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The Breakfast Club - Wake & Bake Edition

Welcome to The Breakfast Club! We're a disorganized group of rebel lefties who hang out and chat if and when we're not too hungover  we've been bailed out we're not too exhausted from last night's (CENSORED) the caffeine kicks in. Join us every weekday morning at 9am (ET) and weekend morning at 10:30am (ET) to talk about current news and our boring lives and to make fun of LaEscapee! If we are ever running late, it's PhilJD's fault.  

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Hellraisers Journal: In Bangladesh, 200,000 garment workers protesting, factories set ablaze.

You ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes.
-Mother Jones

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Wednesday September 23, 1903
Cripple Creek District, Colorado - All Finns Imported as Strikebreakers Have Escaped

All of the Finns who were imported as strikebreakers last week have now managed to escape from the clutches of the military and the mine owners' gunthugs. They worked under the bayonets of the soldiers, and were forced to scab, but, to their credit, these imported strike breakers were not born to be scabs. They have been provided transportation out of the strike zone by the Western Federation of Miners.

Another rebellious worker, however, was not so lucky. Near the Strong Mine a sentry saw movement in the dark and hollered, "halt." When the the movement did not cease as commanded, the sentry opened fire. Soon all hell broke loose as other sentries joined in, firing off twenty-five shots in all. The movement in the dark turned out to be a burro, now quite dead. Bullets also came flying into two nearby houses, but we are relieved to report that none of the occupants were injured. We cannot say whether the burro was trying to make his escape, or only lost and wandering about. But the incident does point to the risks taken by those attempting to escape from the mining camps of the Cripple Creek District.

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Don't Pretend You Care About These Issues When Defending the President

This is an older piece of mine that appeared on Daily Kos on Thursday December 29, 2011.
 

It's an important one because it destroys the argument you hear from some Obama supporters hoping to deflect the inhumane treatment of whistle blower Bradley Manning. They say that since African Americans in our prison system suffer torture and injustice in our prison industrial complex, then that means what is happening to Bradley Manning is not really an issue. Of course what they don't mention is that yes, African Americans have been and are indeed suffering atrocities in our prison industrial complex, yet they don't want to talk about President Obama continuing this trend and even making it worse even hiring a for profit private prison lobbyists in his Justice Department where some of the worst offenses happen making him involved in the state issue and federal issue.
 

You can see the failed deflections in the comments of that diary and how the truth about this really hit a nerve with some people, whether they claim to be a fake Marxist in a past life making their support of the PIC and neoliberalism OK now under Obama or not. The facts show that they don't really care about these issues when hoping to shield Obama from them in the case of Bradley Manning.

Part of the reason the Occupy movement exists and are out in the streets is because of the massive failures of this Democratic administration and a Democratic Congress. This can't be denied. However, because it can't be denied there are certain implications going around in their defense by those who are in denial about this. They imply that what’s going on with Bradley Manning’s confinement and his sham of a trial doesn't truly matter.

They imply Occupy protesters getting beaten, sprayed, and handcuffed until they get nerve damage doesn't matter because of the fact that African Americans and Latinos have been feeling the brunt of police brutality and a corrupt racist justice system for years. It is very true that African Americans and Latinos have felt the brunt of a corrupt racist justice system for years.

However, these injustices still matter regardless, because as MLK said, "A threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" and that still holds true today. The issues the Occupy movement are fighting for affect all races, especially on income inequality and economic justice. That is an acknowledged fact that can't be denied.

The people of Occupy Wall Street are protesting our country's growing inequality--and nowhere is this inequality more acutely felt than the makeup of our prison population.

Recently at a city council meeting in my home of Jersey City, a 46-year-old formerly incarcerated man told the council, as reported in the Jersey City Independent: "I've served 16 years in prison. I came home three years ago and tried everything possible you can do. I got my high school diploma and a driver's license...The job system failed me."
 

When I went to Occupy Wall Street, my friend carried a sign that read: "Troy Davis would still be alive if he had been rich and white." We had attended a protest earlier that month, when Davis was still alive, where signs and demonstrators proclaimed, "We are Troy Davis."
 

We are Troy Davis. We are the 99 percent.

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Processing the President's Disdain for Due Process

This piece is my most viral piece to date and appeared on Daily Kos on December 15, 2011. It's an ironic diary coming from myself given all the economic pieces I write but I do have range on other issues, too. It's about the NDAA and is still relevant because the US can still indefinitely detain American citizens, and the White House has never been able to properly define the terms "associated forces" among others things with regard to Al Qaeda. Section 1021 can still be used to indefinitely detain American citizens.

You may recognize my illustration about the NDAA as well which is also still relevant.

Not that it should only be a worry if it happens to American citizens. This war on terror George W. Bush league crap that the Obama administration is still peddling, even with its signing statement claiming it won't matter while they are in the White House, assuming, of course, no Republican will ever win an election again. That is ridiculous, insulting, and a major assault on the Bill of Rights. This is further compounded with the White Paper and the Rand Paul filibuster in which he didn't get an answer to his simple question really on how they define the term "engaged in combat" when it comes to whether they can order a drone strike on an American citizen on American soil. This one is still relevant so enjoy.

Processing the President's Disdain for Due Process

That’s right. You know what’s going on.

This administration never threatened to veto the NDAA because of civil liberties concerns. This administration is using the same fear mongering that the Bush administration has used concerning Al Qaeda to codify the unchecked executive power it has claimed erroneously for itself in the exact same way.

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No, This Fiscal Scam Won't Be Different Than 2011. Stop Deluding Yourselves

Of course that can be easy to do with corporate media hacks parading around as "journalists" basically working to preserve the corrupt machine they feed off of. They're feeding people revisionist nonsense about the so called fiscal cliff; nonsense like how because of the President was reelected he has more leverage this time. As if Democrats ever use leverage after they win elections like how they kept funding the Iraq war in 2006 after their opposition to the war gave them those mid term victories. Nancy Pelosi also took impeachment of the war criminal GWB off the table so future war crimes could be committed.

And then in 2008 after winning an unprecedented majority in both Houses of Congress, higher than at anytime leading up to that point on the GOP's end, we were told we didn't have a mandate for progressive polices despite the fact that the right's neoconservative Laissez-faire ideology had been fully discredited.

The Mandate Manipulation Machine Enters Stage Right

As I predicted a while back, the Partisan-Industrial Complex in Washington, D.C. has deployed its quadrennial Mandate Manipulation Machine to make sure that the 65 million Americans who voted for Barack Obama remember that America giving more than 340 electoral votes to an African American billed as a Islamic Marxist terrorist means there is no mandate for real change in this, a country obviously more conservative than ever.
 

A cursory glance at the newspapers today shows the media teeming with stories quoting incoming Obama administration officials, Democratic Party leaders and spokespeople for corporate front groups insisting that actually, no real change can be made, and what small-bore changes can happen, will have to happen in the very distant future, not soon. My favorite was the one-two punch from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Democratic National Committee chair Howard Dean. Upon hearing of his bigger senate majority, Reid said on Tuesday, "This is not a mandate for a political party or an ideology.

And of course we now know that was Democrats' way of telling us they would waste the crisis that elected them, keep TBTF, not prosecute anyone who caused the crash, dump the EFCA, enact Dolecare instead of a public option or Medicare Buy In, and go half ass on all qualitative legislation. This is what actually led up to the mid term losses in 2010. And keep in mind this 2012 election victory doesn't even compare to the victory in 2008.

And yet they tell us we will see a new reinvigorated President and Congress. They tell us they are confident this time. They tell us that this time Democrats know they have a mandate for progress so things will be different than when the debt ceiling debacle made fools of them all. No, this is actually what the White House is telling us; the same thing as after the 2008 election victory now in 2012.

Axelrod: Talk of mandate 'foolish, generally untrue'

Obama senior campaign adviser David Axelrod downplayed talk of an election mandate on the "fiscal cliff" on Thursday.
 

Axelrod said presidents always talk after an election about a mandate, but he called such talk "foolish." President Obama and congressional Republicans are bracing for talks on tax hikes and spending cuts that are now set to be implemented in January.
 

“Everyone’s going to have to come to the table in the spirit of getting things done, but on this issue of particularly the fiscal cliff — presidents always say, ‘I have a mandate'; that's a foolish word and generally untrue,” Axelrod told MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" on Thursday.

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On the Ad Hominem Argument

(reprised from DailyKos.com)
 

I am simply amazed by the number of people here who think that ad hominem arguments are valid -- or maybe what I'm amazed at is the sheer quantity of time they spend making such arguments.  Here I hope to explain, simply, what an ad hominem argument is, and how it functions.

 

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Ad hominem argument, as follows:

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The Missing Debate Within the Debate

Cross posted in Orange and the Stars Hollow Gazette

Our fate, for one, but I know that is really depressing(why I don't write about it as much as I should) because as a whole no party really is going to do anything about it, even the Democratic party who kept the filibuster(despite Sen Merkley and Udall's efforts to even change it to make it less damaging) after whining about it to you asking for money you don't have that you gave them in 2008. But they really wanted all that environmental legislation that died in the Senate to pass. At this point Daryl Hanna is putting up more of a fight in my state of TX and kudos to her for her efforts.

But the Keystone pipeline will be a reality regardless of this election like drill baby drill Obama style(we thought we were voting against that in 2008) if the entire population does not emulate her example. So like Charles Ferguson, director of Inside Job, I'm going to concentrate on other real issues no one really paid attention to in this Presidential debate or general election that could be handled more easily without Congress. That is, if those in charge of running the Department of Justice weren't so pathetically unable to live up to their namesake in the executive branch.

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The Economist via Yves Smith: U.S. Cities May Seek $40 Bln Damages Due to Banks’ LIBOR Fraud

With all the noise being generated throughout the business press about LIBOR-gate (the fraudulent manipulation by many of the world’s largest banks of the London Interbank Offered Rate and the LIBOR-OIS spread), it’s nice to see folks finally getting down to brass tacks and discussing just how much money in damages will be sought out by those adversely affected by the scandal on this side of the pond.

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