Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Change We Can Believe In... And the Beat Goes On

by Maryscott OConnor Wed May 13th, 2009 at 06:56:30 PM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

A front page contributor on My Left Wing named Konopelli used this picture in a post the race baiting going on in right wing talk radio right now -- specifically, on Rush "Douchebag of the Decade" Limbaugh's right wing hatefest (For those of you in Europe not privy to the latest, Limbaugh has been telling his white listeners that Obama is going to take away their wealth and GIVE IT TO BLACK AMERICA!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!! The BLACK MAN in the White House is going to turn over America to the NEGROES! Same old racist shit, different day...):

But the people in that picture...

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Read more... (3 comments, 924 words in story)

Just Like Bush? My ASS. Obama Lifts Cuba Travel Restrictions

by Maryscott OConnor Mon Apr 13th, 2009 at 03:49:35 PM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING


 Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama is allowing Americans to make unlimited trips and money transfers to family in Cuba and easing other restrictions Monday to usher in a new era of openness toward the island nation ruled by communists for 50 years.

The formal announcement was being made at the White House Monday afternoon, during presidential spokesman Robert Gibbs' daily briefing with reporters, a senior administration official told The Associated Press. The official spoke on condition of anonymity before the announcement.

With the changes, Obama aims to lessen Cubans' dependence on the Castro regime, hoping that will lead them to demand progress on political freedoms, the official said. About 1.5 million Americans have relatives on the island nation that turned to communist rule in 1959 when Fidel Castro seized control.

Jesus fucking christ, it is about goddamned time.

Read more... (17 comments, 324 words in story)


by Maryscott OConnor Wed Oct 29th, 2008 at 10:20:56 AM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

Whenever I hear the old joke, "He was born on third base but thinks he hit a triple," I cringe a little, because I immediately think of the inverse -- of the millions of people who are born with two strikes against them.  

Lately I cringe when I hear the ludicrous charge being leveled against Barack Obama: that he intends to apply socialist policies in the United States. The charge is ludicrous because he does not intend such a thing -- not because socialism is ludicrous. To the contrary.  

Here is another thing that makes me cringe:

Read more... (14 comments, 1186 words in story)

Palin & Gunshots: Deafening Silence

by Maryscott OConnor Mon Oct 20th, 2008 at 06:40:17 PM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

I don't know what disturbs me more: the Saturday Night Live Weekend Update Sarah Palin appearance I've now watched over half a dozen times, or the collective cognitive dissonance that overtook the national media -- and, apparently, almost everyone in America -- with respect to that appearance.

No, I did not find it -- or, needless to say, Sarah Palin -- charming. Certainly not "hilarious." Yes, she does, demonstrably, have "rhythm." No, the fact that she was able to be a "good sport" and appear on a television program that has been skewering her for weeks does not raise her in my esteem one single iota. And no, that sketch did not make me smile. It in fact made me want to vomit.

Where is my sense of humour, you ask? Am I, in fact, a dour liberal determined to glower through November 4th? What exactly is my fucking problem? Glad you asked -- if, in fact, you asked. Yeah, I've got a couple of problems...

Read more... (5 comments, 781 words in story)


by Maryscott OConnor Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 at 12:07:37 PM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

The Bush/Paulson Economic Bail Out Proposal is an American Kristallnacht in the making.

So posits a DKos diarist named Mr. Tek.

And before anyone starts screaming about Godwin's Law and the Jewish persecution of Kristallnacht... THIS IS ABOUT ECONOMICS. As was Kristallnacht, as Tek's essay explains.

I have taken the liberty of editing Tek's piece for spelling, grammar, syntax and punctuation, and emphasising elements of the essay I feel are important to the historical parallel. I've also reproduced only that part of the essay I believe relevant to the argument.

Read more... (20 comments, 1407 words in story)


by Maryscott OConnor Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 09:31:43 AM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

The Bush Administration has presented Congress with a hurriedly created "LEGISLATIVE PROPOSAL FOR TREASURY AUTHORITY TO PURCHASE MORTGAGE-RELATED ASSETS" and now expects it to be voted on and passed with all the expedience and passivity it received when it presented its last two disastrously precipitous cartes blanche: the Iraq War Resolution and the Patriot Act.

Congress must refuse. This is another Patriot Act, another Iraq War Resolution moment. Stand FIRM, Democrats.

Read more... (5 comments, 654 words in story)

The American Bail Out Proposals: Sanders v Bush

by Maryscott OConnor Sun Sep 21st, 2008 at 03:52:47 AM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

DIGG THIS, please

UPDATE: The Bush Administration has handed in an utterly heinous proposal for the bail out, as I surmised in -- my ruminations on Sanders's brilliant proposal below his text...


... making Bernie Sanders's proposal all the more attractive and even more NECESSARY a consideration. The Democrats in Congress cannot ignore Sanders's proposal given the outright power grab that Paulson's proposal clearly is.

Sanders Op-Ed: Billions for Bailouts! Who Pays?


By Senator Bernie Sanders

The current financial crisis facing our country has been caused by the extreme right-wing economic policies pursued by the Bush administration.  These policies, which include huge tax breaks for the rich, unfettered free trade and the wholesale deregulation of commerce, have resulted in a massive redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the very wealthy.  

The middle class has really been under assault.  Since President Bush has been in office, nearly 6 million Americans have slipped into poverty, median family income for working Americans has declined by more than $2,000, more than 7 million Americans have lost their health insurance, over 4 million have lost their pensions, foreclosures are at an all time high, total consumer debt has more than doubled, and we have a national debt of over $9.7 trillion dollars.

While the middle class collapses, the richest people in this country have made out like bandits and have not had it so good since the 1920s.  The top 0.1 percent now earn more money than the bottom 50 percent of Americans, and the top 1 percent own more wealth than the bottom 90 percent.  The wealthiest 400 people in our country saw their wealth increase by $670 billion while Bush has been president.  In the midst of all of this, Bush lowered taxes on the very rich so that they are paying lower income tax rates than teachers, police officers or nurses.

Now, having mismanaged the economy for eight years as well as having lied about our situation by continually insisting, "The fundamentals of our economy are strong," the Bush administration, six weeks before an election, wants the middle class of this country to spend many hundreds of billions on a bailout.  The wealthiest people, who have benefited from Bush's policies and are in the best position to pay, are being asked for no sacrifice at all.  This is absurd.  This is the most extreme example that I can recall of socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor.

In my view, we need to go forward in addressing this financial crisis by insisting on four basic principles:

Read more... (18 comments, 1300 words in story)

Bill Maher Is Wrong

by Maryscott OConnor Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 10:44:48 AM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

Bill Maher is wrong about religious people when he says they are all either deluded, crazy, intellectually lazy or just plain stupid...

... and I say that as an atheist who thinks religion is responsible for more evil than anything else in human history, that all religions are plain fucking crazy and that most religious people are either deluded, crazy, intellectually lazy or just plain stupid.

Important distinction.

Read more... (20 comments, 871 words in story)

American Liberalism

by Maryscott OConnor Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 10:43:55 AM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

Original Title: "Why We Are Liberals" -- thought perhaps confusing in this EuroTrib environment, so I changed it to protect the innocent.

Over the past several years I've become convinced that the ways we classify political beliefs and ideologies (or perhaps the very definitions themselves) are in dire need of revamping. For instance...

What's a "conservative?" Used to be there was a standard reply to that query, one that included the paeans to "small government, low taxes, laissez-faire" portraits of the federal government. Nowadays, however, when I think of a "conservative," I think of a bizarre hybrid, a "free trader" crossed with a would-be Puritan, whose ideal federal government micromanages the individual's private affairs, but still uses a hands-off approach in dealing with corporatism...

The same could be said of "Republican" -- is there a shorthand descriptor of a Republican today? Aside from the fact that people like me use it as a one-size-fits-all epithet, I cannot think of anything that remains of the old definitions of Republicanism. Certainly there are, as there have always been, different subsets among the whole -- but if you had to distill its essence, how would you describe a "Republican?"

And how about a "Democrat?" What does a Democrat stand for? Is there a quick sound bite that aptly summarises what it means to be a Democrat? ("Not a Republican" seems to be it, nowadays.) How about a "liberal?"

Here are some of the definitions of "liberal" that I'm happy to claim:

Read more... (35 comments, 1789 words in story)

Absit Omen

by Maryscott OConnor Fri Sep 12th, 2008 at 12:50:44 AM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

"I have a dream that my four little children
will one day live in a nation where they
will not be judged by the color of their skin
but by the content of their character."
This election marks a potential turning point in American history. The American people will either elect the first black President, following the dictates of logic, self-interest and absolute common sense... or they will elect John McCain and prove that at least a slim majority of the voters in this nation are ignorant fools, religious extremists, blind believers of the partisan propaganda of the right wing, outright racists -- or some horrifying combination of those descriptors.

Read more... (11 comments, 1577 words in story)

Call the Spade a Bloody Shovel

by Maryscott OConnor Thu Sep 11th, 2008 at 02:30:19 PM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

Photobucket Image Hosting

To call a spade a bloody shovel means more than speaking plainly; rather, it means saying something that is true but unpalatable -- or impolitic.

During an otherwise stellar appearance on David Letterman's show last night, Barack Obama missed an opportunity to deliver a kidney punch to John McCain. In my view, this missed opportunity vividly exemplifies a weakness in the election style Democrats have used over the past three decades.

(I'm not saying Obama's campaign exemplifies this style; to the contrary, despite a few missteps -- and who among us could do better? I submit that, given the fact that Barack Obama has steamrolled over every obstacle thus far, this man just might know better than anyone how to correct the Democratic Party's mistakes of the past and finally, FINALLY beat these bastards in this rigged game. But I'm making a point here, so... bear with me.)

Letterman asked, and I'm paraphrasing,

"If you'd been able to pick your Vice-Presidential running mate after McCain picked Palin, would you have chosen differently?"

Obama answered -- and again, I'm paraphrasing:

"I chose the person I want in the room with me, giving me wise advice and different points of view..."

Intelligent, cogent and sincere.

But I think he should have phrased it thusly:

"Maybe this is another difference between Senator McCain and me:

I didn't pick my running mate because I thought he would help me WIN; I picked him because I thought he would help me GOVERN."

Stark, simple and true. Did John McCain pick Sarah Palin because he thought she was the best of all possible candidates for the role of Vice-President in a McCain Administration?

The very suggestion is a joke. Nobody could make that suggestion with a straight face unless he worked for McCain or Fox News. McCain picked Palin to help him win the election.

Just one more in an endless series of proofs that John McCain's campaign slogan of "Country First" is an empty, shallow and insulting lie.

Read more... (5 comments, 1958 words in story)

Taking McCain's POW Experience "Lightly"

by Maryscott OConnor Fri Sep 5th, 2008 at 01:48:04 PM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

My Father Before His Death
at Khe Sanh
on February 8, 1968

Someone on a this blog accused me of borrowing from the Republican playbook by "making light" of McCain's POW experience and torture with the phrase "...languished, lamentably, tortured in a POW camp, while John Kerry earned those Purple Hearts in combat."

My response was as follows:

As the daughter of a man who was killed in Vietnam, I do not take lightly ANYONE's service in war. Ever. As the daughter of a man who was killed in Vietnam, I do not take lightly ANYONE's service in war. Ever.

I do, however, take seriously and personally the outrageous mockery and derision THEY heaped upon John Kerry's bravery and honourable service in that same war.

LANGUISHING in a POW camp is NOT something to be taken lightly.

Please note the definition:

Read more... (6 comments, 508 words in story)

Red Fish, Blue Fish -- Old Fish, New Fish

by Maryscott OConnor Thu Sep 4th, 2008 at 06:19:58 PM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

This Is the Face of the Republican Party:

 For the last few days, the same group of indistinguishable sweaty white people who gathered in New York in 2004 -- and plastered purple bandaids on themselves to mock the military service of John Kerry and the wounds that merited his three Purple Heart medals -- have spent their time in St. Paul at their 2008 convention alternately worshipping their own war hero (who languished, lamentably, tortured in a POW camp, while Kerry fought in that war, earning those Purple Hearts in combat) -- and jeering the candidacy and accomplishments of Barack Obama and his millions of Democratic followers.

On the face of it, the Grand Old Party looks to be having a good old time in St. Paul. A grand old party, in fact. Laughter, after all, is the best medicine, right? Sure is... And god knows, we're all in need of some sort of a cure.

But the contrast between the two political conventions held this summer could not be more stark, and while there will always be a substantial segment of the population ready to fall for the re-constituted manure these folks have packaged and are handing out in their pitifully tiny venue in St. Paul -- their medicine won't work. Laughing at someone is never as powerful as laughing with someone. And we all know it.

Read more... (14 comments, 893 words in story)

Between Hope & Despair

by Maryscott OConnor Fri Aug 29th, 2008 at 06:10:36 AM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

Her voice was so low that at first he could not make out what she said. Then he made it out. She was saying that she thought she could get well again if children believed in fairies.

Peter flung out his arms. There were no children there, and it was night time; but he addressed all who might be dreaming of the Neverland, and who were therefore nearer to him than you think: boys and girls in their nighties, and naked papooses in their baskets hung from trees.

"Do you believe?" he cried.

Tink sat up in bed almost briskly to listen to her fate.

She fancied she heard answers in the affirmative, and then again she wasn't sure.

"What do you think?" she asked Peter.

"If you believe," he shouted to them, "clap your hands; don't let Tink die."

Many clapped.

Some didn't.

A few beasts hissed.

The clapping stopped suddenly; as if countless mothers had rushed to their nurseries to see what on earth was happening; but already Tink was saved.

Read more... (6 comments, 813 words in story)

AMERICAN DESPAIR: Watching the River Flow

by Maryscott OConnor Thu Aug 28th, 2008 at 02:47:50 PM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

Adam and I are hardened old cynics at this point.

But Terry was born on December 7th, 1999. He has never NOT KNOWN a time when George W. Bush wasn't President.

And we've been sitting on the couch after Adam gets home from work, watching the DVR playback of the convention highlights... both of us WEEPING LIKE CHILDREN. Holding hands, looking at each other occasionally, realising that we LOST OUR GODDAMNED COUNTRY when they stole that election... and we knew it, we knew we knew it, but we DIDN'T KNOW what we didn't know.

Oh, we railed, we thundered at the television, we shushed each other because the baby was sleeping, then we'd go out to the patio and whisper-shout at the heavens at the INJUSTICE of it all...

But we just DIDN'T REALISE what would happen -- HOW COULD WE???

And we sit on the couch watching this Democratic Convention...

And we weep.

Read more... (8 comments, 553 words in story)

Olbermann: Retire the "Special Comment"

by Maryscott OConnor Wed Aug 20th, 2008 at 02:35:43 PM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

Keith Olbermann is very good at soundbite polemic; the rise in popularity of Countdown has as least as much to do with his inarguably charming personality as with Olbermann's ability to transform complex issues of modern political science into televised Reader's Digest versions both palatable and comprehensible to today's harried and confused American citizen.

Olbermann's genuinely outraged Special Comments -- the ones he aimed at Bush when he first started offering them on Countdown -- were things of beauty.

Lately, however, they've lost their impact. It started with the one he aimed at Hillary Clinton. They have become, successively, less effective with each attempt.

If he wishes to preserve the power of this particular element in his arsenal, if indeed it remains salvageable, Keith Olbermann ought to retire the "Special Comment." He must reserve its use for the truly heinous, the truly momentous, the truly "Special" -- or risk its becoming yet another Countdown number, no more nor less notable or effective a propaganda tool than the "Worst Persons" or "Bushed."

Read more... (16 comments, 1016 words in story)

John Edwards: Take Your Medicine and Then GO AWAY [Updated]

by Maryscott OConnor Sun Aug 10th, 2008 at 03:40:41 PM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

During a brief, albeit seismic argument with my husband this afternoon about l'affaire Edwards, some ideas crystallised; I realised just how cataclysmic the effect on Obama will be -- in very short order -- if John Edwards does not step up to the proverbial plate and take full responsibility for the entire goddamned mess. Right fucking now.

And that means take the damned DNA test and let the genes fall where they may.

Read more... (18 comments, 685 words in story)

The Olympics: To Boycott or Not

by Maryscott OConnor Sat Aug 9th, 2008 at 01:01:49 PM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

I watched One Day in September a few weeks ago on HBO, despite my almost pathological aversion to films about painful historical events.

(Which is not to say I don't eventually get around to watching them; I just procrastinate. It took me two years to watch "Hotel Rwanda", a year to see "Blood Diamond." I did manage to see "Schindler's List" while it was still in the theatre, but only because my friend dragged me. And I've still never seen "The Sorrow and the Pity", but please, it's sixteen years longer than the war.)

Yes, I've buried the lede.

Read more... (9 comments, 706 words in story)

TIME Magazine: Oh, Come the fuck ON

by Maryscott OConnor Fri Aug 8th, 2008 at 12:42:47 PM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

I hate the McCain "THE ONE" ad as much as any of us, but IT IS NOT calling Obama THE FUCKING ANTI-CHRIST!!!!

That's just what some outraged Christian supporters of the Democratic nominee are claiming John McCain's campaign did in an ad called "The One" that was recently released online. The Republican nominee's advisers brush off the charges, arguing that the spot was meant to be a "creative" and "humorous" way of poking fun at Obama's popularity by painting him as a self-appointed messiah. But even this innocuous interpretation of the ad -- which includes images of Charlton Heston as Moses and culled clips that make Obama sound truly egomaniacal -- taps into a conversation that has been gaining urgency on Christian radio, political blogs, and in widely-circulated email messages that accuse Obama of being the Antichrist.

Read more... (49 comments, 257 words in story)

Hillary Clinton Will Not Disrupt the Convention

by Maryscott OConnor Thu Aug 7th, 2008 at 11:14:08 PM EST

Crossposted from MY LEFT WING

Okay, I just caught up on all the "Hilary's going to try to get to get nominated!" nonsense news, and here's my take: It's bullshit.

She's not a fucking idiot. I saw the so-called "smoking gun" undercover video, and the only thing it "proves" is that she has absolutely no such plans whatsoever. In fact, she disowns the damned "plans."

Read more... (28 comments, 520 words in story)
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