Challenge for Rick Perry!

The other night, before the Google-Fox News debate, Perry talked to a roomful of a few thousand activists.  During that talk, this is part of what Perry said, “as I campaign for president, I not only ask you for your vote and your support, I ask you for your prayers.”

So I have a challenge for Perry.  Stop campaigning entirely and instead ask people to pray.  Do not ask people to vote.  Lets see what happens with God and your supporters prayers.  Will God magically add the majority of votes to you because you had millions of people praying and you in turn win the presidency?  Or will this turn out like when you asked people to pray for rain in Texas and instead your state faced record drought and wildfires?  If you believe in the power of prayer, than that should alone be enough for you to win the election and become president.  Unless of course, prayer doesn’t work.  Oh, and no cheating like your predecessor, Bush.

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Herman Cain Wins Straw Poll!

In a Florida straw poll on Saturday, Herman Cain swept the vote!

Here are the results:

Herman Cain: 37.11%
Rick Perry: 15.43%
Mitt Romney: 14.00%
Rick Santorum: 10.88%
Ron Paul: 10.39%
Newt Gingrich: 8.43%
Jon Huntsman: 2.26%
Michele Bachmann: 1.51%

Wow! He more than doubled the candidate in second place, Rick Perry.  Does this mean he has any more chance in winning the primary? No, of course not!  Cain has essentially no chance.

I won’t really talk much about Cain because it seems pointless, but I will not this.  He wants to eliminate the EPA.  Also, over the summer, he mentioned that he would nominate the CEO of Shell Oil to head the EPA and set their regulations.  Yes, this seems real smart….  No further explanation of this lunacy is needed.  Oh!  But wait!  There’s more.  His stupid, idiotic, 999 plan would cost over $2 trillion dollars.  Anyways, enough about Cain.  I can’t bare to write anymore on him.

It seems like Romney is most likely going to win the primary and here is why.  Bachmann has dropped considerably and is far too conservative.  Her vaccine lunacy has also hurt her and has made her look like a moron.  Now, for Perry, he has already started to fade after being the “front-runner.”  He also is starting to correctly being viewed as an idiot.  The Republicans hate his support for the Dream Act in Texas as well as his “mandate” for the HPV vaccine and his claim that he met with a 31-year-old woman who lobbied him when in fact he met with her after the mandate was in place.  This was a blatant lie.

Furthermore, his debate performances have been heavily criticized.  People on the right were upset that he told them to “pray that Obama’s eyes will open.”   Yes, they hate this because they want Obama to fail.  Also, Perry mentioned that people “don’t have a heart” with regards to immigration.  He also said, “I don’t know what part of opt-out most parents don’t get.”  Obviously this will not sit well with the Right, he basically called them stupid.  Yes, there are many more issues that the Right is starting to have with Perry and to see some of them click here.  I feel that I have listed enough to make my point.

Now, with Perry fading and Bachmann pretty much out of the picture, what does that leave us with?  Mittens.  (That’s my sexy nickname for Romney.)  Anyways, all the candidates seem to be focusing on attacking Perry, leaving Mitt Romney in the clear.  Moreover, Romney is also the wealthiest candidate, worth up to $250 million, and will easily be able to fund his campaign until the end.  He also has more of a mainstream appeal, though he is also terribly conservative.  Remember, corporations are people too?

It seems like a lot of these candidates are up there to make Romney look like a reasonable candidate.  (I obviously don’t believe actually this.)

One final note:  I still don’t see why Rick Perry keeps saying that social security should be returned to the states.  The states never had it.  Why doesn’t anyone in the media point this out?

Another “Poor” Republican

Another two to add to the ASSHOLE list: Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) and Rep. John Fleming (R-LA)

In the most recent year where data are available, 2009, Rep. Campbell was worth up to $37 MILLION.  Today he said, “I don’t want to raise my taxes.”  Yes, that’s because you plan on feeding your family with $37 million and you obviously can’t afford to help other people out or the economy.

Also today, Rep. Fleming complained about his taxes:

While it is fine that he has money, the problem lies in the he earned $6.3 million last year alone and claims that, “By the time I feed my family, I have maybe $400,000 left over.”  But, even with $400,000 left over, he would be at the very top of earners.  What kind of person would be sad for only having an extra $400,000 a year?  The answer, a Republican.

Please though, I hope more multimillionaire Republicans come forward and start bitching because they “can’t afford” an extra few percent of their income to help our country get out of this mess when we have an unemployment rate hovering around 9.1 percent. (This will likely increase over the next year as Republicans are pushing for policies of austerity.)  These congressmen are absolutely sick.

Update: Added link

Buffett Rule Talking Points

I just came across these over at HuffPo

Talking Points: The Buffett Rule

    • On Monday, the President will lay out a balanced approach to further reduce our nation’s deficit and get our fiscal house in order, based on the values of shared responsibility and shared sacrifice.
    • The government must live within its means in order to make the critical investments we need to immediately get folks back to work and put our economy on a stronger footing for the future.
    • A balanced approach includes many of the proposals the President has previously discussed — closing tax loopholes for oil companies and hedge fund managers and asking the very wealthiest and special interests to pay their fair share. A balanced approach also includes difficult spending cuts and making adjustments to strengthen programs like Medicare and Medicaid for future generations.
    • That is why the President is calling on the Congress to undertake comprehensive tax reform to simplify the system, make it more fair and efficient, and lay a stronger foundation for economic growth. On Monday, the President will lay out principles for tax reform.
    • One of the key principles is the “Buffett Rule” — No house­hold making over $1 million annually should pay a smaller share of its income in taxes than middle-class families pay. The Buffett Rule applies to the top 0.3% of the wealthiest Americans.
    • As Warren Buffett has said, it’s not fair for the super-rich to “pay a lower part of our income in taxes than our receptionists do, or our cleaning ladies, for that matter.”
    • And Warren Buffett is not alone among the very wealthy in paying only a small share of income in taxes.
    • 22,000 millionaires — making more than $1 million annually — paid less than 15 percent of their income in taxes in 2009.
    • And the top 400 richest Americans, all making over $110 million per year and making an average of $271 million per year, paid only 18 percent of their income in income taxes in 2008. In fact, since the mid-1990s, the share of income paid by the wealthiest 400 Americans has fallen by nearly 40 percent, from 29.9% in 1995, even as their average incomes roughly quadrupled.
    • Too many middle class Americans pay more than this — especially when payroll taxes are taken into account.
    • The fact is, it’s not fair to reduce the deficit by shifting the burden on the middle class, older Americans, or those who can least afford it.
    • Unfortunately, Congressional Republicans believe the burden of deficit reduction should only come from spending cuts to critical programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, and refuse to ask millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share to get our fiscal house in order and reduce the deficit.
  • To grow our economy and create jobs now, we need a balanced approach to deficit reduction.
It’s sad that in these talking points it talks about the importance of spending cuts so we “live within our means.”  The government is not an individual or a family that must leave in its means.  We should be spending MORE not cutting, if we want to get out of this mess.  After all, it makes sense to spend now; our 10-year interest rates are at record lows.  Whereas in the past during economic growth they were about double.  That means it hurts a lot less to borrow now than in previous times.
You know, instead of putting out talking points regarding a balanced budget to please the Repubkicans, why don’t they release graphs of 10-year interest rates showing that it MAKES SENSE to BORROW NOW???
Oh, here is that graph that the Obama administration needs to spread around.
From Paul Krugman’s blog talking about Eric Cantor and Hurricane Irene (which you should all be reading daily):

In 2004 federal borrowing paid a nominal rate of more than 4 percent and a real rate of about 2 percent. Today it pays a nominal rate of a bit more than 2 percent and a real rate barely above zero. This means that the burden of borrowing to pay for disaster relief (or anything else) is much lower now than it was then.

 

So circumstances have indeed changed since 2004 — but they have changed in a way that makes offsetting disaster relief with spending cuts elsewhere a much worse idea. Cantor’s changing line has moved in exactly the wrong direction.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/01/cantor-irene-and-interest-rates/

Obama Set to Introduce Millionaire Tax (I am skeptical)

Over at the HuffPo, they mention that the purpose is to make sure that millionaires pay at least the same percentage as middle class tax payers; possibly something like Warren Buffett outlined in his op-ed in the NYT. Here  (Details are still sketchy as it is yet to be officially announced.)

While this is (hopefully) a breath of fresh air from the Obama (finally), I somehow doubt this will be able to pass the House. (Ok, lets be real, it’s next to impossible)  But the notion that Obama is actually willing to suggest a Democratic policy is very news worthy.  Time after time he has more than compromised to the Republicans.  Gitmo is still open and appears to stay open for the foreseeable future, we are still in two (three) wars (He increased the troops in Afghanistan by 34,000!). He is not for gay marriage, he sued when DADT was ruled unconstitutional (yes, it’s gone now, but he still prolonged the life of DADT), we are fighting a hopeless and burdensome war on drug consumers, the Bush tax cuts were extended, he gave in to EVERYTHING on the debt ceiling (Boehner even said they got 98% of what they asked for), he gave up the public option in health care reform, he allows offshore drilling (yes, it was stopped during the BP spill but it has recently started up again), he recently ignored the EPA’s recommendation to lower the smog limit, he appears to be fine with the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, he nominated Francis Collins to head the NIH (he started the crackpot BioLogos Foundation), he nominated Republicans (or conservatives) to high positions, etc. etc. etc..

The list really never seems to end.  It’s pathetic that we have a “Dem” who is to the right of the AVERAGE REPUBLICAN VOTER. See here.

For these reasons, among others, I can’t see much happening with this “Buffett Rule” tax on the wealthy.  Obviously I welcome it, but looking through the past moves of this administration, it seems highly unlikely.

Why continue with austerity? Europe tried it, and look at the mess they are in now.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/17/obama-tax-plan-millionaires_n_967861.html

Bob Woodward and Russ Mitchell

Tonight I attended the 40th anniversary of the Gateway Journalism Review (previously, the St. Louis Journalism Review). Russ Mitchell, the CBS Evening News anchor, acted as MC and posed audience questions to Bob Woodward, one of the two reporters to break the Watergate story. Anyways, Russ posed a question asking whether he (Bob Woodward) thought that young people were getting news nowadays considering that so many don’t read the newspaper.  Well, I had thought about this particular question the other day and came up with a few interesting thoughts, so I approached Russ Mitchell after the talk was over.  (I won’t get into Bob Woodward’s answer because honestly I can’t remember what he said. But, it did notably lack much of what I had come up with.)

So I told Russ Mitchell that I have a very hard time believing that a person growing up in the 60s or 70s would be able to know even close to what I or any other person would know now. I suggested that with the use of computers, we are able to learn about any topic in history, whereas when one grows up without a computer they have to go to the library, find a book, check it out, read it, go back and repeat the process until they have acquired the desired amount of knowledge.  And not only that, but there is another problem. How is one supposed to learn recent news? What if they missed the evening news or the paper for a particular day?  Furthermore, the news on the TV and paper cannot possibly publish every story, but websites can.  Websites can also fact-check easily.  Then comes the next innovation, blogs.  For example, where would we read about the latest news in evolution if for instance, a blog like http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/ does not exist? Yes, we could go check out books, but again we would not know the latest research.  This also applies to scientific journals.  They too are online and you can quickly browse through the articles and gain massive amounts of knowledge over a short period of time.

In this current era, newspapers are getting to be smaller and smaller as well as more notably corrupt. For example, the Wall Street Journal became much less credible after Murdoch took over.  So what do you have?  You have The New York Times and honestly, that is pretty much it.  You need the internet to know about financial news now.  How many papers or news shows talk about the ECB and how the Euro is helping take down Europe?  You can also post as many pictures and videos as you would like.

Overall, with the innovations during the past decade or two, it is much easier to develop massive amounts of knowledge on limitless topics.  It is easy for one to think of many more reasons why we are able to gain more knowledge at this point in time, but I think what I provided will suffice.

I do also understand that people might say, “Oh, but people now don’t care nearly as much about the news as they did in the 60s.”  Even if this was true (I don’t think it is, but I have not come across a study), I would think that those who are interested now and you combine their knowledge would have more knowledge than those combined in previous decades.  Also, it is noteworthy that while yes, you have people who are apathetic to this today, there were also people like that in previous years.

I told Russ Mitchell that I can watch any news program and there is never (lets say almost never) a story that I haven’t already read.  Besides of course the dog that can do a backflip and related “stories.”  I’ll even know the “stories” (lies) that Fox News tells their viewers and I’m sure many other Progressives would too.

Anyways, Russ Mitchell said that I raised a good point and he likes it.  Hopefully I gave him an interesting perspective from a “younger” audience; one that is probably underrepresented. (How often do you see a 20 year old on the national news being interviewed for their take on their peers reading the newspaper?)

Note: While I didn’t talk to Bob Woodward as he was on satellite, both him and Russ Mitchell seemed very nice.