|June 15, 2012||Sensible Immigration Policy for Asterisked Americans||9 comments|
|May 24, 2012||Conservatism is Politics by Deception||9 comments|
|May 10, 2012||Romney "Saved" the Auto Industry After He Predicted It's Failure||19 comments|
|May 02, 2012||GOP Can’t Handle the Truth||4 comments|
|April 27, 2012||D.A. King's Bully Pulpit||22 comments|
|April 11, 2012||Obama Still Standing as Romney Shakes the Etch a Sketch||6 comments|
|March 26, 2012||The Elite Media Myth||no comments|
|March 19, 2012||Mr. King, Please Take the High Road||11 comments|
|March 12, 2012||Radical Social Agenda Killing GOP||2 comments|
|March 05, 2012||Voting Your Own Best Interests||5 comments|
There are dozens of baseless charges leveled against President Obama by his legions of haters. With the presidential election fast approaching, I expect we'll be hearing many more.
True or false: Under Obama, government spending has dramatically increased. Listen to enough Limbaugh, Hannity, Coulter, O'Reilly, Savage, et al and you would say true, Obama is just a tax and spend big government liberal who's bankrupting the nation, right?
Wrong. According to no less than Rupert Murdoch's Wall Street Journal, from fiscal year 2010 to the present, government spending — including the stimulus bill — has risen at just a 1.4 percent annualized rate under Obama, slower than at any time since the 1950s. Under George W. Bush, by comparison, government spending grew 8.1 percent from 2006 to 2009. Under Ronald Reagan, from 1982 to 1985, it grew by 8.7 percent.
Why do conservatives make stuff up? Can't they just sell us on all the benefits conservatism has to offer without attacking progressives with easily debunked falsehoods?
No, conservatism can't tell you what it really is. Most Americans would never vote for any candidate calling himself a conservative if the truth were more widely known and accepted because conservatism is a political ideology based on deception. There are many examples of how this deception takes place ("Obama wasn't born in America" comes to mind), but look no further than "severely conservative" Mitt Romney for proof.
In 2002, Romney was a moderate Republican governor who publicly supported a wide variety of progressive positions such as a women's right to choose abortion, gun control, gay marriage, stem cell research and global warming. He was a 55-year-old man at the time. Most 55-year-old men I know have pretty fixed views that they've held most of their adult lives.
Yet Romney would have us believe he has undergone a metamorphosis of ideological thinking, perhaps through an amazing series of epiphanies that caused him to reverse virtually all his firmly held convictions of less than a decade ago. It's simply not plausible. Sorry, but Romney is trying to deceive you. He's practicing conservatism and it's as brazenly deceptive as Obama being characterized by the right as a big spender.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Mitt Romney either hopes you aren't paying attention of you are just plain stupid. In an interview with an Ohio television station the other day, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee made this preposterous statement:
"I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy. And finally, when that was done, and help was given, the companies got back on their feet. So I'll take a lot of credit for the fact that this industry's come back."
In 2008, under the headline "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt", Romney wrote in the New York Times, "If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye."
Romney couldn't have been more wrong, both in claiming credit for Detroit's resurgance and that a government bailout would lead to the demise of America's auto industry.
It took a bailout (the "help" that was "given") to salvage General Motors and Chrysler, exactly what Romney didn't want to see happen just a few short years ago. As a result of the bailout, both companies are back to profitability, the loans mostly repaid to the treasury.
By now, it's what we've come to expect from Romney a man who changes positions like the rest of us change socks. So this latest flip flop to all the others: Romney was for gun control. Now he's against it. Pro-choice. Now anti-abortion. For stem cell research. Now opposes. Individual mandates yes. Now no. Liked path to citizenship. Against today. Global warming supporter. Now global warming denier. Against gay marriage ban. Now supports.
There’s a memorable scene in the 1992 film, “A Few Good Men”, in which Jack Nicholson’s old school Marine commander defines the warrior ethos to Tom Cruise’s snarky young Navy prosecutor. In the climactic scene, Cruise demands the truth about a killing.
“You can’t handle the truth!” cries a frustrated Col. Nathan Jessup.
Republicans are having conniption fits because President Obama acknowledged the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden, the terrorist kingpin former President Bush said he was no longer concerned about in 2002, just six months after 9-11.
“I just don’t spend that much time worrying about him,” Bush said dismissively of the terrorist who murdered 2,752 innocent people on our soil.
It was Barack Obama who, almost a decade later, gave the order to kill bin Laden. Now Republicans can’t handle the truth.
Obama put Navy SEAL Team Six on the ground inPakistan. An air strike would have been far safer for Obama politically. He no doubt was thinking of the disaster in the Iranian desert in 1979 that cost Jimmy Carter his re-election when he unleashed the SEALs on bin Laden’s compound.
Thus, Obama put his presidency on the line and Republicans hate the outcome, never mind that we – all Americans – rejoiced.
After portraying Obama as soft on terror, the GOP can’t bring itself to admit the president did what his predecessor wouldn’t do. At least a score of terrorist leaders have been captured or killed on Obama’s watch but you wouldn’t know it listening to Rush Limbaugh, who wants you to believe Obama is in bed with the terrorists.
“Eight hundred million for the Taliban?” Limbaugh asked in February after the White House proposedU.S.aid for the Arab Spring countries. “Eight hundred million for Al Qaeda?”
Mitt Romney now casually says anyone would have made the same dangerous decision to take out bin Laden, this coming from the squishy Massachusetts Moderate who supported abortion, gun control and the individual mandate before he was against them.
Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive. Last week, Vice President Joe Biden legitimately asked if the same could be said were Mitt Romney in the White House. Remember, it was Romney who wrote in 2008 that auto makers should be left to go bankrupt and that, as president, he would not attack bin Laden if he was hiding inPakistan.
“I do not concur,” declared Romney after then-candidate Obama said he’d go after bin Laden inPakistan. “I don’t think those kinds of comments help in this effort to draw more friends to our effort.”
When Obama arrived inAfghanistanTuesday, Romney, with former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani in tow, hustled down to theManhattanfire house that lost 11 first responders on 9-11. There, using this shrine as his backdrop and without a shred of irony, he scolded the president for showboating.
“Politicizing it was — and trying to draw a distinction between himself and myself – was an inappropriate use of the very important event that brought America together, which was the elimination of Osama bin Laden,” huffed the former governor.
No it wasn’t, Mitt. You probably would have sat around in the war room triangulating your own political future before maybe delegating the decision to someone else because that’s what guys like you always do. If it went right, you’d take the credit. If it failed, you’d have your scapegoat.
Fortunately, we have a warrior president who isn’t afraid to stick his neck out to defendAmerica. And that’s the truth.
Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer
who lives in Kennesaw.
In a recent blog, I suggested D. A. King refrain from using a slur to describe undocumented workers, politely explaining that many Latinos and Hispanics who legally reside and vote in the U.S.regard this characterization as highly offensive. As a seasoned public relations counselor, I also recommended Mr. King elevate his arguments and steer clear of attacking individuals and groups with which he disagrees. I pointed out to Mr. King that such an approach would make his arguments more appealing to those of us who are otherwise open to hearing him out.
I had in mind the Founding Fathers who came from various walks of life with many conflicting points of view. Some opposed slavery while others embraced it, for example. But they all understood that the 13 states would not become united unless they disagreed agreeably, as Thomas Jefferson might have said.
What a waste of pixels. Mr. King isn't interested in reason or being agreeable. To him, suggestions like mine are "mindless," the product of "leftist teach-ins" I have never attended and La Raza writings I have never read.
Evidently Mr. King is more comfortable down there on the low road with his VDARE colleagues. He responded to my well-mannered suggestions with a smug, condescending justification of his brand of racial prejudice. Yes, Mr. King, it's racial. You can stop pretending now. Along with Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio, you've simply found a way to camouflage your bias against Latinos and Hispanics by wrapping yourself in the American flag and crying "our laws are being broken!". And like a lot of demagogues you're even somewhat famous hereabouts, where it's not terribly difficult to find other bigoted bullies who'll line up with you.
Haven't we seen this movie before? It used to be "uppity Negros" who "didn't know their place" in the old Jim Crow era; burning Freedom Rider buses, poll taxes, and Bull Connor's attack dogs. Now it's undocumented workers, most of whom find themselves employed and often exploited by American business owners, doing the dirty jobs none of us want to do: Cleaning toilets, washing dishes, gutting chickens, digging holes. And D.A. King adds to their misery.
Are they here illegally? Of course. Is there a more humane and workable solution to enforcing our immigration laws than rounding up all 11 or 12 million undocumented workers and deporting them? Most likely. But it will require reason and agreeable dialogue to find the answer.
Antichrist. False prophet. Muslim. Phony birth certificate.
They've taken their best shots and Barack Obama is still standing. The numbers are getting better. The president is finding his Buffet Rule stride.
Meantime, Mitt Romney, the "Massachusetts Moderate," is the presumptive GOP nominee. Other than Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul, nobody's left now that Rick Santorum has quit the race ahead of the primary election in his home state of Pennsylvania, where he would have been beaten like a rented mule come April 24th.
I feel sad. I had hoped the Republican primary would grind on, the entertainment value was that good. This, after all, was the crew that gave us outlawed contraception, "oops," dance numbers by Mr. and Mrs. Bachmann, 30-foot electrified fences, and Etch a Sketch.
Now it will be vanilla ice cream every day, Mitt Romney squaring his pro-choice, pro-mandate past with his "severely conservative" presidential future. This after dropping the "loser" bomb on Santorum in TV ads running this week in the Keystone State, delivering a classy kick in the shorts to the former senator as he was heading for the door.
Romney will no doubt take a breather in the weeks ahead, bracing himself for post Labor Day campaigning backed by the $700 million or $800 million he's likely to collect from post-Citizen United interests who will expect payback big time. And should he win, Mitt will comply. He's a company guy, after all.
I'm betting on America. My money's on the smart folks out there who work for wages, which is most of America. They look at Romney and see the guy who wouldn't give them a two-dollar-an-hour raise. He's the boss who pushed the 15 percent hike in health insurance premiums onto the employees; the absentee manager who showed up at the plant one Friday afternoon and told you to clear out your locker.
There was a time in my life I worked for wages and thought that was the way of the world. Later, I was a newspaper reporter. I wrote about the good, the bad and the ugly in the little town I covered where I developed a strong empathy for people who have to choose between filling the car or feeding the kids; between taking a child they know is seriously ill to the doctor, or waiting to see what happens; between making rent or paying the heating bill.
Mitt Romney's never known any of this. He was born into wealth and privilege, somehow avoided Vietnam as many well-connected young men did, hung around France seeking converts to Mormonism, and then slid into a job that paid him hundreds of millions of dollars before he was 40.
For Mitt Romney, life was like winning the lottery every day.
It's not "class warfare," guys. It's about a level playing field. I don't resent Mitt's wealth because I'm doing fine. I just wish Romney would be honest and talk about helping his fellow Americans get on the same path that led him to the Promised Land instead of telling us how he's going to grease the skids to keep them from reaching it.
When he was confronted by the New York Times' Jeff Zeleny to clarify a comment he made about Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum showed he's having trouble with the kitchen heat as his campaign begins to flame out.
It seems Santorum recently told some supporters he thought Romney was "the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama."
Then, when asked about his comment by Zeleny, Santorum went off on the reporter. "Quit distorting my words. It's bull****." Later Santorum declared he would take on the New York Times, whatever that means.
In the bare knuckles world of a national presidential campaign, it seems the former Pennsylvania senator can dish out the bull**** - Obama is leading Christians to the guillotine, for example - but he can't man up when it comes time to justify something inflammatory he said in a public forum. All he had to tell Zeleny was, "I should have added the words 'on health care'" and that would have been that.
But this is part of the "elite media" myth pushed by Santorum, Gingrich and proxies like Sarah Palin. When you don't like the message, attack the messenger and if you're a conservative and it's the New York Times, kill the messenger.
What does "elite media" even mean? Is it a compliment or criticism?
In the case of the New York Times, coverage of candidates has always been rigorous, regardless of one's political persuasion. Democrats get hammered just as much as Republicans. When Democratic congressmen Charlie Rangle and Anthony Weiner got in hot water, the Times' coverage and criticism of both was relentless. Obama is blasted on its opinion and news pages all the time, so what's Gingrich talking about when he says "the elite media is covering for Obama"?
It's a fallacy founded on the notion that coverage of anything conservative that attempts to present the good, the bad and the ugly is evidence of a "liberal media bias."
Mrs. Gingrich No. 2 decides to speak out on her ex's strange ideas about matrimony and Newt gets his knickers in a twist because - OMG! - the media are reporting what she said. But recall Gingrich had no such qualms when Bill Clinton was the subject of sallacious media coverage.
Not only is it hypocritical, it reveals the utter contempt Santorum, Gingrich, Palin and so many other conservatives have for the electorate who they regard as just so many sheep who must be spoonfed only what the candidates want them to see and hear.
By stupidly stumbling into the contraception mine field, Santorum discovered why, over the decades, his GOP predecessors wisely steered clear of this highly personal, emotionally charged discussion best left to women, their partners and, if necessary, the clergy.
It all began with an Obama administration directive to Catholic institutions doing business in the secular world that said women must not be denied contraception under health insurance programs offered by these institutions. Because Catholic teaching forbids the use of birth control, a firestorm ensued stoked mainly by the far right media and Republican presidential candidates who fallaciously charged the president with waging a “war on religion.”
Enter Sandra Fluke, a Methodist student attending the Jesuit Georgetown University law school. She testified before a congressional committee expressing her gratitude for the new regulation. Fluke cited the financial burden students and other women at Catholic institutions shoulder in having to pay for a healthcare benefit typically covered by health insurance plans.
The episode was over. Or so we thought until Rush Limbaugh decided to weigh in.
Limbaugh vilely bullied Fluke on the air, calling her a “slut” and a “prostitute.” In the predictable uproar that followed, Limbaugh continued his vicious attacks on the 30-year-old. Not until his sponsors began leaving did Limbaugh finally blink, issuing a tepid apology, claiming Democrats made him do it.
"Against my own instincts, against my own knowledge, against everything I know to be right and wrong I descended to their level when I used those two words to describe Sandra Fluke,” declared Limbaugh on the air. “That was my error. I became like them, and I feel very badly about that."
More troubling than Limbaugh’s cowardly attack and bogus apology, however, is the deafening silence from the GOP presidential candidates and conservative leaders in Congress.
Most all have daughters or granddaughters but none has condemned Limbaugh’s cowardly assault on Fluke, no doubt because they’re afraid to earn the wrath of the unofficial leader of the conservative wing of their party.
Instead, the GOP has earned the wrath of a far more important constituency: women.
Not only are women voters of all stripes lining up behind Obama in 2012, women also think Democrats should take control of Congress by a margin of 51 to 36 percent, according to a new poll done by Democrat Peter Hart and Republican Bill McInturff.
Having already angered and alienated Latinos, gays, conservative Democrats, moderate Republicans, union workers, young people, African Americans and many other voting blocks, Republicans seem intent on adding women to the list.
“It’s devastating,” a well known Republican strategist told the Washington Post. “I don’t think it’s going away.”
We all seek the health and wellbeing of our children and grandchildren so we can watch them grow and prosper. We want our homes, cars, roads, food, water, medicine, and air to be safe. We expect to be treated fairly in our personal and business lives. We all work for economic security for ourselves and our families, especially as we approach or enter our retirement years.
We take the guarantee of these for granted, but there was a time inAmericawhen none of them was assured. For the republic’s first one hundred years or so, it was anything goes, do as you please, don’t worry about the consequences.
In that political and economic climate, only a few managed to thrive. For everyone else, there was slavery and child labor; hunger; exploitation of workers; illiteracy; poverty; polluted rivers; disease; dangerous work places; ravaged landscapes; fraudulent financial markets; unstable banking; contaminated food and medicines; unsafe products.
Americans were not created equal in those days. Nor was everyone entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
It took a Republican president to see the inequality of a system rigged to favor the wealthy and privileged. So Teddy Roosevelt pushed for reform. He broke up monopolies, advocated environmental conservation, fostered banking reform, protected food and drugs, and demanded railroad regulations.
Naturally Teddy was attacked, not by the many Americans he sought to help, but by the few who benefitted under the rigged system. Did TR succeed? His is one of the four faces onMt.Rushmore.
We’ve seen ample evidence that the system is once again rigged to benefit the few. The most glaring example was TARP. The banking and financial institutions that caused the economic disaster through reckless, unregulated practices were saved with hundreds of billions of tax dollars paid by the rest of us.
But it was we and not the perpetrators who suffered the consequences; tens of millions of lost jobs, foreclosed homes, drained bank accounts, and wrecked retirement savings.Many of us are understandably angry. But much of our rage seems blind and misdirected and the few who cashed in on the rigged system this time around want to keep it that way. They know if we ever open our eyes, we’re going to realize who the culprits are.
So media surrogates belonging to the few stoke our anger with nonsense about fake birth certificates, fictitious “wars” on (fill in the blank), and phony conspiracy theories. Anything to deflect our attention away from the things we should really care about, like the future of our kids, our health and wellbeing, and our economic security.
Meanwhile, to maintain political and economic power, the few benefitting from the rigged system relentlessly push two demands. First they want bigger tax cuts for themselves because they claim to be “job creators.”
So-called “trickledown economics” will benefit every American, they say, but there is scant evidence to support what George H.W. Bush once called “voodoo economics.” In the decade since Bush Junior’s tax cuts were enacted, we’ve seen the slowest period of job growth in decades.
The few also insist regulations kill jobs. Yet, most if not all regulations aim to preventAmericafrom sliding back into the dark days of anything goes. The few reject regulations, not because they kill jobs, but because they cost money.
Remember when the car companies claimed seat belts were too expensive to install in every automobile? They managed to avoid regulation for years. It turned out they weren’t too expensive and millions of lives have been saved since seat belts were made mandatory.
Thus, these two arguments in favor of the few are deceptive. Tax cuts for the few don’t benefit the many, and regulations are necessary to protect the many from the few.
So, what are the things we should support?
Our tax code is a good place to start. Do any of us really want to pay a higher percentage on income taxes than somebody making millions or billions? The few think we should.
New banking and finance laws protect you from the predatory lending practices of banks and credit card companies. Do you really want to see them repealed so you can pay higher interest rates and fees? The few would like that.Is your college graduate seeking a job? Do you really want your child going without health insurance while he or she looks for work? The few would prefer they do.
Is your teenager earning money for college? The few want to do away with the minimum wage.
Counting on Social Security and Medicare for yourself or a loved one? The few would like to eliminate both as we know them, the sooner the better.
Before you shout “class warfare” or “Marxism,” take a moment to consider what Teddy Roosevelt had to say more than a century ago:
“Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.”
TR knew the American Dream could never be fulfilled for the many as long as the playing field was tilted in favor of the few. So, one last question: What are your own best interests and who is trying to serve them?