From Lakme by Leo Delibes.
Never fails to make me cry.
Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca
Never fails to make me cry.
Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca
The Story of Little Red State Fundy
This is the third act in an improbable triple-fucking of ordinary people that Wall Street is seeking to pull off as a shocker epilogue to the crisis era. Five years ago this fall, an epidemic of fraud and thievery in the financial-services industry triggered the collapse of our economy. The resultant loss of tax revenue plunged states everywhere into spiraling fiscal crises, and local governments suffered huge losses in their retirement portfolios – remember, these public pension funds were some of the most frequently targeted suckers upon whom Wall Street dumped its fraud-riddled mortgage-backed securities in the pre-crash years.
Today, the same Wall Street crowd that caused the crash is not merely rolling in money again but aggressively counterattacking on the public-relations front. The battle increasingly centers around public funds like state and municipal pensions. This war isn't just about money. Crucially, in ways invisible to most Americans, it's also about blame. In state after state, politicians are following the Rhode Island playbook, using scare tactics and lavishly funded PR campaigns to cast teachers, firefighters and cops – not bankers – as the budget-devouring boogeymen responsible for the mounting fiscal problems of America's states and cities.And nobody makes it easier to understand than Victor Juhasz:
"These guys aren't stupid. They can read the votes,” says a veteran Republican operative. “That's why Republicans are so infuriated. Folks know exactly why they're doing this. They are using this issue and misleading conservatives in order to expand their own influence and raise money for themselves."
The biggest actors so far in Defund, Inc. have been Cruz, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, and the Senate Conservatives Fund, the leadership PAC that Jim DeMint launched as a senator and handed off to his former staff members to run as a conservative super PAC. While Cruz led the defund fight in the Senate this summer, the SCF led a huge parallel fight on the outside, setting up a website, running radio and television ads, robocalls and a direct mail campaign, all designed to raise money from still-hot conservative activists and urge them to sign a petition to tell Congress not to fund the health-care bill when they greenlight funding for the rest of the government.Don't be a rube.
Although the differences felt muted for much of the debate, the ending more than made up for it.
When Fox brought up Jackson’s record of inflammatory rhetoric, the Republican was ready. Saying he’d expected the question, Jackson surprised everyone in the George Mason University auditorium in Arlington by grabbing a tablet computer he had close at hand.
He then read a passage from the Virginia state constitution. It protects citizens’ rights to express any opinion whatsoever in matters of religion.The first point is that when you say one thing in church and then you say something very different out in public - yeah, that matters. Guys like Jackson have been screaming for years about how we need to get back to our Jesus-y roots and if only we cleaved a little more closely to our Sunday School lessons then government would be a walk in the park. But guess what - the handlers and image consultants have figured out that most of us just wanna puke whenever we hear our "public servants" yammering on about what their imaginary friends are going to do to us unless blah blah blah. So we've already seen a guy like Cuccinelli trying to distance himself from guys like Jackson; now we get the extra special spectacle of a guy like Jackson trying to distance himself from himself. Pretty neat trick.
To fault him for speaking out on religious issues, Jackson said, was to create a religious test for holding public office. It wasn’t fair when critics did it to Roman Catholic John Kennedy or to Mormon Mitt Romney, and it wasn’t fair to do it to him now. He knew the difference between what he professed in church and what he said as a politician.
Tell me my country's romance with its firearms isn't utterly insane. What we accept as a reality seems from afar like something Aaron Alexis heard from the voices in his head. Our ignorance is deliberate and profound. The BU study was published online on September 12. Did you see anything about it on the news? In the newspapers? Anywhere except at the Think Progress website, which gave it good run? I didn't. Four days later, Aaron Alexis -- who heard voices and bought his gun legally -- went on his spree. The findings of the study may seem little more than an exercise in confirming the obvious, but that's an exercise the country needs. It needs to have the obvious -- guns kill people, health insurance helps keep them alive, large banks are all thieves, economic oligarchy is incompatible with political democracy -- proven to it, over and over again, because the industry of bullshit has become too efficient. The contempt for learning, the scorn heaped on reason, the distrust of expertise have leached like foul water into all of our institutions, and particularly into our politics.Here's the Think Progress article regarding the Boston Univ gun study.
It has been some time since we have heard anything about our old friend BENGHAAAAAAAZI!!111!!!! We are of course referring to the insidious act a year ago when Hillary Clinton traveled via wormhole to Libya to smother Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans with her vagina while one of her vast army of clones went to the White House to roofie President Obama, drag him out to the putting green on the South Lawn, and leave him to wake up thirteen hours later clutching a bloody nine-iron in his hand with vague memories of pummeling American heroes to death in a frenzy of murderous rage. It’s really the only scenario that makes sense.I didn't have to read any more - that made my day - but it's worth a quick perusal.
The 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits is scheduled to end on November 1, 2013, resulting in a benefit cut for every SNAP household. For families of three, the cut will be $29 a month — a total of $319 for November 2013 through September 2014, the remaining months of fiscal year 2014. That’s a serious loss, especially in light of the very low amount of basic SNAP benefits. Without the Recovery Act’s boost, SNAP benefits will average less than $1.40 per person per meal in 2014. (See Table 2 for estimates of the size of the SNAP cut in each state in fiscal year 2014.) Nationally, the total cut is estimated to be $5 billion in fiscal year 2014.So yeah, it sucks but it prob'ly doesn't make any real difference because the thing has practically no chance in the Senate - Debbie Stabanow has been calling it "a monumental waste of time", which it most certainly is.
It seems unlikely that Congress will enact legislation to remedy this problem, as President Obama and some members of Congress have proposed. Consequently, states need to prepare for the benefit cuts — including determining how they will provide information about the upcoming benefit reduction to participating households and other stakeholders as well as how to manage increased client inquiries when the cut takes effect.
NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd's declaration that it's not his job to inform viewers when politicians spread misinformation was noted by several progressive blogs today, including Talking Points Memo.
Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe today (9/18/13), Todd responded to Ed Rendell's claim that Obamacare opponents are full of misinformation about the program by explaining that this was because Republicans "have successfully messaged against it." But wasn't journalism's job to expose misinformation? No, Todd insisted; if the public was misinformed about the Affordable Care Act, it was the president's fault for not pushing back:
Chuck Todd: "What I always love is people say, 'Well, it's you folks' fault in the media.' No, it's the president of the United States' fault for not selling it."
Congress and the president are again at loggerheads on how to move forward as the government's money runs out at the end of the fiscal year this month and federal agencies are once again warning employees and preparing contingency plans for a closed government.
All this because Republicans are making demands in exchange for government funding and Democrats are saying "no way."Some Press Poodles (not a lot, but some) are actually talking about it in truthful terms, and have been willing to challenge the Repubs on occasion. Again, not many and not often because most of our "journalists" are still completely hung up on their Fairness Bias, which makes them believe that if they quote somebody saying "the sun came up this morning", they're required to get a reaction from somebody with an opposing point of view - and you can straight-up count on the simple fact that somebody's just dying to get his own bad self on the TV so he can finally have that one shot at fame that his mama always told him he deserves. Take a quick tour through your Program Guide and then tell me all about the huge differences between DumFux News and COPS and Chuck Todd and Gator Boys and Joe Scarborough and Honey BooBoo and Howard Kurtz - or any of the other "reality shows" polluting the air.