Archive for the ‘Republicans’ Category

The way I see it, my conservative friends, you have three choices:  
minimum-wage

1.  You can raise the minimum wage so that people can actually afford to eat, pay rent, drive, and even buy the occasional birthday present for their kids.

2.  You can continue to “subsidize” big corporations, like Walmart, by allowing them to pay poverty wages and forcing their employees to apply for government assistance (average per Walmart store – $904,542),  while the executives of said organizations make millions.

as

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3.
 We can cut government aid (food stamps, etc.), not raise the minimum wage, and continue the fantasy of “churches will take care of these people,” and watch while said churches (the good ones) are overwhelmed with the need and unable to really help AND (the bad ones) deny that we should help “free loaders and lazy people.”  And then sit back and ignore the suffering.

Which is it going to be?

It’s true.  Click HERE.   Any ideas why?

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To my conservative friends:  Please read this.  

If you’re one of those people who believe the Fox “News” lies about Obama care (you won’t be able to choose your own doctor, 1385280_10151710237981275_1054807465_nyou’ll have to wait months for care, it will increase government spending, Congress is exempt, and more), PLEASE turn off conservative television/radio and check out some actual facts.   CLICK HERE first….then check out the links below.  Please.  And stop spreading the lies…there are literally lives at stake here.

Myth #1: Congress Is “Exempt” From The Affordable Care Act

Myth #2: Premium Prices Will Increase Due To Health Care Law

Myth #3: The Affordable Care Act Includes Death Panels

Myth #4: Shutting Down Government Over Obamacare Funding Will Stop Health Care Law

Myth #5: The Affordable Care Act Is “Socialized Medicine” And A “Government Takeover” Of Health Care

Myth #6: People Will Be Able To Commit Subsidy Fraud On The Exchanges

Myth #7: Obamacare “Narrow Networks” Will Constrain Health Choices

Myth #8: The Affordable Care Act Is Bad For Women

Myth #9: The Affordable Care Act Covers Abortions

Myth #10: The Affordable Care Act Is A Job Killer

Myth #11: With Full Access To Medical Records, The IRS Will Discriminate Against Conservatives 

Myth #12: Navigators Will Abuse Private Information

Myth #13: Obamacare Mandates Doctors To Ask Patients About Sexual History 

Myth #14: The ACA’s Medicaid Expansion Will Force Doctors To Turn Away Patients 

Myth #15: The ACA Is To Blame For A Projected 30 Million People Who Will Remain Uninsured

 

GOP priorities…

Posted: October 1, 2013 in gun policy, health care, Republicans

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images-246I wonder how many people actually fully grasp what the Republicans in the House are doing right now and how they are seriously harming this country in their attempt to discredit the president and hold America hostage.  It’s shameful, and if you’re not pissed off, you’re not paying attention.

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First – a super-duper simple (I mean RIDICULOUSLY simple) explanation of some really boring concepts.  I’m leaving out lots of details…but here’s the gist.

Concept #1:  The national DEBT and the DEFICT are not the same thing.

The DEBT is how much we owe.  US government indebtedness has been the norm in our financial history for 200 years.  We have been in debt every single year of our existence, except for the year 1935.  Every president has added to the national debt.

The DEFICIT is the difference between what we spent versus what we took in, usually expressed per year.  One way of looking at it:  It’s how fast, or how much, the debt is growing.

Think of it like this:  Your credit card balance is your DEBT.  How much you put on your credit card this month (because your cartoon-boehner-liberty-hostageexpenses were more than your income) is, let’s say, your DEFICIT for the month.

Concept #2:  The BUDGET and the DEBT CEILING are not the same thing.

The BUDGET is passed by Congress every year.  The budget details projected tax collections and outlays and, therefore, the amount of borrowing the government will have to do in that fiscal year.

The DEBT CEILING neither increases or decreases the budget deficit.  The debt ceiling does not control or limit the ability of the federal government to borrow money.  Rather, it is a limit on the ability to pay our obligations already incurred.  The decision to raise it is a formality.  It’s like the “decision” you make to pay your credit card bill.  The debt ceiling has been raised 74 times since March 1962 including 18 times under Ronald Reagan, eight times under Bill Clinton, seven times under George W. Bush, and three times under Obama.  If we don’t raise the debt ceiling (which takes a vote from Congress), we cannot pay our debts.  And if we don’t pay our debts…well, bad things happen.

Remember, if the debt ceiling is not raised, the federal government risks defaulting on some or all of the obligations it has already images-245incurred.  Defaulting on our debt does NOT make it go away.  Raising the debt ceiling has nothing whatsoever to do with new spending.  It simply allows the government to pay off debts it has already incurred.  To the contrary, it increases the interest rate on the debt.  A higher interest rate means the amount of the debt also increases, making it even more difficult to pay off.

Experts say that if we were to default today, it would be…well, bad.  One went so far as to call it a “financial Armageddon.”   We are finally recovering financially from the Bush years…defaulting on our debts could set us right back to 2008, or worse.

Next, some important FACTS:

  • Repeat after me:  Obama has cut the deficit and slowed spending to its lowest level in 50 years.
  • Last month (August, 2013) the United States debt did not grow by a single penny.
  • The deficit has been shrinking faster than at any time since WWII ended. 

pic 2However you spin it, Obama has been GOOD for our economy. 

OK, now we’re finally there:  What the bastards are doing.

It’s time for Congress to pass the budget.  If they don’t, the government shuts down, services will be cut and millions of federal employees will be left without paychecks.  They pass a budget every year – they have to.  It’s their job.  NEXT:  Soon it will be time for Congress to raise the debt ceiling.  If they don’t, as previously mentioned, bad, bad things will happen to our economy, and, of course, to people’s lives.

HOWEVER, the Tea Party faction of the Republican party is attempting to sneak legislation past the voters and blackmail Obama into swallowing their extreme positions.  The basic idea is this:  If you don’t give us what we want, we will crash the economy.     

The scheme:  The Republicans are threatening to refuse to pass a budget or raise the debt ceiling unless Obama agrees to delay the health care individual mandate, approve the building of the Keystone pipeline, limit abortion, expand drilling, cut social services, and approve provisions favorable to Wall Street banks.

This is basically a list of things Republicans would like to do if they ran the government.  But (news flash!) they don’t run the government.  Instead, they are contending that it is a valid legislative strategy to use the leverage of the debt ceiling — which will cause an economic crisis if it is not increased — to demand their way on absolutely unrelated issues.

50ddcdebef148.preview-620The pretense that debt limit fights are about the public debt is over.

This blackmail/hostage-holding is unprecedented.  And dangerous.  And absolutely not in the interest of our country.

And here’s more bad news:  We’re going to be stuck in this nightmare at least until the 2014 elections, or perhaps beyond.

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Conservatives still think there’s a liberal media bias.
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While I, too, as a liberal, am frustrated with the media, I’d like to go on record and state that the media isn’t focusing on issues I care about. They seem to be far more focused on entertainment and making money.

Don’t believe me?
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If you know anyone who still believes in a “liberal media,” here are 12 things everyone would know if there really were a “liberal media.”

 photo outsourcing_zps2cf6f1b0.jpg1. Where the jobs went.Outsourcing (or offshoring) is a bigger contributor to unemployment in the U.S. than laziness.

Since 2000, U.S. multinationals have cut 2.9 million jobs here while increasing employment overseas by 2.4 million. This is likely just the tip of the iceberg, as multinational corporations account for only about 20 percent of the labor force.

When was the last time you saw a front-page headline about outsourcing?

2. Upward wealth redistribution and/or inequality.

In 2010, 20 percent of the people held approximately 88 percent of the net worth in the U.S. The top 1 percent alone held 35 percent of all net worth.

The bottom 80 percent of people held only 12 percent of net worth in 2010. In 1983, the bottom 80 percent held 18 percent of net worth.

 photo ownership_occupy_poster_zps7879609f.jpgThese statistics are not Democratic or Republican. They are widely available to reporters. Why aren’t they discussed in the “liberal” media?

3. ALEC.

If there was a corporate organization that drafted laws and then passed them on to legislators to implement, wouldn’t you think the “liberal” media would report on them?

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is such an organization. Need legislation drafted? No need to go through a lobbyist to reach state legislatures anymore. Just contact ALEC. Among other things, ALEC is responsible for:

  • Stand Your Ground laws
  • Voter ID laws
  • Right to Work laws
  • Privatizing schools
  • Health savings account bills which benefit health care companies
  • Tobacco industry legislation

Many legislators don’t even change the proposals handed to them by this group of corporations. They simply take the corporate bills and bring them to the legislative floor.

This is the primary reason for so much similar bad legislation in different states.

They’re meeting in Chicago this weekend. Maybe the “liberal media” will send some reporters.

4. The number of people in prison. 

Which country in the world has the most people in prison?

You might think it would be China, with over a billion people and a restrictive government, or former Soviets still imprisoned in Russia.

 photo incarcerated_americans_zpsb7c891bd.jpgWrong. The United States has the most people in prison, by far, of any country in the world. With five percent of the world’s population, we have 25% of the world’s prisoners – 2.3 million criminals. China, with a population four times our size, is second with 1.6 million people in prison.

In 1972, 350,000 Americans were in imprisoned. In 2010, this number had grown to 2.3 million. Yet from 1988 – 2008, crime rates have declined by 25 percent.

Isn’t anyone in the liberal media interested in why so many people are in prison when crime has dropped?

In 2009, non-Hispanic blacks, while only 13.6 percent of the population, accounted for 39.4 percent of the total prison and jail population.

In 2011, according to FBI statistics, whites accounted for 69.2 percent of arrests.

Numbers like these suggest a racial bias in our justice system.

To me, this is a much bigger story than any single incident like Travyon Martin. Or, at the very least, why didn’t the “liberal media” ever mention this while covering the Martin story?

5.  Our planet is burning up

Click HERE and HERE

6. U.S. health care costs are the highest in the world.

The expenditure per person in the U.S. is $8,233. Norway is second with $5,388.
Total amount of GDP spent on health care is also the highest of any country in the world at 17.6 percent. The next closest country is the Netherlands, at 12 percent.

As a liberal, I’d like to ask why the market isn’t bringing down costs. I’d think a “liberal” media might too.

7. Gerrymandering.

When was the last time you saw a front page headline about gerrymandering?

Before the 2010 election, conservatives launched a plan to win control of state legislatures before the census. The idea was to be in power when national congressional districts were redrawn in order to fix them so Republicans would win a majority of districts.

The Redistricting Majority Project was hugely successful. In 2012, Barack Obama was elected President by nearly 3.5 million votes.

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In Congressional races, Democrats drew nearly 1.4 million more votes than Republicans yet Republicans won control of the House 234 seats to 201 seats.

How is this possible?

By pumping $30 million into state races to win the legislatures, Republicans redrew state maps in states such as Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Texas, Florida and Ohio to place all of the Democrats into just a few districts.
In this manner, Democrats win heavily in a couple districts and lose the rest.

In North Carolina, the statewide vote was 51 percent Democrat and 49 percent Republican yet 9 Republicans won and only 4 Democrats.

Where is your coverage of this vote stealing, “liberal media?” You’re willing to cover voter ID laws; why can’t you cover real vote stealing?

8. The number of bills blocked by Republicans in Congress.

The filibuster has been used a record number of time since Obama was elected President. From 2008-2012, 375 bills weren’t even allowed to come to a vote in the Senate because Republicans threatened the filibuster.

In 2013, during the first six months, Congress has only passed 15 bills that were signed into law. This is eight fewer than in the first six months of 2012 and 19 fewer than 2011.

Also, until the Senate recently threatened to reform the filibuster, the GOP had succeeded in holding up 79 of President Obama’s picks to the U.S. Circuit Court and Courts of Appeal. They’re blocking these appointments regardless of qualification.

Where’s the coverage? Where are the reporters asking why nothing is getting done?

* crickets *

9. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision

In a 2011 Hart poll, only 22 percent of those polled had actually heard of the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision before taking the survey.

If 77 percent believe that corporations have more control over our political process than people, why isn’t the liberal media talking more about the Citizens United decision?

10. The GOP racist strategy

The Southern Strategy is a strategy for gaining political power by exploiting the greatest number of ethnic prejudices. Kevin Philips, Republican and Nixon campaign strategist, speaking about this strategy in a 1970 interview with the New York Times:

From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

7B889eff7f-911e-41ae-a5a8-41f243594This strategy has been used since President Johnson and Democrats in Congress passed the Civil Rights Act to build the Republican party. Examples of this strategy were evident as recently as 2008 and 2012 as Republicans took up their assault on Medicaid, Social Security, labor unions, and Obamacare – programs which, though they benefit more white seniors, retirees, women, and children, have been sold to many Americans as handouts to lazy, undeserving blacks and minorities.

Yet you never hear the “liberal media” (at least since the 1970 NY Times) talking about the use of this strategy. At least not like this:

“P (President) emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.” – H.R. Haldeman’s diary, President Richard Nixon’s White House Chief of Staff

11. Tax cuts primarily benefit the wealthy. A progressive tax program is designed to tax people very little as they are starting out and progressively increase their rates as they do better.

Republican plans seem designed to do exactly the opposite: shift the tax burden off of the wealthy and onto working people.

Take the repeal of the estate tax. In Ohio this was recently repealed by Republicans. The benefit is only realized by people with estates larger than $338,000 (as the first $338k was exempt) and realized most by people with even wealthier estates.

This also explains why Republicans want to shift the system from income taxes to consumption taxes. Consumption taxes are paid most by those at the bottom as basic consumption remains the same regardless of income.

It also explains why capital gain taxes are so low. Income through capital gains is only taxed at 20 percent (increased from 15 percent in 2012) instead of at the rate of other income (closer to 35 percent).

It also explains why Republicans were so willing to let the payroll tax cut expire. The payroll tax cut benefited people who were getting paid, not those issuing the paychecks. How much fight did you see to save this tax cut?

While tax cuts are sold to us as benefiting everyone, they really benefit a select few at the very top.

If everyone knew who tax cuts really benefit, would so many people vote for them?

12. Media consolidation

Six corporations – Time Warner, Disney, News Corporation, Viacom, Comcast, and CBS –control roughly 90 percent of the media in the U.S.

These companies are in business to make a profit.

This is why you’ll find plenty of advertisements in the media. Entertainment? Check. Sports? Definitely. Weather? Yep.

You’ll also find plenty of “if it bleeds, it leads” stories designed to hook you in. Vendors, witnesses recall Venice hit-and-run horror. Fort Hood trial turns bizarre as shooter grills witnesses.

There’s also plenty of political bickering: Democrats said this, Republicans said that. We let you decide (but we never weigh in with any facts or fact-checking).

What won’t you hear? You won’t hear the “liberal media” discuss the corporate media.

What to make of this

If the media were “liberal,” it would serve the public interest and shine a light on issues like the ones above.

More people would also have a better understanding of global warming, peak oil, population growth, political lobbying, government’s role in a functioning economy, how much we spend on the military, and countless other issues.

What you’re more likely to see in the media, however, are stories designed to get you to buy their paper, or watch their show, or listen to their radio station. If it bleeds, it leads. This is why the media is concerned with scandal, celebrities, gossip, and fear.

If anything, our news consists of paid advertisements and outlets too scared of offending anyone to publish much of substance. Investigative journalism is also expensive; entertainment is cheap.

The way this corporate media behaves may not be surprising. I apologize if you feel any of this is beating you over the head.

This Buzzfeed-style list wasn’t intended to introduce this idea as new (others have done a much better job), but rather to highlight the sheer absurdity of a “liberal media” for an audience who may not see it.

One way to approach the topic is to simply ask: If we have a “liberal media,” where are the liberal stories?

 

 

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