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Whose Fault is Obama? (A response to Glenn Greenwald)

First of all, this:

The same White House behavior shaping the debt deal — full embrace of GOP policies and (in the case of Social Security cuts) going beyond that — has been evident in most policy realms from the start. It first manifested in the context of Obama’s adoption of the Bush/Cheney approach to the war on civil liberties and Terrorism, which is why civil libertarians were the first to object so vocally and continuously to the Obama presidency, culminating in this amazing event from mid-2010….

No, Glenn. It first manifested in Obama’s sexism, which was why feminists objected so vocally and continuously long before he was President. (See multiple posts at, e.g., Reclusive Leftist, MadamaB, Electric Blues (now closed), The Confluence in 2008, and yours truly at Acid Test.)

It was only those who think womens’ rights are a special interest who couldn’t see the problem. Time to look in the mirror, and see whose sexism has contributed to the current situation. Acting on the available information could have done some good. In 2008.

Then there’s why the Obama Administration thinks it can continue to get away with betrayal:

In other words: it makes no difference to us how much we stomp on liberals’ beliefs or how much they squawk, because we’ll just wave around enough pictures of Michele Bachmann and scare them into unconditional submission. That’s the Democratic Party’s core calculation: from “hope” in 2008 to a rank fear-mongering campaign in 2012. Will it work? The ones who will determine if it will are the intended victims of that tactic: angry, impotent liberals whom the White House expects will snap dutifully into line no matter what else happens (even, as seems likely, massive Social Security and Medicare cuts) between now and next November.

Liberals are impotent only if they continue to go for the scam. “The other guy will kill more hostages” is not a platform. It’s blackmail.

It’s irrelevant whether more deaths happen under Republicans or whether the gentlemanly blackmailers are Democrats. They’re both working the same situation, so it’s the same scam, even if they’re not working together.

I’ll say up front that if paying off the extortionists actually saved lives, I’m enough of a pointy head that I can see the argument for doing it.

But that’s not what these hostage-takers are doing.

They’re saying that they’ll go on killing people but we better vote for them, because otherwise even more will be destroyed.

Sorry, folks, but that’s not The Deal.

You’re killing everything you were elected to save. And your concept of how to get my support is to scare me with some other set of criminals? Doesn’t say much for you, does it? Even the Mafia running a protection racket did better than that. If the money was paid, you didn’t get beat up.

The take home message is vote for anyone but Democrats. Don’t give in to bullies.

Individual, actual progressives who happen to have a “D” label might be an exception, if they’ve been voting on the progressive side all along.

If all you want is for the schmucks to lose, vote Republican, vote goat, whatever. If you want to send a message, vote for any progressive party out there, Greens, Peace and Freedom, anybody. Just do it.

Time to stop being part of the problem. Time to stop taking abuse.

[Edited to add: Lost in the shuffle, so posted Jan. 15, 2012.]

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Cure for viruses. This is HUGE.

I just saw this, and I’m so excited I can barely contain myself. This is like being there at the discovery of penicillin.

MIT researchers have found a way to cure viral diseases, any viral diseases, from common colds through dengue and up to HIV. (Press release, PLoS One research article.) This is one huge, massive, “Wow!”

Rider drew inspiration for his therapeutic agents, dubbed DRACOs (Double-stranded RNA Activated Caspase Oligomerizers), from living cells’ own defense systems.

When viruses infect a cell, they take over its cellular machinery for their own purpose — that is, creating more copies of the virus. During this process, the viruses create long strings of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), which is not found in human or other animal cells. …

Rider had the idea to combine a dsRNA-binding protein with another protein that induces cells to undergo apoptosis (programmed cell suicide) — launched, for example, when a cell determines it is en route to becoming cancerous. Therefore, when one end of the DRACO binds to dsRNA, it signals the other end of the DRACO to initiate cell suicide.

And here’s the result:

results of antiviral DRACO in infected and uninfected cells

What that shows is DRACO did not damage healthy cells at all. That’s the top row of each set of images. Infected cells, the bottom row, died without treatment (the lower left images in each set), and were indistinguishable from healthy ones with treatment (the lower right images).

Can you imagine? We could just laugh at viruses! Ebola? Hahahaha! (As I say, I’m a mite over-excited.)

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