Those of you familiar with the fact-based universe that Democrats and Progressives (and maybe some Independents and Republicans) live in might say Stephen was stating the obvious. But for modern day Republicans, facts, reality, and history are shape-shifting pieces of a puzzle that somehow always portray their ideal Father Knows Best America (or the Socialist/Anarchist Hell that they are trying to save you from.) This is not necessarily a religious argument: many scientists and faithful are confident science and faith can peacefully coexist.
What many on this side don't understand is the benefit Republicans and their Funders derive from this ever-present antagonism to facts and how the lies are enabled by a press that wants to appear bipartisan by claiming both side's lies are equal and therefore cancel each other out:
These are some of the reasons tomorrow will be a win no matter the crushing defeat Mitt Romney suffers. Romney really wasn't their ideal candidate, and conservatism never fails, it is only failed by soft and squishy leaders like Mitt. The base will remain fired up, ready to give, always fearful Obama will be at the door to take away their guns, eager to hear the next dire prediction from snake-oil salesmen like Grover Norquist and Mike Rosen, Peter Boyles, the Koch Triplets, the NRA, et al., always waiting for the next leader that will take America back to the gloious past that never really existed that is always just out of reach.
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?
Remember that Majority Leader Eric Cantor insisted last year that any increase in disaster aid funding had to come from cutting funds for equipping and training first responders by 40 percent. House Republicans nearly forced a government shutdown over disaster aid funding.
They succeeded in forcing massive cuts to the program, passing a $2.65 billion bill for the disaster relief fund for the year, when the need is closer to $12 billion, annually. That's based on the average year, the average need.
Hurricane Sandy is likely to blow that figure to smithereens.
Republicans have taken disaster relief hostage for the past two years, insisting like Mitt Romney that it's more appropriate for the states, already financially strapped and facing further cuts in federal aid, to take the lead in responding.
National Republicans don't give a flying rat's patoutie about you or me. That fact should be clear to everyone by now.
I've already voted for the obvious choices in this election. If you are still undecided, sacrifice some time from your busy schedule and remember this election will affect your life for the next four years at a minimum.
Go to all the links and read them until you are clear that the lying, greedy Republican asking for your vote will be the best person to represent you and your family and your values.
The way they've been acting all they should get is the vote of the 1%. Sadly, they will get more, which will only encourage their boorish behavior.
The numbers can be a helpful indicator of the enthusiasm of each party's base.
Major props to Gessler's computers for being able to compute 100% of something. We must also remember that a certain percentage of those Unaffiliated voters considered George W. Bush too liberal and are 100% against Barack Obama for mostly one reason.
They would also tell you they don't need no stinkin' goverment and they made it all by themselves and pull yourself up by your own bootstraps and I'm goin' to Walmart on my 10 lane superhighway that we never should've built.
Aaron Daniel, 29, stood by himself, slightly removed from the thousands of supporters waiting for Ryan and Romney. His mother is an avid Romney supporter, but he had lost her in the crowd. Daniel isn't as sure as his mother - and says he doesn't even know if it's worth voting.
"I'm pretty undecided," Daniel said. "My mom is a huge fan, but I don't know."
Daniel, a musician and Starbucks barista, lives in Lakewood, a suburb of Denver, located in a county that is one of the most evenly split in the state.
OK, let's be generous and call Daniel underemployed. That means he has plenty of time to look into these issues and at least start making a decision.
He's also gay - a fact that he said makes him think twice about casting his vote for Romney.
Daniel said he doesn't consider himself to be politically active and generally has been put off by the negativity of the race. "It's all noise.... I want someone who... knows what they're talking about and can say, Here is the problem and here is a plausible solution. Someone who can get things done."
Has the current President gotten things done? He, and I, would say so.
He is disappointed in the state of the economy, but also understands that problems began long before the president took office.
Sen. John McCain was scheduled to appear on KBNO's, La Voz del Pueblo, yesterday, two days after the radio show's host, Fernando Sergio, endorsed Barack Obama for president.
Sergio told me yesterday that, despite his endorsement, anyone from the Republican Party is still welcome on his show.
"We are more than happy to talk," he said, but Sergio, who didn't make an endorsement in the last presidential contest, doesn't sound like he's going to change his own mind on Obama.
"Credibility is extremely important in this election," says Sergio. "Who's more credible? Who comes across as more caring? Who are you willing to trust? Obama comes out ahead. Ultimately I ask myself, am I willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt with the challenges he faced and this country one step away from the Great Depression? Overall, I think he's a better choice."
Martensen had a flight booked from Aspen, but was not permitted to travel to the airport, he claims, as a local sheriff worked with Koch's employees to "make sure you don't wander off," according to the complaint.
He says he was subjected to a several-hour interrogation, fired, held against his will on the property, then forced to fly in a private plane to San Francisco, accompanied by a man he believed to be armed.
Was the sheriff in Aspen acting legally or doing the big guy a favor?
Shouldn't the former Koch employee be given whistle-blower status instead of held for illegal interrogations?
Martensen alleges he was told by his superiors that he was transferred overseas to Asia so that the Koch company could avoid paying U.S. taxes on some $200,000,000 in profits.
Bill Koch certainly is one American for Prosperity. But really, how much fucking money do these greedy bastards need to make them happy just for one minute?
Let's start simple. I have two modest goals for the Grand Bargain Lame Duck dogfight:
No benefits cuts to the safety net - Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.
No extension of the Bush-Obama Tax Cuts, so they expire from neglect.
Sweetening safety net benefits would be nice, but that's gravy on the cake (so to speak). I'll settle for broken government that works for us for a change. A modest goal - no action on either front.
These are your roll-over Dems. These are the Dems against whom there should be Open Rebellion - by us and by their colleagues under the Capitol dome. If you're a Democrat and you're willing to cut safety net benefits in a severe downturn ... you're not a Democrat within the meaning of the act. You're just wearing the gear. These issues are that central to the meaning of the party.
Max Baucus (CostumeDem-MT) - term ends in 2014
Michael Bennet (CostumeDem-CO) - term ends in 2016 Jeff Bingaman (CostumeDem-NM) - retiring this year
...list of "Third Way"/DLC/"Blue Dog"/ConservaDems who are afraid to be full-fledged Democrats...
Dianne Feinstein (CostumeDem-CA) - running this year
Kay Hagan (CostumeDem-NC) - term ends after 2014
■ John Kerry (CostumeDem-MA) - term ends after 2014
■ Amy Klobuchar (CostumeDem-MN) - running this year
Herb Kohl (CostumeDem-WI) - retiring this year
Mary Landrieu (CostumeDem-LA) - running in 2014
Joe Lieberman ("Independent"-Pits of Hell) - retiring to Pits of Hell
■ Claire McCaskill (CostumeDem-MO) - running this year
Ben Nelson (CostumeDem-NE) - retiring this year
■ Bill Nelson (CostumeDem-FL) - running this year
Mark Pryor (CostumeDem-AR) - running in 2014
Jeanne Shaheen (CostumeDem-NH) - running in 2014
Jon Tester (CostumeDem-MT) - running this year
Mark Udall (CostumeDem-CO) - running in 2014 Mark Warner (CostumeDem-VA) - running in 2014
Jim Webb (CostumeDem-VA) - retiring this year
Salient facts, all true. GP continues:
These are your traitors. Let's not pretend otherwise.
Traitors? To the U.S. of A.? No.
To Democrats? They're toying with it.
To all our citizens? I hope they think long and hard before they vote on a Grand Bargain that forever solidifies the dividing line between the wealthy and The Middle Class and Working Poor.
They can live a glorious life off the wealth they currently have, but they can't live in that DC Bubble forever, or can they?
We now know where Harry Reid stands in the great divide between base-broadening, rate-lowering "tax reform" and the Chuck Schumer approach, which rejects lowering rates as a trap. As I fully expected, Reid sided with Schumer:
"He's supportive of the Schumer approach, thinks it's smart to put the goalposts where Schumer set them," said a Senate Dem leadership aide, who confirmed that Reid questions a framework - like Simpson-Bowles - which cedes tax rate cuts for top earners at the outset.
Obviously, this is critical for the lame duck session and a hypothetical grand bargain, as Reid will be in the room on any deal. And he agrees with Schumer that allowing rates to go down, Bowles-Simpson style, based on a theory that the base would stay broad enough to increase revenue, just invites trouble.
Putting my ear to the ground I hear that our two esteemed senators love to be wooed by the Masters of the Universe back in DC: Big Bankers, Big Finance, and Millionaires and Billionaires who have a vested interest in cutting Social Security. Oh, and their Republican counterparts with whom they are just dying to be bipartisan.
Do Udall and Bennet listen to their Senate leaders like Reid and Schumer?
[I]n fiscal year 1998, the country reached a balanced budget for the first time since fiscal year 1969.
From fiscal years 1998 to 2001, the nation achieved a surplus each time for a combined total of about $559 billion. The last surplus budget year ended under President George W. Bush, but it began while Clinton was still in office.
(Mark Udall was in Congress at the time. Z)
The last time there were at least four consecutive surplus budgets was the period between fiscal years 1927 and 1930.
Our Democratic leaders, bless their little hearts, including President Obama and Democratic Senators Udall and Bennet are still hell-bent on cutting Social Security. The difference between their plan and the Romney/Ryan plan is that they say won't "slash" it:
"Social Security is structurally sound," Obama told Lehrer. "It's going to have to be tweaked the way it was by Ronald Reagan and Speaker -- Democratic Speaker Tip O'Neill. But it is -- the basic structure is sound."
The 2012 Trustees Report shows that Social Security is 100 percent solvent until 2033, but faces a moderate long-term shortfall. In 2011, Social Security had a surplus - revenue plus interest income in excess of outgo - of $69 billion. Reserves are projected to grow to $3.1 trillion by the end of 2020. Then, if Congress takes no action in the meantime, reserves would start to be drawn down to pay benefits.
In the highly unlikely event that Congress does not act before 2033, the reserves would be depleted and revenue coming into the trust funds from workers' and employers' contributions would cover about 75 percent of scheduled benefits.
To it's critics, the plan is shortsighted and is poised to enact irreparable harm to the economy.
Economist Paul Krugman is probably the foremost critic of the plan. He's called the plan and the people behind it "unserious." From a blog post penned at the end of September:
Simpson-Bowles is terrible.
It mucks around with taxes, but is obsessed with lowering marginal rates despite a complete absence of evidence that this is important.
It offers nothing on Medicare that isn't already in the Affordable Care Act.
Krugman criticizes one of the most significant portions of the plan as well, the decision to raise the Social Security retirement age, describing it as classist:
And it raises the Social Security retirement age because life expectancy has risen - completely ignoring the fact that life expectancy has only gone up for the well-off and well-educated (like Mark Udall and Michael Bennet - z), while stagnating or even declining among the people who need the program most.
Why do senior Democrats in Washington, DC feel compelled to do what's in the best interests of Republican politicians and their 1% Peers instead of what's in the best interests of those American citizens who've been paying into Social Security their entire lives and those who we are obligated to support by virtue of our nation's most compelling ideals?
Our senators live in mortal fear of actually doing their jobs and creating a balanced budget and are incapable of convincing voters of the simple facts that there are easy fixes to Social Security that can keep it solvent for 100 years.
Barack Obama is running against Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and the Bain-ing of our economy. He and his Democratic errand boys in the senate should take to heart the fact that the (D) behind their names represents the exact opposite of what Bain Capital has done to workers and corporations in America. It shouldn't take a wild-eyed, librul, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist or a dumb, Cheeto-stained blogger to point out the simple truth.
The war that the United States is waging - a war, let it be noted, that the United States is waging purely at the behest of its president, who is currently standing for re-election, and a war for which the consent of the governed was never sought - claimed six more people the other day in Pakistan.
One of them was a "senior al-Qaeda figure," whatever that means, and we do not know what it means because the president who is waging the war would rather we not know what it means anymore. I am not here to discuss him.
I am here to discuss The Others.
According to that story, which is sourced by McClatchy to an anonymous "intelligence official," there were five Others. The stories also calls them "Islamist insurgents," but they have no names that are important enough for the intelligence official to leak, so there is no good reason for a properly skeptical citizen of a self-governing republic to believe that part of the story. They remain The Others.
What if the anonymous official is lying? What if the anonymous official is just, you know, wrong? What if one of the Others was a date farmer, or a cab driver, or someone on his way to prayer? Then we must ask ourselves questions about these Others on whom we are making war, even if we are making war on them accidentally, as if that matters when you've been roasted alive by modern ordinance dropped on you by a flying robot.
Do the Others have parents? Do they have grandparents?
Do the Others have siblings, who now watch the clear blue skies in terror every day, the way New Yorkers did for a few months after 9/11?
Do the Others have spouses who miss them? Do the Others have children who wonder why the Others haven't come home from work yet?
Do the Others have circles of friends who talk about the hole that is left in their daily lives, who talk about corny old jokes the Others used to tell, or stories about when one of the Others tripped on a rock or fell in a creek, or offer prayers for the souls of the Others every day?
The bell, one presumes, tolls for the Others as much as it tolls for me, or thee, or anybody else anywhere.
Democrats and Republicans agree. It's Bipartisan, therefore it's Good.
Just ask Mark Udall and Michael Bennet about the great things that come from bipartisanship.
But wait, his effective tax rate is a low 13.9 percent. Lower than mine and probably yours. And the lie they told while waiting until late September to file was very crafty:
His campaign earlier estimated that Romney would pay about $3.2 million in taxes for the year, an estimate well above the $1.9 million actually paid.
Thanks, Denver Post, for helping skew the facts about Mitt Romney's wealth and how millionaires and billionaires pay less to Uncle Sam than most of us leeches and losers who comprise the 47% that Republicans hate.
78,000 tax filers in the U.S. have incomes between $211,000 and $533,000 and pay no federal income taxes.
Even more amazingly there are 24,000 households with incomes of $533,000 to $2.2 million with zero income tax liability, and 3,000 tax filers with incomes above $2.2 million with the same federal income tax liability as most of those with incomes barely above the poverty level.
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.
That that's an entitlement.
And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what...These are people who pay no income tax.
My job is not to worry about those people.
I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
It's actually worse when you watch it:
Wow. Just wow.
When Mitt Romney gets his ass royally kicked on election day I hope there's a mirror around when he starts looking for someone to blame.
For the record, I'm an Obama voter and I've paid approximately $100,000+ in taxes the last 5-7 years, a solid 16% rate if not more. And due to the shitty economy and the tendency of Colorado corporations to lay you off and hire Indians or Brazilians in your place, I've also had to raid my 401K - for which I've been both taxed and penalized. I question if even multi-millionaire Mitt has paid anything near that much.
Then he and the Koch Brothers and the Walton clan and Sheldon Adelson and Steve Forbes and Lawrence Kudlow and Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Clint Eastwood Mike Rosen and Jon Caldara and Pete Coors can lounge around in their cute little choo-choo train, cowboy dressup town and bitch about us lazy, leeching, good-for-nothing losers.
In an interview with Fox News this afternoon, Mitt Romney shot back at critics who complained that he didn't mention Afghanistan or praise U.S. troops in his convention speech last week, arguing that he focused on issues that are "important."
BAIER: To hear several speakers in Charlotte ... they were essentially saying that you don't care about the U.S. military because you didn't mention U.S. troops and the war in Afghanistan in your nomination acceptance speech. ... Do you regret opening up this line of attack, now a recurring attack, by leaving out that issue in the speech.
ROMNEY: I only regret you're repeating it day in and day out. When you give a speech you don't go through a laundry list, you talk about the things that you think are important.
By his own words and logic Mitt Romney does not care about the troops.
This is not so farfetched: Romney never served, he was in Gay Paree while the Vietnam war was being fought. Not one of his fine, strapping, healthy and "patriotic" boys has served the nation.
John Kerry was right: Mitt, and Republicans who say they support our troops but do the bare minimum to truly support them, do hot give a rat's ass about our troops.
Watch if you're down on Dems and have the time....