» Look Who's Mocking Fascist Fear-Mongering Now

One of the arguments we’re hearing in the current debate about gun control might be called the anti-anti-tyranny argument. Coming from liberals, it’s a little rich.

 Some gun-rights supporters say the Second Amendment’s purpose is not merely to protect the right to hunt or defend yourself, but to guard against oppression. “The purpose of having citizens armed with paramilitary weapons,” writes Kevin Williamson in National Review, “is to allow them to engage in paramilitary actions.” Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano likewise argues that the Second Amendment protects “your right to shoot tyrants if they take over the government.”

 The history of the Founding and the language of the rest of the Bill of Rights suggest they have a point. (Though not the whole point. One reason the Founders wanted people to be armed is so they could put down insurrections, not just start them.)

 But many progressives say this is just plain nuts. To Charles Blow of The New York Times, the rise of “so-called patriot groups” who think such things is evidence of “paranoia by people who have lost their grip on the reins of power, and reality.” To Josh Horwitz of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, it’s part of a dangerously radical “insurrectionist” movement. To Eric Boehlert of Media Matters, the idea that Americans might need weapons to fight a “war with the government” is one of conservatives’ “paranoid fantasies.”

 Paul Waldman of the American Prospect agrees. In a piece for CNN on how “The NRA’s Paranoid Fantasy Flouts Democracy,” he says the conservative media encourage listeners to view the Obama as “the very definition of dictatorship… . [M]any would say that their ‘right’ to own any and every kind of firearm they please is the only thing that guarantees that tyranny won’t come to the United States. Well, guess what: They’re wrong.”

 No doubt the gun-rights group has a fringe element, exemplified by those who think the Sandy Hook massacre was orchestrated as part of a plot to disarm America. But it’s worth pausing to ask: Is it really so outrageous to believe the government of the United States is capable of tyranny?

 Not to Naomi Wolf, it isn’t. Back in 2007, the author and political activist wrote an essay on “Fascism in 10 Easy Steps.” She noted that the leaders of a recent military coup in Thailand had followed certain clear procedures – and she insisted the Bush administration was following those very same procedures. “Beneath our very noses, George Bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society,” Wolf warned. “It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable.”

 The essay was widely circulated, and its popularity led Wolf to expand it into a book, titled “The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot.” (That young patriot presumably is the good kind of patriot – not the kind who joins “so-called patriot groups.”)

 Wolf had lots of company. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann dedicated a “special comment” to calling Bush a fascist: “You’re a fascist!” he bellowed in his usual understated style. “Get them to print you a T-shirt with ‘fascist’ on it!”

 Not everyone was so emphatic. Robert Paxton, a history professor at Columbia and the author of “Fascism in Action,” conceded during Bush’s first term that “Obviously, the … administration is not a fully fascist regime with a single party, an end to elections and the setting aside of rule of law.” But, he continued, “you can make up a list of similarities and differences.” How very nuanced.

 This sort of talk continued even after Bush left office. In a 2009 piece for the Los Angeles Times, columnist Tim Rutten called for a citizen commission to investigate the administration. “Just how close to the brink of executive tyranny did the United States come in the panic that swept George W. Bush’s administration after 9/11?” he asked. “The answer, it now seems clear, is that we came far closer than even staunch critics of the White House believed.”

 These are not basement conspiracy theorists scribbling in the dark corners of the Internet. They are famous and highly regarded thinkers speaking from respected institutional platforms. And their views were echoed by countless thousands of lesser-known liberals sporting “Bushitler” protest signs and bumper stickers.

 All of which permits only two possible conclusions. The first is that progressives knew even then, deep down, they were peddling wildly implausible paranoid fantasies – just as they accuse right-wing “insurrectionists” of doing now. If so, then they should admit as much.

 The second possibility? Many progressives genuinely believed, only a few years ago, that the United States really did stand in the dusky shadow of a totalitarian nightmare. Yet now they insist that Americans who want to arm against that eventuality are paranoid nutjobs. That might be politically convenient – but it doesn’t make much sense.

NAACP head: Obama’s next Supreme Court Justice nominee must be a black woman

poorrichardsnews:

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Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream that his children would “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”  NAACP chief Ben Jealous now tells President Obama to throw all that out the window. 

from Politico:

NAACP President Benjamin Todd Jealous says he wants to see President Barack Obama name an African-American woman to the Supreme Court, speaking as the president has faced criticism, including from within his own party, for a lack of diverse appointees.

“He still has several more appointments, and we expect that we’ll see at least the same diversity that we saw the first time around. What we’re hoping to see is a black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court,” Jealous told POLITICO at the BET Inaugural Gala in D.C. on Monday night.

read the rest

It really is all about race with the left.  Who cares about qualification or the content of one’s character?  The left just wants people who are the right color. 

» Ridiculous: A Florida couple will be fined $500 per day by their city if they don't uproot the vegetable garden on their lawn and plant grass instead.

hipsterlibertarian:

Said the homeowner:

Our Patriot Garden pays for all of its costs in healthy food and lifestyle while having the lowest possible carbon footprint. It supplies valuable food while being attractive. I really do not understand why there is even a discussion. They will take our house before they take our Patriot Garden.

It is beyond absurd a city would make it illegal to grow food in one’s own yard. Even if the garden weren’t attractive — which it is — there is just no good argument (let alone moral basis) for this ridiculous rule.

Perfect. Obama to appoint failed Office of Budget and Management director to Treasury Secretary

poorrichardsnews:

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What do you call a Office of Budget and Management director who can’t get a single vote for the President’s budget?  Why, Treasury Secretary, of course!

from Bloomberg:

President Barack Obama plans to name White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew tomorrow as his choice for Treasury secretary, replacing Timothy F. Geithner, a person familiar with the process said.

Lew, 57, who also has served as director of the Office of Management and Budget, has been offered the Treasury post by Obama, according to the person, who asked for anonymity to discuss personnel matters.

Geithner, 51, the only remaining member of Obama’s original economic team, has told White House officials he doesn’t’ want to serve in a second term and intends to leave the job by the end of the month.

Lew’s nomination as Treasury secretary is subject to confirmation by the Senate.

The next Treasury secretary will play a leading role in working with Congress to raise the government’s $16.4 trillion debt ceiling. The U.S. reached the statutory limit on Dec. 31, and the Treasury Department began using extraordinary measures to finance the government. It will exhaust that avenue as early as mid-February, the Congressional Budget Office says.

read the rest

Jack Lew is an utter failure in his current role.  His chief job is to draft the President’s budget proposal, and that budget hasn’t received a single “aye” vote in Congress in the past three years.  Here’s a little reminder of how a few of the voting sessions have gone:

It has been almost 4 years since Obama has passed a budget, and Jack Lew is as responsible as anybody else for that failure.  In the mean time, the Obama administration has racked up over $5 trillion in new debt. 

Now Obama wants to put this guy in charge of the country’s money supply.  And you thought having a tax cheat in charge was bad…

» Obama's New Treasury Secretary Has to Work for the Public, Not Wall Street Hustlers

As Tim Geithner packs his bags, America will be treated to a new Treasury Secretary. It seems that Citigroup alumnus Jack Lew is President Obama’s pick. What can we expect? What sort of Secretary do we need? And what are we likely to get?

Straight from the horse’s mouth, this is how the U.S. Department of the Treasury describes its mission:

Maintain a strong economy and create economic and job opportunities by promoting the conditions that enable economic growth and stability at home and abroad, strengthen national security by combating threats and protecting the integrity of the financial system, and manage the U.S. Government’s finances and resources effectively.”

Note what the mission statement does not say: that Treasury exists only to preserve the vestiges of a crony capitalist system. Or that it’s only about saving financial players rather than enforcing the law. Or that it’s supposed to be incompetent in bailout negotiations. Yet somehow since the days of the Clinton Administration, the Treasury Secretary has morphed into the custodian of Wall Street interests, paying little or no heed to the concerns of Main Street on matters of economic growth or employment. This new-fangled Secretary tends to ignore the mandate to establish a genuinely stable financial system. It’s all about papering over cracks and simply setting us up for a bigger financial crisis down the road.

If one is to judge from the discussions of the likely new Treasury Secretary, it appears that nothing will change. [more]

» Hollywood Sets $10+ Billion Box Office Record

priceofliberty:

The MPAA has made it very clear that the economy is losing billions due to piracy. Illegal downloads, they say, are slowly killing the creative industries.

While we’re not going to dispute these movie industry commissioned numbers here, it is worth pointing out that at North American box offices a new record has just been broken.

For the first time in history total ticket sales have exceeded $10.7 billion. According to the most recent numbers total revenue this year will be around $10.8 billion, with 6 percent coming from this year’s blockbuster The Avengers.

The new record was set without raising ticket prices, and even when adjusted for inflation there’s a significant bump compared to last year’s grosses. And if that’s not enough, the total number of movies premiered in 2012 also went up to a record breaking 655.

The new record follows an even more stable international trend where box office revenues have been growing for several consecutive years. Over the past decade international grosses nearly tripled from $8.1 billion in 2001 to $22.4 billion in 2011.

Keep in mind that this was the same period that online file-sharing took off.

The good news for Hollywood is that “pirates” are not all that interested in the low quality “camcorded” movie releases that are usually available during the first weeks after a movie premiere.

There aren’t many movie fans who see a camcorded version of a movie as a true alternative to watching a film in a movie theater. The two are totally different experiences, and not direct competition at all.

If anything, downloading a camcorded movie could be compared to downloading a low quality bootleg of a concert. People who download these are collectors, passionate fans, or just curious.

The suggestion that online piracy may not be all that bad for the box office is in line with two recent academic studies. The first showed that the US box office is not suffering from movie piracy at all, and another one came to the counter-intuitive conclusion that the Megaupload shutdown negatively impacted ticket sales.

But does this mean that piracy is not an issue for the movie industry at all?

Not necessarily. Most “pirates” appear to be waiting for higher quality DVD and Blu-Ray rips which are more likely to affect the DVD-aftermarket and VOD sales. These high quality pirated copies are direct competition and can impact revenues.

The challenge for the movie industry is to make legal offerings more appealing than their pirated counterparts. Of course it may not always be able to “compete with free”, but there is still a lot of ground to make up when it comes to availability and quality of legal offerings.

But overall we’d say that the movie industry is still very much alive.

The movie and music industry are two of the worst when it comes to fighting competition. 

seraphicmockingjay:

On Sunday December 17, 2012, 2 days after the CT shooting, a man went to a restaurant in San Antonio to kill his ex-girlfriend. After he shot her, most of the people in the restaurant fled next door to a theater. The gunman followed them and entered the theater so he could shoot more people. He started shooting and people in the theater started running and screaming. It’s like the Aurora, CO theater story plus a restaurant!Now aren’t you wondering why this isn’t a lead story in the national media along with the school shooting?There was an off duty county deputy at the theater. SHE pulled out her gun and shot the man 4 times before he had a chance to kill anyone. So since this story makes the point that the best thing to stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun, the media is treating it like it never happened.Only the local media covered it. The city is giving her a medal next week. Just thought you’d like to know.
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Perfect. Nancy Pelosi staying on as Democrat leader in the House

poorrichardsnews:

This is not really a surprise, just more evidence that the “hope and change” party isn’t changing anything.

from the Hill:

Rep. Nancy Pelosi announced Wednesday that she will stay on as House Democratic leader in the next Congress.

The California Democrat had remained mum about that decision all year, fueling speculation that she might relinquish power and raising questions about the party’s direction after a decade under her reign.

But in a meeting with the House Democratic Caucus in the Capitol Wednesday morning, the 13-term liberal told her troops that she’ll seek to remain minority leader in the 113th Congress, according to a source in the room.

According to a House leadership aide, “Leader Pelosi told a packed Caucus meeting, including the incoming members of the 113th Congress today that, if Steve Israel is willing to take on the DCCC again, then she will happily place her hat in for leader.”

read the rest

Conservatives need to start planning now and annihilate Nancy & Co. in the 2014 midterm elections. 

Surprise! NBC Universal to cut 500 jobs

poorrichardsnews:

It’s amazing the stuff that comes out after an election. The same network who was praising Obama for all of his substantive accomplishments before the election, like his ability to magically fix the economy by lowering the unemployment rate 3 points a month before the election and his ability to walk on the beach after a hurricane, is now laying off 500 people before the end of the year. They helped get him elected, they must suffer in his economy. Congratulations.

From Variety:

A sporadic series of job cuts NBCUniversal has been making since August will amount to 500 positions, or 1.5% of the workforce, by year’s end.

A source at the conglom confirmed the number circulating in published reports but characterized the eliminations as “nips and cuts” aimed at reducing inefficiencies across many different divisions, as opposed to the broader layoffs that rocked NBCUniversal in the years before its acquisition by Comcast.

Read the Rest

Now, in all fairness, many of the cuts have already taken place. But does anyone remember reading the headline: ‘NBCU cuts will total 500 jobs by year-end’ before the election? I don’t.

Furthermore, by using phrases like “nips and cuts” and “reducing inefficiencies”, isn’t NBC admitting that the point of their company is to make money? That sure is what it seems like. Yet the left—including NBC—will continue to support candidates who tout extreme progressive taxes and out-of-control corporate tax rates and regulations. The disconnect here is staggering.

I still am of the opinion that the vast majority of the country wants self-sufficiency. They just haven’t come to terms with what that means. Millions have yet to associate the left’s economic policy with its failure. I think it will happen eventually but until then, we will continue to see massive layoffs and a stagnant economy.

» In other news that sounds made up but is actually true: BLOOMBERG BANS FOOD DONATIONS TO HOMELESS.

(Source: eltigrechico)

goodstuffhappenedtoday:
 Food Trucks Feed Those Hardest Hit By Sandy

After Hurricane Sandy ravaged much of New York and New Jersey, local food trucks were among the first volunteers to reach affected areas and feed people.
Grant Di Mille of Sweetery NYC said that the advocacy group NYC Food Truck Association reached out to its members as the scope of the disaster became clear. “They were looking for trucks with availability and enough fuel,” Di Mille says, “That was us.”
In total, 16 food trucks answered the call, bringing more than 25,000 free hot meals to the Rockaways, Staten Island, New Jersey, Brooklyn, and lower Manhattan.
“We’re serving pizza, soup, hot chocolate,” said Derek Kaye of Eddie’s Pizza, who explained that because a lot of the people who came to his truck in the Rockaways had been eating military-issue dehydrated food if they’d been eating at all, Kaye was “focusing on providing hot meals, something normal.”
Wafels & Dinges’s Thomas Begeest had similar experiences in the Rockaways and New Dorp on Staten Island. “There’s a huge need for coffee,” he says. “And these are family neighborhoods. People are taking five, six, seven waffles home to their families.”
Corporate sponsors like Jet Blue help offset costs for participating businesses, though the relief work is still keeping them from being on their regular rotations, and many of the volunteers have still been hard at work even when they’re not officially handing out food, like Kaye, who had driven to Connecticut at 1 in the morning on Saturday to get enough gas to keep the pizza truck going.
“It’s important to us to give back to the community,” he explains. “It’s great that we can.”
For those who want to give something back themselves, Kaye suggests contributing to the NYC Food Truck Association’s Indiegogo campaign. “The money goes directly to feeding people in the affected neighborhoods,” he explains.
“The trucks out there are making a very real difference,” Begeest says, “People are very grateful.”




Yet state and local governments continues to put blockades in their way HD
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wired:

You’ve ditched your cable box, booted your DVR, and canceled HBO. A cadre of sports apps keep you up to date on your favorite teams, but, still, something’s missing. You need news. In particular, you’re desperate to follow tonight’s election results. So how do you keep up on the electoral shenanigans in Ohio and the confused octogenarians in Florida? We’ve got you covered.
We’ve already run through a list of political news apps to help you stay connected on the go. But if video’s your thing, here’s a list of streams, feeds, and apps that will keep you current during election day. And remember, AirPlay is your friend. Unless your guy loses.
ABC News: Live election coverage starts at 7:00 PM ET on ABC’s YouTube channel.
CBS News: Coverage begins at 7:00 PM ET on CBS’s UStream feed.
NBC News: The feed begins at (surprise!) 7:00 PM ET on NBC’s XBox app, as well as on the network’s Democracy Plaza site.
CNN: As of Tuesday afternoon, CNN’s start time for live coverage on live.cnn.com and the network’s various apps was TBD. But don’t worry. They’ll flood the zone.
Fox News: Live coverage begins at 8:00 PM ET on the Fox News website.
PBS NewsHour: Enjoy election coverage to the dulcet tones of Jim Lehrer.
C-SPAN: Live streaming election coverage starts at 8:00 PM ET, and includes closed captioning.
Univision: Spanish speakers can get their fix through Univision’s YouTube channel starting at 7:00 PM ET.
The New York Times: The NYT is dropping its paywall for 24 hours beginning at 6:00 PM ET, and providing a livestream of the proceedings from inside the newsroom.
The Wall Street Journal: WSJ has livestreams through YouTube, as well as its iPad and Android apps.
The Washington Post: You can also follow along with WaPo’s dedicated UStream page.
Politico: More streaming action from the Politico website, which makes the perfect companion to its iPad app.
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kickstarter:

Kickstarter in the UK
Beginning today, creators in the United Kingdom will be able to launch their projects on Kickstarter. Hip-hip-hooray!
For more, take a look at today’s blog post outlining the developments as we land on a new shore.
We’re incredibly excited to meet creators from across the pond and share their stories. And — spoiler alert! — there are some gems on the way.
Stay in touch with us on Facebook and Twitter as the first UK projects launch and look out for posts right here spotlighting our favorites over the coming days. HD
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“The activist group Anonymous has hacked the Greek Ministry of Finance and released documents as the government heads toward its vote on further cuts to ensure another loan.”

good:

Infographic: We’re Running Out of Doctors in the U.S.

Primary-care physicians—the ones who cover comprehensive health needs and provide continuing care for their patients—were once the foundation of a high-value American health care system. But now, family doctors are becoming an endangered breed. Why? Launch Infographic

A collaboration between GOOD + Column Five

This is not surprising. Since most doctors get paid through claims, which are determined by insurance companies. These claims are much lower than what doctors would have earned if the patient was paying out of pocket. Additionally, it has become much more economical to join an hospital, so they could raise their fees, instead of getting a private practice, since they don’t have to care about overhead and other incurred costs. With the implementation of the ACA (lbr, whether Romney or Obama is elected, the ACA will still remain a law), this will increase the number of doctors joining hospital, leading to a glut of family doctors. HD
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