Saturday, November 22, 2014

John Boehner Gets SLAMMED - On His Own Facebook Page

By kpete

John Boehner Gets Slammed On His Own Facebook Page
by Leslie Salzillo

Republican House Speaker John Boehner delivered a pathetic 25 second video quip on his Facebook page, in response to President Obama's Thursday night's immigration speech. In his awkward video, Boehner downright embarrasses himself. I kept waiting to hear hiccups, between each slightly slurred sentence. (Was it me?) Bad timing. Bad governing. Bad speaker.

The text from Boehner's video is short, manipulative, and stupid:
"Instead of working together to fix our broken immigration system, the president says he’s acting on his own. But that is just not how our democracy works. The president has said before that ‘he’s not king’ and he’s ‘not an emperor,’ but he sure is acting like one. And he's doing it at a time when the American people want nothing more than for us to work together. "
While typing that, my fingers tried to bolt from the keys. I had to call them back. They didn't want to come. This man is a conniving pompous ass who continues to guzzle up our time, energy, and tax dollars. But let me step aside, and let other Americans tell Boehner how they feel:
Mike F. Stop talking and do something!
Like · Reply · 507 · Yesterday at 4:10pm
21 Replies · 4 hours ago

Jan Crowley G. Send him a bill, Boehner. There's been one sitting on your desk waiting for House action for quite a while, now. The DEMOCRATIC SENATE already passed the bipartisan bill - how about you bring it up for action and a vote, too?? Hmmmmmm???
Unlike · Reply · 437 · Yesterday at 4:10pm
84 Replies · 2 hours ago

Mike S. The President TRIED several times over .... unsuccessfully to work with the most obstructive and dysfunctional Congress in U.S. history. You know that old definition of insanity John Boehner?? Well the President has learned that in order to get a different result he can no longer try working with the most obstructive and dysfunctional Congress in U.S. history. He has no choice but to go it alone. Congrats Mr. preside over a colossal joke of a House of Representatives.
Unlike · Reply · 257 · Yesterday at 4:33pm
49 Replies · 3 hours ago

Juan N. You refused to act so someone has to do your job, I'm so proud that our president is taking action.
Unlike · Reply · 243 · Yesterday at 4:19pm
54 Replies · 7 hours ago

Sharon M. Oh Boehner! And there you are, sitting on that bi-partisan Senate bill you refused to bring to the floor even for a debate. He gave you more than a YEAR! You refused. You went on vacation and told Obama to fix it himself. So he did. Rot in h$!! for your obstruction of the American people's business. A hypocrite is the kindess word I can find for you and your party
Unlike · Reply · 151 · Yesterday at 4:24pm
15 Replies · 4 hours ago

Brett A. Instead of impeaching the President, we should be impeaching John Speaker John Boehner regarding his bribery on the House Floor:
Like · Reply · 119 · Yesterday at 4:14pm
5 Replies · 7 hours ago

Jeff N. Blah, blah, blah. You've presided over the least useful Congress in recent history. The president can't work with a body which doesn't show up to work. You - and Reid with you - should resign in ignominy over the lack of leadership you've shown in the past six years.
Like · Reply · 116 · Yesterday at 4:10pm
14 Replies · 4 hours ago

Jeff D. You got a bill on the floor of the house and you won't put it up for a vote! We aren't all as dumb as you want.
Like · Reply · 48 · Yesterday at 4:16pm · Edited
Brain S. When have you ever, EVER worked with the President?
Like · Reply · 38 · Yesterday at 4:20pm

Donnie H. Boehner...You make me sick. lie, lie, lie.
Like · Reply · 38 · Yesterday at 4:15pm
Shirley G. President Obama was elected TWICE by the American people. We want him as our President --- get over it!
Like · Reply · 37 · Yesterday at 4:46pm
11 Replies · about an hour ago

Melanie N. Yes, it is precisely how our democracy works. Thats why it works. When Congress fails... the democratically elected President must act under his EO powers.
Like · Reply · 35 · Yesterday at 4:50pm
Patricia R. Boehner, we know what you're doing and we do not approve. Nothing will change your mind to act like a decent political leader. You're out to get the president come hell or high water, and that's the bottom line.
Like · Reply · 35 · Yesterday at 4:31pm
10 Replies · about an hour ago

Brett L. Look here you douche bag he's been trying to work with you guys for 6 freaking years go Obama go you know most presidents in their last two years of their last term do kick it up a notch and start doing things on their own so this is not unprecedented ...See More
Like · Reply · 34 · Yesterday at 4:12pm

Brian W. Grow a spine and quit whining Boehner. You are a disgrace to public office! PS the American people have been waiting for you to work together for the last 6yrs. Shut up & lead!
Like · Reply · 33 · Yesterday at 4:56pm · Edited

Carlos A. He is beyond clown, he is just an idiot who cant fight his way out of a paper bag. Republicans have had the option to pass legislation to resolve the immigration crisis and they have failed for over 10 years. Its time to push them to act. So good for Obama let him exercise his authority and start to repair our broken immigration system.
Like · Reply · 32 · Yesterday at 5:16pm
4 Replies

Adolfo P. That's a PATHETIC statement Mr. Speaker. Of course you must work together. But your INACTION leads to this and you have the audacity to punch the president for doing something about it. Let the voice of your representatives be heard!! Call for a vote or SHUT UP!
Like · Reply · 31 · Yesterday at 4:26pm
2 Replies

Linda B. then do your job bonehead! congress makes the laws, so far in six years since Obama is President, you have done nothing. let me rephrase for sixty years you have done nothing..
Like · Reply · 19 · Yesterday at 4:43pm · Edited

I love this:

Michael T. I will never vote republican again…
Like · Reply · 11 · Yesterday at 7:21pm

My personal favorite:
Nesti G. shut up!!
Like · Reply · 8 · November 20 at 4:37pm

It's Time to Scan Your PC for Government Funded Malware


Detekt 310x
Amnesty International's free new Detekt tool scans for government-level malware on your PC

It's Cybersecurity Friday here at The Escapist (not really), so when you're not busy freaking out about the possibility that some hacker trolls stole your PlayStation Network login info, you can scan your PC for government-funded malware.

Amnesty International is behind Detekt, a new (and free) malware scanner that specifically looks for bugs attached to government-backed cyberwarfare programs. The scanner comes from AI, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Once you download the Detekt executable, [Note from the Writer: You are downloading and running a program, so the usual "try at your own risk," warning applies here.] the GUI guides you through a typical-looking malware scan, which can take up to 30 minutes (depending on PC speed and drive size). You'll need to run the program as an Administrator in order for it to work. Currently, Windows 8.1 is not supported.

You, me, and virtually everyone else on here likely has nothing to worry about, and the scan will finish empty-handed. For the unlucky few that do find something? This tool is a scanner, and not a removal program, so you're up Hacker Creek without a paddle, I'm afraid. (Translation: it's hard drive reformatting time!)

Government-sponsored cyberattacks are nothing new; China does it, the United States does it, and so do a number of other nations across the globe. At least now you can find out if you're an innocent casualty in this "war" happening in those Internet tubes.

Source: Amnesty International | The Verge

Friday, November 21, 2014

Anonymous Releases New Video Warning Ferguson Police And KKK

By Lilly Workneh

A video surfaced Thursday reportedly released by the hacker group Anonymous warning Ferguson, Missouri police officers and the Ku Klux Klan to remain peaceful and refrain from using violence against local protesters.

Anonymous, an unidentified group of online activists against racism and violence, published the video after they they launch denial of service attacks to take down a site associated with the KKK and seized two Twitter accounts earlier this week in response to deadly threats the white supremacist group made to demonstrators in Ferguson.

The hacker collective refers to this series of attacks -- which has also unmasked the identities of alleged KKK members -- as part of a campaign recognized as #operationKKK or #opKKK.

“To the KKK and police, be peaceful or you will face the consequences,” the video stated. “To the protesters, do not be afraid. We are here for you and will protect and serve you. We are the law now.”

The video also retaliates against direct threats reportedly made by Frank Ancona, the leader of the Missouri-based KKK chapter who appeared on a widely-criticized live MSNBC segment last week and defended claims of using “lethal force” against peaceful protesters.

Ancona’s threat to Anonymous allegedly claims that members of the group will be “strung up next to the chimps.” In response, Anonymous stated that the collective has no tolerance for Ancona’s warning.

“When the grand jury indictment is announced soon, we will take every precaution needed to defend ourselves. The protesters will take to the streets peacefully, as they always have,” Anonymous stated in the video. “Your violent ideology will not prevail in this fight.”

As for statements directly addressing the police, Anonymous warned law enforcement to maintain the peace and discouraged the use of any violence.

“If you use violent acts against the protesters as you have before, you should know that you are being watched very closely,” the video states. “You can not get away with anything.”

In an Anonymous Internet Relay Chat Monday, a member of the group named “SiX” told The Huffington Post:

“We want the KKK gone, forever. Don’t worry, we know what we’re doing.”

Aside from this newly-released video, members of Anonymous have sent messages through various social media outlets including Twitter and Instagram along with posts published through their website.

And while they are active on several public platforms, their main message resonates in solidarity - as the group stated in the video:

“We are Anonymous. We are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget.”

On Immigration, Obama Fulfills His Promise to Progressives

The President has long been tugged between his bipartisan urges and his activist roots. With his executive order and speech Thursday, he chose activism.


Esteban Cabanas, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico, watches Obama's immigration speech with his U.S.-born son at a restaurant in Huntington Park, California. (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

In his decision to act, by himself, on immigration, President Obama chose between two sides of his political self.

It’s hard to remember now, but once upon a time, bipartisanship was near the heart of Obama’s political appeal. In the speech that introduced him to Americans, at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, Obama’s most famous line was neither a plea for universal healthcare nor a condemnation of the war in Iraq. It was a call for overcoming America’s political divide: “The pundits like to slice and dice our country into red states and blue states…[But] we are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America.”

When Obama ran against Hillary Clinton, a key rationale for his candidacy was that he was not a combatant in the long-running Baby Boomer civil war over the 1960's. He was a liberal who conservatives didn’t hate.

But, from the beginning, this side of Obama’s public persona sat uneasily alongside another. It wasn’t just that he promised both bipartisan reconciliation and progressive change. It’s that Obama understood American history well enough to know that progressive change only arrives through bitter, divisive, even ugly, struggle. When George W. Bush explained America’s moral progress he tended to describe it as frictionless. “The American story,” Bush said in his first inaugural address, is “a story of flawed and fallible people united across the generations by grand and enduring ideals …. Americans are called to enact this promise in our lives and in our laws. And though our nation has sometimes halted and sometimes delayed, we must follow no other course.”

Obama—who spent his student years obsessed with the civil-rights movement and then became a disciple of Saul Alinsky—talks differently. In his second inaugural, he said, “Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free.” Then he name checked “Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall,” places where powerful and privileged Americans ridiculed, arrested, beat, and killed other Americans for demanding equal rights.

The part of Barack Obama that knows how change really happens in America has long been quietly at war with the part that wanted to stay on good terms with Republicans, and with powerful elites in the business and financial worlds. In the most consequential decision of his first term, when he decided to pass healthcare reform via reconciliation, Obama chose identity No. 1 over identity No. 2.

Now, in what may prove the most consequential decision of his second term, he has done the same. He has decided once again to trigger the hatred of defenders of the status quo because, I suspect, he knows American history well enough to know that real moral progress doesn’t happen any other way.

Would another Democrat have done the same thing? Perhaps. But at moments like this, it’s worth remembering what a strange political creature Obama is. Many politicians grow up hero-worshipping other politicians. Democrats come of age idealizing Franklin Roosevelt or John F. Kennedy. Republicans grow up idealizing Ronald Reagan. Not Obama. In his youth, he wasn’t an aspiring politician. He was an aspiring activist. And it wasn’t politicians who inspired him.

On the second page of The Audacity of Hope, Obama writes that he entered politics to lay claim to “a tradition that stretched from the days of the country’s founding to the glory of the civil rights movement.” On the book’s second-to-last page, he talks about running late at night up the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and “imagining the crowd stilled by Dr. King’s mighty cadence.”

The King that inspired Obama was not the sanitized, Disneyfied figure whom everyone now claims. In his youthful passion for the civil-rights movement, Obama discovered the real King—the man whom the FBI tried to blackmail, the man who risked his relationship with the Johnson administration to condemn Vietnam, the man who spent his final days alongside striking garbage workers. It was that King, and that civil-rights movement, which gripped Obama as a young man, and which he tried to recreate in his own age.

Yes, Obama is a pragmatist. Yes, he is professorial. Yes, he wants to be liked by his ideological opponents and by the powers that be. But he also knows that were he in his twenties today—a young man of color with a foreign parent and a foreign-sounding name—he might be among those activists challenging the vicious injustice of America’s immigration system.

When Obama talked about “the courage of students who, except for the circumstances of their birth, are as American as Malia or Sasha; students who bravely come out as undocumented in hopes they could make a difference in a country they love,” he wasn’t only comparing them to his daughters. He was comparing them to himself.

For progressives, this was always the real promise of Barack Obama. It was the promise that a black man with a Muslim name who had worked in Chicago’s ghettos—a man who had tasted what it means to a stranger in America—would bring that memory with him when he entered the White House. It’s a promise he fulfilled tonight.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Bernie Sanders Won't Save You

By Nicole Belle

Making change takes a lot of work, and it takes constant work, even in off-election/midterm years. 

One of my frustrations with Ralph Nader was his absolute refusal to do anything about party building between presidential elections. He shows up as a spoiler vote every four years, but isn't really interested in the work required to make a structural change.

Sadly, I see parallels with my fellow liberals and the Nader campaign. Effecting change takes a lot of work, and it takes constant work, even in off-election/midterm years. You can't pin your hope on some magical progressive pony like Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders and think that suddenly everything will be rosy and liberal.


Do you want to see liberals get more traction? YOU HAVE TO DO THE WORK. You have to show up to every election, so that politicians don't write you off as a negligible vote. You have to contact your elected officials and tell them you want progressive stances. You have to do this often and in large numbers to drown out the messages they're getting from the right. You have to contact media sources and demand that your side gets airtime. You have to complain when they do the bullshit "Both sides do it..."

You have to get involved in campaigns.

Look, that may sound like a lot of work--because it is--but that's EXACTLY what the right has been doing consistently for the last forty years. Liberals seem to think that the correctness of their beliefs (as proven over time) should give them gravitas, but facts are secondary to politics and media coverage. You need to be visible.

Until you're willing to do that, there's no way for Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders or any other magical progressive pony to actually win an election.

Tommy Chong Tells Fox Hosts Gruber-Gate 'Sounds Like Benghazi All Over Again'

By Heather

Tommy Chong was this Wednesday's #OneLuckyGuy on Fox’s Outnumbered, and the hosts got a little more than they bargained for when they continued their attacks on the Affordable Health Care Act and Jonathan Gruber.

I'm not sure why the producers over at Faux "news" thought it was a good idea to book Tommy Chong as the #OneLuckyGuy on this Wednesday's Outnumbered, or why Chong has any desire to appear on Fox... ever.

Whatever the reasons, I have a feeling they may not want him back on there any time soon after what happened when they continued the Fox freakout over Jonathan Gruber's remarks that they've been running in a continuous loop over there for the last week or two.

Here's more from our friend Ellen at News Hounds: Watch Tommy Chong Smack Down Fox’s Attacks On ObamaCare: ‘Sounds Like Benghazi All Over Again’:
First, the four Fox hosts tried to get Chong to knock the glitches in the rollout. He replied, “My thing about the whole ObamaCare is that it’s better than Bush’s ObamaCare.”
One of the hosts asked, “What was Bush’s ObamaCare?”
Chong said, “He never had one.”
There was a nervous titter from one host and silence from the rest.
Tantaros brought up Gruber and his claim that “stupid Americans” were misled in order to pass the Affordable Care Act.
Chong’s reply: “To me, it’s just another attack on ObamaCare from another angle. Sounds like Benghazi all over again.”
Later, Tantaros tried to argue that Gruber’s old comments represent “an attack on the American people for how quote stupid we are.”
Chong said, “You have to define what stupidity means, you know. If you are opposing universal health care based on rumors of lies then that it is a stupid way to be.”
That shut them up.
Well, almost. Tantaros finished up by saying she's really looking forward to Republicans dragging Gruber in front of one of their committees and making him testify under oath, so this crap isn't going away for months to come.

And as Dave Edwards at Raw Story pointed out:
A PunditFact analysis published on Tuesday found that Fox News had mentioned Gruber at least 779 times since the story broke on Nov. 10. MSNBC had mentioned him 79 times, and he was referenced on CNN just 27 times.
We'll be seeing those numbers change as the Fox-effect takes place and they push this into the rest of the corporate media, and when the hearings start.

Is Rick Perry just Bill Clinton, version 2.0?

In the Rewrite, Lawrence looks at Rick Perry’s frank assessment of his failed 2012 bid, his comparison to Clinton, and his chance of being the 2016 comeback kid.

The immigration divide

A new poll shows 48% are against the president acting alone on immigration, but 74% support a pathway to citizenship. Rev. Al Sharpton talks to Angela Rye, Jimmy Williams and Seema Iyer to discuss.

Mary J. Blige’s secret to wedded bliss

Singer Mary J. Blige recently shared the secret to happiness in her marriage: neither she, or her husband are allowed to have friends of the opposite sex. Rev. Al Sharpton talks to Angela Rye, Jimmy Williams and Seema Iyer.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

10 Ways Police in Ferguson, MO May Be About to Break the Law

By Bill Quigley

When the Michael Brown verdict is announced, people can expect the police to take at least ten different illegal actions to prevent people from exercising their constitutional rights.  The Ferguson police have been on TV more than others so people can see how awful they have been acting.  But their illegal police tactics are unfortunately quite commonly used by other law enforcement in big protests across the US.

The First Amendment to the US Constitution promises the government will not abridge freedom of speech or to prevent the right of the people to peaceably assemble or to petition to the government for the redress of grievances.

Here is what they are going to do, watch for each of these illegal actions when the crowds start to grow.

1) Try to stop people from protesting. 

The police all say they know they have to let people protest. So they usually will allow protests for a while.  Then the police will get tired and impatient and try to stop people from continuing to protest.  The government will say people can only protest until a certain time, or on a certain street, or only if they keep moving, or not there, not here, not now, no longer.  Such police action is not authorized by the US Constitution.   People have a right to protest, the government should leave them alone.

2) Provocateurs. 

Police have likely already planted dozens of officers, black and white, male and female, inside the various protests groups.  These officers will illegally spy on peaceful protesters and often take illegal actions themselves and encourage other people to take illegal action.  They will even be arrested with others but magically not end up in jail.   Others inside the groups will be paid to inform on the group to the government.  Comically, when undercover police are uncovered they often claim they have a constitutional right to be there and try to use the constitution they are violating as a shield!

3) Snatch Squads. 

Police will decide who they do not like or who they think are leaders.  Then they will use small heavily armed groups to knife into peaceful crowds and grab people, pull them out and arrest them.

4) False Arrests. 

The police will arrest whoever they choose whenever they choose and will make up stories to justify the arrests.  If people are breaking glass or hurting others, those arrests are legal.  However, the police will arrest first and sort out who they arrested later.  Police in Ferguson have already wrongfully arrested legal observers, a law professor, and church leaders.

5) Intimidation. 

As they have shown many times in Ferguson and all over the country, once the protests heat up, police will show up in full riot gear, dressed like ninja turtles (big flashy guns, plastic shields, big batons, shin guards, gas masks, flex cuffs) and act like they are military warriors protecting people from an ISIS invasion.

6) Kettling or Encircling. 

The police will surround a group and pen them in and not let them move.  They will either arrest all or force them to leave in one direction.  This, as the police know fully well, always sweeps up innocent bystanders as well as protestors.  NYPD did this with hundreds on Brooklyn Bridge and at many other protests.  Sometimes they deploy orange plastic nets or snow fencing, sometimes just lots of police.

7) Raids on supportive churches, organizations or homes. 

Often the police make illegal pre-emptive raids on places where volunteers are sleeping, cooking or parking their cars.  They lie to locals and accuse the protesters of links to violent organizations.

8) Pain Noise Trucks. 

Police will also use LRAD noise trucks (Long Range Acoustic Device).  First used in Iraq now used against peaceful protesters in the US.  The trucks blast bursts of sound powerful enough to cause pain.   Never approved by any court, this intentional infliction of pain is another sign of the militarization of the police.   Police also use MRAPs Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles – heavily armored trucks which look like tanks but roll on wheels not treads.   This is part of the intimidation.

9) Arresting reporters. 

When the police are feeling the heat of public view, they will force journalists away from the protesters.  Those who insist on engaging in constitutionally protected activity and returning to the scene will be arrested.

10) Chemical and other weapons. 

When the police get really desperate and afraid, they will try to disperse the entire crowd with pepper spray, tear gas, and other chemical weapons, rubber or wooden bullets.  If this happens the police have just about lost control and are at their most dangerous.

Dozens and dozens of different police forces which will be surrounding the protesters in Ferguson when the Michael Brown verdict is announced.  There will be federal FBI agents, Homeland Security, US Marshals, State Police troopers, County Sheriffs, and local city cops from the dozens of little towns in and around St. Louis.  Perhaps this will be the time when the peoples’ constitutional rights to protest are actually protected.  We can only hope.  But in the meantime, look for these common police tactics.

Bill Quigley is a human rights lawyer and professor at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. He is also a member of the legal collective of School of Americas Watch, and can be reached at

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Confrontation over slick Senate vote

Sticking to Sen. Rob Portman’s promise of swift action on the Keystone XL pipeline, the Senate votes on the controversial bill after it passed in the House. Ed Schultz, Cyril Scott, Aldo Seoane and Adam Green discuss the implications.

Mitt Romney’s Epic Irony On Losing An Election Will Make You Spit Your Coffee

On Sunday, former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney sat down with CBS Face the Nation to criticize the president’s handling of the battle against ISIS forces, as well as his potential executive action on immigration.

Romney reiterated his belief that the president has been “inept” on Middle East policy, asserting that it was a mistake to declare “no boots on the ground” in the region. “It is not acceptable for ISIS to present the kind of threat it does to the world,” the former governor said after suggesting the “no boots” remark will necessarily prove contradictory.

“If it takes our own troops” to destroy ISIS, Romney said, then “you don’t take that off the table.”

As for the possibility of Obama taking executive action to overhaul policy and protect millions of undocumented immigrants currently in the states, Romney said: “The president has got to learn that he lost this last election round. The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.

Drug Warrior Mitch McConnell Tied To Millions In Cocaine

By DeSwiss

  The Young Turks * Published on Nov 17, 2014

"Before the Ping May, a rusty cargo vessel, could disembark from the port of Santa Marta en route to the Netherlands in late August, Colombian inspectors boarded the boat and made a discovery. Hidden in the ship’s chain locker, amidst its load of coal bound for Europe, were approximately 40 kilograms, or about ninety pounds, of cocaine. A Colombian Coast Guard official told The Nation that there is an ongoing investigation.

The seizure of the narcotics shipment in the Caribbean port occurred far away from Kentucky, the state in which Senator Mitch McConnell is now facing a career-defining election. But the Republican Senate minority leader has the closest of ties to the owner of the Ping May, the vessel containing the illicit materials: the Foremost Maritime Corporation, a firm founded and owned by McConnell’s in-laws, the Chao family.

Though Foremost has played a pivotal role in McConnell’s life, bestowing the senator with most of his personal wealth and generating thousands in donations to his campaign committees, the drug bust went unnoticed in Kentucky, where every bit of McConnell-related news has generated fodder for the campaign trail."* The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur breaks it down.

*Read more here:

- And now we know why his double-chins always seemed so large for a turtle of his age and species.....

If Presidential Action on Immigration Is Impeachable, Reagan and Bush Should Have Been Axed

By Tana Ganeva

14 times Republican presidents were "soft" on immigrants.
As Republicans in Congress and right-wing columnists bellow that President Obama should be impeached if he issues an executive order to overhaul the nation’s immigration policies, it’s important to note that a long line of Republican presidents have done exactly the same thing for decades.

In fact, more undocumented immigrants have been granted reprieves from prosecution and deportation protection by Republican presidents than Democrats, according to an American Immigration Council summary of dozens of White House-ordered reforms since 1956.

Today’s right-wingers don’t want to mention that their Republican hero, President Ronald Reagan, signed the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, which gave up to 3 million unauthorized immigrants a path to legalization if they continuously had been in the U.S. since January 1982. The Reagan White House also issued executive orders that deferred deportation of children of non-citizens in more than 100,000 families, and also told immigration authorities not to deport up to 200,000 Nicaraguan war refugees.

In contrast, President Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative (DACA), which provided a two-year renewable reprieve from deportation and granted work permits, affected up to 1.8 million immigrants, according to the American Immigration Council.

Another Republican president whose immigration policies could be an “impeachable” offense, according to Republican congressmen like Texas’ Joe Barton or Washington Post  columnist Charles Krauthammer, would be President George Herbert Walker Bush, who in 1990 announced a blanket deferral of deportations for 1.5 million spouses and children of unauthorized people, which accounted for 40 percent of the nation’s undocumented population. That step was very similar to President Obama’s DACA executive order in 2012. Both presidents, a Republican and a Democrat, acted when Congress did not.

What fuming right-wingers fear is that the Obama White House might go big—ordering federal immigration authorities to refocus their activities and allowing several million undocumented households to breathe easy and lead more normal lives. The New York Times reported that there are as many as 3.3 million undocumented parents of children who are American citizens who have been in the U.S. for at least five years. The 1986 immigration reform law signed by President Reagan did not try to keep similar families together. It was slammed as inhumane then—and is still sharply criticized.

If Obama also includes children who were undocumented when they came to the U.S. in his expected executive orders, that could add another million or more people, the Times said. If the White House includes undocumented farm workers who have been here for years, that could add hundreds of thousands more.

While it is possible that Obama’s executive orders could be the largest-ever immigration reforms by any White House administration since World War Two, it is important to note that previous presidents issued large-scale immigration executive orders as part of a push to get Congress to act. President Bush’s 1990 reforms were based on a Senate-passed bill that was rejected by the House. However, after Bush issued those orders affecting 1.5 million spouses and children, the House then passed the legislation.

What you will probably not hear as Republicans complain loudly about Obama’s next steps, is that Republicans presidents—more so than Democrats—have granted amnesty to undocumented people.
What follows are 14 executive orders granting immigration relief by Republican presidents, starting in 1956, as compiled by the American Immigration Council. Before Obama, the Democratic president who used his office to allow the most immigrants to stay was Jimmy Carter, whose policies allowed more than 676,000 people to stay—not counting the 360,000 Vietnamese refugees who came during his and the presidency of his predecessor, Republican Gerald Ford.

Here are the 14 executive orders on immigration policy by Republican presidents:

• 1956. President Dwight Eisenhower allows 923 orphans to settle in the U.S.

• 1956-58. Eisenhower allows 31,915 Hungarian refugees to stay after Soviet invasion.

• 1959-72. Presidents Eisenhower through Richard Nixon let 621,403 Cuban exiles stay.

• 1977-82. Presidents Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, and Reagan, let 15,000 Ethiopians stay.

• 1981-87. President Reagan allow 7,000 Polish refugees stay after Soviet-led crackdown.

• 1987. President Reagan stops deportations for 200,000 Nicaraguan war refugees.

• 1987. President Reagan allows 100,000 children of non-citizens to stay who were not affected by the 1986 law he signed granting amnesty to 3 million immigrants.

• 1989. President Bush allows 80,000 Chinese students stay after Tianenmen Square, which he formalized a year later suspending deportations and granting work permits.

• 1989. President Bush allows 2,225 Indochinese and 5,000 Soviet refugees to stay.

• 1990. President Bush defers deportation of 1.5 million unauthorized spouses and children of people legalized under 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act.

• 1991. President Bush allows 2,227 Kuwaiti refugees to stay after invasion by Iraq.

• 1992. Presidents Bush and Bill Clinton, a Democrat, allow 190,000 Salvadorans stay.

• 2006. President George W. Bush allows 1,574 Cuban doctors into the country.

• 2006. President George W. Bush allows 3,600 Liberians stay in the country.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Exposing the secret corporate coup of our democratic elections

Posted by Jim Hightower

A big surprise in this year's elections is that American politics has become dominated by the least likely of participants: Shy people. That's strange, since running for office is an ego game, attracting those at ease with self-promotion. But the hot new trend is to campaign anonymously, not even whispering your name to voters.

Of course, these are not the campaigns of actual candidates, nor are the campaigners even people. Rather, they are corporations, empowered by the Frankensteins on our Supreme Court to possess the political rights of us real human-type people. Using their shareholders' money, corporate entities are spending hundreds-of-millions of dollars to elect or defeat whomever they choose.

You would know these corporations, for they are major brand-names from Big Oil, Big Food, Big Pharma, etc. Normally, they are not at all bashful about promoting their corporate brands, but – shhhh – they want to be totally secretive about their massive spending to decide who holds office in America. They realize that their self-serving campaigns would alienate their customers, employees, and shareholders, so they're keeping their involvement hush-hush.

One agency could compel them to reveal their spending on what amounts to a corporate coup of our democratic elections: The Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC is supposed to guard the right of investors to know how corporate executives are spending their money. But this watchdog isn't barking, much less biting, thus allowing CEOs to take unlimited amounts of other people's money, without their permission, and secretly pour it down the darkest hole in American politics.

SEC's inaction is gutless, making it complicit in the corporate corruption of our governing system. To help make it do its duty, link up with Public Citizen:

"The S.E.C. and Political Spending," The New York Times, October 29, 2014.

Time to Get Even or Time to Get Over It?

By Taegan Goddard

Gerald Seib: “Republicans, of course, have taken control of the Senate after eight years of Democratic rule, and lawmakers from both parties are nursing serious grievances over how the other side behaved during that stretch.”

“Democrats endured a blizzard of Republican filibusters, shattering previous records and helping gum up the works. That’s the burden new Majority Leader Mitch McConnell carries when he says, as he did the day after the election, ‘This gridlock and dysfunction can be ended.'”

“Republicans chafed under the iron-fisted rule of Democratic leader Harry Reid , who regularly limited debate, blocked amendments and prevented votes. That’s the burden Mr. Reid now faces when he says, as he did last week, ‘This is not get-even time.'”

Mentally Ill Cleveland Woman Was Killed by Police In Front of Her Family, Brother Says

By Brandon Blackwell

CLEVELAND, Ohio – A 37 year old bipolar and schizophrenic woman died after police slammed her to the pavement outside her family's home, her brother said.

Tanesha Anderson was pronounced dead at Cleveland Clinic early Thursday after an altercation with officers nearly two hours earlier on the 1300 block of Ansel Road.

"They killed my sister," her 40-year-old brother Joell Anderson said with welling eyes in his living room Thursday night. "I watched it."

Officers were called to the home after a family member reported that Anderson was disturbing the peace.

Patrolmen had lengthy discussions with Tanesha Anderson and members of her family. Everyone agreed she should undergo an evaluation at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center, police said.

The official police account of what happened next is at odds with what several members of Tanesha Anderson's family said they witnessed.

"As the officers escorted Anderson to the police vehicle, she began actively resisting the officers," police spokesman Sgt. Ali Pillow said in a press release.

Officers placed her in handcuffs and she began to resist officers' attempts to put her in a squad car, Pillow said.

"The woman began to kick at officers," he said. "A short time later the woman stopped struggling and appeared to go limp. Officers found a faint pulse on the victim and immediately called EMS."

Joell Anderson gave a different account.

"She was more of a danger to herself than others," he said.

Two male officers escorted Tanesha Anderson, who was prescribed medication for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, to the police cruiser. She sat herself in the backseat but became nervous about the confined space and tried to get out, Anderson said.

Police struggled to keep her in the car and an officer eventually drew a Taser. Joell Anderson said he begged the officer not to use the weapon on his sister.

Tanesha Anderson called out for her brother and mother while an officer repeatedly pressed down on her head to get her into the backseat. After several attempts, the officer used a takedown move to force her to the pavement, Joell Anderson said.

The officer placed his knee on Tanesha Anderson's back and handcuffed her. She never opened her eyes or spoke another word, her brother said.

Joell Anderson asked officers to help his unconscious sister. They refused to touch the East High School graduate until a female officer called to the scene arrived, Joell Anderson said.

His sister's sundress was lifted above her waist when the officer took her down. Joell Anderson used his jacket to cover her naked lower body.

The Anderson family watched Tanesha Anderson lie on the ground for about 20 minutes until an ambulance arrived, Joell Anderson said. The medical examiner has not determined what killed the woman.

"She was outgoing, silly, always joking," Joell Anderson said. "She just wasn't doing very well that day."

The Cleveland Division of Police Use of Deadly Force Investigation Team is examining the case.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Every Treasured Progressive Reform Since the Abolition of Slavery Has Been Called 'Socialism'

But there is evidence that the American public is warming up to the term. 

By Zaid Jilani

 Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Congress's longest-serving independent, is reportedly seriously considering running for the White House. This is significant because Sanders openly declares himself to be a democratic socialist – a label which has been a taboo in U.S. political culture for decades.

But while Sanders will likely be attacked for identifying with socialism, it has a long history of being used by the reactionary right as a smear. In fact, that history pre-dates the Civil War. History blogger Matt Karp searched the Congressional record and found the very first instance that the word “socialism” was uttered in Congress. He found that the first time anyone used the phrase was when a North Carolinian congressman used it to attack opponents of slavery:
As far as I can make out, the first reference to “socialism” on the floor of Congress came  from North Carolina representative Abraham Venable in July 1848. During a debate over the Wilmot Proviso, Venable indulged himself in a familiar litany of destructive Northern manias, which ranged from “the wicked schemes of Garrison” to “the wild excesses of  Millerism, and of Latter-Day Saints, the abominations of Socialism, and of Fourieriesm …  and all the numerous fanaticisms which spring up and flourish in their  free soil…” […] This kind of pro-slavery, anti-Northern rant was the context for most mentions of “socialism” in Congress during the next several years.
As Karp notes, the “socialism” smear continued to rear its head during the next year leading up to the Emancipation Proclamation, as pro-slavery advocates warned that if abolitionists succeeded in ending the South's ownership of human beings, they may soon also end private ownership of massive industries like banking.

After the end of slavery, conservatives continued to invoke socialism to oppose all kinds of progressive reforms. In the early 20th century, the Congress, prodded by what was indeed an independent socialist movement and various other labor forces, banned child labor. But after the Supreme Court struck down the ban, arguing it violated state's rights, Congress debated a constitutional amendment to ban the practice instead (which required a larger threshold of votes to pass). One senator who opposed to the ban claimed that the child labor amendment was really about placing socialism “into the flesh and blood of Americans.”

When Franklin Roosevelt (under whom the previously mentioned ban on child labor finally went through and was not struck down by a conservative Supreme Court) advocated for the Social Security system, the American Medical Association (AMA) opposed his push, saying that he was trying to enact a “compulsory socialistic tax.”

One of the most prominent uses of the socialism smear was when Lyndon Johnson was pushing for the enactment of Medicare, the single-payer health insurance system for the elderly. Ronald Reagan, then a prominent actor and not a politician, appeared in audio recordings for the AMA Operation Coffee Cup – which organized Americans to oppose the health care push. “One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people is by way of medicine,” warned Reagan in the advertisement.

All of this begs the question: if all of these major reforms that are today virtually uncontroversial – few ever call for the total abolition of Medicare and Social Security, or for re-instating child labor or slavery – were decried as socialism, maybe socialism isn't so bad after all?

There is evidence that American public opinion is starting to warm up to the term. In 2011, Pew conducted polling finding that, among Americans age 18-29, 49 percent of them had a positive view of socialism, whereas 43 percent had a negative view. Meanwhile, among the same age bracket, 46 percent had a positive view of capitalism, while 47 percent had a negative view of it. While the overall views of Americans remained decidedly negative – with 60 percent holding a negative view of socialism and just 30 percent holding a positive view – this generational difference may point to shifting attitudes among future generations.

It may be just that shift in perspective that Sanders can tap into if he decides to seek the presidency – and a legacy of “socialism” that gave America some of its most treasured social policy reforms.

Landrieu v Cassidy - How Liberals and Working Class Are Fooled By The Media Narrative

By TomCADem

The corporate media has repeatedly pushed the narratives:

1. That the President is unpopular and politically toxic.
2. That Democrats are running away from President Obama and his policies.

Only stories that fit in this narrative are portrayed. Stories that are inconsistent with this narrative are ignored. This narrative fulls the public, including liberals, into apathy with the meme that Democrats' only platform is that they are not President Obama. In the meantime, as Bernie Sanders explained issues of relevance to the people are ignored. This is why voters could manage to vote for Republicans who are against the minimum wage while also supporting propositions raising the minimum wage,

If you look at the Landrieu race, you see thread after thread on this Board calling Senator Landrieu a DINO based entirely on her position on the Keystone pipeline, which should not be surprising since LA is one of the States that would likely benefit from the pipeline even though most other states would not benefit.

However, there are issues beyond the pipeline, and it is clear that there is a world of difference between Landrieu and Cassidy. Many of folks have insisted, even on Democratic Underground, that it would not make a difference if Cassidy beats Landrieu. The ignorance of this line of argument is exposed by the summary below of the candidate's stated positions on the issues. Some will argue why haven't we hard this? Perhaps it is because it just does not fit the media narrative that (1) Democrats are running away from President Obama and Democratic priorities and (2) that there just isn't that much difference between Democrats and Republicans. Look at how the mainstream media largely ignored the extreme positions states by Joni Erst in the Iowa race.

Budget: Did you support raising the Federal debt ceiling with no strings attached?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: No

Campaign Finance: Do you support the DISCLOSE Act, which would require key funders of political ads to put their names on those ads?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: No

Campaign Finance: Do you support the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, which allowed unlimited independent political expenditures by corporations and unions?
Landrieu: No
Cassidy: Unknown

Economy: Do you support raising the minimum wage?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: No

Economy: Do you support extending unemployment benefits beyond 26 weeks?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: No

Economy: Do you support the Dodd-Frank Act, which established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and sought to increase regulation of Wall Street corporations and other financial institutions?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: No

Economy: Do you support federal spending as a means of promoting economic growth?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: Yes

Education: Do you support refinancing of student loans at lower rates, paid for by increasing taxes on income over a million dollars?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: Unknown

Environment: Do you believe that human activity is a major factor contributing to climate change?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: No

Environment: Do you support government action to limit the levels of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: No

Environment: Do you support government mandates and/or subsidies for renewable energy?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: Yes

Gay Marriage: Do you support gay marriage?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: No

Gun Control: Do you support enacting more restrictive gun control legislation?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: No

Healthcare: Do you support repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare?
Landrieu: No
Cassidy: Yes. Also authored bill permitting people to keep insurance policies that didn't meet the coverage standards of the law.

Healthcare: Did you support shutting down the federal government in order to defund Obamacare in 2013?
Landrieu: No
Cassidy: Yes

Immigration: Do you support the D.R.E.A.M. Act, which would allow children brought into the country illegally to achieve legal status if they've graduated from high school, have a clean legal record, and attend college or serve in the military?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: No

Immigration: Do you support the comprehensive immigration plan passed by the Senate in 2013, which includes a pathway to citizenship and increased funding for border security?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: No

Social Issues: Should abortion be highly restricted?
Landrieu: No, although supports ban on late-term abortions
Cassidy: Yes

Social Issues: Should employers be able to withhold contraceptive coverage from employees if they disagree with it morally?
Landrieu: No
Cassidy: Yes

Social Issues: Should Planned Parenthood receive public funds for non-abortion health services?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: No

Social Security: Do you support partial privatization of Social Security?
Landrieu: No
Cassidy: Unknown

Taxes: Have you signed the Americans for Tax Reform Pledge to oppose any tax increases to raise revenue? (The answer to this question is taken from the database of signatories of the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, created by Americans for Tax Reform. Signers to the pledge promise to oppose "any and all tax increases" meant to generate additional revenue.)
Landrieu: No
Cassidy: Yes

Taxes: Would you increase taxes on corporations and/or high-income individuals to pay for public services?
Landrieu: Yes
Cassidy: No. See above