Posts Tagged ‘Democrats’

From Addicting Info (author unknown)

images-179Take just 5 minutes. Imagine an America where only one religion dictates the law of the land like Rick Santorum suggests. Where things like the Patriot Act and Guantanamo Bay-style camps that enable no right to fair trial are created. LGBT Americans cannot only not serve in the military but have their children confiscated. Women cannot vote. Blacks cannot marry whites. You can be fired for being Hispanic. Muslims cannot worship freely. There are no Pell Grants to put your child through school. There is no Medicare for your parents. There is a government that spends twice as much on average ($60B vs. $35B) and creates half as many jobs (73.4MM vs 34.8MM). Imagine it… having trouble? It is called Iran. Afghanistan. Pakistan. Saudi Arabia. It is called America without Democratic Presidents and their legislation. Take away all what Democrats have achieved in last 100 years and you will get an America not too different from places you fear the most.

Each of the statements below reference factual numbers, actual legislation, or true data.  All of this can be easily validated.

1. Since 1932, Democratic Presidents have created 73.4 million new jobs, Republicans have created only 34.8 million. Thus, Democrats created more jobs lifting my standard of living. (Source: International Business Times | Bloomberg)

2. Democrats got my mother, sister, and all other women a right to vote by fighting the GOP for 7 years (Source: Woodrow Wilson 1912-1919). Even 100 years later, Democrats fight Republicans as they introduced a law in Wisconsin that would criminalize single mothers. (Source 1 | Forbes)

3. Land Grant Institution funding triggered under Great Society Programs lifted me and many of my friends from lower middle class to upper earning brackets through affordable college education. (Sources: Colorado University | US History | Wikipedia)

4. Democrats got me a right to get married to the person I love while GOP made constitutional bans for same-sex marriage in almost all GOP controlled states. (Source: HRC Housing | Employment | Hospital Visitation)

5. Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society Programs created “Work Study” which enabled me to work 20-hours a week in addition to lk081110dBP-500classes to pay towards my college tuition and make a life for myself. (Sources: Colorado University | US History | Wikipedia)

6. Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society Programs created Pell Grants, which helped me and millions of other people complete college education and go on to create new businesses and opportunities for ourselves and others. (Sources: Colorado University | US History | Wikipedia)

7. Democratic President Barack Obama repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell to empower me and other LGBT Americans to serve our country with self-respect and dignity, unifying our nation. (Source: White House)

8. While GOP governments have legislation in 12 states to ban Islamic faith called Sharia, Democrats created a nation where people of all faiths can freely practice under our first amendment right by never introducing legislation to ban an established faith. (Source: MSNBC)

9. In last 70 years GDP rose 12.6% under Democrats versus a GOP increase of 10.7%. From 1960 to 2012 the gross domestic product measured in dollars rose an average of $165 billion a year under Republican presidents and $212 billion a year under Democrats. Thus, Democrats made this nation more prosperous. (Source: Washington Post)

images-18110. The Bayh-Dole Act, passed by a Democratic House and Senate and signed by Jimmy Carter, has created 5000 companies including Google. It created millions of jobs for me and my fellow citizens. (Source: Act | Wiki Information)

11. Democrats in 1967 legalized interracial marriage across the US, giving me and my friends a chance to find and marry the best person for us irrespective of race. The GOP opposed it. (Source: Wikipedia)

12. Democrats created anti-discrimination laws under Great Society Programs that protect me, and millions of other Americans from being denied housing, jobs, or other services on the grounds of race. The GOP opposed it. (Sources: Colorado University | US History | Wikipedia)

13. Lyndon Johnson enacted a massive expansion of Social Security (also created by a democratic, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt) and Medicare so older Americans that have worked hard and spent their lives making this nation great are not left alone in the dark. One day, I will also take advantage of such programs. (Sources: Colorado University | US History | Wikipedia)

14. Democrats created Medicaid under Great Society Programs to help enhance healthcare access for men, women, and images-180children who otherwise couldn’t afford it. The GOP still wants to dissolve it. (Sources: Colorado University | US History | Wikipedia)

15. Democratic Presidents hold the record for all of the following:

  • Greatest gross domestic product (GDP) growth: Clinton
  • Biggest jobs increase: Truman
  • Best after-tax personal disposable income rise: Carter
  • Highest industrial production growth: Johnson
  • The lowest Misery Index, which is inflation plus unemployment: Kennedy
  • The lowest inflation: Truman
  • The largest federal budget deficit reduction: Clinton

Each one of the above made this country a stronger and larger economy to make all Americans more prosperous. (Source: Washington Post)

16. Democrats spend far less; spending breaks down as $35 billion a year under Democratic presidents and $60 billion under Republicans on average. If you assume that it takes a year for a president’s policies to take effect, Democrats have raised spending by $40 billion a year and Republicans by $55 billion. Thus, the GOP is more responsible for the debt that we have amassed, lowering our credit rating. (Source: Washington Post)

17. While giving people of faith a full free choice to do what they deem fit, Democrats made access to birth control available to all women so those suffering from PCOS, ovarian cancer, ovarian cysts, and hormonal disorders can save their lives by using it. The GOP still fights that. This made lives of people close to me better. (Source: Detailed Affordable Care Act | Graphic | Related Blog)

GOP-Alternative-Policies18. Democrats have created anti-discrimination laws to protect LGBT individuals from being denied housing or jobs based on their sexual orientation which is similar to providing protection for people who choose to affiliate with a certain religion of their choice. This has created an America where my friends and I can thrive based on our work not our race, religion, or sexual orientation. 31 GOP states have still refused to follow this trend enacted in 19 liberal states to protect LGBT Americans in a diversity bucket. (Source: HRC Housing | Employment | Hospital Visitation | State Laws |Interactive)

19. Out of 18 states that produce more wealth than what they take in from the Federal Government, 16 are liberal, one swing (FL), and only one Republican (TX). On the other hand, of 32 states that take in more money than what they produce, aka welfare states, 4 (MD, ME, HI, VT) are liberal, one swing (PA), and an astonishing 27 are full-out conservative. (Link) Thus Democratic legislature and fiscal policies have created a better living environment for me, conservative legislatures have failed to do the same for its loyal base. (Source: Tax Foundation)

20. A Democratic legislature and President Obama in 2010 enacted HealthCare Reform that eliminates discrimination for insurance against people with preexisting conditions, prevents women from being charged twice as much, makes preventative care available, enables young adults to stay on their parents plan till 26, and removes lifetime caps to make sure that children born with serious conditions are not left out to die. The beauty of this was that the reform is not a government takeover, relies on private insurance, and expands coverage for all my fellow citizens making all of our lives better. (Source: Lifetime Caps | Women Pay More | Detailed Affordable Care Act |Graphic)

America, wake up. Facts are staring right at you. 

Conservatives aren’t the only ones who say dumb things (see: Oh, the whacky things Conservatives say…)

…here are some unfortunate Liberal quotes:

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1. Sheryl Crow on Environmentalism: “I propose a limitation be put on how many squares of toilet paper can be used in any one sitting. Now, I don’t want to rob any law-abiding American of his or her God-given rights, but I think we are an industrious enough people that we can make it work with only one square per restroom visit, except, of course, on those pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required.'”

2. Joe Biden on culturalism: “In Delaware, the largest growth of population is Indian Americans, movingfrom India. You cannot go to a 7/11 or a Dunkin’ Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I’m not joking.”

3. Whoopi Goldberg on 43-year-old Roman Polanski raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl: “I know it wasn’t rape-rape. It was something else but I don’t believe it was rape-rape.

4. Joy Behar on Economics: “Isn’t it a little racist to call it Black Friday?”

5. Former DNC Chairman Donald Fowler on possible delay of RNC convention due to Hurricane Gustav: “Plus they think the hurricane’s going to hit (starts laughing) New Orleans about the time they start. The timing, at least it appears now, that it’ll be there Monday. That just demonstrates God’s on our side”

6. Barack Obama: “I’ve now been in 57 states? I think one left to go?”

7. John Kerry on the troops: “You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your images-148homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”

8. Howard Dean: “We know that no one person can succeed unless everybody else succeeds.”

9. Rosie O’Donnell: “Don’t fear the terrorists. They’re mothers and fathers.”

10. Al Gore: “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”

11. Nancy Pelosi on the economy: “every month that we do not have an economic recovery package 500 million Americans lose their jobs.”

12. Helen Thomas: Jews should “get the hell out of Palestine” and “go home” to Germany and Poland.

13. Bill Clinton on ordinary Americans: “African Americans watch the same news at night that ordinary Americans do.”

14. Joe Biden on the economy: “The number one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S.”

15. Bill Maher on Christianity: “I think religion is a neurological disorder.

liberalsmotivator16. Ted Rall: “Over time, however, the endless war in Iraq began to play a role in natural selection. Only idiots signed up; only idiots died. Back home, the average I.Q. soared.”

17. Michael Moore on terrorism: “There is no terrorist threat. Yes, there have been horrific acts of terrorism and, yes, there will be acts of terrorism again. But that doesn’t mean that there’s some kind of massive terrorist threat.”

18. Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington, DC: “If you take out the killings, Washington actually has a very very low crime rate.”

19. California Senator Barbara Boxer: “Those who survived the San Francisco earthquake said, ‘Thank God, I’m still alive.’ But, of course, those who died, their lives will never be the same again.”

20. Wesley Bolin, former governor of Arizona: “We’d like to avoid problems, because when we have problems, we can have troubles.”

21. Bill Clinton: “It all depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

22. Jerry Brown, former governor of California, and current candidate for the same position: “The conventional viewpoint says we need a jobs program and we need to cut welfare. Just the opposite! We need more welfare and fewer jobs.”

23. Marion Barry, former mayor of Washington, DC: “I am clearly more popular than Reagan. I am in my third term. Where’s Reagan? Gone after two! Defeated by George Bush and Michael Dukakis no less.”

24. Al Gore on zoology: “A zebra does not change its spots.”

25. Former Congressman Eric Massa: “Now, they’re saying I groped a male staffer. Yes, I did. Not only did I grope him, I tickled him until he couldn’t breathe and four guys jumped on top of me. It was my 50th birthday.”

26. Radio personality Ed Schultz on elections: “If I lived in Massachusetts, I’d try to vote ten times … Yeah that’s right, I’d cheat to keep these bastards out. I would. Because that’s exactly what they are.”

27. John Kerry on health care: “I’m going to be honest with you — I don’t know a lot about Cuba’s healthcare system. Is it a government-run system?”

28. Congresswoman Maxine Waters on socialism: “Guess what this liberal would be all about? This liberal will be about socializing…uh, um…Would be about, basically, taking over, and the government running all of your companies.”

29. Senator Harry Reid on Barack Obama: “…light-skinned,” and with “no negro dialect.”

30. Nancy Pelosi on legislation: “But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

this-week

BENGHAZI – THE MANUFACTURED SCANDAL THAT WON’T GO AWAY
Well, there’s now been more hearings on Benghazi than there was on the 9/11 attacks. And would someone ask the Republicans why they didn’t try to impeach Bush after these attacks on U.S. Consulates:

gop-benghazi-witch-hunt

  • January 22, 2002: US Consulate at Kolkata, 5 Killed.
  • June 14, 2002: US Consulate at Karachi, 12 Killed.
  • February 28, 2003: US Consulate at Islamabad, 2 Killed.
  • June 30, 2004: US Consulate at Tashkent, 2 Killed.
  • December 6, 2004: US Consulate at Saudi Arabia, 9 Killed.
  • March 2, 2006: US Consulate at Karachi, 2 Killed.
  • September 12, 2006: US Consulate at Syria, 4 Killed.
  • March 18, 2008: US Consulate at Yemen, 2 Killed.
  • July 9, 2008: US Consulate at Istanbul, 6 Killed.
  • September 17, 2008: US Consulate at Yemen, 16 Killed.

Total Deaths – 60
Outraged Republicans – 0

Please give it a rest, guys.

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THE NRA MOVES EVEN FURTHER RIGHT
As you may have heard, the National Rifle Association has a new president, and we’re all breathing a huge sigh of relief! FINALLY someone has stepped up to the plate who will bring a semblance of balance, reasonableness and common sense to the important gun-related issues of today. Ha ha. Just kidding. In the past several days the new president, Jim Porter, has made his politics clear when he referred to the Civil War as the “War of Northern Aggression.” He called President Obama a “fake president” and Attorney General Eric Holder a “rabidly un-American.” Most importantly, this week he advocated for arming the citizenry so that we are prepared to fight our own government! I’m wondering if he’s heard of the Shay Rebellion? Or the Whiskey Rebellion? FYI, Jim – the constitution has a thing or two to say about treason.

BACKGROUND CHECKS – WE’RE NOT GIVING UP!images-127
And speaking of gun laws – the fight is far from over. After gun-control legislation was defeated last month, Senate Democrats now believe that they may have several new votes in favor of a bill that would expand background checks for gun buyers, an idea which 91% of Americans support, but that was defeated by the GOP in congress last month. Why are these folks changing their minds? Because you/we freaked out on them! Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) is a case in point: She voted against the measure, and has been punished by her constituents ever since. Her polling numbers are falling, she’s being shouted at in town hall meetings, and she’s faced a wave of criticism from dozens of grass roots groups, internet bloggers, emailers and callers. Then this week, after experiencing the backlash, she wrote an op-ed suggesting she may support measures to strengthen the existing background check system.

Another example: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) — who apparently switched his position at the last minute and voted against the bill — told CNN Monday that he is willing to reverse his opposition to expanding background checks, in part due to the backlash he experienced by his constituents.

The White House vows gun-control legislation will be back for a vote in the Senate, and these wavering Republicans make that prospect increasingly likely. Way to go, folks!

images-129FAMILY VALUES IN SOUTH CAROLINA
Family values? Not so much. Republican (and “family values” activist) Mark Sanford this week defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch (sister of Stephen Colbert of the “Colbert Report”) in South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. Remember Sanford? He is the scandal-tinged former governor, whose political career was left for dead four years ago when he was caught lying about an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina. (Ring a bell? The “I was hiking on the Appalachian Trail” guy?)

STOCK MARKET REACHES RECORD HIGH – TIME TO IMPEACH OBAMA
Today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 15,105, an all-time record. For one conservative group, images-130this can only mean one thing: it’s time to impeach President Obama.  Remember Citizens United?  The infamous “corporations are people” group?   Well, Tuesday they accused President Obama of “wrecking the stock market” and asked readers to take a poll about whether he should be impeached as a result.

From the email:

Dear Concerned Reader,

Fearing the very worst, the nation’s super-rich are unloading their stocks at an alarming rate.

Even more troubling, the wealthiest 1% of Americans, who typically know the most, are the ones most anxious to sell.

You see, Obama just allowed 13 new tax increases to further slow the economy, wreck the stock market and make it even harder on the 12 million Americans already looking for work.

The bigger question is this…

Is Obama’s Latest Tax Screw Up Grounds For Impeachment?

Stock-Market-RocketWhen Obama took office on January 20, 2009, the Dow Jones was at 7,949. Over the last 4 years, it has gone up approximately 90 percent before reaching a new high today. Of course, it’s important to remember that the health of the stock market is very different from the health of the overall economy. Middle class wages are stagnating and millions are still unemployed or underemployed. But when a conservative organization ignores reality in such a blatant way, one can’t help but quote former Rep. Barney Frank: “On what planet do you spend most of your time?”

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We the people must regain control of The People’s House from corporate interests. Why did congress reject a bill last week that 90% of Americans support due to it’s pure common sense? They were paid to. Why does congress give corporate welfare (tax subsidies) to wealthy corporations while insisting that the postal service somehow needs to be self-sufficient? They’re paid to. Why does congress support policies that hurt our environment? They’re paid to. Why does congress focus on the deficit and cut vital services, while giving corporations a free pass? They’re paid to. How long will we look the other way? How long will we sit back and allow America to be sold to the highest bidder?547129_242168789256195_22062810_n

I don’t want everybody to vote. As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.

-Paul Weyrich, conservative activist, to a gathering of evangelical leaders

Ok, here’s the bottom line. Republicans know they’re seriously in trouble. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) put it really well recently when he said:

We’re losing the demographics race badly. We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.

images-112Exactly. The Republicans are seriously in danger of going the way of the Whig Party. Right now 69% of US citizens are of European decent. That means that white men are already in the minority, representing around 34% of the population. (And the angry ones? Less than that!)

In 7 years white people will make up less than 60% of the US population, and a few decades later white people will technically be minorities, and white men will make up less than one quarter of the population.

What does this mean for Republicans, whose main voting block are white men over age 50, and whose platform basically tends to offend women, young people and minorities? The GOP platform is perceived as being:
AGAINST: Women’s rights, civil rights, reproductive rights, gay rights, safety nets for the poor, investments in science and education, citizenship for immigrants, and many other positions that the majority of Americans support, and
FOR: The wealthiest one percent, corporations, tradition, religion, nationalism, fetuses (not mothers or children) and legislating morality.

(I’m not saying this IS their platform – but it’s certainly perceived that way by most Americans.)

Here’s the truth that Republicans are well aware of: The majority of Americans vote Democrat, and lean center left, politically. And this trend is only going to become more and more pronounced as the older white guys die off, and younger, less white people become of age. So – the Republicans have a real problem.

And their solution? What most conservative politicians are doing now is working to adjust their platform to better reflect the values and beliefs of the people they represent.

Ha ha! Just joking! (I crack myself up.) No, what they’re doing instead is coming up with more and more creative ways to keep people away from the polls. They know only too well that higher voter turnout means more votes for Democrats – and the less likely the Republicans are to remain in power. So – their last desperate effort, before they become completely irrelevant and fade into the history books, is to figure out how to make it hard to vote if you’re not an older white guy.

Following is a brief primer on the many ways the GOP has been trying to steal the vote.

1. Instill fear
They put up really scary billboards in Ohio and Michigan, only in poor images-115African-American neighborhoods, warning people that VOTER FRAUD IS A CRIME THAT COULD LEAD TO IMPRISONMENT.

This is blatant voter intimidation. A direct attack in the heart of African American community meant to scare people and keep them from exercising their right to vote.

-Councilwoman Phyllis Cleveland

2. Distribute misleading information
They printed voter registration cards and bookmarks in Arizona, listing the correct election date (Nov. 6) in English and the wrong date (Nov. 8) in the Spanish translation. Hispanic voter registration has surged 51 percent in Arizona since 2008 amid frustration over the state’s hard-line immigration policies.

3. Wait us out
Republicans severely limited voters’ opportunities by closing polling places, shortening voting hours, cutting way back on early voting days, and more. (Their stated reasons? Saving money.) As a result, many voters were squished onto a final Saturday of early voting, with lines so long the last voters in Miami cast their ballots at 1 a.m. Voters all over the country were forced to leave lines to care for children or keep appointments. It’s estimated that hundreds of thousands of voters were kept away in 2012 due to long lines – some up to 6 to 8 hours long!

4. Make voting more inconvenient
In dozens of states, Republicans have backed legislation that would limit the forms of identification that voters are allowed to show at the polls before voting. In some states they are proposing that the voter registration cards people received when they registered to vote would NOT be sufficient ID.

5. Keeping the students away from the polls.
A bill filed in the North Carolina General Assembly this week would remove the state images-114income tax deduction for dependents who register at an address other than their parents. In other words, parents of college kids would be punished with a new tax if their kids registered to vote at school – thus pressuring the kids not to register to vote.

The bill would also require vehicle registration to correspond with voter registration. Since college students tend to keep their cars registered at home, this would also cut down on students voting. They also added this special feature: a restriction on early voting and the elimination of same-day voter registration.

This North Carolina “poll tax” is intended to stop Democratic-leaning students from voting

The practical impact of the legislation is that it would cut into Democratic dominance in many states that have a strong student vote. According the Newsweek:

The youth vote is no longer dismissible: In 2008, then candidate Obama promised to energize the youth vote like no candidate had done before him. Eyes rolled — including ours. But Obama was right. Voters aged 18-29 comprised 18 percent of the electorate in 2008 and Obama won them by 34 points. Surely, skeptics insisted, that showing was a one-off — built around Obama’s nonpartisan call for “hope” and “change.” Or not. According to the latest national exit polling, 19 percent of the electorate was aged 18-29 and Obama won that group by 24 points. Once is an anomaly. Twice is a new political reality. The only question going forward is whether the youth vote is tied to President Obama uniquely or whether it is an advantage for Democrats more broadly.

So here’s the plan: If the Republicans can’t get young people to vote for their big business-purchased policies, they’ll simply stop them from voting all together.

GOP poll tax sponsors know college students are less likely to vote absentee

Empirical analysis has shown that college students are less likely to vote if they use the absentee balloting process than if they do so in person, and black students are even less likely to take advantage of the absentee process than their white counterparts.

Voting is an exercise in collective action; citizens in general, not just young ones, are less likely to vote if it is turned into an individual pursuit. Matters between you and your neighbors or classmates are more likely to be taken seriously than matters between you and your P.O. box. In other words, your P.O. box won’t judge you if you don’t honor your social commitments by not voting.

images-113What the old, white North Carolina Republicans who are good at snail-mail realize all too well is that young, diverse college students are quite the opposite: they’re really bad at snail-mail. Expecting college students to locate an absentee ballot request form, print it out, fill it out, mail it to the correct registrar’s office, retrieve their ballot in a timely manner, fill that out and mail it back is a losing (or, if you’re a Republican, winning) proposition.

Regardless, the issue here isn’t why college students don’t vote absentee, it’s that Republicans know they don’t, and are using that fact to stop college kids from voting all together since they don’t vote for enough Republicans. The GOP is crafting legislation intended to stop college kids from voting, lest they vote more Democratic than Republican.

Cheating America out of its vote
Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama. Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting, a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots.

In a systematic campaign orchestrated, funded in part by David and Charles Koch, the billionaire brothers who bankrolled the Tea Party, 38 states introduced legislation this year designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process.

One of the most pervasive political movements going on outside Washington today is the disciplined, passionate, determined effort of Republican governors and legislators to keep most of you from voting next time. Why is all of this going on? This is not rocket science. There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today.

-Bill Clinton

Rampant voter fraud?

To hear Republicans tell it, they are waging a virtuous campaign to crack down on 116880_600rampant voter fraud. In 2006, the Justice Department fired two U.S. attorneys who refused to pursue trumped-up cases of voter fraud in New Mexico and Washington, and Karl Rove called illegal voting “an enormous and growing problem.”

Even at the time, there was no evidence to back up such claims. It’s been said that voter fraud in the US is slightly more common than unicorns. A major probe by the Justice Department between 2002 and 2007 failed to prosecute a single person for going to the polls and impersonating an eligible voter, which the anti-fraud laws are supposedly designed to stop. Out of the 300 million votes cast in that period, federal prosecutors convicted only 86 people for voter fraud – and many of the cases involved immigrants and former felons who were simply unaware of their ineligibility.

“Our democracy is under siege from an enemy so small it could be hiding anywhere,” joked Stephen Colbert.

A 2007 report by the Brennan Center for Justice, a leading advocate for voting rights at the New York University School of Law, quantified the problem in stark terms. “It is more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning,” the report calculated, “than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”

GOP outcries over the phantom menace of voter fraud escalated after 2008, when Obama’s candidacy attracted historic numbers of first-time voters. In the 29 states that record party affiliation, roughly two-thirds of new voters registered as Democrats in 2007 and 2008 – and Obama won nearly 70 percent of their votes. In Florida alone, Democrats added more than 600,000 new voters in the run-up to the 2008 election, and those who went to the polls favored Obama over John McCain by 19 points. “This latest flood of attacks on voting rights is a direct shot at the communities that came out in historic numbers for the first time in 2008 and put Obama over the top,” says Tova Wang, an elections-reform expert at Demos, a progressive think tank.

No one has done more to stir up fears about the manufactured threat of voter fraud than Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a top adviser in the Bush Justice Department who has become a rising star in the GOP. This year, Kobach successfully fought for a law requiring every Kansan to show proof of citizenship in order to vote – even though the state prosecuted only one case of voter fraud in the past five years. The new restriction fused anti-immigrant hysteria with voter-fraud paranoia. “In Kansas, the illegal registration of alien voters has become pervasive,” Kobach claimed, offering no substantiating evidence.

Kobach also asserted that dead people were casting ballots, singling out a deceased Kansan named Alfred K. Brewer as one such zombie voter. There was only one problem: Brewer was still very much alive. The Wichita Eagle found him working in his front yard. “I don’t think this is heaven,” Brewer told the paper. “Not when I’m raking leaves.”

This isn’t about stopping vote-stealing and other corruption, for which there are already plenty of laws on the books. It’s about rigging the system to keep power.

By 

images-69The GOP, Fox News and AM Hate Radio regularly complain that Obama has raised the deficit.   This is a lie.  A very VERY big lie.

It’s such a big lie and so easy to prove as a big lie that the fact 90% of the country thinks it’s true is one the greatest failures of the “liberal” media since they couldn’t be bothered to vet the Iraq War. The problem is that conservatives don’t want to know, independents can’t be bothered to look and liberals should be deeply ashamed for not knowing.

But worry not! It’s very VERY easy to clear up this misperception (and piss off conservatives to boot!) in just 4 simple steps.

Step One: Establish the facts of what the deficit is and how it works – Ask the conservative, uninformed “independent” or naughty liberal if they understand that the deficit is not the same as the debt. This is super important because the right has gone VERY far out of its way to confuse the two. And for good reason; the debt has never been higher. This is inevitable since we still have a deficit. The debt is a byproduct of the deficit. The only way to pay down the debt is to turn the deficit into a surplus. 

The deficit is how much more we spend than we collect in revenue (taxes, etc.). The debt is how much we owe. The deficit is the credit card, the debt is the bill. A bill that the right wants to pin completely on Obama as if we didn’t have a penny of debt until he took office instead of having been built by almost a century of deficit spending by both Republican and Democratic presidents (but mostly Republican).

Do not proceed until these basic definitions are agreed upon or the conservative will attempt to weasel out of the hole you are digging for them by whining about how Obama increased the debt. If they try, mention that every president except Clinton has done that since World War II, why should Obama be singled out? When they invariably say “Because he’s gone higher than any president ever has!” The same was true of Bush at the time and no one on the right seemed upset about it. Ask them to explain why that is or to drop it and move on. Chances are they’ll drop it.

Step Two: Establish when the budget is passed – This is another deliberate lie the right LOVES to pass around. They would very much like you to believe that the 2009 budget with its record shattering $1.4 trillion deficit was Obama’s. The reality is that budgets are passed and signed into law at the end of the year before. So the 2000 budget was signed into law by President Clinton and President Bush was stuck with it. In 2017, whoever takes the White House will have a budget signed into law in 2016 by the outgoing President Obama. Therefore, the 2009 budget was not “Obama’s,” it was Bush’s. If you need to prove this definitively, share this link to the CATO Institute. The CATO Institute is a respected but undeniably right-wing think tank. The opening paragraph in their “About Us” section says: “The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization — a think tank – dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace.” No one in their right mind can argue the CATO Institute is “liberal.” Yet they clearly state that the 2009 budget does not belong to Obama.

Step 3: Establish what the 2009 deficit was – This will be a little tricky because at this point the conservative you’re talking to will be getting VERY uncomfortable with the conversation. They will try to turn the discussion to ANYTHING else at this point. Why? Because it is a tenet of faith among the right that the 2009 budget was $1.4 Trillion and it was all Obama’s fault. Here’s a link to Fox News that should freeze them in their tracks. The relevant part:

The federal budget deficit tripled to a record $1.4 trillion for the 2009 fiscal year that ended last week, congressional analysts said Wednesday.
– Published October 7 2009

The House and the Senate voted to pass the 2009 budget on June 4-5, 2008. President Bush signed off on all of it. Conservatives will try to blame the Democratic-held Senate and House for the deficit but they can’t have it both ways. Either the president is responsible for the budget or he’s not.

images-68If you want to be a helpful wise ass, remind the person you’re talking to that Obama was elected in November and didn’t take office until January 21. That’s almost a full four months after the 2009 fiscal year, with its 2009 budget, started.he’s not. You can’t blame Obama while holding Bush blameless.

Step 4: What is the deficit now? – That’s easy. Go to the CBO’s page (and remember that the Congressional Budget Office is nonpartisan. They have to be, anyone can check their math and partisan games would be outed immediately.) So here it is. Ready?

If the current laws that govern federal taxes and spending do not change, the budget deficit will shrink this year to $845 billion, or 5.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), its smallest size since 2008.

Is $845 billion more or less than $1.4 trillion? At this point, a conservative will be spitting nails or will have stopped talking to you several minutes ago. An independent voter should be trying to figure out how they could have been so completely wrong. A liberal should be deeply embarrassed they didn’t know.

Just so we’re all on the same page here. Obama knocked $555 BILLION off of the deficit.images-70 That’s an entire third of the total deficit. That’s more than every president in the history of the country put  together. Republicans have been screeching for deficit cuts like demented harpies for years (except when a Republican is in office). If a Republican president did this, the Tea Party would be holding parades for him. Obama did it and 90% of the country doesn’t even know it. The GOP has them convinced the deficit is still going up.

Ignorance is the GOP’s best weapon. Knowledge is ours.