Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's a Corporate World... Welcome to Plutocracy

This is the most discouraging thing I've heard yet in this campaign season. Corporate Cash is buying what's left of our political system. The minority, wealthy, corporate class is succeeding in buying Congress, the judicial appointments, and will shortly own the Government.

Since they see the Government as their biggest competitor for what's left of the money in the middle class they are making sure that the pipeline for cash runs straight to them.

Peasant revolt anyone?

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Citizens United After Eight Months

Last January, in the Citizens United case, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations were free to spend unlimited sums to support or oppose candidates for office. Eight months later, how's that working out? Michael Luo and Stephanie Strom report in the New York Times:

"I can tell you from personal experience, the money’s flowing," said Michael E. Toner, a former Republican FEC commissioner, now in private practice at the firm Bryan Cave.

The reason the Times' paints only an "anecdotal portrait" and Toner relies on his "personal experience" is that this new corporate money is increasingly being funneled through 501(c)(4) groups that aren't required to disclose who their donors are. You can see the results at the Washington Post's running tally of campaign spending by interest groups: seven of the top ten spenders are Republican organizations, and they're outspending Democrats by nearly two to one, much of it on ads specifically targeted against Democratic House and Senate candidates.

And all that money is showing up on the airwaves. Jonathan Martin of Politico reports that an internal Democratic spreadsheet has tallied up the spending so far, and the story is grim: as of this week, pro-Republican organizations had paid for a total of $23.6 million worth of ads compared to $4.8 million for Democratic-aligned groups. And it's only going to get worse: Over the next four weeks, GOP groups have $9.4 million worth of TV ads reserved across 40 districts compared to $1.3 million in five districts for Democratic groups.

And what about liberal groups? Even in the best of times they have a hard time competing with corporate PAC money, but this year is even tougher. At the same time that Citizens United has opened the spigot even wider for Republicans, it's run dry for Democrats. While Karl Rove and his buddies are hoovering up over $50 million for American Crossroads, liberal fundraisers are struggling with a base that's dispirited and unhappy over failures on climate change and DADT and shortcomings on healthcare reform. Jim Jordan, who has started up a new group called Commonsense Ten that's airing ads in Senate races, explains things crisply: "The progressive donor base has stopped writing checks," he says.

Which means that liberals had better get out of their funk and start supporting liberal causes and liberal candidates. Because it's a sure bet that all those corporations newly empowered by Citizens United won't be.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

GOP at cross purposes. Max Stier - The thoughtless job freeze in the GOP's 'Pledge to America'

Radical, simplistic and wrong headed. A Job Freeze will make government functions MORE expensive. See "Mercenaries" in the military. Private contractors ARE more expensive...

But Wait! THAT'S what the GOP is really up to! Serving their wealthy corporate sponsors! Wouldn't it be great if taxpayers had to pay private contractors for ALL Government functions. That great sucking sound you hear, it's the plutocrats vacuuming up what's left of the middle class money supply...


Friday, September 24, 2010

Go Eugene. Hooey is Hooey...

GOP's Pledge? All questions and no answers:

Reducing the deficit by adding 4 TRILLION (permanent tax cuts) to it? Hooray!

Cutting spending by 8%? Yippee! Who gets cut? Teachers, schools, firefighters, policemen, construction workers, and public servants of all types.

Reducing unemployment by putting all those folk out of work? Brilliant!

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The GOP's Hooey to America
By Eugene Robinson

Friday, September 24, 2010
The Republicans were doing pretty well as the Party of No. So why did they decide to rebrand themselves as the Party of Nonsense?
All right, I'm being slightly disingenuous. Inquiring minds demanded to know just what the GOP proposed to do if voters entrusted it with control of one or both houses of Congress. But if the "Pledge to America" unveiled Thursday is the best that House Republicans can come up with, they'd have been better off continuing to froth and foam about "creeping socialism" while stonewalling on specifics.
The pledge bills itself as a plan to "create jobs, end economic uncertainty, and make America more competitive." These sound like worthy initiatives, but the GOP also promises to "stop out-of-control spending and reduce the size of government." Most economists would contend that right now, given the level of economic distress throughout the nation, those goals are mutually exclusive. No matter, I suppose, since the pledge wouldn't really do either.
But on the spending side, the party would take a number of actions that would immediately destroy jobs. Republicans propose a hiring freeze for federal employees -- exempting the defense and security sectors. Since the private sector isn't hiring, a public-sector job freeze would only ensure that unemployment remains higher than it otherwise would have been. The pledge also proposes embargoing any funds from last year's stimulus bill that have not already been spent -- money that is meant to keep construction workers, teachers, firefighters and others on the job.
If Americans who might have been hired by the federal government or paid with stimulus funds are out of work, they won't have money to spend on goods and services -- and businesses, facing lower demand for their goods and services, won't hire workers or invest in new facilities. Do Republicans actually want to send the economy back into recession, or have they just not read the document issued in their name?
There's much more. I'm just coming to the most dishonest -- or, charitably, most insincere -- of the pledge's many promises. Republicans claim to want to reduce the "massive" federal deficit. That is, indeed, a noble aim. But the plan is riddled with measures that would make the deficit grow, not shrink.
Perhaps the biggest is not just extending the tax cuts, but making them permanent. Over the next decade, this measure would add an estimated $4 trillion to the deficit. The Republicans' notion that cutting the federal budget will somehow make up the difference is laughable. The pledge exempts defense, entitlements and debt service -- the biggest components of the federal budget -- and focuses on "discretionary" spending, which Republicans would cut by "at least $100 billion in the first year alone." Yeah, right.
That would be a question to ask before November. I think more than a few people would love to know the answer.
See this Amp at

GOP's.... You ARE the problem... Your magnificent anti-gov't, stonehead tactics have succeeded. Now what?

Thanks again fellas and ladies. You've managed to have an "adult" conversation about 8% of the problem. I realize that's a magnificent accomplishment but really guys. Did it really take all that fiery rhetoric, brilliant obstruction, stonewalling, racist, and bigoted, language to achieve that?

This is your pledge?

Go away....

Milbank - "For the record, with a budget deficit of $1.3 trillion this year, the GOP pledge to cut $100 billion would take care of not quite 8 percent of the problem."

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The GOP breaks its 'Pledge to America'
By Dana Milbank
Thursday, September 23, 2010; 5:07 PM
It took the Republicans just three minutes to violate their Pledge to America.
In a lumber yard near Dulles International Airport Thursday morning, House Republicans handed out copies of their pledge, which, among other things, promises to rein in an "arrogant and out-of-touch government of self-appointed elites."
Yet moments after taking the stage to face the cameras, Republican leaders appointed themselves arrogant elites. They compared themselves to the founding fathers and likened their actions at Tart Lumber Co. to the signing of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia.
Yet for all the grandiosity, the pledge is small in its ambition. The policy goals are banal ("Support the troops! Fight the terrorists!), and the prescriptions are often narrow and procedural (weekly votes on proposed regulations).
The flaws quickly became apparent Thursday morning when the lawmakers made the mistake of taking questions. "There are not many specifics in here about how you would get to the balanced budget if you plan to extend all the tax cuts and expand defense spending," the AP's Julie Hirschfeld Davis pointed out. "So can you give us some more details?"
John Boehner, the man who would be House speaker if Republicans win, responded that "by having the spending cap at 2008 levels, we can save $100 billion a year."
"What percentage of the problem in terms of our deficit is being taken care of by this plan?" Slate's John Dickerson inquired.
Boehner only repeated that Republicans would be "saving $100 billion a year" by returning spending to 2008 levels.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Stupid has no cure... We really don't know how bad off we are...

Americans, the eternal optimists... We all want equal distribution of wealth but we're scared away by fearmongers and wingnuts who rail against socialism.

It's funny and sad that we don't really know how to get what We the People know what we want but don't want to go get it. Just go try and "spread the wealth around" and see how far you get...

We know now how tightly controlled we are by the robber barons and the corporate elite. They've got it, we want it, don't want it, want it, don't want it, repeat......

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Americans Vastly Underestimate Wealth Inequality, Support 'More Equal Distribution Of Wealth': Study

Americans vastly underestimate the degree of wealth inequality in America, and we believe that the distribution should be far more equitable than it actually is, according to a new study.

Or, as the study's authors put it: "All demographic groups -- even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy -- desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo."

The respondents were presented with unlabeled pie charts representing the wealth distributions of the U.S., where the richest 20 percent controlled about 84 percent of wealth, and Sweden, where the top 20 percent only controlled 36 percent of wealth. Without knowing which country they were picking, 92 percent of respondents said they'd rather live in a country with Sweden's wealth distribution.


Job-Creation Idea No. 3: The Joys Of Retrofitting: Yo Dreamers! Pay Attention!

Here's a job creation program that works! Read on.

Congress -- Pledging Allegiance To Failed Policies

The GOP Pledge. This is the best rebuttal point by point that I've seen yet. Read on....

This Friends is why it's called Voodoo Economics... It sounds good but, to borrow a GOP talking point from

history... "Where's the Beef?" If Government is the problem, why can't either party suggest any kind of serious beef?

If all it will ever be is "We will cut what THEY want and keep what WE want" the country will lurch from one crisis to the next merrily kareening through history dragging the poor, unemployed, and the the middle class through hell in the process.

Thanks guys....

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The Cuts in the Republicans’ Pledge

Primary among the proposals in the Republicans’ “Pledge to America” is the promise to cut spending, slash taxes and shrink the government to restore the United States’ fiscal health. How do they intend to do it, and to end the United States’ debt and deficit problems?

That is not actually a plan, of course. It is a plan to make a plan.

First, Democrats put into their own Dodd-Frank law an amendment precisely “prohibit[ing] taxpayers from ever having to bail out the financial sector.” There are no bailouts.

Second, ending TARP is not a serious policy idea, either. The program sunsets on October 3 — about 10 days from now. And it ended up costing less than a tenth of its initial budget.

Third, there are no cuts in this proposal. There are caps on federal hiring, for instance, but nothing that would represent more than tens of billions of dollars in savings — though the United States is trillions of dollars in debt. Republicans say there are duplicative programs that should be eliminated, but do not name one.

But, again, there are no actual suggestions for cuts here. It is all well and good to say you’ll cut the federal budget. It is quite another to start taking away seniors’ Social Security, or families’ school-lunch funding, or farmers’ subsidies, or workers’ unemployment insurance, or bridge-builders’ contracts.


Cocky GOP? Joan Walsh nails it as the Republicans begin to reveal their agenda.

A spending freeze? Really? by the government? Cut taxes? Really? on whom? Create jobs? How is that going to work again? Like it did in 2000 - 2008? How does this work? Repeal health care? Protect profits? Kill patients? What's that all about?

We are in a recession BECAUSE nobody has any money to spend. BECAUSE the government can spend money, we still have GM and the thousands of jobs that would have been lost. BECAUSE the government can spend, job growth has actually been on the positive side of the graph.

Oops, we aren't in a recession anymore, I just heard that on the news. Wall Street that has recovered nicely from the recession! The Uber Rich have increased their wealth by 8% in the last year (Just heard it on NPR) Main Street? (at least the S&P) 1%. I don't see any improvement and, in fact, the "recovery" looks, sounds, and feels a lot like the "recession." The jobless rate both real and measured is growing.

Cutting taxes IS the jobs programs for the GOP. Dudes! Why is there still a sky high unemployment rate? The rich guys getting all the tax relief are the ones supposed to be creating jobs! Ain't happening yet.... We had better job creation in the 90's.... when.... tax rates... were... higher... Mike Pence you can sit down and be quiet now.

Repeal health care? Damn! The Stoneheads in the Senate (Yes I'm talking about YOU TOO, Blue Dogs) killed it with political obstruction. They did everything possible to blow up Health Care reform. They "won" compromises that made the bill much worse and VOTED AGAINST IT ANYWAY.

Privatize Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid? Only one point to make and Rachel Maddow made it via Joan.... Wall Street will charge FIVE TIMES more to take care of your retirement account than the government.

Let's deny coverage. Let's throw people of the health care rolls for getting sick, let's raise premiums to preserve the corporate profitability. Let's make sure that the "Free Market" enslaves the poor, and impoverishes the middle class... GOP, you filled it with s**t and now you want to kill it for stinkin'? Shut up and sit down!

Pledge for America? It's a pledge TO Corporate America. It's a pledge TO the constituency that now controls the majority of the wealth in America. It's a Pledge to continue the repression of the Middle Class and a Pledge to ignore the poor, the unemployed, the immigrants, the students, and the families.

Thanks for sharing guys...

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Privatize Social Security? Hell no!

Cocky Republicans are beginning to spell out their real agenda, and that's great news for Democrats

By Joan Walsh
I'm excited now that Republicans are starting to reveal their agenda for the midterm elections in November. I enjoy the whole Club for Growth push: "Privatize Social Security? Hell, yeah." I love it when right-wingers semi-swear, it seems so manly.
Tonight MSNBC's Rachel Maddow pointed out that Wall Street charges five times as much as the federal government does to manage retirement funds. Besides, President Bush went on a road show to push privatization in 2005 and, well, nobody really showed up at his shows. He went away. I remain stunned by the willingness of mainstream Republicans to tamper with Social Security and Medicare,  as the Tea Party gathers strength around just those issues.
Can a guy who's sent racist and pornographic email really become New York governor? Is this a great country, or what? I'm excited to learn the answer to that, even though I'm pretty sure that it's "Hell, no!"
Then there's Christine O'Donnell.
She's such a grifter it's hard to use that term to describe Sarah Palin any more, who has at least held a few jobs in the last few years.
O'Donnell's taking the Sharron Angle/Rand Paul/Tea Party tack of ignoring national media and pretending to talk to local folks – except most Tea Partiers really don't do either.Read more at

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Friday, September 17, 2010

TARP, yell if you want, but it saved our financial butts.

The (I'm a little) Teapot Party faithful love to rail against the TARP program, against the Bailouts, against most everything actually. It's misplaced anger that will do nothing, as Mr. Drum says, to actually address the ongoing mess that is our financial system.

The TeaPotties are, in fact, helping the tycoons on Wall Street continue their mad hatting and double dealing. We're all angry, but my anger includes the deluded and vengeful Tea for Two's who are only promoting and encouraging the very thing they are most upset about.

TARP was and is a good deal.

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TARP, the Tea Party, and Me

— By Kevin Drum
| Fri Sep. 17, 2010 3:00 AM PDT

What was I doing two years ago? Well, according to my blog, on September 29, 2008 I was "consumed with a debilitating combination of fury and despair." Why? Because following two weeks of unprecedented financial meltdown, the House had just rejected Henry Paulson's bank bailout bill, the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

But what happened? Even though it was proposed by a Republican president, supported by a Republican treasury secretary and a Republican Fed chairman, and backed by the Republican leadership, two-thirds of House Republicans voted against it.

After the House voted down TARP the Dow Jones plunged 400 points in ten minutes. By the end of the day $1.2 trillion had been lost on U.S. exchanges and regulators were rushing to try to sell off Wachovia, the biggest bank yet to fail. That finally got the attention of GOP backbenchers, and a few days later a revised TARP bill (stuffed with some extra goodies as bribes) was passed. Markets relaxed and everyone breathed a little easier.

To this day, tea partiers remain convinced that it was both unnecessary and a vast black hole for taxpayer money. Neither is true, but the tea party view is now so pervasive that, as Ben Smith reports, politicians of both parties consider TARP the new third rail of American politics:

And the cost of TARP? CBO estimates the government will make a profit of $7 billion from the bank bailouts (though it may still lose money on GM and Chrysler, which were also rescued with TARP funds) and it now looks like AIG will pay back all its bailout money too. Bottom line: the ongoing recession caused by Wall Street's reckless behavior has cost us a bundle. But TARP itself? Its net direct cost is zero, and when you include the fact that it almost certainly saved the banking system and softened the recession, it may boast the biggest bang for the buck of any bill ever passed by Congress.

The tea parties will eventually pass into the dustbin of history, I suppose, but in the meantime TARP's fortunes certainly haven't made me more confident that our government can do the things it has to do. Instead, TARP turned out to represent the outer limit of what our government can do, and that was just the bare minimum to avoid catastrophe. We deserve better than that.Read more at

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

372 Bills That Have Been Passed by the House & Not Yet 
Acted Upon By the Senate
 (as of 8/23/10)

372 more reasons to vote for ABAR. Can the cynical intent of the GOP and the (I'm a Little) Tea Pot Party be more clear?


This is a perfect example of what is causing the anger against incumbents in this year's election cycle. Our government doesn't work, not because of it's design but because of the cynical political manipulations of its membership, specifically the Republican Party.  Never in History has the minority party vowed to shut down government rather than work along side the majority.  The choice is clear.  The GOP is a ruling class and thinks that they should be rightfully in power.  GOP Rule or Governance for Americans?  That's it folks, us or them....

 The GOP is starting to sweat a little as this carefully financed and encouraged movement of angst against the government is starting to swell.  The mainline GOPERS are getting knocked off one at a time as extremists and modern day "no-nothings" gain prominence.  This might even turn into a disaster greater than anything so far imagined.

The GOP.... Against Everything!

The GOP Strategy of choice is to simply obstruct. No matter what is said their actions speak loud and clear. I can't help but wonder, are they really against all these things? I'm pretty sure that they aren't and that leaves me with the only answer.

The GOP is cynically shutting down the government of the United States, cultivating a climate of fear coupled with disgust and anger in an attempt to simply regain power. They had nearly 16 years and the last 8 at the trough of easy money which has been just too tempting and lucrative to give up. They want the purse strings back and they want them back desperately and NOW.


Amplify’d from
September 16, 2010

by Faiz Shakir, Benjamin Armbruster, George Zornick, Zaid Jilani, Alex Seitz-Wald, Ian Milhiser, and Tanya Somanader

The 100 Vote Senate

It's common wisdom that nothing gets done in the U.S. Senate
without a 60 vote supermajority, but this common wisdom is entirely too
optimistic. Although only a small minority of senators object
to any oneof President Obama's judicial nominees, confirmations have slowed to such a glacial pace that Republican control over federal trial courts increased since Obama took office. Likewise, a massive 372 billsthat passed House during the Obama presidency have yet to receive a vote in the Senate. Only a handful of these bills were even remotely controversial in the House, and 44 of them passed the House unanimously. Such obstruction works, even against uncontroversial bills and nominations, because the Senate's system of filibusters, delay tactics and secret holds empowers just one senator to bring the institution to a standstill. The Senate does not operate by majority rule; It does not really even operate by supermajority rule. Increasingly, the Senate can only act unanimously.

Beyond essential bills to prevent catastrophic globalwarming
and mitigate the damage caused by the Supreme Court's egregious decision allowing unlimited corporate funds into American elections, these bills were almost entirely uncontroversial in the House. They include measures to prevent prisons from becoming breeding grounds for AIDS, to authorize relief for torture victims, and to ensure that college dorms are equipped with fire sprinklers. Even bills to enable a full investigation into BP's catastrophic oil spill and to ensure that BP is held accountable for this spill are being denied a Senate vote.Read more at
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At Last.. and advocate for the Middle Class and the Consumer

I'm very happy that Warren is in and ready to go work. The mention of her name simply makes the fat cats sit up and pay attention. Fact is, no one has been watching the back of the consumer and the middle class during this whole financial meltdown. It's gratifying to see Mr. Obama finally make a gutsy choice. Thank you sir!

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White House Taps Warren To Set Up Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The White House has tapped Elizabeth Warren as a special adviser to help set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, affirming its support for a tough new agency charged with protecting consumers from abusive lenders.

"This news shows that consumers have momentum and are on the verge of winning," said Stephanie Taylor, a co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, an advocacy group that mounted an aggressive campaign on Warren's behalf. "If Elizabeth Warren is given full power to run the new consumer protection bureau and hold Wall Street accountable, it will mean real change -- and voters will know that going into November's election.

"If this appointment is window dressing and Tim Geithner controls the show," she cautioned, "it would be a big disappointment and a victory for Wall Street. President Obama should make clear that this appointment gives Elizabeth Warren real power to fight for consumers."

See this Amp at

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Think Progress » Anti-Park 51 Rally Attendees Echo Fox News Misinformation And Right-Wing Islamophobia

Yet another reason to vote ABAR..... They actively encourage and support this:

What happened to the Liberal Media? All the "People who matter" are White, Male, and Republican.

Is there any doubt about the demise of the liberal media establishment? The conservative media and the conservative movement have mastered the art of getting on TV. Outrage, bombast and Machiavellian machinations have succeeded in pushing everyone else off the airwaves.

These guys aren't serious about anything they've talked about on TV. They have been wrong about everything and they are happily sucking up the attention that they so richly DO NOT deserve.

Another reason to vote for ABAR this election cycle. (Anybody but a Republican.)

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Study: ‘People Who Matter’ To Sunday Talk Shows Are ‘White, Male, Senior, and Republican’

mtprepubsNBC’s Meet the Press, CBS’s Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday, CNN’s State of the Union, and ABC’s This Week are the five major Sunday talk shows that aim to bring “a diverse group of voices” that “reflect the cultural, economic, and political landscape” of the U.S. However, according to a new study published by George Mason University School of Law this month, the Congressional guests featured in 2009 were anything but diverse, failing not only to represent the demographics of the American population but also the diversity of Congress. In fact, according to the study, the congressional voice was disproportionately represented by one type of guest in 2009: “white, male, senior, and Republican”:

The Republican leadership “appeared on these shows a total of 43 times” while Democratic Leadership, including the first female Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), “appeared only 11 times.” And 2010 is shaping up to be more of the same, with McConnell “again leading the pack – appearing 10 times on Sunday shows – a rate even higher than he achieved in 2009.” (HT: Media Decoder)Read more at

Reason to Vote ABAR (anybody but a Republican) Unanimously in denial.

Here's the line in the sand. The GOP unanimously stands in support of dirty energy, of pollution, and in denial of the human impact on the environment. That's a clear and aggressive position and is a GREAT reason to support ANYONE but a Republican this election season.

It's only one of many reasons.... stay tuned.

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REPORT: Grand Old Deniers — Nearly All GOP Senate Candidates Deny Global Warming

castleA comprehensive Wonk Room survey of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate finds that nearly all dispute the scientific consensus that the United States must act to fight global warming pollution. Remarkably, of the dozens of Republicans vying for the 37 Senate seats in the 2010 election, only one — Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware — supports strong climate action. Even former climate advocates Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) now toe the science-doubting party line. If Castle loses his primary on Tuesday to Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell, the GOP slate will be unanimous in opposition to a green economy.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Are we really wards of the rich? Do we really depend on them for life, liberty and happiness?

It is indeed baloney to say that tax cuts will kill jobs. Of course that's been the mantra for the 30 years that the Republicans have been in power and has been repeated so often and so loudly that no one questions it, no one except Froma Harrop at read on.....

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The Rich Are Not Going to Give Us Jobs

Thursday 09 September 2010

Let's cut the baloney about jobs and rich people's taxes. If corporate profits automatically turned into jobs for the little folk, the unemployment rate would be plummeting.

It happens that company earnings now exceed their lofty peaks of the housing boom. And big-business balance sheets are sloshing in cash. Corporate America's decision to stick with its current workforce is not for a lack of dough.

Companies don't create jobs because they have extra money jingling in their pockets. They take on new workers when they want to expand, and right now the demand's not there to warrant that growth. Corporations are in the business of maximizing profits for the benefit of their managers and shareholders. They're not in the business of creating jobs, nor should we expect them to be.

And so how should we respond to Republican claims that restoring Clinton-era income tax rates for the wealthiest 2 percent would destroy jobs? We shouldn't. They are irrelevant.

Americans generally don't like class warfare. Labeling any tax increase for upper incomes as such is a time-honored way to bully the public into silence. Actually, it's not too much to ask the top sliver -- whose wealth is running away from that of even ordinary millionaires -- to do more to contain our soaring deficits.

If the rich get richer from a recovering economy, and they will, then good for them. But they're now owed tax cuts besides.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Fatal Flaws

Palin the Candidate.... continued.

Sarah Palin in many ways is the perfect political candidate.  She is ruthless, ego-centric, a fabulous communicator especially up close and personal, and is great on stage giving the stump speech. She can tell stories, embellish facts, and use fiery rhetoric for maximum effect.  Remember, she's a TV political evangelist now.  Truth doesn't matter, only the force and volume of her message.  Her religion, though eccentric and certainly not mainstream evangelical won't matter much if she ever attains a public office.  The demands of the office will negate the premises of her religion.  (See GW Bush)  Sure she will do the religion for show, but it won't effect her governance.

One fatal flaw is her lack of knowledge, which she is shrewdly playing as a strength.  It simply means that she will lean on advisors like the famously discredited and notoriously wrong neo-con pundit, William Kristol among others.  As long as she can stay in the media, away from any serious questioning she'll be fine.  The problem is that a primary and a general election give very few opportunities to hide. In 2008, the more that was found out about Ms. Palin, the more she campaigned, the lower her numbers got.

This unfriendly questioning and probing by the media will undoubtedly make a second fatal flaw kick in, her famous temper.  If she can't control it, she'll have serious trouble getting anyone to help her.  If the honchos in the RNC deem her an empty vessel that can be propped up and controlled she'll have a chance.  There's a real possibility that she, being a Diva, will fight that tooth and nail.  If she gives in and agrees to be a figure head, controlled and manipulated by a committee of advisers that she almost certainly will not get to pick, then she'll be a force to be reckoned with.

The problem for the American people if any of this comes to pass is pretty obvious.  Instead of electing a leader, we'd be electing a shadow government that would be only accountable only to itself. If American voters fall for the marketing of Sarah Palin, they are saying that they don't care about America, it's standing in the world, about peace, or about global concerns of the environment and the economy.  If Americans lose interest in the policies that affect their lives and give up their own self-interests for the empty slogans and advertising of a disingenuous political juggernaut, then all of the American values we say we believe in will be at risk.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney famously dismissed the political marketing that put them in power and ruled America from the depths of Mr. Cheney's office with Mr. Bush providing the face and the voice of the Government.  Ms. Palin's campaign will far exceed any marketing that we've ever seen and will be even more summarily dismissed if it succeeds.

The choices are clear, the consequences are dire.  Choose well.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sarah Palin: The Sound and the Fury | Politics | Vanity Fair

This article by Michael Gross is a scorching expose of this enigmatic comet on the political horizon. It's even more powerful because Mr. Gross WAS one of Ms. Palin's most ardent supporters until he undertook the research for this piece.

Sarah Palin is a public servant who quit as governor of Alaska to market herself and run for higher office in 2012.  This is the first most obvious contradiction highlighted by Mr. Gross.  That she considers herself a viable politician is a function of her incredible ego.  She's a Diva in the most extreme sense.  The whole marketing campaign that will surely culminate in a a declaration of her candidacy is about her, her world view, and her admirers.  She keeps herself firmly in the bubble, allowing no one to enter, no reporter to ask uncomfortable questions, and appear before no audience that is not carefully selected and properly adoring.  She's the spokesperson for the blissfully ignorant, happy white folks as she shows off her "poor man's teleprompter," (her hand) while referring to the Obama administration's "talking down" to her and her followers.  Her followers are quite satisfied with the projected image and don't question her methods, her lifestyle, or her background.  She's one of them, or so they think.

Sarah Palin is a serious yarn spinner, for whom the truth is relevant, but a good speech needs to be embellished with tall tales and energetic spin that bears little resemblance to the truth. Mr. Gross out and out calls her a serial liar.

Then Palin departs from the script and speaks as if from the heart, describing her fear and confusion upon discovering that Trig would be born with Down syndrome. “I had never really been around a baby with special needs,” she tells her listeners. For what it’s worth, this statement is untrue. Depicting the same moment of discovery in her own book, Palin writes that she immediately thought of a special-needs child she knew very well: her autistic nephew. Such falsehoods never damage Palin’s credibility with her admirers, because information and ideology are incidental to this relationship.

She has a volatile personality and has incredible mood swings, mostly in private with her aides and family.  The anger is legendary among former staff, associates and even with her family.  This is not a unique characteristic for potential world leaders, but with Ms. Palin, the Diva, even close aides, acquaintances, colleagues, feel the heat unabated.  Ms. Palin seems blissfully unaware of the potential for damage to her career.

Warm and effusive in public, indifferent or angry in private: this is the pattern of Palin’s behavior toward the people who make her life possible. A onetime gubernatorial aide to Palin says, “The people who have worked for her—they’re broken, used, stepped on, down in the dust.” On the 2008 campaign trail, one close aide recalls, it was practically impossible to persuade Palin to take a moment to thank the kitchen workers at fund-raising dinners. During the campaign, Palin lashed out at the slightest provocation, sometimes screaming at staff members and throwing objects. Witnessing such behavior, one aide asked Todd Palin if it was typical of his wife. He answered, “You just got to let her go through it… Half the stuff that comes out of her mouth she doesn’t even mean.”

She's also a pretty woman and uses her looks to defuse the volcanic temper.

She has a horrible temper, but she has gotten away with it because she is a pretty woman.” (The friend elaborated on this last point: “Once, while Sarah was preparing for a city-council meeting, she said, ‘I’m gonna put on one of my push-up bras so I can get what I want tonight.’ That’s how she rolls.”)

Her religious faith plays a major role in her behavior, her secretiveness, and her politics.  She's a particular kind of fundamentalist Christian who believes that she's a "prayer warrior" who gets protection from fellow warriors who provide a "shield" against evil.  Her world view tells her that she's good, her opponents are evil, "and the war is on."  This particular world view holds that politics is a war against evil and so should be fought with any and all available weapons, which for Ms. Palin include volatile rhetoric, shading the truth, keeping her business arrangements secretive, and totally insulating herself from the "evil" media in order to preserve her "goodness."

The term “prayer warrior” describes a person who offers a specific kind of supplication: asking God to direct an unseen battle between forces of light and darkness—literal angels and demons—that some Christians believe is occurring all around us. A leading member of Wasilla’s Church on the Rock, the non-denominational evangelical congregation where Palin sometimes attends worship, confirmed this understanding of the term. When Palin thanks prayer warriors for keeping her covered, she is thanking them for calling on angels to shield her from demonic attacks.

The Diva syndrome is a condition of supreme ego and the conviction that the world exists for one's own pleasure or advancement.  Anyone who stands in the way of a Diva is scorned, destroyed verbally, or fired.  Teamwork or competence is not an issue, it's what I want when I want it and damn those who will stand in my way.

But the real concern is with Palin herself—they don’t want her to find out they have talked with a reporter, because of a suspicion that bad things will happen to them if she does. The salty, seen-it-all bartender at one of the town’s best restaurants says, “I wish you luck—but I like my job.” Has PalinTroopergate. The Alaska Legislative Council found in 2008 that Palin “abused her power” as governor in attempting to get Trooper Wooten fired.

Her Diva syndrome extended to her work style as governor.  She often clocked out after four hours and was completely unable to carry on extended conversations about budgeting or state business because of her lack of knowledge about math, logistics, or simply how things work.  Most of the actual administrative work was carried out by an aide who refused to talk to Mr. Gross for fear of reprisals.

Her famous family only reluctantly became part of the 2008 campaign. Ms. Palin did not, (yet another "fable") get the approval of her family.  Todd, her husband, suggested that the kids stay at home for their schooling, and a more secure environment, but Ms. Palin insisted on "having them around."  The kids rarely did homework, grades suffered, discipline lapsed but Ms. Palin was served and the kids were used shamelessly for specified promotions (suffering at the same time from negative exposure from the "lame stream media").

This is the Sarah Palin that is the prospective front-runner for the highest office in the land presented to us by the Tea Party dominated Republican Party.  This person who views her own self-interest as more important than her public service, who shamelessly uses her family for her own promotion, who keeps herself firmly inside the protective bubble provided by her handlers wants the most important public servant job of all. I'm wondering why? She's not an administrator, she's not competent at anything other than media manipulation, self promotion and personal charisma.  Even her children sometimes say the she's "pretending to be someone she's not."  This showed in her brief tenure as Governor of Alaska.

Even Palin’s strongest supporters say they feel confused by what their former governor has become. “She quit us,” says one Wasilla woman. “We elected her, and she left us.” 

She is a media personality, not a legitimate candidate for public office. I'm not sure or convinced that she even knows how to be a governor, much less President.  I wonder who will be pulling the strings, deciding policy, doing the mundane administrative chores, sitting meetings, etc. for her if she does declare her candidacy, neo-con supporter William Kristol perhaps?  George Bush was in the bubble? George Bush was incompetent and simplistic?  I've a feeling we haven't seen nothin' yet.

Just another TV Evangelist.... Today anyway..

What will Mr. Beck define himself as tomorrow? Clue... Whatever drives ratings and fills his his purse.

To review: We have a Mormon, to whom God speaks directly, embracing the religious christian right and advising them that President Obama's alleged Liberation theology is a "perversion" of the christian faith. How does this square with the Becksters that are sure Mr. Obama is muslim? What's clear is that Mr. Beck is caught up in some kind of spiritual world of his own creation..

Mr. Beck specifically says he's not trying to be Martin Luther King, then holds a rally on the anniversary of Mr. King's most famous speech, quotes Mr. King's speeches, and proudly announces that he is "taking over" the civil rights movement, reclaiming it for whom? and from whom?

That none of this makes any sense doesn't seem to matter, only that lots of Beckians believe it, that Beck and friends are saying it very often and very loudly, and it must be true because Mr. Beck is getting very wealthy doing it! Sadly, hucksterism has always been profitable in America… Are you one of the idiots who believes anything he says?

I'm going to go talk to God now....


Amplify’d from

Glenn Beck's religious rally nothing new

There's always been a big audience in the U.S. for conspiracy theories and religious melodrama

Here we go again. A self-promoting TV evangelist has summoned yet another gullible throng to a Washington pep rally/prayer meeting, and everybody's expected to ponder its vast significance. But what if it hasn't actually got any? Except perhaps as a validation of H.L. Mencken's timeless observation that "No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public."
Even the estimable David Niewart saw something ominous. "Given the content of Beck's rally," he wrote, "something significant did happen Saturday, and it will affect our discourse going forward: Beck officially and publicly married the tea party movement to the Religious Right. ... That is a deeply disturbing development."
More recently, the same cohort made Tim LaHaye's awful "End Times" novels a huge bestseller. There's always been a big audience in the United States for conspiracy theories and religious melodrama. The apocalyptic theology of the hard-shell denominations where hucksters like Beck and his costar Sarah Palin have their biggest following basically demands it. It's Satan worship one year, secular humanism the next. The latest bogeyman is Islamic fundamentalist Shariah law, an almost purely theoretical threat in the USA.
Which actually constitutes progress. Back in Mencken's day the enemies were Catholics and Jews.