Tag Archive: 2012 Election

Nov 27 2012

Post Election Redux: What Republicans Have Not Learned from Losing

While Republicans at the federal level appear to understand that they have a huge demographics problem with Latino and women voters, the lesson of the loss has failed to reach the Republicans at the state level. As Rachel Maddow explains in states where Republicans control the legislature and governorship, they are taking further steps to pass legislation that cracks down on undocumented immigrants, gay rights and women’s access to abortion and reproductive health care:

But where Republicans are really in control of government, as in Kansas for example, Maddow said the party is taking steps to “crack down on immigrants who want to go to college.” She also said that the Republican leadership in Indiana is moving to add a constitutional ban on gay marriage to the state constitution-in a state where gay marriage is already illegal. In Ohio, Maddow said, one of the first things the state government did after the November election was hold a hearing on defunding Planned Parenthood. [..]

Maddow added that Republicans at the state level are still “waging wars” on issues like immigration, abortion, and gay marriage, even though members of the party seem to be saying otherwise on a national level. Speaking of the differences between Republican messages, Maddow said, “Somebody should tell the Beltway, or maybe it’s funnier if we don’t.”

Keep in mind some of these same Republican governors, like Wisconsin’s union and women hating Scott Walker and Louisiana’s creationist Bobby Jindal, are considered top contenders for the 2016 presidential ticket. And you thought they couldn’t do worse that Mitt Romney.  

Nov 24 2012

Elections: “Super PAC’s Upped the Ante”

One of the people I am thankful for is Bill Moyers and his quiet, rational discussion of the problem that plague this country and the world on his PBS program Moyers & Company. In an interview with Trevor Potter, the former Federal Election Commission Chairman and  the lawyer behind the creation and functioning of Stephen Colbert‘s PAC, “Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow”, they discuss how Citizens United has effected, not only this campaign, but campaigns in the very near future with the influx of undisclosed money to Super PACs from very wealthy donors who want only to protect their influence in Congress.

Trevor Potter on Big Money’s Election Effect

Former Federal Election Commission Chairman Trevor Potter – the lawyer who advised Stephen Colbert on setting up a super PAC – dissects the spending on the most expensive election in American history. Many voices are claiming “money didn’t matter, Citizens United wasn’t a factor,” but Potter disagrees.

“Super PACs just upped the ante,” he tells Bill. “If you’re a senator and you have just been elected, or heaven forbid you’re up in two years, you’re thinking I don’t have time to worry about deficit reduction and the fiscal cliff. I have to raise tens of thousands of dollars every day to have enough money to compete with these new super PACs… And that means I need to be nice to a lot of billionaires who often want something from me in order to find the funding for my campaign.”

The transcript can be read here

Nov 09 2012

“Truthiness”

Four More Years of Hopey Change

Even though Barack Obama lost in spacious red states, he is reelected due to a technicality called the Constitution.

 

Nov 05 2012

The Disenchanted Election

Glenn Greenwald on Voters ‘Disenchanted’ With Obama

The S&M Election

by Chris Hedges

I learned at the age of 10, when I was shipped off to a New England boarding school where the hazing of younger boys was the principal form of recreation, that those who hunger for power are psychopathic bastards. The bullies in the forms above me, the sadistic masters on our dormitory floors, the deans and the headmaster would morph in later life into bishops, newspaper editors, college presidents, politicians, heads of state, business titans and generals. Those who revel in the ability to manipulate and destroy are demented and deformed individuals. These severely diminished and stunted human beings-think Bill and Hillary Clinton-shower themselves, courtesy of elaborate public relations campaigns and an obsequious press, with encomiums of piety, patriotism, devoted public service, honor, courage and vision, not to mention a lot of money. They are at best mediocrities and usually venal. I have met enough of them to know.

So it is with some morbid fascination that I watch Barack Obama, who has become the prime “dominatrix” of the liberal class, force us in this election to plead for more humiliation and abuse. Obama has carried out a far more egregious assault on our civil liberties, including signing into law Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), than George W. Bush. Section 1021(b)(2), which I challenged in federal court, permits the U.S. military to detain U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military facilities. U.S. District Judge Katherine B. Forrest struck down the law in September. The Obama administration immediately appealed the decision. The NDAA has been accompanied by use of the Espionage Act, which Obama has turned to six times in silencing whistle-blowers. Obama supported the FISA Amendment Act so government could spy on tens of millions of us without warrants. He has drawn up kill lists to exterminate those, even U.S. citizens, deemed by the ruling elite to be terrorists. [..]

The only recognizable basis for moral and political authority, in the eyes of the elite, is the attainment of material success and power. It does not matter how it is gotten. The role of education, the elites believe, is to train us vocationally for our allotted positions and assure proper deference to the wealthy. Disciplines that prod us to think are-and the sneering elites are not wrong about this-“political,” “leftist,” “liberal” or “subversive.” And schools and universities across the country are effectively stomping out these disciplines. The elites know, as Canetti wrote, that once we stop thinking we become a herd. We react to every new stimulus as if we were rats crammed into a cage. When the elites push the button we jump. It is collective sadomasochism. And we will get a good look at it on Election Day.

Who is the worst civil liberties president in US history?

by Glenn Greenwald

Where do the abuses of the last decade from Bush and Obama rank when compared to prior assaults in the name of war?

The following interesting question arose yesterday from what at first appeared to be some petty Twitter bickering: who was the worst president for civil liberties in US history? That question is a difficult one to answer because it is so reliant upon which of many valid standards of measurement one chooses; it depends at least as much on the specific rights which one understands the phrase “civil liberties” to encompass. That makes the question irresolvable in any definitive way, but its examination is nonetheless valuable for the light it sheds on current political disputes.

It’s worthwhile first to set forth the context in which the question arose. At their Lawfare blog, Ritika Singh and Benjamin Wittes posted an excerpt of an essay they wrote for a new book on the War of 1812; their essay pertains to the impact of that war on civil liberties and executive power. The two Brookings writers note that despite intense domestic opposition to the war, President Madison “eschewed the authority to detain American citizens in military custody or try them in military tribunals, and more generally, declined to undertake the sorts of executive overreaches we have come to expect – and even encourage – from our presidents in war.” [..]

But in terms of the role played by war in enabling civil liberties assaults, at least the exploited wars are usually real. In the case of the “War on Terror”, it is far more illusory and frivolous than real. That – along with their permanence – is a major factor in determining where the civil liberties erosions of the last decade, and the presidents responsible for them, rank in history.

Oct 23 2012

Expanded Debate with the Other Presidential Candidates: Third Debate

Exclusive: As Obama and Romney Agree on Afghan War, Israel and Syria, Third Parties Give Alternative

In the last of our exclusive “Expanding the Debate” series, we bring you highlights of our coverage of last night’s final presidential debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, with the added voices of third-party candidates. As Obama and Romney faced off for the last time before the general election, we once again broke the sound barrier by inserting Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party into the discussion. In an evening focused on foreign policy, both Obama and Romney shared wide agreement on issues including support for the Israeli government, the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, and opposition to U.S. military involvement in Syria. But they clashed over a few key points, including military spending, negotiating with Iran, and responding to the Libyan embassy attack. Before a live audience in San Rafael, California, we aired the Obama-Romney debate and paused the tape to give Stein and Anderson a chance to respond in real time to the same questions put to the major-party candidates.

Transcript here.

There is a Third Party debate scheduled for tonight at 9 PM EDT, October 23, in Chicago hosted by Larry King. None of the major networks or cable news sites are carrying the debate. C-Span had not yet decided of they would air the debate with four third-party candidates, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, Green Party nominee Jill Stein, Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode, and Justice Party nominee Rocky Anderson, which is being hosted by the nonpartisan Free and Equal Elections Foundation. It will be carried live by Al Jazeera:

Link TV will also carry Al Jazeera English’s broadcast in areas where the network still isn’t available on the cable dial. In addition, Russia Today announced plans Friday to air the debate on the RT America television network and on RT.com. The debate will also be streamed by Ora TV, home to Larry King’s online talk show, and on Free and Equal’s site.

We will have the debate Live stream at both The Stars Hollow Gazette and Docudharma.

Oct 23 2012

Plutocracy: “The Remains of the Old USA”

Plutocrats Want to Own Your Vote

by Bill Moyers and Michael Winsap

The new Gilded Age is roaring down on us — an un-caged tiger on a rampage. Walk out to the street in front of our office here in Manhattan, look to the right and you can see the symbol of it: a fancy new skyscraper going up two blocks away. When finished, this high rise among high rises will tower a thousand feet, the tallest residential building in the city.

The New York Times has dubbed it “the global billionaires’ club” — and for good reason. At least of two of the apartments are under contract for more than $90 million each. Others, more modest, range in price from $45 million to more than $50 million. The mega-rich have been buying these places “looking for a place to stash their cash,” a realtor from Sotheby’s explained to the Times. “A lot of what is happening,” she said, “… is about wealth preservation.”

Simultaneously, the powers-that-be have just awarded Donald Trump the right to run a golf course in the Bronx, which taxpayers are spending at least $97 million to build — what “amounts to a public subsidy,” says the indignant city comptroller, “for a luxury golf course.” Good grief — a handout to the plutocrat’s plutocrat.

This, in a city where economic inequality rivals that of a third-world country. Of America’s 25 largest cities, New York is now the most unequal. The median income for the bottom 20 percent last year was less than $9,000, while the top one percent of New Yorkers has an average annual income of $2.2 million. [..]

It’s snowballing. Timeshare king David Siegel of Westgate Resorts reportedly has threatened to fire employees if Barack Obama is re-elected and Arthur Allen, who runs ASG Software Solutions, emailed his employees, “If we fail as a nation to make the right choice on November 6th, and we lose our independence as a company, I don’t want to hear any complaints regarding the fallout that will most likely come.”

Back in the first the Gilded Age, in the 19th century, bosses in company towns lined up their workers and marched them to vote as a bloc. Now, the Gilded Age is back , with a vengeance. Welcome to the plutocracy — the remains of the ol’ USA.

Oct 22 2012

Expanded Debate with the Other Presidential Candidates: Second Debate

Expanding the Debate with Third-Party Candidates Jill Stein, Virgil Goode, Rocky Anderson

President Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney sparred last night in their second of three debates. Today, in a two-hour special, we expand the debate by including the voices of three presidential candidates shut out of the official debate. We are joined by Jill Stein of the Green Party, Constitution Party nominee Virgil Goode, and Justice Party candidate Rocky Anderson. We re-air parts of last night’s presidential debate, pausing the videotape to give third-party candidates a chance to respond to the same questions put to the major-party candidates

Transcript here.

Oct 08 2012

Open Debate: Romney’s Tax Plan

This weekend on MSNBC’s Up with Chris Hayes Nobel Prize winning economist Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz and Avik Roy, an adviser to Presidential Republican nominee Mitt Romney, debate the nominee’s tax plan and its impact on Americans.

In the second segment, Prof. Stiglitz and Mr. Roy try to outline what is known about Mr. Romney’s tax plan and whether he would be able to implement the plan if elected president.

Oct 04 2012

Expanded Debate with the Other Presidential Candidates

Voters need to be aware that there are three other candidates for president running on this election who have been excluded from the presidential debates by mutual agreement of the Democratic and Republican Parties and their candidates. They are:

  • Dr. Jill Stein for the Green Party
  • Gov. Gary Johnson for the Libertarian Party
  • Mayor Rocky Anderson for the Justice Party
  • Democracy Now! invited those candidates to participate in a live, real time debate answering the same questions that were given to the Democratic and Republican nominees. Dr. Stein and Mayor Anderson participated. Gov. Johnson was not available. Contrast their answers to those of President Obama and Gov. Romney.

    As President Obama and Mitt Romney squared off for the first time on Wednesday night, Democracy Now! broke the sound barrier by pausing Obama and Romney’s answers to get real-time responses from candidates Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party. Stein and Anderson joined Democracy Now! for a live special just miles away from the Obama-Romney contest at the University of Denver. Many Obama supporters have expressed surprise that Romney was able to put the president on the defensive, while Obama failed to mention several of Romney’s potential weak spots, including including his record at the private equity firm Bain Capital, his vast personal wealth and offshore investments, and his recent remark that 47 percent of Americans are government dependents. Today, highlights from our “Expanding the Debate” special with the voices of all four candidates, showcasing the broadened perspectives on the critical issues beyond the Democratic-Republican political spectrum. Includes rush transcript

    Expanding the Debate Exclusive: Third Party Candidates Break the Sound Barrier As Obama-Romney Spar

    Sep 18 2012

    Congress Gets Out of Dodge

    The do nothing Congress will slither out of town seven weeks before the election to hit the campaign trail and leaving a pile of work for November when they return for the lame duck session. Not that most of them aren’t lame now. They had originally been scheduled to work through to the first week of October.

    The one bill that will be passed is the bill to keep the government funded once the new fiscal year begins Oct.1. It has already passed the House and is set for a vote in the Senate later this week. it will find the government through to March 27, 2013. The other legislation that will pass at least the House is a resolution expressing disapproval of President Obama’s handling of welfare reform. The administration agreed to to waive existing work requirements for those who receive welfare benefits if states can demonstrate better programs for employing and retaining workers. This waiver was requested by Republican governors, as well as, Democrats and the plans must be approved by the administration. In other words the House Republicans are disapproving something they requested.  

    Bur much of what won’t be accomplished could drastically hurt the middle class and the economy.

    What’s next for farm bill?

    Greatest fallout from deadline miss: uncertainty

    The 2008 farm bill, a law including crop insurance, disaster programs and other aid for farmers, along with conservation and food stamp programs, is set to expire Sept. 30, the end of the federal fiscal year. Some key programs could cease or run out of money without a new farm bill.

    But farmers and ag policy experts say the most dramatic effects won’t happen until 2013. That’s when farmers will start to plant next year’s crop. Many farm programs operate onthe crop year, not the fiscal or calendar years. [..]

    If Congress doesn’t do anything, food prices could soar. That’s because without a new farm bill, the law reverts back to a 1949 farm bill that essentially committed the federal government to purchase crops at fixed prices. But with more than 60 years since those prices were set, in most cases the government would be paying far more than what those crops receive today.

    There is the legislation that would provide reforms for the Postal Service, which is plagued by financial shortfalls, and an extension of the Violence Against Women Act, a normally bipartisan bill that authorizes program funding for victims of domestic and sexual abuse.

    The biggie is the expiring tax measures, the Bush/Obama and the Payroll tax holiday, and unemployment benefits, that will end December 31. As reported in Politico the House Ways and means Committee, which generates tax bills will meet in a rare closed session on Thursday. They will also meet with the Democratic-led Senate Finance Committee to discuss capital gains taxes.

    David Dayen at FDL News Desk isn’t confident that the talks will include an extension of the Payroll Tax Holiday but thinks that this whole sequester mess will kicked down the road:

    There’s no guarantee that the payroll tax cut will factor into these negotiations, but they should – or at least something that brings a commensurate level of fiscal accommodation, which preferably doesn’t put the Social Security Trust Fund at risk. The expiration of the payroll tax cut will take $125 billion out of the economy. That’s less than the Bush tax cuts, although since most of those accrue to the rich, the payroll tax cut could have a higher fiscal multiplier. And it’s a larger pullback in fiscal policy than the first year of the sequester, which would take roughly $110 billion out of the economy. [..]

    I would like to find the economist who believes that the US can handle taking $125 billion out of the economy without an effect, especially $125 billion targeted loosely (though not as well as Making Work Pay) at those with a high propensity to spend. [..]

    It’s entirely possible that everything gets punted for a period of time while opening up some breathing space for Congress to figure the mess out. But I doubt that includes the payroll tax cut. That’s decent enough news for Social Security, but it’s not really good news for the economy.

    As a postscript, you gotta love this from a defense lobbyist:

       “Regardless of who wins, the big deal will have tax increases and spending cuts,” said one defense lobbyist, who asked not to be identified. “The ratio will just be different. With taxes playing a smaller role in a Republican plan, entitlement programs like Medicare will have to play a bigger one to protect defense.”

    Surely we can all agree that Lockheed Martin needs the money more than an 85 year-old on a fixed income.

    Lets see if Obama sticks to his promise to veto any bill that extends the Bush/Obama tax cuts for those who make over $250,000.

    Older posts «

    Fetch more items