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Forum Post: VOTE! But how do you Choose? Let's put the Goods on the Table!

Posted 1 year ago on Aug. 20, 2012, 7:13 a.m. EST by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR
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VOTE! But how do you Choose? Let's put the Goods on the Table!

Neither Dems or Cons are Perfect (perfection does not exist), and a choice of "lesser evils" is supposed to be the conventional wisdom defining our dilemma. It's also a derogatory expression of the futile state of our politics. But I argue that had we applied lesser evil Votes from Washington, by Van Buren we'd have cultivated near perfect politicians, and by natural progression our pols now would be gods who could float in midair.

The truth is that one party is WAY WAY WAY Worse than the other!!

But despite the human foibles of both parties, and despite the degrading things good pols have to do to survive the World's lowest Voter turnout status and democratic neglect, one party is a wholly owned subsidiary of (enter Big Biz and 1% here:).................., and the other is trying to protect the interests of a horrendously AWOL, fickle, petulant and widely under-informed 99%.

So, come on RepubliCons, tell us why should the people Vote for you??

Come on Dems and tell us why we should Vote for you??

And you pathetic "undecideds," return some cans and bottles and buy a fucking clue!!

But no matter who you choose to Vote for, GET REGISTERED:

http://www.gottavote.org/en/?choose-state=true

And GET EVERYBODY TO VOTE!!!

91 Comments

91 Comments


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[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

The truth is that both parties have contributed to the deaths of millions of civilians in foreign lands since the 1990's. Neocon war agenda and Neoliberal economics.

Nice propaganda by the way

also it's lame as fuck that you flood the comments to keep these propaganda oligarchy pieces in the top of the forum.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Lumping anti war dems with war mongering repubs is dishonest! The repubs believe that constant war is the best economic program (I watched a south american leader attest to the fact the Bush II told him this specifically)

That IS NOT dem philosophy. This Pres and The dem party have made real unexpected progress ending the "constant war"and "endless war on the terror"!

Those against the war/fear mongering mentality that republicans create after they exploited the 9/11 attacks are always mostly dems!!!

The parties are vastly different. To push otherwise is a fallacy & serves republicans

[-] 0 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

Nasty, obscene, negative. All I ever see from you!

Conservative policies are at the root of all our problems. Conservative constant war, and endless war on terror policy is at the root of all the military problems you claim to be against. Dems/liberals are 1000 times better at managing the military, and foreign policy.

Pres Obama has reduced US military killing from 1 million+ to thousands. The dems have resisted the massive republican 1% war mongering plutocrat pressure to invade another country.

If you aren't anti dem partisan you would support that real progress and agitate for the logical end of all this conservative policy fueled violence.

Elect progressive, Vote out pro "war on terror" republicans.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

Why are we still in afhganistan?

Why have we bombed 5 countries in the past 12 months?

How many people died in iraq due to bombs and sanctions under clinton? How many people died in Iraq from Bombs and invasion from the Bush's? You can deny the truth... but each administration killed over a million people with US foreign policy.

The Neocon war agenda is still underway. What's all this talk about Iran and WMD's? What is HR 4310 preparing for? Why are there warships surrounding Iran? Why is our military shooting fishermen and crashing into oil tankers in the straight of hormuz?

Real liberals would have ended Bush's war on terror in the first year as well as would have impeached Bush for war crimes under a democrat majority congress.... like the real democrat Dennis Kucinich tried to do.

[-] 0 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

Your naive. The PTB won't allow a quick end. Grow the fuck up! Ignorant piece of shit.

[-] 1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

The PTB? Are you an illuminati conspiracy theorist? lol okay

[-] -1 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

Powers That Be is not Illuminati conspiracy! There is always someone in power! For us today it is the MIC, the 1% elite Oligarchs using their puppets, the republicans. No?

[-] 2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

You should look up what commander in chief means. Like I said... if that were true don't you think Obama would speak out against it publicly? Exactly. Anything else you say beyond that is conspiracy theory without fact.

[-] 0 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

Not in this right wing country where the democrats have been labeled weak on defense for decades. If Pres Obama wants to continue drawing down the war on terror that republicans created he must get reelected. To do that he must be strong militarily. You are naive. Leave the adult issues to the big boys. Focus on healthcare and inflation. War is not for children and the squeemish.

[-] -3 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

What's lame is you "OWS" imposters sabotaging real action, our Vote!!

Don't let these TROLLS discourage (suppress) our Vote!!

Fight back in the Class War!!

Get People REGISTERED and get out the VOTE!!

http://www.gottavote.org/en/?choose-state=true

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

Romney has no intention to win and thus espouses false scare tactic policy to draw focus from real issues like income equality and war

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Good conversation? Or MSM?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

what's MSM again?

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Main Stream Media

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

KPBS in san diego play's the same news over and over again

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Perhaps it changes every day?

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

that's true

repeat is not good for background

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Low budget public radio. Probably just using AP or news wire for the news.

[-] -3 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago
[-] 1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

It's Class War, we're losing, we have huge sleeping masses to wake up in just a couple of months!

Unite and Win! Unite and Win! 2010 Never EVER Again!!

Register and Vote! Register and Vote! "We the 1%" NOT What They Wrote!!

If YOU Don't Vote, YOU Don't Count!!!

Get People REGISTERED and get out the VOTE!!

http://www.gottavote.org/en/?choose-state=true

or

http://www.rockthevote.com/rtv_voter_registration.html?source=rtv.com-homegraphic

[-] 1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

Todd Akin Exposes the True Agenda of the Republican Party

Posted: 08/21/2012 5:20 pm

Over the weekend, U.S. Senate candidate, Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), shared his belief that women rarely get pregnant from "legitimate" rape.

[The RepubliCon War on Women!]

His outrageous comments went viral immediately. Although the Republican Party scrambled to distance themselves from his position, these offensive statements reflect an anti-choice agenda that has, and will continue to rob women of their reproductive rights if we do not pay close attention today and on November 6.

Tonight, the Republican Platform Committee is meeting to vote on their objectives for the next four years, including their position on abortion.

The Republican Party Platform is expected to include its usual support for a Human Life Amendment that would effectively ban abortion nationwide, in almost all circumstances, without exception for rape and incest. What every American needs to know right now is that this dangerous platform has been repeatedly endorsed by Mitt Romney (R- Mass.), and reflects the position of his running mate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

Just last year, Rep. Ryan teamed up with Rep. Akin to co-sponsor an extreme anti-choice bill, H.R. 3, which would essentially redefine "rape" and prevent certain survivors of rape from accessing abortion services.

In fact, when given the chance to apologize for his outrageous comment, Rep. Akin explained that when he said "legitimate" rape, he really meant "forcible" rape -- the new definition put forward in the bill he cosponsored with Rep. Ryan.

And what's worse, Ryan has cast 59 votes on reproductive rights legislation, all of them anti-choice. Rep. Ryan also co-sponsored a couple of "personhood" bills, such as the "Sanctity of Human Life Act" that, if passed and enacted into law, would end legal abortion in almost all circumstances with no exception for rape or incest.

Make no mistake, the reprehensible views voiced by Rep. Todd Akin echo the true positions of the Romney-Ryan ticket. [Akin's real crime!]

These men and the Republican Platform Committee have pandered to the extreme positions of a small percentage of American voters, and tonight, they will do it again.

American women and their families must be aware that if Romney and Ryan are campaigning toward November 6 on this platform, they have every intention of a continued Republican War on Women.

Follow Nancy Keenan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/NARAL

http://thepartyoflegitimaterape.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-official-guide-to-legitimate-rape.html

[-] 1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

Mitt Romney's tax returns: the 'voter fraud' theory

There has been much speculation about why Romney refuses to disclose earlier tax returns. Could it be as simple as an address?

Mitt Romney campaigning in Greer, South Carolina. The Obama campaign has offered an amnesty on calls for further tax disclosures, if he releases three years of returns. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

Friday's exchange of letters between the election campaigns of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, in which Romney rejected Obama's offer to drop the tax return issue if Romney will produce just three more years' records, has moved the long-simmering brouhaha over Romney's tax returns back to the front media burner. Romney has only produced two tax returns so far. That's many fewer than any presidential candidate has disclosed in decades, setting up the hearsay accusation disseminated joyfully by Harry Reid (who may or may not actually believe it) that Romney is afraid to tell voters that he sometimes pays no taxes at all. (Romney has answered that, saying he has never paid less than 13% in taxes on his income.)

Meanwhile, Romney appears to have escaped relatively unsinged from the apparently unrelated revelation that he may have committed voter fraud in January 2010, when – despite not owning a house in Massachusetts and having given every appearance of having moved to California – he registered and voted in the Massachusetts special election to replace the deceased Senator Ted Kennedy. Given the GOP's ongoing use of the "voter fraud" fable to justify modern Jim Crow laws and its highly-publicized persecution of the voter registration group Acorn, an actual case of felony voter fraud committed by the Republican nominee could have been a big story – but Romney was able to tamp down the flames by claiming, not very credibly but also not disprovably, that he and Ann actually were living in their son Tagg's Belmont, Massachusetts basement in 2010. Without proof that Romney lied about where he lived, there's no felony – and no big national story.

Many (many, many, many, many, many) theories have been advanced to explain why Romney keeps refusing to produce any returns prior to 2010, ranging from "voters might learn he's wealthy" (which voters already know) to "he underpaid his church tithe" (doubtful).

None of them is really satisfactory, because none of them posits Romney concealing any facts more harmful than the blowback he is getting for not producing more returns. The problem may be that all of the prominent theories (with a couple of under-noticed exceptions) assume Romney is trying to conceal facts about his finances. Like the purloined letter pinned prominently in plain sight, what Romney's really hiding might be something more mundane: the home address written on the top of the tax form. That address that might reveal a connection between the "tax returns" brouhaha and the "voter fraud" fizzle – which may be the strongest explanation of all. Here's why.

Tax returns require taxpayers to state their residence address, and the Romney returns already produced, although partially redacted, state clearly that they lived in "Belmont, MA 02478" in 2012 (tax year 2011) (pdf) and 2011 (tax year 2010) (pdf): Mitt Romney's 2011 tax return The Romneys' 2010 tax return

But the Romneys, arbitrarily, refuse to disclose a copy of the returns they filed in 2010 or 2009 (for tax years 2009 and 2008) – which, perhaps not coincidentally, bracket the time period when Romney allegedly committed fraud by voting in Massachusetts when he actually resided in California. So here's the question: did Romney put his son's basement's address on the returns he filed in 2009 and 2010? Or did he truthfully use his real (non-Massachusetts) address, thus implicating himself in voter fraud?

This may seem like overmeticulous wonkishness, but the address given on tax returns is a big deal when it comes to proving voter fraud. As Hans von Spakovsky (senior legal fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation, former Federal Election Commission member, and former DOJ voting-issue attorney, and himself an advocate of the GOP's restrictive voter ID requirements) explained to the Daily Caller: "Election officials will also look at tax returns as crucial evidence in residency disputes. Where an individual declares himself to be a resident for tax purposes, thus subjecting himself to applicable state income taxes, is usually decisive on this issue."

With that in mind, let's run through the dates, keeping in mind that tax returns are filed the year after the tax year in question (and that Romney's returns, which are exceptionally complicated, likely are filed toward the end of that year: that is, his 2010 return was filed in October 2011):

• In April 2009, Romney sold his longtime Massachusetts home at 171 Marsh Street and appeared to move to La Jolla, California. He did not own a home in Massachusetts again until July 2010. (All of the Massachusetts addresses discussed here end with "Belmont, MA 02478", though one might amuse oneself surmising which address is underneath the Sharpie by the length of the redaction.)

• Sometime in 2009, probably late in the year, Romney filed his 2008 tax return, identifying the address where he lived at the time of filing. He has refused to disclose a copy of that return.

• Sometime in or shortly before January 2010 – that is, not long after he filed his 2008 return – Romney registered to vote in Massachusetts, stating on his voter registration form that he lived in his son Tagg's basement at 18 Greensbrook Way. In January 2010, Romney voted in Massachusetts' special election, which would be a felony if he was not a Massachusetts resident at the time.

• In July 2010, Romney once again became a Massachusetts property owner when he bought a new townhouse at 10 S Cottage Road Unit 3. However, as the owner of several other houses, he still could have resided elsewhere for voter registration purposes.

• Sometime (probably late) in 2010, Romney filed his 2009 tax return. If that return was filed before July and he really was living in Tagg's basement, it should give a Belmont address. If it was filed after July, and Romney truly considered Massachusetts his home, it should give the Cottage Road address. He has refused to disclose a copy of that return.

• On 15 October 2011, Romney's accountant filed his 2010 return, giving a redacted Belmont address (presumably the Cottage Road townhouse) as his residence.

If Romney's 2008 return (filed in 2009, shortly before the January 2010 special election) didn't give Tagg's basement as his address, then Romney clearly didn't consider Massachusetts his home in that year. If Romney's 2009 return (filed in 2010) gives a non-Massachusetts address, despite the fact that he claimed to be a Massachusetts resident earlier that year and had bought a house in Massachusetts in July, then Romney clearly didn't consider Massachusetts his home in that year either. If Democrats hit the daily double – in other words, if Romney declared La Jolla, California to be his home in both years – then Massachusetts prosecutors likely will have no choice but to take a hard second look at their ex-governor. (The Obama campaign's new focus on obtaining only three more years' returns – 2007, 2008 and 2009 – may suggest they're focusing in on this possibility as well.)

A felony voter fraud charge could expose Romney to fines and/or imprisonment, jeopardize Romney's standing with the Michigan State Bar, and – worst of all, in the political sense – would be a mortal embarrassment on the campaign trail, both to himself and to downticket Republicans (especially Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, who won the special election in question but is locked in a tight, highly-publicized race against the popular Elizabeth Warren to retain his seat).

So far, none of the reasons advanced for Romney's refusal to produce tax returns seems good enough to justify the political heat his campaign is taking. But if those returns give a non-Massachusetts address, then Romney can't afford to produce them, no matter how much political fallout his campaign faces as a result. All of this is speculation, of course, though it seems at least as plausible as Harry Reid's suggestion that Romney paid no taxes before 2011, but there's only one way it can be resolved: by Mitt Romney releasing those tax returns.

• Editor's note: the second sentence in this article ("Romney has only produced two tax returns so far") was cut in error; it has now been restored at 8am (ET) on 18 August 2012.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/17/mitt-romney-tax-returns-voter-fraud-theory

[-] 1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

One year ago last September we began an occupation that pinpointed the Villain in the broad nightmare that has become of the American Dream: Wall Street.

To commemorate and build upon our collective call that 'enough is enough', join us this September 15 -17 in a mass mobilization of the 99%.

Register for #S17 to plug into actions across the country and stay posted about transportation and housing for the Wall Street convergence.

We will continue to put our bodies on the line to expose how the 1% are controlling our fates; how we are drowning in loans, student debt, fraudulent mortgages. That our democracy itself is being sold to the highest bidder, while our environment is turned into just another toxic asset.

It is an uphill battle, but the very essence of Occupy exhibits how you are not a loan. Or alone. And that together, we are unstoppable.

Find out how you can pitch in on an existing project or register an action you already have in the works now.

They can steal your job, your home, your freedom, your vote. They can’t steal our ability to dream together.

Refuse to live in fear, believe another world is possible. Register and join us for #S17.

http://s17nyc.org/registration/

-- from the ‘Your Inbox: Occupied’ team

http://s17nyc.org/#newsletterOWS

Occupy Wall Street invites you, the 99%, down to the Financial District for three days of education, celebration and resistance.

On #s17 Follow the Money, All Roads Lead to Wall Street

Last September 17th, as part of a wave of global protest, people from across the country raced to the heart of New York’s financial district to occupy Wall Street. In the face of big banks foreclosing on our homes, killing our jobs, buying up our democracy, and turning our environment into just another toxic asset, you showed up, and we became the 99%.

On September 15-17th, join us in this fight for our world – this fight for our lives.

For years, people all over the world have been crippled by the corporate greed of the 1%. They built their bonuses out of stolen pensions of teachers, civil servants, and our neighbors. We pay for their welfare. They bet and borrow against our future. We drown in debt. So who is really in debt to whom? Now our elected representatives want us to embrace austerity–work harder for less, retire later (if at all), and say goodbye to our fundamental labor protections. They’re betting on our obedience. They’re betting wrong.

Join us for three days of education, celebration and resistance to economic injustice with permitted convergences and assemblies, concerts, and mass civil disobedience.

Here’s what we have planned. Get creative with us—help organize.

For every crumbling aspect of our society, the cause of the ruin can be traced back to corporate greed. Follow the money. All roads lead to Wall Street. And in the days and weeks before (and long after) September 17th, we will be here, demanding a system that puts the health of our communities over the profits of the 1%. We are the 99%.

Can’t join us in NYC? It’s just as important that we Occupy Main Street. Pick a local target that embodies corporate greed—occupy your state Capitol building like the people of Wisconsin, or a chamber of commerce conference as they did in D.C. Take inspiration from revolutionary occupations worldwide, from the railroads of India to the rivers of the Amazon to the streets of Spain. Wall Street has occupied our entire planet. What do you have to say about that?

There are more of us than them and they know it,

Occupy Wall Street

We are the 99% Bring your friends. 9.15-17.12 | Financial District, NYC Occupy Wall Street s17nyc.org

http://s17nyc.org/#newsletterOWS

OWS can't say it but I can, and I will keep saying it:

Fight back in the Class War against our democracy, our Vote and the 99% by the greed-addled few in the 1% and the Cons who worship them ~ VOTE!!

Get People REGISTERED and get out the VOTE!!

http://www.gottavote.org/en/?choose-state=true

[-] 1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

The Conservative Psyche: How Ordinary People Come to Embrace the Cruelty of Paul Ryan and Other Right-Wingers

Scientific research into the way we think explains the reasons decent people wind up supporting horrific policies.

August 14, 2012 |

Earlier this year, Democratic operatives looking for the best way to define Mitt Romney discovered something interesting about Paul Ryan's budget. The New York Times reported that when the details of his proposals were run past focus groups, they found that the plan is so cruel that voters “simply refused to believe any politician would do such a thing.”

In addition to phasing out the Earned Income Tax Credit that keeps millions of American families above the poverty line and cutting funding for children's healthcare in half, Jonathan Cohn described the “America that Paul Ryan envisions” like this:

Many millions of working-age Americans would lose health insurance. Senior citizens would anguish over whether to pay their rent or their medical bills, in a way they haven’t since the 1960s. Government would be so starved of resources that, by 2050, it wouldn’t have enough money for core functions like food inspections and highway maintenance.

Ryan's “roadmap” may be the least serious budget plan ever to emerge in Washington, but it is reflective of how far to the right the GOP has moved in recent years. According to a recent study of public attitudes conducted by the Pew Research Center, in 1987, 62 percent of Republicans said “the government should take care of people who cannot take care of themselves,” but that number has now dropped to just 40 percent (PDF). That attitude was on display during a GOP primary debate last fall when moderator Wolf Blitzer asked Ron Paul what fate should befall a healthy person without health insurance who finds himself suddenly facing a catastrophic illness. “Congressman,” Blitzer pressed after Paul sidestepped the question, “are you saying that society should just let him die?" Before Paul had a chance to respond, the audience erupted in cheers, with some shouting, “yeah!”

Ryan's motives aren't purely ideological; he's been a magnet for dollars from big GOP donors for years (the $5.4 million in his House campaign account is among the largest war-chests for any representative this cycle). But what about the ordinary people who embrace this kind of 'screw 'em, I got mine' ideology? How can presumably decent people on the Right – people who care about their families and their communities – appear to be so cruel? Don't they grasp the devastating real-world consequences of what it means for a society to just “let him die”?

While some answers to that question are relatively straightforward, even intuitive, research into the interplay between cognition and ideology offers a deeper understanding of what appears on its face to be an extraordinary deficit of basic human empathy.

Drilling Down

The simplest explanation for this apparent disconnect is the increasing polarization of our media consumption. People on the right tend to consume conservative media, and if you get your news from Fox and listen to Limbaugh, you too would think that Ryan's roadmap is simply a “serious” proposal to cut the deficit (never mind that it would cut taxes at the top by so much that the budget wouldn't be balanced for decades to come).

But it goes a bit deeper than that. The contempt a good number of Americans hold for the social welfare state has long been understood through the prism of race. In his classic book, Why Americans Hate Welfare, Martin Gilens found that while significant majorities of Americans told pollsters that they wanted more public spending to fight poverty, many were opposed to welfare programs because of widespread “perceptions that welfare recipients are undeserving and blacks are lazy.”

That finding has been confirmed in a number of studies since then. But more recently, psychological research – and some neurobiological studies – have found something else: Liberals and conservatives don't just differ in their opinions, they have fundamentally different ways of processing information, which in turn leads them to hold markedly divergent sets of facts.

Even more frustrating for those who view politics as a rational pursuit of one's self-interest, facts don't actually matter that much. We begin evaluating policies emotionally, according to a deeply ingrained moral framework, and then our brains often work backward, filling in – or inventing -- “facts” that conform to that framework.



Dueling Morality Tales



It's long been understood that people evaluate policy ideas through partisan and ideological lenses. That's how, for example, a set of conservative, market-oriented healthcare reforms cooked up at the Heritage Foundation and pushed by Republicans for years can suddenly become a Maoist plot when embraced by a Democratic administration.



But according to George Lakoff, a cognitive linguist at UC Berkeley, one has to look beyond mere partisanship to really get the differences in how we process information. Lakoff describes what might be called a hierarchy of understanding, beginning with our conceptions of morality and then evaluating the details through that lens.

In The Little Blue Book: The Essential Guide to Thinking and Talking Democratic, Lakoff and co-author Elisabeth Wehling explain that the human “brain is structured in terms of what are called 'cascades.'”



A cascade is a network of neurons that links many brain circuits. All of the linked circuits must be active at once to produce a given understanding.

Simply put, the brain does not handle single ideas as separate entities: bigger context, a logical construct within which the idea is defined, is evoked in order to grasp its meaning.

Cascades are central to political understanding, because they characterize the logic that structures that understanding.

While liberals and conservatives often see their counterparts as horrible people these days, the reality, according to Lakoff, is that they're processing information through very different, and often diametrically opposed moral frameworks.



In a recent interview with AlterNet, Lakoff said, “Conservatives have a very different view of democracy, which follows their moral system.”



The basic idea in terms of economics is that democracy gives people the liberty to seek their self interest and their own well-being without worrying or being responsible for the well-being or interest of anybody else. Therefore they say everybody has individual responsibility, not social responsibility, therefore you’re on your own. If you make it that’s wonderful. That’s what the market is about. If you don’t make it, that’s your problem.

But it's not just about the moral imperative to be self-sufficient – that's always been central to the right's moral worldview. But beginning in the early 1960s, with the advent of the Right's deeply flawed “culture of poverty” narrative*, a defining morality tale about the public sector has been about how it does nothing but foster “dependency.” This, according to today's conservatives, makes virtually every form of government intervention in the economy profoundly immoral, as it keeps a segment of the population mired in poverty for generations.



This powerful story has only become more deeply entrenched in the conservative worldview with the growing influence of Ayn Rand. Rand wasn't only a schlock novelist, she was also the progenitor of a sweeping “moral philosophy” that justifies the privilege of the wealthy and demonizes not only the slothful, undeserving poor but the lackluster middle-classes as well. Her books provided wide-ranging parables of a world made up of "parasites," "looters" and "moochers" using the levers of government to steal the fruits of her heroes' labor.

While Ryan recently disavowed Rand's philosophy, he's on the record saying that Rand “makes the best case for the morality of democratic capitalism.” On another occasion, he said, "The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand." 



This philosophy is constantly reinforced. According to Lakoff, most people have both liberal and conservative moralities that vie for prominence as our brains process information. One “neural circuit is in mutual opposition to another neural circuit” he told AlterNet, and “each of those two inhibit each other.”

For the Fox News crowd, the circuitry of conservative moralism is charged again and again every day. “When one of those circuits is activated over and over, more than the other, the stronger it gets and the weaker the inactive one gets,” said Lakoff. “The stronger one of these circuits gets, the more influence it’s going to have over various issues.”



(CONTINUED:) http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/conservative-psyche-how-ordinary-people-come-embrace-cruelty-paul-ryan-and-other-right?paging=off

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. He's the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy. Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter.

[-] 0 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

(CONTINUED:)

http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/conservative-psyche-how-ordinary-people-come-embrace-cruelty-paul-ryan-and-other-right?paging=off

Shutting Down the Thinking Brain



Princeton psychologist Daniel Kahneman refined earlier theories about how the brain functions on two levels – one instinctive and very quick, the other slower and more deliberate. He described the first as intuitive processing, or “system one cognition,” and the other as a process of reasoning, or “system two cognition.”



And the key point here is it appears that when system one is active, system two shuts down. Or, to put it another way, when we perceive an issue in emotional terms (system one), we make a quick judgment in which we don't think much about the details. This is common in our daily lives, but takes on real signifigance in our political culture, and while this tendency isn't limited to a particular ideology, some research suggests that political conservatives are more likely to rely on the kind of snap judgments associated with system one cognition than liberals.



(In his book, The Republican Brain, Chris Mooney suggests that there may be powerful evolutionary benefits for having an instinctive, knee-jerk process take over at times. If you were an early human wandering on the savanna and heard a rustling noise in the brush, it was to your advantage to instantly assume there's a lion coming and have your fight-or-flight instinct kick in. If you paused to weigh the evidence of whether or not it might be a lion, there would be a good chance that you wouldn't pass your genes onto future generations.) 



Given the cascade of cognition – from a broad moral frame, to the way a specific issue is framed in our discourse and finally to the nitty-gritty details that most people ignore – and given how the fast, instinctive processing can overwhelm our more deliberative, reasoned cognitive process, it's easy to understand how so many people on the right could be immune to the real-world consequences of doing things like cutting healthcare for poor children. It simply follows – from the overarching moral frame of dependency -- that this kind of “tough love,” while perhaps painful in the near term, is ultimately beneficial for those feeling that pain.



Isn't That a Contradiction?



It is a contradiction in one sense. But researchers have long observed that humans have an excellent capacity to hold contradictory beliefs. A recent study at the University of Kent, for example, found that those who believe Princess Diana was murdered are also more likely than most to think her death was faked.



A number of researchers have posited that we stave off painful cognitive dissonance by a process called “motivated reasoning,” whereby we seek out plausible explanations for complex phenomena in order to make things fit into our previously held belief systems.

Drew Westen, Pavel S. Blagov, Keith Harenski, Clint Kilts, and Stephan Hamann at Emory University describe ($$) motivated reasoning as a process by which, “people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe.” This, say the researchers, results in "a form of implicit emotion regulation."



Writing in the New York Times, David Redlawsk, a political scientist at Rutgers, explains that “we are all somewhat impervious to new information, preferring the beliefs in which we are already invested.



We often ignore new contradictory information, actively argue against it or discount its source, all in an effort to maintain existing evaluations. Reasoning away contradictions this way is psychologically easier than revising our feelings. In this sense, our emotions color how we perceive “facts.”

Everyone does this, but some research suggests that political conservatives, perhaps because they are more set in their views, and more averse to cognitive dissonance, tend to display more motivated reasoning than liberals.



When you hear someone like Paul Ryan proposing, for example, to shift $4,700 in health costs onto the backs of seniors living at the poverty level by 2022, it's important to understand that the consequences of those actions – the factual, real-world results of these policies – are often inconsequential to like-minded people on the Right not because they're (necessarily) bad people, but for the simple reason that the consequences don't register. 


While a half-dozen analyses paint a sharp picture of the cruelty inherent in the Ryan plan, it is this process of motivated reasoning that allows conservatives to simply block out any details that contradict their ideas about the need to avoid fostering a “culture of dependency.”


And here, one of the apparent differences between conservative and liberal cognitive styles comes into play: the “backfire effect.” The term was coined by political scientists Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler, who found that when conservatives' erroneous beliefs were confronted by factual rebuttals, they tended to double-down on those beliefs. The same dynamic wasn't observed with liberals (they weren't entirely swayed by the facts, but didn't show the same tendency to believe false information more strongly after being presented with them).

This is not to suggest that Ryan's plan – now effectively Romney's as well, despite some efforts to distance himself from it -- won't prove toxic to most people when they get a sense of what it does. That's because, as Lakoff notes, there are very few people who hold a primarily conservative or liberal moral framework – most have a bit of both. But it does help explain why seemingly ordinary citizens can embrace such such cruel public policies. It also suggests that Ryan's vision can't be attacked with facts and figures alone; it has to be challenged with a progressive moral vision of a society that values fairness and understands that in a modern economy, the public sector serves and sustains the private.

  • Cultural explanations for why some groups do better than others go back a long way, but the modern iteration of the “culture of poverty” narrative originated with sociologist Oscar Lewis’s 1961 book, The Children of Sanchez.

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. He's the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy. Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter.

[-] -2 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

7 Reasons Why Romney-Ryan's Desperate Attempts to Spin Medicare Won't Work

Romney's team is trying to muddy the waters around Medicare, but they face an uphill climb.

August 15, 2012 |

In May, the Romney team promised a laser-like focus on the economy . But that was then and this is now. This week, Romney changed the conversation when he caved to his right flank and chose Paul Ryan as his running mate, a man known for a budget proposal that's so toxic voters in focus groups, “ simply refused to believe any politician would do such a thing.”

Now, the Romney team is trying to avoid a backlash against the Ryan plan's most loathesome feature (replacing traditional Medicare coverage with a private insurance voucher that would pay for a dwindling share of seniors' healthcare bills over time) by following the old adage that if you can't dazzle them with your brilliance, then just baffle them with your bullshit.

So the Romney campaign and its surrogates are doing everything they can to muddy the waters, hoping – and not without reason! – that lazy political reporters will find all of this wonky stuff so boring and confusing they'll just report what both sides say and we'll end up in a draw over the issue come November. But there are a number of good reasons why this strategy is unlikely to succeed.

I. The Big Lie

The Romney camp's big lie is that Obama “raided” $700 billion from Medicare to pay for his healthcare scheme. There are two big problems with this story. The first is that Obama hasn't taken a single red cent out of Medicare benefits, and the second is that the Ryan plan has the exact same $700 billion in cuts . Even the laziest political reporter can grasp the hypocrisy of attacking your opponent for something you've proposed yourself.

Here's the scoop on Obama's (and Ryan's) “cuts.” They're not really cuts so much as reductions in how fast Medicare costs will increase over the next decade, and they come out of the hides of private insurers, hospitals and other service providers, not seniors. As healthcare analyst John McDonough wrote in the Boston Globe : [But] none of these reductions were financed by cuts to Medicare enrollees' eligibility or benefits; benefits were improved in the ACA. Cuts were focused on hospitals, health insurers, home health, and other providers. Except for insurers, all the affected groups publicly supported the reductions to help finance the ACA's expansion in health insurance to about 32 million uninsured Americans.

The key difference is what Obama and Ryan do with those savings. The Democrats use them to pay for Obamacare, which expands healthcare to millions of uninsured, and, according to the CBO, contains a bunch of provisions that actually make Medicare's long-term finances more sustainable. Here's a chart based on the CBO's numbers, courtesy of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities :

Romney and Ryan say they'd use the money to reduce the deficit, but on that point Ryan's numbers just don't add up. Ryan says he'll reduce the deficit, but his tax cuts for big corporations and the wealthy are so steep that there aren't enough loopholes in the tax code to offset them – in order to pay for them, he'd have to gut the entire government other than Social Security, public healthcare and military spending by 2050 , which is not going to happen. That's why the Ryan plan will, as Alex Hern noted in the New Statesman, “ inevitably lead to skyrocketing deficits .”

II. The Inescapable Reality

Ryan's cuts don't stop there. And there is simply no way to get around the fact that Ryan's plan saves the government money on Medicare by shifting the burden directly onto the backs

(CONTINUED:)

http://www.alternet.org/election-2012/7-reasons-why-romney-ryans-desperate-attempts-spin-medicare-wont-work

[-] -2 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

7 Reasons Why Romney-Ryan's Desperate Attempts to Spin Medicare Won't Work

Romney's team is trying to muddy the waters around Medicare, but they face an uphill climb.

Continued from page 1

of seniors over time. The reason is so simple even a Beltway political reporter can grasp it: as they're initially phased in, the vouchers will cover the costs of an average private insurance plan, but their value will increase at the rate of overall inflation, while healthcare costs grow much more quickly.

(At this point, you may have noticed that at the heart of Ryan's plan is an individual mandate that seniors buy private health insurance – with the help of some taxpayer dollars. This is the worst form of "tyranny" when a Democrat does it but apparently it's totally OK for a Republican.)

How much of the burden would be shifted onto seniors? The Congressional Budget Office compared Ryan's original “roadmap” (more on that below) with the way Medicare works now, and found that in 2022, each beneficiary would be spending $6,359 more out-of-pocket under Ryan's plan. And this would save the government a grand total of just $615 per person. (He later sweetened his vouchers a bit, so the number would now be smaller, but the inescapable reality of his plan's structure persists.)

Now, Ryan says that the magic of the free market will bring healthcare costs down, but he hasn't offered any specifics in that area, so we are left with only what the CBO analysis tells us.

III. Yes, The Ryan Plan Does Hurt Current Retirees

Republicans have been trying to insulate themselves among seniors by stressing the fact that current retirees can keep their Medicare just the way it is. The Ryan plan, they say, will only effect people 55 and under. There are two problems with this: first, it's simply untrue. Second, seniors are not as selfish as the GOP believes them to be.

While Ryan's plan exempts current Medicare enrollees from his voucher scheme, it also repeals the Affordable Care Act, and the ACA has benefits that current enrollees are seeing right now. Jonathan Cohn of the New Republic explains that “if somebody is 'stealing' from seniors here, it's not Obama”:

[ACA helps seniors] pay for prescription drugs, by filling the "donut hole" in Medicare Part D coverage. It also eliminates out-of-pocket costs for annual wellness visits, some cancer screenings, and other preventative services. Those benefits have actually started already: In the first six months of this year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 16 million seniors took advantage of the free preventative care provision.

Ryan's budget—which, again, Romney has repeatedly embraced and said he would sign—actually takes those new benefits away. The Part D donut hole would open back up. Access to free preventative care would vanish.

This one hasn't caught on with the media yet – they've been uncritically repeating the claim that Ryan's plan wouldn't impact current retirees – but it's early yet, and Democrats say that this will be the next (and accurate) line of attack as the campaign progresses.

The other gross miscalculation cynical conservatives have made is in their belief that seniors only care about their own Medicare benefits. But as one retiree interviewed at a Florida retirement home by NPR this week put it , "He's not going to do away with Medicare for seniors, but he will for Medicare for my kids and my grandkids." The reality is that older Americans really like Medicare, and want it preserved for their progeny, and the polling bears this out – a CNN poll last year found that while 58 percent of Americans didn't like Ryan's Medicare scheme, a whopping 74 percent of seniors opposed it.

IV. Another Big Problem for Romney: Ryan's

[-] -1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

7 Reasons Why Romney-Ryan's Desperate Attempts to Spin Medicare Won't Work

Romney's team is trying to muddy the waters around Medicare, but they face an uphill climb.

Continued from page 2

Specificity

Ryan's plan is anything but “brave” – studies by political scientists like Princeton scholar Larry Bartels ( PDF) have found that politicians' votes line up with the interests of the wealthiest Americans, “while the opinions of constituents in the bottom third of the income distribution have no apparent statistical effect” on their decisions. Ryan's plan fits that pattern to a T, and he's reaped a fundraising windfall as a result.

But the kernel of truth is that while the details of Ryan's plan aren't complete, it is an actual plan with enough meat on its bones for wonks to analyze. That does take some bravery, because Americans have always been suspicious of “government” in the abstract, but quite fond of the specifics – of the services it provides. This is why conservatives always prefer to avoid the details of their plans and talk instead about airy notions of “freedom” or “liberty,” or how rich people are supposedly “job creators.” Ryan's problem, and now Romney's, is that while the numbers in his budget don't add up, Ryan does in fact provide a bunch of them ( courtesy of the right-wing Heritage Foundation ).

V. It Will be Hard to Have Their Cake and Eat It Too

This leads to a big problem: Romney took on Ryan, in part, to get dimwitted pundits to applaud the “seriousness” of his proposal, but at the same time he's also trying to distance himself from the roadmap.

Ultimately, it really depends on when you ask him. In interviews this week, both Romney and Ryan insisted that Romney: A) has a plan that differs from Ryan's “roadmap,” and B) they will not release any details of that plan until after the election. Meanwhile, Romney has said that if he's elected he'll sign Ryan's plan, and that his ideas to “reform” Medicare “ mirror” those in Ryan's roadmap.

That indecisiveness led to these two headlines appearing on Think Progress on August 14:

Romney Officially Embraces Ryan’s Plan For Medicare

Romney Campaign Chair Contradicts Candidate, Says Romney’s Medicare Plan Is ‘Very Different’ From Ryan’s Plan

The campaign is flailing, and that will result in two issues for Romney as the campaign goes forward. First, the absence of a detailed “Romney roadmap” leaves Ryan's plan as the only place where anyone can find any details. As an ABC News “fact-check” put it , “the Romney campaign says it has an even newer plan...[but] there are no long-term reviews for this updated Romney-Ryan plan yet — or specific published details – so it appears the 2011 CBO report on Ryan’s original budget proposal is the only thing we have to go on.”

The Romney campaign will surely complain that looking at Ryan's roadmap is terribly unfair, but just as claims about his tax returns can be cleared up by releasing them, all the campaign has to do is offer some of its own specifics, which is something that Romney insists he won't do.

The bigger problem is how this hide-and-seek strategy reinforces the narratives that the Obama campaign has been advancing about their opponent. Elections tend to feature "meta-narratives," and when team Romney appear all over the map like this, it only advances the perception that their candidate is easily swayed by his hard-right base, has no core values and will say whatever you want to hear in order to get elected. And his refusal to release any details of his own plan is not likely to play well with the 63 percent of voters who think he should release more tax returns – it will only

[-] 0 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

7 Reasons Why Romney-Ryan's Desperate Attempts to Spin Medicare Won't Work

Romney's team is trying to muddy the waters around Medicare, but they face an uphill climb.

Continued from page 3

strengthen the perception that he's got something to hide from the American public.

VI. Issue Ownership

In 1961, when Medicare was first proposed, Ronald Reagan issued a stern warning , sounding much like Rush Limbaugh does today. If Medicare were to pass, he said, “the sun will come up tomorrow and behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country until... one of these days we are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”

It's a story that conservatives have told ever since. In 1995, Bob Dole, the GOP's 1996 presidental nominee, bragged: “I was there, fighting the fight, voting against Medicare ... because we knew it wouldn’t work in 1965.” And today, seemingly every day, a conservative rails against the perfidy of “entitlements,” including Medicare.

Here's why that's relevant. First, because that rhetoric has largely fallen on deaf ears -- Americans like Medicare, and by a two to one margin they say that it's worth the costs to maintain .

Second, while, again, the Romney team is trying to obscure the issues by saying that it's actually Obama who wants to “raid” Medicare, that's going to be a heavy lift because of a concept known as “issue owership.” Political scientist John Sides explained why “this will be an uphill battle for the GOP.”

Democrats are more trusted to handle the issue of Medicare. That is, they “own” the issue... To cite some more recent data, a February GW Battleground Poll found that 52% of respondents trusted Democrats to handle “Social Security and Medicare,” while 43% trusted Republicans. A June 2011 poll found that 47% of respondents had “more confidence” in the Democrats’ ability to handle Medicare, while 40% had more confidence in Republicans.

Second, although perceptions of which party owns an issue can change, they usually will not change during the short window of a campaign. Take 1988 for example. In this election, Michael Dukakis tried to emphasize national defense. George H.W. Bush emphasized jobs and declared that he would be the “education president.” Both were attempting to “trespass” on the other party’s territory. How’d that work out for them?

Voters tended to attribute Bush’s slogans and promises about education and jobs to Dukakis, and attribute Dukakis’s promises about national defense to Bush. They relied on stereotypes of issue ownership—“if someone wants to improve education, he must be a Democrat”—rather than pay attention to the specific promises of Bush and Dukakis.

In other words, if the Romney team does manage to muddy the waters about who favors what, long-held perceptions about which party has opposed Medicare since even before it became law should give Democrats an edge.

Republicans have convinced themselves that the opposite is true, and this is based largely on a single data-point: Republicans ran ads in 2010 attacking Democrats for “raiding” Medicare, and they won big in the midterms. But that's a dubious claim because while those Medicare ads were part of the mix, they ran their campaign against the healthcare law and on the difficult economy, and they enjoyed a significant cash advantage. Since then, Democrats managed to win a series of special elections for House seats that they were expected to lose, and they did it running against Ryan's roadmap.

VII. Context: Mitt's 1% Tax Bill Problem

Similarly, while we're talking about Medicare right now – and it will be a crucial issue throughout the election season for older Americans – that debate

[-] 0 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

7 Reasons Why Romney-Ryan's Desperate Attempts to Spin Medicare Won't Work

Romney's team is trying to muddy the waters around Medicare, but they face an uphill climb.

Continued from page 4

will ultimately be viewed through the lens of voters' larger perceptions about the candidates, and those perceptions are in turn shaped by an array of issues, from Romney's experience outsourcing jobs at Bain to Ryan's fringe views on abortion .

According to CBS' latest poll, “Sixty-four percent of all Americans, and 68% of independents, think Romney favors the rich over the middle class.” Only 18 percent say the same of Obama.

And that brings us to what may be the most significant number in the entire debate over Ryan's roadmap: if Ryan's plan were the law of the land, then according to the only tax return Mitt Romney has released (for 2010), Romney, sitting on a fortune estimated at over $200 million, would have paid an effective tax rate of just 0.82 percent . That's less than a tenth of the sales tax charged in New York City.

And embracing a plan that gives you that kind of whopping cut makes it awfully tough to argue that you're just looking out for grandma's best interests.

Joshua Holland is an editor and senior writer at AlterNet. He's the author of The 15 Biggest Lies About the Economy. Drop him an email or follow him on Twitter.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Thorough.

Thx

[-] 1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

Get People REGISTERED and get out the VOTE!!

http://www.gottavote.org/en/?choose-state=true

(why am I the only one...)

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

You ain't alone. I agree. I'm working on it. There are many here who prefer boycotting the election. Buncha morons!

[-] 0 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

They defeat themselves at all of our costs!!

Masochistic and injurious to the rest of us ~ like 2010!!

Unite and Win! Unite and Win! 2010 Never Fucking EVER Again!!!

Get People REGISTERED and get out the VOTE!!

http://www.gottavote.org/en/?choose-state=true

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Definitely

[-] 0 points by Lucky1 (-125) from Wray, CO 1 year ago

Vote democrat! They will bring paradise!

[-] 2 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

Bernie Sanders knows better. And he never chooses republicans!

http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-need-progressive-solutions-to-correct-conservat/

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

republicans are some club like the democrats

[-] 1 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

"republicans are some club"? OK. They aren't the same as democrats. Obviously many Democrats are in the progressive caucus like the great Bernie Sanders. No republicans! They are in the tinkle down, cut wealthy taxes, cut regulation, anti public option, anti LGBT, Anti abortion, "legitimate rape", war hawk, conservative caucus. Right? Is different? Or is that the same?

http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-need-progressive-solutions-to-correct-conservat/

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

yes

a network of associates for conducting business

[-] 1 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

Republicans are against the 99% and support bombing children. Many dems are still strong progressives, like Bernie Sanders.

http://occupywallst.org/forum/we-need-progressive-solutions-to-correct-conservat/

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

NATO killed ghadaffi's grand children remember?

no

2 days later bin ladin was assassinated

[-] 0 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

War is a little too much for the young ans squeemish. Maybe you should leave the adult issues to the adults. Just enjoy the safety you enjoy, and thank the next servicemember for their sacrifice. YOU owe THEM!

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

I don't respect wars of aggression

fuck your lame ass excuses of daddy knows best

[-] 1 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 1 year ago

My father did not know best. But I do & I am a father! I don't respect wars of aggression either. I did support the mission to help the Libyan people. That not a war of aggression. That was a police action to protect civilians, and stop aggression. Grow up. War is hell. But we MUST protect all innocent civilians from brutal dictators. Blow 'em up! No fuckin mercy!

[-] 0 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

If "paradise" means dodging another Republicon (Bush POTUS) nightmare ~ this time on Steroids ~ SO BE IT!!!

Unite and Win! Unite and Win! 2010 Never EVER Again!!

Register and Vote! Register and Vote! "We the 1%" NOT What They Wrote!!

If YOU Don't Vote, YOU Don't Count!!!

Get People REGISTERED and get out the VOTE!!

http://www.gottavote.org/en/?choose-state=true

or

http://www.rockthevote.com/rtv_voter_registration.html?source=rtv.com-homegraphic

[-] 0 points by alterorabolish1 (569) 1 year ago

LOVE

[-] -3 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

Fight back in the Class War!!

Get People REGISTERED and get out the VOTE!!

http://www.gottavote.org/en/?choose-state=true

[Removed]

[-] -1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

That's RepubliCon sabotage and hostage taking that you are complaining about!

Political Animal Blog August 20, 2012 9:16 AM Tripling Down on the Welfare Lie

I had naively thought that perhaps after two rounds of heavy advertisements advancing a race-baiting pack of lies about the Obama administration’s welfare policies, the Romney/Ryan campaign would pocket whatever advantage it had derived and move in a different direction before the mendacity of the attacks began to afflict even the consciences of cynical MSM political reports. But no: there’s a new ad, which dares defend its accuracy via (a) a completely empty editorial from the ever-partisan Richmond Times-Dispatch that in turn appears to rest its trust in the accuracy of the ads on (b) the opinion of Daily Caller columnist Mickey Kaus. Yes, it’s Mickey Kaus’ ultimate fantasy: being the indirect author of a multi-million dollar assault on his old enemies among social policy liberals.

If you actually go read the Kaus column that appears to have become via the Richmond papers Mitt Romney’s ex post facto justification for his ads, even Mickey admits that its central charges are “overstated and oversimplified.” His everybody’s-lying semi-defense of the ad is based purely and simply on Kaus’ judgment that the people in charge of welfare policy at HHS are known by Mickey to be enemies of the work requirement, and therefore in announcing an openness to waiver applications must have been moving towards an effort to overturn work requirements entirely. Mickey’s big aha moment—a line way, way down in the weeds of an HHS memo suggesting a possible pilot project allowing certain training programs to be counted temporarily as “work”—doesn’t provide much justification for an ad that explicitly says Obama has abolished any work or training requirement, and makes the new policy: “they just mail you your welfare check.” This is a blatant lie even if you buy Mickey Kaus’ omniscient old-ax-grinding knowledge of the inner evil intent of HHS bureaucrats.

Anyone authentically worried about the future of work-based welfare reform ought to be a bit more concerned about the Romney/Ryan ticket’s open and undisputed intent to deeply undermine all the “make work pay” supports that are essential to the success of reform, especially in a weak economy: the earned income tax credit, food stamps, Medicaid (and for many of the working poor, the Medicaid expansion provided for by the Affordable Care Act), and job training resources.

Ah, but why am I even wasting time arguing about this? The malignant heart of the Romney/Ryan campaign’s attack line isn’t any fact or piece of data, but simply the ad hominem assertion that of course Barack Obama wants to take your money and give it to those people without condition, because he’s one of them and that’s who he represents. And they’ll keep running these ads to the bitter end, particularly so long as they can count on a hackish editorial board and a “rogue” score-settling blogger to provide them a tiny shred of cover.

Get People REGISTERED and get out the VOTE!!

http://www.gottavote.org/en/?choose-state=true

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

Romney has no intention to win and thus espouses false scare tactic policy to draw focus from real issues like income equality and war

[-] 0 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago
[-] 0 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

He takes the posting bounty in pieces of silver

Mittens doubled down on the lies today by asserting that he paid at least 13% income tax over the past ten years. Off course you or I would pay over 30% if we made more than a middle class income. He makes a hundred times that or more, we don't know.

Willard must have decided he needed to do something to distract from the flat polling numbers after choosing "Austerity" Paul as his running mate. Choosing a VP always creates a bump in polling, always. This indicates that Romney is actually falling in his own right, 60% of people don't even know Ryan. So Mittens is attacking a Senator instead of running on his record as a capitalist.

He has to be hiding something that involves a felony of some sort, directly or indirectly. His brain dead base doesn't care that he evades taxes so that they pay more, they can't figure that out. After all, they'll all be billionaires someday.

To answer the trolls that keep demanding to know why we need to tax the rich. It isn't just a mater of fairness. The reason that the government of any nation (even back to the stone age when they used shells and beads) issues money is to allow business activity to happen efficiently and in a timely manner. If you allow the wealthy class to hoard money, your economy slows and stalls. The wealthy tend to do the exact opposite of what is needed when stimulus is required, they save money assuming things will get worse. They are always right when they do that. Even ancient kings understood this and taxed in good times and spent in slow times. That is, the ones that were successful.

US corporations are sitting on $5 trillion in cash with $3 trillion outside the US to evade taxes. If they brought it back onshore, the corporate tax alone would be enough money to balance the budget for a year. The right wing response, "well then what, genius. You're out of money." No dim bulb, the money circulates, stimulating the economy and produces more revenue. You know, build some roads and viaducts like the wise kings did. Then there is the $20-$40 trillion the rich have stashed in tax havens around the world. Are you getting the idea? They are destroying the economy. That's why a troll like you has to post talking points to blogs at 50 cents a pop, instead of having a job that pays $56/hour like factory workers in Germany get. http://www.prairie2.com/

[-] -1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

An Unserious Man

By PAUL KRUGMAN Published: August 19, 2012 860 Comments

Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate led to a wave of pundit accolades. Now, declared writer after writer, we’re going to have a real debate about the nation’s fiscal future. This was predictable: never mind the Tea Party, Mr. Ryan’s true constituency is the commentariat, which years ago decided that he was the Honest, Serious Conservative, whose proposals deserve respect even if you don’t like him.

But he isn’t and they don’t. Ryanomics is and always has been a con game, although to be fair, it has become even more of a con since Mr. Ryan joined the ticket.

Let’s talk about what’s actually in the Ryan plan, and let’s distinguish in particular between actual, specific policy proposals and unsupported assertions. To focus things a bit more, let’s talk — as most budget discussions do — about what’s supposed to happen over the next 10 years.

On the tax side, Mr. Ryan proposes big cuts in tax rates on top income brackets and corporations. He has tried to dodge the normal process in which tax proposals are “scored” by independent auditors, but the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has done the math, and the revenue loss from these cuts comes to $4.3 trillion over the next decade.

On the spending side, Mr. Ryan proposes huge cuts in Medicaid, turning it over to the states while sharply reducing funding relative to projections under current policy. That saves around $800 billion. He proposes similar harsh cuts in food stamps, saving a further $130 billion or so, plus a grab-bag of other cuts, such as reduced aid to college students. Let’s be generous and say that all these cuts would save $1 trillion.

On top of this, Mr. Ryan includes the $716 billion in Medicare savings that are part of Obamacare, even though he wants to scrap everything else in that act. Despite this, Mr. Ryan has now joined Mr. Romney in denouncing President Obama for “cutting Medicare”; more on that in a minute.

So if we add up Mr. Ryan’s specific proposals, we have $4.3 trillion in tax cuts, partially offset by around $1.7 trillion in spending cuts — with the tax cuts, surprise, disproportionately benefiting the top 1 percent, while the spending cuts would primarily come at the expense of low-income families. Over all, the effect would be to increase the deficit by around two and a half trillion dollars.

Yet Mr. Ryan claims to be a deficit hawk. What’s the basis for that claim?

Well, he says that he would offset his tax cuts by “base broadening,” eliminating enough tax deductions to make up the lost revenue. Which deductions would he eliminate? He refuses to say — and realistically, revenue gain on the scale he claims would be virtually impossible.

At the same time, he asserts that he would make huge further cuts in spending. What would he cut? He refuses to say.

What Mr. Ryan actually offers, then, are specific proposals that would sharply increase the deficit, plus an assertion that he has secret tax and spending plans that he refuses to share with us, but which will turn his overall plan into deficit reduction.

If this sounds like a joke, that’s because it is. Yet Mr. Ryan’s “plan” has been treated with great respect in Washington. He even received an award for fiscal responsibility from three of the leading deficit-scold pressure groups. What’s going on?

The answer, basically, is a triumph of style over substance. Over the longer term, the Ryan plan would end Medicare as we know it — and in Washington, “fiscal responsibility” is often equated with willingness to slash Medicare and Social Security, even if the purported savings would be used to cut taxes on the rich rather than to reduce deficits. Also, self-proclaimed centrists are always looking for conservatives they can praise to showcase their centrism, and Mr. Ryan has skillfully played into that weakness, talking a good game even if his numbers don’t add up.

The question now is whether Mr. Ryan’s undeserved reputation for honesty and fiscal responsibility can survive his participation in a deeply dishonest and irresponsible presidential campaign.

The first sign of trouble has already surfaced over the issue of Medicare. Mr. Romney, in an attempt to repeat the G.O.P.’s successful “death panels” strategy of the 2010 midterms, has been busily attacking the president for the same Medicare savings that are part of the Ryan plan. And Mr. Ryan’s response when this was pointed out was incredibly lame: he only included those cuts, he says, because the president put them “in the baseline,” whatever that means. Of course, whatever Mr. Ryan’s excuse, the fact is that without those savings his budget becomes even more of a plan to increase, not reduce, the deficit.

So will the choice of Mr. Ryan mean a serious campaign? No, because Mr. Ryan isn’t a serious man — he just plays one on TV.

[-] -1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

Republican Party Officially Embraces ‘Garbage’ Agenda 21 Conspiracy Theories As Its National Platform

By Stephen Lacey on Aug 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm

If you want to understand just how extreme and conspiratorial many in the “mainstream” Republican party have become, look no further than a resolution on Agenda 21 passed quietly in January.

Agenda 21 is a completely non-binding international framework for sustainability passed in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit. The framework, which sets out very loose aspirational goals for making communities more efficient and less carbon-intensive, was signed by then President George H.W. Bush and later upheld by Presidents Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush.

Since the framework was adopted, right-wing conspiracy theorists have pushed bizarre theories about Agenda 21 being a central tool for the United Nations to create a one-world government and take away the rights of local property owners. In recent years, elevated by the megaphone of extreme pundits like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, these conspiracies made their way into mainstream politics. Today, Agenda 21ers — many affiliated with the Tea Party and the John Birch Society — are peddling fears about Agenda 21 in order to stop basic efficiency and renewable energy programs on the state level.

Conspiracy theorists active in politics have called Agenda 21 “socialism on steroids” that would cause Americans to be “herded into centers like the UN wants.”

And in an April presentation on Agenda 21, activist Victoria Baer had this to say about John McCain’s support of ethanol, which she also claimed was part of a UN plot: “We should have left him in Hanoi with Jane Fonda…he is a traitor, a pure traitor.”

Yes, Baer called John McCain — a decorated Vietnam War veteran who spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war — a traitor who should be “left in Hanoi” because he supported minimal increases in domestic ethanol production.

Baer also claims that the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. National Parks Service, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture — agencies founded more than 100 years before Agenda 21 — are “all out of the UN to have these wonderful little furry animal organizations to cut our land away from us.”

In fact, the Agenda 21 language explicitly states that countries and local communities have “the sovereign right to exploit their own resources pursuant to their own environmental and developmental policies.”

So what do these historically-challenged and completely inaccurate claims have to do with the Republican party? The Republican National Committee has officially adopted these conspiracy theories as its national platform. In January, the RNC adopted a resolution calling Agenda 21 “insidious” and “covert.”

The United Nations Agenda 21 is being covertly pushed into local communities throughout the United States of America through the International Council of Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) through local “sustainable development” policies such as Smart Growth, Wildlands Project, Resilient Cities, Regional Visioning Projects, and other “Green” or “Alternative” projects

The Republican National Committee recognizes the destructive and insidious nature of United Nations Agenda 21 and hereby exposes to the public and public policy makers the dangerous intent of the plan.

Interestingly, Agenda 21 activist Victoria Baer is a big supporter of Florida Tea Partier Ted Yoho, a man who unseat Republican Representative Cliff Stearns in a major upset during a primary race yesterday. Along with supporting the Agenda 21 conspiracy, Yoho also believes we should abolish the Department of Energy — the agency tasked with protecting our nuclear waste and nuclear weapons arsenal.

This is where the mainstream Republican party is headed.

So what are the origins of this bizarre shift in policy? And why have Agenda 21 activists gained such prominence within mainstream politics?

To explore the issue, I spoke with Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Potok has been tracking the rise of the Agenda 21 movement, which is rooted in the John Birch Society — a radical right-wing group that opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 because they said it infringed on states’ rights. But Potok says that the issue is much broader than one single conspiracy and one single group.

Stephen Lacey: Many folks within the Agenda 21 movement have come from or are loosely aligned with the John Birch Society. So give us some background, what is the John Birch Society, how did it get formed, and what does it represent today?

Mark Potok: Well, it’s no surprise that it’s the John Birch Society that seems to be the primary pusher of the Agenda 21 conspiracy theory. I say that because they are most infamous, really, for two things. One is accusing President Eisenhower of being a “Communist agent,” which was a surprise certainly to Eisenhower. And the other, which is perhaps more like Agenda 21, is for their promotion of the idea that putting fluoride in drinking water is a plot to convert our children and all the rest of us to Communism. In other words, this is an organization that from the very beginning has touted completely ludicrous and baseless conspiracy theories. And, in fact, the John Birch Society was essentially driven out of the Conservative movement because it was such an embarrassment.

SL: But they’ve made a resurgence in recent years. What do they represent today? How are they becoming aligned with supposedly more mainstream Conservatives? And how have they regained a foothold in politics?

MP: It is hard to understand exactly how the John Birch Society has made itself more palatable to “mainstream” conservatives. The John Birch society began to reappear in a fairly significant way back in the 1990s when virtually every gun show in America, or every large gun show, had a booth with the organization. Back then, they were very heavily promoting the militia movement, as well as various conspiracies they believed the federal government was involved in. Then they sort of went quiet with the rest of the militia movement, which more or less petered out at the end of the 1990s. And in the last few years they have suddenly reappeared with quite remarkable success.

So the real answer to your question is that I do not quite understand how the John Birch Society has gotten so many city councils and county commissions and even state legislatures to listen to their nonsense. But they have. I suspect that it is related less to them having a huge amount of money or enormous numbers of people, and more to do with the idea that we’ve become so polarized politically as a nation that this kind of tripe really sells today. You know, what is most astounding of all is that the Republican National Committee has adopted oppositions to Agenda 21 as a core part of its platform and has asked that Mitt Romney include it as a part of his convention platform when the GOP convention gathers later this month.

(CONTINUED:)

[-] -1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

(CONTINUED:)

Republican Party Officially Embraces ‘Garbage’ Agenda 21 Conspiracy Theories As Its National Platform

SL: Well, let’s get into Agenda 21 more. For people who are paranoid about the UN promoting a One World Government, this is a gold mine for conspiracy theories. How has this group evolved and become more vocal?

MP: This is very similar to what we see going on with regard to arms control, gun control. The fact is, Barack Obama has done literally nothing on gun control except to allow further loosening of gun regulations to go forward — for instance, to allow people to open carry weapons in National Parks. And yet, there are groups out there that say that as soon as he is reelected — if in fact that happens — he will grab all Americans’ weapons and throw anyone who resists into concentration camps that have been secretly built by the government.

I think what’s happening with Agenda 21 is something very similar. There is an enormous, enormous amount of misinformation and plain foolishness being touted in the political mainstream as fact. We live in an era in which a Congresswoman [Michele Bachmann] is perfectly happy to accuse someone in the Department of State, with absolutely no basis whatsoever, of being an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood. My own Congressman, Spencer Baucus, from the middle of Alabama, has claimed that he personally knows that there are 17 Socialists secretly in the Congress. Alan West, another Congressman, said the other day he knew of 70 Communists in the government.

So, you know, this is the kind of garbage we are seeing every day now. And this has been going on for quite a little while. Let’s not forget that a candidate for President of the United States, Sarah Palin, just a few years ago, suggested that the President’s attempts to pass some kind of national healthcare plan, or extension of healthcare to more people in this country, was actually a plot to set up Death Panels to decide whether your and my grandmothers would live or die. So I just think that we live, sadly enough, at a time where conspiracy theories are pretty much destroying any kind of reasonable political dialogue in this country.

SL: You point to political partisanship as a main factor. But as you look throughout history at how conspiracy theorists and hate groups have grown, what other conditions need to be in place to make these theories so prevalent?

MP: I think that what is really going on is that the world is changing. And in our country, we’re seeing change in fairly dramatic ways. So, you see these kinds of crazy theories pop up at a time when major changes are a foot in our society — changes that really cause people to struggle, that make a significant number of people out there genuinely uncomfortable.

There are many things happening right now. Probably the most significant is that we, as a country, are losing our white majority. The census bureau has predicted that whites will fall under 50 percent of the population by the year 2050. Well, you know, that’s an enormous change. It’s already happened in California 12 years ago. And as a result, the politics of that state changed significantly. So it’s those kinds of changes, along with the very serious dislocations caused by economic globalization and by the kind of decline in the power of the nation state.

Apart from this, I think, we also have an extremely long tradition — in this country in particular — of distrust of the federal government. There’s also distrust around our government engaging in any kind of an international institution like the United Nations. You know, this fear of One World Government, of some sort of government forcing us all into a kind of global socialist hierarchy, goes all the way back to the League of Nations and Woodrow Wilson’s support for it. And really even before, as early as the 19th century, you see people on the extreme right in this country and in Europe voicing fears of One World government.

This country in particular has really been plagued with an irrational fear of the United States somehow being sublimated to a global government. The reality of Agenda 21 is it’s not a treaty, it’s not a legally binding agreement, it forces absolutely no one to do anything at all. It is purely and utterly voluntary. And yet it is being portrayed by the Republican National Committee, among others, as sort of a diabolical plan to strip away private property and to generally impose Socialism and Socialistic ideas upon this country.

SL: What does it say to you that the modern Republican party has adopted this as its official platform?

MP: I think it’s simply astounding that today’s RNC has adopted this this idea as a core part of its platform. We are looking at a very different Republican party than we were a mere 30 years ago. We’re looking at a very different Republican party than we were a mere 20 years ago. You know, when George H.W. Bush signed this agreement it was not controversial. Bush was one of 178 national leaders that signed the agreement. It seemed at the time like a perfectly sensible idea — this seemed to be simply a good faith, low-key effort to think about ways we might act better in the future for the benefit of all of us. And today that perfectly sensible, perfectly logical, and very much unenforceable plan on sustainability has morphed into a global plot to impose Socialism on the United States. It’s just ludicrous, and I think it speaks to what politics in this country have really devolved to.

SL: And finally, what kind of impact will this brand of politics have on the political future of the U.S.?

MP: Well, I think, this kind of politics is clearly hurting us as a nation. It is making it extremely difficult to move forward in any rational way. We can’t debate immigration rationally because we think there is a conspiracy to steal a part of our country on the part of Mexico. We can’t discuss homosexuality or same-sex marriage rationally because these groups tell us that gay people are seeking to forcibly convert our kids to being gay, and so on.

It just seems that on issue after issue after issue we are no longer having disagreements about a certain set of facts. Instead we have two sides presenting absolute alternative realities. And the bottom line, I think, is that from the political right, or the far right, that we are seeing almost nothing but a string of conspiracy theories that have virtually nothing to do with reality. So we cannot even have a rational debate about things that we admittedly disagree about. Instead, we spend our time fending off utterly baseless, fear-mongering conspiracy theories that prevent us moving forward in any way as a society.

At the turn of the 21st century we are facing very major problems. We are at a time of great social and environmental change and we need to seriously address them — not poison ourselves with the conspiracy theories and baseless fear-mongering that we see today.

[-] -1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

Truth and Lies About Medicare

Published: August 18, 2012 166 Comments

Republican attacks on President Obama’s plans for Medicare are growing more heated and inaccurate by the day. Both Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made statements last week implying that the Affordable Care Act would eviscerate Medicare when in fact the law should shore up the program’s finances.

Both men have also twisted themselves into knots to distance themselves from previous positions, so that voters can no longer believe anything they say. Last week, both insisted that they would save Medicare by pumping a huge amount of money into the program, a bizarre turnaround for supposed fiscal conservatives out to rein in federal spending.

The likelihood that they would stand by that irresponsible pledge after the election is close to zero. And the likelihood that they would be better able than Democrats to preserve Medicare for the future (through a risky voucher system that may not work well for many beneficiaries) is not much better. THE ALLEGED “RAID ON MEDICARE” A Republican attack ad says that the reform law has “cut” $716 billion from Medicare, with the money used to expand coverage to low- income people who are currently uninsured. “So now the money you paid for your guaranteed health care is going to a massive new government program that’s not for you,” the ad warns.

What the Republicans fail to say is that the budget resolutions crafted by Paul Ryan and approved by the Republican-controlled House retained virtually the same cut in Medicare.

In reality, the $716 billion is not a “cut” in benefits but rather the savings in costs that the Congressional Budget Office projects over the next decade from wholly reasonable provisions in the reform law.

One big chunk of money will be saved by reducing unjustifiably high subsidies to private Medicare Advantage plans that enroll many beneficiaries at a higher average cost than traditional Medicare. Another will come from reducing the annual increases in federal reimbursements to health care providers — like hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies — to force the notoriously inefficient system to find ways to improve productivity.

And a further chunk will come from fees or taxes imposed on drug makers, device makers and insurers — fees that they can surely afford since expanded coverage for the uninsured will increase their markets and their revenues.

NO HARM TO SENIORS The Republicans imply that the $716 billion in cuts will harm older Americans, but almost none of the savings come from reducing the benefits available for people already on Medicare. But if Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan were able to repeal the reform law, as they have pledged to do, that would drive up costs for many seniors — namely those with high prescription drug costs, who are already receiving subsidies under the reform law, and those who are receiving preventive services, like colonoscopies, mammograms and immunizations, with no cost sharing.

Mr. Romney argued on Friday that the $716 billion in cuts will harm beneficiaries because those who get discounts or extra benefits in the heavily subsidized Medicare Advantage plans will lose them and because reduced payments to hospitals and other providers could cause some providers to stop accepting Medicare patients.

If he thinks that will be a major problem, Mr. Romney should leave the reform law in place: it has many provisions designed to make the delivery of health care more efficient and cheaper, so that hospitals and others will be better able to survive on smaller payments.

NO BANKRUPTCY LOOMING The Republicans also argue that the reform law will weaken Medicare and that by preventing the cuts and ultimately turning to vouchers they will enhance the program’s solvency. But Medicare is not in danger of going “bankrupt”; the issue is whether the trust fund that pays hospital bills will run out of money in 2024, as now projected, and require the program to live on the annual payroll tax revenues it receives.

The Affordable Care Act helped push back the insolvency date by eight years, so repealing the act would actually bring the trust fund closer to insolvency, perhaps in 2016.

DEFICIT REDUCTION Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan said last week that they would restore the entire $716 billion in cuts by repealing the law. The Congressional Budget Office concluded that repealing the law would raise the deficit by $109 billion over 10 years.

The Republicans gave no clue about how they would pay for restoring the Medicare cuts without increasing the deficit. It is hard to believe that, if faced with the necessity of fashioning a realistic budget, keeping Medicare spending high would be a top priority with a Romney-Ryan administration that also wants to spend very large sums on the military and on tax cuts for wealthy Americans.

(CONTINUED:) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/opinion/sunday/truth-and-lies-about-medicare.html?_r=1

[-] -1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

Truth and Lies About Medicare

(Page 2 of 2)

Regardless of who wins the election, Medicare spending has to be reined in lest it squeeze out other priorities, like education. It is utterly irresponsible for the Republicans to promise not to trim Medicare spending in their desperate bid for votes.

THE DANGER IN MEDICARE VOUCHERS The reform law would help working-age people on modest incomes buy private policies with government subsidies on new insurance exchanges, starting in 2014. Federal oversight will ensure a reasonably comprehensive benefit package, and competition among the insurers could help keep costs down.

But it is one thing to provide these “premium support” subsidies for uninsured people who cannot get affordable coverage in the costly, dysfunctional markets that serve individuals and their families. It is quite another thing to use a similar strategy for older Americans who have generous coverage through Medicare and who might well end up worse off if their vouchers failed to keep pace with the cost of decent coverage.

Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan would allow beneficiaries to use vouchers to buy a version of traditional Medicare instead of a private plan, but it seems likely that the Medicare plan would attract the sickest patients, driving up Medicare premiums so that they would be unaffordable for many who wanted traditional coverage. Before disrupting the current Medicare program, it would be wise to see how well premium support worked in the new exchanges.

THE CHOICE This will be an election about big problems, and it will provide a clear choice between contrasting approaches to solve them. In the Medicare arena, the choice is between a Democratic approach that wants to retain Medicare as a guaranteed set of benefits with the government paying its share of the costs even if costs rise, and a Republican approach that wants to limit the government’s spending to a defined level, relying on untested market forces to drive down insurance costs.

The reform law is starting pilot programs to test ways to reduce Medicare costs without cutting benefits. Many health care experts have identified additional ways to shave hundreds of billions of dollars from projected spending over the next decade without harming beneficiaries.

It is much less likely that the Republicans, who have long wanted to privatize Medicare, can achieve these goals.

[-] -1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

How Todd Akin And Paul Ryan Partnered To Redefine Rape

By Ian Millhiser on Aug 19, 2012 at 5:11 pm

Earlier today, Missouri U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) claimed that “legitimate rape” does not often lead to pregnancy because “the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” This is not the first time the biologically challenged senate candidate tried to minimize the impact of rape. Last year, Akin joined with GOP vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) as two of the original co-sponsors of the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” a bill which, among other things, introduced the country to the bizarre term “forcible rape.”

Federal law prevents federal Medicaid funds and similar programs from paying for abortions. Yet the law also contains an exception for women who are raped. The bill Akin and Ryan cosponsored would have narrowed this exception, providing that only pregnancies arising from “forcible rape” may be terminated. Because the primary target of Akin and Ryan’s effort are Medicaid recipients — patients who are unlikely to be able to afford an abortion absent Medicaid funding — the likely impact of this bill would have been forcing many rape survivors to carry their rapist’s baby to term. Michelle Goldberg explains who Akin and Ryan would likely target:

Under H.R. 3, only victims of “forcible rape” would qualify for federally funded abortions. Victims of statutory rape—say, a 13-year-old girl impregnated by a 30-year-old man—would be on their own. So would victims of incest if they’re over 18. And while “forcible rape” isn’t defined in the criminal code, the addition of the adjective seems certain to exclude acts of rape that don’t involve overt violence—say, cases where a woman is drugged or has a limited mental capacity. “It’s basically putting more restrictions on what was defined historically as rape,” says Keenan.

Although a version of this bill passed the GOP-controlled House, the “forcible rape” language was eventually removed due to widespread public outcry. Paul Ryan, however, believes that the “forcible rape” language does not actually go far enough to force women to carry their rapist’s baby. Ryan believes that abortion should be illegal in all cases except for “cases in which a doctor deems an abortion necessary to save the mother’s life.” So rape survivors are out of luck.

And, of course, as we learned today, Akin isn’t even sure that “legitimate” rape survivors can get pregnant in the first place. Update

The Romney-Ryan campaign just released a statement distancing itself from the Akin-Ryan position on abortion in the case of rape: “Gov. Romney and Cong. Ryan disagree with Mr. Akin’s statement, and a Romney-Ryan administration would not oppose abortion in instances of rape.”

[-] -1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

Cons please, quit acting like OWS "True Believers" and putting down democracy!!

Come out of the closet and tell us about the beauty and wonders of NEO-FASCIST PLUTOCRACY??? Tell us about the GREAT REWARDS of 1% Cult Worship??? How 'bout one fucking thing RepubliCons did or want to do for the 99% (besides lowering taxes for the rich)???

[-] -2 points by trollanalysis (-145) 1 year ago

A true OWS supporter would not vote as this legitimizes the system. The system is broke, no matter who wins it will not make things better. Instead of wasting a few hours to vote, stay home and do something constructive.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

You offer no positive alternative because you have none, and you're not interested in a new system! Your only goal, & focus, is to keep the progressive OWS supporters from voting because they would likely vote dem and you want to serve the republicans!

[-] 0 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

Let them gag on this:

Even Adam Smith Would be Appalled by Romney's Tax Evasions Romney’s alleged 13 percent tax rate is lower than that of most middle class Americans who earn a tiny fraction of what he earns.

August 19, 2012 |

Mitt Romney says “every year I’ve paid at least 13 percent [of my income in taxes] and if you add in addition the amount that goes to charity, why the number gets well above 20 percent.”

This is supposed to be in defense of not releasing his tax returns.

Assume, for the sake of the argument, he’s telling the truth. Since when are charitable contributions added to income taxes when judging whether someone has paid his fair share?

More to the point, Romney admits to an income of over $20 million a year for the last several decades. Which makes his 13 percent — or even 20 percent — violate the principle of equal sacrifice that lies at the core of our notion of tax fairness.

Even Adam Smith, the 18th century guru of free-market conservatives, saw the wisdom of a graduated tax embodying the principle of equal sacrifice. “The rich should contribute to the public expense,” he wrote, “not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more in proportion.”

Equal sacrifice means that in paying taxes people ought to feel about the same degree of pain regardless of whether they’re wealthy or poor. Logically, this means someone earning $20 million a year should pay a much larger proportion of his income in taxes than someone earning $200,000, who in turn should pay a larger proportion than someone earning $50,000.

But Romney’s alleged 13 percent tax rate is lower than that of most middle class Americans who earn a tiny fraction of what he earns.

At a time when poverty is increasing, when public parks and public libraries are being closed and when public schools are shrinking their offerings and their hours, when the nation’s debt is immense, and when the 400 richest Americans have more wealth than the bottom 150 million of us put together — Romney’s 13 percent is shameful.

Robert B. Reich has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. He also served on President Obama's transition advisory board. His latest book is Aftershock: The Next Economy and America's Future. His homepage is www.robertreich.org.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

It's amazing how anyone could support this guy.

[-] 1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

No one does, they have just been brainwashed that much to hate Obama, Dems and their own best interests that thoroughly. 24/7/365/every city RW Hate-Speech Radio, an entire Fox Lies network, controlling ownership of MSM, and untold secret CU money WORKS!!!!!

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Laws against the lies on talk radio/fox news are long overdue

[-] 0 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

If we can restrict and brand Porn (that hurts nobody) X!!! Rush Limbaugh, and Savage, and Bortz (et al) should be RESTRICTED and RATED XXXX, until we find a way to ban their filthy lying PROPAGANDA!!!

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

I would support that!

[-] 0 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

You can't yell fire in a theater! Or advocate the violent overthrow of the government! Or get porn on Netflix, or show a fucking tit during a Superbowl halftime. But RW HSR runs rampant!!! Inciting RW followers to waste people at random free will!!!

COME ON!!!!???

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

It's ridiculous. Clearly these lies should be illegal.

[-] 0 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

They lie and people die!!

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Their day will come. They know it too. This is why they are attempting a massive voter suppression strategy. They are desperate. And know they can only win if they cheat.

[-] -1 points by trollanalysis (-145) 1 year ago

Why are you in OWS? Honestly?

OWS is supposed to be a protest against the government (Obama for now), not a protest aimed at supporting said government (which is what a vote does).

So, are you against the government (Obama) like an OWS supporter should be, or are you for Obama like an Obama voter would be?

Your stance is extremely contradictory.

Why aren't you on a Democrate site if you goal is to support Obama? Why are you on a site which is founded upon the principle of being against (not for) the government?

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Forget D & R for a moment.

OWS is against the conservative policies that have exploited, oppressed the 99%. OWS supports progressive solutions to these conservative policy problems.

The new system you refer to but never promote or detail doesn't exist.

Now D & R.

Dems can be dragged back from their failed right ward turn and made to serve the 99% IF we provide the constant protest/pressure that is required. The Dems are natural partners in pushing progressive solutions, if we get corp 1% money out of politics.

Your republicans are too far gone.

No contradiction.

[-] -1 points by trollanalysis (-145) 1 year ago

OK, I see the problem. You don't understand the fundamentals of OWS. You're a democrat reformist, and not an OWS supporter.

OWS is about the belief that the government is so corrupted that it cannot create a better world for us. It's the belief that we have to start at the grassroots and create that better world on our own through direct action.

Your position which is to think that the democratic party can be restructured to work for us is absolutely contrary to OWS belief. An OWS supporter believes he must take action himself, and not rely on a party to do it for him.

OWS comes from the same Vancouver tradition that started GreenPeace, and the offshoot Sea Shepherd. Actually, OWS resembles Sea Shepherd a lot more than GreenPeace. They take the law into their own hands through direct action because, like OWS, they believe the powers at be cannot and will not do what is needed.

Counting on the democrats is absolutely and utterly against OWS thinking which is based on grassroots. Don't ask what Obama can do for us because we must do it ourselves. Only we can make a difference. That is OWS.

You're like a Christian who has entered a Mosque and does not understand that Islam and Christianity are two different religions. You keep claiming you're a muslim, even though it's evident that you're not.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

I disagree with your opinion of OWS.

But if we can accept you as the spokesperson for a moment. What are you suggesting we do? "take action himself"? "create a better world on our own through direct action"

Ok how? Where are we with that. have we got a plan? A test case?

I'm with that. How are we doin'? As soon as something emerges I'll be there. Unless I'm not pure enough. Until then I won't pretend we do not have an existing govt (however corrupt). Because if I boyvott it the right wing will get more power and we will be worse off.

So I agree with you.

Wheres the plan?

[-] 1 points by trollanalysis (-145) 1 year ago

But if we can accept you as the spokesperson for a moment. What are you suggesting we do? "take action himself"? "create a better world on our own through direct action"

Ok how? Where are we with that. have we got a plan? A test case?

Open your eyes. OWS has been using grassroots methods and direct action since it started.

Wheres the plan?

The plan is already in motion. It's all around you. Read the news articles on this site. OWS is doing direct action each and every day. It's making changes from the bottom up.


I'm with that. How are we doin'? As soon as something emerges I'll be there.

Again, complete failure to understand.

  • 1) There are already plenty of events and activities that have emerged. Get off your computer and go in the streets. You can most likely find OWS activities in your city.

  • 2) Don't ask for people to do stuff for you. OWS is about grassroots. If there isn't anything already going on in your city, then start doing stuff yourself. OWS is about taking action, and not waiting for others to take action for you. It's about going in the street and doing direct action instead of voting for a representative to make decisions for you.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Been on the streets plenty. taken part in many actions. I will continue.

I will also vote to keep the right wing conservative 1% plutocrats out of power. I will also agitate our govt to get money out of politics (as my OWS supports) and agitate for laws that improve the lives of the 99%.

Why can't we do both. If OWS can agitate for money out of politics why can't I?

all my street actions are not affected by the voting I will do. No reason to boycott the vote since that will hurt our cause by giving the 1% plutocrat republicans more power.

Which appears to be your goal, Serving republicans

[-] 0 points by trollanalysis (-145) 1 year ago

Why can't we do both.

Because both positions are antithetical.

Voting for Obama at this time is lending support to the Obama administration at this time. It's saying "I believe what you are doing is good, so I will vote for you."

Protesting against Obama is saying - "I don't believe what you are doing is good, so I will protest against you and not lend you my support."

In other words, if Obama gets the majority of the vote for his current platform, then there's no reason for him to drastically change and reform the democratic party since people will have voted for what he has to offer now.

Asking for CHANGE is not about voting for the lesser evil, it's about voting exactly for the type of change you want. And, if there's no party that can offer it, then that means you have to go in the streets and use direct action to make that change happen.

Voting for the current Obama administration means you support what the current Obama administration stands for right now. Period.


If you vote for Obama today you're saying "I agree with you". Then, if you protest against him the next day you're saying "I don't agree with you". You can't build a new better society with this type of confusing message from the people. The people need to know exactly what they want and they need to express that clearly. This is how democracy works.

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

I do support with Pres Obama!.

Are you joking? You clearly do not know what you are talking about.

We disagree!

Support OWS! Elect Progressives! Vote out pro Norquist, anti Buffet rule republicans

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 1 year ago

30% income tax on the top tax bracket as defined by the buffet rule

is far belong historical records of taxation of the rich

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

It's a 1st step boss. I support 90% top rate.

[-] 1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

So, you want the WHOLE OWS movement to be a complete waste of time don't you?!

Well Fuck You!! TROLL!!

Get People REGISTERED and get out the VOTE!!

http://www.gottavote.org/en/?choose-state=true

[-] -2 points by trollanalysis (-145) 1 year ago

Not at all. What is the purpose of OWS if it is only used to advertise for Obama and his friends? If that is what we are here for, then let's just call ourselves an extension to the democratic party, instead of anarchists.

[-] 1 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

TO DEFEAT the tyranny of the greed-addled few in the 1% who use their followers in the RepubliCon Cult to conduct Class War on the 99%!!

Protests Awaken ~ Elections Execute!!

Get People REGISTERED and get out the VOTE!!

http://www.gottavote.org/en/?choose-state=true

[-] 1 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Most OWS supporters (millions) will be voting democratic.

Suck on that "truth"

[-] 0 points by rpc972 (628) from Portland, OR 1 year ago

Unzip this stinker and let them choke:

http://www.alternet.org/7-scandals-reveal-real-mitt-romney

[-] 2 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

Excellent

[-] 0 points by trollanalysis (-145) 1 year ago

OWS supporters who vote have not understood OWS.

[-] 3 points by VQkag2 (16478) 1 year ago

They have every right to interpret OWS as they see fit. In the way it serves them best. I don't think there is a requirement, or "test" of purity. We are free people! We want economic equity. We want the corrupt political system to serve the people is it is intended.

We want money out of politics! We don't want corp1% plutocrats to control our govt.

I support the concept of a new system, built from the ground up, horizontally, with real direct democracy.

Where is it.? Where is even the plan? Where is even the test? When the Anarchists complete their work and this plan emerges I will be there to support and embrace it

Until then we cannot give up the ballot to the right wingwho are 1000 times worse than Dems. We must elect progressives, and Vote out anti OWS republicans. We must agitate for the changes (money out of politics, other election reform) that will lay the ground work for the "new system". AND we must agitate for anything that might improve economic equity and serve the 99%. We can't give up, and crawl into the nearest corner while the anarchists are consencing on the "new system".

Where are all the posts here on the new system? Odin and any number of anti suffrage people are just working on discourageing people from voting! They are not discussing the new system plan! So clearly they aren't really interested in it. There only interested in keeping OWS supporters from voting.

[-] -1 points by trollanalysis (-145) 1 year ago

If we can interpret OWS to mean anything we want, then the protest has no meaning. OWS has a core philosophy which is that the system is broke and that we need a revolution to throw it away and create a new system bottom up, by the people, for the people.

If you think OWS is about voting for the democratic party instead of the republicans, then, I'm sorry to say, you have failed to understand OWS. OWS is not about voting, it's about making OUR OWN government.

Anyone can say they support Christianity, that does not make them a Christian. A Christian must understand what Christianity is. It's not enough for you to say "I support OWS", you have to understand what it is, and what it's not.

Where are all the posts here on the new system?

This website has tons of postings on new hypothetical systems. Look around.

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