Tag Archives: santorum

Monday Miscellany

17 Sep

1. So far, a viral campaign has so far collected 3,000 condolence letters from Muslims to the family of slain Ambassador Chris Stevens. That’s not to mention other forms of apology and grief expressed by the people of Libya who remain grateful to the United States for helping it to overthrow 40 years of dictatorship by a homicidal psychopath. 

Next time you hear some conservative mock Islam for not being “religion of peace-y” enough, or for pining for the good old days when Reagan had to drop bombs on Libya, point this out. 

2. Famed prude and anti-sex legislation enthusiast Rick Santorum gave an accurate speech to a crowd of like-minded vicious homophobes. 

3. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thinks he can berate the United States into doing his bidding. He’s been taking actions and saying words in the last few weeks in an effort to either influence our election here in favor of Romney, or to embarrass the current administration into supporting a strike against Iran. Evidently, having a military presence in Afghanistan isn’t difficult and costly enough, we’re also meant to support an invasion of a functioning, reasonably advanced nation-state. People criticize Obama for letting relations with Israel deteriorate, but that street runs two ways. It’s so bad that the leader of the Israeli opposition openly asked whether Netanyahu really wants regime change in Tehran or Washington

All of this is complicated by the fact that the Republican Party’s evangelist base is willing to do whatever Israel wants because Israel is proof to them of the imminent rapture, or something. I think it’s fantastic that wars, and our contemporary foreign policy are in part dictated by competing 2,000 year-old fairy tales. 

You should read this piece in Foreign Policy, wherein Bill Clinton explains how exactly Netanyahu completely obliterated – single-handedly – any chance for peace in the Middle East in the near future. 

“The Israelis always wanted two things that once it turned out they had, it didn’t seem so appealing to Mr. Netanyahu. They wanted to believe they had a partner for peace in a Palestinian government, and there’s no question — and the Netanyahu government has said — that this is the finest Palestinian government they’ve ever had in the West Bank,” Clinton said.

“[Palestinian leaders] have explicitly said on more than one occasion that if [Netanyahu] put up the deal that was offered to them before — my deal — that they would take it,” Clinton said, referring to the 2000 Camp David deal that Yasser Arafat rejected.

But the Israeli government has drifted a long way from the Ehud Barak-led government that came so close to peace in 2000, Clinton said, and any new negotiations with the Netanyahu government are now on starkly different terms — terms that the Palestinians are unlikely to accept.

“For reasons that even after all these years I still don’t know for sure, Arafat turned down the deal I put together that Barak accepted,” he said. “But they also had an Israeli government that was willing to give them East Jerusalem as the capital of the new state of Palestine.”

Israel also wants a normalization of relations with its Arab neighbors to accompany a peace deal. Clinton said that the Saudi-inspired Arab Peace Initiative put forth in 2002 represented an answer to that Israeli demand.

“The King of Saudi Arabia started lining up all the Arab countries to say to the Israelis, ‘if you work it out with the Palestinians … we will give you immediately not only recognition but a political, economic, and security partnership,'” Clinton said. “This is huge…. It’s a heck of a deal.”

The Netanyahu government has received all of the assurances previous Israeli governments said they wanted but now won’t accept those terms to make peace, Clinton said.

“Now that they have those things, they don’t seem so important to this current Israeli government, partly because it’s a different country,” said Clinton. “In the interim, you’ve had all these immigrants coming in from the former Soviet Union, and they have no history in Israel proper, so the traditional claims of the Palestinians have less weight with them.”

Clinton then repeated his assertions made at last year’s conference that Israeli society can be divided into demographic groups that have various levels of enthusiasm for making peace.

“The most pro-peace Israelis are the Arabs; second the Sabras, the Jewish Israelis that were born there; third, the Ashkenazi of long-standing, the European Jews who came there around the time of Israel’s founding,” Clinton said. “The most anti-peace are the ultra-religious, who believe they’re supposed to keep Judea and Samaria, and the settler groups, and what you might call the territorialists, the people who just showed up lately and they’re not encumbered by the historical record.”

Netanyahu appeared on Meet the Press yesterday, but I haven’t watched that show since it’s been watered down into an unrecognizable piece of dreck by David Gregory. Gregory apparently referred to Netanyahu as “leader of the Jews”, which is as stupid as it is factually inaccurate. 

4. Someone ask Ralph Lorigo how his early support of Chuck Swanick has helped (a) Lorigo; (b) Swanick; (c) the anti-same-sex marriage cause. 

Distillation

6 Apr

This summarizes just how awesome of a trainwreck the GOP primary season of 2012 has been.

Man under pressure to leave Presidential race pressures man to leave Presidential race.

Fear & Propaganda

27 Mar

Lost amid the sound and fury of the race for the Republican nomination is how candidates Romney, Santorum, Gingrich, and even former candidates like Cain, are really focusing on issues and not engaging in race-baiting or hyperbole. 

Nah, I’m just kidding. The issues are secondary. This is all about how Obama has destroyed / is about to destroy America, grandma, apple pie, and Chevrolet. Why, yesterday Obama got caught on a hot mic telling Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev the truth – that missile shield talks need to wait until after the election, at which time Obama will have “more flexibility”. 

Given that Mitt Romney went on record yesterday all but demanding war against Russia, Obama’s position is a bit more sane. 

So, here are some pretty awesome advertisements that Santorum and Cain’s PAC have put out in recent days. I’d call these “blatantly false propagandistic fearmongering”, but Limbaugh and his clones tell me only Democrats do that. 

 This one is from Rick Santorum. It’s got everything – how Obama destroyed the economy while he was President in 2008, how Ahmadinejad is going to rocket-destroy America and, like, take it over – maybe with Obama’s help, because he’s a seekrit Kenyan Mooslim!

Herman Cain isn’t going to be outdone by the patent insanity of a Rick Santorum. So, he’ll start out by displaying his hatred for “stimulus” by having a little kid kill a goldfish: 

And, not content with sanctioning the killing of a 10-cent fish, Cain pays for some really poor CGI showing a guy shooting a bunny rabbit in mid-air. 

Because nothing says, “I disagree with Keynesian economic pump-priming” like blowing a rabbit into little bits!

Your 2012 GOP: Totally out to lunch!

The Morning Grumpy – 2/1/2012

1 Feb

All the news and views fit to consume during your morning grumpy.

 

1. Mitt Romney, “I’m not concerned with the very poor“.

Under Romney’s proposed reductions in federal spending, it’s likely that Medicaid would be cut by $153 billion by 2016, the food stamp program would have to throw 10 million low-income people off the rolls, and a key program supporting poor children’s health would face cumulative cuts of $946 billion through 2021. As ThinkProgress’ Igor Volsky has said that Romney is living in a “dream world” when he claims his Medicaid cuts won’t hurt the poor.

And Romney’s tax plan suggests his focus is really on the wealthy, as it includes massive giveaways to upper-income earners and investors, while doing almost nothing for middle- and low-income Americans.

The Republican party, 2012!

“I believe that, as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil.” – Robert Kennedy

2. Rick “Santorum” Santorum finally gets the Bad Lip Reading treatment on YouTube. “We all leave skidders”

Here are some links to previous Bad Lip Reading episodes featuring Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, and Barack Obama. Bachmann’s is still the best, primarily because it doesn’t sound much different from what she says every day.

3. Does spending extensive amounts of time online alter our ability to learn and influence our happiness?

A study from Stanford University, published Wednesday, wrestles with a new question: How is technology affecting their happiness and emotional development?

The answer, in the peer-reviewed study of the online habits of girls ages 8 to 12, is that those who say they spend considerable amounts of time using multimedia describe themselves in ways that suggest they are less happy and less socially comfortable than peers who say they spend less time on screens.

The study has some holes, but was generally validated through the peer review process and will serve as a precursor to further research.  I respect technology because of its awesome power. The tools and the information it brings can be overwhelming and one has to measure how much one consumes in any particular time period. Too much and you become the socially inept “Did you read it?” characters from Portlandia; too little and you can find yourself both culture and information deprived. It is a delicate balance. Brian Lam at The Wirecutter expands on this idea.

It’s the perfect time, with this abundance of pages to read and videos to watch, to consider Clay Johnson’s book, The Information Diet. In his words, the book is about “How the new, information-abundant society is suffering consequences from poor information consumption habits” The book also outlines a plan for metering the kinds of content that we consume, as we do with food diets that need to be balanced between junk food and healthier food that initially taste worse but will make us healthier and happier.

Informationally, we are becoming lard-asses. In the pageview and ratings driven media economy, too much of the content these days is designed to be just like junk food to quickly boost quantifiable viewership. If you make content that is the intellectual equivalent of gummy bears, your site will appear to grow quickly. Advertisers reward size, and growing fast is expected in most places I’ve seen. Last month I visited Xeni Jardin, my blog-sister from Boing Boing and she said to me, “Only cancer and bullshit websites grow fast.” It’s happened to TV with reality shows, radio with clear channel, and it’s happening to words online.

A couple of pieces worthy of your time in the information hurricane we find ourselves in each day.

4. The Susan G. Komen Foundation has severed ties with Planned Parenthood in response to pressure from right wing Christian groups.

Komen has a long history of providing funding to various Planned Parenthood affiliates for such services as manual breast exams and referrals for mammograms and biopsies to check suspicious lumps for cancer. Although that money is not used for abortions, the Komen Foundation may have yielded to demands from antiabortion groups to sever its ties to Planned Parenthood.

According to Planned Parenthood, its centers performed more than 4 million breast exams over the past five years, including nearly 170,000 as a result of Komen grants. Those funds were specifically targeted for use in lower-income areas where women lack insurance options and/or information about the need for cancer screening. Now, those women have even more limited options.

You might also remember that the Komen Foundation also began suing small groups and organizations who used the term “For The Cure” during their fundraising efforts for cancer research.

So far, Komen has identified and filed legal trademark oppositions against more than a hundred of these Mom and Pop charities, including Kites for a Cure, Par for The Cure, Surfing for a Cure and Cupcakes for a Cure–and many of the organizations are too small and underfunded to hold their ground.

“It happened to my family,” said Roxanne Donovan, whose sister runs Kites for a Cure, a family kite-flying event that raises money for lung cancer research. “They came after us ferociously with a big law firm. They said they own ‘cure’ in a name and we had to stop using it, even though we were raising money for an entirely different cause.”

Komen’s General Counsel, Jonathan Blum told HuffPost that legal fees comprise a “very small part” of Komen’s budget, but according to Komen’s financial statements, such costs add up to almost a million dollars a year in donor funds.

My support for the Komen Foundation is now over. No more donations, no more ribbons, no more sponsoring walkers, nothing. My money will go to local foundations and Planned Parenthood.

Fact Of The Day: Author of The Satanic Bible, Anton LaVey, says the tome was “just Ayn Rand’s philosophy, with ceremony and ritual added“. Good to know.

Quote Of The Day: “Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.” – Abraham Lincoln

Song Of The Day: “Winter Winds” by Mumford & Sons

Follow me on Twitter: @ChrisSmithAV

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The Morning Grumpy – 1/9/2012

9 Jan

All the news and views fit to consume during your morning grumpy.

1. The Buffalo Cash Mob was held last Friday and it was an awesome success. Over the course of two hours, Chow Chocolat had about 75-80 people pass through their doors to spend between $10-$20 each. The local chocolatier also received a bevy of earned media coverage with broadcast stories on Channel 4 & 7 with Channel 4 doing a live spot during the 5 & 6PM newscasts. Channel 2 had done a story the previous night and Buffalo Business First was also on hand to cover the celebration of a local small business. Many thanks to all of those who attended this event and I’ll be incorporating some feedback into our plans for the February cash mob.

If you came, let me know what you thought. If you weren’t able to attend, let me know why. Next time, I’m going to encourage our voters to think outside Elmwood and Downtown and branch out into other areas of the city. Perhaps we’ll expand the hours or shorten them up to truly make it a flash cash mob.

Whatever we do for the next event, please continue to support Chow Chocolat and the other fine member businesses of Buffalo First. Reward their investment in our community by investing in them.

2. There has been an exceptional amount of talk by Republican Presidential candidates about pre-emptive war against Iran. Sure, we just ended a land war in Asia, why not get into another one, right? They’re a threat to Israel! They’re islamofascistshomicidebombers! I mean, they hate us for our freedoms!

So, what’s the backstory of Iranian-U.S. relations?  This video might help.

Yeah, it’s our freedoms they hate.

3. In other news from our own burgeoning theocracy in America, 24 states passed 92 restrictions on abortion rights in 2011.

The wave of elections won by Conservatives and Tea Party candidates in states across America in 2010 resulted in a rising tide of right wing theist legislation. No surprise, that.

4. Free ponies for everyone! Zombie preparedness! Time travel research! This is Vermin Supreme and he paid his $1,000 to get on the New Hampshire Presidential Primary ballot. Sure, he wears a boot on his head and seems crazy, but is fully funded time travel research all that different than Newt Gingrich’s proposal to conduct mining operations on the moon?  This is the only guy on a ballot in New Hampshire who makes Rick Santorum seems sane…well, not really.



5. Thursday will mark the second anniversary of the massive earthquake which killed over 300,000 people and nearly destroyed the entirety of Haiti. The Miami Herald reports on the current state of the nation.

While U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and others vowed that the world would help Haiti “build back better,” and $2.38 billion has been spent, Haitians have hardly seen any building at all.

At the time, grand ambitions were voiced for a Haiti rebuilt on modern lines. New housing would replace shantytowns and job-generating industry would be spread out to ease the human crush of Port-au-Prince, the sprawling capital with its 3 million people.

The inability to rebuild is almost as great a tragedy as the earthquake. An eye-opening and discouraging report.

6. Ron Paul, failed ideologue.

Of the 620 bills sponsored by Ron Paul during his long career in the House of Representatives, only four have ever made it to a vote on the House floor and only one of those became an actual law. An analysis by The Washington Post shows that Paul’s success rate of 0.2 percent falls far below that of most legislators, as Paul has chosen to stand up for his personal crusades, rather that build coalitions for more popular, but less ambitious, proposals.

His governing style as President would be a lot like the way Carl Paladino promised to govern, lots of bluster, lots of ideology, little sense of leadership and an inability to compromise and make progress. No thanks.

 7. Super-PACs will decide who becomes President of the United States in 2012. Sure, we still go out and vote, but the SuperPACs will determine the message to the voters which will inform our votes. What’s a SuperPAC, you ask? Oh, let me explain.

The 2010 election marks the rise of a new political committee, dubbed “super PACs,” and officially known as “independent-expenditure only committees,” which can raise unlimited sums from corporations, unions and other groups, as well as individuals. The super PACs were made possible by two judicial decisions. The first was the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commissionwhich held that government may not prohibit unions and corporations from making independent expenditures about politics. Soon after, in Speechnow.org v. FEC, the Federal Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that contributions to groups that only make independent expenditures could not be limited. Super PACs are not allowed to coordinate directly with candidates or political parties and are required to disclose their donors, just like traditional PACs.

Mitt Romney’s SuperPAC played a very large role in his victory in Iowa and each candidate will rely heavily on the unlimited and untraceable monies these groups can spend in the primary and general election. Late last week, Billionaire Sheldon Adelson made a $5MM contribution to Newt Gingrich’s SuperPAC in order to fund the SuperPAC’s campaign activities and advertising on Newt’s behalf. Previously, Adelson would have been subjected to federal campaign contribution maximums, but that’s no longer an issue for a billionaire looking to buy a favorable election result.

Republican SuperPACs have raised a ton of money in this election cycle.

More than 80 percent of giving to Super PACs so far has come from just 58 donors, according to the Center for Responsive Politics analysis of the latest data, which covers the first half of 2011. The Republican groups have raised $17.6 million and the Democratic groups $7.6 million. Those numbers will balloon, with American Crossroads, the main Republican Super PAC, aiming to raise $240 million.)

My favorite is the “Restore Our Future” SuperPAC which supports Mitt Romney.

Founded by former aides to Mitt Romney, this group is expected to maintain the minimum legal distance between itself and Romney’s official campaign. Romney himself even spoke at a Manhattan fundraiser for the group, though — apparently for legal reasons — he left the room before an explicit appeal for money was made, the Times reported.

America, f*ck yeah!

Fact Of The Day: In 2011, it costs 2.41 cents to make a Penny and 11.18 cents to make a Nickel.

Quote Of The Day: “What can be asserted without proof can be dismissed without proof. ” – Christopher Hitchens

Song Of The Day: “Little Fat Baby” by Sparklehorse

 

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