Daily Archives: November 15, 2011

Campaign In 100 Seconds: What Could Undo Newt Gingrich?

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Time For Herman Cain To Say Good-bye

I agree Mario Piperni…

Mario Piperni

Pathetic but not surprising is how I would describe Herman Cain’s latest ‘oops’ moment. So blatantly ignorant was Cain’s inability to respond directly to a question on Libya – as current a major event as is out there – that if this doesn’t end his presidential run, I’m not sure what will.

Conservative media is turning against him (“Cain makes Rick Perry look like a Mensa president“), while diehard fans point fingers at the usual bogeymen and in the process prove once more that stupid is never pretty.

…this is more to do with the media, technology and media bias, than Cain’s lack of knowledge.

Today, almost everything is done under the eagle eye of camera and sound. When the MSM does the interviews, the MSM decides what the public will see or hear or read.

Cain’s error was in not knowing his limits, when to say yes to interviews and when to cancel and rest up. Two weeks of intense attacks and responses certainly would have put him off his game.

Fewer of those biased eagle eyes trained on Cain and the man would be doing great.

The man with “a lot of stuff twirling around in his head” is a moron.  End of story.  The Tea Party’s attempt to prove they’re not a racist bunch was slightly amusing and fun to watch for a while.  Unfortunately for them, they chose an idiot and a creep who practices sexual harassment on women in his employ, to play the role of Black Republican.  Failed.  Time to move on.

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Judge Rules Against OWS

The Daily Beast

A Manhattan Supreme Court judge sided with New York City Tuesday afternoon, declining to extend a previous restraining order against the city and the NYPD that had temporarily stalled the operation to clear Zuccotti Park, the home of the protests. Protesters had circled the park awaiting a ruling and claimed to reoccupy as soon as they were allowed. The city has said it will allow the movement back into the park, but will forbid any further camping out.

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Police in riot gear order ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protesters to leave park

“The police came out in riot gear”… but the only people rioting were the police!

The Raw Story

Hundreds of police officers in riot gear descended on the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstration in New York City’s Zuccotti Park not long after midnight Tuesday.

Police handed out letters to protesters ordering them to immediately remove their possessions from the park. The letter claimed that the demonstration posed a health and fire safety hazard, and would be cleaned after the protesters left.

“If you fail to immediately leave the park, you will be subject to arrest,” the letter said.

Once work in the park is complete, the demonstrators can return to the park but cannot bring back tents, tarps or sleeping bags, according to the letter.

“Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park), home of Occupy Wall Street for the past two months and birthplace of the 99% movement that has spread across the country and around the world, is presently being evicted by a large police force,” the demonstrators said in a statement.

Police surrounded the park and refused to allow anyone in, including reporters.

While some of the protesters gathered their belongings and left, a core group rallied near the center of the park and refused to leave, according to the New York Times. They chanted, “Who’s park? Our park! No retreat. No surrender!”

Meanwhile, dozens of officers walked through the park, removing tents and other materials.

Fifteen people were arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, according to Police spokesman Paul Browne.

The eviction comes as the “Occupy Wall Street” demonstration against economic inequality neared its two-month anniversary. The protesters had planned a provocative “day of action” to shut down Wall Street.

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Bill O’Reilly’s new Lincoln book ‘an insult to scholars’ | The Raw Story

Former Nixon White House counsel John Dean slammed Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Monday over his latest book about the assassination of President Lincoln.The official Lincoln Museum at Ford’s Theatre has refused to sell the book because it is riddled with factual errors and lacks proper documentation.“I stopped counting at 12 serious errors,” Dean said on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.He said the book was an insult to “serious” writers who attempt to show scholarship in their work.Watch video, courtesy of Current TV, below:

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Scalia and Thomas dine with healthcare law challengers as court takes case

The Supreme Court of the United States has decided to hear a challenge to the POTUS’ Health Care Law.  Having said that, what the hell are Justices Scalia and Thomas doing dining with the probable attorney who will argue the case against the Health Care law?

They don’t seem to care about the appearance of impropriety anymore.  When did we fall down the rabbit hole?   Was it after Bush v Gore or was it after Citizens United?

The Los Angeles Times

The day the Supreme Court gathered behind closed doors to consider the politically divisive question of whether it would hear a challenge to President Obama’s healthcare law, two of its justices, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, were feted at a dinner sponsored by the law firm that will argue the case before the high court.

The occasion was last Thursday, when all nine justices met for a conference to pore over the petitions for review. One of the cases at issue was a suit brought by 26 states challenging the sweeping healthcare overhaul passed by Congress last year, a law that has been a rallying cry for conservative activists nationwide.

The justices agreed to hear the suit; indeed, a landmark 5 1/2-hour argument is expected in March, and the outcome is likely to further roil the 2012 presidential race, which will be in full swing by the time the court’s decision is released.

The lawyer who will stand before the court and argue that the law should be thrown out is likely to be Paul Clement, who served as U.S. solicitor general during the George W. Bush administration.

Clement’s law firm, Bancroft PLLC, was one of almost two dozen firms that helped sponsor the annual dinner of the Federalist Society, a longstanding group dedicated to advocating conservative legal principles. Another firm that sponsored the dinner, Jones Day, represents one of the trade associations that challenged the law, the National Federation of Independent Business.

Another sponsor was pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc, which has an enormous financial stake in the outcome of the litigation. The dinner was held at a Washington hotel hours after the court’s conference over the case. In attendance was, among others, Mitch McConnell, the Senate’s top Republican and an avowed opponent of the healthcare law.

The featured guests at the dinner? Scalia and Thomas.

It’s nothing new: The two justices have been attending Federalist Society events for years. And it’s nothing that runs afoul of ethics rules. In fact, justices are exempt from the Code of Conduct that governs the actions of lower federal justices.

If they were, they arguably fell under code’s Canon 4C, which states, “A judge may attend fund-raising events of law-related and other organizations although the judge may not be a speaker, a guest of honor, or featured on the program of such an event.“

Nevertheless, the sheer proximity of Scalia and Thomas to two of the law firms in the case, as well as to a company with a massive financial interest, was enough to alarm ethics-in-government activists.

“This stunning breach of ethics and indifference to the code belies claims by several justices that the court abides by the same rules that apply to all other federal judges,” said Bob Edgar, the president of Common Cause. “The justices were wining and dining at a black-tie fundraiser with attorneys who have pending cases before the court. Their appearance and assistance in fundraising for this event undercuts any claims of impartiality, and is unacceptable.”

Scalia and Thomas have shown little regard for critics who say they too readily mix the business of the court with agenda-driven groups such as the Federalist Society. And Thomas’ wife, Ginni, is a high-profile conservative activist.

Moreover, conservatives argue that it’s Justice Elena Kagan who has an ethical issue, not Scalia and Thomas. Kagan served as solicitor general in the Obama administration when the first legal challenges to the law were brought at the trial court level. Her critics have pushed for Kagan to recuse herself from hearing the case, saying that she was too invested in defending the law then to be impartial now. Kagan has given no indication she will do so.

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Tom Coburn: $30 Billion In Millionaires Aid Is ‘Sheer Washington Stupidity’

When I initially read this story, my jaw had become semi-paralyzed in an open position.  Talk about “jaw-dropping” moments, this story is astounding.

I am certainly no fan of Tom Coburn ever since  Rachel Maddow exposed Coburn as being complicit in trying to hide the John Ensign scandal.

However, he may have earned a small bit of redemption by telling the following story.  The emphasis are mine…

The Huffington Post

Millionaires are receiving billions in taxpayer-funded support every year that helps them pay for everything from child care to bad debts to boats and vacation homes, according to a report released Monday by Sen. Tom Coburn.

People who individually earned more than a million dollars in 2009 even managed to collect a total of nearly $21 million in unemployment insurance.

“From tax write-offs for gambling losses, vacation homes, and luxury yachts to subsidies for their ranches and estates, the government is subsidizing the lifestyles of the rich and famous,” wrote Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican, in an accompanying letter. “Multimillionaires are even receiving government checks for not working. This welfare for the well-off — costing billions of dollars a year — is being paid for with the taxes of the less fortunate.”

Calling the giveaways “sheer Washington stupidity,” Coburn detailed in the study more than $30 billion a year that comes out of the U.S. Treasury to aid people who make more than a million a year.

For Coburn, who describes his survey as the first-ever compilation of federal aid for the richest, such a startling figure makes no sense when most of the country is struggling to get by. He also thinks it reveals some sensible targets for Congress’ stymied debt-trimming super committee.

“Even in these difficult times, the United States remains a land of opportunity and not everyone is in need of government handouts,” wrote Coburn in the accompanying letter.

“The income of the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans has risen dramatically over the last decade. Yet, the federal government lavishes these millionaires with billions of dollars in giveaways and tax breaks,” he wrote, referring to the growing income gap recently documented in stark fashion by the Congressional Budget Office.

“The government’s social safety net, which has long existed to catch those who are down and help them get back up, is now being used as a hammock by some millionaires, some who are paying less taxes than average middle class families,” Coburn contended.

And what the report “reveals is sheer Washington stupidity with government policies pampering the wealthy costing taxpayers billions of dollars every year,” Coburn argued.

Coburn totaled up all the federal money for millionaires over several years that his office could find. Among the handouts for the well-heeled are:

  • $18.15 million in child care tax credits
  • $74 million in unemployment checks
  • $89 million for preservation of ranches and estates
  • $316 million in farm subsidies
  • $608 million in business entertainment deductions
  • $9 billion in retirement checks
  • $21 billion in gambling losses
  • $28 billion in mortgage breaks for mansions, vacation homes and yachts

Some of the payments, such as for Social Security and Medicare, stem from payroll taxes and are not means-tested when they are paid out. Advocates of such payments believe the government made a promise to individuals that it must keep, regardless of their wealth.

Some other payments, such as the millions received by the wealthy to preserve land or to use alternative energy sources, arise from programs that proponents consider beneficial overall, even if the rich get the money.

But Coburn doesn’t see much justification for these payments, considering how well the wealthy have done over the last 30 years compared to everyone else. “Fleecing the taxpayer while contributing nothing is not the American way,” he wrote.

He also sees policies that help the rich avoid taxes as government-sanctioned redistribution of wealth.

“Americans are generous and do not want to see their fellow citizens go without basic necessities. Likewise, we expect everyone to contribute and to demonstrate personal responsibility,” Coburn wrote.

“Government policies intended to mainstream wealth redistribution are undermining these principles. The tragic irony is the wealth in these cases is trickling up rather than down the economic ladder,” he continued. “The cost of this largess will thus be shared by those struggling today and the next generation who will inherit $15 trillion of debt that threatens the future of the American Dream.”

Coburn does not argue that taxes should be raised on the wealthy, however. Simply ending giveaways for people who don’t need them would help, and he recommends limiting or cutting payments to millionaires in the safety net programs; ending farm and conservation payments to the rich; means-testing tax breaks and other payouts; and reforming provisions of the tax code that help pay for vacation properties and mansions.

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