The Republic of T.

Black. Gay. Father. Vegetarian. Buddhist. Liberal.

Digest for August 28th through August 30th

Here are some of the people writing about some of the stuff I wish I had time to write about, for August 28th through August 30th:

  • Amy Goodman: Workers Feel the Pain of Bain – Truthdig

    "Four hardy souls from rural Illinois joined tens of thousands of people undeterred by threats of Hurricane Isaac during this week’s Republican National Convention. They weren’t among the almost 2,400 delegates to the convention, though, nor were they from the press corps, said to number 15,000. They weren’t part of the massive police force assembled here, more than 3,000 strong, all paid for with $50 million of U.S. taxpayer money. These four were about to join a much larger group: the more than 2.4 million people in the past decade whose U.S. jobs have been shipped to China. In their case, the company laying them off and sending their jobs overseas is Bain Capital, co-founded by the Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

    We met the group at Romneyville, a tent city on the outskirts of downtown Tampa, established by the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign in the spirit of the Hoovervilles of the Great Depression. A couple hundred people gathered before the makeshift stage to hear speakers and musicians, under intermittent downpours and the noise of three police helicopters drowning out the voices of the anti-poverty activists. Scores of police on bicycles occupied the surrounding streets."

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  • Paul Ryan wants to imbue partisan politics with the moral weight of the Cold War.

    "Paul Ryan's speech last night was built substantially around willful distortions of the facts, as recounted by my colleague David Weigel. And certainly if Will Saletan was disgruntled by Ryan's Medicare flim-flam yesterday morning he can't be happy now.

    But floating above all that is a larger theme, that I also think is wrong, but in a more interesting way than blaming Obama for the closure of a General Motors plant that actually closed when George W. Bush was in office. This is Paul Ryan's vision of the big choice in the election. Now don't get me wrong. The choice is a big one, as are most presidential elections. Politics is important stuff and the stakes are pretty high. Still, post-1970 American politics basically always gives you the same choice. In Column A the market liberalism of the Republican Party and in Column B the social liberalism of the Democratic Party. But Ryan sees instead an apocalyptic clash between freedom and tyranny:"

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  • Yes, GOP, ‘We Built It.’ But Not Alone. – In These Times

    "Listening to the RNC rhetoric, I thought: I could be the poster child for the “We Built It” theme. Without inherited wealth, without financial banking, I founded a small business in 1984 on my wits alone that I have run continuously and successfully for the past 28 years.

    The Republicans appear to think so, too, as they call me at least once a month asking for money and spouting some screed about Obama's secret Muslim plot.

    However, like Chris Christie's, my momma always told me to face the truth, and the truth is that I–like everyone else in this country–am not the sole author of my accomplishments."

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  • We Read the Republican Platform So You Don’t Have To | Swampland | TIME.com

    "“Have you ever met anybody who has read the party platform?” John Boehner scoffed Monday. “I’ve not ever met anybody.” Boehner has a point. The 2012 Republican platform is neither widely read nor binding. But it is an important document, a dense statement of first principles and an antidote to a campaign waged with abstractions. It bears the fingerprints of two men, neither of whom is Mitt Romney. Above all, it’s an official marker of just how conservative the GOP has become. Here are five things you should know about the new GOP platform:"

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  • Race baiting at the RNC – Salon.com

    "Today, despite the fact that most people on welfare are white, most Americans think the majority of welfare recipients are black. So when Newt Gingrich calls President Obama the “food stamp president,” the implicit story he’s telling is that our nation’s first black president is giving handouts to other black people. Just like Romney can deny his birth certificate joke was a bone tossed to birthers, that’s just how voters heard it. And in politics, as in civil rights law, unjust impact can trump even virtuous intent.

    At the same time, studies show that most white people think black folks are less committed to hard work than they are. So when Republicans use “We did build that!” as their new refrain, repeated in Romney and Ryan’s stump speeches and by almost every speaker at the RNC so far — sure, part if not most of the message is to perpetuate the myth of private sector bootstrapping and public sector irrelevance. But that’s not all. Stories have subplots, and this subplot is about race."

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  • Not Your Grandma’s Republican Party

    "The Republican National Convention released its platform yesterday during the big opening day of its weeklong event—only slightly punctuated by the weather—and to no one’s surprise, it was chock-full of regressive policy ideas that seek to push the United States back a few decades or centuries. But it wasn’t always that way. The Prospect dug through the history books and found the parts of past Republican Party platforms that the current members don’t care to remember—and that we think are pretty great. Below are some of the best ideas the GOP ever promulgated. "

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  • “You are playing the ethnic card” – Salon.com

    "Some Republicans have been shocked, shocked when I’ve referred to Romney and Paul Ryan as “white and whiter,” or noted that nine out of 10 Republicans, according to Gallup, are white, in a country that’s only 63 percent white. They think it’s unfair to note that racial disparity and insist it’s Democrats who are playing the race card.

    That’s why it was so interesting to read in the New York Times Sunday that Republican strategists are admitting (anonymously, of course) that the Romney campaign is very concerned about its inability to close the deal with a crucial component of its base: working-class whites. He’s “heading into his nominating convention with his advisers convinced he needs a more combative footing against President Obama in order to appeal to white, working-class voters,” and so he “has added a harder edge … injecting volatile cultural themes into the race.”

    Ya think?"

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  • 6 Right-Wing Zealots and the Crazy Ideas Behind the Most Outrageous Republican Platform Ever | Alternet

    "The official 2012 Republican Party platform is a far-right fever dream, a compilation of pouting, posturing and policies to meet just about every demand from the overlapping Religious Right, Tea Party, corporate, and neo-conservative wings of the GOP. If moderates have any influence in today’s Republican Party, you wouldn’t know it by reading the platform. Efforts by a few delegates to insert language favoring civil unions, comprehensive sex education and voting rights for the District of Columbia, for example, were all shot down. Making the rounds of right-wing pre-convention events on Sunday, Rep. Michele Bachmann gushed about the platform’s right-wing tilt, telling fired-up Tea Partiers that “the Tea Party has been all over that platform.”

    Given the Republican Party’s hard lurch to the right, which intensified after the election of Barack Obama, the “most conservative ever” platform is not terribly surprising. But it didn’t just happen on its own. Here are some of the people we can thank on the domestic policy front. "

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