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Groupies

A lot of freshman congress critters are groupies. They’re so excited to be around famous people! People they saw on the teevee! And so fundraisers are an opportunity to hang out with celebrities while doing the odious task of raising campaign cash.

See how well that worked out?

Torn in two directions

Yesterday I was on Mark Thompson’s radio show “Make It Plain”, on SIRIUS Left channel 146*. Mark is a black intellectual who focuses on social justice, and had me on to discuss the C&L piece I wrote about half of Americans saying they’d never retire.

Naturally, we got into related topics and one caller wanted to say how upset he was about this racist email that Orange County GOP official sent. A couple of the callers said they weren’t happy with Obama’s performance, but that the black community felt they had to close ranks to protect the president when he’s the target of racist attacks. (Which, as you know, is always.)

As a white person, I get to have the luxury of feeling perfectly comfortable defending Obama from racism one minute — and attacking his policies the next. I know that. But I think it’s important to encourage the AA base to force themselves to do that, too. Otherwise, they’re reduced to tribal voting without real representation on the issues.

When I mentioned that the unemployment rate in the inner city was 22%, a caller from NYC said in New York, it was 55% for black men. “So if I lose the job I have, that means I’m not going to get another one,” he said. Oy.

Anyway, interesting show (when it comes to subscription radio, I know nada). I’d love to do it again.

*More info: SIRIUS 146, 5-8p ET & XM 167, 6-9p ET

Old Virginny

Where crazy wingnut extremists grow like dandelions after a spring rain!

Righthaven

Maybe you haven’t been following this, but bloggers have — since so many of them have already been sued by these assholes. Now it all seems to be blowing up in their faces.

Wondering

Why didn’t we see anything about the Levin-Coburn report on Goldman Sachs on our teevees?

Austerity now!

You may have heard yesterday about how Standard and Poor’s, the same rating agency that took copious amounts of cash to cover up Big Shitpile, is now playing Chicken Little over the U.S. debt. I hope you’ve been reading me long enough to know this is all part of the big Austerity! dance:

At least one economist burst out laughing on hearing about the S&P announcement. “They did what?” exclaimed James Galbraith, a professor of economics at the University of Texas in Austin, who formerly served as executive director of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee. “This is remarkable! It certainly will confirm the suspicions of those who have questioned S&P’s competence after its performance on the mortgage debacle.”
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Paul Ryan

Hypocrite!

Taxes are for the little people

Go take a look at these charts, print them out and hand them to your Fox News relatives at Easter dinner (or Pesach)! Fun will ensue!

Fracked

I suspect Mother Nature at some point will simply hit the reset button on our foolishness:

So 780 million gallons later, we finally know what many of us suspected for years: The fracking process pumps deadly chemicals into the earth, which can contaminate wells and other drinking water sources.

Mr. Urbina reports that “…some ingredients mixed into the hydraulic fracturing fluids were common and generally harmless, like salt and citric acid. Others were unexpected, like instant coffee and walnut hulls, the report said.”

So, literally everything from instant coffee to benzene is in this stuff. And that’s just what we know so far. Now we’ll see the industry scramble to set up “voluntary” disclosures, in the hope of stalling Congress in its efforts to make the chemical disclosures mandatory. Honestly, are we being too hard on the drillers in demanding that they tell us what they’re injecting into our backyards? Is it too much to ask?

The problems tied to fracking continue to get worse – at least the problems we’re being told about. And we’ve noted before that the NYT coverage tends to ripple through the big regional and local news organizations across “Frackland.” So this new report will no doubt usher in at least another really bad week or two for the frackers.

I would add that, clearly, a spate of state and federal laws are being broken here – even with the Clean Water Act exemption – but nobody is ready to enforce anything. Yet.

Philly represent!

Our local chapter of USUncut shut down a BofA branch yesterday:

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