Friday, December 2, 2011

Headlines - Friday December 2

".....At the time of the American Revolution Thomas Paine noted that everything "beyond what a man's own hands produce" came to him from society, and therefore "he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and of civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came."
And shut up Newt, you were a lobbyist. Lobbyist, lobbyist, lobbyist. If you're ashamed of it now, you never should've signed up for it. As speaker, your favorite phrase was "personal responsibility." Time to practice it.
Another Iranian nuclear facility has exploded. Either the Iranians are hopelessly inept or they're under attack.

Bachmann suggests intelligent design is a 'scientific fact'

Remember back in 2009 when Homeland Security released a document about an upswing in "Right Wing Extremism," and far-right conservatives went crazy all over the place as if the Obama administration was targeting people like Limbaugh, Malkin and Hannity. Of course that's ridiculous, and in the process of mocking the document, they also laughed off the idea that there really are domestic right-wing terrorist groups. (It turned out, the Bush administration DHS conducted the study and it was released under the Obama administration.)

Anyway, Homeland Security was exactly correct.

Here's another example:

Meet 65-year-old Ray Adams, 68-year-old Samuel Crump, 67-year-old Dan Roberts and 73-year-old Frederick Thomas. They're the four senior citizen militia members from Georgia the feds say plotted an attack on federal workers, former Rep. Cynthia McKinney and Attorney General Eric Holder.

TPM obtained their mugshots, taken by the U.S. Marshals Service after their arrests, through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

By the way, I wonder if torture fetishists on the right would push for waterboarding these guys — maybe some stress positions and sleep deprivation, or worse.


US Prasidentschaftswahl 2012 – The GOP Freakshow

Overseas, they're laughing at Republicans. The German newsweekly Spiegel on the GOP primary…

Africa is a country. In Libya, the Taliban reigns. Muslims are terrorists; most immigrants are criminal; all Occupy protesters are dirty. And women who feel sexually harassed — well, they shouldn't make such a big deal about it.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the US Republicans. Or rather, to the twisted world of what they call their presidential campaigns. For months now, they've been traipsing around the country with their traveling circus, from one debate to the next, one scandal to another, putting themselves forward for what's still the most powerful job in the world.

As it turns out, there are no limits to how far they will stoop.

It's true that on the road to the White House all sorts of things can happen, and usually do. No campaign can avoid its share of slip-ups, blunders and embarrassments. Yet this time around, it's just not that funny anymore. In fact, it's utterly horrifying.

It's horrifying because these eight so-called, would-be candidates are eagerly ruining not only their own reputations and that of their party, the party of Lincoln lore. Worse: They're ruining the reputation of the United States.

They lie. They cheat. They exaggerate. They bluster. They say one idiotic, ignorant, outrageous thing after another. They've shown such stark lack of knowledge — political, economic, geographic, historical — that they make George W. Bush look like Einstein and even cause their fellow Republicans to cringe.

"When did the GOP lose touch with reality?" wonders Bush's former speechwriter David Frum in New York Magazine. In the New York Times, Kenneth Duberstein, Ronald Reagan's former chief-of-staff, called this campaign season a "reality show," while Wall Street Journal columnist and former Reagan confidante Peggy Noonan even spoke of a "freakshow."

So the US elections are a reality show after all, a pseudo-political counterpart to the Paris Hiltons, Kim Kardashians and all the American Idol and X Factor contestants littering today's TV. The cruder, the dumber, the more bizarre and outlandish — the more lucrative. Especially for Fox News, about which Fairleigh Dickinson University found out that its viewers are far less informed than people who don't watch TV news at all.

Read the whole thing. Obviously, Spiegel has been paying attention. They refer to the entire cast of Republican candidates as "a club of liars, cheaters, adulterers, exaggerators, hypocrites and ignoramuses."


A New York Time's reader writes in response to the announcement that Herman Cain pledges to stay in the race:

Cain is living proof that if a carnival barker can run for President and get money and standing in the polls – the system is beyond broken.

It might be less a case of the system being broken than one of the system being warped beyond recognition by those with the power and ability to do so.  How else does one explain that there are still people out there willing to part with their money to support Herman Cain.  Does stupidity know no bounds?

I guess not…

"Look, a lot of people in office haven't had the most squeaky clean morals — not that I'm saying there's any truth to what's been out there," said Steve Fields, 48. "We're looking for someone different to lead this country, and I think he's the one to do it. I like his overall vision and especially the 9-9-9 tax plan."


Just read Cain's response to being asked why he is the only candidate facing charges of sexual misconduct.

"…maybe I am the Democrat's worst nightmare if I win the nomination. Maybe the Democrats want Gingrich to win the nomination so they can then go after his personal live but they need to knock me out now. That's just a hypothesis."

Good hypothesis, Herman. Yep, that's definitely it. You. Dem's worst nightmare. It all makes sense now.

Republiscums vote to raise payroll taxes because they refused to raise taxes on the rich. 
Obama's reaction:
"Tonight, Senate Republicans chose to raise taxes on nearly 160 million hardworking Americans because they refused to ask a few hundred thousand millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share. They voted against a bill that would have not only extended the $1,000 tax cut for a typical family, but expanded that tax cut to put an extra $1,500 in their pockets next year, and given nearly six million small business owners new incentives to expand and hire. That is unacceptable. It makes absolutely no sense to raise taxes on the middle class at a time when so many are still trying to get back on their feet.

Now is not the time to put the economy and the security of the middle class at risk. Now is the time to rebuild an economy where hard work and responsibility pay off, and everybody has a chance to succeed. Now is the time to put country before party and work together on behalf of the American people. And I will continue to urge Congress to stop playing politics with the security of millions of American families and small business owners and get this done."
Smell the Santorum

Over at Kathryn Jean's House o' Bug Crazy, the santorum is not only particularly frothy – it has sparkles in it.

My favorite moment on Hannity last night came during an interview with Sarah Palin: "If voters start shifting gears and deciding they want ideological consistency, then they're going to start paying attention to say, Rick Santorum."

I put the former senator and governor together in a column this week, as it happens. ...

By the way: When Sean pressed her on whether or not she would be endorsing someone in the primaries, when it might matter to someone, she dismissed her influence at this point, calling herself a mere "pundit" whose endorsement wouldn't amount to "a hill of beans."

Jesus. Sarah Palin and Rick Santorum meeting at K-Lo's apartment, to sup her bitter tea and nibble at her cupcakes of regret, is the kind of cosmic dumbness event that flattens small cities and makes the sunsets red for months.

God is not kind enough that he would grant me, before I conga from this vale of tears, the sight of Santorum on the convention stage clasping the hand of his Vice Presidential pick, Two Time Sarah.

A girl can dream.


So apparently Herman Cain has been helping out his lady friend without his wife's knowledge:

Herman Cain said Thursday that he repeatedly gave money without his wife's knowledge to Ginger White, the Atlanta woman who alleged carrying on an affair with Cain for 13 years.

He's just helpful that way.

BTW- the reason the GOP base will look the other way when a bunch of women come forward accusing Cain of harassment is because he didn't admit it. He could just call them lying sluts, and since the GOP position is that all women can't be trusted, especially when they team up with the media and Gloria Allred, that worked. But as soon as he admitted to an affair, the "all bitches be hoes" defense went out the window.


According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 120,000 jobs were created last month, bringing the unemployment rate down to 8.6 percent. As has been the case in previous months, relatively strong private sector growth was offset by government sector losses. About 72,000 jobs were also added as revisions to previous months.

Andy Borowitz: BREAKING: In Sign of Improving Economy, GOP Starts Saying Obama Wasn't Born Here Again


I hope we stay at least another decade: Afghan rape victim freed from jail, to marry attacker



To be fair, this strategy appears to have worked for the Bachmanns..."Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachman says it's fine for a gay man to get married - as long as it's to a woman. ... During a town hall event in Iowa Wednesday, Jane Schmidt, president of Waverly High School Gay-Straign Alliance, asked the candidate why same sex couples couldn't get married. ... "They can get married," Bachmann explained. "They can marry a man if they're a woman. Or they can marry a woman if they're a man.""


Maine Senator Susan Collins suggests taxing rich people who do not hire, thus setting up a false dichotomy between rich people who are job creators and rich people who are not.  

This sounds good and misses the point completely.  Here is an actual billionaire who does hire people explaining why that does not make him - or any other rich person or corporation - a job creator:


Earlier, I published a post about Frank Luntz's rebranding of capitalism and one of his big points was to replace the word "entrepreneur" with "job creator."

Here's another view:

I'm a very rich person. As an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I've started or helped get off the ground dozens of companies in industries including manufacturing, retail, medical services, the Internet and software. I founded the Internet media company aQuantive Inc., which was acquired by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) in 2007 for $6.4 billion. I was also the first non-family investor in Inc.

Even so, I've never been a "job creator." I can start a business based on a great idea, and initially hire dozens or hundreds of people. But if no one can afford to buy what I have to sell, my business will soon fail and all those jobs will evaporate.

That's why I can say with confidence that rich people don't create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is the feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion a virtuous cycle that allows companies to survive and thrive and business owners to hire. An ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than I ever have been or ever will be.

Read the whole piece. The funny thing is that it used to be conventional wisdom.

This is a person who really doesn't want to kill the golden goose of capitalism but would like to save it. It doesn't speak well for the future of capitalism that there are so few entrepreneurs like him.

Do you spend a significant portion of your income on regular expenses: food, gas, clothing, utilities, rent? Congratulations: you're a job creator.  

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