Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Look Under A Rock For Him

Speaking of Newt, here's a handy table of positions he's taken in the last few years which suggest that he's actually okay with all the of the parts of "Obamacare" that he calls socialism.

Newt GingrichAffordable Care Act
Individual Mandate“You ought to either have health insurance, or you ought to post a bond.” [Healthcare Cease Fire, 2005]Section 1501: U.S. citizens and legal residents who don’t obtain coverage by 2014, pay a tax penalty.
Group Purchasing“Large risk pools…should be established so low income people can buy insurance as inexpensively as large corporations.” [Winning The Future, 2005]Section 1321: States establish health insurance exchanges to allow individuals, families, and small businesses to harness the purchasing power of large employers.
Subsidies“Some aspect of the working poor has to involve transfer of finances. To ask people in the lowest paying jobs to bear the full burden of their health insurance is just irrational.” [Healthcare Cease Fire, 2005]Section 1401: Families with incomes between 133-400% of the federal poverty line will receive premium credits to purchase insurance through the Exchanges.
Comparative Effectiveness Research“A health care system that is driven by robust comparative clinical evidence will save lives and money.” [NYT, 2008]Section 6302: Establishes a non-profit Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to identify research priorities andconduct research that compares the clinical effectiveness of medical treatments.
Improving Quality“Don Berwick at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement has worked for years to spread the word that the same systematic approach to quality control that has worked so well in manufacturing could create a dramatically safer, less expensive and more effective system of health and health care.” [Washington Post, 2000]TITLE X: Improves health care quality through numerous provisions, including the innovation of payment reform models and rewarding providers who deliver quality care.
Prevention“The 21st Century System of Health and Healthcare willpartner with you first to prevent illness and then to care for you as a patient if you become ill.” [Saving Lives & Saving Money, 2006]TITLE IV: Prevention services will be available without additional cost-sharing and the law establishes a Prevention and Public Health Fund.
Health Information Technology (HIT)Going to a paperless all-electronic system is going to save lives, it’s going to save money, it’s going to lead to better outcomes, it’s going to give us new opportunities.” [Paper Kills, 2007]The stimulus act invested in HIT and the ACA requires the government to develop standards “that facilitate electronic enrollment of individuals in Federal and State health and human services programs.”
Fraud“First, we must dramatically reduce healthcare fraud within our current healthcare system.” [Stop Paying The Crooks, 2009]The federal government has “more than tripled the amount of money it has recovered” in the past six years form fraud and the ACA includes numerous anti-fraud provisions from increasing the federal sentencing guidelines for health care fraud to appropriating an additional $350 million over 10 years to ramp up anti-fraud efforts.

Roger Ailes Must Prefer Newt

Check it out... FoxNews commits a breach of etiquette and talks about Mitt Romney once he's left the room.

If he insists on staying in the race, they'll just start running a crawl under him with a "D" after his name.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Do Your Homework!

The current crop of Republican candidates seem to share the same common flaw: they don't seem interested in learning the basics of the job. Whether it's foreign policy, American history, or their own history, they just don't seem willing to hit the books before they start talking.  However, up until now, most of them seemed at least to understand voting itself. 

Rick Perry, the man who won't even learn his own talking points, spoke today at New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

At the end of his stump speech at a town hall meeting, Perry said, “Those of you that will be 21 by November the 12th, I ask for your support and your vote. Those of you who won’t be, work hard.”
As the Boston Globe points out, "the legal voting age is 18, not 21. The date of the 2012 general election is Nov. 6."

Perry is currently polling 4th out of 8 candidates. Herman Cain is next in line. HERMAN CAIN.

Monday, November 28, 2011

People In America Lean Center-Right; Corporations Are People

Polls are one thing, but here's America voting with its dollars. And money talks.

Democratic leaders raising money to be spent on the most competitive House races in next year’s elections are doing something remarkable: outraising their Republican counterparts, despite a historic drubbing a year ago that left Democrats in the minority.

House Democrats have raised $52.1 million to the Republicans’ $48.7 million. The difference is small, but it’s significant given that no minority party has been able to get such an edge in fundraising since the 1994 election cycle.

What makes the Democratic surge in fundraising so unusual is that political money tends to flow to those in power and those with momentum. In the fall of 2007, for example, a year after Republicans were kicked out of their 12-year reign in the majority, the NRCC had a negative cash balance and had raised just $40.7 million — a roughly 30 percent drop from two years earlier. Not even a year into their new power, the DCCC had pulled in nearly $57 million and had a cash balance over $27 million by the end of October 2007.
Republicans are courting the Corporation vote, and they're going to get it. The thing that they seem to keep forgetting is that it's only one vote, one person. And there are more real people than corporations. I mean, like a lot more. Seriously, look in your phone book some time. Even in the yellow pages, the corporations are outnumbered.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Loving America By Dismantling Her Proud Traditions

What's for dinner tomorrow? Turkey? TERRORIST!

In a little-known strike against freedom, yet again, we are being forced into consuming meat slaughtered by means of a torturous method: Islamic slaughter.

Halal slaughter involves cutting the trachea, the esophagus, and the jugular vein, and letting the blood drain out while saying "Bismillah allahu akbar" -- in the name of Allah the greatest. Many people refuse to eat it on religious grounds. Many Christians, Hindus or Sikhs and Jews find it offensive to eat meat slaughtered according to Islamic ritual (although observant Jews are less likely to be exposed to such meat, because they eat kosher).

...Non-Muslims in America and Europe don't deserve to have halal turkey forced upon them in this way, without their knowledge or consent. So this Thanksgiving, fight for your freedom. Find a non-halal, non-Butterball turkey to celebrate Thanksgiving this Thursday. And write to Butterball and request, politely but firmly, that they stop selling only halal turkeys, and make non-halal turkeys available to Americans who still value our freedoms.
OMG, they're everywhere! Grow your own turkeys! And vegetables! Don't drink from public fountains! I have a friend whose friend ate some halal jerky and they totally started worshipping Allah.

I went to a number of Thanksgiving dinners where they said grace right in the room with me, and yet I'm still Atheist. Still, if she wants to open up a market for, let's say, ethnically pure turkeys with some kind of premium put on them, I suppose it won't be bad for business.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Congress Loves America, America Loves Congress

Oh, Is THAT Happening Too?

You may recall that a "super-committee" of congress was charged with finding a way to balance the budget, probably as a way to not tie up ALL of Congress so they could go on with the important business of not accomplishing other things. Well, the SC has announced that they are done with their job of not accomplishing their task.

Who is to blame?

The surest sign of who the American people will blame is this: look at the front page of the Fox News website right now. Click to read full size.

What is most noticeable is the complete absence of stories about the super-committee. Maybe they covered it yesterday, but the rest of the lamestream media seems to think that it's somehow more important than our friends in the rust belt, or Jimmy Fallon's mean joke on Michele Bachmann. Which she no doubt wouldn't have gotten anyway.

And meanwhile, also from FoxNews this afternoon:

I don't think they're gonna be able to pin this one on him.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Another Republican Job Plan

Though he's not the first Republican to suggest this, Newt Gingrich got a little attention this week over his idea to America's unemployed - fire adults and replace them with their kids.

"Core policies of protecting unionization and bureaucratization against children in the poorest neighborhoods, crippling them by putting them in schools that fail has done more to create income inequality in the United States than any other single policy. It is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, child laws, which are truly stupid.

"You say to somebody, you shouldn't go to work before you're what, 14, 16 years of age, fine. You're totally poor. You're in a school that is failing with a teacher that is failing. I've tried for years to have a very simple model. Most of these schools ought to get rid of the unionized janitors, have one master janitor and pay local students to take care of the school. The kids would actually do work, they would have cash, they would have pride in the schools, they'd begin the process of rising."
THAT'S the way to solve a bunch of problems at once! Inner city kids aren't learning? Make them take a night job to support their parents! Plus, the idea of the government running the child labor racket instead of say, American Apparel, should take all the stigma out of that situation.

And the best part of it is, it's relatively inexpensive to pay your workforce in gruel.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

More Jobs Bills From The Party Of Jobs Creators

Who stands with Walker?

...Then Walker called a special jobs-focused session of the Legislature, which he dubbed "Back to Work Wisconsin," to pass even more "job-creating" laws. At the top of the jobs agenda? Gutting the state's sex ed standards and replacing them with abstinence-only education.

A bill launched during Walker's jobs session and nearing passage in the Legislature would repeal significant portions of the state law that requires schools to provide comprehensive, scientifically accurate, and age-appropriate sex ed.
Okay, maybe the whole jobs thing was covered in there somewhere, though as the article points out, unemployment is rising in Wisconsin since Walker took office.

Anyway, the important thing is the federal level. What are they up to in Congress to put people back to work?
The House on Wednesday evening approved a controversial bill that would require all states to honor the concealed weapons permits of other states, on the strength of Republican support for the idea that different state standards should not interfere with American's Second Amendment rights.

The bill, H.R. 822, passed in a 272-154 vote in which more than 40 Democrats supported it along with all but about a half dozen Republicans.

The debate and vote in many ways pitted the Second Amendment to the Constitution, the right to bear arms, against the 10th Amendment, which aims to ensure that states retain rights not expressly given to the federal government. Republicans are frequent champions of state rights, but today argued that the Second Amendment must prevail over varying state rules related to gun permits.
That actually does potentially raise employment. It's kind of ironic - it's a republican bill that trashes state's rights, and it will boost government employment of union members, in this case police. Still, nice to know they're out there fighting for what they believe in.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Rattle Rattle Rattle

More rat-in-a-box news:

In a soon-to-be published memoir, GOP candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann accuses former President George W. Bush of “socialism” for his 2007 decision to bail out financial institutions teetering on collapse, according to reports.

“The Bush administration, which had always professed faith in the free-market system, was now reversing its course,” Bachmann writes in “Core of Conviction,” a memoir to be released Nov. 21, according to Fox News, which obtained a copy.
Though Bachmann doesn't name Herman Cain or Sarah Palin, they are also socialists because at the time they publicly supported the bailout. Socialists. Like the French.

The good news for the Republicans is that not long after November 21st, Michele Bachman will drop out of the race, citing a wish to spend more time with her family.

Quote of the Day

"Who gave you the right to occupy America?"

-Karl Rove

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

They Better At Least Cut Some Holes In That Thing

A guy I used to know was very fond of citing a research study on rats to illustrate human behavior. In the study, some rats were put in a box.When the box was at rest, the rats coexisted peacefully, respecting each other's space and only competing when food was introduced. But when scientists shook the box, the rats would turn on each other, biting and attacking each other. Unable to get the guy shaking the box, they struck out at each other.

The Republican party is a box nowadays, sitting on one of those paint mixer machines at Loewe's.

It has gotten so bad, they're starting to go after Grover Norquist.

In the past, I have spent some time explaining that Norquist represents the gravitational center of an effort at Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the conservative movement and politics in America more generally – especially Republican politics.

Slowly but surely, more conservatives and Republicans are coming to that recognition. It's a slow train only because so few with a soapbox are willing and able to explain it. Norquist has spent a lifetime building coalitions, raising money and growing power and influence.
I understand Newt Gingrich is enjoying a renaissance as a serious candidate for President. If he's smart he'll get out before the real biting begins.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sarah Didn't Move Quick Enough

She should have un-quit yesterday while the void was still open; now it looks like the tea-party sentiment is moving towards career politician, lobbyist, campaign-finance fraudster and serial adulterer Newt Gingrch. Gingrich/Cain 2011! Or Cain/Gingrich! Whichever optics work better!

I think most Republicans would agree that this is a terrible choice, and they'd hate to see them running the country, and they'd never want either of these guys as president in a million years. And at least they'd be better than that Obummer guy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Analogy Of The Day

In my continuing quest to understand what conservatives really think, I spent a little time today perusing Yes, it's true that I was actually there for a little schadenfreude over Rick Perry's debate performance last night and further exhortations for Sarah Palin to change her mind AGAIN and run for President after all.  But I found an interesting analogy instead.

This fellah, Lawrence Meyers, finds similarities between the #occupy movement and a protest he participated in in college.

Back in 1985, when I was attending Cornell University, the movement du jour was encouraging universities to divest from companies that did business in then-apartheid South Africa. At the time, my addled mind convinced me this was a great idea — despite the logical arguments from my Texan Conservative floormates that this would have zero impact on changing the government there.
So what I'm getting here is that Meyers equates big business to apartheid, a terrible evil that we are powerless to stop. Or he has favorable views of big business, much like he does of apartheid? Point is, public opinion will never end the ruthless control of big business, much in the same way that public opinion didn't stop apartheid. As you know, it flourishes today.

To be fair, another reading of the piece is that public demonstration is futile and people who participate are just fooling themselves. I'm pretty sure that what he wrote about the Tea Party rallies.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Big Journalism Throws In The Towel

How's morale over there at that big tent?

Herman Cain’s difficulties in handling a flurry of sexual harassment accusations–albeit launched by an overzealous, unfair mainstream media–have shaken confidence in his candidacy. Gov. Mitt Romney’s increasingly bold policy pronouncements may be too little, too late to convince the conservative base.

Gov. Rick Perry seems to have faded, and Newt Gingrich’s recent rise may not be big enough to establish him as the latest alternative to Romney. The other candidates are still trying to break into double digits, but aside from Ron Paul–whose isolationist foreign policy makes him unelectable–none has succeeded.

That has some analysts wondering if a new candidate might yet enter the race–and if so, who that would be.
The piece hints that it would be super-popular undefeated champion Sarah Palin. Okay by me! Go Sarah go!

This Is How The Tea Party Likes Their Heroes

Shouting down people with reasonable questions, and shutting down debate by threatening to throw their opponents out.

Joe Walsh, ladies and gentlemen - life's been good to him so far! See also Herman Cain's press conference acumen.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Assuming the Best

Among Republican Presidential candidates, Herman Cain and Mitt Romney currently seem to be in a tie for front runner. I'm interested in the notion Cain was farther ahead last week, after the first stories about his alleged sexual harassment emerged but before a few others reared their heads (nudge nudge) to make them seem credible. It seems safe to assume that most Republicans assumed it was a manufactured story and that Cain was just the victim of a smear campaign.

So here's what we can assume about Republican voters. They don't approve of a guy who spends his organization's money to solve a problem, like Mitt Romney did with health care in Massachusetts. They DO approve of a guy who spends his organization's money to HIDE a problem, like Cain did with these settlements.

This seems to me very similar to another aspect of the Republican mindset, the idea that you can "cure" someone of being gay. You can't of course. In fact, if you really pressed Republicans about this, they would not insist that homosexuality itself is a choice - after all, it would mean that all of them, at one point, chose heterosexuality. What IS a choice is whether you act gay. Ken Mehlman, for example, acted straight and was put in CHARGE of stuff. Nobody had a problem with Mark Foley until he was undeniably gay. Nobody has a problem with Rick Perry or Eric Cantor, because they're both deniably gay. Perry is probably taking it a little too far in the other direction.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Another Warning to Jewish Republicans

Earlier this week, GOP gubernatorial candidate and Kentucky Senate President David Williams fired at Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (D) for taking part in a ceremonial Hindu ground blessing — accusing Beshear of “idolatry” for attending the Hindu ceremony. On Wednesday, Williams clarified his remarks, but his clarification is even more offensive than his original statement. Although Williams says that it is everyone’s “right to be a Hindu person if they want to,” he hopes “their eyes are opened and they receive Jesus Christ as their personal savior.”
That's right Lieberman - vote with whoever you please, but remember that they're going to tie you up and baptize you first chance they get.

As it happens, I hope that Williams realizes that all organized religion is a means toward fundraising, and that he renounces them. But I'm not making laws on his behalf.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

An Image That I Wish Wasn't So Resonant

If Romney wins the nomination, it'll be Obama under that Romney mask.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Finally, Repbulicans Introduce a Jobs Bill

The Republican sponsor of a resolution reaffirming that "In God We Trust" is the national motto of the U.S. said his legislation is needed because President Obama and other public officials often forget that designation.

"Unfortunately, there are a number of public officials who forget what the national motto is, whether intentionally or unintentionally," Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) said in late Tuesday afternoon debate in the House. "There are those who become confused as to whether or not it can still be placed on our buildings, whether it can be placed in our school classrooms.

"Almost a year ago, the president in making a speech across the world said that our national motto was 'E pluribus unum,' " Forbes added. "When the Visitor Center was opened ... they did not have the national motto in there. In fact, they inscribed in the stones that our national motto was 'E pluribus unum.' "
Sorry, My mistake. I assumed by now they were going to introduce a jobs bill.

Leave Herman Alone!

Pizza magnate Herman Cain has had a rough week. Republicans are attacking him, he is trying to smooth over the discovery of a 20-year-old sexual harrassment incident by Politco, there is a scandal involving the serious misuse of political donations, and he revealed yesterday that he thinks China doesn't have nuclear weapons and he must stop them from getting some.

9-9-9 people! None of that other stuff matters! As president he will work with the congress that is attacking him (whoever is running it by then) to fix the tax code. If there is anything going on internationally, we can just, you know, sit it out for a few years. What this country needs is a guy like Cain, who knows how to create jobs, and put him in a position where he believes that he mustn't do anything to effect the creation of jobs.

Look, if Cain is out of the race, then it's a choice between a centrist who leans to the right and Romney. We can't let this happen. Let it be a choice between a black man with experience in governance and black man without any.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Wonkette was right, I shouldn't have clicked on this NSFW link. No, I'm not at work, but because Guy Fawkes masks creep me out under the best of circumstances.

Yes, it's one of the mild ones.