Extreme Liberal's Blog

Where Liberalism Is Alive and Well!

Happy Father’s Day – Cute Granddaughter Edition

I’ve started writing about my fathers, both my real father who died when I was 6 years old and my step-father who died a couple years ago, who became my dad when I was 14. Both were amazing men and had a very positive impact on my life. I am also very grateful and blessed to have had a Big Brother, Jack, from Big Brothers of America (now Big Brothers/Big Sisters). All 3 of those men had a lot to do with who I am. Thanks guys!

I have never had any children, but I am the step-father to an awesome woman who is the mother of my equally awesome granddaughter. Below are some pictures of my granddaughter that have been texted to me over the last couple of days. She’s pretty cool. We are watching her next weekend, I can’t wait.

At the zoo, the first time seeing an alligator, pretty much sums it up!

Cool kid! Always curious!

Her mom says she likes camping!

Time to blow some bubbles!

I may get the other post up later today, but I may not. I don’t want to rush it and I have a lot of work to do on a video project. Fun work, but work non-the-less.

June 19, 2011 Posted by | Photography | | 1 Comment

Netroots Nation 2011 And How President Obama Has Led!

I kept thinking about going to Netroots Nation 2011 this year because I knew that the organizers are very anti-Obama and I really wanted to get in their faces. I’m sure it would not have been a pleasant scene, not that I care, but unfortunately, I was not able to attend. I would have been that guy being dragged out of the session, singing a protest song or screaming “don’t taze me bro”. I probably would have screamed “Real progressives care about progress, not their fucking egos” or “You’re sore losers, get over Hillary’s loss” or maybe “How is hurting the Democratic Party going to help progressives?”. But like I said, it probably wouldn’t have been a pleasant scene, because I would have been a heckler at the Aravosis, Choi and Hamsher bitchfest. I would have made the biggest fucking scene, oh man.

When checking out the Netroots Nation 2011 website and seeing the agenda, it occurred to me once again, that President Obama is definitely the leader they should be rallying around. They have many panels and discussions about topics that President Obama has been a fierce leader on. It proves that President Obama is the most progressive president we’ve ever had. Here is a description of one panel on their schedule, followed by the many things President Obama has done on each topic.

Thu, 06/16/2011 – 4:30pm, M100 H

The issues progressives work on today have long and storied histories–ones that provide valuable lessons for today’s modern progressive movement. In this panel, progressive historians and scholars will explore brief histories of the key issues of our time, including labor, Social Security, the welfare state and safety net, women’s rights, immigration, the religious right, voting rights and equality.

So of course I immediately thought of all the great things that Obama administration has accomplished in those areas. Google President Obama and accomplishments and you will find many of them.

Labor

  • Established POWER Initiative – protects government workers, ensures reemployment, reduces worker’s comp claims and payments. ref
  • Restored funding to the EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. ref
  • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; Instituted equal pay for women. ref, ref, ref

Social Security

  • Social Security Disability Applicant Access to Professional Representation Act of 2010. ref
  • President Obama has been emphatic about his support for Social Security, here, here and here.

Welfare State and Safety Net

  • Expanded eligibility for Medicaid. ref
  • Provided $20 billion increase for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. ref
  • Increased funding to expand community based prevention prog: rams. ref
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act // Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (March 2010). ref , ref
  • Expanded eligibility for State Children’s Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP). ref, ref

Women’s Rights

  • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act; Instituted equal pay for women. ref, ref, ref
  • Presidential Memorandum extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. ref , ref , ref , ref
  • Established White House Council on Women and Girls (Executive Order 13506 ). ref
  • Financial agencies must establish Offices of Women and Minorities to promote more diverse hiring.
  • Established a New Patient’s Bill of Rights. ref
  • Increased funding to expand community based prevention prog: rams. ref

Immigration

  • Requested emergency funding of $600 million for Border Security. ref
  • Has supported and continues to support passage of the Dream Act which the congress has dropped the ball on.
  • President Obama continues to meet with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to get the Dream Act passed.

Equality

  • Presidential Memorandum extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. ref , ref , ref , ref
  • Presidential Memorandum protecting gay and lesbian partners’ visitation/healthcare decision-making rights (4/15/2010). ref
  • Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to include gender, sexual orientation and disability. ref
  • Used the proper procedure for the permanent repeal of DADT, ending the Clinton era program that continued discrimination against GLBT service members.
  • Financial agencies must establish Offices of Women and Minorities to promote more diverse hiring.
  • Increased minority access to capital. ref
  • Signed the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. ref
  • Increased Federal Employment of Individuals with Disabilities (Exec Order)(celebrating 20th anniversary of the ADA). ref, ref
  • Civil Rights History Project Act of 2009. ref, ref
  • Tribal Law and Order Act. ref, ref, ref, ref

So as you can see, the President has been a great leader on all of those issues that were discussed in that panel at Netroots Nation 2011. I wasn’t there, but I’m sure they spent much of the time talking about all the great things the Obama administration has done and how they can help him continue to fight for those issues. I just know that is how the panel went, but like I said, I wasn’t there.

Source for much of the above accomplishments.

June 18, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Accomplishments, President Barack Obama | , | 5 Comments

Netroots Nation ’11 Focuses On Issues President Obama Is Strong On!

As progressives, and those who are making money off of them, gather in Minneapolis, the subjects they are taking on seem to read like the list of President Obama’s accomplishments. I’m not sure many of the organizers or attendees realize it, but in reading down the list of topics, it seems pretty obvious that President Obama’s priorities and the topics up for discussion are very much in line with each other. Some examples…

Topic: Engaging Progressives in the Fight to Save Public Education 

Some of President Obama’s accomplishments on Education

Topic: Dirty Energy: The Fight Against Coal, Oil, Natural Gas and Nuclear Power

Some of President Obama’s accomplishments on clean energy and regulating “dirty” energy

  • More than doubled federal spending for research on clean fuels. ref
  • $60 billion in spending and tax incentives for renewable and clean energy. ref
  • Invested $2 billion in solar power, hailed new jobs. ref, ref, ref
  • Doubled funding for bicycling, walking projects ref, ref
  • (DOL) Dedicated $100 million in Energy Training Partnership green jobs training grants. ref
  • $8 billion combined public/pvt funding committed to develop Smart Power Grid (part of ARRA). ref
  • Increased funding for the Environmental Protection Agency. ref
  • Created job training programs in clean technologies for displaced workers. ref
  • Created Green Vet Initiative to promote environmental jobs for veterans. ref
  • Ended the previous policy of not regulating and labeling carbon dioxide emissions. ref
  • Set smog limit: new strict proposal to replace Bush-era rule (EPA). ref ref
  • Required states to provide incentives for utilities to reduce energy consumption. ref

Isn’t it amazing how much President Obama has done for the progressive movement. The accomplishments highlighted above are just some of what our most progressive president EVER has accomplished in 2 and 1/2 years. He accomplished them while battling against lock-step opposition from the right and even carping from a small group on the left – the naive, narcissistic, petty, “what-have-you-done-for-me-lately” crowd. Can you imagine how much more he could have accomplished if that latter group had helped instead of hindered him in the process. It also would have been nice if they had at least acknowledged the fact that he was negotiating with a crazed right-wing and a group of “conservadems” that forced the President to the middle.

But I’m very encouraged to see that Netroots Nation and the President are so in line on the issues. Obama 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Source for the many accomplishments of President Obama. If you Google that sentence, you will see many more accomplishments. I love Google, by the way. I wouldn’t use anything but Google.

June 17, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Accomplishments, Politics, President Barack Obama | | 8 Comments

Conservatives Without A Party!

I read a couple of good pieces on modern conservatism and thought I’d share passages that caught my eye. I won’t pretend to be as informed as Fareed Zakaria and Andrew Sullivan, the authors of the pieces. From Fareed’s piece in Time…(emphasis mine)

Consider the debates over the economy. The Republican prescription is to cut taxes and slash government spending — then things will bounce back. Now, I would like to see lower rates in the context of tax simplification and reform, but what is the evidence that tax cuts are the best path to revive the U.S. economy? Taxes — federal and state combined — as a percentage of GDP are at their lowest level since 1950. The U.S. is among the lowest taxed of the big industrial economies. So the case that America is grinding to a halt because of high taxation is not based on facts but is simply a theoretical assertion. The rich countries that are in the best shape right now, with strong growth and low unemployment, are ones like Germany and Denmark, neither one characterized by low taxes.

So that whole “Taxed enough already” bullshit is just that, bullshit. It is part of the brainwashing that has occurred over the last 30 years, starting with Reagan. Reality has no place in these people’s thinking. More from Fareed…

In fact, right now any discussion of government involvement in the economy — even to build vital infrastructure — is impossible because it is a cardinal tenet of the new conservatism that such involvement is always and forever bad. Meanwhile, across the globe, the world’s fastest-growing economy, China, has managed to use government involvement to create growth and jobs for three decades. From Singapore to South Korea to Germany to Canada, evidence abounds that some strategic actions by the government can act as catalysts for free-market growth. (See a dozen Republicans who could be the next President.)

Of course, American history suggests that as well. In the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s, the U.S. government made massive investments in science and technology, in state universities and in infant industries. It built infrastructure that was the envy of the rest of the world. Those investments triggered two generations of economic growth and put the U.S. on top of the world of technology and innovation.

There Fareed goes again, talking about reality. But with the new anti-intellectual Republican Party, facts are for chumps. Can you just imagine being a Democrat who is trying to help her constituents and having to deal with those jokers who don’t really care what the facts are, what history has shown us or what those brainy experts tell us.

Andrew Sullivan, who I have mixed feelings about, wrote in response to Fareed’s piece. If you want to hear some of his ideas that are way off, I recommend the Real Time with Bill Maher podcast from a few weeks ago, maybe a month now, where Andrew was on the panel. It’s good stuff if you have the time. Andrew’s piece on modern conservatives was very good, I recommend you read the whole thing. From Andrew…

On these terms, today’s GOP could not be less conservative. I’d insist it’s less conservative than Obama. It does not present reality-based reform for emergent problems. It simply reiterates dogma and ruthlessly polices dissent or debate.

So no tax increases are allowed, period. Why? Because they “kill jobs”. So why do we have record unemployment after a period of unprecedentedly low taxation? No answer. If lower taxes have led to stagnation, the answer must always be: lower taxes some more. Why not end them all together?

I wonder the same thing about taxes. How much lower can they go and what in the fuck will Republicans have to talk about when they are completely gone. They will have nothing. This next paragraph nails what the Republican Party is all about these days, Andrew Sullivan presents a great summary…

Back in the 1980s, conservatism was a thrilling empirical, reality-based challenge to overweening government power and omniscient liberal utopianism. Today, alas, it has become a victim of its own success, reliving past glories rather than tackling current problems. It is part secular dogma – no taxes, no debt, more war – and part religious dogma – no Muslims need apply; amend the federal constitution to keep gays in their place; no abortions even for rape and incest; more settlements on the West Bank to prepare for the End-Times. Although there were inklings back then – Stockman was right; Iran-Contra should have been a warning – they were still balanced by empiricism. Reagan raised taxes, withdrew from Lebanon, hated war, and tried to abolish all nuclear weapons on earth. The first Bush was an under-rated deficit-cutter and diplomat, a legacy doubly squandered by his son.

Now it’s Levin-land: either total freedom or complete slavery and a rhetorical war based entirely on that binary ideological spectrum. In other words, ideological performance art: brain-dead, unaware of history, uninterested in policy detail, bored by empiricism, motivated primarily by sophistry, Manicheanism, and factional hatred.

And finally, I’ll let Andrew bring us home with his final words from his piece.

In contrast, today’s unconservative “conservatism” is a movement held together by cultural resentment and xenophobic panic. Until it wrests free of this trap, it deserves its Palinesque fate: an ideology wrapped in anachronism, and laced with venom.

June 17, 2011 Posted by | Politics, Republican Party | | Leave a comment

President Obama – A Man Of The People (New Photos)

President Barack Obama consoles a woman at the Joplin Community Memorial Service at Missouri Southern University in Joplin, Mo., May 29, 2011. The President delivered remarks during the service for those impacted by the deadly tornado that struck Joplin on May 22, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and European Commission President JosŽ Manuel Barroso greet people on the street before attending the G8 Summit in Deauville, France, May 26, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama greets Hugh Hills, 85, in front of his home in Joplin, Mo., May 29, 2011. Hills hid in a closet during the tornado, which destroyed the second floor and half the first floor of his house. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama is photographed with a young girl during a walk along Main Street in Moneygall, Ireland, May 23, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama talks with residents during a tour of neighborhoods impacted by the deadly tornado in Joplin, Mo., May 29, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama greets residents during a tour of neighborhoods impacted by the deadly tornado in Joplin, Mo., May 29, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

June 16, 2011 Posted by | Photography, President Barack Obama | | Leave a comment

Summer Is The Time For Indoctrinating Your Children!

I’m sure most of you have seen this story about the summer camp for young Tea Party children, but for those of you who haven’t, I thought I must share. In some ways, it scares the hell out of me, because it shows just how crazy and determined those people are and what extremes they will go to in order to grow their numbers. But when you look at what they are doing, it gets pretty funny.  From Tampabay.com (St. Petersburg Times)

The organization, which falls under the tea party umbrella, hopes to introduce kids ages 8 to 12 to principles that include “America is good,” “I believe in God,” and “I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

That last sentence speaks volumes to me about this group. Yesterday’s post about Ayn Rand and her warped, fictional ideas touched on the idea that selfishness is a virtue to be embraced. To me, that shows exactly how far American culture has fallen. When a group actually comes right out and encourages people to not be charitable, I can’t help but think that our culture is in need of some soul searching. More from the Times article…

One example at Liberty: Children will win hard, wrapped candies to use as currency for a store, symbolizing the gold standard. On the second day, the “banker” will issue paper money instead. Over time, students will realize their paper money buys less and less, while the candies retain their value.

“Some of the kids will fall for it,” Lukens said. “Others kids will wise up.”

Another example: Starting in an austere room where they are made to sit quietly, symbolizing Europe, the children will pass through an obstacle course to arrive at a brightly decorated party room (the New World).

Red-white-and-blue confetti will be thrown. But afterward the kids will have to clean up the confetti, learning that with freedom comes responsibility.

I guess I don’t even understand what they are trying to say with the “austere” room vs. the “party” room. I guess it is, “Europe bad, America fun”. But then after the fun, the kids have to clean up after the party. Is that really sending the signal they want to? Sitting quietly might look pretty good after they have to pick up thousands of pieces of confetti, that shit gets everywhere. Something tells me that kids 8 – 12 aren’t really going to internalize these games and activities the way the “adults” who designed them want them to. I wonder if they will punish kids who are generous and learned to share at daycare or paid attention at Sunday school and learned some of Christ’s teachings. I can just hear them saying, “No, little Johnny, don’t give Petey a piece of candy, he’s a parasite”.

Still another example: Children will blow bubbles from a single container of soapy solution, and then pop each other’s bubbles with squirt guns in an arrangement that mimics socialism. They are to count how many bubbles they pop. Then they will work with individual bottles of solution and pop their own bubbles.

“What they will find out is that you can do a lot more with individual freedom,” Lukens said.

Sure, individual freedom is what they will learn from that. That’s going to be “funner” than shit. In fact, I think I’ll get my wife to play that game with me this weekend. I’m sure as they are squirting bubbles, laughing and getting each other wet, they’re going to be thinking about individual freedom. Sure they are. And really, do they think children playing by themselves is going to be more fun than playing with the other children?

I’m not exactly worried about this little stunt having a major impact on anything. As of Monday, 8 children had signed up.

June 16, 2011 Posted by | Republican Party, Tea Party, Teabaggers | | 7 Comments

Ayn Rand And The Republican’s Deal With The Devil!

The Republican Party has made a wrong turn in recent years and is headed for a cliff that wasn’t on the map a few years ago. The wrong turn happened when they fully embraced the ideas of Ayn Rand and let her fictionalized world invade reality. I’m posting a couple of clips of Ayn Rand herself, telling us those ideas that the modern Republican Party has embraced so fully. As we Democrats bring these ideas to light over the next year and a half of the election, it should be fun watching as some Republicans try to turn the steering wheel away from the cliff, while the die-hard’s, like Paul Ryan, fight them to the death. ThinkProgress put together this great mashup of Rand’s ideas intermixed with those Republicans embracing her very radical ideas.

That clip just touches on some of her madness. The inspiration for this post is from a piece by David Johnson and I found it at SetYouFree News.  I’ve admitted that up until recently, I didn’t know a hell of a lot about Ayn Rand and her writings. What I have learned is pretty scary, considering the Republicans have embraced her work so much. And my god, the hypocrisy they are exhibiting is just off the hook.

One very revealing thing about the mind of Ayn Rand that David Johnson wrote in his piece is Ms. Rand’s admiration of William Hickman, an American criminal responsible for the kidnapping, murder and dismemberment of Marion Parker, a 12-year-old girl in the 1920′s. From David Johnson’s piece…(emphasis his)

Rand’s work is very popular among conservatives now. It forms a core justification for their “on your own” philosophy praising the wealthy and discarding the rest. So it is useful to explore the formation and core of this philosophy. Early in her writings Rand became fascinated with a serial killer named William Hickman.Rand wrote that the serial killer was an “ideal man,” a superior form of human because he didn’t let society impose their morals on him. He didn’t worry about what others thought and just did as he pleased.”Other people do not exist for him, and he does not see why they should,” Rand wrote. Hickman had “no regard whatsoever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. He has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel ‘other people.’” She considered these to be good qualities! And so does her cult.

This is the foundation of the modern “tea party” conservative thinking. So when you look at the modern capitalism that has grown up around Rand’s philosophy and the big corporations that are chewing up the planet to enrich a very few at the expense of the rest of us, and think it seems sort of psychopathic, maybe that’s because it literally is.
As her ideas become better known, with little help from the major media outlets, the backlash is beginning for the Republican Party. Paul Ryan’s budget plan pushed the issues and ideas that these Republican’s embrace into the spotlight. It was a monumentally stupid idea for the GOP, and I’m so happy they did it. At the core of Ayn Rand’s philosophy (a generous word for it) is “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.” (from Wikipedia) That is a polite way of saying selfishness. Or every “man” for himself, I’ve got mine, fuck you. And her rigidity in that belief reminds me very much of the rigidity in the Republican Party on many things, including the concept of taxes. It seems the ultimate goal of the Republican Party is to return to frontier justice, eliminate the government, or at least all of it’s power, and let everyone fend for themselves.
We will see how this full embrace of Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand works out for them. It could very well cause a split between the Religious community and the Republican Party, which I’ve thought all along was not a good fit. Selfishness wasn’t one of Christ’s teachings from what I remember. Here is a clip of Ayn Rand talking about religion on the Phil Donahue show…
Something makes me think that the full embrace of Ayn Rand by so many leaders in the Republican Party is going to come back to haunt them. I certainly hope so.

June 15, 2011 Posted by | Republican Party, Tea Party | | 22 Comments

Republicans Are Trying To Hurt The Economy For Political Gain!

Some respected journalists have been dancing around the issue of whether Republicans are purposely trying to hurt the economy and job growth for political gain. I’m not afraid to say it. It is very obvious that’s exactly what they have been doing since President Obama took office. Sure, they’ve tried to couch their opposition to everything in ideological terms, but anyone with their eyes open wide, knows that they are doing everything they can to try and hurt him, and consequently, the country. ThinkProgress has the facts for us…

From the moment Obama entered office, right-wing conservatives embraced the posture of hell-bent opposition. Recall, in Jan. 2009, hate radio host Rush Limbaugh expressed his hope that Obama fails. One month later, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell proudly embraced Limbaugh at a conservative conference. The fringe rhetoric of far right activists had quickly become the de facto governing strategy of the Republican leadership, as they adopted a posture of obstructionism.

Believing that the Republican strategy of opposition has played to his political benefit, McConnell is pledging to do more of the same if Republicans win back the Senate. In an interview with the National Journal’s Major Garrett, McConnell candidly acknowledged that he feels his “single most important” job is to defeat President Obama in 2012:

MCCONNELL: We need to be honest with the public. This election is about them, not us. And we need to treat this election as the first step in retaking the government. We need to say to everyone on Election Day, “Those of you who helped make this a good day, you need to go out and help us finish the job.”

NATIONAL JOURNAL: What’s the job?

MCCONNELL: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.

And the Republican’s have been doing everything in their power to achieve that end. It started all the way back at the beginning of President Obama’s first term. Even before he took office, Bush administration economists and Obama’s people were having very urgent meetings about preventing a complete collapse of our economy. It was serious shit, very somber. The stimulus plan was devised by all the greatest economists in our country from the right and left. As these serious people were working hard to prevent the next great depression, the clowns in the Republican Party were already starting to play their games with our future. They helped to water down the stimulus package so much that the positive effects were minimal, which made it easier for the GOP to later sell their idea that the stimulus didn’t work. It was clear that they weren’t going to be able to stop the stimulus, so they did the next best thing. Most of the blame for the watering down rests with the spineless Democrats in congress, who let the Republicans push them to right. They bowed to the coordinated attacks from the right and the media and didn’t get a single one of their votes after all the watering down. I can think of another word besides watering.

Of course, almost every economist who is truthful will tell you that the stimulus did work and had it been bigger, it would have worked even better. From USA Today (August 2010) with the title “Economists Agree: Stimulus Created Nearly 3 Million Jobs“…

The White House says the multiyear $814 billion stimulus program passed by Congress in 2009 boosted employment by 2.5 million to 3.6 million jobs and raised the nation’s annual economic output by almost $400 billion. A recent study by two prominent economists generally agrees, crediting the pump-priming with averting “what could have been called Great Depression 2.0.”

I remember clearly – the dire predictions, the fainting couches breaking, the screeching of “do something quickly” and “the sky is falling, run for your lives.” And our calm, cool President did what he had to do to stop it, with ABSOLUTELY NO FREAKIN HELP FROM REPUBLICANS. In fact, there was lock-step opposition to it. That is when I knew that the Republicans were serious about sacrificing the economy of the country they call home, for their own political gain. It wasn’t enough that they got the chance to screw up the country for 8 years with their buddy Bush, but they were desperate to complete the destruction of America. And I’m not being hyperbolic either, those scum are anti-American pieces of shit. The next paragraph in that USA Today piece points to how successful the GOP and the media’s twisting worked…

If President Obama expected anyone to say, “Thank you,” however, he’s been disappointed. In a recent USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, 59% of respondents disapproved of the president’s handling of the economy. In the partisan war over the economy’s performance, the word “stimulus” has became synonymous with “boondoggle,” making the notion of a repeat any time soon highly unlikely — especially if Republicans seize control of one or both houses of Congress in November.

Once the weakened stimulus passed, after the Republican’s pulled every trick they could, with the help of the idiot “conservadems”, they immediately started saying how it didn’t work. It started even before most of it was even implemented. The right-wing noise machine and the brain dead media, just pushed the “it didn’t work” meme ad nauseum. They were relentless. And there was very little push back from anyone in the Democratic Party. Some of them seemed to join in the bashing and fell in line with the right-wing media’s bullshit, collapsing like spineless jellyfish. It must be nice to be able to hide amongst fellow wimps, dodging any responsibility (credit) for bills they voted for, but taking that credit when they presented the big checks.

The complicit media just bought into the right-wing memes of the stimulus not working and that the Obama administration “promised” that the unemployment rate would go down to 8.5%. Of course, those projections were based on the information the crooked Bush administration handed them when they walked into office and they were in no way “promises”. They were anything but “promises”, they were cautious forecasts with all sorts of caveats. But what the hell, media, call them promises, that’s what your right-wing overlords like. Must. Please. Bosses. Once the Obama administration had been in a couple of months, they revised those estimates and said the Bush administration projections were off. Did the media pick up on that, of course not. They continue to trumpet the original number, never even mentioning the revisions. That wouldn’t fit with the narrative now, would it?

But of course the Republican opposition to all of President Obama’s policies and particularly the stimulus plan didn’t prevent them from claiming credit in their districts and having pictures taken with the giant checks. Rachel Maddow, our one national treasure in the current media, nails one of them to the wall on Meet the Press

 

The DCCC has a Hypocrisy Hall of Fame for all those Republicans claiming credit in their districts while decrying the stimulus out of the other side of their mouths. But hypocrisy is the new norm in the Republican Party and because of it, the American people are desensitized to it now and just accept that all politicians are hypocrites, whether they are or not. It’s part of their scorched earth tactic to bring everyone down into the mud with them so they all look nice and dirty to the people. It will work, but only to a certain extent.

Even though respected journalists are avoiding “going there” with the idea that the GOP is purposely sabotaging our economy, they are hinting at it big time. E.J. Dionne goes there a little bit with this post…

Welcome to the miserable world of no-way-out politics.

The economy needs another jolt, but Congress is in gridlock. Democrats, or most of them, realize that their political futures and the well-being of millions of households hang on whether unemployment can be brought down. Yet Republicans have the capacity to block even the smallest steps forward.Here’s what the Democrats’ agony looks like from the inside. Last Thursday, Senate Democrats devoted their weekly policy lunch to a simple question: What proposals to spur job-creation have any chance of passing Congress, given Republican control of the House and the effective veto power the GOP has in a Senate where a simple majority no longer rules?

[...]

For the moment, Republicans have no interest in moving the nation’s debate toward investments in job creation because they gain twice over from keeping Washington mired in discussions on the deficit. It’s a brute fact that Republicans benefit if the economy stays sluggish…

I have to say that anyone who hasn’t noticed the Republicans very blatant attempts to stop the President from implementing any policy that would help the economy is simply in denial. They have either put their heads so deep in the sand OR so far up their ass, that they can’t see a damn thing. It’s one or the other, take your pick!

June 14, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Accomplishments, Budget, Economy, Hypocrisy Watch, Politics, President Barack Obama, Republican Party | | 5 Comments

The Consititution Updated For Modern Times!

From Stonekettle Station…(only the beginning, go read the whole thing)

The Preamble:

We the PATRIOTIC naturally born CHRISTIAN conservative ENGLISH speaking patriots of the awesomely exceptional GOD blessed United States of Awesome!!!! … in Order to form a bunch of states that have their own laws and do whatever the hell they want without regard to a central government (but in no way resemble that sissy European Union) … establish JUSTICE for people who look and think just like us … insure domestic Tranquility by deporting all the people we don’t like … provide for the common defense contractor, eliminate any and all social programs, and secure the Blessings of JESUS and Wall Street unto ourselves and to hell with future generations, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of By GOD America!!!!

Alternatively, instead of this preamble, Americans may misquote a bunch of random stuff from the Declaration of Independence.  Amen.

The Middle Part That Nobody Reads Anyway Except for Stupid Liberal Judges:

The Government of the United States of AWESOME will be made up of three parts: The President, Jesus … and some other stuff.

The President must be a born again white guy from TEXAS or OHIO who believes in JESUS!!! and can trace his ancestry back to the Mayflower … he should have some kind of law degree but not from one of those fancy elitist colleges full of stinky Liberals who hate America, he must be a man of the people whose family lives in some kind of “compound” and owns at least one major defense contractor or a bank, he must have started his own Fortune 500 hundred company, served in war, was an astronaut or fighter jock, was director of the CIA, a former governor, is an ordained Baptist minister, and can leap over tall buildings in a single bound, also he should be humble too. Also, he must believe in JESUS!!!!! Also he should have gray hair, but the distinguished kind of gray not that creepy old guy gray, and he should be tall but not freakishly so, he should always wear a little flag pin on his lapel and he should be able to JUGGLE or do a funny dance at BBQ’s. Also he should own a boat or a baseball team. Also, his wife should be HOT…

Go read the rest of it, Jim Wright is really good.

June 13, 2011 Posted by | Politics | | 4 Comments

Some Stuff You Should Read On This Sunday!

The Republican Party, of course, hasn’t learned any lessons from the their monumental mistakes over the last 10 years. It is the definition of “Insanity”, isn’t it? Tax breaks for rich people = prosperity for all, right?

Steve Benen also clues us into the type of shoddy sourcing that the right-wing is relying on going into the 2012 elections. With an assist to Greg Sargent.

I have known all along that once the Affordable Care Act went into effect, reality would start to replace the hyperbole that spewed from the right and the Hamwaldian’s and Huffpostian’s on the supposed left. From The People’s View.

I agreed with most, if not all, of what vdaze wrote in this post about Anthony Weiner. She’s really good, in case you haven’t bookmarked her Virtual Daze blog yet.

June 12, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Politics, Republican Party | , | 3 Comments

Sunday Photo Fun – Mostly Macro Edition

I took these four photos yesterday out in the yard. I’m blessed to have a wife who is an advanced master gardener and that I live in my dream home, with my dream yard, in my dream location. I’m sure glad I live in Michigan where you can own a paradise for so little money. And even though winters are long and suck, this time of year all the way through fall, when the leaves paint the scenery with bright colors, make living in Michigan worth it. Someday, I might be able to get away in winter, but I will always keep my paradise. I’ll get back to blogging later, heading out for a walk to the lake, with camera. :)

All photos by Extreme Liberal and free for the taking, for a higher resolution version, just ask.

June 12, 2011 Posted by | Photography, Public Domain | 5 Comments

Photo Saturday – Wild Animal Edition

All of these photos were taken in and around my yard over the last several years.

All Photos by Extreme Liberal and free for the taking, for higher resolution, just ask.

June 11, 2011 Posted by | Photography, Public Domain | 7 Comments

Our Awesome First Lady Michelle Obama In Pictures

Click on the photo to see a larger version.

First Lady Michelle Obama greets guests in the Blue Room of the White House during a Mother's Day Tea for military spouses, relatives, and friends, May 6, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

First Lady Michelle Obama greets students following a Flash Mob Dance at Alice Deal Middle School in Washington, D.C., May 3, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

First Lady Michelle Obama greets Marines following her remarks to 3,000 Marines, soldiers, sailors, and military family members at Memorial Field House in Camp Lejeune, N.C., April 13, 2011. The event was part of the launch of Joining Forces, a national initiative to support and honor America's service members and their families. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

First Lady Michelle Obama receives applause following her commencement address to the 2011 graduating class at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, May 7, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

First Lady Michelle Obama stands as the national anthem is played during the Senate Spouses luncheon at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., May 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Dr. Jill Biden wait in the Green Room of the White House before the East Room event to launch the First Lady's and Dr. Biden's Joining Forces national initiative to support and honor America's service members and their families, April 12, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

June 10, 2011 Posted by | Photography, President Barack Obama | , | 4 Comments

The Road To 2012 And Why I’m Smiling!

Regardless of what the noise machines of Fox News, MSNBC and to some extent, CNN are saying, President Obama and the Democratic Party are sitting pretty for the 2012 election. The reason why I am smiling is because the American people, with the exception of the extremes on either end, are very perceptive. Sure, the pundits will try to be dramatic and say things so they get asked back on those cable networks…controversy sells, bold pronouncements sell (see Howard Dean) and polls, with all their flawed methodologies, give lazy reporters easy stories. So in the next year and a half, the talking heads on cable TV and broadcast networks will try to make the race close, it’s just best for them, but when push comes to shove and we get to November 6, 2012, President Obama and the Democratic Party are going to win big.

People will say, but what about the unemployment rate, what about the lack of jobs? And those are valid questions. Whereas the media wants to blame all of the country’s problems on POTUS, whether he inherited them or whether they were actually caused by an obstinate Republican Party that has blocked all attempts at fixing it…well the American people, after the campaigns and many speeches, debates, etc. will know the truth. The President has fought hard against a unified front of Republicans intent on thwarting him at every turn and the idiots in the faux-left intent on proving that they were right in opposing Obama all along. Despite those forces arrayed against him, the President has accomplished more than any president since FDR. Go here for the many accomplishments and remember, he was up against a GOP that won’t work with him on anything, except maybe the extension of the tax cuts for the rich, a deal with the devil that the President had to make to get more stimulus, an unemployment extension and keep the economy growing. It was another one of those “Republicans holding the country hostage” situations and I’m sorry folks, you have to compromise in our democracy. There is no way around it. If you haven’t read Milt Shook’s piece at PCTC (Please Cut The Crap), you need to. You should bookmark his site too, he has a lot of great insights into how to win elections.

I’m sure my post will provoke the “Obama Derangement Syndrome” folks on both the left and the right to blow a microchip, but that’s fine, maybe it will jar lose whatever it is that is causing their derangement. It always amazes me how the media created narrative that constantly tries to paint President Obama as incompetent or unqualified (racism is part of it) is so far from what the general public really feels. IF he were incompetent and unqualified, would he have a personal approval rating of 75%, according to a recent CNN poll? Regular readers know how I feel about polls in general, I have a master’s degree in communications research so I’ve studied it a bit. I won’t go there in this post except to say that polls can be useful to gauge general attitudes, but horse race polls between fictional, possible candidates so far out from an election are just an exercise in futility. They get predictive when you get close to an election, and of course Nate Silver is “The Man” when it comes to that. But the number that says 75% of people like President Obama personally, says to me that people are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and to listen to him when he speaks. It’s why whenever he gives a major speech or makes an appearance throughout America, he is very well received and people believe him. That is a very powerful sentiment to have going into an election. As long as he tells it like it is, explains the situation and presents what he has tried to do and will try to do, with no help from the GOP, he will swing that blame and anger back to where it belongs.

So I recommend to all you fellow liberals and supporters of President Obama to not get upset when the forces arrayed against him tell us that they are making headway, that’s part of their strategy…to use the bandwagon effect, everyone get on board. Ignore them, keep smiling, keep telling them about the President’s many accomplishments and the Republicans very obvious hatred of middle and working class folks, seniors, students, children, minorities and anyone who doesn’t fit within their Ayn Randian world, where market forces will make everything just peachy. Stay positive, encourage your like minded friends to help, get involved and fight back against the tide that has shown its ugly face in Republican governors like Scott Walker, John Kasich, Chris Christie, and the “Ricks” Scott, Perry and Snyder. Since the VAST majority of the voters in America don’t pay attention AT ALL to those bloviators, their impact is only felt within a small range. It’s like a big choir preaching to each other, while the rest of America goes on with their lives.

But we can’t get complacent, they are some sneaky bastards who will lie, cheat and steal to get the power that benefits their rich friends. We can’t rest on our laurels, we must put up the good fight and build on the momentum that has started in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Florida. The consequences of elections matter and if we really care about people, we have to fight with all our might.

June 10, 2011 Posted by | 2012 Election, Democratic Party, Economy, Governor Rick Snyder, Health Care Reform, Politics, President Barack Obama | 8 Comments

Mitt Romney Wanted The Auto Industry To Go Bankrupt!

From the DNC, just a little reminder of what Mitt Romney said. And he decided to come to Michigan so we could keep the story going, nice work Mitt. Is this a sign of things to come in your campaign?

June 9, 2011 Posted by | Politics | , , | 1 Comment

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