Monday, October 24, 2011

Last Call

Seems McClatchy has finally figured out that Republicans not only don't have any real plan to improve the economy, but are actively working to sabotage what little progress we do have.  Witness Tea Party Republican Tom Rooney of Florida:

For months, the party has focused on shrinking the government, sparking ugly battles with Democrats over the budget and the debt ceiling. But with job growth back at the top of the congressional agenda, Republican lawmakers have found themselves without a clear strategy to reduce the 9.1 percent national unemployment rate.

To many Republicans, ignoring the issue likely to define the next election is a risky proposition. While political wisdom holds that voters typically unload economic frustration on the president, lawmakers like Rooney have reason to be restless: Congress' approval rating has been in the tank for months, and tied the all-time low of 13 percent last week, according to a Gallup poll.

"We get a lot of email saying, 'We want all incumbents out. That includes you. We put you in, we'll take you out,'" Rooney said.

And so Rooney, a sophomore congressman under no obligation to lead on economic policy, crafted his own jobs bill to tout to constituents. Senate Republicans did the same earlier this month, acknowledging it was needed to show Americans the proposals they support, rather than just what they oppose.

Republicans are in real trouble here.  More and more Americans are seeing the Republicans are for nothing more than whatever President Obama isn't, they overwhelmingly approve of the measures included in the now dead American Jobs Act, and are now seeing the GOP actively blocking common sense stuff they want to see passed.  

Republicans like Rooney are desperately trying to prove they are not a Do-Nothing Congress, but for three years now they have all but opposed everything the President has asked for.  Voters gave the House keys to the GOP and the economy hasn't improved...and the GOP doesn't care about jobs, they just care about winning in 2012.

The current crop of Clown Car Kids isn't exactly making things better for them, either.  You're going to see a lot more of this as November 2012 draws closer.

Super (Volunteer) Troopers

Yet another result of the financial crisis and the Republican austerity wave at the state level:  triple the number of volunteer cops and for the first time in 25 years, the number of actual cops is now decreasing in America.

Volunteer civilians are increasingly filling police roles and nearly 12,000 police officers and sheriff’s deputies will be laid off by the end of the year as local law enforcement agencies deal with budget cuts, according to a new report from DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program. The study also shows the first-ever national decrease in law enforcement positions in the 25 years they’ve been collecting data.

“Across the country, mayors, sheriffs, and chiefs have been asked - not only to do more with less - but also to make painful budgetary cuts,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a speech on Monday. “According to a new economic outlook report that our COPS office released this week - we expect that, by the end of this year, nearly 12,000 police officers and sheriff’s deputies will have been laid off.”

And the reason why is that Bush bailed the banks out before he left office, broke the economy, and Republicans are blocking any and all efforts to make either the banks or the super rich help the rest of us out.   They scream "WE'RE BROKE!"  Raise taxes then.  Reagan did it.  Twice.  So did Bush 41.  So did Clinton.  We balanced the budget as a result.  Then Bush 43 came along.

Now he and his buddies wrecked the economy and we can't even afford cops.  The GOP plan?  Lay off these "evil government parasites" and then blame Occupy Wall Street for crime (which is complete horsecrap by the way.)

Welcome to GOP corporate America.  Hope you can afford your own public safety services.

Breaking News: Girl Shot In Neck In High School Shooting

Two schools in Fayetteville, N.C., are on lockdown after a shooting at Cape Fear High School this afternoon, NBC 17 is reporting.

A 17-year-old girl was shot in the neck at the school and has survived, although her condition is not known, the television station and the Fayetteville Observer are reporting. The girl's parents have been notified, the newspaper reports.

Parents are being asked to stay away from the Cape Fear campus, the Observer reports.

That school as well as Mac Williams Middle School have been locked down, nbc17 reports.

More details to come as the news develops. I will add any updates below.

Facepalm: Voter Registration Edition

Stop me if you're heard the one about the 91-year-old woman who couldn't stand in line long enough to register to vote.
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) — Ninety-one-year-old Virginia Lasater says she was unable to obtain a voter ID because she was physically unable to stand in a long line at a driver testing center.

Lasater told The Daily News Journal that she has voted and worked in campaigns for 70 years ( She recently moved to Murfreesboro and on Wednesday registered to vote at the local election commission.
This is someone who takes her responsibility seriously, someone who knows the value of her actions.  But really, nobody let her go to the front of the line?  Couldn't someone have brought her the paperwork to fill out or given her a hand?  That's low.  I can't imagine anyone begrudging a woman that age some special attention from workers, but it looks like "tough luck baby" was the overall response.

This Jackass Of The Week brought to you by the Volunteer State.

A Remake Of The Stand? Oh Hell Yes.

Ben Affleck’s transition from an actor-who-directs to a director-who-acts just took another interesting step today. With Oscar-bait The Town and Gone Baby Gone under his belt — and the period thriller Argo currently underway — Deadline is reporting that Warner Bros. is keen on hiring Affleck to direct its feature film adaptation of Stephen King’s epic tome The Stand.
That's a long way from confirmed, but it's enough to give me hope.  I love The Stand, and the original didn't do a bad job.  They were limited with effects at the time, and what few were required were demanding (Hand of God, anyone?).  I'm a real fan, so I overlooked the shortcomings and cheered for my heroes.  A remake could be fun, especially with the diseased apocalypse that has become popular right now in horror films.   A fresh take could have something new to offer.

Now that I've said that, let me tell you what I'm really hoping for. A tie to The Gunslinger, to bring fresh interest to the project.  I admire not wanting to start the series without commitment, but right now my favorite books of all time are growing stale while I wait patiently.  I want to see Roland and his pale blue eyes, and Oy.  Tell me Christian Slater wasn't born to play Eddie.  Give me that or give me The Talisman, but give me something.  This could all grow from a successful Stand remake, so my best wishes are with them.  There is a certain snickering snobbery that some hold against Stephen King movies, and fair enough.  The man was so vivid in his storytelling that you could see it, but special effects of the day were nowhere near sufficient.

Lining Up The Wheels

Over the weekend, CNN's Fareed Zakaria talked to Iranian President Ahmadinejad, who claimed that the United States was hated around the world for President Obama's foreign policy.

“The United States has become weaker and weaker,” Ahmadinejad sniped. “And now, they are hated in the region. They are hated in the whole world. Anywhere in the world, if you go, you see that the U.S. government is hated.”

“We must be very much happy if their policies fail everywhere in the world and we should encourage them, ‘OK, go on, go on.’ And if we were not since, we should encourage the United States to remain in Iraq and in Afghanistan because they have already been mired in those two countries.”

Which is funny, because if you listen carefully to the President's domestic critics, they're lining up their arguments with Ahmadinejad.  Take GOP "presidential hopeful" Rick Santorum on Sunday...

“We have a president that was not able to set conditions and actually have the kind of influence over the Iraqi government,” Santorum complained. “Now, three years the president has had to work with the Iraq government, to try to mold and shape that relationship. And to be in a position where really the Iranians now have more sway over the Iraqi government then the United States just shows the weakness of our diplomatic effort, the weakness of this president.”

...or Sen. Lindsey Graham...

“I want our presidential candidates to talk about foreign policy. What would you do with Gitmo, would you use it, would you let the CIA interrogate prisoners, what would you do in Afghanistan?” Graham said. “At the end of the day these decisions that President Obama is making, I think, are strategically unsound, and our people need to step up and challenge him. We’ve got a jobs problem, we’ve got a national security problem that’s growing by the day.” 

Or the rest of the Clown Car Kids.

It was an “astonishing failure” that risked all the gains made “through the blood and sacrifice” of thousands of Americans, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he was “deeply concerned” that Obama had put “political expediency ahead of sound military and security judgment.” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) cited it as another example of the president’s foreign policy weakness, and Jon Huntsman, Obama’s former ambassador to China, called it a “mistake.”

Herman Cain let stand his assessment of last weekend, in which he announced that withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan were “a dumb thing to do.”

Let's point out here that both Iran's President and all the Republicans who want President Obama's job are all saying the same thing: President Obama's foreign policy is a failure, that because of it America is weak, and our citizens are in danger.  And nobody seems to have noticed both Iran and the GOP are publicly making the same arguments against the President.

Funny how that works, eh?  What happens when your desire to defeat a man politically trumps the idea of country?  Why, you're a Republican.

Jobs Are Not My Job, Says Mitch

Ah, my senator Mitch McConnell once again showed a keen grasp on Sunday of what his constituents want from a Washington politician.

CNN’s Candy Crowley reminded the Kentucky Republican that a recent Gallup/USA Today poll found that 75 percent of Americans supported President Barack Obama’s plan to provide additional money for teachers, police and firefighters.

“Republicans helped not break a filibuster, if you will, in a procedural vote,” Crowley explained. “You basically got rid of that jobs bill which would have given money to the states, designed to hire or retain fireman, policeman and teachers. When we look at the polling, 75 percent of Americans supported that and yet, the Republicans were against it. So, how do you justify that in your mind?”

“Well, Candy, I’m sure that Americans do,” McConnell remarked. “I certainly do approve of firefighters and police. The question is whether the federal government ought to be raising taxes on 300,000 small businesses in order to send money down to bail out states for whom firefighters and police work. They’re local and state employees.”

The question is whether the federal government can afford to be bailing out states. I think the answer is no.”

Sorry unemployed Kentuckians, your senator says we can't afford to lift a finger to rehire teachers and firefighters, or to in fact do ANYTHING.  But we sure could afford a war in Iraq and to give the banks trillions, yes?  Unemployed here in the Bluegrass State?  Sorry, we're broke.  Jobs are not Mitch McConnell's job, you see.

And we're broke because we can never, ever raise taxes on our precious job creators...only that's not what the bill would have done, anyway.

"Yeah, these bills are designed on purpose not to pass,” McConnell asserted. “I mean, the president is deliberately trying to create an issue here. Look, the American people don’t think, I’m sure, that it’s a good idea. Four out of five of the so-called millionaires are business owners, over 300,000 small businesses in our country that hire people. I don’t think the American people think that raising taxes on business, small business in the middle of this economic situation we find ourselves in is a particularly good idea."

On the contrary Mitch, they think it's a great idea.


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