Friday, December 30, 2011

Why Does Mitt Romney Act Like a 17th Century French King That Hates America

























Why Does Mitt Romney Act Like a 17th Century French King That Hates America

When Romney was Governor of Massachusetts, he had one of the worst economic records in the nation. His state ranked 47th in job creation, wages for workers fell nearly two percent, and he raised taxes on individuals and businesses. While Romney might like to claim that he’s the Republican candidate with the economic experience needed to be president, his record tells a very different story.

REALITY: ROMNEY’S JOB CREATION RECORD IN MASSACHUSETTS WAS ONE OF THE WORST IN THE COUNTRY

During Romney’s Tenure as Governor, Massachusetts' Economic Performance Was "One Of The Worst In The Country" On "All Key Labor Market Measures." [Boston Globe, 7/29/07]

Factcheck.org: "Romney’s Jobs Record Provides Little To Boast About." [Factcheck.org, 1/11/08]

In Romney’s Four Years As Governor Massachusetts Ranked 47th Out Of 50 In Jobs Growth. [Marketwatch, 2/23/10]

PolitiFact "No Matter How We Sliced The Data" Massachusetts Was 47th Out Of 50 States In Job Creation Under Romney. [Politifact, 6/22/11]

REALITY: UNDER ROMNEY WAGES FELL IN MASSACHUSETTS

Under Romney The Wages Of The Average Worker In Massachusetts Fell By Nearly 2 Percent. [Boston Globe, 7/29/07]

REALITY: ROMNEY INCREASED SPENDING

State Spending Under Romney Increased By 6.5% Annually.  [New York Times, 12/31/07]

Factcheck.org: It’s “Correct” That Romney Proposed 8% Higher Spending Per Person In Massachusetts. [Factcheck.org, 10/12/07]

REALITY: ROMNEY RAISED TAXES ON INDIVIDUALS AND BUSINESS

Romney’s Raised Fees And Taxes By Between $740-$750 Million A Year. [Boston Globe, 9/27/06]

    Factcheck.org: Romney’s Fee And Tax Increases Were "Between $740 And $750 Million Per Year." [Factcheck.org, 1/31/08]

Romney Raised Fees As Governor; Romney Increased Fees By $400 Million And Raised Corporate Tax Revenue By $300 Million. [Vennochi, Boston Globe, 10/11/07]

    President Of The Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation: “It’s Straightforward... He Raised Corporate Taxes.” [Bergen County Record, 12/7/07]

    Romney’s Third Round Of Business Tax Hikes Were Cut In Half After Democrats Balked "Amid Protests From Some Of The State's Leading Business Groups." [Patriot Ledger, 1/26/08]

REALITY: MASSACHUSETTS TAX BURDEN WENT UP UNDER ROMNEY

During Romney’s Tenure The Massachusetts Tax Burden Increased From 10% To 10.6% Of Per Capita Income. [Boston Globe, 6/29/07]

    Factcheck.org: The Massachusetts Tax Burden Went Up Under Romney From 5.93% To 6.57%. [Factcheck.org, 10/12/07]

     State & Local Tax Burden Increased 6.5 Percent During The Romney Administration. [The Tax Foundation, 8/7/08]]

REALITY: ROMNEY CAME INTO OFFICE AND LEFT WITH A SIMILAR DEFICIT

Factcheck.org: Romney’s Claim To Have Closed A $3 Billion Budget Gap Is “Misleading” As The Gap Was Closer To $1.2 Billion. [Factcheck.org, 9/6/07]

Romney Made The Economy A Central Part Of His 2008 Campaign But "Unemployment Is Still Relatively High" In Massachusetts And Romney Left A $1.3 Billion Budget Gap. [New York Times, 3/16/07]

Romney must have tripped and knocked out the reality receptors in his brain claiming that he is a job creator and man of the people. Romney has had a silver spoon up his back-side for so long he wouldn't know what its like to struggle like the average American family if his life depended on it. Romney has been telling the American people to suck it up, work hard, keep your head above water and don't get uppity get entire political career.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Newt Gingrich on his first wife - "She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer."

















Newt Gingrich on his first wife - "She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer."

The news that Newt Gingrich will receive $4 million from Rupert Murdoch's publishing house must have been greeted with dismay by his former wife, Jacqueline, down in Carroll County, Ga. Newt had pulled a fast one. It was only nine months ago that she consented to the congressman's request for an amendment to their divorce decree that bars her from claiming additional funds due to an increase in his earnings.

Not to be too harsh on Newt, it must be terribly difficult balancing pro-family values with a commitment to a Darwinian survival of the fittest in the marketplace. Newt the congressman-author is a winner in life's sweepstakes, Jacqueline the schoolteacher-mother is a loser, and that must be the way God and/or Adam Smith intended it.

She had free will. Nobody forced her to marry someone eight years younger. The man is supposed to marry someone younger, and Newt corrected that the second time around after divorcing Jacqueline in 1980 for "irreconcilable differences," which he said had been the case through the 1970s, despite counseling.

But did he have to be so mean about it? As reported by L.H. Carter, his campaign treasurer, Newt said of Jacqueline: "She's not young enough or pretty enough to be the wife of the President. And besides, she has cancer." Hard to believe, although according to the New Yorker, his wife did tell the congregation of her Baptist church: "The devil has taken his heart." Maybe she was referring to his being so miserly in the matter of child support and alimony, but as Newt points out, we do have a safety net of private charity, and the congregants chipped in to help pay the utility bills.

The man has chutzpah. In his 1974 campaign, he ran on the slogan, "Newt's family is like your family." A sad but perhaps accurate commentary on life in suburban Georgia. In 1978, he ran an ad blasting his opponent, Virginia Shapard, saying, "If elected, Virginia will move to Washington, but her husband and her children will remain in Griffin." Under Gingrich's photo, it said: "When elected, Newt will keep his family together."

And he did, until he filed for divorce 16 months later. His wife told the court she wanted to stay married although she had "ample grounds" for divorce herself. But she complained bitterly that he failed to support the family. As her petition stated:

"Despite repeated notices . . . plaintiff has failed and refused to voluntarily provide reasonable support sufficient to include payment of usual and normal living expenses, including drugs, water, sewage, garbage, gas, electric and telephone service for defendant and the minor children. As a result, many of such accounts are two or three months past due with notices of intent to cut off service . . . . "

Picky, picky. True, Newt was not broke, he was a sitting congressman with a substantial salary, but he had to maintain another residence in Washington and was about to remarry. How many garbage bills could he be expected to pay?

Newt argued that the mother of his two children could always go back to teaching, demonstrating his respect for women in the workforce. But the judge disagreed and ordered Newt to pay the utility bills, as well as $400 a month in child support and $1,300 in alimony. He also ordered that if Newt's income ever rose over $100,000 a year, the court could modify payment.

Fast-forward 12 years to 1993 and back to court, where Jacqueline Gingrich pleaded that Newt had failed to obey the divorce decree from the day it was issued. She asked that "this court issue an order directing the sheriff of Carroll County, state of Georgia, to arrest and seize the defendant and incarcerate him in the common jail until said individual complies fully and completely with this court's final judgment."

Shocking?Not really. When you pull back the curtain on the party that bills itself as the party of "family values" this is typical of the stuff America finds. How does the conservative movement get away with being such self-righteous hypocrites? because conservatism is not a movement based on facts, costs versus benefits, reality, governing for the common good, it is more like a cult based on beliefs. Conservatives are believers in people, or worms such as Newt. Ever tried arguing with a true believer.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Republicans Come Out of the Closet, They Just Don't Like Anyone Having Sex, Unless its With Them

















Republicans Come Out of the Closet, They Just Don't Like Anyone Having Sex, Unless its With Them

The Republicans ban women from having sex (except with them)

In 2011 America's right wing, and especially the Christian right wing, at last let slip what their problem is with contraception and abortion: it's not squeamishness, morality or a fondness for hanging outside Planned Parenthood clinics toting misspelt placards – they just don't like women having sex. At all. As Amanda Marcotte wrote this week, in 2011 the anti-choice movement "stopped trying so hard to manage mainstream perceptions of themselves as somehow just great lovers of fetal life, and are coming out with their anti-sex agenda". This was borne out in their frankly unhinged attacks on Planned Parenthood, the HPV vaccine, insurance coverage of contraception and, as I discussed last week, the puritanical mood they created that encouraged President Obama to restrict access to Plan B, or the morning-after pill, none of which have much to do with abortion and everything to do with women's temerity to have sex.

Thus, in 2012 the Republicans propose the female anti-sex bill, in which women are expressly forbidden from having sex with anyone other than the occasional lecherous politician who happens to hurl himself, bodily, sweatily, in her lucky, lucky path.

Newt Gingrich becomes the face of the family values party

And here's one Republican politician who definitely doesn't mind women having sex, as long as it's with him. And there does seem to be a surprising number of candidates for the job, considering he looks like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters, and his name is Newt.

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure – of meeting him, I mean, of course, of meeting him – here is a crash course in the Republican party's current presidential front runner. This champion of family values cheated on his second wife with a woman 22 years younger than him at precisely the same time he was attempting to impeach Clinton for – and maybe you saw this part coming – cheating on his wife with a woman 22 years younger than him.

Gingrich claimed that his actions stemmed from "how passionately I felt about this country" and, truly, nothing says "patriotism" more clearly than taking your pants off and banging a congressional aide – as long as you're Newt Gingrich, of course. He declined to attend the wedding of his lesbian half-sister, Candace Gingrich-Jones, having referred to gay marriage as "a temporary aberration" and, really, there is no one better placed to sound off on the sanctity of the institution of marriage than Newt Gingrich. Sadly, space prevents me from getting too deeply into other subtleties of Newt's character – that he condemned Freddie Mac for its part in the housing collapse while omitting to mention that he had received $1.6m from them as a consultant, say – but let's just say that he is the perfect summation of all the ticklish and self-serving contradictions one now expects of a party that argues for tax breaks for the rich while pretending to be a friend of the working man. Newt for 2012!

Conservatives constantly betray their small government platform. Name one segment of private or personal life in which conservatives have not tried to get government to regulate, spy on or dictate about. OK, conservatives are sure the individual right for any America to dump their toxic waste on other Americans is in the Constitution. Conservatives are also sure that just about everyone - women, people of color, non-right-wing Christians, people with disabilities and everyone who exercises has fewer rights than they do.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Liberal media? Why is the conservative media not calling out Mitt Romney's lies?































Liberal media? Why is the conservative media not calling out Mitt Romney's lies?

Steve Benen flags a Mitt Romney interview with Mark Halperin, in which Romney pushed back on criticism of his Bain years by claiming that Obama didn’t create “any new jobs.” Romney said:

    “I’ll compare my experience in the private sector where, net-net, we created over 100,000 jobs. We created over 100,000 jobs. I’ll compare that record with his record where he has not created any new jobs. This President has seen a reduction in jobs, 25 million people out of work or stop looking for work or in part-time jobs needing full-time employed. So, we’ll have that debate. ”

Halperin didn’t bother challenging Romney on this claim. But as Steve notes, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the private sector has added around 2.3 million jobs since March of 2010.

Not only that, but it’s clear Romney knows it’s false to make this claim. In previous statements, the Romney campaign has been careful to qualify this assertion by saying that Obama didn’t create a single “net” new job. That’s an accurate claim in the most narrow of technical terms. The situation that Obama inherited was so catastrophic that the economy continued hemorraging jobs at a furious rate for months and months until Obama’s stimulus kicked in; as a result, the numbers overall are still negative. But even that assertion ignores the fact that the stats clearly show that job loss slowed, and eventually turned around into job gain, once Obama’s policies began taking effect. Romney must know the claim that Obama didn’t create “any new jobs” is false. (see chart above for how the jobs cycle started to recover under President Obama).

Did Romney mean to make a comparison of net numbers? Perhaps, but Romney did say that Obama didn’t create any “new” jobs.

Either way, Halperin didn’t press him for any clarification. And there’s good cause to believe that Romney meant to make this claim in its false incarnation. He has also repeatedly claimed that Obama made the economy “worse,” even though that assertion, too, has been debunked.

Look, Romney is going to make the claims that Obama didn’t create any jobs, and that he made the economy worse, countless times between now and next fall. They will be central to his entire campaign rationale. Can we please start pressing him to justify it when he says this stuff?

Mitt Romney is a thoroughly corporate socialist. Take everything Marx said in The Communist Manifesto and substitute corporate collective for collective and you get what Romney and Wall Street conservatives believe in.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Commander Flip-flop Mitt Romney Has a Principled Position on Iraq, Choose The One You Like
















Commander Flip-flop Mitt Romney Has a Principled Position on Iraq, Choose The One You Like

Mitt Romney, speaking on Wednesday to NBC News' Chuck Todd, seemed to shift positions on the Iraq War.

As highlighted by New York Magazine's Jonathan Chait, Romney explained to Todd, "If we knew at the time of our entry into Iraq that there were no weapons of mass destruction, if somehow we had been given that information, obviously we would not have gone in."

The former Massachusetts governor then gave a more detailed response:

    Todd: "You don't think we would have gone in?"

    Romney: "Well of course not. The president went in based upon intelligence that they had weapons of mass destruction. Had he known that that was not the case, the U.N. would not have put forward resolutions authorizing this type of action. The president would not have been pursuing that course. But we did not know that. Based upon what we knew at the time, we were very much under the impression as a nation, our president was under the impression, that they had weapons of mass destruction, that Saddam Hussein was intent on potentially using those weapons, and so he took action based upon what he knew. But to go back and say, well knowing what we know now would we have gone in. Well, knowing what we know now, they did not have weapons of mass destruction, there would have been no effort on the part of our president or others to take military action."

Chait points out that Romney previously took a much different position on the conflict. Per The New York Times, moderator Tim Russert asked Romney during a 2008 presidential debate if the Iraq War was "a good idea worth the cost in blood and treasure we have spent." Romney answered, "It was the right decision to go into Iraq. I supported it at the time; I support it now." As Chait explains, Romney's debate answer came at a time when it was already clear that Iraq possessed no weapons of mass destruction.

Romney's latest comments come only a few days after the U.S. marked the end of the nearly nine year conflict. The Republican contender has not been shy in his criticism of President Obama's handling of the troop withdrawal. This past Sunday, BBC News reported that Romney said, "I think we're going to find that this president, by not putting in place a status-of-forces agreement with the Iraqi leadership, has pulled our troops out in a precipitous way and we should have left 10-, 20-, 30,000 personnel there to help transition to the Iraqis' own military capabilities."

Politicians should be able to change their mind when they have new information. That would be what America expects from wise leadership. Mitt did not change his mind based on new news, he just decided that being an anti-war conservative would play well now that most Americans agree that conservatives dragged the country into a tragic and unnecessary debacle.

His Royal Highness Mitt Romney Wants His Billionaire Wall Street Donors To Be Able To Give Him Unlimited Sums Of Money.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just 5 of The Most Anti-American Acts Committed by Conservative Republicans in 2011

















Just 5 of The Most Anti-American Acts Committed by Conservative Republicans in 2011

Call them nontroversies, poutrages or pseudo-scandals. Since the 2008 elections, the conservative media have peddled a seemingly endless series of trumped-up non-stories, pitched as scandals rivaling Watergate, to their loyal rubes in an attempt to paint liberals, the media, scientists, Democrats and Obama – and other enemies of the Wingnut State – as perfidious, dishonest or downright treasonous.

A few of them have borne some remote resemblance to reality, but many of their pseudo-scandals featured no more substance than the bizarre right-wing emails your crazy uncle credulously forwards around to friends and family. Yet, with a dedicated conservative media headed by Fox News, many have been mainstreamed on the right, with some spurring calls for investigation by the GOP-led House. Those calls, in turn, then become stories for Fox News and other conservative outlets -- it's a feedback loop full of crazy.

2. And They're Taking Over the Conservative Movement

Staying on the theme, we get to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the biggest wingnut gab-fest of the year. This year was special because, according to the fever swamps, we learned that CPAC's organizers were in the bag not only for Islamic extremists – they're everywhere, after all – but also the gays, because a gay Republican group called GOProud was allowed to attend this year's shindig.

Roy Edroso braved the wingnut blogs to bring us the tale of how jihadists infiltrated this important event.

    The accusations of jihad-friendliness were spurred by the presence at CPAC of Arab Indian-American former Bush Administration official Suhail Khan, whom some rightbloggers claim is a member of the militant Muslim Brotherhood -- a charge Khan has denied, which denial Frank Gaffney dismisses as "a bit of taqiyya (lying for the faith)."

    Khan took part in a CPAC panel called "The Importance of Faith and Religious Liberty." "Islamic Rights Promoted At CPAC," Judicial Watch warned the nation. "Muslim Brotherhood supporters and sympathizers promoted Islamic tolerance."'

    Two ardent anti-Muslim rightbloggers with their own CPAC panels were outraged. Pam Geller said the whole event had been "corrupted and compromised by the Muslim Brotherhood... look at the panels, they're either clueless or complicit." David Horowitz of NewsRealBlog told his CPAC auditors Khan was "sponsored by his longtime patron Grover Norquist," implying the former Bush official was in on the whole dirty Islamicist deal.

    A flyer denouncing "Grover Khan" was circulated at CPAC; suggesting this two-headed beast was trying to "boil the Conservative frog slowly" so "he'll stay in the pot till he's cooked."

3. Muffin-Gate

In 2009, the Department of Justice sponsored a conference in a swanky Washington DC hotel that charged $14.29 per attendee for a breakfast of fresh fruit, coffee and muffins, and “rental fees for the workshop space and conference rooms." That's not exactly an exorbitant fee, but in September, when the DOJ's inspector general issued a report – later corrected – suggesting that the department had paid $16 per muffin, “Muffin-gate” was born, a symbol of wasteful government spending that the right latched onto like … well, like a right-winger latches onto a faux scandal involving the Obama administration.

In what may be the most “meta” conspiracy theory of the year, Fox's Steve Doocey suggested that the only reason the network's endless parade of half-cooked scandals never caught on was the mainstream media's hopeless liberal bias. But when Huffington Post's Sam Stein looked at the media's coverage of Muffin-gate, he found that of 223 news stories that mentioned the “$16 muffins” from September 20-28, only 37 attempted to correct the record.

4. Mussolini Also Leaned on Ford

In 2011, Ford ran an ad featuring a customer saying that he'd chosen not to buy a car from one of the company's bailed-out Detroit competitors because, “I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own: win, lose, or draw.” The company planned on airing the ad for four weeks, and did just that – not much of a story.

But then a Detroit News opinion columnist, citing no sources whatsoever, wrote that, “Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy.” Ford denied the charge, repeatedly, but as you might imagine, a right-wing meme that will probably be with us forever was born.

7. Zombie ACORN Lives (And It's Running Occupy Wall Street)

Matthew Vadum, author of Subversion, Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers, can't seem to accept a great conservative victory. Years after the right, using some wildly dishonest selective editing, destroyed ACORN, Vadum insists that the community group is still alive and well and draining federal funds.

But leave it to Fox to combine ACORN-phobia with its endless attempts to smear the Occupy Wall Street movement. In a series of “reports,” Fox's Jana Winter, relying on unnamed “inside sources,” insisted that ACORN – which she claimed has been reincarnated as New York Communities for Change (NYCC) -- had been behind the whole thing from the start.

She detailed how they'd planned it out for months before the first occupation began and shredded documents to cover up their role. The interesting thing, NYCC organizers say, is that while there is often some kernel of truth behind such myths, in this case the whole story was completely false, from beginning to end.

But that didn't prevent Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., from calling for a congressional investigation.

Dave Weigel, who accused Fox of “trying to pass on a stupid story to some rubes,” offers more detail here.

8. Planned Parenthood Subsidizes its Abortion Mills with Sex Trafficking!

Less successful than right-wing provocateur James O'Keefe's takedown of ACORN was an attempt by his ertswhile protege, Lila Rose, to catch Planned Parenthood in a similarly nefarious sting.

Here's what happened: right-wingers visited Planned Parenthood offices in 11 states, said they were running a sex-trafficking ring, complete with undocumented immigrants (icing on the cake), and asked about getting health-care services for their prostitutes.

Planned Parenthood immediately informed federal authorities, and that should have been the end of the story – a failed sting.

But that's just reality, which has a well-known liberal bias. The fact that the organization immediately dropped a dime on the “sex trafficking ring” didn't phase the Fox News crew from playing up the story for all it was worth.

  Rememberthe movie LiarLiar with Jim Carrey where he was forced to tell the truth. If conservative Republicans ever came under such a spell....we'd have something between silence and lots of mumbling. Modern conservationism is all about singing the praises of slack-jawed imbecility and shrill urban myths. They can't stop and have an honest debate because than the public would realize the gift conservatives keep giving the Untied States of America is bullsh*t wrapped in red, white and blue and than having the nerve to mumble something about Jesus. One has to wonder if any conservative has ever read the Sermon of the Mount.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Why Does Mitt Romney Hate American Values, Like the Truth


















Why Does Mitt Romney Hate American Values, Like the Truth

Mitt Romney appeared on Fox News last night and boasted, "Our campaign hasn\'t put up negative ads at this stage." I know that\'s not true. I\'ve seen the ads.

Likewise, Romney said on Thursday night, "This is a president who fundamentally believes that the next century is the post-American century. Perhaps it will be the Chinese century. He is wrong." I know that\'s not true, either. Kevin Drum noted in response, "Seriously, where does he get this stuff? It\'s just made up out of thin air. Obama\'s never said this or anything even close to it."

With these routine falsehoods in mind, I noticed Daniel Larison had a piece the other day with a headline that read, "Why Does Romney Lie?" The amusing thing about this, at least in a sardonic sort of way, is that I wondered to myself what prompted the headline and about a half-dozen examples from the last week or so quickly came to mind. (In this instance, it was an Andrew Sullivan item about Romney telling easily-disproven claims about his years in France as a Mormon missionary.)

Regardless, Larison posits a theory.

    Why does Romney ever tell bald-faced lies? After all, this is a man who has made the "non-existent tour" the rhetorical centerpiece of his presidential campaign. For some reason, he even managed to say something untrue about his real first name during the national security debate last month.

    It\'s tempting to say that he has reinvented himself so thoroughly that he can no longer remember what is true and what isn\'t, and he has absorbed and appropriated so many new positions over the years that it all gets jumbled together and re-mixed according to whatever the political need of the moment happens to be. It\'s easy to lose track after the fourth or fifth incarnation. More likely, he is so contemptuous of the people he tells these lies to that he never thinks he will be found out.

    

I suspect Larison and I agree on almost nothing when it comes to public policy or visions of government, but on the issue of Romney\'s discomforting hostility for the truth, we\'re on the same page. I\'ve found myself repeatedly wondering in recent months why Romney lies as often, and as carelessly, as he does, without the slightest regard for how easy it is to prove what his claims aren\'t true.

Indeed, as we talked about the other day, Romney and his team have demonstrated a willingness to lie -- blatantly and shamelessly -- with discomforting ease. We\'ve seen this in offensive campaign ads, routine talking points, policy arguments, and even personal anecdotes and characteristics.

And when pressed, Romney and his aides have freely admitted, more than once, that niceties such as facts, evidence, and reason just aren't that important to them. Dishonest "propaganda" should simply be excepted and accepted, they\'ve said.

I\'ve been watching national campaigns for quite a while, and I can\'t think of any comparable major-party campaigns acting this way, especially this far from the election.

Given all of this, I thought I\'d offer Larison\'s question as a discussion topic: Why does Romney tell "bald-faced lies"?
While conservatives have done a good job demonizing anyone who is not conservative, on the issues the American people are consistently left of center - pro Social Security, Medicare, against too much foreign interventionism, pro good public education, etc. So how can conservatives win? Lie all the time about everything. Romney knows how to play the game, he has just been in low gear. Now that things are coming down to the wire, all bets are off when it comes to twisting the truth. Its what modern conservatism is all about, a house of falsehoods. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sometimes Newt Gingrich Believes The U.S. is a Banana Republic and Sometimes He Doesn't
























Sometimes Newt Gingrich Believes The U.S. is a Banana Republic and Sometimes He Doesn't

When President Obama earlier this year announced his plan to withdraw the “surge” troops from Afghanistan by the end of next summer, conservatives — seeming to not fully comprehend the idea of chain-of-command — were incredulous that the President did not do exactly what the commanders on the ground advised him to do. But with months to let American laws of civilian control of the military sink in, the idea still doesn’t seem to have caught on. “The commanders on the ground feel that we should bring down our surge troops by December of 2012,” Mitt Romney said in last month’s GOP presidential foreign policy debate criticizing the president’s decision. Romney added, “I stand with the commanders in this regard.”

Newt Gingrich has also attacked Obama for not doing whatever the generals tell him to do. Here’s what the former House speaker said shortly after Obama’s decision was made:

    GINGRICH: I think we are drifting to a very, very dangerous situation. None of the generals recommended the speed of the drawdown the president wants. [...]

    And if you watch what is happening there’s a steady drift from the United States at a time when the president is signaling his desire to get out as fast as he can and potentially faster than the generals think is safe. … You should go to the White House and ask the president why did he overrule all his generals?

Yet there was at least one point in Gingrich’s career in which he understood the chain-of-command, and actively promoted it. In 2006, a number of retired generals called on then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to step down because of poor leadership in the Iraq war. Gingrich defended Rumsfeld in an April, 2006 interview on Fox News, saying, “We have civilian control. … The generals don’t control”:

    WALLACE: Do you agree with any of the criticism from those six retired generals that Secretary Rumsfeld went in with too few troops, went in without a plan, hasn’t been listening to the generals?

    GINGRICH: Look. First of all, Don Rumsfeld listens to generals. He doesn’t obey them. We have civilian control. The president is in charge as commander in chief. The secretary of defense works for the president. The generals advise. The generals don’t control.


So what does Gingrich really believe? Does the president control the military or do the generals control the president? For Newt, it probably depends on which political party the current White House occupant belongs to.
In addition to wondering exactly what Newt believes, patriotic Americans are wondering what if any core values Newt has. He believes in running up big bills at Tiffanys so his third wife can have lots of shiny objects to play with. Newt believes the government should be able to intimidate judges to vote the way pressure groups want them to. Newt believes that America would be better off if it looked like Pottersville in the movie Its a Wonderful Life.

Cartoon Regularly Featured On the right-wing conservative bedbugs at Big Journalism Connected To Nazi-Era Magazine

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Why Do Republicans Hate America - House Republicans Hold America's Unemployed Hostage to Help Their Corporate Cronies

















Why Do Republicans Hate America - House Republicans Hold America's Unemployed Hostage to Help Their Corporate Cronies

House Republicans passed their version of a payroll tax cut extension last night, but not before adding a litany of spending cuts and changes to federal programs that they knew Democrats would never accept. The GOP, which still refuses to tax a relatively small number of millionaires to give an extra $1,000 a year to the average middle class family, included cuts to Medicare benefits and the Affordable Care Act and froze federal worker pay for an additional two years.

But as ThinkProgress reported last week, the bill also targets the unemployed, reducing eligibility for unemployment insurance from 99 weeks to 79 weeks. Eventually, the plan will reduce that eligibility down to 59 weeks — and when it does, it will kick more than 3.3 million unemployed Americans out of the program, according to data from the Department of Labor.

In just four states — California, Florida, Texas, and New York — more than 1.25 million will become ineligible for the program. In each of five other states — North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Illinois — more than 100,000 people will lose their eligibility.

Across the country, Republicans have chosen to paint unemployment insurance as a “lifestyle” that creates laziness among those who use it just to get by. The GOP ignores that there are, on average, four applicants for each open job, decrying the unemployment insurance program for incentivizing joblessness, even though those who are eligible for the program remain out of work only 1.6 weeks longer than those who aren’t eligible.

Unemployment insurance, meanwhile, remains one of the strongest economic stimulus tools available to the federal government, as recent studies have shown that failure to extend them would cost the economy $57 billion in the first three months of 2012. That amounts to a loss of 0.38 percent of GDP, equal to the rate at which the economy grew in 2011.

Ten congressional Democrats joined Republicans in voting for the misguided plan. In the eight states they represent, nearly 886,000 people would become ineligible for unemployment insurance, led by the 584,000 that would lose benefits in Rep. Dennis Cardoza’s (D) home state of California.

Conservatives have been the wacky party that represents the same political interests of the 16th century French monarchy for decades. A sizable portion of the American people even frequently reward them for doing so. It seems to be a marriage of the authoritarians with self-haters. If they want to continue this sick relationship the least they could do is ask France if they can buy a piece of land and start their own hell on earth, fueled by greed and ignorance and absent the American values that modern conservatism seems to despise. The last Republican that acted any where near being a true patriot was Dwight Eisenhower.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Conservatives Forgive Newt for the Same Sleazy Behavior for Which They Abandoned Cain



















Conservatives Forgive Newt for the Same Sleazy Behavior for Which They Abandoned Cain

Sex is almost always the loser in a scandal. Heaped with scorn, muddied and defiled, it sinks to the basement of our collective imagination—its vain cries, “I am not an animal; I am a human need,” muffled by the gag in its mouth, the bars across the basement door, the blahdeeblahblah of titillation, resentment and ridicule pouring from the TV.

It is difficult amid the most recent clatter, but let’s pretend that Herman Cain was just an ordinary millionaire, selling pizza, gifted with a radioman’s talent for gab, playing every angle to get attention and sell books. Let’s pretend that he was, in fact, Herman Cain before Rick Perry opened his mouth and his brains fell out. No one anticipated that, maybe least of all Cain, whose campaign really was a book tour. While Perry courted Iowa and New Hampshire, while Rick Santorum—who’d been sharing the lower rungs in the polls with Cain— was on his way to visiting every one of Iowa’s counties, Cain visited a Costco in Virginia, signed books and met football fans in Tennessee and Alabama, sold more books in Texas and had nineteen open days on his October schedule.

Bookseller Cain had a couple of sexual harassment settlements in his past, but those were a businessman’s irritant, akin to a fine for toxic waste or any other pesky outgrowth of the regulatory regime that his party has sworn to dismantle. Why should he worry? The payouts were relatively small. He had contractual stipulations of silence and, more important, was welcome in a brotherhood that included Bill O’Reilly. The loofah lothario had panted into a Fox producer’s telephone, disclosing his abrasive fantasies to her secret tape recorder, and then paid handsomely to ditch a harassment suit, but there he was, bullish as ever, ratings strong, presidents honoring him with their time.

The same brotherhood included Newt Gingrich, who infamously laid down terms of divorce to his first wife in a hospital as she recovered from cancer surgery, who left his second wife for another after she was diagnosed with MS, and who married a Congressional aide with whom he’d cavorted while indicting Bill Clinton for lying about sex. At a candidates’ Thanksgiving Family Forum in Des Moines, while Cain confessed to “a series of little failures rather than one big disaster,” Newt resisted the chance for a proper mea culpa but extolled his wonderful life with Callista and urged the audience to pursue happiness in the eighteenth-century manner, seeking “wisdom and virtue, not hedonism and acquisition.” A historian of convenience, he twice exalted eighteenth-century virtue, as if that wouldn’t, or shouldn’t, invoke thoughts of the price the pursuit of happiness had exacted in the slave quarters, but then Gingrich has no more apparent concern for American contradictions than for the contradictions of his own life.

Marriage and God had saved Newt, which is exactly what the forum’s Christian co-sponsors wanted to hear. One of them, an Iowa group called The Family Leader, dedicated to saving the family from the scourges of homosexuality, infidelity, abortion, “quickie divorce” and Sharia law, urged every candidate to sign “The Marriage Vow: A Declaration of Dependence Upon Marriage and Family.” Neither Cain nor Gingrich signed on (perhaps it was enough that Newt had funneled $150,000 to a campaign in which The Family Leader was prominent, to defeat Iowa Supreme Court justices who’d upheld equal protection for gay couples). The vow’s first item is “personal fidelity to my spouse,” and then it goes on to appropriate the liberals’ language of human rights and resistance to “anti-woman” repression in order to make “faithful heterosexual monogamy” the iron rule.

Now Cain has fallen from grace, and Newt is the Republican front-runner. For Cain, the specter of a sexual life parallel to marriage—forty-three years with Gloria and thirteen concurrent with Ginger White—was the instant disqualifier. For Gingrich, it is enough that he assume the pose of the Chosen: David to Callista’s Bathsheba, with all the cruelties and mendacity resolved by the Almighty’s favor and a pleasing wife: third time’s a charm. “It doesn’t matter what I do,” Newt once said, as his second wife, Marianne, recalled for an article earlier this year in Esquire. “People need to hear what I have to say. There’s no one else who can say what I can say. It doesn’t matter what I live.” Gingrich sees himself in the line of biblical kings; Cain is just… Cain.

It is not ironic that neither man could hew to faithful monogamy; it is pathetic that once again it takes a scandal to reveal human nature as fundamentally nonmonogamous, and once again humans run from its implications—at least those who fashion the retail story lines.

Newt and Cain are great examples of the slippery rationalism of which the conservative mind is capable. Those "values" they claim to have. It turns out they are made of wet clay, easily malleable into whatever shape pleases them on any particular day. I'm sure that conservatives are convinced they have values. Just as many criminals are certain they are innocent even after viewing the video tape of them committing the crime.

Must We Permit the US Military to Detain Americans without Trial?The National Defense Authorisation Act before Congress threatens further erosion of US citizens' civil liberties

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Karl Rove's America Hating Neo-Fascist Crossroads GPS Tries To Smear Elizabeth Warren



















Karl Rove's America Hating Neo-Fascist Crossroads GPS Tries To Smear Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren Slams Karl Rove’s Dishonest Attack Ad As ‘Factually Wrong And Morally Wrong’ | Feeling the heat of consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren’s lead over Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), Karl Rove’s Crossroads GPS unleashed an extremely disingenuous political ad that insinuated Warren was responsible for the 2008 bank bailout — a patently absurd claim given that the bailout was a Republican measure and that Warren was later chosen as the head of a panel providing much-needed oversight to the program. In fact, she has been a consistent advocate for greater accountability regarding the bailout funds. Warren blasted Rove for the ad, saying, “I can’t find the right words to describe how wrong that is. Factually wrong and morally wrong.” “Karl rove is not telling the truth,” she added. “I think anyone who is not telling the truth shouldn’t be running ads in this race.”

M's Warren is trying to run an honest campaign based on facts and advocacy for the average American rather than Karl's billionaire elitists who are financing the neo-fascist Crossroads. The only way conservatives know how to campaign is to run anti-American values smear campaigns. Its what they do. They couldn't be elected dog catcher if conservatives were forced to start being truthful.

Musing About Recusing - Why calls for Elena Kagan to recuse herself from the Obamacare case are ridiculous. If anyone should be recusing themselves it should be some of the rabid ideologues on the far Right who are on the court - Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia, both of whom attended a fundraiser for the Federalist Society last Thursday, just hours after wrapping up a conference on the ACA(ObamaCare) litigation.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wealthy Anti-American Conservative Pundits Declare War on Working Americans


















Wealthy Anti-American Conservative Pundits Declare War on Working Americans

Right-wing media recently pushed the discredited attack that President Obama called Americans "lazy." But right-wing media figures themselves have a history of suggesting that Americans -- particularly the poor, the unemployed, and union workers, among others -- are lazy or lack work ethic.
Right-Wing Media Claimed Obama Called Americans "Lazy"

Fox's Todd Starnes: Obama "Took The Nation To Task ... For Being Lazy." In a blog post that was posted on Fox Nation, Todd Starnes wrote:

    President Obama took the nation to task today for being lazy.

    The comments came during a meeting between the president and CEOs attending the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings. The United States is hosting this year's gathering in Hawaii.

    [...]

    It's not the first time the president has accused Americans of being lazy. [Fox News Radio via Fox Nation, 11/14/11, via Media Matters]

Fox's Kilmeade Suggests Comment Shows Obama Is "Determined To Bring Us Down." While co-hosting Fox News' The Five, Brian Kilmeade said: "I will say this. The fact that the president of the United States has called us soft, we've lost our competitive edge, and now we're called lazy. ... He's trying desperately to flatten out our country, and defuse us, and get us off our high horse. Why is he so determined to bring us down?" [Fox News, The Five, 11/14/11, via Media Matters]

Hannity: "This Is Not The First Time" Obama Has "Kind Of Attacked The American People." During an interview on his Fox News program with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Sean Hannity asked:

    HANNITY: What do you make of the President? This is not the first time that he's kind of attacked the American people, that you know, the people are a little bit lazy, he spoken a while back about them getting soft, we lost our ambition, our imagination. What do you make of that? Are the American people not smart enough to accept his goodness and greatness? [Fox News, Hannity, 11/15/11, via Nexis]

For more right-wing media claims that Obama called Americans "lazy," SEE HERE.
In Fact, Obama Didn't Call Americans Lazy ...

AP: Ad Saying Obama "Thinks" That "Americans Are Lazy" Actually "Takes Obama's Comment Out Of Context." Beth Fouhy, political reporter for The Associated Press, reported that a campaign ad by Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry that uses Obama's comments takes them "out of context":

    Republican presidential hopeful Perry takes Obama's comment out of context.

    Obama was speaking to a group of CEOs about the challenges of attracting foreign investment in the U.S., not about individuals or their economic challenges.

    [...]

    Perry is using the comment to portray Obama as out of touch, even contemptuous, of ordinary Americans. [The Associated Press, 11/16/11]

ABC's Devin Dwyer: Attacks On Obama "Distort" His Comments. ABC News White House producer Devin Dwyer wrote that the ad by Perry featuring Obama's comments "distorts" what Obama said:

    "Can you believe that? That's what our president thinks is wrong with America? That Americans are lazy? That's pathetic," Perry says in the spot that's airing in Iowa and New Hampshire. 

    The only problem: the full context of Obama's remarks made Saturday during a meeting of CEOs in Honolulu indicates he wasn't suggesting that at all.

    Boeing CEO James McNerney asked Obama about his thinking on the perception by some countries of "impediments to investment" in the U.S.

    Obama replied that "we've been a little bit lazy" about actively trying to attract private foreign investors to U.S. soil -- referring broadly to American government and business sectors, not the American people themselves. [ABCNews.com, Political Punch, 11/16/11]

Wash. Post Fact Checker: It Is "Clear From The Context Of Obama's Remarks That He Is Not Saying Americans Are Lazy." In a November 21 Fact Checker post, The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler wrote that it is "clear from the context of Obama's remarks that he is not saying Americans are lazy":

    In other words, Obama is highlighting a serious problem. Perhaps the phrase "lazy" is a bit overheated, but it clear from the context of Obama's remarks that he is not saying Americans are lazy. He's talking about a trend over a two-decade period that indicates a certain complacency in trying to win business and investment. [The Washington Post, 11/21/11]

... But Right-Wing Media Routinely Attack Americans As "Lazy" Or "Having Poor Work Habits"
LOW-INCOME AMERICANS

Limbaugh: "Do You Know Any Low-Income People Who Want To Get A Better Job? ... Do They Even Want To Work?" On the April 21 edition of his radio show, host Rush Limbaugh said, "Do you know any low-income people who want to get a better job? ... Do they even want to work?" [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 4/21/11, via Media Matters]

Fox Business Scolded Poor People For Not Being Ashamed Of Their Poverty. During the May 19 edition of Fox Business' Varney & Co., host Stuart Varney attacked anti-poverty programs as evidence that the U.S. now has an "entitlement mentality." Fox commentator Charles Payne then scolded people in poverty for not being "embarrassed" about needing public assistance:

    PAYNE: Krystal [Ball], there's no doubt that these are good programs. I think the real narrative here, though, is that people aren't embarrassed by it. People aren't ashamed by it. In other words, the there was a time when people were embarrassed to be on food stamps; there was a time when people were embarrassed to be on unemployment for six months, let alone demanding to be on it for more than two years. I think that's what Stu is trying to say, is that, when the president says Wall Street is at fault, so, you are entitled to get anything that you want from the government, because it's not really your fault. No longer is the man being told to look in the mirror and cast down a judgment on himself; it's someone else's fault. So food stamps, unemployment, all of this stuff, is something that they probably earned in some indirect way. [Fox Business, Varney & Co., 5/19/11, via Media Matters]

Fox's Stuart Varney On Low-Income Americans: "Many Of Them Have Things -- What They Lack Is The Richness Of Spirit." During the August 25 edition of Fox Business' Varney & Co. at Night, host Stuart Varney hyped a Heritage Foundation study showing that many Americans in poverty own appliances, saying: "The image we have of poor people as starving and living in squalor really is not accurate. Many of them have things -- what they lack is the richness of spirit. That's my opinion." [Fox Business, Varney & Co. at Night, 8/25/11, via Media Matters]

Fox Business Pitted The "Takers" Of "Government Handouts" Against The "Makers." After a National Bureau of Economic Research study concluded that social safety net programs, including Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, were highly effective at keeping people out of poverty, Fox Business launched a week-long series pitting the "takers" of "government handouts" against the "makers" in the economy. [Media Matters, 5/24/11]
UNEMPLOYED AMERICANS

Kilmeade: "Maybe The Unemployment Benefits [Expiration] Will Get People To Sober Up" And Take A Job. On the July 15, 2010, edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade said that "[m]aybe the [expiration of] unemployment benefits will get people to sober up" and take a job. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 7/15/10, via Media Matters]

Ben Stein Attacked Unemployed Americans As Having "Poor Work Habits." In a July 19, 2010, post at The American Spectator, conservative pundit and frequent Fox News guest Ben Stein wrote:

    The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities. I say "generally" because there are exceptions. But in general, as I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a day's work. They are people who create either little utility or negative utility on the job.

In an August 27, 2010, American Spectator post, Stein repeated his attack, writing: "[A]s I noted before, in my small circle of friends, anyone who has good work skills and a decent personality can get a job. I am not talking about the national scene. Just my little world. The chronic complainers and the malcontents and the unrealistic are the ones who cannot find work they want. The people who really want to work can get work. It might not be great work, but it's work." [The American Spectator, 7/19/10, 8/27/10, via Media Matters]

Stein Claimed That "A Lot Of" Unemployed People "Would Not Prefer To Go To Work." On the April 30, 2011, broadcast of Fox News' Cavuto on Business, Stein said that "a lot of" unemployed Americans "would not prefer to go to work." [Fox Business, Cavuto on Business, 4/30/11, via Media Matters]
UNION WORKERS

Limbaugh Attacked Union Workers As "Freeloaders" As Compared To "Real Working Non-Unionized People." On the February 17 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh called union workers "freeloaders" and contrasted them with "real working non-unionized people." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 2/17/11, via Media Matters]

Limbaugh: Union Protests In WI Were Due To Union Members Not Wanting To "Pay A Dime Towards Their Own Health Care Or Retirement." On the August 18 broadcast of his show, Limbaugh said that the protests in Wisconsin took place because public union members didn't want to "pay a dime towards their own health care or retirement." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 8/18/11, via Media Matters]

Coulter: Teamsters President Hoffa Represents "Useless" Workers Like "Kindergarten Teachers" Instead Of "Men Who Have Actual Jobs." During the September 7 edition of Fox & Friends, conservative pundit Ann Coulter said that Teamsters president James Hoffa represented "useless" workers like "kindergarten teachers" instead of "men who have actual jobs." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 9/7/11, via Media Matters]
OCCUPY WALL STREET PROTESTERS

Limbaugh: Occupy Wall Street Protesters Are "Perpetually Lazy, Spoiled Rotten, 99 Percent White Kids." During the October 6 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh attacked Occupy Wall Street protesters as "perpetually lazy, spoiled rotten, 99 percent white kids." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 10/6/11, via Media Matters]

Fox Nation And Wash. Times On Occupy Wall Street And Its Demands: "Don't Feed The Lazy." A November 18 op-ed in The Washington Times, titled, "Don't feed the lazy," claimed that "Occupy Wall Street's demands undermine real compassion." The op-ed stated:

    It is interesting to note that according to the Bible, one of the criteria for receiving aid was a willingness to work. Entitlement was not an option. The Apostle Paul wrote, "For even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat."

    Paul is not being cruel or heartless in this passage. He is expressing a truth that those who are able but unwilling to work should be disqualified from receiving charitable help, thereby allowing their natural need for food to drive their effort to work. This is a profound and often overlooked financial principle.

    [...]

    Attitudes toward poverty, debt and entitlement make reaching common ground with those in the Occupy Wall Street movement difficult. Compared to many around the world, they live in relative comfort, with access to food, shelter and liberty. But rather than embracing equal opportunity, they seem to clamor for equal outcomes.

    [...]

    Perhaps it is time for the Occupy Wall Street movement to reflect on the words of Paul: "If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat."

Fox Nation also linked to the op-ed. [The Washington Times, 11/18/11; Fox Nation, 11/21/11]
NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION EMPLOYEES

Limbaugh: Employees At Nonprofit Organizations Are "Lazy Idiots" And "Rapists In Terms Of Finance And Economy." During the August 12, 2010, edition of his radio show, Limbaugh attacked the employees of nonprofit organizations as "lazy idiots" and went on to say that they are "rapists in terms of finance and economy." [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 8/12/10, via Media Matters]

As conservatives point fingers about class warfare they continue their class warfare on working class Americans. In conservative world if you mop floors and empty the trash you're a taker and those "news" people at Fox make six figure salaries and better to sit around in their expensive suits, perfectly styled hair and wearing so much make-up they look like animated doll figures - are societies producers. Now ludicrous. Rush Limbaugh has made millions doing nothing more than making incoherent and twisted accusations against people he doesn't even know. Anyone want to guess when the last time Rush cut his own grass at his Palm Beach mansion. At least Democrats have respect for working people and do not talk about them like they're worthless peasants.

Corporate Tax Dodging Has Cost States More Than $42 Billion In Revenue Over The Last Three Years - These corporations are the real "takers" and leeches. American workers and consumers make their profits possible and all America gets in return is the shaft of economic injustice.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why is Newt Gingrich Winning Over Republicans? Because He is The Kind of Nasty, Corrupt, Idiotic Anti-American That Conservatives Feel Most Comfortable


















Why is Newt Gingrich Winning Over Republicans? Because He is The Kind of  Nasty, Corrupt, Idiotic Anti-American That Conservatives Feel Most Comfortable 

It figured that a Republican presidential primary race defined by nothing so much as a taste for cruel and unusual politics would eventually see Newt Gingrich emerge as the cruelest and most unusual contender. Sure, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain might strive for the lowest common denominator. But Gingrich would outdo them in that department, despite heroic feats of insanity, stupidity and sex scandals by the other three. And so he has, emerging as the default choice of a new breed of Republican so extreme it would scare the bejeezus out of Barry Goldwater or Ronald Reagan.

In the same week that saw the former Speaker of the House become the most serious challenger to Mitt Romney, the Republican very few Republicans seem to like, Gingrich showed his true colors. As part of the ongoing GOP rant against organized labor, he stepped up with a proposal to fire school janitors and replace them with child laborers. Blaming “the core policies of protecting unionization and bureaucratization” for “crippling” children, Gingrich told a Harvard audience, “It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, in child laws, which are truly stupid.” Gingrich did not misspeak. He was serious in suggesting that “most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school.”

Even in a party where shamelessness is now considered a virtue, it’s unsettling that a man who collected $30,000 a month for an hour of counsel to Freddie Mac administrators would attack school janitors, who according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics earn a mean wage of $13.74 an hour, or $28,570 a year. In response to Gingrich, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said, “The people you want to fire and replace with kids? A lot of them are parents. That job puts a roof over kids’ heads, food on the table, and provides them with healthcare and the chance to get an education. That job is the only thing between a kid and poverty.” But Gingrich has never been bothered by the human costs of right-wing social experimentation. So why start, now that the Grand Old Party seems to be longing for a return to the Gilded Age? Gingrich is betting there’s no such thing as going too far to the right in this race. He may be right; just days after he championed child labor, he secured the endorsement of New Hampshire’s Union Leader, a rigid-right newspaper determined to stop Romney.

Every conservative running for president in the 2012 cycle is an amazing example of the conservative inability to learn from their mistakes. Everyone of them, especially Newt is the rebirth of the George W. Bush administration, only meaner and dumber - if that were possible. These and their ideological comrades across the country came darn close to destroying the economy, now they're saying they should be in charge so they can create jobs. If they were comedians who specialized in satire that would be funny.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Socialists of the Week - The 2012 Republican Presidential Candidates


















Socialists of the Week - The 2012 Republican Presidential Candidates

The Republican Party is catching flat-tax fever — and setting up an epic election-year fight with Democrats over whether wealthier Americans should pay higher taxes or get tax cuts.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney became the latest to punch the tax button Wednesday, telling a Virginia audience that he'll soon update his economic proposal to spell out ways to flatten the tax code.

His vow came just a day after rival Rick Perry grabbed headlines and talk-show chatter with a proposal for an optional flat 20 percent tax on income. Both followed Herman Cain's pitch for a flat 9 percent income tax as part of his 9-9-9 plan, which helped him jump to the top tier of candidates for their party's 2012 nomination. Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann endorse a flat tax, too.

The flat tax — so called because it offers one flat rate for taxpayers in all income groups while taking away many or all deductions — would simplify taxes. It also would almost certainly give big tax cuts to wealthy Americans. Republicans believe that cutting taxes, especially on the wealthy, helps to spur investment, economic growth and hiring.

At the same time, most of the Republican candidates are proposing other changes that also would mean big tax cuts for high-income Americans, such as eliminating taxes on dividend income or capital gains, and eliminating the estate tax, called the death tax by Republicans.

Their push comes at the same time that Democratic President Barack Obama is pushing to raise taxes on higher-income Americans. He's proposed raising taxes on those making more than $200,000 and has endorsed a push by Senate Democrats to raise taxes on incomes above $1 million.

The debate comes as new data show that the very wealthiest Americans have greatly increased their share of U.S. income in recent decades. The richest 1 percent claimed 17 percent of American income in 2007, more than double their 8 percent share in 1979, according to a report this week from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. Protest over growing income inequality is also among the motive issues driving the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations around the country.

Polls show that a solid majority of Americans favor raising taxes on the wealthy. But that's anathema in the Republican Party, where tax cuts, particularly for higher incomes, are popular. Seven in 10 Americans say that policies of Republicans in Congress favor the rich, according to a New York Times poll published Wednesday.

There's little doubt the Republican presidential candidates' proposals would cut taxes on the wealthy.

Most would eliminate taxes on all or some profits on investments. Most of those taxes now are paid by wealthier Americans.

Most also would eliminate the estate tax, which applies only to estates of $7 million or more and is paid by about 3,270 families each year, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, a joint project of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, both respected center-left think tanks in Washington.

"These are really wealthy families," said Roberton Williams, an analyst at the Tax Policy Center.

A flat tax on income would take away some deductions but lower the rate. Perry, for example, would cut it to 20 percent. Gingrich would cut it to 15 percent. The wealthiest Americans now pay a 35 percent marginal rate on income above $379,950. A detailed analysis by the Tax Policy Center found that the Cain plan would mean an average tax cut of $455,000 for those with incomes above $1 million.

Romney once criticized a flat tax proposal in 1996 as a boon to the rich, going so far as personally taking out newspaper ads in early primary states to rip the proposal from then-candidate Steve Forbes.

"It's a tax cut for fat cats," Romney said then.

When he unveiled his economic agenda this year, Romney said he would pursue a "long-term goal" of a "flatter, fairer, simpler structure." But he also said he wouldn't change any of the existing personal income tax rates.

On Wednesday in Fairfax, Va., he said, "I'll lay out some additional ways to make the tax code more flat."

While the Republican tax proposals would give tax cuts to the wealthy, the candidates have backed away from the appearance of raising taxes on lower-income Americans.

Cain at first denied that his plan would raise taxes on poorer Americans, then changed it after the Tax Policy Center found that the 84 percent of taxpayers would pay more under Cain's plan.

Gingrich notably would keep the Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps lower-income families offset their payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security. "Preserving the EITC and Child Tax Credit are critical to ensure that the optional flat tax system does not unfairly target low-income Americans," Gingrich says in a website chart comparing his flat tax to Perry's.

Romney points to his proposal to limit tax cuts on dividends and capital gains to incomes below $250,000. "My view is that a key to the tax policy is to reduce the tax burden on the people who have been hurt most by the Obama economy, and that's the middle class," he said Wednesday.

Gingrich and others have noted, however, that the limit would mean little because people below that threshold pay few taxes on dividends and capital gains.

And Perry would give all taxpayers the option of sticking with the current tax system, meaning no one would have to pay more than they would under today's rules.

 As one can see from the chart above, conservative economic policies are a perverted redistribution of wealth. The people who work the hardest in the U.S. have the least wealth. Most of the top 1% in particular make most of their income from the comfort of their overstuffed leather lounge chair via capital gains from stocks, not from work. The rabid Right, which has come to fully control the radical redistribution policies of the Republican Party says the wealthy already pay most of the federal income taxes. So we should be crying crocodile tears for them. Common sense should tell every American - and the polls seem to indicate most Americans understand that the people who own a disproportionate amount of the nation's wealth should indeed pay most of the taxes since they are the group that owns the most. If taxes went back to what they were during the Clinton administration the very wealthy would still be paying lower taxes than they did in the 1960s.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Sleaze Bag Conservative Hypocrite of the Week - Ohio Gov. John Kasich


















Sleaze Bag Conservative Hypocrite of the Week - Ohio Gov. John Kasich - Ohio Gov. John Kasich Is ‘Very Pleased’ That The Auto Rescue He Originally Opposed Saved The Auto Industry

In 2009, the Obama administration fought the tide of Republican disapproval and decided to rescue General Motors and Chrysler. Millions in paid back loans and thousands of additional jobs later, GM and Chrysler are on track to sell 14 million cars, the “fastest pace in more than two years.”

The American auto recovery is simultaneously spurring an about-face among GOP naysayers. Once calling on America to “let Detroit go bankrupt,” GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently claimed that the rescue was his idea first. Now, another Republican is following suit: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R).

When first asked about financial aid for the auto industry in 2008, Kasich dismissed the idea, saying, “If they’re not going to be viable, we shouldn’t throw good money after bad.” Asked for his feelings now that the rescue is showing success, Kasich said he is “very pleased” that the Americans have the jobs he originally opposed saving:

    Rick Snyder, Kasich’s fellow Republican governor in Michigan, has said that government invention helped save Chrysler and General Motors – and he warned GOP presidential candidates against criticizing the bailout.

    Kasich would not go that far.

    “What’s done is done,” he said. “We have a strengthening auto industry in Ohio. And I am very pleased about it. I am pleased for the families of workers who have jobs.”

The auto funds have been vital to saving and creating jobs in Ohio. One Chrysler plant in Toledo, Ohio was able to add 1,100 new jobs this fall. More than merely pleased, Kasich attempted to take credit for the added jobs — a fact that did not escape Ohio workers.

When asked about Romney’s similar position on the auto rescue, Kasich offered, “I think there isn’t a single person that I know that didn’t want to have a strong auto industry in America…Its just a matter of how you get there.” When asked whether he agreed with Romney’s way of “getting there” via bankruptcy, he simply said, “I just don’t have any interest in even commenting on that.”

How is it that anti-American half-wits such as Republican Gov. John Kasich get elected to public office. Public office is supposed to be about looking out for the interests and common good of the American people, not a few of his sleazy pals in cigar smoke filled back rooms. Maybe its the smoke that causes conservatives to filter everything through their deep hatred of America's working families and contempt for anyone who makes less than $200k a year.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The National Rifle Association Has a History of Supporting Dictators, Yet Has The Gall to Falsely Accuse Obama of Being One


















The National Rifle Association and USAAmmo Has a History of Supporting Dictators, Yet Has The Gall to Falsely Accuse Obama of Being One

Apparently there are those who find National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre's exhortation that there is a "massive Obama conspiracy" in which President Obama is planning to follow up his re-election by somehow eliminating the Second Amendment just a touch too subtle.

In an ad emailed out to the list of WorldNetDaily this afternoon, the good people at USAAmmo explain that President Obama is "secretly conspiring to strip American Citizens of the right to bear arms"... just like Hitler. The sane response to this dastardly conspiracy is, of course, to stock up on military-grade assault weapons and ammunition, which the patriots at USAAmmo have helpful put on sale, presumably in honor of Cyber Monday or the impending dictatorship.

While warning that gun control is "One Election Away!" USAAmmo manages to compare Obama to any number of dictators (see update):

GUN CONTROL IMMINENT

Clicking on the ad redirects readers to a web video posted by the company. The first half features haunting music and images of the various dictators who allegedly "established gun control" and the victims who, "unable to defend themselves, were imprisoned, enslaved, and annihilated." In case, you missed the point, the music swiftly shifts to heavy metal as on-screen text warns viewers that "Governments render their citizens defenseless with GUN CONTROL!" because "The defensless [sic] are subject to enslavement, imprisonment and annihilation."

Declaring that "An unarmed American is a subject... an armed American is a citizen," the website urges viewers to "Get armed at USAAmmo.com," then shows images of the AR- and AK- variants and ammo on sale at the website. The video closes with the cheery/chilling statement, "Get them something they'll love! BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE!!"

It's not unusual for gun manufacturers, sellers, or advocates to promote firearms sales by fearmongering about impending gun control measures. But this is a little blunt even for them.

UPDATE: USAAmmo appears to have compared President Obama to Chinese dictator and mass murderer Mao Zedong, Soviet dictator and mass murderer Josef Stalin, German dictator and mass murderer Adolf Hitler, Cambodian dictator and mass murderer Pol Pot... and Academy Award-winning actor Forest Whitaker.


UPDATE: USAAmmo also neglects to mention the many ties between murderous dictators and rebel leaders and members of the NRA's own board. Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, lays out the ties between board member Grover Norquist and Nicaraguan Contras as well as murderous African rebel leaders backed by South Africa's apartheid regime; board member Oliver North's connections to the Contras and to Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega; and board member Roy Innis' support for the actual Idi Amin, who reportedly awarded Innis Ugandan citizenship in 1973.

As we've documented, board member and Soldier of Fortune publisher Robert Brown reportedly fought alongside El Salvadoran dictator Roberto d'Aubuisson's death squads and provided supplies to Nicaragua's Contra rebels in the early 1980's.

For more on the ties between the NRA's board and repressive regimes, visit MeetTheNRA.org.

Not to in any way advocate violence, maybe it is a good idea for moderate Americans to buy a gun. With Right-wing conservatives nuts running around who cannot tell the difference between reality and their own paranoid hallucinations, you may have to defend yourself.

Herman Cain Affair No Biggie, Says Dick Morris and Fox News.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Senate May Trash 4th Amendment - Military May Lock Up American Citizens in a “Battlefield” They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window

















Senate May Trash 4th Amendment - Military May Lock Up American Citizens in a “Battlefield” They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window

While nearly all Americans head to family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself.

Senators need to hear from you, on whether you think your front yard is part of a “battlefield” and if any president can send the military anywhere in the world to imprison civilians without charge or trial.

The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. Even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) raised his concerns about the NDAA detention provisions during last night’s Republican debate. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.

The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday. The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing.

I know it sounds incredible. New powers to use the military worldwide, even within the United States? Hasn’t anyone told the Senate that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the president is pulling all of the combat troops out of Iraq and trying to figure out how to get combat troops out of Afghanistan too? And American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?

The answer on why now is nothing more than election season politics. The White House, the Secretary of Defense, and the Attorney General have all said that the indefinite detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act are harmful and counterproductive. The White House has even threatened a veto. But Senate politics has propelled this bad legislation to the Senate floor.

But there is a way to stop this dangerous legislation. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is offering the Udall Amendment that will delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly Congressional review of detention power. The Udall Amendment will make sure that the bill matches up with American values.

In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”

The solution is the Udall Amendment; a way for the Senate to say no to indefinite detention without charge or trial anywhere in the world where any president decides to use the military. Instead of simply going along with a bill that was drafted in secret and is being jammed through the Senate, the Udall Amendment deletes the provisions and sets up an orderly review of detention power. It tries to take the politics out and put American values back in.

In response to proponents of the indefinite detention legislation who contend that the bill “applies to American citizens and designates the world as the battlefield,” and that the “heart of the issue is whether or not the United States is part of the battlefield,” Sen. Udall disagrees, and says that we can win this fight without worldwide war and worldwide indefinite detention.

The senators pushing the indefinite detention proposal have made their goals very clear that they want an okay for a worldwide military battlefield, that even extends to your hometown. That is an extreme position that will forever change our country.

Now is the time to stop this bad idea. Please urge your senators to vote YES on the Udall Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.
 I'm shocked at the bill and Carl Levin who has been such a great defender of our Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. That conservative Republicans support it is not a shock. They have been giving nothing but lip service to freedom for half a century and counting.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Lobbying Firm's Memo Spells Out Plan to Undermine Occupy Wall Street


















Are there people with and at least they are with OWS behaving badly. With millions of Americans participating in OWS across the country certainly a few of them are going to be cranks of one sort or another. Much like any group you care to name. As we all now know even some highly regarded football coaches behave badly.
Lobbying Firm's Memo Spells Out Plan to Undermine Occupy Wall Street

A well-known Washington lobbying firm with links to the financial industry has proposed an $850,000 plan to take on Occupy Wall Street and politicians who might express sympathy for the protests, according to a memo obtained by the MSNBC program “Up w/ Chris Hayes.”

The proposal was written on the letterhead of the lobbying firm Clark Lytle Geduldig & Cranford and addressed to one of CLGC’s clients, the American Bankers Association.

CLGC’s memo proposes that the ABA pay CLGC $850,000 to conduct “opposition research” on Occupy Wall Street in order to construct “negative narratives” about the protests and allied politicians. The memo also asserts that Democratic victories in 2012 would be detrimental for Wall Street and targets specific races in which it says Wall Street would benefit by electing Republicans instead.


Something strange and deeply Un-American is going on. Maybe it is time for OWS to move on to other tactics to rise public awareness of how Wall Street is stealing billions from the U.S. economy and average working folks. In the mean time there is no excuse for the police preventing citizens from exercising their first amendment rights. Are OWS protesters violent? Not so far. Most of the violence had been perpetrated by police against protesters. There is an irony here in that the police and their unions are part of the 99%.