As the race begins…

As the race begins…

Well, folks, here we go.

It’s been a while in coming, but now that we’re finally loading the starting gate, it’s time to start paying attention to the horses in this race.

Trust me: This one’s going to be winner-take- all, unless something really bad happens in the next year and a half. This is a prediction and it’s not going to come as any sort of surprise if you’ve paid any attention at all to the things I’ve posted since I launched this blog.

There are two sites (and their articles) that I think you need to read and bookmark. First up:

PolitiFact.com from the Tampa Bay Times (http://www.politifact.com/).

If you think a statement is too good to be true (or too likely), check it here. This non-partisan site will debunk the statement to the best of its ability. Start here before visiting Snopes.com for anything that’s on the political spectrum, and that includes what the press has to say on the subject.

And second:

This specific article, from Daily Kos: What Happens if the Tea Party Patriots ever Do “Take Their Country Back”?. This study is as complete a damning of every GOP candidate as you’ll find.

Don’t know what the John Birch Society is? Here: Wikipedia: John Birch Society

Can’t stand Daily Kos? Here: The New John Birch Society

You can do the research yourself, by following the links in the Wikipedia article. There’s a ton of footnotes and links to external sites from the main Wikipedia page. You need to understand about reading between the lines.

Understand: If you support the Tea Party, you are supporting the next US Civil War, because that is what the GOP wants. And if they don’t get their way in 2016 because we elected Hillary Clinton, they’ll try again in 2020. And in 2024.

Mark my words: If the GOP takes the White House in 2016, there will be no returning to Democracy. None. Not in your lifetime or your children’s. Every bleak concept introduced in The Handmaid’s Tale, in Nineteen Eighty-Four, in The Prince for that matter, that will be our reality.

If you think for one moment that we can’t have a world like we had during World War II, if you think it can’t happen here, you’re wrong. A Second American Civil War isn’t just science fiction fantasy.

Start your reading now. You have roughly nine months.

Truth is in the eyes of the beholder…

Truth is in the eyes of the beholder…

It would be wrong of me to post Jim’s previous response to Bergdahl’s return and not post this.

Stonekettle Station ~ Negotiating With Terrorists: The Counterpoint

By definition, I came at the Iranian hostage crisis from the opposite side. As a Junior High student, I worked on Carter’s campaign and I would have voted for him myself, had I not been 12 at the time. I watched with horror as the capture dragged on…and on… and then watched with rage as the Reagan administration did what the Carter administration couldn’t. My rage came from elsewhere and time has proven me right concerning how those hostages were freed. I suspect more time needs to flow before we fully understand who and why the hostages were taken.

Perspective has a funny way of changing what we *know* as truth. Here’s just a taste of how the pot can call the kettle black:

Oliver North (Yes, Oliver North) Accuses Obama Of ‘Financing A Terrorist Organization’ With Bergdahl Release

Why is this so ironic? Some of you were likely too young to remember or too disaffected to pay attention to Iran-Contra back in the mid-80s. I wasn’t.

Seeing both sides of a situation without knowing all the facts, no matter how heinous the crime, is so completely and utterly unAmerican that I shudder to think what our country will become if we can’t somehow grab hold of the trolls who aren’t paid by the other side and get them to realize that they are acting as tools serving a purpose.

As far left as I am, I don’t know all the facts in this case. I wasn’t inside Bergdahl’s head, wasn’t there at his post, didn’t see his capture. I suspect that unless you are either Bergdahl himself or the Afghans who held him, you weren’t and didn’t either.

Fast forward to this week.

Daily Kos: The way back machine delivers the LOLs. Bonus Alan West LOL. Bonus Gateway Pundit LOL.

I’m telling you to look for the thinly veiled agenda behind all the hand-wringing.

In the United States of America (at least for now) by virtue of the 5th, 6th and 14th amendments to our Constitution, our citizens are considered innocent until proven guilty. Our soldiers fight and die for this principle along with all the rest. I respect the law. I just served the most recent round of jury duty and while I’m relieved that I didn’t have to sit on the jury panel for a trial, I would have done so and I would have applied the same principles to the crime and the accused.

Jim Wright presents the other side, and in his more than eloquent way, makes clear that the conversation won’t happen if all we do is swear at each other in apoplexy. Every decision we make, every opinion we hold, comes from what we have learned. When we are presented with facts we have to assess whether they are grounded in truth. If we still believe these facts after seeing all the evidence, we can then believe we know the truth. But there’s a caution in this: If we are told lies by people who have agendas we don’t know, and the people who speak are in positions of authority, it is our responsibility to investigate the agenda, not just the speaker. Even oaths can be broken if the oath-taker believes something other than the honest truth.

I have *always* been involved in politics. I have *always* been a Democrat. And I’ve gotten really good at researching what I write. If you throw up a straw man argument or fuzzy science, I WILL call you out. Your responsibility is to check your sources and make sure they’re not telling lies. If you don’t know what I mean, go back and reread everything in that Daily Kos article.

Ya know, I’ve got a lot of experience reading between the lines…

Ya know, I’ve got a lot of experience reading between the lines…

Unless you’re living under a rock (and you’re probably not if you’re reading my stuff), you already know about the blowback from the trade of former POW Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for five former residents of Gitmo, Afghan detainees we were preparing to keep indefinitely. As in forever. As in we never ever intend to close Gitmo, so long as That Black Man is President.

That’s precisely what I read right here:

In a tweet Monday morning, Johnson noted that Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) had said “if Obama’s trying to liquidate and close Gitmo through deals to release detainees, that’s illegal too.”

Illegal. Say whut?

You read that right. The GOP think it’s illegal because of this law it appears they passed.

That’s hilarious, considering we’re already in violation of the Geneva Convention. So what law are they talking about? Why, it’s our old friend, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

That’s right, friends. Almost one year ago to the day, by a 59-2 vote, the GOP secured Gitmo and are in a position to keep us from closing this facility because it would look good for the President to bring this chapter to a close.

These same disingenuous bastards will hold up the continued operation of the prison as a failing step in the President’s agenda of change. It must be HIS fault the base is still in operation. It CAN’T be us! We had NOTHING to do with it!

I call BULLSHIT.

Not only did the President talk about this with the GOP in advance of the swap, but three years of negotiations have gone by since the process began. The only ones with egg on their faces here are the GOP who worked to ensure the language got included in the NDAA, which authorizes payment to our troops on the ground.

I can’t do justice to the justifiable indignation, the gut wrenching prose and points Jim Wright has written in his latest Stonekettle Station post, but I can sure boost the signal.

We have just five months left before the 2014 elections and you have an OBLIGATION to do something about these sanctimonious, lying, manipulative bastards.

Show these obstructionist GOP bastards the door.

 

 

dis·in·gen·u·ous

dis·in·gen·u·ous

Your word lesson for the day:

dis·in·gen·u·ous

Adjective: Not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does.

Synonyms: insincere – false – devious – hollow-hearted

Okay, so I’m going to put this out there and get hammered for it, but I said almost a year ago that the GOP can’t complain about something THEY voted for in the first place. 

Forbes (2/7/2012): Congress Welcomes The Drones

My question is: Would this complainiing even be happening under a Romney/Ryan administration?

I’m sorry but signs point to No. The ACLU was unhappy with the first authorization back in 2012, so it’s no surprise they’re taking this up now. What’s surprising is how “suddenly” vehemently opposed everyone is about domestic drones. Shouldn’t they have thought about that last February? Really?C’mon, folks. Really.

And while we’re at it, this tidbit hit a couple of days ago too. Cue “I told you so” commentary:

Politics USA: The Koch Brothers Take Credit for Imposing Economic Hardship on Millions of Americans

Daily KOS: Americans for Prosperity Cheer on Sequester, claims Ownership

Just in case it wasn’t clear by reading the above, David Koch IS Americans for Prosperity (Wikipedia).

Why do we have Sequestration? Look above.

And remember, because in 2014 we have our first opportunity at payback…If we still have a country and people are still allowed to vote by then.

One month to go…

One month to go…

The end of November is often too busy to step back and look at where we are. Between prep for Thanksgiving (which came disturbingly early this year) and all the Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday-Tuesday… and so forth, it’s hard to imagine anyone actually accomplishing anything before the Advent calendars start opening on the 1st.

In my life, today is a chance to step back and remember. Two years ago, I lost a true best friend to long-term health problems that might have been diagnosed differently if the ACA were already in place and functioning, and if medical insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industries cared more about the people they serve than they do about their own pockets.

It’s a time for me to reflect on changes in the last year, but most importantly, to review a week or so’s worth of news that could escape attention in all the craziness that leads up to the “Holiday Season” in general.

I’ve been paying attention, mostly on Facebook, so here are some of the highlights (if you can call them that) of November’s last gasp.

A Minimum Tax for the Wealthy by Warren E. Buffett

New York Times: SUPPOSE that an investor you admire and trust comes to you with an investment idea. “This is a good one,” he says enthusiastically. “I’m in it, and I think you should be, too.”

Would your reply possibly be this? “Well, it all depends on what my tax rate will be on the gain you’re saying we’re going to make. If the taxes are too high, I would rather leave the money in my savings account, earning a quarter of 1 percent.” Only in Grover Norquist’s imagination does such a response exist.

Former Florida GOP leaders say voter suppression was reason they pushed new election law

Palm Beach Post: Former GOP chair, governor – both on outs with party – say voter fraud wasn’t a concern, but reducing Democratic votes was.

Judge orders tobacco companies to admit deception

Reuters: Major tobacco companies that spent decades denying they lied to the U.S. public about the dangers of cigarettes must spend their own money on a public advertising campaign saying they did lie, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday.

Senators Make Bid To End Indefinite Detention In NDAA

Huffington Post: A bipartisan group of senators made a bid Wednesday to end the indefinite military detention of Americans in the United States.

Declaring that a provision of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 put the country on a path to repeat the shame of World War II’s internment camps, they argued the offending language should be stricken in this year’s defense bill.

Michigan Public School System being destroyed. RIGHT NOW.(UPDATE x11)

Daily KOS: If you or anyone you know and care about live in Michigan, or if you care whatsoever about the public school system in this country–or, for that matter, education of our children in general–I urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to read up on Michigan State House Bills 6004 & 5923, and State Senate Bills 1358 & 620.

Robertson tells Christians: Radiocarbon dating proves no dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark

Raw Story: Televangelist Pat Robertson says that radiocarbon dating proves that the Earth is older than 6,000 years — and he’s telling Christians not to “cover it up.”

On Tuesday’s 700 Club, a viewer wrote Robertson that her “biggest fear is to not have my children and husband next to me in God’s Kingdom” because they question why the Bible could not explain the existence of dinosaurs.

And finally (because I can’t resist one last dig):

Romney’s final share of the vote? You guessed it: 47 percent.

Washington Post: Call it irony or call it coincidence: Mitt Romney’s share of the popular vote in the 2012 presidential race is very likely to be 47 percent.


Mitt Romney addresses the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) annual convention in Houston on July 11, 2012. (NICHOLAS KAMM – AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

Romney’s campaign, of course, was doomed in large part by comments made on a hidden camera in which he suggested that 47 percent of the country was so reliant on government services that those people would never vote for him.

Hostile Hostess…

Hostile Hostess…

Egon and the Twinkie from GhostbustersDr. Egon Spengler: [about the storage facility] Wow, its getting crowded in there and these readings point to something big on the horizon.
Winston Zeddemore: What do you mean big?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Well,
[shows a twinkie]
Dr. Egon Spengler: let’s say this twinkie represents all of the psycho kenetic energy in the New York area. According to this morning’s sample it will be a twinkie, 35 feet long and weighing approximately 600 pounds.
[Ray coughs, in disbelief]
Winston Zeddemore: That’s a big twinkie.

–Ghostbusters, 1964

On Wednesday, November, 14, news broke that Hostess Brands was threatening striking workers with bankruptcy liquidation if they didn’t return to work by 5pm November 16th. Management made good on their threat, prompting layoffs for 18,500 workers (far more than belonged to the The Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union, which went on strike Nov. 9), but not without repercussions. And not without feathering their own nests first.

Daily Kos reports that Hostess Brands lied when the company blamed striking union workers for the bankruptcy. That lie is bad enough, but it’s come to light that Hostess’ CEO and top officers took an enormous raise just before shuttering on the 16th.

It’s unlikely that this is the end for some of Hostess’ top products, however. The Washington Post is among news sources that report BloombergHostes20121117″ target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>Hostess may attract bids from other companies for its most popular brands. The article includes a timeline for the American fixture’s death-spiral demise.

The money quote from the article:

The crisis facing Hostess Brands is the result of nearly a decade of financial and operational mismanagement that resulted in two bankruptcies, mountains of debt, declining sales and lost market share,” the union said Nov. 15 in a statement. Hostess “attempted to resolve the mess by attacking the company’s most valuable asset — its workers.

Demonizing unions isn’t new, but the contrast between Hostess’ accusations and the pre-bankruptcy raises for its top employees should serve as a reminder of how corporate greed and commercial gain often outstrip good business practices. Hostess could have taken the opportunity to change their business model and find a new niche in the growing market for healthier snacks. They opted instead to stick to the original formula, driving sales down. They went out of business in a spectacularly self-serving grab for last-minute dollars at the expense of their employees.

Privately held  companies can do whatever they want, but consumers owe it to themselves to pay attention to these lessons.

My heart goes out to those who will find themselves on the unemployment line just before Thanksgiving. Here’s hoping they can find something to be thankful for this year.

Connecting the Dots…

Connecting the Dots…

UPDATE (10/26/12): It appears the news is heating up. Thanks to the Daily Kos, we may well be looking at the real smoking gun in this campaign. Whether it’s enough to take away Romney’s momentum and make even the staunchest racist Republican vote elsewhere remains to be seen. After all, there are those in the Republican party who simply can’t abide a black man in office.

Sometimes it’s terribly hard to see the big picture, especially when people go to great lengths to keep us from seeing more than little bits and pieces.

I’ve been checking my feed and seeing what I’ve missed over the last couple of days, so forgive me if this is coming as a surprise to you. I’m shocked I didn’t see the connection before, but as the writer in the piece from the Daily Kos says, it’s hard to catch everything unless you’re really looking for it.

What? Miss what?

I just spent some time catching up on video I should have watched a while ago. I suspect I can be forgiven for missing this, but the video came so early in the race, Romney was still fighting against his opponents prior to the RNC, there was still too much noise to filter.

From ABC News, aired March 2, 2012, just four days before Super Tuesday, this should have blown Romney’s candidacy out of the water, but it didn’t because it’s been forgotten. Seems his base has Romnesia too.

But here’s the thing: When I posted my own story on the barrage of information hitting my screen, I missed a huge connection thanks to burn-out and a sudden intensification of work at the office. Thanks to a friend, I’ve read all these articles. They add up. In fact, they leave me wondering if this is the very thing Ann Romney’s worried about.

See, here’s the thing. Over the last few weeks, we’ve heard more and more about Sensata, Bainport, and Romney’s disinterest in helping keep American jobs from being shipped overseas to China. So what does that have to do with the video above? Not much, except to question Romney’s ethics again, only…wait for it…this isn’t the first time Bain was implicated in forcing jobs related to the automotive industry to move overseas.

In 2008, Ann Romney made a ton of money because the manager of her “blind” trust bought out Delphi and–yes, that’s right–shipped their jobs to China.

Don’t believe me. Read the articles below. Ever since Ryan’s flap at the soup kitchen, which now strikes me as the tempest in a teapot it really was, these articles have been popping out in various places.  These guys are experts at smoke-screens.

The Nation got there first, though, two days after Ryan’s disastrous photo op.

Romney’s had Harvard lawyer’s training, even if he doesn’t practice at the Bar. He knows how to cover his tracks. So why is his tax form such a big deal when his father’s opinion was so clear on the subject?

Well, just how would it look if you and your wife took a direct profit from American jobs being shipped overseas, and from the bankrupting of GM? Not so good, I’m thinking, especially for those hundreds of thousands of people who are out of manufacturing jobs thanks to the screeching halt of auto sales right in the middle of the financial crisis?

Read these and get back to me. Take your time. I’ll be here.

October 17, 2012:

The Nation (November 5 Edition): Mitt Romney’s Bailout Bonanza

Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012:

Dayton Daily News: Report: Romney benefited from Delphi bankruptcy

Saturday, October 20, 2012:

Daily Kos: Sensata, Delphi, GM, Auto Bailout, and Romney. The Solution is Free Markets?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012:

The Huffington Post (10:10pm): Mitt Romney Profited By At Least $15.3 Million From Auto Bailout: Report

36 Windows: October 15, 2012 – Election 2012

36 Windows: October 15, 2012 – Election 2012

There’s a LOT of reading to do on this page, but each link has value in identifying the issues we need to consider when choosing our leaders for the coming two (House), four (President) or six (Senate) years.

I may already have published one or more of these links, but if so, I think the subject’s that important and bears a re-read.

I’ve broken the page into Presidential Election, Romney, Ryan, Obama, and Congress, based on the subject.

Presidential Election

November 7th
Though their agendas are hidden, both Romney and Obama have plans to dramatically remake the size and character of American government. Very, very quickly. (New York Magazine):
http://nymag.com/news/politics/elections-2012/obama-romney-economic-plans-2012-10/

The Final Word on Mitt Romney’s Tax Plan (Bloomberg):
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-12/the-final-word-on-mitt-romney-s-tax-plan.html

Ryan’s Budget: The Most Fraudulent Proposal in American History (Economist’s View): http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2012/08/ryans-budget-the-most-fraudulent-proposal-in-american-history.html

Romney

Romney Ignores Bainport While Trying to Take Back 47% Comments (PoliticsUSA):
http://www.politicususa.com/mitt-romney-47-comments-ignores-bainport.html

More on Bainport: 
http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxHAlRsQzHpVVQojpK9aQCQ?feature=watch

Romney Is Attacked by His Father’s Longtime Aide (The New York Times):
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/romney-is-attacked-by-his-fathers-longtime-aide/

Dear Mrs. Romney (Another view from a Military wife and mother) (Daily Kos):
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/09/21/1134858/-Dear-Mrs-Romney

Ryan

UPDATE [10/21/12]: It’s come to my attention that Mahoning County St. Vincent De Paul Society President Brian Antal did not tell the whole truth on the story I posted October 16th, just hours after the initial reports hit the wire. NBC News reports that Ryan did, in fact, help to clean dishes and that Antal was not there but received the story second-hand. (http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/16/14485409-ryan-did-wash-dirty-dishes-during-soup-kitchen-visit).

Ryan’s clumsy attempt at gaining public sympathy and recognition for his “care of the poor” backfired, but so has President Antal’s ham-fisted accusation of wrongdoing. No matter what, he should consider stepping down and away from the situation. Partisan politics aside, there are any number of issues with these admissions, and in the end it is the patrons of the Soup Kitchen who will be most hurt by this.

The original article is here: Charity president unhappy about Paul Ryan soup kitchen ‘photo op’ (The Washington Post): https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2012/10/15/charity-president-unhappy-about-paul-ryan-soup-kitchen-photo-op/

Obama

U.S. budget deficit shrinks by over $200 billion, reaches 4-year low (The Maddow Blog/MSNBC):
http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2012/10/12/14399005-us-budget-deficit-shrinks-by-over-200-billion-reaches-4-year-low

Say WHAT? Obama Will ‘Throw A Lot Of Spears’ In Next Debate, Warns SC Gov. Video of Sanford On Fox News (Addicting Info):
http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/10/15/say-what-obama-will-throw-a-lot-of-spears-in-next-debate-warns-sc-gov-sanford-on-fox-news-video/

To the 16-Year-Old Who Knocked on My Door, Asking That I Vote for Obama (Daily Kos):
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2012/10/14/1144484/-To-the-16-Year-Old-Who-Knocked-on-My-Door-Asking-That-I-Vote-for-Obama

Congress

Clinton: GOP’s State Dept. cuts ‘detrimental’ to national security (The Hill):
http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/143923-clinton-gops-state-dept-cuts-detrimental-to-national-security

Republican leadership’s FY11 budget cuts would endanger national security, Clinton says (The Washington Post):
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/44/2011/02/secretary-clinton-house-republ.html

Todd Akin
No science behind evolution, only faith (Examiner.com)
[Dead link]

DOWN-BALLOT UPDATE: What Ever Happened To That ‘Legitimate Rape’ Guy? (The Daily Show):
http://www.upworthy.com/down-ballot-update-what-ever-happened-to-that-legitimate-rape-guy

Back to October 15, 2012 “36 Windows…”

Theme: Elation by Kaira.