Almost a year after the 47% failed to elect its standard-bearer, Mitt Romney, Congressional Republicans are still trying to implement his platform. In what the New York Times editorial board calls a "ransom note," GOP representatives presented its list of demands yesterday.
Surprise! It's the failed 2012 Republican Platform that includes the Paul Ryan budget, delaying Obamacare for a year (conveniently putting implementation off until after the 2014 midterms), means-testing Medicare, repealing Wall Street reforms, and gutting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
No millionaire gets left behind, but the rest of us are left in the dust.
Jeepers, creepers! Mitt Romney finally won something: Politifact's 2013 "Lie of the Year" award. Competition was fierce - with the Romney campaign often competing against itself because remember: they promised that their election strategy would NOT be dictated by fact checkers. And the winner is.... drum roll please.....
It was a lie told in the critical state of Ohio in the final days of a close campaign -- that Jeep was moving its U.S. production to China. It originated with a conservative blogger, who twisted an accurate news story into a falsehood. Then it picked up steam when the Drudge Report ran with it. Even though Jeep's parent company gave a quick and clear denial, Mitt Romney repeated it and his campaign turned it into a TV ad.
And they stood by the claim, even as the media and the public expressed collective outrage against something so obviously false.
That's right. It wasn't a "distortion," a "misstatement," or a "mistake." It was a flat out lie that Mitt Romney knew was a lie and he kept spewing it in person and on TV.
We in the "reality-based community" celebrated the election a week ago & then moved on to the serious business of moving this country forward. But those in the Fox News/GOP echo chamber just won't let it so. Whether they're trying to secede from the United States, blame the electorate for their loss, or try (once again!) to overturn an election via impeachment, they're spending a LOT more time trying to deny reality than they are trying to change hearts and minds.
Here are a few sad, sad examples from Alabama.
The Greater Birmingham Republican Women, coming off an election where the GOP was totally decimated in Jefferson County, published a newsletter promising to "BELIEVE AND NEVER GIVE UP!" It includes this noxious soup of racism, conspiracy theory, and McCarthyism:
The assault on Liberty we witnessed Tuesday, as was the case in 2008, was led primarily by those on urban "ObamaNation Plantations," those who depend on what Obama calls "redistributive justice" from the rest of us in order to survive. They account for almost 60 (SIXTY) percent of Obama's constituents, and Socialist Democrats are masters of co-opting (read: "buying") their allegiance and getting them to the polls. The good news is that about 10 million fewer Obama voters showed up in 2012, despite his billion-dollar campaign.
Words of Encouragement. Patriots, we were dealt an awful body blow on Tuesday, and the odds we face in our quest to restore Liberty and Rule of Law enshrined in our Declaration and Constitution may seem insurmountable.
As the election season draws to a close, President Obama and Mitt Romney are making their closing arguments to voters. Their arguments -- and their vision of America -- could not be more different. Take your pick: we're all in this together orRepublicans will throw a temper tantrum if Obama wins.
On Saturday in Ohio President Obama argued that we're all in this together, rising or falling as one people.
You see heroes running into buildings, wading into the water to help their fellow citizens; neighbors helping neighbors cope with tragedy; leaders of different political parties working together to fix what’s broken; it’s a spirit that says no matter how bad a storm is, no matter how tough the times are, we’re all in this together – that we rise or fall as one nation, as one people.
And that spirit has guided this country along its improbable journey for more than two centuries. It has carried us through the trials and tribulations of the last four years. Remember in 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Today, our businesses have created nearly five and a half million new jobs. The American auto industry is back on top. Home values are on the rise. We’re less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in 20 years. Because of the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is winding down. Al Qaeda is on the run and Osama bin Laden is dead.
In contrast to Obama's vision of an America where leaders work together to solve problems, Mitt Romney's closing argument is based on blackmail -- elect me or congressional Republicans will continue, or even escalate, their obstruction. This is what he told Wisconsin voters on Friday:
"You know that if the President is re-elected, he will still be unable to work with the people in Congress. He has ignored them, attacked them, blamed them. The debt ceiling will come up again, and shutdown and default will be threatened, chilling the economy. The President was right when he said he can't change Washington from the inside. In this case, you can take him at his word."
Do you stay with the guy who believes in working together -- even after 4 years of obstructionist tactics from congressional Republicans -- or go with the guy who believes blackmail works?
No garden blogging today since the freeze earlier this week took out the remaining tomato & pepper plants, but there's plenty of stuff to discuss. Here are a few things that caught my eye this morning: feel free to jump in with your own topics.
First, aren't these the cutest trick or treaters ever?
It remains to be seen whether Christie, who has presidential ambitions of his own, will alter course in response to conservative blowback. The governor has already dismissed the suggestion that he make a new push for Romney, saying, "If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don't know me."
Two things jumped out at me specifically:
The idea that Gov. Christie should take time from overseeing hurricane recovery in his state and hit the campaign trail for Romney.
The demands that Christie go on the attack against the very same federal agency & officials who are bringing relief to the people in his state.
That's the Republican philosophy of "governance" in a nutshell. The job be damned. The people you swore to serve be damned. Murdoch, Limbaugh, & company instead demand obedience to the big money & dark money masters. In that view, a candidate/governor's real job is to salute & ask "how high, Sir?" when the puppermasters snap their imperious fingers and say "jump!"
And finally, hats off to Ralph Giles, Chrysler Head of Product Design, who spoke the truth to Donald Trump in the plainest way possible:
Trump, from his Twitter account, said, "Obama is a terrible negotiator. He bails out Chrysler and now Chrysler wants to send all Jeep manufacturing to China--and will!"
To which Gilles, from his Twitter account, responded to Trump: "You are full of shit!"
In a second Tweet, Giles added: "I apologize for my language, but lies are just that, lies."
Yep. Romney's whole campaign is built on a shifting sand of constantly changing positions. If he & his surrogates didn't lie, they'd have nothing at all to say.
What's up in your corner of the world this morning?
Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 171,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in professional and business services, health care, and retail trade.
Both the unemployment rate (7.9 percent) and the number of unemployed persons (12.3 million) were essentially unchanged in October, following declines in September.
The civilian labor force rose by 578,000 to 155.6 million in October, and the labor force participation rate edged up to 63.8 percent. Total employment rose by 410,000 over the month. The employment-population ratio was essentially unchanged at 58.8 percent, following an increase of 0.4 percentage point in September.
... there were 813,000 discouraged workers in October, a decline of 154,000 from a year earlier.
More people working, more people in the labor force, fewer discouraged workers -- that's why the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9% even with 171,000 new jobs --plus the employment numbers for August and September were revised upward.
Good news for the economy, bad news for Mitt. But then, Mitt would be bad news for the economy, wouldn't he?
I'll say it again. God was Pro Choice in 1968, which is when
...Christianity Today published a special issue on contraception and abortion, encapsulating the consensus among evangelical thinkers at the time. In the leading article, professor Bruce Waltke, of the famously conservative Dallas Theological Seminary, explained the Bible plainly teaches that life begins at birth:
“God does not regard the fetus as a soul, no matter how far gestation has progressed. The Law plainly exacts: 'If a man kills any human life he will be put to death' (Lev. 24:17). But according to Exodus 21:22–24, the destruction of the fetus is not a capital offense… Clearly, then, in contrast to the mother, the fetus is not reckoned as a soul.”
---Jonathan Dudley, author of "Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics."
Even casual students of the Bible have probably read this verse from 2 Peter 3:8: "Beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.”
But somehow Right Wing Evangelicals and their GOP leaders have persuaded themselves and their flocks that God has changed his mind in the last 40 years or so. The ways of God are hard to fathom, but I want to suggest here that this sudden sea change might have a lot more to do with Richard Nixon and Lee Atwater than any sudden dawning of spiritual light or moral conviction. One might even argue that religious doctrine supplied by two of the most corrupt political animals ever to stain the American landscape hardly meets the smell test.
Patrick Buchanan wrote a memo to Nixon advocating using the abortion issue to woo the Catholic vote. “If the president should publicly take his stand against abortion as offensive to his own moral principles … then we can force [Ed] Muskie [a failed Democratic presidential candidate in 1972] to make the choice between his tens of millions of Catholic supporters and his liberal friends.” The next week Nixon spoke of his “personal belief in the sanctity of human life – including the life of the yet unborn”.---Alan Bean, Abortion and White Evangelicals
Our current 'controversy' also owes a huge debt to Jerry Falwell and his so-called Moral Majority, who campaigned against Jimmy Carter (an actual Evangelical Christian) in favor of Ronald Reagan (who hated going to church and whose wife had a professional astrologer on retainer during the White House years). Falwell was also cozily in bed with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon, receiving millions in cash from that source to bail out his failing university. The Rev. Moon convinced thousands of cult followers that he was the physical incarnation of Christ - the New Messiah - and claimed their total allegiance on that basis. Hey, let's talk some Bible here, shall we?
MT 7:15 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves."
Falwell is also in large part responsible for bringing Roman Catholic dogma into Protestant thinking, and even Catholics haven't always held the belief that life begins at conception.
[Thomas] Aquinas, the father of Roman Catholic theology, believed that life began at forty days but only because he mistakenly believed that’s when the unborn fetus was capable of intellectual life. ”Today, we know that the rudimentary organs are not developed until around ten weeks after conception,” Dudley writes, “and that the brain is not sufficiently developed to support sentient intellectual life until around six months after conception.”
For that matter, neither did St. Augustine - another bastion of the Roman Church. For Evangelicals, who lean heavily on the Old Testament for Biblical support, it's also problematic that Jewish tradition holds that life begins at birth. My opinion is that it has to do with the breath of life. Unlike the anti-choice quotes, which mostly boil down to one sentence ( Jeremiah 1:5), the equation of Life=Breath is repeated endlessly in Scripture, starting at Genesis where God "breathed life into Adam". The act of breathing, whether God's or ours, seems to be a fairly universal definition of life in Scripture. But don't take my word for it. How about an unimpeachable Evangelical source like the 700 Club?
We almost get a little spooky talking about the Holy Ghost, but the Hebrew word behind spirit is ruach, and it means "air in motion." It is the same word for "breath." It also means "life."--Gordon Robertson, The 700 Club
I apologize in advance to LiA's non-Christian and Progressive Christian readers for what may seem to be a religious diatribe, but facts are facts and one big fact is standing out there right now: white evangelicals are going for Mitt Romney ( a huge, proven liar) in a big way. I attribute a lot of this lukewarm support to the Pro Birth Agenda which has convinced God-fearing evangelicals, and in particular evangelical women, that a vote for Obama and the Democrats is a vote for Satan. It isn't. It's a vote against Nixon, Falwell, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, Paul Weyrich and a host of other corrupt, non-believing political manipulators who want to use YOUR faith to promote THEIR agenda.
Their agenda isn't yours, and it isn't Christian. In fact, the Republican agenda is as far from the 'red words' as you can get.
If you are wavering towards Romney solely on this issue, please reconsider the history and the men behind it, and vote for what you know in your heart to be the best interests of 95% of the living Americans around you. Leave these personal moral choices where they belong - with those affected. It's moral, it's principled, and it's by Golly American.
One of the photos in this article is human. One is an eleven week old elephant fetus. Can you spot the difference? If you can't, should you be deciding these matters for everyone in the country? Think about it. Take all the time you need.
Writer Joss Whedon, the man behind "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," "Dollhouse" and the upcoming "The Avengers 2," endorses Mitt Romney because ...
"Like a lot of liberal Americans, I was excited when Barack Obama took office four years ago. But it's a very different world now, and Mitt Romney is a very different candidate, one with the vision and determination to cut through business-as-usual politics and finally put this country back on the path to the zombie apocalypse."
Long term, hoarding canned goods won't save you. Avoid the zombie apocalyse altogether ... don't vote for Mitt!
The easiest & most self-satisfying cop-out during any election season is to sit on the sidelines because "there's no difference" between the candidates. We all hear it from friends & relatives. They're disappointed that President Obama did/did not do _____________ (fill in the blank with your favorite issue) and just can't get excited about him this time around.
Well campers, if you're not "excited" about voting Democratic, let's get into the spirit of Halloween and try scared instead. Tom Tommorrow has provided this handy dandy graphic to help people manage their expectations: From Jed Sorensen at DailyKos:
I find that people who spew the platitude that "the candidates are the same" tend to be the ones who have the least to lose if the wrong candidate is elected. At risk of sounding melodramatic, these elections truly are a matter of life and death. If you end the Affordable Care Act and millions of Americans lose their health insurance, people will die as a result. A recent estimate puts the number at 26,000 deaths per year due to lack of insurance; that's more than a few September 11ths. Then there's the Global Gag Rule, which Romney would reinstate. It rarely gets mentioned, but this policy wreaks havoc on women in impoverished nations. Romney would also end contributions to the U.N. Population Fund, which combats the spread of HIV and prevents 22,000 deaths annually.
These are but a few examples. Turning Medicare into a voucher program, radicalizing the Supreme Court for a generation, and displaying an open hostility toward science probably won't help things either.
Obama isn't perfect, but as far as I'm concerned, voting is a moral arithmetic problem with a clear answer.
Hey, I'm terrible at math, but even I can solve this problem.
Literally. When Mitt Romney (R) was governor of Massachusetts he raised taxes/fees on virtually everyone, to the tune of $750 million a year. So much for his pledge not to raise taxes. But, as President Obama pointed out yesterday in New Hampshire, Gov. Romney did manage to lower taxes for a few lucky constituents in Massachusetts -- 278 of the state's wealthiest families -- paid for by everybody else.
"Now, when he's asked about this, he says, 'no, these weren't taxes, these were fees,'" Obama said.
"But keep in mind there were higher fees to be a barber, higher fees to become a nurse. There were higher fees for gas. There were higher fees for milk. There were higher fees for blind people who needed to get a certificate that they were blind. He raised fees to get a birth certificate -- which would have been expensive for me."
"He raised fees for marriage certificates and fees for funeral homes -- so there were literally cradle-to-grave tax hikes and fees," said Obama.
Here's a fun (partial) list of the fees Mitt Romney imposed as governor:
The researchers found that "Weighing the plausibility and the source of a message is cognitively more difficult than simply accepting that the message is true -- it requires additional motivational and cognitive resources."
Possibly related, Mitt Romney saw a story about Jeep expanding into the Chinese auto market and started telling voters in Ohio that Jeep was planning to move their US manufacturing operation to China. Which is a blatant falsehood.
Will any of these Republicans step back from their support of Mourdock because of his radical views on the rights of rape victim's?
They will stand with Mourdock and all the other extremists on the Republican ticket -- no matter how extreme their views -- because political power is all they care about. Mourdock's attitude toward women is irrelevant. To Richard Shelby, Mourdock is a pick up opportunity on the way to creating a Republican Senate. Fitness for the office doesn't enter into the calculation.
In my observation, conservatives trot out this "God's will" line in a very selective way, only toward things they approve of. You never hear them use it about something they don't like. For instance, putting a black man in the White House was not "God's will." Oh no, that was an illegitimate election. But forcing a woman to carry the child of her rapist? Suddenly that's God's will, a final and irrevocable state that should be accepted without question, don't even dream of trying to change it.
These folks are such hypocrites. They won't be happy until women are once again forbidden to read, vote or participate in any activity outside the house ... and every elected official has "GOP" tatooed over his heart.
Last night, Mitt Romney wanted to make one thing clear: He agrees with Obama's foreign policy decisions. Joe Trippi called it the Big Hug, "He decided he was going to hug Obama on policy after policy, not disagree with him."Again and again, Romney got as close as he could get to the President -- which is thankfully as close as he'll ever get to the presidency.
"Governor, the problem is that on a whole range of issues, whether it’s the Middle East, whether it’s Afghanistan, whether it’s Iraq, whether it’s now Iran, you’ve been all over the map. I mean, I’m pleased that you now are endorsing our policy of applying diplomatic pressure and potentially having bilateral discussions with the Iranians to end their nuclear program, but just a few years ago you said that’s something you would never do in the same way that you initially opposed a timetable in Afghanistan. Now you’re for it, although it depends. In the same way that you say you would have ended the war in Iraq, but recently gave a speech saying that we should have 20,000 more folks in there. The same way that you said that it was mission creep to go after Qadhafi, when it comes to going after Osama bin Laden, when you were a candidate in 2008, I said if I had bin Laden in our view, I would take a shot."
"You said we should ask Pakistan for permission. If we asked Pakistan for permission, we would not have gotten it. It was worth moving heaven and earth to get him."
Tonight it's Barack Obama vs. Mitt Romney on foreign affairs, moderated by Bob Schieffer of CBS. Watch Mitt Romney vs. Ron Paul on foreign policy and Iran from one of the GOP debates earlier this election cycle. Just so you can see where Mitt used to stand.
Lot's of folks in Alabama have Romnesia, too. I'm thinking of all the right wing Republicans who turned out for ultraconservatives Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, or even kinda, sorta, libertarian Ron Paul in our presidential primary. You know those people don't agree with the newly moderate Mitt, but an awful lot of them have slapped a Romney sticker on the back of the truck and will probably vote for him on Nov. 6th. Poor suckers. They've caught Romnesia.