Newt Loves Drug War, Wants Expansion

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2011 by rottenart

Obviously, since the deficit is the only thing anyone in DC wants to talk about, it makes sense for the new Republican frontrunner to come out in favor of expanding one of the biggest wastes of money in American history. And, since it is Newt after all, he’s also thrown in some hypocrisy on the issue, just for good measure.

Not only does he now think medical marijuana is a “joke” despite having supported it in 1981, he’d like to see more drug testing of citizens requesting unemployment compensation or food stamps.  He also supports the death penalty for high-level drug smugglers, noting the “successful” and “draconian” drug policies of Singapore. However, despite getting “more aggressive about drug policy” and emulating Singapore’s mandatory executions, he doesn’t want us to throw anyone in jail either.

Remember, folks, Gingrich is supposed to be the “ideas man” of the GOP

Help Ron Wyden Stop SOPA and Protect IP

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2011 by rottenart

There’s no two ways about it: these laws are terrible. Taken together, the bills would allow the government to blacklist and shut down any website even thought to contain copyrighted content and it would allow criminal action against those who host such content, even unknowingly. How bad is it? Bad enough for Google, Apple and Yahoo to oppose, for one. Even the New York Times and LA Times newspapers have come out against them.

Luckily, it appears that a campaign to stop the bills seems to be having an effect. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) has led the charge against these intrusions into online privacy but he still needs your help:

“The other side, all of these lobbies, the content industry, is enormously powerful… They’ve spent hundreds of millions over the last few years in politics. They are very, very connected.”

[…]

“[This lobby] has a history of making statements that are anti-innovation. It was not long ago when the motion picture industry said in a widely-viewed public forum that the VCR was to the movie industry what the Boston strangler was to women home alone. So, we’re up to a very savvy, very well financed lobby, and suffice it to say, these kinds of issues are a bit technical until people see what’s really at stake, which is a free and fair Internet.”

How can you help? For starters, go to StopCensorship.org or FightForTheFuture.org and sign a petition. Then, you can head over to Congress.org to find your senators’ and representatives’ contact information. Give them a call, write them a letter or (least effectively) shoot them an e-mail. Let them know that you’re opposed to censorship of the internet.

This is a pretty crucial issue for all of us who not only use the internet but create content too. Help stop SOPA and PIPA!

 

 

Happy Black Friday!

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2011 by rottenart

Here’s Occupy OKC mic-checking Wal-Mart. Evidently, even though they were peaceably leaving the premises, Del City police decided that they were enough of a “threat” to start tackling and arresting. If you listen closely, you can hear on of the officers say, “get on the ground or get tased!”

Tased. For yelling in a Wal-Mart and then leaving when asked.

Remember, this is the message:

Happy Turkey Day!

Posted in Other Stuff with tags , , , , , , , on November 24, 2011 by rottenart

Mitt Romney Can’t Help Himself

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2011 by rottenart

Hot on the heels of a very interesting story in which Romney aides and staffers bought and subsequently destroyed 17 hard drives with information relating to his time in the Mass. governor’s mansion comes his first major political ad:

Pretty devasting, right? Well, it would be if it weren’t a completely disingenuous fabrication. When Obama is quoted in the video as saying, “if we keep talking about the economy, we’re going to lose,” he’s not making that assertion for himself but rather quoting a McCain staffer who said it in relation to the McCain campaign! The most amazing part is that the Romney campaign, much like with the continuing e-mail situation, has doubled down and asserted that the blatant dishonesty is perfectly legit and that they used the clip on purpose.

Any sane person can see the obvious implications here: if you could get a candidate to, say, quote The Shining and say on camera, “I didn’t just kill you, I cut you up into little bits,” you could, according to RomneyLogic™, then put that into a commercial and claim the the candidate was a  murderous sociopath. Think Progress has put together a response to the Romney commercial to illustrate this beautifully:

Romney must really be sweating the Gingrich bubble if he’s this desperate already.

It’s Tough to Argue with Results

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2011 by rottenart

For the past 20 years, one of the most effective attacks Republicans have used against Democrats is the ‘Soft on Defense’ barb. In actuality, one could make the case that Democrats have far more experience (and success) with military conflict but since when has reality had anything to do with politics? It’s been a pretty devastating tactic and one which Democrats have always had a problem defending against, even when it should have been easy.

That era, however, might be coming to an end.

Three distinguished former military members, former NATO Commander General Wesley Clark, former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, and retired Major General Paul Eaton, tore into the GOP field and strongly defended President Obama’s foreign policy after Tuesday’s debate. The attacks are pretty brutal, though entirely factual:

“While President Obama has kept his promises across the globe, the leading Republicans have been all over the map, offering sound-bite critiques and shifting positions with every change in the headlines as they seek partisan advantage,” Clark said.

“If you took any six of those candidates, you might find sixteen positions on any issue,” said Danzig. “If you added Governor Romney you’d probably find forty six positions.”

Ouch.

Of course, it has the added benefit of being true. Even leaving aside the end of the Iraq war, the steady dismantling of Al Qaeda, the overthrow of Qaddafi and the unwinding of the war in Afghanistan, Obama still has an ace in the hole that the right will have a hard time attacking: Osama Bin Laden. After ten years, it was this administration that killed him. That alone should be enough to neutralize the ‘Soft on Defense’ sop.

If the Republicans want to attack Obama’s foreign policy credentials, I’m sure it’s a debate the administration would heartily welcome.

 

Let’s Talk About ‘Fair Share’

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by rottenart

Steve Benen has a good post today about the persistent meme that’s been making the rounds since the deficit became the holy grail of national political discussion: it’s not fair to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay more in taxes because they already pay so much! John Boehner, ever the voice of the oppressed 1%, said this:

“Come on. The top 1% paid 38% of income taxes in America. How much more do you want them to pay?”

“We are not going to engage in class warfare,” Boehner said, adding: “The president’s clearly trying to do it, and it’s wrong.”

Well, let’s just parse that a bit, shall we? As Steve puts it:

“Just as important, while these very Americans are paying a larger percentage of the nation’s overall income taxes, they’re also paying a smaller share of their personal income in income taxes.”

As a percentage of their income, they’ve seen their tax rate drop significantly. While the top 20% do pay the majority of the income tax, they also control around 90% of the wealth and account for ~80% of the income.  In fact, while the middle and lower classes have seen their wages stagnate and even decline over the past 30 years, the uppermost 1%  have seen their incomes soar by 275% in the same period. And those vast majority who Boehner thinks aren’t paying enough? They’re already poor and don’t make enough money to have to pay!

Beware the Republican bearing statistics about taxes and who pays their ‘fair share’.