The Issues of 2016: Employment and the Economy

This week, Hillary Clinton responded to a particular Republican’s notion that in order to achieve economic growth, workers need to put in more hours.

Now, you may have heard Governor Bush say last week that Americans just need to work longer hours. Well, he must not have met very many American workers.

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Jeb Bush, arguing that the reference was to “underemployed” individuals, is clearly out of touch with the reality of today’s average American worker. Does he believe that as long as your income is high enough, it doesn’t matter how many hours a week you put in? Apparently so. He has previously charged up to $75,000 for giving a speech. Its likely that an average speech lasts less than an hour. This means that in 2013, when he earned 1.1 million from these appearances, he would have worked less than 20 total hours – for the entire year. I wonder if he is aware that his hourly rate is almost seven times the yearly federal poverty level for a single person.  Its three times the amount that has been established for a family of four to live off of, in a year.

Hillary’s Plan

Hillary’s plan for the economy focuses on growth. Some of the things she specifically included that she hopes to achieve as president were raising the minimum wage to a more livable wage, advocating for women’s rights in the workforce by promoting paid maternity leave, reforming the tax code to reward long-term investments instead of short-term gains, and improving education as a system so that future employers and employees have the best potential to sustain improved economic conditions.

This is a plan for real workers, and all Americans can benefit from this plan.  We have an opportunity to elect a leader in 2016 who will continue to move the entire country forward.

Friday Feminism – Abortion & Reproductive Rights, Good Cop/Bad Cop and Racism

Lead Story

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♀ The women of New Horizons’ Pluto flyby

Women make up 25 percent of the New Horizons flyby team. Science team leader Fran Bagenal said, “This isn’t remarkable – it’s just how it is.”

Abortion & Reproductive Rights

Who’s Behind the Planned Parenthood Sting Video? Troy Newman—and Other Rabid Anti-Choicers

♀ Lawmakers Knew About Planned Parenthood Video Weeks Ago (Video)

Officials at Planned Parenthood contend the video was edited to create the appearance of the start of a financial transaction. Planned Parenthood also said it only donates fetal organs and tissue when the mother has explicitly given consent, in accordance with the law.

The Center for Medical Progress did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

♀ Federal appeals court rules against nuns in contraception coverage case

♀ Warren Buffett Broke Out His Checkbook And Made Christian Conservatives Really Mad

♀ Planned Parenthood Isn’t Doing Anything Wrong—but That May Not Matter

♀ Senate Blocks Global Gag Rule

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Iran Nuclear Deal

The GOP is consistent with committing their unflinching fidelity to Israel with unparalleled ignorance of the agreement….they haven’t read the deal yet. Admittedly, I am unaware of the details ingrained within the world’s attempt at preventing Iran from procuring nuclear weapons. However, US conservatives’ outstanding & prominent obstruction to peace is well documented throughout history.
Outstanding points in the deal according to Vox:

  • Iran will give up the bulk of its nuclear program
  • Iran will submit to extremely invasive inspections, anytime.

In exchange, the world will remove a lot of the economic sanctions it’s placed on Iran, and Iran gets to keep just enough of a atomic program that it can save face.

Overall, some of these provisions generally will extend to at least 10 years, with others lasting 25 years.

Monitoring Iran’s is the prudent MOVE! One of my least favorite ‘blue dogs’, Joe Manchin (D) – W. VA. put forth some vital facts that I found extremely informative:

  • NUCLEAR-CENTRIFUGES-e14252296386942003 –  Iran had 200 centrifuges, but the arrogant, myopic Bush Administrators stomped away from the negotiating table.
  • 2015 – lack of international monitoring of Iran’s atomic program for twelve years cleared the path for developing 19,000 centrifuges.
  • Destruction of two-thirds of those 19,000 centrifuges.
  • Along with P5 +1 nations, America the super power is leading with super diplomacy by ensuring unfettered access to installations by the International Atomic Energy.

Decisively, GOP contempt voided any opportunity of monitoring atomic development. Republican’s non-existent foreign policy and strategy expedited Iranian progress toward procuring nuclear weaponry over the last twelve years.  

Imperceptive foreign policy  predicated on  knowing distrust of Iran is idiocy if the opportunity to negotiate and leverage access to Iran’s military program. Nationally, why does the American public insist upon listening to #47Traitors, or unethical misinformed pundits that time repeatedly proves WRONG. The GOP NEVER offers alternative solutions, merely rebuttal against every position and all efforts of this President to forge ahead for a war-less future. All conservative 2016 presidential contenders opposed to the deal offered empty bluster except bombing Iran. Ignore their opinions, they seek crushing perpetual war to profit themselves, military contractor alliances at the expense of human lives.

All day, naysayers ranging from GOP 2016 presidential prospect, Senator Lindsey Graham (R) – SC proclaiming ” … most dangerous, irresponsible step I have ever seen in the history of watching the Middle East,”

……….ah, no…. your vote along with EVERY the GOP Senators (some dems) ratified Presidential Bush’s invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq in 2003 based upon lies. No investigation, debate lead to hundreds of thousands deaths since 2001.

Perhaps the most offensive perfidy spewed from Israel’s PM Netanyahu.  This egoistic critic appeared on American TV following the announcement of this historic transaction toward trans-formative peace. Despite his desire and US conservatives’ fantasy, he is not a defacto, co-President with Mr. Obama. Reflecting GOP politics, he is a divisive conservative manipulating xenophobic politics and FEAR to win elections, retain power.

Although,  I don’t believe in punishing a nation for their idiotic leaders abusing power, betraying oaths for upholding the peoples’ welfare, America must re-evaluate this parasitic relationship with Israel. We are not their unintelligent Lenny to Israel’s George in a global adaptation ‘Of Mice and Men’ or at least cease adopting that role. Israel’s noxious penchant for interfering in US national politics may quickly rouse simmering resentment of unsubstantiated anti-Zionist paranoia.

The PM’s disrespectful breach of diplomatic protocol in cahoots with the GOP at the exclusion of Congressional Democrats this past spring,  should not be forgotten nor forgiven. Conservatives brazenly choosing Israel over America beckon to the treachery of southern confederate forbears deserving the dishonor of traitors……So just LEAVE!

The Prospect of PEACE Inflames GOP Freakout & Condemnation

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Republican Idiot Brigade 3: The Ps

This week in the Republican Idiot Brigade, we look at George Pataki, Rand Paul, and Rick Perry. A couple of these candidacies are exercises in futility, but they’ll give us great material.

PatakiGeorge Pataki: I’m not really sure why he’s running; he doesn’t seem to inspire anyone in either party. He’s what’s known as a “Vanity Candidate“, someone with virtually no chance of winning, who runs anyway. The field of candidates for the 2016 GOP nomination is full of them. Even though he’s not a viable candidate, I’ll spend a little time on him since many readers may not be familiar with him. Pataki was governor of New York for 3 terms, from  January 1, 1995 – December 31, 2006.

As NPR reports: He’s the oldest of the presidential prospects on the Republican side…  If elected, he would be the oldest person to take the oath as president. The former governor of New York was born in June of 1945, so he will be 71 on Election Day 2016.

In Pataki’s last term as Governor of New York, the New York Post wrote a piece titled: GOOD RIDDANCE; WHY PATAKI WON’T BE MISSED“. Not the kind of note one would want to end on, but seemingly justified. As the author Fredric Dicker writes:

AFTER 12 years and three terms, Gov. Pataki leaves state government far worse then he found it: Albany is scarred by notorious dysfunction, afflicted with pervasive corruption and marked by a torpidity unprecedented in modern times.

…it’s long been clear to those who negotiated or worked with the governor that little of what he said publicly was true and much of what he said privately was unreliable.

Friends calculated Pataki averaged about 15 hours a week of real work.

He further alienated many in the press and political classes by walling off historically public hallways at the Capitol. This “Fort Pataki” served to deny public view of the stream of lobbyists, political consultants and other special interests that regularly trooped into the governor’s office.

* He held no more than three Cabinet meetings during his entire 12 years in office. He frequently didn’t know the names of his commissioners and occasionally mispronounced them, even in public.

* Pataki broke virtually every political promise he ever made.

Some of that sounds much like Mitt Romney’s Governorship of Massachusetts. In announcing his candidacy, Pataki claimed:

When I took office, we had every poverty program government could think of. Yet one in 11 of every New York state resident was on welfare,” he continued. “But after 12 years of my conservative policies, we replaced dependency with opportunity, resignation with hope mere existence with dreams, a welfare check with a paycheck.

Pataki also seems to have used the same shell game as Governor Mitt Romney when it came to taxes. While Pataki likes to tout his Tax cuts as Governor (he cut the personal income tax by 25 percent), The New York Times reported in 2005:

New Yorkers are now feeling the impact on their pocketbooks: the governor’s tendency to use incremental increases in fees and assessments — taxes by other names — to help close budget deficits.

In a 2006 National Review post titled “Goodbye George” they write:

“Among his leading first-term accomplishments were his $3 billion, 25 percent income-tax cut and a substantial cut in the capital gains tax and inheritance tax,” states the Cato Institute’s “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 2006.” However, in his second term, Pataki “raised the cigarette tax to $1.50 per pack. He raised taxes on net, by more than $3 billion his final term in office.”

Under Pataki, the state budget has soared 79.5 percent — from $63.3 billion in 1994 to $113.6 billion in 2006.

And on a possible 2008 run for President they write:

“Pataki is prepared to give the nation what he gave New York: out-of-control spending, corruption, political favoritism, and neglect,” warns Hudson Institute president Herbert London… “To suggest that the last 12 years of his leadership were a failure would be a grotesque understatement.

Nope, old George won’t be getting the nomination.

rand paulRand Paul: Rand Paul is a strange little guy; at first glance he’s not easily pidgeon-holed into any particular “type” of candidate. Unless of course you’re talking plagiarists, which the GOP seems to have an abundance of. Eventually you realize that whatever he calls himself, he’s just another Conservative, with the same baggage.

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Healing Wounds

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Jim Webb Can F*ck Off

jimwebbconfederateflagloverYou may recall my post from last week on the ultimate DINO and Joe Lieberman wannabe, Jim Webb, having the nerve to run for the Democratic nomination for President in 2016. Seems that Webberman is only interested in being some sort of a spoiler/Democrat trashing prick. Don’t get this confused – the Democratic Party has moderates. Webb is not a moderate, in any sense of the word. He’s a conservative masquerading as a Democrat. Not only is he a defender of America’s only, official, racist flag, he’s a Democrat hating fan of Fox News. Here’s what he had to say to his friends this morning on Fox (my emphasis):

I believe we can bring a different tone to the Democratic Party. You’re right. The party has moved way far to the left, and that’s not my Democratic Party, but in and of itself. We need to bring working people back into the formula. Next Saturday, in the far southwest of Virginia there’s going to be a medical clinic, a remote area medical clinic to take care of people who don’t have medical insurance. It’s out at the Wise County fairgrounds. I hope Fox will go down there and take a look at it.

Webb: Fox and their viewers are against health care reform, you stupid f*cking prick. The GOP led legislature in the Virginia House prevented the Democratic Governor of Virginia from expanding Medicaid, twice! The poor people you are using for a photo op, the people you say “don’t have medical insurance”, don’t have it because of your conservative friends in the Virginia legislature! So have fun with your women hating, minority hating, LGBTQ hating conservative pals at Fox. And then you can run as an independent or just switch parties to the Racist Party, where you belong. You’re not f*cking welcome in the Democratic Party!

Fyi: We will not be tracking Webb in our polling, regardless of how many conservatives claim they’d vote for him just to drive up his numbers. His name will not appear in our category “Presidential Candidates”. He’s dead to us.

Scott Walker Just Kissed His Own Ass Goodbye

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Image from PoliticusUSA

If you’ve ever wondered how someone who wants to be President could screw it up royally, take a look at Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s playbook. (I’m not sure he knows that the Koch brothers can’t buy enough votes to get him into the White House).

Walker is about to sign his state’s budget, and here are the highlights from Think Progress:

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image via Kosmo20/photobucket

…a repeal of wage protections for construction workers on local government projects…the elimination of workers’ right to one day off per week…loosened regulations over payday lenders

…a provision to expedite approval for a tar sands pipeline that would bisect the state

eliminate the state’s long-standing living wage law and replaces all references to a “living wage” with “minimum wage

Like I said, kissing his own ass goodbye. Don’t get me wrong, this attempt to decimate of the poor and middle class is nirvana to the Republican Party’s money men, but that’s about as far as it will go. As the Washington Post reported in 2014:

When it comes to the issues, voters prefer Democrats on nearly everything — including the minimum wage… Forty-nine percent of registered voters think Democrats align more with their views on minimum wage than Republicans.

walkerIn fact, Scott Walker has had a pretty embarrassing start out of the 2016 gate with his own party. He bungled a foreign policy question, “punted” on an evolution question at a  London think tank (How the hell this putz gained access to a think tank I’ll never understand, unless he was an unwitting test subject), went Romneyesque with his flip-flops on immigration, and claimed his Wisconsin National Guard command as Governor was proof of “national security experience“.

The Washington Examiner, a conservative cheer leading rag writes:

Walker will have to reach beyond his record [yes, they consider his record a good one] to compete… on the issues and present himself to voters as a potential president.

It’s not clear whether Walker’s problem is temporary or longer lasting. Part of the difficulty is that he has found himself far ahead of where he thought he would be at this stage in the race, and is thus under a much hotter spotlight than he might have imagined.

Yeah, like being expected to have an idea or two.

Not that any of this will matter in the end; if there’s one thing Conservatives will never understand, it’s that most of their candidates only connect with their bitter, hateful, base of dupes.

That’s just not enough to get them elected anymore.

The President’s Weekly Address: Fair Housing

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Trump’s Tweets

Now that Trump is in the spotlight for trashing Mexican immigrants and he’s in first place in his nomination bid for the Racist Party, some of his earlier tweets are making a lot more sense:

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Draft Biden Movement Adds Obama Campaign Fundraisers

An announcement from Draft Biden 2016:

Shiva Sarram, a major fundraiser for President Barack Obama, joins the Draft Biden 2016 national finance team. This comes just a few days after Jon Cooper, another leading Obama fundraiser, signed on to be chair of their national fundraising efforts.

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On joining Draft Biden 2016’s national finance team, Sarram said, “With all of the positive signs from his inner circle and the contagious momentum of the Draft Biden movement, this opportunity was too good to pass up. I’m proud to stand behind Vice President Biden and help out now and we will be ready to launch major efforts out of the gate the moment he announces his decision.”

“When I look at the current field of Democratic candidates, I’m hungry for the energy I felt during the Obama campaign. I also want a candidate who can best carry on the policies and legacy of this Administration that we all worked so hard for,” Sarram explained. She further added, “Joe Biden is motivated not by his own personal ambition, political gain or a quest for the spotlight but rather by a genuine desire to serve. He will lead us in an honest and thoughtful way.”

Sarram, who runs a non-profit foundation supporting war-affected children around the globe and lives with her family in Connecticut, is well known in fundraising circles for hosting an event that raised nearly $400,000 for President Obama’s campaign at a single luncheon in 2008. Many political veterans still describe that event as one of the best executed of that year.

The Founding Fathers On Religion

The religious right claims the U.S. was founded on Christianity, typically when they are attacking members of another religion, or agnostics and atheists. In fact, the founding fathers were skeptical and downright hostile toward organized religion.