|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|
|February 20, 2012||Osama bin Laden is Dead and GM is Alive||8 comments|
|January 26, 2012||Orly Taitz is Sellin' Crazy; Buyers Aplenty in Georgia||1 comments|
|January 06, 2012||Newt is First Victim of Citizens United Decision||no comments|
|December 29, 2011||Feds Nix Vote Suppression Law in S.C.||3 comments|
|December 21, 2011||no comments|
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?
I watched a TV report on the Georgia birther hearing, a subpoena to which President Obama rightfully ignored. I was curious to see just who was behind this travesty. I wasn't disappointed.
Guess who showed up as the chief spokeswoman for the plaintiffs? None other than California Birther Queen Orly Taitz, the crazy lady who, a couple of years ago, breathlessly presented an Obama "Kenyan birth certificate" that quickly turned out to be a poor forgery. Taitz is now leading the charge in an Atlanta courtroom to "prove" Obama can't be on the 2012 ballot in Georgia because, the plaintiffs claim, he's not a citizen of the U.S.
Birth certificate duly issued by the state of Hawaii? Not good enough for Orly and her minions.
Having worked around television for 25 years, you see people like Taitz coming out of the woodwork all the time. At the height of the birther insanity, Taitz appeared over and over on TV and radio making her baseless claims. When nobodies like Taitz get hooked on being media "stars," they become like junkies. They can't live without the notoriety. Then, after they've been thoroughly discredited, as Taitz was, they wonder why no TV news/talk producers are calling anymore. Thus, it becomes critical for such sociopaths to grasp at any straw they think will help reignite their imagined "fame."
Welcome to Georgia Orly! I'm not buying your brand of crazy, but you'll find plenty of Obama Derangement Syndrome sufferers hereabouts who will.