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Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 58,179

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Cheesy, but I don't give a shit.

The Diameter of the Bomb

The Diameter of the Bomb

The diameter of the bomb was thirty centimeters
and the diameter of its effective range about seven meters,
with four dead and eleven wounded.
And around these, in a larger circle
of pain and time, two hospitals are scattered
and one graveyard. But the young woman
who was buried in the city she came from,
at a distance of more than a hundred kilometers,
enlarges the circle considerably,
and the solitary man mourning her death
at the distant shores of a country far across the sea
includes the entire world in the circle.
And I won’t even mention the howl of orphans
that reaches up to the throne of God and
beyond, making
a circle with no end and no God.

--Yehuda Amichai

Obama Joins the Club

Obama Joins the Club
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Monday 15 April 2013

I spent the week trying to think of new and novel ways to call the president stupid for putting a Social Security benefit cut into his budget, because coughing up this Chained CPI thing raced into the Unforced Political Errors Hall Of Fame so fast it left skid marks and smoke, and is currently jostling elbows with Nixon firing Archie Cox and Clinton offering the intern a cigar for the marquee spot at the top of the list.

Think I'm exaggerating? Serving up a cut to Social Security benefits - and it is a cut, no matter what the Smart People tell you - was galactically stupid from a tactical perspective. Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), the anointed mouthpiece for the GOP's House re-election campaign, has already called the president's budget a "shocking attack," and accused the White House of "trying to balance this budget on the backs of seniors."

Get ready for a lot more of that.

Never mind the hypocrisy of Republicans attacking the president for doing exactly what they wanted him to do - a comprehensive lack of shame is, after all, the GOP's greatest political strength - and remember the 2010 midterm elections, when the Republicans ran a very similar game against Obama regarding Medicare and very nearly took over all of Congress.

Every Democrat running for re-election in 2014 will have this stinking dead albatross hanging around their neck, and the smart ones are already putting daylight between themselves and the White House. Feature this response to the president's budget proposal from Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN): "They cannot lay that dead cat at our door. I don't know how it's going to affect the president's brand, but it would be completely unfair to affect the House Democratic Caucus brand, because we had nothing to do with it and most of us are affirmatively and explicitly against it."

If you're in the business of getting anyone with a (D) after their name elected in 2014, it's time to start stocking up on canned goods and survival gear when an excellent Democrat like Keith Ellison gets to talking about dead cats and "the president's brand" in the same breath. The rest of us get to spend the coming election cycle watching this communication -deficient administration try to square that circle with seniors who will already be terrified by the GOP's blistering message campaign. The best answer the White House will be able to conjure is, "Yeah, cutting Social Security benefits was in our budget, but we didn't really mean it, it was only a negotiating tactic, trust us."

Quiz: which political demographic shows up in great numbers for mid-term elections?

Answer: seniors.

Do the math.

The rest: http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/15735-obama-joins-the-club

"Not going to happen"? Guess what: It already fucking happened.

Whether or not Obama's budget ever sees the light of day, the fact of the offer is out there for all to see. THAT is the problem, period, end of file.

It *will* impact the '14 elections, especially when the GOP casts itself as the defenders of SS and Obama's people have to spend time arguing, "Yeah, it was in our budget, but we didn't mean it, trust us."

This is already happening, in fact...and it behooves you to remember 2010. I quote Bill Greider of The Nation on that particular election cycle: "The party got very little credit for enacting health care reform because the Republicans had already demonized the accomplishment as a threat to the much-beloved program of Medicare. The rightwingers promised to save Medicare from bloodthirsty Democrats by repealing Obama’s new reform program. This was all a ridiculous lie, of course, but the White House declined to call out the liars. Instead, Obama responded with flowers. This time, he is taking Republicans out to dinner."

Bone up on those coping skills. You live in a world where a Democratic President put Social Security on the table during a deficit debate, even though Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit...except for the fact that the SS fund was plundered for 30 years, and now the bastards don't want to pay back what they took, a fact Obama seems comfortable with given HIS OWN BUDGET.

He didn't have to do it, but he did it. Some here have claimed that we shouldn't sweat it because the Senate Democrats won't let anything like this pass. Fan-freaking-tastic. The fact that the proposal was in the budget in the first place is the catastrophe. Leaving other Democrats with the duty to block a SS-cut proposal offered by a Democratic president (who was elected on the promise to defend what he now proposes to cut) only augments the catastrophe.

"Not gonna happen"?

It already fucking happened.

(Greider: http://www.thenation.com/blog/173771/will-voters-forgive-obama-cutting-social-security# )

The Nation absolutely NAILS IT re: Obama and Social Security


The president set this trap himself; now Boehner will spring it on him. Does Obama not remember how Democrats lost control of the House back in 2010? The party got very little credit for enacting health care reform because the Republicans had already demonized the accomplishment as a threat to the much-beloved program of Medicare. The rightwingers promised to save Medicare from bloodthirsty Democrats by repealing Obama’s new reform program. This was all a ridiculous lie, of course, but the White House declined to call out the liars. Instead, Obama responded with flowers. This time, he is taking Republicans out to diinner.

So here is what I expect to happen. The elaborate and confusing charade of deficit politics will continue through this year and next—both parties solemnly seeking to shrink the swollen federal deficits—and distracting Washington from the real economic threat of stagnation or worse. At the end of the day, Social Security will not be cut. Nor will much else be accomplished, for good or for ill. Yes, the two parties may eventually approve some grandiose budget resolutions—official promises to cut spending drastically. But that process is usually a charade in itself with a long-established history of fiction and fantasy.


In fact, there is an even bigger lie concealed by the fiscal scolds and ignored by witless media, too. Again and again, self-righteous critics have portrayed Social Security as the profligate monster borrowing from the Treasury and sucking the life out of federal government. Guess what? It's the other way around. The federal government borrows from Social Security. The Treasury has been borrowing from the Social Security Trust Fund for 30 years, and the debt to Social Security beneficiaries now totals nearly $3 trillion. The day is approaching when that money will be needed for its original purpose: paying Social Security benefits to the working people who contributed to the fund.

That is the real crisis that makes the financial barons and their media collaborators so anxious to cut Social Security benefits. They would like to get out of repaying the debt—that is, giving the money back to the people who earned it. The only way to do this is cut the benefits—over and over again. Count on it. If the president and Congress succeed in this malicious scheme, they will come back again and again to cut more and more. If the politicians join this sordid conspiracy, voters should come after them with pitchforks and torches.

The whole thing: http://www.thenation.com/blog/173771/will-voters-forgive-obama-cutting-social-security

WOW: Oklahoma grandmother uses u-lock to lock her neck & head to Keystone XL construction equipment

Next time you think you've done enough...


Oklahoma Grandmother Locks Herself to Keystone XL Heavy Machinery — Halts Construction

ALLEN, OK – Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 9:00 AM – Oklahoma grandmother Nancy Zorn, 79, from Warr Acres, has locked herself to a piece of heavy machinery effectively halting construction on TransCanada’s Keystone XL toxic tar sands pipeline. This action comes in the wake of the disastrous tar sands pipeline spill in Mayflower Arkansas, where an estimated 80,000 gallons of tar sands spilled into a residential neighborhood and local waterways.

Using a bike-lock Zorn has attached her neck directly to a massive earth-mover, known as an excavator, which has brought construction of Keystone XL to a stop. Zorn is the second Oklahoma grandmother this year risking arrest to stop construction of the pipeline, and her protest is the third in a series of ongoing civil disobedience actions led by the Oklahoma-based coalition of organizations, Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance.

“Right now our neighbors in Arkansas are feeling the toxic affect of tar sands on their community. Will Oklahoma neighborhoods be next?” asked Zorn before taking action today. “I can no longer sit by idly while toxic tar sands are pumped down from Canada and into our communities. It is time to rise up and defend our home. It is my hope that this one small action today will inspire many to protect this land and our water.”

Exxon Mobil’s recent Pegasus pipeline spill has forced local residents to evacuate their homes due to life-threatening toxins released into their neighborhood. Local families have experienced episodes of nausea, headaches, and respiratory problems due to acute exposure to deadly chemicals, like benzene, that are mixed in with the raw tar sands. Pegasus was carrying up to 90,000 barrels of tar sands a day before it ruptured and spilled. The Keystone XL pipeline is slated to carry over 800,000 barrels a day; an alarming 10 times the amount of tar sands.

The rest, with pictures: http://gptarsandsresistance.org/2013/04/09/3rd-action/

There is a link to contribute to her bail fund in the caption of the third picture.


[center]----------> 2014 <----------

...before worrying about who is or isn't running for president.[/center]

Attention all Walking Dead/Darryl/Norman Reedus fans:

The Boondock Saints.

You're welcome.

I'm a Dad!

Lola Jane Pitt arrived at 2:09pm, weighing in at seven pounds even. Mother and baby are both doing absolutely great.

So...now what do I do?

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