Archive for: January, 2012

Democracy On Life Support: How Citizens United Won Florida For Mitt Romney

Jan 31 2012 Published by under Featured News

What an unimaginable election season. With the birth of massive super PACS now flooding states, thanks to the conservative Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, it is hard to predict anything at all. We are in uncharted territory that is for sure.

The flood of money going into the states, the ads and mailings going to voters homes is definitely impacting elections. The reason why Mitt Romney won in Florida isn’t about substance, positions, messaging or anything like that. It is all about the money. The Wall Street Journal is tracking the Super PACs and not surprisingly, Romney’s Restoring Our Future Super PAC spent millions, including a $5,00,000 dollar media buy on January 24th to attack Gingrich. A grand total of well over $10 million in just attack ads against Newt by Romney’s Super PAC was spent in Florida alone.

Newt on the other hand only spent $358,000 attacking Romney in Florida according to the WSJ Super PAC project. All total, with the exception of New Hampshire, Romney has been relentless in his attacks on Newt. Florida though was a make or break moment for Mitt, I believe.

Romney’s Super PAC has spent $16,328,326 dollars just on Newt throughout the primaries thus far, with the majority of that sum being spent in Florida, again over $10,000,000 just in Florida. Newt, has literally only spent $3,529,190 in attack ads against Mitt Romney.

In South Carolina, Newt was a lot more aggressive. Newt’s Super PAC spent well over $3 million attacking Romney while Romney spent about the same attacking Newt. This was a level playing field and Newt was ultimately the clear winner.

My conclusion is money buys elections. If Newt can keep up with Romney’s fundraising, Newt will be the nominee. Romney is buying the primary, not winning it as we can see by the massive amount of money he had to spend in order to beat Newt in Florida.

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2012 Primer: How Obama Haters Use Labels To Redirect Thoughts And Behavior

Jan 31 2012 Published by under Featured News

2012 brings our country a compellin­g period of politics. This time around, there are more factions than ever.  Some are clearly defined, some are without definition, some are Trojan horses.  Suddenly having so many to choose from, most of us still can’t discern one group from another, much less what the actual messages are.   So a moment of enlightenm­ent to define who some of the players are and examples of the use of labels to redirect thoughts and behaviors.

Firebaggers A  firebagger is a term of derision used (usually on blogs) by supporters of U.S. President Barack Obama in arguments with people who criticize President Obama and other Democrats from the political left. The term is a conflation of “Teabagger” the term of derision used to describe right wing Tea Party or far right wing Republican activists.

Emo Progressive (or “emoprog”) is a term, along with firebagger,  permanently replaced through the collaboration of their respective creators with a single, more definitive one: Puritopian.  A Puritopian is a “self-described liberal or progressive whose political orientation is to be angry, dissatisfied and unhappy with the state of the nation, because in their view, liberal policies are not being implemented quickly or forcefully enough. They have particular contempt for Democratic presidents…Puritopians dislike Republicans but reserve their greatest disdain for Democratic presidents, whom they relentlessly attack for not meeting a set of ideological goal posts that are constantly adjusted to ensure that the president will be deemed a disappointment, ‘not progressive enough’ or ‘just like a Republican,’  no matter what policy achievements are made.”  Are Puritopians correct at times? The answer is likely.  The questions become, however, other than ongoing critiques, where are the realistic resolutions that are being proffered as alternatives and is every criticism supported by irrefutable facts?

Do you know what and who the “Professio­nal Left” is? The term “professio­nal left” denotes a growing industry that specialize­s in converting other people’s money into an ideologica­l product, while making a good living out of it in the process. They are often interchang­eable with Firebagger­s and EmoProgs Profession­al Leftists are paid to write the faux-progr­essive, anti-Obama­, hand-wringing meme the MSM is only too happy to broadcast. The strategy is that you and I assume they are caring liberal individual­s who tell you we are victimized by every decision President Obama makes. In reality, they are a well-paid covert tactic.  Their existence begs questions: What exactly is their objective? To create a left-wing version of the Tea Party? Could it be to reduce voter turnout and if so, who exactly does that benefit?  Or is it simply that by acting as the journalistic provocateur one gets hordes of clicks on one’s website, which turns into a lucrative revenue stream? After all, controversy is the one of the most lucrative sales tactics in the USA.

What about labels?  AG Eric Holder was right after all.  Race does need to be put on the national table and honestly discussed.  Not likely to happen soon, but intelligent people will want to understand how labels are being used in overt and covert ways to quell conversations and bully freedom of thought into silence.   To discuss race does not make one a racist, however it’s the most popular thought-stopping label used when a person doesn’t agree with the opinion of others, especially when the opposing point of view cannot be refuted because it’s the truth.  Racism is “the belief that inherent different traits in human racial groups justify discrimination.”  Racism is, in the most simplistic definition, a perceived power welded to demean, abuse, terminate socially, politically, emotionally, and/or physically, based solely upon color of skin or known origins; all justified by the notion of racial superiority.  Embedded racism is “a term used to describe the display of subtly racist tendencies or delivery of racist subliminal messages, oftentimes without the speaker knowing [/acknowledging] that they’ve said anything offensive.”  A racist is a person who uses limited knowledge, deliberate ignore-ance, and paradigms that are inherited or predetermined to define others and/or justify their actions, projecting those beliefs on others — even if those beliefs are not the truth.   Racism is neither gender nor race specific; intra-racism  and/or internalized racism exists as well.   Today’s political climate has, unfortunately, resulted in the use of racism and race-baiting as a strategy of diversion and divisiveness.  Politicians and pundits alike use race to create controversy, reinforce stereotypical paradigmsengage their likeminded constituency, and  divert attention from the more compelling issues on the local and national table — or to sell their latest book.  When caught in the more blatant efforts, the current trend is to apologize or attempt to explain/justify, claim victimization. Wash, rinse, repeat with no real consequences.  Israel Firster.   A term used by journalistic provocateurs on the left “to suggest that some conservative American Jewish reporters, pundits, and policymakers are more concerned with the interests of the Jewish state than those of the United States…’Israel Firster‘  has a nasty anti-Semitic pedigree, one that many Jews will intuitively understand without knowing its specific history. It turns out white supremacist Willis Carto was reportedly the first to use it, and David Duke popularized it through his propaganda network. And yet Rosenberg and others actually claim they’re using it to stimulate “debate,” rather than effectively mirroring the tactics of some of the people they criticize.”     Muslim.  A religion not a race.  A life process  not a place.  Is not synonymous with terrorist.  Or President Barack Hussein Obama.   Note: what most choose not to understand is that one cannot be a Muslim and embrace Christianity publicly or privately.  But in the minds of the uninformed, terrorist equals Muslim equals black equals the “N” word.

Let’s be clear: I am not saying that anyone who challenges the President’­s decisions falls into these categories­.  Freedom of speech still prevails.  But if the whine is not fact-related or the criticism is without corroborat­ion and weighed down with political agenda, and  worse still, if the seemingly innocuous, inherent threat of violence continues to escalate, the onus is on you to question the agenda of the person with the mike or access to a computer.  Sorry, no shortcuts.   The collateral damage of such ongoing memes left unchecked? We all are.

Stay tuned next time: Primer for 2012 Politics -Part II: The “P” Word.

 

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Rush Limbaugh Puts All African-Americans On Notice And Anoints Himself The Big Cracker

Jan 31 2012 Published by under Featured News

Rush Limbaugh will not stand for Juan Williams writing that the Republican Party candidates are using racial code words like “food stamp president” and “entitlement society.” He put Juan in his place by reminding Juan that he would not have a job were it not for the white conservative at Fox News who gave him one (oh, unentitled Juan).

Here’s Rush in all of his white glory courtesy of Media Matters:

It’s worth noting that Rush also referred to himself as he imagines he is seen by Jonathan Martin (no, Martin did not say this) as the “most important cracker,” indeed the “big cracker.” Limbaugh said, “Jonathan Martin just wanted to know how I, the most important cracker, the big cracker on the right, was gonna vote. No, I know I’m not a cracker. Now, cracker probably doesn’t have anything to do with race, and, in fact, on this program, we’ve had a lot of Floridians call when the name came up and say they were proud to be crackers. But even though it probably doesn’t have anything to do with race, it is connoted with race. There are people who think that, when you use the word, because black people do.”

Allow, then, the Big Cracker to tell you why Juan Williams wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for the white guy conservative who runs Fox News!

Rush continued, “Now, which takes me to Juan Williams. Juan Williams had a piece yesterday, and I had it in the stack yesterday, just didn’t get to it. “Racial Code Words Obscure Real Issues.” Wait till you hear this. Juan Williams writing in TheHill.com, who wouldn’t have a job right now if it weren’t for the white guy conservative who runs Fox News, because the white liberals at NPR fired him. (interruption) Was there anything racial about that? Can I be accused of anything racial? ‘Cause all the power people involved in that example are white. Okay, I’m just checking what I’m in for later. You think coast is clear? That doesn’t matter. (laughing)”

Yes, all the power people are white, Rush! You tell ’em! Nothin’ racist about that.

I doubt the coast is clear for the Big Cracker, after all, uppity people will be outraged that he suggested that the plantation owner at Fox was kind enough to give the undeserving Juan a job and then Juan had the nerve to go all humanitarian sane on them by reminding Republicans that it’s not cool to use racially coded words.

Juan wrote for The Hill:

The language of GOP racial politics is heavy on euphemisms that allow the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message. The code words in this game are “entitlement society” — as used by Mitt Romney — and “poor work ethic” and “food stamp president” — as used by Newt Gingrich. References to a lack of respect for the “Founding Fathers” and the “Constitution” also make certain ears perk up by demonizing anyone supposedly threatening core “old-fashioned American values.”

The code also extends to attacks on legal immigrants, always carefully lumped in with illegal immigrants, as people seeking “amnesty” and taking jobs from Americans.

Juan pulled no punches with his Master, even cutting through “Founding Fathers” and “Constitution” as used by some people to separate the entitled from the non-entitled. Ouch, Juan! Good thing the Big Cracker was around to put you in your place.

According to Limbaugh’s definition of cracker, which has nothing to do with race, he is not a cracker. Oddly enough though, Rush seemed to embrace the idea of being America’s Cracker In Chief. I don’t hear anybody else calling Rush Limbaugh The Big Cracker, but remember there is nothing racial about any of this.

Naturally, we must assume Juan’s job as a commentator at Fox News was a pity job or else Juan would have earned the job by being good at his job and thus been entitled to speak his opinion, since this is what he was allegedly hired for. As the recipient of the condescension of the white man at Fox who was so kind as to employ Juan after the “white liberals at NPR fired him,” he should shut up and play nice with the rich white men.

Go pick some cotton, Juan! Haha, just kidding. The Big Cracker did not say that and he is not a racist!

Republican Party politics: It’s not all about race; it’s all about entitlement! Doh.

Transcript from the Rush Limbaugh Show

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The Meaning of Police Militarization Towards Occupy Wall Street

Jan 31 2012 Published by under Featured News

The historic significance of Occupy Wall Street jumps into living history not only because of its timely anti-corporate message but also in many ways because of a simple democratic dare inherent in its operation. Ironically, what really makes the meaning of this simple dare resonate is the way law enforcement, the representatives of “the state,” has responded to it. Occupy has dared to publicly assemble, speak freely and petition against a corporate domination (or “corporate occupation”) of their government.

These democratic protest actions are, at least by the teaching many Americans received in our history classes, protected by essential rights braided into the earliest documents of the country.  By simply not relenting in protest, Occupy has dared to call the democracy out on those idealized notions. Are ideas like free speech and habeas corpus for “We the People” just ideas or do they still carry on as mechanisms with practical traction? Besides protesting corporate control, the movement has brought to light the current state of those rights and protections we were taught we inherited as the most important operational mechanisms in the democracy.

The violent official reaction to Occupy’s simple rebellious act, democratically reclaiming the commons for public assembly in the name of economic and political justice, should serve as a tough but honest reminder as to where the public citizen stands relative to corporate power and “law enforcement.” Those simple rights of democracy are far less valuable to the very government that guarantees them as soon as you challenge corporate power.

The moment Occupy stepped over the line into demanding both political and economic justice, it would trigger an increasing amount of violence from local police departments. Exactly how seriously the Occupy challenge is being taken by those it challenges can be read in the dozens of brutal repressions against the movement.

We find troubling similarities between our pseudo- and para-military operations against foreign threats to our national interests (“terrorists”) and our current method of confronting Occupy, which with rare exception has engaged through legal public exercise of democracy. By comparing the state’s reaction to both, we find out exactly where anti-corporate protesters stand relative to the present American state. Perhaps we should have already known as soon as the first counter-terrorism units were spotted interspersed with local law enforcement at Occupy protests. By challenging corporate control of the state, Occupy has found far more repression than support from the government it seeks to liberate.

There’s the backhanded legal way, whether in New Orleans or Chicago, which can marginalize and then criminalize some of the very mechanisms of protest. After all, once protest action is illegal, those protesting are criminals. In an era where “threats to the status quo” are freely labeled “terrorist,” license is timidly rendered all the more freely to the state.

A state existentially threatened rarely waits for approvals of its authority. In an era too reminiscent of our counter-terrorism tactics, police are now regularly tracking and collecting data on Occupy protesters. They are arresting and even targeting journalists who cover the Occupy protests, nationwide. As early as November 2011, even former Chief of the Seattle Police Department Norm Stamper, commenting on police reaction to Occupy,  was troubled by scenes of what he called “a war zone.” Imagery of violence against anti-corporate protesters has almost become redundant in its unnerving consistency.

The militarization of oppression against Occupy marks just how true the basic hypothesis of the movement is. The government taxpayers themselves pay for, using weapons bought by the taxpayers, getting orders from power-brokers elected by the taxpayer, will beat, maim and detain those taxpayers when they seek to liberate one piece of their common property (the government) from the control of a tiny but powerful minority. That powerful minority, argues Occupy, is a moneyed and entitled elite.

Whatever you think of Occupy’s goals or strategy, it gets harder and harder to deny the violence against anti-corporate protesters. To triangulate a sense of why this matters so much, let’s imagine the movement in negative. Instead of an anti-corporate, pro-regulation, pro-peace, pro-transparency movement, let’s imagine it as a pro-corporate, anti-regulation, pro-war, anti-transparency movement.

Unlike Occupy, which seeks to liberate the government and further improve its functions, “OWS-in-negative” would in fact look to weaken the government’s functions, while increasing the likelihood the government be committed to destruction externally instead of investment internally. In a fit of passion, OWS-in-negative might even reveal itself as the direct enemy of government, wishing it was small enough to “drown it in a bathtub.” Wouldn’t OWS-in-negative, if government was truly concerned for its own well-being above all else, be perceived as a far more dangerous threat than Occupy?

You’ll be hard-pressed to find reports of Tea Party rallies getting tear gassed and beaten by an angry state, outraged at this direct and powerful pro-corporate challenge. Occupy on the other hand has seen every crease of the Iron Heel, despite the fact that it seeks to improve and renew the state. The terrible lesson illustrated by the state’s reaction to Occupy’s participatory democratic actions is that when forced to choose, the American government increasingly sides with corporate interests over even its own well-being.

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USA! Industrial Companies Are Confident In Obama And The Economy

Jan 31 2012 Published by under Featured News, White House

In a shot across the bow of the Republicans’ attempt to deem President Obama ineffective, US industrial companies have increased confidence in the US economy.

According to the Financial Times,

The head of investor relations for Caterpillar, Mike DeWalt said, The upturn in demand in America was helping the company, Caterpillar, to experience its “best growth since Harry Truman was president”.

Dewalt also had some compelling advice for the conservative Democrats and Republicans in office right now. Dewalt said that he is concerned that tightening economic policies, in other words “cut spending” would hurt this economic recovery. Is this what the conservatives want?

Another industrial leader that has increased confidence in Obama’s economy is Eaton, the manufacturer of industrial equipment and components for aircrafts and trucks, which said it expected its markets to grow faster in America than in the rest of the world for the first time in 5-6 years.

Sandy Cutler, Eaton’s chief executive of Eaton said,

“Many people would say their view of the American economy is a little better than it was three months ago,” he said. “Consumers are spending money, non-residential construction is starting to rise, the car market is picking up and exports and manufacturing capacity utilization are up, creating demand for trucks and factory automation equipment.”

All of this under a President who is supposed to be bad for business, right? On top of this report we have Halliburton, who just reported record earnings. In their financial report CEO, Dave Lesar, said,

“In North America, the trend toward increased horizontal oil-directed activity continued in the fourth quarter with the United States oil-directed rig count up 8% sequentially compared to a natural gas rig count decline of 2%.

The improvement in the Gulf of Mexico in 2011 was encouraging. We saw increased rig count as the year progressed, particularly in deepwater, as our customers’ success with permitting improved and they resumed operations. Our strategy of keeping our infrastructure intact has paid off, with our fourth quarter revenue now above pre-moratorium levels. We expect continued activity increases in 2012.”

So much for the conservative talking point that the Obama Administration is bad for domestic oil producers.

All in all, the world’s industrial leaders have growing confidence in America, in spite of Republicans stiff arming the President at every step of the way.

But as the CEO of Caterpillar said, all of this good economic news and progress could grind to a halt if Republicans get their way and restrict spending, move toward austerity, and essentially become like Ireland and England, back into a recession.

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The Voters Will Shatter Grover Norquist's Obama Impeachment Delusions

Jan 31 2012 Published by under Featured News

Few countries allow an avowed traitor to remain free to incite treason and destruction of the government, and indeed, most countries imprison treasonous citizens. America is different, and because Republicans’ de facto leader has their unwavering support, they whole-heartedly protect, defend, and serve one of government’s greatest enemies. Recently, it was reported that if President Obama prevents anti-government advocate Grover Norquist from proceeding with his plans to destroy the government, Republicans will impeach him; according to Norquist.

Norquist’s bizarre threat may play well with Republicans he controls like beat-down puppies, but reality informs that his false sense of power conceals a stunning ignorance of the Constitution and Americans. A president can be impeached for “treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors.” Allowing Bush-era tax cuts to expire hardly qualifies as an impeachable offense, but Republicans insist they stay in place permanently regardless that they are unfunded and still wreak havoc on the budget and the national debt. Norquist may wield power over Republicans frightened of displeasing the man whose stated goal is “drowning the government in a bathtub,” but he cannot exert pressure on the President of the United States or voters. Norquist’s power over Republicans has gone to his head and his delusions of grandeur will be his undoing; voters will deal the fatal blow.

Republican lawmakers who signed Norquist’s anti-tax pledge discovered they signed a deal with the devil, and his threat of electoral defeat for disobedience leaves them with a no-win situation. Polls consistently show Americans favor raising taxes on the wealthy, and as Republicans continue ignoring the people, displeasing Norquist pales in comparison to voter outrage at the GOP’s unfair tax breaks for the top 1% of taxpayers and advantages 99% of Americans never receive. The Republican deference to the wealthy is responsible for income inequality destroying what is left of America and it has become a rallying cry for the Occupy movement and Americans falling closer to poverty as jobs are outsourced, wages and benefits are slashed, and established programs face extinction or privatization by Republicans.

Norquist parroted GOP talking points that President Obama refuses to work with Congress and uses executive orders to pursue a pro-tax and anti-corporate agenda that irks conservatives, and as conservatives are wont to do when they fail to get their way, they claim Obama is guilty of overreach and tyranny. It is possible that Norquist’s delusionary impeachment scenario is a veiled threat to recalcitrant Republicans who signaled that perhaps increasing revenue is as crucial to economic recovery as drastic budget cuts. Indeed, last summer when S&P downgraded America’s credit rating, they cited no revenue increases and opined that the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy should be eliminated as the President proposed.

An interviewer queried Norquist if Republicans were divided over tax policy, and specifically mentioned Senator Pat Toomey (R-Penn) who, as a member of the super-committee, proposed revenue increases to rein in the nation’s debt. Norquist said Toomey was “deciding on which unicorn he’d like if unicorns existed” and dismissed the notion Republicans supported increased revenue. However, for all the rhetoric about running the government like a business, Norquist and his band-of-idiots in Republican ranks prove that not only are they inept at governing, they are inept at business. At some point, any business, or government, must increase revenue regardless the amount of Draconian spending cuts or privatization scams put in place. It is a simple premise that eludes conservatives hell-bent on destroying government so corporate raiders like Willard Romney can leverage it with $6.7 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthy, and then bankrupt it so corporations can take over operations for profit. The only barrier to government privatization and loss of all revenue is Democrats and President Obama, and Norquist’s imaginary solution is impeach President Obama.

Republicans and Norquist have two reasons to eliminate the government; to install a corporate owned and operated entity to profit from Americans’ hard-earned tax dollars, and because the government works. Norquist’s delusionary impeachment scenario ignores the Constitution and the will of the people, and although he controls Republicans, he does not control voters who overwhelmingly agree the wealthy need to pay more in taxes. In referring to Republican’s proposing tax increases to bolster revenue, Norquist told the National Journal that “there’s no point in spending any time getting too worked up on imaginary conversations about imaginary things,” but he should heed his own advice and forget the imaginary conversation about impeaching President Obama for allowing Bush-era tax cuts to expire.

Norquist’s delusion has polluted his ability to reason and understand the Constitution, as well as the American people who do understand and demand the wealthy need to pay higher taxes. Maybe Norquist and his Republican sycophants’ goal of destroying the government pleases Romney, the Koch brothers, and the Heritage Foundation, but for the American people, it is treason. Norquist cannot be impeached, but he can be neutered and made impotent by voters when they reject Republicans for attempting to drown the government in a bathtub so the wealthy can own and operate it.

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Rachel Maddow Slams Romney For Still Getting Paid For Killing Florida Jobs

Jan 31 2012 Published by under Featured News

Rachel Maddow used a clip from Jon Stewart to illustrate the fact that Florida Republicans are about to vote Mitt Romney who is still making off of laying off people in the state.

Here is the video:

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Maddow explained the Bain/Romney Florida wealth connection,

Part of the reason that Mitt Romney is so personally wealthy has to do with Florida. In 1994, Bain Capital, which he was running at the time, bought a medical company that had roots in Florida. In 1996 and 1997, Bain helped the company take over two more medical companies. They also started, as they say, cutting costs. They closed a plant in Puerto Rico, eliminated between 300 and 400 jobs there. They also shut down operations in Miami. That move eliminated 850 Miami jobs. Cut out $30 million in payroll the employees received as salary. Taken out of the Miami economy when Bain shut the plant down. Two years later, Bain made sure Bain got paid.

They had the same company where they fired all the workers take on a huge amount of debt, for the purpose of paying Bain Capital. After the layoffs in Puerto Rico and Miami and the debt, Bain walked away with $242 million for themselves and their investors. In 2002, a few years later the medical company filed for bankruptcy. It was buried under all the debt and it was bankrupt for five years before it came out and was bought by another company. This is one of those deals Mitt Romney worked on while he was running the show at Bain. But then the deal continued paying off for him after he left the company. His arrangement with Bain Capital is that he still gets paid now. So part of why Mitt Romney is worth more money than Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, the Bushes, and Barack Obama combined times two is because 850 people lost their jobs in Miami in 1997.

Making money is one thing. Making money is one thing. Having money is another. This is
something that has received sort of here and there attention in the last week since Mr. Romney released his tax returns, since we learned he only pays a special mini tax rate that is reserved for people who don’t work, but who live off long term investments on their giant piles of money. But making money and having money are a different thing. If you would like to choose between which one of those ways is a nicer way to make a living, just having money and living off the interest it makes? In the big piles is a much easier way to do it. Much more lucrative way to do it. Mini tax rate, 13.9% in the one year he’s given full tax returns, that mini tax rate has not been around forever.

A relatively modern tax loophole says if you’re income is earned on investments you had more than a year, if your income is earned on giant piles of money instead of wages, you only have to pay 15%. Mr. Romney left Bain in 1998 but still every year gets paid a huge amount of money from Bain. Still, now. On the deals he did while he was there, and he pays taxes at that tiny little mini tax rate. Why does that little tax rate exist? It exists because a company called Bain lobbied for it. On this I must defer to the master, Jon Stewart.

Here is the full Jon Stewart video:

After she played the Stewart clip, Maddow continued, “The reason Mitt Romney pays only a mini tax on the money he made closing factories at Bain because Bain uses their share of the money they made closing factor is to lobby for executives to keep paying that rate. So yeah, poor people do have sucky lobbyists. On the eve of the Florida primary, Mitt Romney is getting paid for laying people off in Florida, but money from his campaign and from his Super PAC has bought a on the eve of the Florida primary, Mitt Romney has bought a whole lot of TV ads that make it look like he would be great for Florida.”

So either Florida Republicans are so desperate to beat Obama, that they are willing to vote for a man who made his money by laying off some of their fellow citizens, or they are some of the dumbest people walking the planet. Since the idea that residents of an entire state are idiots, although they did elect Rick Scott, is a gross generalization, the answer must be that Florida Republicans are looking the other way because they want to believe that one of the Underwhelming Four left standing in the Republican primary fight can beat President Obama.

Where do Florida Republicans think that huge stack of cash that Mittens has been using to saturate the state with TV ads came from? Romney got rich by taking money out of the Florida economy and putting it into his pocket. Mitt Romney is still getting rich off of the economic devastation he caused for thousands of Sunshine State residents. Yet, many of these same people who have been hurt by people like Mitt Romney are prepared to vote for him, because they think he would make the economy better for them.

Republican primary voters in Florida can be duped because Romney has outspent his opponents by such a vast margin, but come the fall there will be nowhere left to hide. Mitt Romney may be able to whistle past his job killing graveyard during the Republican primary, but by November, every voter in America will know all about Mitt Romney’s nationwide swath of economic destruction.

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Allen West Shows Why It's Impossible to Reach Across the Aisle

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Really GOP? Get Off Santorum's Back For Spending Time with His Daughter

Jan 31 2012 Published by under Featured News, Republican Party

Wow. Just when you think you’ve seen it all. A Republican strategist is claiming it’s hypocritical of Rick Santorum to not quit the race after he went home to be with his sick daughter. I guess I don’t understand Republicans at all.

While the modern day Republican Party exemplifies hypocrisy on a daily basis, Rick Santorum’s decision to go home to see his sick daughter is not one of those moments. Nor is his decision to stay in the race.

Republican strategists are suggesting that it’s hypocritical of him to stay in the race as a family values conservative. My god, do they view any parent as unfit for office? Any act of compassion and empathy as worthy of scorn?

The Washington Post reported:

Patrick Griffin, a New Hampshire-based Republican consultant, said some voters may see hypocrisy in Santorum’s decision to stay on the trail, while the tragedy of his daughter may, for others, personalize the candidate.

“I do think there are people who will say this is an example of courage and bravery, of doing what he has to do to be with his family, but also doing what he has to do for the rest of us, for the country. But I think those are already believers,” Griffin said.

“I’d only say that, for me, I’d want my butt off the campaign trail and wouldn’t be calling in to any tea partyer or anywhere else. The value of family that is so important in our party . . . I would not be surprised if some voters did not find some hypocrisy in this.”

What they mean by family values? It is impossible to have family values and work? It seems to me as if they are suggesting that Rick Santorum should get out of the campaign because he has a very sick child. How else is it hypocritical for him to continue in the race while he takes a few days with his daughter? And by the way, his daughter is doing better (thank goodness for that).

Do Republicans think that elected officials never have sick people in their families?

What does it mean to be a family values conservative –– who can guarantee the Republicans that they will never have a sick family member? How could anyone who has a family promise to be a family values conservative if it means dropping out if your family needs you or you need to be with them?

It’s a warped world already in family values land, where it seems being thriced-married and cheating on a sick wife is part of a conservative’s resume. And we all know just how hideous the hate is for gays and women who don’t know when to obey. But here we have Rick Santorum, a man I do not agree with on pretty much anything, honoring his love for his family while running for office. He is doing exactly what he should be doing, and they criticize him for it in the name of family values.

Why should he be forced out of the race just because he is taking a few days off? Perhaps the real issue here is that Republicans want him to drop out and they’re using his sick daughter and his desire to spend some time with her as an excuse to beat him up for daring to go back to work now that she’s feeling better. Oh, how family values of the Republican Party. If you have a sick child, you will be expected to drop out/quit. It’s almost as if they are treating Rick as they want women treated; using his child as a reason why he can’t run.

Plenty of people have sick family members and they go to work each day. The fact that Rick Santorum went home for a few days is honorable, and pretending that he should drop out so he’s not a hypocrite suggests that no candidate whose family gets sick can possibly run.

Somehow the rest of America manages to work and take care of sick family members. Maybe Rick Santorum in some small way can remind the Republicans of this salient fact.

Of course, that would require compassion on their part. And we all know how likely that is. About as likely as them ever getting what’s so hypocritical about their alleged family values.

Image: San Francisco Gate

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Occupy DC's Tent of Dreams Withstands The Police's Eviction Attempt

Jan 30 2012 Published by under Featured News

Yesterday, the DC park service tasered an Occupy protester.  This occurred after the protester was cuffed.  The image of a man in p.j.s, and handcuffed being subjected to the taser sends shivers down my spine.

The man, who is known as “Lash” was in his pajamas, detained and showed absolutely no signs of resisting police.  In fact no reasonable person could conclude that “Lash” could potentially resist police even if he wanted to. Nevertheless, some fool thought it appropriate to tase him. “Lash” was taken to jail.  While Lash was released today, he was given an order not to go to McPherson Square.  Yes, nothing says freedom like an order from the police prohibiting a victim of excessive force from rejoining a protest.

 

Following the tasing, Occupy DC announced they would resist efforts to “evict” them, scheduled for today at noon.

Law Enforcement’s official reason was one we heard before in other places.  The police will enforce a ban on camping in the park.

True to their word, Occupy DC prepared to resist during the anticipated eviction by the Park Service.  Protesters put tents and other belongings in the center of the square so

“that police cannot pick off individuals,  while others are planning civil disobedience in defense of their home and our collective right to protest economic inequality!”

The occupiers also placed a blue tarp over the statue of Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson to create the “Tent of Dreams” referring to their slogan: “Let US Sleep So We Can Dream:

 

(image from Flickr)

 

The police arrived seven minutes after noon.  On twitter,   @AaronMoFoFrench commented:

“Cones are out on K Street. Signs tell of ‘Showdown’ with US Park Police. #OccupyDC tensions seem a little high.”

According to @DaveStroup the U.S Park Police came with the intent to evict the occupiers.

“USPP: “enforcement on a case by case basis.” #occupydc” Code:take you one at a time, you let us do that no problem.”

Several people tweeting under the #occupydc observed the large media presence for the anticipated “evictions” noting there was more media than protesters.

Eventually, the police concluded the Occupy protesters were in compliance of the “no camping” ban as noted by  @emilycrockett on Twitter

“Occupiers just told me police sgt told them they are in compliance. Tents open, etc #occupydc

In other words, after using excessive force on him, the police ordered “Lash” to stay away from a protest that was in full compliance with the law.

Upon concluding that the protesters were in full compliance of the camping ban, the police presence took an unpredictable turn, at least compared to the violent scenes we have seen during previous confrontations between law enforcement and Occupy protesters.

@aubreyjwhelan describes the situation:

“Bit tense there for a bit but things have calmed down now. Protesters now telling USPP officers why they occupy. #occupydc

Perhaps the large media presence today explains why the police opted for leaving without evicting anyone, or repeating the scene of using a taser on someone in jammies.  Maybe the tent of dreams, daunted them to the point, that it really became a tent to protect the Occupiers’ dreams and their first amendment rights.

Some argued that the absence of an eviction with the horror that comes with police brutality is a let down.  In my eyes, police brutality remains abhorrent.  The fact that there was no violence today, does not remove the fact that “Lash” was abused yesterday.  Nor does it remove the reality, that violence by the police is becoming way too commonplace.

(Image from The Washington Post)

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