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Gum for when you accidentally kiss a Republican
11:50 am

Blue Q offers a pretty nifty gum which cleanses the yuck from your mouth when you unknowingly smooch a Republican. Their motto is “I’m sorry. I didn’t know it when we kissed.”

There’s also a gum for Democrats.

(via Super Punch)

Posted by Tara McGinley
11:50 am
Republicans, dey is funny people!

“Heh heh heh!” “Hee hee hee!” “Ha hah hah!

So what are the lessons learned coming out of the Iowa Caucuses?

Well, for one, only 5.4% of eligible voters even gave a shit. Despite all of the images we’ve seen in the media for nearly a year of the GOP hopefuls doing the “retail politics” routine apparently required in the state, just about one out of every twenty Iowans cared enough to caucus. Would you say that indicates an extreme “enthusiasm gap” on the part of Republican voters?

It’s quite difficult to spin 94.6% of your peeps staying home, isn’t it? Some portion of that 5.4% were Democrats and independent voters, too, of course.

And how to explain away that 75% of those most committed Republicans, the ones who, you know, actually made it to the polls, didn’t vote for the “winner,” Mitt Romney? To me that was the main takeaway from the Iowa vote. It was a total confirmation of the whole “anybody but Romney” sentiment we’ve heard so much about.

The reason I’ve never really written much about Mitt Romney here is simply that I don’t take him seriously. I could run through a litany of reasons why I hate him (such as the fact that he was a Richie Rich draft dodger living in a CASTLE IN FRANCE during the Vietnam War who himself protested anti-war protesters! Okay for thee (to die) but not for me, eh Mittens? There’s a special place in Hell for people like Mitt Romney) but I can sum up why Romney will either not make it to the nomination in the first place, or what will ultimately be THE reason Obama will win if Romney does end up running against him: Mitt Romney is a Mormon. And this is America, which means he might just as well be a Scientologist. Christian voters will simply stay home faced with the choice of Obama vs a Mormon, which is how the Democrats will frame the election: Obama vs. the fruitcake.

Romney the “weird religion guy” isn’t gonna win. It’s a blunt truth. It ain’t gonna happen. Nuff said.

I think James Carville got it exactly right when he compared the way Republican voters feel about Romney to a dog that keeps spitting up a pill that’s being shoved down its throat. His hilarious line was worthy of Mark Twain or H.L. Mencken:

There’s also the fact that Newt Gingrich is about to go nuclear on Mitt Romney, even if it means (more) self-immolation for the Newtser himself. I don’t think he cares, he hates Romney so much. Imagine if you will, being the object of that amphibian’s vile hatred. Now imagine that hatred electronically amplified through nasty TV commercials. He’s going to pour gasoline on Romney and then throw a match on him.

I fully expect Romney to be burnt to a crisp by the time of convention. Republicans, as noted by Rick Perlstein at Crooks and Liars, tend to always nominate the “next in line,” but they’re also not supposed to speak ill of one another (Reagan’s so-called “11th Commandment”). The heir apparent this year will arrive DOA before the delegates even vote.

And then there’s Newt himself. Talk about a no-hoper. Everyone hates this guy. Just look at him. Even if you are a Republican, do you want to see his face daily for four years? Neither does anyone else. If there was a devastating nuclear war and the President, his entire cabinet, every sitting member of Congress and every single ranking member of the military were dead and Newt came forward, just like his inspiration, Winston Churchill, and selflessly offered to lead a tattered and broken nation, the nearest person with a gun and a lick of sense would shoot the guy in the fucking face without a moment’s hesitation!

He’s not going to be the leader of anything, except for a Shriner’s clown car parade. He’s not even worth getting irate about. He’s just what he is. Within a few months he’ll slink back under the rock of his old Fox News gig. I’d give 50/50 odds that nasty Newt will be doing live GOP convention coverage for the “fair and balanced” news network.

Rick Santorum? Well, what can you say about a guy who no one in Iowa paid any attention to whatsoever until a few days before the vote? The only thing Santorum had going into the eve of the Iowa vote over his better known opponents is that he isn’t named “Mitt Romney” and that the rest of them were already known quantities. He was the next logical benefactor of the “anybody but Mitt Romney” vote.

How long do you think that’s going to last when he starts talking about how he thinks states basically should make contraception illegal? Yup, Santorum thinks that sex should ONLY be for procreation even if you are married! I mean, he said that. I don’t care if Rupert Murdoch and the entire Fox News apparatus gets thrown behind this dude, how long is Rick Santorum going to last in the spotlight when people start to realize that if he had his way, you might have to order condoms and other forms of birth control over the Internet or drive to the next state? Santorum has already received the endorsement of Christians for a Moral America, the same group who for asked its follower to pray for pop singer George Michael’s death from AIDS.

Outside of the US, in Norway, this is how they already view Rick Santorum, who most of the rest of the world is hearing about for the very first time:.
“God bless America,” all of you “foreigners” are thinking, aren’t you? We make you feel good about your politicians, don’t we?

With an economic plan that calls for more, uh, marriage (but not for teh gayz), if you don’t already regard Rick Santorum as a fucking moron, don’t worry, you will!

Moving right along, I’ve already written about Ron Paul (and despite what some readers seem to think, I’ve not in any way changed or revised my opinion of the man for over two decades) but in brief, if this is a horse-race, he’s the one with “big mo” coming out of Iowa, not Romney and certainly not Santorum.

Michele Bachmann finally realized that God actually wasn’t calling her to run for President. Someone garbled the message when they wrote it down. Rick Perry? Who cares? I’ll just write “blah blah blah” about him.

Oh, I’m forgetting Jon Huntsman… like everyone else did. He should take a hint and a vow of silence for a few months if he wants the same deal Santorum got. Who knows, he might end up as the most credible VP pick after the Mexican standoff of the rest of the GOP primary season and this might be what he’s been angling for this go ‘round to begin with.

And just in time, because we’ve all missed him so much, one of the biggest idiots ever to foist himself onto the American political stage in our great nation’s history of political idiocy, HERMAN CAIN, IS BACK! That’s right comedy fans, Cain told Sean Hannitty (who else still cares about him?) on Fox News that he, just like Sarah Palin before him, is going to do his desperate and pathetic “Hey, look at ME” routine patriotic “duty” and take the “Cain’s Solutions Revolution” bus tour across this wonderful land of ours to push for his “ideas” as “articulated” in his “9-9-9” flat tax plan.

And Fox News will be there, too, no doubt!

[Note: NOTHING that you have read above should be misconstrued as support for the Democrats. I hate them, too. I just hate Republicans more.]

Posted by Richard Metzger
02:04 pm
House Republicans stage ‘bipartisan flash mob’

Above, Rep. Steny Hoyer’s press conference today.

“Mr. Speaker, I would like to ask for unanimous consent that we bring up the bill to extend the tax cut to 160 million Americans, as you walk off the floor Mr. Speaker, you’re walking away, just as so many Republicans have walked away from middle-class tax payers, the unemployed, and very frankly as well from those who will be seeking medical assistance from their doctors — 48 million senior citizens.”

This CSPAN footage of House Republicans having a right little snit fit is something you’ll be seeing over and over again in DNC political ads in the coming year. THIS is what the GOP version of bipartisanship looks like, their way or the highway, quite literally. Everyone knows what who the roadblocks are in Washington anyway, but this was a graphic reminder!

What was the House Republican leadership thinking (nothing) to just hand over an image like this to the opposition? It’s like they’re suicidal lemmings. Via TPM:

While Republican leaders gathered in Speaker John Boehner’s Capitol office Wednesday morning for a photo op with reporters — hectoring Democrats and making the case that they’re on the right side of the payroll tax fight — an unusual scene played out on the House floor.

In an attempt to illustrate just who’s at fault for the payroll tax stalemate Minority Whip Steny Hoyer showed up to ask for a vote on the Senate’s compromise bill. Republicans could have simply objected and given Hoyer his talking point. Instead they gave him so much more.

Republicans just ignored Hoyer and refused to hear his unanimous consent request. The fill-in Speaker simply walked away.

The GOP is imploding even faster than I thought they would. This week’s antics have been particularly breathtaking... Keep it up lads and finish the job! I know you can do it!

Posted by Richard Metzger
07:32 pm
Republicans don’t want this 84-year-old woman to vote!

If embattled WI Governor Scott Walker can’t win fair and square at the ballot box in the now all but inevitable recall election he faces—WI Dems are making a big announcement on Thursday about the recall campaign’s progress—then why not try something immoral and shysty?

I’ll tell you why NOT, Scott: It makes people hate your fucking guts even more and it makes them all the more determined to kick your ass to the curb. 

For every story of voter suppression and menacing of Recall Walker volunteers by brain-addled reichwingers, there are more people making up their minds by the minute to boot this toxic motherfucker out of office.

It’s odd that it didn’t occur to to Walker and his weasely Republicans cronies that this kind of story might prove to be a bit of a public relations NIGHTMARE and that there would be push-back—and plenty of it—with this sort of extremely ill-advised move. From People’s World:

For more than 60 years Ruthelle Frank has not missed an election in her town, her state and her country. She first voted in 1948 and has voted in every single election since then.

She is herself an elected official in her hometown of Brokaw, Wisconsin. She is a member of the Brokaw Village Board.

Now, however, because of the new Republican voter ID law in Wisconsin, 2012 will be the first year Frank can’t vote.

Under the new law people must carry a new state issued photo ID in order to vote. The ID itself is free but one must have a birth certificate in order to get the free ID. Birth certificates, for those in Wisconsin who don’t have them, cost $20. Opponents of the Republican voter ID law argue that this, by itself, amounts to an unconstitutional poll tax.

Frank’s first problem is that she does not have a birth certificate. People born at home in the 1920s in Wisconsin did not receive official birth certificates. Like many others in 1927, Frank was born in her own house.

The ACLU have stepped in on Ruthelle Frank’s behalf to challenge this vileness in court.

WHO would think something like this is smart politically??? Well… Republicans apparently. If you can’t beat ‘em, CHEAT ‘em.

Posted by Richard Metzger
05:02 pm
The 99% for Dummies: The GOP must think its base are complete idiots

I posted about longtime Republican strategist Frank Luntz and the rhetorical tips he gave to GOP governors the other day (say “economic freedom” instead of “capitalism,” for instance) but until I heard Ed Schultz mocking it on his MSNBC program, it didn’t really jump out at me how incredibly offensive and insulting Luntz’s OWS talking points truly were… for Republicans!

It’s long been obvious that the GOP leadership in Washington has had a condescending attitude towards the loonier/lower IQ members of the party’s Fox News-watching base, but when you get right down to it, reading between the lines of what Luntz said, the Republican elite must hold them in utter contempt. The entire context of the remarks Frank Luntz made indicates strongly that there is an a priori assumption on the part of the GOP that their supporters fall into the category of “low information voters.” That’s breathtaking in its cynicism!

“Hey dumbshits!” they seem to be saying.“Vote for us!”

When will these people learn? Or are these tactics, once so effective, becoming too threadbare to matter much anymore?

Posted by Richard Metzger
01:40 pm
Marie Antoinette Republicans set for spectacular flame out?
04:41 pm

There’s been a lot of hand-wringing lately from so-called moderate Republicans over the brainless crew of chuckleheaded “leadership” running their party headlong over a steep cliff.

Even David Frum (David Frum???) has taken to expressing his exasperation with his party in a recent New York magazine article titled “When Did The GOP Lose Touch With Reality?”:

The Bush years cannot be repudiated, but the memory of them can be discarded to make way for a new and more radical ideology, assembled from bits of the old GOP platform that were once sublimated by the party elites but now roam the land freely: ultralibertarianism, crank monetary theories, populist fury, and paranoid visions of a Democratic Party controlled by ACORN and the New Black Panthers. For the past three years, the media have praised the enthusiasm and energy the tea party has brought to the GOP. Yet it’s telling that that movement has failed time and again to produce even a remotely credible candidate for president. Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich: The list of tea-party candidates reads like the early history of the U.S. space program, a series of humiliating fizzles and explosions that never achieved liftoff. A political movement that never took governing seriously was exploited by a succession of political entrepreneurs uninterested in governing—but all too interested in merchandising. Much as viewers tune in to American Idol to laugh at the inept, borderline dysfunctional early auditions, these tea-party champions provide a ghoulish type of news entertainment each time they reveal that they know nothing about public affairs and have never attempted to learn. But Cain’s gaffe on Libya or Perry’s brain freeze on the Department of Energy are not only indicators of bad leadership. They are indicators of a crisis of followership. The tea party never demanded knowledge or concern for governance, and so of course it never got them.

In an NPR interview, Frum discusses how people who listen to talk radio or watch Fox News have a completely different set of facts than the rest of us. He’s correct there, of course… and he’s David freakin’ Frum!

I’m perplexed, but grateful for small miracles that at least there is one conservative pundit out there who can translate their brain-damaged behavior (to a certain extent) for the rest of us. And will you look at that: They seem fucking crazy to him, too!

And then there’s today’s column, also at New York, from Jonathan Chait titled “The Agony of the Moderate Republican,” where he observes that former Bush speech writer, Michael Gerson, “[w]hen confronted with a relatively straightforward description of the party’s agenda, he instinctively recoils — not at the agenda, but at the description itself.

Here’s what Gerson wrote yesterday at The Washington Post:

“As president, Obama has asserted that Republicans want the elderly, autistic children and children with Down syndrome to “fend for themselves,” and that the GOP plan is “dirtier air, dirtier water, less people with health insurance.” In what context would these claims be true?”

Here’s how Chait parses the question posed by Gerson and turns it right around on him.

In what context? Well, let’s see. The House Republican budget would cut Medicaid — a bare-bones health insurance program for the poor, disabled, and elderly — by $750 billion over ten years, ramping up the scale of cuts until funding has been reduced by 35 percent by 2022. When you’re slashing the funding of a program that’s far cheaper than private insurance and not replacing it with anything, you’re pretty much leaving people to fend for themselves.

As for children with Down syndrome, they’re an important part of the Medicaid program. (People with disabilities account for 42 percent of the cost of Medicaid.) Unsurprisingly, disability advocates were apoplectic about the Republican budget.

The dirtier air and water part is pretty straightforward: The House Republicans have voted to roll back basic air pollution standards and strip the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to enforce clean water standards. When you eliminate laws that keep air and water clean, you make them more dirty.

And the House Republican budget would repeal the Affordable Care Act and put in place nothing whatsoever to cover the uninsured, thereby increasing their ranks by some 32 million.

Now, Republicans can certainly contest Obama’s description. I’m sure they have arguments as to why weakening laws that have produced cleaner air and water will not actually make the air and water less clean, and why cutting or eliminating programs that provide medical care to people who can’t afford it won’t deny them medical care. But Gerson doesn’t merely consider Obama’s description to be contestable. He considers it a lie so obvious it requires no rebuttal. [Emphasis added]

That’s interesting, isn’t it? Like there’s this weird blind spot that conservatives have about their own biases that makes it awfully difficult to even talk sensibly with them anymore. I doubt Jon Huntsman would have much of a quarrel with that statement in private, what do you think?
Then there’s this over at today’s Daily Beast, where columnist Michael Tomasky argues persuasively that the Republicans are set to self-destruct over their rejection of the payroll-tax cut as Senate Republicans set about proving beyond all argument that they are the lickspittle toadies in thrall of the 1% and don’t give a shit about the common man. Here’s Tomasky’s hilarious blunt pull quote:

How a party can so nakedly represent only the top 1 percent while at the same time trying to stop anything that will help the economy, and survive while doing it, is beyond me.

More from Tomasky:

Every blessed once in a great while, all artifice is stripped away, rhetoric collapses under the weight of its own absurdity, and we get to see things as they really are. Such will be the case later this week when the Senate tries to vote on extending the payroll-tax holiday. The Republicans will oppose it—that is to say, the Republicans will support a tax increase on working Americans. And why? Because the Democrats want to pay for it with a small surtax on the very top earners. So the choice couldn’t be more direct: which is more important, giving the middle class a tax cut or protecting those who make more than $1 million a year? Republicans are making it clear. This vote alone should destroy them.

The facts: The Social Security payroll tax comes to 12.4 percent of an employee’s salary—employers and employees each pay 6.2 percent. The money goes into the Social Security Trust Fund and finances benefits. At the end of last year, the Obama administration, in exchange for temporarily extending the Bush tax rates on all income levels, got Congress to agree to a one-year 2 percent payroll-tax holiday for employees, down to 4.2 percent. For a $50,000 earner, that meant paying $1,000 a year less in payroll taxes. It was agreed in that law that the holiday would cost the Social Security Trust Fund nothing—the depleted revenue would be replaced out of the general treasury. So the holiday adds to the general deficit but does not affect the trust fund.

The cut proved popular, or is presumed to be popular, so now, as many people predicted last year, Congress wants to extend it. Republicans of course say (as they say of everything) that it hasn’t done any good. But economists attest to its stimulative value. Two economists at the Economic Policy Institute say ending the holiday would reduce GDP by $128 billion and cost 972,000 jobs in 2012. The EPI is a liberal outfit, but Mark Zandi of Moody’s, who advised John McCain in 2008, agrees that raising the payroll tax back to where it was could cause another recession.

And besides those macroeconomic concerns, there is the simple question of money in people’s pockets as they try to tough out the economy. A thousand dollars to a $50,000 earner, or $1,500 to a $75,000 earner, isn’t nothing.

What the Senate Democrats want to do now is this. They want to increase the employee’s reduction from 2 percent to 3.1 percent (that is, to cut it in half from the normal 6.2 percent rate). And they now want, for the first time, to extend the holiday to employers as well. This is important, and it probably won’t be well explained in very many places. But the Democrats would have employers pay 3.1 percent (rather than the 6.2 percent they now pay) on the first $5 million of their payroll. Also, if employers add to their payrolls, they would pay no payroll tax on new hires. So the new bill is specifically aimed at helping the job creators. The total cost is $255 billion.

The Democrats want to pay for it with a 3.5 percent surtax on dollars earned over $1 million per year. In other words, if someone earns $1.3 million a year, she will pay the extra 3.5 percent only on the last $300,000 in earnings; that is, an extra $10,500 a year (bear in mind that this person takes home, after taxes, around $30,000 every two weeks). So it certainly raises the taxes of the very wealthiest. But it gives more money back to middle-class people, and it stimulates the economy, perhaps to the tune of 50,000 jobs a month, maybe even more.

How, I ask you HOW, HOW do these feckless “Marie Antoinette Republicans” think they can vote against this and still hold EVEN THE DUMBEST members of their base? How many Senate Republicans will vote for this? One? Two? None? It’s incredible to contemplate what this will do to them. I’ve always hoped to see the suicidal self-immolation of the Republican Party, but I was afraid I wouldn’t get to see it in my lifetime. At the rate these buffoons are heading for the cliff, it could happen before Christmas!

Tomasky concludes:

Obama should give an Oval Office speech Wednesday night and say: “If you are an employee and make less than $1 million, or if you are an employer of any size, I am trying to give you a tax cut. If you are an employee who makes more than $1 million a year, you should write and thank your Republican senator, because the Republicans are blocking me and helping you.”

It really is that simple.


Posted by Richard Metzger
04:41 pm
Does the GOP enjoy the misery of others?

“Don’t you just look good enough to eat? Nom nom nom.”

Must-read essay over at Daily Kos today from Jack Cluth, who asks a question that’s been on a lot of our minds over the past few years: “What happens when an entire political party embraces the Dark Side?”

By the definition of today’s GOP, compassion is synonymous with weakness as charity is with enabling sloth and indolence. If you’re unable to do for yourself, whatever your situation might be, you have no right to expect government to do for you. Ill? Disabled? Uninsured? Unemployed? That’s too bad, but it’s not the responsibility of government to do for those unable to do for themselves.

It’s as if Republicans have decamped from anything resembling compassion and migrated en masse to the Dark Side. They’ve rejected anything that smacks of humanity and embraced a Darwinian view of America as a place where the strong rightfully survive and the weak get what they deserve. I don’t know about you, but this philosophy has nothing to do with the traditional Conservatism that Republicans profess to revere. Traditional Conservatism doesn’t reject the social contract. It doesn’t genuflect to the oligarchy and the military-industrial complex. It doesn’t traffic in fear, hatred, and loathing. It doesn’t reject science. It doesn’t embrace fundamentalist Christianity as the ultimate and only authority on what America should be.

Then again, this isn’t about Conservatism. It’s about doing whatever it takes to acquire, maintain, and increase power and control. It’s about enforcing Social Darwinism and Fundamentalist Christianity as the basis of the American experience and the law of the land. It’s about using fear, hatred, and propaganda in order to manipulate the American Sheeple into doing your bidding.

The guy nails it. Read more of The GOP: The party of pain, punishment, misery, and death (Daily Kos) and check out this amazing, snarling anti-GOP rant courtesy of Chris Matthews: “Does the GOP enjoy the misery of others?” Matthews makes a pretty clear argument that indeed they do…

My compliments to both chefs!

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Posted by Richard Metzger
09:27 pm
Fox News poll: Which Republican presidential candidate would you trust MOST with nuclear weapons?
02:18 pm

It’s a trick question… right?

Via Daily Kos:

Anderson Robbins Research (D) / Shaw & Company Research (R) for Fox News. November 13-15. Republican primary voters. ±5%. No trends.

Which Republican presidential candidate would you trust MOST with nuclear weapons?

Newt Gingrich: 30
Mitt Romney: 17
Herman Cain: 7
Ron Paul: 7
Rick Perry: 5
Michele Bachmann: 4
Jon Huntsman: 2
Rick Santorum: 2

Puts it all into rather stark perspective, doesn’t it? OMFG.

This is ONE poll where I would have thought Jon Huntsman or Ron Paul would have come out on top....

Posted by Richard Metzger
02:18 pm
Michele Bachmann goes ‘scorched earth’ on Mitt, Ron, Herman, Newt & one of the Ricks

She says what she means and means what she says. She’s also got a snowball’s chance in Hell of making it to the White House and everyone—EVERYONE—except for her knows it.

Still, that’s not going to stop quixotic crazypants Rep. Michele Bachmann from making sure that none of the other Republican candidates get there, either!

She really kicks her opponents in the nuts here. The DNC ought to chip in so she can run more of this one. Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman should pony up, too!

Bachmann is burning quite a few bridges with this video and stands to gain almost nothing from it. I laughed out loud at the audaciousness of this move. From her point of view, she’s entirely correct, of course, that she’s the most consistent conservative candidate—albeit the most batshit crazy in a field full of some real lulu’s—running. The problem is that she’s contrasting her own completely insane positions as the opposite of these goofballs, blow-hards and idiots at their most reasonable!

Too much pork for the fork!

H/T Daily Kos

Posted by Richard Metzger
04:52 pm
The New Progressive Movement: #OWS signals the end of the Reagan era

In an inspiring Op Ed piece in today’s New York Times, Columbia University’s Jeffrey D. Sachs takes but a few paragraphs to thoroughly demolish the dominant ur-myths of the past three decades of Republican politics, and to illustrate how the New Progressive Era is already upon us.

Both clueless Democrats and ignorant, rightwing assholes like Frank Miller should read this short essay very carefully:

Occupy Wall Street and its allied movements around the country are more than a walk in the park. They are most likely the start of a new era in America. Historians have noted that American politics moves in long swings. We are at the end of the 30-year Reagan era, a period that has culminated in soaring income for the top 1 percent and crushing unemployment or income stagnation for much of the rest. The overarching challenge of the coming years is to restore prosperity and power for the 99 percent.

Thirty years ago, a newly elected Ronald Reagan made a fateful judgment: “Government is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.” Taxes for the rich were slashed, as were outlays on public services and investments as a share of national income. Only the military and a few big transfer programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and veterans’ benefits were exempted from the squeeze.

Reagan’s was a fateful misdiagnosis. He completely overlooked the real issue — the rise of global competition in the information age — and fought a bogeyman, the government. Decades on, America pays the price of that misdiagnosis, with a nation singularly unprepared to face the global economic, energy and environmental challenges of our time.

Washington still channels Reaganomics. The federal budget for nonsecurity discretionary outlays — categories like highways and rail, education, job training, research and development, the judiciary, NASA, environmental protection, energy, the I.R.S. and more — was cut from more than 5 percent of gross domestic product at the end of the 1970s to around half of that today. With the budget caps enacted in the August agreement, domestic discretionary spending would decline to less than 2 percent of G.D.P. by the end of the decade, according to the White House. Government would die by fiscal asphyxiation.

Both parties have joined in crippling the government in response to the demands of their wealthy campaign contributors, who above all else insist on keeping low tax rates on capital gains, top incomes, estates and corporate profits. Corporate taxes as a share of national income are at the lowest levels in recent history. Rich households take home the greatest share of income since the Great Depression. Twice before in American history, powerful corporate interests dominated Washington and brought America to a state of unacceptable inequality, instability and corruption. Both times a social and political movement arose to restore democracy and shared prosperity.

Sachs goes on to state what already seems self-evident to many of us:

This is just the beginning.

The young people in Zuccotti Park and more than 1,000 cities have started America on a path to renewal. The movement, still in its first days,  will have to expand in several strategic ways. Activists are needed among shareholders, consumers and students to hold corporations and politicians to account. Shareholders, for example, should pressure companies to get out of politics. Consumers should take their money and purchasing power away from companies that confuse business and political power. The whole range of other actions — shareholder and consumer activism, policy formulation, and running of candidates — will not happen in the park.

The New Progressive Movement (The New York Times)

Posted by Richard Metzger
12:47 pm
Protesters stage sit-in at Republican leader’s office today, still there

You won’t be smiling for long, ruling class son of a peeg dog!

While Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was tied up over at the Capitol Building, where Republicans blocked a $60 billion infrastructure bill today that would have created thousands of jobs, approximately thirty out-of-work protesters staged a sit-in at McConnell’s Senate office.

The protesters, who were organized by a group called OurDC, took every chair and much of the floor-space of the GOP leader’s Russell Building office as McConnell’s aides went about their work. The group claimed no affiliation with Occupy Wall Street.

As of 3 p.m EST, the protesters are still there and said they wouldn’t leave before they got a face-to-face meeting to discuss jobs with the turkey-necked obstructionist Republican Senator from Kentucky.

Nicely done. Keep the heat on these Republican motherfuckers. It’s fantastic to watch these guys squirm. Why make it easy on them?

Posted by Richard Metzger
05:27 pm
Republican stooge Eric Cantor gets the respect he so richly deserves (and more)!

A spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has announced that on Friday the VA Congressman will lay out Republican plans to help business owners and “how we make sure the people at the top stay there.” Odd choice of words considering the national mood, don’t you think? One can be forgiven for wondering if the Republican leadership has progressed from merely being politically “tone deaf” to a more willful and sinister “la la la la la, I can’t hear you, I’ve got my fingers in my ears” withdrawal from consensus reality.

Esquire contributor Charles Pierce is the author of Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free. He’s a man after my own heart. In a blog post at, Pierce gives Republican Congressional leader Eric Cantor of Virginia all the respect he deserves—each and every tiny little bit—and more:

To call Rep. Eric Cantor a stooge at this point is to insult all three Howard brothers, and the late Mr. Fine, as well.

Ever since the spittle-drenched results of the 2010 midterms swept him into being the Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Cantor has demonstrated a remarkable ability to combine complete ignorance of practically every major issue with the unctuous personality of a third-string maitre d’ at a fourth-string steakhouse. A couple of weeks ago, confronting the various Scribes and Sadducees that make up the “Values” wing of his party, Cantor was calling the Occupy Wall Street protesters a “mob,” and warning the timorous and pharisaical suckers that the tumbrels would be arriving on their streets any day now. Lo and behold, the country seems now to disagree with him, and, on Fox News Sunday, Cantor announced his earthshaking discovery that the United States has a problem with income inequality, and that his Republican party is poised to do something about that. Of course, every single proposal to emerge from his caucus would work to use the tax code to cement that inequality from now until Eric Cantor VIII is flunking economics somewhere.

True, Cantor’s argument is that the Republican plan would allow all the poor people in America to rise to become the owners of their own hedge funds, and is utterly insincere, where it is not complete bullshit. But the fact that the words “income disparity” were spoken by a member of the congressional Republican leadership, in public and without his tongue turning to fire, is proof that the elite pundits are right. The OWS crowd never will affect the country’s politics until it develops a “coherent public message.” Pity.

Nicely, nicely!

The other day at the Farmer’s Market here in Los Angeles, an acquaintance of mine, a British ex-pat best described as a “salty old sea dog-type” but who is, in fact, a financially well-off Hollywood screenwriter with bad dental-work and a penchant for his apéritifs to be served before, during and after his meals, told me of his violent fantasy of kidnapping Eric Cantor, tying him face down naked and then shoving a loaded double-barreled shotgun up his ass (This tirade was prompted by the sight of Cantor on one of the news channels). This would all be streamed live on the Internet as Cantor would be forced to atone for his sins and confess to being a traitor to his countrymen for selling them out to the 1%.

“Don’t get me wrong,’ I told him. “I loathe Eric Cantor myself, he’s a fucking idiot and I absolutely hate him, but when you add in the element of sexual humiliation, it makes me kinda wonder about you and your dark, Deliverance fantasies…”

“Oh no, maybe I didn’t explain: This isn’t my fantasy or anything, this is from a new screenplay I’m working on. It’s like the Saw movies, you know, torture porn, except that the bad guy is going around seeking revenge on politicians who sold out the country and fucked everyone over. I thought the ultimate anti-hero for right now would be a guy who’s been ruined, he’s lost his business or or house or marriage, whatever, and now he’s a vigilante. I saw Cantor on TV calling the Occupy Wall Street protesters a “mob” and it struck me how cathartic it would be for the audience to see someone like him to be humiliated in a movie. People would love to see that happen onscreen! I’m not fantasizing about this, I’m writing it!”

The demented genius of this notion is both laugh-out-loud funny and “Why didn’t I think of that first?” depwessing isn’t it?

The reason why my screenwriter friend here is so successful, while I am not, struck me like Thor’s mallet…

“What happens to the character based on Eric Cantor?” I asked, by now morbidly curious.

“The bad guy pulls the trigger. The bullet goes in the Cantor character’s anus and comes out through his mouth. Millions of people see this live on the Internet. I’m hoping that bit gets done in 3-D!”

I made a mental note to quickly finish my for spec script for The Human Centipede III (with characters based on Congressman Paul Ryan, WI Gov. Scott Walker and Fox News personality Eric Bolling) as I stood up to bid him farewell.

“Well, it sure seems like you’ll have an easy time selling that idea. It’s certainly ‘of its time,’ your script. Good luck with it.”

“Are you kidding me?” he laughed. “I sold this puppy the next day!”

Posted by Richard Metzger
02:14 pm
Dead Man Walker: Huge recall effort gears up to recall WI governor

The results of the recall elections of the WI state reps might have been mixed, but that was then and this is now. Just a few months later, the political headwinds have shifted suddenly. I don’t think things look too promising for the continuing political career of Scott Walker. It’s time to make it hot for this bastard.

Via AlterNet:

Organizers in Wisconsin will have 60 days to collect 540,208 signatures as they announce plans to kick off an effort to recall Governor Scott Walker, the man whose extreme levels of union-busting intransigence led to hundres of thousands of protesters descending on the capital, in a standoff that riveted the nation and led to a resurgence of pro-labor activism. One group, United Wisconsin already has over 200,000 promised recall signatures through its organizing efforts.

On the Ed Show last night, Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate explained why, after deliberation, the party along with groups of activists forged during the protests had decided to go forward with this action, feeling that they couldn’t wait any longer to try to recall Walker. Video of their conversation is embedded below.

If the drive is successful, elections could potentially be held in Spring 2012. Find out official information here. (It’s a testament to the popularity behind the recall that there are quite a few unofficial recall Walker sites flooding the web already!)


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Posted by Richard Metzger
05:44 pm
Rep. Eric Cantor:  Craven toady of the rich; man on the wrong side of history

Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor puked up the following ruling class talking points about Occupy Wall Street onstage at the 2011 Voter Values Summit in Washington, DC, this morning:

“If you read the newspapers today, I for one am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country.”

“Believe it or not, some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans.”

He really ought to be concerned, if you ask me…

Some see the 99%, while others see only “mobs.”

It’s almost funny. Almost.

The clip isn’t online anywhere, yet, but even hearing his voice saying this shit in my mind as I read it is painful enough. I’m not sure I want to actually hear it. As TPM points out:

Seeding concern about the relatively undefined protest movement spreading across the county is a growing movement among the right. Tea Party types are turning the past criticisms of their movement on Occupy Wall Street. Meanwhile Republican presidential candidates are casting it as some kind of revolt by the poor.

For their part, Democrats are not sure what to do.

Republicans seem to have found their footing on Occupy Wall Street however, and Cantor exemplified it well today.

The “Clue Train” could smack these guys in a head-on collision and they wouldn’t feel a thing, would they?

Update: Here’s the video, it’s special:

Posted by Richard Metzger
11:08 am
WTF Mississippi Republicans?
Posted by Richard Metzger
07:03 pm
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