A collection of newsworthy information as reported from newspapers, magazines, and blogs.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

There Better Not Be An Enthusiasm Gap!

I'm Only A Man

Ben Jealous, NAACP President, says get off of the couch!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Young Adults More Likely To Vote After Reading Rolling Stone Article

Question?  Who reads Rolling Stone Magazine?
Answer:  Young adults

Obama has taken his time and explained all of the issues he's faced during his Presidency.  His intended audience, young adults, will get the message and  will likely become influenced to vote during the mid-term elections.  This is a great strategic move for Obama. 

Excerpts from Rolling Stone Interview

This recession is worse than the Ronald Reagan recession of the Eighties, the 1990-91 recession, and the 2001 recession combined.

I swore to uphold the Constitution, and part of that Constitution is a free press. We've got a tradition in this country of a press that oftentimes is opinionated. The golden age of an objective press was a pretty narrow span of time in our history. Before that, you had folks like Hearst who used their newspapers very intentionally to promote their viewpoints. I think Fox is part of that tradition — it is part of the tradition that has a very clear, undeniable point of view. It's a point of view that I disagree with. It's a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world. But as an economic enterprise, it's been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number-one concern is, it's that Fox is very successful.

"Folks, that's what you elected me to do." I keep in my pocket a checklist of the promises I made during the campaign, and here I am, halfway through my first term, and we've probably accomplished 70 percent of the things that we said we were going to do — and by the way, I've got two years left to finish the rest of the list, at minimum. So I think that it is very important for Democrats to take pride in what we've accomplished.

I could have had a knock-down, drag-out fight on the public option that might have energized you and The Huffington Post, and we would not have health care legislation now. I could have taken certain positions on aspects of the financial regulatory bill, where we got 90 percent of what we set out to get, and I could have held out for that last 10 percent, and we wouldn't have a bill. You've got to make a set of decisions in terms of "What are we trying to do here? Are we trying to just keep everybody ginned up for the next election, or at some point do you try to win elections because you're actually trying to govern?" I made a decision early on in my presidency that if I had an opportunity to do things that would make a difference for years to come, I'm going to go ahead and take it.

I just made the announcement about Elizabeth Warren setting up our Consumer Finance Protection Bureau out in the Rose Garden, right before you came in. Here's an agency that has the potential to save consumers billions of dollars over the next 20 to 30 years — simple stuff like making sure that folks don't jack up your credit cards without you knowing about it, making sure that mortgage companies don't steer you to higher-rate mortgages because they're getting a kickback, making sure that payday loans aren't preying on poor people in ways that these folks don't understand. And you know what? That's what we say we stand for as progressives. If we can't take pleasure and satisfaction in concretely helping middle-class families and working-class families save money, get a college education, get health care — if that's not what we're about, then we shouldn't be in the business of politics. Then we're no better than the other side, because all we're thinking about is whether or not we're in power.

But to say that we did not significantly improve oversight of the derivatives market, it just isn’t true.

One of the things that you realize when you're in my seat is that, typically, the issues that come to my desk — there are no simple answers to them. Usually what I'm doing is operating on the basis of a bunch of probabilities: I'm looking at the best options available based on the fact that there are no easy choices. If there were easy choices, somebody else would have solved it, and it wouldn't have come to my desk.

That's true for financial regulatory reform, that's true on Afghanistan, that's true on how we deal with the terrorist threat. On all these issues, you've got a huge number of complex factors involved. When you're sitting outside and watching, you think, "Well, that sounds simple," and you can afford to operate on the basis of your ideological predispositions. What I'm trying to do — and certainly what we've tried to do in our economic team — is to keep a North Star out there: What are the core principles we're abiding by? In the economic sphere, my core principle is that America works best

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Republican's "Pledge to America"


The Republican's “Pledge to America” budget would mean $11.1 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years. By 2020, the budget deficit would be about $200 billion larger than under President Obama's budget.  Read more.

Slideshare -

Obama Speaks Out

Rachel Maddow - Republican's "Pledge to America" written by lobbyist.


A Waste Of Paper -  Read More

It sure sounds like the GOP wants to get things done, though. One should bear in mind, however, the various pieces of legislation they've managed to block while in the minority. You have to ask yourself how committed Republicans are to the "deepest beliefs of the American people" after they killed or tried to kill:

•Franken's Anti-Rape Amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill: a bill to allow women who are raped while working overseas to have their case heard in an American court. Every Republican male in the Senate voted against it, but it managed to pass.

•Benefits for homeless veterans and homeless veterans with children: successfully blocked by the GOP.

•Health care for 9/11 first responders: successfully blocked by the GOP.

•A Jobs bill that gives tax breaks to companies that hire new employees: successfully blocked by the GOP.

•Stricter regulations for financial institutions to keep them from destroying the economy again: Republicans attempted to block this but failed.

•The stimulus package: Republicans went wild and wooly trying to block this, then turned around and took credit for the multiple aspects of the bill that worked.

•Oil spill liability to make oil companies pay more to clean up after a spill: successfully blocked by the GOP.

•Unemployment benefits extension for millions of unemployed people who are trying to hold on: blocked by the GOP for weeks before it finally passed.

•The Fair Pay Act, a.k.a. The Lilly Ledbetter bill, to ensure women are paid the same wages as men: the GOP tried to block it.

The list goes on, but you get the idea.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Today, Obama Celebrates - Health Reform In Action

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) passed the Senate on December 24, 2009, by a vote of 60-39 with all Democrats and Independents voting for, and all Republicans voting against. The PPACA is a federal statute that was signed into law in the United States by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.


Obama is celebrating the six month anniversary of the Affordable Care Act.

The Patient’s Bill of Rights will take effect, putting an end to some of the worst insurance industry abuses.

On Monday, Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina announced that, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 215,000 customers will receive refunds totaling $155.8 million.

The Department of Health and Human Services announced that, on average, premiums for seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage would go down, while enrollment in the program is expected to increase.

The Patient’s Bill of Rights:

• Bans discrimination against kids with pre-existing conditions.

• Allows young adults to remain on their parents’ plan until their 26th birthday.

• Prohibits insurance companies from cutting off your coverage when you’re sick if you made a mistake on your application.

• Prohibits insurance companies from putting a lifetime limit on the amount of coverage you may receive, and restricts the use of annual limits until they are banned completely in 2014.

• And if you join a new plan:

o You have the right to choose your own doctor in your insurer network.

o Your insurer is banned from charging more for emergency services obtained outside of their network.

o You will be guaranteed the right to appeal insurance company decisions to an independent third party.

o You will receive recommended preventive care with no out-of-pocket cost. Services like mammograms, colonoscopies, immunizations, pre-natal and new baby care will be covered, and insurance companies will be prohibited from charging deductibles, co-payments or co-insurance.

Rachel MaDDOW

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What if The Tea Party Was Black

This video says it all:

There is no lack of enthusiam here - Will I AM, Obama Girls - Where Are You?

Arrogance of being President while being Black

I don't think anyone was under some real illusion that the election of Barack Obama actually means the end of racism in America . I'm pretty sure that the president-elect knew it better than anyone. After all, he saw it every day, from the moment he announced his candidacy. To some degree, he saw it within his own party during the primaries. And he saw it in all ugliness during the general election. For half of this country, he was "That One". No matter how big and clear his victory was. No matter how smart he is. No matter how decent he is. No matter what a true patriot he is. No matter how optimistic and positive his vision for America was. All that didn't matter. Because at the end of the day, he was still black.

I'm quite old. I remember, vaguely, where my parents were on November 22, 1963. I've seen so many presidents. Some were feared, some were hated, some were adored, some popular and some not. But all of them, without exception, were treated with the highest respect deserving the office of the president of the United States .

That is until a black man won the right to occupy this office. It's been 13 months now, and in the eyes of so many, Barack Obama is still that one. He is being disrespected and at the same time being held to the highest standard of any president I've ever seen – and not just by the Republican side! He has to perform three times better than any president in history, and even that may not be enough.

For the media, he is many more times just "Obama" than "President Obama". They create scandals out of nothing issues. It took them at least 6 years to start giving Bush a small part of the sh-t he deserved. It took them 6 months to begin crap all over Obama because he's yet to fix the catastrophe that was left for him .

They use condescending tones when they talk about him, and only mildly less condescending when they talk TO him. With anyone else, CNN wouldn't dare go to commercials every time the president speaks, like they did during that summit on Thursday. They wouldn't dare be counting how many minutes George Bush or Bill Clinton were talking. Chris Mathews wouldn't dare make an issue out of Ronald Regan calling members of congress by their first name, like he is not actually the president. They fully cooperate with the Right-Wing smear machine when it comes to president Obama's national security performance – even if almost every independent and military expert actually thinks that he's a terrific Commander-in-Chief. You'll never see them on TV, and virtually no one from the Left, in congress and outside, defend the president on this matter.

I don't care about the Far-Right. They're just crazy ignorant Neanderthals. It's the way the beltway and the mainstream treats this president that is shocking. On Thursday, almost every Republican had no trouble interrupting him in the middle of a sentence. They looked like they're going to vomit every time they had to say "Mr. president". They all had this Eric-Cantor-Smirk whenever he spoke. Then they went out and started to spit their stupid talking points, to the delight of the media. Sarah Palin, a woman who can hardly read, thinks that he was "arrogant" towards John McCain, and somehow this is an important news. Because you see, "Obama's Arrogance" is the talking point of the day.

Oh, those talking points. He is arrogant (because he knows the facts better than all of them combined). He is an elitist (because he uses big words that they don't understand). He is weak on national security (because he actually thinks about the consequences). He divides the country (well, he did that the day he had the audacity to win the election). Worst of all, he actually thinks that he's the president. He even dared to say so on Thursday. How arrogant of him. You'd think that previous presidents didn't have any ego. Somehow it turned out that the one president who treats even his biggest opponents with the utmost respect – is the arrogant one. I wonder why?

I expected that his winning the Presidency would bring out some ugliness, but it's been far worse than I imagined. The racism coming from the Right is obviously clear and shameless, but there's also some hidden and maybe subconscious and disturbing underline tone behind some of the things that I read here and throughout the Left blogosphere, even before the end of Obama's first year - 'He's weak, he's spineless, he's got no balls, primary him in 2012'. It'll be dishonest to deny that.

The fact is that for millions in America , Barack Obama is this uppity black man (Not even a "real" black), who received good education only due to affirmative action, and has no right to litter the sacred Oval Office with his skin color. They just can't accept the fact that the president is a black man, who unlike his predecessor, was actually legally elected. But what's really sad is that it's not just the fringe, its deep deep in mainstream America .

Barack Obama's ability to remain above all this slob, to keep his optimism and his strange and mostly unjustified faith in people, while continuing to gracefully deal with an endless shitstorm – is one of the most inspiring displays of human quality I have ever seen. And I can only hope that the Cosmos is on his side because God is and He never makes a mistake.

Gerald A. McIntosh (G-Mack)

Things You Should Know About Democrats Who Oppose The Bush Tax Cut

President Obama's plan to let Bush-era tax cuts expire for wealthier Americans -- many of whom own small businesses that economists say are the No. 1 producer of new U.S. jobs -- is in jeopardy following the release of a letter signed by 31 House Democrats who are calling on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to extend them.

The letter warns Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer that "raising any taxes right now could negatively impact economic growth," adding "our economy is still recovering and decisive action needs to be taken to assist the recovery moving forward."

The 31 Democratic members of Congress who signed the letter are:

1.  Rep. Jason Altmire, D-Pa.

Altmire, a Blue Dog Democrat, is being challenged by Republican nominee Keith Rothfus.

On November 7, 2009, Altmire voted Nay on HR 3962, the Health Care Reform Bill.


2.  Rep. John Barrow, D-Ga.   

Barrow is a Blue Dog Democrat is not currently not up for re-election.

Rep. Melissa Bean, D- Ill. - representing Illinois's 8th congressional district. The district includes most of Chicago's northwestern suburbs, such as Hoffman Estates, Arlington Heights, Schaumburg, Gurnee, Palatine, Mundelein, Zion, Barrington, McHenry, and Woodstock.

Bean will face Republican Joe Walsh in the general election.  They say Walsh lied when he failed to disclose a home foreclosure in 2009 and he didn't submit a U.S. House financial statement after announcing his candidacy.

Official website:  http://bean.house.gov/  Phone: 202-225-3711

Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Ga.   Official website: 
Phone: 202-225-3631

He is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.   Arguably the most conservative African-American in Congress, Bishop is a member of the Blue Dog Democrats.  In September, 2010, the Associated Press reported that Bishop had, in 2003, directed scholarships funded by the Congressional Black Caucus to ineligible persons, including his stepdaughter, Aayesha Owens Reese and his niece Emmaundia J Whitaker.

Rep. Dan Boren, D-Okla.
Official website:  http://boren.house.gov/ Phone: 202-225-2701

Rep. Frederick (Rick) Boucher, D-Va.

Official website:  http://boucher.house.gov/   Phone: 202-225-3861



Rep. Allen Boyd  Democrat • 2nd District, Florida • 7th Term • Sworn In 1997

Official website:  http://boyd.house.gov/  Phone: 202-225-5235

Congressman Boyd is a leader of the Blue Dog Coalition.

Rep. Travis Childers Democrat • 1st District, Mississippi • 2nd Term • Sworn In 2008

 Official website:  http://childers.house.gov/    Phone: 202-225-4306


Rep. Jim Cooper Democrat • 5th District, Tennessee • 10th Term • Sworn In 1983

Official website:  http://cooper.house.gov/  Phone: 202-225-4311

Rep. Jim Costa  Democrat • 20th District, California • 3rd Term • Sworn In 2005

 Official website:  http://www.costa.house.gov/  Phone: 202-225-3341

Rep. Lincoln Davis  Democrat • 4th District, Tennessee • 4th Term • Sworn In 2003
Official website:  http://www.house.gov/lincolndavis/ 
Phone: 202-225-6831

Rep. Joe Donnelly  Democrat • 2nd District, Indiana • 2nd Term • Sworn In 2007
Official website:  http://donnelly.house.gov/  Phone: 202-225-3915

 Rep. Brad Ellsworth  Democrat • 8th District, Indiana • 2nd Term • Sworn In 2007

Official website:  http://ellsworth.house.gov/ 
Phone: 202-225-4636

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin  Democrat • South Dakota • 4th Term • Sworn In 2004

Official website:  http://hersethsandlin.house.gov/  Phone: 202-225-2801

She is the youngest female member of the House, and the first woman elected to the House of Representatives from South Dakota. She won the at-large seat in a special election on June 1, 2004.

Herseth Sandlin is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition and the "30 Something" Working Group.

Rep. James Himes  Democrat • 4th District, Connecticut • 1st Term • Sworn In 2009

Official website:  http://himes.house.gov/  Phone: 202-225-5541

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick  Democrat • 1st District, Arizona • 1st Term • Sworn In 2009

Official website:  http://kirkpatrick.house.gov/  Phone: 202-225-2315

Rep. Ron Klein  Democrat • 22nd District, Florida • 2nd Term • Sworn In 2007

Official website:  http://klein.house.gov/  Phone: 202-225-3026

Rep. Frank Kratovil, D-Md.

Rep. Jim Marshall, D-Ga.

Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah
Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C.

Rep. Michael McMahon, D-N.Y.

Rep. Walt Minnick, D-Ind.

Rep. Harry Mitchell, D-Idaho.

Rep. Glenn Nye, D-Va.

Rep. Gary Peters, D-Mich.

Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D.

Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark.

Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo.

Rep. Zack Space, D-Ohio

Rep. Harry Teague, D-N.M.

A Republican Senator from South Carolina, Jim DeMint authored and article titled "Washinton can hear you now."  Senator DeMint snarls at the idea that a candidate needs to be electable.  Republicans have a slate of candidates who believe in free-enterprise economics, limited government, and individual liberty.  DeMint said we will balance the budget, repeal the unconstitutional health-care takeover, create a predictable tax and regulatory environment in which businesses can create jobs, and restore a sense of fairness to the economy.  He did not point out how he was going to do this.  Instead he rallies the Tea Party, "I knew in my heart that the Republican Party could save this country if it could recruit more members to stand up for the priciples of freedom.  DeMint gave the Tea Party their talking points; out of control government spending, creating entitlement programs, and taking over car companies, mortgage companies, the health-care system and financial reform .   Now, how are these principles going to help the economy?  Based on past exhibits, Republicans have no plan.

DeMint further states that after Barack Obama was elected president, Washington's economic policies went from bad to worse, and none of his so-called legislative achievements (health care and financial reform) lives up to its label.  In a short time, the Obama White House and Pelosi-Reid Congress have made clear that they intend to push America to the left of Europe. In other words, all of the economists are wrong.  Other than being slanderous and attacking, DeMint has created campaign slogans and sound bites that have no validity.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"You didn’t elect me to do what was popular," Obama said. "You elected me to do what was right."

IF they would just take a look at the FACTS instead of continuing to play American Idol with our political system! It would be nice if voters would stop blindly trusting the r...hetoric and simply returned to the practice of seeing what our representatives have actually DONE:

I think it's one of the best of its kind that I've seen so far, because it speaks in the same language that (apparently) most American voters seem to use when thinking about candidates. It also shines a pretty bright light on just how giant the partisan divide in our culture has become; as the author said, it wasn't until the facts were presented without the party clearly attached to them that his friends were able to seriously consider them. Sad really.

Even though the 111th Congress has enacted the most laws since the '60s, voters are not impressed.  Read more

Clinton offers advice to Obama: go sell your plans
President Bill Clinton urged President Obama to take his 'story' to American voters and make a more rigorous case for what his administration has accomplished and what they plan to do to spur economic recovery and job growth.  President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress have fought to repair a decade of damage and grow an economy that strengthens our country and middle-class families, not just today but over the long run.

Working with the President, Democrats in Congress helped prevent a second Great Depression and put our economy on the road back to recovery. They stabilized the financial system, and by standing up to insurance companies, big banks and credit card companies established the strongest consumer protections ever. And with the help of grassroots supporters across the country, they were finally able to make real the ideas that every American should have access to affordable health care, no one should be denied coverage because they get sick or have a pre-existing medical condition, and no one should go bankrupt just because they get sick.


Democrats invested to rebuild America's roads, bridges, rails, and ports to build private-sector jobs in communities across the country.

Democrats made college affordable for millions of students by eliminating subsidies to banks.

Democrats fought for the middle class by ending taxpayer funded bailouts, cutting taxes, and protecting credit card users from excessive hidden fees and abusive practices.

Democrats ended insurance company abuses, including the practice of denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions. It's already helping millions of Americans get better, more affordable care and is helping make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.

To help reduce the deficit, Democrats plan to keep taxes low for the middle class, so they can pay bills and stimulate the economy.

Democrats provided new tax credits and loans to create clean-energy jobs right here in America and proposed tough reforms that would ensure oil companies are responsible for their actions.

Democrats have fought to change the ways of Washington —pushing for ethics reform that would keep our elections fair and limit the influence of big corporations.

The more the Republicans hold hostage this plan for tax relief for millionaires, the more voters appreciate whose side they are really on. Voters unhappy with the recession are inclined to vote against the incumbent candidate, but so many of the Republicans are so crazy that voters may think twice about voting for them. The Tea Party is no longer that different from the mainstream Republican Party, and it doesn't speak for most Americans.

He has begun smoking out Republican inconsistency and hypocrisy on issues like regulation of banks, where the GOP tries to be anti-Wall Street but also anti-regulation. And how can the right be in favor of both fiscal discipline and tax cuts for the rich?

The Republicans have already effectively nationalized the 2010 mid-term election, portraying it as a referendum on Obama. But the president, even with popularity ratings of around 45 percent, is more popular than most politicians. And if he can smoke out Republican ideas, most voters will notice that they agree with Obama more than they agree with John Boehner and the GOP. .

Most voters begin to pay attention to mid-term elections only after Labor Day. It took Obama too long, and he still is not quite in high gear, but he is beginning to sound like the guy a lot of us voted for. More, please.

We’ve already seen headlines clamoring, “Poverty Goes Up on Obama’s Watch.” In reality, though, these trends would have been significantly worse without the administration’s leadership. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was a bold step, saving or creating 1.4 million to 3.3 million jobs, according to analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. The Recovery Act also focused on combating poverty: An analysis examining just seven targeted provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act found that they kept more than 6 million additional people from falling into poverty last year. And initiatives President Barack Obama championed such as health care reform and the recently passed consumer financial protection agency will ultimately help millions more families achieve economic security and expand the middle class.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Deficit is Down 8%

Republicans Contemplate Shutting Government Down

Republican 'Pledge to America': Spending caps, tax cuts - Not as Fiscally Responsible as It Claims

They vow to "hold President Obama responsible" for any one-time Guantanamo Bay detainees who engage in terrorism or other acts against the United States after their release.

To cut spending, Republicans say they are committed to canceling remaining expenditures from the 2009 stimulus law, return domestic appropriations to 2008 levels, impose "hard" budget caps on discretionary spending accounts, reduce spending for congressional operations, have weekly floor votes on winners of the "YouCut" program that allows citizens to vote online for programs that should be slashed, end the Troubled Asset Relief Program (You'll recall that TARP was a Republican program.), end government control of the secondary home-mortgage lending giants Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, freeze federal hiring for non-security jobs, sunset programs after a certain number of years, and use more straightforward budgeting for entitlement programs.

The jobs section includes pledges to stop all planned 2011 tax increases -- including the expiration of the 2001 Bush tax cuts for individuals and the re-establishment of the estate tax. It also calls for a small business tax deduction that allows owners to take a 20 percent deduction, roll back the so-called 1099 requirement that businesses report certain spending to the IRS and establish a requirement that new federal regulations that cost more than $100 million get congressional approval.

Republicans believe that the debate over Obama's health care overhaul has helped position them to take over the House, and they devote a substantial portion of their agenda to repealing that law and replacing it with a scaled-back version.

The line items include well-known Republican priorities like enacting medical liability reform and allowing for the purchase of insurance policies across state lines. But it also calls for keeping the prohibition on denial of insurance because of pre-existing conditions and expanding health savings accounts -- all provisions they pushed during the health care debate earlier in this Congress. In a bow to social conservatives, Republicans vow to prohibit the taxpayer funding of abortions -- although in a way that tracks with the existing Hyde Amendment.

Only one other social issue, protecting "traditional marriage," is mentioned in the document -- and it is relegated to the preamble rather than the portion addressing legislative proposals.

Republicans say they want to alter the way Congress does business by encouraging lawmakers to read bills before they get a vote and ensuring legislation adheres to the Constitution -- a role generally reserved to the courts.

On national security, Republicans stuck to some of their most popular messages of the past year. They promise to offer "clean" troop funding bills -- a nod to their opposition to Democrats attaching extemporaneous items onto supplemental war appropriations legislation. And they are pledging, somewhat broadly, to keep individuals suspected of committing terrorist acts off American soil. They say they will not offer them Miranda rights or try them in civilian courts.  Read more: 

If Republicans win the Senate and the House, some of them say they should consider threatening to shut down government to get what they want.

House Republicans are expected to unveil policy agenda Thursday, Sept 23rd. GOP leaders are expected to combine ideas that the party has proposed over the past 20 months with concepts pushed by the tea party movement. One tea party proposal under consideration for the Republican agenda calls for a requirement that before a bill is passed, Congress cite what provision in the Constitution specifically gives it the power to enact laws on that issue. "We want to show the American people we are listening and we believe Washington has run roughshod over the American people," said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.).” Representative Tom Cole, Republican of Oklahoma, who has been involved with the development of the agenda as part of an informal six-member steering committee, said he was confident that social issues would be addressed thanks to the party’s “America Speaking Out” initiative. “If it had been left solely to politicians, it would probably have been just focused on the hot-button fiscal issues,” he said in an interview with The New York Times. But, “there is also a strong sense in the Republican Congress that we don’t want traditional allies to think we’ve abandoned them.” Keenly aware of Democrats’ intent to paint the G.O.P. as co-opted by the Tea Party, Mr. Cole emphasized that the Tea Party had become a catchall name for disgruntled voters on the right.

The hard, empirical facts:

The tax cuts did not spur investment. Job growth in the George W. Bush years was one-seventh that of the Clinton years. Nixon and Ford did better than Bush on jobs. Wages fell during the last administration. Average incomes fell. The number of Americans in poverty, as officially measured, hit a 16-year high last year of 43.6 million, though a National Academy of Sciences study says that the real poverty figure is closer to 51 million. Food banks are swamped. Foreclosure signs are everywhere. Americans and their governments are drowning in debt. And at the nexus of tax and healthcare, Republican ideas perpetuate a cruel and immoral system that rations healthcare -- while consuming every sixth dollar in the economy and making businesses, especially small businesses, less efficient and less profitable.

This is economic madness. It is policy divorced from empirical evidence. It is insanity because the policies are illusory and delusional. The evidence is in, and it shows beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts failed to achieve the promised goals.  Read More.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine released a statement condemning GOP talk of a government shutdown:  "We know they plan to use the exact same partisan strategies they pursued in the 1990s to cut off government services people rely upon and prevent our government from remedying the damage they caused. .... If Republicans get their way and shut down our government, millions of American seniors, veterans, and families will be denied access to programs, benefits, and services they rely on every day. We can't -- and won't -- let that happen."

Armey (head of Tea Party group known as Freedom Works) was House Majority Leader in 1995, when President Clinton and the GOP had such a showdown.  Armey may be reluctant to talk about a possible government shutdown because in the past, he has said that Republicans touting such a strategy months in advance was a major reason why it turned out so badly for the party in 1995:  "You're heard saying rather boldly in June that you're going to shut the government in the fall. You've set the stage for the press to report that the Republicans are now doing in October what they said they'd do in June. Even if, in fact, they thought it was the right strategy to shut down the government, they should have kept their mouths shut about it."

The Choice This November


• Democrats invested to rebuild America's roads, bridges, rails, and ports to build private-sector jobs in communities across the country.

• Democrats made college affordable for millions of students by eliminating subsidies to banks.

• Democrats fought for the middle class by ending taxpayer funded bailouts, cutting taxes, and protecting credit card users from excessive hidden fees and abusive practices.

• Democrats ended insurance company abuses, including the practice of denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions. It's already helping millions of Americans get better, more affordable care and is helping make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors.

• To help reduce the deficit, Democrats plan to keep taxes low for the middle class, so they can pay bills and stimulate the economy.

• Democrats provided new tax credits and loans to create clean-energy jobs right here in America and proposed tough reforms that would ensure oil companies are responsible for their actions.

• Democrats have fought to change the ways of Washington —pushing for ethics reform that would keep our elections fair and limit the influence of big corporations.

Voters have a choice, and it couldn't be clearer. President Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress have fought to repair a decade of damage and grow an economy that strengthens our country and middle-class families, not just today but over the long run. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Is Newt Gingrich a Christian Terrorist?

By definition a terrorist is 1. a person, usually a member of a group, who uses or advocates terrorism. 2. a person who terrorizes or frightens others.

Notice Gingrich comments:

1.  Gingrich said, “this is not a war on terrorism ... this is a struggle with radical Islamists.” The problem, he said, is that too many leaders are “sleepwalking” and won’t face the threat.   Ask yourself: If you wanted to infiltrate a country, wouldn’t a grand strategy be to rapidly build mosques from Ground Zero in New York, to Temecula, Calif., and establish beachheads so fanatics could plan and advance their strategies under the cover of religious freedom and that great American virtue known as “tolerance,” which is being used against us?  The best people to consult on such matters are those with the life experiences and knowledge to credibly comment on the subject. After all, we can’t expect those who wish to destroy us to tell the truth, can we? Except that they do tell it by their words and deeds throughout much of the world. The problem isn’t that they’re not telling. The problem is that too many are imprisoned in denial. 

2.  In a radio interview, he said he wants the national government to step in and stop the developers from building the Islamic community center by whatever means necessary.  "I think the Congress has the ability to declare the area a national battlefield memorial because I think we should think of the World Trade Center as a battlefield site; this is a war," he said, apparently thinking that if Ground Zero was a national park, Park51 would be restricted from building near it.  And if that fails, he said, the state government should step in and use its considerable power to stymie the development.  Funny, isn't it, how the anti-government Gingrich wants the government to step in and tell a private religious organization what to do? I suppose it's okay for the government to be heavy-handedly oppressive when it comes to Muslims but not when it comes to Christians or the "free" market. Gingrich certainly wouldn't want the government interfering in his world, telling him what to do, and yet government control is a fine weapon to wield against undesirables. 

I am tempted to say that Gingrich and those with him on this issue are with the terrorists -- and I will say that, because they are. Gingrich passes himself off as an intellectual, but he's really just a partisan thug who's read a few books and can speak coherently. He basks in bigotry and ignorance on this issue, as on so many others, and, no, Americans should not stand for it.

3.  America is facing a mortal threat....If we don't act now, our great nation will no longer exist. What is putting America as we know it in such peril? The Secular-Socialist Machine—a corrupt bureaucracy which uses manipulation, bribery, and dishonesty to steamroll the will of the people and destroy America's core values. To Save America: Stopping Obama’s Secular-Socialist Machine by Newt Gingrich - Gingrich has been an outspoken critic of Barack Obama, whom he described as “the most radical president in American history.” Gingrich has argued that it is necessary to “save America” and stop Obama's "secular socialist machine.” He has characterized Obama's universal health care reform as leading America towards authoritarianism, totalitarianism, and the end of democracy.
Last year, the President proved they had a machine. When I used the term "secular socialist machine," I mean that. And he proved they had a machine when they got $787 billion with no elected Member having read the bill. Now, "no taxation without representation," a term Obama might remember from history, which was used by the Americans to explain why the British monarchy was unacceptable, actually means that representation has to know what they are taking your money for.  So, if you have spending with no representative knowing what it is, you don't have representative self-government. You have a machine. And that was the first signal that this is very different. This is the most radical administration in American history.  And I began to realize after a year of watching them that if you think about the group that meets together in the White House, their experience is the machine politics of Chicago, the corruption of Springfield, and the radicalism of Alinsky. And it comes together in a format and then they meet with their two colleagues, Pelosi and Reid, and you have a perfect unrepresentative left-wing machine dedicated to a secular socialist future. 

4.  Gingrich attempted to break down Obama's political behavior by pointing to a recent article published in Forbes magazine.  "What if [Obama] is so outside our comprehension, that only if you understand Kenyan, anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together [his actions]?" Gingrich asked. "That is the most accurate, predictive model for his behavior."  He later tweeted out the link again and asked his followers to tell him what they thought about the piece's conclusion.  Forbes article:  How Obama Thinks .  The Columbia Journalism Review called D'Souza's article "the worst kind of smear journalism – a singularly disgusting work."  When an otherwise respected publication such as Forbes allows an otherwise respected author like D’Souza to pile so many innuendoes and half-truths into a cover story, it says either one or two things. It says that this magazine believes a black president doesn’t merit the same respect as others when it comes to presenting the truth, or that the public is more inclined to succumb to fears and stereotypes about Obama – so much so that when it comes to him, they don’t have to let the truth get in the way of telling a story.  Read more.

5.   "I think the American people are prepared to say don't burn the Koran just as they wouldn't want to burn the bible or any other religious document," Gingrich said on ABC News's "Good Morning America." "But they are also prepared to say [to Obama] 'Why don't you be pretty blunt, be at least as blunt with Imam Rauf as you are with the pastor in Florida and tell him don't do it.'"

"As Americans we are not — and never will be — at war with Islam," the president said. "It was not a religion that attacked us that September day — it was al-Qaida, a sorry band of men which perverts religion."  "The highest honor we can pay those we lost, indeed our greatest weapon in this ongoing war, is to do what our adversaries fear the most," the president said. "To stay true to who we are, as Americans; to renew our sense of common purpose; to say that we define the character of our country, and we will not let the acts of some small band of murderers who slaughter the innocent and cower in caves distort who we are."

Bloomberg said "Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question: Should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here.  This nation was founded on the principle that the government must never choose between religions or favor one over another. The World Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our hearts. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan.  Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11, and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans. We would betray our values and play into our enemies' hands if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists, and we should not stand for that. 

For that reason, I believe that this is an important test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetimes, as important a test. And it is critically important that we get it right."

Taliban officials say they’re looking forward to a new wave of terrorist trainees from the West like this year’s Times Square car bomber. “I expect we will soon be receiving more American Muslims like Faisal Shahzad who are looking for help in how to express their rage,” says a Taliban official who was a senior minister when the group ruled Afghanistan and who remains active in the insurgency. As an indication of the anger that is growing among some Muslims in the West, this official, who requested anonymity for security reasons, mentions the arrest of three Canadian Muslims in Ontario last week on charges of plotting to build and detonate improvised explosive devices. (A fourth individual was arrested in Ottawa last Friday in connection with the case.) The Ground Zero furor will likely add to that anger. “The more mosques you stop, the more jihadis we will get,” Zabihullah predicts. 

The Taliban vs. the Mosque
The "obscenity" of comparing Americans to "killers and terrorists" by Glenn Greenwald

Alex Gibney on his new Al Qaeda documentary

Glenn Greenwald
GOP lawmakers accuse CAIR of trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill by planting interns.

Rachel Maddow points out the crass commercialism of a new Newt Gingrich fear-mongering movie.

We are not at war against Islam: according to Obama

This Week’s Attack Dawg Bite Award Goes To Newt Leroy Gingrich

Newt, you get sleazier with age. You said President Obama is dishonest? The word “dishonest” should never cross the lips on your well-fed face! Your outrageous, reprehensible comments show how desperate, dishonest and ...

To read the rest of this cartoon and many more Attack Dawg cartoons

Visit http://www.attackdawg.com/

Michael Moore's discuss Muslims

HBO Real Time with Bill Maher Michael Moore Clip says " why don't we start calling Newt Ginghrich and Sarah Palin - Moolah Taliban or something.  They are our Taliban." http://www.billmaher.com/


The cartoonish demonization of our Enemy is accomplished by mindlessly screaming inflammatory, manipulated labels at them --"Terrorists!" -- designed to rob them of their Humanness, obliterate nuances among them, and convert them into some incomprehensible Other. That's how we justify to ourselves what we do to them. But the reality is much more complex than that. As even American military leaders acknowledge, "the Taliban" is composed of many diverse factions with different motivations, including a desire to expel foreign armies (i.e., us) from their country. Many of their leaders are malicious extremists and monsters who advocate heinous policies and engage in incomprehensibly vile acts, while many of their supporters are motivated by innocuous or even reasonable fears and objectives which are easily exploited. In other words, they are quite similar in composition and drives to most other political factions which end up endorsing and perpetrating heinous acts, even when those factions are American.

The insistence that this comparison between Us and Them is inherently invalid and even "obscene" lies at the heart of so much mischief -- it's the linchpin of exceptionalism and jingoism -- and it's very disappointing to see this claim being so casually invoked in reaction to this book. The nature of tribalism is that one always thinks their side is better and the other side worse, and that comparisons between the two sides (or even equal application of standards to each) is deeply unfair and offensive ("moral relativism"). Tribalism is a powerful human drive, which is why even those who are aware of its intoxicating effects and even consciously try to avoid it -- all of us -- nonetheless sometimes succumb to its temptations.

Yet it is equally true that Christians have massacred innocents before, and they have interpreted scripture to justify among other things, terror, slavery, and the subjugation of women.  Although I wasn't living during that time, I can only imagine that the remarks made by Newt Gingrich might have cause someone to be hung and burned. That's scary! Even scarier is the fact that jihadis may be recruited because they see Muslim's attacked and the Islam religion insulted. If anyone should be stopped, it's Newt Gingrich. He could never be my President!

Senate Republicans - Drop the Blockade

Small Business Jobs Bill: No 'Itty Bitty' Thing

Posted by SBA Administrator Karen Mills on September 03, 2010
 Senate Unveils Small Business Jobs Act

I was surprised to hear Minority Leader Mitch McConnell say he believes the Small Business Jobs Act currently before the Senate is “a little itty-bitty small business bill that no one thinks will have much of an impact on the economy.” In fact, I would encourage him to go on the road with me to places like Saratoga Springs, where I was just yesterday meeting with several small business owners, including Larry Levita.

Larry and his son Phillip are the owners of Plum Dandy, a frozen yogurt shop in Saratoga Springs' historic downtown. A few months ago they received an SBA Recovery loan for $175,000 to open their shop, and with that they created 12 new jobs. Their loan was one of about 70,000 loans SBA has made with enhancements first provided in the Recovery Act in February 2009. Larry told me that things are going really well for them, and in fact they’re already thinking of opening a second location.

In all, SBA took about $680 million in taxpayer dollars and turned it into nearly $30 billion in small business loans across the country. And, small businesses report that these loans are helping save or create hundreds of thousands of jobs - just like the 12 Larry and Phillip Levita have created.

Demand for these Recovery loans has been so great, however, that, in May, SBA once again ran out of funds to support them. The Small Business Jobs Act before the Senate that Sen. McConnell is referring to will extend these loans again, and we have more than 1,000 small businesses on a “stand-by” list waiting for the bill to pass. That’s more than $500 million in small business loans.

Not only will the bill immediately help thousands of small business owners get access to capital, but it will also raise the limit on SBA loans from $2 million to $5 million, helping high-growth small firms who are ready to expand, franchisees who want to open a new location, and exporters who need to ramp up to meet a big order from abroad.

And on top of that, the bill has $12 billion in tax cuts for small businesses, including accelerated depreciation, eliminating capital gains on small business investments, and doubling the deduction for start-ups. It’s fully paid for and both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Businesses have praised the legislation.

In other words, this is a strong bill. It has broad support. It will give taxpayers a big bang for their buck. And, it will benefit thousands of entrepreneurs and small business owners across the country, including the more than 1,000 who are right now waiting to get an SBA Recovery loan.

Small businesses employ half of all working Americans and create two out of every three new jobs each year. Now more than ever, we are counting on them to create jobs and grow the economy. And, more importantly, they are counting on us.  This bill will ensure that small business owners, like Larry and Phillip Levita, have the capital and tax credits they need to grow and create jobs. That’s no "itty bitty" thing.

President Barack Obama Monday repeated his call for Senate Republicans to “drop the blockade” against the Small Business Jobs Act when the Senate returns from its August recess.  the president stated that the legislation is “fully paid for” and would not add to the deficit. He said the bill would cut taxes for small businesses and make more loans available.  “Holding this bill hostage is directly detrimental to our economic growth,” he said, adding some businesses are waiting for the bill to pass to hire more employees.  Friday, September 10th, press conference he made the same request.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

OBAMA: There are a whole bunch better ways to spend the money.

Bush Tax Cuts

Look, the reason is because those folks, as I said over the last decade, at the time when the Republicans were in charge, didn't see a wage increase. Did not see their incomes go up at a time when their costs for health care, for college tuition, for everything else was going up. So, they are just barely keeping their heads above water. The one group that actually saw their incomes increase substantially when ... Republicans were in charge, were the top two percent of Americans. The folks who saw the biggest jump were the top one tenth of one percent of Americans.

What I am saying is that if we are going to add to our deficit by $35 billion, $95 billion, $100 billion, $700 billion, if that's the Republican agenda, then I've got a whole bunch of better ways to spend that money. 
Taxes: What People Forget About Reagan - http://finance.yahoo.com/taxes/article/110597/taxes-what-people-forget-about-reagan?mod=taxes-filing

Tax Cuts Accounts Account For Nearly Half of the Deficit

"The new CBO data show that changes in law enacted since January 2001 increased the deficit by $539 billion in 2005. In the absence of such legislation, the nation would have a surplus this year. Tax cuts account for nearly half — 48 percent — of this $539 billion in increased costs."  http://www.cbpp.org/files/1-25-05bud.pdf

Some seek to portray “runaway domestic spending” or growth in the costs of entitlement programs as the primary cause of the shift in recent years from sizeable surpluses to large deficits. Such a characterization is incorrect.  http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=966

Obama Refuses To Say He'd Veto Extension Of Bush Tax Cuts For Wealthy

A must read:  The United States of Inequality

Introducing the Great Divergence - http://www.slate.com/id/2266025/entry/2266026/
The Usual Suspects Are Innocent - http://www.slate.com/id/2266025/entry/2266027/
Importing Inequality - http://www.slate.com/id/2266025/entry/2266506/
Computer Exceptionalism - http://www.slate.com/id/2266025/entry/2266508/
Too Many Republicans - http://www.slate.com/id/2266025/entry/2266030/

The Great Divergence In Pictures - A visual guide to income inequality - http://www.slate.com/id/2266174/slideshow/2266174/fs/0//entry/2266214/