Media Misses Top Story of the Week

During the orgiastic wall-to-wall coverage of the Marathon Bombing and the Texas Fertilizer Plant Explosion, the national media has all but ignored the week’s top story; the completion of Corporate America’s takeover of government in the USA.

On Tuesday the Senate, in defiance of 90% of Americans, voted not to address gun violence, so as not to offend corporate masters.

We are now officially a plutocracy.

Everything You Need To Know About Romney

There are two stories about Mitt Romney, each factually verified, that should tell voters all they need to know about him.

1. He’s a Bully.

As an 18-yr old student at elite Cranbrook School, Romney led a group of pals in bullying a gay student, John Laubner. According to several witnesses,

“They came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.”

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2. He’s a Spoiled Rich Guy and doesn’t know it.

At a private fund-raiser in May, attended by donors giving at least $50,000 each, Romney said:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

Romney went on: “My job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Mother Jones has obtained video of Romney at this intimate fundraiser—where he candidly discussed his campaign strategy and foreign policy ideas in stark terms he does not use in public—and has confirmed its authenticity. To protect the confidential source who provided the video, we have blurred some of the image, and we will not identify the date or location of the event, which occurred after Romney had clinched the Republican presidential nomination. [UPDATE: We can now report that this fundraiser was held at the Boca Raton home of controversial private equity manager Marc Leder on May 17 and we’ve removed the blurring from the video. See the original blurred videos here.]

Message to the 47%: If you want a Rich Bully who doesn’t care about you as your President, vote for Romney

Welcome to Romneyworld, Part 1: “Corporations are People” …..Delta Airlines Edition

My cousin Ronny died last week. Ronny had been sick for a while, but his death still came as a surprise. He was the oldest of 11 cousins, all of us within 7 years of each other in age, which made us unusually close.

My cousins all live in Minnesota, but I’m in California. I called Delta Airlines, which has a virtual monopoly on flights from LA to Minneapolis, to book a flight to Minneapolis. The price: $901 for a round-trip ticket. I’d heard of ticket discounting for emergency flights for deaths in the family, so I asked the agent about it. She informed me that yes indeed, there is a discount; a whopping 5% off! Also, you need to fill out a form which requires the funeral director’s signature.

I decided to forego Delta’s generous discount, and proceeded to purchase my ticket online. After putting in my credit card information, I got my confirmation for the ticket. I wasn’t surprised to see I was assigned a middle seat in the second-to-last row. Fortunately, there was a “change seats” option offered, so I went to that page. The diagram showed many seats available, both aisle and window seats, and even other middle seats. However, each of them cost an additional $29, even the middle seats.

The final insult came when I went to print out my boarding pass. If I wanted to bring any luggage on my trip, I had to pay an extra $25 per bag. Since I usually change some of my clothes every day, I paid it.

Delta, you’re such a nice person.

Newt: They’ve got to be Kidding

Marries his high school teacher. That’s weird in itself. Then asks her for a divorce while she’s in treatment for cancer.

He then marries the woman he’s been cheating on his first wife with.

Newt lies to his second wife for six years while he’s carrying on an affair with his beloved Calista, then asks number two for a divorce after she’s been diagnosed with MS. No marital grass growing under Newt’s feet.

None of this seems to bother the Republican base, the “party of morality.”

Do Drones Undermine Democracy?



RE: Do drones undermine democracy?

A reply to an editorial in the New York Times, Sunday by Peter W. Singer. To read the article, click here.

Mr. Singer’s article in the Sunday Times argues that congress and our government need to be more involved in deciding whether to wage war using robots. He correctly points out that by removing the personal and political risk of war “they (politicians) no longer treat the previously weighty matters of war and peace the same way.” His argument is cogent, but even if we adopt his recommendations, it won’t solve the central issue that should be addressed: robotic attacks are inherently immoral. Having congress approve such attacks won’t have any moral authority unless the ethical question of whether to use them at all is answered.

In the Republican debate in South Carolina last week, Ron Paul expressed a simple premise for our foreign policy; why not a “golden rule” test for policy…..the U.S. won’t do to other countries anything that we wouldn’t want done to us. His proposal was met with booing and jeers by the Republican audience, echoing their belief in “American Exceptional-ism” I suggest that in addition to the golden rule, another biblical value apropos here is that “pride goeth before a fall.”

The idea that America will have exclusive use of robotic weapons for any length of time is absurd, especially since we are busily selling robot technology worldwide. Unless things change, is inevitable that drones will be flying over the U.S. sooner or later.

Singer points out that “ten years ago, the idea of using armed robots in war was the stuff of Hollywood fantasy.” It is instructive to note that in almost all of these movies, the force employing robots against less technologically advanced populations were the bad guys. Us.

There is precedent for dealing with the problem of select nations having access to weapons that are so advanced that they disrupt the balance of world peace: nuclear weapons. When we dropped nuclear bombs on Japan in WW II, the world was stunned into silent disbelief, and after the Soviets obtained the bomb, it became apparent to all that international agreements to govern their use were necessary. Those agreements continue today as a successful (so far) work-in-progress, and similar agreements are needed to address the use of robotics if we want to keep our skies free of predator drones.

2012: The Ugliest Election Ever

Justice Kennedy, the author of the Court’s opinion.

Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizen’s United case, we can look forward to the ugliest election in recent history. By interpreting the First Amendment through a convoluted argument, the court has decided that money equals speech.

How did the court decide that allowing unlimited and unsourced money to be spent on behalf of candidates will be a good thing?

We’ve seen a preview of the law’s effect in the Iowa Republican primary race, but I believe the Presidential race will be even worse. I shudder to think what the anti-Obama ads will be like.

The net effect of the law will be to reduce the public’s esteem for politicians and our government to an all-time low.

Class Warfare….Bring it on!

Democrats always have a problem defining issues clearly. For instance, I constantly hear pundits (without being corrected by Dems) talking about the Obama tax plan as applying to “millionaires” and “billionaires.” Not true. A millionaire has traditionally  been defined as someone who has assets of a million or more. The president’s tax plans apply to those who have taxable earnings of a million or a billion dollars or more a year. I don’t know anyone who makes that much, and I live in Pasadena! I do have a screenwriter friend who maybe makes more than a million a year, but he would never admit it. Who can even imagine making a billion a year? These people have issues more serious than paying taxes. If you’re making a billion a year, think of the time spent with accountants and lawyers.

source:Mother Jones

As you can see from the illustration above,  it’s a very small, rich bunch of people who fit in the category of million-dollar earners. Only 1 % .  That makes it 99 to one in our favor. Unlike all the other wars we’re engaged in, this one we can probably win.

The thing that I’ve never understood is how many  middle-class Republicans and Tea-Partiers who make less than $250,000 a year that support these fat-cats  at the top. I guess they will also be our enemy in the new Class War.

Why? Do they all worry that soon they will be making more than a million a year and then will have to pay extra taxes?

John Boehner…The Antithetical Jim Jones?

Poor John Boehner. Twenty years of hard work and some tears along the way to becoming the Leader of the House of Representatives. He really does seem like a decent man, the kind of man who should be in Congress, although I’m suspicious of the tears.

Nowadays, he must feel like the antithetical Jim Jones. That is, the leader whose followers went insane. Unlike the Peoples Temple group, as far as I know the Tea Party has not asked him to move to Jonestown yet.

I’ve never seen such an angry speech given by a House Leader who has just passed his own bill. Of course, to say it is his bill is a joke. It’s the bill he had to pass, for reasons of his own, not the people’s.

The bill he and the other sane members of his party would have passed was the deal President Obama presented him with and he agreed to a month ago. A bill that people like me were unhappy with, but could live with.

But, like Jim Jones, there are many things the Tea Party cannot live with. Let’s hope they meet their own sad end and get voted out of our cherished and dysfunctional Congress.

Nancy Pelosi doesn’t cry, and she is happy when she passes a bill.