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So Romney doesn’t care about half the country…

 

Mitt has been tripped up by an unplanned recording at a private and secret fundraiser among the very rich. This is what has caused attention in the press and has severely effected his ratings in the polls:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax….[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

According to the Washington Post, when you look at those Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes, 29% pay payroll taxes (of course, that is a direct tax on their income), and almost a quarter are elderly. For the most part they all work, and most are eligible for a federal tax credit for low-wage earners, a Republican idea created as an alternative to welfare. Perhaps Romney doesn’t know what his own party has created.

In the older population, the large quantity elderly white people and some of the white working class included in that 47 percent are the bedrock of the GOP base. When Romney rails against the “dependent,” Romney is talking about his older white base, which is dependent on Social Security and Medicare and doesn’t want either program touched. Both are his and Ryan’s major targets.

So once again, Romney has stepped in it and doesn’t even have a way to clean his foot off. If we get to the debates and he continues a similar performance, he will be kissing the election off.

 

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Romney insists Republicans are NOT the Party of the Rich…

From PERRspectives:

At a $1.7 million fundraiser in Jackson, Mississippi, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney declared that the GOP is not “the party of the rich,” insisting instead that “we’re the party of people who want to get rich.”

Sadly for Romney, there are two small problems with his assessment. For starters, Mitt’s proposals (like those from GOP wunderkind Paul Ryan) would deliver another massive tax cut windfall for the wealthy and shred the social safety net while putting the economic recovery at risk. Just as damning for Mitt and his cheerleaders like David Brooks and Robert Samuelson, the historical record shows that from economic growth and job creation to household incomes, stock market performance and just about every other indicator of the health of the U.S. capitalism, the modern U.S. economy has almost always done better under Democratic presidents.

Nevertheless, Governor Romney offered his GOP extreme makeover during his audience with the haves and have-mores in Mississippi. As ABC reported:

  “We’re accused, by the way — in our party — of being the party of the rich,” Romney said. “And it’s    an awful moniker, because that’s just not true. We’re the party of people who want to get rich. And we’re also the party of pSee the rest of this article HERE.eople who want to care to help people from getting poor. We want to help the poor.”Americans have good reason to look the dressage horse in the mouth, and not just because earlier this year Romney announced, “I’m not concerned about the very poor.” As it turns out, Mitt Romney’s program makes George W. Bush look like Karl Marx.

 

See the rest of this article HERE.

When the Republicans say there is no War on Women, hit ’em with this list:

Raw Story ran this from Helen Wheels:

Everyone should copy & paste this for safekeeping and for sticking in lying sack of shit baggerfascists’ faces whenever necessary. I, with the help of other commenters up here, have kept a running tab of the GOP War on Women:

– Every GOP Senator voted AGAINST Equal Pay for Women Act
– Every GOP Senator voted AGAINST Al Franken‘s Anti-Rape Amendment

– Every GOP member vote FOR Anti-Safe Abortion Legislation

– Every GOP member vote FOR Blunt/Rubio Anti-Women’s Equal Health
Coverage Amendment. While Blunt/Rubio Amendment does not allow employer
to deny men employee health coverage for Vasectomy, the Blunt/Rubio
Amendment allows Employer to deny female employees & female
dependents: contraception, tubes tied, and hysterectomies.

– GOP Redefine Rape

– GOP write legislation to probe metal prongs up a woman’s vagina

– GOP change legal term for victims of rape, stalking, and domestic violence
to “accuser”

– GOP write legislation that could make it legal to murder a doctor who provides
abortion care. (South Dakota GOP)

– GOP write legislation to cut nearly a billion dollars of aid to low-income
pregnant women, mothers, babies, and kids.

– GOP write legislation that would let hospitals allow a woman to die
rather than perform an abortion necessary to save her life.

– GOP write law cutting ALL funding for low-income kids saying “Women
should really be home with the kids, not out working (Maryland)

– GOP Cut Funding for Head Start, by $1 Billion.

– Two-thirds of the elderly poor are women: GOP write Bill to CUT
funding for employment services, meals, and housing for senior citizens.

– GOP Candidates for President vow and pledge to Cut Funding for Planned
Parenthood.

– GOP voted for a Amendment to cut all federal funding from Planned Parenthood
health centers.

– GOP write Bill to eliminate all funds for Federal Family Planning Program.

– GOP Write Bill to Provide Contraception for wild horses but ENDS
all Federal Funding for Family Planning, including contraception
coverage. (Dan Burton(R))

– GOP Jan Brewer (R- AZ) Republican Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer on Thursday
signed one of the most controversial and restrictive abortion bans in the
country, which experts say effectively bans abortions after 18 weeks and
declares that a woman could be pregnant 2 weeks before she even had sex.

States passed 83 laws restricting access to abortion, nearly four times the
23 laws passed in 2010. A lot of that had to do with the 2010 elections, which
ushered in a wave of Republican legislators and governors. This year, the
number of states with fully anti-abortion governments — in which both the
governor and the legislature oppose abortion rights — increased from
10 to 15.

Got it? Pass it around… post it on your blogs…print it out and pin it to bulletin boards everywhere.

Thanks to Victoria Lamb Hatch for a clarifying statement on Republican actions…

I often quote other articles on this blog, but rarely do I repost other reader’s comments on posts. However, I was reading a Think Progress article on the Republican proposal to cut social programs but leave military funding alone and found this comment by Victoria Lamb Hatch:

Let’s see — we need to trim the budget. What to cut, what to cut? (thinking)

Should we eliminate military equipment that even the Pentagon says they don’t need? No.

Should we close some tax loopholes that benefit mostly the rich and large corporations? No.

Should we eliminate tax subsidies that go to corporations making billions of dollars in profits? No.

Should we take away school lunches from low-income children, and gut programs like food stamps, Medicaid, and other social services that benefit people who are struggling? Of course. They can’t afford high-priced lobbyists.

I can remember a time when I believed the GOP to be a party with a political ideology that differed from mine. Now I just see them as hateful and cruel.

See what I mean? A clear statement that you can carry to the bank.

If we don’t make cuts across the whole spectrum AND return to taxes on corporations and the wealthy to bring back our economic health, then we might as well toss the two-party system into the trash.

What do you learn from Lunacy?

Exerpts from “The Case for Crazy: What the GOP Would Learn by Picking Rick Santorum

by John Avlon in the Daily Beast

A cleansing bout of craziness in 2012 could be just what the GOP needs.

I’m talking about a nominee so far to the right that conservative populists get their fondest wish—and the Republican Party is forced to learn from the result.  Namely, that there is such a thing as too extreme.

If Mitt Romney does finally wrestle the nomination to the ground, and then loses to Obama, conservatives will blame the loss on his alleged moderation. The right wing take-away will be to try and nominate a true ideologue in 2016.

But if someone like Rick Santorum gets the nomination in an upset, the party faithful will get to experience the adrenalin rush of going off a cliff together, like Thelma and Louise—elation followed by an electoral thud.

Giving conservative activists everything they want in a presidential nominee would ultimately be clarifying for the Republican Party. It would break the fever that has afflicted American politics turning fellow citizens against one another. It would restore a sense of balance, recognizing that it is unwise to systemically ignore the 40% of American voters who identify themselves as independent or the 35% who are centrist. After all, a successful political party requires both wings to fly.

There’s nothing like losing 40 states to refocus the mind.

Education is a marvelous thing. Education by Experience can be devastating.

Ever wonder why the majority of Mormons are Republican?

Here are some clips from the Salt Lake Tribune:

The founders of the Republican Party saw Mormons as their enemies.

And the first Mormon leaders didn’t have much nice to say about the GOP, either.

You would never know it now — one recent poll showed three-quarters of LDS faithful lean toward the GOP — but the two groups had an acrimonious start, fueled largely by the early Mormon practice of polygamy.

So how does this affect Mitt Romney as he runs for the Republican nomination?

As Mitt Romney presses his bid for the Republican nomination for president, lost on many Americans is how his Mormon faith played an important role as foil in the early days of the Grand Old Party — and how its first candidates catapulted to power in part by whipping up anti-Mormon sentiments.

“If you like irony, you’ve got to love history,” says Utah historian Will Bagley. “Polygamy made Mormons into a national punching bag during the 1850s.”

The Republican Party launched in 1854 as an anti-slavery party and quickly seized on growing concern with Mormons in the Utah Territory taking on multiple wives.

Early Republicans did not distinguish between slavery and polygamy and attacked Mormons in their first Party Platform in 1856. Republicans elected to Congress used their influence to wipe away Church control over the Utah Territory and backed a law that disincorporated the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

LDS Church leaders, for their part, harbored ill will toward the Republican Party, urging followers to back the Democrats.

“We call upon you to stand firm to the principles of our religion in the coming contest for president,” read a letter from LDS Church President Brigham Young and other leaders as published in the abolitionist newspaper, The National Era, on Nov. 20, 1856. “Our duty is plain. There are two principal parties in the country — one is for us, the other against us.”

That doesn’t mean that Democrats were pro-Mormon… they weren’t. Senator Steven Douglas was notably anti-Mormon and spread the fear that they would separate Utah from the country under Church government.

If rumors of Mormon troubles are true, then “the Mormon inhabitants of Utah, as a community, are outlaws and alien enemies, unfit to exercise the right of self-government,” Douglas said, according to a New York Times account of his speech at the time.

Lincoln’s winning the White House in 1860 and the Civil War ending slavery, left polygamy as the one concern that still resonated with Americans. P Republicans over the next several decades attacked the LDS Church over polygamy and suspicions that Mormons were attempting to form their own sovereign country in the Mountain West. Oddly enough, this fight was driven by the members of Congress from Vermont, the birthplace of Joseph Smith, founder of the LDS.

Vermont Rep. Luke P. Poland later amended that law to order that all civil and criminal cases in the Utah Territory be handled by the U.S. District Court and dismiss any other judiciary system in the state that he feared were simply church puppets.

Poland’s hope was that the federal courts would then go after polygamists, but it wasn’t until the 1887 Edmunds Anti-Polygamy Act — sponsored by Republican George Franklin Edmunds— and the subsequent Edmunds-Tucker Act that Mormons with plural

Jailed Polygamists

wives were prosecuted. Around 1,300 men were eventually jailed under that act.

The law also was successful in disincorporating the LDS Church, forcing Mormons to take their battle to court. The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled against the faith but Congress took a step back when Mormon leaders issued a proclamation in 1890 banning polygamy. That also was a turning point for the icy relationship between Mormons and the GOP.

What started the turn away from the Democrats was their inaction in the establishment of Utah as a state. The Republican Party of Utah was founded in 1891 and became the leading organization pushing for statehood, which happened in 1896.

It wasn’t until the 1970s however that social issues like abortion, the Equal Rights Amendment and gay marriage (all of which they were against) drew the Mormons to conservatism.

Church apostle Ezra Taft Benson, who supported the right-wing John Birch Society and served as Agriculture secretary under President Dwight Eisenhower, helped further push his fellow Mormons into the conservative camp.

A report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life in January showed that about 74 percent of Mormons lean toward the Republican Party and 66 percent of them call themselves conservative.

“Clearly, the Republican Party has taken the mantle of religious freedom and that bodes well for Mormons,” says Rep. Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican who converted to the Mormon faith and the GOP.

“Principles of the Republican Party align with what Mormons believe,” the congressman added, though he quickly noted that there are many Democrats who are also devout Mormons.

Mitt Romney now assures everyone that there will be no influence of the LDS Church over his policies if he becomes the nominee. It is hopefully the case.

Quote of the Day – Looks like the Occupy Movement will benefit Obama

“While people were pretty evenly split on whether the administration favors the middle class, the rich or the poor, they were all but unanimous about which class the Republicans favor; 69 percent said Republicans in Congress favor the rich, while just 9 percent said the middle class and 2 percent said the poor. That’s a significant perception problem for the GOP, and the Occupy Wall Street protesters — for whatever bad press they have created and will create due to the actions of some participants — are rallying support against the very class that the GOP is thought to favor.”

Chris Cillizza, The Fix, Washington Post

I’m not sure the GOP cares… nothing else that has been said, polled, complained about or done has gotten them to listen to the Middle Class that they started to disable with Reagan. The day one of those turkeys comes out to Tax The Rich and gets the Republican Party behind him (or her) is the day the world will end.

Rick Perry and the Religious Right show their True Faces…

From TexasTrailerParkTrash:

What Would Jesus Order?

It’s been said many times recently that the GOP is living in a parallel universe, with their own set of facts that have nothing to do with reality as the rest of us know and understand it.

Here is proof, in living color.

These photos were taken at Rick Perry’s Prayerpalooza on Saturday, where he called for seven hours of intense prayer and fasting.

Apparently, the good folks who were in attendance didn’t know that fasting means not eating anything.

Either that, or they have applied the Michele Bachmann Rule of Denial and believe, even as you can “pray away the gay,” you can eat nachos and still call that fasting.

Hey, Babe… thanks for the word from Texas. Don’t you want to keep your Governor and not inflict him on the rest of us? 🙂

Quote of the Day – from someone who was there when we got it right

“What the GOP seeks is a banana republic: a toxic blend of right-wing populism, anti-intellectualism, debt defaults, and an end to the ladder of economic opportunity.”

Paul Begala

This is from Begala’s article in the Daily Beast entitled “How Republicans Screwed the Pooch“… this, of course, is from the point-of-view of a member of the Clinton administration who was there when the same kinds of problems were  solved two administrations ago.

Whenever you hear the Republicans (and especially the tea partiers) say that the Democrats never learn from their mistakes, point them to the balanced budgets with surpluses extending out into the foreseeable future that Clinton handed Bush and his Band of Scary Men, who got us into debt andunfunded war within a year. And remember what they left Obama with.

Begala’s article should be read by everyone.

Cartoon(s) of the Week – Dancing on the (Debt) Ceiling

Going to focus today on some great cartoons summing up the fruitless “debates” that this polarized Congress go through as the GOP tries to end Obama‘s Presidency…

Mr. Fish in Truthdig:

… and when we’re done, we’ll decide how to spend what we have left…

– and –

John Deering in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette:


Waiting to see who wins as we all go over the falls…

– and –

Dan Wasserman in the Boston Globe:

Notice how well they listen to each other…

– and –

Dick Locher of Tribune Media Services:

… if we would all get with it….

– and –

Joel Pett in the Lexington Herald:

…and it l0oks like they are getting it.

Minnesota: Is this the upcoming National Crisis in Miniature?

By Barb Kucera, editor of Workday Minnesota, where this articleoriginally appeared

Minn. government shutdown puts thousands out of work.

ST. PAUL – “Where are the damn jobs?” was the question posed by a sign at Thursday night’s State Capitol vigil. Not only were no jobs created during the 2011 legislative session, the state

200 px

government shutdown that began at midnight put thousands of public and private sector workers out of work.

Minnesota’s sluggish economy, struggling to recover from the recession, will be rocked by the layoffs of 23,000 state employees and thousands of others as the effects of the shutdown ripples through local units of government, businesses and communities.

Some 10,000 construction workers immediately face unemployment due to the closure of all state-funded construction projects, said Harry Melander, president of the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council.

At a vigil Thursday night, state workers filed before a microphone to list the litany of public services affected by the inability of state lawmakers to reach a budget agreement before Friday’s start of a new fiscal year. They ranged from adoption services and addiction programs to business licensing, pollution prevention and public health efforts.

“We want to work!” participants in the vigil chanted as darkness fell on the state Capitol. A sign on the building said it was closed until further notice due to the shutdown.

Failure to compromise

Minnesota labor leaders said Republican lawmakers, by refusing to address the state’s revenue shortfall, were to blame for the impasse that led to the shutdown.

“Their insistence on protecting millionaires has now resulted in a government shutdown that leaves thousands of public and private sector workers without a job,” said Minnesota AFL-CIO President Shar Knutson.

“While this shutdown will be harmful in the short-run, it is only a preview of what the GOP‘s all-cuts budget would look like.

“Governor Dayton has met Republicans halfway with a balanced solution that will hold the line on taxes for 98 percent of Minnesotans. We call on Republican legislators to join Governor Dayton in the middle and forge a compromise that will create jobs and protect the middle class.”

Jim Monroe, executive director of MAPE, the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, said state workers “are being used as pawns in a budget impasse,” adding “It seems that legislative leaders do not understand the value that public services give to the quality of life in this state.”

Eliot Seide, executive director of AFSCME Council 5, the largest union of state workers, said, “We are saddened the Republican legislators would dispose of us like we are yesterday’s trash.”

In the coming days, both unions will be operating phone banks so members can call lawmakers to demand an end to the crisis and a fair budget.

They also plan a mass rally at the Capitol July 6 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Dubbed the “Downeyville Rally” after state Rep. Keith Downey, who sponsored legislation to slash the state workforce, the event will dramatize the effect of the shutdown, in the same way impromptu encampments called “Hoovervilles” portrayed the devastation of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

A moral crisis

Participants in Thursday night’s vigil were joined by clergy from various faiths. The Rev. Paul Slack, pastor of New Creation Church in Brooklyn Park, spoke for many when he framed the debate in  moral terms.

Thousands of Minnesotans, especially the state’s most vulnerable residents, will be hurt by the shutdown and by many of the proposed budget cuts, he said.

“We need to pass a budget – not just a budget – but a budget that works for us all,” he said. “This is not a budget crisis. This is not even a revenue crisis. This is a moral crisis.”

For more information

View more photos on the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation Facebook page

AFSCME and MAPE have resources for laidoff state workers on their websites.

A local group, ShutDownRiseUp! will offer a free meal every day at 5 p.m. in Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis and the opportunity to organize around the shutdown.

Quote of the Day… from Who?

“There’s a lot of people out there that worry the American dream is in danger. So I was listening to the other candidates. They’re fine people. But I don’t think I’m hearing anything coming from them that’s going to help us seize this opportunity.”

Thad McCotter, Republican Representative from Michigan

McCotter has held his suburban Detroit district for almost a decade, and he says he jumping into the race because he is dissatisfied with the current crop of candidates, from Mitt Romney on down. His national recognition, however, is about zero.

McCotter, 45, is known for being a sharp-witted — and sometimes sharp-tongued — conservative policy wonk. As far his bona fides in that regard, he was ahead of the GOP curve in opposing the Wall Street bailout in 2008, calling it “American Socialism.”

Oh well… now there’s another one in the race. I guess there’s always room for one more.

A petition worth signing… make sure everyone can vote, not just the friends of Republicans!

Stop Vote Suppression!

Now that they control a majority of statehouses across the nation, Republicans are attempting a bold power grab to disenfranchise voters and repeat the Florida election debacle of 2000.

Right now, states with Republican governors or new GOP majorities are ramming through bills designed to make it harder for people to vote.

They’ll stop at nothing to steal the Presidency.

We have to act now to stop these bills from becoming law. The Democratic Governors Association is the only organization devoted solely to electing Democratic governors who will veto any and all attempts to limit voter rights. Use the form at the right to stand with the DGA and demand that Republicans stop their politically-motivated attempts to suppress votes.

 

Go HERE.

A Brilliant Article by Sherry at A Feather Adrift:

I was looking for more information on Patty Murray’s defense of Planned Parenthood and the crap the Republicans are trying to blackmail us with to keep the government open. I found this piece by our friend Sherry who we have quoted before. Read it. Please.

Shut ‘er Down?

07 Apr

I read a piece yesterday by Michael Tomasky that posited a couple of theories about what the GOP was about in this budget battle. He basically saw it as two possibilities. One is that Boehner is up to his neck in poo, knowing that a shutdown will reflect badly upon the GOP. The other is that they really think that if they stop this economic recovery with a shutdown, Obama will suffer in 2012. The latter is clearly the more sinister and evil of the two.

I’m more inclined to the former. I think Boehner is being squeezed and is desperately trying to hold on to his job. He wants to make a deal, yet he is held hostage by the freshman extremists who are much like the those who went out to watch the “opening” battle of the Civil War. Sitting with tea and crumpets, they soon were horrified at the slaughter and ran for their lives. It’s just that the extremist teabaggers, having learned only “revisionist” history, have no clue what they are bringing about.

My understanding through days of listening and reading is that the parties are close enough on the actual numbers. One would think that enough, but the GOP, beholden to its crazies, and deeply afraid of them now, keep moving the end zone lines. What it now comes down to, is not the size of the cuts, but the actual cuts themselves.

Pense, that idiotic buffoon, demands a shut down if the PPH is not defunded. And the extremists are fanning the flames by, so  I’ve read, blanketing Boehner’s office with white sheets. This is to symbolize that Margaret Sanger, the long DEAD founder of PPH was alledgedly supportive of the KKK.

Ms. Sanger has also been charged with believing in eugenics, and from that we get the ugly billboards suggesting that PPH’s aim is the genocide of the African-American people. Forget the real reason that African-Americans seek PPH’s abortion services more often than whites.

Such nonsense is just that of course. Pense claims that his purpose is to stop funding PPH because the “American people are clear that they don’t want the government funding abortion.” Of course there is already legislation to that effect and PPH’s budget from Congress funds health care issues separate and apart from abortion, such as mammograms and cervical cancer detection as well as family planning assistance. All this to women who cannot afford these services elsewhere.

Another pet project is NPR. The GOP wants it defunded for no other reason than they think it left leaning and that’s not helpful to them. The fact that Fox Noise and all manner of other “conservative” institutions receive federal dollars is conveniently ignored. This is nothing but another means to kill the opposition, union killing and voter suppression, wild gerrymandering, being others.

The EPA is another target. Damn us for wanting clean air, and water, and support for alternative energy sources. Big Business doesn’t like pollution control interfering with profits. That is masked by idiots on committees who claim that “God has promised that the earth will never be destroyed.” Well there you have it. We can foul our nest all we want, God is our janitor! Such unspeakable misinterpretation of scripture is nothing but misdirection and slight of hand. It’s all about business.

Ryan and his silly “revolutionary” budget is aimed at only one thing–the thing the GOP always aims at, keeping money in the hands of rich people. It’s desire to destroy Medicare and Medicaid under the guise of taking down the deficit, might have some legs were it not for the fact nothing is done to address the tax cuts for the wealthy.

This is all nothing new. The GOP hates with a passion anything that smacks of “income redistribution”. In their world there would be no social security either. They did not put forth any of these social reforms, they hate them, always have. They believe they are at the top of the heap due to their own talents and frankly, my dear, they don’t give a damn about any of the masses.

Charity, to borrow from the extremist right-wing religionists, should come from the individual, which is what Jesus wanted (doncha just know). When people give of their own volition, of course, they work for their own salvation, which is all that really counts, and the “right” kind of poor are taken care of, and the rest? The rest, will either do the ditch-digging jobs with just enough to subsist, developing into a stable underclass we can count on forever. They will do it or die.

We will, they dream, build a righteous land run by God’s natural leaders–white men who with benevolence, (their version) make the US into a mighty, unassailable ruler of the world. Anyone who doesn’t like it, well, we got plenty of bombs.

And if you don’t think this is exactly what they truly want, you are deluded.

End of Rant.

Eric Cantor Exhibits Legislative Insanity

The House Majority Leader thinks that the House can pass a law without the Senate also passing it word for word and without the President signing it.

Perhaps Cantor should consult any grade school student who has studied U.S. History and find out what he is suggesting is unconstitutional.

This from HuffPo (if you click their URL below there’s more):

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
House Republicans will introduce legislation, likely by the end of this week, that would make it so that if Congress is unable to come to an agreement over an operating budget, the GOP’s version would simply become law of the land.
The bill, titled “The Government Shutdown Prevention Act,” is designed for the purposed described in its title. In terms of partisan equity, it’s lacking.
Announced by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) on Wednesday, the legislation would make it so that “if the Senate fails to pass a measure before April 6, 2011 providing for the appropriations of the departments and agencies of the Government for the remainder of fiscal year 2011, H.R. 1 (as passed by the House on February 19, 2011) becomes law.”
Senate Democrats have rejected passing HR1 since the onset of the government funding debate.
It’s worth noting that Cantor might not be entirely in the loop as to the progress of the budget negotiations…
blog it

And here are some notes from Democracy For America…

This, of course, is being sent out with a fundraising request from DFA:

The Wall Street Journal reports — “Conservatives in Wisconsin are getting nervous that three Republican state senators may defect on the collective-bargaining reform vote.”

NBC news in Wisconsin reports — “four moderate Republicans are wavering and could break with the GOP and vote against Walker’s budget repair bill.”

And Talking Points Memo reports on a brand new poll by a Republican leaning pollster — “Rasmussen Poll: Almost Six In Ten Wisconsin Voters Disapprove Of Gov. Walker.”

Keep up the good work folks… Act Blue is collecting
their donations, I guess.

John Boehner Claims Spending Cuts Will Create Jobs

Here’s the beginning of a wonderful article based on the Sunday pundits in Crooks and Liars.

Give it a look, then go in and read the rest:

clipped from crooksandliars.com
Is anyone else as tired of this latest talking points by Republicans that continually goes unchallenged by the media — spending cuts are going to create jobs. John Boehner claims he’s got hundreds of economists who agree with him after Chris Wallace points out that a lot of economists don’t agree with him, but of course Wallace didn’t bother to ask him what some of their names were.
How about we fix our trade laws and quit rewarding companies for outsourcing American jobs? Heaven forbid that never seems to be part of the conversation from our politicians when the topic of jobs comes up.

Nicole: Anyone wish that Wallace the Lesser would have asked him for just one or two of the names of those “200 economists” that Boehner insisted agree with this ridiculous meme? It’s one that Rep. Robert Hurt (R-VA05) also repeated in a widely-disseminated op-ed this weekend:

As the failed trillion dollar stimulus proved, increased government spending did not create the millions of jobs promised and only added to our record-breaking deficits and over $14 trillion in debt. The new projection that this year’s deficit will reach nearly $1.5 million only reinforces the need to cut up Washington’s credit cards once and for all.

Failed stimulus? Are we in the midst of another Great Depression? No? Wasn’t that the purpose of the stimulus, to pull us back from the brink? The only reason it didn’t do better were all the stupid concessions added to get the Republicans to sign off on it. And as far as jobs are concerned, the unemployment rate is still bleak, but to ignore that the Obama administration — even with all the obstruction placed before them by the Republican Party — managed to create more jobs in 2010 than Bush did in all eight years of his term put together is fundamentally disinforming the public.

But that’s the plan for the GOP.

blog it

Republicans Plan to Shutter NEA and NEH

Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, Galleria d...

Da Vinci didn't have Republicans to contend with.

This is a disturbing piece for all of us in the arts that was published this week by Stage Directions Magazine. I listened to the President last night inspiring us to be first in science and math and engineering… of course he said nothing about our being first in the arts which provides millions of jobs at minimal cost for highly talented people. They may not be creating new automobiles or filling our food plants with dangerous chemistry (like Monsanto), but they create the world view in which our scientists and mathematicians can function.

Once the engineer and the artist were in the same shell… think about Leonardo Da Vinci. Today the arts are considered an easy victim by Republicans out to destroy the things that make life good over the things that make life dangerous.

Back to the article in Stage Directions. Here’s part of it, but please go in and read it all:

clipped from www.stage-directions.com
Mike Boehm, reporting on the L.A. Times Culture Monster arts blog, says that 165 GOP members in the House of Representatives announced a budget-cutting plan on Thursday, Jan 20, that calls for “the elimination of the nation’s two leading makers of government arts grants: the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Also on the chopping block is the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.”
Boehm does a good job of laying out the history of the Republicans vendetta against arts funding, and its fallout: 

“The arts and humanities endowments each get $167.5 million a year; the broadcasting agency, which supports public radio and television, gets $445 million.

“The NEA last had to fight for its survival in 1995, when Republicans gained control of the House and Senate and sought to get rid of the endowment. It had outraged some conservatives with grants that in certain highly publicized cases had supported performances or exhibitions they deemed offensive.

“While the NEA survived, It took a 39% budget cut and saw the elimination of nearly all grants to individual artists.”

None of this is a done deal, of course. Presumably some of the 242 Republican and 193 Democrats representatives in Congress support the arts, and advocacy groups for the arts are out there, too.

Full article here


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Is Lisa Murkowski moving away from the Far Right?

This was in TPMDC this morning. Worth thinking about.
clipped from tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com
 

Murkowski On Voting With Dems: No Biggie!

One of the lame duck‘s biggest surprises was how reliably Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) voted with Democrats. Her “yes” votes on DREAM and DADT repeal arguably put her to the left of Democrats Jon Tester and Joe Manchin — during the lame duck, at least. 

As she darted out of the Senate chamber Wednesday afternoon TPM asked her if those votes would’ve been harder to cast if she’d never been primaried and was still a member of GOP leadership.

“Nah,” she said, as the elevator doors closed.

So I guess that answers that.

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The Lame Duck Wins are Adding Up for Obama

Steve Kornacki at Salon has a pretty good summary of why the Lame Duck Session hasn’t been lame for Obama.

Here are a couple of clips, but I encourage you to go into Salon and read it all:

clipped from www.salon.com
Despite their leaders’ bluster, Senate Republicans do not have the votes to block ratification of the New START treaty. When a vote to end the GOP‘s filibuster was called on Wednesday afternoon, 11 Republican senators broke with their party. With a total of 67 senators voting to kill the filibuster, the path now seems clear for the chamber to formally ratify the treaty, which calls for the U.S. and Russia to pare back their nuclear arsenals over the next seven years, on Wednesday.
Needless to say, this represents a significant political victory for Barack Obama — and not his first one this lame duck session.
Not all of the Republican opposition, mind you, stemmed from an effort to obstruct Obama’s agenda for political gain.
There was always going to be a solid bloc of right-wing opposition in the Senate to New START, no matter how Obama sold it.
. The lame duck session hasn’t been perfect for Obama and Democrats

but it’s been a lot more productive than expected.

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If Obama Thinks Republicans Will Compromise, He Is Playing Into Their Hands… AGAIN!

It’s time to take them on, not compromise. There is still a lot Obama can do, even with a Republican House. And he can work on turning them out in 2012.
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
Barely an hour after President Barack Obama invited congressional Republicans to post-election talks to work together on major issues, the Senate’s GOP leader had a blunt message: His party’s main goal is denying Obama re-election.
In a sign that combat and the 2012 elections rather than compromise could mark the next two years, Sen. Mitch McConnell on Thursday called for Senate votes to repeal or erode Obama’s signature health care law, to cut spending and to shrink government.
“The only way to do all these things it is to put someone in the White House who won’t veto any of these things,” McConnell said in a speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation.
The Senate Republican leader‘s confrontational tone was in sharp contrast to the posture Obama took Wednesday in the face of a new GOP-controlled House and Republican gains in the Senate.
Obama followed up Thursday morning by inviting Republican and Democratic congressional leaders for talks on Nov. 18.
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Quote for the Election Day

“Just a reminder: if you vote GOP today or sit it out, you are voting for a tax cut FOR ME and none FOR YOU.”

Keith Olbermann

Quote of the Day… does this woman ever think before she speaks?

“I’ve got Sean Hannity in my back pocket, and I can go on his show and raise money by attacking you guys.”

Christine O’Donnell addressing top GOP insiders.

 

From HuffPo:

On Hannity’s popular afternoon drive-time show, the Tea Party-inspired Senate contender acidly criticized the party, specifically the National Republican Senatorial Committee, for not funneling any serious cash (beyond a pro forma $43,000) into her race against Democrat Chris Coons.

 

A Quote for Our Times…

Jon Stewart

Image via Wikipedia

“So two years ago America broke up with you, because you had badly mistreated her. … And you come back rapping on our door, hat in hand, and you say, ‘Baby, I know you love me. But if we get back together, I pledge to you, I promise you, I will still try to f*ck your sister every chance I get.'”

Jon Stewart, on the GOP‘s new “Pledge to America”

And that about sums up the GOP’s approach to the Middle Class…

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Quote of the Day – on our Vacationing President

‘The Republican National Committee has taken to calling Obama “the Clark Griswold president,” a mocking reference to the Chevy Chase character in National Lampoon’s “Vacation” movies. With unemployment claims climbing again, the GOP was hoping its criticism would have a certain national resonance. And maybe it will.’

– Scott Wilson, Washington Post

BTW, by this time in George W Bush’s Administration, GWB had taken 115 days off. Obama has taken 48, counting this week’s trip to Martha’s Vineyard.