Tag Archives: Rick Santorum

Republican idea of freedom: domination by corporations and Christian religions

David Atkins at Hulaballoo deconstructs what “freedom” really means to Republicans. After reading it, google “fascism”:

… when Republicans speak about “freedom” as their leaders did last night, they mean only two things: 1) the “freedom” of the super-rich to tilt the deck even farther in their favor while contributing nothing to the social supports that made them rich; and 2) the “freedom” of religious bigots to enforce their version on morality on everyone else. When they argue that President Obama is removing their freedoms, they refer not to his actual infringements on American freedoms, but rather his innocuous efforts at universal health insurance and 1990s era tax rates on the wealthy.

American conservatives don’t care about individual liberty. They arguably never have. The care only about preserving the right of private wealth and religious authority to abuse and oppress the rest of us without interference or intervention. The federal government is the ultimate restraint, elected by the people of this country, placed on their otherwise absolute authority, and they want it gone. They want the freedom to employ anyone they choose at any wage and at any age that they wish, and then cast them aside once they’re no longer useful. They want the “freedom” to stuff women back into the kitchen, minorities back into shantytowns, and gays back into the closet. That’s “freedom” to the conservative mind.

“Freedom” for them isn’t about everyone in this country having the opportunity to live life as they see fit. It’s about making sure that the most powerful private individuals, be they CEOs or church leaders, get to make the rest of us live the lives they see fit.:

I might add “freedom” to them is for corporations to be free to degrade and pollute our living spaces and our planet, achieved by starving our government through tax cuts.

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Clarence Thomas for president!!

The Man with the Can

Adam Winkler is perhaps the first person to come up with this solution to the dismal field of GOP candidates for the presidential nomination. For the life of me, I don’t see why this was so long in coming. In contradistinction to his days as a sexual harasser, Thomas is famous for never saying anything while on the Supreme Court, so he can’t be accused of flipflopping on every single issue, like Mitt Romney. And, unlike Rick Santorum, his name is not synonymous with a gross concoction of bodily fluids (although, of course, he will always be associated with the image of the Coke can with pubic hair). Plus, being African American, he would undoubtedly appeal to the liberal section of the pubic, oops I mean public.

Importantly, Thomas seems willing. According to Winkler,

The idea of Thomas running for president was floated two years ago by two legal bloggers, David Lat and Kashmir Hill. They noted that when Thomas was first nominated to the bench, he expressed hesitation about the solitary, sedate environment that comes with the black robe. “I can’t see myself spending the rest of my life as a judge,” Thomas said.

I think a lot of Americans would agree with that sentiment.

Most importantly, Thomas comes cheap:

ThinkProgress uncovered three briefs that AEI filed in Thomas’ Court after Thomas received their $15,000 gift. Thomas recused from none of these three cases, and he either voted in favor of the result AEI favored or took a stance that was even further to the right in each case:

Riley v. Kennedy: AEI filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decision preventing a change in Alabama’s voting law from going into effect. Justice Thomas did not recuse, and he joined the Supreme Court’s decision reversing the lower court.

Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1: AEI filed a brief asking the Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decision upholding a local school district’s desegregation plan. Thomas joined the majority opinion reversing the lower court’s decision, and he filed a lengthy concurrence defending that result.

Whitman v. American Trucking Association: AEI joined a brief asking the Supreme Court to allow the EPA to consider the costs of implementing new air quality standards before it issued them. Thomas’ concurring opinion went much further than AEI asked him to go, suggesting that the law authorizing EPA to issue these standards is unconstitutional.

Turns out that was the tip of the cashberg:

Thomas appears to have “knowingly and willfully” filed falsified Financial Disclosure Forms which withheld disclosure of nearly $700,000 his wife received from the rightwing Heritage Foundation for the better part of the last 20 years. Only once it was pointed out publicly this year did Thomas bother to file “self-initiated amendments” to the forms he had signed just above the legal warning in bold and all caps which reads: “NOTE: ANY INDIVIDUAL WHO KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY FALSIFIES OR FAILS TO FILE THIS REPORT MAY BE SUBJECT TO CIVIL AND CRIMINAL SANCTIONS (5 U.S.C. app. § 104)”

In short, Clarence Thomas is the perfect GOP candidate for President of the United States.

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Romney, Santorum, Gingrich lie about Iran, would start another Bushoid war

Who's going to die or become disabled in your war, Mitt? None of these.


Juan Cole:

All [of the GOP candidates] but Paul virtually promised the US public that they would go to war with Iran if elected. As Paul pointed out, the US has no money for such a war and it would be illegal and unconstitutional for the President just to launch it.

Newt Gingrich was the first to take the Iran question. He criticized Gen. Martin Dempsey for saying that the Iranian regime is “rational actors.”

Gingrich said, “The fact is, this is a dictator, Ahmadinejad….

One problem is that Ahmadinejad is not a dictator. The presidency in the Iranian system is like the vice presidency in the United States. Ahmadinejad has lost fights with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and even with parliament over appointments. The Wikileaks cables say that a Revolutionary Guard officer even slapped him.


Gingrich continues, calling Ahmadinejad a dictator yet again, and accuses him of saying that he wants to eliminate Israel from the face of the earth.
…. he makes a false assertion. Ahmadinejad once quoted an old speech of Ayatollah Khomeini’s from the 1980s, in which Khomeini said, “this occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time.” “mahv shavad” or vanish is intransitive, so transitive verb like “eliminate” is incorrect as a translation. It was not a threat to destroy Israel through military action, but a prediction that the occupation regime would collapse rather as the Soviet Union had. The occupation regime over Gaza, after all, has in fact collapsed.

Gingrich says that Ahmadinejad wants to “drive the United States” out of the Middle East. While Ahmadinejad is an anti-imperialist, he has not threatened to attack the United States, as Gingrich implied. Iran’s Supreme Leader Khamenei has repeatedly said that Iran has a “no first strike policy” and will not be the first to initiate hostilities.

….

In fact, Gingrich cannot refute Gen. Dempsey’s assertion that Iran is a rational actor by reference to Ahmadinejad, who does not make military policy.

Gingrich also errs in not taking account of Iran’s military weakness and inability to attack or destroy Israel. Iran has no air force to speak of, whereas Israel has the best air force in the region. Iran does not have a big tank army. It is far from Israel and could not send tank columns through Turkey or Iraq or Jordan. Besides, the Israelis would just destroy the tanks. And Israel has 400 nuclear bombs, which would deter Iran from attacking it even if Iran had that capacity, which it does not.
….
Romney said, “Ahmadinejad having fissile material that he can give to Hezbollah and Hamas and that they can bring into Latin America and potentially bring across the border into the United States to let off dirty bombs here. I mean — or — or more sophisticated bombs here, this — we simply cannot allow Iran to have nuclear weaponry.”

This is Propaganda with a capital ‘p’. Romney is appealing to an argument that stacks the cards. No nuclear country has ever given bombs to terrorist groups and there is no reason to think Iran would either. Iran does not, of course, even have such a bomb. Hizbullah and Hamas could not in fact carry a nuclear bomb (they are heavy, complicated and dangerous) around Latin America and up through Mexico to the US because Mexican authorities would detain them. Assuming there were Hamas in “Latin America,” which there mostly are not. Romney is just making sh*t up with which to scare us.

He has to do this because Iran is far away from the US, is militarily weak, and poses no threat to the American mainland. By inventing radical Muslim fundamentalist Mexicans with a nuclear bomb miraculously supplied by an Iran that doesn’t have one, Romney brings a sense of danger to an American audience.

Santorum brings up the rear arguing that US funding for anti-regime elements in Iran would have allowed the overthrow of the Khamenei government. But a few tens of millions of dollars cannot bring down a government, and open association with the United States is the kiss of death in Iranian politics.

This squalid performance by three of the leading lights of the GOP is a very troubling development. All seem reckless and willing to risk war with Iran. None seems terribly interested in the outcome. It is almost as though they were working for big munitions corporations.

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Tiny band of crazies choosing the GOP nominee for the Leader of the Free World.

Choosing a president, GOP-style

Timothy Egan points out the miniscule Republican primary turnout. This explains the “massive” surges, as one candidate after another rises up to challenge Mitt Romney: the numbers are so small that only a few thousand emotional extremists make or break a candidates momentum. Not to mention the power of the most expensive television propaganda campaigns in primary history, fueled by the Supreme Republican Court’s edict that corporations are people.

the small fraction of Americans who are trying to pick the Republican nominee are old, white, uniformly Christian and unrepresentative of the nation at large.

None of that is a surprise. But when you look at the numbers, it’s stunning how little this Republican primary electorate resembles the rest of the United States. They are much closer to the population of 1890 than of 2012.

Given the level of media attention, we know an election of great significance is happening on the Republican side. But it’s occurring in a different place, guided by talk-radio extremists and religious zealots, with only a vague resemblance to the states where it has taken place. From this small world have emerged a host of nutty, retrograde positions, unpopular with the vast American majority.

So far, three million voters have participated in the Republican races, less than the population of Connecticut. This means that 89 percent of all registered voters in those states have not participated in what is, from a horse-race perspective, a very tight contest.

Yes, we know Republicans don’t like their choices; it’s a meh primary. But still, in some states, this election could be happening in a ghost town. Less than 1 percent of registered voters turned out for Maine’s caucus. In Nevada, where Republican turnout was down 25 percent from 2008, only 3 percent of total registered voters participated.

This is not majority rule by any measure; it barely qualifies as participatory democracy.

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Santorum, Romney, GOP want poor women to have more poor and disabled babies so they can complain about more welfare moms

Women's health: GOP would just Leave it to Beaver

John Cole tells in some detail the attempts by the panderers to cut not only birth control, and Planned Parenthood services, but also “free” prenatal testing designed to detect serious birth defects, and also Title X, a program which has had broad bipartisan support, including Nixon and Bush the elder. The result would be a step forty years into the past for reproductive care for women. These people are sick. And I’m not referring to women.

This is Mitt Romney on Title X, in November of 2011:

•Eliminate Title X family planning programs benefiting abortion groups like Planned Parenthood.

Title X:

Each year, the Title X program provides millions of women – regardless of age, income, or marital status – with family-planning and other reproductive-health services. In fact, nearly 75 percent of all U.S. counties have at least one Title X-funded clinic.Each year, more than five million women and men obtain services in almost 4,400 Title X-funded clinics.One in five women obtaining family-planning services depends on a clinic funded at least partially by Title X; for more than eight in 10 of these women, a Title X clinic is their sole source of family-planning services. Most of the women obtaining Title X services are young, poor, and have never given birth. The Title X program provides a particularly important source of affordable health care for women of color, who disproportionately work in low-wage jobs that do not offer health benefits. Nineteen percent of all Title X clients are black and 23 percent identified as Hispanic or Latino,although blacks make up 13 percent and Hispanics/Latinos make up 14 percent of the population. Almost 80 percent of all Title X clients are under the age of 30. Title X is particularly important to low-income women who do not qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is the nation’s largest single funder of family-planning services. However, Medicaid generally limits eligibility to very poor women who are single, have a child (or are pregnant), and meet other stringent requirements. Title X provides services to a broader array of women: women with income under 100 percent of the federal poverty level must receive entirely subsidized services; women with income 101 to 250 percent of poverty are charged on a sliding scale; and women with income over 250 percent of poverty are charged full fees.

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