Day: December 28, 2010

A Liberal New Year’s Resolution

From the website Republican Dirty Tricks.  Illustrations are from The Fifth Column photo archives.

It’s time to stop pretending that Republicans (and their DLC Corporate Dem enablers) want the American Middle Class to be strong, vibrant and economically-secure, but just hold different ideas than liberals on how to get there. THEY DON’T. Conservative ideology is quite simple, as old as recorded history and can be boiled down to 2 words: CHEAP LABOR – and they won’t stop inflicting their greed-centered policies on us until the middle class are permanently relegated to status Conservatives consider their natural “place” – compliant Serfs.

One doesn’t have to stretch their imagination too far to glimpse this Republican vision of our future – just turn back the clock to the “Gilded Age” – when super-rich robber barons controlled their operatives in government, lived in opulence while lording over the common people.

All we have to do is look around at the world Republicans have created to examine the fruits of their ideology – and their insistence to remain on that path despite the damage it does to the American worker, and the truth is plain.

Don’t take my word for it… take if from the Republicans themselves. In spite of Republican Pollster Frank Luntz’s directive for Republicans to stay on their fake populist message, the compulsively pro-corporate, GOP class war agenda can’t help but slip from their well-fed mouths – thankfully, many times on camera.

From Joe Barton’s apology to corporate felon BP, to Republican Senate Candidate Sharron Angle’s view that unemployment benefits are ‘spoiling’ the lazy citizenry, GOP staffers are kept petty busy releasing retractions every time one of these out-of-touch bastards comes out of their gated communities to spit in the face of the middle class, destroyed by 30 years of Reaganomics.

But the facts are staring us in the face. For instance, Conservatives may long for a 1950’s America for its rigid social and gender mores and racial hierarchies, but not for the top marginal tax rate of over 90% which had American industry investing in America to the benefit of all. The numbers speak for themselves. In the 1950s, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300 to 500 to 1. (for more stats, read the Business Insider article: 22 Statistics That Prove The Middle Class Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence In America)

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/22-statistics-that-prove-the-middle-class-is-being-systematically-wiped-out-of-existence-in-america-2010-7##ixzz19MIzLpxh

Concentrating more and more wealth into the hands of fewer people – the RIGHT people – is wonderful news for Conservatives! Alan Greenspan himself has boasted that his job as Fed chairman included the responsibility to create “worker insecurity”, so the plebs don’t get too uppity and pester their “betters” for a raise as their wages are driven into the ground for higher CEO profits. An appalling statement given the fact that real average hourly earnings (excluding fringe benefits) now stand roughly at 1974 levels. Meaning, there’s been no real wage increase in over 35 years despite an 86% increase in productivity. (Again, for more stats, read the Business Insider article: 22 Statistics That Prove The Middle Class Is Being Systematically Wiped Out Of Existence In America.)

So as John Boehner takes over the “People’s House,” to go to bat for his true masters – the rich and their giant transnational corporations – and the incoming chairman of the House banking committee, Republican Spencer Bachus, says Congress and federal regulators should “serve the banks,” let’s remember that nothing spells GOP recovery like a suffering American Middle Class. Despite the fact that the rich are doing fabulously well off of the sacrifices of the rest of us, Republicans will continue to demand more sacrifice from working people (Austerity! Austerity!) while shielding their rich benefactors from the repercussions caused by their own unbridled greed.

Fmr. Shell president ‘predicting’ $5-a-gallon gas in 2012

In my opinion, this story seems to be a “planned leak” from the oil industry to prepare the average American for more of the same greed we’ve seen from the oil industry for years.

Raw Story

The former president of Shell Oil said he believes Americans could be paying $5 for a gallon a gas by 2012.

“I’m predicting actually the worst outcome over the next two years which takes us to 2012 with higher gasoline prices,” John Hofmeister said in a recent interview with Platts Energy Week television.

Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst with Oil Price Information Service, agreed that Americans would see $5 a gallon gas but told CNN that he did not believe it would happen in 2012. “That wolf is out there and it’s going to be at the door…I agree with him that we’ll see those numbers at some point this decade but not yet.”

“The demand is still sluggish enough in some of the mature economies,” he said.

Hofmeister also predicted that demand would outstrip supply before the end of the decade.

“When supplies run low and the demand is still high, many areas will start to run out, with gas stations having no supplies,” World News Insight observed. “Ultimately rationing could then come into force. We could be looking at a return to the 1970′s.”

Average gas prices rose higher than $3 last week for the first time since October 2008.

Consumers were paying 17 percent more than a year ago and seven percent more than just last month, according to AAA.

Hawaii has the highest average price in the nation at $3.636. California is next highest at $3.275.

For the first time since October 2008, the price of a barrel of crude closed above $90 Wednesday.

New 2012 Presidential Campaign Poll: Obama Rising, Palin Falling

No surprises here.  Perhaps Mrs. Palin should reconsider the RNC Chairmanship.  She’d have a better chance at winning. 

Sarah Palin ascending to the  height of POTUS doesn’t really seem to be in the cards for her this time around.  Perhaps with a lot of home schooling and a little more humility she might try again in 2016.

CBS News

The newest congressmen from the contentious 2010 mid-term elections haven’t even been sworn in yet, but the race for the White House in 2012 is already taking center stage for many in Washington.

Recently, as Republicans of many stripes start publicly flirting with a presidential run, President Obama’s advisers hinted that they will be campaigning from Chicago, ending a 40-year tradition for incumbents.

Now, a new CNN poll provides some fresh data on the standing for candidates on both sides of the aisle. The poll finds that Mr. Obama’s standing with Democrats for their 2012 nomination is improving, while Tea Party champion Sarah Palin has lost ground to fellow potential Republican candidates Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.

The poll finds that while many Democrats were upset with Mr. Obama over his tax-cut compromise, nearly 78 percent of Democrats in the poll say they want Mr. Obama as their nominee in 2012. Only 19 percent of Democrats would prefer someone else, the lowest rating on that statistic since March.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin has lost 18 points in Republican support in the last two years, the poll claims, with 49 percent of Republicans now saying they would be likely to support her for the nomination in 2012.  More…

Fox News Dominates Cable News Ratings In 2010, Beating CNN And MSNBC Combined

There’s no doubt in my mind that this is how the GOP was elected in the mid-terms.  Strictly by design via Fox News and their target, their rather gullible and easily swayed viewers.

Mediaite

Fox News will mark 2010 as one of the best years since the network’s launch in 1996. The network posted powerful ratings, beating the combined ratings of CNN and MSNBC and marking the ninth straight year as cable’s top news network.

According to Nielsen, the top five cable news programs in terms of total viewers and viewers 25-54 (the metric used by advertisers and considered the most important by networks) were all on Fox: The O’Reilly Factor (781,000 viewers 25-54); Hannity (585,000); Glenn Beck (572,000); On the Record (481,000); and The O’Reilly Factor repeat (447,000).

In terms of total viewers, Special Report joins the top five cable news shows, as host Bret Baier has taken the show to its highest ratings ever.

Fox’s dominance is demonstrated by its ranking across all of cable–coming in as the fourth highest-rated network in primetime (total viewers), right behind USA, ESPN, and TNT. MSNBC is ranked #28 in primetime, CNN came in at #32 and HLN was #37.

As Fox remains the power player in cable news, CNN’s year has been one of notable declines–Nielsen marking this CNN’s lowest-rated year in primetime (for both total viewers and viewers 25-54) in 14 years. For the full day, 2010 marks a tie for CNN’s worst year ever (viewers 25-54).

More…

Sarah Palin Attempts To Explain ‘Refudiate’ Gaffe

I guess she’s repudiating her “refudiate” gaffe…but there’s a “gotcha” moment that makes her excuse null and void…

Huffington Post

Amid the familial banter that took place on Sunday’s episode of “Sarah Palin’s Alaska,” the former Alaska Governor went beyond criticism of conservationists to explain the much ridiculed genesis of her faux-word, “refudiate.”

Politico reports on the exchange, which briefly touched on a tweet from July — since deleted — concerning plans to build an Islamic cultural center near the site of Ground Zero:

“I pressed an F instead of a P and people freaked out,” said Sarah, pointing out that her blunder was the second-most-searched word on Google trends. “Make lemonade out of lemons,” said Sarah.

The original Twitter dispatch read: “Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate.”

Many at the time believed the fabrication was a misguided splicing of the words “repudiate” and “refute.” At any rate, the made-up word went viral and has since been named “Word of the Year” by The New Oxford American Dictionary

The Washington Post points out “that the ‘F’ and ‘P’ keys on a QWERTY keyboard are not near each other.”

Others have also begun to question Palin’s explanation of the mistake, pointing to this video of the former governor using “refudiate” during an appearance on Fox News before the Twitter gaffe.

WATCH (comments at the 2:30 mark):

Alaska Senate Hopeful “Hanger On” Joe Miller Finally Accepts Defeat…Sort Of

The Daily Beast

Alaska Tea Partier Joe Miller will not seek to prevent Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski from being seated in the new Senate—though he still promised to not give up his challenge to the state’s count of write-in votes. Previously, a federal judge had issued a stay preventing the state from certifying Murkowski’s victory; Miller has said he does not oppose the lifting of the stay, which would prevent her from taking her seat on January 5. The judge has indicated he’ll lift the stay.

Chris Matthews: Why Doesn’t Obama Demand A Copy Of His Birth Certificate? (VIDEO)

He prefaces his diatribe by holding up a long form birth certificate and simultaneously stating that he is not a birther.  Yet…

Huffington Post

Chris Matthews waded into the birther controversy on his Monday show, wondering why President Obama has not demanded a copy of his full birth certificate to put the conspiracy theories about his birth to rest.

Speaking to reporters Clarence Page and David Corn, Matthews addressed the recent efforts by Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie to be able to release more information about Obama’s birth.

“I am not a birther, I am an enemy of the birthers,” Matthews assured Page and Corn, before comparing a so-called “long form” birth certificate to the more abridged copy that Obama has released. “Why has the president himself not demanded that they put out the initial documents?” he asked.

Page said there was no point in Obama engaging birthers, because they were not interested in evidence showing that he is a natural-born citizen. Matthews responded that, no matter what, it will be interesting to see if Abercrombie’s quest for the full document is successful.

“Don’t we want to know if he can find it?” he said. “I don’t know why the Governor doesn’t say, ‘snap it up, whoever is there in the Department of Records, send me a copy right now. And why doesn’t the president just say, ‘send me a copy right now’?”

See video here…