I have seen the face of oligarchy: it's wearing a hat festooned with tea bags and it carries a misspelled sign.
There you have it.
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As I understand it, an environmental protester (meaning a guy who protests on behalf of saving the environment) named Tim DeChristopher went to a Bureau of Land Management auction where they were basically going to give away a bunch of land to Big Oil. He out-bid the oil companies for several parcels of land. There was no way he could even come close to paying for it.
The feds arrested him. And now it looks like he's going to prison for a couple of years.
I won't pretend to understand the ins and outs of the case. But based on his comments to the court at his sentencing, the whole thing sounds like a sham.
If what he is saying is even close to true, then this isn't justice -- it's vengeance.
Look, I think peaceful protests and peaceful civic disruption are, as Mr. DeChristopher says, pretty much the foundation of our democracy. After all, who were the Founding Fathers but a bunch of guys who were pissed off at the British Monarchy?
A guy comes in and deliberately dorks around with a BLM proceeding. Two years in prison for that? Really? Because that's a deterrent? No way.
The other side of this is you have to know what you're getting in to. When you walk through the doors of a federal office and deliberately disrupt proceedings where billions of dollars are at stake (granted, billions which would enrich Big Oil, but still...), you have to expect something. You don't have to like the process any more than I do, but it's there, and there are laws there to protect that process. It delivers an outcome none of us like, and Tim DeChristopher is a lot braver than I am -- but I'll bet he knows as well as I do that there are other ways to draw attention to the flaws in the system.
The whole thing sure is a shame.
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I know you're probably as burned out (and by "burned out" I mean in a state of catatonic panic) on the debt ceiling deal as I am, but this is a must-read Paul Krugman piece in the New York Times:
But for those who insist that the center is always the place to be, I have an important piece of information: We already have a centrist president. Indeed, Bruce Bartlett, who served as a policy analyst in the Reagan administration, argues that Mr. Obama is in practice a moderate conservative.
Mr. Bartlett has a point. The president, as we’ve seen, was willing, even eager, to strike a budget deal that strongly favored conservative priorities. His health reform was very similar to the reform Mitt Romney installed in Massachusetts. Romneycare, in turn, closely followed the outlines of a plan originally proposed by the right-wing Heritage Foundation. And returning tax rates on high-income Americans to their level during the Roaring Nineties is hardly a socialist proposal.
True, Republicans insist that Mr. Obama is a leftist seeking a government takeover of the economy, but they would, wouldn’t they? The facts, should anyone choose to report them, say otherwise.
It's tough being to the left, politically, and having to support a president who really is in the political center. I think that's what drives progressives nuts the most: having to defend what amounts to Republican positions as they are deflecting attacks on Obama. It's too much for a lot of folks, and frankly, I kind of understand it.
With that said, I understand the difference between politics and government, and so I can accept that Obama is going to try and drive policy decisions to the center. And I'll still defend him.
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Just what the Bay Areas -- and Florida -- needs: downgraded credit.
Hillsborough County is one of 162 local governments whose Aaa credit rating has been placed under review for possible downgrade by Moody's Investors Service amid the growing national debt crisis.
Moody's said its action Thursday was tied to its July 13 decision to place the United States' Aaa government bond rating under review for a downgrade as it inches closer to a possible default if the national debt ceiling is not raised.
I realize all the dopes in the tea party think that the U.S. defaulting is no big deal, or whatever -- but this is just nuts. How can anyone think there's no practical implications to default?
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Thank you to the Caliz Political Report for their helpful graphic.
Some of us are visual learners. Click the link to see what they got.
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This from Beach Peanuts is about the best quote pulled from Boehner that I've seen.
Things aren't looking too good for the Speaker these days.
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It's finally Friday. Boogity, boogity, boogity. Amen.
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Lord, I want to thank you for my smokin' hot wife.