Sunday, November 30, 2008

Study Shows Dams May Have Less Of An Impact On Salmon Survival Than Previously Thought

A fascinating and comprehensive study by scientists tracking ocean migrating salmon life span challenges several long held beliefs by environmentalists and others.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

India Government Apparently As Incompetent As Bush Administration

There's been lots of retrospective talk lately on the left about the systemic incompetence of the Bush administration and Republican Party over the last decade. Sure Republicans could win elections but they were terrible at governing.

Many are saying that it was not so much the greed or cultural wedge issue based ideology that ruined them, just plain old stupidity and incompetence. Unqualified political hacks were given key jobs in government and when crisis arose or historic decisions had to be made they failed utterly.

How could they be so stupid, citizens would ask themselves time and again. The video below from the India Times features Indian news commentators railing about the ineptitude of their government in the crisis. It sounds very familiar.

The terror attacks in Mumbai have exposed the fact that incompetent national leaders are not just an American problem. The India crisis has exposed their government's leaders for their inability to deal with the long standing problem of terrorism or deal effectively with other national problems.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Somebody In New York Thinks Americans Are A Bunch Of Jobless Neurotic Fat Asses Who Live At McDonalds

McDonalds profits skyrocket as economy tanks.

Joe 12 Pack/Step Meeting

If this seems too familiar call these guys.


via: The Vigilant Lens

Obama: "Who Wants (To Vote For) Someone Like That"

I find this quote from Barack Obama in the New York Times about his views on the bias of FOX News during the election campaign reaffirming for some reason. Especially the part about New York times reading, no gun owning, politically correct, and arrogant sort or liberals we all know and love.

I am convinced that if there were no Fox News, I might be two or three points higher in the polls. If I were watching Fox News, I wouldn't vote for me, right?

Because the way I'm portrayed 24/7 is as a freak! I am the latte-sipping, New York Times-reading, Volvo-driving, no-gun-owning, effete, politically correct, arrogant liberal.

Who wants somebody like that?"

Excellent question.

via: The Swamp

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Day Without A Gay

Gay community to call in gay December 10th in a show of solidarity and fight for equal rights. This is going to be very interesting if it catches on across the nation. I think that everybody should take the day off to show their support for everyone's equality. Hallelujah let 's go big and have a one day general strike.

The Automakers Should Of Sent This Guy To Talk To Congress

Lansing Michigan Mayor Virg Bernero is about the most articulate spokesman I've heard talking about why the taxpayers should save the American automakers. Watch this interview on FOX News.

He clears up many of the myths created by Republicans like Alabama's hicksville Senator Richard Shelby. The good Senator likes to bash unionized autoworkers at every chance with outrages bullshit like that they're all making $70 per hour. The average unionized autoworker makes $28 bucks and hour not $70. This is the same Senator Shelby who got millions of taxpayer dollars so he could coax non union Asian carmakers to build plants in his right to work anti-union socially backward bottom feeding state.
"Conservatives also argued that the Big Three should be left to die because in a free market, that’s what happens to poorly operated companies offering inferior products.

Sen. Richard Shelby, the ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, said, for example, “I do not support the use of U.S. taxpayer dollars to reward the mismanagement of Detroit-based auto manufacturers.”

Shelby made this accusation while part of the Congress that ran up the largest federal deficits known to man and allowed Paulson to broker a deal to sell troubled Wachovia bank to troubled Citigroup – a bank that so far got two bailouts, the first of which arriving within weeks of the failed Wachovia marriage.

Shelby, of course, has a lot to lose if Michigan does well. His home state of Alabama gave tax breaks to foreign car companies Mercedes-Benz, Honda and Hyundai to locate factories there – hardly a free market approach.

So, like many conservatives, he twists reality to suit his circumstances. He’s right that American car companies made mistakes. In October, GM’s sales were off 45 percent from the year before, Chrysler 35 percent and Ford 30. But he’s wrong about that being a result of mismanagement alone, well, unless he thinks his precious foreign car companies made the same mistakes. Toyota was down 23 percent, Honda 25 and Nissan 33 for the same month."

Leo W. Gerard United Steel Workers International President


Thanks For Acting Presidential

Maybe it's me but I believe much can be said about the visceral feeling one picks up on when you watch Barack Obama interacting with the people around him. There are many things that stand out, when you comparing him to Bush's more contrived demeanor around regular people, that I admire and clearly show his innate sensitivity about regular folks.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How Union Card Check Could Help The Economy

Conservatives currently find it fashionable to whine about the power of unions after years of screwing the working class in the ass buy exporting their manufacturing jobs overseas so they could further exploit workers in third world republics and China. Having lowered the real earnings of most working Americans in the last decade by thousands of dollars they became millionaires by mismanaging the companies they ran.

In reality hasn’t incompetence, greed and selfishness been the earmark of this bunch. The unregulated financial system especially during the Bush administration was allowed to set up what was nothing more then an enormous unregulated Las Vegas style Ponzi scheme economy. While CEO’s leave the companies they badly mismanaged in ruins they are given millions of dollar in golden parachute payments. But this bunch still have the gall to question the pension benefits being received by some broken down autoworker who spent his entire life working each day so he could someday retire with security and dignity.

Most of these bum barons of industry were born with a silver spoon in their mouth. A good example of this is the lying weazel Mitt Romney who has the gall to call for the elimination of the pension benefits, which he diabolically calls "the legacy costs", of the unionized autoworkers as part of a solution to the auto makers current crash. Romey who's word means nothing forgets that these workers have a contract and have been promised retirement benefits in return for years of showing up at work and doing their job for what we now realize were incompetent brain dead employers.

The union members didn’t design the shitty cars or market them nor were they responsible for setting the fuel mileage standards. God know if the workers would have had the power to do that we may still have a viable car making industry producing viable products.

But that would be socialism won’t it?

The biggest injustice is the continuing conservative bitching about a bailout of the automakers that would literally save millions of working class and union jobs. Meanwhile billions of dollars are given to the banks and financial companies with hardly any strings attached. Being done in spite of overwhelming evidence that these institutions are mismanagement by the same incompetent people who are now getting the money.

Since this country really doesn’t make anything anymore we have a problem. We cannot create much wealth since we have nothing to sell to the rest of the world. Because there was no real increase in wages workers got in the modern habit of using the equity in our homes like a ATM machine, thinking the value of the home could only increase. Spending the money on shinny objects like high definition TV's and home espresso machines made in China. Clearly 70% of our economy is now based on consumer spending. Workers have now lost the ability to use their homes as cash machines as the value of their homes has actually plummeted or stagnated.

Consumers are beginning to realize the party is over.

But another way to help economic recovery is to get more money in the hands of American workers by increasing wages. This is where a viable labor union movement could play a part. If workers can increase their buying power with increases in wages then they will spend more and help the economy return to stability. Minimum wage increases are another way of increasing worker-buying power and should be immediately considered by the Congress.

Also organized labor’s attempt to impose card check, known as the Employee Free Choice Act, as a tool of organizing is important. It could be just what is needed. Card check levels the playing field and make it easier for unions to organize workers who want to have a union negotiate on their behalf for better wages and working conditions.

Having once been a union organizer I think I can make the argument here that card check is not the boogey man that the right and employers like to scream bloody murder about.

Of course there should be reasonable safeguards but workers understand that they should be able to sign a card indicating they want to have a union at there place of employment and if more then 50% sign a card their desire to unionize should be respected by government and the boss. Employers hate card check because it limits their ability to harass, intimidate and divide workers in the run up to a election that is the stock and trade of the current system of organizing.

Under the current system even if the employer is caught harassing, intimidating, firing or otherwise committing unfair labor practices against employees who want the union, under the Bush run National Labor Relations Board little was done to protect the employee. Which was the original intent of the law. Fearing a lack of protection because of a lack of enforcement of the laws governing labor organizing by the NLRB creates a chilling factor for employees wanting to form a union.

Employers are really arguing against card check by saying that workers are not smart enough to determine their own destiny without the benevolent hand of the employer completely controlling the situation.

Unions are democratic organization and some are certainly better run then others, but the bottom line is that unions do increase wages and improve working conditions for workers in the vast majority of situations where they represent workers. The also offer additional protection for workers who are easily exploited by unscrupulous employers.

Increasing wages and the buying power of workers can help with economy recover.

Remember, it it my experience that no well run company that pays a fair wage and really treats its employees well should fear a union card check organizing campaign. Employees in well run companies where employers treat them fairly seldom have a desire to join a union. Why would they?

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Get Fat Smoke And Vote Republican



Here's our study of how unhealthy people who smoke and also are obese tend to vote for Republican.

Who's still smoking in the US and where? Here's a interactive map that shows smoking trends and the different state laws concerning smoking. A second map shows obesity rates by state and the third map shows us the counties where people voted for Republicans in larger numbers this year then in 2004.

I don't know about you but I see a pattern.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Texas Turning Blue

I spent two weeks campaigning for Barack Obama in Texas in the run-up to the March presidential primary. This experience further tweaked my interest in the politics of Texas and I've been following the political trends in this traditionally very red state ever since. It appears that more and more Texans are choosing to vote blue. In 2012 with the ever increasing number of Latinos and younger voters going with the Democratic Party this state could become a huge electoral college vote prize that helps reelect Barack Obama.

via: Burnt Orange


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A New And More Dangerous Culture War Has Started

The right's newly focused and post election diatribe is now aimed at the so called left and GLBT community's anger about unequal marriage rights ignited by the passage of proposition 8 in California.

What is dangerous is that Newt Gingrich and others are quick to brand this activism as an example of wide spread evidence of a "violent gay and secular fascist agenda". While the pot is calling the kettle black Gingrich conveniently overlooks the issue as one of equal civil rights and instead beats the drum of a controversial minority trying to impose their will on the majority.

Wingnuts are increasingly basing their claim on a small number of isolated incidents where Christian fundamentalist groups or individuals were confronted by members of the gay community. FOX News has been looping video tape, Reverend Wright style, of the confrontation in San Francisco's Castro district that involved locals and fundamentalists, there apparently in an attempt to convert gays, that became confrontational and rather ugly last Friday night and another incident where a 62 year old woman had her cross taken away and stomped on by Prop 8 protesters.

I think this is an extremely dangerous escalation following the just concluded election where wingnuts everywhere were wipped into a frenzy based on false inferences that Obama was a Muslim, terrorist, Socialist, baby killing and marriage hating Arab or worse. Gingrich should know that this type of hate inducing speech will end up getting someone hurt. I'm afraid this agenda of hate has been decided upon by the current Republican party deadbeats as viable politically and we are just begining to see the first salvos in a new ramped up phase of the cultural wedge issue war.

It would be wrong not mention that I think that gay and progressive activists need to start to focus on a coordinated non violent based way forward. If possible the GLBT community needs to establish greater dialog with those open to it in the religious community, especially in Black community churches. The tendency it seems now is to be confrontational with anyone who is religious rather then taking the high road. God knows that organized religion has done enough damage throughout history. What are you surprised.

It's not about religion at all it's about civil rights. I don't have much hope that the right will change and I fear that we are headed for tragedy and needless setbacks in this struggle for equal rights. The cause is just and we should be careful not to lower ourselves to the level of these homophobic hate mongers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Harry Reid Continues To Make Chicken Little Look Good

artistdogboy channel video blog #1.

I know you could hardly wait, so get your partner and the kids all gathered round for some worthwhile ranting.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Help Google Bomb Saxby Chambliss Out Of The Senate

Here's a creative way to help defeat Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss in the upcoming Georgia Runoff brought to you by our friends at My DD. It works by having as many people as possible creating links in whatever way possible to the site Saxby Chambliss 2008 a site created by a progressive anti Chambliss activist where people will find out the truth about good old boy Saxby.

Everyone who encounters the site will be a voter looking for more information on Saxby Chambliss, and we can show them this great website. If we can push hits on the site into the first ten results for Saxby Chambliss in Georgia, then it will result in a lot of excellent voter contacts. It maybe surprised to them to find out things like he's against kids health coverage and for privatizing social security.

Let's send Saxby packing!

Its No Wonder Detroit Can’t Sell Anything

If anything is a sign of the alternate universe that Detroit automakers occupy it got to be the Dodge Truck Ram Challenge Ad Campaign. This reality show theme based ad campaign for the gas guzzling Ram 1500 pickup truck that pits four teams of manly men against each other to race trucks around a Hollywood style special effects laden obstacle courses in an effort to prove their manliness and the toughness of the rear axles, load capacity, and manly leather upholstery of the vehicles they're joy riding.

Faced with the reality of the day, Is this total bullshit of what?

God knows what this type of massive hyped advertising campaign costs to produce. But, instead of solving the long standing problem of a need for fuel efficient vehicles and addressing the general quality of the cars they build, the big wigs in Detroit are stuck in neutral when it comes to original thought and actual reality. Their continual attempt to sell us their shitty vehicles by offering us crap like this macho he man hype that’s tied to tough guys and their homoerotic pornographic relationships with their pickup trucks is nothing more than further proof that they're brain dead and innovationally bankrupt.

As far as I’m concerned if the taxpayers end up bailing out Detroit one of the prerequisites for the oversight committee has got to be to stop this type of banal fluff aimed at NASCAR loving nitwits.

The big question of course is should they be bailed out at all. I think they should be, mainly due to the extremely bad economic atmosphere we find ourselves in right now. If times were better I would not be inclined to reward this type of incompetence. But given the widespread effect on our economy the failure of these companies could have, with two and a half million households depending directly or indirectly on them for their paychecks, I think we have no choice but to act. The car companies and their unions must be required in return to make major concessions and relinquish power. The fear being that the economy is so fragile right now that any systemic collapse of the auto industry would only catapult the nation into a even more dire economic disaster.

One thing for sure if the taxpayers give money to Detroit it going to have to come with lots of strings attached. Given these guys track record it would be foolish to do otherwise. The last time Washington gave the car makers money they used it mainly to guarantee $2.99 per gallon for the first three years if you purchased one of their gas guzzlers. The taxpayers must be guaranteed reality based thinking and innovation in return for any bailout of Detroit this time around.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Veterans Mental Health Becoming Major Concern

Iraq and Afghanistan The mental health consequences of combat threaten to overwhelm a new generation of veterans. There are 1.7 million men and women who have served, or are currently serving, in Iraq and Afghanistan. About 1 in 5 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are suffering from a mental health injury, ranging from depression to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as a result of their service.

Via: Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's A New Day

Will.I.Am keeps the hits coming.

An Open Letter To Governor Sarah Palin

Governor Palin,

I am writing today as a citizen because I am concerned about the very dangerous, hateful and lingering tone of your recently ended campaign.

I’ve read several news accounts concerning Secret Service reports that your campaign rhetoric aimed at Barack Obama had a dramatic and direct affect in increasing the number of death threats against Barack Obama and his family, especially among white supremacist groups.

The most troubling thing about this is the fact that you failed to comprehend what the long-term consequences could be when you engaged in this type of rhetoric or how it might endanger Senator Obama. It appears that winning the election was more important to you then any concerns for the personal safety of President Elect Barack Obama or his family. It has also been reported in the press that you engaged in this type of campaigning even though McCain advisors thought it unwise and told you not to go there. If true, it shows that John McCain realized the negative nature of such campaign tactics and you simply decided to ignore it.

Coinciding with the time you were making speeches claiming Barack Obama was a terrorist sympathizer based on his obscure associations with William Ayres, or you were trying to paint him as unpatriotic using other unsubstantiated guilt by association themes, your rallies began to attract a number of individuals that any reasonable person watching would justifiability describe as extreme or outright racist.

Georgia Representative John Lewis warned you during the campaign that your rhetoric was “sowing the seeds of hatred and division”, something you and John McCain to this day fail to acknowledge. Instead you and Senator McCain commenced in the tactic of blaming the victims and the messenger. Congressman Lewis lived through the most tumultuous years of the civil rights movement in this country and certainly should have been given the benefit of the doubt when it came to recognizing the effect of dangerous and inflammatory speech.

The problem Governor Palin is that you didn’t seem to realize what your actions could do. By engaging in this type of subtle race baiting and by labeling your opponent as unpatriotic and a terrorist you are directly responsible for the lingering and dangerous atmosphere that now exist and could threaten the safety of the President Elect Obama.

Even though it is impossible to un-ring the bell, I think you owe it to the American people and the Obama family to publicly take some sort of action to make it clear that you believe that most of what was said during the campaign about President Elect Obama patriotism or “palling around with terrorists” was nothing more then heated campaign hyperbole and it would be unconscionable that anyone contemplate bringing harm to anyone based on what was said during the campaign.

It should be a time for healing in America and you have a responsibility now to reel in the white supremacist, extremists and even the unstable elements of your own Republican party. I think you should publicly denounce white supremacist groups and individuals who may think it justifiable because of what you have said who now feel somehow justified in considering harm to the President Elect. Given the number of unstable and extreme individuals who take you at your word it would not be unreasonable to think that they believe that your words have given them license to bring harm to the President Elect Obama.

Finally, It is unfortunate that you did not have the personal gravitas or class to realize that you maybe opening an unpredictable Pandora’s box of hatred by partaking in the type of dangerous and extreme rhetoric you spouted at your rallies in the first place. It does not speak highly of your understanding of the power of certain words and of the world at large. Especially coming from someone who was supposedly intelligent enough to be a heart beat away from the President.

I’d be interested in immediately knowing what you intend to do to address the issues I’ve raised in this letter.

Sincerely,

Daniel O’Brien
artistdogboy
Vashon Island, WA

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Left’s Irrational Fear Of Clinton People In Obama Cabinet

MSNBC’s Rachael Maddow in concert with several other lefty blogs continue to blow a gasket over talk that Barack Obama is considering appointing several former Clinton administration members to his cabinet. The paint hasn't even been applied to the inauguration band stand yet and they are already harping about “Is this the change we can count on”. Maybe she's driven by a need for post election show content, but whatever the reason Maddow has been harping this line for a couple of days now.

Maddow should get better writers and along with other amped up lefties immediately take a chill pill and stop this nonsense. I’m sure that Obama is open to any expert or adviser who has the necessary hands on experience of pulling the big economic levers of government. Why would he rely at this moment of crisis on the unproven, experimental or half baked economic ideas soup du jour. There will be lots of time for that later once we stop the bleeding.

Maddow acts like Obama should only be considering newbies or non Clinton administration partisan types or that he is somehow selling out to the ideals of his campaign by relying on proven experience and expertise of past Clinton cabinet menders. It's like she wants Richard Bransom to be appointed the new Secretary of the Treasury.

Hogwash!

Maddow made the same misinterpretation of Obama’s approach to governance, as many lefties do, last week during an interview of the soon to be President Elect by making a big thing out of the Obama tendency not to participate in overly partisan BS attack politics aimed at any nearby generic Republican.

Maddow made a big thing out of nothing by trying to make the case that he was failing to criticize Republicans apparently because they were Republicans. Maddow noted that Obama often criticizes President George W. Bush, but not the Republican Party in general, a point Obama gamely welcomed by touting his outreach to Republicans. He also suggested that even if his bipartisan approach disappoints Democratic partisans who are looking for a fight, it appears to be working for his successful presidential campaign: Obama ended the line of questioning by saying “Rachel it appears to be working”, inferring it was counterproductive behavior and part of the old politics and sort of a dumb premise.

It seems that lefty voices like Maddow and others within the blogosphere haven’t taken the time to read Obama’s book or listen to his rhetoric about a new approach to politics. They remain overly cynical or stuck in the old divisive partisan paradigms rather then looking for what will work and produce real results. Obama’s thinking centers on the belief that we must begin an era of post partisan politics if we are to get anything done. Common sense answers versus the same old boomer tendency echoed by the left and the wedge issue centered right in the blogs and by commentators who look at everything from an us versus them polarize viewpoint.

George Bush thought of himself as the decider, which was mostly BS. If anything Obama has shown he will listen to all advise and then he will make the big decisions. The difference being that Obama is by light years more competence, intelligent, emphatic and centered then numb nuts Bush ever could or will be.

So take a deep breath and forget this nonsense about a third Clinton administration and get ready for what it looks like to have a real leader running this country.

Obama Supporters Left With Nothing To Live For

With campaign over many Obama volunteers become disoriented and quickly sink in to comatose state.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Monday, November 03, 2008

I Have Been To The Mountain Top

Won't it be miraculous if all the scurrilous Reverend Wright attack ads run in the closing days of this campaign just end up helping elect Barack Obama. I have a feeling that perhaps we have finally broken through the facade of the same old political tricks.

I was deeply moved today to see Barack talk about his grandmother passing. He was at his best just when he needed to be sharing his thoughts of her sacrifice, gentle qualities and humility. He tear up, and in doing so he showed his humanity in a way few American politicians ever do. I'm sure it will be looked at as an uniquely magical moment in the history of American presidential campaigning should he win the election.

Here are the words of another Reverend that certainly have special meaning tonight on the eve of this historic election.

New McCain Desparate Negative Ad Obamarodan

God please make it stop my friends!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Bill Marr On Joe The Plumber And Why The Right Loves Isreal

Virginia Veterans And Obama

A large number of veterans see Obama as their choice for commander in chief.

McCain Palin Death Rattle

Today we learned that Obama maternal Aunt, a citizen of Kenya, is apparently illegality residing in Boston after being ordered to leave the country four months ago. A claim mysteriously and perhaps illegally leaked by some obscure government official.

Then we read at this late date of a high level McCain campaign official who's resurrected the claim that Obama is not a citizen of the United States based on his birth certificate being forged. A story still considered fact by the ignorant wingnut underground that supports McCain and Palin.

The real story maybe where and how did the AP source this story to bring it forward at this time. People may also asked the question of what's wrong with our immigration system in that a relative of a potential president can't get their status right or be granted a visa by the Republican's broken and highly politicized immigration system.

A Obama spokesmen indicated they were not aware that his Aunt was in the US illegally and that they considered it a private family matter. I believe this also shows that Barack Obama is not particularly close with his Kenyan relatives and their transgressions and shouldn't be held responsible everytime some distant cousin or aunt screws up. It's like your drunk uncle Billy getting a DUI.

These wingnuts are the same people who also believe that Malcolm X is Barack Obama’s biological father. I don’t know how this ties into the narrative that he’s some sort of Manchurian candidate sleeper who is actuality a Muslim terrorist bent on taking over the United States but I guess it doesn't matter to them.

A few days ago I was sucked into a right wing site that offered what it claimed were nude pictures of Obama’s mother Stanley Ann Dunham, staged 1950's Betty Page style, posted in conjunction with the story about his illegitimate fathering. This source claims his father is someone named Frank Marshall, a Chicago communist. The site main undertone was racist and disgusting and played mostly on the old fear by racist of white women having interracial relationships.

In 1960 I remember as a young man the rumor Republicans and red necks circulated about John F Kennedy that said that as soon as he was elected he’d bring the Pope over to run the government and force everyone to become a Catholic. Something we laugh about as being rather crazy at the time.

It's evidence that McCain and Palin and what supporters they have left have apparently hit bottom. What we're hearing now is the death rattle.

Inside The McCain Palin Speak

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