Why are you here?

This is worth a read for everyone….bloggers and commenters alike.

Though we argue and debate, at times with great passion, we also care for and take care of each other, and that’s part of the charm of the place.

Until we don’t.

When I see comments filled with ALL CAPS, shouting at others, I cringe. I didn’t come here for the screaming, whether I agree with the screamer or not.

When I see people being insulted and called “capos,” it’s not just a violation of Godwin’s Law, but an offense against the community. I didn’t come here to be insulted or to see insults slung around.

And when I see anyone except Jane claiming to speak for all of FDL, I laugh. Even (as I look upwards in this post and see my thoughts about “we” at FDL) when I’m the one doing it.

For a community to not simply survive, but thrive, there must be mutual respect — especially between those who disagree with one another.

For the record, I started Blogging Blue – and I’ve kept it going all these years – for the community, not because I wanted to hurl insults at folks I don’t agree with politically. I understand as much as anyone that the folks who read blogs tend to be far more passionate about politics than the average person, but we can disagree passionately without the need to resort to insults, name-calling, and downright nastiness.

Perhaps I’ve been too lenient in allowing folks to get away with behaving badly, but from now on I’m going to be taking a much closer look at things, because I want Blogging Blue to be a community, not just a bunch of proverbial “monkeys flinging poo” at each other.

I know we can do better than that, and I challenge each of you to do better than that.

Gun Follies I

Guns in shooting being tested after Jackson State University student fatally shot.

Eighty-year old felon, with two prior convictions of holding a gun as felon, shoots alleged burglar.

Jailers overlook gun on suspect while booking him into Athens-Clarke County jail.

Authorities say Montana man arrested for attempting to bring four loaded semi-automatic handguns past security at Sacramento International airport.

Woman at gun range event where presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, was showing off his target shooting skills says, “Pretend it’s Obama.”

Gun sales going nuts as President Obama’s re-election odds improve.

New report released: Protect Children, Not Guns 2012. Cites 5,740 children killed by guns in 2008-2009.

Those with guns think others are armed too.

New Magazine for Conservative Teens! [UPDATED]

Ewwwww

Although the magazine is no longer available for free online, Wonkette was kind enough to post screenshots of some of the ads and articles from the first issue. And it is… honestly, I wish I were funny enough to make this stuff up, but I think even Raw-era Eddie Murphy would be hard-pressed to come up with this material. There is an article that claims that The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a parable for young conservatives reshaping America. There is an article explaining why abstinence works (because it increases the chances of having a successful, stable marriage later in life) and how you can make it work for you (presumably, by spending every waking minute assaulting your genitals like you are a mob boss and they owe you money). There is even an article titled “Understanding Liberals,” which I like to imagine is accompanied by a drawing of a nebbishy, Woody Allen look-alike spearing an infant with a harpoon.

I hope it comes with a barf bag.

UPDATE: If you have a strong stomach, you can view the whole first issue on Scribd here.  Enjoy!

Red State Economics

Public-sector job losses don’t count.

Except when they do.

One way to dramatize just how severe our de facto austerity has been is to compare government employment and spending during the Obama-era economic expansion, which began in June 2009, with their tracks during the Reagan-era expansion, which began in November 1982.

Start with government employment (which is mainly at the state and local level, with about half the jobs in education). By this stage in the Reagan recovery, government employment had risen by 3.1 percent; this time around, it’s down by 2.7 percent. [NOTE: That’s a net difference of 5.8%!]

Next, look at government purchases of goods and services (as distinct from transfers to individuals, like unemployment benefits). Adjusted for inflation, by this stage of the Reagan recovery, such purchases had risen by 11.6 percent; this time, they’re down by 2.6 percent. [NOTE: A net difference of 14.2%]

And the gap persists even when you do include transfers, some of which have stayed high precisely because unemployment is still so high. Adjusted for inflation, Reagan-era spending rose 10.2 percent in the first 10 quarters of recovery, Obama-era spending only 2.6 percent. [NOTE: A net difference of 7.6%]

Frankly, conservatives just don’t understand economics anymore.  They lost that ability when they pledged fealty to Friedman and the “Free Marketeers.”  They’ve forgotten that GDP is a simple formula:

\mathrm{GDP} =<br />
C + I + G + \left ( \mathrm{X} - M \right )

GDP = Consumption + Investment + Government Spending + Net Exports

They’ve forgotten that we’re all in this together, as a nation.  We’re more than a base collection of atomized individuals of Ayn Rand fantasy novels, we’re a people, a nation, a society and we’re fucking it all up because we’ve lost sight of that.

Lori Compas plans to start collecting nomination signatures on Saturday, 3/31!

Lori Compas anticipates that her election will be certified this Friday, 3/30/12. Once certified, she will begin collecting nomination signatures on Saturday, 3/31 (which will coincide nicely with her office openings).

If you’d like to volunteer to help collect signatures, sign up here.

Keep up with the Compas campaign by visiting www.loricompas.org.

Go, Lori, go!

Forward, Wisconsin, indeed!

Verify the Recall – case study

Yesterday, we discussed the story local reporters are turning on their own to show themselves as hero's. The various papers editors, many of whom proudly endorsed scott walker, are now “disciplining” data entry persons who signed the recall petition.

I have said since the beginning, that “Verify the Recall” was never ever meant to “make sure the process was fair”. VTR was officially started to have a searchable database of people who signed the petition to allow them to be bullied, harassed and intimidated. The idea is to make sure no one ever wants to sign a recall petition again. Last night I had a discussion on Facebook with Ken Brown of the Racine "tea party". Here Mr. Brown lays out exactly how they plan to use VTR.

Ken Brown I am thrilled Jeff that every one of those petition signers name will be on the list. so in a year or 2 or 10 they decide to run for School Board, judge or whatever and try to PRETEND to be a “Conservative” we’ll be able to look up their names and call BullS**t on them. 6 of our 9 school Board members signed the recall 5 of our 15 Alderman signed it too! that Woman in the Hamilton district who signed her name falsely and then denied it afterward to a constituent.

Jeff Simpson Ken I have searched VTR and I can not find the names Paul Ryan or Tommy Thompson on the list and both of them claim to be conservative….how should we handle that?

Ken Brown No but you did find 29 judges….a few dozen newspaper folks who work for Gannett; a guy in Racine and Kenosha who single-handedly is accused of 60 or more fraudulent petition signatures, including minors, and deceased individuals. Also a School board member from Hamilton ashamed to print her own name correctly, and then deny her own fraud to a citizen she represents. But i expect as time goes on the next tough on crime” judge in Milwaukee or Waukesha, Racine or Kenosha will tremble a bit that someone will look up their name in the database. I have made a bookmark and I’ll be looking for every trustee, School Board, Alderman, Mayoral candidate etc.

Ken Brown LOL Jeff, As for the Mrs.” Kristense or rather “Kristensen”..it’s one thing to leave off a letter…but when challenged by the constituent in her district and then deny having signed…only to call back the next day and confess..tells me she was being fraudulent and deceptive. The DA can decide if it’s worth exploring further and whether to charge her. As for a School board supporting Walker Many of them do.. (In fact Mrs K. told the constituent that she DID support Walkers Act 10…before she confessed the next day to trying to recall him) . But those are my thoughts; Ke Brow :).

Jeff Simpson ken did you run to the DA when you saw her name misspelled according to you?

Ken Brown I did not..Belling did though…I heard him discuss the issue on the radio yesterday. in fact one person called in during th eshow..and I suspect it was in fact Mrs. “Kristense”. but the caller didn’t use that name in the call..I also believe Mark Belling suspected it was her as well..since he spent an inordinate amount of time with her on the line. He seldom does that unless he’s got a “Fish on”…like yesterday. I’m not sure if the podcast is still available but it was the 2nd hour I believe on Mondays show.

Ken Brown I did though report the fraud I found to the proper DA’s in Racine and Kenosha. If I find more I’ll report on it and if needed I’ll have it investigated by authorities. The GAB encouraged us to contact authorities in the counties where the fraud was suspected to have occurred.

The “tea party” now has plans to run to the VTR everytime anyone speaks up in public. Thus proving that Scott Walker did not only divide the state last year, he has divided our state for many years to come. Unfortunately, the newspapers in our state have played right into VTR’s plan.

The one flaw that the newspapers and “teahadists” have overlooked is, that everyone who signed the recall petitions are not far left liberals. There are many people who do not like the way that Scott Walker has divided our state by being so dishonest, there are others who think his demonizing of public workers was inexcusable, while there are others who know he is John Doe and do not want to people who would break the law like that to be our Governor.

Finally since I like to compare/contrast here we go.

While the “tea party” and their partners the editors of our papers in Wisconsin attack, “out” and “discipline” people who signed the recall petition, Here is someone we know for sure did NOT sign the recall petitions. Which according to Richard Roesgen, Scott Milfred, Kevin Corrado, John Smalley, Genia Lovett and Mark Treinen makes Dennis Petrie supremely qualified to be an objective reporter:

“When they opened the pick up truck they found a loaded .357 in the driver’s area of the truck, a rifle and ultimately an AR-15 assault rifle under a tree in the yard,” said Capt. Adams. (Sorry the news report has disappeared this morning but there were also two “stand with scott walker signs in Mr. Petrie’s yard along with a NO TRESPASSING sign).

O yea, this guy also did NOT sign a recall petition. I guess because his day job of being a consultant to BP oil kept him too busy. Those oil spills that devastate communities need lots of consulting work. If he ever gives up that gig, he can join any paper in the state and be an objective reporter.

The Next Time You’re Shopping at Wal-Mart…

or any other big-box retailer who manages their margins by importing ever-cheaper goods from China, remember this image:

Jampa Yeshi, 26, at a rally on Monday in New Delhi against the impending visit to India by China’s president. He later died of his injuries. NYTimes Photo.

The memory of this young man burning to death to protest China’s illegal occupation of Tibet should remain with you while you stroll the well-stocked aisles of happy consumer goods.

This is what we, as a nation, are supporting.