Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Why Does Mitt Romney Hate Retired Americans and the Disabled



































What Does Mitt Romney Hate Retired Americans and the Disabled

Mitt Romney’s proposals to cap total federal spending, boost defense spending, cut taxes, and balance the budget would require extraordinarily large cuts in other programs, both entitlements and discretionary programs, according to our revised analysis based on new information and updated projections.

For the most part, Governor Romney has not outlined cuts in specific programs. But if policymakers exempted Social Security from the cuts, as Romney has suggested, and cut Medicare, Medicaid, and all other entitlement and discretionary programs by the same percentage — to meet Romney’s spending cap, defense spending target, and balanced budget requirement — then non-defense programs other than Social Security would have to be cut 29 percent in 2016 and 59 percent in 2022 (see Figure 1). Without the balanced budget requirement, the cuts would be smaller but still massive, reaching 40 percent in 2022.

The cuts that would be required under the Romney budget proposals in programs such as veterans’ disability compensation, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for poor elderly and disabled individuals, SNAP (formerly food stamps), and child nutrition programs would move millions of households below the poverty line or drive them deeper into poverty. The cuts in Medicare and Medicaid would make health insurance unaffordable (or unavailable) to tens of millions of people. The cuts in non-defense discretionary programs — a spending category that covers a wide variety of public services such as elementary and secondary education, law enforcement, veterans’ health care, environmental protection, and biomedical research — would come on top of the deep cuts in this part of the budget that are already in law due to the discretionary funding caps established in last year’s Budget Control Act (BCA).
Box 1: The Romney Tax Cuts and Our Estimates

Governor Romney has said he would offset an unspecified portion of his proposed tax cuts by reducing tax exemptions, deductions, and other preferences known as “tax expenditures.” Because of Romney’s spending cap (which covers interest payments along with other spending) and his balanced budget requirement, the depth of his required budget cuts depends on the degree to which the cost of his tax cuts would be offset through reductions in tax expenditures. In this analysis, we assume that Governor Romney would offset half of his proposed tax cuts, though we also provide estimates under alternate assumptions. This is a generous assumption: estimates from the Urban Institute-Brookings Tax Policy Center indicate that the Romney tax cuts would cost about $4.9 trillion over ten years. Securing tax-expenditure savings equal to half that amount — about $2.4 trillion — would be extremely difficult, especially since Governor Romney has said he would not increase the low tax rate on capital gains and dividend income and would not cut heavily into tax expenditures for the middle class. Analysts at the Congressional Research Service recently concluded that securing savings of more than $100 or $150 billion a year from tax expenditures is likely to be difficult to achieve.

As explained below, our estimates of the depth of spending cuts that the Romney proposals would require are broadly consistent with what Governor Romney himself has said about the magnitude of his spending reductions. These updated estimates are based on new information and proposals from the governor, updated budget and economic projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), modifications in our own assumptions about “current policy” to match those that CBO and other budget analysts use, and other relevant factors.

Governor Romney’s cuts would be substantially deeper than those required under the austere House-passed budget plan authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). Over the 2014-2022 period, Romney would require cuts in programs other than Social Security and defense of $7 trillion to $10 trillion, compared with a little over $5 trillion under the Ryan budget. By 2022, Romney’s cuts would shrink non-defense discretionary spending — which, over the past 50 years, has averaged 3.9 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and has not fallen below 3.2 percent — to between 1.1 percent and 1.6 percent of GDP.
The Romney Budget Proposals

During his campaign, Governor Romney has made four proposals that would significantly affect the overall level of federal spending, taxes, and the deficit:

    Cap total spending:  "Reduce federal spending to 20 percent of GDP by the end of my first term" and "cap it at that level."[1]
    Increase defense spending:  "Set a core defense spending floor of 4 percent of GDP."[2]   "Core defense spending," as Governor Romney defines it, encompasses 93 percent of the national defense budget function.
    Cut taxes:  Continue current tax policy by permanently extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and other tax cuts that are scheduled to expire, further reduce income tax rates by another 20 percent (the top tax rate thus would be 28 percent), eliminate the estate tax, eliminate the taxation of investment tax for people other than those with high incomes, reduce the corporate income tax, and repeal the taxes enacted in the 2010 health reform legislation.[3] 
    Balance the budget:  "I am planning on getting a balanced budget."[4]

This paper examines the combined effect of these four proposals, since they interact, to determine the amount of spending that would be available for programs other than core defense.

because it has been generally such a well run program Medicare costs have risen much slower and lower than private insurance costs. Mitt Romney's plans would accelerate medicare costs to exceed those of private insurance - imagine seniors having to pay 29% to 59% more out of their pocket.

Time for the Department of Justice to Investigate Criminal and Currently Gov of Florida Rick Scott For Purging Eligible Voters From Florida’s Rolls

Mitt Romney Embraces the flip-flop to pander to extreme conservative voters, Romney Campaign Attacks Stimulus Mitt Once Supported

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Thoughts on National Defense Spending and Priorities




























Memorial Day Thoughts on National Defense Spending and Priorities

We can best honor those who have given their lives for this nation in combat by making sure our military might is proportional to what America needs.

The United States spends more on our military than do China, Russia, Britain, France, Japan, and Germany put together.

With the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the cost of fighting wars is projected to drop – but the “base” defense budget (the annual cost of paying troops and buying planes, ships, and tanks – not including the costs of actually fighting wars) is scheduled to rise. The base budget is already about 25 percent higher than it was a decade ago, adjusted for inflation.

At a time when Medicare, Medicaid, and non-defense discretionary spending (including most programs for the poor, as well as infrastructure and basic R&D) are in serious jeopardy, Obama and the Democrats should be calling for even more defense cuts.

One big reason: It’s almost impossible to terminate large defense contracts. Defense contractors have cultivated sponsors on Capitol Hill and located their plants and facilities in politically important congressional districts. Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, and others have made spending on national defense into America’s biggest jobs program.

So we keep spending billions on Cold War weapons systems like nuclear attack submarines, aircraft carriers, and manned combat fighters that pump up the bottom lines of defense contractors but have nothing to do with 21st-century combat.

For example, the Pentagon says it wants to buy fewer F-35 joint strike fighter planes than had been planned – the single-engine fighter has been plagued by cost overruns and technical glitches – but the contractors and their friends on Capitol Hill promise a fight.

The absence of a budget deal on Capitol Hill is supposed to trigger an automatic across-the-board ten-year cut in the defense budget of nearly $500 billion, starting January.

But Republicans have vowed to restore the cuts. The House Republican budget cuts everything else — yet brings defense spending back up. Mitt Romney’s proposed budget does the same.

Yet even if the scheduled cuts occur, the Pentagon is still projected to spend over $2.7 trillion over the next ten years.

At the very least, hundreds of billions could be saved without jeopardizing the nation’s security by ending weapons systems designed for an age of conventional warfare. We should shrink the F-35 fleet of stealth fighters. Cut the number of deployed strategic nuclear weapons, ballistic missile submarines and intercontinental ballistic missiles. And take a cleaver to the Navy and Air Force budgets. (Most of the action is with the Army, Marines and Special Forces.)

At a time when Medicare, Medicaid, and non-defense discretionary spending (including most programs for the poor, as well as infrastructure and basic R&D) are in serious jeopardy, Obama and the Democrats should be calling for even more defense cuts.

A reasonable and rational defense budget would be a fitting memorial to those who have given their lives so we may remain free.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License

Robert Reich, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. Time Magazine has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including his latest best-seller, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future; The Work of Nations; Locked in the Cabinet; Supercapitalism; and his newest, an e-book, Beyond Outrage. His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. His widely-read blog can be found at www.robertreich.org.

Editorials like this are just so much pissing in the wind. Both political parties reap buckets of campaign cash from the defense industry. No Congressional representative wants to see a defense plant closed down in their district. Defense is not even a good way to create jobs.

Conservative Republican Sleaze Bag Sites Baselessly Accuse WH Of Leaking Bin Laden Raid "Classified Information" To Filmmakers

How Florida Governor & Known Criminal Rick Scott(R) Could Steal The Election For Mitt Romney


Saturday, May 26, 2012

Republicans Do Not Care About The Deficit. They Care About Cutting The Safety Net for Seniors and Children





























Republicans Do Not Care About The Deficit. They Care About Cutting The Safety Net for Seniors and Children

OK, so why does everyone think the deficit is out of control and a threat to the existence of the republic? Good question. It's probably way too late to pull us out of the rabbit hole we've collectively dived into, but anyone reporting on this really owes it to their readers to explain the basic political dynamics at work. So why do Republicans and Democrats both think the deficit is a problem?

    Answer for Republicans: They don't think the deficit is a problem. If they did, they'd favor tax increases, Pentagon cuts, and Medicare cuts, since even the most dimwitted among them knows that cutting domestic discretionary spending won't make a dent in the deficit. But they favor none of these things.

    Rather, they think federal spending on liberal social programs is a problem, and yammering about the deficit is a good way to force cuts to these programs. And there's nothing wrong with this. It's good politics. Why waste a crisis, after all? But anyone reporting on this issue really needs to be honest about what's going on. Republicans want to cut social spending. The deficit is just a handy cudgel to make this happen.

    Answer for Democrats: I'm actually a little stumped here. I think most Democrats understand that the short-term deficit really isn't a problem, and they also understand (I hope) that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire and letting the economy recover will get us very close to eliminating the primary deficit (i.e., the deficit minus interest payments). If we do that, then publicly held debt as a percent of GDP stabilizes and the deficit problem becomes pretty manageable. The chart on the right from CBPP shows this graphically.

    In the longer term, Medicare growth is a problem — which is just another way of saying that healthcare spending in general is a problem. This needs to be addressed, but it needs to be addressed for its own sake, not just because it affects the federal deficit.

    So why have Democrats joined the deficit chorus? I'm not sure, really. I'd guess it's mainly just fear that they've been outflanked on the issue, and if they want to stay in office they have to yammer about it. But that's just a guess.

In any case, Republicans are wrong: we don't have a spending problem, we have an aging problem. As America ages, Social Security and Medicare are going to cost more, and unless you want to start killing off old people Soylent Green style there's no way to avoid this even if we do get a handle on rising healthcare costs. This in turn means we're going to need more revenue to care for the elderly. As Jon Cohn says today, "It's ridiculous to have a conversation about balancing the budget that won't even contemplate higher taxes."

A perpetually growing deficit will eventually drive up interest rates and slow economic growth, so it's something we should take seriously. But slashing social programs is exactly the opposite of taking it seriously. We need to let the Bush tax cuts expire, get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, keep working hard on reining in healthcare costs, and accept the fact that we're going to need to fund an aging population whether we like it or not. Do that, and all we'll need is modest discipline in the rest of the budget. The long-term deficit is a problem, but it's not a crisis

Perhaps the biggest piece of evidence that conservative Republicans only care about deficits as a political wedge is that they ran up historic deficits from 2001 to 2008 and did not rise one dollar in revenue to pay the deficit down. Mitt Romney has a deficit "reduction" plan, full of accounting gimmicks it will increase the deficit by at at least $3 trillion dollars while cutting the safety net and buying the newest toys for the military.

The Debt Increase Under Obama Is Largely A Result Of Bush-Era Policies

Trump on Romney: ‘He’d Buy Companies, He’d Close Companies, He’d Get Rid Of Jobs’

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Conservative Republican Media Starts Noise Campaign to Drown Out The Fact Obama Has Been a Conservative Spender






















Conservative Republican Media Starts Noise Campaign to Drown Out The Fact Obama Has Been a Conservative Spender

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters not to buy into the "BS" of GOP-driven tax and spending claims and pointed to a Wall Street Journal MarketWatch column that noted that government spending is rising at its slowest pace since the 1950s. Far from heeding that advice, right-wing media figures relied on misleading economic talking points to attack Carney

...Right-Wing Media Respond By Saying The Debt Dramatically Increased Under Obama

Fox's Varney: "Obama Has Run Up The Debt A Great Deal More Than President Bush Did In His Full 8 Years." From the May 23 edition of Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto:

    STUART VARNEY (guest host): [I]f you are going to argue that the president is not a big spender, it's very difficult to argue against the hard, solid numbers. I've got figures which show very clearly that President Obama has run up the debt a great deal more than President Bush did in his full 8 years: 4.9 trillion for President Bush in 8 years. 5 trillion and more for President Obama in just three-and-a-half years.

( can Varney and Fox News do simple arithmetic? See charts above)

PolitiFact: "Obama Has Indeed Presided Over The Slowest Growth In Spending Of Any President Using Raw Dollars." From a PolitiFact post rating the MarketWatch finding that Obama has the lowest spending record of any president as "Mostly True":

    Obama has indeed presided over the slowest growth in spending of any president using raw dollars, and it was the second-slowest if you adjust for inflation. The math simultaneously backs up Nutting's calculations and demolishes Romney's contention. The only significant shortcoming of the graphic is that it fails to note that some of the restraint in spending was fueled by demands from congressional Republicans. On balance, we rate the claim Mostly True. [PolitiFact, 5/22/12]

The charts include statistics from the OMB ( Office of Management and Budget, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and Haver Analytic. Those numbers would look even better except that from 2000 to 2008 conservative Republicans put all their spending on the national credit card, leaving those bills for the next guys to pay. Behavior that was both irresponsible and immoral, but hey that is the way conservatism works.

There are several ways to run a free market economy. One way is the Romney way. Where people with lots of money, power and connections give average Americans the shaft and call it "success".Why Mitt Romney’s Time At Bain Capital Matters

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Michele Bachmann(R) Was Critical of Bain and Romney. Now Conservative Republicans Are In a Panic Over Bain Attacks



















Michele Bachmann(R) Was Critical of Bain and Romney. Now Conservative Republicans Are In a Panic Over Bain Attacks

1. CAN’T BEAT OBAMA — “He cannot beat Obama,” Bachmann told ABC News in December. “It’s not going to happen.”

    2. ‘NEWTROMNEY’ — During the moment that Newt Gingrich was on top, Bachmann lumped the two leading candidates together as single entity — “NewtRomney” — a corrupt insider who supported socialized Medicine and other nefarious liberal polices. “When you take a look and people say this is a two man race I would agree, but the one man is ‘NewtRomney’ and the other man is Michele Bachmann, the only proven consistent conservative,” she told CBS News.

    3. ROMNEY WRONG ON IMMIGRATION, CLIMATE, STIMULUS — Bachmann went on to say that ” ‘NewtRomney‘ are on the same side as the president when it comes to cap and trade, the $700 billion bailout, illegal immigration, even the payroll tax this week.” “NewtRomney” also “advocated for the healthcare mandate,” she said.

    4. ‘BIG GOVERNMENT CANDIDATE’ — During a debate in Iowa, Bachmann charged that “Mitt Romney is the big government candidate.”

    5. ‘CHAMELEON’ — In a speech in Florida, Bachmann called Romney a “chameleon” for his propensity to change positions in the political winds.

    6. NOT PRO-LIFE — At the same speech, she said, “If you look at Mitt Romney, he…has been very inconsistent on his positions. He has been both sides of the abortion issue, on both sides of the issue of same-sex marriage.”

    7. PRO-GAY MARRAIGE — Bachmann accused Romney of signing “189 same-sex marriage licenses.” This attack was false, but Bachmann said it cast doubt on Romney’s willingness “to fight against same-sex marriage.”

    8. INDIVIDUAL MANDATE — Bachmann repeatedly hit Mitt Romney for implementing the antecedent of ObamaCare while governor of Massachusetts, saying the dreaded individual mandate “was Newt Gingrich’s idea, and Mitt Romney implemented it.”

    9. NOT COMMITTED TO REPEALING OBAMACARE — Bachmann often criticized Romney’s plan to repeal Obamacare, which she said didn’t go far enough. “You’ve got to full-scale repeal it, and I don’t think the governors have that level of commitment to do it,” she said in a radio interview in Iowa.

    10. ROMNEY ENDORSEMENT FALSE — Back in February, Bachmann seemed to take offense at the prospect of endorsing Romney, demanding the Boston Globe retract a “completely false” story reporting that negations were in the works. “Let me be absolutely clear — there are absolutely no negotiations between me and the Romney campaign regarding any pending endorsement of Governor Romney,” she said in a statement.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry(R) also said of Romney, "'There were a couple of times when I wondered whether I was going to get a pink slip.' He actually said this. Now, I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips, whether he was going to have enough of them to hand out."

Who Really Caused The Deficit? (CHART)

Anti-Progress Conservatives at  Daily Caller Distorts American Jobs Created By Green Energy Loans. The Daily Caller recently reported that "$3.1 billion in DOE loan guarantees" to First Solar "created mostly overseas jobs." In fact, the chairman of First Solar testified before Congress that "all the jobs directly created with the loan guarantees" are American.

The Daily Caller embedded video of his testimony in its report, but apparently didn't watch it all the way through. Neither did right-wing news aggregator Weasel Zippers (the infamous America hating web site), which ran with a similarly misleading headline.

Its the new conservative values - lie all the time about everything. Then sit back and hope some of the propaganda sticks.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Patriotism 101: Why Are Conservative Republicans Lying To America About Food Stamps and Unemployment





































Patriotism 101: Why Are Conservative Republicans Lying To America About Food Stamps and Unemployment

In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Robert Barro dismisses Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s claim that every dollar spent on food stamps generates $1.84 of economic activity.  Barro claims Secretary Vilsack’s “Keynesian” estimate conflicts with “regular” economics, which he says predicts that increasing transfer payments like food stamps and unemployment insurance (UI) would lead to a decline in economic activity and a fall in employment because they would “motivate less work effort by reducing the reward from working.”

Contrary to Barro’s assertion, however, the Secretary is in good company appealing to Keynesian multiplier analysis under current economic conditions, and Barro’s assessment is implausible.  For example, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that transfer payments to individuals like the increase in food stamp benefits and additional UI compensation of the 2009 Recovery Act generate between 80 cents and $2.10 for each dollar spent when the Federal Reserve holds short-term interest rates as low as possible (see Table 2 here).  Barro says “there is zero evidence” that deficit-financed transfers increase economic activity and boost employment;” CBO explains why, taken as a whole, the evidence says they do.

Circumstances matter.  When the economy is humming along on all cylinders and unemployment is very low – think the late 1990s – deficit-financed increases in food stamps and UI would not increase economic activity or boost employment.  The multiplier would be essentially zero because the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates in response.  Any rise in demand stimulated by the increase in transfers would be offset by the fall in demand due to higher interest rates.  Barro’s concern about work disincentives could come into play if transfers were exceedingly generous.

That’s not where we are now.  Higher interest rates due to Fed tightening will not likely be a concern anytime soon.  Instead, we face a long period of high unemployment and excess productive capacity.  These are just the circumstances in which transfers will most likely be effective in stimulating demand and creating jobs.

Food stamp and UI recipients spend most of any increase in income they get, and they spend it quickly.  That means more spending at local businesses and more orders for those businesses’ suppliers.  The additional spending generates income for local businesses and their suppliers, and the boost to demand multiplies through the economy.  With nine unemployed workers for every two job openings and businesses generally operating well below full capacity, constraints on expanding production and employment to meet the increased demand should be minimal.  Treasury borrowing costs will continue to be low and we will increase the odds that a real economic recovery will take hold.

I wish we were at a point where further deficit-financed spending would be counterproductive because growth is strong and full employment is in sight.  But, we’re clearly not there yet and it’s bad economic policy – regular or irregular – to pretend otherwise.

 We do live in a free market society - at least for those in the middle-class and below ( in other words not in the same economic class as George W. Bush and Mitt Romney). When people spend their very small government benefits those dollars do not disappear down a black hole. And when people do get back on their feet - and most Americans do eventually - they pay back into the system and start putting more money in the pockets of American business. At no time in this cycle is there much incentive not to seek work. Having a safety net to provide some protection against ending up living under a bridge is hardly incentive to live off gov'mint benefits. Those benefits are measly at best.

Anti-American Propaganda Channel Fox News Spreads Romney's Dubious Talking Point On Women's Job Losses

The National Review’s fake plagiarism scoop - Updated: After falsely accusing Elizabeth Warren of plagiarism, the conservative magazine apologizes. The Biggest wuss in Massachusetts Scott brown (R) is still using false and distorted claims in his mail campaign about Warren to rise money.

Women for Obama

Friday, May 18, 2012

Conservative Republicans Are The Shame of The Nation: House 'Violence Against Women Act' Bill Ratchets Up Attacks on Domestic Violence Survivors




















Conservative Republicans Are The Shame of The Nation: House 'Violence Against Women Act' Bill Ratchets Up Attacks on Domestic Violence Survivors

Women have been under economic assault in Washington for months. Deficit hawks have taken aim at social programs and civil rights protections that help keep women safe, healthy and able to participate in work and community life. To some lawmakers, none of that is more important than “saving” taxpayer dollars—which is often shorthand for robbing working women of both their earnings and their safety net.

The hostility toward women crested this week as conservative lawmakers pushed legislation that would gut the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). House Bill 4970 isn't just oppressive to survivors; it attacks the civil and social rights of all women. By raising barriers to economic assistance and legal recourse, the legislation sends the message to countless women living in violent households that their place is still in the home.

Even with protective laws on the books, a woman struggling to support a family and avoid foreclosure faces a devastating choice when the alternative to an abusive home is homelessness. The decision to break away is even harder when local service programs and battered women’s shelters are themselves struggling for survival amid budget cuts.

Adding insult to injury, many states have failed to protect survivors’ access to unemployment insurance, which aggravates the economic instability that often keeps vulnerable women tied to abusive partners.

"The brutalization of women doesn’t go on just behind closed doors. On the House floor, the nation’s shame is now on full display."

The House version of VAWA would deal a blow to immigrants trapped in abusive relationships, making it harder to petition for legal status as abuse victims, and easier for abusers to terrorize partners who fear immigration authorities. Lisalyn Jacobs of the advocacy group Legal Momentum told In These Times that “immigrant women are particularly economically vulnerable and may either be relying on their abusive partner's income, or in a marginal position themselves that prevents them from being economically stable enough to leave their violent partners.” The bill also erodes mandates for public housing authorities to develop policies to help abused residents relocate to safer places.

The legislation also excludes lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people from key protections—an exclusion compounded by poverty, homelessness and employment discrimination afflicting many LGBTQ populations. Similarly, the bill would undermine anti-domestic violence protections in Native American communities, where both poverty and gender-related violence are rampant.

The House bill comes at a time when the country’s economic crisis has taken an especially cruel toll on abuse victims. Although economic troubles don’t directly cause domestic violence, combined with anger and self-blame, can unemployment, poverty and other social stressors can definitely excerbate family conflicts and make escape prohibitively expensive.

The economics of intimate partner violence shape the impacts of abuse as well. According to a 2007 analysis by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

        The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services.
        Victims of intimate partner violence lost almost 8 million days of paid work because of the violence perpetrated against them by current or former husbands, boyfriends and dates. This loss is the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity as a result of violence.
        There are 16,800 homicides and $2.2 million (medically treated) injuries due to intimate partner violence annually, which costs $37 billion.

A 2009 study published by the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence noted that compared with other women, "women who report [domestic violence] victimization also report more days arriving late to work, more absenteeism from work, more psychological and physical health problems that may reduce their productivity, and greater difficulty maintaining employment over time.” In the perverse cycle of economic oppression and violence, some abusers capitalize on women's financial dependency by harassing their partners to interfere with their jobs, or simply stealing money from them.

Efforts to claw back protections for survivors are the tip of a widening spectrum of policies promoting gender inequality, including welfare regulations that punish single mothers, budgetary attacks on reproductive health care for the working poor, and now, abandonment of the state’s basic responsibility to protect women from physical and economic abuse.

Advocates have supported the Senate version of the VAWA bill, which contains the progressive provisions absent in the House legislation. But overall, funding for related programs and services has been precarious year to year. Jacobs said, “neither bill contains the strong response to the economic needs of survivors of violence that would be appropriate given the fragile state of the economy.”

The brutalization of women doesn’t go on just behind closed doors. On the House floor, the nation’s shame is now on full display.

How can this be, conservatives claim they have not declared war on women. Would the party of "values" be once again lying to the public. Could the party of values once again be acting like some authoritarian thugs who do not have the capacity for empathy that normal human being and good Americans should have.

Scott Brown(R-MA) Scared Of Elizabeth Warren 


Why Have Conservative Republicans Declared War on Women - America’s Women Can’t Be Trusted

Mitt Romney Debt Speech Ignores Key Facts - His plan, the conservative Republican plan would increase the deficit by $5 trillion over ten years.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Why Did Scott Brown(R) Vote Against Children and Pander to Polluters

Why Did Scott Brown(R) Vote Against Children and Pander to Polluters

Why Does Scott Brown (R) Hate American Values and Common Decency

















Why Does Scott Brown (R-MA) Hate American Values and Common Decency

WASHINGTON — Continuing his quest to hide his record from Bay Staters, Sen. Scott Brown used a recent Watertown appearance to lie to constituents about supporting tax loopholes for oil companies and powerful corporations.

At a September 28 event at the Watertown Chamber of Commerce, Sen. Scott Brown responded to a question from a concerned constituent by making a series of false statements and misleading claims to perpetuate the myth that he is fighting for working Massachusetts families.

“Despite his campaign promise to be a ‘Scott Brown Republican’ and put Massachusetts ahead of party politics, Scott Brown has time and time again shown he’s more interested in toeing the Republican Party line,” said Rodell Mollineau, president of American Bridge 21st Century.

“By jumping at the chance to defend oil companies at the expense of middle class families and willfully deceiving constituents, Scott Brown has once again revealed that a ‘Scott Brown Republican’ is just like every other Republican — except they lie about it afterwards,” Mollineau added.

BACKGROUND:
At Chamber of Commerce Event, Sen. Scott Brown Misled Constituent On Support For Tax Loopholes

QUESTIONER: “I want to know how you can support cutting Medicare and Social Security and you keep voting to protect tax breaks for billionaire and oil companies, there’s so many subsidies out there, they don’t provide anything to us- they do profit and they profit and they don’t help our local communities like our community banks do.”

SEN. SCOTT BROWN: “With regards to closing loopholes, listen the only loophole that’s been put up before us is the ethanol subsidy and I voted to close that because it’s used its useful life. Are there others that are out there yes, we’ve talked about it but none of them have been proposed at this point . . . it’s difficult to get into hypotheticals about some of the things you’re talking about because they haven’t been brought forward yet. So we’ll chip away at it and we’ll do our very best.”
But Brown Has Routinely Opposed Eliminating Tax Loopholes For Oil Companies & Wall Street

Brown Opposed Closing Tax Loopholes for Oil Companies. In response to a question from MoveOn.org organizer Nina Allen, who pressed Brown to support closing tax loopholes, “Brown said he had voted to close some loopholes, such as a tax subsidy for ethanol. But he said he was not inclined to support any more taxes.” “We’re in a 2 ½- to 3-year recession right now, and raising taxes is an absolute job killer,” Brown said. [Boston Globe, 8/8/11]

Brown Voted to Kill Bill to End Tax Breaks For Large Oil Companies. Brown voted against invoking cloture on a motion to proceed to legislation that would repeal tax breaks for the largest oil companies. The legislation would eliminate five different tax breaks, saving $21 billion over 10 years. The New York Times reported, “The Senate on Tuesday blocked a Democratic proposal to strip the five leading oil companies of tax breaks that backers of the measure said were unfairly padding industry profits while consumers were struggling with high gas prices.” [Vote #72,5/17/11; New York Times, 5/17/11]

Brown Wrote to Senate Finance Committee to Preserve Venture Capital Fund Managers’ Tax Break. In May 2010, Brown wrote to the leaders of the Senate Finance Committee “asking to have the tax break preserved for venture capital fund managers who ‘contribute to the viability of our start-up community.’” The tax break Brown referred to allowed venture capitalists and other financial managers to pay the lower 15 percent capital gains tax rate on the money they earn from successful investments, as opposed to the up to 35 percent tax rate wage earners pay. Eliminating the tax break would have yielded “$24 billion in taxes over the next 10 years” according to the administration. [Boston Globe, 12/29/10]

Brown Voted Against Amendment to Eliminate Oil and Gas Company Tax Loopholes. Brown voted against a Sanders Amendment to the tax extenders bill. Tulsa World reported, “The Senate rejected an amendment, sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., to the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (H.R. 4213) that would have eliminated tax credits for oil and natural gas production and would have used the proceeds to reduce the deficit and fund programs to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy. The vote Tuesday was 35 yeas to 61 nays.” [Vote #187, 6/15/10; Tulsa World, 6/20/10]

Brown Voted Against Closing Corporate Tax Loopholes. Brown voted against the Senate conference committee report on legislation that would close several corporate tax loopholes. The Boston Globe wrote, “The corporate tax bill… would close several so-called loopholes that companies have used to lower their payments to the state. The biggest money-raiser is a provision known as combined reporting, which is designed to prevent companies from shifting profits to other states with lower tax rates. The measure would require companies to combine income from all their operations, then apportion a profit for tax purposes based on the amount of business activity they have in Massachusetts.” [H4904, Vote 261,7/1/08; Boston Globe, 7/1/08]
pay no attention to brown's record of voting like a little puppet for special interests who pull Brown's strings. pay attention to all the noise about Elizabeth Warren and whether she is part Native America ( which no one has proved she is not). Let's all vote to return the corrupt, lying, sleazy Scott Brown to the Senate because that is what conservatives want. The more lying two faced morons like Brown we have in the Senate the easier it is for conservatives to make America into Pottersville. Brown and conservative are counting on voters to act like small minded morons and focus on things that do not matter.


Sleaze Bag Scott Brown(R-MA) justifies subsidizing a golf course over aid for 9/11 rescue workers

Sleaze Bag Scott Brown(R-MA) justifies subsidizing a golf course over aid for 9/11 rescue workers

Monday, May 14, 2012

Just Five Facts of Conservative Policy That Are Eating Away at The American Dream

























Just Five Facts of Conservative Policy That Are Eating Away at The American Dream

"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses...I lift my lamp beside the golden door!" These words, from poet Emma Lazarus, were inscribed on the Statue of Liberty over 100 years ago. Today the golden door has a lock on it, paid for with record profits from the health care, education, and financial industries.(Painting: 1886 by Edward Moran)

1. We're near the bottom of the developed world in children's health and safety

According to a 2007 UNICEF report, the U.S. ranked last among 21 OECD nations in an assessment of child health and safety. The assessment measured infant mortality, immunization, and death from accidents and injuries.

A related 2009 OECD study generally agreed, placing the U.S. 24th out of 30 OECD countries for children's health and safety. It also showed the devastating effects of inequality in our country. Despite having the second-highest average income for children among the 30 OECD countries, the U.S. ranked 27th out of 30 for child poverty (percentage of children living in households that are below 50% of the median income).

2. We've betrayed the young people who were advised to stay in school

Over 40% of recent college graduates are living with their parents, dealing with government loans that average $27,200. The unemployment rate for young people is about 50%. More than 350,000 Americans with advanced degrees applied for food stamps in 2010.

As Washington lobbyists endeavor to kill a proposed bill to reduce the interest rates on student debt, federal loans remain readily available, and so colleges go right on increasing their tuition.

Meanwhile, corporations hold $2 trillion in cash while looking for investments and employees in foreign countries, and American students are forced to accept menial positions. Yet delusions persist about our new generation of would-be workers. Conservatives are all bubbly about today's young entrepreneurs creating their own jobs -- jobs that "don't yet exist."

3. The main source of middle-class wealth has been largely wiped out

American homeowners owe almost as much as the students, with $700 billion of debt over and above the value of their homes.

This removes the only source of wealth for middle America, especially for blacks and Hispanics. Remarkably, for every dollar of NON-HOME wealth owned by white families, people of color have only one cent.

So when minority families were specifically targeted for high-risk, subprime loans that could be re-packaged and sold for a quick short-term profit, most of their assets were erased. Median wealth fell 66% for Hispanic households and 53% for black households. For whites the decline was 16%.

With a disturbing note of irony, Sanford Weill, the banker largely responsible for the reversal of the mortgage-protecting Glass-Steagall Act, was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences for "extraordinary accomplishment and a call to serve."

4. We give prison sentences for smoking marijuana, but not for billion-dollar fraud

About half of our world-leading prison population is in jail for non-violent drug offenses. Americans have also been arrested for handing out free food in a park. Mothers in Ohio and Connecticut were jailed for enrolling their kids in out-of-district schools. As of 2003 in California there were 344 individuals serving sentences of 25 years or more for shoplifting as a third offense, in many cases after two non-violent offenses.

How does the market deal with this steady tide of petty crime? It strives for more. The new trend of private prisons is dependent on maintaining a sizable prison population to guarantee profits, with no incentive for rehabilitation.

As the number of inmates has surged, the people who devastated countless American lives "get out of jail free." The savings and loan fraud cost the nation between $300 billion and $500 billion, about 100 times more than the total cost of burglaries in 2010. The financial system bailout has already cost the country $3 trillion. Goldman Sachs packaged bad debt, sold it under a different name, persuaded ratings services to label it AAA, and then bet against their own financial creation by selling it short. Other firms accused of fraud and insider trading were Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns, Bank of America, Countrywide Financial, and Wells Fargo. The New York Times reported in 2008 that the Justice Department had postponed the bribery or fraud prosecutions of over 50 corporations, choosing instead to enter into agreements involving fines and 'monitoring' periods.

5. You can have health care, if you pay for it

A recent Commonwealth Fund study compared U.S. health care spending to 12 other OECD countries. The data shows that reducing our costs to the median level of spending among the OECD countries would save us $1.5 trillion a year, more than our entire deficit.

Unfortunately, insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies and hospital administrators won't hear of it. There's too much money to be made. Bypass surgery in the U.S. costs 2 to 3 times more than in Great Britain, Canada, France, and Germany. Cataract surgery costs 4 times more.

That's if you can pay for it. There are currently about 50 million uninsured Americans. At the other extreme are $2,400 oxymoronic penthouse hospital suites complete with butler and grand piano. Or, for those who don't get out much, emergency rooms in the home, with private cell-phone access to "concierge doctors."

Inequality in our country is so severe that 120,000 health care workers could have been hired with the salary paid to one man. That's a $40,000 salary for 40 health care workers for every one of the 3,000 counties in the United States. Instead, $5 billion dollars went to one man who reportedly made his first big haul ($4 billion, in 2007) by conspiring with Goldman Sachs in the above-mentioned short sale subterfuge.

The result of ignoring the health needs of the greater population, according to a report in the Annual Review of Public Health, is that "the health rankings of the United States have declined substantially when compared with other nations."

Conclusion

Privatization simply hasn't worked for health care, mortgage banking, higher education, or prison management. There is little incentive for profit-motivated firms to invest in disadvantaged or underemployed Americans. That's why taxes are necessary -- to provide for the common good, and to return some of the gains from 60 years of productivity to the great majority of Americans who contributed to our growth. Unfortunately, the golden door on the Statue of Liberty seems to have an invisible hand holding it shut.
Paul Buchheit

Paul Buchheit is a college teacher, an active member of US Uncut Chicago, founder and developer of social justice and educational websites (UsAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org, RappingHistory.org),

While some Democrats have certainly been part of creating and maintaining these horrific priorities, make no mistake they are ideologically conservative policies. Policies that have created one America - for those at the top and another America for those in the bottom half. The bottom half plays by the rules and pays the price when they make bad decisions and when the upper ten percent make bad decisions. The upper ten percent - America's reinvention of old European aristocracy does not pay for their mistakes - its called socialism for the elite, like Mitt Romney.

What You Need To Know About The Morally Challenged Ed Klein, Author Of “The Amateur.” The Amateur Reads Like an old tabloid that features two headed martians on the cover. Who are the freaks that buy this kind of anti-American conservative trash?


Obama-Hating Anti-American Marine Gets Sympathetic Platform On Fox Propaganda Channel


Fox News Misrepresents EPA Climate Rule. Only a network of anti-American zealots would want America and the world to ignore the dire consequences of global warming. Why do conservative Republicans hate the truth, real values and the Founders tradition of rational inquiry.



Saturday, May 12, 2012

JPMorgan's $2 billion blunder makes Mitt's pledge to repeal Obama's bank reform look dumb


















JPMorgan's $2 billion blunder makes Mitt's pledge to repeal Obama's bank reform look dumb

The whole point of the infamous “Volcker Rule” included in the Dodd-Frank bank reform act is to restrict the banking sector’s ability to clobber the economy by doing dumb things. As the Huffington Post’s Mark Gongloff noted, if  a strict version of the Volcker rule had been in place, JPMorgan, quite possibly, would have been prevented from making a bet that would lose the bank $2 billion — or more.

However, the Volcker Rule is not yet in effect. The final details are still being hammered out, and the brutal truth is that financial sector lobbyists have almost undoubtedly ensured that the kind of “hedging” bet JPMorgan just made would be technically legal under the new rules. There’s a remote possibility that the blowback from Morgan’s disaster might strengthen the final version of the rule, but don’t hold your breath. The worst financial crisis in 80 years resulted in bank reform that at best can be categorized as tepid and perhaps fatally compromised. One bad stumble by JPMorgan that, lucky for us, doesn’t seem likely to ignite a system-wide crash isn’t going to make a dent in Washington regulatory policy.

On the other hand, there could well be real political repercussions. Because if anyone is going to come out of this mess looking even stupider than Jamie Dimon, it’s got to be Mitt Romney — the presidential candidate actively campaigning on a pledge to repeal Dodd-Frank.

Barack Obama has been rightly dinged from the left for his soft approach to Wall Street, but there’s a reason why Big Capital is shunning him and pouring money into Romney’s campaign. Romney’s answer to the financial meltdown is to do absolutely nothing; to abandon even any pretense of reining in Wall Street bad behavior, to return us to the pre-crash regulatory status quo.

That’s suicidal. The U.S. economy may well skip over JPMorgan’s folly without any serious long-term damage. But that’s not the point. What we learned from the financial crisis is that the real danger inherent in Wall Street’s endless orgy of speculative trading is the prospect that multiple bets could go bad simultaneously when there is a big external shock to the system — like the housing bust. That’s when a downturn becomes a crash.

I can’t say with certainty that Dodd-Frank will do a good job of protecting us from a replay of the great financial crash of 2008. But the prospect of electing someone as president who is promising Wall Street that he will let them blithely self-regulate? That seems even stupider than JPMorgan’s $2 billion bad bet.

We're not left with the best choices. You can get Obama's watered down regulation ( thanks to Scott Brown (R-MS) or you can get Romney and conservatives letting Wall St run completely wild with the nation's money. Yes, while some of JP's money might be theirs, we they and a few other banks lose big it suddenly becomes the nation's lose.So weird and ironic that when Democrats make any move to make the banks more accountable they're accused of being socialists. None of the textbooks I've read say that socialists should make banks responsible for their bad behavior.

How the Ayn Rand-Loving Conservative Republican Right Is Like a Bunch of Teen Boys Gone Crazy.



Thursday, May 10, 2012

Conservatives Define Good Old Fashioned American Problem Fixing as Socialism. No Wonder Conservatism Has Become Nihilism


















Conservatives Define Good Old Fashioned American Problem Fixing as Socialism. No Wonder Conservatism has Become Nihilism

What if the president proposed something big -- something that really focused on a broader question, such as the fundamental inequality in America? Well, surely, if he did so, he would be labelled a socialist! Not socialist as defined in the academic sense, or as the rest of the world uses it in its political life, but in the crude way that Republicans have always used it -- as a brickbat to throw at their political opposition.

This has all happened before. In the 1936 election, when FDR proposed the "radical" safety net of Social Security, his Republican opponent Gov. Alf Landon painted a portrait, familiar to FDR's detractors, of the president as a communist and socialist:

    Imagine the field opened for federal snooping. Are these 26 million going to be fingerprinted? Are their photographs going to be kept on file in a Washington office? Or are they going to have identification tags put around their necks?

Fortunately, Americans ignored him and gave FDR an overwhelming victory.

Democrats are again in an excellent position to take a risk like FDR took with the New Deal. They might give themselves some identity other than that of modest centrists, constantly worried about offending one constituency or another.

Professional party Democrats in Washington have been dismissive of the New Deal for the past twenty years, considering it a coalition of voting groups that are now "passé." While that is true, they could learn from the example of a White House administration tending to the needs -- and the pain -- of Americans. FDR's administration was not afraid to institute programs that the Republicans condemned as "socialist"; it was ready to take the flak from a right wing that was always prominent in the Republican party -- and that now seems to control it.

Commenting on Republican congressman Allen West's assertion that there are currently "78 to 81" Communists in the Democratic party, Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein wrote in a recent Washington Post op-ed, entitled "Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem":

    The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition. When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country's challenges.

They're going to call us socialists or communists no matter what we do, so now seems like as good a time as any -- when their party is in disarray -- to solve inequality. It's not "class warfare." When I was young, America, indeed, had a real class system (in the same way that much of the world still does). Now, social distinction is largely based on income bracket, not birth. Inequality is the problem.

Discrimination because of class difference was bad enough, but our present inequalities have a new, quite sinister origin. Money means power. Super money means super power. It's not just that the top 1 percent -- and the top 0.1 percent -- skims their money off the top. What is more important is that power is concentrated in a very few hands, which is a disaster for our democracy. (See Paul Krugman's article "Plutocracy, Paralysis, Perplexity.")

As a result, we see two things happening. The first is abuse of the capitalist system -- demonstrated by free enterprise run amok as experienced in 2008, and from which we still suffer. The second is the tremendous control wielded by those who provide money for campaign financing. They are the people FDR once summed up quite neatly as "organized money."

Let us draw a line between business institutions that are expected to perform essential services for us and those that are allowed to carry on in the ways to which they are accustomed. (Although, hopefully, with less "buccaneering." The Dodd-Frank legislation designed to introduce regulation has been badly watered down or not even carried out.)

We should simply recognize those business institutions that provide basic services and require close monitoring to ensure that these services are performed well. No, not nationalization, but careful regulation of businesses that agree to provide specific services with agreed-upon "just profits."

Credit cards and a bank account are essential to daily life. The New York Times reported on April 30 that "The banking industry as a whole earned nearly $30 billion last year from overdraft fees on debit cards and checking accounts." An attorney from the National Consumer Law Center summed it up: "Profits are the reasons for fees, not risk or costs."

And what about loans for buying a house? Or for education? And health insurance, perhaps even life insurance? What about heating our home? Many communities contract with a provider for water and electricity. Is not the profit factor agreed upon? And monitored? (Is that not how we handle military contracts, even if we don't monitor those very well?)

There is a long history of business working closely with private enterprise, going back to the New Deal and on through World War II. At the local level today we have many examples. The Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority in New York comes to mind. There are other experiments with "hybrid companies," as Stephanie Strom informed us in the New York Times: "A new type of company intended to put social goals ahead of making profits is taking root around the country, as more states adopt laws to bridge the divide between nonprofits and businesses."

But, one knows that most institutions, particularly the big ones, will not respond voluntarily, or simply won't cooperate. Hence, there is little realistic choice other than government intervention and supervision. Government action was behind every program of the New Deal. And we seemed not only to have survived but also prospered. No question about it: on a nationwide scale, our government needs to provide the framework and monitoring of these "service institutions."

This regulation would be but one step in a major political effort to set right the inequality in our economic and social system. Introducing this in no way diminishes the other measures needed, such as a radical shakeup of the taxing formulas.

Shifting the thrust of economic policy to emphasize -- and actively promote -- the quality of our life is essential, and it's hardly radical or socialist. Are we Americans willing to grasp this?

While I might not agree with every word I get the spirit. What happened to the old fashioned attitude that America has a problem let's fix it? Conservatism has replied that problems are not to be fixed, they are a permanent part of life, suck it up and live with it. They have become weird cranks who take sadistic glee in people not being able to find work or having a toxic waste site in their backyard or not being able to pay their medical bills.

Hannity Adopts Limbaugh's Defense Of His Attacks On Sandra Fluke: "He Uses Absurdity To Illustrate The Absurd". Conservatives probably respect women in some ways, they just like to keep it a secret. You know something that Hannity and Limbaugh discuss in the shed when they're polishing their jack boots.



Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sean Hannity Is Pissed That Obama Killed Bin Laden So He Takes Revenge In Unhinged Attacks

Senator Sleaze Scott Brown (R-MS) 



















Identity Politics cartoon thumbnail via Kos

Sean Hannity Is Pissed That Obama Killed Bin Laden So He Takes Revenge In Unhinged Attacks

Sean Hannity devoted his Fox News show Friday to furthering misleading attacks on President Obama's record on  national security.

Hannity opened his show by playing a misleading political ad from a right-wing political activist that deceptively edited statements President Obama made about the Osama bin Laden raid to make it look like Obama took all the credit for the success of the raid himself. Hannity then asked audience members whether they agreed that Obama "politicized the killing of bin Laden this week":

The reality is that President Obama has repeatedly thanked and praised the American troops and other military and intelligence individuals who participated in the mission.

Hannity later turned to birther and less than ethical Fox military analyst Gen. Thomas McInerney to criticize the Obama administration for attempting to negotiate with the Taliban. McInerney said "you can't negotiate with them." However, CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and many other national security experts have said that it is in America's interest to negotiate with the Taliban.

Perhaps the most disgraceful part of Hannity's special was when he brought up the topic of waterboarding and said that "President Obama calls that torture." Fox national security analyst KT McFarland then offered a full-throated defense of the practice:

    McFARLAND: No, it's not torture. And there's a second issue, which is: Did it work? And it worked. And if it worked, it's kept the United States safe for this last 10 years -- even if it's torture, it's probably worth doing.

In fact, former interrogators, intelligence officials, and experts have stated that torture did not lead to bin Laden's whereabouts, and furthermore, that it doesn't provide trustworthy information.

And it's not just President Obama that "claims" waterboarding is torture.

In April 2006, Human Rights Watch sent an open letter to Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, signed by more than 100 law and legal studies professors, which stated that "waterboarding is torture." The letter continued:

    Waterboarding is torture. It causes severe physical suffering in the form of reflexive choking, gagging, and the feeling of suffocation. It may cause severe pain in some cases. If uninterrupted, waterboarding will cause death by suffocation. It is also foreseeable that waterboarding, by producing an experience of drowning, will cause severe mental pain and suffering. The technique is a form of mock execution by suffocation with water. The process incapacitates the victim from drawing breath, and causes panic, distress, and terror of imminent death. Many victims of waterboarding suffer prolonged mental harm for years and even decades afterward.

Military experts, including a Bush adviser on terrorism, agree. So does Republican Sen. John McCain, who wrote in a Washington Post op-ed in May 2011 that waterboarding "is a mock execution and thus an exquisite form of torture."

And according to the most recent major polling on the issue, a majority of Americans also consider waterboarding to be torture.
Hannity once promised to undergo waterbroading to prove it was not torture. To this day Hannity has not kept his promise to be waterbroaded. Like your average conservative pundits Hannity has one quality in great supply, cowardice. Hannity may be even be a bigger coward than he is a liar and hypocrite. Hannity is not an American patriotic he is a blister, a pox, trying to degrade American values. That is the reason he has so many conservative fans. Sean-boy reflects their values. Regardless of what pretend patriots like Hannity and his fans think waterbroading is illegal and immoral. The U.S. government prosecuted the Japanese for using water torture during WW II.

Tavis Smiley Defuses Bill O’Reilly’s Loaded Interview about “Race-Based” Virginia Assault

President Obama: Don’t Let Romney ‘Turn Back The Clock’

Conservative Republicans Know No Shame When it Comes To Exploiting Terrorism

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mitt Romney Associate Peter Schaumber Likely Violated The Hatch Act




















Sorry for the disturbing images. They are related to this story: Former Republican precinct committeeman in AZ J.T. Ready, Neo-Nazi and One-Time Pal of Russell Pearce's, is Shooter in Gilbert Massacre

The pathological liar and conservative Republican blogger Jim Hoft(The Gateway Pundit) has tried to associate Ready with Democrats and the Occupy movement -  Far Right AZ Neo-Nazi Commits Mass Murder, Wingnut Bloggers Immediately Paint Him as a Left Winger

Mitt Romney Associate Peter Schaumber Likely Violated The Hatch Act

Last week, the Romney campaign finally broke its silence on an advisor’s role in a growing scandal. A report released last night shows why it had to.

In September, Mitt Romney named former National Labor Relations Board Chairman Peter Schaumber as the co-chair of his campaign’s Labor Policy Advisory Committee. Then in March, the NLRB’s inspector general named Schaumber as the recipient of leaked confidential info from current NLRB member Terence Flynn – and the Romney campaign avoided comment for a month.

Last Thursday, Rep. Elijah Cummings announced that the IG would be releasing a follow-up report, and was referring his findings to the Office of Special Counsel “for potential Hatch Act violations due to Mr. Schaumber’s role as a senior advisor” to Romney. (The Hatch Act bans public officials from using government access to advance political campaigns.) The new report, released last night by the House Education and Workforce Committee Democrats, is a sequel that truly outdoes the original.

The same day Cummings announced the forthcoming report, Romney Etch-A-Sketched Schaumber – sort of. The campaign issued no statement, but a “Romney campaign aide” told the Hill that Schaumber had already stepped down from his campaign role sometime in December. That’s the same month that Flynn learned he was being investigated by the IG. (The Romney campaign did not respond to a request for comment.)

“It’s hardly a coincidence,” said AFL-CIO spokeswoman Alison Omens in an emailed statement, “that Schaumber resigned from the Romney campaign the same time his inside source at the board was notified he was being investigated.”

When Romney tried to dump right-wing anti-immigrant warrior Kris Kobach as part of a post-primary pivot, Kobach talked back, telling Think Progress he was in fact still advising the candidate. Romney shouldn’t have that problem with Schaumber, who’s been keeping his mouth shut since being named in the IG report last month. But there are some facts that complicate the Romney campaign’s narrative. A month after Schaumber’s supposed departure, he appeared on Fox News to discuss Republican outrage over Obama’s NLRB appointments (one of whom was Schaumber’s alleged mole, Flynn). The host introduced Schaumber as a “top advisor” to Romney – as did the Fox chyron – and asked him about Romney’s stance on the NLRB. (She also asked him about NLRB investigations of Bain Capital; Schaumber pleaded ignorance of the details, then launched into a blanket defense of companies that get investigated by the NLRB.)

Romney’s website was also slow to adjust to his supposed months-old parting with Schaumber. Until recently, a link to an essay by Schaumber was prominently displayed on his Labor page, and the press release announcing his appointment was in the campaign’s archive. Now, the Web addresses for both bring up pages reading “Access Denied.”

Looks like Team Romney is trying to put distance between itself and Schaumber’s scandal without actually addressing it. But the scandal is just getting started.

Romney and friends see American workers as serfs who should have no rights. Like all good conservative Republicans they think the American workplace should operate like an Antebellum plantation where none of the workers should get too uppity. Talk about elitism gone wild.

Obama's Composite Girlfriend: How Politico and Drudge Created Fake News

Redistributing income upwards, Study: CEO Pay Increased 127 Times Faster Than Worker Pay Over Last 30 Years

Latest Attempt To Deny Obama Credit For Bin Laden Raid Falls Flat

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Romney Friend and Donor From Bain Has Wacky Urban Myths To Explain Great Recession

















Romney Friend and Donor From Bain Has Wacky Urban Myths To Explain Great Recession

Income inequality in the United States has skyrocketed over the last several decades and especially since the Great Recession, so much so that it is now worse than in Ivory Coast and Pakistan. It may even be worse than it was in Ancient Rome, a society built on slave labor.

That income inequality is crushing the middle class and its political power. But don’t tell that to Edward Conard, a top donor to presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney who gained notoriety during the campaign as a million-dollar mystery donor who set up a shell company to shield his identity. Conard, a former director at the Romney-founded Bain Capital, is working on a new book in which he argues that income inequality is a good thing, and what the U.S. really needs is more of it, the New York Times’ Adam Davidson reports:

    Unlike his former colleagues, Conard wants to have an open conversation about wealth. He has spent the last four years writing a book that he hopes will forever change the way we view the superrich’s role in our society. “Unintended Consequences: Why Everything You’ve Been Told About the Economy Is Wrong,” to be published in hardcover next month by Portfolio, aggressively argues that the enormous and growing income inequality in the United States is not a sign that the system is rigged. On the contrary, Conard writes, it is a sign that our economy is working. And if we had a little more of it, then everyone, particularly the 99 percent, would be better off. This could be the most hated book of the year.

Conard instead argues that income inequality helps everyone because investors grow wealthy by creating products that benefit the 99 percent. Though that is certainly true to an extent, Conard’s line of thinking leads to the supply-side policies that are proven failures at “growing the pie” for everyone. The Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, for instance, were supposed to create jobs and spark economic growth for everyone. They did neither, instead saddling the nation with unsustainable debt and deficits that Republicans are now using to justify massive budget cuts to programs that benefit the lower- and middle-classes.

And while investors like Conard made luxuries available to some Americans, they also bankrupted companies and left workers without jobs, pensions, or health care. Bain Capital, in fact, made billions of dollars for people like Romney and Conard while bankrupting nearly a quarter of the companies in which it invested.

Further, Conard believes the financial industry — the same financial industry that sold “shitty deals” and purposely exploited consumers — isn’t to blame for the financial crisis. Instead, it was investors who created an “old-fashioned run on the bank” that created the crisis. That’s a view that, as Davidson notes, “is not shared by many analysts.” It is, however, a view that is shared by Conard’s favorite presidential candidate, who has admitted that he is “not concerned with the very poor” and has promised to repeal the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act that aimed at preventing another such crisis.

Conard is the perfect Romney friend. he has convinced himself that everyone of Wall St is a saint that really just goes to work everyday thinking of ways to improve the lives of average Americans. Rational people call it trickle down economics. Some how from 1940 to 1980 the U.S. had probably the greatest economic expansion in the history of the world with strong unions and no one on Wall St making 300 times that of most of the middle-class. The elite truly are different than you and me, they have far more delusions.

Republicans Wouldn't, Couldn't, Shouldn't Get Bin Laden

Tea Partiers Who Opposed Bank Bailout Take Campaign Donations From Bailed-Out Banks

Barack Obama Killed Osama Bin Laden. Period. It was a bold, even risky decision, but he made it.

Romney Defends Inequality of Opportunity

Ann Romney's tale of 'struggling': We 'learned hard lessons' living off our stock portfolio