Drinking Liberally Yankton Chapter Blog

Monday DL Links

Hi all,

Happy Monday, everybody. Here are some links to start your week:

Charlie Pierce writes about the pushback to the boilerplate legislation produced by far-right American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and obediently passed by so many state legislatures. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/ALEC_in_the_Midwest

Cory at Madville Times has more on ALEC’s influence in the South Dakota legislature over education policy. When ALEC calls the tune, obsequious legislators dance on cue. http://madvilletimes.com/2012/02/hb-1234-blame-alec-for-bad-south-dakota...

Losing teachers to low pay. It’s what’s actually happening in South Dakota, no matter how many denials we get from Gov. Daugaard, the vandals in Pierre, and the bile-spewing anti-education zealots. http://www.keloland.com/NewsDetail6162.cfm/Losing_Teachers_To_Low_Pay/?I...

Rachel Maddow interviews Senator Bernie Sanders about the Republican efforts to discourage and/or disallow voter participation in elections, even as Republicans are the ones who seem to have the problem with conducting honest elections. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/46474811#46474811 The Republican War on Voting continues in South Dakota as well: http://madvilletimes.com/2012/02/hb-1247-gant-gop-weaken-democracy-by-di...

The conservative white men running for President want to ban contraception, and their tribe gets really angry when they’re asked to discuss it in front of normal people: http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/23/10486012-four-white-wea...

Oh lord, we’re going to spend another election year having stupid arguments about gas prices? http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/24/10496075-the-wrong-way-... More here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/02/24/1067897/-Gas-price-rise-has-Rep...

Willard “Mitt” Romney’s “campaign of almost pathological dishonesty”: http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/24/10498938-a-campaign-of-...

Another reason not to trust the hacks at Politico: They mistake the Wisconsin state flag for a union flag in a story where they bash Pres. Obama for having too-close ties to unions. http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/02/politico-gaffe-becomes-organi...

David Atkins discusses modern monetary theory and the decline (hopefully) of the right-wing Austrian School of economics: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/modern-monetary-theory-on-rise-by...

Yet another example of how the austerity measures inflicted upon Greece aren’t working (except to prop up the banksters who made bad loans, and turn Greece into a quasi-colony of the European Union): Forget receiving a salary; Greeks might have to pay for the privilege of working. http://news.yahoo.com/greeks-might-pay-jobs-152039441.html

In other economic news, previously unknown Bretton Woods transcripts were found in the US Treasury library: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/fascinating-find-keynes-speaks.ht...

That’s all for now. Remember to come join us this Tuesday for Drinking Liberally!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7–9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's Brewing Company, downtown Yankton

—Chris

Monday DL Links

Hi all,

Happy Monday, everybody. I hope your week is starting off well. Here are some links to get you going:

Digby has a great post about why libertarians almost always tend to lean and vote conservative: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/free-markets-not-free-love.html The key? "they care more about maintaining traditional, private realms of power than anything else. And that translates to dominance over women in the home and workers in the offices and factories."

The state of Washington now has marriage equality. Three cheers for the Evergreen State! http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Gregoire-signs-same-sex-marriage-bill...

Arizona, laboratory of democracy. Hopefully our legislators will be able to get out of Pierre without sliding this far into the idiot ditch. http://studentactivism.net/2012/02/09/arizona-law-sb-1467-would-make-it-... Charlie Pierce discusses it as part of a national pattern among Republicans: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/states-rights-next-generation-6655...

Yet another example of how austerity programs don’t work. However, that doesn’t seem to be important. What’s important is that enough people suffer until the tycoons in the top 1% determine that the fiscal gods have been appeased. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/15/business/global/portugals-debt-efforts... Charlie Pierce nails it: “Austerity is a theological construct.” http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/austerity-bad-6655671

Virginia Republicans pass a “state-rape” bill, mandating unnecessary, invasive, nonconsensual probes for women who are seeking an abortion: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/state-rape-in-virginia.html Dahlia Lithwick discusses it here: http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2012/02/virginia_ultrasou...

To quote an old Simpsons episode about Fox “news”: “We’re not racist, but were #1 with racists!” http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/cracked-conservatives-foxs-little...

The incomparable Charlie Pierce dissects the raving, resentment-filled campaign speeches by Rick Santorum. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/romney-santorum-2012-6655656

On a lighter note, here’s a small Poetry Corner unrelated to any news event. Enjoy “This Is Just To Say” by William Carlos Williams. http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15535

That’s all for now. Remember to come join us this Tuesday for Drinking Liberally!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7–9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's Brewing Company, downtown Yankton

—Chris

Monday DL Links

Hi all,

Happy Monday, everybody. I hope your week is starting off well. Here are some links to get you going:

For those who watch Fox “news” and scream about voter fraud, we finally have evidence of it actually happening. Indiana’s top election official was convicted of multiple felonies involving voter fraud. Oh, by the way, he’s a Republican. http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/06/10332999-actual-voter-f...

Athenae lights into Ron Paul’s very un-libertarian positions on women’s rights: http://www.first-draft.com/2012/02/silly-women-and-their-silly-need-for-...

From Salon.com: Romney doesn't want to talk specifics about his Mormon faith, but it has defined his image, style and campaign. http://www.salon.com/2012/02/05/the_ultimate_mormon_male/

A Florida Republican forgets to remove the ALEC mission statement from her boilerplate anti-tax bill. Sounds like she’d be right at home in Pierre. http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2012/02/02/417488/florida-gop-alec-forg...

Charlie Pierce takes apart the latest word miasma churned out by David Brooks: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/david-brooks-antipoverty-6652932

Judging by the whining, Wall Street finally seems to be realizing that they can’t make free money by gambling on worthless paper anymore: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/death-rattle-of-mous.html

When people know what’s in their food, the tend to eat healthier. Who could have imagined? http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/02/nanny-state-of-mind.html

Rachel Maddow gives us the Best New Thing in the World: A pro-marriage equality speech from Republican Washington State Representative Maureen Walsh. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26315908/vp/46335749#46335749

Culture Corner (of sorts): When did the middle finger become an offensive gesture? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16916263

That’s all for now. Remember to come join us this Tuesday for Drinking Liberally!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7–9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's Brewing Company, downtown Yankton

—Chris

Monday DL Links

Hi all,

Happy Monday, everybody. Here are some links to start your week, if you’re interested:

Paul Krugman discusses the destructive austerity our lawmakers are imposing. It's not just hurting us now; it's also crippling our future by slashing funding for investment—and education is a key component of investment. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/29/destructive-austerity-usa/ Maddowblog further illustrates the problem when a stimulus meets a counter-stimulus. The maddening thing is that policymakers can avoid this problem. They just choose not to. http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/30/10271494-when-a-stimulu...

In her Debunktion Junction segment, Rachel Maddow broke the fact that the Oglalla Sioux tribe apparently has only 6 days for early voting in South Dakota, as opposed to the 46 days everyone else has.
http://video.msnbc.msn.com/the-rachel-maddow-show/46198182

Soaking the poor: A chart of what the poorest 20% pay in taxes, versus the top 1%, state by state. South Dakota is third worst. As a percentage of their income, the bottom 20% pay 5.8 times as much as the top 1%. That’s not a healthy society—unless you like feudalism. http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/02/soaking-poor-state-state

One more time: Merit pay for teachers does not work. http://madvilletimes.com/2012/02/ravitch-says-merit-pay-never-works-neve... Keep in mind that South Dakota has the lowest teacher pay in the nation. The next lowest state, North Dakota, pays 25% more than we do. Minnesota pays 50% more. http://madvilletimes.com/2011/06/south-dakota-teacher-pay-last-again-63-... But Daugaard’s bait-and-switch has successfully changed the topic. Instead of discussing why we aren’t funding education, Daugaard has us arguing about which teachers are “bad.”

Who doesn’t want to live in an aristocracy? At this rate, we’ll be there soon. We’re already ahead of the British. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/exceptionalism-whos-your-daddy-ed...

Alicublog savages the conservative hatred for the “unworthy” poor: http://alicublog.blogspot.com/2012_02_01_archive.html#760642485954322062...

Rick Santorum’s brilliant health care plan for people who need ridiculously expensive medication so that they don’t, you know, die and stuff: Don’t buy an iPad. http://www.first-draft.com/2012/02/market-price.html

Is pesticide use contributing to mass bee deaths? http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/01/30-9

Kathleen Parker and Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post: Just making stuff up. http://mediamatters.org/blog/201201290004

Finally, from the Historical Department, here’s a letter from a freed slave in 1865, replying to his former master who requested he return: http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/01/to-my-old-master.html

That’s all for now. Remember to come join us this Tuesday for Drinking Liberally!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7–9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's Brewing Company, downtown Yankton

—Chris

Monday DL Links

Happy Monday, everybody. Here are some links to start your week, if you’re interested:

Cory at the Madville Times discusses a Harvard Business Review article that says “merit pay” for teachers doesn’t work. http://madvilletimes.com/2012/01/rep-gibson-totally-against-merit-pay-so...

Governor Daugaard claims that South Dakota should slash education spending back to 1971 levels and somehow magically improve test scores while doing so. Never mind that our current test-obsessed model is a horrible way to educate students. Never mind that the cost of living has gone up tremendously since 1971 (Think you can still buy an average car for $3000?). The Yankton P&D compares and contrasts the Yankton school district in 1971 and today, and comes up with some real numbers to refute Daugaard’s disingenuous attack on education. http://yankton.net/articles/2012/01/28/community/doc4f237c5c590506580782... Note that the number of Special Ed students has incrased 4000% since 1971. You can’t wave a magic bonus at a few math and science teachers and pretend you’ve addressed that issue.

Contracts are sacred—unless the Masters of the Universe decide they want to break those contracts and siphon off more money for themselves. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/23/breach-of-trust/

The first few news items at this Daily Kos post point out something astounding: Willard "Mitt" Romney made no money from working in 2010. It all came from dividends, investments, and interest payments. In other words, Mittens sat on his butt doing nothing while people shoveled millions of dollars at him. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/01/24/1057874/-Abbreviated-Pundit-Rou... How many ordinary Americans can identify with that?

Tennessee rewrites its history textbooks to soften all that impolite slavery talk. (Bonus: The redoubtable Charlie Pierce brings out Clio, Muse of History, and regales us with a doozy of a Thomas Paine quote.) http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/tennessee-founding-fathers-textboo...

Breaking news: Dead people still not voting in South Carolina. Apparently the SC Republican legislature feels there is some question about the issue. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/s-carolina-phony-voter-fraud-zomb...

An Oklahoma legislator wants to ban the use of human fetuses in food. Apparently this sort of cannibalism is a rampant problem in Oklahoma? http://www.first-draft.com/2012/01/makes-me-wonder-more-whats-in-the-wat...

On Fox “news”, financial evangelist Dave Ramsey says President Obama “declared a war on success.” Why, it’s almost as if he’s more a political hack than a financial advisor. http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201201250006

Self-proclaimed fact-checking site Politifact can’t be trusted. They don’t simply rate the truthfulness of statements anymore; that would be “partisan.” They have to contort themselves into pretzels to appear “balanced.” http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/26/10241964-maddow-to-poli... More here: http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/when_calling_out_lies_dont_l...

A progressive radio host from Minnesota writes a thoughtful letter to his “surly Republican friends”: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/01/25/1058593/-An-Open-Letter-to-My-S...

In general, it’s neither good nor fair to keep asset-inflating fiscal policies in place indefinitely. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/pedal-to-metal-is-new-normal-by.h...

In order to improve the economy, Atrios has some thoughts about who governments should be giving free money to instead of Wall Street. http://www.eschatonblog.com/2012/01/free-money.html

That’s all for now. Remember to come join us this Tuesday for Drinking Liberally!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7–9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's Brewing Company, downtown Yankton

—Chris

Snowy Monday DL links

Hi all,

Happy snowy Monday! Here are some links for you, if you’re interested:

Nathan Johnson has a great discussion of the Koch Brothers’—er, I mean Governor Daugaard’s proposals for education: http://nathanvjohnson.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/more-food-for-thought-on-... The Displaced Plainsman adds more: http://thedisplacedplainsman.blogspot.com/2012/01/daugaard-vangard-of-ol...

Speaking of destroying public education, Pennsylvania’s Republican governor starves a local school district of funds, to the point where teachers are working for free—at least temporarily—rather than deny the students an education. I imagine the lesson from this is that we should take advantage of teachers’ dedication to their students, and cut their pay even more? http://video.msnbc.msn.com/the-ed-show/46018299

Dan Froomkin argues that the media should spend more time calling BS when it sees it, and less time currying favor and attempting to be “neutral”: http://blog.niemanwatchdog.org/?p=53

This is why the conservative base has always loved Newt Gingrich: He’s a mean, nasty, racist SOB, and he attacks the people they hate. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/newtie-hates-so-good.html Also, regarding his comment about Andrew Jackson killing America’s enemies,” the eminent historian might want to look up the Trail of Tears. Alternatively, it’s possible he knew exactly what he was saying, and to whom. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_Tears

Remember how concerned Republicans are about voter fraud—so concerned that they want to enact poll taxes and disenfranchise voters? Turns out they care about the sanctity of the vote so much that they can’t even bother to find all the votes to properly declare a winner in their own Iowa caucus. Or do so on time, as their own rules require. http://caucuses.desmoinesregister.com/2012/01/19/register-exclusive-2012... Also: http://2012.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/01/santorum-didnt-win-iowa-by-34-...

Boss Scalia and toady Thomas: still appalling. http://motherjones.com/politics/2012/01/scalia-thomas-cory-maples

Sam Seder interviews Corey Robin, author of The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin. It was a really interesting discussion. You can listen to the archived broadcast from a link at the following site: http://majority.fm/2012/01/17/its-j17-occupy-congress-corey-robin/ Also, here is a link to Mr. Robin’s book, if you’re interested: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/reactionary-mind-corey-robin/1101957755?...

On that topic, behold South Carolina values: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/south-carolina-values-by-davidoat...

On a good note, the Catalina Island Fox is making a comeback from near-extinction: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/feel-good-story-of-dayfoxesthe-no...

For fun: Rachel Madow makes a Millionaire cocktail. http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/01/20/10202878-how-to-make-a-... To accompany it, try a version of Cole Porter’s “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”: http://youtu.be/01E-ouBbDXE

That’s all for now. Remember to come join us this Tuesday for Drinking Liberally!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7–9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's Brewing Company, downtown Yankton

—Chris

DL Links

Hi all,

I hope your week started off well. Here are some links for you to peruse, if you’re interested:

A Montana court does not exactly agree with the Supremes’ odious Citizens United decision. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/montana-citizens-united-6631615

Charlie Pierce gives the execrable David Brooks another well-deserved working over for his latest insipid, hackish tripe about Rick Santorum, religion, Real America™, and What This Means To Us (all us lesser people who are not the illustrious David Brooks, that is). http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/david-brooks-rick-santorum-6632180

On his internet radio show The Majority Report, Sam Seder talked about Occupy Rapid City while discussing various Occupy movements around the country. http://majority.fm/2012/01/05/obamas-recess-appointments-ows-jeff-smith/... The bit about Occupy Rapid City comes about 25:00 into the broadcast. Occupy Rapid City is encouraging the city council to deposit its money in local banks, rather than big national banks: http://madvilletimes.com/2012/01/occupy-rapid-city-pushes-city-council-t... You can listen to Sam Seder’s podcast at the Majority Report website: http://majority.fm/ He regularly has great guests such as Matt Taibbi, Digby, Cliff Schecter, and Katrina van den Heuvel.

Charlie Pierce gives us a brief rundown of the awful government by right-wing governors in the Midwest: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/michigan-emergency-managers-663334...

Mr. Pierce also has a brief post about torture enthusiast John Yoo suddenly finding presidential powers that he finds “unconstitutional”: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/john-yoo-richard-cordray-6633525

Houston-based drilling company pollutes Pennsylvania homeowners’ water with methane and other chemicals, then skips town. I’m sure the taxpayers will pick up the bill. It’s the standard play from the conservative playbook: Privatize the profits, socialize the losses. http://www.eschatonblog.com/2012/01/whats-problem.html

I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but personally I don’t want to be part of a cult that reveres Dennis Daugaard as the “supreme being.” http://www.sddp.org/2012/01/whats-the-point-in-a-legislature/

That’s all for now. Remember to come join us this Tuesday for Drinking Liberally!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7–9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's Brewing Company, downtown Yankton

—Chris

New Year's links

Happy New Year everyone! Here are some links for you to start your week:

David Atkins at the blog Hullabaloo discusses modern conservatism’s longing for feudalism: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/serfdom-and-historical-ignorance-...

David Brooks is a partisan hack, Part MXMCLI. Fortunately, we have Charlie Pierce to take apart the smug, patrician blather of the execrable Mr. Brooks. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/david-brooks-midlife-crisis-662636...

Wonder why everyone inside the Beltway seems so out of touch? It’s because members of Congress have gotten three times richer over the past twenty-five years, while the average family’s net worth has dropped. No wonder Congress spends more time catering to Wall Street and inflicting painful, senseless austerity on 99% of us: Everyone they know and socialize with is fabulously wealthy, unlike the average American family. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/12/27/1049167/-Congress-gets-richer-a...

How is austerity working out in Greece? Not well. But at least our financial overlords have the satisfaction of inflicting virtuous suffering on the common people. That is the only thing that matters in their fiscal morality play. http://www.eschatonblog.com/2011/12/obviously-solution-is.html Also too, Italy! http://www.eschatonblog.com/2011/12/suffering-of-other-people.html Meanwhile, Paul Krugman notes the foolishness and gross political failure of austerity fever: http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/27/the-defeatism-of-depression/...

Charlie Pierce discusses how Willard “Mitt” Romney is the real austerity candidate in this election. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/mitt-romney-anti-entitlement-strat...

Digby looks at Ron Paul’s incoherent libertarianism, and his pre-Civil War view of states’ rights. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/imposing-political-correctness.ht...

The libertarian paradise of Somalia remains a hellhole, and is getting worse. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/somalia-libertarian-paradise-by.h... David Atkins adds more about the “no true libertarianism” fallacy here: http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/no-true-libertarianism-fallacy.ht...

Charlie Pierce dissects a New York Times article about the “Tea Party,” and comes to the blindingly obvious conclusion: There is nothing new about the “Tea Party.” It’s the same old hardcore Republicans with new branding and Uncle Sam/Revolutionary War drag. It doesn’t require an in-depth academic study to see that. In fact, the highfalutin’ study gets the “Tea Party” wrong by trying to find depth where none exists. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/tea-party-book-conclusions-6626383

Once again, conservatives want a government so small it can fit in your uterus. Right-wingers in the South Dakota legislature are planning to bring up the abortion issue. Again. http://madvilletimes.com/2011/12/south-dakota-legislators-mull-fetal-pai... How many times do the voters have to tell them to knock it off? Besides that, doesn’t the legislature have other things to do? Have they solved all the state’s real problems already, to give them time for this cheap trolling for votes and campaign donations?

On a related note, Mitch McConnell does not believe in democracy. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/mitch-mcconnell-elections-havent-w...

That’s all for now. Come join us this Tuesday for Drinking Liberally.

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7–9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's Brewing Company, downtown Yankton

—Chris

Post-Christmas Links and Invite

Hi all,

Happy post-Christmas! Depending upon your situation, you might still be celebrating the holidays or else getting back into the swing of things at work. Correspondingly, here is an eclectic collection of links:

Katha Politt of The Nation magazine writes a frank assessment of the late Christopher Hitchens, which is kind of refreshing after the gushing, fulsome praise of Hitchens from so many people. http://www.thenation.com/blog/165222/regarding-christopher Glenn Greenwald takes the discussion in the direction of how we treat public figures at their deaths: http://www.salon.com/2011/12/17/christohper_hitchens_and_the_protocol_fo...

Republicans are unsatisfied with their choices in the presidential primary, and Charlie Pierce examines the nascent effort to draft Jeb Bush into the race. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/jeb-bush-for-president-2012-661950...

The right-wing, Fox-inspired attack on efficient light bulbs is starting to irk light bulb manufacturers. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/12/19/1046879/-Oooopsy-GOP-attack-on-...

Scott Lemeiux asks why in the world people think Fox “news” is racist. http://www.lawyersgunsmoneyblog.com/2011/12/why-do-all-these-racist-libe...

Charlie Pierce says that in our great American tradition, public displays of religiosity are fair game for criticism and ridicule. http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7369021/fair-game

Mr. Pierce also muses about Christmas, the future, and the hard, noble, unglamorous work of muddling through. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/christmas-in-america-2011-6623185

Politifact jumps the shark. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/20/politifact-r-i-p/ Steve Benen adds more: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2011_12/politifact_oug... Digby notes that Paul Ryan’s crew stuffed Politifact’s ballot boxes—because as we all know, truth is up for a vote. Just like we all vote on whether Newton’s Theory of Gravity is “true” or not. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/paul-ryan-stuffed-ballot-box.html PolitiFact should henceforth be known as PolitiFarce. http://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2011/12/22/politifact_weirdly_unable_t...

Cory at the Madville Times documents TransCanada’s continuing contempt for people who don’t want a foreign company to pollute their land and water. http://madvilletimes.com/2011/12/transcanada-ceo-dismisses-keystone-xl-c...

Digby writes about the narcissism spreading among the Masters of the Universe who run our economy. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/narcissistic-contagion-masters-of... Atrios has a pithy observation about it as well. http://www.eschatonblog.com/2011/12/maybe-do-something-good.html

TPM examines the increasing use of aerial drones in our growing surveillance state. http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/12/one_nation_under_the_d...

Paul Krugman looks at life-saving mercury regulations and notes that it really does matter who holds the White House. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/12/22/the-meaning-of-mercury/

For a little holiday niceness, Digby praises the First Dogs in the White House. Though of course Fox “news” can’t resist making dogs and Christmas cards a partisan issue. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/bo-and-emotion-free-crisis-manage...

Digby examines the difference between the economic philosophy of vulture capitalist Mitt Romney compared to his Depression-era dad. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/daddys-boy.html Apparently the Great Depression taught old-school CEOs a lesson that today’s Ayn Rand-worshipping 1% has forgotten.

That’s all for now. The time between Christmas and New Year’s is the perfect time to come join us for Drinking Liberally. See you there!

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7–9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's Brewing Company, downtown Yankton

—Chris

Post Christmas Party Links

Hi all,

Happy Monday! We had a great turnout at our Drinking Liberally Christmas party last week. About forty festive liberals gathered to share lots of good food and conversation. We hope our many guests will come join us again soon. Don’t wait for next year’s Christmas party to join us, or to bring a friend.

Now, for some pre-Christmas links.

Susan of Texas refutes Newt Gingrich’s idea that poor children are morally inferior, and need to be taught Values™ by assigning them manual labor in adult jobs. The vintage photos Susan uses are excellent. http://agonyin8fits.blogspot.com/2011/12/for-their-own-good.html On the bright side, Newt hasn’t resurrected his old idea that poor children need to be taken from their families and put in orphanages… yet.

North Dakota cops now have military drones for law enforcement. Say what? I think they’re confusing Fargo with Kandahar. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/north-dakota-drones-6614440

To repeat for the thousandth time: Paul Ryan wants to end Medicare. Sadly, Politifact twists itself into a pretzel to deny that simple fact. Fortunately, Charlie Pierce calls them on it. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/paul-ryan-lie-of-the-year-6614245 Note to everyone: Replacing Medicare with a coupon system is, in fact, killing Medicare—not “reform.” Otherwise, you could just as truthfully claim that a German torpedo “reformed” the Lusitania, not sank it.

David Atkins at Hullabaloo provides more evidence that “independents” don’t “swing” from election to election. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/more-evidence-that-independents-d...

Via Atrios, these are the “Jaaaahb Creators” who are running the world’s economies, who we must all bail out lest our economies crash. We serfs owe them a debt of gratitude for their expertise. http://www.eschatonblog.com/2011/12/game.html#disqus_thread

Republicans in Congress are resorting to nullification to hamstring the government. And here I thought we rejected the concept of nullification through that little Civil War thing we had way back when. http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/cfpb-nullification-6614869

Digby at Hullabaloo shows that the modern Republican party isn’t interested in conservatism. It’s interested in following the teachings of Ayn Rand. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/12/odd-randroids-theyre-dead-serious...

MaddowBlog discusses the ongoing GOP war on voting rights: http://maddowblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/14/9440247-the-de-facto-po...

The return of debtor’s prisons. Are people aware that Charles Dickens was a social critic, not writing a blueprint for neo-feudalism? http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2011/12/13/388303/the-return-of-debtors...

How strange: The austerity policy is a disaster in Ireland, despite what all the Very Serious People were saying. That won’t stop them from demanding austerity here and in the rest of Europe, though. If the policy isn’t working, the only logical response is to double down, I guess. http://www.eschatonblog.com/2011/12/by-who.html

Right-wing hatchet man Andrew Breitbart’s website literally uses a Nazi-era anti-Semitic cartoon in his own crusade against the “liberal media.” http://mediamatters.org/blog/201112150019

Finally, for an entertaining take-down of people responsible for our decaying Fourth Estate, here is the Salon.com media hack list of 2011: http://www.salon.com/2011/12/15/welcome_to_the_2011_salon_hack_list/

That’s all for now. Prepare for your holiday festivities, then come join us for Drinking Liberally.

What: Drinking Liberally
When: 7–9pm every Tuesday
Where: Ben's Brewing Company, downtown Yankton

—Chris