"Wasted Away in Margaritaville"

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Like A Business

JM Ashby
Bob Cesca's Awesome Blog! Go!

Artist – Jeff Parker

In other news, Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced a bill this week to bring back gold and silver coins as a means of solving the nation’s fiscal problems, and 750,000 government employees went on strike today in Britain to protest their conservative government’s harsh austerity measures.
Copyright 2011 Bob Cesca's Awesome Blog! Go!

Nothing To Show For It

JM Ashby
Bob Cesca's Awesome Blog! Go!

Artist – Mike Keefe

In other news, a new poll shows that Governor Rick Perry would lose his home state of Texas in a matchup against President Obama, and Boeing has been found to be overcharging the government by as much at 177,000 percent.
Copyright 2011 Bob Cesca's Awesome Blog! Go!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Karl Rove’s $20 MILLION Distraction

 Josh Dorner
Progress Reports/ThinkProgress
June 28, 2011

Don’t Forget–The GOP United Behind Plan to End Medicare, Give More Tax Breaks to Big Oil, Billionaires

Late last Friday, Karl Rove’s attack group, Crossroads GPS, announced a $20 million attack ad campaign going after President Obama.  Crossroads says the ads, initially showing on cable and in 10 states, are meant to “frame the national debate” on jobs and the economy. What they really want to do, of course, is re-frame the national debate away from the GOP’s disastrous and spectacularly unpopular plan to end Medicare in order to give more tax breaks to millionaires, billionaires, and Big Oil (three groups that just so happened to fund a related Rove attack group last year).
Here’s a reminder of what’s in the GOP plan and where the 2012 candidates stand on it. (Hint: they all support it.)
What’s Included in the GOP Plan:
All the 2012 Candidates Support the GOP Plan:

Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed

The Senate Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security held itsfirst hearing today on the DREAM Act, with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napalitano among those testifying in support of the bill alongside DREAM activists and representatives from the Defense Department. The hearing was packed with students, many of whom were wearing trademark caps and gowns, supporting the bill that has been continually reintroduced since 2001. The bill came closest to passage last year during the lame duck session, but fell five votes short of overcoming a Senate filibuster.
Google estimates the cost of delaying clean energy innovation and smart energy policies for just five years could cost the U.S. economy trillions of dollars.
A shocking new audit was leaked today by the Defense Department’s Office of Inspector General that found Boeing is overcharging the US Army by up to 177,000 percent on helicopter parts. All told, this has resulted in millions of dollars of overspending on the taxpayers dime.
After Michelle Bachmann’s latest gaffe, in which she falsely claimed John Quincy Adams was a founding father, people have tried to edit Adams’ Wikipedia page. Bachmann’s latest gaffe comes after her former chief of staff wrote an op-ed in the Des Moines Register, saying she does not have the “judgment, the demeanor, and the readiness to serve as president.”
Eighty-one corporations are lobbying Congress in an attempt to block a new requirement that companies disclose the ratio between their CEOs’ pay and the pay of their median worker.
The Roosevelt Institute’s Mike Konczal notes, “if you look at the 10 states in the U.S. that rely the most on private prisons, they incarcerate a percentage of their population in privately-owned facilities roughly equivalent to what Europe does in all their facilities.”
After taking a $10 billion bailout, Goldman Sachs is sending 10,000 jobs to Singapore. As ThinkProgress’ Scott Keyes pointed out, “Goldman is firing American workers at a time of record profits for the company, which raked in $2.7 billion in profits in the first three months of 2011 alone.”

© 2005-2011 Center for American Progress Action Fund

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Marriage Equality: After New York, What Now For The GOP?

Amanda Peterson Beadle
Progress Reports/ThinkProgress
June 27, 2011

But there was one group that wasn’t cheering but who seemed like they should be – the Tea Partiers who champion the 10th Amendment and want states to take control of their own matters. That is, until the issue is whether states would be taking charge of their own marriage laws.
For the past few years, the Republican Party seems to be following a more libertarian path instead of claiming the moral high ground, as did prior to the economy bottoming out at the end of the Bush era. In fact, Bush’s views on marriage equality and morality were viewed as a key contributing factor to his re-election in 2004. So how do the states’ rights-championing tenthers mesh with the previously embraced Religious Right?
THE DONORS: In New York, it was a matter of following the money. Cuomo pulled together Republican donors who could help him win over senators in the Republican-controlled Senate. Using donors from the other party who were sympathetic — the New York Times reported that one of the donors has a gay son — helped sway some votes. “A major target was James S. Alesi, a Republican from suburban Rochester, who seemed tormented by his 2009 vote. […] The coalition approached him from every angle. The Republican donors invited him to a meeting on Park Avenue, telling him they would eagerly support him if he backed same-sex marriage.” Alesi eventually became the first Republican senator in New York to publicly support marriage equality.
But beyond just the politicians, it was a broad, unlikely group of allies who pushed for marriage equality. Labor unions rallied people while Republican donors funded lobbying efforts. Sean Avery, a hockey player for the New York Rangers, publicly spoke out in support of marriage equality, as did New York City MayorMichael Bloomberg.
Cuomo and the unified coalition of marriage equality supporters potentially created a roadmap for how they passed the bill in their state. The question now is whether such a bipartisanship force can be assembled again.
THE TEA PARTY: Tea Party darling Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) is having trouble figuring out how to phrase her opinion about marriage equality. First, responding to a question about marriage equality during the Republican presidential debate, she showed her Tea Party roots and said, “I don’t see that it’s the role of a president to go into states and interfere with their state law.” But she also said marriage should be between a man and a woman, and added at the end that she would support a constitutional amendment preventing marriage equality.
She gave a similar answer in an interview with Chris Wallace on this week’s Fox News Sunday, saying she supports New York’s right to enact marriage equality into law because the 10th Amendment gives states that right. But again, she also reiterated that she favors a constitutional amendment against marriage equality.
For a group that favors states’ rights, no national Tea Party figure has stood up in favor of marriage equality. When Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York spoke out against the measure before the Senate’s vote, he even described it as a form of government tyranny — using some Tea Party-style language rather than sticking to a strictly religious argument.
While Bachmann’s flirtation with embracing New York’s decision lines up with her Tea Party-favoring, states’ rights campaign mores, it doesn’t line up with the official views of the party whose nomination she seeks.
THE REPUBLICANS: Eight years have greatly changed the political field since Bush won re-election on social issues in a year when 11 states had ballot initiatives to create state consitutional bans same-sex couples from getting married. Now, the Republican candidates all still say they oppose marriage equality, but, as in New York, some Republican donors are standing on the other side of the issue. And nationwide polling suggests a majority of Americans favor marriage equality.
So where does that leave the Republican party?
While preserving traditional marriage was a tenet of the Republican party’s platform in 2008, it is not an issue mentioned prominently on the Republican National Committee’s website in 2011. Prominent Republicans including former Vice President Dick Cheney and Bush’s daughterBarbara Bush now support marriage equality, but Republican presidential candidates arefocusing on their economic plans rather than their social views. In the all-important Iowa caucus, supporting marriage equality or civil unions could be trouble for a campaign in Iowa, with 58 percent of Republican Iowa caucus-goers polled saying they would not vote for a candidate who even supported civil unions.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman (R) supports civil unions, while former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) only says people in nontraditional relationships should be given some rights. Meanwhile, openly gay Republican presidential candidate Fred Karger has been all but ignored by the media and shut out of the presidential debates and other key events. As for the rest of the crowded Republican field, the candidates are playing to their base, either opposing marriage equality outright or saying only that it is up to the states to decide. (A comprehensive rundown of the 2012 candidates and their positions on LGBT issues can be found here.)
That opinion may work for now among conservative primary voters and entrenched marriage equality opponents, but the tide is turning the other way – potentially leaving the Republicans behind.
Evening Brief: Important Stories That You May Have Missed
After reports surfaced that Chief Justice David Prosser choked his colleague, fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, while arguing with her last week, Fox News called for the justice’s resignation. No, not Prosser’s. Fox’s Greta Van Susteren thinks that “Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson is not doing her job to lead the court and to give confidence to the people of Wisconsin.”
The recent Republican fix-all for the economy — cut spending to create jobs — may be supported by the GOP’s presidential candidates, but the facts sure don’t. The states that have cut back the most on their spending have watched their economies lose the most jobs.
Calling the fight for gay equality “one of the most urgent and important human rights struggle of all times,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke in favor of the New York vote to legalize same-sex marriage today at State Department LGBT pride event and asked her colleagues “to look for ways to support those who are on the front lines of this movement.”
Rep. Michele Bachmann was off to an aggressive start to her official presidential campaign today in Iowa as she unwittingly compared herself to John Wayne Gacy of Waterloo, Iowa, who achieved notoriety for murdering of 33 people in the 1970s. “That’s the kind of spirit that I have, too,” Bachmann said.
A host of industry emails examined by the New York Times show that the buzz over natural gas as a replacement energy source may not be warranted and calls forth questions about the amount of natural gas that can be successfully extracted, the economics of such extraction and the safety of the shale fracking process.
© 2005-2011 Center for American Progress Action Fund

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sarah Palin "Trademark": The Backlash

The Week
25 June 11

t looks like Alaska's most famous politician will get her name trademarked after all. Cue the mockery!
Sarah Palin took some ribbing earlier this year for failing to sign an application to trademark her name. But now, after she and daughter Bristol resubmitted their paperwork, and nobody challenged it, the names Sarah Palin and Bristol Palin will be trademarked within three months. Sarah Palin is claiming a trademark for both references to "political issues" online and "educational and entertainment services," including "motivational speaking." Entertainment and politics? Bloggers and the Twitterati couldn't resist such a big target:
Only in America! 
"Sarah Palin will soon be making people pay for trying to cash in on her name"? says David Gardner in Britain's Daily Mail. "Unflippingbelievable!" 

Totally reasonable 
I guess "every great vice presidential candidate-turned-professional public speaker needs a registered trademark attached to their name," says Alistair Murray at his blog. "Such normal people," the Palins. 

How was this so easy? 
Given how contentious everything about Palin is, "amazingly, nobody seems to have challenged" the trademark application, says Joshua Green at The Atlantic. Regardless, "better hold off on those bootleg Palin T-shirts you were thinking about printing up." 

Poor Tina Fey! 
Forget merchandise. "I wonder how this will impact Sarah Palin impersonators?" says Chris Menning at Buzzfeed

At least we know her 2012 plans 
Because "you know people who trademark their names for commerce are serious about running for president," tweets The Nation's Ari Melber

Nice try, haters 
Actually, "if Palin is running she just bought herself one powerful weapon against those who want to smear her," says Clifton B. at Another Black Conservative. People who want to write "nasty things" about Palin now have a choice: "Either pay up or they shut down." 

Thank goodness she can't trademark nicknames 
I get that the Palins are trying to censor their critics, says Gryphen at The Immoral Minority. But "unless Sarah also plans on trademarking 'Granny Grifter,' 'Snowdrift Snooki,' 'The Grizzled Mama,' and 'Klondike Kardashian,'" her war on snark is doomed. 

We protest! 
And here we were thinking this was just "another dumb-fool thing the Palins would do," says Honolulu Notes. Well, if they think "this means we have to put TM after their name each time we use it," let us be the first to say, "that ain’t happening in the blog-o-sphere, we promise."

© 2011 Reader Supported News