Saturday, April 30, 2011

Democrats Willing To Fight Fire With Fire

An announcement yesterday that two former top White House aides were forming a non-government group underwritten in part by secret donors has sparked pointed disagreement over the strategic direction and moral compass of the Democratic Party. The first, Priorities USA Action, is a political committee organized primarily for influencing elections -- 527 groups, according to the tax code. The second, and more controversial group, is Priorities USA. It is a new type of organization with a 501(c)4 tax status that does not require donor disclosure. Former Wisconsin Democratic Senator Russ Feingold said, “I’m not going to endorse playing with the devil. I'm not going to endorse becoming just another corporate candidate. I know a lot of Democrats in D.C. don’t agree with me on this. And I, of course, understand the desire to do everything possible to win. But, essentially what you’re doing by this is, you’re trying to become corporate-lite, in effect. And we’ll lose that battle, because Republicans are going to have more money.” He then added, "I don’t think my race is a good example, because we had one of those sweep years.” Um, yeah Mr. Feingold, your race is the perfect example. He was a popular 3 term senator and was outspent 4-1. That made all the difference in the world. As much as I admire Feingold, I totally disagree with him on this issue. Do I like what the Democrats feel they have to do to stay competitive? No. But this is the playing field we currently have to play on until there's some campaign finance reform. After the brutal 2010 election cycle for Democrats, and a clear pattern established by Republicans, such comments seem foolishly idealistic and dangerously naive.  If we want to change the system, we need to rid ourselves of elephants.

David Donnelly, national campaigns director of the Public Campaign Action Fund asked, "How do can you engage in these types of campaigns with hands tied behind your back? In the end, I want as many reformers as possible to be elected. We need more allies in office to change the rules.” Donnelly is aware of the paradox. Despite bemoaning the influence of 527 organizations, his group operates one in hopes of electing "reformers.” He is, he stresses, "completely comfortable engaging in the fight in order to get more people in office who are interested in structural reforming government."

If not for the SCOTUS disastrous Citizens United ruling, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce pledge to fight President Obama's executive order to make government contractors disclose their political spending, none of this would have been necessary.  Chamber of commerce to fight Obama with all available means

TPM: In 2012 Money Race, Democrats Say Game On!

Friday, April 29, 2011

We're Not In Wisconsin Anymore

Way to go Massachusetts...of all places!!! In the clip below, Harold Schaitberger, general president of the International Association of Firefighters joins Rachel Maddow to discuss withholding financial support for federal Democrats who have not done enough to fend off the GOP's anti-union agenda. Why might they do this you ask? Because the Democratically controlled House in Massachusetts are drinking "the tea." State Democrats seem to be buckling under lack of national leadership. NPR article here. I live in this state. Our public employees are not the problem. It's revenue. It's revenue across the entire country. This situation was not created at the local level. I get it, no one wants their taxes increased, yet no one wants their services cut. I offer this. What is more essential? Do you want quality protection from your firefighters and police? I do. Do you want good education for kids? I do, and I don't have kids. I want them to be able to do something with their lives so they're not robbing my house. Do you want to drive down the street without damage to your vehicle because the roads are crumbling? I do. Your vehicle is the second most expensive purchase besides your home. When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, he changed the psyche of the country. He not only made the most disasterous tax, deregulation (including our media) and financial decisions of my lifetime, he managed to turn a country that worked together for the most part, since WWII at least, into a country that pointed the finger and blamed anyone else for their failures. In other words, the country that had a "we can do this" attitude, turned into, "I got mine...F you." attitude and it prevails today. Today's Republican party has not only become Reaganism on steroids, it has overdosed. The folks voting on the other side are truly convinced that those of us who don't agree that funneling money from our pocket to the top are anti-American. They are convinced that womens most personal decisions are best left to rich white men who know best. They see today's impoverished as tomorrow's soldiers. I could go on, but I think the point has been made. If a state like Massachusetts falls into this regressive policy syndrome plaguing our country, what happens to those of us without lobbyist? I can't see Governor Deval Patrick signing this bill even if it gets through the Massachusetts state senate, since he's on record saying he won't sign a WI type bill. But here's the thing...if this anti-public worker crapola can even be discussed in Massachusetts, it will happen everywhere. This is our future, these are our lives. American Idol really isn't that important, is it?

In this clip, Rachel echoed a fear I expressed on April 15, when I said, "I'm not going to get my hopes up too much because Democrats have a way of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory." She used that exact term discussing this asinine idea that MA Dems have hatched. What I wrote that day was actually talking about the wildly unpopular attempts by Republicans to kill Medicare, but it applies to EVERYTHING. I don't know what it is or why it happens, but Democrats have this instinct to run toward a terrible policy idea, lend their hand and end up owning it, much to the chagrin of voters. At the end of the day, they end up out of power with egg on their face, for supporting such a hugely unpopular position. Democrats don't know how to message, Republicans do. It's the only thing they're good at. It truly pisses me off that they do this, and it works time and time again.
This Charlie Brown/Lucy football stunt has grown old. We need more Bernie Sanders' and Anthony Weiner's who don't disappoint and actually work for the people, even when met with hostility. They are true representatives for the people, not those who have it all.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mark Your Calendar For June 20, Olbermann Returns

Three-time Murrow-Award Winner Keith Olbermann announces his return to cable news. His new show will be entitled ... Countdown with Keith Olbermann! Hmm, that sounds familiar. Unfortunately it's not available from my cable company at this time. Hopefully Keith's presence will allow Current TV to expand. It will be nice to have his voice back.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sanders and Maddow Talk Sense - Oh No!

Two of my favorite political people: The honorable Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and brilliant political commentator Rachel Maddow discuss Republican cockiness and overreach. Bernie explains how corporate money will be spent to counter the outcry against Ayn Rand, I mean Paul Ryan's budget plan that all but four House Republicans embraced. By the way...for anyone curious, Atlas Shrugged is bombing at the box office. Huh, most Americans don't like being compared to parasites...unless you're in a deep red state where you either wear it as a badge of honor or don't understand that you are the parasite.

Anyone who watches these two get an instant IQ boost. However, Republican/Conservative voters drinking the "tea" must watch on a loop to start the deprogramming from conservative media. My dream ticket? Bernie Sanders/Anthony Weiner 2016 after an Obama re-election.

Right Wing Gets What They Want, Then Cries [UPDATED]

I'm sure this is not enough for the racist right wing to get a large portion of stfu. However... Today, President Barack Obama produced a long form Hawaii birth certificate in an attempt to bury the ridiculous issue of where he was born and confirm his legitimacy to hold office to the wackos who were starting to drag independent voters onto the crazy train. Obama declared, “We do not have time for this kind of silliness.” Once again, Obama portrayed himself as the adult in the room, a voice of reason amid a loud, ignorant debate on his birth status. I was listening to The Stephanie Miller Show on my iPhone, via Tune-In (an awesome app BTW) when they cut away from Donald Chump's childlike speech to move on to the President. It was all I could do to not start laughing our loud and applauding when he said, “We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.” While Obama never named names, it was clear he was speaking of Donald Trump's grand birther BS. Pinch me. In the last couple weeks, the guy I voted for has reemerged. While I still don't agree with his endless "reach across the aisle and lose another finger" approach, he is finally talking like the guy I voted for.

The certificate looks pretty much the same as the electronic "Certificate of Live Birth" version that has been available for view for over two years that the wackos viewed as illegitimate, even though it's the official record of birth in Hawaii. Since the newly disclosed "long form" is typed and hand signed, I fully expect that the next round of criticism to say there's no way to prove it's authentic. My "original" birth certificate is a typed out 3x5 card with way less information than the state of Hawaii presents.

After questioning the man's birthplace for over two years, the hard right goofballs who demanded to see the "long form" and lead by Rush Limpballs are now crying that instead of releasing his birth certificate, he should've released a jobs bill. Funny how they never mention that when the Democrats held the House and passed several job bills, they died in the Senate via Republican filibuster. I really hate these people on the hard right. They are anti-American, they are bigots, they are greedy, they are liars and the worst part is, because they are loud and funded by big biz, our corporate owned media ignores the facts to push their agenda.  The dumbing down of the American people has worked splendidly for them.

Obama releases birth certificate, ripped by GOP

UPDATE (Goldie Taylor reviews history of demanding ID's from blacks in America).

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Boehner or Vermont? - Vermont Wins

The Vermont state Senate gave preliminary approval Monday to health care legislation that is a key part of Gov. Peter Shumlin's agenda. The bill, a version of which already has been passed by the House, would put Vermont on a path toward what it calls a "universal and unified health system" and what the Democratic governor calls single-payer health care, with the objective of ensuring health insurance coverage for every resident. If the reptilians (aka GOP) in D.C. get their way killing Medicare, Vermont might find itself with more residents, unless other states catch on...which I think blue states will.

Think Progress: The Vermont sate Senate Passes Bill establishing A Single Payer Health Care System In The State

Meanwhile, we have the Republicans in D.C doing the opposite for the people.:

Undaunted by the backlash Republicans are facing in town halls all over the country since Paul Ryan's "Path To Poverty" was disclosed. Agent Orange Boehner, or as I like to call him, "The Boner," decided to double-down on a policy 80% of Americans are against, including the majority of Republicans. I'm telling you --- they are rigging 2012 behind the scenes. Their ongoing, blatent disregard for what voters want is a warning. Voters overwhelmingly want the wealthiest to be taxed at a higher rate as opposed to cutting spending on programs such as Medicare and Social Security. Will the Democrats call their bluff and fight back?

The Raw Story: Boehner flirts with debt default if Dems don't accept Medicare cuts

These are what town hall meetings look like after a "destroy Medicare" vote:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Reverend Kiley Reminds What This Country Used To Represent

Reverend Cletus Kiley inspired the 2,000+ Building Trades union leaders and members who filled the Washington Hilton for the 2011 Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) Legislative Conference.

The tone was set by Reverend Kiley’s heartfelt repudiation of the status quo, of the “current social contract,” and his espousal of the blessing of the “righteous anger” that has filled the movement.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

This Is What Compassionate Christians Concoct on Easter Sunday

Happy Easter to all the sane people out here! Is this something that we now consider acceptable? Is this not pushing the limits of free speech? How can this not be equated with yelling fire in a crowded theater? Here's an example of right wing "intelligence" ... or something ... on this fine Easter day. A friend on Facebook passed it along and encouraged everyone to report it, which I did since I agree. If anyone on the left posted something like this about Bush or Palin, they'd already be in shackles. I am posting this, not to give them publicity, but to prove what was on Facebook because this will be coming down and Fox News and Rush Limbaugh will deny it ever existed. I'd hate to be the asshat who posted this because from what some sources are reporting, the secret service is working on getting it taken down and it is being investigated.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Koch Brothers Caught Telling Thousands of Employees How to Vote

The Nation magazine has revealed that Koch Industries sent a letter to most of its 50,000 employees dated October 4, 2010, just prior to the November mid-term elections, strongly advising them on whom to vote for and warning them of the dire consequences should they choose to vote otherwise. As a result of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling last year, corporations are now legally allowed to pressure their workers to adopt their political views. Koch Industries is run by the billionaire brothers, Charles and David Koch, who have helped bankroll the Tea Party movement and dozens of other right-wing causes, including the recent attacks on public sector employees and unions going on in many states. Let's not forget the prank call Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took when he thought he was speaking to David Koch, which revealed what they were actually up to. It doesn't matter that the caller was fake, the intentions of these hard right politicians being funded by the Kochs and other wealthy donors is not. Then last week when Walker was called in front of congress, thinking he was going to be greeted as a hero by the Republican congressional majority, the Democrats actually took no mercy on him when they forced him, under oath, to admit that his union busting bill does nothing for Wisconsin's budget.

I don't think this story is getting as much coverage as it should be. A friend of mine thinks this right wing hysteria we're on right now is just a bump in the road, part of a cycle. I'm not so sure. In the past, there wasn't a 24/7 right wing propaganda network spewing nothing but ideological talking points. Our media wasn't entirely owned by five large corporations controlling the information we have access to. We didn't have a majority right wing SCOTUS. And while I obviously wasn't there during the last big fight between the people and the corporations, I'm willing to bet even the timid ones who didn't get directly involved weren't actively working against their peers to help the oligarchs as we have today. Today they call themselves Tea Party Patriots and are well-funded by the likes of the Koch Brothers. They know nothing of the original tea party patriots or they'd be fighting the oligarchy, not fighting for them. This current crop of lost souls either doesn't know what the Boston Tea Party was actually about or just don't care --- they're still enraged that the black guy won.

Democracy Now's Amy Goodman interviews journalists Mark Ames and Mike Elk of The Nation magazine. Their interview begins at the 32:48 mark in the video.
The Nation article is linked below video.

The Nation Big Brothers: Thought Control at Koch

Friday, April 22, 2011

Remember When...

...these two fabulous lefty's were back-to-back on MSNBC? I truly miss those days. Lawrence O'Donnell can be interesting to watch and as a former insider, he understands the reality of what can actually be done as opposed to what we want done yesterday. Yeah, yeah, the same can be said about Chris Matthews except that O'Donnell isn't annoying about it. Still, Lawrence lacks Keith Olbermann's pizazz and the fiery in your face force that we need on the left to combat the loud mouth crackpots on the right. Lawrence can get passionate about certain subjects, but Keith rarely brought a story to the viewer that he didn't feel was egregious in some way. Rachel's our happy warrior, our thoughtful intellect. Always ready with the facts, a smile and a twinkle in her eye, carrying a scalpel as opposed to a machete' to get her point across. Keith and Rachel were our one-two punch, our Yin-Yang, our superheroes. Tonight, a glimpse of what we had from October 2008-January 2011. Keith's video covers something I've been talking about for months, that Republican voters vote against their own best interest because they think that winning Powerball ticket is a drawing away. And Rachel finally covered a topic I did on April 11 --- the budget proposal from the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Maybe she finally got around to reading my blog!
Who needs Al Jazeera or BBC?!

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Drill Baby Drill, But We Still Can't Contain A Spill

Since yesterday was the anniversary of the Gulf Disaster and I made a comment about new drilling permits being handed out freely without any new safety rules, I should've made some sort of reference to that point. Rachel Maddow had been hammering the administration about the rapid increase. In late February, Noble Energy, Inc. received the first new permit to drill in deep water, and they're now averaging five per week. As Rachel described it, “The government says that's because the oil industry has been, quote, complying with rigorous new safety standards implemented in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon explosion. According to BOEMRE (The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.), these new permits show the industry has demonstrated the capability to contain a deepwater loss of well control and blowout.” Curious about these new standards, Maddow’s team asked to review Noble’s oil spill response plan. The plan they received was written in September 2009, seven months prior to the Gulf Disaster.
Maddow then reported:
“We contacted the government after we obtained this document because we thought somebody must have sent us the wrong thing. We thought we must have been sent by accident an old version of this oil response plan. They informed us that, in fact, we do have the most up-to-date version on hand. They also told us that in general rig operators are eligible to get new permits while they’re in the process of revising old oil spill response plans. So what exactly is the permitting process reviewing?”
After several critical segments, she finally landed an interview with, Michael Bromwich, Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement. He's the guy in charge of handing out those permits. He pretty much told her that the Deepwater Horizon failure has changed nothing! AND when she asked him if he knew why oil rig workers in U.S waters are 4 times more likely to be killed at work than their peers in Europe, his answer was a simple no. Gee, maybe loose regulations to maximize money regardless of safety might have something to do with it?

And she reviewed her own interview a few days later:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Gulf - One Year Later

While the right wing media is touting the Gulf Disaster of one year ago as totally cleaned up, and the liberal media is lying to hurt BP, Transocean and Halliburton, here are some realities. Gulf coast residents are sick and dying from BP's toxic chemicals and the U.S. Government is covering up record dolphin deaths. Here are some NBC News videos featuring Brian Williams.  On the second one, Captain James Peters discusses how there isn't any scientific evidence to prove that it's safe to eat the seafood from the area and he's very pessimistic about the future of the Gulf. The tragedy of this story continues, but the Obama Administration continues to hand out permits to drill at a high rate, even though there have been no safety improvements. What happened to this guy?

NOLA: A year after Gulf oil spill, Congress is sitting on its hands

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Republicans Weighting the Scale To Get What They Want

Rachel Maddow discusses all the hurdles and obstacles Republicans are making law to;
A.) Try to keep President Obama off the 2012 Presidential ballot and B.) Dissuade likely Democratic voters from showing up for the Presidential election in 2012. This is another example that the Republicans can not win with their 1920 ideas so they have to "put their thumb on the scale" to tilt the election. Keep an eye on those tricky electronic voting machines as well. There's not a doubt in my mind that the right wing is working behind the scenes to pull off another 2000 or 2004. Otherwise, all these hugely unpopular policies from the new teapublican Governors in the midwest or the hugely unpopular kill social safety nets policies in DC would not be moving full steam ahead. They are NOT concerned about the voters. Heck, maybe they'll just hold back until a county doesn't go their way and have 14,000 votes miraculously appear! Thanks for the heads up Wisconsin! Check this: Programmer under oath admits computers rig elections. Also don't forget Karl Rove's IT Guru Mike Connelly's "mysterious" plane crash just before he was to testify in 2008.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Death Panels, Republican Style

Ayn Rand fanboy Paul Ryan seems to have boxed Republicans in. They really don't want to support his death panel...I mean "Medicare transformation," with an election coming up, nor do they want to say anything bad about the *BUDGET MUNSTER. C'mon Dems, I know you guys are trying to figure out a way to screw this up, but you have an open net...SHOOT, and keep shooting until the net is ripped wide open! Let me give all Democrats a tip, watch all the teabagger videos from the summer of 2009 with HCR when they were screaming about death panels, etc... But especially target those idiots who were running around with signs saying, "Keep your 'guvmint' hands off my Medicare.

*BUDGET MUNSTER borrowed from the Stephanie Miller Show. They have noticed that Ryan not only looks like Eddie Munster, but acted like an 8-year-old after Obama gave him the smack down last week.  They hilariously mock him daily with his "serious plan."

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Aww...Wingnuts Need a Woobie

Aww...poor little teabaggers crying that President Obama spent 45 minutes criticizing Ayn Rand fanboy Paul Ryan's budget proposal when all he actually did was describe it. This is what happens when you don't fight back for 2.5 years, once you do, your opponent doesn't recognize it. They were shell-shocked that he had the audacity to call out their shameful plan for what it is and for that, I'm grateful.

Teabagger math: Destroying Medicare and cutting the top tax rate for the wealthy to 25% will balance the budget! Ryan also wants to bring down the corporate tax rate because the 0% GE paid last year was too high! Are they freakin' serious? Who's dumb enough to think any of this makes sense? The Republicans are liars. And middle-class voters who listen to their rhetoric are idiots. They only care about the uber-wealthy and demonstrate that every single day. I'm 48 years old. Old enough to understand the dire consequences this holds for those of us under 55. We will be screwed if Medicare goes to a voucher system. I won't have the extra $12,500 out of my pocket they're estimating it will cost annually. Michael Steele was on Bill Maher's Real Time Friday night when Maher asked him what happens when the $15,000 voucher runs out which will only take 3 months if you're in assisted living. Steele's response, "We don't know." The audience let out a collective groan and boos, Ed Schultz grabbed his head and Maher's eyes bugged out. I would've posted that particular video below as well, but HBO has already taken it down. Schultz and Steele got into several heated discussions with Steele at one point actually saying, "I'm going to have to take you out back." Good idea Michael, Schultz is a former college football player. Let us know how it works out for ya!
Hey Dems, here's a golden opportunity - Medicare for all and it will be self-funded!

Cenk Uygar hosts' Joan Walsh and Ernie Istook to discuss teabagger math.
By the way, I don't care if the top 1% of income earners pay 40% of total federal income taxes. I want each and every one of them individually to pay at the same rate as us little folks. 35% out of $50,000 hurts a lot more than 35% coming out of $1,000,000. I'm really tired of that argument. I'm also tired of "they're the job creators." Really? 10 years of the Bush tax cuts and we've actually lost jobs. Creating jobs in India and China doesn't count. Hey Democrats, feel free to point that out LOUDLY. I'd also like to know how many of our wealthiest 2% are professional athletes or entertainers, clearly not job creators. Republicans really do want a third world America. Robin Hood in reverse explains it perfectly. Continued below...

I wonder how long it will take for some right wing genius to pursue a bill that will allow the government to remove The Statue of Liberty inscription," "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door." and replace it with, "Keep out you no good immigrant, nothing's free here, even the air you breathe, you are wretched and homeless. Go home." Just sayin...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Is Obama Finally Getting His Mojo Back?

I know we're going to be diving into campaign season very soon. I also know the Republicans are going to try to hold something else hostage before raising the debt ceiling in June, but this week we saw the President Obama we voted for, and have expected all along. On Thursday, a live mic recorded the President talking to Democratic friendlies about the budget negotiations in what was supposed to be an off-the-record exchange. Railing on the Republicans for trying to sneak in attacks on health care reform and other priorities as part of the budget process, Obama said he told the GOP, “You want to repeal health care? Go at it. We’ll have that debate. But you’re not going to be able to do that by nickel-and-diming me in the budget. You think we’re stupid?’” Welcome Back Prez!

And a related topic...
Wall Street Tells Boehner: Don't mess with the debt ceiling or grave consequences will follow

Friday, April 15, 2011

Republicans Are Officially On Record To Kill Medicare [UPDATED]

Talk about killing grandma! Obviously I don't have the readers Think Progress or Talking Points Memo do, but tonight for anyone who missed this, I'm just going to share their articles of today's events because it's starting to appear that Democrats can play politics too. The video below and the articles attached are a hopeful sign that after 30 years of slumber and complacency, the Democrats are waking up. Steny Hoyer and real Democrats nearly punked the teabaggers into oblivion. But, Blue Dogs as usual, stuck a stick in the spokes. All in all, this week has given me glimmers of hope. I'm not going to get my hopes up too much because Democrats have a way of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Still, it's a ray of hope. Even a couple conservative websites said the Democrats flustered the Reptilianones on the House floor today. Finally, thank you Wisconsin. Their relentless pushback to Walker's union stripping messures have ignited a movement. I'm hoping Democrats see that "we the people" aren't going down without a fight. There's way more votes within the 98% than the 2%. Maybe, just maybe they're seeing that?! Please read:

Think Progress:  Democratic Procedural Move Forces Republicans To Vote Down Their Own Crazy Budget Proposal

TPM:  How Democrats Railroaded Republicans Into Almost Passing A Budget Too Conservative For Them

Thursday, April 14, 2011

When Being a Birther Isn't Quite Ridiculous Enough...

Ben Hart, a blogger for Escape Tyranny a website which presents itself as a Social Network Forum For Conservatives, wrote something Glenn Beck/Michele Bachmann worthy. They believe they've detected a smoking gun, an alleged scar on Obama's head.
"Was it a brain operation? Has it affected his thinking? Is he really an alien from another planet, which would explain no birth certificate? We have no proof as to where he was born, to whom, where he came from, or what his national origin is. Maybe he’s one of the androids (a replicant), like in Bladerunner, not really human at all."
Funny how the fright wing can continue to disregard the proof of everything we need to know. These nine photos were posted November 1, 2008. Get over it baggers, he WON!

I'm not quite sure if this is meant to be satire because the right wing is so colossally crazy, but if this is their lame attempt at humor, I would suggest that Ben Hart go back to the drawing board. And if this is a serious observation, holy chit, what's next! By the way, yes this President occasionally hesitates/pauses mid-sentence - do to a complex thought process. He doesn't rattle out the first thought that pops in his head. The last so-called President couldn't even finish a sentence. And any mumbo-jumbo he slapped together was incoherent to non-Texans. As far as the commenters below the article go, it's sadly easy to see how any Republican can ever win with these simple minded morons. While the Republicans rob them blind, take their earned benefits away and scream that Democrats are the enemy of the Republic, they march out and vote against their own best interests.

If you dare, here it is: Escape Tyranny. In other words, Escape Reality.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Anti-Reagan, Government Can Work When Done Right

Since I've been on an Obama bashing binge of late, I will refrain today after watching the guy I voted for step up to the mic. I was impressed.  I liked what he had to say even though he was a bit short on details. What made me take notice is that for the first time in two-and-a-half years, he finally called out the Republicans for what they are. FINALLY! He even used the word "progressive" for team blue! He called the Republicans vision of America "deeply pessimistic." He continued, "The fact is, their vision is less about reducing the deficit than it is about changing the basic social compact in America. As Ronald Reagan's own budget director said, there's nothing 'serious' or 'courageous' about this plan. There's nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. There's nothing courageous about asking for sacrifice from those who can least afford it and don't have any clout on Capitol Hill. And this is not a vision of the America I know." Invoking Saint Ronnie's name within this context was brilliant in my opinion. The right still loves to wag him around like he should be mentioned with Lincoln.

"Just as we must find more savings in domestic programs, we must do the same in defense." YES! 47% of the world's spending on military is us. Our spending has doubled since 2001. He added, "We need to not only eliminate waste and improve efficiency and effectiveness, but conduct a fundamental review of America's missions, capabilities, and our role in a changing world." Is he suggesting that we shouldn't be the world's police? Stay with it Prez.

"But let me be absolutely clear: I will preserve these health care programs as a promise we make to each other in this society. I will not allow Medicare to become a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry, with a shrinking benefit to pay for rising costs. I will not tell families with children who have disabilities that they have to fend for themselves. We will reform these programs, but we will not abandon the fundamental commitment this country has kept for generations. That includes, by the way, our commitment to Social Security. While Social Security is not the cause of our deficit, it faces real long-term challenges in a country that is growing older."I'm fairly sure Faux Newz will edit this part out. Wouldn't want their elderly viewers to hear this little tidbit. Beck, O'Reilly and Hannity will be doing some fancy editing tonight emphasizing when he said he won't renew Bush era tax cuts for the wealthy.

"Worst of all, this is a vision that says even though America can't afford to invest in education or clean energy; even though we can't afford to care for seniors and poor children, we can somehow afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy. Think about it. In the last decade, the average income of the bottom 90% of all working Americans actually declined. The top 1% saw their income rise by an average of more than a quarter of a million dollars each. And that's who needs to pay less taxes? They want to give people like me a two hundred thousand dollar tax cut that's paid for by asking thirty three seniors to each pay six thousand dollars more in health costs? That's not right, and it's not going to happen as long as I'm President."

"We cannot afford one trillion dollars in tax cuts for every millionaire and billionaire in our society. We can't afford it. And I refuse to renew them again," Good, that's what the majority of Americans want. It's going to be a messy fight, but if he holds strong and frames this correctly, and fellow Democrats don't wilt, people will line up behind him and take this country forward.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yes We Can, But We Won't

I'm feeling really beat down today. I just read an article in the current Newsweek entitled "War on the Weak: How the GOP came to view the poor as parasites—and the rich as our rightful rulers." It discusses new Republican heartthrob Paul Ryan who once said of radical right winger Ayn Rand, “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.” Those very same democracy crushing beliefs have already spread throughout the Republican Party via the Tea Party and a bunch of clueless followers who hate the black guy. And you know the Democrats, they'll try to catch up.

Other articles I've read suggest that tomorrow President Obama will embrace the suggestions of the so-called bi-partisan Cat Food Commission he assembled early in his presidency, who were all conservatives, regardless of which letter was after their name. While not as draconian as Ryan's plan, still a devastating blow to the middle class with tax "relief" to those with the most. It pains me to say this, it's not just disappointment any longer; I no longer trust Obama. I feel like he's working behind the scenes to yank us to the right without making it as obvious as a Republican administration would. Did he have a conversation with Paul Ryan and tell him to come up with something so freakin' insane that the Cat Food Commission recommendations will look palatable?

Meanwhile, as it went largely unnoticed in the mainstream media, President Reach-Across-the-Aisle-and-Always-Cave agreed to the Republican demands that the budget bill would prohibit the capital from spending its own local money for reproductive health care services affecting low-income women on procedures such as abortion, etc. It could also even eliminate initiatives that help prevent the spread of AIDS. DC Mayor Vincent Gray was arrested yesterday in a protest and stopped just short of calling Obama a traitor. Change you can believe in?

This video could've been recorded yesterday. George Carlin was brilliant and timeless. Considering the current BS the "conservatives" are shoveling in their attempts to defund Planned Parenthood and all their other anti-woman legislation, this is perfect. This guy is truly missed.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Too Bad Obama Lacks the Courage to Do What's Right

Funny how Paul Ryan's draconian budget is getting heralded all over our corporate owned media as couragious and serious, but not a peep about the proposal from the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Unlike Ryan's proposal which has been scoffed at by economists, actually stating it would add to the deficit, the CPC budget potentially puts us on solid footing by 2021, with a fully balanced budget by 2014. So tell me again that we have a liberal media. Once again that lie is exposed.

Real courage involves raising taxes and explaining that we can't pay for wars without a cost attached. Real courage involves protecting the most vulnerable and asking those with much to give a fair share. Real courage is standing up to the oligarchy. This budget is actually courageous and serious. Ryan's is just another attack on those without. Be warned now, the long-term Republican plan for job creation is to eliminate minimum wage and bring back slave labor jobs at say $3 per hour. Break unions, destroy the Democratic Party, return women to brood mare status without rights, etc... Start connecting the dots people.

Too bad our cowardly Democrats have only a passing interest with such seriousness and no interst in courage. They'll disgard it as "we don't have the votes" without even discussing it in earnest, on their way to capitulate to the Republicans continuing attack on the weakest.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Don't Be Fooled, the Protests By Labor Continue

Let's see, a week and a half ago, a hundred teabaggers showed up in Washington D.C. and there was so much media there, they each had their own personal reporter. The reporters even went so far as to keep the shots tight as to not show the sparse turnout. Even duller-than-dull Harry Reid quipped, "There were tens of them there."

Meanwhile the ongoing pushback from the labor movement is not being covered by the mainstream media. How can thousands of people gather ever week, sometimes daily and not get coverage? Oh yeah, that corporate owned "liberal media." What a crock of BS.

This weekend it was Olympia, Washington that went ignored.  Read about it here. How can people be so blind to what is going on. This is our democracy folks. Citizens United was a devastating blow, but we can fight back if we unite. If you believe in it, fight for it. Unfortunately the brainwashing that has turned "we the people" against each other instead of those truly responsible has probably ruined any ability to come together.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

So Harry and Barack Walk Into a Showroom...

I wanted to share a PDF which contains a list of the Policy Riders the GOP had introduced for the 2011 budget. Greedy Old Plutocrats Policy Riders.
I dare anyone to challenge those of us on the left who have no doubt that Republicans are willing to take food stamps out of the hand of a child or a senior citizen to give more money to a millionaire. I have no way to know at this time how many of these riders Democrats buckled on, but you can be sure they did on some.

Let me offer you all a tip. If you've got your eye on a shiny new Camaro SS which lists for $38K, don't bring Harry Reid or President Obama with you. You will proudly walk out of the showroom after some intense negotiating with the keys to a shiny new car which ended up costing you $65K. In addition, instead of the 5-year drivetrain/3-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, you agree that it will be cut to 2 and 1 respectively because the salesman persuades you that the 5/3 will place too much of a burden on the service department. But you continue to negotiate! Instead of the 5.75% rate for a 4-year loan, you will be pay 9.50% because you've been convinced that what's best for the dealership will be what's best for you. You will demand a full tank of gas, but are told they'll put in enough to get you home. So you counter, demanding a half tank, they say a quarter tank and you walk away satisfied that you negotiated the best deal possible. But hey, be proud, you've got that hot new Camaro SS so a victory can be claimed!!! Time to schedule another haircut...

*GOP graphic depicting
the 'liberty killing' party, 
courtesy of my friend Tracy Knauss

Friday, April 8, 2011

Democrats Finally Say, "Enough!"

There's no more room for debate. This is not a budget issue. Republicans have been officially hijacked by the hard right teabaggers and their corporate masters. They lied to get elected and have launched into a full assault on all social programs. They especially want to pick on the poorest, weakest, sickest and oldest. Right now in their site is Planned Parenthood (next year will be Medicare) and other lesser known womens health clinics. They're willing to shut down the government in order to stop poor women and men from accessing affordable care. Evidently the folks who rely on these clinics for breast and cervical cancer screenings to STD testing and contraception are not worthy. The constant lies from the likes of Mike Pence (R-IN) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ) have just fueled the uninformed into a frenzy. For all their bravado about abortion, the Guttmacher Institute reported that nation’s abortion rate would be two-thirds higher and the rate for poor women would be twice as high without PP. So if they want less abortions, why would you close down a service that provides birth control? This is all about repealing every advance women have made over the past 40 years before the move onto all advances the middle-class has made for the past 70 years. How can anyone, especially women vote for the party with one hand in your wallet and the other hand on your uterus? I fear for women in this country if we don't fight back. Meanwhile, these old men are staying active with little blue pills while trying to force every woman who is sexually active to become an incubator, willing or not. This is just wrong. To their credit, in a joint statement that I heard on the radio, Senate Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Patty Murray (D-WA) indicated that their caucus is solid and this is a bridge they will not cross. I couldn't find the complete video that included Murray unfortunately.

Right Wing Pulls Out Magic Vote Count Again...This Time in Wisconsin

Two days after election, mysteriously "found" votes flip Wisconsin Supreme Court race. Yesterday 14,315 uncounted votes magically appeared in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election once it was determined that Democratic challenger Kathleen Kloppenburg had beaten Conservative incumbent and Scott Walker partner, David Prosser by 204 votes. Yeah, there would've been a recount and I'm sure it would've got twisted to Prosser's side, but the Republicans didn't want to take the chance on a recount from the left, so as it currently stands, Prosser has now won by 7,399 votes --- outside of the automatic recount range. Kloppenburg would have to pay for the very costly recount and investigation herself.

Does anyone actually believe the 7,500 new GOP votes attributed to 'human error' are legitimate? Isn't it funny how these things always land in the right wing win column? Let's think about past history. Bush stole the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections via Florida and Ohio, respectively, and got away with it. In 2008 President Obama won by more than 8 million votes, but the right wing screamed voter fraud and were able to get ACORN defunded and shut down.

Here's the best part. Kathy Nickolaus, the Waukesha County Clerk who is up to her eyeballs in this scandal was a staffer for...get this...David Prosser.
This latest incident is not her first brush with political shenanigans.
Check out her past oopsie moments at Huffington Post

Daily KOS is pointing out that her excuse that she "forgot to hit save" holds no water as Microsoft Access (any version) doesn't ask you to save. When you enter data into a table, it automatically updates the underlying database. If you close the database accidentally, the data you entered (or imported, in the case of Nickolaus) remains. If you stop to take a phone call from your buddy the governor (for example), your data will still automatically save. Read more at Daily KOS

Statement from state Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D):
It stretches the bounds of credibility to think that over 14,300 votes were somehow "overlooked" until two days after the election.
Based on the partisan, political history of Ms. Nickolaus and the serious concerns that have been raised, by other Waukesha County officials, about the quality of her election administration and the possibility for fraud, an independent investigation of her conduct and the county's election results is not just warranted but urgently demanded to protect the integrity of our electoral system in Wisconsin.
Will the Justice Department get involved and clean this up? The right have become so brazen with vote fraud and intimidation, they seem to think they're untouchable.
But you can't blame them, it works every time.

Don't forget how a popular governor of Alabama, Dan Siegelman was framed in a crooked trial and sent to prison by the extremely corrupt Bush administration. Valerie Plame was not their only victim. The hard right plutocracy ruining this country know no bounds. Cross them and they will ruin you. These guys are in it to win it --- country be damned.
Going to Jail for Being a Democrat: How Alabama Gov. Dan Siegelman Got Roved

UPDATE: Also, check this out: Washington Monthly. Steve Benen questions what the reaction would be from Republicans, on Fox News, etc. -- if the situation were reversed. Imagine there was a close, important race and the conservative candidate eked out a narrow win, and the very next day, a Democratic donor with a sketchy election record discovered 7,000 additional votes for the liberal. What do you suppose we'd hear from the right under those circumstances?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hero - Jan Schakowsky of Illinois

Ok, I was listening to yesterday's Stephanie Miller Show on my iPhone at work today, and her big guest was Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL). Schakowsky is one of the great liberals in government right now. I wanted to share her proposal for a new tax code. As a preface, wealthy Americans have received most of the wealth gains in the past 30 years. They have also benefited from lower tax rates, thanks to Reagan, that were unaffordable and account for most of the national debt. According to Schakowsky, "This isn’t about punishment or revenge. It’s about fairness. It’s about avoiding budget cuts that harm middle class families and those who aspire to it. We can choose to cut education, job creation and health care, or we can choose to ask those who can contribute more to do so.”
Schakowsky's proposal, the Fairness in Taxation Act, creates a new tier of tax brackets that distinguishes between the merely rich and obscenely wealthy. (The current top tax bracket makes no distinction after $373,000 income.) Here's what the tax brackets would look like under the Fairness in Taxation Act:

■$1-10 million: 45%
■$10-20 million: 46%
■$20-100 million: 47%
■$100 million to $1 billion: 48%
■$1 billion and over: 49%

The bill would also tax capital gains and dividend income as ordinary income for those taxpayers with income over $1 million. If enacted this year, the Fairness in Taxation Act would raise more than $78 billion.

Conservatives (oxymoron) are lying when they say that they can get deficits under control through budget cuts (and that they actually care). But polls also show that specific programs that they want to cut are popular with the public. Once it becomes clear that the budget cuts will trigger cuts to programs middle-class America loves, tax increases become very appealing. If Washington has the guts to get serious about raising taxes, it's apparent that higher rates on the rich -- beyond simply rolling back the Bush tax cuts -- are more way more popular than pick-pocketing middle class voters! Polls prove it to be true. Go figure! Will Democrats have the guts to do it? Not holding my breathe in liberal Massachusetts.

P.S. Obviously, I LOVE this proposal. Good work, Jan!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mike Pence, You Lie!

So...who actually believes Republicans are for cutting spending and balancing the budget, not just radical ideologues? Hmm, silence. Mike Pence (R-IN) lays out a huge part of their agenda. The shameless pandering to the extremists in the religious right comes before the reproductive health of women, especially poor women and he'd prefer to shut down the government before funding Planned Parenthood. No matter what the budget bill says, he will block it unless Planned Parenthood is defunded. The blind sheep following this group think that PP's sole purpose is abortion provision. The truth is that only about 2% of their services involve the very legal procedure.

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He also admits that the fRightwing is
"trying to score a victory for the Republican people,"

Pence is lying about Planned Parenthood, and he knows it. Not a dime of government funding goes to PP to provide abortions. The group has a separate organization, with separate staff in separate buildings, all with private funds, to provide abortion services. Federal funding pays for a broad range of women’s healthcare, from breast and cervical cancer screenings, STD testing and contraception. Last year Planned Parenthood, which provided family planning and other healthcare services to 2.5 million women, performed over a million cervical cancer screenings and more than 800,000 breast exams. Six in 10 clients say it’s their main source of healthcare.

A 2009 Guttmacher Institute report found that the nation’s abortion rate would be two-thirds higher — and the rate for poor women would be twice as high — without federally funded family planning services, most of which go to Planned Parenthood’s network. Former President Clinton, who tends to stay out of culture war discussions, made this statement.
“The assault on Planned Parenthood is unjustified. It is penny-wise and pound foolish. The law strictly and clearly prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion services. The Republicans’ elimination of funding for Planned Parenthood, will in the end cost more than it saves by ending the ability of millions of American women to receive family planning services, breast and cervical cancer screenings and preventative healthcare at cost-efficient Planned Parenthood centers. And the denial of simple birth control and family planning services may well increase both the number of unintended pregnancies and abortions in our country.”
Stay tuned to see how the Democrats cave in some way.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Being a Democrat is Like Being a Cubs Fan

Who negotiates like this? Republicans ask for $33B cut in spending and Democrats offer $34B. Then Republicans taste blood and ask for $40B and Democrats say $78B. Now Republicans want $100B and 218 republican votes before a budget can be passed. I'm waiting to see how many Democrats will switch parties to help them out! Did any of the Democrats ever buy a new car or a house? This is NOT how you negotiate. What the hell are Dems doing? Voting for Democrats is like being a Cubs fan. Seriously, as a long suffering Red Sox fan who finally saw the end of the curse in 2004 (otherwise they'd be my example). Let's think about the Cubs. They haven't won the World Series since 1908. Throughout the years, they've had many stars; Rick Santo, Ernie Banks, Roger Hornsby, Ryne Sandberg, Greg Maddux, etc... However, they have the Curse of the Goat, Steve Bartman, the black cat running past the dugout (hogwash, black cats rule), etc... Politically, we have a superstar manager in Barack Obama, solid progressive Senators like Bernie Sanders, Barbara Boxer, Sherrod Brown, Al Franken and Debbie Stabenow. Progressive Congressmen/women such as Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Jan Schakowsky, Anthony Weiner and Dennis Kucinich. Why do I always feel like Ernie Banks? He played for 19 years and never got the prize --- a World Series Ring. We had control of all three branches for two years and what happened? President Bi-Partisan. All he and our Democratic leaders did was capitulate to minority whining and crying. Pelosi failed to pass a 2011 budget late in 2010 so we're facing a government shut-down or the demise of womens health services. Why-oh-why does the party of the people cower when they have every single opportunity to do what the people want by large majorities? The Democrats as a whole are 1980's style Republicans, I begrudgedly get that. I don't know exactly when it happened (I expect it was the Reagan years), but it did. Maybe my wish that out more liberal members can make a difference is a far fetched dream. At this point I just want them to protect what we have already fought for and earned, but I'm not seeing a real fight for it. It's upsetting that our uninformed electorate isn't up in arms. Instead they're worried about who's going to win American Idol or Charlie Sheen's latest antics.

Mackinac Can Dish It Out, But Can't Take It [Updated]

You've got to love this. The Mackinac Center admits to looking for emails containing the name "Maddow" because of her critical commentary of Michigan governor/dictator Rick Snyder . No where does it say she got anything wrong, it just seems the audacity this woman had to expose these right wing dictators for what they are have their feathers ruffled.
Full article here

Here's the text directly involving Ms. Maddow:
Some of the concern expressed about our recent FOIA inquiry has had to do with our requesting emails mentioning not just Wisconsin and Michigan public-sector labor topics, but also Rachel Maddow. We asked for these emails first because Ms. Maddow had recently criticized at length Michigan’s governor and his labor-related legislation in a TV segment virally circulated on the Web, and second because FOIA requests are an inexact art, much like a Google search. You can ask for everything, and get everything, but not only is it costly to do so (public bodies can charge the fair costs of retrieving public records), it is both time-consuming and needlessly intrusive on the activities of public employees.

Hence, by including emails referring to Ms. Maddow, we were aiming to generate a more narrowly targeted set of emails that nevertheless didn’t depend closely on exact phrases that she or the letter writers might have used and that would have excluded emails relevant to our request. Nothing in our request intentionally impinged on or attempted to override the privacy exemptions built into Michigan’s FOIA law, including exemptions for personal material subject to doctor-client privilege, student privacy, social security numbers, trade secrets or material protected by other statutes. In any event, public employees are aware that their use of government resources can be constrained and monitored, just as private-sector employees know this about their use of their businesses' resources.

If you read the article, you'll love their five sections of hypotheticals. Do they think everyone is as dumb as a typical Faux Newz viewer? The answer would be yes, yes they do. All their hypotheticals have been proven. It is what they do! The band-aid was ripped off and the scab came with it. The Koch brothers and their Koch-suckers never thought their gig would get exposed. Thanks to many left leaners, lead by mainstream Maddow, their donations and deceit are up front and center. Is it enough to save us before the next election? I don't know. Ignorance and fear run rampant in this country. The very people that Americans should fear have the most money and use it to spread the lies and fears that have divided us. As I've said before, they've done a masterful job of pitting us against each other instead of allowing the public to focus on the real danger...plutocracy.

If you'd like to join the boycott of the Koch products, here's a list.

Not surprisingly, Rachel Maddow was all over this story explaining the Mackinac Center's dishonesty and the intimidation tactics they're using to silence their political opposition.