Blog Archives

What in hell is it about Republicans and rape?

A new television ad in Indiana has Romney endorsing Richard Mourdock for Senator in that state. Mourdock, however, has displayed the Republicans‘ opposition to women and the right to choose. In a televised debate with his Democratic opponent Representative Joe Donnelly, he opposed abortion as a choice after rape… why? because God says so:

“Life is that gift from God. I think that even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something God intended to happen.”

— Richard Mourdock 

So this is a new and compelling reason (if you are a Republican) to leave raped women pregnant whether they want to bear a rapist‘s child or not. And, of course, Romney’s support indicates his actual neoconservative leanings, despite having tried to seem moderate in the last debate.

It’s hard to believe that any of these candidates would top Todd Akin, but Mourdock certainly has.

George McGovern has died…

Last week or so I wrote about former Senator  George McGovern who had been admitted to a hospice with a deadly disease. Now, at 90 years old, McGovern has died.

McGovern ran for President 3 times and was nominated once, but lost to Richard Nixon. He was a North Dakota’s Representative to the U.S. House from 1957 to 1961 and a U.S. Senator from 1963 to 1981. For 24 years he was one of the leaders of the Democratic Party.

 

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.

 

Outrageously stupid quote of the week: Ann Coulter shows off her cultural/political knowledge.

 

When asked by George Stephanopoulos if immigrantscivil rights were being attacked, conservative columnist Ann Coulter showed her knowledge off on TV.

“No. I think civil rights are for blacks. What have we done to the immigrants? We owe black people something. We have a legacy of slavery. Immigrants haven’t even been in this country.”

Is it any wonder that Ms. Coulter has such a conservative following?

 

Poll shows Obama’s proposal to raise taxes on the rich is a winning political position…

The proposal Obama has made to raise taxes on households making at least $250,000 a year was the subject of a poll by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center.

The survey found that 44% thought the tax increase would help the economy, 22% thought it would be harmful, and 24% didn’t think it would make a difference. An identical percentage, 44%, said a tax hike on better-off Americans would make the tax system fairer, while 21% said it would make the system less fair.

There is a deep partisan divide over the proposal.  Democrats, by a large margin, said the tax hike would boost the economy and make the tax system fairer. Republicans thought the opposite, though by smaller margins.

Since this has to be decided before Jan. 1st when all the Bush tax cuts disappear by law, it will be interesting when it gets Congressional attention. Odds are it won’t be until after the November election and will depend on who gets elected President.

A Quote for the Month – No matter what Obama proposes, the Right will show its racist values…

From Sen. Bernie Sanders:

…you have a Republican mindset that says, hmm, let’s see we can repair the infrastructure, save money long time, and create millions of jobs, bad idea. Barack Obama will look good, and we’ve got to do everything that we can to make Barack Obama look bad, so despite the fact that we had a modest bipartisan transportation bill, roads, bridges, public transit pass the senate with over 70 votes, Inhofe, the most conservative guy in the senate, working with Barbara Boxer, we can’t get that bill moving in the House of Representatives. So if you’re asking me why, I would say hundred percent political. If it’s good for America, if it creates jobs, if it’s good for Barack Obama, we can’t do it.”

Do the Republicans really think if they get Romney elected, the Democrats will not get even for this atrocious activity? The Dems have never filibustered EVERY legislation… but if they lose the Senate, watch them show what they learned from Mitch McConnell ( but watch for them to let REAL joint ventures that benefit Americans pass… Dems just can’t get as malicious as Repubs.)

Then again, the last three and a half years of Republicans’ anti-Obama activity may just become the convincing argument to keep Obama in power AND get back more of Congress.

Tuesday Afternoon Entertainment – The Partisan Report

Here’s the Partisan Report on Thomas Friedman:

🙂

Is there too much religion in today’s politics?

38% of Americans think so (up from 18% in 2001) and would like to keep religion out of politics.

To break it down to a party level, Pew research says 46% of Democrats, 42% of Independents and even 24% of Republicans think there is “too much religious talk from politicians.”

Time Magazine in its Swampland section also points out:

In an article appearing in the March-April 2012 issue of Foreign Affairs adapted from their upcoming book, American Grace: How Religion Unites and Divides Us, Putnam and Campbell argue that the growth in the unaffiliateds has been fueled by a backlash against the religious right. There’s some debate whether the “nones” are really abandoning spirituality–most still believe in God but don’t claim ties to any organized religion–and whether culture warriors, secular indoctrination at elite institutions (as some conservatives dubiously argue) or pop evangelists (see Ross Douthat) are to blame.

But whatever the cause, the political implications of this bloc are plain: Unaffiliateds don’t like religious sermonizing in the public square. According to Pew, 66% of “nones” think the government is too involved in dictating morality; 70% think abortion should be legal in all or most cases; and 71% think homosexuality should be accepted by society.

Obama stands up to Boehner on Payroll Tax vote…

From the White House:

Today, the President made separate calls to Speaker Boehner and Leader Reid. In his call to Speaker Boehner, the President reiterated the need and his commitment to work with Congress to extend the payroll tax cut for the entire year, and the fact that the short-term bipartisan compromise passed by almost the entire Senate is the only option to ensure that middle class families aren’t hit with a tax hike in 10 days and gives both sides the time needed to work out a full year solution. The President urged the Speaker to take up the bipartisan compromise passed in the Senate with overwhelming Democratic and Republican support that would prevent 160 million working Americans from being hit with a holiday tax hike on January 1st.

The President also spoke with Leader Reid and again applauded him for the work he conducted with Minority Leader McConnell to achieve a successful bipartisan compromise that passed overwhelmingly in the Senate on Saturday, and Senator Reid reaffirmed his commitment to secure a bipartisan year long tax cut after the House passes the two month extension. The President urged the Speaker to allow a vote on the one compromise that Democrats and Republicans passed together to give the American people the assurance they need during this holiday season that they won’t see a significant tax hike in just 10 days.

Boehner and the Tea Party folks are now getting the worst of the press, and they are even being criticized by other Republicans, none of whom would like the Middle Class on their tails come election time. Meanwhile, the Senate is on vacation and it doesn’t look like they are coming back to renegotiate before the short-term bill is passed.


Looks like the rest of the week will be interesting. Ho Ho Ho.

Quote of the Day – Stock Politician Statement #7

“Congressman Weiner departed this morning to seek professional treatment to focus on becoming a better husband and healthier person. In light of that, he will request a short leave of absence from the House of Representatives so that he can get evaluated and map out a course of treatment to make himself well.”

Weiner spokeswoman, Risa Heller

What clinic treats Twitter stupidity?

A Quote for Today – Why in hell are Republicans so eager to get back to offshore oil drilling?

The House gave us a new piece of garbage last week: The Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act, which passed 266 to 144 with 33 Democrats buying into the scheme, orders the Department of the Interior to move quickly to offer three leases to drill in the Gulf of Mexico and one off the coast of Virginia. The bill demands that the leases be executed by next year.

But this is not going to reduce the price at the pump, no matter what they say…

Ask Mike Lynch of Strategic Energy and Economic Research, Inc.( referring not just to those four leases, but to expanding all U.S. drilling):

“It’s not going to change the price of oil overnight, and it’s probably not going to have a huge impact on the price of oil ever.

“You might, under really optimistic scenarios, over five or six years, add 2 million barrels a day of production. On a global scale, it’s significant. But we would still be big importers — we would still be dependent on foreign oil.”

So I am asking once again, why in hell are Republicans so eager to get back to offshore oil drilling? I would guess that, with elections upcoming, there is a lot of oil money in the candidates’ pockets.

Has Obama Lost His Party’s Base?

James Earl "Jimmy" Carter

Jimmy Carter

Steve Kornacki has an article in Salon which is worth reading, since he compares Obama’s numbers with Jimmy carter’s, Reagan‘s, Geo. H.W. Bush’s and Bill Clinton’s … Obama comes off pretty well…
For instance,  Jimmy Carter’s numbers were much worse:
Mid-April 1979 overall approval: 40 percent
With Democrats: 52 percent
Now this is what a base problem looks like —

Here’s a couple of clips… go in and read the whole thing.

clipped from www.salon.com
Barack Obama’s speech on Wednesday, in which he aggressively challenged the deficit reduction blueprint being embraced by congressional Republicans, seems to have quieted talk — which was rampant earlier in the week — about the president alienating his party’s base. For now.
Rest assured, there will be more occasions between now and November 2012 when Obama’s rhetoric or his policy choices (or both) offend vocal activists and commentators on the left — at which point a stream of news stories will be devoted to the question of whether Obama is at risk of losing the election because of a fractured base.
Gallup‘s latest data has Obama scoring an 80 percent approval number among Democrats; an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll puts the number at 83 percent. Among liberal Democrats, Gallup has Obama at 80 percent, while NBC/WSJ puts his support at 79 percent. His numbers have remained steady in this range since late 2009.
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Bernie Sanders on the Republican Budget Proposal

He makes it SO clear! Everyone should hear him. The Republicans are building a world for the Rich by funding it with the scraps the Middle Class has been left with. And after that, what will we be left with? Does NOTHING sound familiar?

Take 12 minutes and listen to Bernie:

Quote(s) of the Day – re: The Republican Budget Plan

“A nervous breakdown on paper.”

– Rep. Emanuel Cleaver on MSNBC

 

Of course, this is a quote on the opposite side that an assistant to Paul Ryan (main author of the Republican Budget Plan) said to Wiccaspirits that was quoted at The Political Carnival:

“His representative told me that they did not think it would hurt the middle class that much, and that the budget needed to be cut in any way necessary.

___________

“He told me that Republicans are not paying attention to what the American people want, they are paying attention to the cuts that need to be made, no matter where those cuts come from. He said Republicans are carrying the momentum right now and they will continue to do because that is what the American public wants right now.”


So whose side sums it up best? My bet is on Cleaver.

A Bad Idea Whose Time Has Hopefully Not Come…

…and that is taking Medicare private to insurance companies, or letting private corporations voucher it. We’ve seen how overpriced and poorly administered (from a Senior’s point of view) “Medicare Advantage” has turned out, why in hell would we put all of Medicare under the same Corporate boot?

But that’s just what the Republicans want to do… They say, of course, that those of us over 55 will have no changes in our Medicare plans. They forgot to add “yet.”

As Paul Krugmann put it:

Oh, and for all those older Americans who voted GOP last year because those nasty Democrats were going to cut Medicare, I have just one word: suckers!

What will happen to those Seniors who are exclusively dependent on Social Security when they can’t afford to purchase vouchers and are cut out of medical care. This is what the newly proposed Republican budget plan leaves us with.

As for Barack Obama, we are not sure if he will stand up to this concept or will cave in as he has so many times recently. There needs to be a spine in the Presidency, but we are passing more tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy and, if we follow the Republican budget plan, we will increase the costs on the “middle class“… the class they want to eliminate.

E.J. Dionne, commenting on Obama’s response to this attack on Medicare, said this:

This will be Obama’s defining moment. Will he stand up for the principle that society takes care of those in need? Or will he cave in? I wish I had confidence in the answer.

Tom Harkin, who I am watching on the Senate floor right now, is pointing out that this is not a way of preserving Medicare, but is really a way of destroying the middle class standard of living and any safety net which we rely on for our ordinary way of life.

“The Republican assault on the middle class is breathtaking,” says Senator Harkin.

And we can only agree.

So what’s new in Wisconsin?

Just received this in an e-mail from the Daily Kos (to be honest, it was a fundraising letter):

Wisconsin Republicans say the state is too broke to pay for teachers, but they just gave the 26-year-old mistress of a union-busting Republican Senator a state job with a fat raise. It’s a classic Republican scandal filled with hypocrisy, cronyism, and their special version of “family values.”

Here’s the story. Last year, Wisconsin Republican state Senator Randy Hopper left his wife to live with a young Republican political operative. Last month, as Governor Scott Walker unveiled legislation calling for deep cuts in state workers’ salaries and collective bargaining rights, Hopper’s mistress was hired by the state on the advice of Scott Walker’s cabinet as a “communications liaison.” Further, her salary is 35% higher than her predecessor’s.

Randy Hopper is now facing recall.

What is it about Republicans that, no matter what kind of principled stance they claim to be making, they always undermine it with something like this? And they all work together doing it, so you can’t say it isn’t planned. That also means they lie during campaigns and, once they have the majorities they engineer, they go ahead and do what they intended to do… in this case bust unions, get rid of teachers and reward their own.

I’m getting really tired of this… I only wish Democrats had enough guts to go in and make things right. Maybe those 14 Democratic State Senators in Wisconsin are stronger than our Federal donkeys.

Let’s hear it for Russ Feingold!

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

Russ Feingold Launches ‘Progressives United’ To Combat Corporate Influences In Politics

When some senators retire, they decide to take lucrative lobbying jobs. Others go straight to Wall Street. But Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold, who lost his re-election bid in November, is continuing on his principled — and often lonely — path by starting an organization to combat corporate influence in politics, an effort he hopes will spark “a new progressive movement” that will truly hold elected officials accountable.
Progressives United is an attempt to to build a grassroots effort aimed at mitigating the effects of, and eventually overturning, the Supreme Court’s infamous Citizens United decision that opened the floodgates to corporate spending in the U.S. electoral system.
Feingold said that Progressives United will follow the example of his own campaigns and not take any soft money or unlimited contributions.
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Why Bill Clinton’s Favorable View of Obama’s Tax Deal Should Be Disregarded

by Robert Reich (reproduced here in full from the Huffington Post)

Bill Clinton seems the perfect validator for Barack Obama — which is why the president is utilizing the former president for selling his tax deal. After all, the economy boomed when Clinton was president and 22 million net new jobs were created. From a more narrow political perspective — and this is important to Democrats in Washington — Bill Clinton was reelected, even though he lost both houses of Congress in the 1994 midterms.

But the analogy falls apart as soon as you realize Clinton’s economy was vastly different from Obama’s. The recession Clinton inherited was relatively small, and caused by the Fed raising interest rates too high to ward off inflation. So it could be reversed by the Fed lowering interest rates — as the Fed did in 1994. By 1995, the so-called “jobless recovery” had morphed into a full-blown jobs recovery. By 1996, at pollster Dick Morris’s urging, Clinton could proclaim to the American people “you’ve never had it so good, and you ain’t seen nothing yet.”

The Great Recession has been far larger, caused not by the Fed raising interest rates but by the bursting of a giant housing bubble. In 2008, the biggest asset of most middle-class people, upon which they borrowed and that they assumed would be their nest eggs for retirement, collapsed. Housing prices continue to fall in most parts of the country. The Fed has lowered interest rates all it can, and unemployment remains sky high.

Bill Clinton presided over an economic boom engineered by Fed chair Alan Greenspan, who felt confident he could drop interest rates far lower than anyone expected without risking inflation. The result was 4 percent unemployment in many parts of America, as well as the best jobs recovery in history.

The price Greenspan exacted from Clinton — and a resurgent Republican congress demanded — was a balanced budget. As a result, Clinton had to give up much of his “investment agenda” in education, infrastructure, and other long-neglected means of building the productivity of average working Americans. The economy enjoyed a huge cyclical recovery.

But the economy’s underlying structure remained as it had been before, including stagnant wages for most Americans. Within a few years the middle and working class was treating their homes as ATMs, borrowing trillions of dollars in order to maintain their standard of living, and at the same time demand enough goods and services to keep almost everyone in jobs.

Those days are over. The Democratic Party can no longer ignore critical investments in the productivity of average workers. Nor can it ignore the increasing concentration of income and wealth at the very top, and the inability of America’s middle and working class to get the economy moving again.

The GOP hasn’t changed their story or their strategy since the 1990s. It’s the fault of big government. That was false then, and it’s false now. The structural problems are now much worse, and the cyclical recovery from the Great Recession pathetically anemic.

If the Democratic Party has stood for anything over the years it is to maintain and restore upward mobility for the majority of working Americans, ensure that the playing field isn’t tilted in the direction of the privileged, and limit the power of the richest among us to entrench themselves and their heirs into a semi-permanent plutocracy.

Continuing the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, including a sharp cut in the estate tax, violates these core principles. Doing so in the midst of an economic emergency that demands bold measures to rescue America’s vast middle and working class adds further insult. For President Obama and former President Clinton to tell America there’s “no other choice” or that “this is the best we can do” — when Democrats remain putatively in control of the House, Senate, and the presidency — is misleading.

I admire Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. I advised the former and worked for the latter. They are good men. But they have either been outwitted by the privileged and powerful of America, or seduced by those on Wall Street and the executive suites of America into believing that the Republican nostrums are necessary, or succumbed Democratic advisors who think in terms of small-bore tactics rather than large and principled strategies.

I urge congressional Democrats to remember the larger principles — not in order to be purist or make the perfect the enemy of the better, but to move toward an economy and a society that we believe in, that reflects the needs of the vast majority of Americans at this difficult time.

Robert Reich is the author of Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future, now in bookstores. This post originally appeared at RobertReich.org.

Morning with the House of Representatives…

“Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”

Mark Twain

I’m having a morning of amusing television watching the House of Representatives on C-Span debate the extension of the Bush Tax Cuts. Well, right now they are debating the rules by which they will debate the subject (which is funny enough in and of itself).

The Democrats are pushing to extend the cuts to 98% of Americans who earn less than $250,000 a year while restoring the taxes on Millionaires and Billionaires. Republicans are threatening a standoff… either give tax cuts to everyone, including the wealthy, or have the vote held up and watch it die in the Senate.

The republicans are, essentially, wasting as much time as possible with the goal of getting into the next Congress and passing  return to the Bush tax cuts as a return legislative move.

Of course, the thing that would work now is the Democrats in the House pushing this through and the Senate finding two Republican votes to get the filibuster-ending 60 votes which would pass the legislation before everyone trots home for Christmas.

Is this likely to happen? Probably not. There is also the notion that the President has already agreed to a temporary extension for everyone and the wealthy would be taxed again a couple of years down the road. With change in control of the House, this would be highly unlikely…the Republicans, supporting the wealthy, would seek permanence of the extension.

While a fifteen minute vote on the first House rule is going on in the House, I switch to the Senate to listen to Byron Dorgan (D – North Dakota) compare the untaxed Wealthy with the middle class soldiers who get up this morning to get shot at by Afghanistanis. I don’t think anyone is listening (the Senate floor seems to be empty). I’m often curious if Senate speeches accomplish anything at all.

Back to the House where Democrats are voting for the rule and Republicans are voting against it. Surprise, surprise. Wouldn’t it be amazing if Congressfolk voted according to actual values rather than party lines?

I Voted…Now I wait to see the results (and push the people I support here and on the radio)

John Case and I still have politicians to talk with and about on Winners and Losers on WSHC FM (89.7 in Shepherdstown WV… or online at http://www.897wshc.org)… I’ll be on on Friday Morning (7:30 – 9:00 AM) and I may show up on Wednesday, too.

I voted a mixed ballot this time as I am in favor of Ed Dunleavy, who is an independent, for County Commissioner, so a straight Democratic ballot was not possible. I’m not the only one doing this around here… Dunleavy has quite a few supporters. I also voted for Virginia Graf for Representative in Congress, although the odds of her winning are near zero, partly because the way the District has been gerrymandered. To vote for the Republican, Shelly Moore Capito, would have made me vomit! She has done so little for West Virginia and has been part of John Boehner‘s conservative backbone in the House.

Of course, I voted for Manchin for Senate… even though he is much more conservative than I can stand… at the very least, he is not a creep like Raese the WV candidate from Florida. I hope Manchin makes it. It’s one thing to have a politician you disagree with, but whose overall record you can admire (like Delegate Doyle, who I also voted for, for instance) than to have a politician who is a complete idiot with no comprehension of contemporary government.

Now we just wait 2 weeks and see what happens.