Friday, January 28, 2011

Egypt: Live Coverage Links

    Watch Al Jazeera Live to stay up to date in events in Egypt.

Democracy Now

Cairo, Egypt—In the second day of defiance of a military curfew, more than 150,000 protesters packed into Tahrir Square Sunday to call on President Hosni Mubarak to step down. The mood was celebratory and victorious. For most, it was not a question of if, but when, Mubarak would leave.

Military tanks have been stationed at entrance points around the square with soldiers forming barricades across streets and alleyways. In another departure from ordinary Cairo life, people quickly formed orderly queues to get through the army checkpoints. Soldiers frisked people and checked their identification cards. One soldier said they were making sure no one with police or state security credentials could enter.

"Omar Suleiman is not an option. The people are chanting against him today," said Nazly Hussein, a 30 year-old protester in Tahrir. "People want to bring down the system...I don’t think anyone is going home until the president and everyone around him leaves."

   I guess that the dictator in Egypt is having a hard time making travel arrangements as it has been rumored that at least countries have turned him down thus far.

    Does the Middle East have a Salvation Army unit?


  • Al Jazeera Live


    The Arabist

  • Democracy Now

    BBC Live

    Nile News Live

  • Social Security Thievery

        Brought to you by Mitch McConnell and his pals in government.


    Hillbilly Report

    Yup it's true. $2.5 or $2.6, depending on who's counting, Trillion of our Social Security money is gone. Senator Mitch McConnell and his pals have spent it. All $2.5/$2.6 Trillion of it and gave us a IOU. That worked OK as long as there was more money coming into Social Security than going out. But now when there's less coming into Social Security than going out and the IOU's are due Senator Mitch McConnell and his pals worried about the solvency of Social Security. Really? It's sock it to Grandma time.     Read More...

    Egypt turns off internet, Lieberman wants same option for US

    Original Article

    by Cenobyte     Fri Jan 28, 2011
    Yep -- Joe Liebermann is still an asshole.

    As Egypt cuts Internet access to and from the outside world in its efforts to quash the popular uprising, it is worth revisiting the fact that Joe Liebermann wants the government here to have that very same power.

    On Thursday Jan 27th at 22:34 UTC the Egyptian Government effectively removed Egypt from the internet. Nearly all inbound and outbound connections to the web were shut down. The internet intelligence authority Renesys explains it here and confirms that "virtually all of Egypt's Internet addresses are now unreachable, worldwide." This has never happened before in the entire history of the internet, with a nation of this size. A block of this scale is completely unheard of, and Senator Joe Lieberman wants to be able to do the same thing in the US.

    This isn't a new move, last year Senators Lieberman and Collins introduced a fairly far-reaching bill that would allow the US Government to shut down civilian access to the internet should a "Cybersecurity Emergency" arise, and keep it offline indefinitely. That version of the bill received some criticism though Lieberman continued to insist it was important. The bill, now referred to as the 'Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act' (PCNAA) has been revised a bit and most notably now removes all judicial oversight. This bill is still currently circulating and will be voted on later this year. Lieberman has said it should be a top priority.

    So long, Joe. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.

    Egypt Protesters:Live Stream

      Brought to you by Al Jazeera. Click HERE as the stream cannot be embedded on this site.

    Mubarak Regime Is Going Down


    Breaking: Police Siding with Protesters in Egypt. Mubarak regime falling.

    by OllieGarkey     Fri Jan 28, 2011
    Al Jazeera has LIVE video:

    UK's The Guardian newspaper is now reporting that Egyptian police are siding with the protesters. This is exactly how Tunisia fell to democratic forces. We are now seeing the same shift occur in Egypt.

    "[The Regime] is already falling. It can't stop." Said a State Journalist to Jack Shenker, a reporter for the Guardian.

    This comes on the heels of the news that El Baradei, one of the regime's most famous opponents, has been taken into custody.

    This is the biggest political shakeup since the fall of the Warsaw pact. The protests have moved out of Tunisia, the protesters are winning in Egypt. Yemen and Lebanon are expected to see further protests today. The Anonymous hacking group is planning to make attacks against Algerian government websites.

    I will continue to update this Diary as the news moves forward.

    Update Scarce posted the audio report.


    The police have now given up fighting the protesters. The police and protesters are now talking, with protesters bringing water and vinegar (for teargas) to the police. Afternoon prayer has just been called and hundreds are praying in front of the mosque in east Alexandria.

    Much more reading

    As Egyptian’s Take to The Streets For Real Democracy, Obama Loses His Voice

       It is a funny thing with our Presidents over the years. They will stand up while giving their speeches about how all countries should have “ real democracies “ with their citizens having more human rights and such things,but, when the citizens of a country such as Egypt actually take to the streets wanting a better government and more rights, our President (s) suddenly lose the will to speak up and tell the current leaders of said country that perhaps it is time for a change. Obama, mister democracy himself, is no exception to this rule. In the case of the uprising in Egypt, he may be keeping his mouth shut because the United States sends billions of dollars to the soon to be toppled (I hope) Mubarak regime.

    "The fourth issue that I will address is democracy," he declared, before explaining that while the United States won't impose its own system, it was committed to governments that "reflect the will of the people... I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn't steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. Those are not just American ideas, they are human rights, and that is why we will support them everywhere."

    "No matter where it takes hold," the president concluded, "government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who hold power."     2009 Cairo Speech

       So President Obama. Do the people of Egypt not count in the fight for a “ real democracy?”  You talk the talk, but now you cannot/will not walk the walk when it comes right down to it.

    Al Jazeera

    Similarly, president Obama has refused to take a strong stand in support of the burgeoning pro-democracy movement and has been no more discriminating in his public characterisation of American support for its Egyptian "ally". Mubarak continued through yesterday to be praised as a crucial partner of the US. Most important, there has been absolutely no call for real democracy.

    Rather, only "reform" has been suggested to the Egyptian government so that, in Obama's words, "people have mechanisms in order to express legitimate grievances".

    "I've always said to him that making sure that they are moving forward on reform - political reform, economic reform - is absolutely critical for the long-term well-being of Egypt," advised the president, although vice-president Joe Biden has refused to refer to Mubarak as a dictator, leading one to wonder how bad a leader must be to deserve the title,

        A State Department spokesman had an interview with Al Jazeera on Thursday.  Go HERE to watch it if you have the time. Get educated!

        Barack Obama! Open your mouth and say the D-word

    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Social Security In Deficit?

      Who would have thought that Social Security would be running in the deficit category after all of the reports out that have been saying that it would be in good shape for years to come? It is now being reported that the Social Security trust funds will be depleted sometime near 2037.

                               Yahoo/ A.P.

    The massive retirement program has been suffering from the effects of the struggling economy for several years. It first went into deficit last year but had been projected to post surpluses for a few more years before permanently slipping into the red in 2016

    This year alone, Social Security will pay out $45 billion more in retirement, disability and survivors' benefits than it collects in payroll taxes, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said. That figure nearly triples — to $130 billion — when the new one-year cut in payroll taxes is included.

       Of course, all of those baby boomers will begin hitting the retirement age and applying for benefits also, so we can all look forward to an even bigger lag in those S.S. trust funds. Our lovely Congress says that it will replace the shortfall, but that will only add to our already massive deficit.

        Why do I get the feeling that you and I are being set-up by our politicians so that they can then come in with a big list of cut-backs that we will have to have in order to keep Social Security solvent? This will be the excuse for raising the retirement age and for cutting our benefits also.

       We are about to get screwed royally!

    Republicans:What The Tea Partiers Do Best

       You can count on more of this to come to an area near you.

    Original Article

    Tea party FAIL leads to state agency takeover of county's finances

    by devtob      Wed Jan 26, 2011
    Nassau County, NY, just east of NYC on Long Island, is one of the wealthiest counties in the country.

    But, after electing a tea party Republican county executive in 2009, it cannot balance its budget, and today a state financial oversight agency (imposed after decades of GOP misrule led to a $100 million bailout in 2000) seized control of the county's finances.

    The new tea party county executive, Ed Mangano, had cut taxes, but not much spending, leaving a deficit of at least $50 million in its $2.7 billion budget. So the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) now controls the county's books.

    Details, below.

    The Newsday division of Cablevision presumably has a story about this, behind its stupid paywall, so here's some background and quote from the New York Times story linked above and the Daily News' coverage.

    From the Times:

    The move, which came after months of steadily more ominous threats and a downgrade of Nassau’s debt by a credit-rating agency in November, turns the oversight board into a control board, with vast power to rewrite the county’s budget and veto labor contracts, borrowings and other important financial commitments.

    As a first step, the control board ordered the county government to rewrite its budget by Feb. 15 omitting cost-savings items that the board has called specious or too risky.


    "Some places manage their way into fiscal problems, and other places are beset by social forces, many of them outside of their own control," said Steven J. Hancox, a deputy state comptroller who oversees local government. "Nassau has had a history where the populace has enjoyed a variety of services, and those cost money. It doesn’t really matter where you are; when the money dries up you have tough choices to make."


    The takeover was a stinging rebuke to Nassau’s county executive, Edward P. Mangano, a Republican who took office a year ago after upsetting a popular incumbent in 2009. Mr. Mangano had repeatedly said the budget was balanced, and then insisted there were ample contingencies to cover any shortfalls. But the authority said that many of his assertions were unfounded or unsupportable.

    The "variety of services" includes three 18-hole and one 9-hole golf courses, ocean and bay beach parks, and scores of pools, athletic fields and tennis courts.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that -- parks, etc., add a lot to the quality of life anywhere, but such services cost money. 

    The takeover vote was unanimous, among a board that includes Conservative Party activist and Nassau County resident George Marlin, who had this to say to the Times:

    The county’s 2011 budget is built on a foundation of sand.

    The Daily News had more Marlin quote:

    Nassau County for many years believed it could continue to spend at a rate that far outpaced the growth of revenues. That resulted in major problems a decade ago. Unfortunately the politicians didn't learn; there are expensive union contracts. Ed Mangano has inherited a huge fiscal mess.

    Maybe so, but Mangano made the mess messier by pushing through energy and property tax cuts, which are popular, but problematic since tax cuts ALWAYS lead to less tax revenue.

    Property taxes in Nassau County are extraordinarily high, top-five in the nation, but so are the level of services -- education, police/fire/EMS, Medicaid, parks, etc.

    After Nassau County's fiscal crisis/bailout 11 years ago, Democrats won control of the county for the first time ever and were able to manage its finances.

    Now the same cannot be said for the tea party Republicans of Nassau County.

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    Tampa Water Department Ripping Off Homeowners?

       When homeowners in a few Tampa neighborhoods received their current water bills in January, more than a few were shocked with the amount of the bill. Some had bills for as much as $2,000 for water usage in December 2010,and, needless to say, they pitched a fit with the water department.

        Of course, the water department told the homeowners that the bills are correct and that maybe the owners had a leaky water sprinkler system, or maybe they had a toilet that was running non-stop. Some homeowners had a bill which was as much as 10 times the normal amount!  Judy Sellers told WTSP10News that her average bill is only  $30.92,but her latest one was $343.32, that is 10 time over the average cost.

    The water department says most of the high bills are coming from the New Tampa, Carrollwood, and Dana Shores areas.

    "It just defies logic, is all I can say," said council member Mary Mulhern.

       It’s even worse for many others. Check this out.

    This week, one homeowner complained her bill went from $41 to $854. Another said her charges shot up from $60 to $563. In all, 17 Dana Shores residents say their bills have skyrocketed.

      So just how bad is this?

    Resident Jen Older said her water bill is $854.47. Previous bills averaged about $40. A breakdown showed the city recorded Older's home using 115,948 gallons of water in November and December — about 58,000 gallons a month.

    The average Tampa family uses about 6,000 gallons a month, the department said.

      But wait! There’s more!

       Let’s go over to the New Tampa part of the region. In New Tampa we have housing developments such as Tampa Palms, and Hunters Green. These are not your average income areas. Some of these homeowners have been getting the shaft also.

    Barb O'Malley of Tampa Palms got her water bill which is $2,500 for using 183,00 gallons of water. That is enough to fill her swimming pool 8 times. Water company inspectors told her that an irrigation leak and an toilet that ran intermittently was the reason for her high bill.           Source

           Tampa Bay Online

    Michael Tucker of Hunter's Green had a bill of $2,700 and found one broken sprinkler head in his lawn a day before inspectors visited to check for leaks. The inspector told Tucker that even he couldn't see how a lone malfunctioning sprinkler could account for his billed usage of 207,000 gallons of water.

    Tucker said the inspector told him he was writing a report and would test the irrigation system a second time before any adjustments are made to his bill.

    "My concern is, even with the adjustment, the bill still has got me using 207,000 gallons," Tucker said.

        Tampa Water has told the Tampa City Council that they will adjust the water usage rate down to their lowest tier rate, Tier0. 

    That rate is $1.82 for every 100 cubic feet, or 748 gallons of water, used. The two highest rates in the city's seven-tier system are $10.92 and $16.38, respectively, for every 100 cubic feet of water used.

    City officials say unchecked leaks can push homeowners' water use into the highest tiers. The system was created to encourage water conservation.

      This problem is exclusive to just the homeowners either.

    According to the Hillsborough County School District, Middleton High School had a $65,000 water bill this month. That's four times the normal bill, even though they didn't have school for two weeks.       Source

      So, I guess that all of those mean high school children must have went to all of the water fountains on their way out the door, and jammed some object into them in order to keep them squirting out the water?


    Obama And Big Business

        In case you hadn’t noticed it yet, President Obama has been very busy doing his best as of late giving big business the front row in his policy making decisions. Business is making more profits than ever, so he has to give them even more help in order for them to amass even more cash.  A South Korean journalist has noticed how much Obama has been bending over for the business community.  Anything to get re-elected, I guess.

    Watching America

    Hankyung, South Korea
    Obama’s Business-Friendly

    By Hankyung Editorial
    Translated By Jiyoung Han
    23 January 2011

    Edited by Michelle Harris

    South Korea - Hankyung - Original Article (Korean)
    U.S. President Barack Obama’s latest string of business-friendly acts is garnering a lot of attention. Since taking office, Obama has been known to fiercely criticize Wall Street and emphasize the need to strengthen regulations. However, the president now seems to be pushing for the relaxation of regulations and other measures characteristic of a more business-friendly environment.
    In a Wall Street Journal editorial printed on Jan. 18, President Obama announced that the federal government would undertake a "review that will help bring order to regulations that have become a patchwork of overlapping rules." The president has also proceeded to draw prominent members of the private sector into the ranks of his administration, most notably naming Midwest Chairman of JPMorgan Chase William Daley as his White House Chief of Staff and CEO of General Electric Jeffrey Immelt as the Chairman of his outside panel of economic advisers. Obama’s business-friendly actions do not stop here. The president is even set to deliver a speech at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an institution with which he has previously had fraught relations.
    The reason for President Obama’s transformation comes from his very acute realization that, for the sake of economic recovery and job creation, he cannot neglect to lend the private sector a helping hand. This is evident in the following passage of his Wall Street Journal piece: "Sometimes, those rules have gotten out of balance, placing unreasonable burdens on business — burdens that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs."
    President Obama’s actions hold many implications. In contrast with the increasingly enterprise-supportive America, Korea is tightening the reins on the building pressures at home. The Korea Fair Trade Commission alone is interfering with extensive business studies in areas like oil refining, sugar manufacturing, and home shopping, subsequently eliminating basic things like production cost studies. Key big businesses are facing the pressures of rising subcontract prices in all directions.
    Although price stabilization is an urgent issue, artificially regulating prices and further increasing subcontract prices will distort the market order and weaken the vitality of business. For the sake of economic vitality and job creation, businesses must be provided an environment in which they are free to do as they wish. Governments must bear in mind how important it is not to burden businesses with constant interference. As such, today’s meeting between President Lee and the 30 group leaders must be a forum in which the difficulties of the business community are heard and solutions are sought together. It cannot become an occasion to strengthen government regulations.


    Tuesday, January 25, 2011

    Luntz Trying to Freep CNN's Real-Time SOTU Poll

    by antonrobb       Tue Jan 25, 2011
    For some reason, my leftie mom wound up on an email list for Luntz Research. (I know, ewwww, gross.)  Anyway, she forwarded the below email to me.  It is clearly being sent to Luntz's list of lunkheads so they can flood CNN's dial testing of the SOTU with anti-Obama static.  Let's all forward this to our friends and relatives so we can counteract this effect.  These guys (as usual) have nothing to show in terms of constructive policy, just more delay, distraction, destruction and victimhood.  Such losers. 

    From: Maslansky, Luntz & Partners
    Sent: Mon, January 24, 2011 8:22:44 PM
    Subject: State of the Union Online Panel Invitation

    We would like to invite you to participate in a first-of-its-kind live CNN event that will provide the unique opportunity to register your personal, real-time reactions to tomorrow night’s State of the Union address.

    Your reactions, along with those of others around the country, will be part of CNN’s state of the union coverage.

    The system works just like the dial testing you may have seen on CNN and Fox – except YOU will be one of the participants, reacting to the president’s speech on your computer, in real-time, from your home or office.

    Your participation will help balance the post-speech coverage by providing pundits with real-time feedback from thousands of people around the country.

    To participate, please go to the link below by 8:55 pm EST/5:55pm PST on Tuesday, January 25th and follow the instructions on the screen.  Thanks in advance for your help and we look forward to seeing what you think of the speech.


    Username: square
    Password: off

    If you have any issues with the website, a browser refresh will usually fix them.

    Please take a minute to let us know if you plan on joining our online panel: RSVP

    Thank you,

    Michelle Corbett
    Research Manager

    You have been contacted because you have sent us information or expressed interest in the past. If this is incorrect or you wish to stop receiving these emails, there is now a link at the bottom of your email invitation to unsubscribe from our emails and focus group offers.

    To unsubscribe please click here

    Barack’s “State Of The Union”

        Another year and another “State of the Union “ address from our President, Barack Obama. I am still doing coin flips in order to decide if I am going to sit through this hour long spectacle just to hear a lot of nothing about job creation,improving the economy,and even more crap about “bipartisanship.”  Our President and his cabal still do not get the fact that their attempts to be nice to the Republicans (working with them) has not worked. It is never going to work! Barack has had many “compromises” with the Republican side of the equation and it seems thus far that those did nothing for the average American. When Obama “compromises,” the hard working average American gets fucked.

        It will be interesting to see what kind of so called “sacrifices” will be asked of the American workers,and those who are retired. How much of the Social Security will Obama wish to cut into?  How much more pay cuts will workers have to endure in  the new economy?  Actually,I do not think that either of these issues will be brought up in this address. Not directly.

       If Obama wants to make more “sacrifices.” then point toward the 2% of Americans who are getting the majority of the money. While he is at it,he can also make the Corporate world “sacrifice” by raising their taxes. That would be those that are actually paying any taxes to begin with.

       In a different twist,it is reported that the Republican side of the group will have not just one rebuttal after the speech,but two of them. Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan will give the official GOP response,and then Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann will give the Tea Party response.  That may be worth watching just for comedic value.

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    The Republicans “Deal With America”…

    ….is once again looking more like their last “Contract on With America” from back in the 90’s. All talk and much bullshit. No surprise there as it is a Republican habit to do a “bait and switch” with the voters once they have conned their way into office.

    Original Article

    The GOP's Bill to Repeal Campaign Finance

    by Patience John       Mon Jan 24, 2011
    If there are two things Republicans are good at, it's lying and doing their corporate masters a solid. The long list of Republican lies is long, from lying the country into a war to your basic broken campaign promises. When it comes to doing their paymasters' work, the last decade was a banner era.

    Now, the Republicans are attempting to do both at the same time.

    The GOP's Campaign Finance "Sneak Attack"
    By Andy Kroll, Mother Jones

    On Wednesday, House Republicans plan to rush to the floor a bill that would eliminate the federal government's presidential financing system—in the process, violating recent pledges by the GOP's leadership of increased transparency and debate in Congress. Not one hearing has been held on the legislation, nor has a single commitee debated its merits. If it passes, it will roll back more than 30 years of law born out of the Watergate scandal, eviscerating one of the few remaining protections stopping corporations from heavily influencing, if not outright buying, American elections, reform experts say.

    House Republicans' much-touted "Pledge to America" bashed Democrats for "limiting openness and debate" during the legislative process and vowed to "ensure that bills are debated and discussed in the public square." The Pledge says the GOP "will fight to ensure transparency and accountability in Congress and throughout government." And in House Speaker John Boehner's first remarks after taking control of Congress' lower chamber, he spoke of a greater emphasis on "real transparency" and "greater accountability." He went on, "Above all else, we will welcome the battle of ideas, encourage it, and engage in it—openly, honestly, and respectfully."

    Public financing of presidential campaigns provides matching tax dollars to the small donations received by candidates who agree to publicly finance their campaigns, instead of relying on private donations. The intent is to encourage small donations, and the burden on taxpayers isn't much: Americans can voluntarily contribute $3 to the fund on their federal tax filings. The public finance system was created in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal in the mid-1970s. After President Richard Nixon's re-election campaign was found to have illegally accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from big corporations, Congress created a public financing system so that candidates wouldn't have to rely on corporations and deep-pocketed donors to finance their campaigns.

    Already good government groups and campaign finance reformers are drumming up opposition to the GOP's plan. Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the public interest group Public Citizen, says his organization and others like it will urge lawmakers to oppose the GOP's bill because it violates the GOP's transparency promises, both on the 2010 campaign trail and now as the House majority. "This just came out of the blue, has had no deliberation and no discussion within the Republican and Democratic conferences," Holman says. "They have just been seated and they're already breaking the ground rules on how they'll do business."

    It should come as no surprise that the Republicans are liars, and will tell any lie to get elected. It is also not surprising that Republicans would turn their backs on the "Deal with America", especially after the fiasco that was the "Contract with America."

    Men like Rep. Cantor do all they can to work in the shadows of our elected house to do bidding of their corporate overlords. Such work would not stand the light of day, much less a proper public hearing.

    Or even a committee meeting for that matter, because it would become instantly apparent that the goal of this bill is to make the government and our electoral process less transparent.

    Public shaming does not work on the GOP, their rhetoric is proof enough of that. While it is amazing that their base takes it lying down, being lied to election cycle after election cycle, it is even more amazing that men like Rep. Cantor and Speaker Boehner have no qualms about lying to the entire nation.

    If we could harness the energy of the pants on fire of the GOP, we could solve our energy crisis overnight.

    But lying is not new for politicians, even on this scale. What is new is the GOP's goal of handing over our democracy to the corporations and the elite behind them. One bill after another it has become more and more obvious that the Republicans want to ensure a corporate state over our democratic republic to enshrine their hegemony.

    If this covert bill passes and gets past the Senate and somehow becomes law instead of being vetoed, the corporations and paymaster elite controlling them will have more sway over our republic than the citizens themselves.

    The influence that unaccountable corporate entities would shape policy and candidate choices beyond the control of even a well-organized citizen group, no matter how much they screamed or work. At the end of the day, money talks louder.

    And the elite have all the money, mostly because Republican policies over the last decade looted most of the citizens of this country and placed the wealth of our republic in few and fewer hands.

    And now the Republicans want to put funding of campaigns in corporations' hands, so that our choice in who represents must be one who represents the corporations first, and not our own best interests. It would become a puppet show of the moneyed elite. It is as if the goal of the GOP is usurp our citizen-based democracy with a corporate oligarchy.

    This would all become transparently obvious, if the Republicans held transparent and open public debate behind this bill.

    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    Sarah Palin:A Horrific GOP Creation?

       Sure she is! She is a representative of all that the Republican Party believes in. Hate,bigotry,ignorance? All that Sarah Palin is comes by way of the GOP. Now that same party would like for this woman to shut up and just go away,which is not going to happen. The Republicans created this female Frankenstein monster,and I do think that they will be regretting it when 2012 elections come around.

    Original Article

    Why we can't say goodbye to Sarah Palin

    by Kaili Joy Gray  Sun Jan 23, 2011
    In a perfect world, we would not know her name. Her political ambitions would take her no further than the City Hall of her state's meth capital. Her hyperpartisanship would be limited to smearing the mayor for being insufficiently Christian and asking "rhetorical" questions of the local librarian about banning books she doesn't like.

    But in this imperfect world, Sarah Palin is a household name, and her every utterance, no matter how petty or nonsensical or just plain wrong, commands widespread media coverage. Some have suggested that if we ignore her, she will go away. In December, New York Times columnist Charles Blow vowed not to write about Palin "until she does something truly newsworthy, like declare herself a candidate for the presidency." Ross Douthat recently urged the media to stop covering Palin, but even he could not resist writing about her again, only days later.

    On Friday, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank called upon members of the media to join him in his pledge not to speak or write about Palin for the entire month of February.

    Palin clearly isn't going away: "I am not going to sit down. I'm not going to shut up," she told Hannity on Monday. But if we treat her a little less like a major political figure and a little more like Ann Coulter -- a calculating individual who says shocking things to attract media attention -- it won't matter.

    This, of course, is the real problem. It isn't how many times her name is mentioned on cable news or in the columns of Very Serious People like Milbank. The problem is how those Very Serious People cover her every nonsensical utterance as if it were a legitimately debatable point within our political discourse, as if her accusation that the president wants to establish "death panels" to kill grandmothers is a valid counterpoint to healthcare reform. The problem isn't how many times Blow or Milbank or Douthat have written about her, or how many times Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity have mentioned her name on TV. The problem is the media's addiction to false equivalence, to balance every point with a contrary one, regardless of its validity.

    It isn't surprising that many Republicans want the media to ignore her. Last week, former Bush speechwriter David Frum said, "She should stop talking — now." William Kristol, who has been one of her staunchest supporters, was critical of how she has responded to the Tucson shooting, and advised her to instead "deal with things that are at a sort of presidential level." She even managed to earn the criticism of another of her staunchest supporters, Jonah Goldberg, when she declared herself a victim of blood libel, although the next day, he "decided to ratchet down" his criticism of her.

    Palin is an embarrassment to the Republican Party, but it is not an embarrassment Republicans should be allowed to outrun or to forget. This is a party that has proudly embraced ignorance, bigotry, corporatism, and empty slogans, and Palin is the result of their efforts to appeal to the ugliest fears and instincts of their base. The Republican Party created Palin; she is the perfect and pure representation of its policies.

    What is surprising is those on the left who would so gladly participate in the cover-up of the Republican Party's dirtiest laundry. As painful as it is to listen to her speak or to read article after article about her incoherence and ugliness, ignoring Palin is the last thing the left should do. As Josh Marshall correctly wrote, in defending his blog's coverage of Palin:

    This is actually a real blind spot for liberals in general -- the idea that things that are crazy or tawdry or just outrageous are really best ignored. Don't give them more attention. You're just giving them what they want. Or maybe it's not so practical and utilitarian. Maybe, they say, it's just beneath us. Focus on the important stuff.

    Ignoring the ugliness doesn't make it go away. Just ask President Senator John Kerry, who believed that responding to the Swift Boat accusations was beneath the dignity of a presidential campaign, until it was too late. The smears had been repeated so often, and his silence had become so deafening, that the lies became fact.

    Palin is no different. To ignore her is to give her free range of our political discourse, to allow her virulent hyperbole and lies to go unchecked. It is a mistake to think that the blogosphere, or one or two columnists from the New York Times and the Washington Post, have the power to make her go away by simply ignoring her. As she has made clear since 2008, she isn't going anywhere.

    Last September, she was the keynote speaker at the Iowa Republican's annual fundraiser -- the Ronald Reagan Dinner, of course -- a move widely interpreted as a "a shot across the bow for the increasing number of people who are said to be considering their own bid for the Republican nomination in 2012." That was the same day she said, when asked in an Fox News interview whether she might run for president, "of course I would give it a shot."

    RealClearPolitics recently reported that Palin's aides have been "quietly gauging her level of support for a potential presidential campaign" and that "her political action committee has indeed been taking discreet steps in Iowa that would help her build a credible campaign here if she decided to launch one."

    It matters not that poll after poll shows she cannot win the Republican nomination, let alone the presidency. Since 2008, Palin's "unfavorable" numbers have skyrocketed 46 points. For two years, headline after headline after headline has declared that her numbers have reached an all-time low. In just the two months since the midterms, the percentage of Americans who view her unfavorably has increased by seven points. Among women -- the very constituency to whom she was supposed to appeal -- her numbers are even worse. Ever increasing numbers of Americans, including Republicans, think she is unqualified and unlikeable. It is not a stretch to say that nearly every time she opens her mouth, more Americans decide they don't like her. That is something for the left to encourage, not ignore.

    No matter what we think of her, no matter what the polls say, no matter how many Republicans plead with her to fade away from the public spotlight, she isn't going anywhere. Nor should we on the left want to ignore her. She is a monster created by the Republican Party and the rancid, failed policies and values it has been trying to sell to the American people for the past three decades. Instead of hoping she will go away, we should seize every opportunity she presents to remind the country of what exactly the Republican Party believes: that all of our economic problems can be solved with tax cuts for the rich; that the best way to ensure energy independence is to drill, baby, drill; that criticizing an unjust war is unpatriotic, but chanting "nigger, nigger, nigger" on the radio is a First Amendment right; that the government should regulate uteruses, but stay out of the private lives of corporations. These are the Republican Party's values, and she is the perfect and pure embodiment of those values.

    We cannot ignore Sarah Palin any more than we can ignore the Republican Party.

    Glenn Beck Still Full Of Rhetoric

      THIS kind of crap is going to get someone killed again if this man isn’t taken off the air.

    Glenn Beck is going to get someone killed. UPDATE with threat

    by Fokozatos siker     Sat Jan 22, 2011
    Maybe that's his point. Is there a way under the law -- or protests, or whatever -- to stop this lunatic?

    He's been going after Frances Fox Piven, a City of New York University professor, saying that she is responsible for a plan "to intentionally collapse our economic system."

    So of this 78 year old woman is getting death threats.

    My GOD that man is a son of a bitch.

    What did she do?

    She wrote a plan to help poor people....FORTY FIVE YEARS AGO!!! That's right -- when Lyndon Johnson was president.

    A complaint was filed with Fox Scumbag News saying they are putting her in danger.

    Oh, no they're not, says Fox scumbag spokesman,.

    “ ‘The Glenn Beck Program,’ probably above and beyond any on television, has denounced violence repeatedly,” he says.

    here is the link.

    And if she does get hurt -- gee, I'm sure they'll scream "wasn't us!!!"

    UPDATE: Here  is one of the threats...

    “Somebody tell Frances I have 5000 roundas ready and I’ll give My life to take Our freedom back.”