Don’t forget to say goodbye to Mike Fitzpatrick

Community members will wish the “delegates” well and contribute items to a “gift basket from the 99%” meant to connect with Mitt Romney, a candidate who is often seen as out-of-touch with regular people. The gift basket will be filled with items that represent the struggles of local working families like empty pill bottles, tax returns and keys to foreclosed homes.

WHAT: RNC 99% Delegation Send-Off Event
WHEN: Friday, August 24, 5:00pm
WHERE: Levittown SEPTA Station, 801 Oxford Avenue (Bristol Pike & Levittown Parkway) Bristol


Here’s hoping this isn’t as inevitable as it’s beginning to seem:

Chinese state media have accused US President Barack Obama of planning to use Syria’s chemical weapons as an excuse for intervening militarily.

The state news agency, Xinhua, was responding to a warning from Mr Obama that Syria would be crossing a “red line” if it tried to use such weapons.

“Once again, Western powers are digging deep for excuses to intervene militarily,” it said.

China and Russia have blocked attempts to impose UN sanctions on Syria.


Jesus, these Rapepublicans get worse by the hour:

MANCHESTER, N.H. — A Republican candidate for Hillsborough County Sheriff said Wednesday that he believes elective abortions are unlawful and he wouldn’t reject the use of deadly force to stop them.

Frank Szabo said that as sheriff, he would arrest any doctor performing elective or late-term abortions in his jurisdiction.

“There is a difference between legal and lawful,” Szabo said.

Szabo explained the difference by referring to the issue of slavery, which he said used to be legal but was never lawful under the Constitution. He said that even though elective abortions are legal in New Hampshire, with some restrictions, he doesn’t consider them lawful.

But Szabo may have inflamed the issue further when asked if he would use deadly force to prevent an abortion.

“I would respond specifically by saying that if someone is under threat, a full-grown human being, if they’re under threat, what should the sheriff do? Everything in their power to prevent them from being harmed,” he said.

When pressed about what he would do if he learned that a doctor was about to perform an elective abortion, Szabo replied he would do what it took to prevent that from happening.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Well, I would hope that it wouldn’t come to that, as with any situation where someone is in danger, but again, specifically talking about elective abortions and late-term abortions, that is an act that needs to be stopped.”

The Republican house speaker asked Numbnuts to resign and suggested he study constitutional law before he runs for office again. Teabaggers think anything they feel is the correct basis for killing people — all of a sudden, this is a problem for Republicans? Lie down with dogs, rise up with fleas!

The gold standard

Krugman says it looks like the Republicans will include a plank advocating a return to the gold standard in their platform. I can think of a number of reasons they would include something that freakin’ crazy: First, and most important, to attract as many Ron Paul supporters as possible; second, Ayn Rand fanboys (I mention no names!) will love the idea; and third, they would love to shut down the ability of the government to print stimulus money.

Brilliant plan! What could possibly go wrong?

But seriously, it appears that a push for a return to the gold standard — theGolden Fetters that played such a large role in propagating the Great Depression — is going to be part of the Republican platform.

Bear in mind that the incessant warnings of runaway inflation from the expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet have been wrong, wrong, wrong; and that exchange rate flexibility has been crucial to most of the success stories of this crisis, from Poland to Sweden to Iceland. Nonetheless, the GOP is convinced that what we need to do is base future monetary policy on a doctrine that has totally failed in recent years. After all, Francisco d’Anconia says that it’s the only way.

A return to the gold standard would make business cycles even more extreme, leaving the Fed unable to fight inflation or deflation, and the financial shocks of other countries on the gold standard would spread quickly. People who don’t have faith-based economics warn it’s a bad idea. But hey, when has that ever stopped Republicans?

WI’s largest paper blacking out Ryan abortion extremism

Paul Ryan sponsored an act that would allow rapists to sue victims who wanted an abortion.

This is, to say the least, bizarre. Sure, a little rooting for the local hero is expected – but when the biggest national news story is the Akin insanity, the biggest paper in Wisconsin takes a pass? The Paul Ryan Watch reports:

Paul Ryan is all over the national news stories about the Republican anti-choice agenda, since Todd Akin made the mistake of saying what he really thinks. Today’s front page NY Times story, headlined Akin Controversy Stirs Up Abortion Issue in Campaign features Ryan prominently:

That agenda — largely eclipsed for two years by a protracted fiscal crisis and the fight over how to manage the federal deficit — has wedged its way, for now at least, to the center of the 2012 campaign. It is focusing attention on an issue that helped earn Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, a reputation as a flip-flopper, threatening the Republican quest for control of the Senate, and leaving Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin, Mr. Romney’s vice-presidential pick, in the uncomfortable position of distinguishing himself from Mr. Akin, with whom he has often concurred…

[…] But this story, incredibly, continues to be missing from Wisconsin media coverage of the campaign. Ryan’s role, his views on the issue, his phone call to Akin, their joint sponsorships of many far-out pieces of anti-abortion legislation — scarcely a mention.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel certainly isn’t ignoring Ryan or the race. Some very competent reporters — Craig Gilbert, Don Walker and Dan Bice among them — are covering the race and writing about it. But we keep reading “Local Boy Makes Good” stories and little or nothing about the controversy swirling around Ryan.

We are inclined to blame their editors, who must not be encouraging –if not actively discouraging — their people from doing the real reporting they are capable of. That’s a shame, as Wisconsin, a battleground state, gets a sanitized version of the news from its biggest circulation newspaper.


I wrote this a year ago. I still feel the same way.

I was sitting at my desk Tuesday when I felt something strange. My desk chair was rolling back and forth, and when I turned around to look out my window, I saw the wall shaking.

I live in Philadelphia. We’re not used to earthquakes. We’re not designed for them.

More to the point, my city has old, poorly-maintained infrastructure. In my neighborhood, every time we have a heavy rainstorm, we see sinkholes pucker up everywhere. Our local sewer system is 150 years old. Our bridges are uncomfortably close to collapse, and no one does anything other than slap the equivalent of Band-Aids on the problems.

Why? Because for 30 years, state and congressional Republicans have made it impossible to raise necessary taxes.

When the earthquake hit, I was checking the latest storm track for Hurricane Irene. All I could think of was, “Swell. Looks like a direct hit on the East Coast, and I wonder what programs the Republicans will insist we cut to pay for the clean-up.”

I look at Dave’s story, where we see funding was cut for earthquake sensors at nuclear power plants — right near the epicenter of yesterday’s quake — and I feel like screaming, “What the hell is wrong with you people?”

Then I see the latest reports that indicate (surprise!) the Deepwater Horizon site is leaking again, and no one’s talking about it. Seen anything on the news? Oh, and I’m not even mentioning the news that the area around the Fukushima power plants will be uninhabitable for a long, long time.

And that’s not counting the numerous problems with our food and water supplies.

What do these things have in common? They’re things government can, and should, take care of. Here in the U.S., we count on our federal agencies to regulate, enforce, anticipate problems – and clean up after national disasters.

We are the richest nation in the world. We can afford this.

What we can’t afford is another string of wars. We can’t continue to cut everything at home to pay for wars elsewhere, particularly when they’re for such blatantly dishonest reasons. We need to stop. Now.
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