Thursday, February 6, 2014

Last Call For The Ransom Of Orange Chief

As any truly accomplished supervillain can tell you, villainy by committee never works, hence all the bad guys are monomaniacal tyrants and stuff.  The House GOP by comparison just looks like a bunch of dipsticks, because they can't even agree anymore on their demands for taking the country's economy hostage.

House Republicans are abandoning plans to link a debt ceiling increase to the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline or a repeal of the risk corridors provision in the Affordable Care Act, a GOP leadership aide confirmed to The Huffington Post.

"Following informal conversations with a broad range of members, it is clear we cannot get 218 Republican members to support a debt limit increase along with either Keystone or the insurance company bailout," the aide said. "We're exploring a range of other options."

While a formal offer had not been made in which a debt ceiling hike was tied to Keystone or Obamacare's risk corridors provision, those were two of the more popular proposals to emerge from a House Republican retreat last week. The latter was dealt a significant blow Tuesday when a Congressional Budget Office report found that a repeal of the risk corridors piece of Obamacare would actually increase the deficit by $8 billion over three years.

The big problem is Republicans by themselves can't pass a bill to raise the debt limit at all, and no Democrats are going to help them take the country's economy hostage and plunge us into a debt crisis.  What will happen is what always happens at this point:  the Senate will pass a clean debt ceiling hike, and Boehner will be forced to take a vote on it or be responsible for crushing the economy during an election year.  There will be enough Democrats and Republicans who do want a clean debt ceiling hike in the House to pass it, President Obama will sign it, and the Republicans get nothing.

Boehner also knows that if there's one thing that will get Obamacare off the front page, it's another government shutdown fight blamed on the GOP.  And yet all indications are by doing this, he's putting himself out of a job.

And I have no sympathy.

Assassination Tango

The video of last month's town hall meeting in Oklahoma for GOP Rep. Jim Brindenstine is making the rounds, and for good reason.  Oklahoma is the most anti-Obama state in the nation, the only state where President Obama failed to win a single county in either 2008 or 2012, and the crowd at the town hall near Tulsa proved why over and over again.

In a video circulating online, supporters of Oklahoma congressman Jim Bridenstine, called for the 'impeachment' and 'execution' of President Obama in a town hall meeting. 
"Obama is not president, as far as I'm concerned. He should be executed as an enemy combatant," said an unidentified woman in the video. "I can't tell you, or I can't say because we are in a public place, this guy is a criminal." 

Now, you would think with this being taped for posterity that Brindenstine would have enough sense to try to tamp down these Tea Party lunatics calling for the President's assassination at one of his events.

But this is the Republican party we're talking about here.

Bridenstine responded to the woman, stating "everybody knows the lawlessness of this president," however he never said anything about the execution of Obama or agreed with the women on those charges
"The only way I see out of this is to overwhelmingly change the senate, so that we can then impeach the SOB," said another unidentified woman. 
"You know, you look so sweet..." said Bridenstine to the woman.

When the Oklahoma Democratic Party asked for an apology, Brindenstine played the victim card in his statement to the press:

"A public figure cannot control what people say in open meetings. I obviously did not condone and I do not approve of grossly inappropriate language," Bridenstine said in a statement. "It is outrageous that irresponsible parties would attribute another person's reckless remarks to me."

So, check out the video and see if you can tell me where Brindenstine "obviously did not condone" the calls for the assassination of Barack Obama.

Keep up that outreach, guys.  By the way, these are the people who win when you don't vote.

Koch Blocked Again

Nothing to see here, folks.  Just top corporate CEOs and billionaire tycoons having high-level donor meetings with Koch Industries and the Americans For Prosperity political arm, making plans to buy the 2014 elections with "free speech".

The billionaire industrialists and their political operatives strive to ensure the anonymity of the wealthy conservatives who fund their sprawling political operation—which funneled more than $400 million into the 2012 elections—and to keep their plans private. Attendees of these summits are warned that the seminars, where the Kochs and their allies hatch strategies for electing Republicans and advancing conservative initiatives on the state and national levels, are strictly confidential; they are cautioned to keep a close eye on their meeting notes and materials. But last week, following the Kochs' first donor gathering of 2014, one attendee left behind a sensitive document at the Renaissance Esmeralda resort outside of Palm Springs, California, where the Kochs and their comrades had spent three days focused on winning the 2014 midterm elections and more. The document lists VIP donors—including John Schnatter, the founder of the Papa John's pizza chain—who were scheduled for one-on-one meetings with representatives of the political, corporate, and philanthropic wings of Kochworld. The one-page document, provided to Mother Jones by a hotel guest who discovered it, offers a fascinating glimpse into the Kochs' political machine and shows how closely intertwined it is with Koch Industries, their $115 billion conglomerate. 

Some more of the corporate titans dedicated to buying our political system:

The more than 40 donors courted by the Kochs include hedge fund and private-equity billionaires, real estate tycoons, and executives of top corporations, including Jockey International and TRT Holdings, owner of Omni Hotels and Gold's Gym. A number of them have never been identified as members of the Koch donor network, including Schnatter, one of the more prominent names on the list. An outspoken opponent of the Affordable Care Act, he is a longtime Republican donor who hosted a fundraiser for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. The document notes that the pizza mogul was scheduled to meet with Ryan Stowers, the director of higher education at the Charles G. Koch Foundation. (Schnatter did not respond to requests for comment.)

Yeah, and Schnatter's Tea Party politics are the main reason why I'm no longer a customer of Papa John's.  Doesn't surprise me in the least to see he's getting personal meetings with Koch bigwigs.  I wonder how Papa John's franchisees and employees feel about their company spending millions on Tea Party politics instead of cost of living increases for wages or benefits?

Ahh, but there's more.  There's always more.

Another top conservative contributor on the list is TRT Holdings' cofounder Robert Rowling, whose net worth is estimated at $4.9 billion. During the 2012 election, Rowling directed $3.5 million to American Crossroads, the super-PAC spearheaded by Karl Rove, and he cut a $100,000 check to the pro-Romney super-PAC Restore Our Future. According to the document, Rowling was scheduled to sit down with Charles Koch at the "Koch residence"—presumably a reference to the Wichita businessman's vacation home at theVintage Club, a short drive from the resort where the donor conference was held. Top Koch operatives were expected to participate in this session, including Kevin Gentry, the Koch brothers' fundraising guru; Daniel Garza, the director of theLibre Initiative, a Koch-funded organization dedicated to Latino outreach; and Marc Short, who runs Freedom Partners, the centerpiece of the Kochs' political network, which distributes donor funds to a large web of conservative nonprofit groups. (Rowling did not respond to requests for comment.) 
Other heavy hitters slated for meetings with the Koch brothers or their representatives included Carl Berg, a Silicon Valley real estate tycoon worth $1.1 billion; Ken Griffin, who founded the hedge fund Citadel and clocks in at No. 103 on the Forbes 400 (net worth, $4.4 billion); John W. Childs, a top private-equity investor; and Fred Klipsch, the chairman of the headphone and speaker company Klipsch Group.

Gotta love billionaires having conferences in Palm Springs in order to figure out how best to purchase our politicians and political system.  The corporations you buy products from are more than happy to take your money and buy political power with it.  Their goal in 2014 is to buy the Senate for the GOP, and they're well into winning.

Americans for Prosperity, the advocacy group backed by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, is emerging as the most powerful ally of the Republican Party ahead of the 2014 midterm elections, bombarding Senate Democrats with early air attacks that could help the GOP retake the Senate. 
The organization is set to announce on Thursday a three-week ad campaign against Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.), bringing to five the number of vulnerable Senate Democrats in its cross-hairs. It also is going after Democrats running for open Senate seats in Michigan and Iowa and running ads against House Democrats, including Rep. Nick Rahall (W.Va.).

Everything's for sale, folks.  America!


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