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Just the usual housekeeping before we get to the news:

I’m having difficulty with some blogs these days regarding comments. They seem to be all Blogger platforms and the ones that include a comment box on the initial page. They are not taking my WordPress address nor an open-ID, and when I finally clear through Google, then I have to copy the silly word, and then another window, and well, I’m not getting through and it’s taking me forever. Dusty, Dr. McGrath and Ahab, I’ve had difficulty on all your blogs. Sorry. It’s my dial-up no doubt.

Oh and by the by, the book at right? I’m not endorsing. Just said what I wanted to say.

Speaking of which, we spend a lot of time defining the Right, the neo-cons, the cons, the teabaggers, the wacko religious right, etc. Well they define us too. Frankly, I’m not at all sure what I am. I am wayyyyyyy liberal. Does that make me liberal, left, progressive, socialistic,  anarchistic, or what?

Dissent Magazine has a good article that helps define what the progressive movement entails today. Do stop by and read. A thoroughly excellent essay.

We know who the TeaBaggers are: white, middle-class and older. We know what they want: stay out of my pocket at all costs. What do they think about foreign policy? World Affairs Journal, suggests it’s still pretty much any body’s guess. A series of interviews with “average teabaggers and the candidates that seek to woo them.

The Contract with America has morphed into the Pledge to America but nothing much has changed. The GOP is still about returning America to the glory years of tax cuts for the rich, and rugged individualism that leaves the have-nots still having not while the haves roll in luxury. Steven Benen from Washington Monthly has a good review with plenty of opinions from all the relevant pundits.

If there is anything that touches the progressive heart, it’s inequality. AlterNet provides an excellent essay with plenty of links, including one to a series at Slate, about immigration and the fallacy that undocumented workers have wreaked havoc on the American economy. Quite the opposite is true, and those TeaBaggers who claim that immigrants are draining their pockets are just plain wrong and ill-informed. Nothing new there is there?

Most of us, all of us who are rational compassionate people that is, were really pissed at the usual GOP stonewall of DADT yesterday in filibustering the Senate Appropriations bill. The usual excuses for “just say no” were given by the usual suspects. Rachel Maddow dismantles them all with actual FACTS. Read it, and contact a stonewalling GOPer near you and vent your displeasure.

If you ever wanted to take a test about critical reading, having I got the test for you! Take a gander at the National Review‘s “scientific” analysis of empathy and then at the amazing conclusions they come to. A number of key things to tease out here:

  • sympathy is a relative term — yes and it’s the entire basis of your conclusions
  • note that the differences in absolutes is extremely small between “liberals and conservatives”
  • note the use of “some” of these “could” serve. . .
  • similarly, one “might” and they “might”
  • use of a Pew poll to suggest that conservatives are more patriotic than liberals. The question was “do you feel more patriotic than the average American?” That is not at all the same thing. This poll measured arrogance of belief, not actual patriotic feeling.
  • “one whose sympathies. . . . is “probably” more likely. . . .
  • “while such causality is hard to establish. . .  .” and then they go ahead and establish it.
  • “some part of differences. . . might explain.”

What we have here, is just a hodgepodge of interesting data and someone sitting down and seeing what they “might” argue from the evidence. Beware!