Another C-SPAN Morning, and a very unhappy vote…

I’m watching the vote as the Republican majority votes on debate rules to defund National Public Radio. So far all Republicans are voting to cut the funds and all Democrats are voting to save the funding. If it keeps up like this, NPR has no chance.

C-SPAN is taking in phone calls during the vote, alternating between Democrats and Republicans, and the trend among callers of both parties is that NPR should keep its funding. Oh, there are a few who are supporting it because they claim it’s the government telling people what to watch (where they get that from, I don’t know.)

There's more...

The Pillsbury Newsboy and the NPR Nazis

Roger Ailes, the Pillsbury Newsboy, hates NPR. Thinks they’re a bunch of Nazis. That’s no surprise. Most Republicans hate them. This week they hate NPR because they fired that poor, beleaguered liberal Juan Williams for admitting he’s a pusillanimous ninny who pisses his Sansabelts at the mere sight of a Muslim, just like Ailes and his stable of the Biggest Gigantic Screeching Heads.

Conservatives like Roger like to whine that NPR is single-handedly crushing conservative discourse in this nation.  Apparently Roger has very low self-esteem evidenced by the fact that his conservative gab goobs crush all his liberal competitors, including NPR, in the ratings. I guess he’s not only irrationally afraid of Muslims, but liberals too.

Whadaya Know Fanatics at Risk
Now anyone, left or right, can make the legitimate case that NPR doesn’t deserve funding. It’s not exactly like they’re as influential as say, Newscorp. They serve a narrow audience of opera lovers and Whadya Know fanatics, so it’s a safe bet the nation won’t perish without them.

Yes, times are tight and the government could use the money, but in the time Congress takes to vote on this, they’ll have spent about 10 times NPR’s annual budget. But then, that’s the sort of spectacular financial acumen they used to drive us into the dumper to begin with.

You could legitimately argue that NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting shouldn’t get government funds, but you could say the same thing about our other government corporationsAmtrak and the Postal Service. But if a politician is taking donations from the direct mail lobby, they should STFU. Ditto for all the Midwestern pols who cry like babies every time Amtrak cuts back. It’s ghastly that 12 of their constituents who board trains in their state each year will surely swoon without their subsidized rail service.

And, NPR may be a government corporation, but it’s still a corporation. It has a board of directors and everything,  just like Chevron (one of their sponsors). Whatever happened to deregulation and staying out of a corporation’s business? After all, part of the reason it isn’t self-sufficient is that Congress severely limits the ways it can collect money. Come to think of it, that may be answer to high oil prices…but there I go talking like a socialist again.

Look, this country is in deep trouble whether you think Obama is a Kenyan  Kommie intent on crashing the country like an Islamic hijacker or that Boehner and Mitch are trying lurch the country back to 1879 when men were men and women were women (who MitchBo and the Boys don’t think deserve equal pay for equal work).

Slapping the Faces of Creationists
I admit it, sometimes I listen to public radio or watch public TV. There’s some interesting stuff on there and the bulk of  it has no ideological bent at all – unless you count those documentaries about animal evolution as a slap to the face of Creationists everywhere.

Even so, I could go for defunding them even if the Dems won’t. It would only offset the deficit by the amount it took me to type this sentence, but I do get that it’s importantly symbolic. I can even sympathize that it’s wrong to use public monies for purely political purposes, but so are the bucketloads of cash Republicans piss away politically preening to the great unwashed.

But if you’re going to defund them, be honest. It’s not about the money. It’s not about the librul programming. It’s not about the threat All Things Considered poses to conservatism. It’s not even about Juan Williams. It’s about being pains in the ass for the sake of being pains in the ass.

So conservatives, if you’ll cop to that, I’ll gladly picket the local NPR outlet and demand they return last year’s pledge to me.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

The Pillsbury Newsboy and the NPR Nazis

Roger Ailes, the Pillsbury Newsboy, hates NPR. Thinks they’re a bunch of Nazis. That’s no surprise. Most Republicans hate them. This week they hate NPR because they fired that poor, beleaguered liberal Juan Williams for admitting he’s a pusillanimous ninny who pisses his Sansabelts at the mere sight of a Muslim, just like Ailes and his stable of the Biggest Gigantic Screeching Heads.

Conservatives like Roger like to whine that NPR is single-handedly crushing conservative discourse in this nation.  Apparently Roger has very low self-esteem evidenced by the fact that his conservative gab goobs crush all his liberal competitors, including NPR, in the ratings. I guess he’s not only irrationally afraid of Muslims, but liberals too.

Whadaya Know Fanatics at Risk
Now anyone, left or right, can make the legitimate case that NPR doesn’t deserve funding. It’s not exactly like they’re as influential as say, Newscorp. They serve a narrow audience of opera lovers and Whadya Know fanatics, so it’s a safe bet the nation won’t perish without them.

Yes, times are tight and the government could use the money, but in the time Congress takes to vote on this, they’ll have spent about 10 times NPR’s annual budget. But then, that’s the sort of spectacular financial acumen they used to drive us into the dumper to begin with.

You could legitimately argue that NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting shouldn’t get government funds, but you could say the same thing about our other government corporationsAmtrak and the Postal Service. But if a politician is taking donations from the direct mail lobby, they should STFU. Ditto for all the Midwestern pols who cry like babies every time Amtrak cuts back. It’s ghastly that 12 of their constituents who board trains in their state each year will surely swoon without their subsidized rail service.

And, NPR may be a government corporation, but it’s still a corporation. It has a board of directors and everything,  just like Chevron (one of their sponsors). Whatever happened to deregulation and staying out of a corporation’s business? After all, part of the reason it isn’t self-sufficient is that Congress severely limits the ways it can collect money. Come to think of it, that may be answer to high oil prices…but there I go talking like a socialist again.

Look, this country is in deep trouble whether you think Obama is a Kenyan  Kommie intent on crashing the country like an Islamic hijacker or that Boehner and Mitch are trying lurch the country back to 1879 when men were men and women were women (who MitchBo and the Boys don’t think deserve equal pay for equal work).

Slapping the Faces of Creationists
I admit it, sometimes I listen to public radio or watch public TV. There’s some interesting stuff on there and the bulk of  it has no ideological bent at all – unless you count those documentaries about animal evolution as a slap to the face of Creationists everywhere.

Even so, I could go for defunding them even if the Dems won’t. It would only offset the deficit by the amount it took me to type this sentence, but I do get that it’s importantly symbolic. I can even sympathize that it’s wrong to use public monies for purely political purposes, but so are the bucketloads of cash Republicans piss away politically preening to the great unwashed.

But if you’re going to defund them, be honest. It’s not about the money. It’s not about the librul programming. It’s not about the threat All Things Considered poses to conservatism. It’s not even about Juan Williams. It’s about being pains in the ass for the sake of being pains in the ass.

So conservatives, if you’ll cop to that, I’ll gladly picket the local NPR outlet and demand they return last year’s pledge to me.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

The Pillsbury Newsboy and the NPR Nazis

Roger Ailes, the Pillsbury Newsboy, hates NPR. Thinks they’re a bunch of Nazis. That’s no surprise. Most Republicans hate them. This week they hate NPR because they fired that poor, beleaguered liberal Juan Williams for admitting he’s a pusillanimous ninny who pisses his Sansabelts at the mere sight of a Muslim, just like Ailes and his stable of the Biggest Gigantic Screeching Heads.

Conservatives like Roger like to whine that NPR is single-handedly crushing conservative discourse in this nation.  Apparently Roger has very low self-esteem evidenced by the fact that his conservative gab goobs crush all his liberal competitors, including NPR, in the ratings. I guess he’s not only irrationally afraid of Muslims, but liberals too.

Whadaya Know Fanatics at Risk
Now anyone, left or right, can make the legitimate case that NPR doesn’t deserve funding. It’s not exactly like they’re as influential as say, Newscorp. They serve a narrow audience of opera lovers and Whadya Know fanatics, so it’s a safe bet the nation won’t perish without them.

Yes, times are tight and the government could use the money, but in the time Congress takes to vote on this, they’ll have spent about 10 times NPR’s annual budget. But then, that’s the sort of spectacular financial acumen they used to drive us into the dumper to begin with.

You could legitimately argue that NPR and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting shouldn’t get government funds, but you could say the same thing about our other government corporationsAmtrak and the Postal Service. But if a politician is taking donations from the direct mail lobby, they should STFU. Ditto for all the Midwestern pols who cry like babies every time Amtrak cuts back. It’s ghastly that 12 of their constituents who board trains in their state each year will surely swoon without their subsidized rail service.

And, NPR may be a government corporation, but it’s still a corporation. It has a board of directors and everything,  just like Chevron (one of their sponsors). Whatever happened to deregulation and staying out of a corporation’s business? After all, part of the reason it isn’t self-sufficient is that Congress severely limits the ways it can collect money. Come to think of it, that may be answer to high oil prices…but there I go talking like a socialist again.

Look, this country is in deep trouble whether you think Obama is a Kenyan  Kommie intent on crashing the country like an Islamic hijacker or that Boehner and Mitch are trying lurch the country back to 1879 when men were men and women were women (who MitchBo and the Boys don’t think deserve equal pay for equal work).

Slapping the Faces of Creationists
I admit it, sometimes I listen to public radio or watch public TV. There’s some interesting stuff on there and the bulk of  it has no ideological bent at all – unless you count those documentaries about animal evolution as a slap to the face of Creationists everywhere.

Even so, I could go for defunding them even if the Dems won’t. It would only offset the deficit by the amount it took me to type this sentence, but I do get that it’s importantly symbolic. I can even sympathize that it’s wrong to use public monies for purely political purposes, but so are the bucketloads of cash Republicans piss away politically preening to the great unwashed.

But if you’re going to defund them, be honest. It’s not about the money. It’s not about the librul programming. It’s not about the threat All Things Considered poses to conservatism. It’s not even about Juan Williams. It’s about being pains in the ass for the sake of being pains in the ass.

So conservatives, if you’ll cop to that, I’ll gladly picket the local NPR outlet and demand they return last year’s pledge to me.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

Prison companies' profit motive sheds new light on Arizona's immigration law

From the Restore Fairness blog-

For months after Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed off on the draconian immigration law, SB1070, protestors raged about the repercussions of a law that made it mandatory for police to stop and check the papers of anyone that they deemed “reasonably suspicious” of being undocumented. Human rights activists protested the inevitable implication of racial profiling that the law brought with it, while supporters of the law argued that it would be an effective solution to the immigration issue. When analyzing how the law came to be, the progressive media went to great lengths to highlight the direct links between those who drafted the law and “hate” groups the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FIRM) and white supremacist organizations. In all this, little was said about how the law came about in the first place.

A breaking investigation conducted by NPR and released today reveals that there is a more insidious motive behind the drafting of the Arizona law; one that leaves passionate rhetoric behind and focuses purely on profit. Based on the analysis of hundreds of thousands of campaign finance reports of people like Senator Russell Pearce, the legislator that was responsible for introducing SB1070 before the House of Representatives, as well as the corporate records of numerous prison companies, NPR has found deep financial ties between the drafting and introduction of the bill, and the private prison industry, that stands to benefit millions of dollars from increased immigrant detention.

The NPR investigation found that the seeds of the immigration bill were sown at a meeting of a group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a semi-secret group that comprises of state legislators like Pearce, as well as the heads of big private corporations such as ExxonMobil and the National Rifle Association, and billion dollar companies like Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), the largest private prison company in the United States. All of the 50 members present for the meeting in December, 2009 where Pearce first presented his idea for SB1070, voted to support it, and the exact “model bill” that he presented at the meeting became the law that Jan Brewer passed in April, 2010.

Once SB1070 was introduced in the House in January by Senator Pearce, it was backed by thirty six sponsors, most of whom had been present at the December meeting of ALEC. Almost immediately, thirty of the thirty-six sponsors received generous donations from all the big private prison companies, GEO Group, Corrections Corporation of America, and Management and Training Corporation. Further, it was clear that, if executed, this law would be hugely profitable for the prison companies. The records of CCA showed that prison executives were relying on immigration detention as their next big market.

Ties between the massive expansion of immigrant detention and the subsequent growth and profit for the largely privately run prison system are not new. What is even more disturbing is the concrete evidence that points to the lack of accountability that comes with this prison system that is increasingly dysfunctional, as well as a detention system that denies due process and fairness to hundreds of men, women and children.

Advocate groups such as the NDLON have called for a further investigation into the collaboration between private corporations and conservative politicians. Pablo Alvarado, the Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network released a statement today saying-

We have done much to confront the hate within the recent immigration debate…but what this report brings to light is that behind the odious rhetoric there are corporations cashing in…These corporations and the politicians they fund are less concerned with borders than they are profit margins. We call on Russell Pearce to fully disclose his ties with those who may benefit financially from his initiatives and we ask that a deeper investigation be launched into the private interests gaining from the human rights crisis in Arizona.

Photo courtesy of npr.org

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