Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Last Call

Pennsylvania's state Supreme Court made it all but clear that the voter ID law pushed by Republicans is a serious attempt to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters in the state, and that the law is living on borrowed time as the court sent the law back to a lower court demanding that the judge who okayed the mess take a second look. Immediately.  If not sooner.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered a lower court on Tuesday to reconsider its decision upholding a new state voter ID law, saying it should be blocked if voters would be shut out this Election Day by hurdles to obtaining ID cards.

The court battle over the law passed last March by the Republican-led legislature in Pennsylvania, considered a key swing state in the upcoming presidential election, is being watched closely on both local and national levels.

The Supreme Court's ruling sends the issue back to Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson, who must reconsider his earlier decision to allow the law to go forward. He is due to rule by Oct 2.

Supporters of the voter ID law say it is aimed at ensuring that only those legally eligible to vote cast ballots. Critics say it is designed to keep minority voters, who typically vote Democratic, away from the polls.

The law mandates that all voters show either a state driver's license, government employee ID or a state non-driver ID card to vote, including in the November 6 presidential election. Similar legal battles are under way in Texas and South Carolina.

Shorter PA Supreme Court:  "You might want to reconsider that whole constitutional thing."   Needless to say, if Judge Simpson doesn't stick a fork in this thing, the PA Supremes appear to be making the very loud argument that they will block this law cold if it comes back without an injunction.

It's good news.  Hopefully this law will be dead within a couple of weeks.

Indefensible Me

Not only is the Romney campaign imploding in real time, Romney's surrogates and proxies are coming apart at the seams as well.  Take loudmouth GOP anti-Muslim bigot Rep. Peter King of New York losing his shpadoinkle on CNN versus Soledad O'Brien.

O’BRIEN: Never once in that speech, as you know, which I have the speech right here. that was — he never once used the word “apology.” He never once said “I’m sorry.”

KING: Didn’t have to. The logical — any logical reading of that speech or the speech he gave in France where he basically said that the United States can be too aggressive. [...]

O’BRIEN: Everybody keeps talking about this apology tour and apologies from the President. I’m trying to find the words ‘I’m sorry, I apologize’ in any of those speeches. Which I have the text of all those speeches in front of me. None of those speeches at all, if you go to factcheck.org which we check in a lot, they all say the same thing. They fact check this and they say this whole theory of apologies…

KING: I don’t care what fact check says.

O’BRIEN: There are fact checks. You may not care, but they’re a fact checker.

KING: No. Soledad. Any commonsense interpretation of those speeches, the president’s apologizing for the American position. That’s the apology tour. That’s the way it’s interpreted in the Middle East. If I go over and say that the U.S. has violated its principles, that the United States has not shown respect for islam, that’s an apology. How else can it be interpreted? 

Like King and by extension Romney doesn't care about the truth in the least.  Which is clearly the case here.

"I don't care what fact check says" is the Romney motto, through and through.  Now you people need to shut up and give him your money already.

The Men Who Knew Too Little

The same day the Romney campaign announced an emphasis on "specifics", Paul Ryan was telling voters that specifics now would affect their ability to compromise with Democrats after the are elected,  and the Romney camp of course wouldn't actually specifically name any of those specifics they are trying to emphasize.

Mitt Romney’s campaign promised to unveil more specifics on Romney’s campaign proposals during a conference call with reporters Monday, pushing back on bipartisan criticism that the Republican has yet to say clearly what he’d actually do in office.

But the campaign’s pledge for specifics was lacking new specifics itself — campaign officials instead listed a litany of policy proposals Romney’s already discussed on the campaign trail.

“We are looking forward to this new emphasis and renewed emphasis on why it is electing Gov. Romney and Rep. Ryan would result in better, higher take-home pay an more jobs in our economy,” Romney adviser Ed Gillespie said on the call. He promised new specifics will come in “events and remarks and background papers, surrogate efforts and paid advertising.”

Gillespie pointed to Romney’s scheduled speech at the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Monday as evidence of the new focus on specific policy details. In excerpts from the speech, Romney points to several broad policy plans he’s outlined before.

“I will send a number of programs that have been growing uncontrollably fast back to the states where I will limit their funding to the rate of inflation, or in the case of Medicaid, to inflation plus one percent,” he says in the remarks. “I will look to sharply increase the productivity of Washington by reducing federal government employment by 10 percent through attrition, by combining agencies and departments to reduce overhead, and by linking government compensation with that of the private sector. These things combined will reduce spending by $500 billion a year by the end of my first term.”

Which of course isn't specific at all.

Specifically, this is the worst campaign I've ever seen.  "I will do some stuff and we'll save have a trillion dollars a year" is not a specific set of policies, it's specifically bullcrap.

They're not even trying anymore.

Calling All Idiots

Rick Santorum, the gift that just keeps on giving, has now stated that the elite smart folks will never be on the Republican side.

So, for all the rest of you guys... great job!

Rick Santorum, the former presidential candidate, had a message for attendees of theValues Voter Summit on Saturday.
"We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country," Santorum said, according to BuzzFeed and a video posted by Right Wing Watch, available above. "We will never have the elite, smart people on our side, because they believe they should have the power to tell you what to do."

It made me laugh out loud.  So if you're not intelligent, welcome aboard!

Springfield Paper Returns To The People

As many of you know, I am a harsh critic of the News-Leader.  I feel they went from a local paper to an AP repeater, merely copying and pasting their way through their duty to educate the people of Springfield.  They have been lazy about telling the stories that matter, ones that don't make it to the AP desk.

They are finally starting to turn that around.

In an exciting new series, they are highlighting the struggles of area families.  These families can be from anywhere, and in fact at least one of them is from elsewhere, they landed in Springfield because that's where their car ran out of gas.

It's a good reminder at a time when politicians are talking about the future of the country.  We have Obama standing for empowerment, education and responsibility, an we have Mitt Romney, who talks about business priorities and success built on the backs of the common class.

This is about the people who have the most at stake in the future, because theirs isn't secure.  It's the story of people who slip between the cracks, and have the most to lose.  Or as I see them, the people Obama cares for while Romney shrugs and pays attention to his laundry list of important things.

Spend some time with Springfield’s struggling families and you will meet:
• A family living in a garage.
• A mother who went back to school only to have the economy turn against her.
• The mother of three young children who landed in a homeless shelter after her marriage fell apart.
• A married couple who gave up life as over-the-road truckers to seek financial stability for their young children.
• A young couple who want more than “low things” for their daughter.

Comparing Romney To Obama

A very intelligently written article by William Saletan compares Obama to Romney when it comes to their vision for the people, and of the people.

Mitt Romney has been caught on camera telling his donors that nearly 50 percent of Americans are dependent on government, that we’ll never take responsibility for our lives, and that it isn’t his job to worry about us.
It’s hard to salvage a presidential candidacy after saying something like that. But Romney’s supporters are doing their best. His gaffe, theyargue, is no worse than what Barack Obama oncetold his donors about voters who defend guns and religion.
So let’s compare the two episodes. Let’s see what they tell us about Romney and Obama.
He then breaks down one isolated incident regarding Obama's remarks about skepticism and conservatives. He does the same thing for the recent Romney gaffe, taking this one isolated incident and comparing what it tells us about the candidates and how they view us.

I wish he would do it over their careers, but Obama's occasional slip or slight can't hold up to Romney's offensive verbal diarrhea.  I guess this will have to do.

Portable, Mobile Minefields...Yeah, That's It

Texas Republican Michael McCaul demands we protect our diplomats, presumably with more than the thousands of Diplomatic Security Service agents we have assigned to the State Department now.  Maybe with trained attack bees or ninjas, or ninja bees, or ninjas that have throwing stars, and the throwing stars shoot bees.  That would be pretty awesome.  Anyway, much like the Bengals, we need more defense, and heads have to roll, and Justice And Freedom and stuff.

The cornerstone of diplomacy between civilized nations is the expectation that diplomats will be afforded safe haven in their own sovereign compounds, which are considered an extension of American soil. When this most basic of international principles is breached in a barbaric homicidal assault, it is time for a change in our strategy. The enemies of freedom will only be emboldened if we stand by and do nothing or simply hope that next time they won’t be successful.

That is why I am calling for a suspension of aid to Egypt and Libya until their leaders not only condemn the action of the thugs who killed Ambassador Stevens and the three Americans serving with him, but also until they can ensure the safety and security of our diplomats in their countries. This is not only common sense, it is essential. We give Egypt $1.5 billion a year and Libya $20 million. What’s more, our diplomats serving abroad risk life and limb to bring freedom to places that never had it. American diplomacy, the very thing that was threatened with the murder of our ambassador, is in part responsible for helping ensure that the citizens of Libya and Egypt have governments not born of coups or appointments, but of their choosing.     

Right.  Because cutting off foreign aid to Egypt and Libya will make them devote more resources to protect the areas around our diplomatic compounds, after all the Egyptian and Libyan governments are totally flush with cash right now to protect Americans.  Plus, collective punishment for an entire country always works, just ask the Palestinians.

Or maybe, our State Department should actually work with the governments of those countries, along with the extra forces sent by President Obama to protect the consulates and embassies, in order to secure a long-term solution for our personnel there.  It's like there's already a plan being executed to protect our diplomats.  Fancy that.

Romney's Death Rattle

How can Romney lead the country when he views half of us with utter contempt?

How dare he speak for us, telling others what we think and feel, when he does now know us?

Is America stupid enough to put this man at the helm, despite his many failings and shady characteristics?

If I could say one thing to Romney, it would be: Look here, jackass.  Look at these children with dirty feet because they have no shoes, and only two pairs of socks to their name.  Skinny not because they are fit, but because they don't have enough to eat.  Homeless despite mental illness and physical ailments.  They sure don't look lazy, well-fed and entitled to me.  They look lost, like they need a leader to help them out of the pit they are currently in. Look at the mother, standing barefoot in rubble in a garage she converted to a home.  Look at their refrigerator, empty except for a few condiments, with two weeks left to go before their food stamps arrive.  Imagine having a single tortilla with peanut butter, or going without because rations are low and the kids must eat.  A donated laptop gives the kids a chance to battle computer illiteracy, yet they are judged by Romney as failures who feel we should give them everything.  I guess she has plenty of time to feel entitled while washing her kid's clothes in the kitchen sink.

Death awaits many if Romney has his way.  That may sound melodramatic, but it's true.  Millions of people are going under, unable to afford health care or housing, even simple meals.  Romney's willing to cut them all off so "his" guys can enjoy the wealth they were entitled to by their own reasoning.  They also feel entitled to steal from the mouths of hungry babes so they can have more money than they could ever spend.  Without help, millions will starve or die for want of health care.

Romney does know business.  Especially when you define business as profit gained from the labor of poorly paid workers who never have enough so that a handful can enjoy bonuses.  That is not who I want leading this country.  How could anyone?

Either Romney loses, or we are in serious trouble.  It's just that simple.

Look at Ann Romney's words one more time:

“Well, I think the thing that I want to communicate to people, and that it's so important that people understand, is that Mitt and I do recognize that we have not had a financial struggle in our lives. But I want people to believe in their hearts that we know what it is like to struggle. And our struggles have not been financial, but they've been with health and with difficulties in different things in life,” she said, in an interview aired Sunday.
Have a tortilla and STFU, you ignorant wench.  I have gone from annoyed to afraid, from shocked to appalled. I've settled on flat out pissed off, and nothing is going to stop me from doing my part to drag these entitled pieces of crap off the board.

Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady's blog.

What Mitt Really Thinks About Americans

The rich really aren't like you and me, frankly.  And when you're talking about Mitt Romney at a private fundraiser with a bunch of other rich folks, well, the truth about what they think of American voters comes out.  David Corn:

During a private fundraiser earlier this year, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told a small group of wealthy contributors what he truly thinks of all the voters who support President Barack Obama. He dismissed these Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, who don't assume responsibility for their lives, and who think government should take care of them. Fielding a question from a donor about how he could triumph in November, Romney replied:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

Romney went on: "[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

So as far as Mitt's concerned, anyone who votes for Obama is a shiftless, lazy welfare moocher who doesn't pay income taxes and demands free health care, food, and housing from the government.  Every.  Single.  Obama supporter.

We're nothing but welfare queens and strapping young bucks on the stoop drinking 40's to Mitt.  We're parasites.  We're nothing.  And Mitt doesn't even care, doesn't even "worry about those people", because he'll get the 53% of right thinking Americans to vote for him, and then they can collectively punish the other 47%.

We're not voters to Mitt.  We're not worth worrying about.  Our concerns, our hope and dreams, our struggles and our ideas to help the country?  Doesn't matter.  We're just those people to him.  Some what, 150 million of us are just faceless drains on the economy, and Mitt Romney is just going to cut us off and give more money to the top 1%.  Charles Pierce nails Mitt to the wall:

To this moment, I guarantee you, Romney is probably astonished at what all the fuss is about. This is simply the way the world is. There is himself, Willard Romney, and his perfect family, and his perfect life, and there is The Help, and The Help gets drunk on the job, and prunes the shrubbery badly, and pockets the silverware, and makes off with the odd can of salmon out of the pantry. He is who he is today because his breeding and his genes and his god have arranged him to be through a serious of immutable laws against which only a fool or The Help would presume to argue. He is what his golden life has made him to be, and his golden life was only the bare minimum of that to which god and nature entitled him. To ask him to doubt any of this is to ask him to doubt gravity or the movement of the tides.

And it's okay, because Mitt's already justified doing this to tens of millions of Americans, because we're just those people to him. We don't matter.  Mitt will simply give the other 53% what they want and he wins.

We are coming rapidly toward a devastating confluence of two colliding panics. The Romney campaign is panicking about itself, and the Republicans are panicking about the Romney campaign. He cannot come back from this, honestly. This is who he is. This is what he believes the world to be. Half the electorate already thinks he's a fake, which means he's not a very good one. There's really only one campaign left to him now.

Unfortunately for American politics, that means only one thing. It's going to get extraordinarily dirty extraordinarily fast. There is going to be pale birtherism and barely covert racism. The body of Ambassador Christopher Stevens is going to be exhumed and used as a bludgeon. There is going to be poor-baiting, and gay-baiting, and ladyparts-baiting, and probably baiting of things I haven't thought of yet. The polite part of the campaign is going to be Romney's effort to convince You that he was really talking about Them when he was calling people moochers and sneak thieves. He wasn't talking about Your Medicare or Your Social Security. Naw, he was talking about Their greed for what You have. That's going to be the polite part of the rest of the campaign, reinforced in the lower registers by a few million in ads to make sure You remember who They are.

Now here's the question, folks.  If you're not in the top 1%, and you're not in the bottom 47%, do you think Mitt still gives a good goddamn about you?  Of course not.  But the only way his wins now is otherism on an unprecedented scale.  And it will come in a fecal landslide that only billions can buy.


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