Saturday, July 09, 2011

Maher Calls Republican Voters Stupid Idiots…

    ….and he isn’t wrong in making that observation.



And finally, New Rule.  If you can look at a crime where everything points to one answer and not see it, you're a dumbass.  And if you can look at the deficit and not see that the problem is that the rich stopped paying taxes, you're a Republican.  And before you accuse me of equating the Casey Anthony verdict with Republican thinking, save your breath.  I am.  I am.  I'm equating them.

I'm saying if you're a working-class American who still votes Republican, then you don't get to bitch about that verdict.


Now here's Obama's thinking, and it's a little counter-intuitive, but try to follow it. When Clinton was President, the rich paid a little more taxes, and the government had money.  Then Bush cut all those taxes, and now we don't.  I know it's hard to grasp, it involves subtracting.  But in suggesting that in these desperate times, we slightly raise the tax on private jets, Obama was baiting the Republicans to look like extremists by defending private jets.

But the gambit failed, because half the people are not outraged.  Half of them say, I'm with the party that cuts all these programs for real people, for the 99%: Planned Parenthood, environmental protection, college, health care, infrastructure; but holds the line on private jets.  Voting for them is as stupid as voting not guilty for the mom who lost her baby for a month, and went looking at a wet t-shirt contest.

(wild audience applause)

New Rule.  Someone must explain to me, what is the holdup with the Casey Anthony sex tape?

New Rule.  You can't be a country that celebrates its birthday with a gluttonous hot dog binge and pyrotechnics, and then not offer universal health care.  On the Fourth of July, a man named Joey Chestnut gobbled down 62 wieners, just beating the old record set by George Michael.  And at least 8,000 people that day went to the emergency room with fireworks-related injuries.  Holding the Fourth of July and not providing the inevitably needed health care, is like holding Oktoberfest and not providing Porta-Potties.

New Rule.  If you're a motorcyclist riding helmetless in a rally to protest your state's helmet law, and you crash and die of head injuries that could have been prevented by wearing a helmet, oh well.  You wanna have the argument over whether motorcycle helmets are necessary?

(shows picture of Gary Busey)

There.  I win.

New Rule.  If your dad was on O.J.'s legal dream team, you can't tweet your disappointment over the Casey Anthony verdict.  It's like Trisha Nixon bitching about presidential corruption.  And remember, your father started a proud Kardashian tradition: getting black men off.

(wild audience applause)  Thank you.  You're welcome.

New Rule.  The Mexican woman who got busted trying to smuggle her common law husband in a suitcase must blame the whole idea on drunkenness.  I mean, look at this guy, he's half in the bag!  And, sorry for that one.

And finally, New Rule.  If you can look at a crime where everything points to one answer and not see it, you're a dumbass.  And if you can look at the deficit and not see that the problem is that the rich stopped paying taxes, you're a Republican.  And before you accuse me of equating the Casey Anthony verdict with Republican thinking, save your breath.  I am.  I am.  I'm equating them.

I'm saying if you're a working-class American who still votes Republican, then you don't get to bitch about that verdict.

(at this point, Ann Coulter rudely interrupted Bill's closing New Rule)

ANN COULTER: They were all Democrats.  I bet they were!

BILL MAHER: You bet they were?  I'm doing something here!

ANN COULTER: I don't care!  The entire O.J. jury were Democrats!  The entire O.J. jury!

BILL MAHER: I'll see you in court!  My lawyer....

(back to the closing New Rule)

In his press conference last week, President Obama said maybe, just maybe, the problem with the budget is that the billionaires were "enjoying the lowest tax rates since before I was born".  Yeah, like we believe Obama was "born".

Now here's Obama's thinking, and it's a little counter-intuitive, but try to follow it. When Clinton was President, the rich paid a little more taxes, and the government had money.  Then Bush cut all those taxes, and now we don't.  I know it's hard to grasp, it involves subtracting.  But in suggesting that in these desperate times, we slightly raise the tax on private jets, Obama was baiting the Republicans to look like extremists by defending private jets.

But the gambit failed, because half the people are not outraged.  Half of them say, I'm with the party that cuts all these programs for real people, for the 99%: Planned Parenthood, environmental protection, college, health care, infrastructure; but holds the line on private jets.  Voting for them is as stupid as voting not guilty for the mom who lost her baby for a month, and went looking at a wet t-shirt contest.

(wild audience applause)

Every election, roughly half the population votes Democrat, and the other half votes Republican.  Now I understand why the Republicans get 1% of the vote.  The richest 1%.  That other 49%?  Someone will have to explain to me.

The facts about what the Republicans have done to the middle class are beyond reasonable doubt.  And yet their base refuses to see it.  The moneyed elite in America are dragging a bag filled with your future down the steps, and your reaction is, "Hold on there, that looks heavy.  Let me give you a hand getting it into your trunk."

Is it really that radical to suggest slightly trimming the tax break on corporate jets?  It seems like a reasonable idea, given that (a) people who buy corporate jets are filthy rich, and (b) I DON'T NEED A (B)!  This is a country of the rich, by the rich, for the rich, where every day, it sees our laws and culture cater more to wealthy people: tax breaks, industry-written laws, bailouts, deregulation.  All of it goes to making the lives of the rich just a little bit cushier.  Oh, I'm sorry.  Did I say rich?  I meant job creators.

Yes.  That's actually a prevailing theory on the right, that Obama's rhetoric towards Wall Street has been so hostile, it has created an uncertainty in the business community, because he called them "fat cats" once, and they're still suffering from some sort of jobs creating disorder.  Like he burst into the bathroom on them while they were trying to pee, and now they can't go at all.

When did the business community in America become so sensitive that we have to treat them like some sort of rare exotic animal?  Don't startle them, or they'll fly away.  We need to soothe them, so they can nest here and lay their magic eggs full of jobs.  Which never hatch, by the way.  Bush said his tax cuts for the rich would create jobs, they didn't.  We're now being told if multinational corporations bring home their current overseas profits of $1.4 trillion, they'll only be taxed 5% on it, because we're told it will create jobs.  It won't, just like it didn't the last time we tried it in 2004.  Companies took the savings, and paid it out to themselves in dividends.

Yes, Republican base, you are just like that jury.  It is pathetically clear who's killing the middle class, but you keep letting them get away with murder.

That's our show.  I'm glad I got that off my chest.

Topic Of The Day: Stupid People, Part 1

   First off, I do not mean those people who we have all called stupid at one time or another because of some brief lack of judgment in something that they have done. You and I have both been called stupid on more than a few occasions during our lifetimes.

  I am going into that group of people who do not have the slightest bit of common sense to come out of the rain during a lightening strike, and who continue to do the same   “stupid “  things while expecting to get a different result. I am also going to touch on a major problem in the state of Florida, which is people who hire you to work and then have the nerve to avoid trying to pay you. I am having that issue at the present time. The thing is that this person, named Thomas Jones, has gotten away with this previously because those that he ripped off did not do anything about it. It seems that he thinks that the result will be the same with me and a friend who did the work for him. He is very, very, sadly mistaken. That makes him  “ stupid.” Before you say anything. No, we did not know that he had ripped off others before. If we had, we wouldn’t have worked for the bum. The really sad thing is that we had worked for him in the past without any problems at all, so there was no need to background check him. After this crap that he is pulling, I have done more than a background check.  Research and info is a hobby with me and one that I am very great at. Poor old Tom doesn’t understand that I can now tell him when he went to the restroom the last time. Anyway, we’ll get to him later. I have more info that I am waiting on before I delve to deep into this. I am posting everything that I receive on this piece of shit. He is an electrical contractor and he may wish to just go ahead and juice himself before I get my stride. He’ll wish he had.

   Two things that I do not tolerate at any extent, thieves and cheats. No forgiveness, but tons of punishment to dish out.

   Did I mention that Mr. Jones is a Christian? Need I say more?

    I’ll be back!!!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Friday Funnies

   I’m not sure about you, but my week has been nothing but one problem after another, beginning with the holiday weekend. One of the reasons that I dislike Florida is because there are way to many crooks out in the streets who should be locked up. I am referring to business owners who like taking advantage of those who they get in order to help them. I’ll speak more on this later.

Jay Leno: "Sarah Palin spoke out about Independence Day, saying that if the British had won the war, we'd all be speaking English today."

"Casey Anthony was found not guilty. This means that President Obama's economic team is only the second-most clueless group in America."

"I think the jury from the O.J. Simpson trial retired and moved to Florida."

Conan O'Brien: "Rev. Pat Robertson says that if more states legalize gay marriage, God will destroy America. He did say that afterwards, gays will come in and do a beautiful renovation."

David Letterman:   "We're celebrating our independence from the British. I hope that in a couple years, we'll be able to celebrate our independence from the Chinese."


Copyright © 2011 Universal Press Syndicate

CartoonArts International

This Is What Republicans Do To YOU

Slave Labor - Comes to Wisconsin to replace Union Workers - Brought to us by Koch Money...

By Bob Sloan@ DKos   Thu Jul 07, 2011

I just read about the new trend in Wisconsin of replacing union and public sector workers with prisoners!  I know many of you who have followed my diaries and blogging, know that I predicted just such a move was on the horizon - and in fact have been posting links to other articles about prisoners being used by banks to clean and fix-up foreclosed homes, taking over care and maintenance of cemeteries and municipal buildings and grounds.  This has been happening much more often in several "Red" states over the past couple of years.

I cautioned that if eliminating collective bargaining and the voice of public sector workers succeeded, it would open the door to a flood of the use of prisoners for such work as civilians were replaced by inmates.

As many other reprehensible things have been accomplished by Conservatives of late, Wisconsin has become the "Showroom" for those initiatives.  Sadly we can expect Ohio, Michigan, Maine, Florida, Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma (among others) to quickly follow Governor Walker's example.  Kasich in Ohio is working toward every initiative put in place in Wisconsin as this is written.  He is privatizing his prisons, working on destabilizing labor, defunding education and putting the voucher system in place, disenfranchising voters and as an ALEC co-founder with Paul Weyrich and Henry Hyde, he has a long-time working relationship with Corrections Corporation of America and Geo Group, two of ALEC's initial corporate members.

Below is a contemporary picture of America's new "Slave Master" as he works hard for Conservative initiatives funded by the likes of Koch, Boeing and other big corporations as they pursue an agenda of replacing American workers with free prisoner labor.


The day after Walker signed the legislation ending collective bargaining, union and public workers returned to Madison to protest his action:

But their efforts fell on Walker's deaf ears.

All of today's restrictive and nefarious Conservative initiatives being put in place across our nation - state by state - can be tracked back to, and laid at the feet of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  For thirty years now they have worked toward this time in our history, where the minority would ultimately control the states and through them our national policies.  Now we can plainly and clearly see why they fight so hard to keep the feds out of state policies - knowing that most of their agenda will not fly on the federal level, and they don't want them to be able to interfere as they subvert critical state policies.

First, ALEC created criminal justice laws to imprison more people than any other nation or culture in the history of the world.  Then they offered up "model legislation" (Prison Industries Act) to allow their corporate members and benefactors access to that huge captive workforce and assisted others to enact policy to reduce any wage paid to the inmate workers.  This created a 21st Century styled "legal" Slave Labor pool to draw from as they replaced civilian workers with prisoners.  This prison labor agenda is a huge cash cow for ALEC and their members.  It brings in millions that can then be used to initiate other conservative activities and programs to further their goals.

Two years ago I prophesied that imprisoning immigrants and transferring public sector jobs with prisoners were next on ALEC's agenda - and as of this morning, both have become reality.  All "follow-the-money" roads lead back to ALEC...and the Koch brothers, Boeing, AT&T PhRMA, Insurance and Investment corporations.  I'm genuinely saddened that I was unable to convince more citizens that my warnings were based upon research and predictions upon past performance of ALEC and the corporate elite.  Maybe I wasn't persistent enough - or my voice not sufficiently loud to overcome the disinformation being disseminated by ALEC through the MSM.  Whatever the case, it is now fact and has become a part of our National history, and puts a huge "win" in ALEC's war chest under the "Labor" initiative heading.

I'm hopeful that NOW some of the disbelievers will realize that those of us who have been investigating ALEC and their agenda involving labor and prisons will realize that our words were not just some kind of political rhetoric and begin to join our activism to stop ALEC completely!  This has to be done before there are absolutely no jobs left to American workers and every penny of wealth is owned by the top 1% of our society.  It is coming to that as DK Diarist arendt so succinctly demonstrated in the recent Diary:  "The Scramble for America - The banksters bring neo-colonialism home"

In an effort of demonstrating why I continue to warn about the serious consequences of the activities of ALEC through the manipulations of Charles Koch and others belonging to ALEC...I have been cautioning students that they are on the front lines in this war (have no doubt this is a war for democracy being waged across our land) based upon the following facts;

"Financially controlled universities such as: Christendom College, College of the Ozarks, Franciscan University, Grove City College, Harding University, Hillsdale College, The King's College, Liberty University, Patrick Henry College, Regent University, Saint Vincent College, Thomas Aquinas College, Thomas More College, and Wisconsin Lutheran College. All of these are supported, funded or have departments operating under grants from Charles Koch or one or more of his “Foundations.”

A 1998 report titled: “Uncovering the Right on Campus: A Guide to Resisting Conservative Attacks on Equality and Social Justice,"  provides this:
“According to the study, a network of more than a dozen national conservative foundations with annual budgets ranging from $160,000 to $5 million are coordinating the agendas of many conservative campus activities nationwide. Those agendas, according to the study, are uniformly anti-affirmative action, anti-feminist, anti-environmentalist and anti-gay rights.
“For example, according to the study, Michigan's conservative Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation, with assets exceeding $130 million, made $85,000 in campus grants in the 1994-95 academic year. And Michigan's Earhart Foundation, nearly one-third the size of the DeVos foundation, donated $87,000 to campus organizations in the same year. All told, conservative foundations have been funding campus groups to the tune of $10 million to $20 million a year since the 1980s, say the authors of the report.”

Today the amounts spent on funding these conservative universities is quite possibly more than double the amount(s) of funding spent on such efforts back in 1998.  Not only are conservative groups, individuals and organizations spending millions to train college students in conservative matters and principles at colleges like George mason University where the Mercatur Center is under the control of Charles Koch…they are also paying non-conservative colleges for the right to pick and choose both the Professors hired and the curriculum taught.

It was recently reported that Charles Koch paid $1.5 million to Florida State University in the form of a grant, on the condition that Koch’s operatives would have a free hand in selecting professors and approving publications. The simmering controversy sheds light on the vast influence of the Koch political machine, which spans from the top conservative think tanks, Republican politicians, a small army of contracted lobbyists, and Tea Party front groups in nearly every state.  After the story about this broke in the St. Petersburg Times,Think Progress did a report exposing that FSU was merely the latest in such “purchases” by Koch;

“Koch virtually owns much of George Mason University, another public university, through grants and direct control over think tanks within the school. For instance, Koch controls the Mercatus Center of George Mason University, an institute that set much of the Bush administration’s environmental deregulation policy. And similar conditional agreements have been made with schools like Clemson and West Virginia University. ThinkProgress has analyzed data from the Charles Koch Foundation, and found that this trend is actually much larger than previously known. Many of the Koch university grants finance far right, pro-polluter professors, and dictate that students read Charles Koch’s book as part of their academic study.”

The article identified several other colleges where such deals had been made between state and private Universities and Koch:
•    West Virginia University - accepting at least $480,000 from Koch.
•    Troy University - The Charles Koch Foundation, along with the Manuel Johnson and the BB&T Foundation, provided Troy University, a public university, a gift of $3.6 million to establish the Center for Political Economy last year.
•    Utah State University - The Charles Koch Foundation has given nearly $700,000 to Utah State University, mostly for the Huntsman School of Business.

Charles Koch Foundation grants, along with direct Koch Industries grants, are distributed to dozens of other universities around the country every year, to both public and private institutions. Some programs, like the Charles Koch Student Research Colloquium at Beloit College, are funded by grants of little over $130,000  and simply support conservative speakers on campuses.

Budget constraints and other problems at universities have allowed a small set of oligarchs to use school donations to interfere with academic integrity on campuses. A group of hedge fund managers, working through the Manhattan Institute’s Veritas Fund,  have created entire departments dedicated to advancing failed supply side ideas and climate skepticism. John Allison, the former CEO of BB&T Bank, a bailout recipient, has used his corporation’s money to force college campuses to adopt Ayn Rand readings into their programs.

Overall, Koch is a dominant player when it comes to meddling with academic integrity. Part of the effort is coordinated through operatives like Richard Fink, who doubles as a vice president at Koch’s corporate lobbying office. Through an organization called the Association of Private Enterprise Education,  Koch organizes these corporate-funded university departments into a powerful intellectual movement.  The organization allows Koch staffers in Washington DC to request certain types of studies, interfere with hiring decisions, and reward loyal free market academics with hefty research grants.

If you think for one moment that this is not a planned and well thought out battle plan that includes pursuing recruitment of a new crop of ultraconservatives from our colleges and universities...check out these words from Eric Heubeck's 2000 Treatise; "The Integration of Theory and Practice: A Program for the New Traditionalist Movement" under the heading "New Traditionalists Must Concentrate on Students and Young Adults" based upon the teaching and writings of Paul Weyrich, ALEC and Heritage Foundation's co-founder:

"The new movement will inevitably be geared toward children and young adults, especially their education. We will accomplish the goal of retaking our country only when large numbers of young people are educated outside of the indoctrinating environment of many public and private schools, universities, and of course, the popular culture. At this point in their lives, many of their ideas are still in the formative stage, the more so the younger they are. Furthermore, young adults (of college age and above) should be given a large role in the organization of the New Traditionalist movement, as many older people, because of work and family life, simply do not have the time to devote to reading, discussion, and action (and all three are equally important). They also often lack the necessary energy, enthusiasm, and idealism that is prevalent in youth. However, retirees could also make a valuable contribution to the movement.

College students must be a key audience for our movement, since they are free of excessive time commitments and they find themselves in an environment that (theoretically) encourages activism and exposure to new ideas. We should consider creating alternative fraternities where traditionalists can live, interact with each other, learn from each other, socialize with each other. New Traditionalist fraternities can help replicate lifestyles from the past--emulate "civilized" behavior from the past--by discussing traditionalist ideas, literature, and art, and then acting based on what has been learned. Members of the fraternities and collegiate study groups should build each other up in every possible way: in terms of public speaking skills, debating skills, physical fitness, intellect, manners, aesthetic sense. It is imperative that our ideas be lived and not merely discussed.

A basic problem is that most bright, creative, dynamic, energetic young people with leadership skills become leftists, and this is why most student leaders--who eventually become the leaders of society--tend to be leftists. New Traditionalist fraternities and collegiate study groups can help reverse that tendency."

To me this is not merely frightening, it explains the push for defunding public education and installing the current initiative of "voucher systems" on a state by state basis.  Time and again this "Treatise" has been shown to be the mantra used by ALEC and the Koch brothers for the past decade plus.  Reading Heubeck's full essay, is chilling and is why I based the predictions of the eventual pursuit of immigration incarceration and displacing civilian workers with prisoners by this cabal.

This is why I am grateful to, and applaud the efforts of the University and college students in Ohio, Indiana, Louisiana and elsewhere who have taken notice and picked up the standard of my generation to carry this battle forward.  A major battle in this war is being silently fought right there on their campuses.  The Conservative faction are led by General's such as Charles and David Koch, the DeVos and Scaife Families under the ALEC banner.  They have a war chest filled to capacity and state legislators in their pockets...the students and their supporters have truth and the vote on their side.  Both have to be used to the fullest extent possible to overcome and prevail.  For if they lose this battle, all of us have a dim future.

Prison incarceration, Privatization, Prison Industries and Buying Colleges and their Curriculum's are only a small part of the overall concept and agenda.  Deregulation, Voter ID disenfranchisement, repealing healthcare and like objectives make up another small part of that agenda.  A visit to ALEC's Model Legislation page fills me with dread and fear for our future as a society and should have the same impact upon you as well.

Collectively their goal is Dominion over society and our governments.  If we continue to ignore this fact, we are doomed to to their succeeding...just sayin'.

Please join us or help fund our Protest ALEC demonstration in New Orleans on August 5th.  Visit Protest ALEC and take part in helping us defeat and abolish this cabal completely - for the sake of all of us - before it is simply put, too damn late...

Originally posted to Bob Sloan on Thu Jul 07, 2011 Also republished by Earthship Koch, Exposing ALEC, Badger State Progressive, Class Warfare Newsletter: The Plutocracy VS the Working Class, Virtual America: Progressive State Groups Newsletter, KasichWatch, and Community Spotlight.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Why Obama Needs a Primary Challenge from the 'Left'

bdzz for Daily Kos    Tue Jun 28, 2011

The president's strategy for reelection is pretty clear: defer to the main conservative obsession (currently the debt 'crisis'), defend the most popular liberal programs (Social Security, Medicare), and continue to 'embrace' compromise.  I.e. Obama is positioning himself as the 'sensible centrist' and it's a familiar stance.  Bill Clinton was the master of this sort of thing, but it's been the mainstay of the Democratic party since way back in the 1980s, when conservatives became the dominant force in U.S. politics.  (All of Obama's serious opponents in the 2008 primaries fit this mold.)

Now I admit that this kind of politics doesn't make me dance and sing, but it is a reasonable strategy, and it's consistent with the politician that Obama has, in fact, always been - a practical centrist (not a true liberal, and certainly not the 'leftist' of conservative rants). Unfortunately, the strategy has a potential flaw. And that, of course, is the economy.

At least so far, Obama's position has been that the economy is basically on the right track.  He has recently proposed a little innocuous industrial policy to help things along, but otherwise the message is 'stay the course'.  This is pretty non-threatening stuff and fits well with the sensible centrist stance (And I suspect it's what Obama genuinely believes).  It's a safe and viable strategy if unemployment actually declines over the next year.  Unfortunately,  there is good reason to think that it won't, and it's quite possible that the economy will get actually get worse.

If so, voters will be left with a nasty and dangerous choice: vote for Obama and the economic status quo or try a 'change' to the GOP's neo-libertarian 'vision'.  With the unemployment rate close to 10%, the status quo is not terribly appealing. There will a great temptation, especially among 'independent' voters, to support any promise of economic change, no matter how dubious.  Democrats will have a very hard sell.  Even if Obama manages to get reelected (possible given the Republican field), we could end up with Republicans in control of the House and the Senate.

Now one could argue that given the Republicans' strength in Congress (especially after the 2010 election), there isn't really much the president can do to lower unemployment.  That's true, but it isn't an argument Obama has made to the public.  One could also argue that GOP's proposed budget cuts will be terrible for economy.  But again, the president has not made that case.  One could easily argue that conservatives are pushing the country over the cliff and only a big Democratic victory can avert disaster.  But that's not the president's position - it's not the sensible centrist way.

One problem is that Obama's economic policy is a compromise between conservatism and a hypothetical progressive policy that most Americans never hear.  Oh, it's out there if you look for it, but isn't part of the mainstream news cycle.  The U.S. news media reports most issues as two sided battles: the White House vs the party that's out of power.  With a centrist president, the 'left-wing' of the Democratic party is barely heard. 

To prevent the GOP from exploiting our economic woes in the next election, someone needs to articulate a real economic alternative.  That will require challenging the nonsensical paranoia about the federal debt. It will probably require confronting conservatives about the utter failure of their policies - during that quarter of a century when they held sway over American politics. These are not things that we can expect of Obama - his repertoire is based on compromise, not confrontation.

The majority of Americans may not be ready for the kind of policies that could actually lower unemployment (such as substantial, sustained public works projects,  or a redistribution of income through serious tax reform).  But putting them on the table would help if only to clarify things.  In particular it would help clarify the president's place in the political spectrum. If voters aren't quite ready for a real solution to unemployment, Obama is a viable compromise, if people understand that he really is a compromise, between the neo-libertarian right and a progressive alternative. The question is, how to get a non-conservative alternative into the light of day?

Some Democrats in Congress are trying - there has recently been some talk about a fiscal stimulus (albeit a modest one). Unfortunately, these efforts probably won't get much attention. With a Republican majority in the House, there is almost no chance of a fiscal stimulus passing. And that means it won't be much of story in the eyes of the media.   U.S. news organizations like big stories, and for the next year the big political story will be the fight for the Republican presidential nomination.

To get the media's attention, we'll need a story that's bigger than the GOP circus.  It's a tall order, but perhaps a challenge to the president from the 'left' would do the trick.  (By 'left', of course I mean liberals.  With the exception of Bernie Sanders, there's no one in U.S. politics who can properly be called 'left wing').

Let me hasten to say that a third-party challenge is pointless.  The last thing the we need is repeat of the 2000 election, when Ralph Nader helped put Bush II in office.  Like it or not, in our political system third party campaigns are at best spoilers. No third party has ever gotten anywhere in U.S. politics.

No, what we really need is for some liberal Democrat to take on the thankless task of running against Obama in the primaries. That would be a story the media could get its teeth into.  An underdog, a dark horse, idealistic supporters ... reporters would eat it up.  It might even supplant the Tea Party as the media's obsession. 

Voters, in particular 'swing' voters, need to be shown that there is way out of our economic malaise.  They need to undestand that a Republican victory will move us further from real economic recovery.  And it needs to be clear that despite their excessive moderation, Obama and the Democrats could move us closer.  A liberal opponent for Obama may be the best way to make the point.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

We have a revenue problem, not a spending problem

Joan McCarter    Tue Jul 05, 2011

The refrain that's won the day, apparently, for budget negotiators racing to see who can get the most praise from the Very Serious People for making the most Americans suffer under austerity, is "we having a spending problem." Not to put too fine a point on it: Bullshit.


That's a chart from the Senate Appropriations Committee, making a key point.

Our deficit and debts can be traced to the fact that spending on entitlement programs and defense has shot up, and tax revenues have plummeted to their lowest level in decades. But spending on domestic discretionary programs has grown much more slowly. And, if you correct for inflation, and for growing population, it turns out we're spending exactly the same amount on these programs as we were a full decade ago....

"Although non-defense discretionary spending in nominal dollars has increased, when taking inflation and population growth into account the amount contained in the [2011 budget] represents no increase over what we spent in 2001, a year in which we generated a surplus of $128 billion," said chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) in a prepared statement. "So the right question to ask is: Are we really spending too much on non-defense programs? The answer is clearly no."

...In the wake of the Bush tax cuts, and the Great Recession, tax revenue has fallen through the floor to near-historic lows. As a percentage of GDP, it's fallen 24 percent since 2001, and if you correct for inflation, the government is collecting nearly 20 percent less per person than it was a decade ago. At the same time, the population-adjusted costs of mandatory spending programs—driven by Medicare, including its new prescription drug benefit, and Medicaid—have increased by over 30 percent. And, of course, defense spending has skyrocketed. But if you isolate domestic discretionary programs, a decade later we're spending no more on a per-person basis than we were back then.

What has increased? Health care spending, but at a rate that would have nearly been covered by massive loss of revenue in the past decade. TPM took the numbers from the Committee and "put them in a slightly different context, so you can see by what percentage spending and revenues have risen and fallen on a population adjusted basis over the last decade."


As they say, it clearly shows "what is and is not the culprit of deficits and our supposedly out-of-control spending."


Sunday, July 03, 2011

Obama Turns Republican?

  Well yes, if you look at the “ compromise “ that he and the American Taliban have been working on in order to get a budget. What a freakin joke! Once again, the rich/wealthy get to keep their tax cuts and the middle class and the poor get to bend over and take it up the ass. There is really no need to vote for a Republican since we pretty much already have one in the White House. At the rate that Obama and the Democrats keep doing these ludicrous compromises with the American Taliban, sitting out the election will be what I do. I’ll just have to work on the state level elections. In Florida, that is a lot of work.

We Cannot Afford this Kind of Compromise

   By Ellinorianne  on Sat Jul 02, 2011          Original Article

Not caving?  This is not the kind of compromise our Country can afford!  I don't care anyway you slice this, it's still a stale loaf of bread and it still shows that Democrats have folded like a bunch of cheap party chairs.

Deficit battle shaping up as GOP victory

It's not the headline that bothers me, the narrative that the mainstream media is what they want it to be, but the reality is, this compromise will hurt all the wrong people.  It's just that simple.

But even if Obama were to gain all the tax-law changes he wants, new revenue would make up only about 15 cents of each dollar in deficit reduction in the package.

I don't care if Republicans go against their no new taxes pledge or how it gets spun as a victory for the Administration or Democrats.  It's still a huge loss for all those people who are hanging on by a thread.

But substantively, budget experts note, the plan would still be dominated by cuts to government programs, many of them longtime Democratic priorities, such as Medicaid and federal employee pensions.

And yes, I get that we started out this way, it's a "balanced" approach.  Sure, we may call this a victory, but I can't.

"This is not just a numbers debate," Obama said Thursday in Philadelphia. "This is a values debate."

Yes it is, and as I stated in a diary earlier, my values are going down the drain when it comes to leaving the 25% of children who are living in poverty to go to bed hungry.

How is this acceptable? 

The White House is seeking about $300 billion in new revenue over the decade, less than half the amount it sought when Obama first outlined his goals last spring, based on the proposals in negotiations.

Obama once targeted the wealthiest Americans, the top 2% who earn beyond $200,000 a year, proposing to cap their income tax deductions.

But weeks of closed-door talks have diminished that goal. Now, even a deduction cap on those Americans earning beyond $500,000 a year — just 1.3 million Americans, fewer than 1% of all taxpayers — has been dashed. The latest offer on the table would be a more limited cap, to generate an additional $130 billion.

With just a few weeks remaining to reach an agreement, Democrats now are fighting mainly for the most populist tax reforms: ending tax subsidies for oil and gas companies, eliminating a tax break for hedge fund managers, closing an ethanol loophole and changing the way businesses write off inventory, according to those familiar with the talks.

I think we all deserve better, I want better!  And unfortunately, during a recession such as this, the last thing we should be cutting is anything that is helping people in need.  This is what we will face no matter how it turns out.

Regardless of any tax concessions President Obama achieves, the end result would favor Republican goals of cutting spending and government services.

This is what the mainstream media will push.  We need to push back, we need to push for LESS cuts.

It is not enough to merely support The President!

We must support the values we say we so deeply hold close out us.  That we do not let our children go to bed hungry, that we don't let our middle class drown in mortgage and student loan debt (damn the national debt, it should be our last concern right now, if the middle class grows, that debt will shrink!).

The Republicans fear the Tea Party?

It's time the Democrats listened to us!  It's time we did what was important to more people than Corporate Jet Owners and Hedge Fund Managers.