- Bruce Springsteen and the Call to Collective Responsibility | ThinkProgress
This seems practically designed to be played at Obama-Biden rallies (if not the Democratic National Convention itself). The choice of Chicago as the origin point for that sense of mutual care seems pretty deliberate. The song itself relies mostly on that central mantra, and less on the striking imagery that to my mind is the hallmark of so many of Springsteen’s best songs. But “Where’s the work that set my hands, my soul free / Where’s the spirit that’ll reign, reign over me / Where’s the promise, from sea to shining sea” sure seems like an apt set of questions in an age of continuing recession and concern about the ability of the American dream to pass viably from one generation to the next. Especially given that the title of his new album is Wrecking Ball.
- Republicans legitimize Obama’s reelection rhetoric – The Washington Post.
…How quickly has the zeitgeist changed? Wednesday, the Republican House reconvened to reject Obama’s planned $1.2 trillion debt-ceiling increase. (Lacking Senate concurrence, the debt ceiling will be raised nonetheless.) Barely noticed. All eyes are on South Carolina and Romney’s taxes.This is no mainstream media conspiracy. This is the GOP maneuvering itself right onto Obama terrain.
The president is a very smart man. But if he wins in November, that won’t be the reason. It will be luck. He could not have chosen more self-destructive adversaries.
- Fiery debate tops bizarre GOP campaign day in SC – Boston.com
- Heckling, sex jokes — and a little politics — at Axelrod’s U. of C. event – Chicago Sun-Times
- Despite Publicly Backing One Man-One Woman Marriage, Newt Asked Ex-Wife To ‘Share Me’ With Other Women | ThinkProgress
- R i g h t a r d i a: The sad case of Newt Kinkrich and Callista the Ho
- Republican Racism is an Air Raid Siren, Not a Dog Whistle | Tea Party and the Right | AlterNet
On his MSNBC show Hardball, Chris Matthews called out Newt Gingrich and other Republicans for what he described as their “dog whistle” appeals to white racism during the South Carolina debate on Monday night.
He was correct in identifying the work that racism does for the Tea Party GOP and its candidates in their efforts to win over white conservative voters. However, Chris Matthews was too generous and kind. Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, and other Republican candidates are not engaging in subtle dog whistles to their faithful, where racism and white racial anxiety hides in the background, masked and hidden by other language.
Definitions matter: dog whistle politics are based on a signal or cue to the in-group, and one so subtle that those not in the know will overlook it as no more than quixotic background noise, a blip, a comment without context or meaning.
- How not to run a Republican primary | THE BILL PRESS SHOW
You have to see it on the ground to believe what a mess Republicans have made of this election. It’s the worst way to run a primary campaign — unless your goal was to lose the election, in the first place.
The Republican Party started out with one big advantage: Despite getting off to a gangbuster start in 2009, just one year later President Obama looked like he’d run out of gas. His popularity plummeted. Democrats got shellacked in the mid-term elections. Obama’s legislative agenda never got off the ground. Even liberals — no, especially liberals — were disappointed with his failure to fight for or deliver on several key issues. Consensus among many political observers: Obama was a weak president whom Republicans could easily deny a second term.
Given such a golden opportunity, how did Republicans blow it? Let me count the ways. Six of them. First, they took too much for granted. They convinced themselves that Obama was so unpopular that all they needed to win was to stand as “the non-Obama.” After three years, they had nothing to offer. They never came up with any agenda of their own except voting “no.” That’s never enough to win, especially when you’re up against such a crafty opponent.
- Well he never has been one for sticking to his oaths | Firedoglake
Apparently Gingrich thinks that IF he should ever take the Presidential Oath it also creates an Open Marriage.
Newt Gingrich has pledged that on his first day as president he will set up a constitutional showdown by ordering the military to defy a supreme court ruling extending some legal rights to foreign terrorism suspects and captured enemy combatants in US custody.
That would be the decision of the Roberts’ Court (without Roberts on the majority opinion naturally) inBoumediene v. Bush (2008). Ignoring the Constitution is not exactly rare in the Presidency (see Jackson, Andrew through Obama, Barack) but leave it to Gingrich to be so “open” about it.
- Chart of the Day: Republicans Don’t Trust Anyone (Except Fox News) | Mother Jones
Public Policy Polling is out with their 3rd annual TV news trust poll.Among Republicans, as the chart on the right shows, the shape of the river is simple: they don’t trust anyone except Fox News, who they adore. These numbers are spreads, with NBC, for example, garnering 17% trust vs. 69% distrust. Fox News, conversely, garners 73% trust vs. 17% distrust.
- Newt Denies ‘Open Marriage’ Claims As Rick Perry Endorses Him | National Memo | Breaking News, Smart Politics
- Romney: I Won’t Release My Tax Returns Because ‘I Don’t Want To Give The Democrats A Nice Little Present’ | ThinkProgress
- Meet The 40 Members Of The Congressional Koch Caucus | ThinkProgress
- Progress Reports – ThinkProgress Mitt Romney’s TOP FIVE Tax Giveaways to the Rich
Climate & Climate Politics
- Kerry Emanuel, the “Enlightenment” Republican
- Chris Mooney | Who’s Afraid of Kerry Emanuel? Why Republicans Are Attacking a Republican Climate Scientist
- How do climate models work? « ClimateSight
- A Graphical Tour Through the Climate of 2011 | Climate Central
New data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA show that for the 35th year in a row, the globe was warmer than average during 2011, and about the 10th-warmest year on record since 1880. Officials said warming was hindered somewhat by a La Niña event in the Pacific Ocean, but owing in part to the influence of manmade global warming, this was the warmest La Niña year on record.
This NASA graph shows the pace of global warming since 1880.[read on…]
PIPA (and SOPA)
Freedom From Religion
- Anti-gay nurse Lincy T. Pandithurai terminated from Dallas V/A Hospital
- This is really just a great explanation: When People Ask Why I Have a Problem With Religion… | Unreasonable Faith
- Brad Pitt on Religion | Unreasonable Faith
…When I got untethered from the comfort of religion, it wasn’t a loss of faith for me, it was a discovery of self, I had faith that I’m capable enough to handle any situation. There’s peace in understanding that I have only one life, here and now, and I’m responsible.”
- Religion Is Like a Penis | Unreasonable Faith
- Dawkins: So What If I’m Offended? | Unreasonable Faith
Media (and Science)
- Bill O’Reilly does not get it, according to Neil DeGrasse Tyson | The X Blog
This video contains the piece of an interview where Neil deGrasse Tyson gives us the great quote “If that’s how you want to invoke your evidence for god, then god is an ever- receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time goes on. ”
- The full interview from which the video above was excerpted: Neil DeGrasse Tyson – A Conversation about Communicating Science – YouTube
- First Listen: “We Take Care Of Our Own” | Blogness on the Edge of Town
- Springsteen’s ‘We Take Care of Our Own’ is a rousing protest anthem
- Has Bruce Springsteen delivered another ‘rousing political anthem’? – The Week
- Review: Springsteen’s latest another political fakeout – chicagotribune.com
Back in the mid-’80s, Bruce Springsteen‘s theme song might as well have been “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” as his not-very-gung-ho protest song “Born in the USA” got misappropriated for all sorts of unironically patriotic purposes, not least of all by Ronald Reagan.
With his new single, “We Take Care of Our Own,” Springsteen seems to be throwing down a gauntlet: Misunderstand me. Go on, I dare you.
Advance word about the artist’s upcoming album, “Wrecking Ball” (due out March 6), has touted the set as “his angriest ever” as well as concerned with themes of “economic justice.” So it might be confusing, at least for the first stanza or so, to hear this teaser track bust out of the gate with a seemingly jubilant sound and unabashedly inspirational chorus.
But its dÃ©jÃ “USA” all over again, as Springsteen mines the entire lyric with evocations of American promises unfulfilled. There’s not a line in the song that isn’t riddled with doubt, except for the title one. Every verse is so unremittingly unsure in its patriotism that the only certainty is that Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich certainly won’t fall into Bruce’s Br’er Rabbit trap, as Reagan did.
- Bruce Springsteen releases ‘We Take Care of Our Own,’ new single from upcoming ‘Wrecking Ball’ album | cleveland.com