To loyal fans,
The purpose of this new feature is to post articles, op-eds, and videos that I find interesting. I also like my readers to draw independent conclusions and not just listen to what I or other pundits say. So, I will also post items that have been brought up in the media (such as bills and videos) that readers can use as a way to make their own judgments.
Paul Krugman’s NYT column on Tea Parties and funding of corporations: what do they stand for?
original URL: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/24/opinion/24krugman.html?ref=todayspaper
The Old Enemies
By PAUL KRUGMAN
Published: May 23, 2010
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So here’s how it is: They’re as mad as hell, and they’re not going to take this anymore. Am I talking about the Tea Partiers? No, I’m talking about the corporations.
Much reporting on opposition to the Obama administration portrays it as a sort of populist uprising. Yet the antics of the socialism-and-death-panels crowd are only part of the story of anti-Obamaism, and arguably the less important part. If you really want to know what’s going on, watch the corporations.
How can you do that? Follow the money — donations by corporate political action committees.
Look, for example, at the campaign contributions of commercial banks — traditionally Republican-leaning, but only mildly so. So far this year, according to The Washington Post, 63 percent of spending by banks’ corporate PACs has gone to Republicans, up from 53 percent last year. Securities and investment firms, traditionally Democratic-leaning, are now giving more money to Republicans. And oil and gas companies, always Republican-leaning, have gone all out, bestowing 76 percent of their largess on the G.O.P.
These are extraordinary numbers given the normal tendency of corporate money to flow to the party in power. Corporate America, however, really, truly hates the current administration. Wall Street, for example, is in “a state of bitter, seething, hysterical fury” toward the president, writes John Heilemann of New York magazine. What’s going on?
One answer is taxes — not so much on corporations themselves as on the people who run them. The Obama administration plans to raise tax rates on upper brackets back to Clinton-era levels. Furthermore, health reform will in part be paid for with surtaxes on high-income individuals. All this will amount to a significant financial hit to C.E.O.’s, investment bankers and other masters of the universe.
Now, don’t cry for these people: they’ll still be doing extremely well, and by and large they’ll be paying little more as a percentage of their income than they did in the 1990s. Yet the fact that the tax increases they’re facing are reasonable doesn’t stop them from being very, very angry.
Nor are taxes the whole story.
Many Obama supporters have been disappointed by what they see as the administration’s mildness on regulatory issues — its embrace of limited financial reform that doesn’t break up the biggest banks, its support for offshore drilling, and so on. Yet corporate interests are balking at even modest changes from the permissiveness of the Bush era.
From the outside, this rage against regulation seems bizarre. I mean, what did they expect? The financial industry, in particular, ran wild under deregulation, eventually bringing on a crisis that has left 15 million Americans unemployed, and required large-scale taxpayer-financed bailouts to avoid an even worse outcome. Did Wall Street expect to emerge from all that without facing some new restrictions? Apparently it did.
So what President Obama and his party now face isn’t just, or even mainly, an opposition grounded in right-wing populism. For grass-roots anger is being channeled and exploited by corporate interests, which will be the big winners if the G.O.P. does well in November.
If this sounds familiar, it should: it’s the same formula the right has been using for a generation. Use identity politics to whip up the base; then, when the election is over, give priority to the concerns of your corporate donors. Run as the candidate of “real Americans,” not those soft-on-terror East coast liberals; then, once you’ve won, declare that you have a mandate to privatize Social Security. It comes as no surprise to learn that American Crossroads, a new organization whose goal is to deploy large amounts of corporate cash on behalf of Republican candidates, is the brainchild of none other than Karl Rove.
But won’t the grass-roots rebel at being used? Don’t count on it. Last week Rand Paul, the Tea Party darling who is now the Republican nominee for senator from Kentucky, declared that the president’s criticism of BP over the disastrous oil spill in the gulf is “un-American,” that “sometimes accidents happen.” The mood on the right may be populist, but it’s a kind of populism that’s remarkably sympathetic to big corporations.
So where does that leave the president and his party? Mr. Obama wanted to transcend partisanship. Instead, however, he finds himself very much in the position Franklin Roosevelt described in a famous 1936 speech, struggling with “the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.”
And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Roosevelt turned corporate opposition into a badge of honor: “I welcome their hatred,” he declared. It’s time for President Obama to find his inner F.D.R., and do the same.
Ann Coulter’s view on Republican victories
Original URL: http://www.anncoulter.com/cgi-local/printer_friendly.cgi?article=369
REPUBLICANS ON TRACK TO SNATCH DEFEAT FROM JAWS OF VICTORY
by Ann Coulter
May 19, 2010
Republican consultants are doing a wonderful job raising expectations sky-high for the November elections, so that now, even if Republicans do smashingly well, it will look like a defeat (and an across-the-board endorsement of Obama’s agenda). Thanks, Republicans!
That’s what happened in the 1998 congressional elections, nearly foiling Clinton’s impeachment. It’s what happened to the Conservative Party in Britain a week ago. And that’s what happened this week in the 12th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, formerly represented by Rep. John Murtha.
Note to Republicans: Whenever possible, victory parties should be held after the election, not before it.
The result of the election in Murtha’s old district on Tuesday was that the rabidly anti-ObamaCare, pro-life, pro-gun candidate won! Yippee!
But the news on Wednesday morning was that the election “dealt a blow to Republicans,” as The New York Times reported.
The reason the Times’ description was not utter madness (in violation of New York Times’ official policy) is because the anti-ObamaCare, pro-life, pro-gun candidate was a Democrat and, for the past two months, every Republican on TV has been predicting a Republican victory in Murtha’s district.
Thanks to all the happy talk, if the Republican actually had won, it would have been Page 16 news. But when the Democrat won, it seemed like an against-all-odds, come-from-behind Hoosiers victory!
Why were Republicans predicting victory in a district where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1? Given a choice between two candidates who both hate ObamaCare, why would lifelong Democrats not vote for the Democrat?
Republicans are playing the same raised-expectations game with the November elections. Republican House Minority Leader John Boehner is ludicrously predicting Republicans will pick up 100 seats in the House in November. Newt Gingrich puts the figure at an equally insane (and weirdly precise) 78. He also predicts the Cubs will win 132 games this season and six games will be rained out.
Keep it up, Republicans, and I’m going to keep naming names. I have Nexis.
For more than half a century, the average midterm pickup for the party out of power has been 24 seats.
Your job, Republicans, is not to go on Fox News and whisper sweet nothings in conservatives’ ears. Your job is to repeal the Obama agenda. Raising expectations so high that a 30-seat Republican pickup will seem like a loss is not helping.
Moreover, we’re not going to pick up any seats this November if Republicans keep chumming around with the Democrats’ pals on Wall Street.
Roughly since the Harding administration, Wall Street has overwhelmingly favored Democrats. According to a recent report from ABC News, for example, the five largest hedge funds gave “almost all their donations to Democrats.”
For the past year, the Democrats’ Wall Street BFFs have had lower public approval ratings than Hitler. (When I say “Hitler,” I don’t mean Dick Cheney or George W. Bush; I actually mean Adolf Hitler.) While Hitler continues to enjoy great personal popularity, there is a growing dissatisfaction with his policies.
How could Republicans possibly screw that up? We try harder.
No sooner had the news come out that Goldman Sachs (Joseph Goebbels in this metaphor) had given Obama an astronomical $1 million in campaign donations, than Republican John Boehner decided that this was the time to suck up to Wall Street! So Boehner flew to New York to meet with Wall Street bankers and ask them to be Republicans’ friends.
Boehner is like the guy who just got raped in prison and doesn’t know what happened to him. Hey — what was that? Should I have thanked the guy?
As Pat Caddell says, Democrats are whores, but they expect to be paid; Republicans’ names are scrawled on the bathroom wall: “For a good time, call the GOP!”
As depressing as it is to watch the Republican Party dive headlong off a cliff, at least we have Dick Blumenthal.
Connecticut’s attorney general, pompous, freakishly ambitious, self-righteous, hold-a-press-conference-every-day Blumenthal, was a shoo-in to take Chris Dodd’s Senate seat this fall.
After all, he was a Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart winner from his days as a four-star general in Vietnam. (And captain of the Harvard swim team to boot!)
But now we find out from a front-page article in The New York Times that, despite Blumenthal’s repeated references to serving “in Vietnam” — he was never in Vietnam. He got five draft deferments and then joined an elite unit of the Marine Reserves to avoid going to war, serving in their heroic “Toys for Tots” brigade.
He also wasn’t on the Harvard swim team. (Oddly enough, though, the story Blumenthal likes to tell about owning a necklace of human ears? That one’s actually true.)
Blumenthal may as well have shown up for a press conference in a dress. Suddenly, Connecticut is in play!
Naturally, therefore, Republicans are planning on running a World Wrestling Entertainment “impresario” against Blumenthal. Yes, in Connecticut … a state that is among the wealthiest and most highly educated in the nation … a state that isn’t Minnesota. The average Nutmegger doesn’t even know what a turnbuckle is, and that includes me.
Republicans could run Rob Simmons, a Connecticut legislator with a distinguished record of service in the House of Representatives, the CIA, and as a Yale political science professor — who actually did serve in Vietnam, winning two Bronze Stars and retiring as a colonel.
But defeat is so close! Republicans can almost taste the bitterness of yet another crushing loss!
COPYRIGHT 2010 ANN COULTER
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Rachael Maddow vs. Rand Paul – this video has caused a lot of problems for Rand Paul on Civil Rights Act. Make your own independent judgement
New Arizona Immigration Law – Does this cause racial profiling? You decide
Original URL: http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/sb1070s.pdf