In all my years, I've never supported or voted for an incumbent President for re-election. In fact, I've given up on endorsing candidates altogether, after being let down once too many.
But here's one I almost can't resist.
It's fair to criticize President Obama from the left. I wouldn't hesitate to vote for Green candidate Jill Stein if only we had instant-runoff voting. After all, Stein - not Mitt Romney - is the credible opposition to Obama. You may remember that I flatly refused to endorse Obama in 2008, simply because he wasn't progressive enough. Given the realities today, however, a vote for Obama sends a message against an increasingly dangerous media consensus.
The Media's cocky efforts to manipulate this election are unprecedented. Particularly shocking was the reaction to the first debate between Obama and Romney - popularly known as the Big Bird debate. After Romney sneered and rambled his way through the forum, The Media not only insisted for weeks that he had won it, but vilified anybody who dared to dissent from this unshakable precept. But none of this should be a surprise, because this is the first presidential election after the Citizens United ruling, and right-wing groups have been caught buying positive media coverage.
That doesn't mean I've settled on voting for Obama - though it's tempting. Obama is personally likable, but we have a right to expect his policies to be more progressive.
Some on the left may have hoped for us to snub Obama outright, but that ship sailed in 1996 when we were denied the chance to vote for a stronger alternative to Bill Clinton - whose legacy was in shambles by this point in his term. Obama has built a much stronger record than the disappointing Clinton. We were told by Democratic hacks to keep quiet and vote for Clinton then, so people can't very well tell us not to support Obama now.
Obama has had more positive accomplishments than any other President in decades. He signed a major health care bill - though it had been weakened by Congress. He also enacted a long-overdue economic stimulus package, much-needed financial reform laws, and the popular Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Plus, the Obama administration effectively ended the illegal Iraq War and took down Osama bin Laden.
We should all agree on this: The Republican Party no longer represents American values. They've produced a stampede of one intolerable act after another. What's more to say? Now that we've established this, we're torn on who to vote for instead, and this dilemma will hamstring us until instant-runoff voting is implemented. In the meantime, I want to see Romney lose by a wide enough margin to drain the swagger from the GOP establishment for years to come. I can't wait to laugh right in their faces.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
In all my years, I've never supported or voted for an incumbent President for re-election. In fact, I've given up on endorsing candidates altogether, after being let down once too many.
Posted by Bandit at 11:06 AM
Friday, October 26, 2012
Tim's an electronic hoarder.
This is not always a bad thing, because sometimes you never know when you're going to want or need a computer file from over a decade ago. But in this clip, Tim throws away files he got 13 years ago and hasn't opened since...
Posted by Bandit at 5:39 PM
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
In response to illegal voter intimidation by Tea Party groups like True the Vote, officials have asked observers from the United Nations to monitor balloting. The UN will be sending poll monitors all over America to watch out for True the Gloat thuggery.
Right-wingers are fuming.
In addition to trying to pass laws to stop anyone from monitoring True the Vote, now they're endorsing shooting UN monitors. A commenter on one Republican blog says:
"Arrest or shoot them for trespassing. Ditto for the black panther pussies that may show up at White polling areas."
As far as I know, the Black Panthers have nothing to do with the UN's poll watchdog efforts. And I didn't know America in 2012 had segregated polling areas.
The wingnutosphere should be investigated by authorities for threatening to kill Black Panthers and poll observers. A probe of right-wing bloggers would make more sense than spending taxpayer dollars investigating high school students for not pooping their pants.
Posted by Bandit at 11:50 PM
The last thing any county needs is a Tea Party follower with a sheriff's badge. Why, that's like appointing True the Vote members as election judges.
The Democratic and Republican parties in Campbell County seldom fail to disappoint, and I'm declining to endorse any of the 3 candidates for sheriff. But Republican candidate Jeff Kidwell appears to stand alone in publicly supporting the wasteful, much-maligned Tea Party.
This is not hyperbole. This is not a debunked conspiracy theory like the Tea Party's birther garbage. This is a verifiable fact: Jeff Kidwell backs the far-right Tea Party!
The Tea Party has an atrocious track record in Campbell County. Years before it was even called the Tea Party, it chugged along in Campbell County with almost no limits. I personally learned the hard way what the Tea Party in Campbell County is capable of, so wipe those smirks off your faces, teagaggers.
I shouldn't have to rehash the local right-wing machine's activities one by one. It's hard to say what incident represents the crest of their arrogance, but I think their successful efforts to have teenage victims of school harassment locked up without charges or a trial takes the cake. The political guild that later became the Tea Party had no respect for basic human rights, civil liberties, economic justice, or the Constitution. This is why Campbell County became nationally known as shorthand for incompetent right-wing government and authoritarian rule. (It's also related to the region's historic glut of teen confinement cults, for the industry thrives on totalitarian appeals.)
When the future Tea Party wasn't covering up cronies' misdeeds and punishing the victims, it was also engaging in other social engineering such as trying to outlaw contraception. It finally boiled over in the late '90s when local citizens held a demonstration against that effort. But the county has never fully recovered from the right-wing machine's peak. Ghastly ideas continue to be honored by our public officials.
It's become an attractive nuisance that draws right-wing carpetbaggers. Poking around a bit, I'm not seeing much from past suspects (with the exception of a former school principal who posts anti-Muslim harangues on Facebook); rather, I'm seeing more vitriol from new hacks who are also involved in the Tea Party in other counties.
For years, Democrats in Campbell County have let down constituents, including me. But the Republicans are of course worse. And Jeff Kidwell - the GOP sheriff candidate - openly supports the Tea Party. The prospect of a Tea Party sheriff is a very, very troubling notion indeed. Sheriffs in Kentucky have full police powers even in urban areas. They're also in charge of enforcing involuntary commitment orders, which are already widely abused, as many dissidents know. Plus, if Kidwell is elected - which is entirely possible - we can forget about a foreclosure moratorium.
If Kidwell wins, we in the northern half of the county will have yet another justification for breaking away and forming a new county. Since the Tea Party doesn't want to get along with us, what business do they have imposing their will on us?
Sooner or later, Campbell County voters will come to their senses and oust these extremist whack-a-doodles once and for all. Occupy has proven anything is possible. Occupy is a David-and-Goliath story that shows the power of action and conviction in fighting all the shit the Far Right shovels out.
But until the Far Right's last stand comes, enjoy watching the Tea Party clown car. That is, if they don't come for you.
Posted by Bandit at 7:04 PM
There's no better value for the taxpayers than public libraries. Libraries are like universities for the common person - and they're necessary for democracy. What other institution asks us for so little but gives us so much?
The Campbell County Public Library wants a small property tax hike to fund a new branch in Alexandria. Voters will get to decide on Election Day whether to approve the tax, and it's quite a bargain. Supporters point out that the tax would cost the owner of a $100,000 house only $20 extra per year. But most folks in Campbell County don't even have a $100,000 home - so for you, it'll be much less than $20.
We're constantly bombarded with ads that try to induce us to buy designer polo shirts and call dial-a-monster hotlines. Isn't a few dollars a year on a library a much better use of our money?
I don't think we'd be talking about this if Campbell County Fiscal Court hadn't fumbled so spectacularly. Fiscal Court could have easily found money in the county budget for the new libe. But instead they pre-clear every budget item with the Tea Party. The unelected Campbell County Tea Party (which boasts all of 6 fans on its Facebook page) has been granted veto power over every public expense. Although the violent Tea Party claims to be fiscal watchdogs, it is their actions that have forced the library to propose the tax hike.
Yet the Tea Party has led the opposition to the hike even though it wouldn't even be an issue if it wasn't for them. They spread misleading, unverifiable talking points and attack library employees' pay raises. Evidently, they expect library workers to work for free.
If the tax is rejected, a significant chunk of the county will probably lose their libe. The Alexandria branch is likely to be built either way, so one suspects that one of the branches in the northern half of the county would be on the chopping block if the tax hike loses.
Given America's free-floating panic over higher taxes - fanned by self-anointed budget watchdogs who only end up costing taxpayers more - can we really expect the tax hike to pass? I'm not optimistic, but I'm confident about my stand. Taking the tax hike to the people is well worth the effort.
Hopefully, if the tax passes, the library won't view the tax as a license to censor Internet access on its public computers. But the fight against censorship would be a separate fight from the battle to fund our library - and it would be fascinating to see how the discredited Tea Party reacts then.
Posted by Bandit at 6:44 PM
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Sorry to report the death of George McGovern - the Democratic nominee for President in 1972.
The former South Dakota senator died this morning at the age of 90. McGovern was widely known as an antiwar liberal, but lost the presidential race to Richard Nixon in a landslide - winning only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. McGovern's defeat inspired the bumper sticker slogan "Don't blame me, I'm from Massachusetts" - which became popular as the Nixon legacy was shattered by the Watergate scandal.
I wasn't born yet in 1972, but I was perplexed for a long time when I read that McGovern had lost by such a wide margin. Granted, America had nowhere near the political civil war in 1972 that it does now, but that year's blowout always struck me as odd - especially considering all of McGovern's positive characteristics.
McGovern also worked to remedy world hunger.
George McGovern's accomplishments will be remembered for a long time to come.
Posted by Bandit at 12:36 PM
Friday, October 19, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
It's the arrest we thought would never happen!
Yesterday, I reported on an incident in Harrisonburg, Virginia, in which a man was seen throwing completed voter registration forms into a dumpster. He was using a car later seen at a nearby Republican office.
Now an arrest has been made - sending shock waves throughout the political world.
Colin Small - a Republican operative from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania - has been nabbed on 4 counts of destruction of voter registration applications, 8 counts of failing to disclose voter registration applications, and one count of obstruction of justice. Additional charges may be filed.
The GOP is so done.
Posted by Bandit at 10:54 PM
The American people lost Tuesday's presidential debate when third parties were excluded - but I had a blast watching Mitt Romney lose it right back.
The optics of the debate are worth analyzing. We can hone in on the moment that Romney may have lost the entire election (not like he was winning before). Check out this exchange with President Obama about the Benghazi attack...
The precise moment that Romney blew his chances was at 1:17 on that video. After Obama mentioned that he called the attack terrorism, Romney sarcastically scoffed, "You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack it was an act of terror." Right after he said that is when he blew it.
In the video, we see a close-up shot of Romney as he sternly shifts his head and widens his eyes. When I watched the debate on TV, I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, because I'd seen that exact same look before - from my high school principal. My principal slightly resembled Romney - complete with the constipated scowl. And I know that look with the widening eyes and shifting head. This body language is used by pathological liars when they think they've "got" someone. Whenever my principal used it, I knew I was in trouble.
Within seconds, however, it was clear Obama had this. Notice the look on the President's face when he says, "Please proceed, Governor." He appears to be trying to stifle a smile - as if he knew he just won the election. That was the point where I knew one of Romney's biggest campaign themes was about to be debunked in front of tens of millions of viewers.
And it was. Romney had been claiming that Obama waited 2 whole weeks to say the Benghazi disaster was terrorism. But at the end of that exchange, moderator Candy Crowley - in an effort to move the debate along - proved Romney was full of shit.
The audience then broke into applause - a rare scene at a political debate!
Romney's Tea Party supporters are blaming Crowley for the entire embarrassing debacle.
Maybe 5 years from now, The Media will falsely accuse Obama of packing the audience with his supporters to make Romney look bad. They waited several years to falsely blame Michael Dukakis for the same thing (even though George H.W. Bush's followers loudly laughed every time Dukakis talked), so why not?
Posted by Bandit at 12:00 PM
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
A bizarre story has emerged out of Harrisonburg, Virginia, that again calls into question the continued usefulness of the Republican Party.
A few days ago, a bloke was seen throwing a bag full of completed voter registration forms in a dumpster at a store. The guy was driving a black Toyota Camry with Pennsylvania plates. Turns out that the local Republican "victory office" is right up the street. And a black Toyota Camry with Pennsylvania plates was later seen parked there.
The forms belonged to newly registered voters from 3 different counties. They apparently had recently registered at a registration drive. It appears as if the drive was conducted by the Republicans, and they decided to throw away registrations from folks who they believed would vote against them.
Now it turns out that a Republican consulting firm called Strategic Allied Consulting was involved in this obvious attempt at election fraud. This is the same outfit that was recently busted in Florida and North Carolina for submitting hundreds of phony registration forms. (Some of the forms listed a business as an address for these fake voters.)
Posted by Bandit at 11:06 PM
The white supremacist Republican Party is at it again.
In Perry County, Indiana, a large Obama campaign sign was recently defaced with a racial slur in orange spray paint. The sign was later replaced.
Perry County is unusual for rural Indiana in that it typically votes Democratic. The county was 61% for Obama in 2008. But Republicans in Perry County are as militant as anywhere else and catatonically flood the local newspaper with their now-familiar brand of far-right correspondence. One GOP activist even wrote a letter to the editor saying the Founding Fathers visited him in a dream and asked him to shoot President Obama.
True to form, Perry County Republicans have refused to condemn the racist vandalism of the sign.
Posted by Bandit at 3:04 PM
Maricopa County, Arizona - a huge Phoenix-based bailiwick - has its share of right-wing corruption, so it's no surprise that they're trying to suppress the vote.
A document that the county is distributing with voter ID cards lists additional information in both English and Spanish. The English-language portion gives the correct date for Election Day - November 6. But the Spanish-language part gives the wrong date - November 8.
This is clearly a calculated effort to get folks to wait until 2 days after the election to try to vote. The numeral 6 is the same in English and Spanish, so it's not like the county accidentally mistranslated it.
The right-wingers' defense? They said people should just learn English so this wouldn't be a problem. But if they're on such a nativism kick, maybe everybody should just learn a language that has a much longer tradition in Arizona - like Navajo or Western Apache.
Posted by Bandit at 2:04 AM
As Occupy Oakland plans a protest marking the 1-year anniversary of the eviction of their encampment, the Wall Street 1% still doesn't know when to shut up.
A flyer being distributed in Oakland is urging folks to show up at the event carrying baseball bats to beat protesters. It tells Oakland residents to "stand up and defend" their city against the "divisive" Occupy coalition by resorting to violence.
Nancy Sidebotham of the Tea Party-backed Stand for Oakland - which held a poorly attended counterprotest against Occupy Oakland a few months ago - added fuel to the fire by echoing the flyer's call for violence. While she expressed fear of a riot if people showed up with bats, she added, "Not that I don't agree that certain people should be done away with."
Other Occupy opponents have demanded that the city just shut down the downtown area to keep Occupy from protesting. I guess that First Amendment thing is getting a little too scary.
Although there has never been a single documented instance of Occupy protesters in any city starting a violent confrontation, acts of violence against the Occupy coalition have piled up like logs for a year. Now that the 1% has grown desperate enough to start writing down their violent goals, it's time for authorities to bring down the hammer against those who try to do harm to Occupy.
Posted by Bandit at 12:52 AM
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
ABC has been big on antiscience woo-woo for a while now, and it usually shows whenever they talk about ADHD.
Back in June, ABC ran a bizarre piece encouraging giving kids toxic ADHD drugs even earlier in life. Now they've completely misread a new study on ADHD.
This study followed 300 men from New York City. Half of them were diagnosed with ADHD in their youth and drugged, but later stopped taking their ADHD drugs. The other half were not diagnosed with ADHD or drugged.
The panelists who had taken ADHD drugs were much more likely to have later suffered negative life experiences. These men were 7 times more likely to have quit school than those who were not drugged. They also earned $40,000 less per year. They were over 3 times as likely to have gone to prison. Sixteen percent of the drugged men had a diagnosable personality disorder - compared to 0% of the men who hadn't been drugged.
What does this study tell us? To any thinking person, it shows that ADHD drugs have an unmistakably negative effect. But the American media isn't much on thinking, and ABC has its own spin on the report. According to ABC, the study is "proof" that the panelists who were drugged stopped taking their ADHD drugs too early.
Seriously. They said that.
Let me break this down for you: A scientific study showed that people who took ADHD drugs were significantly more likely to quit school or go to prison than those who did not. But ABC reports that this is because they weren't drugged enough. ABC's coverage completely contradicts the study's findings.
There's a word for ABC's coverage of this story: thickheaded. More to the point, ABC is displaying "smart idiot" syndrome. A "smart idiot" is a person who doubles down on their views instead of accepting reliable evidence that contradicts them. Some examples would be climate change deniers or the armchair hawks who thought Saddam Hussein still had weapons of mass destruction in 2003.
People like that are probably a lost cause. That's why it's so dangerous for them to be in charge of anything. I wonder what the FCC would have to say about ABC distorting a story like this.
Posted by Bandit at 3:36 PM
If the criminal Mitt Romney wins the looming presidential election, True the Vote will have made the entire difference.
True the Vote is a Tea Party group that claims to fight voter fraud. The Houston-based group's activities are nationwide in their scope. But so far, this organization has seemed to do little more than falsely accuse voters of using vacant lots as an address. In all cases, these "vacant" lots are actually occupied by houses where said voters live. True the Vote has yet to uncover a single instance of an improperly registered voter.
But as early voting gets under way in some states, we're about to see how much violent thuggery True the Vote is capable of.
True the Vote plans to place poll watchers at polling places to harass voters. This is voter intimidation, and it's illegal. They plan to tell voters that police will arrest them if they have outstanding traffic tickets. This is voter intimidation, and it's illegal.
Fans of True the Vote's Facebook page are now threatening to make citizens' arrests of voters. That too is voter intimidation, and it's illegal.
If a True the Vote thug lays one hand on me while I'm at the polling place, they will find themselves spitting teeth. That's a fair warning. I've fought too hard for my rights to have some Nazi take them away.
Posted by Bandit at 1:34 PM
Monday, October 15, 2012
It's finally happening!
Fed up with Campbell County's broken school system and outrageous travel times, a Fort Thomas neighborhood wants to secede from the right-wing Campbell County school district and join the Fort Thomas school system.
The neighborhood is part of the county school district even though it's completely surrounded by other districts. This is not the only illogical exclave created by the Campbell County Schools to help keep more students in the school district's grip.
As things stand, it's a 50-minute trip from the neighborhood to the Campbell County Schools' nearest grade school - forcing students to be waiting for the bus by 6:05 AM each day. Schools in Fort Thomas and other districts are much closer.
The Campbell County Schools have built such a ghastly record that it's a mystery why people don't attempt to join another district even if they live right up the street from the school board office.
Posted by Bandit at 5:12 PM
Friday, October 12, 2012
I hate the Republican Party with a passion because of what they've done.
It's not just the fact that they've gutted the economy, physically harmed me, and wouldn't know the truth if it jumped up and peed in their faces. It's also because of racist garbage like this:
In case you can't see that, the photo is of a man at a Romney rally in Lancaster, Ohio, today. The man is wearing a t-shirt that says "PUT THE WHITE BACK IN THE WHITE HOUSE." His shirt also features a Romney/Ryan sticker.
Racism drives the sick fucks who compose the modern GOP. It's time we all stop denying it.
Because of this disgusting spectacle, I'm all the more likely to vote for President Obama even though I'm a registered Green. Sure, I think Obama has compromised with Republicans too often, but the Romney campaign's display of racism is simply inexcusable. It's not the first show of racism by Romney's thuggish followers, but this is the most public that I can remember seeing.
In short, it's garbage. There's no more suitable word for it.
Many of you who read my blog live in key states like Ohio. And I'd like to be able to say that this blog has America's back in fighting the evils of racism. We can't allow Obama to be defeated by a party that's openly racist.
And if Romney wins, we must continue to fight Republican racism with all the gusto we can muster. Call Romney out publicly and repeatedly until he's out of power. The fact that someone actually felt comfortable wearing a shirt like that to a Romney rally and wasn't called out by others at the event leads me to conclude that the modern Republican Party is little more than a white supremacist group.
I work with folks of all races on a daily basis, and a racist attack is an assault on my friends.
It's a weird experience to watch the Republicans forget that the 2012 election is in, you know, 2012. What's frightening is that they're not down in the polls by a wider margin than they are.
Posted by Bandit at 11:24 PM
PBS characters continue to terrify the Republican elite...
Posted by Bandit at 12:52 PM
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Meet Clifford Russell, who helps run the Romney campaign in Virginia.
He's got some big ideas, ol' Cliff does. It's just too bad that they're stupid ideas. Take climate change, for instance. He says it's all a hoax. He thinks it's a hoax because freedom, don't ya know.
And what are Clifford's views on welfare? He says we should execute parents who are on welfare and put the kids up for adoption. "Yes, I mean it. Get rid of all of them, give the kids up for adoption, execute the parents, and you get rid of the problem," he said. He said that if we do this, "word would get out soon" that the poor shouldn't have kids.
He later issued a letter clarifying his position. It reads:
"I did not say that I wanted to execute parents on welfare and give their kids up for adoption.
"I said that it would be better to execute the parents of an illegitimate child and put their child up for adoption."
Posted by Bandit at 8:49 PM
Richard Mourdock is the Republican candidate for Senate in Indiana. He's running with backing from the fascist Tea Party.
Now he's done something as loldumb as you'd expect from a Tea Party follower. In an attempt to harass his Democratic opponent Rep. Joe Donnelly, Mourdock keeps posting Twitter messages that purport to target Donnelly. Only problem is, the Twitter handle referenced in Mourdock's posts belongs to a different Joe Donnelly who has nothing to do with the candidate.
Posted by Bandit at 6:26 PM
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
The degree of hypocrisy in the modern Republican Party is mind-numbing.
Far-right Rep. Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee is a doctor who was first elected to Congress in the Tea Party jailbreak of 2010. As part of his Tea Party mantra of "limited government", DesJarlais supported outlawing all abortions.
Now it turns out that not only did DesJarlais cheat on his wife with several different women, but he also pressured one of them to get an abortion after he got her pregnant. Not only that, but the woman happened to be a patient of DesJarlais.
DesJarlais's divorce proceedings also allege that DeJarlais held a gun in his own mouth for hours and fired a gun outside his wife's bedroom.
All this from a congressman who claimed on his website to be "pro-life" and "pro-marriage" and "PROUD OF IT."
You do realize that if DesJarlais wasn't a Republican, this scandal would be the end of his political career, don't you?
Posted by Bandit at 12:32 PM
"Lies, lies, lies, yeah..."
Yesterday, Mitt Romney talked about a party years ago where he met Glen Doherty - a former Navy SEAL who died in last month's attack in Benghazi. Romney said his meeting with Doherty was lighthearted, friendly, and easygoing. Video of Romney's speech about meeting Doherty was replayed endlessly by media outlets.
But now one of Doherty's best friends says Romney is lying like the lying liar he is. According to Doherty's friend, Romney did indeed meet Doherty, but the meeting wasn't a friendly chitchat. Romney introduced himself 4 separate times and kept bragging about being a powerful politician. Romney's entire spiel at this party was "very insincere and stale."
I've said before that it's a bizarre experience to deal with pathological liars like Romney. But the voting public will soon be the judge of just how strange it is.
Posted by Bandit at 12:04 PM
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Overprescribing ADHD drugs to children is an evergreen of right-wing school systems, Big Pharma, and those who do their bidding. This scam is driven by oppression and greed. But now that folks are catching on - albeit much too slowly - doctors who prescribe ADHD meds are now coming right out and saying it's a fraud, but continuing to prescribe it anyway. And the poor are the biggest targets.
The New York Times exposes this nationwide scandal in detail. In the Times story, an Atlanta area pediatrician who serves low-income families boasts that he prescribes powerful drugs to children after deliberately making a false diagnosis of ADHD. He confesses ADHD is "made up" but says he issues this diagnosis just so he can drug kids for bad academic performance.
"We've decided as a society that it's too expensive to modify the kid's environment. So we have to modify the kid," he coos. Um, no. That's not how it works.
The medical establishment is exposing children to potentially deadly side effects of powerful drugs just to make things convenient for their overlords at school. But in reality, improving your grades by 2% isn't worth being made a zombie. It's unrealistic to expect a child to be perfect in every subject.
I know all this from experience.
Isn't it an open-and-shut case of malpractice for a doctor to diagnose somebody with a disorder that the doctor knows they don't have?
Legislators need to ban this practice of falsely diagnosing children with ADHD just to have an excuse to drug them.
Posted by Bandit at 10:01 PM
Here's another story that the outrageously irresponsible dinosaur media won't cover: Now it turns out Mitt Romney made a fortune selling cigarettes to children.
In the '90s, Romney's Bain Capital entered the cigarette market in Russia. Bain helped expand Big Tobacco's Russian reach - while the company also accepted a $3,900,000 contract from the U.S. government to advise the Yeltsin administration on economic reforms. During this campaign, cigarettes were marketed and sold to kids.
In other words, Romney received American taxpayer money to sell cigarettes to children. After Bain's campaign, a survey of young people in Moscow between 7th and 10th grade found that a staggering 35% of them smoked.
When some 10-year-old approaches you outside the supermarket and asks you to buy them cigarettes, they'll have better luck asking Mitt Romney.
By the way, Mitt, you're still down in the polls. Your media pals are going to have to try harder to save you.
Posted by Bandit at 1:39 PM
Sunday, October 7, 2012
If you think things have been rough for the right wing in the U.S. lately, it's even worse for their Venezuelan counterparts.
By a smashing margin of 10 percentage points, Venezuela's left-leaning President Hugo Chávez was re-elected today. Chávez faced a tough challenge from Henrique Capriles, who also claimed to be a champion of the left. I'm skeptical of Capriles's claim though, because observers say he is ideologically on par with Bill Clinton. Are they talking about the same Bill Clinton who signed the Republicans' job-killing Telecommunications Act of 1996, which was in effect a bailout of right-wing talk radio? The same Bill Clinton who gutted the Glass-Steagall banking law?
Chávez has lots of supporters who are willing to stand up for their candidate - as well they should. They weren't about to let the right-wing establishment drag Venezuela into a political civil war the way the Republicans have done in the U.S.
Posted by Bandit at 11:23 PM
Saturday, October 6, 2012
True to my revolutionary record of late, I attended Occupy Cincinnati's 1-year anniversary march today. It turned out to be the smashing success that usually transpires every time the Occupy coalition acts. But after the confrontations that occurred with hostile forces today, there's no doubt whatsoever that the right-wing establishment is ready for the scrap heap of history.
Today's first right-wing crime against Occupy occurred right after I got to Lytle Park. A woman who was about 65 years old approached us and asked what we were doing. When we replied that it was an Occupy event, she sarcastically replied, "Terrific." Then she approached the Abraham Lincoln statue where we had placed an American flag. She accused us of "defacing" the flag by placing it in Honest Abe's hands, and then she grabbed the flag and started walking away with it. She dragged the flag on the ground the whole time - which of course is disrespectful to our national banner. We got the flag back from her after she stole it, and then she yelled, "Fuck you!"
A cop bopped along a few minutes later, and I thought he was going to lecture us about this altercation. Instead he merely gave us a friendly sendoff. He noticed some of the Occupy peeps were using sidewalk chalk - which of course is the same no-no we were cited for back in July. Presumably because city prosecutors were humiliated when I fought my citation and was ordered to pay only $29 in court costs, the policeman didn't cite us. He just said, "Just cool it with the chalk, OK?"
We marched west on 4th Street, and motorists honked their horns in approval. A pizza delivery bloke even rolled up and said, "It's about time you all came back!" Not like we ever left - despite The Media's refusal to cover us.
Then came the obligatory right-wing assault. I was walking the Peace Bike in the rear of the march, and as I was crossing an intersection, some Nazi driving a car with Michigan plates tried plowing into me as he yelled at the marchers. I chased him a couple blocks north and east on the Peace Bike but didn't catch him.
By the time I got back to the march, the fuzz had lowered the boom on us. They were presenting one of the marchers with a bogus citation for marching in the roadway - even though Tea Party hoodlums never got ticketed for all the times they marched in the street. I helped lead the ensuing display against this roguish police action, as I was in no mood to let it go unchallenged.
We marched on to Piatt Park for a bippin' good general assembly. Lots of serious Occupy biz got done. At the GA, some Occupiers broke out the sidewalk chalk again. Police rolled by repeatedly and - not wanting to suffer more courtroom humiliation like that which occurred during the summer - said nothing. I have no hesitation about mentioning all this, because any resulting prosecution of Occupy only helps our cause.
We resumed the march and trudged over to Washington Park. After a brief speech at the gazebo, we sauntered across the street and found ourselves in front of the hated 3CDC's digs. It should be no secret that we brang down the hammer against 3CDC's fascism. Hardly anybody in the neighborhood likes 3CDC, so 3CDC is a fair target, and I'll defend almost any action Occupy takes to fight this secret society of faceless corporations. We used adhesive police tape emblazoned with "OCCUPY" to block the entrance to 3CDC's building and deposited one of our banners festooned with balloons on their front steps - along with a sign I made that said "CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE." We care not if 3CDC's spy cam caught us, and I even mouthed insults at the camera. When we were walking away, I saw a young woman with a camera emerge from another building. Her shirt suggested she was with some organization allied with 3CDC. I was able to see her angrily photographing the exhibit we left behind.
Disband 3CDC, and we wouldn't have to do this. Simple as that. In the face of injustice, resistance is a duty. 3CDC has ruined public spaces and forced out countless neighborhood residents, and 3CDC earned every last smidgen of the treatment they got today.
It was a day full of energy for Occupy Cincinnati. That's the Occupy I know and love - tough, defiant, decisive. Not submissive and wishy-washy. It appears as if we still have every bit the oomph we had a year ago. I'm not in the least bit ashamed of showing the best of the Occupy wing of Occupy. I'm a progressive populist, dammit, and if it means I have to bare my teeth, so be it!
Posted by Bandit at 10:21 PM
Friday, October 5, 2012
Thursday, October 4, 2012
+ A psychiatric "hospital" in Hollywood, Florida, known as the Hollywood Pavilion has just been nabbed in a massive Medicare fraud investigation. Five people affiliated with this facility - including the CEO - have been charged with bilking Medicare to the tune of over $50,000,000. Well, of course. Psych wards commit fraud. What else is new?
+ Wal-Mart has been around for 50 years, but it wasn't until today that there was a worker strike against multiple Wal-Mart locations. Employees of 9 Los Angeles area Wal-Marts have gone on strike in what is the biggest worker action ever against the hated retail giant.
+ The national press corps missed a huge Obama rally that drew 30,000 people in Madison, Wisconsin, today because of a mix-up by airport security officials in Denver. Is anybody actually naive enough to believe the officials' snafu was accidental? I'm not.
Posted by Bandit at 9:46 PM
The owners of a Mexican restaurant in Denver don't want their eatery to be used as a backdrop for campaign events - by any candidate.
This rankles the Mitt Romney campaign, which thinks it has an unlimited right to use somebody else's business for its activities. So when the restaurant's owners turned down a Romney appearance, Romney's backers went into meltdown mode.
The restaurant received death threats, harassing phone calls, and bogus orders because the owners wouldn't let Romney hold a rally there. One caller reportedly said, "Watch your back. We know where you live and we're going after you." While a news crew was on the scene, another hostile caller said, "Dirty Mexican, go back to where you came from." And a pair of Romney supporters placed a $150 lunch order, and after the food was prepared, they called and canceled the order - thus wasting $150 worth of food. Other Romney racketeers placed reservations at the restaurant but then failed to show up.
All this thuggery has ensured Romney of winning at least 45 states and the election. Just joking!
Posted by Bandit at 8:04 PM
Sometimes it's best to let liars talk. Let them dig themselves a hole they can't climb out of.
This entry isn't about last night's presidential debate being tarnished by Jim Lehrer's inability to properly moderate it and by its exclusion of third party candidates. No sirree! This piece goes straight to the heart of why President Obama won the evening hands-down.
I'm a registered Green, and I'll admit Obama is a bit too conservative. But he rose well above the spectacle Mitt Romney made of himself. Romney repeatedly argued with Lehrer, interrupted Obama, rambled at a frenetic pace, and sported bloodshot eyes and a reddened nose. Quite frankly, he appeared to be high. And he lied a lot. Think Progress counted 27 Romney lies in 38 minutes.
Obama, on the other hand, seemed above the fray. It seemed like he didn't even want to dignify Romney's bizarre performance. It reminds me of when Paul Patton generally ignored Peppy Martin in a debate after Martin made unsubstantiated claims against Patton. (It's not like Patton was so majestic himself, but that's another matter.)
It appeared as if Obama was just content to let Romney fib and flub so he could be checked by fact-checkers later and be exposed. Or maybe Obama simply thought spending too much time answering Romney's lies would give Romney too much power to control the debate. It's the same reason I don't write about every time somebody lies about the Occupy movement. If I did that, it would let Occupy's opponents define the issues.
Usually, it pays to fight back hard against lies. But sometimes the lies are so egregious that arguing with them just takes your eye off the ball. Plus, if you debunk a lie once, what's the point in continuing to do it? Encountering pathological liars is a strange experience, and you have to know when to rise above it.
If you think Romney won the debate because he lied so much, why even call it a debate? Debates are supposed to be about debating - not making up shit.
Posted by Bandit at 2:38 PM
This story isn't just about ever-expanding War on Drugs fanaticism, but also The Media's failure to do its job.
Kentucky passed a law recently called H.B. 1 - so numbered because it was considered so important that it was the session's first bill. The law was touted as a powerful and necessary tool to wield against pill mills that unscrupulously promote prescription drug abuse.
Unfortunately, nobody bothered to read H.B. 1 - until it was too late. One of the roles of the professional media is supposed to be investigating and exposing facts. But this time, the press failed miserably at this task - as it so often does. Now it turns out that this new law contains a mortal sting: It requires all Kentuckians who have long-term prescriptions to take a drug test in order to get refills for their medication. Each drug test costs patients hundreds of dollars - and insurers won't cover the tests because they're not medically necessary.
Most of those affected by the new rule are elderly or disabled. Doctors who do not comply get their medical licenses revoked.
The new drug testing policy clearly violates constitutional protections against due process and unreasonable searches. Folks shouldn't be considered guilty until proven innocent. Of course, I'm sure these points are lost on defenders of a system that's ignored the Constitution in plain sight for decades.
If it's any consolation, state regulators are already talking about abolishing the drug test requirement in January. But that may be too late to stave off a lawsuit.
Posted by Bandit at 1:20 PM