Thursday, June 30, 2011
Who really needs those $3 billion a year more than those corporate jet owners, those people who are singlehandedly keeping the economic recovery afloat with their tax break from 2008? READ MORE »
Economists have said that failing to raise the debt ceiling could be catastrophic for the U.S. economy, but at least one lawmaker stands to gain financially if the country defaults on its debts.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-VA) latest financial disclosure statement indicates that he owns up to $15,000 of ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury EFT, a fund that will likely skyrocket as U.S. debt becomes less desirable.
"If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, investors would start fleeing U.S. Treasuries," Motley Fool's Matt Koppenheffer told Salon. "Yields would rise, prices would fall, and the Proshares ETF should do very well. It would spike."
"Cantor's involvement in the fund and negotiations is not ideal," he added. "I don’t think someone negotiating the debt ceiling should be invested in this kind of an ultra-short... It looks pretty bad."
Cantor pulled out of negotiations to raise the debt limit last week saying, "Now is the time for these talks to go into abeyance."
Since that time, ProShares ETF is up 3.3 percent.
"Cantor's office claims the investment is simply part of a balanced portfolio," noted Washington Monthly's Steve Benen. "It's hardly a stretch, though, to suggest prominent officials should avoid these kinds of conflicts of interest."
Things are getting tense in Wisconsin where Justice David Prosser is being investigated for allegedly putting a fellow member of the court in a chokehold.
Today, though, he didn't do himself any favors. While a reporter was trying to get Prosser to answer questions about the incident the Justice momentarily lost his cool and grabbed the microphone out of the reporters hand before quickly realizing that probably wasn't a good thing to do on camera and handing it back.
Watch the video here.
Fox's "Straight News" Campaigns For Estate Tax Repeal
While guest hosting Fox's "straight news" program, Special Report, Shannon Bream did a report suggesting that the estate tax hurts small businesses and therefore causes the economy to hemorrhage jobs. But the report failed to mention that a vanishingly small number of businesses and individuals are subject to the estate tax. Read More
Lila Rose Pushes Falsehood That Abortion Is How Indiana Planned Parenthood "Makes Money"
Appearing on Fox News to push her most recent attack on Planned Parenthood, Lila Rose claimed that abortions are how Planned Parenthood of Indiana "makes money." In fact, abortions account for only an estimated 16 percent of its total annual revenue in 2010. Read More
Seeing Red: After Decrying Communist Name-Calling, Beck Repeatedly Smeared His Opponents As Communists
In a January 2009 promo for his Fox News show shortly before it debuted, Glenn Beck claimed that he was "tired of the politics of left and right. It's about right and wrong. We argue back and forth -- 'If you haven't voted for the donkey, you're just a hatemonger.' The other side -- 'Oh, those donkeys trying to turn us into communist Russia.' Stop!" But despite this professed disgust with communist name-calling, Beck proceeded to use his Fox News show to relentlessly smear people and groups as Communists, Marxists, and Socialists. Read More
Glenn Beck's Top 5 Moments Invoking Violence As A Response To "Progressives"
Glenn Beck's tenure at Fox News was marked by exceedingly violent rhetoric as he obsessively invoked violence as a possible response to "progressives." Here are five of the worst examples. Read More
Beck's Golden Ticket: Gold Sellers Stayed Loyal While Other Advertisers Fled
Even as scores of advertisers abandoned Glenn Beck's Fox News show, it continued to attract sellers of gold and other precious metals. Meanwhile, Beck used his show to tout gold ownership as a way to "be prepared." Read More
Glenn Beck's Top 5 Failed Predictions
Glenn Beck has claimed: "I have been given the gift, the blessing, or the curse" to see "slightly over the horizon" and said that on his "big predictions, we have about a 90 percent accuracy rate." But Beck's ability to see "slightly over the horizon" certainly isn't a gift, given how wrong his bizarre predictions often are. With that said, Media Matters presents the top five failed Beck predictions from his time on Fox News. Read More
Glenn Beck's Top 5 Worst Smears
In more than two years on Fox News, Glenn Beck has repeatedly smeared those with which he disagrees. Media Matters presents a selection of Beck's worst smears. Read More
"They Think You're Stupid": Glenn Beck's Manipulation Of His Audience
Glenn Beck frequently pitted his Fox News audience against his foes, telling his viewers that progressives and the media "think you're stupid." Beck also praised his viewers' intelligence while attempting to sell them on his theories, claiming that his audience "will change the course of a nation." Read More
Glenn Beck's Perpetual Self-Promotion Machine
Throughout his career on Fox News, Glenn Beck shamelessly used the platform to promote a variety of his own ventures outside Fox News. Both on his own show and in guest appearances on other shows, Beck promoted his books, tours, subscriber-only Web content, and the Restoring Honor and Restoring Courage rallies. Read More
Adopting GOP Talking Point, Fox Claims That Obama Wasn't Involved In Default Crisis Talks
Following President Obama's Wednesday press conference in which he chided Congress for failing to resolve the default crisis, Fox News immediately began echoing the GOP's bogus attack that the president has been "AWOL" or disengaged from the debate over solving the default crisis. In fact, President Obama has been involved from the beginning and has repeatedly met with members of Congress from both parties to negotiate a solution. Read More
Glenn Beck's Obsession With Slavery
In the past two years, Glenn Beck has repeatedly invoked slavery to attack President Obama, progressives, and progressive policies, among other things. Here is a sampling. Read More
Glenn Beck's Top 5 Least Credible Sources
During his time at Fox News, Glenn Beck regularly turned to disreputable sources to back-up his wild and unfounded conspiracy theories. Here are five of Beck's least credible sources. Read More
Parents Shouldn't Trust Beck To Educate Their Kids
Glenn Beck has said he is leaving Fox News in part to "target the youth" and pitch his distinctive brand of right-wing misinformation to a younger demographic. But Beck's long history of misleading his viewers demonstrates why no one should trust him to educate his or her children. Read More
The Glenn Beck Shopping Network
Glenn Beck leaves behind a dubious ethical legacy: On his Fox show, he would promote companies with which he had a financial relationship, but without disclosing that relationship to his viewers. He also used the program as a forum to nudge viewers toward buying products like gold and a library's worth of books. Read More
Glenn Beck's Top 5 Most Inflammatory Moments
In more than two years on Fox News, Glenn Beck inundated his viewers with violent, inflammatory rhetoric. Media Matters presents a selection of his worst offenses. Read More
Conservative Media Shout "Class Warfare" To Defend Tax Breaks On Corporate Jets
The right-wing media responded with outrage after President Obama called on Congress to eliminate tax breaks on corporate jets in order to help stave off a default crisis -- accusing Obama of waging "class warfare." Read More
This is what Halperin said, on live television: “I thought he was kind of a dick yesterday.” Well sure, everybody thinks Obama is kind of a dick, or totally a dick, but in every case “a dick,” but one cannot say this on the teevee, so good-bye forever, Mark! Video? Yes, we have video. READ MORE »
The family abandoned the stage half an hour before the end of the time slot because there was nobody left. So are we at last witnessing the sad finale of Real American Freedom? Our true patriots are no longer willing to give up fifteen of their last dollars to support the unemployed offspring of this screeching, nightmare opportunist woman.
Wait wait, oh come on, uh, how about if Sarah Palin says, “The Constitution of the United States is fricking awesome” three times out loud to anyone in line? Will they hand her some of those crumpled, sweaty dollars in that case? READ MORE »
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Congressional Republicans — during both last year’s debate over the pending expiration of the Bush tax cuts and the current negotiations regarding raising the nation’s debt ceiling — refused to consider tax increases on even the very richest Americans. In fact, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) blew up debt ceiling negotiations last week due to his insistence that those making more than $500,000 annually be shielded from any tax increase.
The GOP justification for its position — even with income inequality at its worst level since the 1920s — is that raising taxes on the rich will destroy jobs. “What some are suggesting is that we take this money from people who would invest in our economy and create jobs and give it to the government. The fact is you can’t tax the very people that we expect to invest in the economy and create jobs,” said Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH).
However, history doesn’t back up the GOP’s claim. In fact, as Center for American Progress Director of Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden found, “in the past 60 years, job growth has actually been greater in years when the top income tax rate was much higher than it is now”:
For instance, in years when the top marginal rate was more than 90 percent, the average annual growth in total payroll employment was 2 percent. In years when the top marginal rate was 35 percent or less — which it is now — employment grew by an average of just 0.4 percent.
And there’s no cherry-picking here. Pick any threshold. When the marginal tax rate was 50 percent or above, annual employment growth averaged 2.3 percent, and when the rate was under 50, growth was half that.
In fact, if you ranked each year since 1950 by overall job growth, the top five years would all boast marginal tax rates at 70 percent or higher. The top 10 years would share marginal tax rates at 50 percent or higher. The two worst years, on the other hand, were 2008 and 2009, when the top marginal tax rate was 35 percent. In the 13 years that the top marginal tax rate has been at its current level or lower, only one year even cracks the top 20 in overall job creation........
(Haha, Hatch is a “moderate” in Utah because he still believes that you should just test welfare recipients for drugs instead of murdering them and has never tried to switch Utah to the gold standard.) Tea Party Patriots are not on board with your elitist, effeminate “polite phone calls and e-mails,” so they will just be storming into any office with weak doors to make demands from now on. READ MORE »
Several strange edits have shown up on Wikipedia entries pertaining to famed Americans referenced by Republican presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann -- specifically, it appears that her fans have attempted to rewrite the lives of actor John Wayne and President John Quincy Adams to fit her woefully inaccurate retellings of history.
Bachmann, who officially launched her campaign yesterday in Waterloo, Iowa, told a Fox News reporter that she was proud to be in the town where John Wayne was from, because she embodies his ideals. Unfortunately for her, it turns out that the actor John Wayne was not from Waterloo, but serial killer John Wayne Gacy was.
Shortly after the gaffe, the Wikipedia page for actor John Wayne was altered to change his birthplace from Winterset, Iowa to Waterloo, apparently as an effort to cover for the misguided politician.
Another edit came after she declared Tuesday morning that the nation's sixth president, John Quincy Adams, was a "founding father," even though he was just a child when his father, the nation's second president, signed the Declaration of Independence.
Sure enough, in short order Adams's Wikipedia entry was changed to call him a "founding father." The page's administrator quickly struck down the revision, insisting that users not make edits "based on current events."
The whole strange affair would seem to evoke memories of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's badly mangled retelling of Paul Revere's ride, which inspired her own fans to attempt a series of changes to Revere's Wikipedia entry.
Wikipedia's editors struck those down as well, scolding Palin's fans for attempting to cover up history to make their favorite politician look good.
In the horror movie trailer of her thoughts, America killed everyone in Libya with a bomb strike Nagasaki-style, the entire U.S. strategic oil reserve is at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico left there by Obama alongside the Newt Gingrich campaign, and the tens of thousands of dollars her family farm received in federal handouts are fictional products of everyone else’s imagination. READ MORE »
Rep. Michele Bachmann, who officially announced yesterday in Iowa that she is running for president, appeared on “Good Morning America” Monday, where George Stephanopoulos attempted to clarify some of her previous statements.
Among them: Bachmann’s claim that “the Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence worked tirelessly to end slavery.”
“Now with respect, Congresswoman, that’s just not true,” Stephanopoulos said. “Many of them including Jefferson and Washington were actually slave holders and slavery didn’t end until the Civil War.”
Bachmann dodged the question, answering, “Well, you know what’s marvelous is that in this country and under our Constitution, we have the ability when we recognize that something is wrong to change it. And that’s what we did in our country. We changed it. We no longer have slavery. That’s a good thing. And what our Constitution has done for our nation, is to give us the basis of freedom unparalleled in the rest of the world.”
She goes on to claim that John Quincy Adams, who was a small boy during the Revolutionary War and did indeed eventually work to abolish slavery, should be counted as a “Founding Father.”...............
Monday, June 27, 2011
Neal Boortz Uses Mythology To Say The Bush Tax Cuts "Worked"
Writing in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, syndicated radio host Neal Boortz perpetuated the myth that tax cuts increase revenue to bolster his argument that the Bush tax cuts "worked." Economists have said the Bush tax cuts reduced revenue and had little positive impact on the economy. Read More
Washington Times' History Of Anti-Gay Attacks
The incoming editor of The Washington Times, Ed Kelley, recently suggested he was not familiar with the newspaper's long history of anti-gay attacks, saying the only controversy he had heard on the issue was "a change in whether or not the term either civil unions or gay marriage or something, whether or not there were going to be quotes used around the term or not." In fact, The Washington Times has long history of extreme rhetoric and smears against the LGBT community. Read More
Ridiculous clown Michele Bachmann officially launched her 2012 presidential campaign today in Waterloo, Iowa — where she paid tribute to another clown from this small Iowa town, psychopathic homosexual serial killer John Wayne Gacy. Why does Bachmann love the freakish monster known in American nightmares as the Killer Clown?
Maybe because John Wayne Gacy loved dressing up as a circus clown and being around lots of kids, just like Bachmann! Really, this is what she said, except she apparently thinks the “John Wayne” from Waterloo, Iowa, is the iconic Western movie performer. Let’s roll the video from Fox News, and laugh together. READ MORE »
Saturday, June 25, 2011
The latest alleged incident involving Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser can't be viewed in isolation. Last year, Prosser exploded at Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson in a closed door meeting, calling her a "bitch" and threatening to "destroy" her.
That incident came to light during Prosser's re-election campaign earlier this year. Prosser admitted to using the word "bitch," but said it was justified. "I probably overreacted, but I think it was entirely warranted," he said in March.
Why did Prosser think it was warranted? "They (Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley) are masters at deliberately goading people into perhaps incautious statements. This is bullying and abuse of very, very long standing," Prosser claimed.
That's the same Ann Walsh Bradley with whom Prosser allegedly got in a new argument last week, in her chambers, where his hands ended up around her neck, in the presence of other justices, in the midst of their deliberations over the legality of Gov. Scott Walker's union-busting bill. Presumably because she was bullying and abusing him again.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Another "Indoctrination" Freakout: Right-Wing Media Attack MD's Environmental Literacy Education Requirement
Right-wing media have attacked a recent Maryland State Board of Education ruling that requires high school students to be "environmentally literate" before graduating as "indoctrination" and "brainwash[ing]," while using it as an opportunity continue the right-wing's longstanding war on climate science. Read More
Right-Wing Media Strain To Portray Obama's Speech As A "Mission Accomplished" Moment
Following President Obama's speech announcing the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan, right-wing media have strained to portray the announcement as a "mission accomplished" moment. However, Obama acknowledged that "huge challenges remain" in Afghanistan and "[w]e'll have to do the hard work of keeping the gains that we've made." Read More
Right-Wing Media Launches Kitchen Sink Attack On Obama's Afghanistan Speech
The right-wing media reacted to President Obama's address on troop withdrawals in Afghanistan by dredging up familiar, petty attacks, such as criticizing the number of times Obama referred to himself, and claiming the address was a "campaign speech" instead of a "war update." This follows a long history of the right-wing media launching frivolous attacks over speeches Obama makes on all manner of issues. Read More
Fox Uses Oil Reserve Announcement To Demand More Drilling
After President Obama announced that the U.S. will tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Fox News figures falsely suggested that government restrictions are encumbering domestic oil production. In fact, drilling is nearing a twenty-year high, and countless economists have explained that expanded U.S. oil production is not a solution to high oil prices. Read More
Right-Wing Media Attack Vargas With Stereotypical, Anti-Immigrant Vigor
Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, recently revealed that he is an undocumented immigrant. Right-wing media responded with virulent anti-immigrant attacks, with Don Surber of the Charleston Daily Mail writing: "kick the lying, illegal alien Jose Antonio Vargas out." Read More
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal’s program to replace fleeing migrant farmworkers with probationers backfired when some of the convicted criminals started walking off their jobs because field work was too strenuous, it was reported Wednesday.
And the state’s farms could lose up to $1 billion if crops continue to go unpicked and rot, the president of the Georgia Agribusiness Council warned.
In a story datelined Leslie, in rural south Georgia, The Associated Press writes of convicts calling it quits at 3:25 p.m. — more than 2½ hours before the crew of Mexicans and Guatemalans they replaced.
“Those guys out here weren’t out there 30 minutes and they got the bucket and just threw them in the air and say, `Bonk this. I ain’t with this. I can’t do this,’” said Jermond Powell, a 33-year-old probationer working at a farm in Leslie. “They just left, took off across the field walking.”
Georgia, which passed an Arizona-style immigration bill in April that is due to take effect next month, has seen thousands of undocumented immigrants flee the state. A state survey released last week found 11,080 vacant positions on state farms that needed to be filled to avoid losing crops.
At the same time as the survey’s release, Deal, a first-term Republican, announced a program to link the state’s 100,000 probationers with farmers looking to fill positions, the vast majority of which pay less than $15 per hour.
The AP reported the first group of probationers began working last week at an Americus farm owned by Dick Minor, president of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association.
Minor’s farm was the second-largest recipient of federal farm subsidies in Georgia, receiving $11.4 million between 2000 and 2009, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The executive director of the fruit and vegetable growers group, Charles Hall, said the Minor farm is one of two participating in a pilot program to see if Deal’s proposal is operable.
Hall told POLITICO that as many as two-thirds of probationers who have tried working on the two farms in the last week have either walked off the job or not come back for a second day.
“The thing that you gotta have when you have crop in the field, you have to have a dependable work force,” Hall said. “You got to work through enough people. If you need a crew of six, you may have to start with 20.”
In prior years, Hall said, “you probably had a crew leader who had people who worked with him. He put six people in the field and he got your squash picked.”
Bryan Tolar, president of the Georgia Agribusiness Council, said farms have already lost $300 million and could lose up to $1 billion if it does not get access to a reliable workforce.
“People come out and they have an idea of what they’re going to be doing,” Tolar said. “As soon as they start doing it and find out that its more difficult and more work required than they’d anticipated, they leave.”
Tolar was on Capitol Hill Wednesday urging the Georgia congressional delegation to pass a guest worker program that streamlines the process through which farmers can hire temporary migrant workers. He said using probationers — or anyone unfamiliar with the rigors of farm work — is not a useful long-term solution to the state farm labor shortage.
Georgia’s crops, Tolar said, are “already rotting in the field and falling off the vine. We’ve got blackberries that are mature. And when they’re not picked, they drop. When they drop, they’re done.”
Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, on her blog, compared the practice of sending probationers to work on farms to an earlier practice of Southern police departments arresting black men on dubious charges and sentencing them to work on local farms that needed the labor.
“The suggestion of sending probationers into the fields to solve our self-inflicted economic wound is nothing more than retrogressing to an earlier shameful time in our state’s history of victimizing hundreds of mostly black men and condemning them to near slavery, while the rest of us watch silently,” she wrote. “Now as then, many of the potential victims have poor if any legal representation and few employment opportunities.”
Maybe this will solve the obesity epidemic? Georgia farmers are currently 11,000 workers short, and a failure to fill the ranks will cripple the state agricultural industry. Haha, there will be no food, this will solve the obesity problem, too! READ MORE »
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Plane Falsehoods: Krauthammer Continues To Misinform About Boeing's Alleged Union-Busting
Previously, Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer misinformed the public on a National Labor Relations Board complaint that Boeing illegally moved jobs away from a unionized facility, claiming that "paying off the unions to [President Obama] is more important than a healthy export economy." Krauthammer spread more falsehoods in a Washington Post column in which he suggested that the NLRB is a political organization "trying to get the [South Carolina] plant declared illegal" because "Democrats need unions." Read More
Beck Guest Falsely Claims Oil And Gas Companies Get "Zero" Government Subsidies
On his Fox News show, Glenn Beck hosted several oil and gas industry executives to attack President Obama's energy policies and tout fossil fuels. During the show, Beck hyped the false claim by one of his guests, the CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, that "the oil and natural gas industry gets zero subsidies" from the federal government. Read More
Fox News "Headline" Is A GOP Press Release
Fox News adopted its "headline" for today straight from a press release from the office of Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, claiming that the Congressional Budget Office estimated that "government spending as a share of our economy will increase by nearly 70 percent by 2035." In its long-term budget outlook, CBO projected that spending would increase from 24.1 percent of GDP in 2011 to 27.4 percent in 2035. Read More
Fox Protects Investment By Attempting To Spin Lack Of Enthusiasm For GOP Field
Fox News has recently tried to spin GOP voter dissatisfaction with the 2012 presidential field by suggesting it is a manufactured Democratic talking point designed to "handicap" the candidates, when, in fact, polling has consistently shown Republicans are dissatisfied with the GOP field. This spin comes as Fox is investing a significant amount of resources into promoting the GOP presidential candidates. Read More
With Renewed National Focus On Immigration Reform, Fox Revs Up Anti-Immigrant Campaign
As immigration reform has re-entered the public debate, Fox News has spent the past several weeks misleading on the issue and slanting its news coverage to paint immigrants in a negative light. Read More
Jon Stewart Gets It Right About Fox News
Fox News has attacked Daily Show host Jon Stewart for claiming that Fox News viewers are "the most consistently misinformed viewers" of cable news. However, Stewart was correct -- Fox News consistently misinforms its viewers, and its viewers are found among the most likely to hold misinformed beliefs about current events. Read More
Idaho Senate Republican Caucus Chairman John McGee is that senator, currently free on bail after stealing a man’s SUV in Boise and crashing it in the neighbor’s yard while he had a blood alcohol level nearly twice the state limit. McGee’s lawyer is telling everyone that there are good “medical explanations” for McGee’s bizarre behavior, which sounds like someone describing a gambling problem as “a helpful fixation with mathematical odds analysis.” READ MORE »
Way to go, Lamestream Media, you failed to remind us for an entire week about Palin’s existence. Was that why we were feeling mysteriously better about life? The last post about the tour on the SarahPAC website is from June 8, so it took someone from the media two whole weeks to notice she wasn’t even blogging about her wild adventures talking to old white people anymore. READ MORE »
Former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin has reportedly packed in her bus tour...halfway through.
Real Clear Politics is reporting that Palin and her family have returned to Alaska from their "One Nation" bus tour, despite tentatively scheduled stops in Iowa and South Carolina.
From Scott Conroy at RCP:
Though Palin and her staff never announced a timeline for the remaining legs of her trip, aides had drafted preliminary itineraries that would have taken her through the Midwest and Southeast at some point this month. But those travel blueprints are now in limbo, RCP has learned, as Palin and her family have reverted to the friendly confines of summertime Alaska, where the skies are currently alight for over 19 hours a day and the Bristol Bay salmon fishing season is nearing its peak.
Palin's intent to visit Iowa and South Carolina, as well as one stop in New Hampshire, caused some speculation that she was starting to get serious about a run for president in 2012.
The bus tour was launched over Memorial Day weekend, and was particularly scrutinized after one event in Boston where Palin badly flubbed the story behind Paul Revere's ride.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Eric Bolling: Fox News' In-House Corporate Lobbyist
Fox News' Eric Bolling has been promoting what he described as his own stimulus plan, a plan centered on tax breaks for multinational corporations on money currently parked offshore. Bolling's proposal is remarkably similar to a plan reportedly promoted by corporate lobbyists during a Washington, D.C. conference on June 15 - the day before Bolling discussed his plan on Fox News. Read More
Fox Still Misrepresenting NLRB's Case Against Boeing
Fox News has repeatedly suggested that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is engaging in unlawful or "anti-American" activity by filing a complaint against Boeing for deciding to build a new plant in the "right to work" state of South Carolina. But the NLRB complaint alleges that Boeing moved to South Carolina in retaliation for union workers' decision to strike, and experts say that allegations in the case represent an "absolutely standard violation" of federal labor law. Read More
Fox Hyped McKinsey & Co. Study But Ignored Admission That It's Not A "Predictive Economic Analysis"
After hyping a McKinsey & Company survey that predicted the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPAC) would cause millions of employees to lose their employer-based health care coverage, Fox did not cover that McKinsey & Co. admitted that their findings were not meant as "a predictive economic analysis." Fox further failed to note a study reinforcing President Obama's claim that employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) markets would be virtually unchanged by the health care bill. Read More
This is really a must-read piece. Not because of the message but the messenger. The hyper attention to the country's debt is supposed to be in reaction to the bond market, the people who buy our debt. But the biggest bond guy in the country is telling Congress that while getting the deficit/debt in order is important long term it's simply crazy to think massive budget cutting is going to create the jobs or the growth the country needs. Unfortunately, that's the mindset now of people on both sides of the aisle. Must read.
BENTONVILLE, Ark., — A Wal-Mart executive insists the company paid off several Supreme Court Justices.
The whistle-blowing comes mere hours after the nation’s highest court threw out a massive discrimination suit against Wal-Mart Stores. The suit was the largest employment discrimination in U.S. history with claims from 1.5 million women that they had been discriminated against in both pay and promotions.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Christian Conservative Group Demands Vitter’s Resignation, Says GOP ‘Committing Outright Hypocrisy’ By Letting Him Stay
The president of the Christian conservative Family Policy Network — a group best known for confronting attendees at gay pride events about Jesus’ power to cure homosexuality — sent a letter to Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) today calling on him to follow the lead of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and resign. Vitter admitted to frequenting prostitutes in 2007, but did not step down and, unlike Weiner, never faced much pressure from his own party to do so. Family Policy Network President Joe Glover added in his letter that Republicans “are committing outright hypocrisy” as long Vitter remains in office, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports:
“There are a lot of people that I think are committing outright hypocrisy and are forced to do so as long as he (Vitter) remains in office,” said Joe Glover, the president of the Family Policy Network, based in Forest, Va. “I don’t think the senator should put those folks in the untenable position of having to pragmatically defend his presence in the Senate.”
Glover noted, for example, that House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, had called on Weiner to resign, but had also contributed to Vitter’s 2010 re-election campaign.
An article that will be posted on the group’s website tomorrow asks, “So what did Republican leaders do about Senator Vitter? They let him off the hook.” The article continues, “[T]he public’s perception of Vitter as a sleazy, hypocritical Christian only served to tarnish the name of Christ among unbelievers.”
Indeed, while Weiner received universal condemnation from Democrats and Republicans alike, Vitter actually received a coordinated campaign of support from Louisiana Republicans and campaign donations from national Republican leaders — the same leaders who demanded Weiner’s resignation. Even former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele saw “inconsistency” in the way his party reacted to the two scandals.
To their credit, some conservatives have spoken out against Vitter. Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said, “I don’t think Vitter should be there. Absolutely not.” Fox’s Greta Van Susteren and right-wing media provocateur Andrew Breitbart — who played a key role in bringing down Weiner — have also criticized the senator.
Friday, June 17, 2011
When state Sen. Scott Beason was told that he had appeared on a transcript of a recorded conversation about gambling corruption calling all black people “aborigines,” he did the decent thing and responded with an apologetic, “oh, huh, don’t remember that, must have said it.” IMPORTANT FACT: there were no cameras there so does anyone really care? No, no cameras, just some bad audio, EVERYBODY IS SAFE. (It is called The Rod Blagojevich Theory of Committing Atrocities.) Post-racial America, everyone! READ MORE »
While running for state senate back in 2005, Bachmann met with voters to discuss various issues, including her opposition to gay marriage. After the talk, a lesbian couple who happened to be in attendance “wanted to discuss certain issues further,” which in Michele Bachmann’s mind sounded more like “advanced stage lesbian cannibal robot brain invasion.” So Michele did the normal thing for a politician to do when a voter asks her a question, and she ran away screaming. READ MORE »
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Earlier this week, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) announced she had filed the papers to run for President. It’s not a frivolous pursuit: She is extremely well liked by the Republican base and is an unusually effective fundraiser, taking in more dollars in the last election cycle she than any of her Congressional colleagues.
Still, Bachmann’s candidacy is not without potential landmines. Over the last decade, she has taken positions that are dangerous, stemming from her radical ideology. To Bachmann’s credit, she is aware of this, lamenting to Glenn Beck, “I have experienced that throughout my political career, being labeled a kook.”
ThinkProgress has assembled 10 of the nuttiest things Bachmann has ever said:
(1) BACHMANN WARNED ‘THE LION KING’ WAS GAY PROPAGANDA: At the November 2004 EdWatch National Education Conference, Bachmann said the “normalization” of homosexuality would lead to “desensitization”: “Very effective way to do this with a bunch of second graders, is take a picture of ‘The Lion King’ for instance, and a teacher might say, ‘Do you know that the music for this movie was written by a gay man?’ The message is: I’m better at what I do, because I’m gay.”
(2) BACHMANN CLAIMED ABOLISHING THE MINIMUM WAGE WOULD CREATE JOBS: While testifying in front of the Minnesota Senate in 2005, Bachmann said, “Literally, if we took away the minimum wage — if conceivably it was gone — we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level.” This isn’t remotely true. Even simply reducing the minimum wage would, as Paul Krugman noted, “at best do nothing for employment; more likely it would actually be contractionary.”
(3) BACHMANN CLAIMED THAT SCIENTISTS ARE SUPPORTERS OF INTELLIGENT DESIGN: During a 2006 debate, Bachmann said, “There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design.” This was, and is, not true.
(4) BACHMANN CLAIMED TERRI SCHIAVO WAS ‘HEALTHY’: Not long after Terri Schiavo died, Bachmann said she would have voted for the Palm Sunday Compromise because Schiavo “was healthy. She had brain damage — there was brain damage, there was no question. But from a health point of view, she was not terminally ill.” An autopsy found that Schiavo had suffered irreversible brain damage and her brain, said the medical examiner, was “profoundly atrophied.”
(5) BACHMANN LIKENED VISITING IRAQ TO VISITING MALL OF AMERICA: In 2007, Bachmann returned from a junket to Iraq and told her colleagues, “[T]here’s a commonality with the Mall of America, in that it’s on that proportion. There’s marble everywhere. The other thing I remarked about was there is water everywhere.” As ThinkProgress documented at the time, the comparison was preposterous.
(6) BACHMANN CLAIMED THAT CARBON DIOXIDE IS ‘HARMLESS’: In 2008, a Stanford scientist revealed “direct links” between increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and “increases in human mortality” — globally, he found that as many as “20,000 air-pollution-related deaths per year per degree Celsius may be due to this greenhouse gas.” The next year, Bachmann, who is not a scientist, said that “carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.”
(7) BACHMANN CALLED FOR A CONGRESSIONAL WITCH HUNT: Pivoting off the news of Barack Obama’s alleged relationship to former Weather Underground member William Ayers, and his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Bachmann accused the candidate of having “anti-American views.” She then suggested that Congressional liberals — including Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid — ought to be subject to “an exposé” by the media because of their views. “I think people would love to see like that,” she told a stunned Chris Matthews.
(8) BACHMANN SUGGESTED GAY SINGER SHOULD REPENT AFTER GETTING CANCER: Bachmann saw Melissa Etheridge’s cancer as a teachable moment: “Unfortunately she is now suffering from breast cancer, so keep her in your prayers,” she said in November 2004. “This may be an opportunity for her now to be open to some spiritual things, now that she is suffering with that physical disease. She is a lesbian.”
(9) BACHMANN BOASTED ABOUT BREAKING THE LAW: In advance of the 2010 national Census, Bachmann told The Washington Times that she would break the law by not completing the forms. “I know for my family, the only question we will be answering is how many people are in our home,” she said. “We won’t be answering any information beyond that, because the Constitution doesn’t require any information beyond that.”
(10) BACHMANN CLAIMED THAT GLENN BECK COULD SOLVE THE DEBT CRISIS: During a February trip to South Carolina, Bachmann told a South Carolina audience, “I think if we give Glenn Beck the numbers, he can solve this [the national debt].”
Anthony Weiner Resigns, Prostitute Enthusiast David Vitter Continues To Be Embraced By GOP Leadership
Today at 2PM, Rep. Anthony Weiner is expected to announce his resignation from Congress following revelations that he sent lewd texts to women he met over the internet. The move comes after nearly every prominent Democrat — from Leader Nancy Pelosi to DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to President Obama — called on Weiner to step down.
Nevertheless, the chairman of the GOP, Reince Preibus, attacked Democrats for inaction, saying, “We’ve got leadership and a Democratic Party that are defending a guy that deserves no defense.”
Today’s events stand in stark contrast to the treatment of Senator David Vitter, who admitted in 2007 to being a regular customer of a notorious prostitution service. Immediately following Vitter’s admission, McConnell was asked about Vitter on ABC News and flatly refused to address the issue or offer any criticism of Vitter’s conduct:
ROBERTS: Are you comfortable with him staying in the Republican Caucus?
MCCONNELL: Senator Vitter has addressed the issue that you’re referring to, and I’ll let him speak to that.
ROBERTS: Right. Is this something that you think he can recover from? I mean, does the Republican Party, the Republicans in Congress take a hit because of this?
MCCONNELL: Well, you’ll have to ask Senator Vitter about what he had to say about the episode that I think you’re referring to. He would be the one to address that.
McConnell wasn’t alone. Gannett reported that “few colleagues would go on record” following Vitter’s admission. One who did, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), offered only praise: “David Vitter is one of the most capable guys here. He was fabulous in the immigration debate. I think his constituents will respect that.” When Vitter returned to the Senate a few days later and addressed the GOP caucus, he was warmly received:
Applause could be heard inside the room. Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., who like most members wouldn’t disclose what Vitter said, reported that his comments went over well.
“People were very supportive,” Thune said. “People realize he has worked through this this past week. I think everybody is ready to move forward.”[...]
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, exemplified the forgive-and-forget view voiced by Senate Republicans.
“My attitude is he’s doing everything he can to rectify the mistake he made and should be allowed to do so,” Hatch said. “I’m a great believer in redemption.”
Despite moral transgressions that are more serious, from a legal perspective, than what is known of Weiner’s conduct, Vitter remains in the Senate with full seniority and committee memberships. When asked about Vitter’s potential legal violations, his GOP colleagues claimed ignorance of the law.
To this day, RNC chair Reince Preibus refuses to discuss Vitter’s conduct saying he doesn’t want to “relitigate” the situation.
But he’s also running for president, which requires occasional encounters with carefully selected, docile members of the American working/starving class. So when Mittens sat down with a few unemployed folk today for a photo op, he didn’t offer any of his hundreds of millions of dollars to them. Instead, bizarrely, he said, “I’m also unemployed.” READ MORE »
So here is Real America’s disgusting new Rush Limbaugh iced tea product, “Two If By Tea,” a clever name that took the same -1.6 seconds of thought that Rush puts into all his words. For the last $23.76 you have in the world (and only that), Rush will send you a case of iced tea maimed with the image of his outsized ego. These bottles that he encourages you not to recycle will cost you actual money, unlike those government-issued lattes the socialists are drinking. READ MORE »
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Right-Wing Media Attack Obama For Accurate Remarks On Business' Investment In Automated Machines
Right-wing media have seized on recent comments by President Obama to claim that Obama "blame[d] ATMs for high unemployment." But Obama's full comments show that he was suggesting that businesses are investing more heavily in automated machines than in hiring new employees, a view shared by economists. Read More
Right-Wing Media Use Benign Comment About Regulatory Reform To Call Millions Of Jobs A Waste Of Money
Media conservatives have found yet another excuse to push the myth that President Obama's economic policies have failed to increase employment, this time pointing to Obama's unremarkable observation that eliminating unnecessary regulations might speed up business activity and help create jobs. Economists have said that Obama's economic policies have boosted employment and raised gross domestic product. Read More
Fox Hypes Bogus Theory That ATF Operation Meant To Lay Groundwork For Stricter Gun Laws
Continuing its pattern of hyping ridiculous conspiracy theories to attack the Obama administration, Fox News baselessly suggested that the ATF's Operation Fast and Furious was deliberately designed to go badly in order to justify stricter U.S. gun laws. In fact, even a report prepared for House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) refutes this theory. Read More
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Regular Americans donate an average of 1.2% of their income, making Rick Perry below-averagely qualified to ask God to fix all his problems. Or maybe this is why Rick Perry wants to pray with all those other people, hoping God can sort of consider their giving cumulatively and give him a pass. “Our community has given so much, Lord” Perry can actually say, as long as he is not praying by himself. READ MORE »
Monday, June 13, 2011
For the past week, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) has been roundly criticized by religious and LGBT groups alike for inviting other governors to join him at an anti-gay prayer event hosted by stridently bigoted American Family Association. Not only has Perry courted the radical wing of the religious right for years, he has a history of bucking responsibility for tough problems by invoking God. For instance, while Texas was facing a historic drought and rash of wildfires, Gov. Perry extolled Texans to “pray for rain,” as he tried to cut funding for the agency battling the wildfires.
As Perry is poised to sign the most draconian state budget in recent history that slashes essential services for the poor and middle class while potentially laying off 100,000 teachers, Kyle Mantyla of Right Wing Watch Kyle digs up this gem of an interview from May in which the governor sheds some light on his motivations. During an appearance on James Robison’s Life Today television program, Perry says he sees a silver lining to the devastating recession that has cost millions of families their jobs, homes, and livelihoods: it will return America to “Biblical principles” and free us from the slavery of big government:
PERRY: I think in America from time to time we have to go through some difficult times — and I think we’re going through those difficult economic times for a purpose, to bring us back to those Biblical principles of you know, you don’t spend all the money. You work hard for those six years and you put up that seventh year in the warehouse to take you through the hard times. And not spending all of our money. Not asking for Pharaoh to give everything to everybody and to take care of folks because at the end of the day, it’s slavery. We become slaves to government............
This is now the best/only reason to move to Tennessee for the next six or so days until this dumb unconstitutional law is immediately struck down. Go and file complaints against every person in Tennessee who posts thirty pictures a day of their pets on Twitter. Also, pictures of Sarah Palin where she is not making a stupid face. Actually, whatever, pretty much everyone’s images should now be banned, except Rod Blagojevich, because who doesn’t want to look at that, for hours. READ MORE »
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Several of the 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls have laid out economic platforms that would include huge cuts in the corporate tax rate. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) called for lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent, while former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) went a step further, calling for a cut to 15 percent.
In an interview published today by the Wall Street Journal, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) — who is toying with a presidential run herself — decided to one-up both Romney and Pawlenty, calling for a reduction in the corporate tax rate to 9 percent. Adding insult to injury, Bachmann wants to pair that huge tax cut with giant tax reductions for the rich, as well as a tax increase on the working poor:
“In my perfect world,” she explains, “we’d take the 35% corporate tax rate down to nine so that we’re the most competitive in the industrialized world. Zero out capital gains. Zero out the alternative minimum tax. Zero out the death tax.” [...]
Her main goal is to get tax rates down with a broad-based income tax that everyone pays and that “gets rid of all the deductions.” A system in which 47% of Americans don’t pay any tax is ruinous for a democracy, she says, “because there is no tie to the government benefits that people demand. I think everyone should have to pay something.”
Let’s take these one at a time. First, cutting the corporate tax rate to 9 percent — a reduction about two and a half times larger than that called for in the radical House Republican budget — would cost more than $2 trillion over ten years. (The Tax Policy Center estimated that a 10 point reduction in the corporate tax rate would cost about $915 billion.)
Second, zeroing out the capital gains tax and the estate tax would overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy, as about 68 percent of capital gains taxes are paid by the richest one percent of the country, and fewer than the richest one quarter of one percent pay the estate tax.
Finally, Bachmann implies that she would raise taxes on those Americans who earn too little to have any income tax liability. (It’s simply not true that they pay nothing, as Bachmann seems to believe, since those who have no income tax liability still pay payroll taxes and any state and local taxes.)
The reason so much of the income tax liability has become concentrated at the top of the income scale is because over the last few decades income inequality has skyrocketed. The richest one percent of the country currently earn nearly one quarter of the income, and therefore pay the lion’s share of the income tax. Bachmann would raise taxes on those who have seen their incomes stagnate or even drop over the last ten years, even as she cuts taxes on the ultra-wealthy.