Wednesday, September 09, 2009
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC), Not Obama, Is A Liar
President Obama: "There are also those who claim that our reform effort will insure illegal immigrants. This, too, is false---the reforms I'm proposing would not apply to those who are here illegally."
Rep. Joe Wilson: "You Lie!"
As CrooksAndLiars.com points out, Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) shows once again that the Republicans have "no class and no respect for government and Americans."
Wilson yelled out "You lie!" when President Obama reassured Americans during his nationally televised speech Wednesday that his health care reform plan did not include illegal aliens. As C&L noted: "Disgusting. Can you imagine the uproar if a Democrat had so little class as to do that during one of Bush's speeches?"
And as Media Matters points out, it's Wilson, not Obama, who is the liar.
Neither the President's plan, nor H.R. 3200 cover undocumented aliens.
From Media Matters:
House Bill: "No Federal Payment for Undocumented Aliens." According to America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, Page 143, Line 3, Section 246: "No Federal Payment for Undocumented Aliens. Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States." [America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, accessed 7/22/09]
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Republicans Who Call Obama A Socialist Are Showing Either Ignorance Or Desperation
In the demented spirit of a godfather of American fascism, Joe McCarthy, plenty of Republicans, led by McCain attack dog Sarah Palin, are hurling the dreaded "S" word at Barack Obama. It's right-wing regurgitation.
The dreaded word in McCarthy's time was "communist." Now it is "socialist," and the far right bases this on Obama's clearly stated intention to enact very limited income redistribution for the benefit of working-class and middle-income Americans.
This misnomer reveals the stupidity of those who use it with any sincerity, and the desperation of those who actually took political science and economics in college and surely know better.
Here's a basic dictionary definition of "socialism," from Webster's New World College Dictionary:
1. any of various theories or systems of the ownership and operation of the means of production and distribution by society or the community rather than by private individuals, with all members of the society or the community sharing in the work and the products.
Please note that the crucial part of the definition has to the with "the means of production and distribution." I am unaware that Obama has ever advocated nationalization of industries, Israeli-style kibbutzes or anything else that characterizes bona fide socialism. He is clearly, like almost all other American progressives, a welfare capitalist. He favors a system of private ownership, but with restraints, checks and balances, and limited intervention in the public interest.
Many conservatives, being ignorant, disingenuous, or both, have greatly expanded the definition of "socialism" to include any and all kinds of income redistribution that works for the benefit of those roughly at or below median income. To broadly paraphrase one of their heroes, Adam Smith, the richer people among them say nothing of their own gains; they complain only of those of other people.
Any time any public entity, whether a local hospital district or the federal government, makes any decision about taxation and/or appropriates money for anything, income is redistributed. It's a question of to whom.
What Americans have seen for about 35 years, more rapidly at times but always steadily, has been socialism for the rich, certainly by the "broader" definition of the right. A federal tax structure that was once progressive, and remains so on paper in some senses with the retention of brackets, has been gradually rendered impotent by the fine scalpel of legislators and tax lawyers. Most corporations now pay little if any income tax, and the very wealthy have myriad shelters with which they happily dodge responsibility for upkeep of the infrastructure, or even for bankrolling the latest war meant to increase their profits.
Socialism for the rich
As for socialism for the rich, I won't even go into corporate welfare, intrinsic advantages of the rich in the legal system, the system of legal bribery we call campaign finance, etc. I'm just sticking with their definition -- redistribution of income. The distribution of wealth is more unequal than it has been since 1929. (Remember what happened that year?) And this hasn't happened by accident. The '80s supply-side economists led by Arthur Laffer and David Stockman were quite above board in their intention to favor corporations and the rich in taxation, in the apparent belief that such policy would spur investment, create jobs, actually increase tax revenue, and result in "trickle-down."
For the most part, with some interruptions during the Clinton administration, the program of socialism for the rich was put over, and with accompanying indoctrination against anything faintly liberal or progressive. The New Deal was ancient history; and in the minds of many, the opportunistic right succeeded in perversely melding it with the failure of Soviet socialism, or with anything that strayed in the very least from a laissez-faire, supply-side party line.
I stopped being a fan of Ralph Nader after he ensured the presidency for an apocalyptic buffoon like George W. Bush. But Nader said something on a debate show that has stuck with me since: "They (the big corporations) want to socialize their losses and privatize their profits." Never was anything truer said.
Obama, though merely bringing a rather mild bourgeois liberalism back to the table, faces the wrath of fools conned by this right-wing economic nonsense, and the venom of those who would use ignorant "fellow travelers" of the far right to stay in control of the wheel.
But, with two days left until the deciding moment, history appears to be tilting toward Obama. Americans have had 28 years to endure "upscale" socialism. Many who don't listen to frothing-at-the-mouth rhetoric know firsthand what such policies have done to them. Indications are that a large turnout of such folks will hugely favor Obama.
Here's a link that shines more light on the subject. There aren't many real socialists left in America, but here's what their presidential candidate thinks about Obama. And, here's one more from the MSM, its own nasty self.
Manifesto Joe is an underground writer living in Texas. Check out his blog at Manifesto Joe's Texas Blues.
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Obama Hatred At McCain-Palin Rally: "Kill Him!"
By MARC McDONALD
Right-wing nutcases are displaying their foaming-at-the-mouth hatred of Barack Obama at McCain-Palin rallies lately. In this video, you can hear one nutjob scream, "Kill Him!"
But should we really be surprised at such unhinged hatred by Republicans?
After all, we've seen violent rhetoric like this before from wingnuts, aimed at Bill and Hillary Clinton. Examples:
In 2003, right-wing nutcase Michael Graham said of Hillary Clinton: "I wanted to bludgeon her with a tire iron."
Such inflammatory language is nothing new for the right-wing. Recall how Ann Coulter once wrote that the debate over Bill Clinton should be about "whether to impeach or assassinate."
Recall also the comment by Jesse Helms in 1994: "Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here. He'd better have a bodyguard."
Or McCain pal G. Gordon Liddy's comment in 1995, when discussing how he'd used stick figures of the Clintons for target practice. "Thought it might improve my aim," he said.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Joe Biden is Barack Obama's Vice Presidential Pick, Sources Say
Officially, though, the Obama campaign has yet to make its official announcement (which is set to be made Saturday morning via a mass mobile phone text message).
I noticed the AP story managed to get in a dig at Biden, claiming he has a "reputation as a long-winded orator." It appears AP is already sharpening its claws to go after Biden, (after pretty much ignoring all the lies, crimes and treason committed by Dick Cheney over the past 8 years).
Speaking of Doctor Evil, here's one early observation I have to make about the difference between Biden and the current VP. Dick Cheney once shot a fellow hunter in the face and has long been a big fan of guns and hunting (as long as the small furry creatures he's shooting at in the forest don't get a chance to shoot back). By contrast, Biden once earned an "F" from the National Rifle Association. That fact alone makes me want to support his campaign.
Here's the AP story:
WASHINGTON - Barack Obama selected Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware late Friday night to be his vice presidential running mate, according to a Democratic official, balancing his ticket with a seasoned congressional veteran well-versed in foreign policy and defense issues.
Biden, 65, has twice sought the White House, and is a Catholic with blue-collar roots, a generally liberal voting record and a reputation as a long-winded orator.
Across more than 30 years in the Senate, he has served at various times not only as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee but also as head of the Judiciary Committee, with its jurisdiction over anti-crime legislation, Supreme Court nominees and Constitutional issues.
In selecting Biden, Obama passed over several other potential running mates, none more prominent than former first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, his tenacious rival in dozens of primaries and caucuses.
The official who spoke did so on condition of anonymity, preferring not to pre-empt a text-message announcement the Obama campaign promised for Saturday morning.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Get a Free Obama Button
Step right up: come one, come all, and get your own free Obama button. The progressive site, MoveOn.org is currently giving away a nifty-looking free Obama button to anyone in the U.S. who requests one. Allow four to six weeks for delivery. Click here to request your button.
Monday, June 30, 2008
The Word "Tan" Has Long History In Racist Rhetoric
Leading GOP activist Grover Norquist caused quite a stir Friday with his racist comment that Barack Obama is "John Kerry with a tan."
But Norquist's remarks become even more offensive and racist when you take a look at the long history of the word "tan" in racist rhetoric and hate speech.
For example, the word "tan" often makes an appearance in racist "humor." An example (which is popular on a number of the Web's racist/white power sites):
Q:Why do white people tan if they get some sun, but burn if they get too much?
A:God didn't want any more n*ggers.
In fact, the word "tan" has a long history in ugly racist rhetoric. For example, the street lingo/slang reference site, UrbanDictionary.com has an entry for the expression, "n*gger box," which it defines as a "slang term for a tanning bed."
GOP defenders of Norquist may deny that his remarks were in any way racist. But America's bigots have long used coded racist language like the word "tan," in their ever-creative ways of dancing around the "N" word, without actually saying it.
Of course, a sizable chunk of the Right-Wing Web has no such qualms and has already embraced the "N" word in its attacks on Obama.
The bottom line is that it's going to be a long, ugly election season. It's clear the GOP has already dusted off the Lee Atwater playbook to go after Obama.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Right-Wing Web Embraces "N" Word In Attacking Obama
If anyone is under the delusion that America is a colorblind society, consider this: the Right-Wing Web has embraced the "N" word in its attacks on Barack Obama.
It's true: a lot of the major right-wing players, like Rush Limbaugh, have been careful to avoid the "N" word over the years. They've had to be creative in the way they dance around overtly racist language.
But a big part of the Right-Wing Web has no such qualms about embracing the "N" word in attacking Obama.
To see evidence of this, all you've got to do is Google the keywords: Nigger Obama. Google returns an astonishing 744,000 results. What's even more amazing about that number is that many Web hosters specifically forbid hate speech in their terms of service.
Among those Google results, one sees sites like NiggerObama.com, a site proclaims that itself aimed at "anyone who feels Obama would be a horrible choice for president of the United States."
The site features message boards like "Reparations For Slavery," which are full of posts like Picking up welfare check, not cotton, and Send 'em back to Africa.
Other sites include TheDailyNigger.com, a site with the slogan: "Liberal Media Dogs, Run For Cover!" The site bizarrely claims it is not an "anti-ethnic African site." But it features rambling posts and attacks on Obama, which include such observations as "Black American culture today is rampant with criminals, gangsters, prostitutes and cocaine."
If anyone is surprised by the Right Wing's embrace of the "N" word in attacking Obama, they really shouldn't be.
After all, racism in America has clearly been on the rise in the era of George W. Bush. It's hard to pinpoint exactly where this latest wave of bigotry emerged from----but I think one ominous sign occurred when Bush was campaigning for president in 2000.
If you recall, during the campaign, Bush made it a point to stop by Bob Jones University, where he praised the officials at that school (which incredibly still had a ban on interracial dating). This, no doubt, played real well to the "I don't want my white daughter dating a Negro" racist crowd---but the rest of us were shocked and appalled.
And although we were dismayed, we really weren't surprised. After all, anyone who has followed Bush's career certainly wasn't surprised by the Bob Jones University episode.
Those of us here in Texas remembered all too well the shocking 1998 lynching of James Byrd, Jr. which occurred when Bush was governor here.
In 1998, Byrd, a black man, was chained to a pickup by three white supremacists and dragged to his death in the town of Jasper, Texas.
In the aftermath of the Jasper lynching, a grass-roots effort in Texas urged the state to pass a hate crimes act to help prevent future atrocities. However, the bill failed to pass in the Texas Legislature after Bush refused to support the bill.
Since the Supreme Court appointed Bush to the White House in 2000, he has presided over a rising wave of bigotry and racism in America. (Indeed, in the 2000 election, one million black votes didn't count, as Greg Palast has documented).
Indeed, Bush and the rest of the NeoCons have exploited the issue of racism and turned it into a valuable wedge issue to capture the votes of millions of angry, frustrated white males in our society who feel victimized by affirmative action and "political correctness."
The fact is, bigotry sells in America today. It's the reason talk radio's Neal Boortz can have a lucrative career after saying that Rep. Cynthia McKinney "looks like a ghetto slut." It's the reason that CNN's Glenn Beck can get away with calling the predominately African-American victims of Hurricane Katrina "scumbags."
In Bush's America, African-Americans are incarcerated at vastly higher rates than whites. Studies show that black people get much harsher prison sentences than white people for doing identical crimes. Blatant racism permeates our justice system, our legal system, our schools---in fact, every American institution.
The appalling plight of poor black people in Bush's America was briefly brought to white, middle-class America's attention during the Hurricane Katrina crisis (but I doubt it came as much of a surprise to black people across America).
Given Bush's track record on race issues over the past seven years, we really shouldn't be surprised that the Right-Wing Web has embraced the "N" word in attacking Obama.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Now That Obama Has Praised Reagan, Will GOP Ever Have Any Kind Words For Clinton?
Barack Obama's recent words of praise for Ronald Reagan surprised a lot of progressives.
Some believe Obama was just being diplomatic. Others wonder if outraged progressives are simply over-reacting to Obama's remarks.
As for me, I just have one question: when will the Republicans reciprocate and have some kind words to say about Bill Clinton?
Of course, you know the answer as well as I do: When hell freezes over.
The fact is, the Republicans and their henchmen viciously attacked Bill Clinton every single day he was in office. And they have continued to relentlessly attack him every day since then. Indeed, Clinton is blamed by many Republicans for things that didn't even happen on his watch (such as 9/11).
And we're not just talking about personal attacks (like when GOP Rep. Dan Burton called Clinton a "scumbag" in 1998).
We're talking about whole series of vicious attacks, lies, distortions (and even threats) for which no Republican has ever retracted or apologized for. And a lot of these attacks ("Bill Clinton murdered Vince Foster!" "Bill Clinton is a rapist!" "Bill Clinton murdered Ron Brown!") have been repeated so many times that a lot of Republicans fervently believe them to this day.
In fact, in viewing a right-wing hatchet job like the infamous video, The Clinton Chronicles one would be under the impression that Clinton has a lot of blood on his hands, murdering anyone who got in his way.
One might think that such baseless, crazy charges against Clinton would have been limited to the nutcase right-wing fringe. But that, of course, wasn't the case. These wild charges were eagerly embraced by the likes of The Wall Street Journal which promoted The Clinton Chronicles on its editorial page and ran over 60 editorials discussing Foster's "mysterious" death.
And here, we are, a decade later and all of the crazy right-wing charges against Bill Clinton have been thoroughly debunked and exposed as bullsh*t lies.
And yet, has any Republican ever apologized for these hatchet jobs on Clinton? And what's more, has any Republican EVER had any kind words, whatsoever, to say about Bill Clinton?
Of course not. The Republicans continue to viciously attack Clinton, even as they tune up the Great GOP Slime Machine to go after Hillary.
When Obama had kind words to say about Reagan, it was clear that he was being diplomatic. But if he (or any Democrat) is ever expecting the Republicans to reciprocate in any way, they will be in for a long, long wait.
Friday, January 04, 2008
Iowa Shows How Iraq War Support Remains Toxic For Candidates
To hear George W. Bush and the right-wing noise machine tell it, one might be under the impression that the Iraq War has turned from a disaster to a major success story in the past few months.
But make no mistake: the American people aren't buying this spin---and support for the Iraq War remains toxic for any candidate seeking the White House.
Barack Obama, one of the few candidates who has opposed the Iraq war from the beginning, rolled to victory in the Iowa caucuses. (Note that polls show that Iowa Democrats still consider the war in Iraq the top issue facing the country).
Obama's success shows that the American public simply isn't buying the White House's recent desperate spin of the Iraq War as a "success story." And it shows that candidates who don't distance themselves from the Iraq fiasco severely diminish their hopes for the White House.
It's this toxic association with the war which continues to haunt former Dem front-runner Hillary Clinton, who voted to authorize the invasion and has never apologized for doing so.
In recent months, the mainstream media, including The New York Times, has worked overtime, trying to depict a turn-around in the Iraq War.
But the American people clearly aren't buying it. Bush's approval ratings remain in the toilet. And although one can find plenty of fault with Obama's anti-war credentials, they were clearly enough to power his victory in Iowa over Clinton's mighty, well-funded campaign machine.
On the GOP side, the public's weariness with the Iraq fiasco is apparent as well. Ron Paul is clearly picking up steam and his campaign earnings this quarter amounted to an incredible $19.5 million, possibly the largest haul among GOP candidates. It's quite remarkable for for a candidate who is more sharply critical of the Iraq War than any other White House hopeful.
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