Forest Waterfall wallpaper – What We Have Learned From Romney, Ryan and The Elite

Forest Waterfall wallpaper

 

Except for E.J. Dionne and Ezra Klein, WaPo seems hardly worth a visit anymore, so I was surprised to see this great piece of satire by Steven Pearlstein, I am a job creator: A manifesto for the entitled

I am the misunderstood superhero of American capitalism, single-handedly creating wealth and prosperity despite all the obstacles put in my way by employees, government and the media.

…I am entitled to a healthy and well-educated workforce, a modern and efficient transportation system and protection for my person and property, just as I am entitled to demonize the government workers who provide them.

I am entitled to complain bitterly about taxes that are always too high, even when they are at record lows.

I am entitled to a judicial system that efficiently enforces contracts and legal obligations on customers, suppliers and employees but does not afford them the same right in return.

…I am entitled to provide political support to radical, uncompromising politicians and then complain about how dysfunctional Washington has become.

…I am entitled to load companies up with debt in order to pay myself and investors big dividends — and then blame any bankruptcy on over-compensated workers.

I am entitled to contracts, subsidies, tax breaks, loans and even bailouts from government, even as I complain about job-killing government budget deficits.

Things we learned from Romney and conservatives

I skipped around a bit, the rest is at the link. Steven  could have just as well entitled it the Romney-Ryan World View or This is The Bubble of The Conservative Mind.

Maybe some day after scientists crack the fusion issue and we have all the cheap clean energy of our dreams they can plot the calculus  of Republican shrillness as a function of their desperation, Top Romney Adviser Criticizes Obama For Not Killing Bin Laden Fast Enough

Sununu said that Obama was “timid,” could have gone after the terrorist mastermind sooner, and attributed the successful operation to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton:

The president is trying to take credit for following the strategy and the tactics put into place by George W. Bush. At some point the president is going to have to explain why he was timid on the first two or three opportunities that we had. Thank goodness Hillary Clinton was there was to convince him to do the right thing. […] His trying to take credit for having been decisive belies the fact that he wasn’t decisive until pressed by others.

But former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served in both the Bush and Obama administrations, described Obama’s decision to order the raid that killed Osama bin Laden “gutsy,” saying that “people don’t realize” what a tough call it was and not everyone would have made the same call. Vice President Biden and Gates both advised Obama against taking the course he chose on the bin Laden raid, noting that “There wasn’t any direct evidence that he was there. It was all circumstantial.”

As TPro also notes Romney has said “It’s not worth moving heaven and earth spending billions of dollars just trying to catch one person.” Though conservatives certainly thought it was worth what will likely total $3 trillion dollars to invade a country that had no connections to 9-11 and no WMD. While most of the conservatives I know are more moderate they would never go back to a restaurant that served them a bad steak and order steak again. Yet they will continue the same disastrous foreign policies over and  over again. Lead by the same tin-foil wrapped thinking, guided by a nationalistic view of American exceptionalism that spends lives and money as though they hold little value.

CNN Paints Misleading Picture Of Ryan Medicare Plan

CNN’s Sanjay Gupta claimed that the proposed changes to Medicare that Congressman Paul Ryan has offered would allow seniors to choose between “a voucher” system and “traditional Medicare,” while keeping the system affordable. In fact, experts say the Ryan plan would threaten Medicare’s long-term viability and potentially would increase seniors’ medical costs by thousands of dollars.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has looked at the Ryan plan, as has The Brookings Institute. The Ryan plan guts Medicare. CNN should be up to date on the facts – if those matter anymore to modern broadcast journalists or infotainers. When you gut Medicare for most Americans, it also guts a good part of Social Security because seniors without a lot of retirement resources would be forced to dip into Social Security to pay for the new Ryan expenses. Conservatives are of course calling Ryan CBS interview a hack job, it is the only, and as usual lame excuse they have. That was Ryan on the screen with an opportunity to sell himself and Romney as the wiz kids with the answers. It was like watching a raccoon frozen, caught trying to put the lid back on the trashcan, The Paul Ryan Legend Dissipates 

Wallace is trying to do something that Ryan is not used to: ask him how the numbers in his plan add up. The Romney tax plan is premised on a mathematical impossibility. It promises to reduce tax rates by 20 percent and cover the lost revenue by eliminating tax deductions, exempting tax breaks for investment income. Even making a series of assumptions ranging from friendly to impossibly friendly, it can’t add up. The lost revenue from the tax rate cuts on income over $250,000 exceeds the available revenue from eliminating deductions. Even Republican attempts to disprove this finding have inadvertently confirmed it.

Ryan PowerPoint has mostly had the kind of scrutiny that conservatives voters give conservative candidates  – they hang on every word with the unquestioning idolatry which has become a hallmark of the conservative movement. Now someone asks a simple questions about facts that he has laid out in PowerPoint to Republican voters numerous times and suddenly he cannot give even a snapshot of his plan or Romneys’.

And nobody has ever asked him. Because Ryan’s role in the budget discourse was not to be questioned, but to question others. If he was asked to comment, it was to express his sadness over Obama’s alleged unwillingness to enact the bipartisan debt plans that Ryan in fact killed.

Ryan is still an extremely skilled bullshitter — vastly better at it than Romney. But he’s actually seeing, for the first time, questions that attempt to pry information out of him, rather than the batting practice lobs to which he’s accustomed. He’s going to emerge from the race with his legend punctured.

As much as Ryan is being exposed for the clown he is, it’s a pretty safe bet he’ll be back in 2016 as a viable presidential candidate.

Mitt Romney: Free Speech Is for Billionaires, Not School-Teachers

What does a plutocracy look like? How about a leveraged buy-out artist who used his family connections – and gamed the tax code – to amass a $378 million fortune , and whose campaign is almost entirely financed by deep-pocketed conservative sugar-daddies, saying that while money equals Constitutionally protected free speech for his own donors, there should be limits on political spending by teachers making $75,000 per year.

That’s exactly what transpired on Tuesday at an education forum in New York. According to CBS, Romney said that “we simply can’t have” elected officials who may receive contributions from teachers’ unions negotiating with them. “I think it’s a mistake,” Romney said. “I think we have to get the money out of the teachers unions going into campaigns.” CBS adds: “He suggested that money should somehow be diverted or cut off,” but — as is typical with Romney — “he did not offer details.”

One would be hard-pressed to come up with a better example of rank hypocrisy.

Another entry for Steven’s next list of what the entitled think about the little people. Romney, the Koch brothers, BofA, whatever corporation has the right to spend more on lobbyists who have direct meetings with House and Senate staff, than they do on taxes, and teachers should not be able to negotiate with any elected official conservatives deem unfit to do so. I guess that inside the bubble of the noise machine this kind of rhetorical nonsense from themselves and other Republicans makes sense, not so much for non-kool-aid drinkers.

I only have so much time and so I post about my priorities. For those who would like to catch up on some good posts on the whole drone intra Democratic/liberal debate –  Droning on About Drones. Boo makes a fact based point that cannot be repeated enough – the U.S. military is not going around, under Obama’s direction, indiscriminately killing innocent Muslim villagers. Though one can get that impression from reading certain liberal bloggers. Ideals are great but there really is such a thing as real life day-to-day politics in which, yes, I’m sorry to break it to some people, you have to choose between what absolutely sucks and the less than perfect. There is that old saying to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Some bloggers don’t need to read that yet again, they need to really think about it. This is also a good post in that regard,  Dear Freddie: Politics Doesn’t just happen once every four years. Politics happens every day.

 

Palin and McCain’s “Real” America is Getting a Little Surreal

The Conservative Mind at Work in “real” America

Palin Charged State for Children’s Travel

The Associated Press reports that Gov. Sarah Palin has amended Alaska travel disclosure forms to note that her children were performing state business when they were brought on trips, even to those in which they were not invited.

That amount includes over $21 thousand for her daughter’s travel expenses and sometimes included their hotel stays. I could almost sympatize since she does have a family and having them with her probably helps deal with the stress of being on the road and under such intense public scrutiny. “Performing state business”, that’s another matter. A claim that wouldn’t go oover too well with the IRS should the average American family try to justify as a deductible expense. No wonder Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin looks every bit as stylish as her NBC doppelganger Tina Fey

“The Republican National Committee appears to have spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August,” reports The Politico.

Add the travel claims in with shopping that included stops at Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus and the average American wage earner is wondering about what Palin thniks the “real” America is. The public does have some expectations about the appearance of presidential canidates, but probably cannot help but wonder if they couldn’t have taken her to a mdeium priced department store and gotten her a perfectly nice campaign wardrobe for 10 percent of that 150 grand. In genuinely sad contrast is Palins’ attitude abot a program for special needs kids in Colorado

Amendment 51 provides thousands of children and adults with Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and Mental Retardation with critically needed care, through a modest, phased-in sales tax of 2/10 of 1%.

In her speech at the Republican National Convention just this past September Palin said,

“To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters,” she said. “I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House.’’

So what does Palin think of this very modest increase in sales tax, a measure supported by the Republican First lady of Colorado,

“There’s got to be an alternative to raising taxes….It’s a matter of prioritizing the dollars that are already there in government. What I did as governor in Alaska is prioritize for a great increase in funding for students with special needs up there and I think Colorado can do that also.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean increasing taxes to meet those needs. It’s all a matter of prioritization.”

The tax supporters have already pointed out that the $186 million needed for the special needs program isn’t just laying around.

Republican Marxism – the collective is the wealthy. The assets of American workers are directed upwards as the majority of the tax burden for the infrastructure that makes corporate wealth possible, is shifted to the middle-class.

McCain’s “Socialism” Charge

John McCain , Sarah Palin , and various surrogates have revived the 1950s socialist epithet as a way of dismissing Obama’s argument for greater economic fairness. The irony, of course, is stunning when this kind of rhetoric elides into the massive Wall Street bailout, most likely eventuating in partial public ownership of private corporations. McCain flew back in time to vote for this.

[   ]…Every time tax policy is tailored to give incentives to expand home ownership, encourage employer-sponsored health plans, or reduce capital gains taxes to stimulate job creation, or when government adopts plans build highways or bridges to nowhere, fund medical research, regulate or not regulate derivatives and credit swaps, it engages in inherently — often deliberate — acts of redistribution.

[  ]…Economist Larry Summers, former Treasury Secretary and past president of Harvard University, says that in the last 29 years, those earning the top one percent of income have gained about $600 billion. Those in bottom 80 percent have lost about $600 billion.

In some ways we already live in a socialists state. A Republican nanny state that rewards those with plenty of econmic advantages and tells those with less advantages to work harder, someday you’ll get here too. Its incredible that we have multi-genrational millionaires that swear they have earned every penny. Their false pride just will not let them acknowledge Adam Smith axiom that no wealth/capital is possible without labor. Its troubling that people like Joe the Plumber thinks progressive taxation is the enemy – he wouldn’t have an education or a job without it. This is the link to the stats on the picture,

The report also compares the growth in average CEO pay – which was $11.8 million in 2004 – to the growth in the minimum wage. Had the minimum wage risen as fast as CEO compensation since 1990, the researchers calculated, it would now be $23.03 an hour instead of just $5.15. And the average production worker would be making $110,126 a year instead of $27,460.

Working productivity has gone up and from what we’ve been told since we were old enough to walk that should mean that wages have gone up for those wrokers, but in real dollars the working class like Joe is losing money, not because Democrats have been picking on people making 40 grand a year, but because our economy is skewed toward rewarding wealth, not work. In 2006, Oil: Exxon Chairman’s $400 Million Parachute

Exxon is giving Lee Raymond one of the most generous retirement packages in history, nearly $400 million, including pension, stock options and other perks, such as a $1 million consulting deal, two years of home security, personal security, a car and driver, and use of a corporate jet for professional purposes.

This got some media buzz for about a week and faded from the public’s memory. Was 2007 any better, Exxon CEO’s compensation increased in 2007

Tillerson was paid a base salary of $1.75 million last year, up from $1.5 million in 2006, and his bonus rose to $3.36 million from $2.8 million, the proxy showed.

The executive, who heads up the world’s largest corporation by market capitalization, also received $5.7 million in stock awards consisting mostly of restricted shares, up from $4.2 million in 2006.
The 56-year-old Tillerson succeeded Lee Raymond as Exxon Mobil’s CEO on Jan. 1, 2006.

Neither Tillerson or Raymond poseess any special knwledge or skills that are worth that kind of money. They’re not neurosurgeons, gifted physicists, teachers that work for thirty years educating thousands of America children and they’re not soldiers putting their lives on the line for a war a frat boy elitest lied us into. Other then being intimately familiar with spreadsheets they, like most of Americas CEOs rely on the expertise of others. In the oil business its geologists, transportation specialists and teams of other people with special skills and training that make their wealth possible.

Rep. Murtha called them rednecks, Mccain calls them his base, McCain Calls Western PA “Most” Patriotic, God-Loving Part Of The Country

McCain: “And you know, I couldn’t agree with them more.”

“I couldn’t disagree with you.”

“I couldn’t agree with you more than the fact that Western Pennsylvania is the most patriotic, most God-loving, most patriotic part of America… this is a great part of the country.”

Forget about McCain blowing the line…

Somehow the most patriotic and most devout people in America ended up in Western Pennsylvania. McBush does realize he’s saying that his adopted home state of Arizona and Palin’s Alaska would then be less patriotic and less devout. I suspect that someone is wrapped a little too tight. Rather then running for president, McCain should start making retirement plans from politics all together.