Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Archive for March 2011

Don't Get Up: A Petulantly Open Thread on Libya

OK, fine. Everyone else can lay around and have a few beers and I’ll take care of everything. Don’t get up, just relax and I’ll make sure the lights stay on and the place stays clean and the maniacs don’t kill the kids and dinner is ready on time.

No problem.

Nato takes charge of enforcing Libya no-fly zone (as long as the US takes the heat).

Nato Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Thursday that after lengthy negotiations the 28-member alliance reached a deal to enforce the no-fly zone. … Rasmussen said the Nato operation was limited to enforcing the no-fly zone…

Sure, as Gaddafi shells cities you’ll orbit overhead.

Consider this a petulantly  Open Thread.

Luddites, Old Cranks, and the 21st Century – Open Thread

Time for an open thread. I’m going to start it off by talking about reading.

To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations – such is a pleasure beyond compare. ~Kenko Yoshida

My love affair with books started before I could read. Both of my parents were avid readers. They began to read to me as soon as I was old enough to sit still long enough to hear a story. I was reading on my own before I began kindergarten. By the time I was in the 3rd or 4th grade, I had moved up to Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. From that point on there was no stopping me. Reading became my favorite pastime.

You may have tangible wealth untold;

Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.

Richer than I you can never be –

I had a mother who read to me.

~Strickland Gillilan (Thanks, Laurel)

One thing I discovered quite early is that knowledge is a never-ending quest. No matter how many books I devoured, there were more yet to be discovered. No one can possibly read every book written, and yet I tried. In high school, I would skip class to go sit in the school library and read. Every spare moment found me with a book in my hands. When I entered the work force, I sought out jobs that allowed me the most reading time. When I came home from work, I would spend hours more each night reading. There were years, decades, where I read at least 8 hours per day. That’s probably a conservative estimate. This reading obsession continued for most of my life.

Bobby Jindal's Strange 2003 Coalition, Part 1

This is the first part of two posts analyzing Louisiana’s 2003 gubernatorial election, in which Republican candidate Bobby Jindal narrowly lost to lieutenant governor Kathleen Blanco. The second part can be found here.

Bobby Jindal’s Strange Coalition

In 2003, an ambitious Bobby Jindal ran for Louisiana governor against Democratic candidate Kathleen Blanco. Despite holding a narrow polling lead throughout most of the campaign, Mr. Jindal ended up losing by a three-point margin.

The story of the coalition that voted for Mr. Jindal constitutes quite the interesting tale. It is much different from the Republican base as commonly envisioned in the Deep South.

To begin, let’s take a look at a map of the election – which is substantially different from most modern electoral maps. Here it is:

Bobby Jindal's Strange 2003 Coalition,Part 1

More below.

5million American expats become health care refugees who have escaped for-profit Yankee health care

(Written by an American expat living in the European Union)

Millions of American expats all over the world having escaped the for-profit American health care nightmare which threatens them with medical bankruptcy death and destruction now face a new threat. Due to pre-existing clauses in the for-profit American health care system, untold numbers of American expats find themselves unable to return to the United States because they cannot buy medical insurance there on the free market ever again. This phenomenon is ignored by the American plutocrat owned media. You will never see it on an American news program. In order to see it you have to turn to Youtube.

While we can all be proud Americans, but we don’t need to be proud of the broken American social safety net that has at its center piece the broken for-profit American medical system.

Americans Abroad in exile (and our friends) for affordable medical coverage


Let us see how many American FB (Facebook) members will admit to living abroad because of no universal, equitable health care coverage in the US?….

Growing Up Liberal in a GOP Household: Lies, Indoctrination, and Breaking Free

This is not an especially brave tale. It’s just the story of my political upbringing in the Deep South. Pretty simple, all in all – just maybe a bit unusual.

I think my first political memory is of the Willie Horton attack ad during the run-up to the 1988 presidential elections. I was born in 1985, and those ads would have been showing when I was about 3 years old. I know I have a few fuzzy memories extending that far back, and I know I saw the ad when I was very young. I know that because it provoked a very visceral reaction in me. It felt “wrong” to me, though I wasn’t sure why. I wasn’t afraid of the man in the photograph, but there was something about the ad that I knew I didn’t like. I got a cold feeling when I saw it that I couldn’t quite identify.

We have a very close family friend who I’ve known since I was only two years old – a time that seems long past, for it was when he was still youthful and affectionate and often bouncing me on his knee. A gay guy (let’s call him Sean), who – oddly enough – my whole family embraced without question, including all four grandparents. My family has never had much of a “problem” with the LGBT community, despite their political leanings. But I remember my parents sitting me down one day when I was about five years old to “explain” Sean to me, as if his nature needed some sort of explanation. They told me that Sean only liked women as friends and that he didn’t want a wife – they explained that he only liked men that way. I was confused at first, and it took a bit more explanation (the specifics of which I do not recall) before I “got it.” What I do clearly remember were the expectant looks on their faces and my reaction. “So what?” And that was that. By my nature, it just didn’t matter to me (or perhaps it was merely because that sort of bigotry was never taught to me).

Breaking: Bombing in Jerusalem

Via the NYT:

A small device exploded outside Jerusalem’s central bus station on Wednesday, leaving at least 12 injured, according to Israeli emergency services.

The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that the bomb was strapped to a telephone poll near the stop, located outside the International Convention Center and across from the central bus station. Local news media reported that there was no sign of a body at the scene to indicate a suicide attack.

The explosion did not appear to be large enough to destroy nearby buses though it did blow out windows. Television images showed people carried away in stretchers.

“I heard the explosion in the bus stop,” Meir Hagid, a bus driver who was driving through the station when the blast occurred, told The Associated Press. He said nobody in his bus was hurt.

The explosion came amid rising tensions between Hamas and Israel, and appeared to be the first attack to strike inside Israel in some time.

Defining myself politically with the changes that have happened in the last 65 years.

On May 24th I’ll be sixty five and another 1st generation Baby Boomer will be officially “Old” (though, because of our cruddy economy which stands between employment and age, I am already retired and at the mercy of Social Security… which my Congressional leadership wants to do away with).

Most of my adult life I have been a liberal Democrat… in college during the height of the Civil Rights movement and the fiercest part of the anti-Vietnam War campaign, as a working citizen through booms and busts in the economy ending in the major recession we are apparently now out of (except in my house… yours too?)… and I voted as a liberal Dem in the past couple of elections. Now I’m not certain that “liberal Democrat” has meaning anymore.

No Neo Con Takeover: Responsibility to Protect and No Further

While I have made quite clear my passionate support for the democratic revolutions throughout the Arab World, and my firm belief that UN Security Council Resolution is vital to protect the people of Libya from a ruthless armed dictator, let me just be clear that I will not support any Neo-Con takeover of the international mission.

There are already signs of this happening in the UK; with the military Chiefs at odds with the Prime Minister on the UN mandate over targeted assassinations and regime change. Add to this the optics of Tomahawk missiles and Pentagon briefings, and we have uncanny and worrisome echoes of the Iraq War, which finally – almost fatally –  hi-jacked UN principles of humanitarian intervention for Neo-colonialist Neo-conservative ends. The abiding message of the multinational force assembled  should be….

To allow the Libyan people their rights of self determination.

Do Fans of the World Cup Tend to Be Liberals?

By: Inoljt,

With Spain’s 1-0 victory over the Netherlands, the World Cup has come to a close. A spectacle watched by millions – perhaps billions – around the world, the four-year tournament constitutes the world’s most popular sporting event.

In the United States, long a hold-out against football-mania, interest in the World Cup has been steadily rising.  While still below Latin-American or European levels of enthusiasm, the number of people watching games has reached new degrees. In my hometown, for instance, a number of my peers expressed surprising amounts of enthusiasm about the latest soccer news. Even individuals one wouldn’t expect – 10-year-old kids, young teenage girls – displayed passion throughout the event.

My hometown is also fairly liberal place. Indeed, one could get away with describing it as one of the most liberal suburbs in America. Coincidence?

More below.

Die Union Scum! Die!

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” -Warren Buffett to The New York Times, November 26, 2006

The Left constantly accuses the Right of favoring the economic elite at the expense of the rest of the country. It continually flummoxes those of us on the left why anyone who is not rich would support the Right’s attack on the middle and working classes. Yet they continue to do so in large enough numbers to keep the Greedy Ol’ Plutocrats (GOP) viable as a political force. It boggles the mind.

It’s not like the GOP makes a secret of its goals. When the “Masters of the Universe” otherwise known as the financial sector crashed the world economy the Right managed to convince their supporters that it was all the fault of minorities and the poor. While this analysis of the GOP report on the financial crisis doesn’t call out those evil black people in clear language it isn’t difficult to understand who they mean by “high-risk borrowers” who took out “weak mortgages.”

“While the housing bubble, the financial crisis, and the recession are surely interrelated events, we do not believe that the housing bubble was a sufficient condition for the financial crisis,” the document states. “The unprecedented number of subprime and other weak mortgages in this bubble set it and its effect apart from others in the past.” […]

Citing several government agencies, the document argues that “the government subsidized and, in some cases, mandated the extension of credit to high-risk borrowers, propagating risks for financial firms, the mortgage market, taxpayers, and ultimately the financial system.”