Mountain Stream Autumn wallpaper -“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.”

american landscapes, fall, autumn, trees, nature

Mountain Stream Autumn wallpaper

 

Rick Ungar’s essay at The Washington Monthly – Democrats Wrong To Play Defense On Class Warfare – is mostly a caution to Democrats and President Obama not to shy away from calling class warfare what it is, the Republican economic war against middle-class/blue-collar working class America.

Appearing on “Fox News Sunday”, GOP Budget Committee Chairman, Paul Ryan, had this to say –

Class warfare may make for good politics, but it makes for rotten economics. We don’t need a system that seeks to divide people. We don’t need a system that seeks to prey on people’s fear, envy and anxiety.

Since Ryan’s appearance – one echoed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell during his own Sunday morning talk show turn -the GOP has been using every opportunity to parrot the phrase.

In response, the Democrats have taken every chance presented to them to once again go on defense by rejecting the allegation. By so doing, they are completely forgoing the opportunity to acknowledge that there is most assuredly such a war, it’s been raging for decades, and it’s high time that people begin to focus on who is on the side of the rich and who is on the side of the middle class and the poor.

Considering that this war was launched in the mid-1970’s, when CEO’s decided that it no longer served their interest to continue paying their workers a fair wage, it’s difficult to understand how anyone could be shocked to learn that the middle class has been under attack since Jimmy Carter sat in the White House or be persuaded that, somehow, Barack Obama is responsible for its creation.

Back in the 1970’s, before the first shot was fired, the richest 1 percent of Americans earned 9 percent of the income. By 2007, that 1 percent was taking 23.5 percent of the money. The numbers are even more depressing when we add in the next 4 percent at the top of the income scale. Meanwhile, everyone else has been left to suffer stagnating household incomes.

Ryan has cojones the size of watermelons to seat there and talk about the politics of fear and envy to divide America. There would be no Republican party, no conservative movement, no right-wing hate radio, no Rupert Murdoch, no influence by right-wing sugar daddies like the Koch brothers without the politics of fear and hysteria the Right thrives on. It is not something to admire or respect, the phenomenon that conservatives have managed to use various kinds of fear – big gov’mint, ethnocentrism, fear of cultural changes, Islam, a woman’s right to have autonomy over her own body and nonexistent religious persecution – to get a sizable minority of middle-class/blue-collar to vote against their own best interests.

Not only have the forces of the wealthy, under the capable direction of four star generals like Charles and David Koch, managed to have their way with relative ease, they’ve cleverly succeeded in convincing many of their victims to join in on their side.

Exhibit ‘A’ to support that reality would be the Tea Party, a collection of middle class people financed by the Koch brothers who have locked arms with their enemy without even knowing they have done so. By sounding a false alarm about the dangers of big government, the upper class has fooled these people into believing that laying down the only defenses they’ve ever had – government and unions-is the way to solve the problems that plague them.

With successes like this in hand, it’s no wonder that Republicans believe they can sell the notion that Obama is somehow responsible for trying to start a class war that has already been going on for decades.

If you go to conservative websites you can read posts and comments b y these conservative middle-class culture warriors who have declared war on themselves. One good example of how they mangle reality to suit how they view the world: President Obama and Democrats are all socialists because they went through with loans to the auto industry started by Bush 43 and approved by Congressional Republicans. At which point the U.S. government held stock in two auto companies as collateral for those loans. Ronald Reagan had the government outright seize ownership of the savings and loans during their big collapse in the 1980s, he is still the conservative saint of everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Sarah Palin. If Obama and Democrats are socialists for proceeding with a plan already approved by Republicans, that should, with some consistency of thinking, make Regan the living embodiment of Karl Marx. One other myth that will not go away is the belief by conservatives especially self-described tea partiers, is that Obama raised their taxes. Not only has Obama not raised taxes or proposed raising taxes on the middle-class, he has cut taxes several times. Again, Saint Ronnie raised taxes four times. It was Bush who was steering the nation’s financial ship and decided not to enforce the bare-bones financial regulation we had left. These are some of the things Bush and Republicans could have done to avert the recession or made it less disastrous:

Alan Greenspan’s Federal Reserve, which lowered interest rates without increasing regulation, refused to enforce a 1994 law requiring prudent underwriting standards and turned a blind eye to abuses in the process of loan securitization.

The Office of Thrift Supervision, which let savings banks under its supervision engage in outlandishly risky practices.

The Wall Street firms that bankrolled subprime lenders and turned their high-risk loans into securities

The credit-rating agencies that blessed toxic subprime securities with Triple-A ratings.
The SEC’s failure to police those agencies.

And, of course, the subprime lenders themselves.

Somehow the recession is still Obama’s fault, or the fault of liberalism, or if you’re fond of right-wing libertarians on the net is was the combination of statism and too much regulation. By believing bogus urban myths, the kind that Glenn Beck manufactures faster than Hostess makes Twinkies, the right-wing middle-class is prolonging this recession and setting us up for another one. Which you can bet they will also wiggle out of taking responsibility. These are also the same people who buy into Social Security being a Ponzi scheme, think doing away with minimum wages will create millions of jobs, if we only started letting the kids work in coal mines again the economy would be booming, if we let move health shattering pollution into the  America’s air would have no economic problems and if we could just bring Fonzi back to give the jukebox a good wack we’d all live in paradise.

While we’re still on the subject of class warfare, urban myths and the wing-nut echo chamber, let’s kill this crap about the wealthy carrying too much of the federal tax burden – Understanding Class Warfare Hysteria

Next, you focus on the share of taxes each group pays. Few Americans have a sense of just how large a share of the pie is brought in by the most affluent. For that reason, the share of taxes paid by the rich is likewise surprising.

So put the two together, and you have results like this soundbite:

According to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, the 1 percent of households with the highest incomes pay 38 percent of federal income taxes. The top 10 percent pay 70 percent of federal income taxes. Meanwhile, 46 percent of households pay no federal income tax at all.

And the president thinks that the wealthy aren’t paying the fair share?

That’s Chris Wallace on last weekend’s Fox News Sunday, but versions of this statistic are uttered almost every day.

Here is a fact that Fox, Chris and the echo chamber leaves out – the top 11% owns about 72% of the nation’s assets. The bottom 50.2% own about 2.8%. Why should people who own less pay the upper 11%’s share of taxes. This is also part of the myth that those in the bottom half pay no taxes. They pay a regressive amount of payroll taxes. They also pay regressive sales taxes, state taxes and fees. Basic arithmetic, would you rather make more money and pay a little more in taxes or make low wages and pay no federal income tax. Fox would have everyone believe that working class America has it made with those low wages because they do not pay federal income taxes. The average American, which includes the average tea smoker, will never make it into Bill Gates or Koch brothers income territory, but should that happen they’ll start to get the bulk of their income from capital gains and pay an effective federal tax rate of 15% ( thus the Buffet Rule). As a kind of bonus, the feds will also pay you to buy a McMansion by way of tax incentives. The conservative working class is not fighting big  gov’mint or that mythical rising tide of socialism they have been paranoid about for sixty years, they are fighting for the right-wing plutocratic masters who have lowered their standard of living and made them more powerless.

As though anyone needed more evidence that Herman Cain is a racist – CAIN: Black Community Was ‘Brainwashed’ Into Voting For Obama

Herman Cain, the upstart 2012 GOP candidate, said Wednesday that the black community has been “brainwashed” into voting Democrats into office.

In an interview with CNN tonight, the former Godfather’s Pizza CEO, said that African Americans have been told not to consider conservative points of view.

“I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the nomination as a conservative,” Cain said. “So it’s just brainwashing and people not being open-minded, pure and simple.”

You know who else thought African-Americans could not think for themselves, president of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis who said, “The condition of slavery with us is, in a word, Mr. President, nothing but the form of civil government instituted for a class of people not fit to govern themselves. It is exactly what in every State exists in some form or other. It is just that kind of control which is extended in every northern State over its convicts, its lunatics, its minors, its apprentices. It is but a form of civil government for those who by their nature are not fit to govern themselves. We recognize the fact of the inferiority stamped upon that race of men by the Creator, and from the cradle to the grave, our Government, as a civil institution, marks that inferiority.” Jefferson Davis and Herman Cain are thus blessed with some secret knowledge and insight that African-Americans, other than black conservatives, do not have. Cain like many in the Antebellum South believe black Americans to be weak-minded and weak-willed. If they would just all do as Cain says they’ll see the light. Cain has some special tin-foil that makes him immune from all the liberal “brainwashing” that other black Americans do not. Cain stands for the same economic policies as every other conservative – America as a plutocracy with ever-growing income disparity, even less opportunity to move up the economic ladder and fewer educational opportunities.

This is Herman Cain's America and he plans to keep it this way

 

“There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning.” –  Warren Buffett

“In regards to the price of commodities, the rise of wages operates as simple interest does, the rise of profit operates like compound interest.

Our merchants and masters complain much of the bad effects of high wages in raising the price and lessening the sale of goods. They say nothing concerning the bad effects of high profits. They are silent with regard to the pernicious effects of their own gains. They complain only of those of other people.” – Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations

 

Meadow Sunrise wallpaper – There Are Two Americas And The Conservative One is Not Merit Based

Meadow Sunrise wallpaper

 

Former Senator John Edwards went off the rails, but he was right about their being two Americas. The bottom 50% of income earners live in a relatively capitalist and merit based economy. One in which you work more hours or work harder/smarter or maybe take a night class to upgrade your skill set, is rewarded with a little more money. The opposite is also true for that America. Screw-up or be incompetent and you are probably going to pay for that. You’re certainly not going to be rewarded. The other America, the one where John Boehner (R-OH) and Eric Cantor (R-VA) live plays by different rules. It is an America where implementing disaster is rewarded. It is an America that rewards gross incompetence. It is an America that rewards not having a proper skill set. Conservative Republican Leaders’ Spokesmen Reveal They Don’t Know Anything About Tax Policy

During a town hall meeting today, Doug Edwards, the former Director of Consumer Marketing for Google, asked President Obama to please raise his taxes. “I would like very much to have the country to continue to invest in things like Pell Grants, infrastructure, and job training programs that made it possible for me to get to where I am,” Edwards said, noting that he is unemployed by choice because he was “fortunate enough to work for a start-up down the street here that did quite well.” “It kills me to see Congress not supporting the expiration of the tax cuts that have been benefiting so many of us for so long,” he said.

The spokesmen for both House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) — Brendan Buck and Brad Dayspring, respectively — proceeded to mock the exchange on Twitter by densely insinuating that the man only wants taxes to go up because he is unemployed and wouldn’t have to pay them:

These two — either out of ignorance or because they’re being disingenuous — completely missed Edwards’ point and the point behind the “Buffett rule” that the administration has proposed. Many people, Edwards included, make their income through investments, which are taxed at a much lower rate than wages. The Bush tax cuts not only lowered income tax rates, but also the rate on capital gains, taking it all the way down to 15 percent.

When asked after the event if he supported raising the capital gains tax, Edwards replied that he did. This jives with what billionaire investor Warren Buffett has said:

The mega-rich pay income taxes at a rate of 15 percent on most of their earnings but pay practically nothing in payroll taxes. It’s a different story for the middle class: typically, they fall into the 15 percent and 25 percent income tax brackets, and then are hit with heavy payroll taxes to boot…I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone — not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 — shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain. People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off.

Remember, it was the raging socialist President Ronald Reagan who totally equalized the treatment of investment income and wage income, rejecting the argument that investors needed to pay a lower tax rate. Edwards, meanwhile, is earning enough income from his stock options in Google to donate all of the proceeds from a book he wrote to charity, while supporting three children.

But the spokesmen for the two most powerful congressman in the House managed to miss the point entirely. When it was pointed out to Dayspring that Edwards was still likely making investment income, all he could respond with was “he is welcome to pay more.”

Since conservatives used to like to compare government budgets to household budgets, let’s do that. John Boehner (R-OH) and Eric Cantor (R-VA) both voted to spend all the families money plus max out all the credit cards and then borrowed money to spend on more stuff. Now they’re apparently clueless about where the money is going to come from to pay for the financial wreckage they left for President Obama to clean up. Making the people who benefit most from a stable government and infrastructure pay more, is apparently unfair to these two hypocritical clowns. Even though many wealthy Americans think they should be taxed at a higher rate – say rates similar to those under Reagan or Clinton. Americans wonder why government is broken, it is because we have utterly incompetent spinmeisters like John Boehner (R-OH) and Eric Cantor (R-VA)  in Congress. They screwed over America for eight years during the Bush era. They’re screwing over America now. If things go their way they’ll be screwing us all for the foreseeable future.

Cantor was among the leaders of the conservative clown posse that was actually hoping and working for the U.S. to default on the debt ceiling. Cantor has a combination of qualities which are highly esteemed among conservatives – maliciousness and willful stupidity.

I like the summary in this post about President Obama’s speech  in California – Obama and Reality Versus The Republicans

At a fundraiser in San Jose, Calif., Obama said that some in the audience might be former Republicans “but are puzzled by what’s happening to that party,” and voters should back him if they believe in a “fact-based” America.

    “I mean has anybody been watching the debates lately?” Obama said. “You’ve got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change.

    “It’s true. You’ve got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don’t have healthcare. And booing a service member in Iraq because they’re gay.”

    The remarks represent some of the most direct and combative for Obama so far as he has struck out on the campaign trail in earnest following the July debt-ceiling debate and the August break.

    Obama continued his critique of Republicans, saying of the boos in the audience at recent GOP debates: “That’s not reflective of who we are.”

    “This is a choice about the fundamental direction of our country,” the president said. “2008 was an important direction. 2012 is a more important election.

Miller spreads the false impression that the two parties are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, sort of mirror images of each other. In reality, we have one centrist party, the Democrats, and one far right extremist party. The best way to advance  center-left, pragmatic solutions to our problems at this point in time is to vote Democratic next year.  The other alternatives, the far-right Republicans or  the imaginary solution of a third party, will lead to failure.

We’re back to Obama not being the reincarnation of FDR we had hoped he would be. Here’s a great idea let’s further fracture the Democratic Party with a third party that has an ice cubes chance in hell of gaining traction. Obama doesn’t have to be perfect to be seen as progress. Anyone want to go back to Bush-Cheney or to a Rick Perry or Herman Cain or Mitt Romney who would all double down on the crazy, and throw in another Antonin Scalia on the SCOTUS for the cherry on top.

COKE CEO: The US Is So Screwed-Up Now That China Is A Much Better Place To Do Business. Another multimillionaire who has never done an honest day’s work in his life, living off the corporate gravy train saying that China – a capitalist country with an authoritarian government is peaches. This guy does realize he sells carbonated sugar-water and junk food for a living. In 2010, I have no reason to think things will change much this year, than COCA-COLA CEO  John F. Brock made $19,114,318.00 yet Coca-Cola only paid $8 million in taxes. The median household income ( two wage earners) in the U.S. is around $52k. Brock made as much as 368 American households or 736 people. I doubt he did work equal to that or has the intellectual gifts of all those people combined ( I know some scientists, two mathematicians and a surgeon who make far less). I guess the subject of that article, Muhtar Kent, is Coke’s new CEO. All anyone should ever hear from Kent’s mouth is thank you world for rewarding me with far more than I will ever rightfully earn.

In case you missed it – The Crumbling Case for Cutting Spending to Stimulate the Economy

Empirical support for the view that sharp, immediate cuts in government spending would be good for the U.S. economy was never strong, and it’s getting weaker.

The Economist is on the case, highlighting two new studies showing that austerity and growth don’t mix in the short term.

 

Frank Rich has an epic rant – In Praise of Extremism, What good did bipartisanship ever do anybody?. I’m not so sure about some of the specifics, he berates Obama for even trying the Jobs Bill. He is correct about one thing. Never underestimate the power of crazy. Bush and Cheney were off the charts ideologues. They failed. What did the far Right learn. They should have failed bigger. They should have gutted all financial regulation. They should have cut taxes completely or only had taxes on people who earn minimum wage. They should have let people without insurance drop dead. They should have deported gay citizens along with the immigrant grape pickers and dishwashers. I wrote just recently that even right-wing seniors would forgive Perry for wanting to gut Social Security. As of today it seems they will not forgive him for one thing, in-state tuition for immigrants. I remember writing about the tea baggers and the rise in xenophobia on the Right two years ago. I said never underestimate the ability of the Right to gain traction on issues that are relatively incidental to the real core problems the country is having today. Thus the Al Capone of New Jersey, Chris Christie has a shot at becoming the new winger poster boy.

So who are these guys? In July, Christie attended a meeting with a “who’s who A-list of successful fundraisers,” as FOX News put it to discuss a possible presidential bid. The group reportedly included several billionaires, including its host, Home Depot co-founder and venture capitalist Kenneth Langone, who appears to be the most enthusiastic driver of the Christie boomlet.

[  ]…Another key Christie backer: FOX News CEO Roger Ailes. According to New York Magazine, Ailes begged him to run before the presidential race got under way and brokered a meeting between Christie and Rush Limbaugh.

Forget what anyone else thinks – Rupert Mudoch’s Fox News will decide who will be the Republican presidential nominee.

Summer’s Last Sail wallpaper – Conservatives Still Own Identity Politics

sailing, ocean,blue

Summer’s Last Sail wallpaper

Practicing “identity politics” is one of those pseudo-intellectual  epitaphs conservatives like to throw at non-look-aid drinking thinking Americans. It serves two purposes. One is pure projection. To be a conservative one has to pass so many litmus tests the projection serves as a preemptive attack. The other is to pretend the Right does not have lingering racist issues ( this is not to say all conservatives are racists. Racists still tend to flock to conservatism and conservatives tolerate it, just as they do their homophobia because it gets votes.) neither I or The Onion could come up with a better example of conservative identity politics than a right-wing conservative blog called Political Byline. His/her post consists almost entirely of quotes lifted from Democratic websites – Speaking of Racism: Democrats show their true colors

As you know, Herman Cain, who is a very successful businessman and also a black Conservative, won the straw poll in Florida.  As you also know, I just pointed out some serious racism by the left. Well, the democrats are not disappointing; check out some of the racist or “So damned close to being racist without sounding racist” as you can get.

All of these postings are actual blog postings by liberal blogs about Herman Cain and the night is young:

“Update: And it’s official. Pizza King Cain wins the straw poll. By a lot” — The Impolitic  — “Another day in the clown car – Update”

I have also heard Herman Cain referred to as Herman “Greasy Pizza” Cain too; which is just another way of calling him a greasy n-word. I mean, why not just say that?

Apparently, the Republicans are doing one of these stupid Straw Polls in Floridatoday. The problem is, the base hates all the candidates, which makes picking someone in the Straw Poll a bit of a challenge. Byron York speculates that Herman Cain might do better than expected because no one feels like voting for Rick Perry after he called them heartless. This makes sense to me because the most obvious to do if someone calls you out on your heartless hatred of Latinos is to vote for the black guy. ‘See? I’m not a racist who thinks minorities are biting into too much of my paycheck. I’m color blind.’

Can you feel the Cainmentum?  — Booman Tribune

Can you feel the racism?

Florida straw poll voters decided they hate everyone and voted for the only candidate who’s never held public office, Herman Cain. — Crooks and Liars

So what if Herman Cain has never held public office? Why is that a problem to Democrats? I mean, Barack Obama’s time in office was not that great. Why is this an issue? Because Herman Cain is a black Conservative. That my friends is classic Democratic Party racism.

and finally:

I’d say that Republicans couldn’t be crazy enough to nominate Herman Cain … but then again, they also nominated Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, Joe Miller, Ken Buck, and, yes, Sarah Palin.

So, why would not the Republicans be crazy to nominate Herman Cain? Because he is black and a Conservative? Racism much John Amato? Just saying…

….and the night is young. If I spot anymore racism, I will post it here.

Update: Wow… Push out a post and find more of it:

Yes, running a chain of pizza parlors is just like running a country. Just yell, and the employees will scamper around and bring those cheese suppliers to heel.

[….]

In a field that might be called Mittens and the Seven Clowns, the base definitely prefers the clowns. — The Mahablog

Out of the block quotes that blog uses to prove liberal racism, only one even mentions that Cain is black. And could someone tell me the day calling someone a greasy pizza or a clown became a racial slur. One news site and several Democratic bloggers use zero racial slurs and that amounts to proof Democrats are racists. The only person guilty of identity politics here is the wing-nut blogger. Democratic bloggers do not like Cain because he appears to be as loony as a bed bug. Cain acting like a pompous authority on the Constitution, quoted from the Declaration of Independence when supposedly quoting from the US Constitution. Cain insisted that the federal government has no role in business bankruptcies, again citing his authoritative knowledge of the Constitution – Yet  According to Article I of the Constitution, “[t]he Congress shall have power . . . [t]o establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States.” In a convoluted tirade Cain claimed he was more American and less African-American than Obama ( talk about identity politics and racism) –

Herman Cain: Obama ‘Was Raised In Kenya’ | In an interview with the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, surging GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain rejected the term “African-American” as an inappropriate “label.” Cain dismissed “African” as an accurate descriptor because “most of the ancestors that I can trace were born here in the United States Of America. […] I feel more of an affinity for America than I do for Africa.” The term, Cain implied, may be more appropriate for President Obama, who “is more of an international,” he said. “Look, he was raised in Kenya,” Cain said, “his mother was white from Kansas and her family had an influence on him, it’s true, but his dad was Kenyan.” For the record, Obama was born in Hawaii, spent four to five years in Indonesia, then returned to the United States to live with his maternal grandmother.

Imagine a white liberal saying that Cain was less American because he was the ancestor of Africans and then went on to get Cain’s actual birthplace and early history wrong. Unhinged rants like Cain’s are not just factually wrong, they display a contempt for the truth bound up with some morally reprehensible ethnocentrism. Ultimately Cain is making the same argument about Obama that conservative white racists have made – Obama is not one of us. It was another black conservative – Thomas Sowell – who called President Obama a Nazi and a Maoist. These are just two black conservatives and thus not near statistically large enough sample to condemn all black conservatives by any means. Yet it is amazing how these two use the same hyperbolic and ethnocentric labels one would expect from what has become the standard attack on a Democratic president. Apparently the infection of Obama Derangement Syndrome works just the same on black and white conservatives. Democratic bloggers – I should qualify that to the two dozen or so I read regularly – have another reason not to like Cain and once again it has nothing to do with identity politics and everything to do with Cain being your typical right-wing nutbar, Cain Touts 9-9-9 Economic Plan in WSJ Op-Ed

GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain again laid out his plan to revive the economy in a Wall Street Journal op-ed on Thursday.

Dubbed the “9-9-9 plan,” Cain’s proposal, which he has been touting for several weeks, would restructure the tax code to include a 9 percent corporate and personal flat tax and a 9 percent national sales tax. Taxes on repatriated profits would also be eliminated along with payroll taxes and the estate tax.

The inspiration, the former businessman said, came from three guiding economic principles: “Production drives the economy. Risk-taking creates growth. Units of measurement must be dependable.”

Cain included in his op-ed the Republican battle cry of reduced spending by the federal government and paying down the country’s debt. In addition, Obama’s health care reform, the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley corporate-governance law, and the Dodd-Frank bank regulation should be repealed, he said. “A dollar must be worth the same tomorrow as it is today.”

Like the vast majority of conservatives, plus a few Democrats, Cain likes to pretend that Bush and a conservative Congress did not run up the largest debts in the nation’s history while also driving the economy off the cliff. Republicans were and are still responsible for the bulk of the national debt. Cain’s 999 plan is based on nothing. It says nothing about the economic consequences for the average American household, the effects on the long-term deficit or pays any notice to how regressive such a plan would be on any American  that has an income under the national median – When Fox’s Chris Wallace said his plan did not add up, Cain would not identify one economist or one study that proved it was viable. Maybe the 999 plan is another Cain joke. He once claimed that as president he would not sign any bill over three pages long. When Jon Stewart satirized Cain’s three page bill pledge, Cain  – here comes more conservative identity politics – said that Stewart was a racist and that any journalist who took the three page pledge seriously was an “idiot”. I will give Cain an admittedly backhanded defense. He is as shallow, fanatical, loony, bullying, misguided, fact challenged racist and religiously bigoted as Cain is, he is no worse than conservative intellectuals such as Newt Gingrich, Bill Kristol, Victor Davis Hanson or conservative populist such as Sarah Palin  and Rick Perry. In that regard one of those Democratic blogs summed it up pretty well, Cain is just another clown in the clown-car.

Tales of conservative judges – Judicial Diva Gone Wild? Chief Judge Jones Tells Judge Dennis to ‘Shut Up’. Jones later apologized, but she does seem a bit iron fisted when it comes to letting any judge who does not tow her ideological line have their say or time for their questioning witnesses/lawyers.

They might hate and fear anyone to the left of Giovanni Gentile, but conservatives deeply fear some of their opponents. Elizabeth Warren is one of those who makes conservatives shake in their jack-boots – Republicans Panic, Desperately Seeking Dirt on Senator Elizabeth Warren

On Tuesday, when the Democratic-affiliated polling firm, Public Policy Polling, reported Warren narrowly leading Brown, 46 to 44 among likely voters, Brown spokesman Colin Reed put out a statement contending that “we have always known that Scott would be the underdog against whichever candidate wins the Democratic primary next September.”

But this past summer, before Warren enjoyed decent name recognition, Republicans were touting early polls showing Brown leading Warren 53-28, and declaring him a winner.

Now Republicans are putting out the word that there was something duplicitous or corrupt about Warren’s leadership of the Congressional Oversight Panel that monitored the Treasury’s Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).

Politico ran a piece this morning headlined, “Warren’s TARP Panel under Scrutiny.” It quotes a Republican congressman alleging that the panel failed to disclose its own budget, including Warren’s own salary; and the authors of the piece rely on undisclosed sources to contend that Warren was cavalier in what she paid her staff.

The same Republicans who audited every penny and listened to ( if they were paying attention) every word Warren had to say related to financial regulation want a full accounting and they want it now.

But in fact, the panel’s budget and expenditures were disclosed to Congress in several reports that are public record, and its staff salaries were capped at the level of congressional staff. Its total outlays in its more-than-two-year life, as Politico reports, were a paltry $10.5 million. All of the records of the panel, which went out of existence earlier this year, are now on file with the Senate Rules Committee and available for public inspection.

So how about before we have another one of those Darrel Issa(R-CA) ghost hunts which flushes time and tax money down the drain, Congressional members read their own damn documentation. Gosh it might even be available on iPad with cartoons in the margins to make it less tedious.

Antique World Map c1790s – If Conservatives Go Mad How Will We Be Able to Tell

Antique World Map hand-colored engraving with celestial diagrams c1790s

 

President Barack Obama goes to Ohio and uses the Brent Spence Bridge as an example of infrastructure that needs repairs, improvement or expansion. Rabid conservatives such as Andrew Malcolm at the LA Times, Michelle Malkin and the usual assortment of short attention span bloggers, who never ever use over generalizations, are never petty and are always accurate are having a laugh. Why, because there are no plans to repair bridge in question, even though it is carrying 170,000 vehicles a day instead of the 80,000 vehicles  it was designed for. No there are plans to build another bridge to help cut the traffic on the Brent Spencer. Here is the point Obama was trying to make in the larger context,

We used to have the best infrastructure in the world here in America. We’re the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad, the Interstate Highway System. We built the Hoover Dam. We built the Grand Central Station. So how can we now sit back and let China build the best railroads?  And let Europe build the best highways?  And have Singapore build a nicer airport?  At a time when we’ve got millions of unemployed construction workers out there just ready to get on the job, ready to do the work to rebuilding America.

So, Cincinnati, we are better than that. We’re smarter than that. And that’s why I sent Congress the American Jobs Act 10 days ago. This bill is not that complicated. It’s a bill that would put people back to work rebuilding America — repairing our roads, repairing our bridges, repairing our schools. It would lead to jobs for concrete workers like the ones here at Hilltop; jobs for construction workers and masons, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, architects, engineers, ironworkers — put folks back to work.

 

So would the average American understand the fuller implications of Obama’s remarks or would they simply claim they do not support what Obama was saying because it was not very specific about expanding an old bridge or building a new one. As aware as I am of the problem America has with low information Fox News watching-Limbaugh listening voters, I still think most Americans know what he meant. That there are clearly large infrastructure projects that need to be started that would get a couple million Americans jobs. Who has opposed every Democratic measure that would have created jobs? Conservatives. Even after they publicly voiced support for infrastructure spending. They have made their priorities plain, the worse they can make Obama look, the better their electoral prospects. Main St voters of both parties are in much more agreement than the taking heads of conservative leadership – Memo To GOP Candidates: Even Majority Of Republicans Support Obama’s Economic Plan

And while all of the candidates have embraced corporate tax cuts as the key to job creation, it turns out that a majority of the Republican public wants to increase corporate taxes by eliminating tax deductions:

Altogether, 70 percent of the public supports eliminating these tax loopholes and 66 percent support increasing tax rates on individuals earning at least $200,000. As Gallup notes, this is the second survey that shows “the American public broadly support Obama’s jobs plan.” These candidates may win political points by bashing Obama’s economic plans, but they’ll evidently have to adopt much of his vision to win over the public.

Another item that President Obama made clear in his Ohio speech was that he was not rising taxes, but closing some loopholes and write-offs. In wing-nutlish that translates into “job killing” tax increases, which most of the media is glad to report without correction.

The Worst Fox News-Google Debate Moment: Audience Boos a Gay Soldier

In Tampa, Fla., at the CNN-Tea Party Express debate, the audience cheered the idea of letting an uninsured 30-year-old man die (video) without care, greeting the idea with applause and shouts of “Yeah!”

And last night, at the Fox News-Google debate in Orlando, Fla., some audience-members booed a recently-out gay soldier stationed in Iraq who submitted a question through Google’s YouTube video-sharing site. His offense? Asking the candidates if they would circumvent the progress made for gays and lesbians in the military.

To their credit GOPProud has asked that Rick Santorum apologize for saying “Any type of sexual activity has no place in the military,”  Little Ricky and the knuckle draggers who applauded him think way too much about gay sex. That is what they see in the repeal of DADT, military personnel having orgies in the streets. The same rules that govern the good conduct of military personnel still apply. These hateful homophobes need to get their weird fantasies under control. And GOPP’s request still does not excuse the entire conservative field of candidates from standing there and letting Rick and the crowd get away with their cruel and crude insults without a word of objection.

GOP Ups Ante Big Time In Government Shutdown Fight

We should know tonight whether Congress is in genuinely the throes of another government shutdown fight, or whether Democrats and Republicans will figure out a way to avoid their impulses.

Instead of cutting a deal with Democrats to keep the government funded, and re-up FEMA’s disaster aid fund, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is trying to build support by dangling carrots before reluctant Republicans and whacking Democrats with sticks.

[  ]…According to a senior GOP aide, Republican leaders want to amend the bill by cutting about $100 million from the loan guarantee program that extended funds to Solyndra.

One-hundred million dollars is chump change compared to the $1.043 trillion bill they’re debating. But this particular cut allows Republicans to crow ever louder about Solyndra, and, as an ancillary benefit, attack any Democrat who votes against the CR as voting to protect the Solyndra slush fund (or whatever they’ll call it).

Half a billion in loan guarantees is not chump change. Though if you take the right-wing conservative special inflated shrill microscopic picture of this loan guarantee, sure it looks like cronyism gone wild. OK, if those are the rules – we have to let wingers make the rules, otherwise they’ll start crying  – Speaker Boehner Votes with Big Oil After Taking $437k in Industry Cash

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) voted against a House measure yesterday that would have cut subsidies for the largest oil companies, which would have saved taxpayers an estimated $53 million. The vote came as part of the “continuing resolution” debate aimed at averting a government shutdown as Congress and the White House negotiate the federal budget.

Speaker Boehner drew immediate criticism for his vote from two public interest organizations, Public Campaign Action Fund and the League of Conservation Voters, who noted that Boehner and his leadership PAC have received at least $437,105 in campaign cash from oil and gas industry employees and political action committees during his time in Congress, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

So we’re all clear on the rules – a green energy project goes belly up and its a big deal. Pay offs from the fossil fuels industry in which they be the hand and John Boehner be the puppet is pure as the driven snow during the 1700s.

Rush Limbaugh On Gary Johnson Joke: ‘Guess I’ve Become Show Prep For The GOP Debates’
Gary Johnson

Former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson brought down the house at Thursday night’s Fox News/ Google debate when he joked about how his “next-door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.”

The joke killed among the GOP faithful. But was Johnson the first to use it?

Just today, talk radio host Rush Limbaugh delivered a similar joke on air.

“My dogs have created more shovel-ready work than Obama has just this week alone,” Limbaugh said. “The new puppy. Honest to God. More shovel-ready work for me this week than Obama has created all two and a half years.”

Lucky for Limbaugh this is not 1692 or he might be getting toasted about now for lying and swearing to God about the honesty of that lie. Since he has made millions off the rubes for being a serial liar there is reason for Limbaugh, or conservatives who worship at the Temple of Stupidity, to change. They’re still lying sacks who cannot win a debate based on facts. The stimulus created and saved a combination of around  million jobs – Can’t Add It Up: Fox Still Misleading On Economy, Debt, Stimulus and if the stimulus was such a failure why have conservatives tripped over their egos to get to a microphone to take credit for this ‘failed’ stimulus – REPORT: After Voting To Kill Recovery, 110 GOP Lawmakers Tout Its Success, Ask For More Money. Limbaugh and Johnson have at least one more thing in common, they think turning a lie into a joke is funny. That says all America needs to know what their level of integrity.

Dreamy Autumn wallpaper – Conservatives Declare War on English and Logic

fall, leaves, colors, landscape

Dreamy Autumn wallpaper

 

Multiple choice: Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Gov. Rick Perry(R-TX) are two of the dumbest people alive or they are a real life Orwellian nightmare or just hate America’s seniors – Rep. Ryan: Rick Perry is right on Social Security

Social Security fits the technical definition of a Ponzi scheme, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told conservative Laura Ingraham on her radio show.

“It’s not a criminal enterprise, but it’s a pay-as-you-go system, where earlier investors — or say, taxpayers — get a positive rate of return, and the most recent investors — or taxpayers — get a negative rate of return,” he said. “That is how those schemes work.”

Perry’s description of the Social Security as a “Ponzi sceheme” has been attacked by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Perry’s leading challenger for the GOP presidential nomination. Romney criticized Perry for scaring seniors and wanting to abolish the program, warning that the Republican nominee needs to work to reform the program.

[  ]…The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee pushed back against Ryan’s comments.

“Ryan’s belief that Social Security works like a Ponzi scheme proves — once and for all — that House Republicans have really declared a war on seniors,” DCCC spokesman Jesse Ferguson said in a statement. “A Ponzi scheme is Bernie Madoff ripping off Americans — not Social Security benefits that seniors earned and depend on during retirement.

 

Ryan may have well said that yes food could be described as dirt as they are both physical substances. There are many reasons that conservatives cannot have an honest debate, one of them is their Orwellian attack on language and meaning. Why not say life insurance is a scheme. You pay into it and when you die you actually collect nothing. The pay out to your beneficiary may be more than you paid into it – a Marxist ponzi scheme for sure. Trading stocks seems to have become a scheme. The value of stocks, supposedly determined by the value of the company, can suddenly plummet in price based on speculation and rumors.  Words either have meaning or they serve as right-wing propaganda. Let’s not discuss or debate anything because we can all use the same words and mean two different things – conservatives have declared war on the American English language. Is that where we are, everyone gets to create their own reality. As fanatical as Ryan, Perry and the rest sound, the comments at the link do not bode well for the concept of an informed citizenry making wise decisions. There is the often repeated and tedious claim that the government should not run any programs that provide a social safety net because everyone should look out for themselves. I’m pro maximum self-sufficiency. Though unlike that writer and others who think in such simplistic terms I have enough humility to realize that I am not in utter and complete control of my life. I live in a complex democratic society with a complex free market. I do not control all the buttons and gears anymore than the vast majority of Americans. Strangers I will never meet in boardrooms across America, Europe and Asian have a tremendous amount of control over every American’s financial future. When they screw up and they do regularly, all of my and millions of regular working class America’s financial plans go down the tubes. In the recession that started in 2007 millions of Americans with private retirement plans and pensions lost millions in value, not because they were lazy Marxists, but because the people who we trusted to run the economy were greedy, stupid and irresponsible. Social Security is insurance against the craziness and greed. If worse comes to worse you’ll at least be able to have shelter and food. In fact Social Security grew out of the Great Depression. This is a Ponzi scheme from a breaking story at the WSJ, U.S. Alleges Poker Site Stacked Deck

On Tuesday, the U.S. Justice Department in a civil suit accused Messrs. Lederer, Ferguson and Furst, and another director of the company behind the Full Tilt Poker website, of defrauding thousands of online poker players out of more than $300 million that is still owed to them. The government said that, in total, the 23 owners of the site had taken out $444 million in distributions over the years.

The Justice Department’s civil suit against Full Tilt alleges that in 2010, Full Tilt began having trouble accepting new bets from players, thanks to U.S. efforts to crack down on payment-processing services for online gambling. But the U.S. says that Full Tilt’s owners kept paying themselves millions of dollars anyway, fraudulently depleting the player funds on deposit with the company.

“Full Tilt was not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement Tuesday. The U.S. government views online poker operations, at least those that cross state lines, as illegal.

 

Full Tilt was a deliberate fraud. Money was taken in with no intention of paying back people who were owed money. It was supervised by private entities not the federal government. Full Tilt lured people into playing with promises of payoffs. During one of the debates among GOP presidential candidates it was a contest to see who was more like Reagan. When it comes to the social safety net Reagan was a flaming liberal compared to this group of conservatives wackos – By today’s Tea Party standards, the Republican icon would have been a Leninist-Marxist-socialist America hater.

2. Reagan Shored Up Social Security

Last Rick Perry reprised his attack on Social Security, calling the program that has kept millions of seniors out of poverty a “monstrous lie.” But if Perry is going to keep insisting that Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, that would make Ronald Reagan its Bernie Madoff.

After boasting of his plans to privatize Social Security so that “those who can make better provisions for themselves” be allowed to do so, Reagan bailed out the program to the tune of $165 billion. In fact, Republicans can thank Reagan that they even have a Social Security to rail against.

The  Reagan-O’Neill Social Security deal was not the best route to take in the long run and it did raise payroll taxes, but it did save Soc. Sec. for the immediate future at the time. The Right wants to have it both ways as usual – to be the party of Reagan yet go full tilt destroying  income security for seniors.

The Four Stooges write a letter – McConnell, Boehner, Kyl, and Cantor’s Letter to the Fed

But an official letter from members of the House and Senate to the Fed is more official, and more threatening to the Fed’s independence than a speech from an individual member of Congress. Robert Reich explains the objections:

The Republican’s Latest Ploy to Keep the Economy Lousy through Election Day, by Robert Reich: …To say it’s unusual for a political party to try to influence the Fed is an understatement.

When I was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton Administration, it was considered a serious breach of etiquette — not to say potentially economically disastrous — even to comment publicly about the Fed. Everyone understood how important it is to shield the nation’s central bank from politics.

If global investors suspect the Fed is responding to political pressure of any kind, investors will lose trust in the nation’s monetary policies. Even if the pressure is to tighten the money supply and keep interest rates high, it’s still politics. And once politics intrudes, lenders of all stripes worry that it will continue to intrude in all sorts of ways. The inevitable result: Lenders charge more for lending us money.

The letter puts Bernanke and his colleagues in a huge bind. If they decide against another round of so-called “quantitative easing” to lower long-term rates and boost the economy, they may look like they’re caving to congressional Republicans. If they decide to go ahead notwithstanding, they’re bucking the Republicans and siding with Democrats. Either way, they’re open to the charge they’re playing politics.

Congressional Republicans evidently don’t care. They want Obama out, whatever the cost. Besides, they’ve never met a government institution they don’t mind trashing.

 

Those of us who survived the Bush 43 er are all too familiar with the scorched earth mentality of the conservative movement. Trashing the economy is fair game in the conservative playbook because it is just politics. Blue collar conservatives don’t seem to mind because they think they’ll be miraculously spared when the wildfire spreads. They have this bewildering and sick tendency to enjoy self flagellation anyway. If the economy does grind down another notch that puts them a little closer to starting the country all over again with a clean slate, where they can have that pure perfect free market where nutt’n ever goes wrong. Instead of or rather in addition to fantasy-land Constitutional originalism, they’re pushing and  hope’n for some economic originalism. And if they have to take down millions of American families to accomplish that, well it has thus been divined. Stan Collender’s conclusion on the Four Stooge’s letter,

Today’s letter is far worse than anything that happened last November.  This warning is directly from the Republican congressional leadership instead of just outside economists and strategists, and the letter is almost sinister and ominous in its tone.  The treat that terrible things will come to those who help the economy when the GOP is not in charge of the White House sounds very real.

My question: If Rick Perry — one of the wanna-be GOP candidates for president — says that Bernanke’s actions to date have been treasonous, what do you call today’s Republican demand that the federal agency with the legal responsibility and the potential power to help GDP grow and unemployment to fall not do anything to help the American economy?

BS is the mildest term I can think of for this situation.

 

Many Republicans are positive they love the USA. It is a twisted love. It is the love a parent shouts as social services take away the child that has been beaten into a coma by the same parents. It is the kind of love only rabid nationalists have for their country. History has shown repeatedly that never turns out well.

Obama Might Be Getting the Message – It Is Class Warfare and American Workers Are Losing

Obama Proposes Millionaire ‘Buffett Tax’ and Sets the Stage for a New Government Showdown

The party doing most of the pulling, not surprisingly, is the Republicans, with House Speaker John Boehner bluntly laying down a limit on the committee’s mandate: no new taxes. That, while the Democrats, in the form of Nancy Pelosi and the president, have gone to pains to emphasize that every option, including raised revenues, should remain on the table. Unwilling to let Boehner dictate the terms of the game, President Obama has decided to call his bluff. Late yesterday, the White House announced that the president plans to unveil this Tuesday a $2 trillion deficit-reduction plan — a fair bit more than the $1.5 trillion the super committee has been tasked with slashing — that includes a tax on the country’s 500,000-or-so millionaires, and which will be dubbed the “Buffett Tax.”

One of the continuing narratives in criticisms of president Obama from left of center is his unwillingness to draw a line in the sand. Since the 2010 mi-terms Obama has played to the center-right hoping to get moderate conservatives and independents at the expense of the Democratic base. According to polls ( which I’ll get to more later) that ain’t work’n out too well. That Obama is getting the messaging right with a “Jobs” bill and a millionaires tax might mean he and his staff are starting to get it. Moderate conservatives are an endangered species who have been out maneuvered by the tea smokers who equate moderation and compromise with Maoism. Independents have largely fallen for the we must cut spending fairy tale. A tale constantly reinforced by the media who loves to cats political stories in simplistic terms. Shades of gray not being good for ad revenue. Even if Obama ends up losing – which is a better than even bet – he can justly claim he tried to create jobs, rise revenue and cut deficits, but as usual conservative put movement politics before country. Just to break up the tedium it would be nice to guess what the conservative dipstick response to Obama’s proposal has been. Unfortunately it is the same warmed over voodoo economics that has led us to the Pottersville economy –

Speaking about the president’s proposal on Fox News Sunday:

It punishes job creation and those people who create jobs. Class warfare may make for really good politics but it makes for rotten economics.

But what Representative Ryan(R-WI) fails to mention — as it would clunkify his so-nice talking point there — is that most of the wealthiest Americans’ money is not tied up in the “real” economy, where it can create more jobs, as he claims, rather it is parked on Wall Street, in hedge funds, stocks, bonds, any number of exotic financial products. As such, it is only taxed at the 15 percent capital gains rate, while most middle and upper middle class Americans find themselves paying anywhere from 25 to 35 percent marginal income tax. This is why Warren Buffett calls Representative Ryan and his colleagues the “billionaire-friendly Congress” — and why Obama plastered the Sage of Omaha’s name on his new initiative. In reality, the money of the megawealthy feeds on itself. These trillions of dollars circulate between investment accounts, banks, and traders earning dividends and racking up returns as the prices of stocks and bonds shift, but it rarely ends up in a company’s coffers, where it could actually be used to hire new workers.

If tax cuts alone created jobs where are they. The proposed medicare cuts will not include raising the eligibility age and the reduction in revenue might be recaptured down the road – details are still stretchy. Still monkeying around with Medicare may make the conservative/libertarian let them die crowd cheer, but it no way to sway Independents – Medicare Cuts: Not the Way to Voters’ Hearts

But dig a little deeper, and you find that the deficit is a surrogate issue for the real concern that the economy is going down the drain and government can’t seem to fix it. Do you really think, if the debt-to-GDP ratio in 2021 looks better but the jobs and wages story is still dismal, that voters will be grateful?

Obama has been talking relentlessly about deficit reduction for two years now, and his popularity keeps sinking. In the most recent New York Times-CBS poll, 59 percent of independents now report that they disapprove of the President, his worst showing among independents ever. Banging away at the deficit will not help.

The Democratic base is very upset at his tempering with Medicare. He hopes to reassure the base with a call for higher taxes on the wealthy. The White House has branded this idea “The Buffett Rule,” after billionaire Warren Buffett, who contends that people like him should be paying higher taxes.

Republicans have termed this call “class warfare,” and have vowed to block it.

The problem with Obama’s approach is that raising taxes on the rich but not doing enough on the jobs front and mixing the message by cutting Medicare does not add up to a politically effective politics of class. It alienates people who don’t like higher taxes on anyone–but without rallying people who are waiting for government to do something big and positive.

There is a war. It is not even a simple war of the wealthy versus the bottom 90%. It is Republicans pandering to the top 10% purely for reasons of twisted ideology. Conservatives honestly believe the wealthiest Americans do all the work, create all the jobs and are drivers of demand. It’s usually called supply-side economics, but that kind of system is also called monarchism or feudalism – thou shall not take taxes from thy lords and ladies so as to fix bridges and build schools for the serfs. It is a warfare of classes that American workers are losing. The irony that fake populists such as Sarah Palin, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann stand for working class real America is so blatant it is as though a stretch from the Jon Stewart Show is being played out in real life. And when they do not have the numbers, the experts or the facts to back them up they use super secret info only available to the Conservative Circle Jerk Club – Herman Cain Claims He Doesn’t Want to Compromise the Confidentiality of His Economic Advisers

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain appeared on Fox News Sunday again this weekend and he’s still out there touting his ridiculous 999 plan as some magical cure for our economy, when it’s pretty much more of the same that we’ve been hearing from most of these Republicans, which is to lower taxes on the rich at the expense of everyone else and privatize Social Security.

When Chris Wallace pointed out to Cain that they took a look at his plan and his numbers didn’t quite add up and even though Cain claimed his plan was researched by leading economists, they couldn’t find any of their names.

Cain believes in lots of neat stuff and the rest of us can too if we only send five old pizza crusts and $2.00 to P.O. Box Crazy as a Loon for the decoder ring.

Mitch McConnell Doesn’t Have ‘Any Particular Reaction’ To Tea Party Audience Cheering For Death. If people want to cheer for an uninsured person to die isn’t that the kind of enlightened society our Founders had in mind. Letting people drop dead because they do not have insurance actually saves money. As everyone will remember having that Coliseum with all the tigers and gladiators was a rather expensive way to rid society of the leeches. In order for conservatives to care about your well-being you have to go back in time and become a zygote.

Solyndra Solar is Bump in the Road

That the federal government wastes money isn’t news. Expenditures from the Iraq War have been estimated at $3 trillion or more by the Washington Post. It bears repeating that the Iraq War wasn’t even necessary to begin with, and it has cost many lives. Politicians who are attacking the Solyndra federal loan as an indication that solar energy is not worth subsidizing, are wrong, and are simply trying to make partisan hay from a single mistake. Some of them seem to have very conveniently forgotten that Big Oil, Big Coal and Big Agriculture all receive federal subsidies amounting to a great deal of money, year after year.

The oil industry receives about four billion dollars a year in tax breaks from the U.S. government. Robert Kennedy Jr. said in an interview that oil and coal each receive about one trillion dollars a year in subsidies both directly and indirectly. Also, corn farming in the United States received $77 billion in subsidies from 1995-2010. These are just several examples of industries receiving support from the federal government.

Solyndra Solar may have done something unethical. How is that different from the thousands of lobbyists in Washington getting special legislation. Or different from ALEC buying legislation from Republicans. American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) Exposed

Founded in 1973 by Paul Weyrich and other conservative activists frustrated by recent electoral setbacks, ALEC is a critical arm of the right-wing network of policy shops that, with infusions of corporate cash, has evolved to shape American politics.

Tower Bridge London wallpaper – Ultimately Conservatives Are What Is Wrong With The Economy

Tower Bridge London wallpaper

 

These almost daily polls of who is up and who is down over a year away from the next election is like getting Christmas catalogs in July. The media and the tea smokers love the horse race aspect. In the process implementing public policy becomes almost a second thought. With a right-wing conservative majority in the House and the tacit requirement for a super majority in the Senate almost nothing will get done. When conservatives hold the economy hostage to get less in spending cuts than budget bills they voted for, which increased the deficit, holding emergency disaster relief for hurricane damage hostage  is just another day at the office. Though reading this one hopes the White House is paying attention – Support for Obama Slips; Unease on 2012 Candidates

The president’s effort to seize the initiative on the economy was well received by the public, and clear majorities support crucial pieces of his new job-creation program. But despite Mr. Obama’s campaign to sell the plan to Congress and voters, more than half of those questioned said they feared the economy was already in or was headed for a double-dip recession, and nearly three-quarters of Americans think the country is on the wrong track.

David Sirota is a progressive who writes some good columns. he is also one of those progressives for whom President Obama can do nothing right. He wrote this this four weeks ago – Obama and his party cling to the familiar narrative that their hands are tied. They’re wrong

According to the Washington Post, the president’s advisors say the only “responsible” thing for the president to do is to “explore policies that have a chance of passage, rather than making a political statement.” Translated into plain English from Washington-ese, this is the White House stating that the president will only consider job-related legislation that congressional Republicans already support, and that the president will not push a proposal that the GOP right now opposes. Hey, the administration is saying, the president is binded by the political reality of today’s GOP intransigence — and there’s nothing he can do about that, other than work within that reality’s confines.

Except, of course, there is something he can do. He can stop pretending to be an innocent bystander, and instead acknowledge what he really is — an active participant, and likely the single most powerful one, in the political process. In Washington-ese, he can reject the notion that having “a chance of passage” is the opposite of “making a political statement” — and realize that the two are complementary concepts. In short, like other legislatively successful presidents, he can use “political statements” as a means of changing the political reality, thus giving other legislative alternatives “a chance of passage.”

Let’s acknowledge that David is not the only liberal/Democrat/progressive that thinks this way. Now here we are four weeks later and Obama has proposed a jobs bill that would create almost two million jobs ( I don’t like the payroll tax cut, but we’ll leave that for now). President Obama, almost acting per David’s recipe went around making speeches selling the plan to the public. We’re nowhere near close to getting that jobs bill. Obama has made a political statement and a real bread and butter statement on jobs. Republicans are opposed. The public sees all the criticism by the far Right and skepticism by some Democrats. Obama did the right thing in proposing the Jobs Bill, but is treading water. The problem is not Obama, the problem is Republicans who are against anything and everything Obama proposes. Sirota and other well-meaning progressives can talk that the power of positive thinking all day, but votes are votes. In the Senate Republicans don’t even have the votes yet they can sabotage ant bill or presidential nomination simply by threat of the filibuster. All the public sees in the hail of who said what and who did something is Washington is a crazy place. The one thing Obama and Democrats have going for them is that most of the public can see conservatives have no answers and seem nuttier than ever,

The president’s support has fallen to its lowest levels across parts of the diverse coalition of voters who elected him, from women to suburbanites to college graduates. And a persistent effort over the past year to reclaim his appeal to independent voters has shown few signs of bearing fruit, with 59 percent of this critical electoral group voicing their disapproval.

While Mr. Obama has not yet succeeded in winning over independent voters, who comprise the most influential piece of the electorate, neither have Republicans. The field is largely unknown to independents, and few have a favorable opinion of any of the candidates.

 

As of today the two leading Republicans for the nomination are Romney and Perry. No one else has a chance. Even most of the winger blogs have dropped Bachmann. The rest of the field never had a chance. What ideas do conservatives have for creating jobs – cutting corporate taxes and doing away with the minimum wage. This is part of the craziness the public sees. Taxes are low, many of the richest corporations are paying no taxes. So if tax cuts are the answer to a teetering economy, where are the jobs. No one can really live off the federal minimum wage so the only people who want to see it lower are the usual out of touch elitist on the far far Right. Recently the Right has taken to blaming our economic woes – the woes they created – on too much regulation. Republican Leader John Boehner(R-OH) who thinks honor is just disposable waste, tells a pants on fire lie to make his case

When we read through all of the potential regulations, it quickly became apparent that at least a third were not relevant to Boehner’s argument in the speech.

More Boehner’s myopic view of regulation here. If you’re part of a family or have a family of your own and you all agree on new household rules, do those rules always necessarily involve an increase in costs? Of course not. More often than not your new rule is meant to save money. corporations have never been the bastions of smart thinking that conservatives would have us all believe. Most Americans work for companies that frequently make new bad regulations, work rules, new procedures that end up costing money where they were supposed to save money. Anyone reading this who has worked for even a medium-sized company knows this to be true. Government regulations are generally not created out of thin air. That is why government agencies such as the Congressional Budget Office do studies of what new regulations and legislation will cost. Some regulations save the government money and some even save consumers money. Several of the rules Boehner included in his “cost” were actually benefits to average Americans. They have lied to us about wars, taxes, financial regulation and civil liberties; what are a few more lies about regulations being the secret boogieman causing unemployment. Obama is not FDR, but people seem to have lost sight of two things. He cannot pass any bills because of Republican majorities in one house and Republican politics of destruction in the other. If he took all the progressive bloggers and pundits ideas down, condensed them into a New Deal 2.0 tomorrow, it would sink faster than than a lead anchor. Maybe he should do that to draw a political line in the sand as many liberals would like. A line he could point to and say we tried our best to create jobs and Republicans stopped us. Anyway we look at it, at the end of the day, conservative obstructionism is the problem behind anemic economic growth. When Obama had a Democratic majority some people thought he was going to be the new FDR.

Extended Unemployment Benefits Not Turning Jobless Into Slackers: Study

Extended unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless are not a major cause of the high U.S. unemployment rate, according to a new study that comes as lawmakers debate whether to keep extended benefits beyond their slated January expiration.

Many conservatives have argued that extended unemployment benefits encourage the jobless to sit on the couch instead of looking for work. Reauthorizing the benefits through next year would cost roughly $50 billion.

“This economy will not recover if we’re going to continue to borrow money, put the debt on the heads of our grandchildren, and think that spending money solves anything,” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said during a Thursday speech on the House floor. “We’ve got to get this country back to work and get those people out of the slacker rolls and onto the employed rolls.”

Conservative economists have said extended benefits could have increased the unemployment rate by as much as 2.7 percentage points, but Jesse Rothstein of the University of California, Berkeley found otherwise. According to his analysis (PDF), extended benefits “raised the unemployment rate by only about 0.2–0.6 percentage points, much less than is implied by previous analyses.”

And Rothstein says more than half of that increase could be caused by benefits recipients searching for jobs — thereby remaining part of the labor force — instead of just giving up on their search. (Benefits recipients must look for work to qualify.)

“The evidence here thus supports the view that optimal [unemployment insurance] program design would provide for generous extensions of benefit durations in deep recessions that last until the labor market is strong enough to give displaced workers a realistic chance of finding new employment before their benefits expire,” Rothstein concluded in the report.

 

The requirements to collect unemployment insurance vary a little from state to state, but they all make people look for work. Everyone has to keep a log of contact information about what jobs they applied for. A real go getter could apply for four jobs by noon and go home to spend the rest of the day on the sofa but that is generally not the case. Than there are the benefits themselves. They pay a fraction of what you were earning – the national average is around 40% of the wages at your last job or $295 a week. There is some disagreement over the actual dollar multiplier effect of unemployment insurance on the economy, but no one except the far Right “think” tanks believe there is no multiplier effect. Another way of saying unemployment insurance does not disappear down a black hole, people buy groceries, toothpaste and pay their rent.