Showing posts with label GOP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GOP. Show all posts

Dec 18, 2013

Poll: No movement in historically low numbers for GOP

Think that much publicized outreach to minorities, young adults and women is gaining ground for the Republicans?

Look at this happy family that obtained healthcare, and they're
black! This must stopped at all costs; they breed, you know?
How about continual attacks on the working poor obtaining affordable healthcare.

Forget it.

By Erica Seifert of DCorps:

The final Democracy Corps battleground survey of 2013 belies the conventional wisdom that Republicans have enjoyed a major rebound over the last few months. On the contrary, our survey of the 50 most competitive Republican House seats and the 30 most competitive Democratic seats shows that there has been no movement. Furthermore, the second tier of less vulnerable Republican target districts has actually destabilized -- meaning that there may be more Republican seats up for grabs than many believe right now. ...

[T]his poll finds that Republican members are damaged by their total focus on Obamacare. Voters increasingly believe that these vulnerable Republican incumbents are part of the gridlock in Washington, are too focused on battles with Obama, and are too aligned with Speaker Boehner, whose plans have not helped the economy or the jobs situation. We tested a series of messages and attacks (both for and against Republican incumbents), and found that battling on Obamacare is their weakest case for re-election. In fact, it undermines it.

Dec 6, 2012

New GOP Chair: Mascot or the Weasel

Jim Galloway writes today that "disappointed Republicans have been lining up behind J.C. Watts as an alternative to GOP national chairman Reince Preibus, who faces a re-election bid early next year. In this well-worth-watching CNN clip with Erin Burnett from last night, Watts takes on Republican detachment from the minorities it seeks to bring into the party’s ranks."

So, to front for the GOP, the nation sees Reince Preibus (enough said), and J.C. Watts.

As David Plotz memorably wrote of Watts (and Oklahoma) in 1998:

Watts is slightly less conservative than those three [Oklahoma crazies]--he halfheartedly defends affirmative action--but no less unworthy of national influence. The [former] lone black congressional Republican and a former football star, Watts offers little but a sunny temperament and bootstrapping Christian banalities. Issues stump him. Republicans studiously overlook his deficiencies because he's such good press: He delivered a major speech to the 1996 Republican National Convention and the Republican response to the 1997 State of the Union address, two plums that no other two term congressman would ever get. ... Watts is too unimpressive to be more than a mascot.
Doesn't know issues and is unimpressive. Perfect for the GOP.

If Watts gets the GOP gig, don't look for him to suddenly say: 'You know what? Blocking blacks from voting is just unAmerican.'

Sep 21, 2012

In Washington Paul Ryan Is Considered a Serious Thinker

The Philosophy Prince: How Paul Ryan
convinced Washington of his genius

- by Alec MacGillis
"Let me not be alone in the back of the crowd," wrote Richard W. Rahn, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's chief economist, on the Wall Street Journal editorial page, "as I tip my hat to my longtime colleagues on the economic barricades: Thank you, Mr. Gilder, Mr. Kemp, Me Laffer, Mr, Mundell, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Ture, Mr. Wanniski and all the others who helped invent this economic miracle."

One week later the country in the great crash of 1987 "'came within an hour' of the disintegration of the stock market," as noted by Felix Rohatyn, a partner of Lazard Freres and Company. (Johnson. Sleepwalking Through History, America in the Reagan Years; W.W. Norton Company, 1991. p. 381)

The massive deregulation advocated by the likes of Jude Wanniski and George Gilder led directly to the crash of 1987.

Another round of deregulation begun a decade later and accelerated by George W. Bush led to the crash of 2008 and the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Today, Congressman Paul Ryan (who has spent his entire adult career insulated in Washington) and Mitt Romney (a leverage buy-out artist) advocate still more deregulation.

They appear not to have learned anything from recent history and the last 90 years of macroeconomics, or at least nothing can pierce their extremist ideology.

Early in his career as a congressional aide, "[Paul Ryan] nagged Cesar Conda, now Marco Rubio’s chief of staff and a Ryan admirer, so often with questions about supply-side economics that Conda lent him two books to keep him busy—Jude Wanniski’s The Way the World Works and George Gilder’s Wealth and Poverty, both foundational tracts for trickle-down Reaganomics," reports Alec MacGillis in the current issue of The New Republic.

Ryan of course is the same creature of Washington who called for ending Social Security in a speech to fans of Ayn Rand, another rightwing whack the coddled Ryan champions and whom Ryan has said is "the reason I got involved in public service."

Ryan and Romney are "preaching the same empty conservative sermon" that has brought us disaster before and will again if we elect these two phonies, as noted by David A. Stockman, who was the director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan from 1981 to 1985.   End Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, increase defense spending, attack Iran, lower taxes on the one percent and in the words of Richard W. Rahn, we can expect another "economic miracle."

This career Washington ideologue and leverage buy-out artist are the perfect front-men for today's GOP and Tea Party—deluded, dangerous and ahistorical.

The fact the Romney was caught on tape saying he doesn't care about working people is a lucky break.

As for Congressman Ryan, his insular background and hostility to social insurance will out to a wide audience as the campaign nears a 45-day sprint to election day as Congress maintains its 11 percent approval rating and the GOP ticket appears in free fall.

Even Scott Walker is running from it.

Apr 2, 2011

Senate chief clerk: Fitzgeralds, Walker Admin Met Prior to Open Meeting Violation

Patrick Marley and Lee Bergquist of the MJS report:
Testimony also showed Republicans discussed forming the committee on March 7 - 48 hours before the committee met. That would have left them time to provide 24 hours' notice for the meeting, but [Senate chief clerk Rob] Marchant said he did not believe a final decision on creating the committee was made until March 9.

At the meeting were: Fitzgerald; his brother, Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon); Brian Hayes, Walker's budget director; Eric Schutt, Walker's deputy chief of staff; Bob Lang, director of the Legislative Fiscal Bureau; and the chief clerks of both houses.
What is clear is that the Walker administration and the GOP legislature conspired to break Wisconsin's Open Meeting law.

See also Fitzgerald got legal advice from Walker’s legal counsel before contacting LRB to publish union-busting “law.”

One political issue that may present itself is didn't Walker and/or Fitzgeralds deny colluding on the March 9 sneak attack?

Apr 1, 2011

Krugman: GOP is on the wrong side of history

GOP: We must destroy employment in order to save it.

Update: Robert Reich: The Truth About the Economy that Nobody in Washington Or on Wall Street Will Admit: We’re Heading Back Toward a Double Dip. "Republicans, for their part, worry that if they tell it like it is Americans will want government to do more rather than less. They’d rather not talk about jobs and wages, and put the focus instead on deficit reduction (or spread the lie that by reducing the deficit we’ll get more jobs and higher wages)."

Paul Krugman:
In fact, across-the-board wage cuts would almost certainly reduce, not increase, employment. Why? Because while earnings would fall, debts would not, so a general fall in wages would worsen the debt problems that are, at this point, the principal obstacle to recovery.

Sep 25, 2009

No GOP Cong Takeover, Says Political Sage

Update: NYT/CBS Poll: 30 percent favorable view of GOP in Congress; 47 percent favorable view of Dems. By margin of 52 percent to 27 percent, Americans say Obama better on health care reform than GOP. Hope everyone gets past the misleading headline, "In Poll, Public Wary of Obama on War and Health."

Those fretting that a rightwing takeover of Congress in 2010 is on the horizon ought not to worry.

So says Alan I. Abramowitz in his Why a Repeat of 1994 Is Highly Unlikely.

Abramowitz has been spot-on is his bold political predictions the last several election cycles, most notably predicting the 2008 Democratic rout of Republicans. He notes that today's electorate is very different than it was in 1994.

Writes Abramowitz:

But while there are some important similarities between the current political situation and the circumstances that preceded the 1994 Republican victory, there are important differences between the makeup of the American electorate now and the makeup of the American electorate then, differences that make a repeat of the 1994 outcome highly unlikely.


Sep 15, 2009

Max Blumenthal on 9/12 Protest

Max Blumenthal reports on th 9-12 movement weekend rally:

While Fox News cameras covering the so-called 9.12 Project on the National Mall lurched away from signs morphing President Barack Obama's face into Adolph Hitler's, I zoomed in. Histrionics and manufactured paranoia were hard to avoid at the massive September 12 anti-Obama rally orchestrated by Fox News host Glenn Beck and former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey's corporate lobbying front group, Freedom Works.

When I dove into the angry mob with a camera, I captured scenes of self-proclaimed ‘real Americans’ declaring that the community organizing group ACORN was Obama's version of Hitler's SS; that the President planned to establish concentration camps for right-wing dissidents; and that Obama was raising a private army in the guise of a civilian volunteer force. The death panel rumor is just one of a rapidly growing array of conspiracy theories reverberating through the Republican base. Each one is more hysterical than the last.

Conspiracism has proven a useful tool for distracting many of the 9.12 Project participants I met from their own economic interests. Having been convinced through endless hours of right-wing media that government involvement in their healthcare would lead to totalitarian slavery, some demonstrators told me they were content to not have healthcare at all. Others said they would stop collecting their Social Security as soon as ‘the government gets out of my life.’

Sep 6, 2009

Anti-choice Bushie Pushed VA Death Book Lie

As Sussex, Wisconsin native Thomas Tradewell, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Commander remains silent, a Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) health planning booklet is still the object of right wingers misleading veterans and other Americans it is cast as a "death book."

This lie was begun by anti-abortion George W. Bush staffer, Jim Towey. From Veterans Today:

How did the phony ‘death book’ debate involving Veterans Affairs begin? Simple. Fox News-owned Wall Street Journal published an op-ed piece by Jim Towey, former Bush coordinator of anti-abortion activities and political fixer.

Towey is now president of St. Vincent's College, though he has no experience of any kind as an educator. Further, 80% of the faculty have called for his resignation for falsifying documents. It was Towey, in his WSJ editorial who continually mischaracterized VA attempts to inform patients of choices as an attempt to encourage Gulf War veterans to commit suicide.

The pamphlet itself, Your Life, Your Choices, is far from controversial. In fact it is, if anything, frighteningly conservative and mainstream. The document is exhaustive in its addressing of faith based decision making. Every imaginable attempt was made to see to it that no group, no matter how ‘wingnut’ or extreme, would find anything to complain about. The result was a huge document, though extremely informative, that is too long for anyone to read or at least want to.

Sep 3, 2009

Now GOP Aims Lies at Veterans

Hey Sussex, Wisconsin native Thomas Tradewell, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Commander, where are you?

Because nothing is sacred to the Republican Party, certainly not veterans.

Chris Adams at McClatchy Newspapers reports, "While Republicans are calling a Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) health planning booklet a 'death book' that encourages veterans to kill themselves or forgo care, ethicists and legal and medical experts say it's a reasonable attempt to help America's veterans plan for the end of their lives."

Make no mistake, the GOP will tell any lie and dishonor America's 26-million veterans for a chance to stir up its benighted base. Now, they are claiming that the DVA is encouraging veterans to kill themselves.

Does the VFW approve of these lies?

There is seemingly no bottom to the Republican Party's capacity to lie in service to ... who knows what these people think they are doing?

Writes Gordon Duff at Veterans Today:

In a TV appearance where Michael Steele, GOP Chairman and defacto spokesman for the medical industry and Fox News's Chris Wallace fabricated a story citing the Department of Veterans Affairs for creating programs to force veterans to commit suicide. ...

Defending veterans and the Department of Veterans Affairs was Paul Sullivan of Veterans for Common Sense, a watchdog group famed for uncovering VA corruption. Other veterans groups, some whose aging members were terrified by the Fox News story have neither made any significant effort to inform their membership or call the GOP and Fox News to account for this attack on the veterans health care system.

The wild and totally falsified claims made by Steele and Fox News are part of a pattern of deceptive reports intended to bring about an outcry against the government's attempt to guarantee health care for the ever increasing millions of uninsured Americans who are victims of the current economic collapse.

Why a political party and news network with passive complicity from veterans organizations would perpetrate such a massive fraud meant to victimize thousands of aging veterans may seen surprising to some.

Again I ask, Thomas Tradewell, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Commander, where are you?

Aug 6, 2009

77 Percent of GOP Sens Committed Against Sotomayor

Update: For Puerto Ricans, Sotomayor's Success Stirs Pride

With Judge Sonia Sotomayor poised to be confirmed as Supreme Court Justice, the Republican Party did not disappoint its political opponents expecting it to overwhelmingly oppose confirming the first Latina on the high court.

Of the 40 GOP senators, 31 have committed to opposing Sotomayor. That's 77 percent. The White Party remains true to its ultimately destructive and contemptible form.

Nationally, the Southern Strategy is still employed, it just does not work as well in a changing America.

Sotomayor is a wise Latina judge, and the White Party remains mostly foolish, oblivious or hostile to the concerns of brown and black America.

Jul 12, 2009

Twenty Months into the Republican Recession

Update: President Obama: Halted free fall of economy, time to clean up and rebuild. The critical question is: Will we allow the GOP to stop Obama from reclaiming our country from the Republican catastrophe?

The thesis that the GOP rained ruin on the world is so overwhelmingly supported by the evidence that it is perverse to withhold our assent, to borrow from the late paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. Next thing you know Obama will start telling us biological evolution actually occurred.

So we are now 20 months into the worst recession since the Great Depression.

But after eight years of the Bush administration that inherited the prospect of zero national debt and huge surpluses (can you imagine debating the prospect of zero national debt now), rising unemployment, a virtual hollowing out of our economy, a betrayal of our veterans, we are now six months into the Obama administration and everything is their fault, according to the GOP know-nothings

In December 2000, the Clinton administration announced projections that “the United States is on course to eliminate its public debt within the next decade.” But the national and state deficits across the nation and the unemployment in the states, that's the Democratic governors' fault, and the national debt Obama as mentioned did that too.

Here in Wisconsin, the GOP is back to its old playbook of stirring up white resentment on the economy and placing the blame for the last eight years of national economic catastrophe on one Wisconsin governor and Obama and minority constituencies, and anyone who is not making six figures and is not white.

Fortunately, as Dan Balz reportes in his recent For Republicans, the Forces Aren't With Them, and the future looks bright for a political message based on unity, civil rights and inclusion, geared especially to younger voters who are diverse demographically, less religious, culturally liberal, and less susceptible to GOP racist appeals. The screw-you economics of the GOP just won't play.

As the Democratic Strategist reminds us: "[I]f you're into polls, it pays to keep an eye on everyone's approval ratings, and on actual electoral matchups ... ." The GOP brand is shot and its heroes, Rush, Sarah Palin [and I do love that] and Newt are no where.

The American people know what the GOP did and its bloviating and constant repetition of lies just won't work.

Its star, Sarah Palin, epitomizes the Republican Party and smarter GOP writers know this ain't no good. From Peggy Noonan in the Wall Street Journal on Palin and the know-nothing Party:



In television interviews she was out of her depth in a shallow pool. She was limited in her ability to explain and defend her positions, and sometimes in knowing them. She couldn't say what she read because she didn't read anything. She was utterly unconcerned by all this and seemed in fact rather proud of it: It was evidence of her authenticity. ...

The era we face, that is soon upon us, will require a great deal from our leaders. They had better be sturdy. They will have to be gifted. There will be many who cannot, and should not, make the cut. Now is the time to look for those who can. And so the Republican Party should get serious, as serious as the age, because that is what a grown-up, responsible party—a party that deserves to lead—would do.

It's not a time to be frivolous, or to feel the temptation of resentment, or the temptation of thinking next year will be more or less like last year, and the assumptions of our childhoods will more or less reign in our future. It won't be that way.

Jul 8, 2009

Dowd Skewers Palin Again

Update: Funny how Palin makes one long for Mencken. See Kathleen Parker's Gold Rush In Alaska.

Mean Maureen mocks Sarah Palin's Sarah’s Secret Diary:

It’s the same old double standard. I am not one of those who would whine and cuss. It’s just not how I’m wired!!! But the minute I start to whine and cuss, the mainstream media totally misunderstands my verbiage and the combination of things that brought me to this place of knowing. And I know that I know that I know those crappy bloggers will put out more confliction stories. ... Pundits think I should read a book before I write one??? Man, I feel a grizzly rising up in me!!!

That's two consecutive columns that Dowd has mocked Palin in a manner that would make H.L. Mencken proud in reporting on a fundamentalist revival meeting in Tennessee in the 1920s.

But this nut Palin was one election away from becoming Vice President of the United States. And that's not so very funny.

Jun 23, 2009

Voting Rights Ruling: No Racism Anymore

Social conditions on race are what the GOP says, not the Democratic-led Congress, and certainly not empirical data.

GOP hack Chief Justice John Roberts believes racism went the way of electronic vacuum tubes and during his tenure will seek to impose this belief on any area of law that he can.

That's the political reality under which the Voting Rights Act (VRA), Section Five was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court yesterday.

Passing the Voting Rights Act in 2006, Congress concluded racism exists. Wrong, the GOP says.

The Voting Rights Act (VRA) opinion is being hailed and bashed. But the Court [at least five members] makes clear it disagrees with the VRA's assumption about prevailing racism.

John Nichols sees the opinion pulling the teeth from the Voting Rights Act.

NAACP's John Payton and the ACLU's Steven R. Shapiro applaud the Court for preserving the Act and are grateful the Court rules on narrow grounds, instead of eviscerating the Act as the GOP wants.

But narrow grounds are the best the GOP could get because the GOP-desired opinion won't write—there is no intellectually honest reasoning for the desired opinion that overturns section five of the Voting Rights Act.

Overturning Section Five, the Court would have made Bush v. Gore in comparison a model of rigorous reasoning and apolitical detachment.

So the GOP judges did what they could: Chief Justice Roberts offers his GOP view of racial history and implausibly reinterpretes the Voting Rights statute to mean what the Court says, laying the grounds for a future GOP challenge.

The four rule-of-law judges went along because that's the best that they could get and Roberts threw them some language about the good that the Voting Rights Act has accomplished.

As noted by Tom Goldstein in SCOTUSblog, the "case that went before the Court was a vehicle chosen expressly to pose the constitutional question" by activist lawyers who believe that contrary to what Congress said [in reauthorizing the act by votes of 390 to 33 in the House and 98 to 0 in the Senate in 2006 for 25 years], there is no need for the Act.

The constitutional question at hand is whether Congress overstepped its authority in deciding the Act is still needed.

But it's Congress' conclusion that racism exists that has the GOP upset.

The Court’s opinion says that Section 5 'imposes current burdens and must be justified by current needs.' And that the "statute’s coverage formula is based on data that is now more than 35 years old,” and “there is considerable evidence that it fails to account for current political conditions." (NYT) This ignores the mountain of data that Congress used to justify reauthorization.

The GOP Court will go along with the GOP as much as it can without completely embarrassing itself.

Jun 16, 2009

Wisconsin Marriage Ban Will Go

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.

- Judge's opinion defending state statute banning marriage between difference races, overturned in Loving v. Virginia (1967).

Sooner we hope but Wisconsin's ban on gay marriage will go the way of the state bans against blacks marrying whites.

Battles over banning gay marriage will mark the political culture this Summer-Fall with predictably dumbed-down news coverage carefully crafted not to offend bigots.

Several legal cases are proceeding.

In Wisconsin William C. McConkey v. J. B. Van Hollen challenges the gay marriage ban on a question of ambiguity of the GOP referendum that brought this ban into the Wisconsin constitution.

And make no mistake the gay marriage ban is a Republican project, supported by the religious right advancing their god-given "Judeo Christian principles and values."

Evaluating the arguments for banning gay marriage, honest observers agree the 'it's what I believe' statement doesn't count as a serious defense of a position, though that's the justification most often heard.

The plain truth is bigotry is behind the effort to ban gay marriage.

Many people and especially the Republican Party [at least those Republicans not yet out] simply do not like LGBT people, explaining their belief that raging hell fires await gays who will be punished by god.

Ignorance and delusion, that's the staple of the Republican Party.

In one federal case, to once and for all rid America of the lawful unequal treatment of gays under the law, the Perry, Stier, Katami and Zarrillo v. Schwarzenegger suit seeks a ruling guaranteeing gay Americans equal protection, due process and privacy rights just like every other American.

So, it's worth noting the God-wants-it-that-way argument was also advanced by bigots 42 years ago in the landmark Loving v. Virginia case overturning state statutes banning marriage between people of different races.

The same Equal Protection and Due Process argument in Loving v. Virginia are made in the Perry, Stier, Katami and Zarrillo v. Schwarzenegger brief.

And Wisconsin GOP's gay marriage ban efforts reflect the same ludicrous sentiments against gay marriage held by the bigots in defense of anti-miscegenation statutes.

In Loving v. Virginia, the opinion notes that the Virginia trial judge stated in accepting a guilty plea of a couple marrying in defiance of the ban of blacks and whites that:

Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.
Anyone want to defend that nonsense?

Christian, Mormon, or just plain stupid, opposing gay marriage is a political exercise in bigotry and ignorance that ultimately will fail through the courts upholding civil rights or the legislatures upholding civil rights.

Jun 2, 2009

Rightwing Activists: Filibuster Sotomayor

Bring it on.

The White Party says filibuster the first Hispanic Supreme Court nominee. [In Wisconsin, the White Party says: Do not gather racial profiling data.]

The GOP did well in the deep south and Appalachia in the last election. But I think even the religious right might be getting tired of these guys.

From the Politico, Manu Raju reports:

Conservatives are demanding that Senate Republicans take a harder line on Sonia Sotomayor, with new signs of tension between the Hill GOP and elements of the Republican base over the direction the opposition should move in the Supreme Court fight.

In a letter to be delivered to Senate Republicans Tuesday, more than 145 conservatives – including Grover Norquist, Richard Viguerie and Gary Bauer — call for a filibuster of Sotomayor’s nomination if that’s what it takes to force a 'great debate' over judicial philosophy.

But as is clear, the the White Party hates a debate.

Nearly nine in ten (89 percent) Republicans are white with the vast majority of those people describing themselves as 'conservative' (63 percent). Just seven percent of Republicans are either Hispanic (five percent) or black (two percent).

The more the GOP listens to its base, the more it isolates itself.

May 31, 2009

Rice and Cheney, People Who Don't Know

Update: "The one trait that defines establishment pundits more than any other is a pathological inability ever to accept blame or admit error. That's because they work in the most accountability-free profession in America, where people like Bill Kristol (with a record like this) and Jeffrey Goldberg (with a record like this) get promoted despite no retractions or remorse, and establishment media stars in general can pretend that they bear no responsibility for enabling the abuses and crimes of the Bush years."
- Glenn Greenwald, Salon

First-rate Sunday morning reads in the New York Times and Washington Post rebutting the always foolish Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice.

Frank Rich and Richard A. Clarke, the national coordinator for security and counterterrorism under Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, rip apart the recent Cheney-Rice lies that even now continue apace with the "unsettling return to the post-9/11 dynamic (Frank Rich)" on the part of the corporate media and Congressional Democrats.

Writes Clarke:


'Unless you were there, in a position of responsibility after September 11, you cannot possibly imagine the dilemmas that you faced in trying to protect Americans,' Condoleezza Rice said last month as she admonished a Stanford University student who questioned the Bush-era interrogation program. ...

Yet listening to Cheney and Rice, it seems that they want to be excused for the measures they authorized after the attacks on the grounds that 9/11 was traumatic. ...

I have little sympathy for this argument. ...

Careful analysis could have replaced the impulse to break all the rules, even more so because the Sept. 11 attacks, though horrifying, should not have surprised senior officials. ...

Yes, Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice may have been surprised by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 -- but it was because they had not listened. And their surprise led them to adopt extreme counterterrorism techniques -- but it was because they rejected, without analysis, the tactics the Clinton administration had used. The measures they uncritically adopted, which they simply assumed were the best available, were in fact unnecessary and counterproductive.
The reaction of thinking journalists when Rice and Cheney began their we know better, you had to be there line should have been extreme skepticism and consider-the-source, there-they-go-again ridicule.

As President Obama is aware, this skepticism resides in the electorate that put him into office and remains impatient for a complete presidential repudiation and reversal of Cheney-Rice disgrace.

May 13, 2009

'Democrat Socialist Party,' Says Official RNC Resolution

Update: Obama, Congressional Leaders Vow Passage of Health Care by June 31, GOP will call it socialist though it will be anything but socialist.

Just read this from Ed Kilgore at the Democratic Strategist:


Like a lot of non-Rush-Limbaugh listeners, when I first heard that a large faction of Republican National Committee members was pushing for a formal resolution calling on GOPers to start referring to the Democratic Party as the 'Democrat Socialist Party,' I thought it was a puerile joke that the adults in the Republican Party would quash.

Apparently not. According to sources speaking to Politico's Roger Simon, the Republican National Committee will approve the resolution at a special meeting of the RNC called for that very purpose.

These guys really are grade-schoolers. You might think after getting the U.S. into this mess that the GOP might offer serious solutions. You would be wrong.

May 4, 2009

Low Wages Are No Good

You offshore American jobs and people lose their jobs.

No good, not for Americans and not for the economy.

Krugman offer some advice against falling wages; might seem obvious but Republicans love the idea of falling wages.

Concern about falling wages isn’t just theory. Japan — where private-sector wages fell an average of more than 1 percent a year from 1997 to 2003 — is an object lesson in how wage deflation can contribute to economic stagnation.

So what should we conclude from the growing evidence of sagging wages in America? Mainly that stabilizing the economy isn’t enough: we need a real recovery.

There has been a lot of talk lately about green shoots and all that, and there are indeed indications that the economic plunge that began last fall may be leveling off. The National Bureau of Economic Research might even declare the recession over later this year.

But the unemployment rate is almost certainly still rising. And all signs point to a terrible job market for many months if not years to come — which is a recipe for continuing wage cuts, which will in turn keep the economy weak.

To break that vicious circle, we basically need more: more stimulus, more decisive action on the banks, more job creation.

Credit where credit is due: President Obama and his economic advisers seem to have steered the economy away from the abyss. But the risk that America will turn into Japan — that we’ll face years of deflation and stagnation — seems, if anything, to be rising.

Apr 19, 2009

Obama's Project: Making Thin Ice Safe

Those with an investment position betting on the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeting to say 6,500 (it's at 8,131 now), should read Alexander Cockburn's piece in CounterPunch and be happy.

As for the project facing Obama in saving the world economy: the words gargantuan and humongous come to mind, analogous to constructing a snow fortress on thin ice on a central Wisconsin lake during the early Autumn. [Lots of unknowns and ambiguity.]

Cockburn:
On any rational assessment the popular new president is skating on thin ice.

Pollyanna bulletins about the economy puff up from the White House and Federal Reserve, like auguries of a new Pope through the Vatican chimney. ...

The economic news in the near and medium term is ghastly, as Mike Whitney outlined on this site last Thursday [see his A Bulletin from the Captain of the Titanic]. Retail sales crashed again in March, nowhere worse than in the car market, though electronics and building materials were way off too. They now reckon there’ll be just over two million housing foreclosures in 2009, up 400,000 from 2008. Industrial output is going through the floor at an annual rate of 20 per cent, the biggest quarterly drop since the end of the Second World War. US industry is now running at only 70 per cent of capacity, the worst number since they started tracking this stat in 1967. Job losses are currently running at 650,000 a month.

Round the next corner is credit card delinquency and the long-heralded slump in commercial real estate, where vacancy rates are already running at 15 per cent... .

Half a million new jobless every month and the salesmen of 'free trade' still hawk their credo.
Yikes. As for free trade hawkers, mostly Republicans who we hope, to paraphrase Ralph McGill (1898-1969), are little, white quasi-Christian men (mostly) standing alone in their own diminishing circles.

Concludes Mike Whitney in his piece:

(Fed Chair Ben) Bernanke's financial rescue plan is a disaster. He should have spent a little less time with Milton Friedman and a little more with Karl Marx. It was Marx who uncovered the root of all financial crises. He summed it up like this:

'The ultimate reason for all real crises always remains the poverty and restricted consumption of the masses as opposed to the drive of capitalist production to develop the productive forces as though only the absolute consuming power of society constituted their limit.' (Karl Marx, Capital, vol. 3, New York International publishers, 1967.)

Bingo.

Message to Bernanke: Workers need debt-relief and a raise in pay not bigger bailouts for chiseling fatcat banksters.
Right. And another message that policymakers ought to heed, a message that rarely comes from the mainstream media: Shipping American jobs overseas is bad for the American economy, bad for Americans (duh) though Republicans love the idea, and is in a word unAmerican.

On a related note, from Quote.com News:
(RTTNews) - Wall Street will be busy assessing report cards this week, as the season springs forward. IBM, Coca-Cola, Yahoo, Apple, Microsoft are among the conglomerates scheduled to report in the week that lies ahead.