Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ironically Smiley Faced Fascist Glenn Beck is Manically Obsessed With Calling Everyone Nazis

Ironically Smiley Faced Fascist Glenn Beck is Manically Obsessed With Calling Everyone Nazis

Today, Jewish Funds for Justice ran an open letter in the Wall Street Journal calling on Rupert Murdoch to "sanction Glenn Beck" for his repeated use of Holocaust and Nazi imagery. The letter was signed by 400 rabbis. From the letter:

We were...deeply offended by Roger Ailes' recent statement attributing the outrage over Glenn Beck's use of Holocaust and Nazi images to "left-wing rabbis who basically don't think that anybody can ever use the word 'Holocaust' on the air."


We share a belief that the Holocaust, of course, can and should be discussed appropriately in the media. But that is not what we have seen at Fox News. It is not appropriate to accuse a 14-year-old Jew hiding with a Christian family in Nazi-occupied Hungary of sending his people to death camps. It is not appropriate to call executives of another news agency "Nazis." And it is not appropriate to make literally hundreds of on-air references to the Holocaust and Nazis when characterizing people with whom you disagree.

It is because this issue has a profound impact on each of us, our families and our communities that we are calling on Fox News to meet the standard it has set for itself: "to exercise the ultimate sensitivity when referencing the Holocaust."

We respectfully request that Glenn Beck be sanctioned by Fox News for his completely unacceptable attacks on a survivor of the Holocaust and that Roger Ailes apologize for his dismissive remarks about rabbis' sensitivity to how the Holocaust is used on the air. [The Wall Street Journal, 1/27/11, via The Washington Post]
Beck has a tiny bit of intellectual skills and clearly a mentally challenged personality to go with it. Fact checkers find Beck lies about everything and does so incessantly. he does this because he knows, and his fanatical anti-American fan base knows, he cannot win on evidence and the facts.

Paul Ryan(R) and Michelle Bachmann(R) Lied Like Jackals and Medicare Actuary Contradicts Own Report

Friday, January 28, 2011

Chrysler Proves Republicans Wrong and Obama Right

FLASHBACK: Republicans Warned Chrysler Rescue Was ‘War On Capitalism,’ Chrysler Wouldn’t Survive

When the Obama administration first decided it would rescue the U.S. automakers General Motors and Chrysler, Republicans exploded with warnings that such a move would be an inevitable failure, if not the beginning of the end of capitalism. Here are some examples:

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN (R-AZ): “We should have let them go into bankruptcy, emerge and become viable corporations again. The unions didn’t want to have their very generous contracts renegotiated, so we put $80 billion into both General Motors and Chrysler, and anybody believes that Chrysler is going to survive, I’d like to meet them.” [11/19/2009]

SEN. JIM DEMINT (R-SC): “The government has forced taxpayers to buy these failing companies without any plausible plan for profitability.” [06/01/2009]

REP. PAUL BROUN (R-GA): “This is an unprecedented takeover from the private sector by this administration…It is totally unconstitutional, it’s totally against freedom, it’s totally unprecedented, and it’s exactly the same thing that Hugo Ch├ívez is doing down in Venezuela.” [06/09/2009]

REP. TRENT FRANKS (R-AZ): When Washington gets involved in a company, “the disaster that follows is predictable.” [07/22/2009]

REP. LAMAR SMITH (R-TX): The government-led bankruptcy reorganizations of the companies “have been the leading edge of the Obama administration’s war on capitalism.” [7/22/2009]

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN (R-MN): “I’m very concerned again about these motor takeovers from the federal government…We have a gangster government when the federal government has set up a new cartel and private businesses now have to go begging with their hand out.” [06/09/2009]

Aside from the obvious continued existence of capitalism, reality has revealed a very different tale, as The Hill outlined today:

The smallest of the Big Three U.S. automakers appears poised for a comeback less than two years after the government saved it from extinction. Chrysler made a $569 million net profit last year and has $10 billion in hand. It is adding jobs in the U.S. and slowly countering impressions in Washington and elsewhere that it can’t survive. “Over the course of the last 12 months, we’ve raised our outlook significantly,” said George Magliano, senior auto analyst for IHS Global Insight. “Their whole tone has changed over the last six to eight months.”

Of course, Republicans made similar claims about the rescue of GM, saying that it was the “road to socialism.” According to the Center for Automotive Research, “if the government had not invested in the automotive industry, up to 80,000 automotive jobs would have been lost…Once Chrysler and GM emerged from their ‘orderly’ bankruptcies, the growth of automotive sector employment has been strong, with 52,900 workers added since July 2009. Had GM and Chrysler not successfully emerged, those jobs would have been permanently lost.”
Republican talking points about the U.S. becoming socialists are like most everything Republicans say - somewhere between ignorant bullshit and old fashioned looniness. Modern conservatism is not about progress or the American dream it is about nationalism reminiscent of old Imperial Japan and turning America into a plutocracy. Why do conservatives hate America.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Glenn Beck Calls for Violence Against Elderly Professor and Makes Himself The Victim

Glenn Beck Calls for Violence Against Elderly Professor and Makes Himself The Victim

Instead of showing any decency, Glenn Beck, under fire for his relentless attacks on a 78 year-old professor, pulled a Palin. Ignoring his inflammatory witch hunt against Professor Frances Fox Piven, he made himself the victim. Oh, and while he was at it? He likened Piven to an assassin about to kill him.

On his radio show Monday (1/24/11), Beck discussed the New York Times article about his attacks on Piven. “If I didn’t say (she’s an enemy of the constitution) I should have,” Beck sneered. He and his co-host mocked the article and laughed about the quote, “Mr. Beck is putting Professor Piven in actual physical danger of a violent response.” That came from a letter from the Center for Constitutional Rights to Roger Ailes asking him to show some decency at long last and put a stop to Beck’s attacks (which Fox News refused to do).

Beck jeered, “It’s (CCR) a liberal non-profit group – now can we look into just to see if there’s any Soros money?” He laughed contemptuously.

Then Beck played his victim-of-violence card. “My so-called threat was saying she’s making violent threats. I’ve never seen this before. You know what this is? This is someone calling 911 and saying, ‘There’s a guy who’s outside of my door and he’s saying he’s gonna kill me,’ and then the guy who’s outside of the door calls 911 and says, …’Did he just call the police?’ ‘Yes, he did, Sir, and we’re on our way.’ ‘I’d like to lodge a complaint. He is putting me in danger because you guys could come here and shoot me or hurt me at the door.’ Excuse me?!?”

“And then the police arrest the guy inside the house,” Beck’s co-host said.

“Yes!” Beck exclaimed with incredulity. “…This is the most incredible thing. This all stems from me saying, ‘Left or right… if she’s calling for violent riots, which she is… at 78 years old, she is still calling for violence.”

Well, not quite. Beck seems to have been referring to Piven’s recent piece in The Nation in which she said, “An effective movement of the unemployed will have to look something like the strikes and riots that have spread across Greece in response to the austerity measures forced on the Greek government by the European Union, or like the student protests that recently spread with lightning speed across England in response to the prospect of greatly increased school fees.” She’s talking about civil disobedience, yes, calling for violence? I don’t see it.

But even if she were, if Beck were really concerned about incitement to violence, he would certainly not characterize Piven as someone about to assassinate him - which is a far cry from anything she has said. If he had any decency, he’d express some concern for the death threats Piven has been receiving (some right on his own website) and dial back his criticisms to something less inflammatory.

But that, it seems, is just asking too much from Beck.
Thanks to Ellen at Newshounds for the analysis. Beck's incoherent and dishonest rants have become standard fair on the rabid Right. The punch lines is always turned the argument inside out and portraying themselves as the victims of the dishonest and dishonorable attacks they started. It was conservatives who lied us into a $3 trillion dollar war and failed to police Wall St - a major cause of the worse economic crash since 1929.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Republican Plan to Repeal Health Care Will Kill 45,000 Americans

Lack of insurance causes more than 44,000 U.S. deaths annually, study says

Going without health insurance can delay when people obtain primary and preventative care, potentially resulting in poorer health. Even more gravely, a lack of private health insurance brings an increased risk of death; uninsurance is to blame for some 44,789 adult deaths across the U.S. every year, according to a new study published online today in the American Journal of Public Health.

The findings show that uninsured Americans—between the ages of 17 and 64—have a 40 percent higher risk of death than those who have private insurance. (Those enrolled in government insurance programs, such as Medicaid and Department of Veterans Affairs insurance, were excluded from the study.) About 46.3 million Americans didn't have health insurance as of 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and the number is estimated to be higher now since the recession has forced many off of employer health plans.

Previous research by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) employing older data had put the risk of death due to uninsurance closer to 25 percent.

The authors analyzed information from surveys and health examinations of more than 9,000 people that was collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) between 1986 and 2000 and checked against death records. Even after controlling for age, gender, race, income, education, employment, smoking, alcohol use, assessed health and BMI, the researchers found "lack of health insurance significantly increased the risk of mortality," they wrote in the paper.

"We doctors have many new ways to prevent deaths from hypertension, diabetes and heart disease—but only if patients can get into our offices and afford their medications," Andrew Wilper, of the University of Washington Medical School in Seattle, and lead study author, said in a prepared statement.

Indeed, the authors concluded that their findings show that, "alternative measures of access to medical care for the uninsured, such as community health centers, do not provide the protection of private health insurance."

Intermittent insurance also appeared to take a toll on health, the authors wrote, although the survey provided no information on the effects of losing or gaining insurance, as it only recorded reported insurance status at the time the survey was taken.

"The Institute of Medicine, using older studies, estimated that one American dies every 30 minutes from lack of health insurance," David Himmelstein, a study co-author and associate professor of medicine at Harvard, said in a prepared statement. "Even this grim figure is an underestimate—now one dies every 12 minutes."
There apparently is a death panel - its called the Republican Party.

The entire Affordable care Act ( health care reform) has not kicked in yet, but these are the benefits Americans are already using that Republicans want to repeal, 8 Immediate Cost Benefits of Health Care Reform

Under the new law, health care insurers will no longer be able to do the following:

Deny coverage to children with pre-existing conditions: For children younger than age 19, health plans can no longer limit or deny coverage simply because the child has a pre-existing health condition. This provision does not mean that such coverage will be inexpensive, but at least coverage will be available.

Impose lifetime limits or caps on health coverage: Some insurance policies place lifetime spending caps on coverage. Once the limit is reached, there is no more health coverage available. Under the new law, health plans can no longer set a lifetime dollar limit on benefits, which can be particularly important for those with expensive medical conditions.

Cancel a policy without proving fraud: Currently, health plans can and will cancel coverage retroactively if you failed to accurately disclose required information on the insurance application. Under the new law, the insurance carrier must prove that the information was left off the application by reason of fraud before canceling the policy.

[Visit the U.S. News My Money blog for the best money advice from around the web.]

Deny health claims without giving you a chance to appeal the decision: For new health plans, you can now have the right to ask the insurance company to reconsider any denial of coverage. And if they still deny the claim, you have the right to appeal the decision to an independent reviewer.

In addition to the above restrictions, new health insurance plans must provide the following:

Free preventative health services: New health plans are now required to offer access to preventive services such as screenings, vaccinations and counseling at no charge, including no copayment, co-insurance, or any deductible. Depending on your age, preventative services may include blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol tests; many cancer screenings; routine vaccinations; flu and pneumonia shots; and regular well-baby and well-child visits, from birth to age 21.

Young adults can stay on parent’s plan until age 26: Most health plans can remove children from coverage at age 19. Under the new rules, the age is extended to 25 if they don’t already have coverage through their job. The new rule applies even if the child does not live at home or is married.

Choose a primary care doctor and pediatrician: With new health plans, you can now choose the pediatrician or primary care doctor or you want from your health plan’s provider network. You can also see an OB-GYN doctor without getting a referral from your primary care physician.

Use the nearest emergency room without penalty: Under existing plans, you can often pay significantly more if you visit an emergency room that is not in your insurance company’s provider network. With new health plans, you won’t be required to get prior approval before seeking emergency room services from a facility that is outside of your plan’s network. In addition, you won’t have to pay higher copayments.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is Health Care Reform a Job Killer

Is Health Care Reform a Job Killer

Despite what Republicans say, the 2010 health care law isn't necessarily a job killer.

Republicans have titled their effort to overturn the law the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act," and that's their favorite talking point against it. The House of Representatives will start debate on repeal Tuesday and probably vote Wednesday.

Saying that the law is a job killer doesn't necessarily make it one, however, and independent experts say that such a conclusion is at least premature, if not unfounded.

"The claim has no justification," said Micah Weinberg, a senior research fellow at the centrist New America Foundation's Health Policy Program.

Since the law contains dual mandates that most individuals must obtain health insurance coverage and most employers must offer it by 2014, "the effect on employment is probably zero or close to it," said Amitabh Chandra, a professor of public policy at Harvard University.

How unfortunate if not desperate the conservative movement continues to be based on the politics of lies and against American progress. When we do have progress is always do to progressive Democratic polcies. That has never kept conservatives from trying to take credit - GOP Takes Credit, Deflects Blame on Economy. Again.

Two new surveys released today are just the latest signs the U.S. economic recovery is gaining steam. While a USA Today panel found "nine of 10 economists said they're more optimistic than three months ago," the National Association for Business Economics reported that "more firms expressing positive hiring plans than in over a decade." But to hear Republican leaders tell it, the good news is all thanks to the GOP. And if that transparently false claim sounds familiar, it should. After trying to pin responsibility on Bill Clinton for the first Bush recession, Republicans tried to blame Barack Obama for the second.

Over the past year, the U.S. economy added 1.1 million new jobs overall, including 1.3 million in the private sector, which enjoyed 12 straight months of growth. By last June, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the Obama stimulus program had saved or created up to 3.3 million jobs, lowered the unemployment rate by as much as 1.8% and boosted GDP by 4.5%. A recent analysis of Census data by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) revealed that federal programs kept 4.5 million Americans out of poverty in 2009. For his part, former John McCain adviser Mark Zandi in August concluded that the combined federal interventions beginning in the fall of 2008 prevented the Great Recession from becoming Depression 2.0:

We find that its effects on real GDP, jobs, and inflation are huge, and probably averted what could have been called Great Depression 2.0. For example, we estimate that, without the government's response, GDP in 2010 would be about 11.5% lower, payroll employment would be less by some 8½ million jobs, and the nation would now be experiencing deflation.

Looking at future quarterly growth rates now expected to top 3.2%, an upbeat Zandi announced today:

"This growth is now becoming self-reinforcing. Businesses are going to take their stronger sales and begin to hire more aggressively, generate more income, and we're off and running."

But as Politico and Washington Monthly explain, Republicans who opposed those measures tooth and nail are now taking credit for the growing economic progress those Democratic initiatives produced.
More documentation and charts at the link.

Monday, January 24, 2011

As Tucson Victims Were Buried Sarah Palin Drowns in Spiteful Self Pity

As Tucson Victims Were Buried Sarah Palin Drowns in Spiteful Self Pity

As she loses respect by the second due to her outrageous insertion of her own agenda into the Tucson tragedy, Sarah Palin is digging herself in deeper and deeper by pushing the credibility-lacking narrative of her own victimization. It’s gotten so bad that even folks on her side of the political line are vocally calling for her to stand down and be quiet for a while. A few conservatives like Karl Rove have slammed Palin before, and now others are joining in and actively warning her to watch what she says.

“Dear everyone in the world: no one is as unfairly persecuted as me, perennial victim Sarah Palin.” At least that's what Palin, our nation’s consummate narcissist-patriot, appears to believe based on a new interview which aired Monday night. The televised chat with Sean Hannity was her first since last week’s shameful “blood libel” comments; during its course, the infamous tweeter of “Don't Retreat; RELOAD” held true to her credo.

On her Fox coworker Hannity’s show, Palin expressed some cursory condolences for the Tucson victims before launching into her defense of her PAC's notorious “crosshairs” map that targeted several congresspeople, including Gabrielle Giffords. Inexplicably, she offered this verbal gem:

“My defense wasn't self-defense. It was about defending those falsely accused. Soon the entire state of Arizona was being falsely accused of somehow being accessories to this." “

Cockles up, she accused the left of being afraid of her “message” that America is on “the wrong track.” After Hannity asked her whether the political fallout from the map affected her political future, she quoted Dr. Martin Luther King and compared his struggle to her own... on MLK Day. Then, she defended herself from accusations that she was responsible for Tucson -- thus far there is no connection between Jared Lee Loughner and Palin or the Tea Party -- but then did exactly what she lambastes the media for, and lied about his “left-wing” beliefs. So in Palinspeak, when Loughner’s possible influence by the paranoid Tea Party talk-radio culture are brought up, it’s “blood libel.” But it’s okay to bring up his “left-wing” beliefs, apparently. She’s always been a hypocrite, but here it’s more blatant than ever.

But the worst part of her interview was on the 'blood libel' scandal. Hannity asked Palin her opinion of her critics in the 'Jewish community.' Palin's response completely ignored the proven fact that “Blood Libel” is a specific term with specific origins and connotations, namely the horrible and pervasive Medieval lie about Jewish people using Christian children’s blood to make Passover Matzos. Instead of acknowledging this historical fact in any way, she said: “I think the critics, again, were using anything that they could gather out of that statement... you can spin up anything out of any statements that are released and use them against the person who is making the statement.... that term has been used for eons, Sean.”

She then promised she wouldn't “sit down” or “shut up” and alluded to her possible decision to run for president. (Watch the video at the bottom of the piece.)

This interview demonstrates that as suspected, Palin believes that refusing to give up and “reloading” will serve her well in the long-term and keep her extremely loyal and vocal band of right-wing supporters at her side. Certainly, this strategy has worked until now.

But her words this week may not have gotten her the kind of publicity she seeks. As we noted last week, Palin is an expert at turning the narrative in her favor, not just by portraying herself as a victim--but also by garnering publicity via well-timed provocative comments. This time, however, instead of inspiring outrage or fury or attacks, she’s inspiring calls for her to step away and be quiet, to think things through.

This response does not paint her as a victim standing up for herself. Rather, it paints her as an embarrassment, a narcissist who can’t stop herself.

Indeed, “she should just stop talking now,” said conservative David Frum on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show Monday. He added that “that one video released should have been the end of it,” even though said video was a “disaster.”

Even Newt Gingrich got in a word of warning before returning to calling Palin a “phenomenon.” "Well, I think that she's got to slow down and be a lot more careful, and think through what she's saying and how she's saying it," Gingrich said on a Good Morning America appearance. "There's no question that she's become more controversial.”

And her defense of her use of the term ‘Blood Libel ‘is hardly winning her friends in the Jewish community. At Jeffrey Goldberg’s Atlantic blog, Goldberg highlighted a reader’s comment that by defining the term away from its racist origins, Palin is doing history a disservice.

Even the public winds seem to be shifting, at least slightly. According to a USA Today Poll, Palin’s stature has plummeted to a new low.
How can a white fundamentalist like Palin - who became a mayor while not qualified, a governor while not qualified and a vice-presidential candidate while not qualified complain and how makes millions of dollars for writing shallow books and signing her autograph, claim her "suffering" has been as as great as the history of European Jews. She cannot even get get facts straight. No major news oragnization - not one has accused Palin of being diresctly responsible for the Tucson massacre. Some opinion writers have wondered out loud if she among others like Sahrron Angle, Bill OReilly, have contributed to a violent and toxic culture that encourages violence. That is a long way from falsely accusing someone of being responsible for murder.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Conservative Republican Glenn Beck's Constant References to Nazi Imagery

Fox's Kelly Absurdly Claims Fox Personalities Do Not Invoke Nazis

Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly responded to her guest's statement that Fox News figures regularly invoke Nazi imagery by claiming "I watch our programming every night and you're wrong." In fact, several Fox News figures, particularly Glenn Beck, have a long history of smearing President Obama, Democrats, and progressive figures by invoking Nazi and Holocaust imagery.

Kelly Responds To Claim That Fox Commenters Invoke Nazi Imagery To Smear Dems By Absurdly Claiming "You're Wrong." On the January 20 edition of Fox News' America Live, Kelly hosted Equality Matters' President Richard Socarides to discuss Rep. Steve Cohen's (D-TN) recent reference to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels on the floor of the House of Representatives. Socarides stated that "on the very network that we're on right now, the leading commenters on this network use this kind of language." Kelly responded by absurdly claiming "I don't know if you sit and watch our programming every night, but I watch it every day and you're wrong." [Fox News, America Live, 1/20/11]
In Fact, Fox News Figures Regularly Invoke Nazis, Hitler, Goebbels, Other Nazi Imagery
Glenn Beck Repeatedly Invokes The Nazis While Attacking Obama And Progressives

Beck: Progressives Use "Democratic Elections" To Push Dictators -- "Hitler, 'Democratically Elected.' " On April 28, 2010, Beck stated that progressives use "democratic elections" to push dictators, then stated, "You'll hear this when they talk about the 'democratically elected' leader of Iran; the democratic leader Chavez, 'democratically elected,' you know; Castro, 'democratically elected'; Hitler - 'democratically elected.' " [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 04/28/10]

Beck Invoked "First They Came For The Jews" Poem To Respond To Ad Boycotts. On April 8, 2010, Beck portrayed ad boycotts of his show as being orchestrated by the Obama White House in order to "destroy" his "career" and "silence" him, adding: "Is there absolutely no chance whatsoever that you might be a target at some point in the future? What's that poem? First they came for the Jews, and I stayed silent?" [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 04/08/10]

Beck On NEA Conference Call: "You Should Look Up The Name Goebbels." On November 3, 2009, discussing an NEA conference call in which artists reportedly discussed how "to help lay a new foundation for growth, focusing on core areas of the recovery agenda," Beck said that "advocating through art is known as propaganda. Hmm. You should look up the name Goebbels." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 11/03/09]

Beck On Obama's "Civilian National Security Force": "This Is What Hitler Did With The SS." Discussing President Obama's call for a "civilian national security force" -- which was a reference to expanding the foreign service, AmeriCorps, and the Peace Corps -- Beck said on August 27, 2009:

BECK: I'm finding this -- this is the hardest part to connect to. Because this is -- I mean, look, you know, David [Bellavia, former Army staff sergeant], what you just said is, you said, 'I'm not comparing' -- but you are. I mean, this is what Hitler did with the SS. He had his own people. He had the brownshirts and then the SS. This is what Saddam Hussein -- so -- but you are comparing that. And I -- I mean, I think America would have a really hard time getting their arms around that. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 08/27/09]

Beck Said "The Germans" During Hitler's Rise "Were An Awful Lot Like We Are Now." On June 10, 2009, Beck stated: "I think the Germans, however, were an awful lot like we are now. We're kind of living in a denial, like, 'No, no, that can't really be happening. No, that really -- I -- you don't want to believe some things, but you have to. You have to actually think about them." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 06/10/09]

Beck Compared Auto Bailouts To The Actions Of German Companies "In The Early Days Of Adolf Hitler." While discussing the auto company bailouts on April 1, 2009, after stating, "I am not saying that Barack Obama is a fascist," Beck said, "If I'm not mistaken, in the early days of Adolf Hitler, they were very happy to line up for help there as well. I mean, the companies were like, 'Hey, wait a minute. We can get, you know, we can get out of trouble here. They can help, et cetera, et cetera.' " [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 04/01/09]

Beck Airs Photos Of Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Asks, "Is This Where We're Headed?" On April 2, 2009, while teasing the next day's show, Beck asked, "Is this where we're headed?" while airing photos of Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Vladimir Lenin. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 04/02/09]

Beck Has Attacked Progressive Organizations As "Brownshirts." On May 7, 2009, Beck attacked the "brownshirts" at ACORN and "their henchmen" at the Service Employees International Union. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 05/07/09]

Beck Warned Of Impending "National Socialism." On February 6, 2009, Beck claimed that "We are really truly stepping beyond socialism and starting to look at fascism." Then, purporting to "explain what happened in Nazi Germany," Beck claimed that "we're talking now about nationalizing the banks," which he called "national socialism." Beck said that "at first, all the big companies and the big capitalists in Germany said, 'Oh, thank goodness there's a savior. OK, great, we'll do that. Yes.' It didn't take too long before, like here in America now -- Goldman Sachs -- they started to see the writing on the wall and ... they couldn't get out of it fast enough." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 02/06/09]

Beck Compared Gore To Goebbels, Says, "The Government And Its Friends Are Indoctrinating Our Children For The Control Of Their Minds." On February 5, 2009, Beck stated "The government and its friends are indoctrinating our children for the control of their minds, your freedom, and our choice and our future." Beck then quoted Joesph Goebbels discussing the Hitler Youth and said, "If mom and dad decide the keep the temperature above 72, should our 'Gore youth' report mom and dad?" [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 02/05/09]

Beck: Holocaust Survivor's Story Of How Nazis Drove A Wedge Between Students And Parents Sounds Like U.N. and Gore. On September 24, 2010, Beck hosted a Holocaust survivor who said that the Nazis drove a wedge between students and their parents. Beck responded by saying, "I don't know about anybody else ... this, to me, doesn't sound like stuff necessarily that I've heard from Obama. This is stuff that I've heard from the U.N. This is the kind of stuff that we have heard from ... Al Gore." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 09/24/10]

In 2007, ADL Rebuked Beck's Smears Of Gore. On May 2, 2007, the ADL issued a press release condemning Beck's April 30, 2007, statement that "Al Gore's not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them. It is the same tactic, however. The goal is different. The goal is globalization. The goal is global carbon tax. The goal is the United Nations running the world." Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and a Holocaust survivor, said of the remark, in part: "Glenn Beck's linkage of Hitler's plan to round up and exterminate Jews with Al Gore's efforts to raise awareness of global warming is outrageous, insensitive and deeply offensive." [American Defamation League, 5/2/07]
Beck Invokes Nazis While Attacking The Media

Beck Compares Media Portrayal Of "Tea Partygoers" To Nazi Portrayal Of Anti-Nazi "Complainers." On August 11, 2009, Beck compared the media's portrayal of the "tea partygoers" to a Nazi propaganda poster portraying "complainers" about Nazi policies, saying, "This is a poster of what you see every day now in the news media making the complainers, the tea partygoers, look somehow rotten." [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 08/11/09]
Beck Says U.S. Is On The Same Course As Weimar Republic

Beck Suggests U.S. On Course To Make Same "Mistake[s] That Germany Made During Weimar Republic" On February 24, 2009, Beck suggested that the U.S. was on course to make the "scariest mistake that Germany made during Weimar Republic." [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 2/24/09]

Beck Conspiracy Theory: Similar To Weimar Republic, U.S. Government To Seize Land Through Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac To Back New Currency. On October 28, 2009, Beck theorized that the United States, in order to pay its debts, would continue printing money and drive up inflation, at which point the country would drop the dollar as its currency and establish a new currency backed by land, which the government will seize through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Beck explained that this is exactly what happened in the Weimar Republic. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 10/28/09]
In the last moth conservatives have made too absurd and conflicting claims. They have claimed that hate and often violent rhetoric has no effect on our culture. While also claiming their wild conspiracy theories are meaningful and have an affect. Which is it. Words mean something or they do not. They seem to be saying they will take responsibility for what they say up until the point a tragedy results, than it is not their fault.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The 2011 Super Duper Republican Budget Plan

The 2011 Super Duper Republican Budget Plan

The Republican Study Committee (RSC) today released a plan that supposedly outlines $2.5 trillion in spending cuts over ten years. But as I pointed out earlier, only $330 billion of the $2.5 trillion is specified, while the rest is simply hand-waving about keeping non-defense discretionary spending at the 2006 level for a decade. As TPM’s Brian Buetler put it, “In other words, it punts the question of what to cut to future Congresses, which could just as easily bust the cap.”

Today, Rep. John Campbell (R-CA), an RSC member, appeared on Fox News with Neil Cavuto, and Cavuto also evidently noticed that the vast bulk of the RSC’s savings come from unspecified cuts. When he asked Campbell explain how the RSC magically turned $330 billion into $2.5 trillion, Campbell dropped the ball:

CAVUTO: I don’t want to pick it apart too much, because you always appreciate the efforts at spending cuts, but a lot of these eliminations and reductions, Congressman, realistically come to $330 billion of the $2.5 trillion of proposed cuts. So, in other words, the real meat, up-front cuts, while still substantial, about $330 billion, ain’t the $2.5 trillion. So what is the more realistic figure?

CAMPBELL: The more realistic figure than the two, oh, you mean other than what’s listed on here?

Campbell then proceeded to incorrectly claim that the $2.5 trillion in savings is a result of multiplying the $330 billion in specific cuts out over a ten year budget window, which would actually amount to more than $2.5 trillion in savings.

It’s not surprising, of course, that the RSC would be hesitant to place on paper the practical implications of its plan. Returning non-defense discretionary spending to the 2006 level — and then keeping it there — would result in billions of dollars in cuts to vital and popular programs and agencies like Pell Grants, the FBI, the Coast Guard, the National Institutes of Health and the federal prison system.

As Steve Benen pointed out, the RSC’s plan would also be “devastating” for the labor market. “Indeed, if lawmakers were to get together to plot how Congress could deliberately increase unemployment, their plan would look an awful lot like this one,” he wrote. “The RSC proposal would deliberately fire thousands of civilian workers, force states to make sweeping job cuts, and lay off thousands more who work in transportation and infrastructure.” If you’re interested in a legitimate deficit reduction plan, go here.
Republicans seem to work overtime to make sure government does not work for the people to justify their claim the government does not work. They not only get paid to do this, they get government sponsored health care in case they work too hard.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

What Would Repeal of Health Care Reform Mean

What Would Repeal of Health Care Reform Mean

On Wednesday, House Republicans will keep half of their grandstanding promise to "repeal and replace" the 2010 health care reform law. But the easy part ends there. As the Washington Post explains, GOP leaders are still far offering anything to replace the Affordable Care Act they hope to kill in whole or in part. Worse still, their quixotic effort comes after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office confirmed the GOP's repeal bill would not only lead to higher out of pocket costs, reduced benefits and saddle employers with higher premiums, but would fatten the national debt by $230 billion over the next decade. And with Americans now benefiting from a bevy of new patient protections, it's no wonder voters - including an increasing number of Republicans - are losing their stomach for repeal.

Contrary to Republican mythmaking, there are no "death panels," no "government takeover of health care" and no "job-killing" plans from Washington. Instead, Americans won't have to worry about pre-existing conditions, losing insurance when they get sick, finding coverage for their children up to age 26, hitting life-time benefits and the Medicare "donut hole" - all thanks to Democrats. And by 2019 an estimated 32 million more people will get health insurance.

Almost a year after the ACA became law, the GOP is still offering nothing but a deepening crisis for the U.S. health care system. Here, then, is the Republican Patients' Bill of Wrongs:

1. 50 Million Uninsured
2. 25 Million More Underinsured
3. Rapid Deterioration of Employer-Based Coverage
4. 1 in 5 Americans Already Postponing Their Medical Care
5. Over 60% of Bankruptcies Due to Medical Bills
6. Family Premiums Would Double in 10 Years
7. Near-Monopoly Status in 94% of Insurance Markets
8. Dramatic Decline in Emergency Room Capacity
9. 45,000 Uninsured Americans Needlessly Dying Each Year
10. Continued Faiure for Red State Health Care
There is more documentation of the consequences of repealing health care reform (Affordable Care Act) at the link. Not mentioned is the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates repealing health care reform could add as much as a trillion dollars to the deficit in the next twenty years.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) Admits He Does Not Understand Constitution

Steve King Claims Health Insurance Regulations Violate The Constitution

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) has always had a loose relationship with the Constitution — his flagship proposal is a wildly unconstitutional bill stripping many Americans of their citizenship. Today, however, he took his belief that he alone has the power to rewrite the Constitution to a new level, telling right-wing talk show host G. Gordon Liddy that entirely uncontroversial insurance regulations violate the Constitution:

First of all [the Affordable Care Act] is unconstitutional. We can go through all of that component, Gordon, but, in the end, this trade off of giving up our personal decisions on what health insurance policy we choose to buy, what health insurance policy will be delivered to us because of market demands, and making decisions on doctors and tests and second opinions, as a whole list of things that are taken away from us under Obamacare. All of that, for what? So that we have a federal mandate that children must stay on our insurance until age 26? I want mine to grow up, as a matter of fact.

And then, going on down the line, preexisting conditions, the states can address that constitutionally far better than the federal government, and that’s how it should be addressed.

It’s clear from King’s error-laden rant against the Affordable Care Act that he hasn’t actually read the bill. Among other things, the law does not “mandate” that children must stay on their parents insurance until age 26. The law gives young adults the option of remaining on their parents insurance, but leaves them perfectly free to choose another insurance provider.

King’s reading of the Constitution is even more off base. While a number of litigants have filed meritless lawsuits falsely claiming that Congress cannot require people to either carry insurance or pay slightly more income taxes, even Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) concedes that the Act’s provision forbidding insurers from discriminating against people with preexisting conditions “fall[s] within Congress’s power, pursuant to the Commerce Clause, to regulate the interstate health insurance market.” If King’s position were ever adopted by the Supreme Court, it would mean that the entire insurance industry would be immune from federal regulation.

And that’s the least of the problems with King’s argument. King’s core argument — that only the states and not the federal government are allowed to regulate a national market — is straight out of the tenther playbook. Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) recently made an identical argument to claim that federal child labor laws are unconstitutional, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) also adopted King’s theory of the Constitution to claim that the federal ban on whites-only lunch counters must be tossed out.

Ironically, King’s amateurish foray into constitutional law comes on the same day that over 100 actual legal scholars signed a letter rejecting the absurd view that the Affordable Care Act violates the Constitution. As they explain, the only way to strike down the law is to “jettison nearly two centuries of settled constitutional law.” If King were smart, he would consider consulting with one of them before he exposes his constitutional ignorance once again on a national broadcast.
King regularly panders to the extreme right with absurd and baseless claims. Unfortunately no one is required to take a mental screening before being a representative.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Tea Party's Plastic Roots Revealed

The Tea Party's Plastic Roots Revealed

Progressives to uncloak the secret financers behind the Tea party Progressive and liberal activists are planning at the end of the month to confront the secretive billionaire family that finances the so-called Tea party movement and a host of other right-wing causes and institutions.

"Our government is supposed to be of, by and for the people. So are you ready to take it back?" an invitation for the "Uncloaking the Kochs" event asked.

The Sunday, Jan. 30 event thrown by Common Cause, a nonpartisan, grassroots organization, aims to educate attendees in California on the Koch brothers who will be strategizing nearby with their mega-wealthy allies to win the 2012 elections. Afterwards, activists will rally in Rancho Mirage.

"We can't sit back while a few billionaires destroy the fragile fabric of democracy and the protections that are so necessary for the health of our society," Jodie Evans of CodePink told Alternet. "It is time for the progressive community to gather together and say no more, and what better place than where the Koch brothers are plotting their next moves."

Panel discussions will feature Robert Reich, former Labor Secretary; Van Jones, founder of Green for All; Erwin Chemerinsky, UC Irvine Law Dean; Lee Fang, Center for American Progress blogger and Koch Brothers expert; and DeAnn McEwen, co-president of the California Nurses Association.

For the last 30 years, the Koch brothers, who inherited their wealth from their father's oil interests, have funded a large portion of the conservative movement on issues that promote business over the environmental, labor, and public health concerns.

Recently, David and Charles Koch through their network of foundations and nonprofits outspent ExxonMobile on astroturf campaigns to misinform the American public about climate change legislation.

"From 2005 to 2008, ExxonMobil spent $8.9 million while the Koch Industries-controlled foundations contributed $24.9 million in funding to organizations of the 'climate denial machine,'" Greenpeace International reported.

Koch also donated funds to elect George W. Bush in 2000 as well as influence the results of the vote recount in Florida.

Among the top recipients of Koch funding are Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, and the Cato Institute, which was co-founded by Charles Koch in 1977. Lesser amounts have gone to such groups as Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform and the Capital Research Center, which has been the primary source of ACORN-related conspiracy theories.

Prominent members of Congress to whom Koch has donated generously include Republicans Eric Cantor (R-VA) and John Boehner (R-OH) and Democrat Blanche Lincoln (D-AR).

Koch Industries, the second largest private company in America, recently sued a group of pranksters who claimed that the company would adopt pro-environment policies from now on.

“This is not a Koch Industries release,” a Koch spokesperson said in an advisory. “We remain committed to the principled positions we have taken on a wide variety of issues.”

Comedian Bill Maher on Friday lashed out at the followers of the Tea party movement whose activities are funded by Koch's Americans for Prosperity group.

The Founding Fathers "were everything you despise. They studied science, read Plato, hung out in Paris, and thought the Bible was mostly bullshit," he said.
But wait a minute don't Democrats have some millionaire contributors too. Yes, but they are easy to look up on sites that keep track of political donations. And despite Glenn beck's crazy conspiracy theories, George Soros and liberal Jews do not control the world. The Right's millionaires and billionaires hide behind front groups that claim to be grass roots. These secretive right-wing politcal zealots pull the strings and the tea nuts next door do their act on the carefully managed propaganda they have been fed.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Coal companies are the extremists

It Isn't Radical to Want to Preserve Mountains
Coal companies are the extremists in this scenario

In a column headlined "Congress must rein in an arrogant EPA," president Bill Raney of the West Virginia Coal Association invoked "jobs and "families" five times.

Not once did he mention the real reason for the massive destruction of our mountains - coal company profit.

Raney does not represent miners and their families. He represents coal companies that pay him to be their spokesperson.

If coal companies can make more money by replacing people with machines, that is what they will do.

They are in the business of making money, not protecting jobs or families, as Raney would lead us to believe.

Since my dad was an underground miner, coal companies have replaced 100,000 coal mining jobs with machines.

Raney tries to divert our attention away from mountaintop removal by accusing President Obama of being anti-coal and anti-business.

For sure, the Environmental Protection Agen-cy under President Obama is doing a better job of enforcing mountaintop removal mining laws than did Bush the younger.

This was not difficult.

How can a president who bailed out Wall Street and General Motors qualify as anti-business? Employees, executives and political action committees of large corporations gave several million dollars to Obama's campaign for president and for his inauguration.

Patriot Coal's Hobet 45 strip mine in Lincoln County is a good example of what EPA is really doing.

It allowed that permit to go ahead with "only" three miles of headwater streams filled in instead of six. To the EPA, it is OK for three miles of ecologically vital streams to be smothered in coal mining waste.

Patriot Coal will be able to mine 91 percent of the coal in its original permit. This doesn't sound like anti-coal or anti-business.

It sounds very close to the Bush II administration.

Because we exhale carbon dioxide, Raney wrote, "How harmful could that be?"

That question was aimed at an ignorant audience, which is bad aim, since most editorial readers are not ignorant people.

Every respected scientist knows that too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can cause serious climate change. None claim it isn't happening or that carbon dioxide is harmless.

Raney continues to try to hang the label of "radical" on those who want our mountains to be unmolested.

But what could be more radical than blowing mountaintops away in the Mountain State?

Raney represents the radical, out-of-state, environmental extremists called coal companies.

His article ridicules environmental justice as if he can't imagine that there are some silly people who want justice more than money.

Reprinted for educational purposes.
Julian Martin, who lives in Charleston, is vice president for state affairs of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy.

Levin Threatens Matthews With Phony Defamation Suit Despite His Own Serial Defamation Of Media Matters

No, Jim Hoft, The White House Did Not "Ask For" Applause On Jumbotron

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Republican Anti-Regulators Are the Job Killers

The Republican Anti-Regulators Are the Job Killers

The Great Recession (which officially began in the third quarter of 2007) shows why the anti-regulators are the premier job killers in America. Annual private sector gross job losses rose from roughly 12.5 to a peak of 16 million and gross private sector job gains fell from approximately 13 to 10 million. As late as March 2010, after the official end of the Great Recession, the annualized net job loss in the private sector was approximately three million (that job loss has now turned around, but the increases are far too small).

Again, we need net gains of roughly 1.5 million jobs to accommodate new workers, so the total net job losses plus the loss of essential job growth was well over 10 million during the Great Recession. These numbers, again, do not include the large job losses of state and local government workers, the dramatic rise in underemployment, the sharp rise in far longer-term unemployment, and the salary/wage (and job satisfaction) losses that many workers had to take to find a new, typically inferior, job after they lost their job. It also ignores the rise in poverty, particularly the scandalous increase in children living in poverty.

The Great Recession was triggered by the collapse of the real estate bubble epidemic of mortgage fraud by lenders that hyper-inflated that bubble. That epidemic could not have happened without the appointment of anti-regulators to key leadership positions. The epidemic of mortgage fraud was centered on loans that the lending industry (behind closed doors) referred to as "liar's" loans -- so any regulatory leader who was not an anti-regulatory ideologue would (as we did in the early 1990s during the first wave of liar's loans in California) have ordered banks not to make these pervasively fraudulent loans.

One of the problems was the existence of a "regulatory black hole" -- most of the nonprime loans were made by lenders not regulated by the federal government. That black hole, however, conceals two broader federal anti-regulatory problems. The federal regulators actively made the black hole more severe by preempting state efforts to protect the public from predatory and fraudulent loans. Greenspan and Bernanke are particularly culpable. In addition to joining the jihad state regulation, the Fed had unique federal regulatory authority under HOEPA (enacted in 1994) to fill the black hole and regulate any housing lender (authority that Bernanke finally used, after liar's loans had ended, in response to Congressional criticism). The Fed also had direct evidence of the frauds and abuses in nonprime lending because Congress mandated that the Fed hold hearings on predatory lending.

The S&L debacle, the Enron era frauds, and the current crisis were all driven by accounting control fraud. The three "des" are critical factors in creating the criminogenic environments that drive these epidemics of accounting control fraud. The regulators are the "cops on the beat" when it comes to stopping accounting control fraud. If they are made ineffective by the three "des" then cheaters gain a competitive advantage over honest firms. This makes markets perverse and causes recurrent crises.

From roughly 1999 to the present, three administrations have displayed hostility to vigorous regulation and have appointed regulatory leaders largely on the basis of their opposition to vigorous regulation. When these administrations occasionally blundered and appointed, or inherited, regulatory leaders that believed in regulating the administration attacked the regulators. In the financial regulatory sphere, recent examples include Arthur Levitt and William Donaldson (SEC), Brooksley Born (CFTC), and Sheila Bair (FDIC).

Similarly, the bankers used Congress to extort the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) into trashing the accounting rules so that the banks no longer had to recognize their losses. The twin purposes of that bit of successful thuggery were to evade the mandate of the Prompt Corrective Action (PCA) law and to allow banks to pretend that they were solvent and profitable so that they could continue to pay enormous bonuses to their senior officials based on the fictional "income" and "net worth" produced by the scam accounting. (Not recognizing one's losses increases dollar-for-dollar reported, but fictional, net worth and gross income.)

When members of Congress (mostly Democrats) sought to intimidate us into not taking enforcement actions against the fraudulent S&Ls we blew the whistle. Congress investigated Speaker Wright and the "Keating Five" in response. I testified in both investigations. Why is the new House leadership announcing its intent to give a free pass to the accounting control frauds, their political patrons, and the anti-regulators that created the criminogenic environment that hyper-inflated the financial bubble that triggered the Great Recession and caused such a loss of integrity?

The anti-regulators subverted the rule of law and allowed elite frauds to loot with impunity. Why isn't the new House leadership investigating that disgrace as one of their top priorities? Why is the new House leadership so eager to repeat the job killing mistakes of taking the regulatory cops off their beat?

William K. Black is an Associate Professor of Economics and Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He is also a white-collar criminologist, a former senior financial regulator, a serial whistleblower, and the author of The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One.
The entire article is at the link. Now it Republicans and a few conservative Democrats who forced the Obama administration to water down financial regulation. And it is almost exclusively Republicans who want to trash what financial regulation did pass - part of the tea bagger agenda. Anyone having buyers regret over voting for the most corrupt conservative House of Representatives, well since the elections of 1996 and 2000.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Getting to Know Rep. Darrell Issa

Getting to Know Rep. Darrell Issa

Rep. Darrell Issa's past includes arrests for weapons charges and auto theft, suspicions of arson, and accusations of intimidation with a gun, but you'd hardly know it from the media's recent coverage of the new chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. While Issa was substantially mentioned in 15 articles in the nation's largest newspapers since the last election -- including several major profiles -- only one of those articles mentioned any of these allegations. Likewise, interviewers did not ask Issa about his alleged criminal past in any of the cable or network interviews he sat for during that period.
Network and Cable Interviewers Won't Ask Issa About Criminal Allegations

In 11 Interviews Since Election Day, No Network Or Cable Anchor Has Asked Issa About The Allegations Against Him. Media Matters reviewed the Nexis database for cable and network interviews of Issa from November 3, 2010 through January 10, 2011. In 11 interviews on ABC, CBS, MSNBC, Fox Broadcasting Co., Fox News, and CNN, no host or anchor asked Issa about the criminal allegations that have been made against him.
Print Media Largely Overlooks Issa's Alleged Criminal Past

Only One Of 15 Articles Substantially Mentioning Issa Referenced Any Of The Allegations. Media Matters examined coverage of Issa in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Times from November 3, 2010, through January 10, 2011. Of the 15 articles in that period that included substantial coverage of Issa, only one referenced any of the allegations against him.

* Wash. Post Article Mentions In Passing Issa's Arrest For Car Theft. A 1300-word Washington Post profile of Issa published December 19, 2010, stated, "After Issa (pronounced EYE-suh) and his brother ran into trouble with the law for car theft (Issa's brother, William, claimed responsibility), Darrell Issa invested all of his savings, about $7,000, in starting a car-alarm business that he grew into a behemoth." The article did not mention Issa was also suspected of arson, accused of intimidation with a weapon, and repeatedly arrested on weapons charges. [Washington Post, 12/19/10]

The Real Issa: Suspected Arson

1982: Issa Suspected, But Never Charged, In Arson Incident At Manufacturing Plant. According to the Los Angeles Times: "A suspected arson fire ripped through [Issa's Ohio] manufacturing plant in 1982. No one was ever charged in the fire, but authorities were troubled by a dramatic escalation in the facility's fire insurance just weeks earlier. Even before the blaze was put out, investigators began peppering Issa and his partner with 'crazy questions' regarding their whereabouts before the fire, Issa recalled." [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis, emphasis added]

* Prior To Fire, Issa "Boosted" Fire Insurance And Removed A Computer From The Premises. According to the Los Angeles Times: "Weeks before the fire, Issa and [business partner Miles] Hunsinger boosted their fire insurance from $ 100,000 to $ 462,000 on property stored for other companies...At the same time, a separate company that contracted with Quantum to outfit bug zappers increased its insurance to $ 400,000, and, according to an insurance report, one investigator was 'concerned about the coincidence.' Fire investigators also noted that a computer was taken off the site eight days before the fire, 'allegedly to be reprogrammed' by Issa's lawyer, and that business blueprints were put away in a safe -- which was 'not previously done before.'" [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis]

"Suspicious Burn Patterns" And "Out Of Normal Practice" Behavior Alerted Investigators. The Washington Post reported: "Investigators reported 'suspicious burn patterns' and said the fire may have been set. A company bookkeeper, Karen Brasdovich, also told them that computers and records had been removed from the site days before the fire for no clear reason. 'It was totally out of normal practice,' she said in a telephone interview last week." [Washington Post via, 7/8/03]

AC Custom Fire: Flammable Liquid Had "Been Poured On The Only Area Not Covered By Fire Sprinklers." The Los Angeles Times reported that "seven months after Issa took control," a fire broke out at the "Quantum manufacturing plant." "Case files from Maple Heights, the Ohio fire marshal and insurers pointed repeatedly to the likelihood of arson in the blaze, which officials estimated caused $ 800,000 in damage. Although an accident could not be ruled out, the uneven and unnatural burn patterns made the blaze 'suspicious in nature,' the state concluded two months later. Flammable liquid appeared to have been poured on the only area not covered by fire sprinklers, investigators found." [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis, emphasis added]
The Real Issa: Intimidation With A Weapon

Former AC Custom Executive Claimed Issa Intimidated Him With A Gun. According to the Los Angeles Times: "One of Issa's first tasks as the new boss [of AC Custom] was to remove an executive named Jack Frantz. According to Frantz, Issa came into his office, placed a small box on the desk and opened it. Inside, he said, was a gun." [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis]

* Issa Allegedly Used Intimidation To Fire Executive Frantz. According to the Los Angeles Times, Frantz claimed, "'He just showed [the gun] to me and said 'You know what this is?' Issa invited Frantz to hold the gun at one point and told him he had learned about guns and explosives during his military days, Frantz said. Because he was about to be fired, Frantz said he saw it as 'pure intimidation.'" [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis]
* Former AC Custom Bookkeeper: "It Was Pretty Terrifying." According to the Los Angeles Times: "The bookkeeper, [Karen] Brasdovich, also recalled Issa having a gun at the company that day. 'It was pretty terrifying,' she said." [Los Angeles Times, 5/23/98, via Nexis]
Issa is the Republican point man who is going to investigate supposed "corruption" by the White House. When is someone going to hold Issa accoutable for his behavior. Should America even have representatives as mentaly unstable as Issa. Now might be a good time to ask the Republican party to do the right thing and ask Issa to do the the right thing and resign.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Republicans Ignore Constitution and Decide What Religion is American

Conservative Republican Says Muslims Aren’t ‘American’ When It Comes To War

Rep. Peter King (R-NY), the new chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, has promised to launch a series of investigations of Muslim Americans beginning in February. “I’ve made it clear that I’ll focus the committee on counterterrorism and hold hearings on a wide range of issues, including radicalization of the American Muslim community and homegrown terrorism,” he told Newsday. King has repeatedly said that he only wants to single out “Islamic terrorism” in his hearings on domestic security, and has even claimed that there are “too many mosques in this country.”

Joining anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist Frank Gaffney on Gaffney’s radio program last week, King doubled down on his promise to launch a witch-hunt against Muslims. He repeated a falsehood that he stated earlier — that American Muslims never cooperate to combat terrorism. But in addition to this claim, King made the extraordinary smear that American Muslims aren’t “American” when it comes to war. “[W]hen a war begins,” King said, every ethnic and religious group unites as “Americans.” “But in this case,” King continued, referring to Muslims, “this is not the situation. … Whether it’s cultural tradition, whatever, the fact is the Muslim community does not cooperate anywhere near to the extent that it should”:

GAFFNEY: It sounds like what you’re recognizing — thank God — is that within the Muslim community, even in this country, let alone elsewhere, folks are finding an environment in which on the one hand it is very easy to be radicalized if you will, to be brought to an adherence to Sharia which leads to jihad. But also, there’s an enomorous pressure on those within the community presumably I would imagine you agree from the Muslim Brotherhood which is much in place in this country to not to come forward, to not help us defeat what really is our common foe: namely the folks that would impose Sharia on all of us.

KING: Yeah, and Frank, this is very unusual for our country because despite a person’s ethnic background or religious background, when a war begins, we’re all Americans. But in this case, this is not the situation. And whether it’s pressure, whether it’s cultural tradition, whatever, the fact is the Muslim community does not cooperate anywhere near to the extent that it should. The irony is that we’re living in two different worlds. One is the real world that I find when I’m talking with police officers, talking with federal law enforcement authorities. And when I raise the question of Muslim cooperation, they look at me like ‘oh of course not, no there’s no cooperation, we don’t anticipate that.’ You know, ‘We never expect cooperation.’ They try but hardly ever get it.

As ThinkProgress’ Ben Armbruster has observed, King’s assertion that American Muslims aren’t cooperating with authorities and that Muslim organizations in the U.S. aren’t denouncing terrorism is simply false. At an event sponsored by the Center for American Progress, Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) reported that, “About a third of all foiled al-Qaida-related plots in the U.S. relied on support or information provided by members of the Muslim community.” Indeed, a Senagalese Muslim immigrant who works as a vendor in Times Square was the first to bring the smoking car that was part of the failed Times Square bombing plot to the police’s attention. And the father of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab — who failed in his attempt to blow up an airplane over Detroit last year — alerted U.S. authorities of his son’s “extreme radical views” months before he tried to carry out the attack.

Moreover, a study from Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy and the University of North Carolina found that “many mosque leaders had put significant effort into countering extremism by building youth programs, sponsoring antiviolence forums and scrutinizing teachers and texts.” “Muslim-American communities have been active in preventing radicalization,” said study co-author David Kurzman. “This is one reason that Muslim-American terrorism has resulted in fewer than three dozen of the 136,000 murders committed in the United States since 9/11.”
Update "As of 2006, some 212 Muslim-American soldiers had been awarded Combat Action Ribbons for their service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and seven had been killed," the New York Times reported in 2009. On Memorial Day, 2008, the organization Muslim Military Members asked that the Muslim soldiers buried in Arlington Cemetery after dying for their country be remembered:

When you wander the cemetery grounds that overlook Washington, DC, you'll notice the grave of Army Captain Humayun Khan, who lured a suicide car bomb away from the men in his charge, saving their lives but giving up his own. You might also come across the grave of Army Spc. Rasheed Sahib, an American Muslim from Guyana who was killed in Iraq as well, under mysterious circumstances. And then there's Army Spc. Omead Razani, a son of Iranian immigrants who also died in Iraq. Also, Marine Staff Sgt. Kendall Damon Waters-Bey was killed in a helicopter crash on his way to duty in Iraq. In fact, you'll find the graves of fallen Muslim soldiers and Muslim veterans in military cemeteries all over the United States, from Hassein Ahmed (Army, WWII) to Ibrahim Muhammad (Navy, WWII), from Mahir Hasan (Army, Korea) to Abul Fateh Umar Khan (Air Force, Korea).
It should go without saying that of course King - who served in the National Guard - has never laid his life on the line for his country. Unlike the Muslim who serve in America's armed forces and some of those have given their lives for our 1st Amendment guarantee of freedom to worship in the religion of our choice. King isn't an American, he is a loudmouth lizard brained nationalist. The kind of weasel who exploits prejudice for political gain.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Jim Hoft Gateway Pundit Puts up Fake Profile to Associate Loughner With President Obama

Jim Hoft Gateway Pundit Puts up Fake Profile to Associate Loughner With President Obama

In the wake of Saturday's tragic shooting in Arizona, Gateway Pundit and Breitbart blogger Jim Hoft has been on a one man mission to prove that the deranged shooter was a "typical leftist nut." This morning, Hoft posted what he seems to think is bulletproof evidence supporting this thesis, but, as is usually the case with him, it is merely evidence that someone as hackishly irresponsible as Hoft should have no role in our national political discourse.

Hoft headlines his latest post "Whoops! This Changes Things- Loughner's Hero Was Barack Obama," then proceeds to breathlessly exclaim that "Killer Jared Loughner idolized Barack Obama."

He sources this scoop to "The Examiner" "via Free Republic" and links to a blog post by Anthony Martin at In the portion of his post excerpted by Hoft, Martin writes:

Even more curious are Loughner's 'heroes.' He mentions by name Venezuelan Communist Hugo Chavez, Latin American Communist mass-murderer Che Guevara, American Socialist revolutionary Saul Alinsky, and even Barack Obama.

The link takes you to the Free Republic message board, where a commenter by the name of "Scanian" writes:

From facebook for a Jared Laughner from Tuscon, Arizona, the man named as the shooter. People who inspire him include Barack Obama, Saul Alinsky, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Huo Chavez, Noam Chomsky, Mao Tse-tung, Joseph Stalin, and Yassir Arafat. He writes "Fight the Right! Obama and the Progressives will overcome the tyrrany of big business and the racist Tea Party.


You'll notice a glaring problem with this assertion: namely, that the shooter's name was Jared LOughner, not "Laughner." (The spelling of his name was originally misreported by several media outlets.)

On Saturday, several people created fake profiles for the shooter, including this one, captured by Voices of Central Pennsylvania, a monthly community newspaper. Voices wrote that the Facebook page for "Jared Laughner" - since taken down - lists "People Who Inspire Jared" as including Obama and added: "With images of President Obama, various noted intellectuals and leftists, a statement indicating homosexuality preferences, and anti Tea Party and revolutionary slogans, it seems possible that it was a deliberate attempt to distribute disinformation."

That Hoft would reprint the outrageous assertion that Loughner idolized Obama - based on a random commenter on a fringe message board that provided no evidence for his assertion - says a lot about his complete lack of journalistic integrity. It's also completely in character for him.


Hoft has since tried to scrub his post from the internet without explanation. (Screenshot at link)
Hoft is one of those anti-American right-wing Republicans that thinks any lie, any smear, any falsehood is fine as long as it is directed at Democrats and other moderate Americans. Hoft's mental state is only a few degrees removed from nut-jobs like Loughner.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Do Newly Elected Republicans Have a Mandate on Health-Care Repeal, Taxes or Spending

Do Newly Elected Republicans Have a Mandate on Health-Care Repeal, Taxes or Spending

Despite the fact that it was entirely predictable -- one has had plenty of time to prepare oneself for the sanctimony -- the triumphalism coming from the newly ascendant GOP leadership is still stunningly annoying. You can't swing a dead donkey these days without hitting some Tea Partier newcomer to DC saying that the "American people have spoken," or that "the people sent a clear message that they want to do away with Obama-care."

But here's a memo from the real world: according to my back-of-the-envelope calculations*, 21.6 percent of eligible voters cast ballots for the GOP in 2010. Yes, a bit more than a fifth. Contrast that with 18.6 percent of those eligible to vote who "sent a message to Washington" favoring the Dems.

So, among the 41.6 percent who got off their butts and went to the polls, the GOP's spread was 3 percentage points: 21.6 to 18.6 percent.

For reference, Obama won with the support of 32.6 percent of eligible voters in 2008.

Another 1.5 percent cast votes for various third-party and independent candidates, "sending the message" that they didn't think much of either parties. If you add in the 58 percent who just stayed home, then you have the biggest group of Americans by far -- those who didn't think their vote would make a difference either way (that's the most commonly cited reason for not voting).

That tracks with the latest Gallup party ID numbers. Contrary to those in the GOP who boast of having won some sweeping mandate, fewer Americans identify themselves as Republicans than as Democrats today. But the Dems don't have cause to celebrate -- identification with their party is at its lowest point in 22 years and the greatest number of eligible voters say that they're independents (even though most of them aren't really that independent).

But what about those "divisive" health-care reforms? "Today we are taking the first step in fulfilling a key promise to the American people," said Rep. David Dreier, R-California, as he introduced the bill to repeal. Well, Gallup tells us that 54 percent of the American people aren't down with the GOP's "solution" -- pulling the plug on the new law. 46 percent favor it, 40 percent oppose it and 14 percent are flummoxed by the whole issue and don't know what to say.

But that misses a key part of the story about public opinion and health-care reform. Just a week earlier, a CNN/ Opinion Dynamics poll asked a slightly different question -- whether respondents "favored" or "opposed" the law. They got somewhat similar numbers: 50 percent opposed; 43 percent in favor and 7 percent undecided. But here's the really key point: among those who opposed the reforms, a significant number didn't like them because they weren't liberal enough.

Favor 43%

Oppose, too liberal 37%

Oppose, not liberal enough 13%

This is really important to keep in mind when conservatives start blathering on about the "will of the people" -- a majority either favor the Dems' health-care reforms or oppose them because they're too friendly to the insurance companies, leave millions without coverage and don't do enough to get costs under control. That's anything but a mandate for the GOP.
Since conservatives have always suffered from grandiose delusions and out-sized egos they will try to shove legislation through despite the fact they do not have a mandate.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Conservatives Make Public Emloyees Scapegoats for Our Economic Problems

Republicans Make Public Employees Scapegoats for Our Economic Problems

The attacks on unions and public employees is all part of the far Right's war on America's working class. They see the economy as driven by the wealthy. Where does wealth come from? The work and value produced by people who actually work for a living.

(I own the reproduction rights per my purchase agreement to the images used in this post. Anyone complaining should provide proof that I do not.)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Michele Bachmann (R-MN) - Silly and Delusional Leadership. She is an Embarrassment to America

Even Bill Kristol Thinks Michele Bachmann (R-MN)’s Opposition To Raising The Debt Ceiling Is ‘Silly’ And ‘Irresponsible’

A growing number of right-wing lawmakers have expressed opposition to raising the debt ceiling, a normally noncontroversial action that Congress has to take every few years to prevent the government from defaulting on it debt and potentially shutting down. Despite the dire consequences, conservatives are attempting to hold the debt ceiling vote hostage to extort draconian cuts to federal programs, and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) has even launched an ad campaign to stoke public support for her plan. Bachmann — whose office confirmed today that she is seriously considering a run for the presidency in 2012 — is demanding that Congress go “cold turkey” to eliminate the deficit before the debt ceiling comes up for a vote.

With a vote coming as soon as February or March of this year, even conservative stalwart Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, who says he is a fan of Bachmann, calls her plan a “silly position,” noting, “there’s no turkey cold enough to enable us to avoid raising the debt ceiling”:

When you click on the ad, you’ll read that Bachmann is asking us “to personally tell Congress not to increase the amount of money the government can borrow” by adding our names to the “Don’t Raise the Debt Ceiling” petition.

This is irresponsible. I’ve seen no plausible plan that would enable us to go “cold turkey” (to use her term) fast enough or dramatically enough that we could reduce the deficit to zero in a few months–which is what would be required if Congress were not to authorize an increase in the debt ceiling. [...]

But there’s no turkey cold enough to enable us to avoid raising the debt ceiling.

While Kristol’s comment is directed specifically toward Bachmann, it could equally apply to numerous other far-right lawmakers like Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) who are demanding equally harsh and nonsensical cuts to government spending. Already, House Republicans have conceded that they can’t even find the $100 billion they promised to cut from the budget, and as Kristol suggests, Bachmann and her comrades’ position on the debt ceiling just more rhetorical nonsense, but with very real consequences.
Like much of what modern conservatives stand for, opposing the rising of the debt ceiling is irresponsible posturing. All smoke and mirrors with no substance. One marginally reasonable Republican explains why Bachmann, Paul and other tea idiots are wrong - Conservative historian Bruce Bartlett explains why Tea Party thinking on national debt ceiling is "idiotic"

But isn't there a limit to how irresponsibly politicians can act? When the House Republicans rejected the first TARP authorization vote, the reaction in financial markets swiftly changed their minds. Wouldn't the same thing be likely to happen this time around?

Perhaps. But do we really want to pay that price? Do we really want to introduce an element of doubt into the financial markets, that a security that is primarily bought because there is assumed to be risk zero risk of default is no longer safe? There is no other security on earth that has that reputation, not even German government bonds. The U.S. Treasury is the gold standard and we have benefited enormously from this fact. Every time there is some disruption in the world financial markets, people flee to quality by buying Treasuries. As a result, we have benefited by not having to pay for the consequences of our own profligacy. Foreign central banks hold trillions of dollars of Treasuries as the backing for their own securities. The minute we introduce an element of doubt into their own minds about whether these debts will be paid, suddenly other alternative investments may start to look better to them, and we will lose market share, which will greatly increase the costs of borrowing over the long term. It's the most monumental insanity that I can even imagine.

I really don't think it makes a lot of sense to shoot ourselves in the foot, just to make an idiotic point about the debt being too large. If people really believe that, they should vote to increase taxes and cut spending, and thereby reduce the Treasury's need to borrow.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Is Obama to Blame for Higher Oil Prices

Conservatives Falsely Blame Obama Drilling Policies For Rise In Oil Prices

Conservative media figures have blamed the recent increases in oil and gas prices on President Obama's drilling policies. However, experts point to expectations of increased demand and other factors.

Beck: Oil Prices Rising Because "The Administration [Is] Making It Harder To Drill." From the January 4 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck:

BECK: I told you that they have a plan. They have a destination. They have a solution. But they needed to create the problem. Never waste a crisis. You have the solution, never waste the crisis to bring you to that solution. You create the problem so the public will beg for the solution that you have designed. What are the problems they're creating? Oil going up. Why? The administration making it harder to drill. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 1/4/11]

In Fact, Experts Point To Speculation and Boost In Demand

WSJ: Rise In Oil Prices "Has Been In Anticipation Of Improving Supply And Demand Conditions." The Wall Street Journal reported on December 30: "The 12% rise in crude oil since mid-November has been in anticipation of improving supply and demand conditions. Demand in China and better-than-expected data on the U.S economy helped push oil to fresh two-year highs this month. Now, investors appear more cautious heading into 2011." [Wall Street Journal, 12/30/10]

AEI Scholar: "We Probably Couldn't Produce Enough To Affect The World Price Of Oil." From a January 1 Greenwire report:

If gas prices keep increasing, Republicans probably will make a push on increased fossil fuel production, said Ken Green, resident scholar with the American Enterprise Institute think tank.


But experts disagreed about how much impact additional drilling could have. Crude oil is a global commodity, Green said.

"The world price is the world price," Green said. "Even if we were producing 100 percent of our oil," he said, if prices increase because of a shortage in China or India, "our price would go up to the same thing.

"We probably couldn't produce enough to affect the world price of oil," Green added. "People don't understand that."

U.S. production could be negated by decisions that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries makes, said Philip Verleger Jr., energy economist, and David Mitchell EnCana, professor of management, at the University of Calgary's business school.

"Suppose the U.S. were to boost production 1 million barrels a day," Verleger said. "OPEC has the capacity to cut 1 million barrels."

The oil industry has been able to convince people there is a connection between U.S. drilling and prices, Verleger said. [Greenwire via, 1/4/11] Experts Say "Consumption Growth In Developing Countries," Rather Than Drilling Policies, Caused Increase In Oil Prices. From a December 3 article on

The rise in oil comes on the same week that the Obama administration announced it will not allow offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico or off the Atlantic coast for at least seven more years because of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in April that killed 11 workers and unleashed about 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf.

That decision was cheered by environmental interests and Democratic lawmakers along both coasts but slammed by Republicans and the oil and gas industry who say the move will kill jobs and make America even more dependent on foreign oil.

Energy analysts though did not blame the announcement for the surge in oil prices. Instead, they pointed to consumption growth in developing nations.


Kevin Book, managing director of Clearview Energy Partners, told that his firm sees oil rising to $107 a barrel in 2013 "if economic growth follows its current trajectory."

Book explained that his firm's forecast implies that there is substantial non-OPEC slow downs at the same time as there is significant demand growing in emerging economies in Asia and other places.

"What it does is draw inventory down and lowers capacity in the system," he said. "It also pulls more OPEC oil into circulation."

The Obama administration's announcement reversed it's decision to hunt for oil and gas that the president himself announced three weeks before the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history. The oil and gas industry and many Republicans say the Obama administration is stifling domestic oil production and contradicting the will of recession-weary voters eager for new jobs.

But Book says that announcement was not a surprise and had no effect on the rise of oil. While the U.S. has an abundant supply of its own oil, environmental concerns go hand in hand with domestic production, he said.

"We're going to use OPEC's oil," he said. "The problem isn't doing business with OPEC. The problem is doing business in a world where OPEC is becoming less relevant."

"The true value of OPEC from a price stability standing to its members is predicated on the idea it has to do what it has to do or Saudi Arabia will flood the market with cheap oil," he said. [, 12/3/10]

Market Analyst Cited "Refinery Problems" Constricting Supply. From a January 3 NPR report:


As you have no doubt noticed at the gas pump, gasoline prices are back up. According to AAA's Daily Fuel Gauge Report, the national average price of a gallon of regular is now over $3. Why? Well, that's our question for Phil Flynn, senior market analyst for PFGBEST Research in Chicago.

Mr. Flynn, what's the answer? Why?

Mr. PHIL FLYNN (Senior Market Analyst, PFGBEST Research): Well, partly because the economy is getting better, believe it or not. We're seeing more demand, not only here in the United States, but throughout the globe, and that's driving up the price. But I wish that was all that there was to it. To be honest with you, what we're seeing in the price of gasoline shouldn't be happening.

SIEGEL: What are you talking about? What has happened that has aggravated this problem?

Mr. FLYNN: Well, I think if you look over the past few weeks, you have to go back to the France strikes. A few months ago, of course, because of the France austerity package, France shut down some major refineries. And when those refineries went down, Europe was scrambling to get supplies - supplies that would normally end up here in the United States.

And then after that, you had all these refinery problems. You had a refinery going down in Venezuela. You had one going down in St. Croix, one down in the East Coast. And before you knew it, we see these gasoline prices surging forward. [All Things Considered, 1/3/11] Oil Analyst Attributes Some Of Price Increase to Speculation. From a January 1 report:

Oil surge: Oil, the main ingredient in gasoline, has also been on a tear, with crude prices topping $90-a-barrel for the first time in more than two years.

Platts senior oil analyst Linda Rafield attributes some of the spike in oil prices to speculation.

"That can push prices to a level that doesn't reflect supply and demand," Rafield said. [, 1/1/11]
The modern Republican party is like a group of petulant children that are always looking for someone else to blame. They are not patriots, they're uber nationalists who only care about what is good for the extreme agenda of the conservative movement.