What Does This Image Say?

ImageWhat does this image say to you?  Clint Eastwood’s bad boy westerns appeal to people because they’re full of the “take it into your own hands” machismo, the rugged individual, the “I don’t take nothin’ from nobody” images.

What this says about the current state of the Republican Party:  lawless, take things into your own hands (see vigilante), whatever we want at whatever cost.

I don’t believe in this.  I believe that we, as people, are bound by law, laws made of, by and for the people (corporations are NOT people, my friends).  I believe we do NOT take things into our own hands, but rather, if we want change we talk about issues with others and work within the system (as broken as it may be) to make changes.  That means that we must send politicians packing who don’t listen to us but listen to donors and lobbyists.  That means that we invite everyone to vote, not just those that we know agree with us.  We talk, we listen, we do NOT attack someone just because they don’t think about things the same way we do.

My problem right now is with those who organized the convention and chose this image to represent the  Republican Party.  Regardless of what Clint Eastwood said, or of what anyone said in response (he was shooting from the hip, took us all by surprise, he was improvising), the organizers selected the image to put up behind him and made a visual statement for the entire convention, the party and Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential nominee.  Shame on them.

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A Reblog of a Letter to Ann Romney

This is the very BEST response I’ve heard or read to Ann Romney’s disdainful and whiney “you people” remark. Anyone who has bought a house, gotten any kind of large credit has to show more than these people are willing to show. They have no concept of what it means to be even “an American” let alone the “President of the United States.” Attacks you say, my dear? Attacks??? How dare you claim that the citizens of the country who you say you want to be the President and First Lady of are ‘Attacking’ you! We want you to be willing to represent the very best of us if you are elected to that position and instead, you are representing coldness, exclusiveness, and a stinginess of spirit that would demean those positions. Go back to your mansion(s) and sip your postum. You do not deserve to be anywhere near the White House.

Motley News

To Ann Romney:

First off, I would like to air my contempt for two words you chose to use in a statement a few weeks back… you referred to the public as “you people.” Very bad choice of words because this shows who you are from the inside – call it a Freudian slip, or don’t call it anything and shrug it off – which is what I am sure you have done. But I did imagine quite an elaborate visual image when I heard say you that. Allow me to share…

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Keystone Pipeline and John Boehner: Surprise! There’s money involved.

No wonder John Boehner is all over President Obama’s decision regarding the Keystone XL pipeline!  He put money into the Canadian companies involved!

. . . according to Boehner’s financial disclosure forms, he invested $10,000 to $50,000 each in seven firms that had a stake in Canada’s oil sands, the region that produces the oil the pipeline would transport. The firms include six oil companies — BP, Canadian Natural Resources, Chevron, Conoco Phillips, Devon Energy and Exxon — along with Emerson Electric, which has a contract to provide the digital automation for the first phase of a $9.4 billion Horizon Oil Sands Project in Canada.

Bill McKibben, a climate activist and co-founder of the group 350.org, wrote in an e-mail that Boehner has received more than $1 million from fossil-fuel companies, “and now we find out that he’s got extensive personal investments in companies dependent on tarsands oil.”

“He was willing to shut down the government in part to prevent enough time for serious environmental review,” McKibben added. “In any other facet of our public life . . . this whole list taken together would be seen for the gross conflict of interest that it is.”

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in an interview that an investment adviser chooses Boehner’s financial investments. “He doesn’t have any control over day-to-day trades, so there’s no conflict of interest on this or any other investment,” Steel said of the speaker, adding that when it comes to the upcoming decision on Keystone XL, “We hope the president will do the right thing and approve the permit, and create American jobs.” — source:  Washington Post

Mr. Steel’s statement that there’s no conflict of interest because he doesn’t have control over day-to-day trades is an unbelievable rationalization of insider trading.  Tell me, who believes that Boehner didn’t know about the upcoming expansion proposal of the Keystone?  How many bridges do these believers want to buy???

Isn’t this a conflict of interest?  How about ethics violation?  How about an investigation into all this?  Someone?  Anyone?

Just one more example of corporate buying of influence, money in government.

Dear Mitt Romney, “It’s All Gone”

To commemorate the South Carolina primary, I’m dedicating this lovely music video to Mitt Romney.  Somehow I have a hard time imagining Mitt in all his mannequin-likeness being able to get a groove on, but that’s okay.  The rest of us have enough to share.  I’m guessing that Mittens doesn’t even know Chris Rea let alone considers him to be in the 1% (who knows, maybe he is!) but if not, then you know what Mitt says,  “. . .those people who have been most successful will be in the one percent….”

Enjoy possibly the greatest slide guitar solo ever!  (I actually stole that comment from a fan comment on YouTube — I happen to agree)   If this doesn’t make you want to dance, there’s just no hope for you.

( Youtube source bob19520)

Lyrics:

A careless heart ain’t no good to no-one
I was going back my friends to see
Of what became of my childhood daydreams
Of all the things that used to be
To my surprise I stood alone
I walked a river of a waking dream
My father say ‘Know what you’re thinking’
I guess this old town seen better days

It’s all gone
Ain’t nothing for you here now
Sail on

You talk of change, something better
Cutting down that big old tree
There’s flesh and blood in there somewhere
But no matter what you just don’t seem to see
I walk your chambers, your empty halls
I see you talking behind the doors
My father say ‘Know what you’re thinking’
I guess this old town seen better days

It’s all gone
Ain’t nothing for you here now
Sail on

I’m sailing on, I’m running faster
Than I ever run before
My father say ‘Know what you’re thinking’
I guess this old town seen better days
Sail on

Peace!

Obama’s Keystone XL Decision – A Triumph of Good Sense

Jennifer Rubin, on her “Right Turn” opinion page at the Washington Post says that “Keystone XL decision hands the GOP a gift.”  She must be in a lot of pain to be so detached from reality.

I won’t get into everything that she says, suffice it to say that I think she is wrong for SO many reasons.  First and foremost, job numbers, the primary focus of proponents of this monstrosity, would be minimal, (approximately 6,000) most of them short-term construction jobs, not the “hundreds of thousands” of jobs that John Boehner seems to dream of.

Laughable. Talking jobs benefits Obama, not Republicans (see graphs below). Solyndra, mentioned by both Rubin and Boehner, is also not an Obama problem as Solyndra was approved under Bush and was less than 2% of the energy loans from 2005 and the only one that has gone bad. Solyndra’s guaranteed loan was for ~$500 million, not the billions that went into later bailouts of both auto and finance. The stimulus was not a failure; without it the recession would have been a depression. The debt accumulation, well that will be argued until the end of time — when did it start, who increased it, etc. Needless to say, we went from a debt surplus at the beginning of Bush to a record deficit at the end of Bush, largely to his putting two wars on the country credit card, and it took a whole lot of congressional enabling from both sides of the aisle to make that happen.

Rubin also brings up entitlement reform but I assume she is referring to the favorite conservative buzzwords of social entitlements such as health care, food stamps, social security, unemployment, etc. If not, please forgive me for making such assumptions, I’ve been conditioned by the Republican debates. If you are talking inclusively about all entitlements, you include such things as corporate and individual tax loopholes (see today’s news about Mitt Romney’s offshore tax havens), corporate subsidies, forgiven FDIC loans in addition to social entitlement. I’m not so sure Romney is going to look like such a pretty boy when you examine him through that lens.

Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont, again leads the way in good sense. From Politicusa:

In December, Senator Sanders urged Obama to call the Republicans bluff on Keystone XL. President Obama did more than call their bluff. He let the Republicans kill Keystone XL for him.

Republicans set themselves up for this one when they demanded that the 60 day deadline be included in the payroll tax/unemployment benefits extension. Republicans are already trying to spin Obama’s decision as a refusal to create jobs, but the truth is that Keystone XL project would only create 6,000 or so jobs. Most of the full time jobs would not be filled by locals, and the other jobs would be temporary construction.

The Keystone XL project is not a job creator, or a path to energy independence. The oil that would come from the project was destined to be sold on the global market. If anything, Keystone would open up all US production to the international market. A point that Republicans never seem to understand is that oil drilled in the United States [belongs] to the oil company, not the country where it was extracted from.

Incidentally, the US would not have received any tax revenues for the Canadian oil.  We would be merely a conduit for their dirty oil and the revenues produced without keeping either.  The oil would go to the Houston refineries to be processed then shipped out to international markets.  All tax revenues would bypass the U.S. because we are in no way a partner in the sale of the oil.  Refineries would be paid for cleaning up and refining the extremely dirty oil but otherwise we just take the risk of a pipeline spill right in our heartland and get the refinery pollution.

Finally, if John Boehner, Mitt Romney and the Republicans want to talk about jobs,I bring you JOBS, JOBS, JOBS (“The Progress Report,” Jan. 6, 2012, Think Progress) with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

2…the number of years of consecutive employment growth in manufacturing, after not one single year of growth between 1997 and 2010.

8.5 percent…the unemployment rate, the lowest since February 2009 just after President Obama took office.

22…the number of consecutive months of private sector job growth.

12,000…the number of public sector jobs lost in December of 2011 alone.

212,000…the number of private sector jobs created in December of 2011 alone.

280,000…the number of public sector jobs lost in 2011.

315,000…the number of health care jobs created in 2011.

673,000…the number of private sector jobs lost during the entirety of the eight-year Bush presidency.

1,080,000…the number of net jobs created during the entirety of the eight-year Bush presidency.

1,600,000…the net number of jobs created during 2011, after accounting for job losses in the public sector.

1,900,000…the number of private sector jobs created during 2011.

IN TWO  SENTENCES: In either of the past two years alone, President Obama created more private sector jobs than President Bush did during the entirety of his eight-year presidency.  While today’s jobs numbers are a promising sign, it’s no time to get complacent when 14 MILLION Americans are still out of work.

 

HEY, MITT ROMNEY!!!

More from Mitt:

“You know, I think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare. When you have a president encouraging the idea of dividing America based on the 99 percent versus one percent — and those people who have been most successful will be in the one percent — you have opened up a whole new wave of approach in this country which is entirely inconsistent with the concept of one nation under God. The American people, I believe in the final analysis, will reject it.” (emphasis added)

Mitt Romney says in the one highlighted phrase how he measures success:  by how much money one makes.  Mitt Romney is a Mormon.  I am a Mormon.  This statement goes against pretty much everything the Church as an institution teaches about both success and money.  Mitt Romney tries to make himself be a man of principle, of constancy — one wife, one religion — and he’s probably right.  This statement shows where his principles and his heart really are and where they apparently have always been.

Mr. Romney is attacking President Obama, claiming that he is encouraging the 99 percent.  This shows an amazing lack of awareness of the Occupy Wall Street Movement.  Romney doesn’t realize that OWS didn’t really have the support of the president until late in the game.  OWS didn’t have the support of very many politicians, regardless of political party.  Democrats were slow to take up the cause, probably because they didn’t realize how strong it would be and the depth of feeling that is at the core of the movement.  Republicans, even tea partiers, seemed to be taken a bit by surprise by the movement, but tea partiers recognized the resonance of much in the OWS movement.  Romney doesn’t seem to understand any of this.  He seems genuinely oblivious to the movement and the real reasons behind the anti-Wall Street sentiment.

Hey, Mitt Romney!!!   The Occupy Wall Street Movement was not Obama’s idea!  It was OUR idea!  The idea of the PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTRY!  That would be the 99%!  Now, if you can get elected by the 1%, after all, you say that “corporations are people, my friend,” I guess you’ll have worked some kind of magic.  Go for it, man, you don’t have my vote, but then, I’m not part of your 1% so I guess you don’t need me anyway.