Dem Rep. doesn’t utter a single word in powerful rebuttal to the GOP

From Raw Story:

By Stephen C. Webster
Posted on 04.15.11

Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) gave a unique speech yesterday — one in which he didn’t utter a single word.

Using tearsheets to illustrate his rebuttal to the Republican budget plans that would slash hundreds of thousands of public jobs and effectively eliminate Medicare, Crowley concluded that he was simply “speechless.”

This video is from C-SPAN on Thursday, April 14, 2011.

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Goldman Sachs Ripped Off And Misled Clients, Senate Report Says

From The Huffington Post:

By Shahien Nasiripour
April 15, 2011 |

Goldman Sachs, the nation’s fifth-largest bank by assets, systematically misled clients, sold them financial instruments it knew to be junk, bet against them and profited off of their losses, according to a Senate report released this week.

The report, the product of a two-year investigation, paints the firm as Exhibit A of Wall Street’s evolution from a place that raises and deploys capital to worthy businesses into a vulturous creature that preys on unwitting investors.

Goldman’s conduct in the two years leading up to the near-implosion of the financial system show a firm dedicated to “sticking it to their own clients,” said Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who chairs the panel that produced the report. “Goldman gained at the expense of their clients, and used abusive practices to do it.”

In 2006 and 2007, Goldman recorded more than $21 billion in profit thanks to a strategy that ensured earnings as the housing bubble inflated and then popped. It also dodged a loss in 2008 — one of the few firms to do so — during a year that saw the demise of three of its direct competitors.

The “abusive” tactics the firm employed helped gain those winnings, according to the report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. While Goldman was betting — or “shorting,” in Wall Street parlance — that securities would collapse, clients were on the losing end.

“Of course we didn’t dodge the mortgage mess,” Goldman chairman and chief executive Lloyd C. Blankfein explained to a colleague in a Nov. 18, 2007 email documented in the report. “We lost money, then made more than we lost because of shorts.”

Four complex financial instruments with names like Timberwolf and Abacus show how the firm profited while others lost, according to the Senate report.

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Racist, Homophobe, Donald Trump Blames The Blacks For Obama’s Presidency

Donald Trump, rapidly balding fuckwit has spent the past few days repurposing himself as an ultra right wing say anything to convince the Kool Aid chugging Kochsuckers and Ditto Monkeys that he is one of their own, a misogynistic, neo-Nazi pig.

From Politicus USA:

Is it just me, or is Donald Trump starting to make anyone else miss the heady sophisticated days of Sarah Palin? During a radio interview today, Trump gave his assessment of why Obama was able to beat Clinton in 2008. Trump blamed, “The Blacks,” and then claimed that people voted for Obama based on race, not merit.

During an interview with Fred Dicker on Talk1300 things got 1950’s style racial when while discussing recent poll numbers, Trump lamented that he probably wouldn’t get the support from black people that he deserved. According to The New York Observer’s PolitickerNY, Trump blamed race for Obama ‘s election,

“I tell it like it is,” Trump said. “[Y]ou’ll hear a political reporter go on and say it had nothing to do with race. But how come she had such a tiny piece of the vote? And you know, it’s a very sad thing.

“I have a great relationship with the blacks. I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks. But unfortunately, it seems that, you know, the numbers you cite are very, very frightening numbers.”

Dicker said, somewhat rhetorically, that votes should always be based on merit, not on race.

“If that were the case, why did Hillary Clinton do so poorly?” Trump asked.

Trump has apparently decided to add the racists to his birther coalition. The blacks, seriously? What is this 1957? Donald Trump was trying to marginalize and minimize the Obama presidency by suggesting that it was only African-Americans who got him elected as some sort of race based novelty.

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A Taste of What Makes Texas Great

Julian Onderdonk, A Cloudy Day, Bluebonnets near San Antonio, Texas, oil on canvas, 1918, Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Purchase with funds from the Ruth Carter Stevenson.

Although the wildflower show isn’t as magnificent during our dry year, the bluebonnets are still popping up all over the state. Julian Onderdonk was a Texas artist who influenced the arts in the state through his work organizing art exhibitions for the State Fair of Texas. Enjoy this lovely nod to the Texas Hill Country and think spring!

From The Amon Carter Facebook Posting

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When Did Dyke Become a Politically Incorrect Term?

Today on 365 Gay they asked the question,  “Ask the Expert: Should TV shows use language like ‘faggot’ or ‘dyke’?”

Okay…  Never mind there is quite a difference between dyke and fag that go far beyond the obvious physical differences.

Among those differences is that at least since the 1970s “Dyke” has been a proudly embraced label by lesbians who aren’t necessarily masculine but who don’t exactly embrace the corporate peddled stereotypical idea of femininity either.

Dykes are the sort of women who know a screw driver is a tool and not just a drink one orders at a bar.

I consider myself a dyke.

I’m definitely not lipstick lesbian.  I don’t coo over designers or own any high heeled shoes. While I own some Coach shoulder bags I got them at the outlet mall where they were seriously marked down and they last forever.  I still have one I bought over 35 years ago.

But mostly I have lots of other things that are higher up my object Lust for List than clothes, shoes or jewelry.

Dyke to me is very down to earth.  T-shirt, jeans and a messenger bag that will hold a couple of books.

I think it is weird when we try to dress our communities up in euphemisms and high sounding words like that some how validates us.

However there is a big difference between the words: “Dyke and Faggot.”

Among them are:

Dyke Marches

Dykes on Bikes

and last but far from least, “Dykes to Watch out for….”

“Faggot” has only a book by Larry Kramer and has not been reclaimed the way queer has.

Trannie has gone from being an in group thing to a slur and I tend to think an association with sex work has played a big role in its devaluation.

Now there is the matter of certain words being the possession of the people they label. Like the N-word… Okay for rappers not so much for white (or any other race) politicians or business executives.

Then we had Kobe Bryant… The acquitted of rape charges Kobe running his mouth in a manner most foul.

And all his apologists.

The Kobe Bryant Debacle And The Black Community

04/15/2011 – by Cynthia S. Wright

Yesterday, The Root posted an article by David Kaufman addressing the Kobe Bryant situation. The article titled, “Why Kobe’s Slur Wasn’t Anti-Gay”,  is a well written piece but it seems that Kaufman, like those who choose to support Bryant is trying to downplay the b-ball player’s use of the word “faggot.”

Kaufman expressed, “The real wonder here is how folks could think there is anything to compare in the first place. Without a doubt, Bryant uttered the epithet in anger, but in a fit of homophobia? Not necessarily, at least until we know for certain whether referee Bennie Adams is gay.”

First, let’s stop making excuses.  No more trying to coddle or downplay those things that people in entertainment do, call it what it really is – one of the most prolific basketball players of this era got upset and decided to use a homophobic slur.

Although, there is no concrete proof, one way or the other, concerning Bryant’s homophobia and that Bennie Adams hasn’t come out discussing his sexual orientation, shouldn’t be the point, homophobia shouldn’t fly only if the supposed target is gay themselves. What Bryant did was wrong, plain and simple.

Outside of that, you can’t say within 100% that he’s a stand up guy that just happened to blow his top because a.) His prior record doesn’t show a guy with the best character, and b.) You don’t personally know him (or at least, you didn’t state that). I’ll admit that I don’t, but Bryant did himself a disservice by acting the way that he did.

Yet, the only thing we know is that, Bryant got caught with his hand in the cookie jar – again. It shouldn’t be about the fact that he was caught saying this one time – that we know of – the fact is, out of all the words he could have used, he chose that particular phrase to express his anger.

Furthermore, during his initial apology, never once did he utter the words “I’m sorry.” Instead, the public received this:

Continue reading at:

So this week’s big Fuck You goes out to Kobe Bryant and his apologists/enablers.

BTW  it is Ms. Dyke unless you are also a woman loving woman.

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Friday Night Fun and Culture

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We’re Not Greece, But We Could Be the Next U.K.

From The New Deal 2.0:

by Marshall Auerback
Friday, 04/15/2011

We should put the recovery on solid footing by increasing wages and employment, not needlessly slashing government spending.

Just as everybody seems to be understanding the full implications of the UK government’s approach to fiscal policy, we may be on the verge of embracing it here in the US. This a very negative development.

Yes, we should eliminate wasteful and unnecessary spending (we can start with a large proportion of the defense budget). But when we are experiencing a shortage of aggregate demand (the total spending, private and public, that supports employment and output), it makes no sense to introduce further cuts by implementing fiscal austerity, which will simply drain more demand from the economy.

Current proposals from both the President and Paul Ryan for serious deficit reduction involve several trillion dollars of “savings” over the next few years. I put quotes around the word “savings” because the concept is largely predicated on the idea that cutting government expenditure axiomatically creates “savings” when in fact, such “savings” could well induce a greater economic downturn and therefore increase the deficit as a percentage of GDP, as the Irish experience is now demonstrating. The President’s counter to the Ryan proposals will simply set the stage for a bidding war on fiscal austerity.

Ask your favorite economists what that does to GDP. My guess is that they’ll tell you it will shave a few more percentage points off GDP growth. And maybe a 50% increase in unemployment as the output gap skyrockets from already insanely high levels. In other words, we could well see years of flat to negative growth unless the private sector (including non-residents) spending somehow increases at least by that much. AND THE DEFICITS WILL GO HIGHER AS A RESULT!

For household consumption or business investment to fill the current output gap in private sector spending, there would need to be an increase in that sector’s debt (which is likewise measured as a drop in private sector savings). That got us into the mess we’re now in.

Borrowing to spend on houses and cars — the traditional engine of consumer growth — rising to levels sufficient to close the output gap seems highly unlikely and cannibalizes tomorrow’s growth because private debt (as opposed to public government debt) is externally constrained. Particularly when federal deficit reduction is cutting incomes and savings. We want a growth strategy that emphasizes growth in incomes, not credit.

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The Trouble with Christianity

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Road Trip To Houston and the J. Crew Ad

Tina and I went on a little road trip to Houston this week, which is why there were a huge cluster of posts on Monday night and a tapering off during the next three days.

The keyboard and touch pad on my Toshiba are a bit of a pain in the butt and it has the dreaded Vista, which isn’t my favorite OS from Microsnot.  That and we were plagued with a slow connect (but free) from the hotel where we stayed.

The only reason we have ever found to go to Houston is that it has some super great art museums and feeding your eyes great art is worth putting up with Houston air pollution and traffic.

Every time we go we are glad we picked Dallas over Houston when we decided to move to the sunbelt and lower housing costs.  On the other hand we love Austin as much as Dallas.

I used to take a lot more photographs when I was young and walked around instead of drove/rode around in cars. Life on foot is much more interesting and worthy of  photographing than life from behind a car window.

1960s VW Bus Photographed in parking lot of
Houston Museum of Fine Arts

We went to Houston for an exhibit titled “Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Masterpieces from the National Gallery of Art“.  When I was in New York I spent a lot of time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  I also took art classes at NYU and The Art Student League.  I really grew my appreciation for the work of both the Impressionists and the Abstract Expressionists.

This show had pictures by all of our favorite impressionist artist Manet, Monet, Cassatt etc…  Well worth the trip.

After that show we wandered through the permanent collection galleries where there were supporting pieces from the HMFA collection.

While we were in one of those galleries we saw a mother with two children, a girl and a boy. The boy was extremely pretty and very feminine in gesture and features.  As he did a little pirouette I whispered to Tina, “And they say it isn’t innate.”  For here was a child so obvious that the only question is, “Gay or trans?”

The whole premise of “Women Born Transsexual” and you can substitute other words from the queer alphabet around the core word of “born”, is that we are born this way.  Just like straights are born that way.  We aren’t perverted by outside forces unless you describe the damage from the abuse so many suffer as, perverting.  We aren’t failures of socialization but rather triumphant in our ability to gain the socialization that allows us to finally come out in the face of a hostile world.

Therefore I was heartened by the ad I saw from J. Crew…

From Growing Your Baby:

An online advertisement for ‘J Crew’ featuring a five-year-old boy with his toenails painted bright pink has sparked controversy in the parenting community.

The ad, which stars Jenna Lyons, the chain’s president and creative director, and her son Beckett, five, shows the doting mom painting her son’s toenails under the headline,

”Saturday with Jenna… See how she and son Beckett go off duty in style.’

Below the picture is a quote from Ms Lyons which reads:

‘Lucky for me, I ended up with a boy whose favorite color is pink. Toenail painting is way more fun in neon.”

The image was sent to customers last week by e-mail has sparked discussions over gender identity in children.

A number of psychiatrists have slammed the ad, claiming that promotion of such an image ‘celebrates transgendered identity’.

But Jenna, has hit back, saying:

”’Lots of kids, say seven and under, might ask their parents for something that would seem to be cross gender.

”I think most parents, especially in the privacy of their own home might think, what’s the big deal?’

I agree!  This ad shows a sweet moment between mom and son. Kids are curious, especially when they see their parents doing something. Does this mean that he will want his nails painted now for the rest of his life – no. It also doesn’t mean that she has set his masculine compass off by allowing him to wear pink nail polish.

The homophobic/misogynistic right wing right wing /Christo-Fascist noise machine is in a tizzy.  Heaven forbid a child be allowed to play with or adorn themselves in trappings designated as belonging to the ‘opposite’ sex/gender.

So much for Marlo Thomas and “Free to be, You and Me.”

Or the following poster.

There are a thousand reasons as to why I am so often opposed to the ideology of Transgender Inc, but the main one is its focus on and reification of “GENDER”.  Transgender Inc has been at war with transsexuals and post transsexuals who refuse to embrace its ideology since I was reading ‘zines like Transsexual News Telegraph and Gender Trash in the mid 1990s.

The name calling on both sides is stupid and boring.  I refuse to participate in it any more as there are real issues.  Apparently Riki Wilchins has decided there are more important issues as well, her new organization is called True Child and deals with a wide spectrum of gender issues rather than the narrow spectrum of transgender issues.

Zinnea Jones adds a great commentary to the tizzy surrounding this ad….

Those parents whose minds are not twisted by the hateful ideologies  of misogyny, homophobia and transphobia, that are the pillars of the dogma of the right wing religious fanatics are letting their LGBT/T kids grow up feeling positive about themselves.  Decent parents see that a child is different and protect, nurture, love and defend that child from the bullies be they children or adults who try to pervert that child with their hate, abuse and bigotry.

Sometimes with transkids that means seeking out early treatment and permitting that child to start the process of changing sex by giving them a nurturing environment where they can start living in the gender role that they feel most comfortable in.

Jamie to become a Janie as boy allowed hormone replacement therapy

From The Daily Telegraph (Aus):

April 16, 2011

A BOY, 10, has been allowed to begin hormone treatment to halt male puberty so he can live life as a girl.

The boy, named only as Jamie in a Family Court judgment, began identifying as female when he was a toddler, insisting on wearing girls’ clothes and refusing to use boys toilets when he started school.

His mother told the court she tried to encourage Jamie to act male but her son would become upset and say, “Mummy, it’s hard trying to be a boy.”

Jamie was diagnosed with gender identity disorder when he was seven. He began dressing as a girl at home and being treated as a girl by his family in 2008.

His parents moved him to a school that would accept him as a girl in 2009.

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7yr. old Jazz’s thoughts on being a Transgender Child

I am not arguing that either the child we saw in the museum or the J. Crew ad is either a gay kid or transkid.  Rather I am arguing for a return to the greater freedom we had in the 1970s when the feminist struggle against misogyny and the gay/lesbian movements struggle against homophobia was given an equal or greater voice than the right wing voices of faith based hatred, bigotry and misogyny.

Children should be free, free to be you, free to be me…  All the hard core indoctrination into “proper” gender roles is bullshit.

Let kids be themselves.  It is no worse to be a person of the queer alphabet than it is to be a straight person if one is free from the hatred, bigotry and misogyny of the evil bigots.

Majority of Women Use Contraception Irrespective of Religious Affiliation

From RH Reality Check:

By Martha Kempner
April 15, 2011

A report released by the Guttmacher Institute yesterday shows that while religious affiliation may play some role in decisions regarding sexual behavior, it has little to do with whether women (married and unmarried) use contraception. Specifically,the study found that regardless of religious affiliation at least three-quarters of never-married women are sexually experienced by their early twenties and that the overwhelming majority of sexually active women of all denominations who do not wish to become pregnant are using a contraceptive method.

Researchers analyzed data from the 2006–2008 National Survey for Family Growth which asks questions about religious affiliation in addition to its questions about sexual activity and contraceptive use. They focused specifically on women who identified as Catholic, Mainline Protestant (which includes Methodists, Presbyterians, and other groups), and Evangelicals (which includes Protestant women who indicated that they were “born-again Christian,” “charismatic,” “evangelical,” or “fundamentalist”).

Sexual Behavior

Though the majority of women (79 percent) regardless of religion are sexually active by their 20s, when it comes to sexual behavior the study pointed to some differences that were based on religion. For example:

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Liberalism and capitalist austerity

FYI The New York Times is not now nor has it ever been a “liberal” newspaper. It has been more given to honest reporting than the right wing propaganda machine but it is nonetheless one of the masters tools that supports the wealthy and corporate state.

From World Socialist Web Site:

15 April 2011

An array of media liberals are hailing the deficit-reduction speech given by President Obama Wednesday, in which he called for trillions of dollars of cuts in domestic spending. Praise came from columnists like Paul Krugman of the New York Times and E. J. Dionne of the Washington Post; one particularly delusional pundit compared Obama’s words to those of liberal icon Eleanor Roosevelt.

The most significant voice of American liberalism, the editorial page of the New York Times, headlined its editorial on the speech, “President Obama, Reinvigorated.” Its first sentence gushed: “The man America elected president has re-emerged.”

The editorial piles on the flattery of Obama, with unwarranted praise of the supposedly huge political distance between his policies and “Republican plans to heap tax benefits on the rich while casting adrift the nation’s poor, elderly and unemployed.” If one pursues this simile, the actual difference is that Republicans are openly hostile to the victims of American capitalism, while Obama pretends sympathy, offering those who are drowning a rope that is far too short. The end result is the same.

The editorial makes much of Obama’s call to raise taxes on the wealthy, while saying nothing about the president’s past performance. Obama caved in last December to the Republican demand to extend the Bush tax cuts for the rich, even when the lame duck Congress was still controlled by the Democratic Party. Now that the Republicans control the House of Representatives, there is no prospect of increased taxes on the millionaires, and Obama’s pledge is both empty and cynical.

The Times declares that Obama’s budget proposal “should have been less fixated on spending cuts at the expense of tax increases,” and notes that his proposed cap on healthcare cost increases “was surprisingly low … and it is not clear that that goal can be met without harming providers or beneficiaries.”

Since the Times has been an extremely vocal advocate of healthcare cost cutting, particularly targeting supposedly excessive use of medical services by the elderly and the seriously ill, such assertions are mere window-dressing. The editors seek to disguise the fundamentally reactionary character of both the Obama healthcare plan, passed last year, and the new measures proposed by the administration to cut $1.5 trillion in healthcare costs over the next 20 years.

The editorial goes on to criticize Obama from the right. It expresses regret that he did demand more sacrifices from working people by “reminding those in the middle class that their incomes taxes remain low and will need to go up” and by proposing additional consumption taxes “like energy taxes … or a value-added tax.”

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