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Some Links Of Interest

Posted by MacZad
Oct 24 2012

My recent joining of Twitter ( @MacZad ), and likely too much time spent on it, has brought to my attention the thoughts of others which I would not have otherwise found. I'll share links to a few of the more interesting ones in this posting:

It's hard to imagine conservative economist Ben Stein calling for higher taxes on Fox News, Here's the dope from the Raw Story.

Watch this video to get the full story on the deficit chart above. It's devastating but note that only the last 3 years are on Obama's watch as the 2009 budget was set by the outgoing Bush administration.

Surprise, the normally conservative Forbes Magazine recently carried this article, "Want a Better Economy - History Says Vote Democrat!"

Here's Market Watch from the conservative Wall Street Journal with, "The Obama spending binge never happened," Government outlays rising at slowest pace since 1950s.

Forbes counters the idea that fewer will want to become doctors because of Obamacare with, "So Much For Obamacare Anxiety: Record Number Want To Become Doctors."

I haven't been able to figure out why so many of the 99% get taken in by the 1% and cast votes that continue the wealthy's domination of our country. Some thoughts about it in, "Republicans Twist Capitalism Into a Democracy Killer."

In this Common Dreams article Mark Morford highlights the rather large difference in the way that men and women view the presidential candidates: "Frightened Men Love Romney."

How the Private Sector Failed America by Hal Donahue makes the case that in the past a social contract fostered corporate-government cooperation which was good for the corporations and the country, but that the contract has been shattered and the country is decaying as a result.

Categories: Opposing Plutocracy and Corporatocracy, Seeking Better Governance

Some Wisdom From The Mouths Of Republicans

Posted by MacZad
Oct 20 2012

As I read I come across quotes that, in some way or other, stand out. Some, credited to the best minds of the past, are short, simple and yet profound, some have great elements of humor or satire, and some display ignorance, bias, lies or even truths but which the speaker often might later wish that he had never uttered. Those listed below fit the latter category. They are pearls of wisdom - Republican style:

  • In 2002 former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits (over $500 billion in 2002 alone) posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off. "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter, we won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due." What followed was the great debt buildup of the Bush years.
  • When he was House Majority Leader Tom DeLay told journalist Elizabeth Drew.“You’ve got to understand, we are ideologues. We have an agenda. We have a philosophy. I want to repeal the Clean Air Act. No one came to me and said, ‘Please repeal the Clean Air Act.’ We say to the lobbyists, ‘Help us.’ We know what we want to do and we find the people to help us do that. We go to the lobbyists and say, ‘Help us get this in the appropriations bill.” From the book The K Street Gang.
  • It's no wonder that there's no bipartisanship in Washington when in October of 2010 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told National Journal‘s Major Garrett that, "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."
  • ''This was a war of Obama's choosing. This is not something the United States has actively prosecuted or wanted to engage in.'' — Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, rewriting history while speaking at a 2010 Connecticut fundraiser about the war in Afghanistan, which President Bush launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • Five male opponents of contraception were called to testify at a Capitol Hill committee meeting on February 18, 2012 to discuss President Obama's recent contraception deal, but no women were allowed to testify. Committee member, Illinois Republican Congressman Joe Walsh had this to say, "This is not about women. This is not about contraceptives. This is about religious freedom."
  • In February of 2012 Republican NC state Rep. George Cleveland said, “We have no one in the state of North Carolina living in extreme poverty, Extreme poverty is prevalent in other countries, not in the United States. Poverty is a governmental definition in this country, and through the years they keep redefining poverty to make sure we have a poverty class. Poverty is you’re out there living on a dollar and half a day. I don’t think we have anybody in North Carolina doing that.“ Of course, we will always have those who are less fortunate, and this Durham Herald-Sun Article points out that there plenty in NC living hand to mouth. However, Rep. Cleveland tries to define them away, but it won't wash - they're still here.
  • TV reporter Charles Jaco, recently asked six-term Republican congressman Todd Akin about his views of abortion rights and whether an exception should be made for cases of rape.“If it’s legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down,” Akin responded.
  • The truth about Fox News from Glen Beck in an April, 2010 Forbes Magazine interview, ''I could give a flying crap about the political process ... We're an entertainment company.'' Also see my recent Fox News post.
  • Rick Santorum (Speaking with CaffeinatedThoughts.com, Oct. 18, 2011) "One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country.... Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that's okay, contraception is okay. It's not okay. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be." The only "dangers" that I can think of are contraception failures - Maczad.
  • All but admitting that the Romney campaign would be lying pollster Neil Newhouse said, “We’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact checkers.” (Added 9/2/12)
  • Here's one that's factually correct and a wake up call for the Republicans: “The demographics race we’re losing badly,” said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (SC). “We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term.” (Added 9/2/12)
  • Speaking to the Republican State Committee on June 23rd Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai said, “--- Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.” Now we really know that these laws aren't about voter fraud. - MacZad (Added 9/28/12)
  • At a 2006 closed door Club for Growth meeting Republican congressman Todd Akin said "In 1920 women were given the right to vote in this country. Just ten years later they had spent all our money and the economy was in ruins." So giving women the right to vote caused the Great Depression. Wow, I never knew. - MacZad (Added 10/05/12)
  • Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga believes the Earth is about 9,000 years old and that it was made in six days. See this Huffington Post story. Just imagine the intelligent legislation that we will get from this man, a doctor yet, who sits on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. (Added 10/15/12)
  • On Thursday (10/18/12) GOP Rep. Joe Walsh who is in a tight re-election race in Illinois, told journalists after a debate with rival Tammy Duckworth that "With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance" [of a case where an abortion was necessary to save the life of a woman], "There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing." The next day the The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists responded: "Pregnancy is not a risk-free life event, particularly for many women with chronic medical conditions. Despite all of our medical advances, more than 600 women die each year from pregnancy and childbirth-related reasons right here in the US. In fact, many more women would die each year if they did not have access to abortion to protect their health or to save their lives." MacZad comment: Ah, we have such intelligent men running our country. (Added 10/20/12)
  • Following the 2010 election, Florida Republicans concluded that it was a little too easy to vote in the state. “I want the people in the State of Florida to want to vote as bad as that person in Africa who is willing to walk 200 miles for that opportunity he’s never had before in his life,” said GOP State Senator Michael Bennett. “This should not be easy.” (Added 10/20/12)
  • On Oct. 23, 2012 Republican Richard Mourdock, U.S. Senate candidate from Indiana said, "I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen." They just keep coming up with these gems - MacZad (Added 10/24/12)
  • Oh, gosh, here's yet another one: John Koster, GOP nominee in Washington’s 1st Congressional District. (Added 11/01/12)
  • Rick Santorum speaks the truth,but fails to recognize the irony: “We will never have the elite, smart people on our side” (Added 01/19/13)

I'll add to this list as I come across additional gems from our Republican leaders.

Categories: Seeking Better Governance

Romney - The Businessman?

Posted by MacZad
Oct 15 2012

Mitt Romney touts his experience as a businessman and his rescue of the 2002 winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake. There's no question that Romney is a smart cookie. He has worked the system to the maximum to enrich himself and/or enhance his reputation, but in contrast to men like Henry Ford, HP's Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, Intel's Andy Grove, Microsoft's Bill Gates or Apple's Steve Jobs all who built companies that provided employment to thousands and contributed to America's success, Mitt's business success was heavily dependent on financial manipulation which ended up driving companies into bankruptcy and destroying the jobs of thousands.

Let's take the Olympic Games rescue first via this quote from Rolling Stone:

--- Romney has[n't] done just fine at milking the government when it suits his purposes, the most obvious instance being the incredible $1.5 billion in aid he siphoned out of the U.S. Treasury as head of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake – a sum greater than all federal spending for the previous seven U.S. Olympic games combined. Romney, the supposed fiscal conservative, blew through an average of $625,000 in taxpayer money per athlete – an astounding increase of 5,582 percent over the $11,000 average at the 1984 games in Los Angeles.

Remember the KB Toys an 86 year-old company with over 400 stores when it went into bankruptcy in 2008? Why the bankruptcy?

--- in 2000, right before Romney gave up his ownership stake in Bain Capital, the firm targeted KB Toys. --- Bain put up a mere $18 million to acquire KB Toys and got big banks to finance the remaining $302 million it needed. Less than a year and a half after the purchase, Bain decided to give itself a gift known as a "dividend recapitalization." The firm induced KB Toys to redeem $121 million in stock and take out more than $66 million in bank loans – $83 million of which went directly into the pockets of Bain's owners and investors, including Romney. "The dividend recap is like borrowing someone else's credit card to take out a cash advance, and then leaving them to pay it off," says Heather Slavkin Corzo, who monitors private equity takeovers as the senior legal policy adviser for the AFL-CIO. --- Bain ended up earning a return of at least 370 percent on the deal, while KB Toys fell into bankruptcy, saddled with millions in debt. KB's former parent company, Big Lots, alleged in bankruptcy court that Bain's "unjustified" return on the dividend recap was actually "900 percent in a mere 16 months."

Read the full of story of Mitt's business dealings in this Rolling Stone article, and another Rolling Stone article about how Romney got the government (us taxpayers) to foot the bill for the 1990 rescue of the then ailing Bain & Co., the original parent firm of Bain Capital.

You know, despite his shortcomings, I believe that voting for a former "community organizer" makes more sense for the future of our country than voting for a guy with Mitt's background and mindset.

Categories: Embracing Diversity and Tolerance, Illuminating Dark Places, Opposing Plutocracy and Corporatocracy, Seeking Better Governance

Some Quotes Of Note

Posted by MacZad
Oct 03 2012

"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men." John Adams

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both." Frederick Douglass - American abolitionist, newspaper publisher, orator, author, statesman, and reformer

"When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it." - Frederic Bastiat, (1801-1850) French economist, statesman, and author

"Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise." Sir Francis Bacon

"If there are men in this country big enough to own the government of the United States, they are going to own it." Woodrow Wilson

"All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent." Thomas Jefferson

"The highest return on assets is always a political contribution." William Black author of The Best Way To Rob A Bank Is To Own One.

"Banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies." Thomas Jefferson

"All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate would be oppression." Thomas Jefferson

"Ostentation is the signal flag of hypocrisy." Edwin Hubbel Chapin - Universalist minister of the 1800s

"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." Mark Twain

"The trouble with the world is not that people know too little; it's that they know so many things that just aren't so." Mark Twain or Josh Billings

"You can't teach an old dogma new tricks" Dorothy Parker - American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist

"I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep the house." Zsa Zsa Gabor

(Updated 11/3/12)

Categories: Miscellaneous