Presidential Hopeful Rick Santorum Is One Wacky Dude
Crazy Things Rick Has Said And Done:
And Some Of His Friends Are Just As Wacky:
Religious Right on Dangers of Public Schools
Religious Right Activists Warn Parents Against Sending Students to Communist, Atheist, Gay Public Schools
Public schools have long faced attacks from Religious Right activists who deem them ungodly institutions and conservative politicians who seek to defund and privatize them, and this week Truth in Action Ministries, formerly Coral Ridge Ministries, released the film The Dumbing Down of America on the “sinister” agenda of the public education system. We’ve selected highlights from the film which includes Religious Right figures such as radio talk show host Janet Parshall, Liberty Counsel chairman Mathew Staver, The Myth of Separation Between Church and State author Dee Wampler, Philomath Foundation president Katherine Dang and Center for Academic Freedom (a division of the Alliance Defense Fund) legal counsel Greg Baylor.
“Expect the number of students using computers in the Camdenton, Mo. school district to dwindle over the next few weeks. Thanks to a ruling by a federal judge Wednesday, Feb. 15, the school district has 30 days to eliminate an Internet filtering system that allowed students access to explicit sexual sites but effectively blocked nearly every website that offered a positive viewpoint of gays and lesbians.
The order noted that the websites that were positive about gays were blocked for “sexuality,” but religious sites that were critical of homosexuality were allowed and were categorized as “religious.” This did not apply, however, to religious sites that did not condemn gays. Those sites were blocked because of “sexuality.” In her order granting the temporary injunction, Judge Nanette Laughrey wrote, “The board has used its power to perform an act clearly indicating that the ideas contained in the files are unacceptable and should not be discussed or considered. This message is not lost on students and teachers and its chilling effect is obvious.”
Officials issue speedy apology to protesters over ‘error’ that caused incineration of religious books at Bagram military airbase
“The decision to burn had nothing to do with the material being religious in nature or related to Islam … it was an error.”
The legalization of drone flights inside the United States has ominous implications for democratic rights.
Drones come to the US
21 Febuary 2012
Bill Van Auken
“A little-noted amendment to a $63 billion Federal Aviation Authority appropriations bill has ominous implications for democratic rights in the United States.
President Barack Obama signed the bill, the “FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012”, into law on February 14. It clears the way for a vast expansion of the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, over US territory.
The legislation, passed earlier this month, underscores the link between the explosive growth of US militarism abroad and the steady advance of police state repression at home”.
“With the backing of the Obama administration, both the Republican and Democratic Parties and with barely a word of opposition from within the media or the political establishment as a whole, the machinery is being put in place for a full-blown American military-police state.
Underlying this process is the unprecedented social polarization between the financial aristocracy that monopolizes wealth and power and working people, the overwhelming majority of the population.
Under conditions in which the global capitalist crisis has deepened this polarization and given rise to the first signs of renewed class struggle, the ruling elite is turning to the same bloody methods it has used to advance its interests abroad to defend its grip on power at home”.
Ron Paul and the New World Order
Damon Young, Feb 17 2012
Like all Mormon ex-missionaries, Mitt Romney knows what is best for women.
“I respect and will protect,” he said during his 2002 campaign for Massachusetts governor, “a woman’s right to choose”.
Unsurprisingly, this rhetoric did not last. As a conservative Christian, the Republican presidential candidate will oppose women’s control over their own reproductive destiny. This is why Romney tried to veto a Massachusetts law requiring religious hospitals to provide contraception for rape victims. It is why he is now critical of Obama’s plan to force religious institutions to cover contraception in their employee insurance.
Published on Thursday, February 16, 2012 by Common Dreams
A sustainable energy program in ‘Area C’ of rural West Bank is being threatened by Israeli authorities. The program, which recently installed solar panels and wind turbines in 16 communities, is providing 1,500 Palestinians with electricity — who were formerly without reliable energy. The foreign aid program, thus far successful, has become a new target for Israel as it threatens to demolish the structures that supposedly lie within Israeli ‘administration’.
A Little Presidential History Test
February 18, 2012
All the Republican candidates for president and all the party’s congressional establishment want to take the country back to the halcyon days when Democratic presidents were not spending riotously, raising taxes, running up debt and bloating the federal government. Those would be the days of Ronald Reagan.
So it’s past time for a little multiple-choice quiz on the fiscal records of the presidents of recent memory, based on historical records of the Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. The answers will follow.
1. Which post-World War II president raised more taxes than any other? (a) Dwight Eisenhower (b) Lyndon Johnson (c) Ronald Reagan (d) George H. W. Bush (e) Bill Clinton (f) Barack Obama.
2. Under which president (or presidents) did Americans see their taxes reduced but no taxes raised during his (their) first three years in office? (a) Ronald Reagan (b) George H. W. Bush (c) Bill Clinton (d) George W. Bush (e) Barack Obama.
3. Rank these presidents on the amount that the outstanding national debt was increased during their terms in office: (a) Jimmy Carter (b) Ronald Reagan (c) George H. W. Bush (d) Bill Clinton (e) George W. Bush.
4. Rank these presidents on the average amount that federal spending increased per fiscal year during their tenures: (a) Ronald Reagan (b) George H.W. Bush (c) Bill Clinton (d) George W. Bush (e) Barack Obama.
5. Under which president did all federal tax receipts sink to the lowest share of the economy (GDP) since 1950? (a) Richard Nixon (b) Gerald Ford (c) Jimmy Carter (d) Ronald Reagan (e) Bill Clinton (f) George W. Bush (g) Barack Obama.
6. Since Jimmy Carter, which presidents increased the size of the federal government, as measured by federal employment, and which ones decreased it?
1. (c) Ronald Reagan raised more taxes than any other president. The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 reversed many of the business tax reductions in 1981 and was calculated to raise $214 billion over five years. He (always with Congress, of course) raised gasoline taxes to produce $4.9 billion in 1982. His Social Security amendments in 1983 raised payroll taxes by $165 billion over seven years. The Railroad Retirement Revenue Act of 1983 raised $1.2 billion. The Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 raised $25.4 billion. The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 raised $2.9 billion. The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 raised $600 million. The Continuing Resolution of 1987 raised $2.8 billion. The Continuing Resolution for 1988 raised $2 billion. The tax increases only partially offset the revenue reductions from the Economic Recovery Act of 1982, but the combined effect of all the tax acts was to shift federal tax burdens from high incomes to middle-class workers through payroll and excise taxes.
2. Both (d) George Bush and (e) Barack Obama made only tax cuts. Obama’s stimulus package gave income tax relief in 2009 and 2010 and a temporary reduction in the payroll tax rate (still in effect). He sought to restore Clinton-era tax rates on incomes above $250,000 for couples but failed and signed an extension of the tax cuts. If it is upheld, his health-insurance reform law starting in 2014 will raise Medicare taxes on high incomes and levy more taxes on pharmaceutical and insurance companies and makers of tanning beds.
3. Outstanding national debt was increased by (e) George W. Bush $6.1 trillion in eight years, (b) Reagan $1.9 trillion in eight years, (c) George H. W. Bush $1.6 trillion in four years, (d) Bill Clinton $1.4 trillion in eight years (despite budget surpluses the final four), (a) Carter $288 billion in four years. (The numbers include the accumulation of interest so that the total debt goes up even when the government runs a surplus.)
4. (d) George W. Bush increased federal spending 11.1 percent a year, (a) Reagan 8.6 percent a year, (b) George H.W. Bush 5.8 percent a year, (e) Obama 4.25 percent a year, (c) Clinton 4 percent a year.
5. Federal tax receipts fell to the lowest share of GDP under (g) Obama. For the fiscal year that ends this month, total tax receipts are projected to be slightly more than 14 percent of GDP. They have ranged from 17 to 20 percent of GDP for most of the past 40 years.
6. Carter reduced the federal workforce by 23,000, Reagan increased it by 310,000, George H. W. Bush reduced it by 534,000, Clinton reduced it by 626,000, and George W. Bush increased it by 298,000. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management indicates that the workforce rose slightly in 2010, Barack Obama’s first budget year, owing to temporary hiring of tens of thousands of census workers.
All that suggests that in immediate political terms it doesn’t matter what you do as much as what you say you did. And it suggests one last question: Which political party is historically better at promoting its message, even if it is a misleading one?
1-26-2009 Two Santa Clauses or How The Republican Party Has Conned America for Thirty Years, by Thom Hartmann
4-30-2009 The Two Santa Claus Theory, by David Dayen
The Definition of Insanity: Deregulating Over and Over and Expecting Different Results
PAUL BUCHHEIT, Feb 20, 2012
A cynic might argue that business leaders and their friends in Congress weren’t expecting different results.
In either case, we’ve become a bipolar nation, 1% manic and 99% depressive. Our affliction is caused by a 30-year experiment in the dismal economics of delusion. Deregulation for corporations and tax cuts for the wealthy have defined conservative policy since the 1970s, when University of Chicago economist Arthur Laffer convinced Dick Cheney and other Republican officials that lowering taxes on the rich would generate more revenue.
Ronald Reagan complied in the 1980s by dramatically reducing the top marginal tax rate. And while declaring government “the problem” he eased a half-century of protective regulations on mortgage lending.
In the Clinton years, Larry Summers and Alan Greenspan and Phil Gramm and others lobbied against regulations on the derivatives that evolved into toxic assets a decade later. A lonely voice of opposition, Commodities Trading Commission head Brooksley Born, was denounced by the powerful Treasury men, who were shocked by her affront to the nation’s “financial stability.”
The repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 removed long-held protections for commercial bank deposits, as the newly liberated financial institutions now coveted the unprecedented profits in high-risk investments. Soon after, the 2000s brought us the Bush tax cuts, which have cost the nation over two trillion dollars, and a further assault on the Securities and Exchange Commission by Goldman Sachs and other financial institutions committed to “self-regulation.”
So what’s the result of all this? The financial collapse of 2008, of course. But it goes way beyond that. Tax cuts and deregulation led to the worst inequality since the Great Depression, with the top 1% nearly tripling their income while wages leveled off. The richest 10% own 80% of the “unearned income” that gets taxed at rates lower than those for teachers or health care workers. Corporate profits are at a record high, having accounted for 88% of the recovery after the 2008-9 recession.