Saturday, October 13, 2012

Paul Ryan Cares What His Church Thinks Once again

     By Kaili Joy Gray

Paul Ryan sure is fickle about Jesus.

First, he says it's because of Jesus and his "Catholic faith" that he hates the poor and wants to cut off all aid to them to they can stop being "dependent on government." Because even the most lapsed Catholic knows Jesus was all, like, "Screw you, take care of your own damn selves!" to the poor and the sick.

It's not as if his church wasn't perfectly clear about how Ryan's budget makes Jesus cry. He got a letter about it and everything!

He also got a homework assignment from prominent Catholic scholars who said his "budget reflects the values of his favorite philosopher Ayn Rand rather than the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Funny thing about protecting religious freedom and respecting the Catholic Church. Turns out you only have to do that when the Church gets super-whiny about women's health care. When it comes to stuff Jesus said about the poor? Meh:

“These are not all the Catholic bishops, and we respectfully disagree,” Ryan said.

For good measure, his fellow Catholic Republican in the House, Speaker John Boehner, also explained also explained to the Catholic bishops why they're wrong and should "take a bigger look" at why screwing the poor is super Jesus-y.

However, in Thursday's vice presidential debate, Ryan was back to insisting that our laws and policies must comply with what his Church demands because liberty:

What troubles me more is how this administration has handled all of these issues. Look at what they're doing through Obamacare with respect to assaulting the religious liberties of this country. They're infringing upon our first freedom, the freedom of religion, by infringing on Catholic charities, Catholic churches, Catholic hospitals.

Our church should not have to sue our federal government to maintain their religious liberties. And with respect to abortion, the Democratic Party used to say they wanted it to be safe, legal and rare. Now they support it without restriction and with taxpayer funding. Taxpayer funding in Obamacare, taxpayer funding with foreign aid. The vice president himself went to China and said that he sympathized and wouldn't second guess their one child policy of forced abortions and sterilizations. That to me is pretty extreme.

So now Ryan is troubled again because the Obama administration also decided to "respectfully disagree" and "take a bigger look" when it comes to whether the bishops should be writing our policies. (Answer: No. See, for example, the First Amendment.)

Ryan of course tosses in some pretty serious false witnessing to boot, since he claims Obamacare contains taxpayer funding for abortion, even though it doesn't and even though the president signed an executive order saying, "No, seriously, no taxpayer funding for abortion." That claim is an outright lie, which some say is also against the teachings of the Church. But maybe he "respectfully disagrees" with that too.

And of course, "our Church" does not have to sue the federal government to maintain its religious liberties. Its religious liberties are just fine. It's still allowed to shut down its charities and food banks in order to stick it to gay people; it's still allowed to spend hundreds of millions of dollars protecting pedophiles; and it's still being invited into the White House and the halls of Congress to make petulant demands about women's health care.

If Ryan is so concerned about respecting his Church and its teachings, he might want to go back and read those letters from his Church, telling him his budget makes Jesus cry because Jesus did not actually hate children, poor people and women. That would be a very good place to start.

Originally posted to Kaili Joy Gray on Fri Oct 12, 2012
Also republished by Daily Kos.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Friday Funnies: Obama, Romney, Ryan

Jon Stewart: on PBS: "Fox News is upset that empty headed puppets are trying to brainwash and indoctrinate Americans. Perhaps they could sue them for copyright infringement."
"I gotta say, if you’re cooking the books, 7.8 percent unemployment is a sh*tty recipe."

immy Fallon: "Last night, a woman on QVC fainted on the air, but her co-host kept talking as if nothing had happened. One person was unconscious while the other one just kept talking — kind of like last week's presidential debate."

Jay Leno: "While the average American's net worth has gone down in the last four years, the net worth of the average member of Congress has actually gone up. No wonder Congress isn't motivated to do anything — they're the only ones better off now than they were four years ago."

"Unemployment is 7.8 percent, the lowest it's been since Obama took office. The Obama campaign said they can't wait to take these statistics and not use them in the next debate."

David Letterman :"It's Nobel Prize season. Earlier today a medical team received the Nobel Prize for reviving the Mitt Romney campaign."

Seth Meyers on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update": "During Wednesday's debate Mitt Romney said that even though he likes Big Bird, if elected he would stop the subsidy to PBS – it's a surprising threat considering that 'Mitt' is such an excellent Muppet name."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why McCain Picked Palin Over Romney For V.P.

   You have to be a pretty sorry person to be picked over for that ding-bat from Alaska, Sarah Palin, but, that’s what happened to Mitt Romney. John McCain just didn’t like Mitts record, forget about his tax returns.

  I’m posting a partial list here. you can read the 200 page report by clicking the link below.

McCain didn't like:

-Under Governor Romney, State Spending Increased By More Than 24% (Over $5 Billion) In Only Three Years – An Annual Increase Of 8%
-To Close Budget Gap And Fund New Spending, Romney Increased Fees And Taxes By Roughly $700 Million Per Year, According To Independent Experts

-Total State And Local Tax Burden Increased More Than 7% Under Romney And Massachusetts’ Corporate Tax Climate Is Among The Nation's Worst
-Romney implemented three rounds of tax changes (which he referred to as “closing loopholes”) which increased business taxes by an estimated $400 million per year.
-As Governor, Romney Signed Into Law 50% Increase In State Cremation Fee, Called By Some A “New Hidden Tax On The Dead"
-Under Romney, Homeowners Saw Property Taxes Rise To Highest Level In Decades
-Romney Cut State Aid To Cities And Towns, Forcing Property Tax Increases Throughout The State

-Romney Imposed Hundreds Of Millions Of Dollars In Fee Increases, Affecting Virtually Everyone In Massachusetts, While Insisting They Were Not New Taxes
-Romney Proposed Increasing Fees On Hospitalized Veterans
-Romney Raised Gun Licensing Fee By 400 Percent

-Under Romney, Massachusetts Dramatically Underperformed The Nation In Terms Of Job Growth
-Romney’s Government “Reforms” Panned As Largely Ineffective
-Massachusetts Was Only State With Three Straight Years Of Shrinking Labor Force From 2003-05
-Under Romney, Massachusetts Lost Major Employers Like Gillette And Fleet While Others Cut Jobs
-Romney has been criticized by experts for failing to deliver on issues of business development and economic growth after selling himself as the “CEO governor."
-Romney left his successor to fill a budget deficit exceeding $1 billion.

-Romney said capturing Osama bin Laden would result in “very insignificant increase in safety” for America and such effort was “not worth moving heaven and earth and spending billions of dollars” to
catch one person
-After calling for economic divestment from Iran, Romney was embarrassed by revelation that the Italian branch of Bain & Company – firm where Romney started as young consultant and served as CEO in early‘90s – received $2.3 million contract from National Iranian Oil Company in 2004.
-Bain Capital, the private equity firm that made Romney his fortune, currently owns a chemicals and paint company called SigmaKalon that operates an office in Tehran.

-Romney left the state GOP weaker than when he took over as governor, with the party described as being “at its weakest point in years.”
-Top Romney campaign aides and surrogates have ties to several recent Washington ethics scandals (e.g. Jason Roe, Former Feeney Chief Of Staff, “Resigned Abruptly” From Position As Romney Deputy Campaign Manager After FBI Inquiries Into Abramoff Ties)

-During His Political Career, Romney Has Been Pro-Choice, Then Not Pro-Choice, Then Pro-Choice Again, Now Claims To Be Pro-Life.
-Romney’s Wife Contributed To Planned Parenthood
-As Governor, Romney Ordered Catholic Hospitals To Distribute Emergency Contraception

-On Same Day In 2005, Romney Supported, Then Opposed Northeast Regional Compact On Climate Change
-In 2005, Romney Dramatically Lamented Lack Of Progress On Fuel Efficiency – Then Just Hours Later Said He Did Not Support Tougher Fuel Efficiency Standards

-Romney Supports No Child Left Behind Act, Raises Concerns Over Specific Testing Processes
-1994: As Senate Candidate, Romney Backed Eliminating Federal Department Of Education

-Shortly After Taking Office, Romney Proposed Cutting State Hiring Preferences For Veterans And Merging Veterans Care Facilities Into Jurisdiction Of Social Welfare Administrators
-Romney Tried To Cut $165,000 From Veterans Outreach In 2003.

-Romney’s Background As CEO And Corporate Dealmaker Seen As Influence On His Political Tactics
-Under Romney’s Leadership, Bain Capital Had History Of Relentless Focus On Bottom Line, Improving Corporate Profits At Expense Of Local Workers
-Romney Was Board Member Of Company Fined Over $100 Million For Medicare Fraud – At The Time, It Was The Largest Criminal Fine For Health Care Fraud In History
-Romney’s Firm Owned Company Named Ampad That Purchased Indiana Paper Plant, Fired Its Workers And Offered To Bring Them Back At Drastically Reduced Salary & Benefits
-Under Bain Management, Stream Declined To Open Call Centers In Idaho And Wyoming As It Opened Or Expanded Facilities In Canada, Spain, France, Ireland & India
-After Romney Became Governor, Bain Capital Teamed Up With Chinese Appliance Maker Haier Group In 2005 In Effort To Purchase Newton, IA-Based Maytag Corp. And Send Jobs Overseas
-Bain Capital Held Controlling Stake In Outsourced Manufacturing Services Provider Modus Media, Inc. (Formerly Known As Modus Media Int'l, Inc.) From Early 1998 Thru Mid-2004
-Modus Media’s Expansive Operations In China Were Called “Key Attraction” After Company Was Purchased By CMGI In 2004

-NO NEW TAXES PLEDGE: Romney Refused To Sign ATR Pledge Against Raising Taxes In 2002, Eagerly Signed It In 2007
-REAGAN LEGACY: Romney Distanced Himself From President Reagan In 1994, Saying He Was An Independent During Reagan Years, But Now Claims Reagan As His Hero
-SECOND AMENDMENT: Romney Once Bragged Of Opposing NRA, Promised Not To “Chip Away” At Tough Gun Laws But Now Seeks NRA Endorsement
-UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE: After Striving To Take Credit For Universal Health Insurance Bill In Massachusetts, Romney Is Now Running Away From His Own Plan
-GAY MARRIAGE: In 2002, Romney Refused To Endorse Constitutional Amendment Banning Gay Marriage, Saying It Was Too Extreme, But Later Endorsed Amendment Banning Gay Marriage In 2006
-STEM CELL RESEARCH: Romney Once Endorsed Embryonic Stem Cell Research And Promised To "Work & Fight" For It Before Changing His Position

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Another Republican Favors Slavery

By Justin "Filthy Liberal Scum" Rosario   October 9, 2012

One of the wonders of the modern world is the capacity for Republicans to be some of the most outspoken racists in the world and still be taken seriously as a political party. It’s gotten far worse in recent years as mainstream Republicans have actually started to advocate the position, openly, mind you, that slavery wasn’t so bad.

Well, here’s Republican Rep. Loy Mauch. A staunch Neo-Confederate that is “very proud my ancestors stood up to Northern aggression. The Confederate flag to me is not only a symbol of our brief period of independence and our loyalty to the 1789 Constitution, but also a symbol of Christian liberty vs. the new world order.”

You can see this is only going to go downhill from here.

The ArkansasBlog reports that Mauch spent several years sending numerous letters to the Democrat-Gazette detailing his true feelings on matters ranging from:

How he feels about Lincoln:

This country already lionizes Wehrmacht leaders. They go by the names of Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Custer, etc. These Marxists not only destroyed the Constitution they were sworn to uphold, but apostatized the word of God. Either these depraved infidels or the Constitution and Scriptures are in error. I’m more persuaded by the word of God.

I would like to thank this newspaper’s editorialist for publishing the tribute to Abraham Lincoln as well as his second inaugural address so that the readers can see for themselves what a fake this neurotic Northern war criminal truly was.

To how awesome slavery was because the Bible DIDN’T say it was bad:

Nowhere in the Holy Bible have I found a word of condemnation for the operation of slavery, Old or New Testament. If slavery was so bad, why didn’t Jesus, Paul or the prophets say something?

… If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861?
The South has always stood by the Constitution and limited government. When one attacks the Confederate Battle Flag, he is certainly denouncing these principles of government as well as Christianity.

Well, that is certainly an enlightening look into the mind of a Republican law-maker. The Bible says that you can only a slave from a neighboring country. Do you suppose Mauch would be fine with a Mexican owning his daughter? The Bible clearly states that he can sell her. I’ll bet my left pinkie toe that would be absolutely unacceptable. How about a rich black man owning white slaves? I bet that would be a serious problem for Mauch as well. Now why do you suppose that is?             Creative Commons License

AP: Romney's Pre-Existing Conditions Health Plan Isn't What He Says It Is

The AP's Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar commits real journalism in this story on Mitt Romney's sudden "moderation" when it comes to health care reform, pointing out that, no, he really doesn't offer much in the way of protection for people with pre-existing conditions. Here's the lede:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says he has a plan to help people with pre-existing medical conditions get health insurance. But there's a huge catch: You basically have to be covered in the first place.

He goes on to explain that Romney's solution is only a solution for those people who have managed to keep their insurance coverage without any lapses. The majority of people—Kaiser Family Foundation estimates about 70 percent—who are uninsured are there because of major life upheaval like losing their job or getting divorced. Maintaining continuous coverage, the key to Romney's pre-existing condition protections, is out of the reach of many because of the costs of trying to stay on a plan or getting new coverage on the individual market is just too high.

The reporter also goes on to explain the major difference between Romney's plan and Obamacare: "[I]t's the law of the land," and insurance companies have to accept all comers. Period. And it makes getting that insurance more affordable. He also points out that while Romney has been "stressing his pre-existing conditions plan as he works to soften his public image in the homestretch of a campaign [...] his campaign has only provided a bare-bones set of talking points."

One part of the story that's missing here it the real contradiction in Romney's plan that already makes it unworkable. Romney says that "Regulation must prevent insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions who maintain continuous coverage." But his plan also hinges on allowing insurers to sell their plans across states, which would lead to a lowest common denominator of state regulation. Romney is going to leave it to the states, and the states are unlikely to impose much tougher regulations than neighboring states if the insurance market expands across their borders.

Romney's plan wouldn't prevent insurers from discriminating and it wouldn't prevent them from charging higher rates based on medical status. It's a sham, and good for the AP for exposing it as such.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Oct 09, 2012

Monday, October 08, 2012

Extreme Religion Stops a Thinking Brain and Kills Women and Teenage Girls

When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross
- Sinclair Lewis

Abortion care providers in my state of Texas and nationwide have been under siege for over thirty five years by heavily propagandized fundamentalist Christian bullies, domestic terrorists, who know and understand little or nothing about abortion care but have swallowed whole, with neither mastication nor cogitation, the blatantly deceptive propaganda of the so-called "pro-life movement" and are convinced they know it all. The mind-numbingly outrageous Todd Akin is merely e pluribus unum.

I am a committed, proud, defiant abortion provider, and, believe me, defiance is an asset in the sociopolitical climate in which I practice abortion care.

I have often been asked why I provide abortion care, sometimes ragefully and accompanied by threats by zealous opponents of legal abortion. First, let me assure you that it is not that I love embryos and fetuses less, but that I love women and teenage girls more, although I must confess that, while I respect, support, and share any woman’s delight in a wanted pregnancy, I really have no love, nor any feeling at all, for insentient fertilized eggs, embryos, and fetuses in the wombs of women and teenage girls who do not want them there. The nature of fetal existence inside the body of a woman or girl is a profoundly unique and unparalleled situation in which the religious or political beliefs of others should have no right to intrude unless invited by the woman or girl herself.

Regardless of how strongly you believe that you know what you merely believe, you merely believe it, and you might be very wrong.

I respect and feel deep compassion for the dominion of any conscious human female over her own body and all that exists therein and feel no compassion for insentient embryos and fetuses that she doesn’t want there, whatever her own reasons, regarding her as the world’s foremost authority on her own best interests and realizing that she cannot fully pursue the personal freedom and human rights this nation was founded upon unless her own authority and individual responsibility over herself and her own body is respected by society and its laws.

There is perhaps no area of human behavior in which clear rational thought and understanding of factual reality is more obscured by obstinate prejudice, self-serving judgmental attitudes, and intransigent, willful ignorance supported only by emotionally charged irrational belief and misinformed and uninformed opinion and in which the consequences of this failure to face and accept truth, reason, and understanding are more catastrophically and mercilessly cruel than in matters concerning sexuality and reproduction, even among many physicians and other highly educated people who have had every opportunity to learn better.

There is much that needs saying (and hearing by open, rational, and honest minds) to illuminate the issues surrounding human sexuality, contraception, and abortion rights and to counter the tsunami of blatantly false, misleading, and inflammatory propaganda that has for many years, from launch pads in narrow-minded and rigidly legalistic religious belief systems, flooded the halls of government, courts of law, popular media, and the internet. To these perpetrators of blatant fraud “freedom” means their unconstrained license to tyrannize and oppress those who believe differently in a complete perversion and rejection of the meaning of freedom upon which this nation was founded. Far too many, still, in the 21st century, hold to the facetious maxim, “ignorance is bliss” (that is, the ignorance of comforting myth-based ideologies insufficiently challenged by rational skepticism, such as extreme religious belief masquerading as factual knowledge) though often believing they not only are not ignorant, but know it all, are absolutely right in all of their opinions and beliefs, are fiercely resistant to reconsidering any of them, and persist in plunging through their lives uninformed or misinformed, proud of it, and even aggressively defending and championing their ignorance and prejudice, oblivious to the swaths of pain, suffering and destruction they create in their wakes, feeling righteous about it, and striving to inflict their beliefs through force of law upon entire diverse populations composed of many varieties of believers and non-believers.

I’m referring, for example, to the pain and suffering and quite possible destruction of a conscious, feeling woman or teenage girl stricken with an unwanted pregnancy, which is often to her not, as those religious extremists who strive to have laws inflict their personal religious beliefs on everyone insist, a “precious gift from God” or a “wondrous divine miracle,” but a stressful catastrophe of devastating and incapacitating magnitude with profound repercussions for the rest of her life. Embryos and fetuses have no consciousness of their own existence. They cannot suffer or feel pain, pleasure, or anything else. We know that they do not have sufficient brain development and functionality for consciousness until well beyond twenty-four weeks of pregnancy. I find no compelling reason to distinguish them from the uncountable millions of early embryos lost onto used tampons and pads as the results of early miscarriages. But the women and teenage girls are a very different story. They are our wives, our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, our friends, our lovers. They think and feel. And we should think highly of them and feel deeply for them and honor and support their right to the freedom to control their own bodies.

A woman does not want an abortion like she wants a flashy new car; she wants an abortion like an animal caught in a trap wants to gnaw off its own leg to escape.

Women with unwanted pregnancies have always done whatever it takes to obtain abortions, whatever the risks, and they always will. The blood-drenched past of legal prohibition of abortion should have taught us all that the damage to the lives, health and well-being of conscious women and teenage girls is much too high a price to pay for restricting or criminalizing abortion in a futile attempt to save the lives of insentient embryos and fetuses inside the bodily domain of desperately unwilling hosts who would again in great numbers obtain dangerous illegal abortions if safe legal abortions were restricted or prohibited by law. Many would die. Many more would be seriously injured.

Women and teenage girls always have, and always will, have abortions, regardless of legality.

The political and legal - and moral - choice is not between abortion and no abortion. It is between very safe legal abortion and very dangerous illegal abortion.

Which would you choose?

Originally posted to Beket on Sun Oct 07, 2012

Columbus Day Not What’s Advertised

By Justin "Filthy Liberal Scum" Rosario

October 8, 2012

When I was a kid, I was taught that in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue and discovered America. Then the Pilgrims came, the Indians welcomed them with open arms and they all lived happily ever after.

That’s not quite how it went though, is it? They left out the part where the “Indians” had already settled across large swaths of what would become the United States. There were several sizable nations with fully developed and rich cultures. The European settlers came and took most of it away. They even purportedly used a primitive form of biological warfare by giving the “Indians” blankets infected with smallpox and that was after the Europeans had already inadvertently wiped out millions of them with disease.

Does it count as “discovering” a continent if it’s already inhabited? Not really. This is not to belittle Columbus’ achievement, he did expand our knowledge of the world…or rather, he put together two very large pieces of the primitive puzzle that passed for a map of the world at the time. However, this is cold comfort to the Native Americans that were driven to near extinction by a concerted effort on the part of the United States government. The atrocities are many and I shan’t bother to list them here (Google it if you want to depress yourself). Many Native American nations were wiped out and others struggle to this day to maintain a coherent culture in the face of a continued onslaught of McDonald’s and MTV.

Even today, Native Americans are still the victims of deep rooted racism as the GOP blocks efforts to help Native American women that are the victims of abuse. I can understand (but violently disagree with) why the GOP would not want the Violence Against Women Act not to help lesbians (grrr…homosexuality is bad!) or undocumented immigrants (grrr… “illegals” are bad!) but Native American women? Grrr…”Indians” are bad! They are? Since when? Oh wait, they’re not white, are they? There really isn’t any other reason that stands up to scrutiny. It’s just more racism from the kind of people that happily slaughtered thousands of “injuns” so they could take their land.

Of all the loathsome justifications for violence, “Manifest Destiny” was among the worst. Slightly better than the Holocaust only in that the goal wasn’t to kill them all, just get them out of the way. Think about that when your child comes home singing “In 14 hundred and 92, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.” Ask them if they learned the entire story of what happened to the Native Americans. It may not make for a joyous holiday, but the truth is always better than the comforting lie.

Creative Commons License

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Deficit Drops $207 Billion…

according to the C.B.O.'s 2012 estimates, which is great news for the Obama administration, and for you and I. The fiscal year ended on September 30, 2012.

   The federal deficit came in at slightly less than  $1.1 trillion,  compared to just under $1.3 trillion at the end of fiscal year 2011, a reduction of $207 billion.  The actual deficit numbers will be released later this month by the Treasury Department.

Total Receipts Were Up by 6 Percent in Fiscal Year 2012

Receipts in fiscal year 2012 totaled $2.5 trillion, $148 billion more than those in the same period last year. Compared with collections in fiscal year 2011:

Net receipts from corporate income taxes grew by $61 billion (or 34 percent), largely because of changes in tax rules in recent years.
Individual income tax receipts grew by $37 billion (or 3 percent), as wages and salaries grew modestly, pushing up withheld tax payments; nonwitheld tax payments rose as well.
Receipts from social insurance taxes rose by $32 billion (or 4 percent), reflecting greater withholding for payroll taxes and an increase in unemployment insurance taxes as states continued to replenish trust funds that were depleted by the recession.
Receipts from other sources increased, on net, by about $18 billion (or 9 percent).

By CBO’s estimates, outlays decreased for several major categories of spending:

Medicaid—Outlays fell by $24 billion (or 9 percent) because legislated increases in the federal share of the program’s costs expired in July 2011.
Unemployment benefits—Spending dropped by $30 billion (or 24 percent), mostly because fewer people have been receiving benefits in recent months.
Defense—Outlays fell by $19 billion (or 3 percent), after adjusting for timing shifts, in part because of lower spending for military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Education programs—Net outlays were lower by $29 billion (or 30 percent), excluding changes recorded in the budget for the estimated cost of student loans. That decline has occurred largely because of waning spending from funding provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. (Most of that spending occurred before 2012.)          SOURCE

   This is positive proof that the Obama Administrations policies are working despite the Republican obstruction in government over the past 4 years.

   Between last Fridays positive job growth report and this, do we need another reason to reelect Obama to a second term?