Ima Puma Receives Thanksgiving Messages from a Humanist and a Narcissist

November 26, 2010

Ima,

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, I am reminded of all the things I have to be

Bill Clinton

thankful for this year: family and friends, good health, the chance to help improve lives through my Foundation, and our supporters who make that work possible.

(Others)

But at the same time. I’m reminded of all the people around the world who still lack access to the opportunities to live their dreams and improve their lives.

(Others)

In this month’s newsletter, you can read how we work to improve lives around the world, from building sustainable schools in Malawi to responding to the Cholera outbreak in Haiti.

Others)

Thank you, as always, for your support.

Best wishes for a healthy and happy Thanksgiving.

Sincerely,

Bill Clinton

===

Ima —

barack obama

When Michelle and I sit down with our family to give thanks today, I want you to know that we’ll be especially grateful for folks like you.

(Me)

Everything we have been able to accomplish in the last two years was possible because you have been willing to work for it and organize for it.

(Me)

And every time we face a setback, or when progress doesn’t happen as quickly as we would like, we know that you’ll be right there with us, ready to fight another day.

(Me)

So I want to thank you — for everything.

Have a wonderful day, and God bless.

Barack

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Scientists Discover Democrat with Fully Functioning Brain

November 16, 2010

In a shocking discovery, a Democrat has been uncovered who exhibits all the signs of a fully functioning brain.  Chuck Schumer, senior Senator from New York, proposes to raise the top marginal tax rate on households above $1 million rather than the $250,000 currently proposed.

The 98% of Americans not making $250,000 a year know that is a shitload of money.  If they did the math, they’d discover that repealing the Bush Tax Breaks For The Rich will cost affluent families only a couple of thousand bucks more in taxes.  A sum that ordinary Americans would gladly use to:  get new brakes / pay for the kids’ braces / fix a leaky roof / make next month’s mortgage. (Pick just one.)

But the GOP has been making serious hay by insisting that most families with incomes over a quarter million dollars are in fact small businessmen who won’t be able to create jobs if those extra two grip are seized by Imperial Stormtroopers the evil Feds.

Schumer’s proposal pulls the rug out from under the feet of these oligarch-coddlers.   Taking the bait, the GOP has already reflexively defended millionaires.  Schumer’s end-around is brilliant, it’s unassailable, it’s perfect.

Mark Warner, another seemingly sentient Democrat, “proposed ending the tax cuts for wealthier individuals and redirecting that $65 billion into new business tax cuts aimed at spurring private sector investment.”

Surprisingly, repealing the Bush Tax Breaks For The Rich is opposed by the full spectrum of Democrats, from ultra-prog Raul Grijalva to Blue Dog Bryan Dorgan, who said,

“I do hope that those who decide to affix labels to various positions might well understand that to borrow a substantial portion of money to provide tax cuts when the country is up to its neck in debt is not a conservative position. It just is not.  And to suggest that we have fewer extensions of tax cuts for the upper-income people so that we don’t borrow money to add to the federal debt, that is not a liberal position. It just is not.”

Unfortunately, beloved children’s author President of the United States, barack obama, already caved to GOP demands to keep the Bush Tax Breaks for the Rich as fast as you’d expect from a cheap corporatist whore.  In fact, he’d already conceded by postponing a vote until after the mid-terms.

Maybe the Democrats should consider running a dolphin in 2012.

(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.


Legends of the Mid-Terms

November 10, 2010

Long before election day, the Legends that would be told about the 2010 mid-terms had been written.  Undoubtedly crafted by those they would best serve, the legends were accepted by a gullible public and an infantile media, as a shiny object tossed on the ground might entrance a simpleton.  They repeated the Legends until they had the force of truth:  Republicans are running record numbers of women! —  We will throw the all bums out! — Politics has been transformed by the rise of a new party, the Tea Party!

To find truth, the great mathematician, Karl Friedrich Gauss, urged “whenever possible, one should count.”  That is the difference between Data and Lore, between an enlightened world and a primitive one.  And, when one actually counts the results of the 2010 elections, the Legends fall and the Truth is revealed.


This Was No “Year of the Woman”

Legend tells us that the GOP, spearheaded by the TP, was running vast numbers of women, while Democrats had abandoned female candidates.  This wave of new Republican women in office would rival the gains of 1992’s “Year of the Woman.”  Based at least in part on this belief, significant numbers of women voters shifted their traditional support from the Dems to the GOP.  They were deluded.

Despite a handful of prominent TP female candidates, and a spike in Republican women running for office, women are still woefully underrepresented in the GOP.  As in prior years, 2010 saw women Democrats outnumber their red sisters two-to-one.

2010 Female Candidates

party   S    H    G    tot F     GT     pct of GT

Dem   9    91    5      105    484     22%

GOP   5    47    5        57    504     11%

(Senate, House, Governor; total female, grand total all candidates, female percentage of grand total.  Differences in grand totals reflect unopposed seats.)

As academician, author and former congressional candidate Jennifer Lawless observes, since 77% of the women in Congress were among the vulnerable Democrats, it would have required a vast upswing in female GOP candidates to improve gender balance. Despite the hype, that didn’t happen.  In fact, the RNC “ran women in only three of the 30 races that presented the best opportunities to gain seats.” For the first time in thirty years, the number of women in Congress will actually decrease. Adding insult to injury, “early reports of the new Republican leadership include no women’s names.”

A sub-legend has it that the GOP also ran many more minorities.  This, too, is myth.  Beyond a couple of prominent minority TPers, the face of the Republican Party remained overwhelmingly male WASP.  Only 3 of 37 GOP Senate candidates could be described as minority. One telling stat:  for Congress the GOP ran three times as many white men named “Smith” (6) as it did black women (2).


The “Bums” Are Still Here

During the 2010 campaign a meme, Rovian in its evil genius, took hold: ‘throw all the bums out!’ Given that most of the incumbents up for reelection were Dems, the spread of this mantra could only help the GOP.  Unsurprisingly, 53 Dems but only 2 Republicans were unseated in the House.  Many of these were freshmen in traditionally red districts, blown in by the storm of 2008, vulnerable to the slightest change in wind.

In the Senate, incumbents ran in 23 of the 37 races; 2 lost.  In the House, 378 of the 435 races — 87% — saw incumbents defend their seats.  Twenty-six of them (4 Dem, 22 GOP) ran unopposed.  The rest did extremely well:

House Incumbents, 2010 Mid-Terms

party     Tot       W      L       win pct

Dems    231     179     52     77%

GOP     147      145       2     99%

Both    378      324     54    86%

The numbers don’t lie:  in a year when the voters swore to ‘throw out the all bums’, they instead brought back nine incumbents in ten.  A full three-quarters of the new House will be comprised of these old “bums”.


There is No Tea Party

Legend has it, in 2010 the Tea Party fielded a long slate of newcomers who were swept into office and instantly transformed not only the GOP but the entire political landscape.  Counting tells another story.

The three major TP factions (Palin, Freedomworks, Tea Party Express) issuing endorsements mostly disagreed on who rated as a “genuine” TP candidate.  But looking at the largest slate, that of the Tea Party Express (TPX), it’s hard to detect the revolutionary wave spoken of in the sagas.

In the Senate, TPX endorsements went 10 for 15.  Four of those winners, though, were long-time incumbents, including John Thune, who ran unopposed.  Newbies went 6 for 11, including two of the six pickups.  Of 67 total GOP pick-ups in the House, only 28 were endorsed by TPX.  Forty-nine incumbents, five running unopposed, were on the TPX slate.  Only about 4 in 10 of the ousted Dem incumbents (22 of 51) lost to a TPX-endorsed opponent, whereas 28 of 37 of the rookie TPX winners were found in those vulnerable Dem districts.  Did the Tea Party make those seats vulnerable, or did it merely prey on the already weak?

Newly-minted TP members will comprise but 8.5% of the next House and 6% of the next Senate.  In the final analysis, it seems that the Tea Party is less a new party or faction, than a new name for the old right wing of the Republican Party.


Falling for the Legends

Political extremists have long known the power of the Big Lie.  The Legends of the 2010 Mid-Terms are whoppers.  When an incredulous public, egged on by the mindless parrots of the media, accept these lies, they exert an influence the truth would otherwise deny them.   Don’t fall for the Legends.  Count before you believe.

(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.


If You Thought the Frying Pan Was Bad…

November 4, 2010

— by ducksoup

The Republicans and other rightwingers vigorously and effectively portrayed Obama as a “socialist” or a “Marxist” or “too liberal.” The media people, being very stupid and afraid to say anything different, continued and repeated the rightwingers’ chant that Obama’s problem was that he was “too left-leaning.”

I even heard that turd David Gergen talking about Obama’s need to destroy Social Security (my verb, not his).

Obama’s problem is not that he has been too inclined to act in ways that pleased his base but that he acted in ways that infuriated his base, the very people who had voted for him: Democrats, liberals, women, gays, working class people, and independents.

He kow-towed to the corporate interests and big banks in his financial “reform” scam by not reining in the too-big-to-fail banks and cow-towed to the health insurance companies when be surrendered on universal healthcare and/or the public option without even making a pretense of a fight for those issues. He ducked and weaved on DADT and DOMA, further alienating the folks on the left to whom those were and remain important issues.

So, if Obama and the media whores now see this Republican sweep as a call for Obama to “move to the right” or further right, we are doomed.

The crazies on the Right are in the ascendancy, the Left is battered and subdued, the Right has all the passion, the Left has none. And the media goons will continue to press Obama to move further and further to the Right by cutting taxes on the rich, de-regulating whatever is still regulated (such as the safety of our food and the solvency of our pensions) and joining with the Republicans to end all pollution controls; end all wildlife preservation; end all efforts to keep our water supply safe and adequate; end all efforts to keep our air clean, safe and breathable; end all efforts to keep our roadways, tunnels and bridges repaired and safe; and in general end all efforts to protect the American middle class, the elderly, the poor, the children.

Next time anyone decides to vote for the Republicans to punish the Democrats for their wimpishness, remember what it is the Republicans plan to do to us and ponder if you like their plans and actions any better.

Just because it’s uncomfortable in the frying pan doesn’t mean that jumping into the fire will improve your body temperature or your life.

(c) 2010 by ‘ducksoup’.  All rights reserved.


A Two-Minute Drill

November 3, 2010

Those of you who closely followed last night’s election results may be perplexed by my assurance that the Democrats still retain sizable majorities in both the House and the Senate.

True, the 112th Congress will be dominated by TP/GOP newcomers, but the 111th Congress still has one session left to go, and Dems would be foolish to waste it.

If obama’s feeble electioneering efforts can be compared to a batter in baseball taking a called third strike to end the game, a football analogy better applies to this lame duck Congress.  The two-minute warning has sounded, but the Dems still have the ball.  Instead of taking a knee, they should employ a hurry-up offense to drive down the field and put up at least a field goal before the Half.

The players to lead this drive should be QB Russ Feingold and the other numerous Senators and House members who will shortly be benched.   No time for huddles, just run a few set plays  —  HR 676, for example.  First drafted in 2003, and submitted every year since, HR 676 is a real universal healthcare reform bill that would really work.  Its 88 co-sponsors expected it to finally be debated in 2009, but the bill was rudely shoved aside to make way for the lemming march for the perverse “obamacare”.

It took a resounding drubbing to pound into these politicians’ thick heads that obama was toxic.  As lame-ducks, they have nothing to lose — allegiance to obama cost them their jobs.  In contrast, they have much to gain — to have any hope of reviving their careers, they must jump from this sinking ship.  Overtly telling obama to ‘shove it’ will be both cathartic and constructive.

Passing HR 676 would also effectively repeal obamacare, thus beating the GOP to the punch.  An on-sides kick, if you will, to boldly retake possession of the agenda.

During this final session, a slew of true liberal legislation ought to be brought before the House, no matter how slim the chances of passage, if only to show what these particular Democrats stand for.  Feingold’s Rebels could also pass numerous non-binding resolutions declaiming the wrong direction taken over the past two years.  For an electorate that sullenly voted in the last three elections against one party then the other, these parting pieces of legislation would give a reason to vote for the Dems in 2012.

The clock’s running — snap the ball, Russ!


(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane’.  All rights reserved.