Archive for February 21, 2011
But, who am I to say? It’s the “Political Event of the Year!”
The “VIP Level” ticket (below) cost $2,012.00. The “Patron Level” (nice way to put it) cost $212.00.
With prices like that, you mean to tell me this is “grassroots” stuff?
ActBlue as raised $132,000 (as of 2-21 @8:52 p.m. ET) for Wisconsin Democrats in the last three days:
America — listen to this, and I mean LISTEN:
(P.S. Remember when wingers cried and cried about not having enough time to read bills?)
This would be Rush Limbaugh talking about Michelle Obama today: Dare I Say This: It Doesn’t Look Like Michelle Obama Follows Her Own Nutritionary, Dietary Advice.“
(“Nutritionary?” Is that a real word?)
Far as I know, this is the last live video anyone has captured of Rush Limbaugh. Talk about nutritionary, check out his fat sweaty self:
Chicago goes to the polls tomorrow to elect a new mayor. With that in mind, here’s the tweet of the day from DownWithTyranny:
It’s going to get a whole lot worse around here before it gets better.
This is crazy: Santa Barbara County, California exports 99% of what it grows and it imports 95% of the fruits and vegetables it consumes:
If ever there was a group of Americans that should be able to eat locally with neither effort nor sacrifice, it’s the 425,000 residents of Santa Barbara County, about 90 miles north of Los Angeles. Santa Barbara County grows commercial quantities of more than 50 vegetables, everything from artichokes to zucchini. Apples, peaches, oranges, lemons, and melons are among the more than 25 varieties of fruits raised there. There’s beef, pork, and chicken. All of which can be washed down with a terrific bottle of local pinot or chardonnay.
Given this abundance and a year-round mild climate, it didn’t surprise me to learn from David Cleveland, a professor at the University of California Santa Barbara who gave a presentation at the institute, that Santa Barbara ranks among the top 1 percent of American counties for agricultural production, with annual sales of $1.2 billion. Nor did it surprise me that 99 percent of what is grown in Santa Barbara is exported: a box of Santa Barbara mandarins currently sits on the counter of my Vermont kitchen.
But then Cleveland dropped a statistical bombshell: In this land of plenty, overflowing with all manner of great local food, fully 95 percent of the fruits and vegetables consumed in the county are shipped in from elsewhere. “Picture two produce-laden tractor-trailers passing on the highway,” he said. “One bringing food into the county; the other hauling it out.”
This illogical and wasteful system is in part responsible for a couple of other counter-intuitive statistics that Cleveland presented. Nearly 40 percent of households in the county are “food insecure,” meaning that people have trouble affording food. Even with all those healthful fresh fruits and vegetables growing beside its roads, Santa Barbara’s obesity rate is in the top 20 percent of California counties. About 8 percent of children there are overweight and 53 percent of adults.
We have so much work to do to get things right around here.
Let’s see. The RAND Corporation is part of the ruling class (to say the least) and it has hundreds of friends in high places. RAND Corporation executives probably hobnob with the Koch brothers so chances are good the Tea Party masterminds won’t send a memo out to their minions telling them to have a fit about this ridiculous, wasteful spending: RAND Received $7.4 Million Congressional Grant to Study Military Chiropractic Care.
Is the effectiveness of chiropractic care still in doubt? I thought we’d moved beyond that.
A young man in his twenties wanted to express his gratitude about the victories the youth of 25th of January have achieved and chose to express it in the form of naming his firstborn girl “Facebook” Jamal Ibrahim (his name.) The girl’s family, friends, and neighbors in the Ibrahimya region gathered around the new born to express their continuing support for the revolution that started on Facebook. “Facebook” received many gifts from the youth who were overjoyed by her arrival and the new name.
From what I’m hearing and reading about what’s going on in Libya, it sounds like hell on Earth. Al Jazeera/English is reporting that military planes have been ordered to fly over protesters in Tripoli and fire on them. See the chyron below:
They also say that some of the pilots have flown to the island of Malta and asked for political asylum because they refuse to fire on their countrymen. See these chyrons:
More from the indispensable Juan Cole, who is my go-to guy for all things Middle East:
I am watching Aljazeera Arabic, which is calling people in Tripoli on the telephone and asking them what is going on in the capital. The replies are poignant in their raw emotion, bordering on hysteria. The residents are alleging that the Qaddafi regime has scrambled fighter jets to strafe civilian crowds, has deployed heavy artillery against them, and has occupied the streets with armored vehicles and strategically-placed snipers. One man is shouting that “the gates of Hell have opened” in the capital and that “this is Halabja!” (where Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein ordered helicopter gunships to hit a Kurdish city with sarin gas, killing 5000 in 1988).
Paul Krugman nails what’s going on in Wisconsin. Every single working person in this country should stand along side the protesters there:
In principle, every American citizen has an equal say in our political process. In practice, of course, some of us are more equal than others. Billionaires can field armies of lobbyists; they can finance think tanks that put the desired spin on policy issues; they can funnel cash to politicians with sympathetic views (as the Koch brothers did in the case of Mr. Walker). On paper, we’re a one-person-one-vote nation; in reality, we’re more than a bit of an oligarchy, in which a handful of wealthy people dominate.
Given this reality, it’s important to have institutions that can act as counterweights to the power of big money. And unions are among the most important of these institutions.
You don’t have to love unions, you don’t have to believe that their policy positions are always right, to recognize that they’re among the few influential players in our political system representing the interests of middle- and working-class Americans, as opposed to the wealthy. Indeed, if America has become more oligarchic and less democratic over the last 30 years — which it has — that’s to an important extent due to the decline of private-sector unions.
And now Mr. Walker and his backers are trying to get rid of public-sector unions, too.
This, via the Huffington Post:
Last year, the new White House chief of staff earned more than 180 times the pay of a typical American worker.
William Daley, formerly JPMorgan Chase’s Midwest chairman and head of corporate responsibility, made $8.7 million in 2010 and the first week of 2011 at his former employer, according to disclosure forms, Bloomberg reports. That total represented a combination of his salary and two bonuses paid in cash and stock. A typical American male worker makes between $36,000 (for women) and $47,000 (for men), according to the Census Bureau.
So, Obama’s head guy lives in the stratosphere when compared to where you and I live.
How can a man who makes 180 times what the average American makes have any sense of what it’s like to live on roughly $40,000 per year and thus advise Obama on policies that affect those people?