Friday, August 10, 2012

Last Call

Greg Sargent details the interesting bits of a new book about the stimulus, including a passage attributed to VP Joe Biden about the GOP deciding even before the President took office that they had to destroy him.

Biden says that during the transition, he was warned not to expect any cooperation on many votes. “I spoke to seven different Republican Senators, who said, `Joe, I’m not going to be able to help you on anything,’ he recalls. His informants said McConnell had demanded unified resistance. “The way it was characterized to me was: `For the next two years, we can’t let you succeed in anything. That’s our ticket to coming back,’” Biden says.

The vice president says he hasn’t even told Obama who his sources were, but Bob Bennett of Utah and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania both confirmed they had conversations with Biden along these lines.

Later in the book, former Ohio GOP Sen. George Voinovich confirms these orders from Mitch McConnell as well.  And the plan worked:  Republicans gained 63 House seats and 7 Senate seats by blaming the Democrats.  Even Republicans admit that the GOP Plan was in full effect from November 2008 onward:

“People were pretty demoralized, and there were two totally opposite thoughts on how to approach the situation,” a McConnell aide recalls. “One was, `we don't like the president, we ought to pop him early.’ The other was, `he’s really popular, we should work with him, because that’s what people want us to do.’ The boss’s take was: Neither." McConnell realized that it would be much easier to fight Obama if Republicans first made a public show of wanting to work with him.

And so they lied from election day and were fabulously rewarded for it, because our corporate "liberal" media was 100% compliant in selling it, especially after the ACA passed.  Now of course long-time readers will remind us that McConnell's open statement saying the number one goal of the GOP was to make Obama a one-term President isn't news, but the fix was in to sabotage the economy through inaction from the moment Obama won.  They were never, ever going to work with him.  They were only going to try to destroy him...and us along with him.

Vote accordingly come November.

Zandar's Thought Of The Day

Mistermix over at the Juice absolutely nails it:

My only concern—and this is probably just because I’ve been reading too many conspiracy sites—is the nagging feeling that Romney’s campaign is some kind of deception operation designed to hold our attention while Republicans clean up in the House and Senate races.

A thousand, thousand times this across all possible dimensions.  I'm much more worried about Rep. Todd Akin, Tea Party Douchebag, becoming Senator Todd Akin of Missouri, for example than I am President Romney.  If we lose control of the Senate, we are royally and completely screwed.

We have to keep the Senate and start taking back the House in this election, or 2014 will be too much of a long shot for us to get anything done during President Obama's final years.  And if you want to know why this happened, Chuck Pierce keeps it real:

These are some things the president of the United States cannot say but that I can say about him. Because he is a black man, he has an obligation to be grateful to the white people who voted him into office. Because he is a black man, he has an obligation not to use the full powers of his office in such a way as to alienate any of the white people who so graciously voted him into office. Because he is a black man, he has an obligation not to use the full advantages of his office in his effort to get those white people to reelect him as their president for another four years. Because those white people voted him into office, his primary job as president is to make sure his entire presidency is a demonstration of how far we've come as a nation on race, and that means he is not allowed to do anything or say anything that the white people who elected him can perceive to be divisive, because his primary function is to make them feel good about themselves. In theory, at least, all presidents are servants of the people who elected them. In the case of Barack Obama, it has seemed from the start that the idea as applied to him was more than mere metaphor. He is the first president in my lifetime whom the country felt obligated to remind that he know his place.

The notion that "this Obama boy needs to know his place" was the primary political motivation of the GOP starting from the moment he won the election.  the effort to belittle him, to portray him as an ignorant dupe, an intellectual lightweight, and as someone who constantly needs to take advice from smarter people started (while we're being honest) with the Hillary Clinton camp.

This President has been fighting "Know your role and shut your mouth" from the left and the right.  The assumption of privilege here is breathtaking, but it won't raise an eyebrow from those of us who are sadly used to this kind of behavior and have seen it all our lives.

Anyway, time to vote like your country depends on it, because it does.

The Republican War On Women Continues Unabated

Republicans continue to refuse Democrats to do anything to alleviate the unemployment crisis in the country, rather their plan is to systematically target those groups that support the Dems, and I can't think of any group that would suffer under the yoke of Republican control like America's women would.  The outrage of the moment:  GOP Rep. Todd Akin, currently in the House and recent winner of Missouri's Senate primary contest to take on Sen. Claire McCaskill, wants to do the"moderate" thing and completely outlaw the so-called "morning after" pill.

As far as I’m concerned, the morning-after pill is a form of abortion,” he told KCMO’s Greg Knapp, “and I think we shouldn’t have abortion in this country.”

Akin suggested there should be no exceptions for rape or incest. When it came the mother’s health, doctors should try to “optimize life.”

“The life of the mother, the situation there is one where I think what you want to do is optimize life,” Akin said. “You try to save the mother’s life, you try to save the child. There are certain things like, you know, you get a tubal pregnancy where the child has absolutely no chance of surviving, then you do the best you can to save the mother’s life.”

This is the guy Republicans are sending from the "purple" state of Missouri, a man who will eliminate a woman's right to choose in any and every circumstance without exceptions for rape or the life of the mother.  And keep in mind Akin's twisted logic on emergency contraception is just a step away from declaring birth control to be "abortion" as well, that needs to be outlawed by his legislation.

He'll certainly block any efforts to improve the economy as well.  Todd Akin only cares about his crazy, misogynist religious agenda...and getting elected, of course.

Mosque Fire Was Surely Intentional

(CNN) -- A mosque in Joplin, Missouri, was burned to the ground early Monday, just over a month after an attempted arson at the Islamic center, officials said.
Authorities are investigating the cause of the latest fire. The mosque's security cameras were destroyed in the blaze, according to Sharon Rhine of the Jasper County Sheriff's Office.
Kimberly Kester, another member, said the blaze was so intense that the building's bricks were still sizzling hours after the fire.
Carl Junction Fire Chief Bill Dunn called it a "complete loss."
Though investigators haven't determined the cause, Kester suspects it to be another incident of arson.
The FBI is already investigating a fire that scorched the roof of the building on July 4 and has offered a $15,000 reward in conjunction with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The bureau has released surveillance video and a photograph of a man caught on surveillance cameras throwing some sort of incendiary device onto the building in that incident.
The message is pretty clear.  In an area known for its small-minded attitude towards "other" religions, this attack on the mosque threatens members and their freedom to worship.

It is rare that I'm this ashamed of my fellow Missourians.  Right now, I am so embarrassed by these actions that I don't even have words to capture my feelings.  The locals are split between my reaction and the polar opposite.  Trust me, I've heard dozens of times how "they" deserved what happened, and the only tragedy was that there wasn't anyone inside.

Religious tolerance at its best.  

Cat Survives 20 Days As A Jarhead

A kitten is lucky to be alive after struggling for 20 days before being saved from the brink of death by a Greensburg woman.
Janine Quinn said she noticed the kitten a couple weeks ago but was unable to get to it before the kitten ran off.
She said she'd see it every now and then with the jar still stuck on its head but she was unable to save it until recently.
"I never wanted to give up on her even though it got really, really bad and I just walked around and cried the whole entire time thinking that she was gone," Quinn said.
Quinn searched for the feral cat for 20 days thinking it had died before corralling the severely malnourished cat on Friday.
"The jar was so tight around her neck I couldn't even get my fingers up there around her but it fit her head completely," Quinn said. "When I got the jar off it smelled like infection. It smelled like death. I thought she was dying. She's an amazingly lucky cat."
Lucky indeed.  Acts of kindness make all the difference to the helpless, whether it's an adult, child or animal. This woman is a hero, not only for saving the animal, but for caring so much.

We needed a happy ending, the news this week has been cruel.  Enjoy!

Cashing In Your Chips

Reuters' European econ blogger Anatole Kaletsky has a super idea:  QE3 for people, not corporations.

Last week I discussed in this column the idea that the vast amounts of money created by central banks and distributed for free to banks and bond funds – equivalent to $6,000 per man, woman and child in America and £6,500 in Britain – should instead be given directly to citizens, who could spend or save it as they pleased. I return to this theme so soon because radical ideas about monetary policy suddenly seem to be gaining traction. Some of the world’s most powerful central bankers – Mario Draghi of the European Central Bank last Thursday, Eric Rosengren of the Boston Fed on Monday and Mervyn King of the Bank of England this Wednesday – are starting to admit that the present approach to creating money, known as quantitative easing, is failing to generate economic growth. Previously taboo ideas can suddenly be mentioned.

Bush did this in 2008, remember?  Everybody got a $300 tax refund check?  Republicans thought it was a great idea.  The House passed it 380-34, the Senate, 81-16.  It had massive and overwhelming bi-partisan support.

Until January 20, 2009 that is.  Then saving the economy became "Screw you, poor people."  Ryan Cooper:

Again, I agree that moral hazard should be a consideration, especially for the richest and most powerful people and corporations, but we recognize in a crisis sometimes it’s more important to keep the system from collapsing than make sure every person gets exactly what she deserves. When we had a banking crisis, everyone agreed on this. Elites everywhere panicked, and swooped in with “incredible speed and force to bail out the financial sectors in which creditors are invested, trampling over prior norms and laws as necessary.” We’re now in the fourth year of an unemployment crisis, and it’s high time we found some similar urgency.

Nothing I haven’t said before, and still probably little chance of happening, but here’s hoping. Regular people could use a bailout every bit as much, if not more, than wealthy elites.

Which is why it won't happen.  Republicans are now committed to creation another recession through gridlock and obfuscation.  Every possible solution to our employment crisis has been blocked by Republicans for the last two years, who are basically holding the economy hostage and hoping you'll vote out President Mookie Muhammed X Bazinga and all his ACORN Thugs(tm) as a result.

The plan's not working so well for the Republicans, it turns out.

We'll see what happens.

Well, You're Right About Losing Business

...because I no longer plan to shop at Krause's Deli in Findlay Market here in Cincy after this petulant display by the owner.

The owner of a specialty deli at Findlay Market wants her store’s name removed from an ad President Barack Obama is using to defend his record on small business.

Ten seconds into the ad “Always,” a man is shown from behind, pushing up the security door of Krause’s while Obama’s voice talks about owners sacrificing to make their businesses run.

The owner of the store, Debra Krause-McDonnell, said that she did not give permission for her business to be shown and that some customers have told her they’ll no longer shop there.

“I’ve been put into a position I didn’t ask for,” she said Wednesday after the Hamilton County Republican Party sent out an email about the ad that accused Democrats of not responding to the owner’s concerns. “I’m a little angry.”

She’d be just as angry, she said, if it were an ad for Mitt Romney.

I don't buy that for a second.  Krause's Deli does a killing selling specialty cheeses at Findlay Market, and they're not exactly inexpensive.  Let me assure you that the kind of folks who can afford to shop there are more than happy to have Mitt Romney as President.  She's planning to take legal action, she says.

Good luck with that, lady.

Hamilton County Democratic Party chair Caleb Faux looked into Ms. Krause-McDonnell's complaint:

The footage was among some stock footage bought from a Cincinnati video company, Faux said. He did not know the name of the company, but said he was told by the Obama campaign that company officials said they did explain to Krause’s manager that they were filming stock footage that could be purchased and used for any reason.

Fire your manager.  Oh, and good luck selling your overpriced cheese.


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