If there is a single plank in the Democratic platform on which Obama can claim to have won, it is taxing the rich.
Obama ignored vast swaths of his agenda, barely mentioning climate change or education reform, but by God did he hammer home the fact that his winning would bring higher taxes on the rich. He raised it so relentlessly that at times it seemed out of proportion even to me, and I wrote a book on the topic. But polls consistently showed the public was on his side.
Obama's goal was to prove to the GOP that their rigid defense of the richest one percent was political poison and to force them to bend. For now, at least, their same monomaniacal refusal to increase any taxes on the rich is leading Republicans to deny any connection between the tax issue and Obama's victory. ...
The harsh truth that fend-for-yourself economic libertarianism is a worldview mainly confined to the shrinking, aging white electorate is a reality Republicans prefer not to acknowledge.
Of course, what the people want is all fairly beside the point now. What matters in Washington is power and leverage-two things that accrued dramatically in Obama's favor last week.
But it's not irrelevant that American voters had a chance to lay down their marker on the major social divide of our time: whether government can mitigate the skyrocketing inequality generated by the marketplace....
Here it was, right before our eyes: a class war, or the closest thing one might find to one in modern American history, as a presidential election. The outcome was plain.
The 47 percent turned out to be the 51 percent.
We won one battle in a class war that his been waged by Republicans, won by Millionaires and Billionaires for years.
Time to boldly take that victory bull by the horns as Republicans have never been hesitant to do.
"There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own."
Many of the 1%-ers are too greedy to want to pay forward a debt to the very society that enabled them to become wealthy. Yeah, there are bigger markets in China and India. But while the Billionaires and Millionaires might like paying their workers 1/10th the wages of American workers I don't see them rushing off to live in those places where their ideal worker has to live and raise a family on the pittance they would offer.
UPDATE: Let me just add that the more I read Mike Rosen the more I realize he's just another threatened White Guy lashing out at his Enemies with lies, threatening Armageddon every day the White Male Oligarchy he belongs to shows its age, and using any and all grammatical constructions in use and available to persuade his listeners of our sickness, depravity, and unworthiness of living in the same America he does.
The Denver presidential debate was a crucial turning point in this year's election. There have been many signs of desperation in the Obama campaign since then, both big and small.
The belligerent attitude of Joe Biden and Barack Obama in the subsequent debates is a prime example. That may have stirred the animal spirits of Obama stalwarts, but it's been a turn-off for moderate swing voters, especially women.
As they say, politics ain't beanbag. Nor is debating for the highest office in the land. The fact that Obama was very docile in the first debate is a mistake everyone admitted. Did it stir our "animial spirits"? Fight or flight? I say yes.
We've been fighting modern Republican ignorance and obstinance for 4 solid 30-plus years.
'Bout time BO joined us.
The luster and the novelty have worn off. Beneath a cool veneer, Obama is a brutish politician tutored in the Chicago School, not Mr. Nice Guy.
A recent "unofficial" Obama campaign ad directed at young women displays desperation of a more squalid nature. The ad features Lena Dunham, who ... likens the act of voting for Obama with that of a young-woman voter having sex.
Here's the vid that got Rosen's ummmmm, dander up.
Pretty tame, actually. It gets to relevant political issues immediately, and the last thing I thought of was sex. But Mike is still threatened, bless his little heart, and projects his and his party's low regard for young women onto us:
[T]he style of it betrays a low regard for the intelligence of the young women it's targeting. Apparently, Obama partisans will stoop to any depths to pander for votes.
Mike ignores all that "depression" stuff. No 1%-ers ever needed help from the stinking government in his world.
In his four years as president, Barack Obama has been a bad chief executive, lacking in managerial experience or ability and ineffective in getting along with others - like Republicans in Congress - to forge public policy compromises.
Not even close to reality. Mike, please see assasination of terrorist Osama bin Laden, how Obama has been praised for response to Hurricane Sandy, and the conveniently ignored plot by national Republican leaders to obstruct Obama from the day of his inaugural. How do you compromise with liars who have dedicated themselves to your failure?
As Secretary of State Scott Gessler's term drags on, you'd think even KOA's conservative talk-show host Mike Rosen would get sick of it when Gessler re-launches the partisan attacks he's been leveling since day one in office.
It's gotten to the point that you'd think even the Rosens of the world would ask Gessler to take his elected position, as the overseer of fair elections, seriously, instead of sounding like... Mike Rosen!
But I know it's a fantasy to expect this type of thinking from Rosen. In fact, you can hear the approval in Rosen's voice when Gessler is on the show and he trashes Democrats.
For example, on Rosen's show last week, Rosen read Gessler a Denver Post quote from Joanne Kron Schwartz, the Director of the progressive group ProgressNow, saying that Gessler's attempt to find noncitizens on the voter rolls could intimidate some eligible voters, particularly Latinos, and result in their not voting.
A normal Secretary of State, who wants people to have faith in elections, would answer Schwartz's reasonable objection with facts.
But Gessler isn't normal, and his immediate response sounds like something Rush Limbaugh might blast out.
"Unfortunately this is part of the left's common tactic," Gessler told Rosen, "just to scream voter intimidation whenever anything comes up they don't like."
Let me just say, I'm part of the left and I don't scream voter intimidation "whenever anything comes up" that I don't like. I never scream it at my 15-year-old son, for example, when he leaves a pig-pen-like trail of debris around the house.
Ignoring a federal judge's injunction, Scranton, Pennsylvania moved ahead with its plan to reduce the pay of city workers to the federal minimum wage starting Friday. Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty claims the city is broke and that the minimum wage payments are all it can possibly pay, the Scranton Times Tribune reports:
Amid Scranton's ever-deepening financial crisis, Mayor Chris Doherty said his administration is going forward with a plan to unilaterally slash the pay of 398 workers to the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour with today's payroll, insisting it is all the city can afford.
That will likely earn administration officials an appointment with Judge Michael Barrasse, who granted the city's police, fire and public works unions a special injunction temporarily barring the administration from imposing the pay cuts after a brief hearing Thursday.
Rosen hates unions, though he may be in AFTRA for his job, so he'll applaud the screws being turned in Scranton. What the anti-tax, anti-union, anti-government crowd never takes into account is that these are the people who arrest criminals, keep your house and business from burning down, and make sure your streets are paved and your sewers aren't backing up into your basement.
But when you live in a million-dollar gated community you don't have to worry about such things, do you?
For a sense of what not to do, meanwhile, check out the website of The Denver Post. The Post's coverage area has recently seen what might be called a "birther lite" controversy, sparked when incumbent Republican Rep. Mike Coffman said this to supporters: "I don't know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don't know that. But I do know this, that in his heart, he's not an American. He's just not an American." [...]
[The Denver Post's] credibility took a further hit thanks to the paper's decision to publish on Thursday a column by Mike Rosen, an AM radio host at Denver's KOA, under the headline "Mike Coffman was right about Obama in the first place."
Much of the column is devoted to agreeing with Coffman's statement that Obama is not an American "in his heart," and to pillorying the president with a barrage of culture-war epithets: "leftist academic ideologues, blame-America-firsters and would-be revolutionaries," etc., etc.
To my eye, it's poor writing and poor political argument, but if the Post wants to make sure the Fox & Friends niche is represented in its opinion pages, that's the paper's choice.
Unfortunately, the Post is probably driven by that very need. I have a feeling the editors still can't shake the assumption that the halfway point between Democrats and Republicans is where the common sense center lives. Republicans pushed us off that cliff years ago.
Did we need printed proof of Mike Rosen's proud ignorance by way of the Post? Isn't 15 hours per week enough? I'm glad he did the deed - the smackdown has been universal. And the fact that Mike Coffman - and Mike Rosen - are both birthers is on the record and beyond doubt.
Of course, no amount of evidence, no rational discussions, no comparisons of policies across the world will convince Rosen and his listeners otherwise. Nothing will stop the irrational hatred of a man who is implementing many fairly conservative (note: dictionary definition) policies, many of which were supported by Republicans in their own form or as policies before Obama also endorsed them.
Socialism: a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.
Don't confuse this definition with the definition of "government" or "society" in general. If we have no rules, no common reference for acceptable behavior, we have anarchy -- which no one here advocates.
"I really have no idea what he is talking about," Republican Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Sheila Reiner told the Colorado Independent.
Reiner was referring to allegations made again recently by Secretary of State Scott Gessler that non-citizens are registered to vote in the state. Reiner said she has asked Gessler in the past to share what he knows so that she and the other clerks in the state can address any potential problem. She said that, in roughly the year that has passed since he first brought up the issue, details from Gessler's office have not materialized.
"I asked for the lists when I first heard about this. I haven't gotten any information. I just don't know," she said.
Gessler doesn't know what he's talking about, either. Mike Rosen, siding with Gessler and clinging to the wrong side of history, insists there is a problem and recently used the Post to expound:
There's no valid reason not to protect the integrity of our voting process with an inexpensive, basic technology like a photo ID. And contrary to the hollow, contrived, self-serving objections of the deniers, there's no reasonable downside.
"A government that undermines the very foundation of its existence - the people's inherent, pre-constitutional right to vote - imperils its legitimacy as a government by the people, for the people, and especially of the people."
There is a downside, and it is not reasonable. These photo ID laws have and will disenfranchise soldiers, the elderly, recent immigrants, the poor and others. To an almost non-existent problem Republican Legislators and voting officials continue to propose this onerous fix. Rabid partisans like Rosen amplify their lies. But when those who administer elections at the local level, even Republicans, see no problem, then we know that those like Gessler and "Mouthpiece" Mike Rosen should move on, and let everyone who wants to vote legally vote.
We might even get a competent Secretary of State out of the deal.
KOA's Mike Rosen agreed with Colorado Attorney General John Suthers Thursday that the legal decision forcing states to offer a grade-school education to undocumented children is bogus.
If you don't think this tidbit deserves to be my first blog post of the week, you would be wrong.
Here's what Suthers had to say on the topic, which came up during a discussion of the ASSET bill, granting a tuition break to children of illegal immigrants, which Suthers called the "a complete run around" of two federal statutes:
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers: For some incredible reason, in 1982, the United States Supreme Court in a case called Plyler v. Doe, I think it was a San Antonio case, said any child regardless of immigration status is eligible for a free primary or secondary education. I've never been able to find that in the United States Constitution, but they said it's in the 14th Amendment.
Rosen: Yes, which was all about slavery by the way, but that's another story.
The federal requirement to give a basic education to all children, regardless of immigration status, is a long-settled legal matter.
No reporter, no teacher, no chef, no mom, no dad, not even a Republican talk-radio host, should let Colorado's top-dog lawyer trash this Supreme Court's decision in favor of undocumented kids without any discussion or scrutiny whatsoever.
Too much is at stake. We're talking about grade-school education for some of the most vulnerable children in our country. And Suthers's unsympathetic tone on Rosen's radio show seems to show that it's not just the legal issues that bother him, but the notion that children of illegal immigrants should be offered a public-school education in the world's richest nation.
Rosen should have Suthers back on his radio show to illuminate more details on this topic, and, meanwhile, Rosen should bring a guest on air who will defend the basic humanity -- and legal reasoning -- for giving undocumented children a public-school education.
Premiere Networks is circulating a list of 98 advertisers who want to avoid "environments likely to stir negative sentiments."
"To all Traffic Managers: The information below applies to your Premiere Radio Networks commercial inventory...They've specifically asked that you schedule their commercials in dayparts or programs free of content that you know are deemed to be offensive or controversial (for example, Mark Levin, Rush Limbaugh, Tom Leykis, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity).'
You'll notice Randi Rhodes is not on the list, because she actually criticizes both parties and does not lie. You'll also notice Premier states the program directors already know those in question are offensive - interesting. Tom Leykis, out of L.A., used to be really good - until the right-wing money became too hard to resist. Mike Rosen never went as far as his KOA neighbor Rush. And though he still lies regularly, he may be the prime beneficiary of Rush's ruin.
The media frenzy around Rush Limbaugh's "slut" comment last week, referring to a woman who believes birth control should be offered as part of her health insurance plan, makes you wonder whether we should ignore the right-wing whackadoos on the radio.
Obviously, insults run deep on the conservative airwaves, and you might think, about anything Limbaugh says, what else is new?
Limbaugh hit a nerve last week, but Rush-like comments aren't uncommon from radio hosts in Colorado, too. And all over the country.
Should the major media, or the minor progressive media critic like me, ignore them, given the relatively tiny audiences who listen?
The stock market has been flirting with 13,000 for days, a level at which it has not closed since 2008. As ThinkProgress' Scott Keyes reported, Republicans have been at pains to explain why President Obama deserves no credit for the Dow's rebound (even though the GOP was quite willing to blame Obama when the Dow tanked in 2008 and 2009).
But as it turns out, Obama is not the only Democratic President under whom the stock market has done well for investors. A Bloomberg Government report shows that since the 1960′s, stocks have done significantly better under Democratic administrations than under Republican ones:
The BGOV Barometer shows that, over the five decades since John F. Kennedy was inaugurated, $1,000 invested in a hypothetical fund that tracks the Standard & Poor's 500 Index (SPX) only when Democrats are in the White House would have been worth $10,920 at the close of trading yesterday.
That's more than nine times the dollar return an investor would have realized from following a similar strategy during Republican administrations. A $1,000 stake invested in a fund that followed the S&P 500 under Republican presidents, starting with Richard Nixon, would have grown to $2,087 on the day George W. Bush left office.
For those that believe money does buy happiness (re: Economic Republicans), that should be proof enough. For those who lie about Democrats as their day gig, they'll continue to ignore the truth. The rest of us don't need to be told again....
That's the tenor of the debate about cutting Medicaid in Colorado. It's not like the Republicans want to do it, we read in the media, because they know that cutting money for poor people can cause hardship, sickness, and even death.
But there's a budget problem (assuming we don't want to raise taxes on the vulnerable 1 percent) and, besides, skin should be inserted in the game.
When Mitt Romney changes the tone of the conversation about poverty, and says brazenly, "I'm not concerned about the very poor," that's news.
And rightly so, because in America, we're supposed to care about each other, and our country is supposed to provide basic opportunity for everyone, right? And, as the debate about Medicaid shows, no one's saying, let the poor get sick and die.
But what about proposals to expand Medicaid? These proposals save lives, yet politicians go around trashing the Medicaid-expansion aspects of Obamacare day in and day out, with near media immunity, as if saving poverty-stricken Americans from sickness and death is so outrageous.
My search for an explanation from Scott Gessler about why he's been telling the media there's actual "fraud" in Colorado elections bore fruit last night, when I asked him about it after he gave a lecture at Colorado Christian University's Centennial Institute, which run by former Senate President John Andrews.
I asked Gessler about his statement, on a radio show in September, that there was actual fraud among mail ballots returned by inactive voters in Denver.
He said he was "not quite sure" he made this statement about the last election. He didn't. He was referring to the 2009 municipal election, but the same question applies: Was there actual fraud, like he said?
Gessler: I think if you look at Denver, though, you'll see in 2009, for a large number of folks, the signatures didn't match. I think that's an indicium of fraud, right there, when the signatures don't match.
Jason: It's an indication of fraud, but you wouldn't say that it's fraud, would you?
Gessler: I said it's an indicium of fraud. It very well may be. It's not been fully investigated, to my knowledge.
After Gessler alleged fraud in Denver elections in September, Denver's Clerk and Recorder denied the accusation, and the head of the Secretary of State's election division later testified that he was not aware of any fraud relating to ballots mailed to inactive voters.
Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, who's a creator and promoter of the Tea Party, was on the Mike Rosen Show yesterday, and he and Rosen spent a couple minutes discussing the Wall Street Greed protest.
Armey's rambling about the demonstration shows why the simple message of Wall Street Greed is so effective.
The conservatives try to say, Wall Street is not greedy because.... and they immediately start to sound really out of touch.
Here's Dick Armey, who's not a stupid guy:
Armey: ...Goofballs that are walking around now protesting what they call, Wall Street greed is just ridiculous. I don't know how you even respond to people like that.
Rosen: You're talking about the, Occupy Wall Street, demonstration here.
Armey: Right, right. These folks first of all, the first thing the left does, progressives, there's a documented history of this is a design by them, is distort the language. Basically what they argue is that people who have gone out and worked hard and earned their living and want to keep the money they earned through their legal, honest effort, these people are greedy.... To me, greed was wanting something from someone else that you hadn't earned. That's what I always thought greed was. But to these folks, greed is wanting to keep what you worked very hard to earn. I mean, I don't get it. I don't get their line of thinking. You know, I think they've got a distorted sense of truth. I don't know, it's very frustrating to me because it's hard to know how anybody can be that misguided and that arrogant.
Rosen might have been alone, even among his audience, in not wanting to ask: Ok, about that Wall Street Greed that is self evident in America?
Occasionally, I will read Mike Rosen's editorials in the Denver Post. Mostly, it's just to keep the latest right-wing hate messages fresh in my mind. His column always includes lies and innuendo. He usually resorts to name-calling. Like most Teabaggers, he can't seem to help himself. It is rare, however, that he achieves what he achieved today: multiple groups got lumped into the same hate speech.
The supposed topic is the repeal of the odious, unconstitutional "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy keeping certain Americans from serving their country as proudly as Americans who more neatly fit the idyllic vision of an imaginary America that Rosen and other scared, angry white males hold dear.