Monday, August 30, 2010

Roy Blunt: Let Them Eat Tylenol

Video from KSPR captured Roy Blunt laughing at the idea that adults with pre-existing medical conditions should have access to health insurance. Apparently, he thinks those damn lazy middle-class people just need to work harder:



I don't know how long you'd have to live in a Washington D.C. bubble of cocktail parties and lobbyist dinners before thinking like Blunt. Life is complicated. Luck plays a role. And no matter how hard people work, there is no way that everyone is going to magically be able to find a job that provides affordable insurance or have enough money to buy their own as soon as they become adults. And people who have jobs that provide insurance are sometimes going to be in situations where they need to change jobs. In fact, America's economy has thrived because people have been able to take risks and switch or quit jobs to pursue other ideas.

But for Roy Blunt, if you lost your insurance and have a preexisting condition, you're out of luck. His attitude to people in that situation: "Go take a Tylenol and bother someone else."

Oh, and if you're a senior citizen, you really shouldn't bother him with your concerns about his trying to end Social Security and Medicare:

Sunday, August 29, 2010

St. Louis Activist Events for August 30 - Sept. 6

This week's events:

Monday, August 30, There will be a fundraiser for State Rep. Michael Frame at the House Springs Lions Club (6482 Hwy MM in House Springs, MO) from 6 to 8:30 PM.

Also Monday, the Justice for Reggie Clemeons campaign is holding a 39th Birthday Celebration for Clemons, currently on Missouri Death Row, at the GYA Gallery (2700 Locust) from 6 to 8 PM.

Also Monday, the St. Louis Young Dems are having their monthly meeting at 7 PM at Maggie O'Brien's (2002 Market Street).

Also Monday, Are We Feeling Better Yet? Women Speak About Health Care in America will be presented at Duff's Restaurant (392 N. Euclid), from 7:30 to 9:30 PM.

Tuesday, August 31, author J.C. Hallman discusses his book In Utopia at Left Bank Books (399 N. Euclid) at 7 PM.

Also Tuesday, the Missouri Botanical Center is hosting a class on keeping Backyard Chickens (which is probably a more humane way of getting eggs than via factory farms) at 7 PM at the conference room of the Botanical Center.

Wednesday, September 1, is the date for the Involvement Fair at Webster University, from 11 AM to 2 PM in the Grant Gymnasium.

Also Wednesday, Super Happy Cherokee Fun Time Club! What more needs to be said. They're meeting at 6 PM at Foam Coffee and Beer (3359 S. Jefferson).

Also Wednesday at FOAM (3359 S. Jefferson) there will be a meeting at 7 PM for people interested in brainstroming community and public art.

Also Wednesday, there will be an Art and Soul Fundraiser for Neighborhood Houses after school and summer creative arts program at 6:30 PM at Neighborhood Houses Dignity House (812 Union Avenue).

Thursday, September 2, there will be a Community Forum discussing the fact that St. Louis City has the highest percent of unbanked African American households among the 20 most populated Metropolitan Areas at 6 PM at the St. Louis Gateway Classic (2012 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive).

Also Thursday, Raed Jarrar, an Iraq-born architect, blogger, and political advocate, will be speaking at 7 PM at the St. Francis Xavier (College Church) Ballroom about the current state of Iraq. Note: the location changed from earlier.

Also Thursday, this months City Affair at the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group (2700 N. 14th St.) will discuss Opportunities for Social Justice from 7:30 to 9 PM.

Thursay through Sunday, check out Mustard Seed Theatre's play Crumbs from the Table of Joy.

Friday, September 3, in solidarity with the Worldwide Movement for Justice and Peace, there will be a rally outside of Senator McCaskill's office (5850 Delmar) for the International Day of Quds, a day acknowledging oppressed people.

Also Friday, there will be a Metrolink Bar Crawl starting at the Morgan Street Brewery (721 N. 2nd) at 5 PM.

Also Friday, the Seeing Green exhibit at the ArtD Gallery at 2720 Cherokee at 7 PM will feature artwork about sustainability and local farming.

Saturday, September 4, is the annual Japanese Festival at the Missouri Botanical Gardens (4344 Shaw) starting at 9 AM.

Also Saturday, the Greater St. Louis United Front will be meeting from 2 to 4 PM.

Also Saturday, there will be an art show at the Vino Gallery (4701 McPherson) from 6 to 9 PM. A portion of the proceeds to to Growing American Youth.

Also Saturday, check out the Mic the People for the People fundraiser for the Community Arts and Media Project (3026 Cherokee) from 7 PM to midnight.

Sunday, Sept. 5, and every Sunday, there will be a candlelight vigil for peace from 7 to 7:30 PM at the corner of Grand and Lindell.

Monday, Sept. 6, join the Labor Day Parade at 9 AM in Downtown St. Louis.

Not Bad: Gateway Pundit Only Exaggerates Beck Crowd Size by 404,000

Yesterday, Jim "Gateway Pundit" Hoft claimed the crowd size at Glenn Beck's crazy rally was 500,000, based on the high end of an estimate from Glenn Beck. Actually, according to a professional crowd-size estimating company hired by CBS News, the number was 87,000 with a margin of error of plus or minus 9,000.

However, the last time there was a rally in D.C. the fire department said there were 70,000 people there, and Hoft hilariously claimed 2,000,000. So this is actually a great improvement for him!

Last time he exaggerated by 1,930,000 and twenty-eight times the actual attendance. This time, he only exaggerated by a mere 404,000 and five times the actual attendance. This is the closest thing to honesty from Hoft in well over a decade.

Gina Loudon Refers to Throwing Molotov Cocktails as "a Tactic"

Gina Loudon recently contributed her own completely unoriginal take on the Carnahan office vandalism/attempted arson. Like the other leaders of the St. Louis tea party, she claimed that the "mainstream media" and "liblogs" accused the tea party of the arson. Like the others, she refused to provide any real evidence for this claim, because in fact no bloggers or media outlets accused the tea party of the act. But what really struck me about her post was this strange line:
Bill and I spoke at that time along with others in Tea Party leadership. We knew, without asking around or knowing the details, that this was not a Tea Party tactic...
While I'm glad that the tea party is not endorsing the use of molotov cocktails, I think I'd be a little more comforted if they thought of what happened not as a "tactic" but rather as an act by someone who is clearly emotionally disturbed and in need of help. Isn't it pretty bizarre that she used the word "tactic" to describe what happened?

Blunt's Staff Hides From Seniors Asking Questions about Social Security and Medicare (VIDEO)

Roy Blunt has said that it would have been best if Medicare never existed. Blunt also supported George Bush's push to privatize social security. A group of seniors recently went to his office recently to ask questions and share concerns. The office staff refused to listen to the group before calling the police to remove them from the building:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Is Tony La Russa Slightly Evil or Slightly Stupid? -Updated

The Daily Show had a hilarious segment (even by their standards) the other day asking if Fox News is Evil or Stupid?

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Now comes word that Tony La Russa is introducing Pujols at Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington D.C. this weekend, headlined by Beck and Sarah Palin (and being reported on by Dana Loesch for Pajama's media TV). La Russa absurdly says of the rally:
I don't know who's going to be there, who's going to accept it. But the gist of the day is not political. I think it's a really good concept, actually.
He also claimed that he would not have gone if it was political:
"I made it clear when we were approached: I said, 'If it's political, I wouldn't even approach Albert with it.' I don't want to be there if it's political," La Russa said.
No one in their right mind who has even the dimmest awareness of American politics could possible think that this rally, chalk full of right-wing speakers and held on the same date as Martin Luther King's "I have a dream speech" by a guy who said President Obama "hates White People" is not political. Which makes me wonder, WTF is going on with TLR? I mean, he's obviously not stupid, as he is widely regarded as a baseball genius. But could he be so completely unaware of current events and the nonstop litany of absurdities and offensive behavior from Beck that he honestly believes anyone would think that this is an apolitical event?

And he's also not evil, as someone who founded his own animal rescue foundation and is generally regarded as a strong advocate for animals. But could he have a blind spot for Republican politics where he thinks its OK to try to deceive people with a claim that a clearly political rally is apolitical?

Of course, all of this brings back memories of earlier in the year, when La Russa was asked about the tea party and he answered:
This is America right? You're supposed to be able to have opinions and disagree, and a lot of things they do I think are correct. I'm actually a supporter of what Arizona's doing, you know, people don't fix your problem, and the government, national government doesn't fix your problem, and you've got a problem, they've got to take care of it themselves," said La Russa.
Now, as much as his previous comments bothered me, I don't really have a strong objection to La Russa supporting the Republican Party or even the tea party. But to make an absurd claim that this is not a political rally is just mind-boggling. He would have to be clueless about Beck and the rally, or else be willfully deceptive. Hence, I'm really trying to figure out if La Russa is partially stupid or partially evil? Tough question.

But since I started with a Daily Show video, I might as well close with one. Here's Stewart's take on Beck's rally:

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Update: Strong case made for Team Slightly Stupid:
La Russa: Oh, that was during the season. I have no idea what's going on in the world during the season. I'm just thinking about my team.
In that case, maybe you should consider, you know, not signing up for rallies you know nothing about!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Dear Tea Party: Next Time, Try Reading The Newspaper

The latest fake scandal from the tea party is a claim that Russ Carnahan is "ignoring his constituents" because he didn't play along with Adam Sharp, the guy who follows him around screaming "Where's Beavis" (implying that Carnahan is Butthead) and taking pictures of Carnahan changing his shirt at a softball game. Naturally, tea party opportunists like Dana Loesch and Darin Morely tried to make a big scandal of this. Here's the video that they used for their "controversy":

Ooh! Ooh! Shocking stuff! Missouri's Democratic won't answer questions about an Islamic Community Center being built in the State of New York! Except, of course, that he already did answer questions about it. From Friday, August 20, in the Post-Dispatch:
Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis • "When Bosnians in south St. Louis County sought to build a mosque a few years ago, the community refused to let it become a political football, and at the end of the day, the entire community — Christians, Jews and Muslims — came together to find compromise. While it clearly wasn't as sensitive as this situation, I think the lesson applies. We should leave the politics out of this so that the people of New York can find a resolution that is right for their community."
So next time, oh brilliant tea partiers, perhaps you could try reading the paper or using this thing called Google before deciding to stalk Carnahan and scream about it.

Oh, and I like totally demand a retraction and an apology and stuff.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Nieves Incident vs. The Carnahan Incident

KMOX reported today that police are wrapping up their investigation of State Representative Brian Nieves:
The Washington, Missouri police department has completed its investigation into the alleged assault by State Representative Brian Nieves involving the campaign manager of a political rival.

Washington Missouri Police chief Ken Hahn says the final report has been forwarded to the Franklin County prosecutor for possible charges. Hahn declined to comment on the report’s findings.
Now, naturally, it's fair to say that Nieves is suspected of assault based on the allegations by Bell. However, it would be completely irresponsible, at this point, to say that Nieves assaulted Bell. Why? Because as of yet, we don't have the facts to make that decision. The police are assembling the evidence, and they will make a decision once they're done.

Similarly, in the case where a former campaign worker is/was suspected of firebombing Carnahan's office but then released because of a lack of evidence, it is irresponsible to claim that the person did the firebombing. Why? Because as of yet, we don't have the facts to make that decision. In fact, in this case, the police picked up the suspect the night of the incident, but still couldn't find evidence that connected him to the crime and so had to release him.

As I mentioned previously, no blogger or member of the media ever accused the tea party of committing the firebombing. As far as I know, no blogger or member of the media ever said that Nieves assaulted Bell. However, numerous bloggers and public figures, from Jim Gateway Pundit Hoft, to Adam Sharp, to Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, to Mark Reardon, are saying that the suspect is guilty despite the fact that no charges have even been filed (let alone tried in court). In other words, they are about to spend the next several days accusing reporters of "bias" and "irresponsible journalism" despite the fact that no one has behaved nearly as irresponsibly as they have on this issue.

Shocker Michelle Malkin Uses Edit to Make It Appear That Tea Party Was Blamed for Attempted Arson

Michelle Malkin picks up on the story from the local tea party irresponsibly accusing someone of vandalism before the facts are out and falsely claiming that the media was "blaming the St. Louis tea party." I've already discussed much of this, so I'll just focus on her misleading edit.

Here's what Malkin quotes from Chad Garrison's post:
Police aren’t releasing the man’s name until charges are officially filed. No motive was given for the attack, though one could suspect that the perpetrator is not a fan of the congressman. Given what we know of him — 50, white, angry — he certainly fits the demographics of a Tea Party member.

Perhaps, he joined his fellow “patriots” earlier this year when they burned Carnahan’s photo in effigy or placed a coffin on the sidewalk outside his home.
And what was the very next line from Garrison?
On second thought, maybe he's not a Tea Party member. Firebombing your opponent's office seems a little too, um, sane for that group.
So uh, yeah, he didn't actually accuse the tea party of firebombing. But if the tea partiers want to go ahead and cry themselves to sleep about how unfairly they are victimized like they usually do, who am I to stop them?

Tea Partiers Claiming That "Democratic Operative" Bombed Carnahan's Office - Updated

Jim Hoft, Dana Loesch, and others are claiming, based on Jim Hoft's "insider information," that the person arrested for trying to set fire to Russ Carnahan's office was a liberal blogger with ties to the Democratic Party. They are also falsely claiming that local reporters "blamed" the tea party for the initial attack, and are hilariously demanding retractions and apologies. Amazingly, Loesch is also claiming that the Carnahan campaign needs to apologize for having their office firebombed. Here are the relevant bits:
Did the Carnahan camp know this possible truth and consent by silence to the media’s attempt to trump this up as a tea party incident? If this is true, doesn’t this make the fourth incident in which people associated with the Carnahan campaign have run afoul of the law and have engaged in illegal behavior? Why didn’t the Russ Carnahan campaign correct the narrative of the local alternative weekly and Jake Wagman’s subtle suggestion that it was a tea partier? Because he’s in the campaign of his life and is desperate for anything, even the sympathy vote?

The alternative weekly’s heinously irresponsible “blogger” – who once admitted, in print, his inability to vet his posts because he lacked the skills to write ten posts a day and be accurate – and the daily’s Jake Wagman need to issue retractions and clarifications, respectively, and the Russ Carnahan campaign needs to issue an apology for allowing this charade to be pinned on the very people whom he seeks to represent.
So, a little context. First of all, no credible media outlet has reported the information about who the suspect is (see update): only Jim Hoft. Hoft also claimed last week that he had "inside information" that it was a burglary, which was false. Second, even if Hoft's information is true, the information was really only about a suspect. Recall that the person who was originally picked up by police was released because of a lack of evidence that he did anything. In other words, as far as any responsible agency or entity knows, there is no credible evidence who did it yet.

So the tea party better hope they're right, because some of them have flat out said that the "liberal operative" committed the crime, despite the fact that so far no charges have been filed and he was released due to a lack of evidence. Dana Loesch at least is smart enough to use the word "allegedly," but others like Jim Hoft are not as careful:

(By the way, I'm not using the person's name since I don't want to falsely smear him based on tea party rumors.)

In other words, it seems to me, if these rumors by the tea party aren't true, then the person they are accusing has a potential case of libel against many of them.

Media apologies?

Loesch and Hoft hilariously claim that Jake Wagman and Chad Garrison should apologize for accusing the tea party of setting of the firebomb. Unfortunately for them, neither Wagman nor Garrison did anything of the sort. Unlike the St. Louis tea party, they did not actually accuse people of committing a crime before the evidence was in. Here's what Garrison said:
Perhaps, he joined his fellow "patriots" earlier this year when they burned Carnahan's photo in effigy or placed a coffin on the sidewalk outside his home. On second thought, maybe he's not a Tea Party member. Firebombing your opponent's office seems a little too, um, sane for that group.
This is a pretty far cry from saying: "the tea party did it!" Wagman's post was even more benign:
Apart from Martin, Carnahan is weathering a tumultuous political environment. A year ago, several people were arrested at a Carnahan town hall forum after a fracas broke out between protesters and Carnahan supporters.
Neither of these statements remotely call for an apology, even if it turned out that President Obama personally firebombed the office , because neither accused the tea party of committing the crime. Wagman said that it was a "tumultuous political environment," and Garrison simply pointed out some past extreme antics from the tea party. If they don't like their extreme antics being pointed out, then they shouldn't engage in extreme antics.

Speaking of which, I should note that I also did not ever accuse the tea party of committing the crime. I did point out the past extreme actions of the tea party, but I did not claim at any point that they were responsible for this incident:
I have to say, though, that if, and so far it is a big if , the man in custody is a right-wing activist, no responsible reporting on the matter would ignore the following facts:
And later:
So, as I said above, I have no idea if today's incident is directly linked to any of those incidents or to the St. Louis Tea Party.
In a later post, I said:
Just to reiterate: I have no idea who firebombed Russ Carnahan's office and have no particular reason to believe it was a member of the St. Louis tea party or an Ed Martin supporter. All I know is that the police arrested a man a couple days ago and then released him citing a lack of evidence to file charges.

Carnahan Apologize?
What about Loesch's ridiculous claims about "consent by silence:"
Did the Carnahan camp know this possible truth and consent by silence to the media’s attempt to trump this up as a tea party incident? If this is true, doesn’t this make the fourth incident in which people associated with the Carnahan campaign have run afoul of the law and have engaged in illegal behavior? Why didn’t the Russ Carnahan campaign correct the narrative of the local alternative weekly and Jake Wagman’s subtle suggestion that it was a tea partier
Um, the Carnahan campaign, like any responsible entity, did not comment on an ongoing investigation. And they would have looked pretty bad if they had, considering that the man who was originally arrested was released due to a lack of evidence. Gee, you think the tea party would have attacked the Carnahan campaign if they had said something about the suspect and then the suspect was released without charges?

Anyway, hard to know what will happen in the next few weeks. I hope whomever bombed the office, whatever his or her political persuasion is, is brought to justice so that the campaign can work without fear of attack. And I hope that the media reports responsibly on the incident. But one thing I'm confident of: it will be pretty hilarious watching the St. Lous tea party try to lecture others on "journalism ethics," particular when it relates to falsely accusing people of committing crimes.

Update: As a couple angry attempted commenters pointed out, I left out a relevant portion of Chad Garrison's post:
Given what we know of him -- 50, white, angry -- he certainly fits the demographics of a Tea Party member.
Still not the same thing as claiming the tea party committed the crime, which is what Loesch is accusing him of.

Update #2: It was confirmed that the suspect was a former employee at a press conference today by Representative Carnahan, according to the RFT, but nevertheless charges have still not been filed.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gina Loudon Somehow Manages to Be Even More Obnoxious

Just a couple weeks after comparing gay marriage to marrying animals, Gina Loudon has somehow managed to outdo even her own amazing propensity for obnoxiousness. FiredUp Missouri relates Loudon's recent rantings claiming that people who want to build an Islamic Community Center blocks away from Ground Zero are similar to Nazis. Yes, Nazis:
The land surrounding Ground Zero is a war memorial. The proposal of an Islamic mosque there is synonymous with a Nazi war memorial in downtown London. How would the world react to that proposal? Wouldn’t Western Europe just about leap off the map if that were proposed? Where is the outrage from our European “friends?”
She goes on to say that the only way Muslims can really prove that they are peaceful is to give up their freedom of religion:
If the Muslim world continues to fight for this mosque to be built at Ground Zero, they are not interested in peace, or religious dialogue. They are interested in war. They are using the Sharia law concept of lying in the best interest of Allah, and they will be further from the hearts of America than ever before.
This is a classic tactic of the Right: to try to tie all Muslims, or at least all Muslims that don't automatically go along with their right-wing ideology, to terrorists. Loudon is suggesting that the most peaceful, family-oriented, generous, loving Muslim is still "for war" if that person disagrees with Loudon about Park 51. Absolutely ridiculous.

Loudon's original post also linked directly to the truly despicable www.thereligionofpeace.com, a webiste with the tagline: "Islam: Making a True Difference in the World - One Body at a Time." The website says the following about Islam:
And so, our mission evolved from simply memorializing the victims of Islamic terror to trying to educate the open-minded on how Islam is so tragically different from other religion, including its incompatibility with secularism and Western liberal values.
Straight, unadulterated, unapologetic bigotry. That's all it is.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Profiles in Cowardice: Loesch Attacks Feminists Then Runs Scared

Dana Loesch wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Times Examiner doing her typical logic-inverted gibberish routine about how the people who fight for the rights of oppressed people (i.e. people who inevitably aren't neocons or tea partiers) are actually the ones who are secretly responsible for the oppression. In this case, she was claiming that feminists are actually responsible for "a political ploy to tether women to The Man."

Karoli at Momocrats, though seemingly doubting the value of responding to someone as intellectually dishonest as Loesch, nevertheless decided that the piece was too absurd to leave unchallenged:
I debated about whether to take on the latest turd Dana Loesch dropped on SFExaminer.com in the form of an op-ed column or ignore her. Other than being the latest Ann Coulter wannabe, she hasn't said much original for the past year or so. (Yes, I snark. It serves as a reminder not to take her too seriously.)

The Sarah Palins, Michele Bachmanns, and other members of the "feminist right" can always be counted on to echo the newest Luntz talking points through the echo chamber. Now that Betsy McCaughey, Pamela Geller and Dr. Laura have been thoroughly discredited, they just pick up some other woman looking for her five minutes of fame and hackery. Dana is the newest candidate. Not the first and she won't be the last.

Do conservative women -- especially intelligent ones (yes, they do exist) -- ever wonder why the party faithful finds the dumbest, most extreme groupies to deliver their message? Republican cynicism at its best -- pay lip service to women's equality but find the ones dumber than a rock to deliver it. Bachmann, Foxx, Palin, Angle....need I say more?
After this blistering intro, Karoli proceeded to perform a point-by-point takedown of nearly every disingenuous paragraph of Loesch's post. She took down Loesch's false claims about Avastin. She took down Loesch's conspiracy theory about Allee Bautsch. She took down Loesch's ridiculous suggestion that "librul" policies are responsible for the current unemployment levels. She rightly mocked Loesch's childish claims about the education system. She questioned Loesch's fact-free assertion that males are "being suppressed." And she noted Loesch's complete head-in-the-sand approach to the fact that women make 78% of what men make for similar jobs. In other words, she destroyed each and every substantive point in Loesch's article. Read the whole article. Trust me; it's worth it.

And what, pray tell, was Loesch's response? She completely avoided all substance and tried to brush off the entire post by saying that those mean "liberal-chicks" were "name-calling:"

The implication from Loesch, of course, is that all the post does is "name call" and so doesn't substantively address her points. But in fact, addressing all of her points is precisely what Karoli did, despite her own stated misgivings about wasting time on such nonsensical tripe. And it was Loesch who was completely scared sh*tless by the prospect of having a conversation about the actual issues being discussed.

And lest you think that Loesch was in fact responding to some other post that really did just do name-calling, it's pretty obvious that's not the case. You can see Loesch responding with the "waaaaah, name-calling" claim right after PunditMom tweeted Karoli's article:


And, of course, she didn't stop there:

As she always does when discussing feminism, Loesch makes sure to bring in some physical references about how the people she's arguing agaisnst are somehow lacking in some "femininity" or some physical characteristic. For example, when I tuned in to her radio show after the Emily's List mama grizzly video came out, she made sure to repeatedly make claims that the membership of Emily's List has "hair lips." For some reason, Loesch can't seem to talk about women's issues without bringing it back to physical appearance, which some might say is also a way in which women are kept down.

Ed Martin Tries to Rewrite History

FiredUp Missouri caught Ed Martin hilariously claiming that he is in support of a revival of the Works Progress Administration, the largest New Deal program that employed millions of people in public works projects across the country. Here's the relevant exchange:
MARTIN: I live in South City, and you drive down on River Des Peres and you'll see in the bricks the WPA symbol. And what we didn't do -- we took $1.2 trillion in the stimulus -- we didn't do shovel ready jobs.

JACO: Would you have been in favor of those kind of things -- maybe a son of the WPA -- to put people to work immediately on public-sector construction jobs.

MARTIN: Emphatically yes. I mean, emphatically yes. And I think places like Highway 21 in Jefferson County, they're desperate to finish the roads. The federal government has a role to play, and I think you and I can talk about how big or small the role is. But public level infrastructure, I think we should have done that. We would have put, put people together. I mean, we built the Zoo, we built the memorials. We should have said -- and even during the WPA, we sometimes said -- if workers need 20 hours each to build a 40 hour because we have two men that need a job, in this case two men and women, we'll split it up. You get 20 each. I'm emphatically for that.
Martin and his flunkies like Jim Durbin (who by the way, proved my prediction wrong by actually addressing the issue, however disingenuously) are trying to argue that they were never opposed to the stimulus: they were just opposed to the way the stimulus funds were being used. They would have been totally cool with the stimulus, they argue, if only the money had been spent on "shovel-ready" projects.

So first of all, as pointed out by Sean, the stimulus money was used for things that benefitted the economy, in Missouri and all around the country:
The $862 billion package was divided roughly in thirds among tax cuts, aid to states and the unemployed, and investments in infrastructure, health care and other areas. The first two have delivered most of their boost, but much of the investment spending is moving far more slowly. At the end of July, nearly 18 months after the stimulus passed, more than half of the $275 billion in investments had yet to be spent.

Underlying the slow pace is a defining tension: Officials want to get money out the door to jolt the economy but want to spend it carefully enough to meet long-term policy aims -- and avoid headlines about waste or fraud.
But even more unfortunately for Ed Martin than simply being wrong is the fact that he has a long, documented history of comments that contradict the claim that he would have been in support of the stimulus if only it had been used differently. Here's a sampling of his comments that contradict his claim that he would have supported "shovel-ready" spending by the federal government:

November 17, 2009:
Want real stimulus? Cut Taxes
.
November 18, 2009:
Our elected leaders do not grasp the fact that nobody – not even the government – can borrow your way out of debt!

There is another way. Truth is, there is only one tried and tested formula for job creation and real economic growth that has succeeded EVERY TIME it has ever been tried.

My plan for job creation and economic growth follows a tried and tested formula that has succeeded EVERY TIME it has ever been tried! I’ll be blogging and talking about this a lot in the coming days and weeks, but the cornerstone of real prosperity is IMMEDIATE TAX RELIEF.

December 3, 2009, in a post titled "Jobs Grow When Washington Gets Out of the Way:
Job creation is the one thing our economy needs and the one thing Washington is hopelessly incapable of producing. They seem to think that a group of highly educated academics can engineer prosperity by forcing together labor, government and business.
And:
My friends, it really is this simple. Job creation requires nothing more from our government than a willingness to let it happen.

December 12, 2009:
Russ’ problem isn’t a lack of advice, nor a lack of good advice. Russ’ service to Missouri is service to Big Government and the politically connected. Every problem has one answer “let government control it.” The only advice he needs for jobs is to get government out of the way, advice he has been ignoring his whole career.
So when Martin said "get government out of the way," he actually meant create a Works Progress Administration with federal funding to help improve our country's infrastructure?

January 27:
While I support calls to freeze spending, President Obama’s words again are already out of tune with his action. He is freezing only certain spending. He plans to keep spending billions overseas even as Americans struggle here at home. Given that he is already engaging in sleight of hand, how can we believe the most profligate spender in American history or his free-spending, rubber-stamping congressmen like Russ Carnahan will change?
Hmm, how exactly does one "freeze spending" while creating a new Works Progress Administration?

And, as recently as June 29:
Nothing about this is surprising. Tea party activists all across the nation warned against the $787 billion dollar stimulus. We knew from managing our own financial lives that America cannot borrow and spend its way into prosperity. The Federal government has no money of its own to waste, it can only take it from the private sector – or in this case obligate. Billions in spending will, like night follows day, lead to billions in taxes.
And:
The only thing that can save America is Americans. We need congress to stop spending, reduce regulation, relax taxes and undo legislation that has been signaling businesses that the Federal government is going to punish their efforts to prosper with higher taxes and increased red tape.
The idea that Ed Martin has always supported a WPA is a laughable joke. This is a desperate move on his part because he realizes that aligning himself with fringers like Durbin, Hennessy, and Loesch is not going to win an election in the 3rd District.

My Saturday Twitter Feed

Check out my Twitter feed from Saturday:

Um, wow. Obsess much, guy? I honestly have no idea what he's talking about, but it sure sounds interesting! Pretty funny that he lumps Post-Dispatch reporter Jake Wagman and I together, considering that I have never met Wagman in my life, and I don't think he's even linked to anything I've written for months.

Anyway, St. Louis tea party leaders Dana Loesch and Bill Hennessy are so thrilled with Jimi's insightful comments, that they both consistently recommend him during that Twitter ritual known as "Follow Friday:"



Too bad they don't have the guts to do their own dirty work.

Predictions: Will St. Louis Tea Party Have Intellectual Honesty to Criticize Ed Martin?

Apparently, Ed Martin's strategy of being a full-blown insane right-winger is not working very well in Missouri's 3rd District. So he's now decided to completely shift positions against everything he's ever claimed to stand for by saying that he's now in favor of reviving a massive government jobs program known as the Works Progress Administration (which, by the way, I wholeheartedly support):
MARTIN: I live in South City, and you drive down on River Des Peres and you'll see in the bricks the WPA symbol. And what we didn't do -- we took $1.2 trillion in the stimulus -- we didn't do shovel ready jobs.

JACO: Would you have been in favor of those kind of things -- maybe a son of the WPA -- to put people to work immediately on public-sector construction jobs.

MARTIN: Emphatically yes. I mean, emphatically yes. And I think places like Highway 21 in Jefferson County, they're desperate to finish the roads. The federal government has a role to play, and I think you and I can talk about how big or small the role is. But public level infrastructure, I think we should have done that. We would have put, put people together. I mean, we built the Zoo, we built the memorials. We should have said -- and even during the WPA, we sometimes said -- if workers need 20 hours each to build a 40 hour because we have two men that need a job, in this case two men and women, we'll split it up. You get 20 each. I'm emphatically for that.
Martin, if you recall, has been a huge critic of the stimulus program, and not because he thought it was too small. In fact, Martin previously (and hilariously) claimed that when you increase the size of the government, you're taking away people's freedom, which in turn takes away their ability to "find salvation."

But my question is whether the St. Louis Tea Party leadership, who also has stated that using the government to create jobs in times of economic hardship is always a bad idea, will have the intellectual honesty to criticize Ed Martin. Clark at Show Me Progress is predicting crickets, and I pretty much concer. Here are my predictions, with some explanation:

  • Dana Loesch's husband's business got $2,500 from Ed Martin, so we know she won't say anything.
  • Bill Hennessy didn't have the guts to criticize Roy Bank Bailout Blunt, and has shown no interest in doing anything other than electing the same old Republicans to office, so he's unlikely to say anything.
  • Jim Durbin at 24thstate.com was explicitly a Roy Blunt supporter, so I expect crickets from him.
  • Jim Gateway Pundit Hoft is a total hack; no way he criticizes Martin.
  • However, Darin Morley at Reboot Congress might have the guts to criticize Martin, since he stands on his principles more than the others. But still, he's an ardent Ed Martin supporter, so I doubt it.

  • If the St. Louis Tea Party actually stands for anything other than trying to get speaking gigs for their leaders, they will surely not let this pass by without comment. Nevertheless, I doubt they'll say anything. Anyone else have predictions about what will happen?

    h/t FiredUp Missouri

    Sunday, August 22, 2010

    St. Louis Activist Events for August 23-29

    This week's events:

    Monday, August 23, a St. Louis meeting for people interested in attending the Appalachia Rising Conference, a national response to the poisoning of America’s water supply, the destruction of Appalachia’s mountains, head water source streams, and communities through mountaintop removal coal mining, will be held from 4 PM to 6 PM. Email tigerose@riseup.net for directions.

    Also Monday, the 17th Ward is hosting a Ward Talk from 4:30 to 6 PM at Sasha's on Shaw (4065 Shaw blvd).

    Also Monday, West End Grill (354 N. Boyle) is hosing a Trivia Party fundraiser for Nepali children from 6 to 10 PM.

    Also Monday, Slow Food St. Louis is showing Food Fight at the Schlafly Bottleworks (7260 Southwest Avenue) at 7:30 PM.

    Monday through Sunday, the SLU Black Student Alliance is hosting a Welcome Week for students.

    Tuesday, August 24, there will be a Happy Hour for Stray Rescue volunteers from 4 to 6 PM at Chuy Arzola's (3701 Lindell).

    Wednesday, August 25, Slow Food St. Louis will be holding a discussion of The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan from 7 to 11 PM at Pudd'nHad Books (37 S. Old Orchard).

    Also Wednesday, this month's Theology at the Bottleworks (the Schlafly Bottleworks) will focus on the issue of gun control from 7 to 9 PM.

    Also Wednesday, the Gateway Greens will be meeting at 7 PM at CAMP (3022A Cherokee).

    Thursday, August 26, the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center (975 N. Warson Rd.) is hosting a discussion of Feeding the World at 5:15 PM.

    Also Thursday, the St. Louis Effort for AIDS is hosing the 5th Annual Thirst for Life raising money for PAWS, which provides support to persons living with HIV/AIDS to keep their pet companions, from 7 to 11 PM.

    Also Thursday, good people will be Drinking Liberally at the Premium Lounge (4199 Manchester) from 7 to 10 PM.

    Also Thursday, local musician Javier Mendoza will be performing at the Sheldon Concert Hall (3648 Washington) to raise money for Nurses for Newborns.

    Thursday through Saturday, check out the Missouri Black Expo at America's Center.

    Friday, August 27, there will be a commemoration of the important civil rights struggle at Jefferson Bank 47 years before at 2301 Market Street from 4 to 6 PM.

    Also Friday, Slow Food St. Louis is having a Happy Hour at Yemanja Brasil (2900 Missouri Avenue) from 5:30 to 7 PM.

    Also Friday, the LGBT Center of St. Louis (625 N. Euclid, Ste. 420) will be celebrating it's 2nd anniversary from 6 to 9 PM!

    Also Friday, People for Equality, Education, and Promoting Services (PEEPS) is having a House Party from 7 to 11:30 PM at 6661 Berthold Avenue.

    Saturday and Sunday, check out the always excellent Festival of Nations in Tower Grove Park! Facebook page is here.

    Also Saturday and Sunday is the LouFest Music Festival.

    Saturday, August 28, 100 Black Men of Metropolitan St. Louis is holding their 8th Annual Prostate Cancer Survivors and Awareness Walk from 7 to 11:30 AM starting in Kiener Plaza.

    Also Saturday, the Catholic Action Network will host Women Led Prayer at 1077 S. Newstead at 11 AM.

    Also Saturday, Stray Rescue of St. Louis is hosting a Liberation Revolution Adoption Festival from 11 AM to 4 PM at 2320 Pine Avenue. Facebook page here.

    Also Saturday, Metropolis St. Louis and FUEL are volunteering at the Boy's Club 5K Run/Walk from 9 to 11 AM at 2524 S. 11th Street.

    Also Saturday, the Human Right's Campaign is holding a Family Picnic at Carondelet Park, Pavillion #1A from noon to 5 PM.

    Also Saturday, Dieta Pepsi is holding a BBQ Bash to raise money for PAWS and to celebrate a friend's birthday from 3 to 10 Pm at Just John's (4112 Manchester).

    Sunday, August 29, St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness is holding the 2nd Annual Rise and Shine for A Cure, led by yoga instructors, from 9 AM to noon at the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park.

    Also Sunday, and every Sunday, there will be a candlelight vigil for peace at 7 PM at Lindell and Grand.

    Also Sunday, the 4th Bayou Bash fundraiser for New Orleans will be at the Iron Barley (5510 Virginia) at 7 PM.

    Friday, August 20, 2010

    Reminder: Ed Martin Cheered on The "Booting" and "Burning" of Russ Carnahan Photo and Chants of "Death to the Dictator"

    Just to reiterate: I have no idea who firebombed Russ Carnahan's office and have no particular reason to believe it was a member of the St. Louis tea party or an Ed Martin supporter. All I know is that the police arrested a man a couple days ago and then released him citing a lack of evidence to file charges. However, I have noticed that quite a few media outlets have given special attention to Ed Martin condemning the attacks on Carnahan's office. Jake Wagman at the Post-Dispatch and Jo Mannies at the Beacon wrote that Martin was calling for, "a peaceful and prosperous political process." Several other local media outlets also highlighted Martin's condemnation, with a KMOV even absurdly saying:
    Meantime, opponent Ed Martin wasted no time condemning the action on his campaign website. He agreed to an interview outside his headquarters, too...He says there are lots of things to disagree on as far as the campaigns are concerned, but he says there's no place for violence.
    Weird how the Carnahan campaign couldn't or wouldn't put similar words together.
    While I think it's swell and all that Ed Martin has issued a statement in opposition to the firebombing of campaign opponents offices, it also would have been nice if the local media had called out Martin earlier in the year when he was actively cheerleading a rally where his supporters "booted" a photo of Russ Carnahan and ultimately set fire to the photo, saying, "I love the way fire smells when it's burning Tyranny," and that the photo was burning slow because Carnahan is "a slow guy." Here's Martin's facebook post encouraging people to watch the video of Carnahan getting "booted:"


    Here's the video he directed people to, featuring a woman yelling, "this one's from Ed Martin!:"



    And here's Martin linking approvingly to Jim Hoft's post Hundreds Rally as Russ Carnahan Is ‘Booted’ and ‘Torched’ in St. Louis:



    And the part of the video where Carnahan is "torched:"


    In fact, in the post Ed Martin linked to, Jim Hoft said that protesters torched Carnahan's photo while chanting, "Death to the dictator:"


    If Ed Martin truly wants a "peaceful and prosperous" political process, then he needs to condemn the behavior of the St. Louis Tea Party

    Thursday, August 19, 2010

    KMOV Is Confused

    Mark Schnyder at KMOV is extremely confused. He can't seem to figure out how Congressman Carnahan feels about having his office firebombed. Schnyder wrote that he shockingly got "weird vibes" from Carnahan's staff the day after someone tried to burn their office down:
    When I went by the building this morning I got a weird vibe. I saw a campaign worker coming out of the back of the office with big Bread Company to-go bags. I jokingly said, "Are you with Bread Company or the Carnahan campaign?" He said, "Bread Company," then tossed the bags in the dumpster and went to the front of the building, presumably back in the office. Weird.
    (I talked to a reporter at another station who worked on this story who told me when she was there, she met a campaign worker outside the building who also denied being associated with the campaign. When she went inside to talk to a spokesperson, she saw that person who denied being with the campaign IN Carnahan's office.)
    OK, so someone acted "weird," the day after arson was attempted. Big deal. And as for his story from "a reporter at another station," I sincerely hope he's not basing his claim that she was speaking to "a campaign worker" only on the fact that they saw the person inside the building later. There are millions of possible explanations for why someone who doesn't work for the campaign could be in the office.

    This story is already fueling conspiracies by the usual wingnuts. Jim Durbin wrote that Carnahan's staff, "did take out a bunch of documents hidden in St Louis Bread Company bags to the dumpster. " Durbin also curiously sent someone over to take photos of the office to take photos. Hmmm, wonder if they were planning on doing any dumpster diving while they were there? Keep in mind that Durbin is the conspiracy theorist who claimed that ACORN is housed in Carnahan's office, a theory still believed by the tea party's other "expert" on this case, Jim Hoft. Yesterday, Hoft said that "inside sources" told him that it was a burglary. Later, his "inside sources" completely changed their story to arson, naturally without any explanation or correction from Hoft. Nice that Schynder is so willingly adding fuel to the conspiracy theorists' fire.

    But Schnyder's later comments were even more strange:
    Meantime, opponent Ed Martin wasted no time condemning the action on his campaign website. He agreed to an interview outside his headquarters, too...He says there are lots of things to disagree on as far as the campaigns are concerned, but he says there's no place for violence.
    Weird how the Carnahan campaign couldn't or wouldn't put similar words together.
    Huh? As one commenter put it:
    What kind of "comment" were you looking for, anyway? "Well, it sucks that someone tried to burn our office down, and violence is wrong"? Duh!
    Yup, it's pretty obvious to thinking humans that Carnahan and his staff are not happy about having someone try to burn down their campaign office. They did issue a statement after the event happened, and it's not clear what else Schynder expects from them. Does he want them to rush to judgment, like the tea party no doubt would, and start publicly blaming people even though the police investigation has thus far not been conclusive? Does he want them to cry on camera and say how scared they are for their lives, thus giving the arsonist satisfaction? Their office was firebombed. They feel like crap. Give them a break, dude.

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    Rep. Carnahan's Office Broken Into and Torched

    News outlets are reporting that Congressman Russ Carnahan's campaign office was broken into at 2 AM this morning and a small fire was set. A man is in custody but so far no details are known as to his motives. I have to say, though, that if, and so far it is a big if , the man in custody is a right-wing activist, no responsible reporting on the matter would ignore the following facts:

  • In late March, the tea party held a rally where they burned a photo of Russ Carnahan outside of his Manchester office. Dana Loesch can be heard in the video saying, "This is how a fire smells when it's burning Tyranny."
  • At that same rally, they (1) used shoes to whack a picture of Russ Carnahan, (2) kicked the photo of Carnahan, (3) set up a game where people would throw boots at a picture of Carnahan, (4) and even encouraged small children to throw the boot at Carnahan.
  • Ed Martin's campaigners directly participated in these actions and Martin spoke approvingly of the rallies, posting links directly to videos of Carnahan's picture getting booted and burned.
  • Gateway Pundit titled his post about the event Hundreds Rally as Russ Carnahan is '"booted" and "torched."
  • At the rally, they used a photo of Carnahan with blood dripping from his mouth:

  • In the week prior to the event, Bill Hennessy wrote a blog post claiming that the tea party no longer had any moral or legal obligations to the government.
  • After the event, Hennessy tweeted openly about "revolution:"


  • The day after that rally, the tea party carried a coffin to Russ Carnahan's HOME, as in his private residence:


  • So, as I said above, I have no idea if today's incident is directly linked to any of those incidents or to the St. Louis Tea Party. But whether it is or not, the extreme behavior of the tea party pretty obviously creates an environment where these types of incidents become more likely. The media and public officials (of both parties) need to step up and condemn their ridiculous antics unless we want to see more of this dangerous behavior.

    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Dana Loesch Calls Victim of Alleged Assault a "Pansy" Who Should Be Slapped and Thrown Through Glass

    Last week, campaign staffer Sean Bell filed a police report claiming he was slapped, forced to strip, and told he was going to die by Missouri Republican Representative and tea party favorite Brian Nieves (who also reportedly used the N-word repeatedly during his tirade). Nieves was infuriated because he believed Bell was responsible for an email sent out claiming that Nieves had had affairs with several lobbyists while he was in the Missouri House. In a amazing catch by FiredUp Missouri, Loesch reacted to this incident by saying that if Bell was responsible for the email, "in my opinion, you deserve to be slapped, that's just my opinion, and like Michelle, I'd have probably thrown him through a window too. I don't think that's cool. And then don't gripe about it and whine about it like a pansy."

    You can listen here (crazier-than-normal comments start at about 1:30):



    As noted by FiredUp, Loesch inexplicably claims that Bell was a "Democratic Operative" from "the Beltway." You can also check out two longer audio clips at the original FiredUp post that are pretty nuts.

    St.. Louis Activist Events for August 17-22

    This week's events:

    Tuesday, August 17, Vital Voice is holding an Arts and Entertainment Cocktail party at the Wine Press (4436 Olive Street) from 6 to 8 PM.

    Also Tuesday, former Senator Jean Carnahan will be speaking at the Franklin County Democratic Headquarters (208 Church Street in Union, MO) from 6:30 to 9:30 PM.

    Also Tuesday, there will be a discussion of simple home energy efficiency fixes at the Urban Studio Cafe (2815 N. 14th) from 6:30 to 7:30 PM.

    Also Tuesday, the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network is having a Night at Busch Stadium social for the evening game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

    Wednesday, August 18, the Burger King at 3529 Hampton Avenue is holding a Benefit Night for Sherwood Forest Camp from 5 to 8 PM.

    Also Wednesday, there will be a party and trivia night celebrating the release of the Arch + City + River design concepts at the Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust) from 7:30 to 10 PM.

    Thursday, August 20,Vice President Joe Biden and others will be in town for a DNC meeting at Union Station.

    Also Thursday, the August Edition of Green Drinks will feature a tour of Space (4168 Manchester) from 5:30 to 7 PM.

    Also Thursday, the Democratic National Committee Youth Council is hosting a Youth Night Out at Maggie O'Brien's (2000 Market Street) starting at 9 PM.

    Friday, August 20, the 32nd Annual YMCA Book Fair kicks off at 1 PM at 6050 Wells Road.

    Also Friday, there will be a Community Conversation with the Artivist Ron Herd at Gya (2700 Locust) from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

    Friday through Sunday check out the St. Louis Black Gay and Lesbian Pride Weekend Festival. The opening reception is at 7 PM.

    Saturday, Aug 21, Musician Utah Green will be performing at Black Bear Bakery (2639 Cherokee) from 9 AM to 2 PM.

    Also Saturday, there's a protest against the Pampered Pets store in the St. Clair Square Mall in Fairview Heights, IL because they rely on inhumane puppy mills from 11 AM to noon.

    Also Saturday, the Coffee Party is meeting at 333 West Bethalto Drive in Bethalto, IL at noon.

    Also Saturday, the Gay-Straight Alliance at SIUE is having a Jello Shot Fundraiser at Bubby and Sissy's (602 Belle St. in Alton, IL) from 8:30 PM until 2 the next morning.

    Also Saturday, the Dave Drebes Players will be performing at Felix's (6335 Clayton) from 8:30 to 9 PM.

    Also Saturday is the moonlight ramble starting at 11 PM.

    Sunday, August 22, the Rehab Bar and Grill (4054 Choteau) will be collecting cans from 1 PM at midnight for Food Outreach, a group helping friends living with HIV/AIDS or cancer.

    Also Sunday, and every Sunday, there will be a vigil for peace at the corner of Grand and Lindell at 7 PM.

    Another Boring Fake Conspiracy From The St. Louis Tea Party

    Another boring fake conspiracy theory is being pushed by the St. Louis tea party after their zero-credibility blogger Adam Sharp led yet another incident of obnoxious tea party behavior combined with misleading editing in an attempt to claim that a Democratic Congresswoman was "intimidating" constituents. Dana Loesch claimed that Congresswoman Bean "used muscle to silence constituents." Jim Hoft shrieked "Dem Congresswoman Brings in Street Thug to Threaten Constituents." And what evidence did professional crybaby Adam Sharp provide that anyone was "intimidated?' Nothing, except that there was a muscular guy working for the Congresswoman who calmly asked people to turn off their cameras.

    That was it. Nothing else. But they're still desperately trying to manufacture a controversy from the event, as you can see in Sharp's video:


    A few pretty obvious initial observations:
  • Adam Sharp and the other clowns were clearly interrupting a meeting that was designed to discuss other issues. In fact, it's obvious from the video that their sole purpose was to disrupt the meeting.
  • Adam Sharp, who pretty much lies in every one of his videos, lies again here claiming that they were only going to videotape the Congresswoman. They did not only videotape the Congresswoman.
  • Adam Sharp is not a constituent and it's not clear which of the people who were sent in only to cause a disturbance actually were constituents.
  • The part in the video where the guy is allegedly "hovering" over someone is simply the video, paused. Duh. If they had video of him hovering they would have presented it.

  • Should be a snoozer for everyone except Fox and Friends.

    Sunday, August 15, 2010

    Brain Nieves Refers to Assault Rifle as "The Nancy Pelosi Special"

    Republican State Representative Brian Nieves, known for extremist antics and alleged to have assaulted the staffer for his Republican Primary rival (pulling a gun on the staffer Sean Bell, slapping and head-butting Bell while claiming he was going to kill him, forcing him to strip and lie and the floor, and using the n-word repeatedly) earlier in the year referred to an assault rifle as "the Nancy Pelosi Special" on his radio program "The Patriot Enclave." Nieves was discussing the fact that FiredUp Missouri had earlier posted a clip of him when he was discussing an assault rifle, which he referred to as "the Nancy Pelosi special," and suggested that FiredUp had referred to him as an "extremist." Here's the new video where he uses the term "Nancy Pelosi Special":




    Other highlights from the full video of Nieves' radio show:
  • Nieves repeatedly referred to a different gun as "the preferred gun for assassins" (0:20) and said you can, "put like three rounds in someone's head before they realize they've been shot," (10:00).
  • Nieves defended (29:30) the use of the term "assault rifle," saying, "I understand what an assault rifle is for . . . that gun was and is designed specifically for the elimination of bad guys."

  • Now I can't speak for FiredUp, but I'm going to out on a limb here and say that, yes, Brian Nieves is pretty clearly an extremist.

    Saturday, August 14, 2010

    Smoking Bans Puritan or Liberal?

    "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." - Oliver Wendell Holmes

    Moral disapproval alone is an improper basis on which to
    deny rights-- Judge Vaughn Walker

    The two quotes above express very different perspectives. They are not exclusive of each other but they are different. I wonder which of these we base our smoking bans on.

    Well smoke does reach my nose and goes even pass my nose. So Judge Holmes limits of licentiousness definitely apply. I myself am a non smoker who suffers frequent infections when exposed to a lot of cigarette smoke. So I benefit greatly from the trend to restrict the rights of smokers. (I am sure some of you balk at that phrase 'restrict the rights' but that is most certainly what we are doing.

    Does moral disapproval come into play? We liberals are generally well educated and we value our health so we know that everyone should stop smoking.Sanctimony, disapproval and censure are valuable tools in any society but should that go one step further to using police powers when the state may not have a clear interest?

    This began with non smoking sections in restaurants and I was thrilled. That is freedom to associate. It was a choice to not inhale someone else's smoke. Were smokers inconvenienced? Yes, they were they now experienced longer waits but in balance the market had spoken and the smokers inconvenience was minimal. Of course things progressed. There became non smoking restaurants which was great. Non smokers could vote in the market place about their preference.

    Then it became policy at nearly every work place that no one could smoke. No matter what the weather smokers were forced to huddle in groups near the doors. The doorways reaked and non smokers complained and smokers were moved away from the shelter of the doorways. I attended UMSL in the 80's and I thought the professors hot boxing cigarettes in the wind and cold was demeaning. Later UMSL prohibited smoking anywhere on campus and then smoking in a car on the campus.

    Returning students at Washington University will discover that there is now no where on campus where they may smoke.Orange paint lines on the sidewalk delineate where University property ends and the city begins. The diverse student body from Europe, South America and Asia is going to be very unhappy. Assistance will be provided to the staff but only in the form of counseling nothing medical to address their addiction. A Washington University staffer told me she is paying $1500 a month for prescription drugs. (I am unsure as to whether smoking cessation will be offered to students)

    In my mind we have crossed far past my nose and into pure persecution of a minority.

    Perhaps I am incorrect and this is based entirely on health out comes. After all all liberals support prohibition of alcohol and marijuana. It is fair to say that marijuana smoking is illegal on campus but why can I buy a beer? I believe it can be demonstrated that alcohol is detrimental to ones health. My guess is that the political alliance has not yet formed to persecute drinkers.

    Soon bars and restaurants in St. Louis will be forced to be non smoking. Clearly this is a violation of the owners Fifth Amendment property rights but it is justified on health concerns. The protection is said to be for the employees but even employees will no longer be able to smoke on the job. In fact these smokers will go outside and their will be a corresponding loss of man hours. The rights of the employers and the employees have both been subordinated to the right of the vocal political majority.

    In answer to my question this is a puritanical movement which has aligned the religious right and sanctimonious liberals. A powerful pairing.

    This is not a legal argument. I do not even possess the tools to make a legal argument.However as a liberal I believe my actions are open to self review. Like any adherent of any philosophy I believe I must question my consistency. I have and now I am asking you all to contemplate your own consistency.I also ask that you please explain why my conclusion is incorrect.

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    Dana Loesch to Rest of World: If You Want Me to Notice You, You'll Have to Pay Me Like Ed Martin Does

    Dana Loesch wrote a post a few days ago on "marketers, PR, and women bloggers" informing them that she, as someone who gets "40 press releases a day," does not have time "to fake desire to perform a function for you, for free, that most people with two brain cells to rub together either a) request payment for or b) offer some sort of reimbursement." She goes on to clarify:
    Basically, don't send me your press releases or expect me to do anything other than hit DELETE unless you do two of these three things, a) being non-negotiable:

    a) Realize that I'm a capitalist. I work hard to sustain myself and my family. If you expect me to take more than a fleeting glance of a moment away from my family for the sake of your product you best make it worth my while and while you're at it, have the same consideration for the copious amount of other women bloggers as well.
    She also adds:
    Also, big government be damned. I've disclosed in the past, a couple years ago when I still did a rare product mention, without Uncle Sam getting all up in my bidness.
    As if to illustrate her point, Loesch was the only person this week who mindlessly passed on Ed Martin's dishonest press release pretending he had set up debates with Congressman Russ Carnahan without any comment. And this fits perfectly with Loesch's stated philosophy, given that Martin had paid her husband's business $2,500 in the last year. See, Ed Martin knows how to make it "worth her while", and she in return will pretend that he's a candidate that stands for government transparency despite the fact that he avoided state sunshine laws and abused his power as chief of staff by firing someone who actually did follow the sunshine laws. For the right price, even hiding Big Government operations from the public view can be totally Tea Party, dude.

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    Breaking! Ed Martin to Debate Adam Shriver of the St. Louis Activist Hub

    (ST. LOUIS, MO.) August 9, 2010 – In a surprising development, Adam Shriver announced today that several debates had been lined up with Ed Martin over the course of August and September. As Shriver has travelled the great state of Missouri, he noted on several occasions that many people had a desire to hear Ed Martin explain his unethical behavior.

    “Ed Matin seems to like to lie a lot, so I'm happy to give him a chance to defend his behavior. I sent him a letter last week requesting the debates. Or maybe it was an email: I can't remember if I hit 'send,' but it was definitely drafted,” said Shriver.

    All debates between congressional candidate Ed Martin and Adam Shriver will be moderated by Sean of FiredUp Missouri. Details and topics are as follows.

    What: Debates

    When/Topics:

    6:30-8 pm August 17: “Why is Ed Martin a giant liar?"
    6:30-8 pm August 18: “Has Ed Martin ever uttered a true sentence?"
    6:30-8 pm August 19: “Wasting $2 million dollars in taxpayer money"
    6:30-8 pm August 20: "Is Ed Martin Above the law?"
    6:30-8 pm August 21 "Filing ethics reports on time as required by federal law: good idea or no?"
    6:30 - 8 PM, August 22: "Is it an endearing quality to repeat the death panel lie months after it's been debunked?"
    6:30 - 8 pm August 23: Why is Ed Martin the "Glenn Beck candidate?"

    I'm looking forward to some great debates!

    Please Note: This post is exactly as true as the press release and ensuing spin put out by Martin's press secretary, except that, unlike them, I'm not actually pretending it's true.