“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison,” – Nelson Mandela, proof that the final form of love is forgiveness.
It is rare that one soul can impact all of ours – and make us more patient, more powerful and more human. Mandela was such a soul. And he will never leave us.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
The Director’s Blog of the Congressional Budget Office released this report earlier today. It confirms everything we know about income inequality, and everything the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators have been saying from the start:
[Income] for households at the higher end of the income scale rose much more rapidly than income for households in the middle and at the lower end of the income scale.If the language of the CBO summary is understated, the accompanying graph screams louder than words:
Devils in the detail: Between 1979 and 2007, the top 1 percent of the population benefited from a more than twofold increase in household income, whereas the middle quintiles – representing 60 percent of the national population – saw their income share decline by 3 percent. Income for the lowest quintile fell by more than 7 percent. Thus, the rich got richer while the living standards of most Americans dropped significantly.
- 275 percent growth for the highest income earners (top 1%),
- 65 percent for the 5th Quintile (less the 1% top earners),
- 40 percent for Quintiles 2 through 4,
- 18 percent for the bottom Quintile.
Bottom line: The so-called American Dream has vanished with no upward mobility for the middle class - especially for the younger generation with few career prospects to pay back their college loans.
Of course, the GOP always sees things differently. Under their PR lens, they have demonized everyone on unemployment as indolent loafers and suspected drug users. They have blamed public sector deficits on overpaid and over privileged public sector workers. They no longer consider Social Security and Medicare as ‘earned benefits’ but as burdensome ‘entitlements.’ Big Brother, they insist, has no business looking after little brother. And all Occupy Wall Street protesters shall be demonized as unwashed, unemployed, drug-addled, sex-crazed socialist hippies hell bent on income redistribution. Any heretic who challenges the gospel of ‘privatize profits and socialize risks' shall be pilloried and scorned. Thus spoke House Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Thus spoke Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. And thus spoke their media prophet, descending and condescending from Mount Rush.
Under the Republican PR lens, a humble breadcrumb shall turn into a mighty bread loaf. Modest morsels shall once again grace every table under the aegis of supply-side orthodoxy - more tax cuts for the rich and less benefits for the middle class. America's hallowed corporations will move your job to a third world country unless you agree to turn America into a third world country. Austerity and ritual sacrifice shall renew the land, and mandatory voter photo IDs will herald in a new Golden Age of Perpetual Feudalism.
If readers think I am overstating the case, here again is former Republican staffer Mike Lofgren in Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult:
The GOP cares solely and exclusively about its rich contributors. The party has built a whole catechism on the protection and further enrichment of America's plutocracy. Their caterwauling about deficit and debt is so much eyewash to con the public.My closing question for today: When will middle-class Republicans finally see the light and leave the cult before it’s too late.
Republicans have attempted to camouflage their amorous solicitude for billionaires with a fog of misleading rhetoric ... Another chestnut is that millionaires and billionaires are "job creators." US corporations have just had their most profitable quarters in history; Apple, for one, is sitting on $76 billion in cash, more than the GDP of most countries. So, where are the jobs?
Another smokescreen is the "small business" meme, since standing up for Mom's and Pop's corner store is politically more attractive than to be seen shilling for a megacorporation. Raising taxes on the wealthy will kill small business' ability to hire; that is the GOP dirge every time Bernie Sanders or some Democrat offers an amendment to increase taxes on incomes above $1 million.
Likewise, Republicans have assiduously spread the myth that Americans are conspicuously overtaxed. But compared to other OECD countries, the effective rates of US taxation are among the lowest. In particular, they point to the top corporate income rate of 35 percent as being confiscatory Bolshevism. But again, the effective rate is much lower. Did GE pay 35 percent on 2010 profits of $14 billion? No, it paid zero.
When pressed, Republicans make up misleading statistics to "prove" that the America's fiscal burden is being borne by the rich and the rest of us are just freeloaders who don't appreciate that fact.
All of these half truths and outright lies have seeped into popular culture via the corporate-owned business press … More important politically, Republicans' myths about taxation have been internalized by millions of economically downscale "values voters," who may have been attracted to the GOP for other reasons ... but who now accept this misinformation as dogma.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
And he's right.
We've never seen anything as stupid and amateur as this "smokin'-bad" video. It says absolutely NOTHING about Cain's plans to put Americans back to work, or anything about what he'd do if we were crazy enough to vote him into the presidency. The campaign video ends with this guy taking a drag from a cigarette and exhaling.
Because nothing says "Good for America" like an object that will give you lung cancer.
What the hell is Cain thinking? Oh, wait...Cain just makes it up as he goes along, and is obviously being advised by the dumbest people who ever worked a presidential campaign.
Fortunately, Cain will not get the nomination nor move into the White House. And we can thank the nutjob who produced and starred in this disaster of a video for that.
Cain Gets a Bump from a Hit: [Let the parodies begin!]:
They jus' keep on comin'!
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Most conservatives today are dead-set against traditional forms of government-based economic stimulus known as Keynesian economics, primarily spending initiatives. So if "job creation" is defined to primarily include Keynesian initiatives, then Republicans aren’t going to be sponsoring any "job creation" bills. Instead, Republicans argue that tax cuts and budget cutting will help the economy prosper.
While congressional Republicans have certainly introduced dozens of bills on social issues and other topics, the claim that the GOP has focused on issues other than job creation just isn't supported. The numbers cited in the post include Democratic bills, and the definition of what constitutes a "job creation" bill is open to significant debate.
But the post’s most important flaw is the contention that Republicans have offered "zero" bills on job creation. This number stems from a methodology that also excludes Obama’s American Jobs Act from the category of "job creation" bills. If you look at alternative job-related subject headings, the number of bills offered by lawmakers from both parties actually exceeds most of the social-issues listed in the blog post. We rate this claim Pants on Fire."
According to PolitiFact, Congressional Republicans HAVE sponsored "job creation" bills, as defined by the GOP.
As far as I can determine, NO JOB CREATION BILLS HAVE BECOME LAW that have put thousands of people back to work since the GOP took over the House one year ago.
Friday, October 21, 2011
The presidential hopefuls of the GOP and the malcontented rightwing bloggers are wrong again.
They continue to misjudge Mr. Obama's foreign policies; and when those policies succeed, they tie themselves into pretzels to avoid giving President Obama the credit he so richly deserves.
In 2+ years, Mr. Obama has shown himself to be better at ridding America of its dangerous enemies than the Bush administration did in its 8 years.
Not one American lost his/her life in the capture and death of 2 of the world's most vicious murderers.
And yet those on the right haven't the decency to admit they were wrong in their attacks on Mr. Obama's handling of his Libyan policy to oust the dictator, Qaddafi.
Here are examples of their wrong-headed and politically motivated criticisms:
“It is apparent that our military is engaged in much more than enforcing a no-fly zone. What we are watching in real time is another example of mission creep and mission muddle. In an op-ed in today’s Boston Herald, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton rightly notes that Obama has set himself up for 'massive strategic failure' by demanding Qaddafi’s ouster 'while restricting military force to the limited objective of protecting civilians.' Military action cannot be under-deliberated and ad hoc. The president owes it to the American people and Congress to immediately explain his new Libya mission and its strategic rationale.”
“President Obama’s policy of leading from behind is an outrage and people should be outraged at the foolishness of the President’s decision” and asking “what in the world are we doing in Libya if we don’t know what our military goal is?”
“I’ve said many times before that US intervention in Libya is inappropriate and wrong. The US does not belong in this war…Pres. Obama did not make it clear what our mission was in Libya, what the American interests were or what victory looks like. We cannot risk our treasury or national treasures (brave men & women in uniform) without knowing those answers.”
”Ridding the world of the likes of Gadhafi is a good thing, but this indecisive President had little to do with this triumph,”
"I would not have intervened. I think there were a lot of other ways to affect Qaddafi. I think there are a lot of other allies in the region we could have worked with. I would not have used American and European forces."
Do we really want any of these wrong-headed and muddled-thinking people leading our country?
JON STEWART: "What the f**k is wrong with you people?!"
He goes after three ungracious and obviously stupid GOP pols who couldn't find the decency to credit their OWN COUNTRY, THE USA, for taking part and succeeding in this effort because it would have reflected well on the president of their country. The GOP and their followers are so eaten up by their rancid partisanship, they couldn't do the honorable thing, and they, therefore, brought dishonor on themselves and their party.
THANK YOU, PRESIDENT OBAMA AND SECRETARY CLINTON FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP AND MAKING THE USA PART OF A GREAT VICTORY!
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
And where are the Republicans? They are solidly against the American people.
Here are the results of the poll, via Smartypants.
The GOP is no longer a political party, but a gang of economic vandals whose only goal is to keep Americans out of work and impoverished so that their party can defeat President Obama in 2012.
From a NYTimes editorial:
"There are 14 million people out of work, wages are falling, poverty is rising, and a second recession may be blowing in, but not a single Republican would even allow debate on a sound plan to cut middle-class taxes and increase public-works spending.
It is excruciatingly clear why the GOP continues to obstruct anything this president offers to improve unemployment and get Americans back to work.
On another subject, during the debate in Nevada last night, the GOPers did themselves proud again. If you remember the other debates, we witnessed:
1) The GOP audience cheer lustily over Rick Perry's boast about how many people he's put to death, guilty or not, in Texas;
2) We heard the GOP audience whoop it up over Ron Paul's suggestion that an uninsured young person should die because he could not afford insurance coverage;
3) We heard GOP audience members BOO! a gay combat soldier currently serving in Iraq; and now,
4) Continuing in their tradition of being heartless troglodytes, the GOP audience in Nevada loudly approved of Herman Cain's blaming unemployed Americans for not having jobs. [see video below]
Because the insensitive creeps actually believe Americans choose to be out of work and hurting.
Just imagine if the GOP achieves their goal of defeating Mr. Obama and they still control the House and take over the Senate, just imagine what their legislative program would be:
More tax cuts for the rich
More union busting
More cuts in social welfare programs, i.e., Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid
More voter suppression directed toward minorities
Enhancement of the powers for special interests and their lobbyists
More attacks on women's rights, making it more difficult to receive a legal medical procedure
Repeal of DADT
Repeal of ACA
Repeal of the EPA
Repeal of financial regulations, i.e., Dodd-Frank, making it easier for Wall Street to engage in more risky derivatives.
Gawker has this incredible story on a TPer actually vowing not to hire anyone and urging other GOP-TPers to do the same, so that Mr. Obama will be defeated.
THIS IS WHO THEY ARE:
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
The curious thing is that if you check out a number of rightwing blogs, you'll read how they are defending the 21st century robber barons, the Wall Street financial rapists, the banksters, and the corporatists who happily ship their American jobs overseas, thereby fattening their bottom lines and guaranteeing the 99 percenters more hardship and the inability to flourish in this country.
It's a mystery to me why so many conservatives continue to serve their wealthy masters while, at the same time, experience their failing economic health, and why they continue to vote against their own self-interests.
The OWS movement is marching and demonstrating for them, for their children and grandchildren, but they don't get it. So long as they listen to idiots like Glenn Beck, Eric Cantor, and the people running for the GOP presidential nomination--y'know, the conservatives standing up for and defending the one percenters--these misguided Americans never will.
Meanwhile, to understand how the top one percenters are growing wealthier and the middle and lower classes are shrinking and losing financially, look at the charts from this Mother Jones article.
"It's The Inequality, Stupid!"
Sunday, October 16, 2011
The latest GOP honeyscoop, who calls himself an ice cream flavor--black walnut--has taken to walking back his embarrassing, amateur goofs by calling them "jokes."
On Sunday's Meet the Press, Cain claimed he was only joking when he proposed, if elected president, his solutions to immigration issues would be electrified fences, digging a moat at the border and filling it with alligators, and using live ammunition at the border.
Mr. Cain also walked back his promise that no bill he signed would be more than three pages. That's a joke, too, according to the pizza guy.
And we don't know yet if his admission of ignorance about what a neoconservative is was a joke as well.
Mr. Cain said America needs to get a sense of humor.
But how can we laugh when the newest GOP date to the nomination prom is a guy who wants to be president, a deadly serious job, but keeps telling us his ideas are all jokes?
Maybe Mr. Cain should drop out of the presidential race and run for Comedian in Chief.
He appears to be the most qualified of the bunch.
Capt. Fogg over at The Swash Zone explains why Herman Cain's "9-9-9" tax solution is the biggest joke of all.
Joe Klein shares his opinion of The Hermanator:
"I know what I’m about to say is impolite, but Herman Cain strikes me as something of a jerk and an ignoramus. He has made absolutely outrageous statements about Muslims, immigrants and homosexuals; he takes the most extreme position imaginable on abortion. Indeed, I have never, ever seen him acknowledge the idea that complexity exists in the world…or that an ability to weed through complex issues might be a qualification for the presidency.
No, the guy is a marketer. He had other people handle administration and finance at Godfather’s; he was all about the pies. Hence, we have his 9-9-9 plan, a truly rancid scheme to benefit the rich at the expense of the rest of the country, a scheme that would tax a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread.
Would it be too much for the Weekly Standard–a journal of strong, and occasionally intemperate, opinions–to acknowledge that this guy is a snake oil salesman? That he’s an embarrassment to the Republican Party? That his momentary strength is a four-alarm cry of Republican desperation?"
Saturday, October 15, 2011
This is just too funny to just link to.
So here it is from Funny or Die, by Dan Abramson and Nate Maggio:
NOTE: We totally forgot about Ron Paul and Rick Santorum. But don't worry, in two weeks you will, too.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Get out there and support the 99 percenters on Saturday.
"It's time for us to unite; it's time for them to listen; people of the world, rise up!" proclaims the Web site United for #GlobalChange.
"We are not goods in the hands of politicians and bankers who do not represent us ... We will peacefully demonstrate, talk and organize until we make it happen."
"ENOUGH IS ENOUGH"
"We have people from all walks of life joining us every day," said Spyro, one of those behind a Facebook page in London which has grown to have some 12,000 followers in a few weeks, enthused by Occupy Wall Street. Some 5,000 have posted that they will turn out, though even some activists expect fewer will.
Spyro, a 28-year-old graduate who has a well-paid job and did not want his family name published, summed up the main target of the global protests as "the financial system."
Angry at taxpayer bailouts of banks since crisis hit in 2008 and at big bonuses still paid to some who work in them while unemployment blights the lives of many young Britons, he said: "People all over the world, we are saying 'Enough is enough'."
Go here to understand why the 99 percenters are marching.
Yep. It sure didn't work for the Boston Tea Party rebels. It didn't work for the U.S. labor movement. It didn't work for Gandhi.
And it certainly never worked for Rosa Parks, did it?"
From the Oh!pinion blog:
"Conservative Republican Herman Cain, a successful businessman, looks at the Occupy Wall Street protesters and sees only envious slackers who don’t have a job because they won’t go out and get one.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
The Manchester Union Leader catches Rep. Michele Bachmann lying. What a shock!
Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) caught plagiarizing.
Herman Cain's 999 plan would raise taxes on Americans AND explode the deficit.
Rick Perry places the American Revolution in the 1500s.
Mitt Romney lies about regulations costing jobs.
Monday, October 10, 2011
I met up with the marchers in Boston's Dewey Square and joined them with my own sign which I wrote with my 4 French friends in mind, [and who will be here in Boston visiting me at the end of the month.] Afterall, it is the French who proclaimed Liberté, égalité, fraternité during their revolution against the filthy rich oligarchy.
The demonstators were a mixed group of college students, middle-aged and older Americans from all sorts of backgrounds: African American, Latino, Muslim, Indian, Asian, and the rest of us. The weather cooperated by being an unseasonably warm and glorious almost mid-October Columbus Day, reaching the low 80s. People were handing out free water for the marchers whose voices were getting hoarser by the minute. Drum beaters, bongo players, and a band were there to add to the festive, but serious nature of the demonstration. I'm the one with the sign in French with the translation.
My voice is hoarse, and my feet are sore, but I'm glad I participated.
BTW. Every sign I saw was spelled correctly.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
This man sums up the frustration quite well.
I'm off this afternoon to Dewey Square Boston, where the OWS is demonstrating.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
FOR ALL THE SARAH PALIN SUCKERS: Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert Explain How "The Quitter" Took Your Money and Ran...AWAY!
And Stephen Colbert takes the lipstick off this phoney pitbull for everyone to see:
Sarah Palin: The biggest scammer in American political history!
NEWSWEEK today highlights this paragraph from [Joe McGinniss's] Daily Beast article, entitled, “Arrivederci, Sarah!”
“In our 235 years as a nation, [Sarah Palin] might have been—other than the Civil War—the gravest threat our republic has ever faced. Not only was she the most unqualified candidate in our history, she might have been the most mentally fragile, and she was certainly the only one ever who flirted openly with the notion of ending the separation of church and state.”
And for all those Palin apologists who never bothered to look behind the curtain to see the con artist working the emotional levers that kept her supporters blind to the con game she was playing, take a look how phenomenally well Joe McGinniss's book "The Rogue" is doing:
Friday, October 7, 2011
So for the bazillionth time we'll explain very, very, s l o w l y to these ignoramuses that the First Amendment prohibits the US Government from interferring with an American citizen's free speech. But even then, there are exceptions to that freedom--for example, you cannot yell FIRE! in a crowded theater when there is no fire, or joke about explosive devices while on an airplane, or threaten the life of the president or a member of Congress. Other than that, if I choose to, I could write on my blog, as do certain troglodytic and spelling-challenged rightwing bloggers, that the president of the United States is a Commie, Marxist, Socialist, Fascist, Kenyan anti-Christ who feeds honey-dipped puppies to Chris Christie, while shopping at Target, swinging a golf club, and smoking weed. But I don't. I leave that sort of overwrought tripe to those in the rightwing blogsphere, who continue to reinforce our suspicion that they've never actually read the Constitution, since they habitually get the First Amendment wrong. All the time.
ESPN is a private corporation that made a business decision when it chose to not air Williams' drunken claptrap about Mr. Obama. ESPN understands that its viewers are Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and Independents, as well as Americans of all colors, and it does not wish to insult any demographic--it's bad for business. That's why when drunken idiots like Hank Williams, Jr., or pill-besotted racists like Rush Limbaugh, make slanderous remarks about presidents and football players, they get sacked. Pissing viewers off is bad for business. So, ESPN gets rid of inarticulate and hog-mouthed boobs who can't control their flapping mutton-lips and who demonstrate to the world what embarrassing blockheads they truly are.
Don't like ESPN's decision to can the jackass, Williams? Don't watch it. Simple.
No government agent will come knocking on your door to take away your right to be outraged over a well-deserved firing.
Now excuse me while I go watch reruns on ESPN of last night's game when the fabulous Tigers beat the (insert epithet of choice) Yankees.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
The biggest hero of the Republican Party, Ronald Reagan, proposed EXACTLY what President Obama is proposing.
So the question is why do GOP-TPers call what President Obama is proposing "class warfare," and not condemn President Reagan as well on the exact same issue?
Could it be that the GOP-TPers don't know what their own hero stood for? Could it be that they are so deranged in their hatred of this particular president that they are blind to their massive hypocrisy?
Could it be that the GOP-TPers are more intererested in preventing President Obama from having a second term than in helping the American people?
Is that why the GOP-TPers claimed JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! were the most important issue during last fall's campaign, and then when they got control of the House, they went after Planned Parenthood and NPR?
The GOP-TPers are NOT interested in governing or in the welfare of the American people. They prove it every time more of their rank hypocrisy is uncovered. And this video is a stark example of their rankest of rank hypocrisy.
The GOP-TPers never fail to bring Ronald Reagan's name into political discourse as an example of when America was great--"Morning in America."
But it turns out that if Mr. Reagan were alive today, he would be supporting President Obama's tax proposal and would turn away from the Crowd of Crazies that the present-day GOP-TPers have become.
h/t to my friend, Ben Verheiden, in LA.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Christie Won’t Run for President, Associates Say
By DAVID M. HALBFINGER AND MICHAEL D. SHEAR
11:36 a.m. | Updated Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey has decided not to seek the presidency, according to two associates.
Mr. Christie is scheduled to announce his decision at a news conference in the state capital at 1 p.m. But one adviser to the governor and another person who spoke to him directly said Tuesday morning that the governor would not pursue the Republican nomination.
The decision ends a late flurry of indecision on the part of Mr. Christie, who had been encouraged by a growing number of Republican donors and activists who had hoped he would add his name to the field of candidates vying to challenge President Obama.
UPDATE I: TPM uncovers more troubling facts about Gov. Chris Christie.
The GOP is looking for another heart throb to take them to electoral victory prom--they've changed their minds on political sweethearts more often than a pre-teen at a Justin Beiber concert.
Their newest honey love is Chris Christie, the formidable governor of New Jersey. So I did some research on his positions on key issues, and found that if he does enter the GOP popularity contest, as did Bachmann and Perry, Christies is sure to be left holding a bag of empty fries in a fast-food parking lot, just like the others were.
Governor Christie is a centrist--NOT a far right politician.
Chris Christie on Gun Control:
Christie supports strict and aggressive enforcement of the state’s current gun laws. He strongly supported the assault weapons ban enacted during the Clinton administration. In a campaign flyer circulated during his 1995 campaign, he attacked his opponents support for repealing the ban.
Chris Christie supports the assault weapons ban and all current gun laws. He opposes attempts to permit conceal and carry laws in New Jersey – hardly the NRA position.
Chris Christie on Illegal Immigration:
“Being in this country without proper documentation is not a crime,” Christie told more than 60 residents and town officials. “The whole phrase of ‘illegal immigrant’ connotes that the person, by just being here, is committing a crime.”
“Don’t let people make you believe that that’s a crime that the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be doing something about,” he added of entering the country illegally. “It is not.”
Gov. Christie's position on abortion:
Q: Would you sign the abortion pledge going around the Republican field?
A: I haven't seen the abortion pledge, I don't know what it says.
Q: Only pro-life people working for you; a promise to back anything that coincides with the life agenda; defunding public payments for abortion across the board.
A: Here's my position on it. My name's the name on the ballot. I am pro-life, I believe in exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. That's my position, take it or leave it. --Source: Interview on NBC "Meet the Press" , Jun 26, 2011
Civil Unions for same-sex couples
Jersey shore for tourism instead of offshore drilling We ARE the leader in Libya; we MUST be the world's police
You could argue that this is none of my business, but I disagree. Christie’s problem with weight ceased being a private matter when he stepped into the public arena — and it’s not something you can fail to notice. Obesity is a national epidemic whose costs are measured not just in dollars and cents but also in lives. Christie’s weight is as legitimate an issue as the smoking habit that President Obama says he has finally kicked.
On rare occasions, Christie speaks candidly about his weight. “I’m really struggling, been struggling for a long time with it,” he told CNN’s Piers Morgan in June. “And I know that it would be better for my kids if I got it more under control, and so I do feel a sense of guilt at times about that.”
Six weeks later, the New Jersey governor was briefly hospitalized for asthma — a condition that he has had for most of his life. Researchers say that many respiratory problems, including asthma, are worsened by obesity.
The NIH estimates that nearly 34 percent of U.S. adults can be classified as “obese,” meaning they have a body mass index of more than 30. By this standard, a man who stands 5-foot-11 — Christie’s reported height — would be obese if his weight reached 215 pounds. While Christie does not disclose his weight, it appears to exceed the 286 pounds that would place him among the 5.7 percent of American adults whom NIH classifies as “extremely obese.”
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Psst! Mrs. Obama! They couldn't spell your name correctly if their stupid, small, cramped, and inconsequential lives depended on it.
Remember: They're ranting on blogs, and you live in the White House. LOL!