Today’s Stupid Conservative Quotes

The never-ending Republican War on Women has carried-over into the health care reform debate.

John Stossel of Faux News is a good one for making stupid statements in meaningless rants. In a few short years he’ll be just another grumpy old man sitting on the porch bitching about “the government”. Here’s Stossel last week on why he feels women should pay more for health care:

johnstosselThe competition of the market is the only thing that makes things better. Yesterday, President Obama stood in front of a bunch of women in Massachusetts and said, ‘No longer will those evil insurance companies be able to charge you women more.’

Women go to the doctor much more often than men! Maybe they’re smarter or maybe they’re hypochondriacs. They live longer. Who knows? But if it’s insurance, you ought to be able to charge people who use the services more, more.

Then some knucklehead from Forbes was on Faux News this week in what seemed like an attempt to get his “bros” to rise-up against women:

avikroySo, the key thing to understand is Obamacare is a war on bros. It’s young men in particular who are going to pay a lot more. Young people are going to pay more, men are going to pay more relative to women and healthy people are going to pay more relative to sick people.

Yeah, and that what’s called insurance. Not everyone pays the same rates. But because of Obamacare, millions more will be able to afford health insurance and not be locked-out of the system because of pre-existing conditions.

I have to wonder what kind of relationship these douchebags have with the women in their lives. It can’t be good.

View the Stupid Conservative Quotes series.

Posted in Fox News, Obamacare, Politics, Women's Health | Tagged , , , ,
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Will Democrats Rue Today in 2016 and Beyond?

Democratic Gubernatorial & Lt. Governor Candidates - State Senator Barbara Buono & Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU Milly Silva

Democratic Gubernatorial & Lt. Governor Candidates – State Senator Barbara Buono & Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU Milly Silva

Hopefully Democrats won’t be lamenting Tuesday’s, November 5, 2013 in 2016 and beyond. Superstar, praised for working across the political aisle, reigning Republican Governor Chris Christie seeks re-election in the fabled ‘bluest’ Garden State. The media’s nauseating gushing over the Governor’s physical embrace of President Obama in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy for the past year is the worthless evidence of bi-partisanship despite ineffectual policies for improving a quality of life in NJ. Democrats at the state and national level have taken a hands-off strategy to this election by deserting State Senator Barbara Buono. Marginal campaign funding, prestigious party icons (POTUS, VPOTUS, FLOTUS & Clintons flocked to Old Dominion stomping for Terry McAuliffe’s campaign against Ken ‘The Cuch’ Cuchinelli) were glaringly absent from the state’s political landscape in support of their party’s creditable representative, but why given Christie’s sketchy, record? Barbara Buono walks the talk of the Democratic path while the issues that would crucify Christie have been muted by even the left leaning media outlets that should be pummeling him. Beneath his brash vibrato, Christie is a heartfelt ‘Tea-Partier’.

Mrs. Buono supports marriage-equality, Christie at the end of October finally relented on his lawsuit in the NJ State Supreme Court opposing marriage equality. Christie skirts women’s issues with avoidance and pretending they’re irrelevant or don’t exist. Like his Midwestern counterparts Walker and Snyder, Christie focused upon breaking the public’s support of NJ teachers and vilified public union’s pension programs as the source of high taxes. The economic betrayal of his Administration included watching homeowners lose their homes even the Federal government provided the state necessary funds to save them from foreclosure, nationally NJ’s employment flounders at 44th, devoid of a job-creation program. Money siphoned from social programs’ budgets were gift wrapped with increased tax cuts to the top 1% harkening to decades’ of Republican “Reagan trickle-down” economics. After last night’s frightening shooting scare at the Garden State Plaza in NJ, I can’t help but recollect Christie’s veto to ban a powerful assault rifle, backtracking from the national grief over the Sandy Hook massacre. Ms Buono campaign and political beliefs are counterintuitive to conservative ideals but despite NJ liberal conscience, reality consistently evades the voters.

The most foreboding lesson gleaned from a prospective gubernatorial Chris Christie re-election can be discerned by a former Arkansas Governor fracturing through the shard of a contracting national party electability in 1992. ‘Up w/Steve Kornacki’  discusses the intuitive threat assessed by the late political Republican strategist to then, President George Bush, Lee Atwater’s prophetic fears of Bill Clinton’s formability to achieve victory and rescue the Democratic party from their political exile. Twenty years, Mitt Romney - GOP 2012 Presidential Candidate and NJ Governor Chris Christie on the stomp two terms later, Former President Clinton, the ‘Big Dog’, ‘Bubba’ (as fondly termed by ‘Hardball’ host - Chris Matthews), deservedly basks in bi-partisan admiration, respect and continues to reap havoc on the GOP. American history may have unraveled differently had Atwater lived, but the Democrats don’t have an excuse for their current rapacious doltishness. Most angering about the Democratic Party’s failure to vigorously support Barbara Buono in her campaign challenge is Christie’s shadowy professional life and shady connections are a harvest ripe for the plucking by the opposition and consternation for allies. Even the ethically absent 2012 Romney campaign passed and stunned by Christies’ previous professional activities, including lobbying for failing privatized prison corporations that oversaw half-way houses responsible for escaped of inmates, resulting in one murder. His malfeasance isn’t historical; this year Christie protects political cronies by sweeping aside indictments and burying prosecutor’s careers. I’m not a strategist, but absent an over developed confidence of the GOP’s self emulating electorate’s propensity to lose, why not stymie Christie progression in 2013? Party popularity fluctuates with the American electorate’s perceptions, current events and media fickle objectivity. Hopefully, the reasoning behind the NJ and National Democratic Party’s choice to witness Barbara Buono’s political languishment isn’t because she is a woman, or worst —-fear, neither bodes well for supporters or a successful Hillary Clinton 2016 Presidential victory.

As the late Jack Palance said in ‘City Slicker’s, ‘the day ain’t over’. As red states evolve to purple then progress to blue ushered due to demographic changes, Democrats must strive to avoid ceding control of traditionally blue states like Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania or New Jersey to Republican Governors who consistently yield disastrous legislation or worst viable national candidates. Maybe election-day will go true blue in NJ and after last month’s shut down, Democrats may mobilize a faithful party turn out at the polls by handing Barbara Buono the title of governor-elect.

Posted in Campaigns, Conservatives, Democratic Leaders, Democrats, Politics | Tagged , , , , ,
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When Even the Mega-Rich Thinks Income Inequity Has Gone Too Far

Back when I was a corporate slave and susceptible to the lies I was told about the virtues of investing in a 401k that included a large portion of company stock, just to see that stock tank, I was fortunate to have a portion of my 401k in Pimco’s Total Return Bond Fund. Since the late 90′s, the fund that was comprised of AAA, AA, and other high quality corporate and government bonds had shown reliable returns every quarter for several years, even after the internet bubble burst. Because of the fund’s outstanding returns, Bill Gross, the fund’s manager and frequent CNBC contributor, has long been considered the “Bond King”. Imagine the surprise of wealthy conservatives when Gross wrote this in the November 2013 edition of Pimco’s Investment Outlook:

billgrossHaving gotten rich at the expense of labor, the guilt sets in and I begin to feel sorry for the less well-off, writing very public Investment Outlooks that “dis” the success that provided me the soapbox in the first place. If your immediate reaction is to nod up and down, then give yourself some points in this intellectual tête-à-tête. Still, I would ask the Scrooge McDucks of the world who so vehemently criticize what they consider to be counterproductive, even crippling taxation of the wealthy in the midst of historically high corporate profits and personal income, to consider this: Instead of approaching the tax reform argument from the standpoint of what an enormous percentage of the overall income taxes the top 1% pay, consider how much of the national income you’ve been privileged to make.

In the United States, the share of total pre-tax income accruing to the top 1% has more than doubled from 10% in the 1970s to 20% today….Congratulations. Smoke that cigar, enjoy that Chateau Lafite 1989. But (mostly you guys) acknowledge your good fortune at having been born in the ‘40s, ‘50s or ‘60s, entering the male-dominated workforce 25 years later, and having had the privilege of riding a credit wave and a credit boom for the past three decades. You did not, as President Obama averred, “build that,” you did not create that wave. You rode it.

And now it’s time to kick out and share some of your good fortune by paying higher taxes or reforming them to favor economic growth and labor, as opposed to corporate profits and individual gazillions….If you’re in the privileged 1%, you should be paddling right alongside and willing to support higher taxes on carried interest, and certainly capital gains readjusted to existing marginal income tax rates. Stanley Druckenmiller and Warren Buffett have recently advocated similar proposals. The era of taxing “capital” at lower rates than “labor” should now end.

What are the odds that the Romneys, the Koch brothers, and the others in the top 1% will listen to Bill Gross? Probably zero. But then again, if enough richie-riches like Bill Gross come out in support of tax policies that favor the working-class which, as Robert Reich is correct in saying, would increase our purchasing power and demand for products created by corporations, then we’d all benefit.

Posted in Corporate Greed, Income Inequality | Tagged , ,
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Election Reports – Central States – 11/4/13

Congressman Brad Schneider, Illinois 10th District

brad-schneiderBrad Schneider is the Congressman representing Illinois’ 10th District. Schneider was elected in November of 2012, defeating the incumbent Republican Robert Dold. Schneider will run for re-election in 2014.

Prior to his service in Congress, Schneider worked as a business and management consultant for more than 20 years. He attended Northwestern University, where he received both his BS in industrial engineering (1983) and his MBA (1988).

In his first nine months in office, Schneider has faced a tumultuous environment in Congress with constant gridlock, the debate over the Affordable Care Act, and a partial government shutdown. Schneider has a keen interest in foreign affairs through his time spent in Israel where he worked on a kibbutz, committee assignments and his membership with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

Schneider serves on two committees: House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Small Business. He also serves on several subcommittees, including: Health and Technology; Economic Growth; Tax and Critical Access; Middle East and North Africa and Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade.

Despite his involvement with small businesses and foreign affairs, Schneider will have to spend much of his re-election campaign discussing the Affordable Care Act. Schneider originally supported the health care reform law but angered Dems with when he voted with Republicans to defund “ObamaCare” with H.B. 2668, the “Fairness for American Families Act.” This political opportunism will ensure a 2014 challenge by progressive Democrats. If Schneider makes it though the primary, he will likely be in a rematch of the 2012 election with Republican Robert Dold. Dold confirmed in an email to his supporters that he would seek re-election.

Research by Lawrence Mason.

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New Backbone

Frank Pallone - D (NJ)Alan Grayson - D (FL)Two Democratic Congressmen, Frank Pallone – NJ and Alan Grayson-FL, have recently and creatively expressed their frustration with behavior their Republican peers. Both men are not only Democrats but they are liberals; you remember that derisive label that President ‘Saint’ Ronald Reagan – progenitor of Tea Party politics – plastered on the anti-unpatriotic party of free thinkers of conscience alienating the party from national competitiveness for almost two decades. During that time, Democrats have evolved a fledgling spine that occasionally hardens with ‘full face’ confrontations and a loyalty to preserve liberal convictions.

Congressman Pallone’s disgust emanates from the Republican’s false sensibility of indignation from enrollment glitches.

YouTube Preview Image

Nevertheless, these technical debacles could have been avoided if the GOP Congress appropriately funded the Department of Health and Human Services ACA’s ability to procure successful IT expertise to create the website. Republican Governors demanded their states must have the autonomy to build their own websites for exchanges, flipped their decision and left Health, Human Services, HHS, to construct 34 independent exchanges. Still during the hearing on Thursday, no solutions, only the whining echoes of the pedantic, rabid yaps from the Right to kill Obamacare….were sickening.

Congressman Alan Grayson, no shrinking liberal violet, posted this artful display  utilizing the ‘t’ ‘tea party’ as a burning KKK cross in response to the GOP shutdown. Tea party Executive Dir, Taylor Budowich, accuses Mr. Grayson of “hate speech and losing it“. Cowering behind the lies of spewing vitriol for the past five years denies them the righteousness to scream foul. Ironic, given the Tea Party core uniting strategy hypes the ‘southern strategy’ on political steroids by utilizing every racial, social or economic dog whistle to justify their grab for power. All Things Democrat documents the pictorial castigation by the Tea Party against President Obama, the First Lady and anyone they deem outside ‘their America’. They have rightfully earned their mantle of bigotry, and gleefully profited from promulgating marginalizing democratic voting populations. The only difference is this instance is Congress. Grayson isn’t one of their own. Unfortunately, old democratic habits of desertion, turning the other cheek (to be slapped senseless) die hard and may continue to fracture political unity. Senator Durbin came under fire for posting to his Facebook account that an unnamed GOP official was heard telling the President, “I cannot even stand to look at you.”

Pete Sessions

Pete Sessions

Since the initial posting Congressman Pete Sessions- R, (TX) has been identified as the disrespectful creep. The controversy is believable; Sessions faithfully regurgitates the GOP script of lies as dictated by Limbaugh, Palin, Cruz and any other anointed delusional weasel. Naturally, the disrespectful creep denies the story but the White House confirms his refutations.

…WHY?! I can only speculate President Obama wishes to improve immigration legislation and can’t completely alienate Republicans. Thus far the strategy of the President ignoring personal attacks juxtaposed on political maneuvering isSenators Reid & Durbin questionably successful but his deference may reap Democratic candidate future electoral victories and positively reflect upon his legacy. In light of my suppositions, thank goodness Senator Reid- D (UT) was resolute in his support of his fellow Senator Durbin – D (IL)…maybe the party is learning. Well done, Sirs.

Posted in Congress, Democratic Leaders, Democrats, Harry Reid, Politics, Tea Party | Tagged , , , , , ,
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An Onionism… The Charcoal Calls The Snowflake Black

We’ve all heard the expression “that is the pot calling the kettle black”, meaning that someone who is guilty of some sort of transgression blames someone else for doing the same thing. I propose another term, “that is the charcoal calling the snowflake black”, to mean someone that is guilty of a transgression claiming that someone else is guilty as well, even when the 2nd party is essentially innocent of the charge.

One prime example of the newly minted phrase, “the charcoal calling the snowflake black”, was provided by Willard Mitt Romney on Meet The Press.

Last year’s losing Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said Sunday that President Barack Obama’s “fundamental dishonesty” on the Affordable Care Act has “put in peril the whole foundation of his second term.”

Appearing on NBC’s Meet the Press, Romney said Obama’s handling of Obamacare’s promises “has undermined the foundation of his second term – I think it is rotting it away.”

He added that what “has really undermined the president’s credibility in the hearts of the American people is that he went out, as a centerpiece of his campaign and as a centerpiece of Obamacare over the last several years, saying time and time again that fundamental to his plan was the right people would have to keep their insurance plan, and he knew that was not the case….”

Considering that he headed one of the most dishonest campaigns in American history against the man he now accuses of “fundamental dishonesty”, Romney now fact checking the president is just laughable. In fact the transparent silliness of Romney’s poutrage against the presidents integrity would be worthy fodder for the writers at The Onion, so Romney is hereby given a rarely awarded Onionism.

Romney’s history of deception was not just from the 2012 campaign. His entire political career is based upon the ability to express support for or against any position, only dependent on what Romney is told the audience he addressed believes in. His ability to flip positions on the fundamental issues facing this nation is simply legendary.

Then there are the lies contained in the very words used by Romney to accuse President Obama of dishonesty on Sunday’s Meet The Press:

“First of all, the Massachusetts experience was a state-run plan. The right way to deal with health care reform is not to have a one-size-fits-all plan that’s imposed on all the states,”

First of all, Obamacare envisions each state setting up their own plans. The only reason some states are being run by the Obamacare exchange is that some Republican governors have refused to set up their own programs. The ACA as originally passed would have required each state to establish their own plan in order to take advantage of Medicaid expansion. The supreme court ruled that the federal government could not withhold Medicaid funding from states that did not participate. States that do not take advantage of the Medicaid expansion are costing themselves billions of dollars, keeping poor folks from needed coverage and costing local economies dearly, just to make a bone headed political statement. So Mr. (thank GOD it’s not president) Romney talking about a federal one size fits all approach is wrong, except to the extent that there must be federal involvement due to activist conservative judges and certain Republicans being obstructionist idiots.

As to the main charge of dishonesty levied by Mr. Romney against President Obama… what I’m about to discuss is already surrendered territory in the great national debate about Obamacare. Republicans somehow managed to make a stink on an issue with the mainstream media actively helping to establish a false narrative, and lefties around the nation have crumbled. But I’m going to tell it like it is, widespread acceptance of the false narrative be damned.

First the charge of dishonesty as levied by Romney:

But the president’s biggest mistake, Romney said, was telling Americans they could keep their plans if they liked them. And that bout of “fundamental dishonesty,” he suggested, is “rotting” the foundation of the president’s second term.

The president insisted “time and time again that fundamental to his plan was the right people would have to keep their insurance plan,” Romney said. “And he knew that was not the case. He could know it by looking at Massachusetts and seeing people there lost insurance. He could have learned those lessons and told the people the truth, but he didn’t.”

An example of the surrender on the left was provided later on Meet The Press, when staunch Obama ally and current governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick said:

“For 95 percent of the people in America, that is the truth,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “For the small number of people who have a health care plan which in fact will not insure them when they get sick, it is not true.”

In reality the statement was true for 100 percent of the American people. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT! All Americans covered by health insurance when the president signed the ACA into law were allowed to grandfather the plan into Obamacare and not face penalties under the individual mandate, even if their plan did not meet the specifications required by Obamacare.

So why are policies being cancelled with insurance providers sending out letters pointing to the ACA as the reason? Because the grandfathered junk policies could not be changed after passage of Obamacare.

In 1966, when congress mandated that seatbelts must be built on new passenger vehicles, they grandfathered in vehicles that were older than the law.  All vehicles manufactured after 1966 were required to meet the new safety standard but that did not mean you had to turn in your older vehicle or have seat belts installed.

So why are vehicle safety standards and insurance coverage not exactly alike?  Generally speaking you keep your vehicle for years, and you don’t sell health insurance policies from one private party to the next.  Insurance policies generally renew on an annual basis and insurance providers make adjustments and updates as a matter of course during open enrollment. I am covered by employee insurance and each year in November we have a meeting to discuss the next year’s program, hospital stay coverage, doctor networks, copays, drug coverage and so on and so forth. I can’t recall any case in which the company plan has exactly continued from one year to the next.

It is not Obamacare that forced those policies to be dropped. Once a junk plan is changed, the NEW plan must meet the specifications outlined by the ACA. Naturally insurers do not want to maintain policies which they will never be able to enroll new members in and which must remain as is for the foreseeable future, so it’s no wonder they are cancelling the junk coverage, but that is the decision of the insurer, not a mandate by the law.

Why did Democrats simply cave when the Rebublicans and compliant media mischaracterized this issue? Because telling the truth requires patience and time with carefull explanations which just does not work on cable televison. As can be seen by my longwinded and tendentious explanation of the issue, this cannot be expressed in a 5 second sound bite.

So now it is just widely accepted that Obamacare cancelled junk policies and the Democratic powers that be have decided the best defense (that can be thrown out there in a 5 second sound bite) is that 95% of Americans are not affected. Mealy mouthed half apologies that the president could have been more precise in his wording are just irritating from my perspective. I yearn for the day that the professional Democratic messaging machine (if there is such a thing) churns out red meat talking points and staunch defenses of the truth, no matter how problematic.

I may have been able to accept this revolting turn of events if the talking heads and congress critters had been the only ones to pound on the issue, but to have Willard Mitt Romney taking shots at the president for supposedly being dishonest on this issue is a bridge too far for this particular lefty.

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama, Campaigns, Congress, Conservatives, Democrats, Deval Patrick, Government, Healthcare, Liberals, Medicaid, Mitt Romney, Obamacare, Onionism, Politics, Republican Propaganda Machine | Tagged ,
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The Paul Scandal: Not The Plagarizin’, But The Telepromptin’: IOKIYAW?

Rand Paul has been getting a lot of (well deserved) grief for plagiarizing from various sources while speechifying to various right wing audiences. Paul’s latest response on ABC is a bit strange to say the least.

I take it as an insult and I will not lie down and say people can call me dishonest, misleading or misrepresenting,” he added. “And like I say, if, you know, if dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, you know, it would be a duel challenge. But I can’t do that, because I can’t hold office in Kentucky then.”

Really?  The one thing that is holding Rand Paul back from  challenging Rachel Maddow to a duel is that if he dueled he can’t hold office in Kentucky?  What about that whole murder or be murdered thing?   Pauls dueling predilictions may play well in certain parts of the deep south, but the civilized world believes dueling is barbaric. 

Isn’t it odd how often dueling is invoked as the preferred solution by conservatives who perceive some sort of offense has been given. 

 Maybe Paul could do the next best thing and challenge Rachel Maddow to a boxing or MMA match to defend his bruised honor. I doubt he would do that because he knows Maddow would kick his ass around the ring, literally adding injury to insult.  Given the chance, the excuse he would  use to bow out of such a match is his southern honor would not allow him to strike a woman.  That does not extend to shooting women evidently.  Heck, maybe Paul is ok with hitting a woman, because he evidently wants to shoot her.  We are supposed to think this is him being all honorable, how again?

Paul’s justification for plagiarizing does not really address the charge against him. He pleads the he did not realize he should include footnotes with his speeches.

“I will admit, sometimes we haven’t footnoted things properly,” Paul agreed. “In fact, I’ve given thousands of speeches and I don’t think I’ve ever footnoted any of those speeches… I’ve written scientific papers. I know how to footnote things. But we’ve never footnoted speeches. And if that’s the standard I’m going to be held to, yes, we will change and we will footnote things.”

Breaking News! Rand Paul is correct (which truly is newsworthy) in that speeches do not have footnotes. Beyond that elementary gem of truth though, Paul’s logic falls apart. In order to avoid charges of plagiarism, people giving speeches just attribute the source of their material in the speech. Thus Paul would have been fine had he included this verbiage as appropriate: “According to Wikipedia,” etc. etc. etc. Or, “According to the Heritage Foundation,” etc. etc. etc.

I do not doubt that Paul’s mealy mouthed and willfully obtuse excuse will be accepted as gospel truth by his supporters. You can almost hear them now: “Of course he didn’t footnote his speeches you silly liberals, I mean c’mon!” For Paul’s conservative base however, if the real transgression of Paul is not the plagiarizin’… it may be the telepromptin’.

Paul must use a teleprompter… unless he commits entire passages from Wikipedia to memory, word for word. There is no possible way that he randomly quoted entire passages from Wikipedia by mere happenstance. Those words were somehow taken from Wikipedia and inserted into his speech, and he clearly was not reading the speech from paper.  Ipso facto, if Paul did not commit entire passages from Wikipedia to memory which simply beggars belief, he was reading them from a teleprompter.

Any fair-minded comparison between Obama’s use of teleprompters and Paul’s use of same would have to determine that Paul must suffer from calumny from the right for doing the same thing Obama is routinely criticized for.  Of course a fair judgment in any event is asking for quite a lot from the right.   Asking them to hold conservatives to the standards they demand of Obama is just unimaginable.  But the point remains.

I initially suspected teleprompter use is another example of IOKIYAR.   Republican presidents, including the conservatively sainted Ronald Reagan, used them and no one seemed to mind.  Sarah Palin, one of the most obnoxious Obama detractors on using teleprompters, used one to deliver her speech at the 2008 Republican convention. 

It wasn’t until Barack Obama used teleprompters that conservatives started objecting.  The obvious difference between Nixon, Reagan, both Bush’s, Sara Palin, and every other major conservative politician using a teleprompter, and Obama using one is that he did it while being black, which actually defines a trend.  So much of what conservatives find objectionable about Obama was just fine when previous presidents did the same thing, leading to the observation that Obama is doing all this stuff while being black.

Maybe when it comes to so many of the objections of conservatives to Obama, IOKIYAR is now IOKIYAW, or It’s Ok If You Are White.   It’s not a partisan thing either.  Was there an outcry from the right when Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter used teleprompters?  Not that I recall.  Evidently when it comes down to it, IOKIYAW…

Posted in Barack Obama, Congress, Conservatives, Intellectual Property, Liberals, MSNBC, Paul Ryan, Politics, Rachel Maddow, Racial Issues, Republicans, Sarah Palin | Tagged , ,
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Angry Republican Donors Give To Democratic GA. Senate Candidate Nunn

Citing anger at Washington Republicans for shutting down the government and threatening to default on the national debt, major donors to Republican causes in Georgia are now donating to Michelle Nunn, daughter of four term Senator Sam Nunn and the favorite to win the Democratic nomination for the seat of retiring Republican Saxby Chambliss.

“The vast majority of Americans say they don’t want the government to shut down, they want middle ground,” said John Wieland, founder of John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods Inc., who together with his wife penned checks totaling $10,400 to Nunn’s Democratic U.S. Senate bid. In the 2010 midterms, the Wielands each gave $4,800 to the Republican Senate candidate.

“Michelle understands that middle ground, and that’s why we wrote the checks,” Wieland said.

It’s a sentiment shared by some business donors from Virginia to Arkansas, and one Democrats want to spread as the parties vie for control of the Senate in the 2014 midterms.

In addition to Wieland, Nunn’s donors include Jim Cox Kennedy, the chairman of Atlanta-based communications company Cox Enterprises Inc., who contributed $2,600 to her candidacy, after giving $30,800 to the Republican National Committee and $5,000 to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.

Kos diarist, ahem… poopdogcomedy (whose profile pic is at once disturbing and hilarious) notes:

Nunn has also received a $5,200 from Tom Cousins, former chief executive officer of Cousins Properties Inc. (CUZ) and a developer who helped shape downtown Atlanta in the 1970s and 1980s. Cousins donated $50,800 to the RNC and $5,000 to Romney. Life-long Republican donor Jim Geiger, chairman of the Atlanta-based telecommunications company Cbeyond Inc. (CBEY), will also be holding a fundraiser for Nunn later this year. Arthur Blank, the owner of the Atlanta Falcons and co-founder of Home Depot Inc. (HD), has given $5,200 to Nunn’s campaign. Blank has donated money to members of both parties but recently donated $3,000 to Senator Johnny Isakson’s (R. GA) 2010 re-election bid.

The Georgia Senate race is one of those recently polled by PPP showing that Republicans who are associated with the government shutdown lose public support. When Nunn is matched with a generic Republican they both get about 42% support, but if the respondent is told that the generic Republican supported the government shutdown, Nunn wins 48% to 42%. 3 of the 8 Republicans vying to win the Republican primary are house members who voted to shut down the government. 2 of those house Republicans, Phil Gingrey and Paul Broun, are currently leading in the polls for the Republican nomination.

This all begs the question: Why would any business interest want to support a party that is willing to cost billions of dollars to the national economy and flirt with global economic catastrophe in a bull headed pursuit of wrongheaded policy? Why would the barons of Wall Street want to contribute to a party that seems content to blow up the economy if they don’t get their way? If they alienate the corporate interests that have been so generous in funding their campaigns like Republicans have alienated women, minorities, gays and a whole plethora of ‘others’, it is hard to imagine a competitive two party system in very short order.

Posted in Banks and Finance, Campaigns, Capitalism, Congress, Conservatives, Corporations, Financial Collapse, Primaries, Republicans, The Economy, Wall Street | Tagged , , , ,
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Political Diversity in America Means White Male

So sad but so true. H/T to Feministing.

Politics Infographic 18 24 - FINAL

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Today’s Stupid Conservative Quotes

That dick Cheney will take his bogus WMD story to his grave. Here’s Dick in an interview with Billo:

evilCheneyO’Reilly: But what — right now, what do we — what do we get of Iraq for all of that blood and treasure? What do we get out of it?

Dick: What we gain and my concern was then and it remains today is that the biggest threat we face is the possibility of terrorist groups like al Qaeda equipped with weapons of mass destruction, with nukes, bugs or gas. That was the threat after 9/11 and when we took down Saddam Hussein we eliminated Iraq as a potential source of that.

I take comfort in believing that, if there is a God, he/she must surely be punishing that evil dick with frequent heart attacks instead of giving him the peaceful death reserved for good people.

The radical right’s frequent use of bogus stories to make their flawed point, as Cheney did with the imaginary WMDs, has been on display with the Obamacare debate. They also created a bogus story to scare Californians after the passage of legislation protecting transgender kids from bullying. Under the new law, transgender students may use the dranreese1bathroom of the gender with which they identify. Dran Reese, the leader of a religious group called the Salt and Light Ministry, told a San Diego news station a bogus story about a transgender student using the girls bathroom:

Reese pointed out a recent case in which a Los Angeles-area high school student complained to her school that a transgender boy harassed her and peeked at girls over the stalls.

The girl’s family hired an attorney, but has yet to file a lawsuit.

To which the school responded:

The school did get the complaint and it turned out that it was fabricated by one of the parents who opposes transgender students in schools. So it was an unfortunate situation, to have to put the students through, but it was fabricated.

Michele Bachmann would be proud of Reese’s ability to repeat an ugly rumor as fact.

Finally, Nevada Teapublican representative Jim Wheeler shows just how mindless those teabaggers can be in their blind devotion to their version of the U.S. Constitution. Wheeler had once said that he would do what his constituents want, “end of discussion”. A conservative commentator asked the question:

What if those citizens decided they want to, say, bring back slavery? Hey, if that’s what the citizens want, right Jim?

Wheeler replied:

Yeah I would. If that’s what they wanted, I’d have to hold my nose, I’d have to bite my tongue and they’d probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah, if that’s what the citizens of the, if that’s what the constituency wants that elected me, that’s what they elected me for. That’s what a republic is about.

Note that he emphasized “the constituency that elected” him. That is precisely what makes teabaggers so dangerous to society. When they say they represent “the American people”, they really only mean the people who elected them. They could give-a-shit less about anyone else, especially African Americans.

View the Stupid Conservative Quotes series.

Posted in Dick Cheney, LGBT Rights, Obamacare, Politics, Racial Issues, Tea Party | Tagged
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Victory In Texas: Extreme Abortion Law Unconstitutional

An extreme anti-abortion law that was passed in a special session of the Texas Legislature in July has now (legally) been deemed unconstitutional – well, at least part of it has been.

Women everywhere (and men with a brain in their head – or at least compassion and empathy) have known this bill was garbage all along.  The law had three key aspects: (1) place a ban on abortions 20 weeks post-fertilization; (2) doctors who performed an abortion were required to have admitting privileges at a hospital in the [unlikely] event of a patient emergency; and (3) no longer allowing home use of medicines that will induce a miscarriage requiring them to be administered in a facility equipped to handle an emergency.

Judge Lee Yeakel

Judge Lee Yeakel

In his Monday ruling, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel struck down aspect 2 (hospital admitting privileges) saying it was “without rational basis and places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.”  Yeakel went on to state:

“A lack of admitting privileges on the part of an abortion provider is of no consequence when a patient presents at a hospital emergency room. By law, no hospital can refuse to provide emergency care. The evidence reflects that emergency-room physicians treat patients of physicians with admitting privileges no differently than patients of physicians without admitting privileges. Admitting privileges make no difference in the quality of care received by any abortion patient in an emergency room, and abortion patients are treated the same as all other patients who present to an emergency room.

“The court concludes that whether an abortion provider has admitting privileges does nothing to further the interest of patient care by improving communication. Nor does it impact the timeliness of care in the emergency room, where the nature of the practice is to treat patients with all possible haste.” 

Judge Yeakel upheld Planned Parenthood’s challenge to the law saying:

“Should there be a rational basis, however, the provision still fails, as the court also concludes that Planned Parenthood has met its burden of demonstrating that the hospital-admitting-privileges provision of the act places an ‘undue burden’ on a woman seeking abortion services in Texas because it necessarily has the effect of presenting a ‘substantial obstacle’ to access to abortion services.”

Aspect 3 (medication abortion) was allowed to stand because of an outdated (18 years old!) FDA guideline for the drugs.  That guideline would need to be followed to the letter (where home use is considered “off-label”) and it would fit into the law.  And even though the judge recognized that following the guideline was going to be more expensive “due to the increased dosage, notwithstanding any additional cost of travel, time off work, and childcare” he could not strike it down because the Supreme Court has stated that states have the right to regulate abortion and place limitations as long as “reasonable” alternatives exist and that following the FDA provisions did not place an undue burden on women.

So have the two sides weighed in on Judge Yeakel’s ruling?  You bet they have!  The president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards said:

 “Today’s ruling marks an important victory for Texas women and sends a clear message to lawmakers: it is unconstitutional for politicians to pass laws that take personal, private decisions away from women and their doctors.  While this ruling protects access to safe and legal abortion for women in many parts of the state, part of this ruling will make it impossible for many women to access medication abortion, which is safe and effective early in pregnancy. Planned Parenthood nurses and doctors are taking every step we can to ensure that women in Texas have access to the highest quality health care no matter where they live.” 

Meanwhile Governor Perry released the following statement:

“Today’s decision will not stop our ongoing efforts to protect life and ensure the women of our state aren’t exposed to any more of the abortion-mill horror stories that have made headlines recently. We will continue fighting to implement the laws passed by the duly-elected officials of our state, laws that reflect the will and values of Texans.” 

However, there is further news on this front from Oklahoma.  In a ruling on Tuesday the Oklahoma Supreme Court said that a 2011 abortion law it struck down as unconstitutional in December contains wording that effectively bans all drug-induced abortions – and if it bans access to medically induced abortions this causes “undue” burdens.  And Attorney General Scott Pruitt and supporters of the bill are not happy about this interpretation of their precious law and are sending the matter on to the U. S. Supreme Court.

Constitutional law professor at University of Oklahoma, Joseph Thai mentioned that this ruling “is significant because it is the last word on the law’s intent for the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Thai continues:

 ”As interpreted, the sheer breadth of the state law makes it a huge target for the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down for unconstitutionally restricting access to abortion,” said Thai, who served as a law clerk to former U.S. Supreme Court Justices John Paul Stevens and Byron White. “Because the state law has been interpreted as broadly as possible, its chances of survival at the U.S. Supreme Court have slimmed considerably.”

And how do the two sides feel about this ruling?

President and CEO of The Center for Reproductive Rights said:

“Today’s decision from the Oklahoma Supreme Court strongly reaffirms that this blatantly unconstitutional law was designed to not only rob women of the safe, legal, and effective option of medication to end a pregnancy at its earliest stages, but also threaten the health, lives, and future fertility of women suffering from ectopic pregnancies.”

Meanwhile Pruitt whined in a statement saying he believes the court again misinterpreted the meaning of the bill, which he says is to protect Oklahoma women from “harmful outcomes” that could result from off-label uses.  He goes on to say:

“We took the extraordinary step of asking for a review by the U.S. Supreme Court because we believed the Oklahoma Supreme Court erred in striking down the law,” Pruitt said. “We believe they have erred yet again by interpreting the law more broadly than the Legislature intended.”

Call me crazy here as I go out on a limb but if all these judges need clarification on this bill then perhaps the language is too ambiguous – or perhaps the anti-abortionists are the ones who have no concept of what the constitution says and is for.

From the July Texas protests.

From the July Texas protests.

Posted in Conservatives, Feminism, Healthcare, Planned Parenthood, Reproductive Rights, Republican War on Women, Rick Perry, State Legislation, Supreme Court, Women's Health, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , ,
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Election Reports – Central States – 10/30/13

Mark Pryor – Senator, Arkansas

mark-pryorMark Pryor is the two-term, senior Senator from Arkansas. Pryor was first elected to the Senate in 2002 to the seat held by his father for nearly two decades. He will run for re-election in 2014.

Born in Fayetteville, Ark., Pryor attended the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where he received his bachelor’s in history (1985) and Juris Doctor (1988). He worked as a private practice attorney. Pryor served in state government as a representative of the 57th District in the Arkansas State House of Representatives (1991-1995), then a stint as Attorney General (1999-2003).

Pryor is Chairman of the Subcommittee of Agriculture Appropriations as well as the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. He also serves as a member on six Senate Committees and 15 subcommittees:

  • Senate Appropriations
  • Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Senate Rules
  • Senate Ethics

Pryor is considered to be one of the most vulnerable Senate Democrats seeking re-election in 2014. Representing a red state, Pryor has had to take a moderate, sometimes conservative stances on issues like gun legislation and budget debates. Independents like Michael Bloomberg and his group Mayors Against Illegal Guns attacked Pryor for his nay vote on a Senate bill to expand gun laws. Pryor’s attacked from the right when he supports issues important to President Obama and liberals. He supported the Affordable Care Act, but later sided with Republicans on extending the time to sign up for insurance because of the well-publicized computer issues. Whether he truly believes in these moderate positions or is being politically opportunistic in a red state, Pryor can expect a grueling primary with challengers from the left and right. Nearly every major polling site has the senator in a neck-and-neck race with his Republican challenger, U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton.

Research by Lawrence Mason.

Posted in Central States, Election Reports, Politics | Tagged
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