Enormous, and There Is Not Much Time” [Read this and learn. Or read Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) | Twitter and/or President Trump (@POTUS) | Twitter. Are you serious? Or are you in hideously criminal denial?]

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  Massachusetts' Message of Stupid

COMMENTARY:

Massachusetts' Message of Stupid

by Robert Parry
Originally published in ConsortiumNews.com earlier today, 21 January 2010

Having grown up in Massachusetts, I never bought into the idea that the state was that much more liberal than most others. The dominant media there is not the center-left Boston Globe but the right and far-right talk radio shows that pervade the Bay State as they do the rest of the country.

Beyond the usual right-wing standard-bearers like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, there are home-grown shock jocks like Howie Carr, who delights his audiences with slurs about Hispanic immigrants and jokes about African-American rappers.

The two idiots who baited Hillary Clinton before the 2008 New Hampshire primary with the chant “iron my shirts” were affiliated with Boston’s WBCN, which once was a leading progressive anti-war station (the original home of Danny Schecter “the news dissector”) before it was sold off and evolved into just another source of loud and obnoxious talk.

So, why should it be such a surprise that a guy like Scott Brown, who played to that jock-like mentality, would catch the fancy of many Bay Staters? Especially given the inchoate anger of people who are suffering from a wretched economy and who can take some perverse pleasure in punishing someone like Martha Coakley, who slipped up on where Curt Schilling stood on the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.

Still, ever since Tuesday night – the latest Massachusetts “shot heard round the world” – politicians and pundits have been analyzing what the voters’ message was. According to the dominant analysis, the voters of Massachusetts were “sending a message” to Washington about bipartisanship.

That’s what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid heard. ”The American people want us to work together,” he said. And he was not alone in hearing a call for greater cooperation on the tough issues facing the United States.

However, if that was the intended message from Massachusetts voters, it was a message of stupid.

The last thing that the election of Scott Brown will do is to get the Republicans to be more cooperative with President Barack Obama and the Democrats. Indeed, now that the Republicans have tasted blood – realizing that their strategy of obstruction is paying off – there is absolutely no political reason why they should make any meaningful compromises.

In other words, the logical result of the Brown election will be more Washington gridlock, which GOP leaders think will give them a powerful campaign theme about Democratic ineptness and failure. That, in turn, will likely mean a major Republican sweep in November’s congressional elections and thus more gridlock as the Republicans seek to ensure that Obama is a one-termer.

And, if the Republicans do regain total control of the U.S. government in 2013 – maybe with Sarah Palin as President – the nation can expect a reprise of George W. Bush: more tax cuts tilted to the rich, more swaggering foreign policy, more unrestrained corporate power, more right-wing religious fervor, more neglect of global warming and environmental dangers, and more deficits.

A Future Look

Is that the future the Massachusetts voters wanted to presage with Scott Brown’s election to fill the Senate seat formerly held by John F. Kennedy and his brother Ted? Perhaps, it is.

Perhaps the people of Massachusetts want to be in the vanguard of a really stupid America, one that continues to ignore real challenges and continues to drift toward a unique combination of Big Power military and Third World debt.

In his post-election comments – when he wasn’t pimping out his daughters as “available” – Sen.-elect Brown was explaining that a key secondary selling point in clinching his victory was his opposition to Obama’s plan to try some terrorism suspects in civilian courts, rather than military tribunals, a favorite topic of right-wing talk radio.

Most voters, Brown noted, don’t think that accused terrorists deserve the constitutional protections of the American legal system. “In dealing with terrorists, our tax dollars should pay for weapons to stop them, not lawyers to defend them," he said in his victory speech.

And recent polls seem to back Brown up. Many voters apparently have no historical appreciation for the reasoning behind the habeas corpus principle of English law or the thinking of the American Founders, who understood the need to protect individuals from abuses of government tyranny.

Instead, the “Dirty Harry” tough-guy-ism of ignoring the law and just shooting the “bad guys” has deeply infected the American psyche.

For the past three decades, vigilante-ism also has been skillfully exploited by politicians from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush. Indeed, any politician who dares suggest that legal principles are important can expect to be hooted down as an ACLU-card-carrying wimp. Remember Michael Dukakis in 1988.

This message from the Brown victory should be particularly chilling to civil libertarians who have argued that Obama should go even further in rejecting Bush-style kangaroo courts. Lacking any media infrastructure that compares to the vast right-wing echo chamber, progressives and other advocates for the rule of law must recognize that they are losing this debate.

‘Have a Beer With’

Massachusetts voters also were sending another message on Tuesday, that politics should be a fun diversion, like some reality TV show where the cool guy wins out over the serious gal.

The United States has seen this trivial pursuit of politics before, especially in Election 2000 when the refrain was that George W. Bush was someone you’d “like to have a beer with” while Al Gore was a tedious know-it-all.

In the Massachusetts Senate race, Brown drove a truck and hung out with ex-Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, Massachusetts football star Doug Flutie, and one of the actors from the TV show “Cheers,” which was set in a fictional Boston bar.

By comparison, state Attorney General Martha Coakley thought Schilling was a Yankees fan. Plus, she looked so uptight, so straight, so  b-o-r-i-n-g.

In other words, despite the experience of Bush’s disastrous presidency, the American voters are still enthralled with how they “feel” about a candidate, not those tiresome questions about experience, judgment and policy prescriptions.

Brown, a former nude male model, began embarrassing the state soon after the votes were tallied, when he took the national stage to accept his victory. To groans even from his supporters, Brown declared that his two daughters were “available,” presumably for guys looking for dates.

Brown’s comment about his daughters shocked even the Right’s madcap oracle Glenn Beck, who is known for his own off-the-wall remarks. Still, Beck thought Brown – in inviting men to make moves on his own daughters – was demonstrating the creepy behavior of a sexual predator.

“I want a chastity belt on this man,” Beck said. “I want his every move watched in Washington. I don’t trust this guy. ... This one could end with a dead intern. ... I’m just saying: Congratulations, now let’s monitor him. Let’s put an ankle bracelet on him. Let’s just know where he is at all times.”

Massachusetts voters may have thought they were sending some kind of message to the nation with their choice of Scott Brown. And surely they have thrown a wrench into the legislative process, whether on health care or on regulating Wall Street.

But whatever Massachusetts thought it was saying, it comes across as a message of stupid.


Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories in the 1980s for the Associated Press and Newsweek. His latest book, Neck Deep: The Disastrous Presidency of George W. Bush, was written with two of his sons, Sam and Nat, and can be ordered at neckdeepbook.com. His two previous books, Secrecy & Privilege: The Rise of the Bush Dynasty from Watergate to Iraq and Lost History: Contras, Cocaine, the Press & 'Project Truth' are also available there. Or go to Amazon.com.

This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.



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This story was published on January 21, 2010.

 

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