The ennobling populism of John Mellencamp: "Small Town" and "Our Country"
said the man who is more frightening for his benign smile. To me there is no one more dangerous than a man who can call upon a sufficiently established god to justify world domination and I don't think I need to offer examples. No one more dangerous unless, of course, we add the photogenic charm and the forked tongue. What Mitt really is saying is that America is chosen to be the priest and caretaker of the planet and what he is implying is that by being its ordained leader, he's God's agent on Earth. Where and when have we heard this before? Certainly not from the founders of our Republic who took up arms against God's own chosen King.
"An eloquently justified surrender of world leadership is still surrender"
[T]he most profound significance of the invasion is that it led to the war in Iraq. Because America quickly overthrew the Taliban in a country infamous for being the 'graveyard of empires', this gave false confidence to the Bush II Administration, which concluded that it could do the same thing against the easy target of Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Thus Afghanistan was the catalyst for a greater disaster in the Gulf, which in turn accelerated the erosion of American power in the world.
Labels: Afghan War
Stewart and many other progressives remain unconvinced that the federal government has a responsibility to operate efficiently and honestly before demanding more tax dollars. But I'm not giving up. I'm determined to convince the left that class warfare is damaging America.
Evidence supporting Mr. Cantor's contention that deregulation would increase unemployment is very weak. For some years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has had a program that tracks mass layoffs. In 2007, the program expanded, and businesses were asked their reasons for laying off workers. Among the reasons offered was "government regulations/intervention." There is only partial data for 2007, but we have data since then through the second quarter of this year. [...]
As one can see, the number of layoffs nationwide caused by government regulation is minuscule and shows no evidence of getting worse during the Obama Administration. Lack of demand for business products and services is vastly more important.
These results are supported by surveys. During June and July, Small Business Majority asked 1,257 small-business owners to name the two biggest problems they face. Only 13 percent listed government regulation as one of them. Almost half said their biggest problem was uncertainly about the future course of the economy - another way of saying a lack of customers and sales.
In my opinion, regulatory uncertainty is a canard invented by Republicans that allows them to use current economic problems to pursue an agenda supported by the business community year in and year out. In other words, it is a simple case of political opportunism, not a serious effort to deal with high unemployment.
It had become obvious that Palin was not going to be a candidate. The reality is that Palin didn't stand a chance, so badly has she squandered her political capital within the Republican party over the past year with cheap stunts, such as an on-again, off-again grandiose national bus tour. Her career in national politics as a candidate is over.
The most straight-forward implication of Palin's decision – along with the announcement by New Jersey governor Chris Christie that he would not be running – is that the Republican field is set. There is now no prince across the water. That means Republican voters will either have to come to terms with Mitt Romney or the alternative, most likely Rick Perry.
So it comes down to the goober and the Gooper. Neither is a really attractive choice for the Republican party. Neither is truly going to catch fire in the general election.
Now Republicans know the trouble Democrats had in 2004. One might almost think that there's a conspiracy to trade mediocrities in order to keep the population quieted.
But I digress...
Effectively, Palin's decision hands the nomination to Obama more forcefully. Even if she had run and miraculously managed to pull in enough votes to win, her charisma might have been enough to pull off an upset. I doubt it, seriously, but then stranger things have happened. Now that she's out of the race, a more boring candidate is sure to win the nomination, and basically all Obama has to do is talk about solutions to the issues and he'll win walking away.
One advantage an incumbent President has: he doesn't have to campaign from anyplace but the Oval Office in order to win re-election. In fact, the best re-elections have seen the President looking very Presidential and the worst mistakes ex-Presidents have made have been while campaigning (think Bush the Elder at a supermarket scanner, or glancing at his watch during a debate against the Big Dog.)
One can say many things about President Obama but he has certainly looked Presidential, especially since Osama bin Laden was killed: confident, mature, articulate. He may have been lost in the early days of his administration. I chalk that up to letting others row the boat for him while he stood on the prow. Once he took charge of his Presidency and his agenda-- perhaps the best challenge he's faced has been the loss of the House-- he's seemed more statesmenlike.
I think this is why the rhetoric against him has amped up and also why the Republicans are scrambling to be dilatory and obstacles. They're running scared, and have much to be answerable for, from the Birther movement to the failures of the Teabaggers to foment the kind of political uprising they had hoped for.
So they should run scared. Obama may not have hit a might tee shot, but his approach to the fairway has put him within feet of the flag.
(crossposted to Simply Left Behind)
Joy Behar: To think that gay is a choice, I don't know how to respond to that. I mean, don't think anybody in this world wants to be gay considering all the vilification that is brought upon someone who is gay. Why would you choose that?
Cain: Well, you show me the science that it's not and I'll be persuaded. Right now it's my opinion against the opinions of others who feel differently. That's just a difference of opinions.
If Cain has not seen "the science," he clearly has never bothered to look. Based on decades of research, all major medical professional organizations agree that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American Psychological Association, the world's largest association of psychological professionals, describes sexual orientation as "a complex interaction of environmental, cognitive and biological factors." There is considerable evidence to suggest that biology, "including genetic or inborn hormonal factors," plays a significant role in a person's sexuality.
He's not running, and he says he means it this time.
Proclaiming "Now is not the time," Gov. Chris Christie announced at a jammed Statehouse news conference today that he would not seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012.
"New Jersey, whether you like it or not, you're stuck with me," Christie, 49, teased at the hour-long press conference.
"This survey shows Gov. Christie is walking away from the possibility -- at least today -- to be elected president of the United States. Whether he would have won the GOP nomination or the election will never be known, but the data indicate he had a serious chance to win it all," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Republicans also don't like people who tell you what they're thinking when what they're thinking isn't right-wing orthodoxy. And Christie has proven -- much to his credit, I might add -- that he's anything but an orthodox right-winger. For example, while there may be quite a bit to recommend him to conservatives (including to the extremist base that votes in GOP primaries), such as his penchant for union-bashing, he actually appointed a Muslim to the state judiciary and, when attacked for doing so by those on the right fearmongering about Sharia law, called such concerns "crap," pointed to the "ignorance" behind the criticism, and said he was "tired of dealing with the crazies." That's no way to talk about your own party, particularly if you want to be its presidential nominee -- which, in the GOP means cozying up to the crazies (just ask Mitt Romney).
"I heard one of these protesters said he was there because 'Capitalism was taking over Wall Street' -- like it hasn't been Capitalist for over two hundred years! What an idiot!"Well I'm assuming this guy isn't an economist any more than he might be an historian, and I'm assuming he got the information about what the "typical" loony-left and ignorant protesters are, from some artisanal propaganda source like Fox News.
Senate Democrats are scrambling to rewrite portions of President Barack Obama's jobs bill, even as Obama tries to blame Republicans for Congress' failure to act.
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell moved to call the president's bluff Tuesday by pushing for a quick Senate vote on the bill, but Democratic leader Harry Reid derailed the effort as all sides maneuvered for position in a potentially defining battle in the 2012 presidential campaign.[...]
To pay for his package of tax breaks, unemployment benefits and new spending on public works projects, Obama has proposed higher taxes on family incomes over $250,000 and on the oil and gas industry.
The first request troubles Democratic senators from states like New York, New Jersey and California, where large numbers of families could be hit by the increase. The second has drawn opposition most prominently from Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, whose state is home to numerous oil and gas operations.
The president also proposed higher taxes on hedge fund managers and corporate jet owners, but those increases, too, would disappear under the changes Reid is expected to unveil as early as Wednesday.
Look, I get there's a political calculus at play here (damned SCOTUS): millionaires are the fastest source of campaign funds for any candidate for the House or Senate, so the last thing you want to do is piss them off.
But these are "last thing" times.
And I get the whole $250,000 income problem suffered in the northeast, California, and other high tax, high income states. $250,000 really doesn't sound like much when you can easily pay $70,000 a year in rent and need two incomes to survive.
We'll adjust, Senator Reid, those of us in the bluer states who understand this is a crisis of immense proportions.
(or you could just, you know, bump that threshhold up to $300,000 or $500,000 and still capture an enormous bounty.)
And oil companies? Really, Sen. Landrieu? Do we have to look any further back than the Gulf oil spill to see how little they give a damn about the rest of us? Hell, we still have that stupid $50/barrel price floor, under which the oil companies remain subsidized!
So for the sake of a few megagiant corporations who aren't about to move their facilities in the very near future from the single busiest port in America with access to the entire North American market, you'd force 14 million Americans and their families to get deeper in the dungpile?
ARE YOU BARKING INSANE, THE LOT OF YOU???????
The protests down on Wall Street and across the nation, tens of thousands of young and disaffected people willing and able to work but unable to find a job that will pay them a decent wage and allow them to make a living, should be the first-- the FIRST AND ONLY-- consideration. You are facing an entire generation of people who will need government assistance to get off the floor and create an economy.
Think about that while you roll in your pathetic hedge fund money, Senators.
PS I'm not leaving McConnell unscathed here. His cynical political ploy is douchebaggery at its finest, but sadly, he lives down to my expectations.
|via New York Daily News|
Gov. Rick Perry and his aides in Texas have spent hours studying old footage and records of Mitt Romney, stretching back nearly two decades, building a list of issues on which they believe Mr. Romney has waffled or wavered, seeking to brand him as inauthentic.Mr. Romney's team is honing plans for an attack on Mr. Perry's readiness to be president and commander in chief. They intend to press Mr. Perry on foreign policy, demand that he produce a national jobs plan and relentlessly pursue the case that Mr. Perry is out of step with his party on how to address illegal immigration.
|Phelan M. Ebenhack / Associated Press|
|St. Petersburg Times / ZUMAPRESS.com|