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Thread: Puke Watch

  1. #211
    SiriuslyLong is offline
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    SiriuslyLong's Avatar
    Joined: Jan 2009 Location: Ann Arbor, MI Posts: 3,560
    You have a lot of nerve. Who uses the word "investment" instead of "stimulus" or "big government spending"? Yeap, democrats. Tax and spend democrats. The "moralists" who look at their neighbors paycheck and pass judgment that they should pay more taxes. It's disgusting BS.

    You yourself post articles on how liberals / democrats SHOULD address an issue, yet you seem to take this moral high ground when your opposing party does the same. There's a word for that.

  2. #212
    Atypical is offline

    Millionaire Nick Hanauer Shoots Down Neil Cavuto's Straw Men as He Explains Why His

    Taxes Should be Raised.

    It seems millionaire Nick Hanauer's recent op-ed on why we need to be taxing the rich in America has, as Steve Benen explained, “caused a stir, and with good reason.”

    Political Animal – Raise Nick Hanauer's Taxes: http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/pol...axes033863.php

    If Hanauer’s name doesn’t sound familiar, he’s a very successful venture capitalist, playing a role in the creation of companies like Amazon.com. This week, he took on a standard Republican talking point: the notion that job creation suffers if taxes go up on the rich. Hanauer explained very well why the GOP’s approach is backwards.

    I can start a business based on a great idea, and initially hire dozens or hundreds of people. But if no one can afford to buy what I have to sell, my business will soon fail and all those jobs will evaporate.

    That’s why I can say with confidence that rich people don’t create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is the feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion a virtuous cycle that allows companies to survive and thrive and business owners to hire. An ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than I ever have been or ever will be.

    It appears that Hanauer, unlike GOP policymakers, understands supply and demand, and that three decades of concentrating wealth at the top doesn’t create an economic base that ensures broad prosperity. Republicans can keep lavishing more and more money on the rich, but they’ll only spend so much. [...]

    Hanauer’s advice? Raise his taxes, make public investments, and get some money in the pockets of middle-class consumers.

    Digby’s take on this rings true: “This is a person who really doesn’t want to kill the golden goose of capitalism but would like to save it. It doesn’t speak well for the future of capitalism that there are so few entrepreneurs like him.”

    Damn straight.

    Be sure to go read the entire editorial here -- Raise Taxes on Rich to Reward True Job Creators: Nick Hanauer.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-1...k-hanauer.html

    Hanauer was a guest on Neil Cavuto's show on Fox Business this Wednesday and he did a great job knocking down every one of Cavuto's arguments and straw men as Cavuto desperately tried to rebut Hanauer's assertions on why the rich aren't paying enough in taxes.

    Here's the shortened version of their conversation with a tiny bit of paraphrasing and which does not reflect Cavuto constantly interrupting and talking over Hanauer.

    CAVUTO: But you pay forty percent of the taxes.

    HANAUER: That's because we have all the money.

    CAVUTO: Maybe we should find a way to lift the bottom than take it out of the hide of the top.

    HANAUER: The only way democratic capitalistic societies have ever been able to lift the bottom is by investing in capacity for the bottom. And the place you have to get that money is from the very tippy top because that's where it all is.

    CAVUTO: We have spent trillions on the war on poverty since Lyndon Johnson and the poverty percentage rate is higher than it was when he started the war.

    HANAUER: There are a million ways to go about [making people more prosperous] but the idea that the wealthy, people like me, shouldn't pay their fair share in a democratic capitalist society is ludicrous.

    CAVUTO: Rich people pay a third of their income in taxes. […] What's the fair share to you?

    HANAUER: Rates of growth were greatest when tax rates were at their highest […] The truth is that the truly rich aren't paying thirty percent. They're paying fifteen percent.

    CAVUTO: Why don't you draw the line at guys like you who are in a blessed and unique and very small slice crowd?

    HANAUER: Here's the problem, it's not a small crowd. There's a ton of people who are making this kind of dough today.

    CAVUTO: If you want to pay more Nick, write a check right now.

    HANAUER: We don't live in a volunteer society. We live in a society that requires all of us to pull together.

    CAVUTO: What about the people who don't want to pay more?

    HANAUER: Try using that attitude at the next company meeting at Fox News. I've run a lot of companies and once in a while somebody will pop up with this attitude. You know what we do with those people? We fire them, both because they're useless and they're poisonous to the culture. The simple fact is, things just don't get done on a volunteer basis.

    Hanauer also did a great job of pointing out that every civilized country and democratic society has high taxes and high government regulation and there is no country that resembles the supposed Libertarian utopia where no one pays any taxes and where there are no regulations, because those countries in reality are, as he put it, “a hellhole.”

    The only thing that could have made me happier about this interview (other than Cavuto not interrupting Hanauer and talking over him) would have been Hanauer asking Cavuto if he'd prefer to live in one of those Libertarian paradises like Somalia.

    http://crooksandliars.com/heather/mi...ts-down-neil-c

  3. #213
    Atypical is offline
    12 threats to your vote

    Intimidating letters. Pressure from employers. Phony mailers. Dirty tricksters are trying to steal the election

    By Alex Seitz-Wald

    With just 10 days left to go until the election, this is where the campaign can get a bit sketchy as candidates and their allies pull out all the stops and reach into their bags of dirty tricks to suppress, intimidate or otherwise improperly manipulate the vote. We’ve rounded up all the shadiness you should be looking out for.

    Vote by phone: Residents in Florida, Virginia and Indiana have received phone calls erroneously telling them they don’t need to show up at the polls on Election Day because they can vote by phone. The callers falsely identified themselves as actual election officials. Indiana’s Secretary of State’s office has investigated the calls and found a suspect firm, while Virginia’s State Board of Elections is currently looking into them.

    Intimidating billboards: Dozens of intimidating billboards popped up in predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods in Ohio and Wisconsin warning about steep penalties for voter fraud. Most had a large picture of a judge’s gavel and said, “Voter Fraud Is a Felony!” punishable by up to three and a half years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Others showed prisoners behind bars with a message about voter fraud. ClearChannel, which owns the billboards, said they were paid for by “a private family foundation,” but has agreed to take them down as they have a policy against anonymous political advertising. Meanwhile, the state of Pennsylvania has refused to take down billboards in Spanish telling people they need to present ID to vote even though a judge recently scrapped that requirement. There are also misleading ads on buses. Meanwhile, the state GOP-controlled government also said it won’t send out mailers informing people they no longer need an ID to vote.

    Phony letters: Voters in at least 28 counties in Florida have received bogus official-looking letters saying they may be ineligible to vote. The fake letters were sent under the names of real Florida election supervisors and stated that “information” had been discovered about their citizenship status that made them “doubt your eligibility as a registered voter.” The FBI and U.S. Postal Service are investigating.

    Wrong day: Election officials in Maricopa County, Ariz., where Sheriff Joe Arpaio is in a tough reelection battle, have twice given the incorrect date of the election to Spanish-speaking voters. First, officials sent letters in Spanish with the wrong date, then they distributed bookmarks that had the correct day in English on one side and the incorrect day in Spanish on the other. Arpaio’s campaign also dispatched a robocall suggesting it was illegal for people to have someone else deliver their early voting ballot to election officials (it’s not). Meanwhile, in Ohio, the Republican-run Ottawa County Board of Elections sent a mailer to 2,300 voters informing them that Election Day was Nov. 8 and telling them that their voting location had been moved to a building on the east side of a high school. The actual location is on the west side.

    Robocalls: Robocalls have similarly been used in the past to deceive voters about the date of Election Day, to give them false information about how or where to vote, or try to get people to stay home. Last year, the former campaign manager for former Republican Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich was convicted of orchestrating over 100,000 Election Day robocalls in 2010 telling black voters that they could “relax” at home because Democrats had already won (polls hadn’t even closed yet). Voting rights advocates say they haven’t seen these yet, but expect to as we get closer to Election Day.

    Poll challengers: In most states, political parties can send a representative to polling station to challenge the eligibility of voters they think don’t have a right to vote. This can cross the bounds into voter intimidation. In New Mexico, Republican officials conducted a training course in which they instructed poll challengers to do things they are not allowed to do, such as demand ID. Poll challengers in Roswell had to be removed by police in 2010 for intimidating voters. Meanwhile, a conservative group called True the Vote hopes to train up to 1 million monitors and challengers before Election Day. Election rights groups say the large numbers of monitors could be intimidating and discourage some people — particularly minorities — from voting.

    Last-minute purge: While several states have conducted controversial voting roll purges this cycle, especially Florida, Colorado distinguishes itself with the lateness of its most recent effort. The Republican secretary of state, who in August tried to purge thousands of alleged noncitizens from voting rolls, announced Tuesday — just two weeks before the election — that he had identified 300 more suspected noncitizens on the state’s rolls. They will be asked to prove their citizenship or face removal from the polls. The nonpartisan National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) warned that the purges have a “disproportionate chilling effect on voting by eligible Latino voters.”

    Employer pressure: Numerous cases of employers overtly or subtly pressuring employees to vote a certain way — usually Republican — have surfaced. While it’s illegal to threaten employees or offer a quid pro quo for their vote, employers can make their point clear without running into any legal trouble. Mitt Romney also personally told employers on a conference call in June to tell their employees to vote for him.

    Police warnings: While voting rights advocates say they haven’t seen it yet this year, in other cycles, letters and calls have gone out to voters, especially in minority neighborhoods, falsely claiming that you can’t vote if you have unpaid traffic tickets or owe child support. Other times, voters have been warned ominously that police will be stationed at the polls.

    Targeting registration groups: Election officials in Florida put such odious restrictions on people registering voters that many groups like the League of Women Voters pulled out of the state entirely. In Virginia, the Romney campaign recently claimed a nonpartisan registration group called the Voter Participation Center was registering dead people and dogs. The campaign tried – unsuccessfully — to get the state to shut them down.

    Polling placement: One common tactic is for partisan election officials to put polling places in obscure places so as to make it harder for voters in a certain precinct to vote. Voting rights advocates say they haven’t seen that yet either, but are looking out for it. In Ohio, Republicans tried to put the early voting location in Toledo way out in the white suburbs instead of downtown.

    Early voting timing: In Florida, Republican officials passed a law that seems aimed at cutting off black-church early voter mobilization efforts. In Ohio, Republican officials tried to make early voting polls close earlier in areas that vote Democratic, and stay open later in areas that tend to vote Republican. They were eventually rebuffed.

    Did we miss anything? Let us know and we’ll update this list as we hear about problems.

    ________________________________________________

    And every one of these scams are being done by repukes. The family-values, god-fearing, law and order hypocrites!

  4. #214
    SiriuslyLong is offline
    Guru
    SiriuslyLong's Avatar
    Joined: Jan 2009 Location: Ann Arbor, MI Posts: 3,560
    Quote Originally Posted by Atypical View Post
    12 threats to your vote

    Intimidating letters. Pressure from employers. Phony mailers. Dirty tricksters are trying to steal the election

    By Alex Seitz-Wald

    With just 10 days left to go until the election, this is where the campaign can get a bit sketchy as candidates and their allies pull out all the stops and reach into their bags of dirty tricks to suppress, intimidate or otherwise improperly manipulate the vote. We’ve rounded up all the shadiness you should be looking out for.

    Vote by phone: Residents in Florida, Virginia and Indiana have received phone calls erroneously telling them they don’t need to show up at the polls on Election Day because they can vote by phone. The callers falsely identified themselves as actual election officials. Indiana’s Secretary of State’s office has investigated the calls and found a suspect firm, while Virginia’s State Board of Elections is currently looking into them.

    Intimidating billboards: Dozens of intimidating billboards popped up in predominantly black and Latino neighborhoods in Ohio and Wisconsin warning about steep penalties for voter fraud. Most had a large picture of a judge’s gavel and said, “Voter Fraud Is a Felony!” punishable by up to three and a half years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Others showed prisoners behind bars with a message about voter fraud. ClearChannel, which owns the billboards, said they were paid for by “a private family foundation,” but has agreed to take them down as they have a policy against anonymous political advertising. Meanwhile, the state of Pennsylvania has refused to take down billboards in Spanish telling people they need to present ID to vote even though a judge recently scrapped that requirement. There are also misleading ads on buses. Meanwhile, the state GOP-controlled government also said it won’t send out mailers informing people they no longer need an ID to vote.

    Phony letters: Voters in at least 28 counties in Florida have received bogus official-looking letters saying they may be ineligible to vote. The fake letters were sent under the names of real Florida election supervisors and stated that “information” had been discovered about their citizenship status that made them “doubt your eligibility as a registered voter.” The FBI and U.S. Postal Service are investigating.

    Wrong day: Election officials in Maricopa County, Ariz., where Sheriff Joe Arpaio is in a tough reelection battle, have twice given the incorrect date of the election to Spanish-speaking voters. First, officials sent letters in Spanish with the wrong date, then they distributed bookmarks that had the correct day in English on one side and the incorrect day in Spanish on the other. Arpaio’s campaign also dispatched a robocall suggesting it was illegal for people to have someone else deliver their early voting ballot to election officials (it’s not). Meanwhile, in Ohio, the Republican-run Ottawa County Board of Elections sent a mailer to 2,300 voters informing them that Election Day was Nov. 8 and telling them that their voting location had been moved to a building on the east side of a high school. The actual location is on the west side.

    Robocalls: Robocalls have similarly been used in the past to deceive voters about the date of Election Day, to give them false information about how or where to vote, or try to get people to stay home. Last year, the former campaign manager for former Republican Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich was convicted of orchestrating over 100,000 Election Day robocalls in 2010 telling black voters that they could “relax” at home because Democrats had already won (polls hadn’t even closed yet). Voting rights advocates say they haven’t seen these yet, but expect to as we get closer to Election Day.

    Poll challengers: In most states, political parties can send a representative to polling station to challenge the eligibility of voters they think don’t have a right to vote. This can cross the bounds into voter intimidation. In New Mexico, Republican officials conducted a training course in which they instructed poll challengers to do things they are not allowed to do, such as demand ID. Poll challengers in Roswell had to be removed by police in 2010 for intimidating voters. Meanwhile, a conservative group called True the Vote hopes to train up to 1 million monitors and challengers before Election Day. Election rights groups say the large numbers of monitors could be intimidating and discourage some people — particularly minorities — from voting.

    Last-minute purge: While several states have conducted controversial voting roll purges this cycle, especially Florida, Colorado distinguishes itself with the lateness of its most recent effort. The Republican secretary of state, who in August tried to purge thousands of alleged noncitizens from voting rolls, announced Tuesday — just two weeks before the election — that he had identified 300 more suspected noncitizens on the state’s rolls. They will be asked to prove their citizenship or face removal from the polls. The nonpartisan National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) warned that the purges have a “disproportionate chilling effect on voting by eligible Latino voters.”

    Employer pressure: Numerous cases of employers overtly or subtly pressuring employees to vote a certain way — usually Republican — have surfaced. While it’s illegal to threaten employees or offer a quid pro quo for their vote, employers can make their point clear without running into any legal trouble. Mitt Romney also personally told employers on a conference call in June to tell their employees to vote for him.

    Police warnings: While voting rights advocates say they haven’t seen it yet this year, in other cycles, letters and calls have gone out to voters, especially in minority neighborhoods, falsely claiming that you can’t vote if you have unpaid traffic tickets or owe child support. Other times, voters have been warned ominously that police will be stationed at the polls.

    Targeting registration groups: Election officials in Florida put such odious restrictions on people registering voters that many groups like the League of Women Voters pulled out of the state entirely. In Virginia, the Romney campaign recently claimed a nonpartisan registration group called the Voter Participation Center was registering dead people and dogs. The campaign tried – unsuccessfully — to get the state to shut them down.

    Polling placement: One common tactic is for partisan election officials to put polling places in obscure places so as to make it harder for voters in a certain precinct to vote. Voting rights advocates say they haven’t seen that yet either, but are looking out for it. In Ohio, Republicans tried to put the early voting location in Toledo way out in the white suburbs instead of downtown.

    Early voting timing: In Florida, Republican officials passed a law that seems aimed at cutting off black-church early voter mobilization efforts. In Ohio, Republican officials tried to make early voting polls close earlier in areas that vote Democratic, and stay open later in areas that tend to vote Republican. They were eventually rebuffed.

    Did we miss anything? Let us know and we’ll update this list as we hear about problems.

    ________________________________________________

    And every one of these scams are being done by repukes. The family-values, god-fearing, law and order hypocrites!
    Yeah, those dirty tricksters don't even want to show some form of ID to vote.

    Welcome back to Siriusbuzz.

  5. #215
    Atypical is offline
    FL Gov. Rick Scott Refuses to Extend Days for Early Voting Despite Hours Long Lines

    Via Laura Conaway at MaddowBlog...

    After days of long lines and long waits for early voting, Florida Democrats asked Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, to extend early voting. It now ends on Saturday, because Republicans cut the number of days for early voting in half. Citing heavy turnout, Dems and League of Women Voters asked Governor Scott to restore voting this Sunday, the last day for "Souls to the Polls" drives before the election.

    Governor Scott said no. From the Broward/Palm-Beach New Times:

    "Early voting will end Saturday night," Scott told reporters in response to the request. "But I want everybody to get out to vote."

    Scott's Republican predecessor, Governor Charlie Christ, extended early voting in 2008 because voters were waiting in line for several hours. Then Barack Obama won the state, and Florida Republicans decided fewer days would be better somehow.

    The Palm Beach Post also notes:

    The attempt to hold down Democratic turnout is obvious. In prior years, more Democrats than Republicans have taken advantage of early voting. Many African-American church congregations organized trips to the polls after Sunday services.
    So, this year Republicans allowed only one Sunday of early voting.

    And Michael Grunwald from Time's "Swampland" blog described his own experience attempting to Early Vote under the new Republican regime in Florida earlier this week:

    I tried to vote early on Saturday, but there were two-hour lines at the only open polling station in South Beach. So I gave up. I tried again Monday, but the wait was still an hour and a half. So I decided to come back Tuesday. It took 45 minutes in line, plus 15 minutes wading through 10 pages of intentionally incomprehensible ballot questions, but I voted. If I didn’t have such a flexible work schedule—and if I didn’t write about public policy for a living—maybe I wouldn’t have.

    The fight to simply cast a vote this year in the United States is a disgrace. One which the world, once again, is watching.

    _______________________________________

    Yep! This is what they do AGAIN AND AGAIN all over the country. Voter suppression, hackable voting machines that are ALL owned by supporters of repukes, lies on billboards and in mailers that tell people that IDs are necessary and that the day to vote is a certain day that IS WRONG, and repuke state officials that try to disqualify voters on phony technicalities.

    You'd think if their ideas and plans were so good they would not have to do all this. Everyone would vote for them. It's clear that that is the reason they are doing this crap - they're phonies, liars, vicious haters and want to win anyway they can.

    And I don't respect many dems either. Go figure.
    Last edited by Atypical; 11-03-2012 at 08:53 PM.

  6. #216
    Atypical is offline

    A Quick Guide to Mitt's 10 Most Destructive Guiding Principles

    By Robert Reich

    Despite its contradictions and ellipses, Romneyism has an internal coherence.

    November 4, 2012

    By now, in these last remaining days before the election of 2012, we have learned enough about the beliefs of the Republican presidential candidate to see them as a worldview all its own – a kind of creed that explains Mitt Romney. Those who say he has no principles are selling him short.

    Despite its contradictions and ellipses, Romneyism has an internal coherence. It is different from conservatism, because it does not intend to conserve or protect any particular institutions or values. It is also distinct from Republicanism, in that it is not rooted in traditional small-town American values, nationalism, or states’ rights.

    The ten guiding principles of Romneyism are:

    1. Corporations are the basic units of society. Corporations are people, and the overriding purpose of an economy is to maximize corporate profits. When profits are maximized, the economy grows fastest. This growth benefits everyone in the form greater output, better products and services, and higher share prices.

    2. Workers are a means to the goal of maximizing corporate profits. If workers do not contribute to that goal, they should be fired. If they cannot then find other work that helps maximize profits in another company, their wages must be too high, and they must therefore accept steadily lower wages until they find a job.

    3. All factors of production – capital, physical plant and equipment, workers – are fungible and should be treated the same. Any that fail to deliver high competitive returns should be replaced or discarded. This keeps an economy efficient. Fairness is and should be irrelevant.

    4. Pollution, unsafe products, unsafe working conditions, financial fraud, and other negative side effects of the pursuit of profits are the price society pays for profit-driven growth. They should not be used as excuses to constrain the pursuit of profits through regulation.

    5. Individual worth depends on net worth — how much money one has made, and the value of the assets that money has been invested in. Any person with enough intelligence and ambition can make a fortune. Failure to do so is sign of moral and intellectual inferiority.

    6. People who fail in the economy should not be coddled. They should not receive food stamps, Medicaid, or any other form of social subsidy. Coddling leads to a weaker society and a weaker economy.

    7. Taxes are inherently bad because they constrain profit-making. It is the right and responsibility of individuals and corporations to exploit every tax loophole they (and their tax attorneys) can find in order to pay the lowest taxes possible.

    8. Politics is a game whose only purpose is to win. Any means used to win the game is legitimate even if it involves lying and cheating, as long as it gains more supporters than it loses.

    9. Democracy is dangerous because it is forever vulnerable to the votes of a majority intent on capturing the wealth of the successful minority, on whom the economy depends. The rich must therefore do whatever is necessary to prevent the majority from exercising its will, including spending large sums of money on lobbyists and political campaigns. The most virtuous among the rich will go a step further and run for president.

    10. The three most important aspects of life are family, religion, and money. Patriotism is a matter of guarding our economy from unfair traders and undocumented immigrants, rather than joining together for the common good. We owe nothing to one another as citizens of the same society.

    On Tuesday we’ll decide whether these should be the guiding principles of America.

  7. #217
    Atypical is offline

    Harry Reid Was Right About Romney's Taxes. Who Is Going To Apologize First?

    Remember when all the Republicans got outraged and called Harry Reid a "dirty liar" for saying that Mitt Romney hasn't paid taxes. Guess what, you GOP pearl clutchers?

    Harry Reid was right:

    Bloomberg finally cracked the story...

    Using a tax shelter called a CRUT (charitable remainder unitrust) that was held by the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), Mitt Romney was able to pay zero taxes (legally) every single year from 1996 to 2009. Why did he stop in 2009? Because he would make public his 2010 tax return, that is why.

    Say it with me now, you pathetic scum-sucking hypocrites: MITT ROMNEY PAID NO TAXES FOR (MORE THAN) TEN YEARS!!!!!

    So I'm sure that Reince Priebus, in his ongoing effort to represent the GOP with integrity and class, will be the first to apologize to Harry Reid.

    Right?

    Right?

    http://crooksandliars.com/nicole-bel...out-romneys-ta

    ____________________________________________

    How many of us, those who make much less, could avail themselves of an arrangement like this?

    This is another reason why he is the hypocrite, liar and fraud that he has been accused of.

  8. #218
    Atypical is offline

    Beyond the Dead End of American Electoral Politics: Rethinking the Crisis of Politics

    By Henry A Giroux,

    As Hurricane Sandy swept through the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, there was and is much concern in the mainstream press about how it will affect the upcoming presidential elections. The implication being that a natural disaster may undermine the electoral process and distort what for many is the most significant expression of democracy in American politics. Unfortunately, the problems facing the upcoming election speak less to the effects of a natural disaster than to a serious political crisis. The equation of the electoral process with the highest measure of democracy rests on two mistaken assumptions.

    The first assumption is that these elections actually provide a real set of choices for the American public. Nothing could be further from the truth. In reality, the choice is between Mitt Romney who is the titular head of a Republican party that is now largely controlled by a range of extremists. This cast of rouges includes ultra-conservative advocates of market fundamentalism and extreme religious zealots along with a mix of right-wing billionaires - all of whom are intent on destroying any vestige of the welfare state while quashing gay rights, attacking women’s rights, and suppressing voter registration turnout. On the other hand, Barack Obama is a conservative centrist who has repeatedly compromised his liberal policies on domestic issues while legitimating a range of foreign and domestic policies that have shredded civil liberties, expanded the permanent warfare state and increased the domestic reach of the punitive surveillance state.

    The second assumption that undermines the electoral process and the coming election as the highest expression of American democracy is that the process is now entirely controlled and corrupted by the power of big money. As Eliot Weinberger recently wrote in the London Review of Books, “Obama and Romney are each spending about a billion dollars to get elected—four times what Bush and Gore spent in 2000. When one adds the unregulated PACs and Congressional and gubernatorial races, the cost of this year’s election is around $6 billion."[1]

    Under such circumstances, politics dissolves into pathology as those who are able to dominate politics and policy-making do so largely because of their disproportionate control of the nation's income and wealth and the benefits they gain from the systemic reproduction of an iniquitous social order. In other words, electoral politics is rigged and any notion of politics that is willing to invest in such ritualistic pageantry adds to the current dysfunctional nature of American society while reinforcing a profound failure of political imagination.

    Elections in the United States are now characterized by the politics of a moral coma and corrupted by the pathological lies used to justify the rule of big money. John Le Carre's charge against the Bush administration that “America has entered one of its periods of historical madness,"[2] echoing the last days of the Weimar Republic, is more relevant today than it was in when he made the statement in 2003. Matters of justice, truth, responsibility and freedom have been hijacked by a savage mode of capitalism that is as ruthless as it is criminal. Manufactured idiocy reins in the dominant media and has ceded its credibility to the eithos of celebrity culture and the entertainment state.

    Fox News is the American version of Pravda and the liberal media appears delusional given its flight from any vestige of critical analysis. The issue is no longer how to work within the current electoral system, but how to dismantle it and construct a new political landscape and vision of democracy in which people can recognize themselves, a vision that connects with and speaks to the American public's desires, dreams and hopes. The American public needs a new conversation about democracy, equality and the redistribution of wealth and power. And we need to explore how such a discourse can offer the conditions for critical visions, modes of governance and policy making.

    In this instance, the debate on electoral politics is only one part of a much-needed conversation of what a democracy looks like and what it takes to make it more than a commodity for sale to the highest bidder. Some would argue that criticizing the electoral process as symptomatic of a new version of authoritarianism is a flight from political participation. Actually, engaging the electoral process as if it were the gold standard of democracy is a flight from any substantive understanding of the reality and promise of a real democracy.

    NOTES:

    [1] Eliot Weinberger, “The Republic of Entertainment,” London Review of Books (October 29, 2012).

    [2] John le Carre, “The United States of America Has Gone Mad," Common Dreams (January 15, 2003).

    ___________________________________________

    This is what we are now: A land the American Dream gone; a land of the corporations aligned with government creating the illusion we still have something to look forward to; a land of the control of dissent, like what happened to OWS, that will get you pepper-sprayed, beaten or jailed.

    This is the road to fascism - and we are almost there.

  9. #219
    Atypical is offline
    A Former Republican Insider Begs for Sanity

    Thursday, 13 December 2012 15:38 By Thom Hartmann and Sam Sacks

    The OxyContin and Viagra-soaked brain of Rush Limbaugh is warning of the coming self-destruction of the Republican Party. But, former Republican insider and Reagan staffer Bruce Bartlett knows the grim truth: The Republican Party has already destroyed itself.

    On his radio show Tuesday, Limbaugh explained what’s at stake for Republicans during the fiscal cliff debate, saying, “Barack Obama wants the Republican Party to essentially destroy itself.” He continued, “When you think of Republican Party, what do you think it stands for? Tax cuts…If [Obama] can get the Republicans to raise taxes on the rich, then…he is helping the Republicans destroy their brand.”

    Yes, by raising taxes, Rush Limbaugh’s Republican Party – that Party that’s denied thirty years of economic reality, attempted to set up an Ayn Randian paradise in America, and fear mongered everything from Muslims to socialists to gays to women – will indeed destroy itself.

    However, the actual Republican Party – the Party that existed long before Limbaugh and the rest of his rabid ilk – will not be affected at all by what House Republicans do with the so-called “fiscal cliff.”

    That’s because, tragically, the Republican Party, as we used to know it, has already destroyed itself.

    “Things have changed so dramatically since the days when I first got involved with Republican politics,” says Bruce Bartlett, a former senior policy analyst for Ronald Reagan and executive director of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress. “The Republican Party was the Party of ideas and now it’s the Party of crazy people, ignorant Tea Party people – people who know nothing and are proud of it.”

    Bartlett has a long history with the Republican Party serving as a staffer for former Congressman Jack Kemp and he also worked alongside Ron Paul, when the Libertarian icon first came to Washington, DC in 1976. Bartlett worked for Conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the CATO Institute, and he wrote columns regularly for Conservative publications like the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Times, and the National Review. As recently as just a decade ago, Bartlett was advising the George W. Bush Administration on economic matters.

    But in 2003, Bartlett, the man who claims to have made significant contributions to legitimizing supply-side economics, began to have an “existential crisis.” He was disturbed by the new Republican Party’s out-of-control spending and irresponsible tax cuts. He saw government run wastefully. And he saw Republicans committed to an unwavering denial of Keynesian economics that he knew could help us out of our economic problems in the same way they did in the 1930’s.

    He spoke out about it and was basically excommunicated from the Republican Party.

    Today, after thirty years of Reaganomics, Bartlett knows that more tax cuts and trickle-down economics isn’t the answer. “Reagan’s policies will not work today,” Bartlett told us. “Today, tax cuts will do no good whatsoever. It is the worst possible solution to any problem at all. We have a lack of aggregate demand. We need to be hiring people and building public works – that’s what the economy needs…I don’t believe in cookie cutter economics.”

    Bartlett does, however, believe in the Republican Party of Eisenhower. Unlike today’s Republicans, Eisenhower’s Republican Party could stomach a modest increase in today's taxes on the rich since the top marginal income tax rate during his time was above 90%. That was a party that promoted spending more federal money for the good of the nation; it was during the Eisenhower Administration that the Interstate Highway System was built.

    Just look at the Republican Party’s official 1956 platform and you’ll see what the Party used to stand for, and how it’s been utterly decimated by lunatics today. The planks of that platform included, “programs of assistance to the millions of workers with special employment problems, such as older workers, handicapped workers, members of minority groups, and migratory workers.”

    It included help for the low-wage workers and, “extended protection of the Federal minimum wage laws to as many workers as is possible and practicable.”

    It included help for victims of discrimination with a pledge to, “continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex.” It included support for an Equal Rights Amendment for women.

    And the official platform even gave a fervent defense of labor unions by saying, “the protection of the right of workers to organize into unions and to bargain collectively is the firm and permanent policy of the Eisenhower Administration.” Clearly today, Scott Walker, John Kasich, and Rick Snyder reside in a much, much different Republican Party.

    “The decline of the union movement has been very, very damaging to our politics,” Bartlett laments.

    Republicans like Paul Ryan, who has twice tried to end Medicare as we know it and supported plans to hand Social Security over to a ravenous Wall Street, also hang out in a different Party. Rush Limbaugh thinks Paul Ryan is “the last Boy Scout” of the Republican Party. But Eisenhower would have just called Paul Ryan, “stupid.”

    As Eisenhower wrote to his brother Edgar, in 1954, “Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things…a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid.”

    Even Richard Nixon’s Republican Party was just fine with tax rates on the rich above 70%; the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency; and support for health reform based on an employer mandate, which today is a center-piece of Obamacare.

    “The Republican Party through Reagan and the first President Bush didn’t want to abolish the welfare state…they also believed if you were going to spend money you had to raise the taxes to pay for it,” Bartlett explains.

    He went on to say, “Every Republican until George W. Bush was willing to support tax increases to pay for government…Now what has happened is they said deficits don’t matter, all we want to do is starve the beast and cut taxes…So these crazy Republicans have actually created the foundation for the very deficits that they claim they are opposed to.”

    Rush Limbaugh's Republican Party of today is no place for sane people like Bruce Bartlett who still believe in democracy and who don’t think America is best governed by a plutocracy.

    “There’s no question that Republicans hate democracy when it comes right down to it…It’s very common to hear Republicans say that people on welfare should not be able to vote,” Bartlett told us. He added: “They’re also basically racist. They don’t want anybody other than white people to be able to vote…I think one reason why they’re behaving so crazily is because they’re desperate. They know the demographic trends are all going against them and they are just holding on for dear life.”

    Bartlett then jumped on Mitt Romney’s now infamous 47% comments. “Somehow they believe, as Ayn Rand did, the rich are like John Galt…they’re the only ones who are productive. All the rest of us are just lazy bums and moochers and they carry us on their backs,” he said. “And somehow this propaganda has penetrated millions and millions of ignorant fools in the Tea Party, who are the shock troops of this revolution.”

    But, as Rush Limbaugh warns, this revolution may soon go bust when Republicans are forced to raise taxes at the end of the year. So, could this break in radical orthodoxy actually give rise to the Republican Party of yesterday that will welcome back into the fold people like Bruce Bartlett? Bartlett himself is unconvinced.

    “As long as you've got crazy Tea Party people who for some reason vote against their own direct economic interest and support the billionaires against themselves, we’re kind of stuck,” he lamented.

    _________________________________

    More real Republicans like this should speak out and criticize the current insane repukes for what they are and for what they are doing to the country.
    Last edited by Atypical; 12-14-2012 at 02:11 PM.

  10. #220
    midas360 is offline
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    Keep in mind, the rich or wealthy guy proposing he pay more taxes, doesn't really have anything to worry about. I am sure most of their assets are in some form of a trust and probably can never be touched by changes in the tax laws. These guys are set for life and I can assure you so are multiple generations down the line.
    Stock Chat Room ---> http://us12.chatzy.com/66899682019021 :money:

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