News & Comment
Blogs and Opinion
The GOP is Nuts by BooMan, boomantribune.com | December 21, 2012Can we safely say that the majority of the House Republican caucus has been so indoctrinated into their own propaganda that they no longer realize that it is just bullshit designed to help rich people get their way? Do they all now actually believe that raising taxes reduces revenues? Do they believe that increasing income inequality increases consumer demand and promotes economic growth? Do they actually believe that government spending doesn't create any jobs even when the government is paying people to work? It is extremely dangerous to have a party this detached from reality read more »
The Big Fail by David Weigel, slate.com | December 21, 2012When they met behind closed doors, Boehner told his members that they were done, and could go home for Christmas. Some of the “no” votes didn’t even bother to show up, opting to attend a gumbo-themed send-off for a member who’d lost his re-election. Those who did show up heard their speaker declare defeat and recite a prayer: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." And then it was away for Christmas. The meltdown shocked Washington, but it shouldn’t have. Here are the four reasons why. read more »
Will Boehner's Speakership Survive Until Plan C? by Ezra Klein, The Washington Post | December 21, 2012Has there been a House speaker in modern American history with less control over his members than John Boehner? A significant number of Boehner’s members clearly don’t trust his strategic instincts, they don’t feel personally bound to support him, they clearly disagree with his belief that tax rates must rise as part of a deal, and they, along with many other Republicans, must be humiliated after the shenanigans on the House floor this evening. Worse, they know that Boehner knows he’ll need Democratic support to get a budget deal done. That means “a cave,” at least from the perspective of the conservative bloc, is certain. That, too, will make a change of leadership appealing. If a conservative spoiler runs, he or she could very possibly deny Boehner the 218 votes he needs to become speaker. It’s hard to say exactly how likely that is. But it’s likelier than it was, say, this morning. read more »
Fiscal Cliff Vote Fails Due to Republican Theology on Taxes by Daniel Gross, thedailybeast.com | December 21, 2012People in our world too frequently fail to take professionals at their words. The modern Republican Party doesn’t believe in raising taxes. Full stop. In fact, as a rule, its members believes that taxes are too high. When they get in power, Republicans try to cut taxes, regardless of the economic or fiscal situation. George W. Bush may have had a failed presidency in many ways, but you can’t deny his success at reducing taxes on income, capital gains, dividends, and estates. When they are out of power Republicans agitate to cut taxes and oppose tax increases. When they run for office, they promise to cut taxes and oppose tax increases. And when confronted with the prospect of massive tax increases that will result from mere inaction, they have proven, thus far, unwilling to take evasive action if it means raising taxes on anybody. read more »
Republicans Crush Boehner’s Plan B by Brian Beutler, tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com | December 21, 2012So what happens now? Boehner has two problems: one with President Obama and another with his conference. And to the extent that he meliorates one he exacerbates the other. He can return to fiscal cliff negotiations with an empowered Obama, and try to eke out the sort of deal he just rejected, then pass it through the House next week, on a bipartisan basis at but a huge risk to his Speakership. That’s the course he told members he’d pursue in the conference meeting Thursday night. And the White House is open to it. It sets up a scenario where Boehner’s old nemesis Nancy Pelosi is suddenly back in the driver’s seat, controlling the votes necessary to pass a deal. But if a last ditch effort fails, or he chooses to rebuff Obama, he’ll set one of two unpredictable chains of events into motion. read more »
Boehner’s Failure and the GOP’s Disgrace by Robert b. Reich, robertreich.org | December 21, 2012Remarkably, John Boehner couldn’t get enough House Republicans to vote in favor of his proposal to keep the Bush tax cuts in place on the first million dollars of everyone’s income and apply the old Clinton rates only to dollars over and above a million. What? Even Grover Norquist blessed Boehner’s proposal, saying it wasn’t really a tax increase. Even Paul Ryan supported it. What does Boehner’s failure tell us about the modern Republican party? That it has become a party of hypocrisy masquerading as principled ideology. The GOP talks endlessly about the importance of reducing the budget deficit. But it isn’t even willing to raise revenues from the richest three-tenths of one percent of Americans to help with the task. We’re talking about 400,000 people, for crying out loud read more »
Poll: 53% Say Republican Policies Are Too Extreme by Laura Clawson, dailykos.com | December 20, 2012The Republican Party has for years gotten away with having extremist positions without being widely branded as an extremist party. But a new CNN/ORC International poll finds that, for the first time, a majority of Americans say Republican policies are too extreme, and the bad news for the GOP doesn't stop there. The poll found 53 percent saying Republican policies are too extreme, as compared with 37 percent who say Democratic policies are too extreme. The group calling Republicans too extreme is up 17 points from two years ago—basically, Republicans took their wins in 2010 and used them to convince the nation they're extremists. And if you think one of two parties working on a "compromise" is too extreme, chances are you think that party should compromise more. read more »
Concealed Carry and the Triumph of Fear by Paul Waldman, prospect.org | December 20, 2012Thanks to the tireless efforts of the NRA and the gun manufacturers, 49 states now issue concealed-carry permits to people for whom merely owning guns is not enough. As we focus our attention on military-style rifles and high-capacity magazines, we need to remember that the most important change in recent years isn't in the equipment, but in the spread of a new kind of mentality among many gun owners, one that seeks to make fear the organizing principle of American society. This has been the essential focus of gun advocates' work in recent years: changing laws so that as many people as possible can carry as many guns as possible into as many places as possible. Since the people who want to do so have driven the discussion and the laws on guns, it's important to understand where they're coming from. And frankly, it's an ugly place. read more »
'Right to Work' for Less Laws Have Racist Origins by Kenneth Quinnell, aflcio.org | December 20, 2012Last week, after Michigan became the latest state to pass "right to work" for less legislation, many began to dig into the history of such laws and discovered that one of the earliest pushes for "right to work" came from an extreme right-wing activist Vance Muse, who was staunchly anti-communist, anti-integration and anti-union. Muse was the leader of the Christian American Association, an organization that fought to pass "right to work" in more than a dozen states in the 1940s. Working with conservative business leaders and segregationist groups, the Christian American Association first pushed for so-called "anti-violence" laws that were designed to clamp down on picketing by unions. After they successfully passed that law in Texas and in other Southern states, they moved on to "right to work" in 1945, passing the first such law in Texas in 1947. In Florida and Arkansas, the Christian American Association used messaging that compared union growth to race-mixing and communism. read more »
Rich Make Out Like Bandits in Fiscal-Cliff Negotiations by Daniel Gross, thedailybeast.com | December 19, 2012If the stock market is a barometer on how the wealthy and powerful are feeling about their prospects, then the 1 percent has come down with a healthy dose of the Christmas spirit. In the past few weeks, the S&P 500 has rallied more than 7 percent. And why not? Staring at the fiscal cliff, which would have raised taxes on income, capital gains, dividends, and estates taxes, the wealthy had reason to fear. The moneyed class placed a huge, one-sided bet on their tribune, Mitt Romney, and on the Republicans. And they lost. Big time. In mid-November you could detect, in the precincts of Greenwich and Palm Beach, in Scottsdale and Buckhead, a grim sort of resignation. The first several weeks of the fiscal-cliff hostage situation gave them more reason to fear. But the developments of this week should cause the posh to take heart. Instead of getting soaked, it looks like the rich will receive a gentle spray of spring water. read more »
No 'Leak' links: US National Archives blocks searches containing ‘WikiLeaks, rt.com | November 4, 2012
Plutocracy In Action: Trespassing On Your Own Property, commondreams.org | October 12, 2012
Tar Sands Blockade: Along with Landowner, Actress Daryl Hannah Arrested
Great grandmother, Eleanor Fairchild, and film actress both arrested after blocking machinery
This Is What Tyranny Looks Like, commondreams.org | May 24, 2012
Land Of The Free? Don't fool yourselves - You've been had!
Goldman Sachs: Lloyd Blankfein 'disappointed' by claims of 'toxic' greed, telegraph.co.uk | March 14, 2012
Legal Fees Mount at Fannie and Freddie, The New York Times | February 22, 2012
Taxpayers have advanced almost $50 million in legal payments to defend former executives of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the three years since the government rescued the giant mortgage companies, a regulatory analysis has found.
To: DOJ Funky fascist America Dept
Subject: Accountability more »
FBI Nutjobs Reveal: Terrorists Pay For Coffee With Cash, Apparently, huffingtonpost.co.uk | February 15, 2012
If you're in Starbucks and notice a nondescript individual paying for their coffee with cash - watch out.
According to the FBI you might have found evidence of a terrorist plot.
A series of fliers distributed to companies around the United States by the FBI and the Bureau of Justice Assistance appear to give workers and business owners exactly this advice. more »
On the Trail of Mortgage Fraud, The New York Times | January 17, 2012
When is a crime not a crime?
When criminality subverts the system, challenges the system, becomes the system. From the Kleptocrats' point of view it is the systematic breakdown of each and every law which gets in their way; preventing the ascent to power of their enhanced moral values.
The Kleptocrats are really America's third political party.
Massive Fraud: Watchdog critical of SEC hedge fund probe, Marketwatch | December 1, 2011
OK America, your legal system has been trashed. Your constitution has been trashed. Whats next?
"WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The Securities and Exchange Commission’s watchdog released a report Wednesday examining an anonymous tip explaining that agency staffers discovered a “massive fraud” by a hedge fund manager and never pursued it. "
The GM Debate The US Is Not Having, publicserviceeurope.com | November 13, 2011
The submission by successive US administrations and congress to the GM Lobby, illustrated by silence and suppression of arguments against GM proliferation, is gradually being mirrored in Europe. There is life in the old democracy dog yet, but for how much longer? The EU Commission is trying to dispense with the rule of law. Something the US administration did years ago. more »
Regulators Investigating MF Global for Missing Money, dealbook.nytimes.com | November 1, 2011
By BEN PROTESS, MICHAEL J. DE LA MERCED and SUSANNE CRAIG more »