Saturday, June 18, 2011

E Street Band Sax Player Clarence Clemons Dies At 69

  This is a most major loss to music fans the world over.


Clarence Clemons performs with the E Street Band during the halftime show of Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Florida, in 2009. (SCOTT AUDETTE, REUTERS / February 1, 2009)

Chicago Tribune

Clarence Clemons, the burly saxophone player who played a crucial role in shaping Bruce Springsteen's early sound, has died, six days after suffering a stroke at his Florida home. He was 69.

In 2009 he published his autobiography, "Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales."
"It's fine for me to be known as part of the E Street Band," he told the New York Daily News. "We all wonder what we're here to do. Something got me into a band with Bruce. It's where I belong."

  Bruce Springsteen released this statement:

It is with overwhelming sadness that we inform our friends and fans that at 7:00 tonight, Saturday, June 18, our beloved friend and bandmate, Clarence Clemons passed away. The cause was complications from his stroke of last Sunday, June 12th.

Bruce Springsteen said of Clarence: Clarence lived a wonderful life. He carried within him a love of people that made them love him. He created a wondrous and extended family. He loved the saxophone, loved our fans and gave everything he had every night he stepped on stage. His loss is immeasurable and we are honored and thankful to have known him and had the opportunity to stand beside him for nearly forty years. He was my great friend, my partner, and with Clarence at my side, my band and I were able to tell a story far deeper than those simply contained in our music. His life, his memory, and his love will live on in that story and in our band.

This is Sax

Friday, June 17, 2011

Saturday Satire

Michele Bachmann : "If we took away the minimum wage — if conceivably it was gone — we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level."

"Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn't even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas."

Jay Leno: "Photos of Congressman Weiner have surfaced of him cross-dressing in college, in bra and pantyhose, proving that even back then he knew he wanted to be a Congressman."

"According to a new report, only 12 percent of American high school students can pass a basic history test. That's the lowest percentage since our country was founded in 1922."

  Conan O'Brien:    "A new study shows that only 35 percent of fourth-graders know the purpose of the Declaration of Independence. When she heard this, Sarah Palin said, 'How are they supposed to know about something that happened 20 years ago.'"

"A Tea Party group has a summer camp for kids, the only one where they sit around the campfire and tell scary stories about taxing the top 2%."

Jimmy Fallon : A new survey found that 87 percent of high school seniors are less than proficient in U.S. history. Not me. In fact, when I was a senior, I did a 10-page paper on my favorite president, George Jefferson."

"It turns out that 70 percent of guns found in Mexico actually come from the U.S. Meanwhile, 70 percent of people found in the U.S. actually come from Mexico."

Copyright © 2011 Creators Syndicate

Copyright © 2011 Universal Press Syndicate

AARP Sells Out Seniors

AARP Sells Out And Caves, Calls for Benefit Cuts

By  zenbassoon   Fri Jun 17, 2011      Original Article

File this under:  Don't Blame The President This Time

I'm surprised this hasn't made the FP yet.  It seems that AARP, the organization that successfully beat back the Bush administration's attempt to privatize Social Security, is now positioning itself to call for Social Security Benefit cuts.

That's right.   Benefit cuts.

The Wall Street Journal had the story yesterday.

Evidently, instead of mobilizing its millions of members, the AARP is now frightened of what may happen.  It seems the GOP and their masters have got to them.

The decision, which AARP hasn't discussed publicly, came after a wrenching debate inside the organization. In 2005, the last time Social Security was debated, AARP led the effort to kill President George W. Bush's plan for partial privatization. AARP now has concluded that change is inevitable, and it wants to be at the table to try to minimize the pain.

That's the new paradigm.

"Minimize the pain".

Now you will see a media blitz with town halls with the AARP explaining the decision.

But, and take this for what it's worth,

There are limits to how far AARP is willing to go. The group will accept cuts, but won't champion them, and it is particularly leery of certain concepts such as eliminating benefits for wealthier recipients. It wants tax increases to fill most of the program's financial hole, and it insists that a deal must be crafted apart from broader deficit-reduction negotiations.

The architect of this position is the policy chief of the AARP, John Rother

AARP's move was engineered by Mr. Rother, 64 years old, who has been at the center of every Social Security debate in the past three decades. He cut his teeth on the issue as the staff director of the Senate Aging Committee, working for a liberal Republican during negotiations in 1983 over the last bipartisan deal to rescue the program. He is registered as an independent.

He took a job with AARP in 1984. In 2005, he helped lead the opposition to Mr. Bush's plan to let younger workers divert some of their taxes into private accounts to be invested in the stock market. He thought the market plan was too risky, but he also objected because it would have resulted in lower benefits for seniors.
Journal Community

In 2007, the group took what Mr. Rother calls a "baby step" toward the current position, telling Congress it wanted a bipartisan, balanced deal on Social Security. Then, in 2009, Mr. Rother concluded that the state of the nation's finances required him to get ahead of the coming ax.

I just read a tweet from Dave Weigel that had Jane Hamsher telling the folks at Netroots Nation to "burn their AARP cards".  That may be a little extreme, but AARP will have a big job on its hands selling this position to its 37 million members.

And the Right Wing is jubilant.  One headline read:  "President Bush Was Right".

Now it's up to us.  WE have to make sure that our benefits remain and won't get hurt.  WE must make sure that the prime and main fix is the elimination of the income cap.

Because if they can make the AARP cave, what does that mean for the rest of the country?

UPDATE:  There is an article from Barrons talking about the upcoming ad against cuts in benefits:

"While some members of Congress are considering making changes to Medicare's structure, what few people realize is that some proposals being discussed behind closed doors include harmful cuts to the critical Medicare and Social Security benefits that are lifelines for today's seniors in Illinois," said Bob Gallo, AARP Illinois State Director. "Instead of harmful cuts to Medicare and Social Security, Congress should cut wasteful spending, close tax loopholes and work to rein in costs throughout the health care system."

Notice the key phrase "Harmful cuts"--do we take this to mean no cuts at all?  Or do we nuance the language like we did for the President's promise not to "slash benefits"?

Personally I expect some "tweaks" to the system.  But hopefully we get the emphasis on eliminating the income cap.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE:  It seems there already is HUGE blowback from this article.  AARP is denying the thrust of the WSJ article, saying their stance was "misinterpreted".  From Twitter:

AARP Official AARP Tweets
STATEMENT: "Contrary to the misleading characterization in a recent media story, AARP has not changed its position on Social Security."
16 seconds ago

Thursday, June 16, 2011

All Democrats Resign From Congress

Seneca Doane   Thu Jun 16, 2011

In what is being described by Democratic sources as an amazing coincidence, all Democratic members of Congress resigned today, just hours after the resignation of embattled Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY).

The coincidental mass resignation came in the wake of an e-mail to all Democratic members by blogger-cum-extortionist Andrew Breitbart, containing only the phrase "I Know What You Did Last Summer."

One Democratic representative explained on background that he had no idea what information Breitbart had on him, but "I don't want to find out.  So I'm resigning to spend more time with my families.  Family!  There's only one.  Seriously."

Republicans were jubilant over the veto-proof majorities they would now enjoy in both Houses of Congress.

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), interviewed in his office while stubbing out lit cigarettes against the flanks of live cats, said that he was looking forward to a new era of unipartisanship.

"We've got them on the run now!" Boehner chortled.  "They have no idea what anyone might have on them -- audio recordings of them having sex, hidden bathroom cams, who knows?  All they know is that if something ever comes out that might embarrass the party, they will be dropped like a handful of flaming turds after a week or two of intense suffering.  We like our chances in 2012!"

"Everybody has secrets!" explained Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).  "Everyone does things that would be considered icky if publicly known!  It doesn't have to be as bad as internet sex -- anyone can be embarrassed out of office, and now it's open season!  Why, even Speaker Boehner, sitting over there, has a documented history of --"

Cantor did not finish the sentence, due to Boehner's pullung out a gun and shooting him through the heart.

"Anyone have a problem with that?" Boehner asked assembled party leaders.  They all agreed that they did not have a problem with that, that it's OK if a Republican protects the sanctity of their office with firearms, especially against uppity little pishers who are slavering after their job.  George Will, reached on a conference call, agreed.

Deputy Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who was immediately promoted according to the rules of the House Republican Caucus, was given a ceremonial knife and immediately removed and ate the raw liver of former Rep. Cantor to the cheers of Republicans in the audience.  Television networks filmed the ceremony, and it is expected to be broadcast later this week on C-SPAN 3, unless someone can quickly come up with an even more obscure C-SPAN 4 or 5.

In the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that he had been appointed to the Board of Directors of Exxon Mobil, Monsanto, Boeing and Pfizer ("the Pharms had a bidding war over me!" McConnell explained, looking pleased.)  Asked if this meant that he would resign his seat, McConnell scoffed: "what do you take me for, some kind of Democrat?  This is just how business is done in Washington now.  I'm just giving you greater transparency.  This will be reported someplace in the back of the Business section; I've already made arrangements with the Washington Post."  Senator McConnell will be joined on the Boeing board by Sen. Joe Lieberman, who switched parties early this morning and decided that well, maybe he would run for re-election after all.

Senator Johnny Isaakson (R-GA), who will evidently replace Barbara Boxer (D-CA) as Chair of the Ethics Committee, announced that an investigation would soon begin regarding the sole remaining non-Republican in the Senate, Bernie Sanders (I-VT).  "I don't have a party to embarrass," said Sanders.  "They've got no leverage on me."  Democratic leaders immediately denounced Sanders for not doing exactly what Republicans want.  "He's not pure enough for us anyway!" sniffed former Sen. Mark Warner, who is contemplating a challenge (sanctioned directly by GOP Chair Reince Priebus) for the Democratic nomination against Barack Obama in 2012, based on his promise not to campaign.  Sanders is expected to be accused of taking contributions from constituents, defaming Republicans in public broadcasts, and a pattern of sexual activity spanning decades with his wife, which in some instances "got loud."  The accusations are already in continual circulation on Fox News.  On InTrade, the odds in favor of Sander's expulsion from the Senate have now reached levels previously seen only for those of Rick Santorum never becoming President.

Senator Boxer was interviewed while cleaning out her office.  "The funny thing is," she said to a pair of bloggers, who were the only ones who thought to interview her, "that I actually didn't do anything scandalous.  I've always been aware of the obligations and constraints imposed by public life.  But others in the caucus convinced me that if I stayed while they left, it would make them look worse and therefore hurt the party, and eventually I just said to hell with it.  I'll miss Bernie, though."

A spokesperson for California Governor Jerry Brown stated that, to serve the remainder of the terms of Senators Boxer and Feinstein, he would be appointing former Senator Alan Cranston and his own father, former Governor Pat Brown.  Cranston and the senior Brown will be exhumed and given "interpreters" who  can help them vote.  "You can't defame a dead man," Brown explained cryptically.

Elsewhere, DNC Chair former Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz -- whose resignation was explained only with a tearful "I have young children!" -- acknowledged that the party was suddenly having unanticipated difficulties recruiting candidates for the 2012 elections.

"People have expressed the concern that if they did something stupid or embarrassing -- or ever had done so since birth -- they would not receive the support of the party to the same extent that Republicans customarily receive even for far greater transgressions," she explained.  "After a while, people say that it isn't worth the trouble to represent a party that will run from them like they are rabid lepers if they are ever found to have -- not even actual corruption, but human frailties.  This includes frailties of a sort that would not in previous years been publicly discussed unless serious corruption or mistreatment of others was found.  Naturally, for people even to express these opinions privately harms the reputation of the Democratic Party with voters and what is left of the Democratic Party condemns them.  Or so I presume -- I'm getting the hell out of here."

Republicans have announced plans, based on the new standards for Democratic officeholders, to retroactively impeach and remove from office former Democratic Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter and Clinton, thus voiding all legislation they signed and all Supreme Court appointments they made.  President Clinton is reportedly in seclusion, but President Carter appeared on NBC and denounced the Republican Party as "irresponsible scalawags" and is reportedly now being held in the Congressional Dungeon for Contempt of Congress, which is not only OK with most Democratic leaders but frankly would have been considered OK even before the Weiner scandal.  ("He's so sanctimonious, that goody two-shoes," explained one consultant.  "Really, he's an embarrassment to the Party.")

The ambitious Republican plan to undo the New Deal, the Fair Deal, the Great Society, and the Carter and Clinton Presidencies is controversial with some academic professors with tenure at wealthy private universities, but even they admitted that it is likely to be affirmed by the Supreme Court, 5-0.

President Obama has announced that he will be taking a trip to visit the site of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon "until this whole thing blows over or until my family and I can get Kenyan citizenship."  Vice-President Biden will be managing the government until then, the plan being to keep him sufficiently soused that he has no idea what is going on in Congress and can neither be blackmailed or asked for comment.  "It's sort of like a 'Beer Summit' with himself," said a Democratic spokesperson, who was quickly sacked and disavowed because that sort of flippant or even snarky comment is a real embarrassment to the Democratic Party -- upon which our best hopes for the future depend.

1:10 PM PT: By the way, if you liked this diary, my diary from last week is a non-snarky accompaniment to it.

Originally posted to Doane Spills on Thu Jun 16, 2011
Also republished by New York State.


Medicare cuts would hit Republican congressional districts hardest

Joan McCarter for Daily Kos       Thu,June 16,2011

There was some anecdotal evidence that freshman Republican members of Congress were under fire for their vote on the Republican budget slashing Medicare, Medicaid and providing even more tax cuts to rich people. That's been clear from the town meetings over the last few months where they have regularly faced constituent ire.

That's in part because Republican districts would be most impacted by the Medicare cuts.

Nine of the 10 districts throughout the U.S. with the most people age 45-54 are represented by Republicans, including [Rep. Michael] Fitzpatrick [R-PA], a Bloomberg analysis of census data shows. Those would be among the first Americans to no longer have Medicare as an open-ended entitlement, and instead would be given money to buy private insurance when they’re eligible, under the plan.

Fitzpatrick, like the other Republicans, said he stands by his position.

“All the important votes that I cast as their representative that are directed toward putting the country’s fiscal house back in order will be difficult,” the 47-year-old lawmaker said in an interview. “It requires tough choices.”

Other Republican lawmakers said Democrats should offer their own proposal to reform Medicare....

“Are there other alternatives out there?” said [Rep. Scott] Garrett [R-NJ], 51. Garrett, who got 65 percent of the vote in 2010, said he doesn’t believe his support for the Ryan plan makes him vulnerable with voters next year.

That's wishful thinking if I've ever heard it. It's as wishful as thinking that "it's not an unpopular plan, we just haven't messaged it right," or "the Democrats did it first," are going to be effective strategies for making voters think that Republicans aren't throwing them to the wolves.

Weiner Resigning

  MSNBC has confirmed that Rep.Weiner will be resigning.

NBC reported shortly before the news broke that congressional staff members appeared to be packing up Weiner’s office this morning. Per NBC's Alex Moe, two staff members and two interns left the office with their belongings after turning off lights and locking the door.

The “ Jobs “ Issue Hits The Roadways…

…which is a good thing since it would seem that most politicians in Washington, D.C. are pressed to actually do anything about the job situation other than sit back and talk about it.

The House Progressive Caucus will start a summer tour of the United States in the hopes of getting our government to focus on the nations unemployment disaster once again. This is with the hope of getting Washington to not so much focus on the budget reduction ideas floating around and to instead think of using government resources to create jobs.

"The media and the right wing and, of course, some Democrats have been talking about intangibles like the debt ceiling or the job picture," Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) told TPM in an interview previewing the announcement. "We wanted to do a tour that really talks about what matters to people."

To Grijalva and the CPC that means discussing a government that makes "a commitment to the middle class" and pushes for an economic package that focuses on middle and working class people—"not just the wealthy and not just the CEOs," Grijalva said....

That's the kind of government Americans want, Grijalva said. He faulted the White House and other Democrats for veering away from the kind of solutions the CPC intends to highlight on the tour and driving the national agenda headlong into the Republican-friendly territory of tax decreases and spending cuts.

"I think it comes from being timid," he said. "It really does. Part of job creation, historically how we've gotten the economy back on its feet is that the federal government stepped in and supplemented job creation...and here we're sitting around, still talking about the possibility of job creation in some amorphous way."

Tuesday, members of the CPC will kickoff the tour with press conference on Capitol Hill. The first stop on the tour will come at the annual Netroots Nation conference this weekend in Minneapolis. Future stops will take the tour to major cities spanning the country, from New York to Detroit to Oakland, CA.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sarah Palin/Genital Herpes Medication?

  Genital Herpes medication is what The Daily Show host Jon Stewart told his audience that  Sarah Palin’s bus tour reminded him of on his show Monday night.


Florida Taliban Governor Rick Scott: Scandals

  Once a felonious crook, always a felonious crook as Rick Scott continues to prove to the country.

TWO Rick Scott Scandals on SAME DAY!

Mon Jun 13, 2011   by SemDem    

Because Scott is just bad enough that one scandal won't do...

Scandal #1:

For the first time in Florida history, a Governor's budget signing ceremony was deemed a "private" event.  Even though the 70 billion dollar budget effects the lives of every single Floridian, and even though it was held outdoors in a public town square by a retirement community.. 

As usual, the most unpopular governor in the country wanted a friendly audience.  So he addressed a teabag crowd at the "Villages", the ultra-conservative right-wing mecca of our state.  He thought he was gauranteed a friendly audience.

He thought wrong.   

Even in this conservative bastion, there were plenty of protestors.  In his speech, he touted cuts to $615 million that he called "wasteful" and "frivolous" spending, which included programs for homeless veterans, public radio, cancer research, aid for disabled children, meals for needy seniors, and other "frivolous" spending. 

Many of the seniors were upset with the $187.5 million cut in "wasteful" nursing home care, others were upset about that their children and grandchildren were getting kicked in the gut while the Teabag legislature revived slushfunds, bloated their highly-paid staffs, had million-dollar giveaways and payback for their cronies, and still somehow found 20 million dollars to FIGHT the Fair District amendments that passed with 63% of the vote.  (And I should add, Rick Scott's office budget has increased by $343 million since he took office.)

Gov. Rick Scott was clearly startled, and the Sumter County Sheriff's Office was oredered to "keep Democrats out" and to literally look for "liberal-looking" seniors.  By "liberal-looking", I guess they meant pins, buttons, and disingenious t-shirts that said something rabble-rousing like "I Like Teachers" or "We Care About Our Veterans". More than a dozen were removed.

This was not only immoral.  It was illegal. 

1.  If this was a "private event"... TAXPAYER MONEY was used.  The RNC didn't stage this.  It was paid for completely by the taxpayers.  They had no right.  They should be sued.

2.  Florida's budget signing has never been, nor should it be, a "private event".  It effects all of us, and hurts most of us in this case.  The least we can expect is for this cowardly governor to feebily attempt to justify it to our face.

3.  This was outdoors in a public town square.  Nuff said.

Here is a YouTube video of the Sumter County deputies pulling the trouble-making seniors away from the signing:

As sick as that was, that was just scandal numero uno that day.

Scandal #2:  

The newspapers that covered the event showed the same pictures of Rick Scott being surrounded by screaming, uniformed children... many holding signs displaying their "affection" for Rick Scott.

Creepy pictures LIKE THIS ONE and THIS ONE.

I immediately knew something was off.  Why would kids be crowding a Golem-looking freak like Rick Scott like he was Justin Beiber?  Especially one who just fired their teachers??

This is the guy who tried to cut $3 BILLION in education, but still succeeded in the largest education cut in our state history ($1.35 billion)

(And to add insult to injury, the SOB actually had the GALL to speak under a massive banner that read LESS WASTE - MORE FOR EDUCATION.)

Well, turns out the screaming kids weren't public school kids.  Gov. Golem has NEVER visited a public school, and never will.  Public schools, by the way, have policies against attending political events. 

They were from two taxpayer-funded charter schools. (Scott wants charter schools to replace public schools.)  But not just any charter schools.  NO, the nearby Villages charter schools DID NOT ALLOW their children to attend Scott's "Spit on a Teacher, Kick a Disabled Kid" TEABAGGER Rally. 

No, as usual,
something was up

As it turns out, the kids were from the P.M. Wells and Four Corners charter schools in Osceola County. Both are run by Charter Schools USA, a large charter management firm whose CEO, Jonathan Hage, served on Gov. Scott’s education transition team when Scott took office in January. Scott is a big fan of charter schools and routinely pulls them in for photo opps, although it is uncertain whether as Governor he has ever visited a traditional public school. If he has, the media has not been made aware.

The kids were bused over 60 MILES back AND forth to attend this event.

Charter Schools USA had their "public relations consultant", Colleen Reynolds, defend the trip.  (Our public school has to beg for essential funds, but charter schools run by Rick Scott buddies get enough taxpayer money to hire F&**ing public relations personnel!)

Mz. Reynolds said school funds were used, not taxpayer money, to bus the kids in...which is COMPLETE AND UTTER BS since the school funds ARE THE SAME AS TAXPAYER MONEY!!  In fact, those two schools receive  MILLIONS in taxpayer funding!

Mz. Reynolds also had the audacity to say it was a valuable field trip to teach kids about the democratic process. 

So if my kid went to that school, he or she would learn that the democratic process means passing a budget that ruins the lives of the millions of citizens and then keeping out any possible dissenters by force.... not to mention being told to hold up pre-made propoganda signs bemoaning "earmarks" for the less fortunate.

Nice lesson, jerks.

Originally posted to SemDem on Mon Jun 13, 2011


Monday, June 13, 2011

Florida Taliban Chief Rick Scott…

   ….continues his spiral downward into the land of pissing off another group who supported his run for governor of the state of Florida, only this time it is the police officers who have decided that they might like switching parties from the GOP to either Democrat or Independent. Oh yes, the hits keep coming for Scott, who should be sitting in a federal prison instead of sitting in the governors mansion.

    By pollbuster      Sunday,June 12,2011            Original

Next month the Broward County Police Benevolent Association is holding a "Party to Leave the Party" -- an event coordinated with the Supervisor of Elections where police officers and the general public can switch their voter registrations from Republican to Democratic or Independent.

Poilce officers have always been quite conservative as Broward PBA President Patrick Hanrihan points out:

The PBA may be a union, but it's not traditionally a bunch of liberals. "You'd be surprised," says Broward PBA President Patrick Hanrihan. "I think most of our police officers and stuff are Republicans." Well, until the party-switching party, that is.

Hanrahan has made it clear that republicans will no longer be able to count on the votes and support of police officers in Florida:

"We've been supporting Republican governors for the past 20 years," Hanrihan continued.

But this one's antics may be too much for the traditionally red-voting, gun-wielding, meat-eating, hippie-busting (OK, we'll stop) cops to stomach.

The reason for the police union anger is virtually the same as the reason for union anger across America towards recently elected republican governors such as Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio.

"[Governor Scott's] union dues deduction bill is a flat-out union-busting bill," says Hanrihan. "Under the law, a government agency wouldn't be allowed to collect union dues if it was involved in political campaigns." He notes that Scott had "no problem" taking money from the police union in the past election. Scott did get significant pushback on the bill from some Republican representatives, but the House eventually passed it.

You don't have to be a police officer, or even a union member to attend the rally. Here are the details:

On Saturday, July 16, from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. behind the PBA headquarters on SW 26th Terrace in Fort Lauderdale, the union will have elections officials standing by to register new voters or switch party registrations for anyone with a valid Florida

What is going on in Florida is a firm indication that there is something happening in America that is waking up the labor movement from Wisconsin to Florida to Maine to Ohio to Michigan and all across America, and it's no longer just a liberal based movement.

  Luckily for the state of Florida, Scott will only be a one term governor at the rate that this bum is going. Of course, that assumes that the voters in the state have actually become a bit more educated before going to the polls to vote.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Governor Rick Perry: What You Don’t Know

  So the GOP is hoping that Texas governor Rick Perry will step up and run for the Republican presidential nomination? Actually, that is what the Tea Party is hoping. Forget about Sarah Palin, first-class history major!

  Let us take a brief look at some of the crap that Perry has pulled while partaking in the dismantling of the state of Texas.

Thinkprogress - still my favorite site -has the skinny.

#1 - Perry knowingly allowed the Execution of an Innocent Woman Man for a non-existent crime.

In 2004, Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in Huntsville, Texas after being convicted of arson and the murder of his three children. Even after significant evidence emerged showing that arson had not caused the fire (thus exonerating Willingham), Perry refused to grant a stay of execution. Five years after Willingham was executed, a report from a Texas Forensic Science Commission investigator found that the fire could not have been arson. As the commission prepared to hear testimony from the investigator in October 2009, Perry quickly fired and replaced three of its members, forcing an indefinite delay in the hearing.

If the fire wasn't arson, then the deaths weren't murder - why was Cameron Todd Willingham executed?

#2 - Perry is against the 16th and 17th Amendments - and would like to repeal them.

In his 2010 book Fed Up!, Perry called the 16th and 17th Amendments “mistaken” and said they resulted from “a fit of populist rage.” The 16th Amendment allows the federal government to collect income taxes, which is the single biggest source of revenue, accounting for 45 percent of all receipts. The 17th Amendment took electing U.S. senators out of the hands of political insiders and allowed the American public to decide their representation instead.

So does Perry think the collection of Federal Income Tax is Unconstitutional, and that we'd be better off if people couldn't elect their Senators and instead they were chosen by State Legislatures?  Really?  I wonder what he thinks of the 14th Amendment?

#3 - Perry wants to let States Opt-Out of Social Security and Medicaid

Despite the programs’ importance and popularity, Perry has argued that states like Texas should be allowed to opt out of Social Security and Medicaid. Were Perry to have his way on Social Security, “the entire system would collapse under the weight of too many Social Security beneficiaries who had not paid into the system,notes Ian Millhiser. On Medicaid, in addition to stripping 3.6 million low-income Texans of their health care, Perry’s proposal would actually hurt, not help, the state’s budget deficit. This is because, as Igor Volsky writes, opting out of Medicaid would take “billions out of the state economy that goes on to support hospitals and other providers,” while forcing hospitals “to swallow the costs of caring for uninsured individuals who will continue to use the emergency room as their primary source of care.”

Basically Perry would prefer to be able to leave the sick and elderly without any support system at all.  And not forget to gut services for Children, where 25% of whom are already living in poverty in Texas. But all of that's on top of his next Pile 'o Fail.

#4 Under Gov Perry, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured individuals in the country, while Perry claims "Texas has the best Health Care in the World".

On Bill Bennett’s radio show last year, Perry claimed that “Texas has the best health care in the country.” In reality, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents of any state. More than one in four Texans lack coverage; the national average is just 15.4 percent. As such, there are more uninsured residents in Texas than there are people in 33 states.

When Perry says Texas has "The best Health Care in the World" - I wonder "Best At What" exactly?

#5 Texas has become the Nations Largest Polluter while Perry has sued to EPA to relax it's rules

Texas is the biggest polluter in the country, leading the nation in carbon dioxide emissions. However, when the EPA published its “disapproval” of the state’s air quality standards for falling short of the Clean Air Act’s requirements, Perry sued the federal government to challenge the ruling. Perry’s environmental record doesn’t end there. He is a global warming denier who called the 2010 BP oil spill an “act of God” while speaking at a trade association funded by BP.

So Perry's response to warnings about Global Warming is to deny it - so how then does he explain the Massive Firestorms that have plagued his state lately?

And remember when he was begging the Federal Government for help on that? Oh yeah, Rick Perry.

Lacking funds to deal with the disaster (Texas has the second largest deficit in the Union Perry wants to secede from), and having poisoned the well of political discourse with his anti-tax and anti-gummit bravado, Perry was left with the choice of asking for federal help or condemning it.   He did both.  In what was perhaps the most graceless act of political gaucherie since Nixon kept the puppy, Perry asked for federal assistance with the churlish complaint: “Why are you taking care of Alabama?

#6 Rick Perry is a Stimulus Hypocrite

As the nation struggled to avoid economic collapse in 2009, Perry was a vocal critic of Congress’s recovery package, even advocating that Texas reject the money because “we can take care of ourselves.” Months later, after Perry was able to balance the state’s budget only with the aid of billions in federal stimulus dollars, Perry again repeated that he would reject federal funding, arguing that the government “spends money they don’t have.” Five months later, Perry again took advantage of federal funding to issue $2 billion in bonds for highway improvements in Texas. Even so, the state faces a $27 billion budget deficit.

So he talks out one side of his mouth, while taking Federal Money - even whining for it - out of the other.

On top of this Perry is a Neo-Successionist who argued that the Texas Constitution allowed them to "option" of leaving the Union.  Right, except for that Supremacy Clause in the U.S. Constitution which trumps any state Constitution and stuff. He's a Xenophobe who signed the Texas anti-Sodomy laws which led to Lawrence v Texas and even after it was struck down by the Supreme Court - who he called “nine oligarchs in robes" - he still refuses to have the Unconstitutional Law removed from the books.  And like so many other Republican Governors he's joined the onerous attack on women health by signing so-called Emergency Legislation requiring invasive and medically unnecessary sonograms for women seeking an abortion.

From the perspective of anyone in the Democratic Party, or even an independent, this guy is a Nightmare.  At least George W. Bush actually did have a fairly moderate record as Governor of Texas, and a history of working across partisan lines to find common solutions.  He was a Stealth Wing-Nut as it turned out who hadn't yet revealed his true nature which his short stint in the Governor's Chair, but with Perry - it's all out there for everyone to see.

Naturally, the Tea-Publicans will love him.  Good.  That'll make him and them even more fun to destroy in the General Election.


Harpers Index: Stats

   From the July issue of Harper’s Index, which is not online yet.


• Estimated number of people in the developing world employed collecting virtual resources for online games: 100,000

• Minimum percentage of mortgages in Las Vegas that are currently "underwater": 70

• Chance that an American who earned a bachelor's degree in 2008 will be paying off student loans in 2028: 1 in 3

• Minimum number of times the calculation of the Consumer Price Index has been "improved" since 1980: 20

• Current rate of inflation, officially: 3.2%

• As measured by the "unimproved" metric: 10.7%

• Number of public statues in the United States: 5,193

• Number that depict women: 394