Classic Clock Face wallpaper – Flippity Floppity, Mitt Romney’s Contempt For Working Americans

Classic Clock Face wallpaper

Romney Budget Proposals Would Require Massive Cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Other Programs

For the most part, Governor Romney has not outlined cuts in specific programs. But if policymakers exempted Social Security from the cuts, as Romney has suggested, and cut Medicare, Medicaid, and all other entitlement and discretionary programs by the same percentage — to meet Romney’s spending cap, defense spending target, and balanced budget requirement — then non-defense programs other than Social Security would have to be cut 29 percent in 2016 and 59 percent in 2022 (see Figure 1). Without the balanced budget requirement, the cuts would be smaller but still massive, reaching 40 percent in 2022.

The cuts that would be required under the Romney budget proposals in programs such as veterans’ disability compensation, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for poor elderly and disabled individuals, SNAP (formerly food stamps), and child nutrition programs would move millions of households below the poverty line or drive them deeper into poverty. The cuts in Medicare and Medicaid would make health insurance unaffordable (or unavailable) to tens of millions of people.

Imagine Medicare cuts alone. You or someone in your family having to pay as much as 29% to 59% more out-of-pocket or going without some medical care. Romney has said once that he would not cut Social Security benefits, but cuts in medicare are de facto cuts in Social Security because most Americans would use those funds to fill in the gaps left by lack of Medicare coverage. Romney and conservative Republicans who hate the safety net would thus bring back The Grapes of Wrath era without the dust bowl.

It can be a good thing for a politician to change their mind. They get new formation, new data and they have a sudden realization about old information. Mitt Romney seems to be just a an old-fashioned pandering flip-flopper. Very good catch here about Mittens 180 degree turn on Keynesian stimulus spending, Romney Campaign Attacks Stimulus Mitt Once Supported

Tuesday’s Politico headline shouting “Mitt Romney camp to attack stimulus” may not be surprising, but it is more than a little ironic. After all, the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act worked; most economists – including the nonpartisan CBO and some of John McCain’s own 2008 advisers – believe President Obama saved the American free-enterprise system from the abyss.

[  ]….As Salon recounted in “The Stimulus Plan Romney Forgot,” Governor Romney hoped to improve the Bay State’s dismal 47th ranking for job creation:

[T]he governor went big. In February 2005, Romney unveiled a sweeping $600 million stimulus package to kick-start the economy and create 20,000 jobs over five years…Most controversial: Romney wanted to spend $37 million to create new jobs by offering employers $30,000 for each new person they hired.

Mittens and his supporters have managed to create a pretend world in which RomneyCare, the near clone of Obamacare never happened. Which impresses me to no end. These are people who have created a make-believe world in which President Obama is some kind of Super Manchurian candidate that was secretly smuggled in from Kenya – to govern very much like a Republican-lite candidate. That is some pretty potent psychedelic drugs in the conservative punch bowl. You get to pretend things that happened did not and things that did not happen, did happen. For those who yearn to live in a nightmarish fairy tale, getting wasted on the conservative bong is just the ticket. Though as impressive as those chapters are in the conservative fairy tale, this is some powdered sugar on top,

A month before the passage of final $787 billion stimulus program, Romney in January 2009 told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he backed quick action by the incoming Obama White House:

BLITZER: He’s talking about a $750 billion economic stimulus package. He wants it to be passed as soon as possible. It’s unclear if whether it can be passed before he’s inaugurated on January 20th. What do you think about this proposal?

ROMNEY: Well, I frankly wish that the last Congress would have dealt with the stimulus issue and that the president could assign that before leaving office. I think there is need for economic stimulus. Americans have lost about $11 trillion in net worth. That translates into about $400 billion a year less spending that they’ll be doing, and that’s net of additional government programs like Medicaid and unemployment insurance. And government can help make that up in a very difficult time. And that’s one of the reasons why I think a stimulus program is needed.

I’d move quickly. These are unusual times. But it has to be something which relieves pressure on middle-income families. I think a tax cut is necessary for them as well as for businesses that are growing. We’ll be investing in infrastructure and in energy technologies. But let’s not make this a Christmas tree of all of the favors for various politicians who have helped out the Obama campaign, giving them special projects.

That would be wrong. You’ll see Republicans fight that tooth and nail if that happens. Let’s do what’s right for the economy, and let’s not do what’s a political expedient move.

CNN obviously has that video. The Obama campaign might want to look into using Mitt’s shift from Keynesian to austerity peacock.

Take one sleaze bag who has spent most of his adult life selling the USA the political equivalent of get-rich schemes and herbs that will cure cancer, i.e. Bill O’Reilly. Mix with a Breitbart trained serial liar – one committed to spreading propaganda in the greater cause of the conservative movement Lila Rose, and you get the kind of disinformation campaign of which despots around the world use as commonly as some people use a spoon. They have no real conscience, having a set of ethics would just get in the way. The Movement is all. O’Reilly And Lila Rose Team Up To Spread More Lies About Planned Parenthood

Discredited anti-choice activist Lila Rose went on The O’Reilly Factor to push her latest hoax video attacking Planned Parenthood. Rose and host Bill O’Reilly want people to think that, in the words of Rose’s group, Planned Parenthood is complicit in “widespread sex-selection by means of abortion.” In fact, Planned Parenthood has stated that it “finds the concept of sex selection deeply unsettling” and the organization “does not offer sex determination services; our ultrasound services are limited to medical purposes.”

Furthermore, Huffington Post reported that Planned Parenthood “condemns seeking abortions on the basis of gender, but its policy is to provide ‘high quality, confidential, nonjudgmental care to all who come into’ its health centers.”

O’Reilly and Rose mentioned none of this. Instead, they aired footage from Rose’s hoax video of a person walking into a Planned Parenthood office and pretending to be a patient. O’Reilly and Rose pretended that the actions of the employee were representative of the organization. O’Reilly even asked “Are we now China in this country? If Planned Parenthood is advising woman to abort because of gender choice, then we are China. And you should remember that the next time a politician or famous person endorses Planned Parenthood.”

But Planned Parenthood has said that the staff member highlighted in the video was terminated “within three days of this patient interaction” and that “all staff members at this affiliate were immediately scheduled for retraining in managing unusual patient encounters.”

Republicans cannot have an honest national debate about the issues much less handle the subtleties of one person misspeaking.

Scott Brown (R-MA) Has a Remarkable Chameleon Act. He rides up in is little truck dressed like a gentleman farmer to speak to folks at the small town dinner and tells them how moderate and bi-partisan he is. he points on the $2000 suit to tell the bankers not to fear, he’ll fight any attempt to force them to be responsible and ethical. Neat trick and it has worked so far.

Time for the Department of Justice to Investigate Gov of Florida Rick Scott(R) For Purging Eligible Voters From Florida’s Rolls.

The state used an outdated driver’s license database in their initial effort to scrub non-citizens from the voting rolls. Officials believed that 182,000 voters on the rolls were non-citizens, and began sending out notifications that required voters to prove their citizenship within 30 days.

But plenty of legal U.S. citizens who should be allowed to vote wound up on the purge list. In Miami-Dade County, 1,638 people were flagged by the state as “non-citizens,” yet at least 359 people provided the county with proof of citizenship and another 26 people were identified by the county as U.S. citizens, ThinkProgress reported. An analysis by the Miami Herald found that Hispanic, Democratic and independent-minded voters were most likely to be targeted by the purge effort.

We’ve all heard the saying that rich white guys never go to jail. Scott is the poster boy for that phenomenon. He should be in jail, yet he convinced Florida conservatives to reward him with political office. It probably did not take much convincing. Florida is the stomping grounds of former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris who also helped purge enough voters to help Bush 43 get appointed to the presidency. Meet Bill: The 91-Year-Old Decorated WWII Veteran Targeted By Florida Governor Rick Scott(R) Voter Purge

President Obama is getting some special interests money. Regardless of what the business, most of them hedge their bets. Big campaign dollars equals at least some White House access. That said more than ever Obama and Democrats running for the House and Senate are going to be more reliant than ever on small donors – Republicans to Spend More Money Than God

The biggest political news story of the day is that the vast, mind-boggling sums that conservative millionaires have been planning to spend to elect Republicans will now be even more vast and mind-boggling than planned:

Republican super PACs and other outside groups shaped by a loose network of prominent conservatives — including Karl Rove, the Koch brothers and Tom Donohue of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce — plan to spend roughly $1 billion on November’s elections for the White House and control of Congress.

The best detail in the story, by Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, is that the Koch brothers alone plan to spend more than the entire McCain campaign raised in 2008. Meanwhile, the super-PACs supporting President Obama are scrounging for loose change in the sofa.

I’ve seen this video in a couple of places. One of the best I’ve seen on why Romney’s activities and his pride in those dubious activities matters, How Did Mitt Romney Get So Obscenely Rich? Robert Reich Explains

Some Memorial Day Art – Conservatives Have Only Themselves To Blame for Their Sordid Reputation

Some historical art and artifacts for Memorial Day. Starting from the oldest to newest.

Drummer Seen from the Back – Winslow Homer. Probably done around 1864. Homer is one of my favorite American artists. Like Norman Rockwell, his work has become symbolic of the American experience. Picture courtesy the Cooper-Hewitt Museum.

WW I Recruitment Poster – Women Marines. The first unofficial female Marine ( marines are Marines, not soldiers) was Lucy Brewer. She pretended to be a man to join  in the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Constitution during the War of 1812. officially the first female Marines were allowed into the service in 1918 during the Wilson administration. Though they could only serve as clerical workers. In May 1978, Brigadier General Margaret A. Brewer became the first general grade Woman Marine, serving as Director of Information. Currently female Marines receive combat training, but are not officially allowed to be sent to fight in combat zones. This all gets a little tricky since they are sent to support areas, have actually engaged enemy combatants and have been killed in combat.

America Calls Navy Recruitment Poster WW II. Most of my family served in the Navy. I especially like this poster because of the Lady Liberty element and a style that was probably inspired by Rockwell.

Merchant Marine War Shipping Administration1942. A frequently forgotten part of the armed services. partly because they’re just civilians during peace time, but when at war they serve as an auxiliary to the U.S. Navy. I had a couple of relatives that served in the Merchant Navy during WW II. The guy in the poster looks a lot like a friend of mine who died about a decade ago, also Merchant veteran.

An interesting artifact from 1955. Robert Leon Bacon, an African-American’s  letter protesting his prohibition from joining the Virginia National Guard. By way of the African Burial Ground National Park Service and The Library of Virginia.

Robert Leon Bacon Letter to the Governor, December 2, 1955

State and local laws throughout the South and in some other parts of the United States denied basic civil rights to many African Americans in spite of the Fourteenth Amendment’s prohibition on states’ denying people the equal protection of the laws and due process of law. In the face of continued discrimination, many black citizens began contacting politicians like Governor Thomas B. Stanley to discuss their plight or file protests against discrimination. Letters like Robert Leon Bacon’s described everyday conditions of life in a racially segregated society. Bacon outlined the places in his community, including restaurants, hotels, and public transportation vehicles, that he was not allowed to frequent because of Jim Crow laws. Bacon specifically mentioned his fear of being lynched if he did anything that whites deemed inappropriate, which was a fear that many other African Americans shared. Lynchings were the execution of an individual without the due process of the law for real or perceived crimes against the community-at-large. By late in the nineteenth and early in the twentieth century, lynching and other forms of racial violence were used by whites, especially in the South, to intimidate and control African Americans. Bacon also expressed his frustration toward not being allowed to go to certain parts of the city and his inability to join the Virginia National Guard because of his race.

The pdf available at the link is much easier to read.

Delegates at the 2004 RNC Convention mocking war veteran and decorated hero Sen. John Kerry (D-MA). The little band-aids were meant to mock Kerry’s Purple Heart among other awards such as the Bronze Start and Silver Cross. Conservatives have multiple arbitrary standards when it comes to honoring military service. They get to have the last word on value judgements, and lies suddenly become fair. If smearing a veteran is what it takes to win, so be it.

 

Conservative Republican Propagandists Replay Lie About Obama’s Spending Record. They’re just not going to let the myth of Obama and Democrats as big spenders go. It might be just the impression I have from the last week or so, but the spending spree lie seems to be their favorite leading into the fall election. Some conservatives like Fox’s Stuart Varney and the American Enterprise Institute’s James Pethokoukis are even clever enough to push some lies that require some math to refute. Thus giving your loyal kool-aid drinkers something to cling to.

Every major Democratic blogger has made it clear over the years they do not encourage or condone violence or genuinely dirty tricks ( parody and some pranks are exceptions). There are the all too obvious moral reasons. The other reason is one of rational self interests. Democratic bloggers and our political aims are simply not served by bad behavior. There is always blow-back. Even relatively minor shenanigans get blown out of proportion by the same people who thought it was oh-so patriotic to lie 4000 Americans to their deaths over non-existent WMD and non-existent ties to aL-Queda. For those who have not heard of him there is a little nutball named Brett Kimberlin who has been behaving badly – we have to take the right’s word for that, but there does seem to be some substance there. Kimberlin is a despicable little scum. He apparently engaged in something called SWATing – where you spoof someone’s phone and call the SWAT team to someone’s house because shots have been fired. The object being  the victim of the prank might get shot. Horrible stuff. As much as I clearly have a very low opinion of the conservative agenda, that is no way to fight it. Conservatives have moved past the we’re all victims of the left stage and moved on to martyring themselves in the brave fight against Kimberlin, Barbara Streisand and George Soros. You just cannot have a good conservative Republican conspiracy without throwing Soros in the mix. Anyone that wants to catch up to the latest in the conservative pity-fest can do so here – The Breitbart spooks

The document goes on to describe exactly how the video evidence could be ginned up.

The danger is, of course, that the lie becomes the official truth, and so it would be necessary to immediately deconstruct this story on friendly networks and media outlets. The goal isn’t to draw out the scandal after all, rather just to embarrass CNN by having them report a false story. So immediately reporting on the falseness of the story would be key…

Uproariously, O’Keefe calls his operation Project Veritas.

As I said I think there is a nugget of truth about Kimberlin. The Right’s over half century long habit of dirty tricks and lies has left the distinct cloud of crying wolf over every story they write. Not the incident(s) it self, but the level of which the Right is milking this story for all they can get, is also remarkable in its timing. They just recently had a Republican Nazi ( not name calling he was an active ember of the Nazi party) who murdered several people. And the war on women is not going well.

WaPo Post Columnist Marc Thiessen Distorts Success Rate Of Clean Energy Investments. Marc also has a torture fetish. Like torture, hates facts. Like like most of the WaPo editorial staff.

How Florida Governor & Known Criminal Rick Scott(R) Could Steal The Election For Mitt Romney

    1. Scott has created a massive list of Floridians to purge from the voting rolls before the election. Late last year, Governor Scott ordered his Secretary of State, Kurt Browning, to “to identify and remove non-U.S. citizens from the voter rolls.” But Browning did not have access to reliable citizenship data. The state attempted to identify non-U.S. citizens by comparing the voting file with data from the state motor vehicle administration, but the motor vehicle data does not contain updated citizenship information. The process, which created a list of 182,000 people, was considered so flawed by Browning that he refused to release the data to county election officials. Browning resigned in February and Scott has pressed forward with the purge, starting with about 2600 voters.

2. The list of “ineligible” voters is riddled with errors and includes hundreds of eligible U.S. citizens. According to data obtained by ThinkProgress, in Miami-Dade county alone, 1638 people were flagged by the state as “non-citizens.” Already, 359 people on the list have provided the county with proof of citizenship and 26 people were identified as U.S. citizens directly by the county. The remaining 1200 have simply not responded to the letter informing them of their purported ineligibility. Similar problems have been identified in Polk County and Broward County.

3. Scott’s list is heavily targeted at Democratic and Hispanic voters. A study by the Miami Herald found that “Hispanic, Democratic and independent-minded voters are the most likely to be targeted in a state hunt to remove thousands of noncitizens from Florida’s voting rolls.” For example, Hispanics comprise 58 percent of the list but just 13 percent of eligible voters. Conversely, “Whites and Republicans are disproportionately the least-likely to face the threat of removal.”

4. Florida election officials have acknowledged that, as a result of Scott’s voter purge, eligible voters will be removed from the rolls. “It will happen,” Mary Cooney, a spokeswoman for the Broward County Supervisor of Elections, told ThinkProgress. On or about June 9, anyone who hasn’t responded to the ominous and legalistic letter informing them of their purported ineligibility will be removed from the rolls. Some eligible voters won’t have been able to respond by that time due to travel, work obligations, family obligations or confusion as to the purpose of the letter. Some will forget to open it. Others may have moved.

5. Florida will likely be a close contest in 2012 and purging eligible Democratic and Hispanic voters could tip the balance to Romney. In the latest Real Clear Politics average of polling in the state, Romney and Obama are separated by just 0.5 percent. Hundreds of eligible voters in Democratic strongholds, wrongfully purged from the rolls, could easily make the difference for Romney.

6. Winning Florida could clinch the election for Mitt Romney. Nationally, the race between Obama and Romney is within two points. It’s expected to be close all the way to election day and Florida’s 29 electorial votes would be the deciding factor in many plausable electorial scenarios.

Blue Ice Splash wallpaper – “everyone who receives the protection of society owes a return for the benefit”

Blue Ice Splash wallpaper

 

If we had an annual contest to find the conservative Republican suffering the worse case of cognitive dissonance or the worse liar, Real Clear Politics’ Jack Kelly would be no guaranteed winner with this piece of yellow journalism, but he would surely put him in contention. It is as though before he sit down to write he asked himself how many pants-on-fire lies he could tell. Obama Is Not That Bright

Barack Obama is the smartest man with the highest IQ ever to be elected to the presidency, historian Michael Beschloss told radio talk show host Don Imus in November of 2008.

“So what is his IQ?” Mr. Imus asked. Mr. Beschloss didn’t know. He was just assuming.

In traditional logic this is a by one example error. I found one guy who claimed, on a radio show that 6 people listen to, Obama’s is the smartest president ever. This is a common technique used by conservatives. Set monumental standards for a Democrat. Find one or two examples of not living up to those standards. Ah-ha  gotcha. I know some smart people – doctors, lawyers, scientists, engineers, nurses, teachers. You know what they all have in common. They are not and do not pretend to be know-it alls. And for the most part they do not play this game of hey look you make the occasional faux pas so you’re obviously an idiot and not the smartest person in the world that everyone says you are.

Columnist Joe Klein said Mr. Obama’s first autobiography “may be the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician.” But Mr. Obama got help writing “Dreams from My Father” from “his friend and Hyde Park neighbor Bill Ayers,” celebrity journalist Christopher Andersen claimed in his 2009 biography of Barack and Michelle.

That Bill Ayers wrote or co-wrote Obama’s book is, along with bitherism. One of the top five urban myths spread about President Obama. To date no one has submitted any concrete proof to back up that claim. Kelly goes on to list some verbal gaffes made by the president. I sometimes wonder why conservatives are so hung up on making American English the only language used anywhere, ever, as so many of them cannot speak English:

“One of the very difficult parts of the decision I made on the financial crisis was to use hardworking people’s money to help prevent there to be a crisis.”—Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 2009. Bush 43. List of Bushisms.

“He who warned, uh, the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms uh by ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free and we were going to be armed.”— Sarah Palin on Paul Revere, June 3, 2011

President Obama’s stimulus bill didn’t stimulate. His subsidies to “green” firms have produced neither the jobs nor the energy he promised. Unemployment on his watch peaked at 10 percent, one of the highest rates since the Great Depression. Deficits are out of control.

The stimulus created or saved 1.5 to 3 million jobs.  The ‘clean’ economy now supports 3.1 million jobs. The peak unemployment numbers were in the last year to first six months of the Obama administration. Bush and conservatives were responsible for that 10% peak.

Political disagreements are fine. We have a long tradition of them in the U.S. Kelly does not disagree. In order for him to make an honest argument he would have to have some inkling of what constitutes knowledge versus beliefs. Beliefs that have blinded him to facts much like any radical zealot in history. Like his radical brethren in the conservative movement the truth is but a necessary casualty in the long war – the conservative authoritarian plutocracy of which his ilk dream versus the free, humane enlightened U.S. of which liberals dream.

Republicans Do Not Care About The Deficit. They Care About Cutting The Safety Net for Seniors and Children

OK, so why does everyone think the deficit is out of control and a threat to the existence of the republic? Good question. It’s probably way too late to pull us out of the rabbit hole we’ve collectively dived into, but anyone reporting on this really owes it to their readers to explain the basic political dynamics at work. So why do Republicans and Democrats both think the deficit is a problem?

Answer for Republicans: They don’t think the deficit is a problem. If they did, they’d favor tax increases, Pentagon cuts, and Medicare cuts, since even the most dimwitted among them knows that cutting domestic discretionary spending won’t make a dent in the deficit. But they favor none of these things.

Rather, they think federal spending on liberal social programs is a problem, and yammering about the deficit is a good way to force cuts to these programs. And there’s nothing wrong with this. It’s good politics. Why waste a crisis, after all? But anyone reporting on this issue really needs to be honest about what’s going on. Republicans want to cut social spending. The deficit is just a handy cudgel to make this happen.

Given that they control so much of the media, The Village leans Right of center and quite a few Americans do not vote in their own rational self-interests it is no wonder that so many people actually think conservatives are actually for small government and limited spending. This is all despite the fiscal record of conservatism. Conservatives care first and foremost about their agenda, not the U.S.A. They deny any and all responsibility for creating the Great Recession, thanks to convenient short-term memories they forgot the historical deficits they created. They pretend as though the two wars they bungled did not cost trillions. They said just a few years ago that spending trillions on Iraq was essential to our national security and yet claim spending money on America is Marxism. Conservatives and the Supreme Court they packed with goofy ideologues says that corporations are people yet allow corporations to steal billions while we throw people in jail for smoking pot.

Adding to our list of anti-capitalism conservatives: Donald Trump on Romney: ‘He’d Buy Companies, He’d Close Companies, He’d Get Rid Of Jobs’

E.J. Dionne notes some of our real history. Not the history rewritten by the Palins, Bushes and Kellys, Conservatives used to care about community. What happened?

The great American conservative William F. Buckley Jr. certainly understood this. In his book “Gratitude: Reflections on What We Owe to Our Country,” he quotes approvingly John Stuart Mill’s insistence that “everyone who receives the protection of society owes a return for the benefit.” With liberty comes responsibility to the community.

Before the Civil War, conservatives such as Alexander Hamilton and Henry Clay believed in an active federal government that served the common good. This included a commitment to internal improvements (what we now, less elegantly, call infrastructure), public schooling, and the encouragement of manufacturing and science. Clay, an unapologetic supporter of national economic planning, called his program “the American System,” explicitly distinguishing his idea from the British laissez-faire system. (The Club for Growth would not have been pleased.)

Abraham Lincoln, for whom Clay was a hero, built upon this tradition, laying the foundation for our public universities by backing the establishment of land-grant colleges.

Civil War pensions — the first great social insurance program and a central Republican cause — were supporting about 28 percent of men 65 and over by 1910. In 1894, the program’s most expensive year, the pensions accounted for 37 percent of federal spending. Sounds like a massive entitlement program, doesn’t it?

And the first American version of socialized medicine was signed into law in 1798 by that great conservative president John Adams. The Marine Hospital Servicefunded hospitals across the country to treat sailors who were sick or got injured on the job. There is no record of a mass campaign to repeal AdamsCare.

Kudos to Dionne for being the kind of old-fashioned liberal that tries to reach out and appeal to the humanity hidden inside modern conservatives. I’m afraid that humanity is so deeply buried that it has become deaf to any such appeals. Modern democracies and their economies are very complex. They take a lot of infrastructure to function – from highways patrolled by college educated highway patrol officers to emergency medical technicians trained to respond to everything from heart attacks to toxins released buy a derailed train. To engineers that maintain sophisticated bridges and design production methods for modern consumer products. Modern conservatives Republicans, the biggest welfare queens in the nations’ history want a free ride and want the biggest share of the GDP. You have to give them credit for sheer nerve. Conservatives are the people who work up a giant  fit over someone buying a soft drink with food stamps yet let have no problem with fat-ass corporate plutocrats making 200 times what their employees make. Today’s conservatives think health care for Americans is so horrible, so mired in the slippery slope of socialism, they cheer for the death of people who do not have insurance. Then they turn around and preach morality to the rest of us.

Teal City Skyline wallpaper – Romney and Republicans Cannot Hide From Their Immoral Legacy

Teal City Skyline wallpaper

 

There was bound to be some push-back against yet another report on the reality of the Obama/Democrat spending record  – federal spending for the last three years (2009 was primarily Bush’s budget) has grown at the slowest rate since the 1950s. Conservative Republican Media Starts Noise Campaign to Drown Out The Fact Obama’s Spending has Been Very Restrained

Fox’s Varney: “Obama Has Run Up The Debt A Great Deal More Than President Bush Did In His Full 8 Years.” From the May 23 edition of Fox News’ Your World with Neil Cavuto

[  ]…Lou Dobbs: “President Obama Will Add … $5 Trillion” To The Debt, Compared To President Bush’s $4.9 Trillion. From the May 23 edition of Fox News’ Lou Dobbs Tonight..

 

If someone named Mr. Conservative Republican stole your credit card, ran up a lot of debt and then skipped town, it is just a fact that Mr. Conservative Republican is responsible for those debts. Though it is not quite that simple in this case. Mr. CR also ruined your reputation which caused you to lose your job. The debt that Mr. CR ran up is not static it is also accruing interests. What have Obama, Democrats and every American that has to work for a living inherited? The debt, the loss of income and the interest. These charts are from the OMB ( Office of Budget and Management, the non-partisan CBO ( Congressional Budget Office and Haver Analytics. Every reputable source of financial data shows that Mr. Conservative Republican treated the country like their own personal slush fund. They trashed the economy in the process and left the bills for your grand kids to pay.

Romney and his campaign seem to think selling Romney as a businessman, not a politician is a winning theme. Voters just have to ignore two things: that Romney was also a governor with the 3rd worse job creation record during his tenure and we just had a businessman President. Bush 43 had an MBA and wow that turned out really well. Paul Waldman’s notes that if Romney is going to ramble on like this, the only votes he’ll get are from the die-hard kool-aid drinkers, Mitt Romney Gets Specific

Romney: Well, Mark, let’s be a little more specific as to the area you’d like to suggest. Trade policies? Labor policies? Energy policies? Let’s take energy, for instance. I understand that in some industries, the input cost of energy is a major factor in whether an industry is going to locate in the United States or go elsewhere. So, when, at Bain Capital, we started a new steel company called Steel Dynamics in Indiana, the cost of energy was a very important factor to the success of that enterprise. When the President is making it harder to mine coal, to use coal, to take advantage of our gas resources, to make it harder to get our oil resources – all those things combine to make our cost of energy higher than it needs to be, and it drives away enterprises from this country. It sends it to places that have lower-cost energy. I understand the impact of those kinds of factors on job creation. I will have a very different policy. My policy on energy is to take advantage of coal, oil, natural gas, as well as our renewables, and nuclear – make America the largest energy producer in the world. I think we can get there, in 10 or 15 years. That will bring back manufacturing of certain high-energy intensive industries. It’ll bring back jobs. It’ll create a surprising economic revitalization of this country.

Well, there you have it. In his 25 years in the private sector, Mitt Romney learned that energy is a cost that businesses incur, and if energy were cheaper, businesses would have more money. You may need to sit down to fully assimilate the profundity of that insight, the extraordinary brilliance it takes to make an unexpected connection like that and dramatically change the way all of us look at the world. If only earlier generations of political leaders had known!

That interview was not with the ferocious Katie Couric, no one asked him what he read. It was with political journo hack Mark Halperin. If you did a nationwide check of the lip prints on Republican politician’s backsides, you’re more likely than not to find Halperin’s lip prints. So Romney gets a friendly interview where he can ramble on at length about his great new ideas and tells us that running the Olympic Committee and knowing that business’s use energy are just two examples of the razor-sharp insights he can bring to the economy. If he is going to run the USA like Bain, say goodbye to your pension, say so long to half the jobs in America that will be outsourced and the government will take most of your profits. This is a good example of the kind of gimmicky economic plans that we’ll see again under a Romney monarchy, Romney Higher Education Plan: A Giveaway To The Wall Street Banks And Predatory Schools That Fund His Campaign

2012 presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney released his higher education plan Wednesday, decrying the nation’s “education crisis.” During a speech before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Romney blamed President Obama for rising tuition prices and increasing student debt.

Of course, tuition increases and growing debt are a phenomenon several decades in the making. And Romney’s plan would make the problem decidedly worse in two important ways, giving federal money away to Wall Street banks and predatory for-profit colleges, two industries to which Romney has extensive ties.

First, as he’s promised before, Romney intends to divert money away from student aid — instead giving it away to banks — by repealing Obama’s student loan reforms:

Reverse President Obama’s nationalization of the student loan market and welcome private sector participation in providing information, financing, and the education itself.

President Obama did not nationalize the student loan market. (Plenty of banks still make private sector student loans.) Instead, Obama and the Democrats cut private banks out of the federal student loan program, ending billions in subsidies that were needlessly going to banks for acting as loan middlemen. The money saved went into the Pell Grant program. Romney’s plan would entail taking away Pell money in order to pay Wall Street to service federal loans.

It may seem like a small thing, but conservative Republicans are not destroying democracy in one day, in one fell swoop, they do it in pieces. FDR once said, “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it comes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group.” How can conservatives claim, with any degree of veracity they are for small government, when given the chance at the state or federal level they create corrupt attachments between special interests and the government. Each step from student loans to privatizing prisons to outsourcing national security means there is less oversight and control by the people. Without that oversight, crime for instance, really does pay.

Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) the ethically challenged senator from Massachusetts, owned and operated by the Koch brothers tried very hard to blow up the issue of Elizabeth Warren’s ancestry. Not only did it not work, but Warren is gaining ground.

Conservatives have jumped on the numbers showing that President Obama is not polling well in  Kentucky and Arkansas. There is a reason for that. That reason has not changed since the last election. A Gift For Snickering Pundits: A Map

Keep in mind: this was at the peak of Obama’s popularity. It was before he began his “war on coal,” before Obamacare, before all the things that pundits will point to to explain why this part of the country is so dead set against the president. And yet he did worse in this region than Kerry, who’s not exactly Johnny Of The Ozarks. The easy explanation for this is obvious, but I don’t think it’s actually all that simple. The more complicated answer is that this region has been shifting away from the Democrats at the national level for more than a decade now, as the national party has become more identified with highly-educated elites — a trend that Barack Obama accelerated because, well, he’s a highly-educated elite.  But many voters in these parts still identify as Democrats, unlike their fellow conservatives in the Deep South, and so they turn out to vote in Democratic primaries.

A final thought on this: I happened to be in this part of the country this past weekend for a piece that I’ll be publishing soon, and I can report that in my conversations, I was surprised to find the working-class people I was speaking with not nearly as vitriolic against Obama as one might have expected. For the most part, they thought he was doing his best in a tough spot. (Though they did not care for the gay marriage announcement.) But here’s the other thing about the people I spoke with: almost to a person, they said they don’t vote — usually not in the general election, and certainly not in the primaries. Which to me was a further reminder that what we’re seeing in Arkansas and Kentucky tonight, is a very, very selective and circumstantial statement. For pundits to make anything more of it than that is to be willfully geographically and ethnographically illiterate.

A couple of things. To identify Obama as an elite because he got an elite education is a stretch. As long as schools like Yale, Brown and Harvard are tickets to the top, simply attending them does not make one an elite. Certainly given Mittens entire resume; family, education and making a living by gutting and selling companies makes him a fully paid up member of what people consider the elite. Also remember that every where in the country Democrats and the moderate left of center is gaining ground. This is one of the reason for the Republican full court press on restricting voting rights. Every year more Americans see that the far right nationalism and the voodoo economic policies of conservatism are not best for the country.

Zion National Park wallpaper – Judging By Their History All Conservative Republicans Are Anti-Capitalism

Zion National Park wallpaper

I finally found a journalist who actually seems to get the context of the Cory Booker-Obama-Romney-Bain bruhaha, Who Won the War Over Cory Booker?

Democrats and Republicans both believe they got the upper hand in the kerfuffle over Cory Booker’s criticism of attacks on Bain Capital.

The perpetual outrage machine of the 2012 campaign alit Monday on Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who said on Meet the Press on Sunday that he found the negativity of the campaign “nauseating,” including his own party’s attacks on Romney’s past work in private equity.

As Booker partially backtracked, the Obama campaign declined to let up on the issue, holding a conference call to push the story of yet another company Bain Capital took over and profited from while laying off workers and eventually driving it into bankruptcy. Republicans, meanwhile, attempted to use Booker’s words as validation for their claim that Obama is attacking capitalism, with the Romney campaign swiftly rolling out a web video decrying “President Obama’s attacks on free enterprise” and featuring Booker.

By the end of the day, the president himself had weighed in, calling the Bain issue “part of the debate that we’re going to be having in this election campaign about how do we create an economy where everybody from top to bottom, folks on Wall Street and folks on Main Street, have a shot at success.”

I’m going to get more into that claim by conservatives that President Obama is “attacking” capitalism in a moment. That conservatives are playing the Bain story and the vulture capitalism of Romney as capitalism is a disservice to the genuine virtues of which free markets are capable. That kind of response is also something the general public should take a hard look it. What Bain has done might be legal but it is a form of corruption. It is the kind of corruption that conservatives and some Democrats like Booker have worked to make mainstream. Attacking Bain equals attacking capitalism? Certainly the conservative echo chamber buys that as of today. What Bain did when Romney was there is use the tolls of free enterprise to exploit the tolls of the free market to make unearned profits. Most Americans think of free markets as a somewhat fair competition. If you have ten companies that make widgets, the company that makes the best widgets for the best price wins. Bain took over many companies – in what used to be termed hostile takeovers, signed themselves up as consultants, paid themselves huge fees even if the company was losing money. Bain did not create the best widget or provide the best widget service, they rigged the system to make a profit even if that meant laying off hundreds of workers, bankrupting their pensions or shipping the same jobs overseas. If you believe, as many conservatives do, that any and all values are obsolete in the pursuit of profit than what Romney did for a living is great, a valuable service, nature’s way of clearing out the weak, the way our Founders dreamed the system should work. On the other hand if you think that what Bain and similar firms do can sometimes be a form of financial and moral corruption, than you can see what President Obama is talking about when he says that Bain and Romney went too far.

John Feehery, Republican strategist, former congressional aide:

“This issue is going to be a liability for Romney. It just is. But I think, at the end of the day, because Obama is seen as anti-capitalistic, they may be able to win this fight. This comment from Booker is a gift from heaven, because it gives them a talking point. They’re going to take that clip, and whenever Romney’s attacked by the Obama campaign they can use it to say, ‘These attacks are ridiculous, just listen to Obama supporter Cory Booker.’

Feehery is correct is his own convoluted conservative way. He also suffers from short-term memory loss. If Romney and conservative PACs want to play the sound bite game, Democrats have a lot more ammunition. A round-up of capitalism hating conservative Republicans:

BIG GOVERNMENT CANDIDATE’ — During a debate in Iowa, Bachmann charged that “Mitt Romney is the big government candidate.” -anti-capitalist   Michele Bachmann(R).

INDIVIDUAL MANDATE — Bachmann repeatedly hit Mitt Romney for implementing the antecedent of ObamaCare while governor of Massachusetts, saying the dreaded individual mandate “was Newt Gingrich’s idea, and Mitt Romney implemented it.”

Fox news analyst and anti-capitalist Sarah Palin said criticism of Mitt Romney’s record as the head of Bain Capital by fellow Republicans is fair and the front-runner should provide proof to his clams that his tenure there helped created 100,000 jobs.

“WALL STREET FINANCIER”: “I heard Governor Romney here called me an economic lightweight because I wasn’t a Wall Street financier like he was. Do you really believe this country wants to elect a Wall Street financier as the president of the United States? Do you think that’s the experience that we need? Someone who’s going to take and look after as he did his friends on Wall Street and bail them out at the expense of Main Street America.” Well known communist  Rick Santorum.[ABC].

BUSINESS EXPERIENCE DOESN’T MATTER: “Running a business is not the same as being president of the United States.” Anti-capitalist Rick Santorum.[CNN]

“WEAK CANDIDATE”: “We can’t nominate such a weak candidate. I’d love to be able to get one-on-one with Gov. Romney and expose the record that would be the weakest record we could possibly put up against Barack Obama.” Maoist communist sympathizer Rick Santorum.[Huffington Post]

”While you were the governor of Massachusetts in that period of time, you were 47th in the nation in job creation. … You failed as the governor of Massachusetts.” Anti-capitalist  Texas Governor Rick Perry(R).

”If you are a victim of Bain Capital’s downsizing, it’s the ultimate insult for Mitt Romney to come to South Carolina to tell you he feels your pain. Because he caused it.” – Anti-capitalist  Texas Governor Rick Perry(R)

”I have no doubt that Mitt Romney was worried about pink slips — whether he’d have enough of them to hand out.” – Marxist socialist  Texas Governor Rick Perry(R)

Gov. Romney enjoys firing people. I enjoy creating jobs.” Anti-capitalist Republican presidential candidate John Huntsman.

”When you combine a record of uncertainty — running first as a senator, as a liberal; governor as a moderate; then as a conservative for the presidency, people wonder where your core is.” Republican presidential candidate John Huntsman.

”We are not going to beat Barack Obama with some guy who has Swiss bank accounts, Cayman Island accounts, owns shares of Goldman Sachs while it forecloses on Florida and is himself a stockholder in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while he tries to think the rest of us are too stupid to put the dots together and understand what this is all about.” Anti-capitalist and former conservative Congressman from Georgia Newt Gingrich.

Is capitalism really about the ability of a handful or rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of other people and walk off with the money? Or is that, in fact, somehow, a little bit of a flawed system,” he said to a packed audience of reporters in Manchester. “So I do draw a distinction between looting a company, leaving behind broken families and broken neighborhoods and leaving behind a factory that should be there.” Commie anarchist and former conservative Congressman from Georgia Newt Gingrich.

More here – 10 Things Mitt Romney’s Republican Primary Opponents Said About Bain

Newt Gingrich: Frankly, not Mitt Romney’s biggest supporter

What are conservative Republicans and what do they ultimately stand for, a United States that is modeled on the U.S. in 1860. That is what will make them all happy. No Social Security, no food inspections, not much regulation, no Medicare or Medicaid for seniors, children or the disabled, no federal income tax except for military expenditures, no publicly funded research that might find cures for cancers or invent the next great technology like the internet. A new poll puts Obama and Mittens even at the public’s perception of who would manage the economy best. Considering that a large segment of the public is always easily swayed by conservative disinformation – a staple of cable news – that is not surprising. Though Romney has a way to go to convince the public he can handle much of anything else,  ‘Unfairness’ vs. ‘Over-regulation’

The top-line results in the new Washington Post-ABC News poll are largely in line with expectations: President Obama’s approval rating stands at 47%, and he leads Mitt Romney by four points among all Americans (49% to 45%) and three points among registered voters (49% to 46%). Obama has an even larger edge when it comes to voter enthusiasm.

[  ]…It’s not just about personalities: when asked which of the two “better understands the economic problems people in this country are having,” Obama has an eight-point edge. When the questions turn to personal character and standing up for key beliefs, the president’s advantage reaches double digits. These factors will certainly matter come November.

But just as interesting was this question: “What do you think is the bigger problem in this country — unfairness in the economic system that favors the wealthy, or over-regulation of the free market that interferes with growth and prosperity?” The results weren’t close: 56% said unfairness is the bigger problem, while 34% pointed to over regulation.

That’s not what Romney and the GOP want to hear — Obama’s vision for what ails the economy has a 22-point edge over the Republican vision, and that gap is growing, not shrinking.

The public has the kitchen table view of free markets. Sure we’re all supposed to compete and the best products sell and the best employees get ahead. We all know from personal experience that is not the way things really work. We bring a brand name product home and it stops working properly after a few weeks. That company keeps on selling the same crap. We see lazy or devious co-workers get ahead. Most people realize that some unfairness is just part of life and reconcile themselves to that. Then we see someone like the Koch brothers, Donald Trump or Mitt Romney – who all stated a few steps up the latter from everyone else bragging about how “successful” they are, all the things they “accomplished”. Its like grade school all over again when the kid who started the race at the count on one rather than waiting for three, brags about how he won the race. Some people who accumulate a lot of money during their life are grateful and show a little humility. Conservatism has come to celebrate the cheaters, the corrupt, the arrogant and the bunglers who made it despite their ineptitude.

Executives at Romney’s old private-equity firm have donated more to the Democratic Party than the GOP. Why?. This is Greenwald playing the there is not much difference between parties card. he does make some good points. Though he knows and everyone else knows that if what we have to choose between is one candidate who is only a little better than the other, what should we pick – Romney who is Bush part III or Obama. If Obama is only a half step forward, that beats Romney the step backwards. This is going to sound like snark no matter how I phrase it, but maybe Bain gave more to Democrats because not even his former co-workers like Mitt.

Who Really Caused The Deficit? (CHART)

When Are Republicans Going To Stop Deceiving Women And Invoking Social-Darwinism As A Virtue

Declaration of Intention for Albert Einstein to become an American citizen.

In 1936, German-born physicist Albert Einstein filed this Declaration of Intention to become an American citizen. Following the Nazi takeover of political power in Germany in 1933 and the onset of persecution of the German Jews, Einstein renounced his German citizenship and immigrated to the United States to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton. On the basis of this declaration, the man who had first proposed the theory of relativity in 1905 became a U.S. citizen in 1940.

Creator

District Court for the Trenton Division of the District of New Jersey, United States

Date Created

January 15, 1936 CE

The photocopy is by way of the U.S. National Archives. Einstein was born in Switzerland.  Just besides the fact that Einstein was an immigrate, one other interesting factlet about his declaration is that his last foreign residence is listed as Bermuda. Bermuda, a British territory, is only about 300 miles off the coast of North Carolina.

Fokker F27 Friendship. The first Fokker was built in early Mad Men era, with the first prototype flying on November 24, 1955. “Friendship” was not just part of the advertising image, but part of the plane’s name. may Fokkers are still flying. Fedex Express used a late-model one as recently as 2009.

The NYT is the name of fairness frequently and regularly publishes trash by conservatives, for example see NYT’s David Brooks – The moderate conservative columnist hides appalling opinions behind “reasonable” language. Change a couple minor details and it all reads the same. There is software that is almost capable of replacing journalist ( you have probably read articles done by software already, merely touched up by editors). certainly what conservatives regard as journalism could be replaced by programming since it always has the tinny sound of an unthinking machine. Which brings us to Campbell Brown’s – Obama: Stop Condescending to Women

WHEN I listen to President Obama speak to and about women, he sometimes sounds too paternalistic for my taste. In numerous appearances over the years — most recently at the Barnard graduation — he has made reference to how women are smarter than men. It’s all so tired, the kind of fake praise showered upon those one views as easy to impress. As I listen, I am always bracing for the old go-to cliché: “Behind every great man is a great woman.”

Some women are smarter than men and some aren’t. But to suggest to women that they deserve dominance instead of equality is at best a cheap applause line.

I just wrote about conservatives putting words and even thoughts into their opponents mouths and heads respectively, just the other day. The President’s full commencement speech at Barnard is here. Barnard is a women’s college founded in 1889 and is currently affiliated with Columbia University. Thus as one might expect the president’s speech was oriented toward women. I’ve read the speech twice and I will agree that if a partisan hack wanted to interpret a line or two as condescending they could certainly do so. I would expect no less from people who are perennially disingenuous. Obama does have that ‘cool’ aspect of his persona. The Right hates it. Which is like hating someone for having freckles. People cannot really cultivate cool, you either have or you do not. For some reason Campbell left out this self-deprecating part of the speech,

We know these things to be true.  We know that our challenges are eminently solvable.  The question is whether together, we can muster the will — in our own lives, in our common institutions, in our politics — to bring about the changes we need.  And I’m convinced your generation possesses that will.  And I believe that the women of this generation — that all of you will help lead the way.  (Applause.)

Now, I recognize that’s a cheap applause line when you’re giving a commencement at Barnard.  (Laughter.)  It’s the easy thing to say.  But it’s true.  It is — in part, it is simple math.  Today, women are not just half this country; you’re half its workforce.  (Applause.)  More and more women are out-earning their husbands.  You’re more than half of our college graduates, and master’s graduates, and PhDs.  (Applause.)   So you’ve got us outnumbered.  (Laughter.)

After decades of slow, steady, extraordinary progress, you are now poised to make this the century where women shape not only their own destiny but the destiny of this nation and of this world.

But how far your leadership takes this country, how far it takes this world — well, that will be up to you.  You’ve got to want it.  It will not be handed to you.

The President touched on individual responsibility several times in that speech. He spoke about challenges and not expecting things to be served up to you – the graduating class of a very good school – much less women who have not had that opportunity. Campbell will have none of that. her finely tuned right-wing Republican hearing discards, as usual anything Democrats say about individual responsibility, challenges, working hard and being good citizens.It is deeply ingrained to the DNA of conservatives not to hear what liberals say, pay attention to liberal accomplishments and to hear facts, that tend to have a built in liberal bias.

My cousin in Louisiana started a small company with a little savings, renovating houses. A single mom, she saved enough to buy a home and provide child care for her son. When the economy went belly up, so did her company. She was forced to sell her home and move in with her parents. She has found another job, but doesn’t make enough to move out. Family, not government, has been everything to her at this time of crisis. She, and they, wouldn’t have it any other way.

Another member of my family left her job at an adoption agency just before the economy crashed. Also a single mother, she has been looking for a way back to a full-time job ever since. She has been selling things on eBay to make ends meet. Friends and family, not government, have been there at the dire moments when she has asked them to be. Again, she, and they, wouldn’t have it any other way.

This is not to say that government doesn’t play a role in their lives. It does and it should. But it isn’t a dominant one, and certainly not an overwhelming factor in their daily existence.

Campbell’s friends one assumes have taken zero  from the safety net. No unemployment benefits, no Medicaid for their children. No SNAP (food stamps). If that is true how great that these friends happen to have families who can afford to take up the economic slack for those women. What about women that do not have families who can afford to help or can only afford to help a little or have no families. Why don’t these conservative women have husbands. Conservatives are always accusing women without husbands to support them and their children as losers. Where did Obama or any major Democrat ever say that government should play a “dominant” role in a woman’s life or a man’s for that matter. This is Campbell beating the hell out of a straw-man who doesn’t, never has existed. We call what we stand for in terms of assistance – the safety net, because that is what it is. I know its blasphemy to say so but the reality is that free markets are not perfect. In the way the U.S. runs our version of the free market people can work themselves have to death and JP Morgan or Citibank can wipe your savings, your hard work out over night. Campbell does her best impression of Fox disinformation peddling in trying to shift blame for unemployment among women from conservatives to Obama.

But Mitt Romney will never be confused with Rick Santorum on these issues, and many women understand that. (I should disclose here that my husband is an adviser to Mr. Romney; I have no involvement with any campaign, and have been an independent journalist throughout my career.) The struggling women in my life all laughed when I asked them if contraception or abortion rights would be a major factor in their decision about this election. For them, and for most other women, the economy overwhelms everything else.

Change that wording to “my husband is an adviser to Mr. Obama” and imagine the sound of conservative readers laughing so hard they blow milk through their nose. No, her politics and associations with the extreme Right have no bearing on her warped world view at all. In the mist of this overwhelming need to not bother to focus on social issues conservatives have some how found the time and money to spend on those suddenly unimportant little things – Top 10 Shocking Attacks from the GOP’s War on WomenRepublican “War On Women” Is Not A Democratic Invention and The Republican War on Women Is Only Getting Bigger.

Because of the strength of conservative tin-foil, facts and basic moral decency will never get through. Money spent on food assistance and unemployment benefits do not disappear down some vortex never to be seen again – Food Stamps and Unemployment Insurance Create Jobs in a Weak Economy

In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Robert Barro dismisses Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s claim that every dollar spent on food stamps generates $1.84 of economic activity.  Barro claims Secretary Vilsack’s “Keynesian” estimate conflicts with “regular” economics, which he says predicts that increasing transfer payments like food stamps and unemployment insurance (UI) would lead to a decline in economic activity and a fall in employment because they would “motivate less work effort by reducing the reward from working.”

Contrary to Barro’s assertion, however, the Secretary is in good company appealing to Keynesian multiplier analysis under current economic conditions, and Barro’s assessment is implausible.  For example, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated that transfer payments to individuals like the increase in food stamp benefits and additional UI compensation of the 2009 Recovery Act generate between 80 cents and $2.10 for each dollar spent when the Federal Reserve holds short-term interest rates as low as possible (see Table 2 here).  Barro says “there is zero evidence” that deficit-financed transfers increase economic activity and boost employment;” CBO explains why, taken as a whole, the evidence says they do.

Circumstances matter.  When the economy is humming along on all cylinders and unemployment is very low – think the late 1990s – deficit-financed increases in food stamps and UI would not increase economic activity or boost employment.  The multiplier would be essentially zero because the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates in response.  Any rise in demand stimulated by the increase in transfers would be offset by the fall in demand due to higher interest rates.  Barro’s concern about work disincentives could come into play if transfers were exceedingly generous.

That’s not where we are now.  Higher interest rates due to Fed tightening will not likely be a concern anytime soon.  Instead, we face a long period of high unemployment and excess productive capacity.  These are just the circumstances in which transfers will most likely be effective in stimulating demand and creating jobs.

Food stamp and UI recipients spend most of any increase in income they get, and they spend it quickly.  That means more spending at local businesses and more orders for those businesses’ suppliers.  The additional spending generates income for local businesses and their suppliers, and the boost to demand multiplies through the economy.  With nine unemployed workers for every two job openings and businesses generally operating well below full capacity, constraints on expanding production and employment to meet the increased demand should be minimal.  Treasury borrowing costs will continue to be low and we will increase the odds that a real economic recovery will take hold.

I’m about to spill the secrets to never having to work again and live off the gov’mint. SNAP ( food stamps) pays on average ( its varies a little by state) a family of 3( the average sized family in the U.S. is about 2.6 individuals) – pays $526 a month. Three people live on about $17.53 per day or each person gets about $5.84 for food. Obviously everyone reading this is going to quite their job tomorrow and really start living high off all that Marxist Kenyan cash. Just in case someone as out of touch with reality as Campbell Brown or Mitt Romney stops by, you’ll be eating a lot of bread, baloney, potatoes and generic corn flakes. Exactly what day was it that it became cool to allow people who have no real power over how the economy is run to starve or live under bridges.

 

Antique World Map 1700 – Where Would Conservative Republicans Be Without Distortions and Deflections

Antique World Map 1700.

 

By 1700 good world maps were resembling the geographic world as we know it today. This hand colored engraved map was done by German cartographer A. F. Zürner (1679 – 1742).  His father was very bright and Adam’s schooling was done mostly at home. A family friend and minister Nicholas Spanger filled in some educational gaps with more instruction in geography, history and sciences. Adam eventually became a – what we would call today a civil servant. Zurner came to improvise and interesting way to measure the boundaries around two towns for which he was assigned to map. He constructed a geographic test coach. A rod attached he to the wheels acted as a counter for the distance traveled.

Magnate Steps Into 2012 Fray on Wild Pitch

Word that Mr. Ricketts had considered bankrolling a $10 million advertising campaign linking President Obama to the incendiary race-infused statements of his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., brought waves of denunciation from Mitt Romney, the Obama campaign and much of the rest of the political world.

Highlighting the perils of mixing partisan politics and corporate citizenship, the reverberations also swept through the Ricketts family’s business empire.

Liberal groups encouraged like-minded investors to drop their accounts with TD Ameritrade, the brokerage firm Mr. Ricketts founded.

I don’t know that the Ricketts family is that unusual in having family members hold a variety of political opinions. They just happen to have a lot of money. Sons of the senior Ricketts seem to lean far Right, while he has a daughter who is a member of the Obama campaign’s national finance committee. From bitherism to the birther curious to a variety of conspiracy theories that many conservatives cling, part of the deranged glue that holds them all together is the belief that President Obama was never fully vetted. This is actually the subject of Brietbarf’s coverage of Ricketts and the attempted revival of the Rev. Wright nonsense and the recent discovery of a mistake by a literary agent who said that Obama was born in Kenya. If only the lame stream media would do its job and tell everyone what conservatives know deep in their highly disturbed brain stems, Obama would never have been voted into office in the first place. The senior Ricketts is apparently coming to this twisted reality a bit late,

Associates of Mr. Ricketts acknowledged that upon seeing a commercial Mr. Davis produced in 2008 for Mr. McCain featuring Mr. Wright, which Mr. McCain rejected, Mr. Ricketts said. “If the nation had seen that ad, they’d never have elected Barack Obama.” The quote was highlighted in the proposal.

Mr. Ricketts was shown the commercial at an initial meeting at Mr. Davis’s offices in California, which Mr. Ricketts requested as he sought to build a team of top Republican strategists to lead his foray into the presidential campaign. (Aides acknowledge that a second meeting followed in New York, where, they say, he gave Mr. Davis general directions to move ahead with a proposal that would create maximum impact for $10 million but did not specifically approve one based on Mr. Wright.)

If conservatives want to play this game – and they might regardless of what Mitt Romney wants or feels on any given day – than bring it. There is the obvious race politics down side. The other is that Mormonism is not exactly without a history of some tenets that many American find way outside the mainstream. The Obama campaign would never go there, but if outside conservative groups such as Ricketts and Ending Spending Political Action Fund, than Democratic leaning groups probably will as well. The modern Mormon church does not subscribe to them as official church doctrine since at least 1978, but The Journal of Discourses (often abbreviated J.D.) have and still are used in church teachings. The JD include writings by church founders including Brigham Young, John Taylor, Orson Pratt, Heber C. Kimball, and George Q. Cannon.

“Now if any of you will deny the plurality of wives, and continue to do so, I promise that you will be damned,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 266). Also, “The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 11, p. 269).

Clear enough. If you do not subscribe to polygamy you’re headed for eternal damnation. Catholics and Evangelicals might find the proclamation that Jesus was not conceived in a virgin birth a bit disturbing:

The birth of the Savior was as natural as the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood–was begotten of his Father, as we “I have given you a few leading items upon this subject, but a great deal more remains to be told. Now, remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 51). were of our fathers.” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115).

Since i grew up in the South, had some fairly conservative religious instruction and it is on TV, and radio constantly, like many southerns the fire breathers of the far right become so much background noise. The media has done their part to make the fire and brimstone crowd mainstream. Though if the national spotlight is going to be pushed that way by far Right Republicans the general public may take a longer look and not find conservative’s take on religion all that mainstream. I tend to think the whole Rev. Wright matter got more press than it deserved. On the other hand in the 2008 campaign the right’s zealots were left off the hook –  McCain’s Spiritual Guide: Destroy Islam

The leader of a 12,000-member congregation, Parsley has written several books outlining his fundamentalist religious outlook, including the 2005 Silent No More. In this work, Parsley decries the “spiritual desperation” of the United States, and he blasts away at the usual suspects: activist judges, civil libertarians who advocate the separation of church and state, the homosexual “culture” (“homosexuals are anything but happy and carefree”), the “abortion industry,” and the crass and profane entertainment industry. And Parsley targets another profound threat to the United States: the religion of Islam.

In a chapter titled “Islam: The Deception of Allah,” Parsley warns there is a “war between Islam and Christian civilization.”

The public is generally not fond of the idea of some never ending war with a third of the world’s population ( there are a little over 2 billion Muslims). Just this past March the public seems a little tired of the holier than thou acts put on by some politicians, “Nearly four in 10 Americans (38 percent) say there has been too much expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders… Most Americans (54 percent) continue to say that churches and other houses of worship should keep out of politics.” During the 2008 campaign Palin appeared with far Right Republican pastor John Hagee and tried to cover it up – Palin to Staff: Delete Right-wing Pastor John Hagee

In internal emails with her communications staff, then-Alaska governor Sarah Palin tried to censor a press release put out by an independent organization linking her to controversial Texas pastor John Hagee, the influential Christian-Zionist leader whose statements on Catholicism and Hurricane Katrina caused Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to publicly repudiate him in 2008.

Hagee said that New Orleans pretty much asked for Hurricane Katrina because of all the “gays” and claimed the Catholicism is a “cult”. So let’s have a campaign where religion is front and center. What do conservatives have on Obama – Rev. Wright and some wacko urban myths. On the other hand conservatives have some real baggage, and video and texts of their baggage does not require any sinister scheming or wild-eyed interpretation – it is all out there for anyone to read. The who has the most radical religious affiliations is part and parcel of the conservative Republican playbook. They find one or two Democrats and hammer over what they said, gross exaggerations of what they said, distortions of what they said and just make up quotes. A recent example of how conservatives play the game: You know why all Democrats are racists? Because the late Senator Robert Byrd was in the KKK when he was young. Never mind the next sixty years and his voting record. Never mind his constant apologies. Never mind that he was man enough to truly repent for his wrongs and redeem himself. I learned this on Twitter from a actor named Adam Baldwin. He played the wing-nut on “Chuck” ( one assumes as balance to Chuck’s liberalism). Baldwin does not even try to pass himself as knowledgeable. He has memorized every imbecilic conservative talking point. Twitter is the perfect place for him to express his views, they can all be summed up in 140 characters and have all the depth of a bumper sticker. I’ve said before that obviously not all conservatives are racists, but they continue to have a large contingency of people with race issues. And they are happy to exploit that segment of conservatives – in sometimes coded language, sometimes not so coded , to get votes. Baldwin  is for” small government”. Well, so am I, that is why I’m not a conservative. Every conservative presidency since Eisenhower and every conservative Republican Congressional majority has made government bigger. That is how to play the game. They use a few people to paint in very broad strokes of radicalism. It is difficult to find a conservative is actually moderate and reasonable. This just came in as I was writing: CNN’s Erick Erickson Calls Obama A “Composite Kenyan” While Praising Breitbart.com For Continued “Vetting” Of Obama.

 

Conservative Republicans Are The Shame of The Nation: House ‘Violence Against Women Act’ Bill Ratchets Up Attacks on Domestic Violence Survivors

Women have been under economic assault in Washington for months. Deficit hawks have taken aim at social programs and civil rights protections that help keep women safe, healthy and able to participate in work and community life. To some lawmakers, none of that is more important than “saving” taxpayer dollars—which is often shorthand for robbing working women of both their earnings and their safety net.

The hostility toward women crested this week as conservative lawmakers pushed legislation that would gut the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). House Bill 4970 isn’t just oppressive to survivors; it attacks the civil and social rights of all women. By raising barriers to economic assistance and legal recourse, the legislation sends the message to countless women living in violent households that their place is still in the home.

[  ]…The economics of intimate partner violence shape the impacts of abuse as well. According to a 2007 analysis by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence:

The cost of intimate partner violence exceeds $5.8 billion each year, $4.1 billion of which is for direct medical and mental health services.
Victims of intimate partner violence lost almost 8 million days of paid work because of the violence perpetrated against them by current or former husbands, boyfriends and dates. This loss is the equivalent of more than 32,000 full-time jobs and almost 5.6 million days of household productivity as a result of violence.
There are 16,800 homicides and $2.2 million (medically treated) injuries due to intimate partner violence annually, which costs $37 billion.

But conservatives are not the ones who have declared war on women because….Bill Clinton cheated on Hillary, so there. It does not come naturally to make absurd deflections like that, but I might get better at it with practice.

If only conservatives currently in Congress were genuinely for smaller government. If they were you would think this would be an issue where they could team up with civil libertarians in the Democratic Progressive Caucus. The Kafkaesque Terrorist List Our Government Keeps

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski had a simple question for the government attorney: what would you do if you found yourself on the No Fly List? After some hemming and hawing, the attorney said that he would seek “redress” from the Department of Homeland Security – even though DHS does not place people on the No Fly list and has no authority to remove them (that’s the FBI’s job). Because, the lawyer conceded, DHS would not be able to confirm or deny whether he was on the list, he would then seek review in a federal appellate court. And what would the court be able to do?, asked Judge Kozinski. Not much, said the government lawyer. In fact, the lawyer would not even concede that a federal court possessed the authority to order someone removed from the No Fly List. In other words, according to the United States government, the only redress that is available to a watch-listed citizen is to hope that some government bureaucrat will correct a mistake or change his mind.