[h/t Daily Kos]
Every time I see one of these reports I end up wondering how exactly it is that Mitt Romney is even in contention for this election, because common sense on everyday kinds of things is so...not there. Here's an ad from the Romney campaign accusing Barack Obama of causing businesses to close in Ohio because he bailed out the auto industry.
In the 30-second spot, Al Zarzour, a 61-year-old car dealership owner from Lyndhurst, Ohio, says that in the wake of the auto bailout General Motors shut down his credit line, forcing him to lay off his 30-person workforce.
"In 2009, under the Obama administration's bailout of General Motors, Ohio dealerships were forced to close," a narrator says in the commercial.
But just as the narrator says that at the 5-second mark, the ad shows a streetscape that appears to be in Oklahoma City, as noted by Sarah Burris, managing editor of the progressive blog FutureMajority.com. Google street view confirms that the scene is indeed outside the Advanced Academics building on E. Sheridan Avenue in Oklahoma City.
Burris told The Huffington Post via email that she and her friend, Dwight Clark, who she met in Oklahoma political circles, noticed the mistake while chatting the other day.
"It's amusing at the very least," Burris wrote on her Tumblr. "Looks like the stock footage of 'Ohio' just wasn?t good enough or someone maybe just miss clicked??? Ohio does come right before Oklahoma?. Oops."
Yeah, stupid. But so is the whole commercial. Let's see if I have the accusation right. General Motors, facing its demise in the wake of the financial meltdown, had this little side business called GMAC Credit, which extended lines of credit but also got caught in the whole credit crunch. And so GMAC shut down that guy's line of credit not because GM was bailed out, but because GMAC was a disaster just like the banks and other high-rolling lenders of that time were.
And he blames the bailout? Because he thinks without the bailout GMAC and GM would somehow have kept that line of credit open in the middle of the worst financial credit crisis since the Great Depression? With what? Fairy dust?
How utterly magical of him to think so.
Last month, the taxpayer-funded Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum denied a request by Ceara Sturgis and Emily Key to rent the museum’s Masonic Hall for their commitment ceremony. Citing legal advice from state Attorney General Jim Hood from 2009, the museum argued that because same-sex marriage isn’t recognized in Mississippi, it could deny the couple use of its facilities since it wouldn’t be “legal.” Now, after intervention from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Hood has dispensed new legal guidance.
Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Cindy Hyde-Smith announced the change, but made it clear she isn’t happy about it:
HYDE-SMITH: In late July, my office received a letter from Attorney General Hood advising that under Mississippi law, the application could not be refused. Based on my personal and religious beliefs, I strongly object to this, but I have no alternative, due to this advice, but to allow the processing of this permit to move forward. This process contains multiple steps and is currently not finalized.[...]
While this same-sex couple’s request for a permit to utilize one of our state’s facilities for a “commitment ceremony” is not being defined as a marriage ceremony, it is personally troubling for me. Furthermore, based on the legal advice from the Attorney General and the lack of clarity of state law regarding usage of state facilities for these kinds of activities, the legal grounds to deny this request were not found by the Attorney General because the ceremony is, not on its face a violate of state law.
Hyde-Smith called on the legislature to remedy the perceived lack of clarity, essentially requesting that the state enshrine public accommodations discrimination against same-sex couples into law. Lt. Gov Tate Reeves (R) also released a statement objecting to the change:
REEVES: I am disappointed in the decision to allow a permit for same-sex marriage at a taxpayer-subsidized facility to be considered. Attorney General Hood’s legal advice goes against the wishes of an overwhelming majority of Mississippians.
Just last week, Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) says he doesn’t even believe same-sex couples are “couples.” Regardless of what Bryant, Reeves, Hyde-Smith or many Mississippians believe, at least two Mississippians will be able to celebrate a special day in a special way and it won’t affect anybody else’s lives whatsoever.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) during an Iftar dinner two weeks ago called Islamophobic conservatives “bigots.” In the wake of Rep. Michele Bachmann’s (R-MN) anti-Muslim witch hunt, Christie said he is “disturbed” by the intolerance against Muslims:
I’ll tell you that there is a gaze of intolerance that is going around our country that is disturbing to me. This is something that as a political leader you can think you understand as an objective observer, but you don’t really understand until you become part of the story.
Right wingers attacked Christie last year for appointing a Muslim judge to the New Jersey Superior Court, claiming it shows that he is “in bed with the enemy” and helping bring about Sharia law. Christie said at the time that he was “disgusted” by the attacks and again defended the appointment at last month’s Iftar dinner. He even asked the predominantly Muslim audience for future tips. “Please continue to recommend highly qualified and interested folks for positions in our administration,” he said. Watch the clip:
The right-wing group Family Security Matters picked up on Christie’s comments, and doesn’t seem pleased. But as Matt Katz notes, “beware that the comments section contains offensive words against Christie and Muslims.”
American Action Network is a tax-exempt 501(c)(4) organization.
Founded in 2010, AAN is chaired by former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN). Its president is Brian O. Walsh, a former political director of the National Republican Congressional Committee. AAN says it is an “action tank” that aims to “create, encourage and promote center-right policies based on the principles of freedom, limited government, American exceptionalism, and strong national security.”
According to the group’s website, it was founded by Fred Malek — the controversial Republican activist best known for co-chairing Nixon’s notorious Committee for the Re-Election of the President (CREEP). Malek has since become a private equity millionaire.
Others on the board are former Sen. Mel Martinez (a Florida Republican and former RNC chairman who abruptly resigned midway through his sole Senate term to pursue a private sector career), former Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY), former Rep. Jim Nussle (R-IA), and former Rep. Vin Weber (R-MN), and former Bush Ambassdor C. Boyden Gray (the man enlisted by Karl Rove to create an organization to push for confirmation of George W. Bush’s judicial nominees).
Sample AAN ad:
Graphics by Adam Peck. Christina Lewis and Ellie Sandmeyer contributed to this report
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, New York Police Department (NYPD) Chief Ray Kelly, the NYPD, and Microsoft unveiled software yesterday that, with new developed capabilities, transforms the department's already expansive network of surveillance[...]
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As California wends it's sorry way toward financial oblivion, several heretofore unreported situations have arisen that makes one wonder just how far the malignancy of corruption has spread through the numerous bureaucracies involved in governing a state that would make a fair sized country and in fact has the ninth largest economy in the world (down from 8th in 2010). I've always said that California, with 10% of the US population, was a perfect microcosm of the the country as a whole and that as California goes, so goes the nation. This is obviously as true of corruption in it's politics as anything else.
A few years ago we were reporting on the Retirement system (CALPERS) or California Public Employees Retirement System) and the manner in which some mid level managers in the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, now called CalFire had been hard at work ferreting out ways to retire at a relatively young age with a pension that amounted to 100% of their working salaries and the unconfirmed rumors that a few had even found ways to get even more than 100%. I've been told that some of those old mid/upper level management boys managed to retire with up to $100k a year (this not verified by any official source but if anybody at that level ever MADE $100k and/or if their retirement pay even approaches that figure remotely at a time when the average Californian is struggling through the worst recession since the 1930s, it is unconscionable at the least and somebody needs to be doing something about it.)
We also reported on the loopholes that allowed those that had retired prior to the discovery of the 100% retirement stipend and therefore had to settle for some percentage up to 90% to return to work for a year and be absorbed into the new system thereby getting their increase, a situation that was witnessed personally right here in my own little county. We also talked about numerous other actions on the part of management and the union that allowed hundreds of employees in all ranks to pad their salaries and comp packs and just generally make themselves a lot more comfortable at taxpayer expense than you would expect them to be, given the nature of the job.
Now it looks like the State Department of Beaches & Parks has been doing a little nasty of it's own for a while now, even as talks have been ongoing in regard to selling or privatizing a huge number of California's parks, beaches and other scenic areas to the Yacht Party bloc.
The first thing that you have to realize is that here in CA the distinction between Democrats and Republicans is even more fuzzy and blurred than it is on a national level. When I take a look at some of the legislative actions that have had me scratching for answers even more than usual lately, I don't even look at party affiliations anymore. My only question in regard to about 90% of the politicians in my state... a group that is supposedly decidedly left of center by most accounts... is in regard to who they're owned by, something that is just now beginning to take hold on a national level. Around here, a rich or wannabe rich Democrat will sell you out every bit as quickly as a rich or wannabe rich Republican and I guess in that regard you could say we're one of the only states in which it's been proven that bipartisanship can work... at least when it comes to scamming the serfs. Anyway, from the California Budget Fact Check site, we have the following:
California taxpayers have been deeply troubled by the recent scandals that have rocked the Department of Parks and Recreation. The allegations of inappropriate vacation buyouts awarded to 56 staff members and hoarding $54 million in special funds at a time when 70 parks were slated for closure have undermined the public's confidence in their state government.
Among the findings of this week's "California Budget Fact Check" are:
· The Parks Department vacation buyout scandal has taxpayers, lawmakers and the news media asking whether there is inappropriate spending going on in other state agencies and departments.
· The revelation that the Parks Department had hoarded $54 million in special funds has Californians asking whether there is hoarding in other state departments and whether painful budget cuts could have been avoided with money that had been stashed away and whether the state really needs more taxes.
· Assembly Republicans have called for the nonpartisan State Auditor to look into how departments are spending special fund dollars. This week, the audit request was approved on a bipartisan vote of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee.
A government in which greed on the part of its employees is the guiding factor in the governance of the state does not serve the majority of the people well, but instead merely aids and abets the upward transfer of wealth and this is basically what's happening in California today.
A recent investigation by the Sacramento Bee uncovered that former staff members at the Department of Parks and Recreation were allowed to participate in a controversial vacation buyout program. By all accounts, they received vacation buyout payments that were not authorized by department policy or current state law.1
Under this scheme, 56 staff members in the Sacramento headquarters were able to cash out vacation time that they had accrued, at a cost of $271,000 to taxpayers between May and July 2011.2 These actions were not authorized by the Administration.
As State Parks Are Slated for Closure, Department Stockpiles $54 Million
Taxpayers recently learned that the buyout scandal wasn't the only example of malfeasance going on at the State Parks Department. State officials recently uncovered that the Parks Department had "hoarded" $54 million in special funds for a dozen years.3
Most insulting to taxpayers is the fact that this occurred at the same time the Department was telling the Legislature that it needed to close 70 state parks across California as part of its efforts to manage its budget shortfall
In many communities, donors and non-profit organizations had stepped up to the plate to enter into public-private partnerships to save the parks. The allegations of stashed money have upset groups that worked selflessly with state and local officials to try and save these parks only to uncover that the budget situation wasn't as they were told. In Sonoma County, a planned quarter-cent sales tax measure was shelved in light of the hoarding allegations.4
Ultimately, the Parks Director resigned and other high-ranking parks officials were fired in the wake of these scandals.
Some of us have become pretty certain over the years that if we would actively root out the unethical and possibly illegal practices going on in state government today and simply went back to the basic honest day's pay for an honest day's work way of doing things we could fix a huge part of what's wrong with California. But as long as we keep on electing the same junkies and pimps and whores we'll keep right on getting the best government the corporations and big banks can buy in which case I'd rather not hear any sniveling once you finally fall over the fact that you've been reamed thoroughly. I've been telling you so for years now.
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Mitt Romney's unfavorable rating is up, most Americans think the Republican presidential challenger favors the rich, and the public no longer believes that the economy will get better if Romney is elected, according to a new national poll.When the silver lining for Republicans is that Romney's supporters are actually supporting Romney, you've got a rough three months ahead.
But a CNN/ORC International survey released Thursday also indicates that Romney's supporters are increasingly getting behind the presumptive GOP nominee.
It all adds up to a seven point advantage for President Barack Obama over the former Massachusetts governor, with 52% of registered voters questioned in the survey saying that they'd vote to re-elect the president and 45% backing Romney.
And they won't get better because the unlikeable Romney is even less liked?from 47-42 last month favorable-unfavorable, to 47-48 this month. This pollster was one of the few that showed Romney above water in his favorables, but no more. Among independents, his unfavorable rating is 52 percent.
Other findings: Sixty-four percent of all Americans, and 68% of independents, think Romney favors the rich over the middle class. And 63% of the public thinks Romney should release more tax returns than he has already made public, a figure which rises to 67% among independents.Ouch, ouch, and more ouch. But hey, more of his supporters support him, so there's that.
And lest you think it's just one poll, check out the latest composite:
When industry veterans are asked to join a company's board of directors, they are expected to stick around for many years. That gives them the accumulated knowledge of a company's operations, industry positioning . . . → Read More: These 15 Companies are Buying Back Millions of Shares
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New CNN poll has Obama up over Romney by 7 points -- 52-45. Yesterday's Ipsos poll had the same spread. [...]
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