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Tom Coburn & The GOP Target The Elderly

  • Posted on: 20 August 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Via Think Progress,

Last week, ThinkProgress reported that Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) believes that Medicare and Social Security are unconstitutional. Turns out, he’s not he only one. At a town hall in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) appeared to embrace Perry’s claim that providing for America’s seniors is unconstitutional:

QUESTION: With more and more cuts in Medicare and Medicaid on the horizon, I’m really worried about protecting our frail elderly in the Medicare and Medicaid facilities. So I would like to know how Congress proposes to balance the budget and still make sure our frail elderly in these facilities are protected and have trained care staff.

COBURN: That’s a great question. The first question I have for you is if you look in the Constitution, where is it the federal government’s role to do that? That’s number one. Number two is the way I was brought up that’s a family responsibility, not a government responsibility.

The video is embedded below.

Think Progress provided a good rebuttal - check it out at their link.

And treat this as an Open Thread.

 

 

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The Politics of Disaster Capitalism, Extreme Edition

  • Posted on: 10 July 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

In Sunday's Abbreviated Pundit Round-up, Daily Kos editor and front-page contributor Mark Sumner notes via an excerpt from Byron Williams that the problem with our deficit isn't what pundits and politicians are making it out to be - and nobody appears to be listening:

Byron Williams says President Obama isn't standing his ground.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bipartisan federal agency that provides economic data to Congress, more than half the current deficit is attributed to the tax cuts during the presidency of George W. Bush and the two wars that were financed on borrowed dollars during the same time period.

It's not health care legislation, it's not TARP, nor is it the stimulus package -- the troika with which most seem obsessed -- it's the tax cuts and wars that many who sit at the table negotiating with the president supported, but have irresponsibly drawn a line in the sand in opposition to any revenue increases.

Republicans sank the economy and ran up the debt, now they're looking to capitalize from their own destruction. Don't let them.

If you're familiar with the title and premise of Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine, then you're familiar with how extreme - and dangerous - the current antics of conservatives and the Republican Party in general are to the well-being of our nation.

Contact your local news media (unless, of course, you're stuck with Fox) and demand that they start pointing out the realities behind the current fiscal issues. Recommend that they read Byron's column. Demand that they stop catering to the dialog that the politicians are refusing to correct. We need EVERYONE who can to work with us to force the media and the politicians (the ones who are still listening) to start driving the debate on getting actual issues addressed, instead of permitting the ongoing smoke-and-mirrors that characterizes what has become the typical game of "kabuki theater in a Potemkin village" that our Congress has engaged in.

Our nation, and our people, can't take much more of this idiocy.

 

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Maddow on the Republican Obstruction to Recovery: The Nation Recoils in Horror

  • Posted on: 21 June 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Two Maddow embeds - one below the fold. Both well worth watching and sharing. Today's Republican "leadership" is not what they proclaim themselves to be - and their actions (and inaction) speak louder than their words. And are horrifying to the average American, and to the American dream.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy.

 

And if you think that's not encouraging...It gets worse. Rachel breaks it down after the jump.

 

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"They're not just crazy, they're evil." - The GOP's Ongoing War Against the Poor

  • Posted on: 19 March 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

Via Susie Madrak on Crooks and Liars comes this stultifying new revelation:

They're not just crazy, they're evil -- and un-Christian, should they have the audacity to claim otherwise. If only we could force them to live like this, they wouldn't last a week:

St. Paul, MN – Minnesota Republicans are pushing legislation that would make it a crime for people on public assistance to have more $20 in cash in their pockets any given month. This represents a change from their initial proposal, which banned them from having any money at all.

[...Read More at Crooks and Liars...]

What's the vehicle that the Minnesota Republicans are proposing for this, and who will it affect?

House File 171 would make it so that families on MFIP - and disabled single adults on General Assistance and Minnesota Supplemental Aid - could not have their cash grants in cash or put into a checking account. Rather, they could only use a state-issued debit card at special terminals in certain businesses that are set up to accept the card.

[...Read more at Crooks and Liars or FightBackNews.org...]

The underlying "thought" process justifying this type of draconian, unConstitutional and highly offensive measure is an unfortunately common one among conservatives and teabaggers alike, from what I've seen. A recent example in the form of an exchange with an individual sympathetic to the Minnesota Republican efforts illustrates this nicely - below is my response to one of his excerpted comments, where he rolls the presumptive meme into his "logic" as a ploy to justify his "thinking:"

>> The reason these rules are put in effect is because the welfare recipients who have cash in their hand will buy liquer, drugs and anything else the want and are prohibited from buying under rules of welfare. Welfare money is for NECESSITIES ONLY. <<

You're making bad assumptions in your arrogant ignorance.

"welfare recipients who have cash in their hand will buy liquer, drugs and anything else the want" - whereas I know welfare recipients who do none of that, and need more than $20 cash to pay their rent or baby-sitter for when they have to go to the doctor.

Several welfare recipients I know of don't have or maintain bank accounts, so don't have checking accounts. When they get their checks, they cash them and then either get cashiers checks (which cost a fee) or make payments in cash to those facilities, utilities, transportation, child-care, medical, retail outlets and individuals who don't or can't accept welfare cards but who provide necessary services.

Just because you have no clue what it takes to live on welfare - or less - per day, per week, per month, that doesn't mean your ignorance is any excuse to make invalid, ignorant, arrogant and mis-informed statements as if they're based on fact.

What continues to amaze me, and shouldn't, is that even as the GOP's plan to further disenfranchise the poor and (shrinking) middle class becomes more blatantly obvious - both in terms of how damning it is for the nation and economy as well as for the affected classes of people - there are still many members of the poor who'd be directly affected by all this, and yet they are so agitated by frustration, conflicting messages and the constant onslaught of propaganda that they continue to vote against their own best interests...which, at this point, also serves to further worsen the GOP-spawned problems that got us into the worst of this mess to begin with.

 

Hat-tip Pulling to the Left for the heads-up.

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Stacking The Deck Again (Still): The GOP's War On Voting Rights

  • Posted on: 6 March 2011
  • By: GreyHawk

In a piece posted to ThinkProgress by Kevin Donohoe titled REPORT: In 22 Statehouses Across the Country, Conservatives Move to Disenfranchise Voters, a disturbingly familiar bit of news:

In statehouses across the country, Republican lawmakers are raising the specter of “voter fraud” to push through legislation that would dramatically restrict the voting rights of college students, rural voters, senior citizens, the disabled and the homeless. As part of their larger effort to silence Main Street, conservatives are pushing through new photo identification laws that would exclude millions from voting, depress Hispanic voter turnout by as much as 10 percent, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

Excerpt from Kevin Donohoe's ThinkProgress pieceToday's GOP, coupled with the extreme insanity of their Tea Party brethren, has steadfastly pursued an accelerated agenda since they were able to reclaim some of their lost power through the last the election cycle. The previous decade of corruption and abuse, diminished civil rights and undermined social safety nets set the stage. Now, apparently panicking at the thought that they nearly saw all of their dismantling of the New Deal un-done with the transfer of power in the 2008 election cycle, they're scrambling to disable what elements they can and rig anThe ything else that could enhance their chances of keeping their claws on the levers of American power.

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Looming Election Brings Back Same Old GOP SOP: Voter Caging, Voter Suppression and Undermining Democracy

  • Posted on: 21 September 2010
  • By: GreyHawk

A huge story is breaking about a massively coordinated attempt by the Wisconsin GOP, the group Americans for Prosperity and a coalition of Tea Party teabaggers to suppress the vote in that state among minorities and students. Major elements of the story so far can be found on DailyKos in a diary by xofferson and a follow-up by One Wisconsin Now.

Voter suppression, particularly through means of voter caging, has been a major weapon in the GOP's arsenal and is brought to bear against citizens particularly likely to vote Democratic -- or at least almost guaranteed to not vote Republican.

ePluribus Media has covered this topic extensively in the past, and below the fold you'll find a list of many of our past pieces, showing elements that tie together voter suppression strategies such as voter caging along with manipulation of the DoJ (particularly the Voting Rights division) and US Attorneys, who'd be the ones who'd have to investigate any claims of irregularities -- real, imagined or fabricated on the backs of tea-stained elephantine fat cats.

If the Wisconsin voter caging story intrigues, interests, offends and angers you, then take a deep breath and venture forth for a more in-depth range of topics that really illustrate just how far the GOP will go in order to compromise democracy and to promote their party, partisan politics and political power over the interests of the nation and her people. The list begins immediately...

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Wherein Conservatives Admit To Hysterical Accusations And Intentional Deception

  • Posted on: 22 March 2010
  • By: GreyHawk

Crossposted to DailyKos.

If you've seen the recent dKos diary by Queen of Swords or the article referred to within by David Frum (infamously titled Waterloo), one crucial item stands out: the admission that Republicans have willfully & intentionally conducted a vigorous program to whip up "hysterical accusations and pseudo-information" -- in short, they've knowingly lied to their base and the nation in order to oppose the initiatives and policies of this President and the Democratic majority.

This demonstrates their willful complicity in undermining and obstructing government for political purposes, not for the benefit of their constituents. It also deals a hefty blow against teabagger lunacy, which has built up a head of steam based solely on the misinformation generated by the GOP efforts to "destroy" the presidency of Barack Obama.

The Atwater school of politics may at last be coming to an end, or at least entering a much-needed recession.

Conservative Quackery: Their "Truth" Is The Lie

  • Posted on: 27 January 2010
  • By: GreyHawk

James O'Keefe, Joseph Basel, Stan Dai and Robert Flanagan were arrested for their roles in a recent attempt to bug Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu's phones on Monday.

From an article in the New York Times:

Federal authorities said two of the men posed as telephone workers wearing hard hats, tool belts and flourescent vests when they walked into the senator's office inside a federal building in New Orleans on Monday. The other two were accused of helping to organize the plan.

[...snip...]

All four suspects were charged with entering federal property under false pretenses for the purpose of committing a felony, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

This is yet another example of Conservative extremism where it's "ok" to break the laws, provided you don't get caught.

The idea is to sow doubt and dissent about the Democrats -- standard operating fare harkening back through the Atwater school of politics and practiced heartily by such miscreants as Karl Rove, who'd once had the reputation of "master" Republican strategist and dirty trickster. This isn't O'Keefe's first attempt to manufacture a scandal:

Using a hidden camera last year, O'Keefe, posed as a pimp and brought a young woman posing as a prostitute to ACORN offices where staffers appeared to offer illegal tax advice and to support the misuse of public funds and illegal trafficking in children.

O'Keefe's "exposé" of ACORN fell apart rather quickly as it was held up for closer examination, exposing instead the history and habit of 'creative editing' in order to manufacture seemingly damning video. O'Keefe appears to fancy himself a Conservative's answer to Michael Moore, only he's more willing to manufacture situations than to fan the flames of issues that already exist.

TPM posted the affidavit for these loser's Conservative heroe's arrest. (H/T DarkSyde.)

Thursday Afternoon Open Thread: Fools and Liars , Robertson and Limbaugh Edition

  • Posted on: 14 January 2010
  • By: Open Thread

GOP Talking Heads continue to drivel and drone onward, proving that nothing will dent their hardened empty shells as they march relentless along the road of hatefilled diatribe.

In the video above, Keith Olbermann takes both Limbaugh and Robertson to task for their recent comments regarding the disaster in Haiti.

In the video below, Rachel Maddow shows the reaction of Haiti's ambassador as he slams Robertson for his comments.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This is an Open Thread.

Republican Immaturity And Stalling Tactics: Rude, Crude and Objectionable

  • Posted on: 7 November 2009
  • By: GreyHawk

Hat-tip to Lordrag of DelphiForums.

The Republicans have long used a variety pithy, childish and rude methods in order to prevent actions that ultimately help the nation and prove their own policies and methods of governing are inadequate.

Today is no exception. Watch this, from Media Matters:

That's not "serving the people" and it's also neither respectable nor proper decorum for representatives of the people.

It's just plain objectionable. Rude, crude, childishly immature and a waste of our nation's time, money, resources and national trust. Here's the longer compilation, courtesy ThinkProgress:

This, above all, is evidence that the Republican party of today serves no end but their own, honors nothing about the foundations of good government and cares not one whit for their constituents nor the people of the United States. Over the preceding twelve years they've carefully cultivated this culture of corruption, hypocrisy and frivolous disregard for the tenets of our government; they do not deserve to be called "representatives" nor should they ever be allowed back into the hallowed halls of government anywhere in the nation.

I hope and pray that for the sanctity and preservation of mature, reasonable discourse in the pursuit of a government of, by and for the People that none of those who participate in such disrespect and disruption are ever re-elected again.

The current Republican leadership in Congress is a disgrace to the nation, and a blight on our government and our reputation in the world.

Disgraceful.

Beyond The Pale -- The Treasonous Bloodlust of the GOP's Reichwing Lunatic Fringe

  • Posted on: 30 September 2009
  • By: GreyHawk

It's not too late to stop the madness, but we're awfully close to falling over the edge and into the abyss. Remember when I issued this note of caution?

__________

It's begun. The wackos have all begun to unwind and step out from behind their stately faux patriotism with their lunatic friends, fomenting rebellion and attempting to instigate violence. It's an insidious fifth column of propaganda and divisiveness, delivered through auspices of free speech yet fooling few in the rank desperation of their calls to incitement.

    -- GreyHawk, Inappropriate Political Discourse: The Blood of Patriots and Tyrants

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Well, since then, the incitement and frothing nutty insanity of the right has grown significantly. Republican "leaders" are now openly telling their faithful to "get their guns" and buy more bullets, to prepare for a time to "take back" America.

"Take back" America? They "had" America for 8 years, during which they ravaged the nation and ran amuck; now, they want to "take it back"? From Glenn Beck's recent insane drivel about "the military and police are with us" to Rep. Trent Franks referring to Obama as an "enemy of humanity" the reichwing's anti-American hatespeech has been steadily escalating. It's spilling over into action more and more often now: people showing up with guns at rallys with the President, the assassination of Dr. George Tiller and the lynching, and subsequent smearing of Bill Sparkman.


These people are no longer operating with anything but the intent to incite violence and depose a legitimately elected, popular and intelligent leader in favor of a return to their corrupt, inept and destructive control of our nation.


We've covered some aspects of this behavior before (Boehner at CPAC calling all of Obama's Policies Socialist), and here's a quick list of other stories that have hit the wires lately:

See also: inappropriate political discourse

This is beyond the pale, ladies and gentlemen.

It's time for leaders and lawmakers to stand beside law-abiding citizens to denounce and quell these unAmerican, dangerous, hate-filled acts and to assert an air of sanity back into the rapidly decaying mental state of the GOP's lunatic base.

And it's time to publicly denounce and censure all those GOP "leaders" who participate in these efforts to foment and incite violent dissention.

No more free passes.

These bastards fought any efforts to hold them and the previous administration accountable during the Bush years while they gleefully bragged about how they were going to continue to do whatever they wanted. They sought a "permanent Republican majority" and a golden age of graft.

They destroyed our infrastructure and economy, and most importantly they LOST the last election.

They are now looking for any excuse to refuse the new President and Administration the courtesy of helping clean up the mess they made; they are now steadfastly determined to block any part of the new agenda, and to incite their more rabid followers to violence in efforts to further damage our nation.

This must end now, before any more blood is spilled. They must be held accountable, and forced to begin acting like adults instead of dangerously unbalanced psychotic thugs and legalized mobsters.

“Spontaneous popular uprisings”??

  • Posted on: 9 August 2009
  • By: Hello Dolly Llama
Promoted, with thanks and a special welcome to Hello Dolly Llama. -- GH

“Spontaneous popular uprisings”??

Yet another myth the Republicans are peddling, is the myth of the spontaneous popular uprising. As Robert Heinlein observed decades ago, the notion of a handful of revolutionaries gathering in an attic or a coffeehouse around a candle, plotting to change the world, virtually never leads to anything. Anything that is really worth accomplishing takes time, money, organization, a good sense of timing, communication, logistics, intelligence, usually some security, and a fair amount of luck.

Arguably the first uprising against a government occurred in Rome, when Tarquinius Superbus, the king whose son raped a nobleman’s daughter, was removed from power by the Senate, not the people. This established the Roman Republic which was in turn overthrown by the killing of Caesar, which was a murder conspiracy by Senators, not a popular uprising.

Most of the violent upheavals in the Middle Ages came in the form of full-scale civil wars between armies led by noblemen; the only role of the common people was to be slaughtered. Even Magna Carta: people believe it was a popular uprising to secure the rights of the common man, but it was in fact a conspiracy of noblemen to secure rights for…noblemen.

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