A growing trend that should make us all wary
Is their change from mildly threatening to really scary.
Ferguson just proves it —
If they own it, they’ll shoot it,
As cops become less like police and more like the military.
Lauren Bacall, who died yesterday just a month shy of her 90th birthday, will rightly be remembered for her A-list acting career and her marriage to movie legend Humphrey Bogart. But Bacall also had a record as a stalwart liberal. As she put it, “I’m a total Democrat. I’m anti-Republican.”
– Lauren Bacall
Her performance with Bogart in “To Have and Have Not” catapulted her to stardom overnight in 1944. A few months after the film came out, she made her political debut at an event for World War II service members in Washington, D.C., when she was boosted atop an upright piano and photographed lounging there as then-Vice Pres. Harry Truman played for the crowd.
After the war, Bacall, Bogart, director John Huston and others formed the Committee for the First Amendment in opposition to the Republican Party’s anti-communist witch hunts, which were championed by Hollywood figures like Ronald Reagan, Walt Disney and Hollywood Reporter publisher Billy Wilkerson. In 1947, Bacall and Bogart led a contingent of the organization’s members to Washington in protest of the right-wing pogrom and in support of Hollywood witnesses called by the committee who had refused to testify.
That was just the beginning of Lauren Bacall’s decades-long political activity and support for the Democratic Party. Michael Tomasky pays tribute to Bacall as “deeply liberal and deeply anti-communist” in a eulogy at the Daily Beast:
Dear Dr. Democrat:
Question for you — who should I vote for in the upcoming Florida Democratic primary? I’m inclined to vote for state Sen. Nan Rich, but I’m not sure I should or if that would just be a wasted protest vote, as Charlie Crist looks to beat her in the primary. I think I should maybe vote for Crist except that Charlie has become this weird, über-repellent candidate who is, as media increasingly point out, almost as reprehensible as our incumbent governor, lower-than-a-snake’s-belly Rick Scott.
So, should I lodge a protest vote for Rich, assuming Crist will win the primary (though with a projected ultra-low turnout, it might could go either way) and then hold my nose and vote for Crist in the general? But what if Rich wins the primary (unlikely as it seems) and then gets steamrolled by Scott’s money-driven bulldozer?
The possibility of a second term for old Tales from the Crypt is truly frightening.
What’s a dedicated Florida Democrat to do?
Cogitating in Coconut Grove
Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But he was one of a kind. He arrived in our lives as an alien – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit. He made us laugh. He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. The Obama family offers our condolences to Robin’s family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and verse thanks to Robin Williams.
May we just add, nice use of the word, “bangarang,” Mr. President.
Republican Rep. Mo Brooks from Alabama has been on a tear recently. Last week, he told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes that he advocated deporting all 11 million undocumented residents of the United States. (Hayes’ interview with Brooks begins at 04:55 in the video above.) According to estimates by the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, the cost to deport on person is about $12,500, which puts the cost to taxpayers of the mass deportation scheme advocated by big-government Republicans like Rep. Brooks at $137.5 billion.
A few days later, in an interview on right-wing radio, Rep. Brooks claimed the Democratic Party is waging a war on white people:
Republicans have been beating the drum for the impeachment of Pres. Obama since the first year of his first term. Now that it appears voters will remove the GOP’s main obstacle — Democratic control of the Senate — in the November midterms, the reality is sinking in among Democrats and independents that if Republicans keep the House and take the Senate, as appears likely, they will spend the last two years of Obama’s term impeaching him.
Last week, the House laid the groundwork for impeachment when Republicans voted to give Speaker Boehner the authority to sue the president on grounds that he delayed Obamacare’s employer mandate by executive order. House Republicans hope voters have forgotten that they voted to delay the employer mandate one year earlier.
The Democrat Party has base has taken notice. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has raised $7.6 million online since Boehner announced he was suing the president. This includes 74,000 donations averaging just $19 each from 74,000 new donors. On the last Monday in July, the DCCC reported that it had raised $1 million online in 24 hours. The uptick in new donors is cause for alarm in Republican establishment circles, and by the end of last week Boehner, Rush Limbaugh and other Republican leaders were backpedaling away from impeachment as fast as they could.
After breaking all records for doing nothing, the least productive Congress in U.S. history leaves town today for a five-week vacation:
The grand-daddy of all “Do Nothing” Congresses will be departing soon for an undeserved five week summer vacation – leaving behind a pile of unfinished business and a serious humanitarian crisis festering along the U.S.-Mexico border.
While lawmakers likely will be able to claim a modicum of success on a few issues, the House prepared to close up shop Thursday afternoon after Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) was forced to pull from the floor two GOP measures to help house, process and deport tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America who crossed the border illegally in recent months.
The snark in the Washington Times’ recent Valerie Richardson’s piece, “Al Gore’s Climate-Changers at EPA Hearings Foiled by Cool Temperatures” was too much for CNN’s Bill Weir, who read it after it was picked up by FOX Nation.
Weir tweeted his contempt for climate change deniers at FOX, and presumably, the Washington Times, who use the term “global warming” literally, to mean that temperatures will always increase, everywhere, every day. Instead, climate change scientists see an increase over time, with extremes like cold snaps in summer and winter blizzards from increased moisture in the atmosphere as part of the problem. Anyone who has watched the video narrated by former Vice Pres. Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth, understands.
Roy Cooper, the attorney general of North Carolina Attorney — and one of the few Democratic statewide officials to survive the 2010 tea party electoral sweep that put Republicans in control of North Carolina for the first time since the 1870s — announced this week that his department will no longer defend the state’s ban on marriage equality. The decision comes after judges in the federal appeals court whose jurisdiction includes North Carolina struck down a similar ban in Virginia:
of Americans think Michael Brown’s shooting by police in Ferguson, Mo., raises important issues about race that require discussion, while 40% say the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves, a new Pew Research poll finds.
Of Americans say they approve of U.S. airstrikes against Islamic militants in Iraq, while 31% disapprove, according to a new Pew Research survey.
Amount House Speaker John Boehner has raised for accounts under his direct control and he has helped amass tens of millions more for Republican allies, the AP reports. “The Ohio lawmaker accounts for about one-fifth of the cash collected by House Republicans’ campaign arm, the National Republican Congressional Committee. Boehner has written almost $18 million in checks to the group, which has raised $101 million this campaign cycle.”
A growing trend that should make us all wary
So if an impeachment comes up, it’s not because Congress wants to do that. It’s because the president has chosen to bring that upon himself by not enforcing the laws on the books.
— Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), quoted by BuzzFeed.
You all got to start voting and showing up — 12% turnout is an insult to your children.
— Rev. Al Sharpton, quoted by the Los Angeles Times, speaking to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.
I watched the first couple of episodes until he cheated on his wife with that reporter. It turned my stomach so much that I just couldn’t watch it anymore. His behavior was so reprehensible, and it hit too close to home because he was a House member, that it just bothered me too much. And what I thought is, it makes us all look like we’re like that.
— Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), to Parade, on why he doesn’t watch “House of Cards” anymore.