Archive for obama

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.

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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.

 

Failure is a Pretty ‘Super’ Option

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 18, 2011 by rottenart

It’s been clear for a while now that Republicans on the so-called “Super-committee” to oversee deficit reduction weren’t going to budge in the slightest. The media, for their part, have continued to advance a ridiculous narrative in which the GOP’s offer of $300 million in raised revenue (read: taxes) while making the Bush Tax Cuts permanent is somehow serious. Democrats on the panel, surprisingly, have refused to go along with such an inane proposal. So, here we are, less than a week until their deadline and they appear to be headed for complete failure.

Good.

First of all, the whole idea was stupid in the first place. It’s already congress’ job to come up with a budget. To put in the hands of an extra-super-secret congress is just political theater. More important, however, is what happens when they do fail. The whole idea was to make this committee accountable by building a doomsday scenario into their work:  if they can’t come to an agreement, automatic budget cuts (or sequestration, to use the word of the day) are triggered. Entitlements take a hit, defense takes a big hit, everyone’s pissed off and everyone can brag about reducing the deficit, right? Well, yes, but there’s one other huge piece of the puzzle that would have more of an effect than anything else: letting the Bush Tax Cuts expire.

We faced this same scenario earlier this year in the debt limit fiasco and last year when the cuts were supposed to expire originally: Republicans are too busy licking Grover Norquist’s boots (no matter how much John Boehner tries to pretend otherwise) to actually get serious and admit to fiscal reality. The fact that the GOP has become radicalized to the point of self-parody doesn’t help either. Tax rises, no matter the context or practical use, are anathema to the modern Republican party.

Regardless, the super-committee’s failure to reach an agreement, for all the bitching and moaning that Republicans will undoubtedly do, will actually lower the deficit. They won’t admit it, but it’s hard to deny facts. In fact, it looks to be as much as $7.1 trillion over the next decade. That’s a lot of scratch and it should be cause for celebration for those who feel the deficit is the end-all, be-all of American political discussion. Yet it’s clear that if the panel fails to deliver, the blame game is going to shift into overdrive with an election year looming. At the end of the day, however, the Bush Tax Cuts are the major driver for the deficit and letting them expire at the end of 2012 would put us back on track, with virtually no other actions to be taken.

It seems like those on the GOP side who are accusing the Obama administration of cheering for the super-committee’s failure should be doing a little cheering themselves if they truly care about the deficit. Anyone believe that’s the case?

Consumers Lose, America Wins

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2011 by rottenart

Most of you have probably seen this video by now. The one-time nominee to head the Consumer Protection Bureau and current candidate for the senate from Massachusetts lays out the foundation for everything that is gripping the country’s current psyche in blunt words.  I would even argue that this video, going viral and galvanizing support for her campaign almost immediately upon release, was one of the primary catalysts for the first people heading down to Wall St. The fact that the GOP is trying to use that as an attack means she’s doing something right.

If you haven’t been paying attention, the sentiments in this speech aren’t exactly popular with the moneyed elite. Her willingness to articulate the ills of the country so honestly is what guaranteed that she would never be confirmed by a senate so beholden to that same elite. President Obama, in a move pilloried by his base as yet another capitulation, passed over Warren once it became clear the the GOP in the upper house weren’t going to sway, giving the post instead to Richard Cordray. The Left was furious at the time but as it turns out, it couldn’t have been a better move.

Consider this photo showing a volunteer meeting for the Warren campaign. Scott Brown, Cosmo centerfold, misogynist and documented Koch-sucker, must be shaking in his boots. That he’s an outlier Republican in one of the bluest states is worry enough but Warren has nearly erased any lead he once held and done so in only a few short weeks.

2012 is likely to be a topsy-turvy, nausea-inducing election year but there is one bright spot in the cycle. America may have lost a strong middle class advocate at the CFB but it seems that she has the potential now to be an even more powerful force for working people in the US senate.

Elizabeth Warren for Senate

 

Yeah, Buddy!!

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 15, 2011 by loudmouthliberal

With the extreme , wide range of choices for the Republican nomination, the candidates are a subject I have stayed as far away from as possible.  It is not probable , to me, for any of the front-runners to earn the nomination (okay, maybe the nomination) as they are all far right Christian conservatives with little grasp of the average American, have little stability of view-point, offer scandalous voting records as opposed to their current views, and are environmental science denying, corporate puppets.  I know this can be said about many politicians, but with where we are as a nation right now, I don’t see us handing one of these thugs the White House.  Except for two… maybe. And while these two’s views on issues aren’t exactly my own on a lot, listening to them is like a breath of fresh air across the wild, overgrown Republican field.

Now, neither are probable candidates, mind you. They’re not even showing in the polls.  One has not even been allowed to debate. But what a mistake that is for the right! I really think that one of them is probably their only real chance at beating Obama. Now don’t get me wrong.  I’m Obama 2012 all the way.  However, I would like for the two best men for the job to be running in November. Actually, the four best

That being said, my first pick for a reasonable candidate is Jon Huntsman. Unfortunately, too many Americans are unaware of the fact that America is not, in fact,  a Christian nation and that it is actually unconstitutional to use one’s religion against them to deny them the presidency. In short, I’m afraid, the fact that he is a Mormon will not help his cause in the least. If you combine that with the fact that he doesn’t get much media coverage and has little name recognition compared to other candidates… fat chance.

Now comes the real disappointment… the lack of presidential nomination promise for the Roemer campaign!! I’m telling you, what he is selling is right where the people are headed and what the country needs right now if we’re talking about getting the money out of politics and holding corporations and banks accountable. The problem with Buddy is his very message is to his own detriment with the way our electorate process works right now.

No PAC money. No corporate sponsors. $100 donations from the public. That’s it. Both a blessing and a curse, as it’s impossible to win an election against the kind of money the others have without having that kind of money yourself; Which is pretty impossible to get without a corporate sponsor. It’s a vicious cycle. Also, he’s the only candidate so far to make an appearance and spend time with the protestors at the Occupation. Pretty impressive, if you ask me.

We have several major issues we need to be working on as a people and will need to do so indefinitely. Unfortunately, we can only get there if we correctly express our voices at the polls, as much as we can in our daily lives, and whenever the opportunity forces itself into our consciousness, such as OWS.  Since Citizens United, corporate money in politics has been at the top of that list. It also expresses the necessity of taking a good look at the SCOTUS, and working to reform that and other corrupt branches/agencies/policies that work against the will and prosperity of the people. The 99%.

It really is a  shame how we got here. It is a tragedy where we are. And it’s gonna be a hell of a  journey where we’re headed.  Giving in is not an option. Giving up is not a choice. It’s a long, hard road ahead and we are only just beginning. If everyone, everyday, makes a conscious effort to make a difference, we’ll be there in no time.

It Stands to Reason We’d Get the Bill Wrong Too

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2011 by rottenart

It’s much, much worse than we thought. Keep in mind, the $4 Trillion long-term number is also leaving out such important metrics such as:

  • Future payments for interest on the debt from 2011 forward.
  • Unfunded costs that American[s] paid to care for their war wounded family member[s] (one in five of the cases of serious wounding has this effect).
  • The costs of the CIA Predator and Reaper drone surveillance and strike program in Afghanistan. This “black” budget item, which included the costs of the drones, the operators, fuel, and weapons, is not known publicly.
  • The promised money, yet to be paid, for reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq.

…along with some other important items. Here’s the entire report [PDF] written by Neta C. Crawford and Catherine Lutz. It’s a pretty sorry state of affairs all around. Given the low-ball estimates when we began this great colonial adventure compared to what this report outines, there’s every reason to believe that the numbers only get bleaker from here.

When Doing Nothing Makes Sense

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 24, 2011 by rottenart

Yesterday, Eric Cantor had a tantrum and stormed out of the budget talks between himself, Boehner and Obama that have been ongoing for weeks. Today, we get a look at why: he simply couldn’t bear to live in a world where we didn’t give corporate jets favored tax status. It’s been known for a long time that the GOP is holding the country’s economy hostage over the Most Pressing Issue Of Our Time™, the deficit. Of course, the reason Eric ran off in a huff is that the right is absolutely opposed to anything and everything that could even remotely be considered a tax increase. Never mind that raising revenue is the only way to reduce the deficit. Setting aside the utter hypocrisy of the GOP on this issue, let’s assume for a moment that running a balance the red is our biggest challenge at the moment. At the very least, the Republicans would be correct in thinking that we simply have to do something quickly, right? Well…

The numbers don't lie...

…not exactly. It turns out, if we let the Bush tax cuts expire (as they were designed to do last Fall, before the extension was passed), then that’s it. The deficit simply goes away because of the increased revenue. Keep in mind, that this would mean a return to Clinton-era tax rates for the whole country, wealthy and worker. I seem to recall things were pretty good during the 90s but perhaps I’m misrembering…

In any event, Boehner & Co. think they have a winning strategy, pushing the US right up to the deadline of our debt limit and threatening a default. This would be catastrophic and they know it, therefore, they aren’t serious about any of this. But if the Kabuki play continues and we let the preening egos prance without actually touching anything, then maybe we might see the GOP’s worst nightmare for 2012: a recovering economy.