Today's topic at my blog "Resurgence" on BigThink.com:


Wikileaks Geeks Shriek After Document Peek


The only sure way to stop Wikileaks is to close down the entire World Wide Web. Which means, as a practical matter, given the nature of the internet’s decentralized structure, that it is virtually impossible to shut down this outlaw conduit and its public internet releases of secret government and corporate information.

The truth will always make people very nervous when their power and their fortunes depend on deceit, duplicity, secrecy, and profiting by doing great harm to others.

Anonymous blogger

A woman at the breakfast spot I frequent was standing near the counter yesterday while I was eating a bacon biscuit, listening to the news commentator on the TV in front of me as he described some of the diplomatic communications from the Wikileaks latest information dump.

She rolled her eyes. “My nineteen year old son is obsessed with this thing. It’s all he talks about. He’s even got me reading stuff on the internet about it. He watches True TV and hates the government. I think all this stuff has got him screwed up. I just don’t get into all that stuff.”

I put my biscuit down, and tried to explain why this was such a big deal, but she kept staring at me. So I took a different tack. “Imagine if someone taped your personal telephone conversations for the last five years, and then put the tapes on the internet.”

Her eyes widened.

“You probably couldn’t work here anymore if that happened.”

She slowly swiveled her head from side to side, her eyes still wide.

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REPRINTED FROM DAILY KOS

Last week, seven federal judges appointed by Republicans wrote a letter to the Senate pleading for confirmation of Obama's judicial nominees.
The letter from the Judicial Council of the Ninth Circuit, which includes Republican appointees Alex Kozinski, Ralph Beistline, Vaughn Walker, Irma Gonzales, Frances Marie Tydingco-Gatewood, Richard Frank Cebull, Lonny Ray Suko, explains:
In order to do our work, and serve the public as Congress expects us to serve it, we need the resources to carry out our mission. While there are many areas of serious need, we write today to emphasize our desperate need for judges. Our need in that regard has been amply documented (See attached March 2009 Judicial Conference Recommendations for Additional Judgeships). Courts cannot do their work if authorized judicial positions remain vacant.
While we could certainly use more judges, and hope that Congress will soon approve the additional judgeships requested by the Judicial Conference, we would be greatly assisted if our judicial vacancies–some of which have been open for several years and declared “judicial emergencies”–were to be filled promptly. We respectfully request that the Senate act on judicial nominees without delay.
Although the letter is written in the respectful tone that judges generally adopt when speaking to their colleagues, this kind of advocacy by judges is exceptionally rare.
Rare, but a reflection of the judicial emergency federal courts are experiencing as the GOP continues to obstruct. Not content to shut down just Congress and threatening to shut down government, now the GOP is apparently trying to shut down the courts.




Today's topic at my blog "Resurgence" on BigThink.com:



You Can Balance The U.S. Budget In Five Minutes




I got two unexpected gifts yesterday.

The first present was from my neighbor, who left two boxes of hand rolled cigars on my front steps. The second present was from Monday Night Football last night, when I got to watch Michael Vick and the Eagles run rings around the Washington Redskins. It was such an enjoyable evening, I almost forgave announcer Mike Tirico for coming up with the second most useless amalgamation of football statistics in the history of sports broadcasting after Bob Costas, who is the absolute king of telling his audience “stuff they don’t need to know about sports.”


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You Can Balance The U.S. Budget In Five Minutes





Today's topic at my blog "Resurgence" on BigThink.com:



You Can Balance The U.S. Budget In Five Minutes



The New York Times website has a budget puzzle widget on it that allows you to decide what to do in order to reduce the budget deficit the United States has run for decades. At first, it seems so simple that you wonder why every congressman doesn’t have one these on his office computer. Push a few buttons and the problem is solved.

But if you think about it for a moment, the decision making has really already been done for you. The options are wide ranging, but by no means did the Times have an exhaustive list of the kinds of things you can do to increase government income and reduce government’s expenses. What it does do is provide, in very graphic detail, a way for the average American citizen to see how much reducing any deficit is going to depend on both a reduction in spending and an increase in income.


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BigThink.com is a global forum connecting people and ideas.

You can access hundreds of hours of direct, unfiltered interviews with today's leading thinkers, movers and shakers, and, best of all, respond in kind. You can respond to the interviewee, respond to a responder or throw your own question or idea into the ring.

Baracka Flacka Flame Calls Out The GOP



WARNING - THIS VIDEO CONTAINS GRAPHIC PROFANITY - DO NOT OPEN THIS AT WORK!!!

I deliberately held off from reading the New York Times article on the Waka Flocka Flame rap parody that has been burning up the internet these past couple of weeks until I could put my own thoughts down. My response turned out to be the totally politically incorrect video commentary I put together above, where I posed my own "what if? - what if the president could tell us what he really thought about his Republican opponents?"

I am still laughing over this Baracka Flacka Flames video. I’ve probably added 25 more views to their youtube count. My buddy and I spent 45 minutes last week just cracking up over the whole idea of the video, marveling over its surprisingly high production values, and deconstructing comedian James Davis and his portrayal of Barack Obama as a hood savvy president. The parody of Waka Flocka Flame’s “Hard In The Paint” was in many ways better than the original, although still pretty vulgar...

...which is one of the reasons I liked it so much.

It wasn’t until a few days ago that I stopped laughing long enough to consider how I would have felt about this if it had been produced by the Tea Party. Or a white supremacist group.

Some might call it a double standard, but a lot of times, it is the intent of the messenger that makes all the difference. Dave Chappelle got rave reviews for the “Black Bush” skit on his comedy show. I think the original "Baracka Flacka Flame" video was produced in the same spirit.

Anyway, I had a good time making my own political parody video.

And I can certainly feel the president's pain, since we...well, actually, it was THEY who elected Spiro Agnew Jr. as our new governor of Georgia, who brings along his own personal  Dewey Cheatam and Howe as his chief of staff.

The inmates are definitely running the asylum these days.





What are the odds of the GOP initiating impeachment hearings next summer?

2 to 1?

3 to 1?

Methinks Darrel Issa is trying to ratchet that up to"sure thing."
Memo to federal agency officials: Start clearing your calendars and get ready to spend a lot of time on Capitol Hill. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., incoming chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, tells Politico that he wants each of his seven subcommittees to hold one to two hearings each week for 40 weeks out of the year.

I'm not good at math, but by my calculations that's 280 to 560 hearings -- and that doesn't count full committee sessions. (By comparison, when Democrat Henry Waxman led the panel while George W. Bush was president, he held 203 hearings in two years.)

Even with the stepped-up pace, Issa thinks his panels won't be able to keep up with the full pace of oversight work, and will have to refer a lot of issues to other committees in the hopes they'll pick up the slack.

Don't expect a lot of good news or best practices to emerge from the sessions, either. Issa says their purpose will be to "measure failures."

Also, in case you were wondering, yes, Issa says he will "seriously consider" reverting the committee to its traditional GOP name, putting "Government Reform" before "Oversight." In recent years, every time control of Congress changes hands, the name that comes first in the panel's moniker changes, too.

"Oversight Overload" Fedblog

The words "impeachment hearings" are to the Republicans what "Go Dawgs!" are to Georgia Bulldog fans - a rallying cry that gets the blood flowing, a clarion call for all of those who have decided that they have had enough of this President Chocolate Jesus that over half the country voted for back in 2008.

One good thing about a legislative career like the one Barack Obama has had is, he was never in one place long enough to get more than a thin film of political slime on the bottom of his shoes, unlike many of his colleagues wallowed in it like pigs in slop from the time they took office.

But that doesn't matter to guys like Darrel Issa, who is willing to play the 2010 version of Ken Starr to the hilt if he can somehow fuck up Obama's re-election efforts.

Don't believe Darrel Issa is nuts? He is a part of the investigation into the Stimulus Project signs.

"We are asking taxpayers to help us investigate the cost and extent of the Obama Administration’s pro-stimulus advertising by sending in pictures and locations of stimulus signs, logos and emblems. To help ensure information gathered in this project is accurate, please let us know if you see any factual corrections you believe need to be made on our map."

Why we're investigating stimulus signs

Signs?

This blockhead is investigating fucking signs?

These are same signs you have seen at every government project since we've had government projects, signs whose costs have ALWAYS been built into the costs of the project itself.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Issa's real claim to fame? The Viper alarm system for cars. You know the one I'm talking about - the cheesy talking alarm that was on late night TV commercials all around the country about 15 or 20 years ago. It was the ad where the guy tried to break into a car with a Viper alarm and a big special effects cobra leapt out at the would-be thief and snapped at him. Issa's voice was and still is the one that says "step away from the car."

Save yourself the trouble of listening to this snake in the grass for the next two months. Issa is an accomplished liar and double talker.

Don't believe he will impeach Obama? This is the same guy who paid ONE MILLION DOLLARS towards the effort to have California Governor Gray Davis recalled so he could run for governor.

Only, Arnold beat him to it.













I will be on the radio tonight at 8:30 pm EST with Sean Yoes, senior reporter at The Afro American, giving my own two cents on the mid-term elections and other political topics. Yoes is the host of "The WEAA/AFRO First Edition", an hour-long political talk show on Baltimore's NPR affiliate WEAA-FM (88.9 FM), which airs Sunday nights at 8 p.m.

Normally, I can give a preview of the conversation when I post these announcements, but today is going to be potluck - Sean and I talked so fast about so many things it is hard to remember where one topic began and another ended. Suffice it to say we will be weighing in on President Obama's performance at his post mid-term election news conference as well as exploring some of the exit polls for some of the Tea Party candidates who couldn't win the big one.

In any case, it will be an entertaining 15 minutes.

You can click this link and push the "Listen Live" button at the top of the page to hear the show.

Enjoy!


Political Payback, Thy Name Is TEMPORARY


The Brown Man is back in full effect, because it looks like the O Man needs some help these days.

I guess I need to get back on my job of aggravating Tea Baggers, ridiculing Sarah Palin, and digging up the kind of facts that your mainstream media loves to ignore in order to feed the flames of the latest drama.

I know, I know, I have been slacking lately, mostly posting links to my blog at Big Think and announcements for my radio appearances, but the Brown Man has been trying to make sure that he doesn’t add another name to the list of the millions of unemployed in America right now.

But the only reason this blog exists is because Barack Obama ran for president. And since it looks like the brother needs some help right along in here, until he gets his mojo back, I will be beating down ignorance and political trickery by his enemies as often as I can.

Because they are all hell bent on beating down your president.

There are only two kinds of people who read this blog regularly – people like me who wholeheartedly support President Obama, even when he makes mistakes, and people who hate Barack Obama's guts so much they would love nothing better than to see this Negro president reduced to shining their damn shoes.

Since I haven’t gotten back to ranting like I used to yet, I’ll let Tim Wise, the white anti-racism activist, speak for me today on what I take away from the mid-term elections, and all the hate,. lies and ignorance surrounding the Teapublicans efforts to remain relevant in a quickly changing world. A few excerpts below are from his exceptionally good tirade:

I know, you think you’ve taken “your country back” with this election — and of course you have always thought it was yours for the taking, cuz that’s what we white folks are bred to believe, that it’s ours, and how dare anyone else say otherwise — but you are wrong.

***

There were those who wanted to take us back to a time when blacks “had no rights that the white man was bound to respect,” – this being the official opinion of the Supreme Court before those awful days of judicial activism, now decried by the likes of you – and when people of color could legally be kept from voting solely because of race, or holding certain jobs, or living in certain neighborhoods, or run out of other towns altogether when the sun would go down, or be strung up from trees.

But they lost.

***

In forty years or so, maybe fewer, there won’t be any more white people around who actually remember that Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best, Opie-Taylor-Down-at-the-Fishing Hole cornpone bullshit that you hold so near and dear to your heart.

There won’t be any more white folks around who think the 1950s were the good old days, because there won’t be any more white folks around who actually remember them, and so therefore, we’ll be able to teach about them accurately and honestly, without hurting your precious feelings, or those of the so-called “greatest generation” — a bunch whose white contingent was top-heavy with ethical miscreants who helped save the world from fascism only to return home and oppose the ending of it here, by doing nothing to lift a finger on behalf of the civil rights struggle.

It’s OK. Because in about forty years, half the country will be black or brown. And there is nothing you can do about it.

Nothing, Senõr Tancredo.

Nothing, Senõra Angle, or Senõra Brewer, or Senõr Beck.

***

You thought you had secured your position permanently after the overthrow of reconstruction in the wake of the civil war, after the elimination of the New Deal, after the Reagan revolution, after the Republican electoral victory of 1994. And yet, those you thought you had cowed and defeated are still here.

Because those who have lived on the margins, who have been abused, maligned, targeted by austerity measures and budget cuts, subjected to racism, classism, sexism, straight supremacy and every other form of oppression always know more about their abusers than the abusers know about their victims.

They have to study you, to pay careful attention, to adjust their body armor accordingly, and to memorize your sleep patterns.

You, on the other hand, need know nothing whatsoever about them. And this, will surely prove politically fatal to you in the end. For it means you will not know their resolve. Will not fear it, as you should.

Tim Wise  "An Open Lettter To The White Right"

So get ready, my friends, for tonight, we ride!!



I got an invite last night to participate online in the taping of Farai Chiyeda's final "Pop + Politics Post Election Special". Showtime is at 10:00 am. If you would like to join the conversation, click the link below. This show will be broadcast on public radio or public TV (not sure which) on Thursday, November 4th.

I have no idea how this works - I will be winging it - check it out if you've got the time.



Pop and Politics with Farai Chideya: LIVE from WNYC’s Greene




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