I have to imagine that a whole lot of Republican primary voters are going to have buyers remorse once they start digesting some of the great ads that Democrats are producing. There is so much content to work this election, it’s exciting. This type of ad, real people talking about the impact of Romney’s business model on their lives, will resonate with a lot of people.
The leader of the Republican party, Rush Limbaugh, has given his blessing to Mitt Romney for his recent comments reaffirming his disdain for public workers — the great people who protect us and educate our children. Here is a reminder of exactly what Romney said.
“[Obama] wants to hire more government workers. He says we need more fireman, more policeman, more teachers. Did he not get the message of Wisconsin? The American people did. It’s time for us to cut back on government and help the American people.”
Rush Limbaugh, in his infinite wisdom, helps to explain the Republican position for us all. This is the Republican party in 2012.
“Nobody’s opposed to cops or firefighters or teachers — but they aren’t private sector jobs,” Limbaugh said. “They do not contribute to economic growth. Their purpose is otherwise. They have an entirely different purpose: public safety, public education, this kind of thing. But there’s no growth in the economy. “If you add those jobs — and if there aren’t other types of private sector jobs added while at the same time we’re adding to the fire rolls and the cop rolls and teachers — we are reducing the size of the private sector. This is Marxism 101. It’s also Ignorance and Sophistry 101.”
In Rush’s warped mind, I’m sure it makes perfect sense and it’s an easy sell to his mindless listeners. This zero sum argument plays well with people who lack critical thinking skills because it reduces it to a concept they’ve already accepted, the idea that if some benefit, others suffer. The problem is, it makes no sense at all. If the public sector creates more police, firefighter and teacher jobs, it has no effect on whether private sector jobs are created. Why would it? The private sector creates jobs when there is a demand for their products, as Nick Hanauer’s Ted Talk so eloquently lays out.
Limbaugh also injects another often unsaid conservative concept, that public employees don’t contribute to the economy at all. Steve Benen addresses this issue with his usual style.
But if Romney and Limbaugh actually, sincerely believe what they’re saying, I’d just ask them to consider one question: do they believe teachers, police officers, and firefighters spend money?
I mean, really. Limbaugh argued with a straight face today that cops, firefighters, and teachers may work and contribute to society, “but there’s no growth in the economy” as a result of their jobs. In other words, there are hundreds of thousands of teachers and first responders, but they never buy things and they never invest, so when they get laid off en masse, there are no economic consequences whatsoever.
I’m glad that Mitt Romney and Rush Limbaugh have taken this tact, because the vast majority of the American people disagree with them on the importance of police, firefighters and teachers.
Personally, I make a point to thank police, firefighters and teachers for the tough jobs they do. I also think they are vastly underpaid.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
Business has created over 4.2 million private sector jobs since President Obama took office and we’ve seen 27 straight months of job growth. As a comparison, in 2008, the last year of President Bush’s second term, we LOST 2.6 million jobs. In December 2008 alone, 632,000 jobs were lost. So yes, it sucks that the May 2012 jobs report only showed an INCREASE of 69,000 jobs, but if you are watching any cable TV today, you would think it was December of 2008 again.
One of the first things that came to my mind when I heard the jobs report was — I wonder how many jobs would have been created had the Republicans worked with President Obama to pass the jobs bill that he proposed back in the fall of 2011. I decided to pull out a speech he gave when he was traveling around the country selling his jobs package as a reminder of what may have been if the Republicans hadn’t blocked yet another attempt by President Obama to help American workers.
Any good American should be appalled at the recent news that Republicans conspired ON INAUGURATION DAY of 2009 to block every thing President Obama attempts to do. The blatant disregard for the American people for political reasons should send everyone to the polls on November 6, 2012 to send a message to Republicans that we are the United States of America and that politics shouldn’t take precedent over the overall good of the nation.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles (at The Raw Story)
RNC National Hispanic Outreach Director on Romney just now: “He’s still deciding what his position on immigration is.”
— Chris Moody (@Chris_Moody) May 8, 2012
It’s going to be a long, meandering campaign from the looks of it. Mitt Romney is going back to the drawing board and retooling his rhetoric for the general election.
Besides the problem of adding to his horrendous image as a serial flip-flopper, I think he will also suffer backlash from the right-wing of his own party. The primaries have shown that his support is tenuous at best as his competitors each took a turn as the “not Romney” candidate. He will have to walk a fine line to keep his support from anyone short of his immediate family.
It’s also worth appreciating the fact that it’s far too late for the presumptive Republican nominee to “decide his position on immigration” — that decision was already made quite a while ago. Romney has already said he’s an opponent of the DREAM Act; he’s palling around with Pete Wilson and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach; he endorses a “self-deportation” agenda; he’s critical of bilingualism; and his casual dismissals of “amnesty” and “illegals” are a staple of his campaign rhetoric.
He’s not “still deciding”; he’s already decided to be the most anti-immigrant major-party nominee in at least a generation.
I’m wondering when Willard will pull out the “that was my evil twin” line to explain his previous actions.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles (a part of The Raw Story)
OK, here’s the deal. There are a whole lot of us liberals/progressives/Democrats who support President Obama and NO, it isn’t some hero-worship or cult-like bullshit that frequently gets thrown in our face. We are supporting a President that is working his ass off to try to repair the damage left behind by the previous 4 presidents.
We support a president that is interested in making progress and moving the ball down the field, whether it’s huge gains like reforming health care or small gains like signing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
And we don’t think President Obama can do no wrong, that is something that gets projected upon us constantly. It is the knee-jerk reaction of many of the “pundits of perpetual disappointment” who spend all their time splitting hairs and searching for something to whine about. And of course, they never give credit for any advancements, nothing is ever good enough for them.
So you folks on the left who continue to snipe, attack, antagonize and otherwise act like petulant, whiny little children…..GIVE IT UP! You aren’t going to convince us that it’s in our own best interests to help the Republicans take EVEN MORE control over our country. It ain’t going to fucking happen, sorry. No matter what President Obama might do that I disagree with, I’m not so naive to think that ANY Republican would even come close to representing me better than President Obama does.
If you are one of those people who thinks “both parties are the same”, I’m sorry, you are suffering from delusions. To me, that is one of the stupidest fucking things you can say in politics. What comes to my mind when I hear people trot out the “both sides” meme is that the person saying it has some other motivation. If they are willing to ignore things such as who gets to pick Supreme Court nominees, an impact that will be felt for decades to come, then they are clearly motivated by something other than principles. Or, how can someone who passionately supports people less fortunate than themselves ignore the Paul Ryan/Republican budget plan, which in effect says “you’re on your own buddy, but here’s a lovely parting gift…your voucher.”
To my fellow pragmatic liberals and progressives, we need to focus on fighting back against the powerful, well-funded right that is determined to completely turn our country over to big money interests. Too much of our time is wasted fighting the malcontents on the left.
Don’t let the hate driven left set the agenda, learn to ignore them. When you engage them, you are only encouraging them. Their goals aren’t to win elections or change things, because as I’ve said, if they are willing to ignore so many important differences between Democrats and Republicans and choose to spend their time blogging, tweeting, Facebooking and talking about what isn’t good about Democrats, then clearly they have different goals and the greater good of their fellow women and men isn’t one of them.
Those who claim to simply be holding politicians feet to the fire with their criticism, need to step back and see exactly which politicians are most deserving of burnt feet. By only criticizing President Obama, while letting Republicans get away with the most extreme agenda in our history, I have to question the sincerity of the principles they wrap themselves in like a Snuggie. By ignoring the much more egregious actions of Republicans, they are clearly making a choice.
Guest Blogger: RLGardner
Republicans are currently slamming Obama for mentioning Osama bin Laden and how he is dead, OMG!
How dare he!…whine the Republicans.
However, I didn’t hear any of them whining when Dubya landed on the aircraft carrier, watermelon stuffed into his flight suit, and declaring (with a big banner and everything), “Mission Accomplished.”
So I’m wondering: who was really “spiking the football” here? President Obama, who actually truly madly deeply DID give the order to take out bin Laden or Dubya with his watermelon, flight suit, and pack full o’ lies? Another question: Do you think Willard could have done the same thing?
Right. That’s what I thought.
And then there’s the “War on Women.” According to John Boehner, aka St. Orange of Julius, in his latest pearl-clutching episode on the House floor, it is the Democrats who started and are perpetuating, said war.
Which party, both on the federal level and the state level, has introduced eleventy-billion bills designed to quash the rights of women, particularly when it comes to reproductive and other health issues?
Which party, and their minions (Rush, I’m talking to you!) has engaged in slut-shaming?
Which party does the Governor who suggested that women just “close their eyes” if they didn’t want to see the on-screen results of their medically unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds belong to? The Democratic party?
BZZZZZ!!! I’m sorry, pasty white “R” man- it was your party, not the Democratic party that did that.
Wanna keep going? Okay. Here we go:
Here’s another one for you: Republican men (and their Stepford Wife surrogates) are going around saying that there is no wage disparity, but hey, if there really IS wage disparity between men and women, well, there is a perfectly logical reason for that. A couple of perfectly logical reasons actually:
Perfectly Logical Reason Number One: Men work more hours per week than women do on average. Okay, let’s say that’s true. However, where reason number one falls apart is that the true argument is not that men make more than women because some men work more hours than women, it’s the fact that when you look at per-hour wages, men make more per hour than women do for doing the same damned job! Got that, Republicans? Do you need me to go over that for you again?
Perfectly Logical Reason Number Two is: Well, women often take time off when they have children.
Now, I will grant you that that is indeed a truism. However, I am quite puzzled as to why you think it’s okay that women make less than men for the simple fact that we can bear children, and thus we deserve to get paid less for doing the same damned job that men do, yet when Hilary Rosen said that Ann Romney has never held a job, you once again get your tighty whities twisted into a knot and scream out, “How DARE you Democrats slam the mothers of this country?!!??! ELEVENS!!!
You say that mothers are valuable, and guess what, I agree with you. I really do. Where we part ways, however, is that mothers (and women in general) are only valuable to you when they serve your purposes, not because they are in and of themselves actually valuable.
If a woman is white, and married to a rich white man, and she stays home to raise her kids (accompanied with a cadre of housekeepers, nannies, yard workers, cooks, etc.), that’s all cool beans.
BUT, if a woman is not rich, and worse, if she is a minority woman, well then according to you, she’d best get off her lazy Welfare Queen backside and get out there, get a job (or 3 or 4) and pull herself up by her bootstraps. She’d better not DARE ask for any public assistance, because if she does, well it just confirms to the Republicans that she is, in fact, a Welfare Queen and she is having babies on purpose for the sole reason that she wants to dip into the pockets of people like the Romney’s, those poor rich souls.
And the biggest insult is that you sit on your velvet thrones, and you expect us to just bow at your feet and accept what you say as the gospel truth.
So I say again, REALLY?
We are not as dumb as you wish we were.
Just wait until November.
This made me laugh, until it made me cry. CabinGirl from Booman’s Tribune had an interesting exchange while voting in Pennsylvania on Tuesday…
So, I just voted in the PA primary today…
For the first time ever, I was asked for a photo ID to vote. When I responded that asking for that was just wrong, the suburban white lady looking up my name in the voter rolls actually defended it: “It will keep the terrorists from voting, and we’ll give you a free one.”
Oh my god, run for the hills…the terrorists are going to vote us into submission.
I don’t have to think very hard to figure out where that poll worker might have gotten that idea. I can just picture Gretchen Carlson saying it on Fox and Fiends (not a typo).
What isn’t funny about that incident is that the right has succeeded in brainwashing way too many people into believing such nonsense.
Think about how many people don’t bother to vote because its an inconvenience or they might actually have to think about things other than the Kardashians for two minutes. I’m having a hard time understanding exactly what these “terrorist voters” are going to achieve with all this voting. Democracy?
Some of the rhetoric coming from the Republican candidates for president makes me wonder if a group of paranoid schizophrenics weren’t prematurely released from a mental institution…without their meds.
I’ve pasted one example from each candidate of that paranoia. Search in Google to find many more or just watch a cable news network for a half hour.
Newt Gingrich: “All of you should be very deeply concerned about national security. Barack Obama is the most dangerous president in modern American history,” Gingrich said.
Rick Santorum: “President Obama once said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob,” said the former senator from Pennsylvania. “There are good, decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor to try to indoctrinate them. Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image.”
Mitt Romney: “We stand near the threshold of profound economic misery. Four more years of the same political path would be disastrous,” Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in a speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars today.
Ron Paul: “illegal immigrants enter the country for the express purpose of giving birth. But illegal immigrants also use emergency rooms, public roads, and public schools. In many cases they are able to obtain Medicaid, food stamps, public housing, and even unemployment benefits. … We must end the perverse incentives that encourage immigrants to come here illegally, including the anchor baby incentive.” – Ron Paul, (on his congressional website, not the infamous newsletters)
I can’t imagine that rhetoric appeals to more than just the “phobic” crowd. If I were a Republican, I’d be a little paranoid about my party going over the cliff while following those nutballs. Sometimes it takes a journalist from outside of America to see the big picture, from The Globe and Mail…
Those who remain in the race for the Republican nomination, and those who have departed it, made up a group characterized by insularity, intellectual shallowness and meanness of spirit, coupled with an unshakable eagerness to pander to every holy roller, Tea Partier, gun worshipper, global warming denier, government hater, nativist and billionaire financier – or, as Yeats would say, “the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
That this crop of candidates was the best that a once-great party could muster says much about the state of presidential politics, Republican-style. It says even more about the state of conservative opinion in America.
That opinion, with all its shadings, is best characterized by a consuming anger – which explains why the campaign hasn’t been about differences or vision but about resentment and fear and perfervid rhetoric that candidates have directed at each other and at real and imagined threats ranging from Barack Obama to Muslims, China, European “socialists,” excessive government and mad Iranian mullahs. (emphasis mine)
What scares me about this sort of rhetoric is the effect it might have on unstable people who may be prone to violence. In many ways, it confirms the worst instincts of those people, giving them tacit approval to act on their paranoid fears. If there are any adults left in the Republican Party, please bring some sanity back to your party for the sake of civil society.
If there has ever been a better example of someone being given a national platform who has no business being in the role, it is Sarah Palin. Watch this clip, if you can, or read the transcript courtesy of Steve M. at Booman’s Tribune.
“SARAH PALIN: … He is bringing us back, Sean, to days that — you can hearken back to days before the Civil War, when, unfortunately, too many Americans mistakenly believed that not all men were created equal, and it was the Civil War that began the codification of the truth that here in America, yes, we are equal and we all have equal opportunities, not based on the color of your skin. You have equal opportunity to work hard and to succeed and to embrace the opportunities, God-given opportunities, to develop resources and work extremely hard and, as I say, to succeed. Now, it has taken all these years for many Americans to understand that gravity, that mistake, that took place before the Civil War, and why the Civil War had to really start changing America. What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days, when we were in different classes, based on income, based on color of skin. Why are we allowing our country to move backwards instead of moving forward with that understanding that, as our charters of liberty spell out for us, we are all created equal?”
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
I’ve never understood how people who call themselves Christians can belong to the Republican Party. I read the Bible many years ago and seem to remember lessons that taught me to care for my fellow humans, to show compassion, to turn the other cheek and to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
That doesn’t exactly describe the modern Republican Party now does it?
With the craziness happening in the political world over contraception, the following story from ThinkProgress makes me think that the GOP is overcompensating in their reaction to the contraceptive issue.
Earlier this month, the nation was barraged with media coverage of the Catholic Bishops’ opposition to regulations promulgated under the Affordable Care Act protecting working women’s access to contraception. The loudness of the bishops’ complaints, which were echoed by conservative luminaries ranging from Speaker John Boehner to GOP presidential frontrunners Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney, easily could have conveyed the misimpression that churches and other religious groups are at odds with the Affordable Care Act.
On Friday, however, a broad coalition of religious organizations filed an amicus brief supporting the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion that should give the lie to any claim that the faith community opposes the ACA. The brief includes a number of major religious denominations, including the policy arm of the United Methodist Church, the General Synod of the United Church of Christ and the Presbyterian Church. Additionally, the brief’s signatories include a wide range of Catholic groups:
Benedictine Sisters, Boerne, Texas; Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, Texas; Dominican Congregation of Our Lady of the Rosary, New York; Dominican Sisters of Hope; Justice and Peace Committee of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield, Massachusetts; Marianist Province of the United States; Sisters of Charity of St. Elizabeth Leadership Team, New Jersey; Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul of New York; Sisters of the Holy Cross Congregation Justice Committee; Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament, Corpus Christi, Texas; Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Justice Team, Nebraska; Sisters of the Most Precious Blood, Missouri; Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, New York; Sisters of St. Dominic Congregation of the Most Holy Name; Society of the Holy Child Jesus, American Province Leadership Team; Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, US Province; JOLT, Catholic Coalition for Responsible Investing; Region VI Coalition for Responsible Investment, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee; School Sisters of Notre Dame Cooperative Investment Fund (emphasis mine)
And I would add that with Rick Santorum and Franklin Graham questioning President Obama’s faith, they are venturing into pretty dangerous waters. It seems to me that by going there, they are shooting off a warning signal to anyone who claims to be a Christian. You better watch out, you might be next!
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
In keeping with the alternate reality created by Fox News and perpetuated by it’s minions like Rush Limbaugh, the anchors at Fox News are questioning the recent uptick in the number of jobs created in the private sector. They are pushing the idea that the books have been “cooked.” It is really astounding how obvious they are in their attempts to keep their alternate reality propped up. Alex Seitz-Wald at ThinkProgress spells it out pretty clearly.
If it weren’t improper to psychologically analyse strangers, one might think the Fox hosts are displaying a textbook example of cognitive dissonance here, a psychological phenomena in which people who hold a strong belief about something invent (sometimes far fetched) explanations for new evidence that conflicts with their existing views. Obama is bad for the economy, the jobs numbers show the economy is doing better, so there must be something wrong with the jobs numbers.
To illustrate how Fox News is selective in believing the job numbers, we only have to look at how they report when unemployment rises.
The Labor Department reported that employers added just 18,000 net jobs in June, the fewest in nine months. The jobless rate ticked up to 9.2 percent from 9.1 percent. The pace of job growth is not even enough to keep up with population growth — it would take about 125,000 jobs per months to do so — and certainly not enough to bring down the unemployment rate.
The article then goes on to quote extensively from the Labor Department’s report, while sprinkling in Republican talking points along the way. Not a single mention of any books being cooked or numbers being manipulated, because — you know — the bad numbers fit with the narrative.
What is disturbing to me about this tactic is that it works for their audience.They are feeding them exactly what they want and they really don’t care if their viewers are misinformed. In fact, I would argue that they count on it. Several studies of Fox News viewers have shown a huge disconnect between reality and the manufactured one that the right have been feeding them. Steven Benen wrote an excellent piece a while back on how disconnected Fox News viewers are from reality.
The quantifiable evidence is overwhelming. Eight years ago, just six months into the war in Iraq, the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland found that those who relied on the Republican network were “three times more likely than the next nearest network to hold all three misperceptions — about WMD in Iraq, Saddam Hussein was involved with 9/11, and foreign support for the U.S. position on the war in Iraq.” [...]
The problem is actually getting worse.
In December, PIPA published a report, this time on “Misinformation and the 2010 Election” (pdf). The point was to measure Americans’ understanding of a variety of key developments that news consumers would likely be familiar with. As was the case eight years ago, Fox News viewers were “significantly more likely” to be confused about reality.
It really scares me to think that viewers of the most watched cable news network live in a world where empirical reality has no place. They absorb only information that conforms to their beliefs and block any conflicting information, regardless of the source. And even when presented with clear evidence to the contrary, they either attack the messenger or just cover their ears and go “na na na, I can’t hear you.”
My theory on why they are successful at this tactic is that most of these uninformed viewers have a mindset that is based on emotion, fear and bigotry. Logic plays no role in their thinking and because of that, they are extremely susceptible to suggestions and selective facts they fit those biases and fears. Fox News only has to confirm those fears and play with those emotions. Fox News has made a science out it…except, of course, they don’t believe in science either.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
Our “liberal media” at work!
The Republican Party is picking up where they left off in the last election and helping to define themselves as the party “of and for” corporations – especially big oil.
In 2008, they had “Drill, Baby, Drill” and all the money that came along with that. This election year, they’ve chosen the Keystone XL pipeline to show how they plant their lips on the ass of big oil.
Once again, they have the media on their side in this endeavor. Media Matters for America did a study of media coverage from August 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011 on the Keystone XL pipeline. The results aren’t a surprise to anyone who pays attention to reality. This chart tells the story pretty clearly.
The GOP has been tremendously successful at getting the media to play along with them since August of 2011 on this issue and the above chart shows us the results. The red bars show how “job creation potential” was mentioned in the coverage from major media outlets with the green bar representing the “environmental concerns.” If you’ve been following the topic recently, it is obvious that Republicans are trying to make this into their jobs program, or at least an attempt to show how the Obama administration is preventing job creation. Go read the whole article at Media Matters, it was very thorough.
When you drill down into the numbers (I couldn’t resist), it turns out that reality is much different than the propaganda that has been sold to the American people. In a different post, Media Matters has some interesting information that gets to the real job numbers associated with the pipeline. Here are some snippets that show a progression that begins with Fox News…
Fox Anchor Martha MacCallum: 20,000 Jobs Is “The Low-End Estimate.” [snip]
TransCanada Said In 2010 That Keystone XL Pipeline “Is Expected To Create Over … 13,000 New Jobs For American Workers.” [snip]
Wash. Post: Based On TransCanada’s Numbers, “The Number Of People Employed” Would Actually Be 6,500. A November 5 article in The Washington Post reported that TransCanada CEO Russ Girling “said Friday that the 13,000 figure was actually not a true job number, but actually accounted for ‘one person, one year.’” The Post added that “if the construction jobs lasted two years, the number of people employed in each of the two years would be 6,500.” [snip]
Cornell University Global Labor Institute: Based On TransCanada’s Numbers, “The Project Will Create No More Than 2,500-4,600 Temporary Direct Construction Jobs.” [snip]
Cornell University Global Labor Institute: “Based On The Figures Provided By TransCanada For The Canadian Section Of The Pipeline, The New Permanent US Pipeline Jobs In The US Number As Few As 50.” (emphasis mine)
The estimate by the independent group at Cornell University puts the number of temporary jobs at 2,500 – 4,600 and the number of permanent jobs at 50. Those jobs would certainly matter to the people lucky enough to get them, but it ain’t no 20,000 jobs for sure. And considering all the risks to the states that this pipeline would travel through, not worth it at all.
Republicans are either stupid or crazy, take your pick!
In November of 2011, the Republicans decided to embrace the issue in their negotiations for extending the payroll tax cut that President Obama was fighting for. The pipeline became their bargaining chip in those negotiations, even after being warned by the State Department that trying to force the issue would result in it being killed for sure. That didn’t seem to bother the GOP, from a State Department briefing on December 12, 2011…
The State Department has led a rigorous, thorough, and transparent process that must run its course to obtain the necessary information to make an informed decision on behalf of the national interest. Should Congress impose an arbitrary deadline for the permit decision, its actions would not only compromise the process, it would prohibit the Department from acting consistently with National Environmental Policy Act requirements by not allowing sufficient time for the development of this information. In the absence of properly completing the process, the Department would be unable to make a determination to issue a permit for this project. (emphasis mine)
But like the flat footed, clumsy party that they are, the GOP kept right on pushing it. So during the holidays, we were treated to the White House fighting for tax cuts for every American while the Republicans were blocking those tax cuts and supporting big oil. Coming off the BP oil spill in 2010, I’m not sure that is the group you want to wrap your arms around.
Just over a week ago on January 18, 2012, President Obama officially rejected the Keystone XL pipeline bid.
But the president said today in a statement that the congressionally imposed deadline did not provide adequate time for the State Department to finish a customary review of the pipeline’s route through six states.
“The rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by Congressional Republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline’s impact, especially the health and safety of the American people, as well as our environment,” Obama said.
“As a result, the secretary of state has recommended that the application be denied. And after reviewing the State Department’s report, I agree.”
What is so astounding to me is that they don’t seem to really want the pipeline to go through, they just want it as a campaign issue. Steve Benen summed it up very well…
I’d argue that this is the outcome Republicans wanted all along. The GOP didn’t really want the pipeline; they wanted the ability to whine about the absence of the pipeline. This wasn’t, in other words, about energy production; this was about creating an issue for the 2012 campaign.
Besides the stupidity of pitting tax cuts for all Americans against the interests of big oil, Republicans also touted those outrageous claims of how many jobs it would create. Going into an election year that everyone says will be all about jobs, you would think they might pick an issue that would actually create some jobs. But instead, they’ve inflated and exaggerated numbers that even the company building the pipeline doesn’t agree with.
I’m seeing a new slogan, “Lay Pipe, Baby, Lay Pipe.” Now get your minds out of the gutter.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
I’m still in editing mode on a project, but just had to share this post that my friend and fellow blogger Angry Black Lady wrote about a piece by Tim Wise, one of the leading experts on racism in the country. It takes on those on the left flirting with Ron Paul and is a must read for liberals. Go check out ABL’s post and really, go read Tim Wise’s entire piece, it is long but well worth it. Here is ABL’s lead in to an excerpt that gets to the heart of the post.
But people are starting to get it. The Greenwald sweater of polemical deceit is unraveling, and I like it. I like it because I find his sort of polemical discourse and rhetorical bomb-throwing to be a reckless distraction from the serious problems that confront us.
I especially like this, from Tim Wise — “Of Broken Clocks, Presidential Candidates, and the Confusion of Certain White Liberals.” It’s a thing of beauty. You should read the whole thing, but I’m going to excerpt what I see as the most salient bit:
I want those of you who are seriously singing Paul’s praises, while calling yourself progressive or left to ask what it signifies — not about Ron Paul, but about you — that you can look the rest of us in the eye, your political colleagues and allies, and say, in effect, “Well, he might be a little racist, but…
How do you think that sounds to black people, without whom no remotely progressive candidate stands a chance of winning shit in this country at a national level? How does it sound to them — a group that has been more loyal to progressive and left politics than any group in this country — when you praise a man who opposes probably the single most important piece of legislation ever passed in this country, and whose position on the right of businesses to discriminate, places him on the side of the segregated lunchcounter owners? And how do you think they take it that you praise this man, or possibly even support him for president, all so as to teach the black guy currently in the office a lesson for failing to live up to your expectations?
How do you think it sounds to them, right now, this week, as we prepare to mark the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, that you claim to be progressive, and yet you are praising or even encouraging support for a man who voted against that holiday, who opposes almost every aspect of King’s public policy agenda, and the crowning achievements of the movement he helped lead?
My guess is that you don’t think about this at all. Because you don’t have to. One guess as to why not.
It’s the same reason you don’t have to think about how it sounds to most women — and damned near all progressive women — when you praise Paul openly despite his views on reproductive freedom, and even sexual harassment, which Paul has said should not even be an issue for the courts. He thinks women who are harassed on the job should just quit. In other words, “Yeah, he might be a little bit sexist, but…”
It’s the same reason you don’t have to really sweat the fact that he would love to cut important social programs for poor people. And you don’t have to worry about how it sounds to them that you would claim to be progressive, while encouraging support for a guy who would pull what minimal safety net still exists from under them, and leave it to private charities to fill the gap. And we all know why you don’t have to worry about it. Because you aren’t them. You aren’t the ones who would be affected. You’ll never be them. I doubt you even know anyone like that. People who are that poor don’t follow you on Twitter.
And please, Glenn Greenwald, spare me the tired shtick about how Paul “raises important issues” that no one on the left is raising, and so even though you’re not endorsing him, it is still helpful to a progressive narrative that his voice be heard. Bullshit. The stronger Paul gets the stronger Paul gets, period. And the stronger Paul gets, the stronger libertarianism gets, and thus, the Libertarian Party as a potential third party: not the Greens, mind you, but the Libertarians. And the stronger Paul gets, the stronger become those voices who worship the free market as though it were an invisible fairy godparent, capable of dispensing all good things to all comers — people like Paul Ryan, for instance, or Scott Walker. In a nation where the dominant narrative has long been anti-tax, anti-regulation, poor-people-bashing and God-bless-capitalism, it would be precisely those aspects of Paul’s ideological grab bag that would become more prominent. And if you don’t know that, you are a fool of such Herculean proportions as to suggest that Salon might wish to consider administering some kind of political-movement-related-cognitive skills test for its columnists, and the setting of a minimum cutoff score, below which you would, for this one stroke of asininity alone, most assuredly fall.
I mean, seriously, if “raising important issues” is all it takes to get some kind words from liberal authors, bloggers and activists, and maybe even votes from some progressives, just so as to “shake things up,” then why not support David Duke? With the exception of his views on the drug war, David shares every single view of Paul’s that can be considered progressive or left in orientation. Every single one. So where do you draw the line? Must one have actually donned a Klan hood and lit a cross before his handful of liberal stands prove to be insufficient? Must one actually, as Duke has been known to do, light candles on a birthday cake for Hitler on April 20, before it no longer proves adequate to want to limit the overzealous reach of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms? Exactly when does one become too much of an evil fuck even for you? Inquiring minds seriously want to know.
And here is another chunk from ABL’s post which is a preface to a book authored by Glenn Greenwald that I’ve been wanting to write about since I was turned onto it. It made me say out loud, “Whaaaaaaaaa?”…
During the lead-up to the invasion, I was concerned that the hell-bent focus on invading Iraq was being driven by agendas and strategic objectives that had nothing to do with terrorism or the 9/11 attacks. The overt rationale for the invasion was exceedingly weak, particularly given that it would lead to an open-ended, incalculably costly, and intensely risky preemptive war. Around the same time, it was revealed that an invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein had been high on the agenda of various senior administration officials long before September 11. Despite these doubts, concerns, and grounds for ambivalence, I had not abandoned my trust in the Bush administration. Between the president’s performance in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the swift removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the fact that I wanted the president to succeed, because my loyalty is to my country and he was the leader of my country, I still gave the administration the benefit of the doubt. I believed then that the president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.
And this is the guy going around calling anyone who supports President Obama “baby-killers”. People call this guy smart?
I’ve heard Ron Paul described as “plain-spoken” way too many times. I guess if you define “plain spoken” as simplistic and with few words — then yes, he surely fits that definition. Personally, I’ve never been impressed with that type of person or politician. I often wonder what they are hiding with their simplification. Is it ignorance, bias or just a desire to appeal to the populist crowd?
It is clear that many years ago, Ron Paul either authored or allowed his name to be signed on a newsletter that spewed some of the worst of the racist and anti-Semitic propaganda that was prevalent in the late 80′s and 90′s. To get caught up on that Ron Paul newsletter story, check out Joy Reid’s writing at The Reid Report.
But this story caught my eye and adds some context to Ron Paul’s denials on the newsletters. In 2006, Ron Paul was scheduled to appear and may have appeared on a White Supremacist radio show called The Political Cesspool. Charles Johnson describes it for us…
The story so far: apparently Ron Paul was scheduled to appear on the notorious radio show “The Political Cesspool,” a talk show in Tennessee connected to the white separatist Council of Conservative Citizens and the Holocaust denial group Institute for Historical Review.
The announcement of Ron Paul’s appearance was posted on the blog of Political Cesspool co-founder Austin Farley: Congressman Ron Paul TONIGHT On The Cesspool.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Congressman Ron Paul TONIGHT On The Cesspool
One of the only truly conservative Congressmen in office today, Ron Paul, will be doing a live interview on The Political Cesspool http://www.thepoliticalcesspool.org tonight. The show is from 7-8 PM Central time and can be heard locally (Memphis) on 1380 AM WLRM or the live stream or archives if you miss it live will be at http://www.thepoliticalcesspool.org. No matter what your opinion of the Cesspool is you will not want to miss this interview. I have heard that No Child Left Behind and possible Bush impeachment will be discussed, but I am not 100% sure on that. Tune in to find out.
posted by Austin Farley Your Hero @ 5:27 AM
If true, this would be the most direct connection yet between Ron Paul and the kind of people who cheer for David Duke. But as Adam Holland and I both discovered, the archives of The Political Cesspool radio show have apparently been scrubbed of this episode.
It’s very curious that the show Ron Paul was scheduled to appear on is conveniently missing from the archives of The Political Cesspool. Maybe it never happened, last minute cancellations happen all the time. But what if it did happen as scheduled, wouldn’t it be great to hear some of Ron Paul’s wisdom on this station with connections to white supremacist and holocaust deniers? I bet he was plain-spoken as hell and just told them good ole’ boys how it is, ya know?
Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs is all over this story, let’s hope he gets to the bottom of it. I’m awfully curious what Ron Paul had to say in that interview.
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
“I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake, I can’t have illegals.” – Mitt Romney
The problem with a candidate like Mitt Romney, who will say anything at anytime with no regard for what came before, is that it catches up with you. Steve Benen at the Washington Monthly shows us a great example of this.
…Here’s a gem from Iowa earlier today:
“Medicaid. You wonder what Medicaid is; those who aren’t into all this government stuff. You know, I have to admit, I didn’t know the differences between all these things until I got into government. Then I got into it and I understood that Medicaid is the health care program for the poor, by and large.”
I see. So, Mitt Romney, despite two degrees from Harvard, learned what Medicaid is when he became governor in 2002. He was 55 years old at the time.
Before he “got into government” and discovered what Medicaid is, Romney helped run a health company, which relied heavily on funding from — you guessed it — Medicare and Medicaid. What’s more, in his book, Romney boasts about having been a health care consultant, where he developed an expertise in how to deal with entitlements.
So he either really didn’t know about Medicaid, even after running a health company, or he’s just making shit up for whatever audience he’s talking to. More from Steve Benen…
Now, I know what some of you are thinking. “Romney didn’t mean what he said this morning,” you’re going to tell me. “He was only saying he didn’t understand Medicaid so that he could pretend to relate to the people in the audience. This wasn’t ignorance; it was pandering.”
Perhaps. I can’t say with certainty what Romney is ignorant of, and what he only pretends to be ignorant of.
This is going to be a fun year.