Ricky Don't Lose That Number
- Herman Cain: 37.11%
- Rick Perry: 15.43%
- Mitt Romney: 14.00%
- Rick Santorum: 10.88%
- Ron Paul: 10.39%
- Newt Gingrich: 8.43%
- Jon Huntsman: 2.26%
- Michele Bachmann: 1.51%
If you're a Republican opinion leader, you want to promote Romney over Perry. At the same time, you have to account for the possibility that Perry might win the nomination anyway, which means that you can't say anything that could be used against him in the general election. You need to gently suggest to Republicans that Perry is too crazy to be elected president, without suggesting to swing voters that he's too crazy to be elected president.
In general, Romney took his weak hand and played it far better than Perry, who at times appeared to be drugged, and perhaps is still suffering from a recovery from back surgery. But though Romney won most exchanges on a question-by-question basis, Perry probably emerged with the stronger meta-theme. His overarching condemnation of Romney is as a slippery, quasi-Democratic figure. Romney has nothing anywhere near so strong to deploy against Perry. He has tried, elliptically, to paint his foe as unelectable. But the deeper Romney expresses contempt for Obama — tonight he accused him of never having held a job — the harder it must be for Republican voters to imagine that any nominee would actually lose to this unemployed, socialist, America-hating failure.
You know, there's not a single solitary example on the planet, not one, of a country that is successful because the economy has triumphed over the government and choked it off and driven the tax rates to zero, driven the regulations to nonexistent and abolished all government programs, except for defense, so people in my income group never have to pay a nickel to see a cow jump over the moon. There is no example of a successful country that looks like that.
Labels: Bill Clinton
The physics world is abuzz with news that a group of European physicists plans to announce Friday that it has clocked a burst of subatomic particles known as neutrinos breaking the cosmic speed limit — the speed of light — that was set by Albert Einstein in 1905.
If true, it is a result that would change the world. But that "if" is enormous.
HANNITY: Some people said, well, you used the term once "secession." That's not anything -- is that something you believe?
PERRY: No, and I never used that term, at all.
HANNITY: Then why was it reported so heavily?
PERRY: I have no idea to be real honest with you, because it was never a really factual piece of reporting. It was shouted out by an individual at an event -- at a Tea Party, actually -- and I said "listen, America is a great country. We have no reason why we would ever dissolve this union."
You know, when we came into the nation in 1845, we were a republic, we were a stand-alone nation. And one of the deals was, we can leave anytime we want. So we're kind of thinking about that again.
Texas is a unique place. When we came into the Union in 1845, one of the issues was that we would be able to leave if we decided to do that.
We got a great Union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it, but if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what may come out of that.
Two months ago, the Washington Post revealed that Mitt Romney's presidential bid is largely fueled by Wall Street money, including major donors from Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Bank of America.
[Yesterday], the former Massachusetts governor took a step that will undoubtedly make bankers happy, appointing the chairman of a Wall Street front group to his campaign. Romney tapped Norm Coleman, the former Minnesota senator and current chairman of the Board of the American Action Network, to be his "special adviser for policy."
As ThinkProgress has written in the past, the American Action Network (AAN) is a front group funded by conservative Wall Street moneymen, including Robert Steel, Ken Langone, and Fred Malek. Because of its seemingly limitless money supply, the AAN was the second biggest outside spending groups in the 2010 election, dropping $26 million in support of conservative candidates.
I'm not shocked by much any more, but I am shocked by this: the leaders of one of the great parties in Congress calling on the Federal Reserve to tighten money in the throes of the most prolonged downturn since the Great Depression...
As is, we're looking at a continued economic slump, more unemployment, and more deleveraging via continuing catastrophic consumer default on mortgages, car loans, credit cards, and student aid. And now the GOP leadership is urging that the Federal Reserve make the catastrophe worse? To what end?
Frum doesn't come right out and say it explicitly, but reading this, it appears Frum believes Republican leaders are — or at least may be — trying to hurt the economy on purpose, as part of a political strategy to undermine President Obama during a crisis.
In other words, Frum seems to be suggesting that the top GOP officials in Congress, including the entire party leadership, may be involved in some kind of sabotage campaign. That's no small charge.
A few months ago, Kevin Drum wondered whether this will ever be "a serious talking point," adding, "No serious person in a position of real influence really wants to accuse an entire party of cynically trying to tank the economy, after all."
Given recent events — the debt-ceiling scandal, the GOP-driven downgrade, the Republican rejection of any efforts to boost the economy, the letter to Bernanke, the repeated threats of government shutdowns — it appears all kinds of serious people are at least entertaining the possibility.
The GOP-controlled House remains on track to pass $3.7 billion in disaster relief as part of a bill to avert a government shutdown at the end of the month, the No. 2 House Republican said Wednesday. But first the party must overcome opposition from Democrats and some tea party Republicans.
Democratic leaders, including some who said last week they would back the stopgap measure, came out solidly against it Wednesday morning because it contains $1.5 billion in cuts from a government loan program to help car companies build more fuel-efficient vehicles.
That money would pay for the most urgently needed portion of the disaster aid that's required to avoid a cutoff next week of Federal Emergency Management Agency relief to victims of Hurricane Irene, recent Texas wildfires and Tropical Storm Lee.
Now, no one denies the need for America to wean itself off oil. Even oilman George W. Bush confessed in a State of the Union address that America is addicted to oil.
We don't cotton to addictions in this nation, no sir. So you'd think fuel efficiency would be something everyone would get behind. It helps our national security, it helps our environment, it helps our citizens keep more money in their pockets to spend on housing, food, and clothing. And other stuff.
I mean, slam dunk, right? (The Teabaggers oppose it because it raises spending above limits the GOP agreed to last spring.)
So why would the GOP leadership stand in opposition to the wishes of nearly everyone in America? Why would they send a letter to the Fed all but demanding the Fed abrogate its statutory responsibility to the country, and commit treason? Why would Congress deliberately sabotage the authority of the legislative branch of government?
I mean, sure, we can all list the obvious reasons: economic royalists, corporate stooges, etc, etc.
But here's the thing: history, indeed American history alone, dictates that pendulums swing, parties switch positions, and power is both temporary and fleeting. And karma is a real bitch.
Then I started to think about recent history. I started to think about the evolution of the Presidency, from a chief executive officer to what some called during the Bush years an imperium.
Note this does not abrogate the responsibilities of the Democrats like Clinton and even Obama in this evolution. Clinton was foursquare for dismantling the Fourth Amendment for drug busts, and Obama still hasn't moved that far away from the odious provisions of the PATRIOT Act, both of which invest enormous and dangerous powers to the Executive Branch.
The behavior of Congress started to take shape, and it's not pretty.
Congressional approval ratings stand at around 20%. Congressional Republicans fare a little worse, Democrats a little better.
But did you notice something? Let me highlight this next question.
Which party claims to be anti-government?
Cui bono? Who benefits more from making government seem out of touch, ineffectual and driven by an agenda that has little to do with the average American?
The question has to be asked, then: why? What's in it for Republicans to simultaneously dismantle one of the three branches of government, the one most directly responsible to the population of the nation?
Take a look at the legislative agenda of the first Bush term. The clues are there: imperium.
Bush proposed. Congress disposed. Like clockwork. The legislative branch became nothing more than a rubber stamp for legislation proposed by the executor, and written by the crony capitalists from the lobbying industry.
Karl Rove spoke of creating a permanent Republican majority in this nation. Fortunately, they've fumbled that in the populace, but watch out. They're trying to do it by fiat in Congress and the Presidency.
And the judiciary. We cannot forget that third body politic, that entity that has so odiously sold off the rights of Americans for a bowl of porridge. From the 1886 decision acknowledging limited corporate personhood (Santa Clara) to the recent Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court of the United States has decided that humanity is just a drone, that there is nothing special about having a physical body that distinguishes us from a faceless, nameless, soulless corporation.
Except that corporations have no responsibility for their actions, and no criminal recourse is permitted. As the latest internet meme goes, "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."
You can start with Enron.
If you want to understand the path to power of corporate America, the rape of our natural and human resources, you have only to take this to its extreme. Adam Smith must be rolling in his grave, because he mistrusted corporations and believed the government had a duty to regulate them closely. And yet, as even Grover Cleveland observed, "Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people's masters."
He was not the first. From day one, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison were raising alerts.
The House stunned Republican leaders Wednesday by rejecting a temporary spending bill that would have funded the government through Nov. 18.
The vote failed, 195-230, after Democrats pulled their support for the bill and Republican leaders were forced to scramble for enough votes entirely within their own ranks. Four dozen conservatives voted against the bill because it left spending levels for 2012 higher than the cap set in the House GOP budget.
The defeat hands leverage to congressional Democrats in a dispute over federal disaster funding. Democratic leaders objected to a GOP provision cutting funding from a Department of Energy manufacturing loan program to offset additional money for disaster relief.
The House and Senate must pass a spending bill by Sept. 30 to keep the government running into the next fiscal year. Both chambers are scheduled to be out on recess next week.
The defeat was a stinging loss for Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who pitched the measure to his conference as the lowest spending number they could get.
House GOP leaders retreated to the Speaker's office after the vote to plot their next move.
Republican opposition was based on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-VA) attachment of $1 billion in disaster relief funds in the wake of Hurricane Irene and other natural disasters, which Republicans, including Cantor, had demanded be offset by spending cuts in other areas. Last week, Cantor promised that no one in the House Republican caucus would hold disaster relief hostage over spending cuts — an assertion that today's vote has apparently proven false. Democrats opposed the offsets Republicans did find, which targeted funding for energy efficienct vehicles. A bipartisan Senate majority approved $7 billion in disaster relief funds last week.
|Source: WMX Design|
In last year's campaigns, Republicans ripped into Democrats for failing to perform one of Congress's most basic duties: providing money in a timely way for the operations of government. But Republicans acknowledged Thursday that they would miss the deadline they had promised to meet. They began to rush a stopgap spending bill through the House because, they said, Congress could not finish work on any of the 12 regular appropriations bills before the new fiscal year starts in two weeks, on Oct. 1... [T]he stopgap bill includes $3.65 billion in assistance for people affected by Hurricane Irene, wildfires, floods, tornadoes and other natural disasters. Of this amount, $1 billion would be offset by cutting a loan guarantee program for production of more fuel-efficient cars.
Democrats and an auto industry expert warn the funds [Republicans] picked to pay for disaster aid is currently supporting a successful program that has pulled manufacturing jobs back from other countries and helped keep the industry alive around the eastern Midwest. Taking the money away would jeopardize that program.
|Rep. Eric Cantor, Republican of Virginia,|
House Majority Leader, Big Oil Toady