Senate to Middle Class – “Drop Dead”

Senate to Middle Class: Drop Dead
From Michael Moore

Friday, December 12th, 2008

Friends,

They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers start building only cars and mass transit that reduce our dependency on oil.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers build cars that reduce global warming.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the automakers withdraw their many lawsuits against state governments in their attempts to not comply with our environmental laws.

They could have given the loan on the condition that the management team which drove these once-great manufacturers into the ground resign and be replaced with a team who understands the transportation needs of the 21st century.

Yes, they could have given the loan for any of these reasons because, in the end, to lose our manufacturing infrastructure and throw 3 million people out of work would be a catastrophe.

But instead, the Senate said, we’ll give you the loan only if the factory workers take a $20 an hour cut in wages, pension and health care. That’s right. After giving BILLIONS to Wall Street hucksters and criminal investment bankers — billions with no strings attached and, as we have since learned, no oversight whatsoever — the Senate decided it is more important to break a union, more important to throw middle class wage earners into the ranks of the working poor than to prevent the total collapse of industrial America.

We have a little more than a month to go of this madness. As I sit here in Michigan today, tens of thousands of hard working, honest, decent Americans do not believe they can make it to January 20th. The malaise here is astounding. Why must they suffer because of the mistakes of every CEO from Roger Smith to Rick Wagoner? Make management and the boards of directors and the shareholders pay for this.

Of course that is heresy to the 31 Republicans who decided to blame the poor, miserable autoworkers for this mess. And our wonderful media complied with their spin on the morning news shows: “UAW Refuses to Give Concessions Killing Auto Bailout Bill.” In fact the UAW has given concession after concession, reduced their benefits, agreed to get rid of the Jobs Bank and agreed to make it harder for their retirees to live from week to week. Yes! That’s what we need to do! It’s the Jobs Bank and the old people who have led the nation to economic ruin!

But even doing all that wasn’t enough to satisfy the bastard Republicans. These Senate vampires wanted blood. Blue collar blood. You see, they weren’t opposed to the bailout because they believed in the free market or capitalism. No, they were opposed to the bailout because they’re opposed to workers making a decent wage. In their rage, they were driven to destroy the backbone of this country, not because the UAW hadn’t given back enough, but because the UAW hadn’t given up.

It appears that the sitting President has been looking for a way to end his reign by one magnanimous act, just like a warlord on his feast day. He will put his finger in the dyke, and the fragile mess of an auto industry will eke through the next few months.

That will give the Senate enough time to demand that the bankers and investment sharks who’ve already swiped nearly half of the $700 billion gift a chance to make the offer of cutting their pay.

Fat chance.

GOP voter registration case leads to arrest

by Evan Halper, LA Times

The owner of a firm that the California Republican Party hired to register tens of thousands of voters this year was arrested in Ontario late last night on suspicion of voter registration fraud.

State and local investigators allege that Mark Jacoby fraudulently registered himself to vote at a childhood California address where he no longer lives so he would appear to meet the legal requirement that signature gatherers be eligible to vote in California. more

Strickland sends out mailer trying to trick voters

There seems to be no end to the Strickland dishonesty.  Most recently he has sent out a mailer that does not declare from where it came, which may suggest it was sent by Hannah-Beth Jackson. By failing to clearly indicate from what campaign the mailer was sent, this broke the law.

Haven’t we had enough of politicians who think they can violate the law and get away with it.  For ethical reasons alone, Strickland needs to go.  Jackson clearly appears to have stronger ethics.  We need to wash this nation clean of law breaking politicians to move forward as a success instead of control by corporate greed and the politicians that support them instead of their constituency.

See more of the story and comments here

Susan Eisenhower leaves Republican party

“I have decided I can no longer be a registered Republican. For the first time in my life I announced my support for a Democratic candidate for the presidency, in February of this year. This was not an endorsement of the Democratic platform, nor was it a slap in the face to the Republican Party. It was an expression of support specifically for Senator Barack Obama. I had always intended to go back to party ranks after the election and work with my many dedicated friends and colleagues to help reshape the GOP, especially in the foreign-policy arena. But I now know I will be more effective focusing on our national and international problems than I will be in trying to reinvigorate a political organization that has already consumed nearly all of its moderate “seed corn.” And now, as the party threatens to trivialize what promised to be a serious debate on our future direction, it will alienate many young people who might have come into party ranks”…read more

I’m voting Republican – Wanna know why?

Are you voting Republican?

Let’s focus on the economy, cause who cares about the Constitution.  It’s just an old piece of paper anyway.

Could Gallegly’s 24th District Have Been Better Served?

Found an interesting website – NationalPriorites.org – where you can play with some numbers.

For instance, when comparing the tax cuts to the richest 10% for the year 2009, to the amount of money needed to hire music and art teachers for our students in public school, the figure is astounding:

IF instead of those tax cuts to the highest tier, we hired music and art teachers for the entire district (Ventura county and inland Santa Barbara county), we could hire 4989 teachers.

Another one, if instead of all the money spent in Iraq to date, we invested in renewable electricity for homes,  just in our district, we could supply  2,819,896 Homes with Renewable Electricity.

Consider that same money spent in Iraq to date, and know that instead we could have provided 591,609 Children with Health Care, 237,850 Scholarships for University Students, 4,737 Affordable Housing Units, or 19,989 Port Container Inspectors.

We have a primary coming up on June 3rd.  Consider carefully and vote wisely.  We can’t continue to waste our future.  Vote Progressive Democrat Mary Pallant.

10 Things to Know About John McCain

10 things you should know about John McCain (but probably don’t):
1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has “evolved,” yet he’s continued to oppose key civil rights laws.1

2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain “will make Cheney look like Gandhi.”2

3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.3
4. McCain opposes a woman’s right to choose. He said, “I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned.”4

5. The Children’s Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children’s health care bill last year, then defended Bush’s veto of the bill.5

6. He’s one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a “second job” and skip their vacations.6

7. Many of McCain’s fellow Republican senators say he’s too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: “The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He’s erratic. He’s hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.”7

8. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.8

9. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his “spiritual guide,” Rod Parsley, believes America’s founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a “false religion.” McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church “the Antichrist” and a “false cult.”9

10. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0—yes, zero—from the League of Conservation Voters last year.10

Sources:
1. “The Complicated History of John McCain and MLK Day,” ABC News, April 3, 2008
http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/04/the-complicated.html

“McCain Facts,” ColorOfChange.org, April 4, 2008
http://colorofchange.org/mccain_facts/

2. “McCain More Hawkish Than Bush on Russia, China, Iraq,” Bloomberg News, March 12, 2008
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=aF28rSCtk0ZM&refer=us

“Buchanan: John McCain ‘Will Make Cheney Look Like Gandhi,'” ThinkProgress, February 6, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/06/buchanan-gandhi-mccain/

3. “McCain Sides With Bush On Torture Again, Supports Veto Of Anti-Waterboarding Bill,” ThinkProgress, February 20, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/20/mccain-torture-veto/

4. “McCain says Roe v. Wade should be overturned,” MSNBC, February 18, 2007
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17222147/

5. “2007 Children’s Defense Fund Action Council® Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard,” February 2008
http://www.childrensdefense.org/site/PageServer?pagename=act_learn_scorecard2007

“McCain: Bush right to veto kids health insurance expansion,” CNN, October 3, 2007
http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/10/03/mccain.interview/

6. “Beer Executive Could Be Next First Lady,” Associated Press, April 3, 2008
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h-S1sWHm0tchtdMP5LcLywg5ZtMgD8VQ86M80

“McCain Says Bank Bailout Should End `Systemic Risk,'” Bloomberg News, March 25, 2008
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aHMiDVYaXZFM&refer=home

7. “Will McCain’s Temper Be a Liability?,” Associated Press, February 16, 2008
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory?id=4301022

“Famed McCain temper is tamed,” Boston Globe, January 27, 2008
http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2008/01/27/famed_mccain_temper_is_tamed/

8. “Black Claims McCain’s Campaign Is Above Lobbyist Influence: ‘I Don’t Know What The Criticism Is,'” ThinkProgress, April 2, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/04/02/mccain-black-lobbyist/

“McCain’s Lobbyist Friends Rally ‘Round Their Man,” ABC News, January 29, 2008
http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=4210251

9. “McCain’s Spiritual Guide: Destroy Islam,” Mother Jones Magazine, March 12, 2008
http://www.motherjones.com/washington_dispatch/2008/03/john-mccain-rod-parsley-spiritual-guide.html

“Will McCain Specifically ‘Repudiate’ Hagee’s Anti-Gay Comments?,” ThinkProgress, March 12, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/03/12/mccain-hagee-anti-gay/

“McCain ‘Very Honored’ By Support Of Pastor Preaching ‘End-Time Confrontation With Iran,'” ThinkProgress, February 28, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/02/28/hagee-mccain-endorsement/

10. “John McCain Gets a Zero Rating for His Environmental Record,” Sierra Club, February 28, 2008
http://www.alternet.org/blogs/environment/77913/

Ron Paul Wins to Keep His Seat in Congress

Paul, the Texas congressman who distinguished himself as the only Republican presidential candidate opposing the Iraq war, gained a devoted following, harnessing the power of the Internet to raise more cash than more mainstream rivals.

Paul as an anti-war, libertarian – Republican had to turn his campaigning locally to defend his seat in Congress most recently.

By Z. BYRON WOLF of ABC News:

Paul, who ran for the White House as a libertarian in 1988 but gained more of a following this year as a Republican, did not suspend his presidential campaign, but was forced to scale back his national operation to focus on the race for his Congressional seat in Texas.

“I do think the presidential race has exposed some of his values and principles that are not in line with his district, and that exposure has done him harm at home,” Republican primary challenger Chris Peden said of Paul.

But then there must have been some folks that strongly agreed with him, as he won his primary.

read more | digg story

McCain Sells His Soul Over Torture Issue for Right Wing Votes

McCain has sold his soul to the devil just for a shot at the presidency.  Once an outspoken critic of the Bush Administration’s use of torture, he now backs away from his previously principles just to get more votes from the Right-Wing Bush nuts.  This past week, John McCain voted against a bill that would ban extreme torture in interrogations.

Now we’re tortured in trying to find McCain’s set of principles while he tries to find voters that will support him.  Read the story and commentary from the Huffington Post:

Has there ever been a more repugnant example of political pandering than John McCain’s decision to vote against a bill banning waterboarding, putting hoods on prisoners, forcing them to perform sex acts, subjecting them to mock executions, or depriving them of food, water, and medical treatment?

That’s right, John McCain, the former POW who has long been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration’s disturbing embrace of extreme interrogation techniques.

But that was before his desperate attempt to win over the lunatic fringe that is running the Grand Old Party.

Earlier this week, I showed how outdated the image of McCain as an independent-thinking maverick had become — and called on the media and independent voters to snap out of their 2000 reverie and see the 2008 McCain for what he has turned into: a Rove-embracing Bush clone, willing to jettison his principles in his hunger for the presidency.

And now comes this latest unconscionable capitulation, which should drive a stake through the heart of the McCain-as-straight-talker meme once and for all.

McCain the maverick had been unequivocal in his condemnation of torture, and eloquent in expressing why. “We’ve sent a message to the world that the United States is not like the terrorists,” he said at an Oval Office appearance in December 2005, after he had forced the president to endorse an earlier torture ban McCain had authored and pushed through (a ban the president quickly subverted with a signing statement). “What we are is a nation that upholds values and standards of behavior and treatment of all people, no matter how evil or bad they are. And I think this will help us enormously in winning the war for the hearts and minds of people throughout the world in the war on terror.”

He made a similar case on the campaign trail in Iowa in October 2007: “When I was imprisoned, I took heart from the fact that I knew my North Vietnamese captors would never be treated like I was treated by them. There are much better and more effective ways to get information. You torture someone long enough, he’ll tell you whatever he thinks you want to know.”

And there was this pithy and powerful summation of why torture should never be an option: “It’s not about who they are, it’s about who we are.”

Of course, all that was before he put his conscience in leg irons — and before caving to the would-be Torquemadas on the Right became his campaign strategy.

Now we get tortured logic instead. Taking to the Senate floor to justify his vote against the torture ban yesterday, McCain twisted himself in knots trying to explain how he could sponsor a bill — the 2006 Detainee Treatment Act — that prohibits the use of any cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment by the military while voting against a bill that would extend that ban to the CIA and other intelligence agencies: “It is important to the war on terror that the CIA have the ability to [detain and interrogate terrorists]. At the same time the CIA’s interrogation program has to abide by the rules, including the standards of the Detainee Treatment Act.”

Got that? The CIA has to abide by rules prohibiting torture but we can’t tie the CIA’s hands by making it abide by rules prohibiting torture. Straight talk, RIP.

What’s more, McCain said he voted against the bill because it would be a mistake to “tie the CIA to the Army Field Manual” — a Manual he gave a ringing endorsement to in a November debate: “I just came back from visiting a prison in Iraq. The army general there said that techniques under the Army Field Manual are working and working effectively, and he didn’t think they need to do anything else. My friends, this is what America is all about.”

But not apparently once you have the White House in your sights. Then all bets — and deeply held convictions — are off.

The media and independent voters need to stop offering McCain valentines, and start interrogating him — humanely, of course — about the Faustian bargain he has struck.

Chris Matthews Sexist Views and Misinformation Prompt Internet Response

In response to Chris Matthews sexist comments and misinformation, Media Matters develops new action site:

Matthews Monitor

With women, Matthews administers the “Chris Matthews test”

Summary: A Media Matters for America review of MSNBC host Chris Matthews’ commentary has found a history of degrading comments about women, in which he focuses on the physical appearances of his female guests and other women discussed on his show.

As Media Matters for America has extensively documented, MSNBC host Chris Matthews has a history of making degrading comments about women, particularly Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY). A Media Matters review of Matthews’ MSNBC commentary found that, in particular, Matthews frequently comments on the physical appearances of his female guests and of other women discussed on his program. Matthews’ comments are not restricted to female politicians or public officials; he runs the gamut, commenting on the appearance of female models, actors, journalists, authors, and others.

Female guests

  • While interviewing Elizabeth Edwards, wife of Democratic presidential candidate and former Sen. John Edwards (NC), during the January 4, 2008, edition of Hardball, Matthews said to Edwards: “You’ve got a great face, Elizabeth. I love your smile … I’m sorry. I don’t want to patronize you. You’re great.”
  • On the September 12, 2007, edition of Hardball, Matthews began an interview with right-wing radio host Laura Ingraham by stating: “You are — I’m not allowed to say this, but I’ll say it — you’re beautiful and you’re smart. And you’ve got a huge radio audience.” When the interview ended, Matthews asked: “Can I sing your praises?” adding, “I get in trouble for this, but you’re great looking, obviously. You’re one of the gods’ gifts to men in this country. But also, you are a hell of a writer.”

What a creep!