Extreme Liberal's Blog

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Talking Voter Suppression, Racism And Lies on The Extremely Liberal Podcast

Another great discussion with one of my smart and liberal friends.

Running Time: 1:04:00

To download the mp3, right click and “Save As” (46 mb).

(Apologies for the sound quality, I pulled a rookie mistake. I’ve heard worse though.  :)

November 3, 2012 Posted by | 2012 Election, Election, Podcast, Politics, President Barack Obama, Racism, Republican Party | , , , , | Leave a comment

Still Undecided, Consider This!

I know a lot of people don’t obsess over politics like I do, so I thought I would try to boil things down to some basic points.

There is a clear choice in this election. If we just look at one thing about each candidate for president, the differences are obvious.

Both President Obama and Governor Romney graduated from Harvard University. What each did after leaving Harvard speaks volumes about their character.

Mitt Romney headed to Wall Street and procured funding for a business venture from some shady folks from Latin America. He built a business that specialized in raiding failing corporations, getting as much money as they can out of them and then liquidating the assets, firing the employees and moving on to the next victim. I found this breakdown of Bain’s business model that I think sums it up pretty good.

Bain Capital, under Romney’s leadership, had one goal: take the money and run. More specifically, their highly successful process goes like this:

  1. Take over a company
  2. Borrow millions against the assets
  3. Procure millions more in taxpayer funded grants and low-interest loans
  4. Put the millions in grants and loans in their pockets
  5. File for bankruptcy and hightail it out of town, asap

Kinda sleazy if you ask me…did you ask me?

Barack Obama could have headed to New York, Wall Street or anywhere he wanted to after serving as the president of the Harvard Law Review…kind of a nice resume piece, you know. But instead, he chose to go to Chicago and help people. Two years after leaving Harvard, he took a job with a church based organization called the Developing Communities Project, which was a group of Catholic charities formed to help people suffering through layoffs and plant closings in the Chicago area. The project went on to win many awards and help countless people in Chicago pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Barack Obama then went on to teach constitutional law and entered the state legislature where he began his career in politics, continuing his goal of helping people.

So yeah, there is a clear difference between President Obama and Governor Romney. I go with the guy who helps people, how about you?

November 2, 2012 Posted by | 2012 Election, Election, Mitt Romney, Politics, President Barack Obama, Republican Party | , , | 4 Comments

Romney’s One Point, “Magic Bullet” Plan To Fix Everything

With the passing of Senator Arlen Specter, I was reminded of the “magic bullet theory” he devised while working for the Warren Commission investigating the assassination of President Kennedy. I couldn’t help but see a parallel to Mitt Romney’s singular solution to all the country’s problems – more tax cuts for the 1%. He believes that cutting tax rates that benefit the wealthy disproportionately and rolling back regulations that President Obama put on Wall Street after the 2008 crash, will somehow fix everything.

Just forget about Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 & 2003 that added $3 trillion dollars to the national debt and ignore the fact that in the years after those tax cuts, America lost 8 million jobs during the Bush recession, which was handed to our newly elected president. And of course, you should also forget that the Republican leaders, including Paul Ryan, met on President Obama’s inauguration day to plot complete obstruction of the new president for political reasons.

Let’s call Romney’s one point plan what it is, TRICKLE DOWN ECONOMICS. The belief that if we just coddle the rich, they will, in their benevolence, share the wealth with the rest of us by supposedly creating jobs. Just ignore that new Jaguar they are driving, or the 4th home in the Hamptons or the Rolex watch that is weighing down their Bermuda tanned arms. It will trickle. Really!

The concept of supply-side economics has been thoroughly tested and thrown on the trash pile. We only have to look at Mitt Romney’s personal history to see a perfect example of how giving even more to those who don’t need it, won’t do a damn thing for the rest of us. Where is Mitt Romney’s money at? IN THE FUCKING CAYMAN ISLANDS, BERMUDA AND IN SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS. Do you think that money will ever trickle down to you?

Mitt Romney is a walking example of how greed and selfishness only creates more greed and selfishness.

Businesses don’t create jobs unless there is a demand for their products or services. It would be fucking stupid to do it otherwise. It’s why they do market analysis and studies to determine whether there is demand. When there is demand, businesses expand and create jobs. No demand, no reason to expand. Any business person who says they will create jobs if we just give them more disposable income is applying Romney’s “greed is good” principle and probably has an eye on a new car or vacation home.

If the government were to invest in rebuilding our infrastructure – roads, bridges, schools, railroads and other foundations of our country that we all rely on – real people will get those jobs like construction workers, teachers, contractors, firefighters, suppliers of the materials for the projects and many more businesses that support those industries. And when those people receive their paychecks, they will create demand for products and services and give a reason for the 1% to actually invest in new jobs. We don’t have to rely on their benevolence, they will do it because it makes business sense.

Here is an analysis that shows the difference between the effects of spending versus tax cuts.

The most widely cited studies include those by the Congressional Budget Office, economists Alan Blinder and Mark Zandi, and economists James Feyrer and Bruce Sacerdote. These reports find a range of values for each program. In these studies, the “bang for the buck” value—what economists call the “multiplier,” or how many dollars of economic activity is fueled by one dollar spent—for overall social protection ranges from 0.8 to 2.31. Separately, Blinder and Zandi report a value of 1.61 for unemployment insurance and 1.74 for food stamps.[2]

Research by Urban Institute economist Wayne Vroman estimates that one dollar spent on unemployment insurance fuels between 1.7 and 2.1 dollars of activity in the overall economy.[3] According to these studies, the value for a dollar of spending on infrastructure ranges from 1 to 2.5, while the value for aid to state and local governments ranges from 0.7 to 1.8.

The analyses value middle-class tax cuts, such as the Making Work Pay tax credit that gave tax credits of $400 ($800 for couples), as generating between 0.6 and 1.5 dollars of additional economic activity; the value of extending the Alternative Minimum Tax patch for high-income earners for an additional year ranges from 0.2 to 0.6 dollars of additional activity. And the analyses value the extension of the housing tax credit for first-time homebuyers, providing credits up to $8000, in the Recovery Act from 0.3 to 0.9.[4]

As you can see, putting money in the hands of consumers who will spend that money does a lot more to spur economic activity. Handing money over to the rich and hoping they create jobs with it is just plain stupid.

President Obama has been working hard to pass legislation like the American Jobs Act that would create an estimated 1.9 million jobs, but the obstructionist Republican party isn’t interested in creating jobs while President Obama is in office. They should be shown the door on November 6 for letting petty politics keep America from recovering from the mess that the GOP congress and President Bush created in the first place.

There is an easy solution, vote Democratic across the board and send a message to the Republicans that American workers are more important than politics.

Cross posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

October 18, 2012 Posted by | 2012 Election, Budget, Economy, Mitt Romney, Politics, President Barack Obama, Republican Party | , , , | Leave a comment

Well Rehearsed Liar Declared Debate Winner, Honest & Classy President Real Winner

I’m sorry that I don’t have time to write much today, Thursdays are my busy day molding young minds into good liberals. (Joking, I don’t talk politics with students!)

In lieu of writing something new, I decided to post highlights from my Twitter rants since the debate ended last night.

I will never accept that someone who told blatant lies, turned his back on his own policies and was overly aggressive and rude, won an American presidential debate.

October 4, 2012 Posted by | 2012 Election, Election, Politics, President Barack Obama, Republican Party | , , | 4 Comments

David Gregory Auditions For Fox News On Meet The Press

Come on, Roger Ailes, hire the man already why dontcha?

I stopped watching Meet the Press on a regular basis shortly after Tim Russert passed away. But I feel obligated to watch when we get near an election, just so I can keep an eye on what is going out to national audiences on the broadcast networks. It became obvious to me a long time ago that David Gregory is on an endless audition for the next Fox News gig.

This past Sunday, September 30, 2012, David Gregory grabbed the Republican torch and ran with that sucker. His interview with David Plouffe was more Fox News than Fox News is and it was noticed by a few people. As I listened to his questions, I was astounded by how loaded with GOP talking points and opinion they were.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that David Gregory was the keynote speaker at the convention of a Republican advocacy group, along with Karl Rove and Speaker John Boehner.

Let’s take a look at some of David Gregory’s questions a little closer, piece by piece. (emphasis is all mine)

Question 1 (to be analyzed)

GREGORY: “I want to talk about some issues including a foreign policy crisis in Libya…”

As you can see, Gregory calls the attack on our embassy a “foreign policy crisis”, which plays right into the Republican party’s attack by pointing at the President, rather than portraying it as a senseless act of violence against America. Gregory goes on…

“…and the fact that this administration has changed its tune when it comes to describing the raid on our compound, on our embassy in Libya that killed our ambassador Chris Stevens and others, of course, on the ground.”

Don’t you just love the phrase “changed its tune”? The implication in that phrase makes it sound like it was a “flip-flop” or worse yet, a lie. The odd thing is that David Gregory then plays a clip of Ambassador Rice from the September 16 episode of Meet the Press where she says this…

“Let me tell you the– the best information we have at present.  First of all, there’s an FBI investigation which is ongoing.  And we look to that investigation to give us the definitive word as to what transpired.  But putting together the best information that we have available to us today, our current assessment is that what happened in Benghazi was in fact initially a spontaneous reaction to what have just transpired hours before in Cairo, almost a copycat of– of the demonstrations against our facility in Cairo, which were prompted of course by the video.”

Now seriously, Ambassador Rice made it very clear that it was “the best information we have at present” and that the FBI was investigating and we look to them for “the definitive word as to what transpired”. She then repeated “the best information we have available, our current assessment…” and went on to say that what happened in Benghazi was (according to best info at present) initially a spontaneous reaction to what happened in Cairo hours earlier. I’m not sure what else David Gregory wanted Ambassador Rice to say before he would believe that the administration was still investigating the incident and wasn’t sure exactly what happened. Maybe if it had been printed on a giant Nerf baseball bat and smacked against his head a few times, he might have heard it…or believed it.

There’s more…

“There was a caveat there.  She said the FBI was still investigating.  But the thought was it was a spontaneous reaction. A couple of days before that, the Libyan president said, no, in fact, al Qaeda was behind this attack.”

Notice how Gregory dismisses the multiple caveats Ambassador Rice gave with a quick “There was a caveat.” He then oversimplifies her statement by saying “[B]ut the thought was it was a spontaneous reaction” and then makes a lame attempt at a “gotcha” moment by pulling a but, but, but…the Libyan president said a couple days before that al Qaeda was behind the attack. And exactly where is the problem, David? Is David Gregory implying that the FBI wasn’t needed in Libya to investigate the deaths of 4 American diplomats? Does David Gregory think we should just accept the word of the new President of Libya, it’s not like the guy was under any pressure…having just failed at protecting our embassy, something that the host country is obligated to do. Or is David Gregory’s problem just that there was a contradiction, even after the many caveats preempting Amb. Rice’s answer. That’s some hard hitting journalism, David. Nice one! LOL!

There was more to the question and more Fox News-style bias…

GREGORY: (cont.) “And then days later, after Ambassador Rice is on this program and other programs, the president’s spokesman Jay Carney says this.  “It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.”  Well, if it was self-evident, then why didn’t the president come out and called this exactly what it was, an act of terror on the anniversary of 9/11?”

Well, Mr. Gregory, President Obama had this to say on September 12, 2012…

“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”

Maybe David Gregory was too busy sipping tea with the Romney crowd to pay attention to what our President actually said the day after America was attacked. I know the people at Fox News have selective hearing and miss things that don’t fit with their narrative, but the once great Meet the Press used to pride itself on getting things right. I guess it is just a different kind of “right” these days.

David Plouffe responded to the loaded question and touched on some of the points embedded in it. I’m sure that he wanted to hit them all, but David Gregory had to interrupt Mr. Plouffe in his confrontational style.

Question 2 (more of a follow up)

As David Plouffe is explaining to the rabid host how forthcoming the Obama administration was as new information came to light, Gregory interrupts with this…

GREGORY:  No, but there’s also the question about whether you call this what it is on the day that it happens.  Jay Carney said it was self-evident that this was a terrorist attack.  These are people who came to a demonstration with weapons and security was an issue at the compound.  Why not call it what it was?

I sensed that David Gregory wasn’t liking the fact that Plouffe was spelling out the reality of how these things work because like a petulant little child he responded, “No, but there’s also….” in a combative way, once again showing his bias and agenda with his line of questioning.

As you read above, President Obama referred to the tragedy as an “act of terror” the day after it happened. So the entire basis of Gregory’s question is bogus. Once again, I wonder if he actually saw the President’s words about the tragedy or if he is just reading from Republican talking points. I expect that sort of thing from Fox News anchors, but generally not from network anchors.

If you look at what Gregory says, “there’s also the question about whether you call this what it is on the day that it happens”, you have to ask yourself if “knee-jerk” is the new intelligence for Mr. Gregory and Republicans. Is this a new standard for all presidents or just this one? Throughout the whole process, the Obama administration has been deliberate, honest, and open about what they know as they find it out. I shouldn’t be surprised that Gregory and the GOP don’t know how to act when an administration is forthright with the American people. If you look back at the last Republican administration, they clearly decided first and then bent the facts to justify it. Do WMD’s ring a bell?

Question 3

This next question was caught and tore apart by several people in the media and it was one of the more blatant falsehoods that David Gregory injected into his questions this past Sunday.

“GREGORY:  The president has said as recently as May of this year that al Qaeda has not had a chance to rebuild, that al Qaeda has been defeated…”

Except the President NEVER said that al Qaeda was defeated. From Imani, THE Angry Black Lady…

Here’s what President Obama actually said:

And one year ago, from a base here in Afghanistan, our troops launched the operation that killed Osama bin Laden. The goal that I set — to defeat al Qaeda and deny it a chance to rebuild — is now within our reach.

Still, there will be difficult days ahead. The enormous sacrifices of our men and women are not over.

So David Gregory claims Obama did an al Qaeda victory dance, when Obama totally didn’t.

President Obama clearly said that al Qaeda’s defeat is “within our reach” and “[T]here are difficult days ahead.” So yeah, like the opposite of saying al Qaeda is defeated.

The rest of David Gregory’s question…

“…There is an election on, as we’ve been talking about, and the president’s challenger said plain and simple, the president failed to level with the American people and call this a terrorist attack, because you had to be concerned about another terrorist attack from al Qaeda in the Middle East after the president said that al Qaeda had been defeated.”

David Gregory repeats the lie about the President saying that al Qaeda was defeated and then takes up the twisted reasoning of the Romney boneheads that the President didn’t call it a terrorist attack because then he would be contradicting himself with something he never said. It all gets so stupid when trying to follow wingnut logic, but sometimes you just have to get down in the trench of stupidity and sort it out for them.

David Plouffe’s response was spot on…

MR. PLOUFFE:  That is preposterous and really offensive to suggest that.  As information was received from the intelligence community, it was distributed.  This president’s record on terrorism takes a backseat to no one.  We obviously took out their number one leader in Osama bin Laden, the leadership of al Qaeda has been decimated just as the president promised in 2008.  And by the way, in 2008, the president said he would go into Pakistan to go after Osama bin Laden.  Governor Romney said he wouldn’t.  Governor Romney said it was tragic that we entered the Iraq war.  One of the reasons that al Qaeda strengthened during the last decade is our focus was too much on Iraq.  So we are happy to have this debate and we’ll have it obviously for the duration of this campaign…

You can see from the ellipsis that Gregory interrupted Mr. Plouffe with this injection of yet another Republican talking point…

GREGORY:  Was this an intelligent– intelligence failure?

Now you can’t tell from the abrupt question what exactly “this” is to David Gregory. You would assume that he was talking about the “contradictions” that he had just spent many minutes belaboring, but it may have been in reference to the intelligence leading up to the attack, which is yet another “blame the President” meme that the right has been trotting out. Once again, is there a new standard where it’s alright to blame our country, our leader, when America is attacked. Can you imagine David Gregory asking these sorts of questions of say, Karl Rove, immediately after 9/11? The fainting couches would have crumbled from the weight of all the faux right-wing patriots falling on them.

Question 4

GREGORY:  As you know, the Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee has called for Susan Rice to resign.  Does the president have a hundred percent confidence in Susan Rice?

The Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee is, of course, Rep. Peter King of New York. He’s a freakin nut, do I need to say more?

Question 5

GREGORY:  What about the broader point here?  Security is so bad in Benghazi that the FBI can’t even go in and investigate.  What about the fact that there are talk of military options to find Ambassador Stevens’ killers?  What is America doing to work its will to change the trajectory in Libya?

The assumptions behind these odd questions are open to interpretation. Yes, security is bad in Libya, tell us something we don’t know. And yes, there is talk of everything being on the table in response to the attack on our embassy. But what the hell is Gregory implying with “[W]hat is America doing to ‘work its will’ to change the trajectory in Libya?” That to me is just a Palinesque word salad question. Is America really trying to “work its will” in Libya or doing what our diplomats have been saying, supporting fledgling democracies as they fight for self governance. Working our “will” on other countries is a Bush/Cheney era thing which obviously informs David Gregory’s questioning.

Question 6

GREGORY:  Was it inappropriate for him to go to a fund-raiser the day after this attack now in retrospect knowing that it was a– a terrorist attack, the– inappropriate for him to engage in politics as usual?

There was no fundraiser in Las Vegas the day after the Libyan attacks. You wouldn’t know that if you relied on Republicans like David Gregory and the Breitbart people, who have been pushing that lie. I looked into the President’s published schedule and many reports about his trip and there was no fundraiser.

I remembered seeing Jon Ralston, the host of Ralston Reports, a statewide television show in Nevada, say as much on my television. I was having trouble tracking that clip down, so I emailed Jon and this was his response.

There was no fundraiser. He spoke briefly to a rally and then left.

But David Gregory decided to parrot the right-wing nuts who have been pushing that lie to the world. I’m a little disappointed that David Plouffe let that one slide by, but I can imagine when so much shit is being hurled at you, you have to pick your battles and respond in a way that gets the message out.

Question 7

This next one is another of the Romney campaign’s lame-ass attempts to try to undercut President Obama’s huge successes in foreign policy. David Gregory does a great job of getting in all the faux facts of this Republican attack….isn’t it hard to view David Gregory as anything other than a paid shill for the Republicans? Gregory is responding to David Plouffe’s answer that said the President is on the job 24/7.

GREGORY:  24/7, but apparently not during U.N. meetings as The New York Post highlighted here, the question about whether there was a snub not meeting with the Israeli leader, the president is on The View, this is U.N. world leaders to gab with the gals of The View that was the headline in The New York Post with their own point of view there.  But is this– is he– is he not performing all the critical role of– of the presidency, particularly with the foreign policy crisis?  With so many questions about management of the Middle East, when you have a key United Nations gathering, not to meet with world leaders, including Netanyahu at a time of so much concern over Iran?

Gregory’s first sentence, “24/7, but apparently not during U.N. meetings as The New York Post highlighted here…”, once again shows his right-wing perspective. He was argumentative towards Plouffe and then goes on to sprinkle in the buzz words Republicans love so much, including “snub..Israeli leader”, “on the View”, “foreign policy crisis” and he ends it with the right-wing’s next war of profit, Iran.

I think the Republicans were really pissed that President Obama didn’t meet with several leaders at the U.N. because they probably had a whole batch of lies at the ready to throw out to the gullible, lemming media. Personally, I don’t care what reasons the President had for not doing a bunch of meetings around that time, that’s his decision. When David Gregory is president, then he can decide who he meets with and when. Until then, the guy who actually got 65 million American votes will make that call.

Question 8

This next question reveals that David Gregory is either stupid, a right-wing hack or what I’d put my money on, BOTH! David Plouffe responded to the previous question and at the end of his response, David Gregory’s next question followed…

…By the way, look at– let’s talk about Governor Romney’s response during this.  You know, in the– in the hours as these attacks became known in Libya and the assaults on our embassy in Egypt, Mitt Romney throws out some half-baked statement.  And I think that’s one of the reasons…

GREGORY:  But the government– wait, but the United States government had to also disavow its own statement that came out of the embassy in Cairo that some might also call half-baked and had to be revised, did it not?

So once again, David Gregory interrupted his guest so he wouldn’t miss an opportunity to represent his Republican masters. He compares the embassy statement, which was sent out BEFORE there was any violence (in an attempt to prevent violence), with Romney’s knee-jerk statement that showed he didn’t understand the sequence of events. The two statements have no similarity, but it gave Gregory the opportunity to inject just one more Republican falsehood into the conversation. And it had that petulant child ring to it, “yeah, but they did it too, so nah!”

Question 9

The final question I will examine from this “train wreck called journalism” that NBC broadcast for the world to see, brings out the class warrior in David Gregory. After playing a clip of President Obama, Gregory tees up a doozy of a question, proving yet again that he pays attention to his GOP handlers quite well. Try this one on for size.

(Videotape, Thursday)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  During campaign season, you always hear a lot about patriotism.  Well, you know what, it’s time for a new economic patriotism–an economic patriotism rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong and thriving middle-class.

(End videotape)

GREGORY:  Invoking patriotism there, just trying to be clear, so raising taxes on wealthier Americans is the president considers that patriotic?  I assume he also thinks sacrifice is patriotic.  And yet he is not spending much time talking specifically about what he’d do, like how he would cut the Medicare program to make it solvent.  Beyond the cuts that he’s talked about, and when Simpson-Bowles says he needs much more dramatic cuts.  So framing this as patriotism, it’s about taxing the wealthy but not talking about where the American people should sacrifice?

Gregory bypasses the idea of a strong middle class and growing jobs at home and instead, goes right for the “taxing wealthier Americans” and then pivots quickly to sacrifices from people on Medicare. But he goes even further and pulls out the Simpson-Bowles line, but only focuses on the spending cut side of that Simpson-Bowles exercise in futility and ignores that the commission also called for increasing taxes on “wealthier Americans.”  It is very similar to how the rest of the Republican party uses the Simpson-Bowles commission, plucking out what suits them and ignoring the rest.

David Gregory has been playing the role of conservative hack for quite a while by both representing the Republican agenda in his questioning, but also in his selection of guests and the panel of talking heads.

What makes David Gregory’s tactics so insidious is that he embeds so many falsehoods within his questions, that it’s impossible for his guests to respond to all of them. And when they do respond, he interrupts them if they begin to get a valid point across. With each new question, the process continues on, leaving a wasteland of bad information in its wake.

I’m thankful there are only a few more weeks left in the election so I can quit watching Meet the Press and spare myself the frustration of watching a once great show, a standard bearer for network news shows, slip down the drain.

Cross posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

UPDATE: Check out Charlie Pierce’s post on the “Dancin Master” (David Gregory)

October 2, 2012 Posted by | 2012 Election, Election, Media, MSM, Politics, Republican Party | , , , | 1 Comment

Romney Is Running Against An Illusion!

I’m sure you’ve all had this experience before. You are conversing or tweeting or facebooking with someone and they characterize President Obama in a way that is so far from the truth that you wonder if the person is living in an alternate reality.

The prime purveyors of this alternate reality are Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. Both of those entities reach many millions of people on a daily basis and spread so much misinformation that the fact checkers and honest journalists are overwhelmed – they can’t keep up with it. If you need examples, go spend a few minutes at Media Matters for America, which does an excellent job of keeping an eye on those two propaganda machines.

I read an interesting book review in the New York Times yesterday that alluded to that alternate reality. I don’t agree with the reviewers full characterization of Obama’s first term, but he points to the above idea in a concise way in his review of Charles R. Kesler’s book I Am the Change. (emphasis is mine)

Whenever conservatives talk to me about Barack Obama, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else. But what exactly? The anger, the suspicion, the freestyle fantasizing have no perceptible object in the space-time continuum that centrist Democrats like me inhabit. What are we missing? Seen from our perspective, the country elected a moderate and cautious straight shooter committed to getting things right and giving the United States its self-­respect back after the Bush-Cheney years. Unlike the crybabies at MSNBC and Harper’s Magazine, we never bought into the campaign’s hollow “hope and change” rhetoric, so aren’t crushed that, well, life got in the way. At most we hoped for a sensible health care program to end the scandal of America’s uninsured, and were relieved that Obama proposed no other grand schemes of Nixonian scale. We liked him for his political liberalism and instinctual conservatism. And we still like him. […]

The Claremont Review doesn’t like Obama one bit. But it has usually taken the slightly higher road in criticizing him, and when Kesler begins his book by dismissing those who portray the president as “a third-world daddy’s boy, Alinskyist agitator, deep-cover Muslim or undocumented alien” the reader is relieved to know that “I Am the Change” won’t be another cheap, deflationary ­takedown. Instead, it is that rarest of things, a cheap inflationary takedown — a book that so exaggerates the historical significance of this four-year senator from Illinois, who’s been at his new job even less time, that he becomes both Alien and Predator.

It isn’t just Republicans who have this mindset, I hear very similar “inflations” from the libertarian trolls on Twitter and in the blogosphere. They seem to have molded their reality to fit their perceptions and of course take in any information that agrees with it and reject any that runs counter to it. This next passage is particularly good.

But his systematic exaggerations demonstrate that the right’s rage against Obama, which has seeped out into the general public, has very little to do with anything the president has or hasn’t done. It’s really directed against the historical process they believe has made America what it is today. The conservative mind, a repository of fresh ideas just two decades ago, is now little more than a click-click slide projector holding a tray of apocalyptic images of modern life that keeps spinning around, raising the viewer’s fever with every rotation. If you want to experience what it’s like to be within that mind on a better day, then you need to visit “I Am the Change.”

The reviewer doesn’t mention what I think has a lot to do with that rage, RACISM! I don’t, however, attribute all of it to racism. Having been an observer of politics for many decades, I know that at least some of it is rage against “liberals” in general. President Clinton had people accusing him of murder and all sorts of other batshit crazy stuff and of course you don’t get any whiter than Bill, at least on the surface.

So to me, it’s a combination of deep seated racism bubbling to the surface, the vilification of all “liberals” in the style of Frank Luntz and the effect of the Fox News/Limbaugh projects that have misinformed millions of Americans for right-wing political gain.

I miss the Republican party that used to be based on real ideas, as stupid and misguided as they were. It’s nearly impossible to debate a right-winger these days, because you can’t even get them to agree to objective facts and instead have to spend your time trying to educate them about reality.

On November 6, 2012, we can all do the country and our discourse a favor by sending every Republican packing.

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

September 28, 2012 Posted by | 2012 Election, Democratic Party, Politics, President Barack Obama, Republican Party | | 5 Comments

What Republicans Have Done To Women

Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog sums up just some of the things that Republicans have done or attempted to do to women in recent years. It was in response to Liz (chip off the ole blockhead) Cheney and a crazy rant of hers.

Consider the proposals we’ve seen from Republican officials this year: restricting contraception; cutting off Planned Parenthood; requiring state-mandated, medically-unnecessary transvaginal ultrasounds; forcing physicians to lie to patients about abortion and breast cancer; fighting equal-pay laws; and delaying the Violence Against Women Act. When it came time for House Republicans to pay for lower student loan interest rates, GOP officials decided to get the funding by cutting access to breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings.

The Republican Party’s 2012 platform calls for a constitution amendment that would ban all abortions. A Republican congressman recently compared access to birth control to 9/11 and the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee co-sponsored a bill to redefine “rape.”

The Republican Party’s U.S. Senate nominee in Missouri believes a woman cut “shut that whole thing down” if impregnated through a “legitimate rape,” while Republican Party’s U.S. Senate nominee in Pennsylvania believes a rape pregnancy and out-of-wedlock pregnancy are “similar.”

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

August 30, 2012 Posted by | 2012 Election, Human Rights, Politics, Republican Party | , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Quote of the Day – It’s a great one!

Jay Smooth on Up With Chris in response to Romney’s birther moment:

“He was cleaning his dog whistle and it just went off!”

Sums up the Romney line very concisely.

August 25, 2012 Posted by | 2012 Election, Mitt Romney, Quote of the Week, Racism, Republican Party | , , , | 16 Comments

Dispelling Myths of the Right

David Maraniss wrote a book about President Obama called Barack Obama: The Story. I haven’t read it yet, but I did see Maraniss on several shows discussing the book and it has caused a stir on both the left and the right. I’ve always thought he was a straight shooter and about as objective as any writer of politics can be.

I think a lot of the negative reaction from the left towards his book was because of the way the crazy right was spinning it, which has become the norm for the right these days. They take one little kernel of information (or plucked sentence) and manufacture a massive lie, complete with conspiracies and dire implications and then push it out into the public sphere through surrogates, including “respected” Senators, Representatives, Governors, pundits, bloggers and radio blowhards. And of course, network and cable talking heads then dutifully pick it up and further pound it into the public consciousness. A perfect example of this was seen when Donald Trump, or as I called him at the time, “Balloon Boy”, was appearing on the half hour at MSNBC to blow his birth certificate dog whistle.

David Maraniss wrote an opinion piece for the Washington Post that is worth a read. It disproves some of the craziness floating around in right wing circles with actual facts, history and truth…what a concept. Here is a snippet…

Not all of them are “birthers,” but the notion that the president was not born in the United States remains at the epicenter of the anti-Obama mythology. Here is the conspiracy that would have had to exist if Barack Hussein Obama II were not born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Aug. 4, 1961:

First, the local newspapers would have had to have been in on the scheme, because they ran notices of his birth among all the other local births that week. Second, the Immigration and Naturalization Service would have had to have been covering something up, because INS officials were closely tracking Barack Obama Sr. when he was at the University of Hawaii on a student visa from Kenya. They thought that he was a bigamist — which he was, having married a woman in Kenya before coming to the States — and a womanizer, which he also was. INS documents in the weeks and months before and after the son’s birth clearly establish the father’s whereabouts and the birth of his son. Finally, the name of Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann, was unusual enough that doctors and nurses in Honolulu remembered it and her giving birth. One prominent doctor was asked by a young journalist if anything interesting had happened in the medical world that week, and he responded, “Well, Stanley had a baby!”

What concerns me is that many people – way too many people – when presented with these facts, still refuse to believe that he was born in Hawaii. Whether it’s because of racism, partisanship, stupidity, paranoid schizophrenia or the constant brainwashing by the above mentioned surrogates, it has gotten out of control. When the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who is a couple of heartbeats away from the presidency, panders to those who believe them, it proves that the the Grand Old Party ain’t so grand anymore.

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

July 31, 2012 Posted by | 2012 Election, Politics, President Barack Obama, Republican Party, The Truth | , | Comments Off on Dispelling Myths of the Right

Salon.com Parts Ways With Glenn Greenwald – But Will Salon Continue To Smear Good People?

You may have heard that Glenn Greenwald, the Rio Pundit, is leaving Salon.com and bringing his brand of hyperbole to The Guardian.

As someone who used to be a loyal reader of Salon, I hope that it signals a turn back to the days of old. I’m not exactly confident that it will, they did recently hire David Sirota – who was rightfully pegged by Oliver Willis as “serially stupid”, as pointed out by Chez Pazienza.

Yesterday, I clicked over to Salon by way of a link in one of Glenn Greenwald’s tweets. He was attacking a Democrat, of course, that’s what he does these days. The title of the post was “Dianne Feinstein’s “espionage” and the tweet that linked to the article is below. By the way, I don’t link to his crap…Google it if you want to read it.

I started reading and clicking through his links and found that the source of the statement “one of the biggest leakers in Congress” was a Tweet. No shit, a Tweet. Here is the relevant section of the post, complete with Glenn’s yellow highlights.

But what makes the case of Dianne Feinstein extra egregious is that, as is well-known in Washington, the California Senator is one of the most prolific leakers in town. Here’s what Blake Hounshell, the Managing Editor of Foreign Policy Magazine, wrote yesterday in response to Feinstein’s latest condemnation of leaks:

One hears this frequently from people like Hounshell who report on national security and intelligence matters in Washington. That the powerful Senator who has devoted herself to criminally punishing low-level leakers and increasing the wall of secrecy is herself “one of the biggest leakers in Congress” is about as perfect an expression as it gets of how the rule of law and secrecy powers are sleazily exploited in Washington (moreover, as EFF’s Trevor Timm observed yesterday: “Strange, I don’t remember Sen. Feinstein decrying leaks coming from the White House when they led to the Iraq War“).

From the looks of it, Glenn Greenwald wrote an entire post around a tweet from Blake Hounshell, the managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine. I clicked on every other link, looking for more proof that Dianne Feinstein is “one of the biggest leakers in Congress”, but mostly found Glenn linking to other hyperbolic rants by himself. I guess Glenn was fine with that one source and his statement that “[O]ne hears this frequently from people like Hounshell who report on national security…”. Glenn’s lack of sources doesn’t affect his penchant for hyperbole in the least.

Sen. Feinstein may very well be a leaker, but if you were to read Glenn Greenwald’s post, you would be hard pressed to find any real evidence of it besides the tweet from Blake Hounshell, who from what I can tell is a decent journalist. It’s kind of funny, but in researching this article, I came across a piece by Hounshell where he questions Greenwald over his attack on Wired magazine.

The second snarky tweet that Greenwald referenced from Trevor Timm said “Strange, I don’t remember Sen Feinstein decrying leaks coming from the White House when they led to the Iraq War”. There is some good evidence for you – Trevor Timm doesn’t remember Sen. Feinstein decrying leaks that led to the Iraq War. I took to Google for a minute and found this one, I know there are many more because I DO remember the Senator decrying White House leaks during the Bush years. This is from 2006, when the information came to light…

“It is deeply disturbing to learn that President Bush may have authorized the selective disclosure of our most sensitive intelligence information to the media to help justify a war and discredit critics,” Feinstein said in a statement.

One of the links in Mr. Greenwald’s post brought me to this little gem from a previous attack Glenn made on Senator Feinstein. It made me shoot Diet Lipton Green Tea out my nose.

In October of 2002, she (naturally) voted to authorize President Bush to use military force to invade Iraq. She now self-servingly claims that she “regrets” the vote and was tricked by the Bush administration into believing Saddam had WMDs…(emphasis mine)

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Hold up Glenny. You supported the Iraq War invasion, you have no right to type “naturally” or “self-serving”. From the intro to one of your books…

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.  (emphasis mine)

I wonder how many times he has linked to that book introduction?

Why would Glenn Greenwald give President Bush the benefit of the doubt, trust, deference and blind loyalty – even after admitting that he had doubts and concerns? Yet, he hasn’t given one bit of respect or deference to President Obama and in fact has done the exact opposite by relentlessly finding every little nuance to exaggerate, as only Glenn can do.  He was clearly capable of respect and deference with his beloved W. and accepted “his judgement that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.”

All you Glenn fanboys, you got that? Glenn was just fine with President Bush invading the sovereign country of Iraq where over a hundred thousand innocent men, women and children were killed by big motherfucking bunker-buster bombs. The blood of those Iraqi civilians is on Glenn’s hands.

I’ve also noticed that Greenwald likes to conflate “whistleblowing” and “leaking”. He seems to think they are one in the same. The term “whistleblowing” as it relates to the law, has a clear definition and it is much different than the practice of “leaking”, but I guess I shouldn’t expect Greenwald to know the difference or at least be honest about it.

Once Greenwald leaves Salon.com, I’ll probably stop back over there to see what’s shaking. They have a couple of good writers and you never know, maybe they will refrain from smearing people now that Glenn Greenwald is leaving.

Hey Glenn, I hope the door hits you square in the ass on your way out.

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

July 25, 2012 Posted by | Democratic Party, Media, MSM, Republican Party | , , , | 2 Comments

The Romney Playbook – Deceptive Editing

Below is one of the latest ads from the Obama campaign. It pushes back against the very deceptive ad from Romney that takes a couple of sentences from a speech by the President and shuffles them around to create a nice, new lie.

I picture the Romney hacks sitting around watching every word the President says, just waiting for him to utter something they can selectively edit, distort and otherwise use to mislead the American people. It really has to suck working for Romney, they have nothing but lies.

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

July 24, 2012 Posted by | 2012 Election, Election, Mitt Romney, Republican Party, The Truth | 1 Comment

This Is What Romney Did To America While At Bain!

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.

More please!

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles

July 17, 2012 Posted by | 2012 Election, Election, Politics, President Barack Obama, Republican Party | , , | 1 Comment

Rush Limbaugh Gives His Blessing To Romney’s Attack On Police, Firefighters and Teachers

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

June 12, 2012 Posted by | 2012 Election, Election, Republican Party | , | Comments Off on Rush Limbaugh Gives His Blessing To Romney’s Attack On Police, Firefighters and Teachers

“What If” the Republicans Hadn’t Obstructed The American Jobs Act?

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)

June 1, 2012 Posted by | 2012 Election, Economy, Jobs, Republican Party | , | Leave a comment

Romney Is Shaking The Etch A Sketch On Immigration

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.

I doubt that Hispanics will soon forget Mitt Romney’s previous actions with regards to immigration.

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)

May 8, 2012 Posted by | 2012 Election, Mitt Romney, Republican Party | 4 Comments


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