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Down With Tyranny

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-23 - Original post - cached version

If you want to find out which Senate Republicans have the most reactionary and extreme right voting records, you can access that information at ProgressivePunch. You just scroll down past the most conservative Democrats-- like Joe Donnelly, Joe Manchin, Mark Warner and Mark Pryor--...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-22 - Original post - cached version

With the "Nutcracker Suite" sequence of Disney's Fantasia now unavailable, I thought to kick off we'd just look at this little teaser from Helgi Tómasson's San Francisco Ballet staging.

by Ken

[To repeat, this is an "encore presentation" of last year's encore presentation of 2011's...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-22 - Original post - cached version

Thursday night, just before midnight, the Senate approved the Pentagon Budget 84-15. Disappointingly, only three Senate Democrats had the guts to vote NO, Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden. In the video above, Bernie explains to his colleagues why had decided to vote against it. It's...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-22 - Original post - cached version

In 2006, Blue America worked with a group of various artists to promote several dozen little known challengers to Republican House incumbents. The video above, which we did for Kirsten Gillibrand in her first run for Congress against powerful, entrenched incumbent John Sweeney, may have helped...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-22 - Original post - cached version

by Ken

The woman in the alleged photo above is alleged to be a certain "Duchess of Cambridge," aka "Princess Kate," who is alleged to have given birth to a royal prince just 89 days before this photo was allegedly snapped. As gazillions of women all over the world will tell you, "...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-22 - Original post - cached version
Hanabusa with her longtime friend, anti-gay legislator Sam Slom (the only GOP State Senator in Hawai`i). She calls him "Sammy" during their frequent joint appearances on conservative talk radio in Honolulu. 

Historically, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has always...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-21 - Original post - cached version

When I was 13-- and all my friends were studying for their bar mitzvahs-- I was making my first big hitch-hiking excursion. My grandparents were in South Beach, which was very grandparent-friendly back then, for Easter and I decided to see what hitching would be like. Brooklyn to Florida with...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-21 - Original post - cached version

“Denying same-gender couples the right to marry and thus depriving them and their families of the rights, protections, and responsibilities of civil marriage violates the equality demanded by the Equal Protection Clause of the New Mexico Constitution,” Justice Edward Chavez wrote for...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-21 - Original post - cached version

You'd want to think twice before bidding on this record. The ABC Command label tells you it's one of the inferior later pressings; you want an original gold-label issue. (Note: Unfortunately, last year's preview-opening video clip of the Nutcracker Suite segment of Walt Disney's Fantasia has...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-21 - Original post - cached version
Jumpin' Jehosophat! I thought maybe it was
Daffy Duck who said those terrible things.

by Ken

As God is my witness, I thought Duck Dynasty was a cartoon show, and I'm not thinking of live-action animation. No, I thought it was, like, a ripoff of some of our classic cartoon ducks,...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-21 - Original post - cached version

That Buck McKeon is finally retiring from Congress is no longer news in the L.A. area and especially not up in Santa Clarita. Everyone already knows he cut a deal with sleazy carpetbagger Tony Strickland and everyone knows that GOP McKeon-haters have drafted the most far right and...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-20 - Original post - cached version

OK, let's get back to where we left off at the 6AM post this morning-- the warning FDR gave us about GOP intentions. Except this time let's home in on healthcare. In fact let's home in on one very red state, Oklahoma and one congressional election in that state, the one that pits right wing...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-20 - Original post - cached version

The above FDR reelection speech from 1936 warning voters about GOP intentions towards the popular social insurance policies they had fought so hard against, is no less relevant today than it was then. Roosevelt went on to win 60.8% to 36.5%, taking every state but Vermont and Maine and winning...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-20 - Original post - cached version

You may not remember Dick Gephardt, once a powerful congressman from Missouri with ambitions to be Speaker and vice president and president. None of that worked out for him and he's just a sleazy K Street lobbyist now working for Goldman Sachs and other criminal enterprises… but he...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-20 - Original post - cached version


Supporters of Manhattan Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito, Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's preference, say she has the votes to be the next speaker of the NYC City Council.

by Ken

If you can know a man, at least in part, by his enemies, then NYC Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio is...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-20 - Original post - cached version

I ran into a neighbor, one of the world's most talented drummers, the other day and he asked me if the DCCC is as bad as I say it is on my blog. "Even worse," I assured him, telling him about quintessential Steve Israel recruit Jennifer Garrison. He asked me to suggest some candidates he could...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-19 - Original post - cached version
Congress' most right-wing Democrat is finally retiring

Jim Matheson is one of the worst-- if not the worst-- Democrats in Congress. Aside from voting more frequently with the GOP than any other Democrat this past year-- his crucial vote ProgressivePunch score is ghastly 23.13 (tied...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-19 - Original post - cached version

Look, I'm all for holding politicians accountable for their criminal behavior and abuse of power. After reading Barton Gellman's brilliant book on Cheney, Angler, I'm more convinced than ever that Cheney should be rotting in a prison for the rest of his short miserable life, along...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-19 - Original post - cached version

Buck McKeon, Boehner's uber-corrupt head of the House Armed Services Committee, is getting ready for his next career as a lobbyist. A bunch of relatives have already started the firm and McKeon is busy lining up clients by making sure the Military-Industrial Complex gravy train is not...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-19 - Original post - cached version


It looks like it'll be months before Huy Fong Foods resumes providing hot-sauce-starved gastronomes with its "most popular hot sauce."

by Ken

It figures it would be the doing of some California buttinskies, who don't know what it means to mind their own beeswax. As a result,...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-19 - Original post - cached version
Who's worse to be hanging with, Pete Peterson or Rahm?

In 2010, the Democratic-controlled Illinois legislature gerrymandered the state-- in the same anti-democratic way that Republican-controlled legislatures did in states like North Carolina, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Georgia and...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-18 - Original post - cached version
Shady billionaire-backed Ro Khanna primarying Mike Honda

Blue America has endorsed only 2 House incumbents facing reelection difficulty. And one, Mike Honda, represents Silicon Valley-- CA-17, a heavily Democratic area-- D+20 which Obama took with 72% last year. Honda even did better...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-18 - Original post - cached version

Monday there were two votes in the Senate on Presdient Obama's nomination of Jeh Johnson to be Secretary of Homeland Security. First came a cloture vote. There were 57 ayes and 37 nays, with 6 Republicans not voting. Under the bad old rules, that would have ended the chance to confirm...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-18 - Original post - cached version

Blue America doesn't do many live events. But on November 12, 2011 we were very excited to offer all of our Southern California members an opportunity to meet Orlando Congressman Alan Grayson at the Brave New Films studios in Culver City. John Amato, Digby and I had worked with Robert...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-18 - Original post - cached version

"At a time when the political news is dominated by a debate between do-little conservatism and do-nothing conservatism -- which is to say, between a right-tilting Republican establishment and the radical tea party -- [Senator] Gillibrand's package includes building blocks for a broader...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-18 - Original post - cached version

The Republican civil war is pretty front and center and getting quite a lot of media attention. There is also something of a Democratic civil war brewing, a more ideological/less careerist based one. You may have seen sparks of it last week when the Wall Street owned ConservaDem group, Third...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-17 - Original post - cached version
Pope sends GOP's fanatic, hate-filled cardinal, Ray Burke, a message

If you're not from La Crosse or St. Louis, it's possible you first heard about the curia's most anti-Jesus cardinal, right-wing hack Ray Burke, here at DWT. As soon as it was clear that the new Pope was an actual...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-17 - Original post - cached version

The do-nothing House is on vacation already, again. But the Senate is still working. It still haven't approved the awful Paul Ryan-Patty Murray "compromise," in which the plutocrats compromise nothing (as usual) and all the compromise is on the backs of working people. Amazingly,...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-17 - Original post - cached version

Religion is a weird thing and I'm not comfortable with government getting involved in even recognizing it as legitimate. If people want to worship a sky god or a rock or ancestors or whatever, they should be free to do that-- unless they harm others and commit crimes. Mormonism is obviously...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-17 - Original post - cached version

by Ken

This is a story I've been waiting for for ages. I'm sure something like it gets written periodically, and from it I've learned that since 2011 there has been at least one whole book on the subject -- namely all those anonymous sources in newspaper reporting, or more particularly...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-17 - Original post - cached version

I suspect Sammy Alito, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy don't read The Nation. That's a shame, because if they did, they might not have made a grievous error last June when they struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, the provision that enables...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-16 - Original post - cached version

I wish I could remember where I read it-- because it was so funny-- but I did come across an assertion that Mitch McConnell doesn't want to be Senate Majority Leader if he has to preside over a bunch of Know Nothing sociopaths that include Steve Stockman (R-TX), Joe Carr (TN), Milton...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-16 - Original post - cached version

Over the weekend, David Freedlander did a story for the Daily Beast on The New Politics of Pot: The 2014 Candidates Who Want to Legalize It. "Forget decriminalization or medical marijuana," he wrote in way of introduction. "Bolstered by state ballot victories, top-tier contenders in 2014 are...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-16 - Original post - cached version
Israel and Ryan, bad for veterans, bad for America

Although the NRCC has a deal with Steve Israel not to back Republicans who oppose his reelection efforts, Stephen Labate, a straight-shooting 25-year Army officer now in the Army Reserve, is taking him on again. On Friday, after the...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-16 - Original post - cached version


Is Young Johnny McCranky explaining to NY Senators Gillibrand and Schumer about his superior background and experience?

"The strongest argument for Senator Gillibrand's approach [to curbing sexual abuse in the military] is that the military's been saying the right things for about...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-16 - Original post - cached version

Last week I was stunned when I heard Rachel Maddow's first report on how Chris Christie took revenge on a mayor for partisan differences by essentially shutting down the traffic on the country's busiest bridge for a few days. Turns out, it's the world's busiest bridge-- and Friday, Maddow did...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-15 - Original post - cached version

Marcelo Álvarez and Sondra Radvanovsky sing the Act II duet from Verdi's A Masked Ball at the Met, Dec. 8, 2012.

by Ken

In Friday's preview we heard answering soprano and tenor snippets from three great Verdi duets, and I hope you heard what causes them, as I noted, to blend in my...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-15 - Original post - cached version

Growing up, I never knew any rich people. I'm sure I saw some in movies and on TV but it was like the tooth fairy or a white Santa Claus… not real. I had aspirations but they weren't tarnished and perverted by a lust for money; I was lucky. Susan Berman was my first wealthy friend. Like most...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-15 - Original post - cached version

You know the famous old audio clip of FDR welcoming the hatred of Wall Street plutocrats? It was a long speech but, by far, that line, about welcoming the hatred of America's villains, got the loudest and most sustained applause. I don't mean to equate Adam Green of the PCCC with FDR, but if I...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-15 - Original post - cached version


NYT caption: "Here Comes SantaCon (Despite the Snow and Rain): The annual costumed bar crawl, which has faced complaints from New York residents, went on despite the snow and cold temperatures."

"For us, it's a tradition. And nothing is going to stop us."

-- Amber Tyson, 32, who...
Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-15 - Original post - cached version

This week the Santa Clarita Valley Republican Assembly posted a resolution they had just passed on their Facebook page. Short version: "thanks, but no thanks." Santa Clarita Republicans-- not to mention normal people in Santa Clarita, absolutely detest Tony Strickland, the carpetbagger who...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-14 - Original post - cached version

The senators had to stay up past their bedtimes Wednesday and Thurdsay because Miss McConnell is having another one of his pointless hissy fits. A career-long hater of democracy-- and someone who had pledged to obstruct everything President Obama set out to accomplish, including even...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-14 - Original post - cached version

I'm a big fan of accountability-- especially for people who society rewards with positions of trust, honor and generous livings. Cheney, for example, committed treason against the U.S. Constitution, but his crimes were taken "off the table" and there was never a trial or justice. That...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-14 - Original post - cached version

by Ken

Okay, so we've got these three duet-chunks for soprano and tenor -- duet-chunks that for reasons which I hope will become apparent have a way of merging and mingling in my head. They're very different, and yet . . . .

I don't think I'm giving away too much by...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-14 - Original post - cached version

"The text of Section 377 -- a gift from our departed British friends dating back to 1860 -- states that 'Whoever voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal' shall be subject to a punishment up to life imprisonment. The law does not...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-14 - Original post - cached version
Teabagger Robert Lowry poses with realistic Ted Cruz blow-up doll

Everyone is probably relieved there won't be a Patrick Murphy-Alan West rematch, but next year a handful of New Dems almost as bad as Murphy are going to have to face the Republican ex-congressmember they beat in 2012....

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-13 - Original post - cached version

Had Adam Smith amendments to the NDAA passed in June, one year from today-- December 13, 2014, the gulag at Guantánamo would have closed. On June 13, Smith proposed ending indefinite detentions, which was voted down 200-226, 19 Republicans voting with the Democrats and 13 of the worst and...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-13 - Original post - cached version

Boehner and the Republican Establishment are finally fighting back against the venal forces of far right-wing populism-- i.e., the increasingly unpopular Tea Party, racists, Koch-brother-brand-Birchers, Hate Talk Radio hucksters and the rest of the menagerie. The menagerie served it's...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-13 - Original post - cached version

I'm not sure if the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has been officially designated a hate group, but-- despite their claims that their only interest is preventing same-sex marriage-- their president, Brian Brown was in Moscow in June testifying in the Duna against gay...

Down With Tyranny - 2013-12-13 - Original post - cached version

"The end of the world is a little like death": At TEDxMidwest, 2011, self-styled "deranged millionaire" (and former "minor television personality") John Hodgman owns up that he hasn't gotten around to preparing his "go bag" for the predicted nuking of NYC, where he lives.

"...

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