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      Previous: Identity (Introduction and Table of Contents) Politically active groups form because of ideology and identity: they have beliefs about how the world should be; those beliefs are emotional and create both identification with other people who have the beliefs and shared desire to change the world or keep the world in line with how the ideologies pres […]
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Friday Morning News: Back to School Edition


Fall is just around the corner, and I’m so sorry to see summer go. In New England we didn’t really have much of a summer. It was raining and cold practically every day in June and we never had a real heat wave. I’m still in Indiana, but I’ll be heading back to Boston tomorrow morning. I have to start teaching next Wednesday, and I’m not ready. I guess I’ll pull it all together somehow. So what’s happening in the news?

Ted Kennedy

From what I’ve seen on the tube, it looks like the 24/7 Kennedy nostalgia is going to continue for the next few days. The LA Times discusses the memorial events Here’s The New York Times’ schedule of events.

From Truthdig: Ted Kennedy in Pictures.

Thousands view Kennedy’s last ride from Hyannisport

Who Will be Ted Kennedy’s successor in the Senate?

Once all the memorials are finished, the big news will be the process of filling Ted Kennedy’s seat in the Senate. It’s been quite awhile since a senate seat became available in Massachusetts, and I’m sure there will be lots of politicos interested in winning it. But thank goodness, Mitt Romney has decided not to run! Personally, I’d like to see a woman in take Ted’s place, and, as Politico notes, Martha Coakley would be a good candidate. She supported Hillary and fought to have Florida and Michigan delegates counted at the Convention.

Massachusetts political operatives consider state Attorney General Martha Coakley an early front-runner because of her high statewide name recognition and strong favorable ratings. With a law enforcement

background — she served as the district attorney of Middlesex County before winning election as attorney general — Coakley would have the opportunity to forge a coalition of law-and-order Democrats and female voters.

Though she would start a race without any money in the bank — she can’t transfer money from her statewide account — Coakley would be well-positioned to win support from national women’s groups like EMILY’s List to help raise the millions necessary for a campaign.

And Coakley has already signaled an interest in running for the Senate: When Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) was mentioned for a possible Cabinet appointment late last year, Coakley commissioned a poll testing her viability as a statewide candidate.

That’s assuming either Ted’s wife Vicki or his nephew Joseph Kennedy II doesn’t decide to run. Frankly, I don’t think Massachusetts voters would be that enthused about Vicki. Joe Kennedy might have a shot, but it sounds like he isn’t interested. It’s time for some new blood, IMHO.

Health Care Reform

A very good op-ed. I’m surprised the Washington Post published it.

Is True Health Care Reform Doomed?

Here’s an older story, but a good one:

Chris Hedges: This isn’t reform, it’s robbery

Dontcha just love Pete Stark?

Key Dem: Brain Dead Blue Dogs Just Out for Insurance Money

Cardiologists Crying Foul Over Medicare Cuts Hurt Obama Revamp

Joe Conason: Ted Kennedy Wanted the Public Option


Krugman: Till Debt Does Its Part

Black Swan author objects to distortions by Guardian UK (This one’s for you, Dakinikat!)


“Danny” looks to be a bust, thank goodness.

Alternet: Crude: The Film Chevron Doesn’t Want You to See

Are wind farms disrupting weather radar?

This expert takes on the story, which isn’t really new.


Gene Lyons: The Media Can’t Handle the Truth

Big media reflexively villifies bloggers who actually pay attention to evidence instead of trusting administration sources.

Huffpo blogger notes Obama’s tendency to condescend to “progressives.”

I think that there is a crucial element of the Obama administration that has yet to be highlighted–namely, his unsettling willingness to mock and trivialize those on the left. In his almost nine months in office, I count at least three instances in which Obama has treated a serious question or criticism from the left with scorn and derision. This pattern of behavior–from a president who owes a large part of his overwhelming electoral mandate to progressives–is troubling, to say the least. After eight years of being treated like unserious children by the Bush administration and the corporate media that so dutifully carried their water, to see the same type of behavior manifesting itself in a new Democratic president is something of which all progressives should take note.

Murder by Fast Food?

Is KFC trying to kill us?

North Korea tries fast food. Juche burgers for the masses?

Fast food industry’s 7 most heinous concoctions

Human Interest

Here’s an amazing and very tragic story.

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A California girl who was kidnapped at the age of 11 in 1991 has been found alive, having spent 18 years living in sheds and tents behind the home of her accused abductor, a convicted rapist who fathered two children with her, police said on Thursday.

Jaycee Dugard had been missing since she was snatched off a street by two people in a gray sedan while walking to a bus stop near her home in South Lake Tahoe, east of San Francisco, on June 10, 1991.

According to The New York Times,

On Wednesday, the police arrested Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy, and charged them with Ms. Dugard’s abduction.

Mr. Garrido, a convicted sex offender who was on federal parole for a 1971 rape and kidnapping, was also charged with rape and acts of child molestation and sexual penetration of a minor. The police said that he had apparently fathered two girls — now 11 and 15 — with Ms. Dugard.

Ms. Dugard, 29, and her two children had apparently lived in a collection of ragged tents and sheds secreted behind the Garridos’ home, a ranch-style house in a ramshackle neighborhood in an unincorporated area outside Antioch, a Bay Area suburb of 100,000.

“None have ever gone to school, none have ever gone to a doctor,” Fred Kollar, the under sheriff for El Dorado County, said at an afternoon press conference. “They were kept in complete isolation.”

That’s a lot of messed up lives. I hope some of them can be salvaged.

Alternet: There Are More Slaves Today Than at Any Time in Human History

One hundred forty-three years after passage of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and 60 years after Article 4 of the U.N.’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights banned slavery and the slave trade worldwide, there are more slaves than at any time in human history — 27 million.

Today’s slavery focuses on big profits and cheap lives. It is not about owning people like before, but about using them as completely disposable tools for making money.

I’m having some computer problems at the moment. I may add a few more links later.

Have a great Friday!!

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66 Responses

  1. The article from Truthdig is fantastic! Thanks!

    Capitalists, …. should never be allowed near a health care system. They hold sick children hostage as they force parents to bankrupt themselves in the desperate scramble to pay for medical care. The sick do not have a choice. Medical care is not a consumable good. We can choose to buy a used car or a new car, shop at a boutique or a thrift store, but there is no choice between illness and health.

    It is amazing on how many fronts – media, congress, White House – forces to squelch any meaningful reform are gathering

    • I love Chris Hedges. He is a real liberal who didn’t get sucked in by Obama.

  2. Ted Kennedy did not “want” the public option. As a politician he was willing to settle. Ted Kennedy wanted Medicare for All, and just a couple of years ago he laid out a beautiful proposal to get us there.

    • I agree.

    • Agree completely, mass.

      He DID want Medicare for All, but I finally a good summary of the current HELP bill his committee approved. Basically, it had a “public option,” but the healthcare in it was completely provided by private insurance companies. I’m guessing he knew single payer would never fly.

      I’ve been reading that he regretted not “settling” with Nixon, when HMO’s came into existence.

      Surprised me, really, that his HELP bill is not at all what many who are supporting a single payer plan think it is.

    • Ted Kennedy’s death may not provoke the Senate to pass a public option health care bill – but a pandemic may.
      Can’t wait to see all these anti-public option squealers opposing a “universal swine flu shot.”

    • Wow! Lots of good writing today. Almost all we said last year, minus the sexism.

    • wow, thanks, Mass that was good!

    • Thanks for the link. I have just sent it off to several friends.

      I truly respect someone who is able to write what I have been trying to riddle. I needed help and it has arrived with my morning coffee.

    • Good article. Do you remember when Hillary tried to speak up for hardworking white Americans and she was labeled a racist? They clamped down on that kind of talk hard, not because it was disparaging towards black people, but because it revealed one of America’s dirty little secrets, we have an incredible discrepancy between the rich and the poor and the poor just keep getting poorer. The middle hardly even exists anymore. When we focus to much on race or gender, we keep the people divided and oppressed and in the dark about the fact that we are all being fleeced.

      • If we are ever to enact any kind of liberal agenda in the US, this has to become common knowledge. For the people to react positively to solving a problem, they first have to know it really exists.

        It would also be nice if there were something in it for them for a change as well. Hard for most of us to get behind bailing out Wall St or insurance companies.

        • I agree. It seems Donna Brazille’s dream of a “New Democratic Party”
          has come true.
          Nothing will change IMO until we have journalists again instead of media stars.

    • This is a great article. Front pagers as well as other bloggers we’ve linked to in the past have discussed the class prejudices that surfaced in last year’s election. I’ve also sent the link to several friends.

  3. Great line-up, BB.

    “The Fast Food Industry’s 7 Most Heinous Concoctions”
    I would probably like the The KFC Famous Bowl described as a “720-calorie horror.”

    “Wind Farms Disrupt Weather Radar”
    I rely on radar images to plan my day! To hang (out the laundry) or not to hang?

  4. Are we paying too much for cell phone service?

    >>>>Six consumer-oriented organizations answered a forceful “yes” in a July federal filing with the Federal Communications Commission. Backing their assertions is an international study concluding Americans pay the world’s highest cell phone rates. And a U.S. senator is examining whether text messaging is priced out of line.


    • Not surprising. The extra costs we consumers pay, wind up in their Congressional lobbying budgets. Or in Congressional donations.


    • With the fees, taxes, etc. a $39.99 plan can end up costing $100. It’s ridiculous.

  5. re: “Barack Obama’s Disturbing Pattern of Condescension Towards the Left”

    Come on a little more enlightenment……more……more. You can do it.

    • Amusing, eh?

      When they were part of the “condescension towards the Hillary bitter-knitters,” it was fun to be part of the tribe.

      Never occurred to them that eventually, they might be the “condescensionees,” did it?

      Does that count as a Scrabble word, Steve? 🙂

      • we never think it will happen to us even if we watch it happen to others many times….when in fact , the moment you see something like that happen to another, you should know it will happen to you. It’s inescapable. So it would behove us to stand up for others, because it’s standing up for ourselves. ” Do unto others as you would have them do unto you ” is not just a quote from the Bible, it’s damn good advice!

        • That’s exactly why I stood up for Palin, politics aside. To see the Dem party use the same offensive tactics as Rove, but in service to their own goals, did not excuse the practice. If you compromise your integrity and principles to achieve something, what’s it worth? Karma always wins in the end baby. It’s a law of physics–for each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

  6. I would like to smack Andrea Mitchell. I could not get to my remote control to turn her off fast enough this morning as they are showing TK in repose waxing rhapsodic over Ted Kennedy’s final political victory, the (s)election of Barack Obama.


  7. Hey, I really like the painting you’ve put up. Who is the painter? Thanks

  8. Chris Hedges: This isn’t reform, it’s robbery

    You betcha. We know that because Obama Inc is behind it and the industry itself is spending millions to push it….not sink it .

    However the insurance industry complex would be further along in this heist if it was just a 80% or 90% robbery. But thankfully the greedy idjijts went for a 100% robbery and its gumed up the works.

    The day health care became an ” industry” instead of the profession it is , we were in trouble .

  9. Hi BostonBoomer! This is a great set of links…. I totally lost myself in them. The poor dog fell asleep on the porch waiting for me to let him back into the house while I read the slavery story and all it’s comments.

    • Hi Katiebird! I hope you have a lovely, relaxing Friday. Is there any chance of that happening?

      • Nope! In fact I’m off to my parent’s house right now.

        How about you? Has your trip been anything like a vacation?

        • The visit has been really nice, but I didn’t get much work done to prepare for teaching. It looks like I’ll be preparing as I go along. At least I have taught both courses before and I have a lot of lectures from previous classes.

  10. Hey, BB – this is a great morning post – nice mix and some really strong statements in there.
    Thanks 🙂

  11. Do you know the feeling, when after having read a piece, it’s impact on you is so heavy, that you wish you hadn’t read it? And yet you realize, that it represents a dilemma that is so important to consider, that you can’t just turn away from it?

    That’s how I feel after reading this piece from propublica.org about what happened at Memorial Medical Center when Katrina hit New Orleans.

    The Deadly Choices at Memorial:

    (The piece will be published on Sunday in the New York Times Magazine.)

  12. Ruh-roh:

    Obama’s job approval rating falls to new low
    The president slips to 50% in the Gallup Poll, reaching that point more quickly than most of his predecessors did.

    But Obama has reached his new low more quickly than most of his predecessors did, Gallup said. The percentage of people voicing disapproval for Obama’s job performance stands at a near-high of 43%.

    It’s not an irreversible trend, Gallup said. Clinton and President Reagan, who dropped below majority approval “faster than most other presidents,” easily won reelection.


    • I only say yippee when I see this because I want him to be so low in the polls and so discredited that it will be a no-brainer for him to be primaried or he’ll drop out from fear of losing.

    • and we cannot withstand 8 years of this as a nation.

    • I wonder if he even cares about his job approval numbers.
      He is in the job for the bennies not the work. He has been promoted above his head all his life. Someone has always carried him why should he think it will change? It is already been shown he does not need the American people to get into office.



    • After watching my 35 year old son go bike riding with his two little ones – all wearing helmets – what example did that picture of O with both girls with helmets and him without set?

      • Would you expect anything else from him?
        You shouldn’t smoke (even if I do)
        btw..tmi but I think my husband is extremely sexy when he wears
        his helmet out riding with my little boys. He’s such a great dad.
        Your son sounds like a good father.

  13. i second that,,then we can have a real president

  14. http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/84213/

    This is an interesting article. Which one should be head of the committee on health care?



    • Well Dodd has already screwed up the banking committee and health insurance reform is going down the toilet so it seems a good match.

  15. http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=336265091200473

    this raises some questions?



  16. HuffPo Blogger: “I think that there is a crucial element of the Obama administration that has yet to be highlighted–namely, his unsettling willingness to mock and trivialize those on the left.”

    Have these people been out to lunch over the last year and a half? We’ve been telling them this s–t since day 1!

  17. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10320096-38.html

    I saw this in two different places today. I worries my a lot.

    I do not remember ever in my lifetime having such a feeling of not trusting my government and being afraid of my own government.



  18. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/26512.html

    Anyone want to sent pelosi some money?
    I was thinking of coupons for aspirin or maybe play money.



  19. http://www.keloland.com/NewsDetail6162.cfm?Id=0,89084

    how many people knew that the cash for clunkers was taxable?



    • Helen, When I bought my car through the Cash for Clunkers program, the 4500.00 was deducted off the top, before sales tax was added. I paid the state sales tax on the remaining total. The rebate is not taxable to the customer, only the dealer, because it counts as taxable income. The bill of sale was obtained at the time of the car purchase. There is a lot of misinformation out there. The customer rebate is NOT charged as taxable income, unless the IRS changes something in the next several months. I checked into this, before i bought a new car.

      • Thank you for the info. When I read the article I was thinking it was like those government rebate checks that people got a few years ago. When you went to file income tax the next year it was considered income and taxed.



        • Also, some states may differ in how people pay registration and license fees. In CA, I paid tax, license, and registration at the time of sale, and the dealer submits the information and funds to the state. The state processes the information and sends me the plates. Perhaps, this procedure is different, depending upon the individual state. Looking at different websites, there is a slew of misinformation out there. There was an article in the LA Times that I read about a month ago that answered some of these questions.

  20. http://www.nypost.com/seven/08282009/news/regionalnews/oops__charlie_forgot_this_1m_house_186849.htm

    Does the swamp gas in Washington DC make you forget what you are supposed to declare on you taxes?



  21. Hi Bboomer — oh that Alternet article. Ugh. Disgusting.

    ps: hi RD, Klown and all of you Confluencians.

    I was going to leave a comment on RD’s pix but they were closed.
    Hope the vacation was as fab as it seemed on film.


    that article….grim.

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