Tag - US politics

Americans for Prosperity announces the Neo-Libertarian Platform

Following The Koch Supremes’ (The Koch Enterprise’s Band) latest decision on campaign funding, Americans for Prosperity have announced a new neo-libertarian platform for their new acquisition, The House of Representatives.

The announcement includes recognition by America for Prosperity that based on Modern Monetary Theory, Government is the true source of wealth, and taxes are social programs.
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US Hege-Money Threatened By Vlad-the-Invader’s Russin into Ukraine

Hege-Money: Hege-money, (“leadership” and “rule”) is an indirect form of government, and of imperial dominance in which the hege-money-lender (lending institutions) subordinate states by the power of money, rather than by the threat of force.

This is an extrapolation of the behaviour of two sets of Powers. It considers the hidden agendas on both sides, and because it is both explanatory and tries to project the possible motives, it is speculation.

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NATO to Offer Membership to Russia

In a surprise move, Secretary of State John Kerry was heard to offer Russia membership of NATO in order to defuse the Ukraine situation. In an aside to the Russian Ambassador he was heard to say:

If Russia were a member of NATO then there would be no encirclement of Russia from sea to shining sea.

24 Hours later, it appears that President Putin has seized on the idea and embraced it, in a similar manner to the defusing of the Syrian saturation where John Kerry suggested that Syrians give up their poison gas stockpile.

Putin has responded positively to the suggestion to defuse tension and remove any threat by Russia to Ukraine and Western Europe over “technical difficulties” of natural gas deliveries passing through Ukraine.

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ATT Wants You to Give Them Your Data!

ATT wants to spy on all your Traffic, and has proposed an Internet standard, so that anybody can do it, anywhere in the world. To us, this seems like a BAD idea. Their bad idea involves decrypting any traffic you send via HTTPS, looking at it, then re-encrypting it and sending it to wherever you wanted it to go. Some call this a Man-In-The-Middle (MITM) attack. ATT’s proposed Internet standard, an IETF proposal, would make it part of the Internet protocol collection, to be adopted by ISPs and others around the world.

ATT’s motivations

One has to wonder why ATT would “stick its neck out” this way. Surely they realize that asking people to trust them after spying on you is unlikely to result in a favorable response. Here are two possibilities, both reasonably likely.
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The Problem is not The POTUS, but The GOTUS.

Okay, I ought really be shoveling the 4 foot drift blocking my one and only egress from my apartment, but instead I wondered over to Ian’s blog. After reading this post I left this comment.

If Obama were truly a dictator you could lay the blame for the increased income disparity at his feet. However, he has to contend with another branch of the government. A branch of government that has not even allowed him to hire the people he wants to work in his branch of government.

I’m not a rabid Obama supporter; I believe he is wrong about drone use, as well as not getting behind reigning in the NSA fast enough. However, as an American I’d rather it be recognized that more people than Obama are responsible for crafting and implementing the laws in our country. Had Obama had to deal with a progressive, left-leaning congress, perhaps we would be seeing less of an income disparity.

It’s really an irritating habit of people (inside and outside of the US) to speak of President Obama as some sort of all powerful leader when the rules of being the President of the United States were purposefully written to prevent just that from happening. And as the Constitution of the United States was written by imperfect people (hence the “more perfect union” statement), it’s rather dubious to demand that a leader be perfect.

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The Debt Machine Grinds to a Very Temporary Halt

The temporary shutdown of the US government begins tonight.  The immediate consequence will be the furloughing of federal government employees who are considered “non-essential”.  Some government offices will be operated on shortened hours or closed altogether, as will the national parks.  Defense and intelligence agencies will remain open, though perhaps with fewer staff.  Statistics gathering and economic releases will be halted, as will many of the hundreds of analytical reports that are issued monthly.  Agencies that are independent of the federal government, such as the Federal Reserve and Congress, will operate as usual, though obviously in the public mind this is not necessarily a good thing in the case of the Congress.

The United States went through this once before in the 1990s, and there is a strange sense of calm this time around, as if everyone knows what to expect, including the public.  That is probably an unwise assumption, at the very least because the amounts of money involved now are staggeringly larger.  Tomorrow – October 1st – the US Treasury has to make $122 billion in payments for military salaries, veterans benefits, and Medicare reimbursements.  On the 3rd of October a $25 billion Social Security payment is due into public bank accounts, and $12 billion more is payable to recipients on the 9th.  The Treasury’s cash balances going into October are large enough to cover these payments, but after that things get trickier.

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Barack Obama: Community Organizer

People joke about President Obama’s abilities at eleven-dimensional chess. I think that Obama has a long-term strategy, more understandable than eleven-dimensional chess. I also think that it’s quite different from much of what passes for strategy in political Washington.

Obama came into office in January 2009 with an enormous number of problems facing the country. He had been dealing with the financial crisis since his election. That crisis was, in a way, the culmination of the financialization of the American economy, which, along with tax and other policy, had hollowed out prospects for the middle class. The country was stuck in two wars that had very little to do with its national interests. Other aspects of the “War on Terror” that damage the perception of the US abroad and damage civil liberties at home persisted long after any utility had disappeared. North Korea had demonstrated nuclear weapons, and Iran was engaged in pursuit of technology that could make nuclear weapons possible for them.

Perhaps the most difficult problem Obama faced, though, was an apathetic electorate and media that depicted that president as the only political actor in the country. Democracy can’t work without the participation of the people.

Obama would have seen that apathy before, as a community organizer. Poor communities are often demoralized or do not know how to fight for what they need. The organizer’s job is to get citizens active in helping themselves. This involves many things: educating citizens on their rights and ways to go about changing their circumstances, which would include the political process; and encouraging the citizens to take action on their own behalf. Read More

The Deal: Various Responses

Zaid Jilani:

Because the payroll tax cut is expiring and the Make Work Pay tax cut is not coming back, most working Americans will also see a tax increase. The most galling thing is that 98 percent of Americans will actually see a larger tax increase than some of the richest Americans. Working with our friends at the Center for Economic and Policy Research, we compiled the following chart to demonstrate this:

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Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life (Or, The Totally Unskewed View From Romneyland)

When you’re this filthy fucking rich apparently you don’t need pesky contradictory facts  getting in the way of your plans for a kick-ass post-victory fireworks display (h/t Kos):

Romney was stoic as he talked the president, an aide said, but his wife Ann cried. Running mate Paul Ryan seemed genuinely shocked, the adviser said. Ryan’s wife Janna also was shaken and cried softly.

“There’s nothing worse than when you think you’re going to win, and you don’t,” said another adviser. “It was like a sucker punch.”

Their emotion was visible on their faces when they walked on stage after Romney finished his remarks, which Romney had hastily composed, knowing he had to say something.

Both wives looked stricken, and Ryan himself seemed grim. They all were thrust on that stage without understanding what had just happened.

“He was shellshocked,” one adviser said of Romney.

[…]

[T]hey believed the public/media polls were skewed – they thought those polls oversampled Democrats and didn’t reflect Republican enthusiasm. They based their own internal polls on turnout levels more favorable to Romney.

[…]

The huge and enthusiastic crowds in swing state after swing state in recent weeks – not only for Romney but also for Paul Ryan – bolstered what they believed intellectually: that Obama would not get the kind of turnout he had in 2008.

Kos sums up Mittens’ dubious onward & upward rationale with ice-cream headache-inducing acuity:

1. They got big crowds, therefore,
2. people won’t turn out for Obama.
3. If people don’t turn out for Obama,
4. then the public polls are skewed.
5. If public polls are skewed,
6. then Romney is winning.

Of course, the size of Romney’s crowds had absolutely no bearing on whatever turnout Obama would get. But apparently, that idiotic and fact-free assumption is what made them so confident.

And hilariously wrong.

But wait — it gets worse (yes, really):

At 6:30AM on Tuesday, I went to the polls. I was immediately turned away because I didn’t have my poll watcher certificate. Many, many people had this problem. The impression I got was this was taken care of because they had “registered me”. Others were as well. But apparently, I was supposed to go on my own to a Victory Center to pick it up, but that was never communicated properly. Outside of the technical problems, this was the single biggest failure of the operation. They simply didn’t inform people that this was a requirement. In fact, check out my “checklist” from my ORCA packet:


Notice anything missing? My guess is the second “Chair (if allowed)” was supposed to be “poll watcher certificate” but they put chair twice. This was an instruction packet that went out to 30,000+ people. Did no one proof-read it?

(Make sure to read the entire sorry account; crucial typos — a longtime bane of Romneyland — are merely the tip of ORCA’s massive GOTV failberg.)

So, to recap, not only did the Romney team manage to box itself into a comfortably numb bubble of ignorance, it also managed to massively cock up the Election Day efforts of 30,000 pro-Romney operatives on the ground across the nation.

Jonathan Last punctuates the epic facepalm — and punctures the obnoxious myth of Romney as 1337 MANAGER!!1 once and for all:

There was, to my mind, only one qualitative argument generally made in favor of Romney: that his management experience made him uniquely qualified to be president. He was a “turn-around artist.” A “genius CEO.” Now even the claim that his private-sector ability to master organizations and rescue them was a variation on process. And it always struck me as a little dubious. For one thing, it’s not immediately clear how the skill set of the private-sector executive transfers to the job of managing the executive branch of the U.S. government. CEOs say jump and everyone around them says how high. The president says jump and half of Congress tries to countermand the order while getting him fired and the other branch of government gets to decide whether jumping is even theoretically allowed.

But at least this was a falsifiable claim. And the fact that Romney could not master even his own campaign organization in order to win an incredibly winnable election demonstrates–incontrovertiably–that it wasn’t true. If he was a turn-around artist, he would be president-elect right now.

Most political campaigns aren’t invalidated by a loss. A candidate puts forward an idea or a worldview and it can stand whether or not it’s embraced by voters. It has its own truth. But in the wake of his loss Romney’s campaign now looks ludicrous.

Worst candidate/campaign since WWII (and beyond)? Regardless, that MA Curse is a motherfucker.

h/t Allahpundit

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