Category Archives: ethics

If you’ve heard about employers telling employees how to vote or their jobs are on the line…

… then perhaps you’d like to know where they got that idea.

Well, they got it from Mittens last summer.

In a June 6, 2012 conference call posted on the anti-union National Federation of Independent Business’s website, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney instructed employers to tell their employees how to vote in the upcoming election. In a phone call, after making a lengthy case that President Obama’s first term has been bad for business, Romney said:

I hope you make it very clear to your employees what you believe is in the best interest of your enterprise and therefore their job and their future in the upcoming elections. And whether you agree with me or you agree with President Obama, or whatever your political view, I hope, I hope you pass those along to your employees.

Obviously, the Romney campaign is complicit in corporate attempts to influence employees’ votes that have made headlines in the past few days.

On Sunday, In These Times broke the news that Koch Industries mailed at least 45,000 employees a voter information packet that included a flyer endorsing Romney and a letter warning,:

“Many of our more than 50,000 U.S. employees and contractors may suffer the consequences [of a bad election result], including higher gasoline prices, runaway inflation, and other ills.”

In the June call, Romney went on to reassure his audience that it is perfectly legal for them to talk to their employees about how to vote:

Nothing illegal about you talking to your employees about what you believe is best for the business, because I think that will figure into their election decision, their voting decision and of course doing that with your family and your kids as well. 

He’s correct that such speech is now legal for the first time ever, thanks to the Citizen United ruling.

Beyond Romney’s statements on the call, it’s unclear whether his election operation is actively coordinating workplace campaigning by businesses. Romney press secretary Andrea Saul did not respond to In These Times’request for comment.However, the conference call raises troubling questions about what appears to be a growing wave of workplace political pressure unleashed by Citizens United.

Here’s Romney presenting this crap to businesses:

Obama was the clear winner last night…

Without being merely a violent attacker, Obama went after Romney by pointing out the misinformation he passed along in point after point. Obama did it by ultimately being Presidential. Romney screwed up by being non-Presidential (and insulting to America‘s President, a tasteless move.)

I think I agree with Bill Maher in summing up Obama’s performance:

“Obama was decent enough to not piss on the CORPSE”

Obama has completely recovered from the problems with the first debate. He made sure the 47% statement of Romney got into the discussion after Romney tried to tell us that he was supportive of and trying to help the 100%.

“Not true, Governor Romney… not true” was the statement Obama had an ease of coming back with. Did he do an active attack like “liar, liar“? No… he was respectful, something Romney is not capable of.

I’m really looking forward to the third debate.

 

Ever wonder how some people get elected to Congress?

I know I do. The fact that there are Republicans who appear to be uneducated, anti-intellectual and just plain outrageous makes me have a very poor impression of the people who vote for them.

Here are 4 samples of what I’m referring to:

Science and Space Committee? Intelligence Committee? How do these mini-brains get put on committees they don’t seem to have any intellectual connection with?

If statements like these keep them from being re-elected to the House, then I’ll have a much better vision of the voting public. I don’t count on it, however.

 

Romney elected would mean the end of Roe v. Wade and the criminalization of abortion…

From this morning’s editorial in the NY Times:

Mr. Romney has called for overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to make her own childbearing decisions and to legalized abortion nationwide. He has said that the issue should be thrown back to state legislatures. The actual impact of that radical rights rollback is worth considering.

It would not take much to overturn the Roe decision. With four of the nine members of the Supreme Court over 70 years old, the next occupant of the White House could have the opportunity to appoint one or more new justices. If say, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest member, retired and Mr. Romney named a replacement hostile to abortion rights, the basic right to abortion might well not survive.

The result would turn back the clock to the days before Roe v. Wade when abortion was legal only in some states, but not in others. There is every indication that about half the states would make abortion illegal within a year of Roe being struck down, according to the Guttmacher Institute. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which challenges abortion restrictions around the country, puts the number at 30 states. For one thing, abortion bans already on the books in some states would suddenly kick in. And some Republican-controlled state legislatures would outlaw abortion immediately.

Even with Roe and subsequent decisions upholding abortion rights, more than half the states have enacted barriers like mandatory waiting periods, “counseling” sessions lacking a real medical justification; parental consent or notification laws; and onerous clinic “safety” rules intended to drive clinics out of business.

We do not need to guess about the brutal consequences of overturning Roe. We know from our own country’s pre-Roe history and from the experience around the world. Women desperate to end a pregnancy would find a way to do so. Well-to-do women living in places where abortion is illegal would travel to other states where it is legal to obtain the procedure. Women lacking the resources would either be forced by the government and politicians to go through with an unwanted or risky pregnancy, attempt to self-abort or turn to an illegal — and potentially unsafe — provider for help. Women’s health, privacy and equality would suffer. Some women would die.

…and women still have the ability to get Obama re-elected and protect their right to choose. I’m always amazed at middle-class Republican women who support Romney. Essentially they are making themselves potential victims.

 

What is it about Republicans and their need to create wars?

Here’s where to look for a World News Daily article by Jamal Abdi: New Senate Push to Pledge Unconditional Support for Israeli “Preventive” War on Iran.

Before reading it, here’s the first couple of sentences:

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) is planning to press the Senate next month to pledge U.S. troops, money, and political support to Israel should Bibi Netanyahu launch a preventive war on Iran.

Graham claims his effort would merely make explicit that the U.S. has Israel’s back. But when your friend is drunk, you don’t hand them the keys. If Graham has his way, he will hand Bibi the keys and lend him our car, while the rest of us ride shotgun.

If this gets you at all nervous about creating a new major mideast war at the behest of Israel (and Lindsay Graham), then get ready to write your senator.

 

I’m wondering if Halloween is turning into a sexually demonstrative holiday…

Have you seen some of the Halloween costumes, both for kids and adults, that are popping up on the web looking for buyers to turn on? I’m finding them amazing…what was always, to me, a kids’ holiday with a spooky, witches and ghosts attitude seems to be changing radically.

The first costume I saw that made me look for more was this kid’s costume:

The idea that mothers are going to let their young ‘uns out as contraceptive packages surprised the hell out of me… not that I didn’t think it was hilarious.

Then again, there are adult costumes that are making me wonder what folks are looking to communicate.
Perhaps there are too many things in our society that aren’t getting enough attention… or the conservative attack on a woman’s right to choose has results that appear unnatural.

I’m not about to think of Halloween as an obnoxious holiday… it never has been during my life.

It does seem that some folks are having lots of fun with this. I’m not sure if the penis here is for kids or adults. Whatever, it certainly seems happy.

Can you picture moms and dads in the costume shop with junior shopping for this year’s appearance. And then there are girl’s costumes, too. A used feminine napkin is something I would never have imagined as something to walk the neighborhood looking for candy as.

When you think of it, there are many similar things which could be turned into Halloween costumes and some designer somewhere is having an emotional roller coaster ride.

How we see members of the opposite sex is something that expresses an unusual opinion. Men are, perhaps, looking for ways to make a statement as to how he sees the woman in his life. A joke? An insult? A confused thought? Who can tell?

Then, of course, there are costumes looking for some kind of action. Does it make you wonder what occurs during the free mammogram? One can guess.

There is, however, a view of the man/woman relationship as a plug-in idea… and energy will probably be passed on. This is pretty neat, but still highly suggestive.

So… I hope at the end of the month you have an interesting and revealing Halloween.

 

I’m watching the VP Debate…

If you listen to Ryan, if we are going to deal with Iran‘s coming nuclear capacity (the capacity of which both the candidates disagree on) we are going to have to insert troops. This means a new war – probably in partnership with Israel.

Biden brings up the fact that Iran has been weakened during the Obama administration – primarily in cutting back their oil sales by 20% or so. They don’t yet have a completed delivery mode, either.

Ryan is also going after Russia as an enemy… especially if we go to war in the middle east. In his opinion, Russia is the leasing supporter of the Arab countries. Biden, of course, gets back to the fact that Russia is currently our ally.

I’m curious as to how many of the current questions of the Romney / Ryan campaign get answered. I hand it to Biden that he has already put up the 47% as an issue related to taxes. Ryan seems to ignore it.

This is going to be an entertaining night.

 

How in hell can we understand what Mittens stands for when he changes direction daily?

Like on the question of abortion and a woman’s right to choose:

It’s too bad this is funny, because it’s really very disturbing. To elect a man President we have to confirm our trust in what he believes in and what he says about those beliefs.

Romney leaves us confused. If you vote for him you get what you deserve.

 

When Romney questions Obama’s achievements, remember what the Congress did to most of his proposals.

 

No Congress has ever done to a President what the Republicans in the Senate and the House have. Given the House’s Republican majority and the Senate’s need for 60% of votes to avoid filibuster, the President has been a victim of politicians who put their party ahead of the needs of Americans.

Take a look:

 

And if you listen to Romney accuse Obama for not making enough happen, wonder why he is not aware of the stance taken by his fellow Republicans in elected office.

 

Obama starts coming back in the swing states…

Take a look at the current numbers:

Latest Swing State Polls

Here are the latest polls from the battleground states, updated as needed:

Colorado: Obama 49%, Romney 48% (Rasmussen)

Iowa: Obama 49%, Romney 47% (Rasmussen)

Michigan: Obama 49%, Romney 46% (Foster McCollum)

Michigan: Obama 48%, Romney 45% (EPIC-MRA)

Pennsylvania: Obama 47%, Romney 45% (Susquehanna)

Looks like Obama is retaking the lead he had yesterday. Even two of the Rasmussen polls, which are the most conservative of all the polling organizations, are putting Obama back into the lead.

 

Obama was blocked by Republicans from passing so many bills. Romney doesn’t seem to know that.

In 2010, Mitch McConnell set the Republican Senators’ goal to make sure Obama didn’t get the legislation he promoted approved. Both the Senate and House Republicans set working AGAINST Obama as more important than working FOR America.

Here’s the Republican record for the past 3.5 years:

  1. Tax companies that ship jobs overseas – BLOCKED (Source)
  2. The Dream Act – BLOCKED (Source)
  3. Political Ad disclosure Bill – BLOCKED 2x (Source)
  4. Small Business Jobs Act – BLOCKED 2x (Source)
  5. Anti- Rape Amendment – BLOCKED (Source)
  6. Benefits for Homeless Veterans – BLOCKED (Source)
  7. Affordable Healthcare for America – Voted 33x to Repeal (Source)
  8. Healthcare for the 9/11 First Responders – BLOCKED (Source)
  9. The Jobs Bill – BLOCKED (Source)
  10. Wall Street Reform – BLOCKED (Source)
  11. Oil Spill Liability – BLOCKED (Source)
  12. Immigration Reform – BLOCKED (Source)
  13. Fair Pay Act of 2009 – BLOCKED and DEFEATED (Source)
  14. Unemployment Extension Bill – BLOCKED (Source)

In 2012 they want you to think that Obama is to BLAME!! What do Americans think? If your neighbor blames Obama, pass this list on and let them know the way the GOP congress has acted.

Looks like the debate has changed the swing state polls:

Well, the numbers have moved, for the most part in Romney’s favor. It’s amazing what an evening of lies can bring you.

Here are the latest polls from the battleground states, updated as need throughout the day:

Ohio: Romney 47%, Obama 46% (We Ask America)

Ohio: Obama 50%, Romney 49% (Rasmussen)

Florida: Romney 49%, Obama 46% (We Ask America)

Virginia: Romney 49%, Obama 48% (Rasmussen)

Virginia: Romney 48%, Obama 45% (We Ask America)

***Another Poll Update***
National:    Obama 47    Romney 47
Florida:    Obama 47    Romney 46
Virginia:    Obama 48    Romney 46
(Source: National Journal, NBC/WSJ/Marist)

The question has been raised, however, did Romney cheat on the debate. No pre-written notes were allowed at the presidential debate but a video clip shows Mitt Romney pulling something from his pocket at the start of the debate.

The Romney campaign says it was a handkerchief. Take a look and see what you think:

Looks like Romney blows his nose in paper.

Romney says he’ll eliminate PBS to cut the debt… Not a good move!

He shouldn’t have let us know that Sesame Street was on the line for cancellation if he was elected. Big Bird is going to get even by exposing the Mittster’s lies:

Romney’s Debate Performance: Mostly Fiction

If you bought into Romney’s moderate image last night, then you ought to be aware that he was leading you on. Here’s media opinion done right after the debate:

These were only a couple of Romney’s falsehoods… there were plenty more.

Romney’s Pants are On Fire…

 

Romney pumped out at least 20 lies last night, masquerading them as fact. What I found interesting is the statement he made about his sons who could tell the same lies over a period of time until they were accepted as fact. This is obviously a family trait.

Here are some examples of Romney’s fabrications:

Mitt: “I don’t have a $5 trillion tax cut. I don’t have a tax cut of a scale that you’re talking about.”

A Tax Policy Center analysis of Romney’s proposal for a 20%  across-the-board tax cut in all federal income tax rates, eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax, eliminating the estate tax and other tax reductions, would reduce federal revenue $480 billion in 2015. This amount to $5 trillion over the decade.

Mitt: “I will not under any circumstances raise taxes on middle-income families. I will lower taxes on middle-income families.”

The studies Romney cites actually further prove that Romney would, in fact, have to raise taxes on the middle class if he were to keep his promise not to lose revenue with his tax rate reduction. Combine this with his statement two weeks ago that “Middle Income” means an annual earning averaging $250,000.00 with a minimum of $200,000.00. That sure sounds like upper income to me. Us $50-60,000.00 folks will get taxed.

 

And what about corporations that ship jobs overseas?

If he’s such a businessman… who has actually sent companies to China… don’t you think he knows about the tax break?

I wonder ho many lies will come out of the VP debate? Ryan certainly has been spouting them since his nomination.

Frankly, I don’t believe anything the Republican candidates say. If they have learned to do a good performance of untruthful things then that is what has to be addressed. Obama better wise up to this.

 

 

The Supreme Court is one of the best reasons to re-elect Obama:

 

Given the fact that probably three Supreme Court justices will retire in the next presidential term, we should think about who the elected leader of the country will nominate to fill the jobs. Right now there is a small tip toward conservative thinking on the SCOTUS, but if Romney is elected the right wing could end up in complete control.

Here’s something to think about:

This, in itself, is one of the best reasons not to vote for Mittens. It would be important to preserve a court that upholds civil rights, women’s rights, diversity in college admissions and support of health care legislation. Should we lose these, the United States goes back to where it was in the first half of the last century and years of development and reform will get flushed down the drain.

It’s up to us to preserve years of important reform.

 

I imagine that Romney will accuse Obama of not having created jobs…

 

… but I doubt if he will identify the actions of the Republican House majority or the Senate Republican filibusters in preventing Obama‘s 17 jobs bills t6o go through.

So what were the results of the Republican refusal to work with their president? Take a look:

Remember this when Romney brings up the 8.1% unemployment rate… remember it when he says Obama has done nothing to even attempt to create jobs.

 

 

Environmental Scientist Barry Commoner Dies at 95

One of the men I admired most in the early environmental movement, Dr. Barry Commoner, has died at 95 at his home in Brooklyn Heights, and I think the world experiences a great loss. He was an early champion of recycling, organic food and reducing fossil fuel use… and, of course, he took a firm stand against nuclear testing.

Commoner was trained as a biologist at Columbia and Harvard and combined scientific expertise and leftist zeal. His work on the global effects of radioactive fallout, which included documenting concentrations of strontium 90 in the baby teeth of thousands of children, contributed materially to the adoption of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963.

He was a popular speaker and author 1n the 1960s and ’70s, and even campaigned for president in 1980.

Time Magazine called Commoner the Paul Revere of Ecology on the first Earth Day in 1970.

His four informal rules of ecology were:

1. Everything Is Connected to Everything Else

2. Everything Must Go Somewhere

3. Nature Knows Best

4. There Is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch.

Dr. Commoner’s was both concerned with ecology  and an ideal of social justice in which everything was indeed connected to everything else. Like some other leftist dissenters of his time, he believed that environmental pollution, war, and racial and sexual inequality needed to be addressed as related issues of a central problem.

Commoner insisted that the future of the planet depended on industry’s learning not to make messes in the first place, rather than on trying to clean them up after they were made. He thought scientists in the service of industry could not just create some new process or product and then remove themselves from a moral responsibility for the potential results. He was a lifelong opponent of nuclear power because of its radioactive waste and scorned the idea of pollution credit swaps because an industry would have to be fouling the environment in the first place to be rewarded by such a program.

He saw that social needs were tied up with environmental ones… for instance:

“I don’t believe in environmentalism as the solution to anything. What I believe is that environmentalism illuminates the things that need to be done to solve all of the problems together. For example, if you’re going to revise the productive system to make cars or anything else in such a way as to suit the environmental necessities, at the same time why not see to it that women earn as much as men for the same work?”

Harvard paleontologist Steven J. Gould’s summary of Barry Commoner’s work and achievements is clear:

“Although he has been branded by many as a maverick, I regard him as right and compassionate on nearly every major issue.”

Do you go to a Regal Cinema in your community? Are you a woman?

 

Jim Hightower just wrote a very interesting column – “The Price of Admission”.

DaysofThunder46/Flickr

Here’s the beginning:

Gosh, I feel so much safer now that teenage ticket takers at the Regal chain of movie theaters have been directed by corporate chieftains to search the purses of their female customers.

Responding to that horrible mass murder in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater, the Regalites say they’ve begun rummaging through movie-goers’ purses to protect us from…well, from what?

The Dark Knight Rises shooter had an armory of weapons that wouldn’t fit in any purse. And need I point out that he was a he? Yet, Regal’s rummaging is apparently reserved for women, even though practically all mass shootings have been committed by male specimens of our species.

Read the whole column HERE. And thanks to Hightower for making this absurdity visible to us all.

 

 

Cartoon(s) of the Week – As Romney gets closer to the debates…

Tony Auth of Newsworks.org:

Romney plans health care for the 47%…

– and –

Rob Rogers in the Pittsburg Post-Gazette:

Is Romney sure he wants to cut off about half the contributors?

– and –

Kevin Siers in the Charlotte Observer:

Isn’t Romney the king of mixed messages?

– and –

Nick Anderson in the Houston Chronicle:

At least he has Ryan to depend on…

– and –

 

David Horsey in the L.A. Times:

Now if he could avoid the bad dreams…

 

So, did businessman Romney really create jobs…or destroy them for profit?

 

Mother Jones has obtained a video from 1985 in which Romney, describing Bain’s formation, showed how he viewed the firm’s mission. He explained that its goal was to identify potential and hidden value in companies, buy significant stakes in these businesses, and then “harvest them at a significant profit” within five to eight years.

The video was included in a CD-ROM created in 1998 to mark the 25th anniversary of Bain & Company, the consulting firm that gave birth to Bain Capital. Here is the full clip, as it appeared on that CD-ROM (the editing occurred within the original).

 

Read David Corn‘s story about this video: http://bit.ly/VKJL6L

 

Quote defines Romney’s career as Massachusetts Governor:

 

Mitt Romney seems to have been an ineffective Governor.

“It was almost like there was a moat system around the Romney castle. He had aides walking around with fake ear pieces in their ear,  pretending that they were secret service agents. He put up a velvet rope in front of the office, made sure no one had access to the governor’s office whatsoever.”

Jay Kaufman, Massachusetts State Representative

So what kind of president would he make? At least he’d get real Secret Service agents which we would pay for.

 

Romney’s right-wing religious supporters have a terrifying view (and a disgusting one) of liberals:

 

Here is why we have to keep Romney and his buddies away from controlling America:

 

So liberals are Nazis and are going to gas Christians like Nazis did Jews in WWII era. Also, I don’t think Christians in America are a minority… hopefully only the ones who share Pat Robertson‘s obscene attack. And Robertson sees Romney as his buddy.

 

Conservatives upset with Romney as he promotes Romneycare..

 

Romney is flip-flopping again.

His campaign is moving in a new direction on healthcare. Mitt Romney praised the health care law he signed as governor of Massachusetts – the model for Obama’s health plan. This has drawn swift and strong rebuke from .

In an interview with NBC News, Romney said:

“I got everybody in my state insured. One hundred percent of the kids in our state had health insurance. I don’t think there’s anything that shows more empathy and care about the people of this country than that kind of record.”

Of course Romney has attacked President Obama’s similar law, which extends insurance coverage to millions of uninsured people across the country –  especially kids. Romney says he will repeal Obama’s law lock, stock and barrel, and replace it with vaguer reforms that would potentially leave more people uninsured by removing the ban on preexisting condition discrimination.

Democrats love it when Romney talks about Romneycare, using it to paint him as a hypocrite on health care reform. Conservatives, on the other hand, hate it. When a Romney staffer spoke positively about Romney’s health care law last month, conservative commentators said it “just might be the moment Romney lost the election.”

 

When Romney criticizes Obama on education, ask what he did as Massachusetts’ Governor…

 

Want to know what Massachusetts educators learned from Mitt Romney‘s single term as Massachusetts governor? He forced them into increased classroom sizes, school budget cuts, higher fees and less out-of-school services for students.

As Ronald, a former superintendent from Attleboro, MA explains:

“Governor Romney said that he was not going to cut education. And then the next thing we knew those cuts were made.”

So take a look at this, then tell the Romney supporters you know with school children what they can expect if he gets elected.