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Doc Martin

When the sheer volume and velocity of right-wing shamelessness gets me down, I turn to my Roku. For the past few days, I’m been immersed in the Netflix adventures of BBC’s “Doc Martin,” about a high-powered London surgeon who takes a job in a seaside Cornish village after he develops a blood phobia. It’s your typical “fish out of water” plot, with the addition of the main character’s strong Asperger-like traits. (“Monk” in Cornwall!) And of course there’s some sexual tension between the new doc and the village schoolteacher.

The main thing, though, is the absolutely breathtaking scenery. It’s like being on vacation.

P.S. If you want to watch it, it’s free on Hulu.com. And I just found out Craig Ferguson is one of the creators.

Heh

Dave McKenna certainly has Glenn Beck nailed!

By the way, Dave used to be in my 8th grade class at Most Blessed Sacrament. Philadelphia is full of connections like that.

A self-perpetuating system

Labor activist/reporter Mike Elk in Alternet makes many, many good points and you should go read all of them:

Since the financial crisis and President Obama’s election in the fall of 2008, there have been two major actions taken by working people that commanded the attention of America’s financial elite — the 2008 occupation of Republic Windows and Doors factory in Chicago and the current Wisconsin State Capitol occupation. Both events won enormous public support.

However, these types of events not only threatened economic elites that run our economy, but posed a challenge to established progressive leaders in Washington; how to incorporate them. The mass, spontaneous civil disobedience and direct action allowed workers to take matters into their own hands and upset the normal function of the insider relationships the progressive elite tend to rely upon.
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Useful

Turn your CD spindle cases into mini-greenhouses to start your seeds!

The reformer

Chris Christie is very careful about which people and agencies he wants to reform:

Yes, the governor is a former prosecutor, but as governor, he is a selective prosecutor. This isn’t the first time that Christie — self-proclaimed corruption-fighting superhero — has looked the other way.

A couple of months ago, at a town hall meeting in Wayne, he sat on a stage with Assemblyman Scott Rumana, who faces an ethics investigation into a corporation he created to divert millions in energy grants awarded to Wayne, where he once was mayor. When asked about consorting with a troubled Republican colleague, Christie said: “I don’t know enough about it.”

Soon after, Christie appeared with Rumana again. If Christie had been unaware of the alleged shenanigans (that’s doubtful), he certainly had time to get the facts and keep Rumana at arm’s length. But Christie needs Rumana’s vote in the Assembly, and Rumana, as Passaic County GOP chairman, is one of the party’s top fundraisers, so Christie looked the other way.
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Silly

This is the latest wingnut argument, and Ezra Klein does a fine job shredding it:

As David Brooks puts it, the problem with public-sector unions is that they “help choose those they negotiate with. Through gigantic campaign contributions and overall clout, they have enormous influence over who gets elected to bargain with them, especially in state and local races.” Then they negotiate with these same leaders — or representatives of these same leaders — for pay, pensions, etc.

But the same goes for corporations. The income of many corporations — Boeing is a good example — depend on government contracts. Tax policy is also important when it comes to setting take-home pay. Then there are rules, regulations, bailouts, backstops, and all the other ways that the government helps structure and shape the economy. And “through gigantic campaign contributions and overall clout,” corporations “have enormous influence over who gets to bargain with them.” And in the aggregate, of course, the business community spends much more than the unions — in 2010, business groups spent $1.3 billion, while unions spent $93 million.
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Homeless children in America

Go watch the videos. Nice to know there are still some bleeding heart liberal journalists left:

Destiny Corfee, 11, joined the line at one local motel a year ago. “I never really noticed what people were actually going through until now; until we’re actually going through it too,” she told “60 Minutes” correspondent Scott Pelley.

Destiny’s parents David and Theresa never imagined their family homeless. Together they were making about $40 an hour detailing expensive cars. There was a three-bedroom home, vacations and extras for the kids. But both jobs went, and then the house. Evicted, they found that the homeless shelters wanted to split their family up – boys and girls.

“That was definitely something that I wasn’t gonna have, was being separated at a time like this. I figured the time like this that we needed to be together more than anything,” David Corfee said.

So David, Theresa, Destiny, Jorge and Chance, moved into their van.

“I was embarrassed that maybe one of my friends might see me. I don’t want anybody to know that I was actually in there,” Destiny told Pelley.
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L’État, c’est moi

It seems as though the thirty or so years that American neocons have poured money into right-wing political movements in Canada is really paying off. Not only does Canada have a conservative prime minister, he seems to think that he and the government are equivalent. L’État, c’est moi! But the Liberal party is fighting back:

OTTAWA — Federal Liberals are moving swiftly to capitalize on public outrage over Conservative attempts to rebrand the government of Canada as “the Harper government.”

They’ve produced a radio ad that will begin running Saturday in Quebec, expressing shock at the Tories’ effrontery in equating the government with Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“Like you, I am profoundly shocked,” Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff says in the ad.

“It’s totally unacceptable. The government of Canada is not the government of Mr. Harper, it’s the government of citizens, the government of all the citizens of Canada.”

The Canadian Press revealed Thursday that a directive was sent late last year to public servants, advising them that “government of Canada” should be replaced in all federal communications with the words “the Harper government.”
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Tax breaks vs. budget cuts

Compare and contrast.

Scott Walker is a right-wing tool

From the Cap Times (via First Draft, a blog that’s done an amazing job cover the Madison movement). This insurance plan is something that doesn’t cost the state government anything — but doesn’t profit any of Walker’s friends, so it has to go:

If you need a prima facie example of how this extremist Republican governor is taking the side of the big guys against the little guys, I’ve got one for you.

Hidden in the 1,300 or so pages of his 2011-13 budget is the dismantling of Wisconsin’s little-known State Life Fund, a small state-operated life insurance plan that was enacted 100 years ago this year by progressive Republican legislators in the wake of insurance scandals that rocked the state back then.

The fund costs Wisconsin government nothing, but operates off investing the premiums paid by the 30,000-plus state residents who hold policies with face values ranging from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $10,000. The fund, which isn’t well-known because it is forbidden from doing any advertising, nevertheless earns dividends that substantially reduce the insureds’ premium costs plus build cash values that policyholders can cash in if events in their lives make it prudent to do so.
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