We are apparently the yammeringest nation on Earth, but then again there are plenty of things to yammer about…especially if you have all the perception of your average orange tuber. Here are 25 more things people think are vitally important, though God knows why. BTW, catch up with earlier yammerings with Part I and Part II.
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Ah yes, the deification of Zombie Reagan that only exists in the minds of right-wingers continues on FoxPAC. After being by guest host John Roberts if the Romney-Ryan ticket ?fails the Commander in Chief test? or not, here's how Fox regular KT McFarland responded.
MCFARLAND: Look, it's a brilliant foreign policy choice. Why? For three reasons.
One, you know, the biggest problem America faces, the biggest national security problem we face, according to the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the economy. If we don't fix the economy, foreign policy is collateral damage. So first fix the economy. And people forget that my boss, Reagan, in the first Reagan term, Reagan fixed the economy. He didn't take down the Soviet Union until the second term. So first, fix the economy.
The second thing is, America's immediate problem in foreign policy is Israel and Iran. Now, the United States and Israel have to see eye to eye on how to deal with Iran. If they don't see eye to eye, than Israel could be tempted to go off on its own, start a war with Iran that they can't finish that we have to finish. The closest relationship is between Romney and Netanyahu. They've known each other for forty years. They are on the same page. They may not always agree, but they're on the same page. And, you know John, as far as who's the foreign minister of Kazakhstan, what Romney can do is appoint a blue ribbon committee of wise men. Get Henry Kissinger, who opened China, did the first Middle East negotiations. Get George Schultz, ended the Cold War. Get Jim Baker, won the first Iraq war. Have them be a wise men committee to vet whoever the foreign policy picks are for the Cabinet. So, no, this is a great foreign policy choice, because it shows that America can solve it's problems and we're back.
ROBERTS: Quick answer if I could ask you for it KT, this idea of American exceptionalism as well, in a talk before the Council on Foreign Relations, Paul Ryan said ?Obama (the President) doesn't think America is an exceptional nation. It's a shame he doesn't believe in American exceptionalism.? Is this idea of America being bigger than everybody else and stronger than everybody else really play into our national security going forward?
MCFARLAND: Yeah, and John that is in fact a key point. If you look around the world and say what's the biggest problem with the perception of America, it's that the best days are behind us. We were a great empire, no longer. And all the Obama administration's going to do is manage the decline. With a Romney-Ryan ticket, it's like Reagan again! It's like saying, we have big problems. We can solve big problems. And if the United States is the only mature democracy in the world that can do that, it sets the world on a whole new direction. I think it's brilliant!
h/t Media Matters
On NBC’s Meet The Press on Sunday, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus reiterated the false claim that the Affordable Care Act guts Medicare, claiming that President Obama’s attempt to increase the program’s solvency amounts to “stealing” from America’s seniors.
“If any person in this entire debate has blood on their hands in regard to Medicare, it’s Barack Obama,” Priebus insisted:
PRIEBUS: This president stole — he didn’t cut Medicare — he stole $700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare. If any person in this entire debate has blood on their hands in regard to Medicare, it’s Barack Obama. He’s the one that’s destroying Medicare.
But Obama’s health care law extends the solvency of Medicare, and has already saved seniors $4 billion on prescription drugs.
Ryan’s plan, conversely, preserves all of the savings included in the reform law while transforming the existing Medicare benefit guarantee into a premium support program that would provide seniors with depreciating vouchers to buy insurance from private plans.
The Congressional Budget Office found that the budget would reduce federal spending per Medicare beneficiary by 35 to 42 percent in 2050 and new recipients could pay up to $1,200 more by 2030 and more than $5,900 in that year.
From the streets ... (David Shankbone)To the election ...
Democrats are united in message and policy behind a narrative that holds Republicans accountable for the decline of the middle class, blaming them for rubber-stamping the agenda of a moneyed elite that is abusing the levers of power to rig the game in their favor. And Mitt Romney is their poster child for that phenomenon. [...] ?The biggest thing that changed was there was a major shift in the overall environment when it comes to the tax debate,? the Democratic aide said, crediting the Occupy Wall Street movement for helping make the wealth disparity a national issue. ?People increasingly think the system is rigged to benefit those at the top.? - TPMLast fall, I posited that:
The Occupy Movement is quickly becoming an essential component of the progressive Village. But it takes more than a grassroots movement. It takes electoral activism and, yes, responsive politicians. For years, the blogs, like Daily Kos, have provided electoral activism. The pols have been a bit slow on the response, to say the least. Maybe what they needed to see was a grassroots movement. Enter the Occupy Movement. The makings of a functional progressive village seems to be, possibly, in our future.
The future appears to be now. See President Obama in a campaign appearance in Ohio last week:
But it started earlier. Remember the president's words in his State of the Union address this past January?
[My grandfather's generation] understood they were part of something larger; that they were contributing to a story of success that every American had a chance to share -- the basic American promise that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement. The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important. We can either settle for a country where a shrinking number of people do really well while a growing number of Americans barely get by, or we can restore an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.Sounds like this Democratic president (audio here):
?President Obama, 2012 State of the Union Address
But here is the challenge to our democracy: In this nation I see tens of millions of its citizens?a substantial part of its whole population?who at this very moment are denied the greater part of what the very lowest standards of today call the necessities of life.This is why we are Democrats. Our politicians and statesmen now appear to be fully comfortable in reanimating these basic Democratic values.
I see millions of families trying to live on incomes so meager that the pall of family disaster hangs over them day by day.
I see millions whose daily lives in city and on farm continue under conditions labeled indecent by a so-called polite society half a century ago.
I see millions denied education, recreation, and the opportunity to better their lot and the lot of their children.
I see millions lacking the means to buy the products of farm and factory and by their poverty denying work and productiveness to many other millions.
I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished.
But it is not in despair that I paint you that picture. I paint it for you in hope?because the nation, seeing and understanding the injustice in it, proposes to paint it out. We are determined to make every American citizen the subject of his country?s interest and concern; and we will never regard any faithful law-abiding group within our borders as superfluous. The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. [Emphasis supplied.]
Occupy helped make that happen.
There?s more! You?ll find a collection of previously published Who Am I teaser images in our Who Am I Gallery. How many can you identify? Occasional Planet?s ?Who Am I? features people who have made important contributions to liberal thought, progressive politics, human rights, enlightened education, and ?small-d? democratic principles?both in the US and internationally. [...]Related posts:
Another Silent Classic. A little dark, but the best print I could find.Sergei Eisenstein- Battleship Potemkin 1925 (1:13) [...]
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From the August 12 edition of ABC's This Week:
In celebration of Paul Ryan's nomination, and in consideration of his reputation among Washington, DC villagers as a fiscal guru, I thought it might be fun to do a series of posts, of which this is the first, critiquing examples of Ryan's past wisdom.[...]
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No tax returns for you!While Mitt Romney refuses to release his tax returns to the American people so they can have the information necessary to evaluate him as a presidential candidate, nonetheless, he did demand years of tax returns from the persons he considered for the Republican vice presidential nomination. From Buzzfeed:
Mitt Romney's presidential campaign requested "several" years of tax returns from potential vice presidential picks, senior adviser Beth Myers, who ran the search, told reporters Saturday. Myers said vetting documents were stored in safes in a secure room at campaign headquarters for review by attorneys. Asked what was inside the safes, Myers replied "tax documents, everything we used.? And how many years? "Several" she said, declining to provide a more specific number.Apparently, Romney, like Leona Helmsley, not only thinks that only the "little people" pay taxes, but that only "our betters" are permitted to review the tax returns of political candidates.
Let them eat cake: it's not just a slogan, it's Mitt Romney's view of everything.
If he had settled for an attack puppy like Tim Pawlenty rather than controversial Paul Ryan, the GOP standard bearer would not be facing new questions about his wealth, taxes and social insensitivity.
?Instead of a referendum on his own performance,? political strategistspoint out, ?the president has an opening to turn the election into a referendum on the vision that Mr. Ryan has advanced and Mitt Romney has adopted.?
What was the usually cautious contender thinking?
?Romney, the turnaround artist, decided that he needed to turn around his own campaign,? suggests New York Times resident wonk Nate Silver, adding that the President ?will no longer have to stretch to evoke the specter of Congress and its 15 percent approval rating...he will be running against a flesh-and-blood embodiment of it.?
Under a Ryan budget, another critic snipes, underscoring the tax release controversy, Romney would have owed only 0.82 percent of his $21 million income in 2010 rather than the 13.9 he paid.
This VP choice may excite the foot-dragging Tea Party base Romney has been courting, but what will be the ultimate price among independent and undecided voters?
Like John McCain?s ?Game Change? choice in 2008, this year?s may also have surprisingly unintended consequences.
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