Saturday, January 28, 2012

Herman Endorses Newt

Wait... I thought Herman Cain endorsed "the people" just last week.

“There are many reasons, but one of the biggest reasons is that I know that Speaker Gingrich is a patriot,” Cain said. “Speaker Gingrich is not afraid of bold ideas and I also know that Speaker Gingrich is running for president and going through this sausage grinder. I know what this sausage grinder is all about. I know that he is going through this sausage grinder because he cares about the future of the United States of America.”
Bold ideas like a moon base/future state? Also, sausage grinder!

You just can't make this shit up.

PolitiFact Is Fired... Rachel Maddow. After the head-snapping double take in response to PolitiFact's flawed guidelines in rating a specific quote from President Obama's State of the Union address last Tuesday, and the backtracking that followed, can you believe they did it again?! I'll let Rachel explain.

Must Reads

Chauncey DeVega: The 10 Most Racist Moments of the GOP Primary (So Far)

Andrew Rosenthal: Chris Christie, Revisionist Historian

NY Times: Rabbi’s Followers Cast Doubts on Congressman’s Fund-Raising

James B. Stewart: Paying Far More Than 13.9%: A Taxpayer’s Lament

John Pitney Jr.: Why Gingrich would lose in a debate with Obama

Christopher Brauchli: The Condom's Cousins

Matt Taibbi: Is Obama's 'Economic Populism' for Real?

Jim Wright: The Special Kind of Crazy

President Obama's Weekly Address - January 28, 2012

President’s Blueprint Includes Renewal of American Values

Friday, January 27, 2012

Hard Work?


When the Republicans take aim in their class war against Democrats, the middle class and the working class, one of their favorite weapons is the all-too-familiar:

Tax increases punish hard work.

We're to believe that the more a person makes, the harder they must have worked to earn it. Never mind the fact that laying roof tiles in 105 degree Texas heat doesn't earn a guy a million bucks. Apparently it's not as hard as going to board meetings and country club meet and greets. So a guy who owns his own roofing company and does a lot of the work himself pays a good chunk of his income in taxes. Shame on us for taxing that guy so high.

But more shame on us for wanting to tax Mitt Romney so high. Because, gosh darn it, he has so much money, he MUST have worked so gosh darn hard for it.

Take 2010, for example. Mitt worked hard. Why should he pay higher taxes as some kind of punishment for his hard work?

What? What's that you say? Mitt didn't actually work for that income? You mean his income came from a company he USED to do work for and some investments?

Well, my dad decided to retire early when he was laid off and now he works every day investing. He reads, researches, plans, has the coolest spreadsheets in the WORLD. So I'd say he works hard.

What? What's that you say? Mitt didn't actually control his investments? He pays a trustee to make all the investment decisions for him?

WHAT?! So, we're not supposed to punish hard work with higher taxes? Well, then hell! Mitt has been paying someone else to do the work of making him money off of him not working. So, seems to me the "punishing hard work" excuse don't float here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Family


I'd like to take a moment to share something about my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. They are a working class couple in a rental house, used cars and with a life filled with conquered demons and baggage they faced head-on. They work hard, play hard and enjoy their lives today. They are in their forties and love heavy metal and tattoos. They don't take life too seriously but feel passion for animals, their great friends and family and each other. If you passed them on the street, you might not think they were someone you could learn politics from. But you'd be wrong.

Now, I have my issues with the Occupy movement. There are some things that piss me off. But the one thing I will always be grateful to the movement for, is that it made my SIL and BIL take notice. These are two insightful, curious people. They ask great questions and make considerate connections. They started following Occupy and even attended a protest or two. And then the Facebook posts started coming regularly: links to articles, questions about what they'd heard somewhere, LGBT support links, criticisms of Bachmann.

And it kept coming.

My sister-in-law was a rising lioness. She wasn't shy about her thoughts and she challenged people to pay attention. We have chatted about issues and she trusts that I will have an honest discussion with her. I trust that she's paying attention.

And the other day, she posted this on Facebook

I voted! (for my dist rep) PLEASE HERE ME OUT! I hate politics, but after occupy, questions surfaced, so the last year I have become more informed because I believe solidarity makes changes happen, I ask my trusted informers when I get confused, they help me understand (you all know who you are and I thank you!) VOTING MATTERS! as my SIL helped me understand (and I ended up changing my party)... in reality, there are 2 parties, and usually 2 candidates, no matter how many are in the line up, you know one of the 2 will win, therefore doing a "write in" or voting for a small party candidate is not productive because it doesn't really count against the "worse of the two evils". You may not be on board 100% with either of the 2 at election time, but out of those two you know which one you DO NOT want. THIS YEAR IS VERY IMPORTANT! IT WILL MAKE OR BREAK THE SHIT HOLE WE ARE IN NOW! Get registered if you are not, be a grown up and be an American... YOUR VOTE DOES COUNT!
My favorite part was when she brilliantly discussed the consequences of write-ins and third parties. That is insightful. And this is from a woman who just started paying attention. Can you imagine what a powerful citizen she will be in November?

And last night, they watched the State of the Union and my BIL posted this on my Facebook page

Loved the speech of the Union tonight - Obama sounded like one of us Protesters - Tax the Rich and Save the Poor :) 30 percent tax for everything over a Million dollars a Year :) Someone is Listening :)

See that? A guy who wouldn't normally be paying attention, watched the State of the Union. He's listening and he knows Obama is listening.

I love my SIL and BIL. And I am proud of them. And I am so glad they are on our side.

We have an untapped resource out there. There are people who will vote FOR their best interests, and ours, if they are given a reason to pay attention. And once they start paying attention, we will see a fierce advocacy take hold. Many of their friends spoke up on my SIL's post the other night. They feel empowered, they know the value of a vote. We need to make sure we reach out to the people in our lives that haven't been paying attention and see if they're ready to start.

Politics is intimidating. There's history and all kinds of twists and turns and chaos and confrontation. Why would anyone want to start paying attention to this crap? People shy away. But Barack Obama is the right President for these people. He is thinking of them in his policies. He just needs them to know it and to stand with him. Let's help them feel less intimidated and welcome them to the dark side.

Politifact Can't Be Trusted

This is so disappointing. I was a regular reader of Politifact and linked to them on many occasions as a reference in previous posts. But no longer. Something happened between their inception and the present day that has caused them to skew their fact checking - you can call it opinion management - to avoid the dreaded "liberal bias" label.

Here is a fact, perfectly stated by President Obama in his State of the Union Address last night:

In the last 22 months, businesses have created more than three million jobs. Last year, they created the most jobs since 2005.
Those are the numbers. Plain and simple. But for some unfathomable reason, Politifact originally labeled this statement as "Half-True" then upgraded it to "Mostly-True." And for what reason? After all, it's a simple statement. It's either true or it's false. How can it possibly be half-true? I'll let Paul Krugman explain:
...Unfortunately, Politifact has lost sight of what it was supposed to be doing. Instead of simply saying whether a claim is true, it’s trying to act as some kind of referee of what it imagines to be fair play: even if a politician says something completely true, it gets ruled only partly true if Politifact feels that the fact is being used to gain an unfair political advantage.
...fact-checking should be about checking facts — not about trying to impose some sort of Marquess of Queensbury rules on how you’re allowed to use facts. Aside from undermining the mission, this makes the whole thing subjective — notice that Politifact wasn’t even analyzing what Obama said, they were analyzing their impression about what he might have been trying to imply.
... in practice this turns into a partisan affair. The simple fact is that in today’s US political scene, Republicans make a lot more factual howlers than Democrats. Sorry, but that’s just the way it is. Yet Politifact wants to be seen as nonpartisan. If it just stuck to the facts, it could say look, we’re just reporting the facts. But having defined its role as something that goes beyond checking facts to saying whether the facts are being used in some “proper” way, it then finds itself under pressure to be “even-handed”, which ends up meaning making excuses for Republican falsehoods and finding ways to criticize Democratic true statements.
Combine this ridiculousness with their 2011 Lie of the Year, and Politifact is Politi-shit. They are supposed to be objective arbiters of statements and they are either true or false. But they've decided to be subjective and my only conclusion is because they're afraid of being labeled a left leaning organization because Republicans are less truthful.

Just in the latest debate Newt Gingrich was asked the following:
Moderator: You've talked about the millions of jobs created by the Reagan tax cuts. If tax cuts create jobs, why didn't the Bush tax cuts work?
Here is the beginning of Newt's answer. Hold on to your seats:
Well, the Bush tax cuts, I think in a period of great difficulty, with the attack of 9/11, actually stopped us from going into a much deeper slump. I think we would have been in much, much worse shape, and I think most economists agree, that in 2002 and '03 and '04 we'd have been in much worse shape without the Bush tax cuts.
What. The. Fuck.

Newt Gingrich actually said the Bush tax cuts, that added a $1.8 trillion to our national debt, stopped us from going into a deeper slump?! I'd like to have a list of "most economists" to which Newt referred. What planet does this motherfucker live on? I'll tell you where - he lives on the planet where people get million dollar credit accounts from jewelry stores and make millions by being the consummate Washington insider.

And how did Politifact rate that whopper of a statement? It wasn't worth mentioning. But a completely truthful statement was rated at best "mostly true" for fear of appearing left leaning.

I rate Politifact's objectivity, Pants on Fire.

President Obama's State of the Union Address - January 24, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

State of the Union Tonight

This one is going to be interesting.

Please forgive my lack of posting - burning the candle at both ends eats away blogging time. I'll take notes as best I can and comment on the SOTU in a future post. I'm expecting President Obama to open up a can of whoop-ass... at least I'm hoping he will. Sit back with a beer and enjoy it.