This could also easily be called: "Why I'm a Marxism Reformist and Not Happy With Any of These Assholes in Washington". lol
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism:
August 2, 2011
"Contradicting the mainstream media narrative that the Tea Party is a new populist movement that formed spontaneously in reaction to government bailouts or the Obama administration, the facts show that the Tea Party in Congress is merely the familiar old neo-Confederate Southern right under a new label. The threat of Southern Tea Party representatives and their sidekicks from the Midwest and elsewhere to destroy America's credit rating unless the federal government agrees to enact Dixie's economic agenda of preserving defense spending while slashing entitlements is simply the latest act of aggression by the Solid South. In light of this recent history, it is clear that the origins of the debt ceiling crisis are to be sought, not in generic American conservatism, but in idiosyncratic Southern conservatism. The goal, the methods and the passion of the Tea Party in the House are all characteristic of the radical Southern right. From the earliest years of the American republic, white Southern conservatives when they have lost elections and found themselves in the political minority have sought to extort concession from national majorities by paralyzing or threatening to destroy the United States. As white Southerners, upset with the Democratic Party's racial and social liberalism, migrated into the post-Goldwater GOP, they brought their Dixiecrat attitudes into the party of Lincoln. The Kemp-Roth tax bill of 1981, which inaugurated the policy of creating permanent deficits by slashing taxes without cutting spending, had its strongest support among Southern and Western members of Congress and the least support in the fiscally conservative Northeast. The debt ceiling crisis is the latest case in which the radical right in the South has held America hostage until its demands are met. Presidents Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln refused to appease the Southern fanatics. Unfortunately, President Obama and the Democrats in Congress chose not to follow their example and instead gave in. In doing so, they have encouraged the neo-Confederate minority in Congress to find yet another opportunity in the near future to extort concessions from America's majority by sabotaging America's government."
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights:
"My stepmother never complained to us, always tried to keep us busy. I know she slept with some men in a sugar daddy arrangement so we would have at least some toys, and I remember the day my father came home being so furious with her. She lied, she was a cheater, and my little sister and I had to keep it a secret forever. Which we have done; I haven't mentioned this to anyone until this moment. I found out later that she only allowed herself to cry in the shower, except for the two times she lost patience with us and spanked us and told us that she hated us.
… Poor people aren't worried about antioxidants and a balanced diet. They're worried about having water and electricity and heat in the winter. They are worried about how to miraculously make it through another week without losing their minds, or their children, or deciding to just give up the good fight, and spend their lives on welfare on the front porch with their neighbors, watching their kids give up too. Even the few who make it out with any kind of success have to claim that it was easy and anybody could do it. They have to blame laziness, or morality, or drugs, because the other choice is admitting that their society left them in the gutter without much of a chance of making it out."
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause:
"In 1968, 1,300 sanitation workers in Memphis went on strike. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. came to support them. That city was where he lost his life. Eventually, Memphis heard the grievances of its sanitation workers. And in subsequent years, millions of public employees across the nation have benefited from the job protections they've earned. But now the right is going after public employees. Public servants are convenient scapegoats. Republicans would rather deflect attention from corporate executive pay that continues to rise as corporate profits soar even as corporations refuse to hire more workers. They don't want stories about Wall Street bonuses, now higher than before taxpayers bailed out the Street. And they'd like to avoid a spotlight on the billions raked in by hedge-fund and private-equity managers whose income is treated as capital gains and subject to only a 15 percent tax because of a loophole in the tax laws designed specifically for them. It's far more convenient to go after people who are doing the publics work - sanitation workers, police officers, firefighters, teachers, social workers, federal employees - to call them "faceless bureaucrats" and portray them as hooligans who are making off with your money and crippling budgets. The story fits better with the Republican's Big Lie that our problems are due to a government that's too big. Above all, Republicans don't want to have to justify continued tax cuts for the rich. As quietly as possible, they want to make them permanent. But the rights argument is shot through with bad data, twisted evidence and unsupported assertions. They say public employees earn far more than private-sector workers. That's untrue when you take into account level of education. Matched by education, public-sector workers actually earn less than their private-sector counterparts. The Republican trick is to compare apples to oranges - the average wage of public employees with the average wage of private-sector employees. But only 23 percent of private-sector employees have college degrees; 48 percent of government workers do. Teachers, social workers, public lawyers who bring companies to justice, government accountants who try to make sure money is spent as it should be - all need at least four years of college. Compare apples to apples, and you'd see that over the past 15 years, the pay of public-sector workers has dropped relative to private-sector employees with the same level of education. Public-sector workers now earn 11 percent less than comparable workers in the private sector, and local workers 12 percent less. (Even if you include health and retirement benefits, government employees still earn less than their private-sector counterparts with similar educations.) Here's another whopper: Republicans say public-sector pensions are crippling the nation. They say politicians have given in to the demands of public unions that want only to fatten members' retirement benefits without the public noticing. They charge that public-employee pension obligations are out of control. Some reforms do need to be made. Loopholes that allow public-sector workers to "spike" their final salaries in order to get higher annuities must be closed. And no retired public employee should be allowed to "double dip," collecting more than one public pension. But these are the exceptions. Most public employees don't have generous pensions. After a career with annual pay averaging less than $45,000, the typical newly retired public employee receives a pension of $19,000 a year. Few would call that overly generous in the present economic reality. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, a possible nominee to be the next secretary of state, came to Capitol Hill Tuesday to perform a private mea culpa to key Republican senators for her erroneous initial public statements about the perpetrators of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi in September in which four Americans were killed. It didn't work. After Tuesday's meeting with Rice, Sen. John McCain said, "It is clear that the information that she gave the American people was incorrect when she said that it was a spontaneous demonstration triggered by a hateful video." -Peter Bergen Sen. Lindsey Graham who also met with Rice observed, "Bottom line: I'm more disturbed now than I was before." What is the Republican theory of the case against Rice? It appears to boil down to the idea that leading Democrats covered up the involvement of terrorists in some way connected to al Qaeda in the Benghazi attack during the run-up to the close presidential election because President Obama and others in his administration had for some time said that al Qaeda was close to strategic defeat. News: Rice fails to subdue Republicans' criticism over Libya attack. Does this case make sense? First, you would have to accept that Obama, Rice and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton all knowingly deceived the American public about what had happened at the Benghazi consulate. When this notion was raised in October during the second presidential debate, Obama scolded Republican challenger Mitt Romney saying, "the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the secretary of state, our U.N. ambassador -- anybody on my team -- would play politics or mislead when we've lost four of our own, Governor, is offensive." According to a CNN poll released Tuesday most Americans agree with the president and do not believe that anyone in his administration intentionally tried to mislead them about what happened in Benghazi. Susan Rice responds to Benghazi critics Rep. Heck explains Susan Rice criticism McCain: Iraq and Libya entirely different Ayotte: Rice 'certainly' misled on Libya Second, it was the intelligence community, not officials at the White House or State Department, that eliminated from the talking points used by Rice after the Benghazi attack the suspected involvement of the Libyan jihadist group, Ansar al-Sharia. According to accounts of former CIA director David Petraeus' closed door testimony about Benghazi to congressional intelligence committees earlier this month, the intelligence community eliminated references to Ansar al-Sharia in the talking points so as not to tip off members of the terrorist group that the CIA believed that they were responsible for the attack. Ayotte: Rice 'certainly' misled on Benghazi, but unsure of motive. The conspiracy therefore was not to mislead the American public but to mislead America's enemies. If Rice had gone beyond her unclassified talking points and said that Ansar al-Sharia was suspected to be behind the Benghazi attacks, no doubt she would now be being hounded for the unauthorized disclosure of classified information. Third, it is worth recalling that whenever there is a news event in a chaotic country on the other side of the world, first accounts about the event are often wrong. Remember the erroneous reports about another big news event last year; the death of Osama bin Laden. Initially, it was portrayed by the Obama administration that bin Laden had died during a firefight with U.S. forces in Pakistan and had used his wife as a human shield. As more accurate information subsequently came in from the field, administration officials clarified that bin Laden put up no resistance and had not used his wife as a shield. This is not conspiracy; this is the fog of war. It is also worth recalling that the situation in Benghazi was so chaotic and dangerous that it took three weeks for the FBI to get in to the city to investigate what had happened at the consulate. And it took even more time for the facts to emerge that the Benghazi mission wasn't really a consulate in any conventional sense, but was more of a CIA listening station and that two of the four Americans who had died in the attack weren't diplomats as initially portrayed but were, in fact, CIA contractors.Opinion: Why attacks on Rice are misguided The fact that Republicans have pressed to learn more about the security arrangements at the consulate and security in Benghazi overall as well as the details of what happened the night of the attack has ended up bringing to light much useful information. But none of that information has changed the basic fact that a tragedy occurred at Benghazi, not a cover up. Rubio: Why we need answers on Benghazi Stepping back from the whole debate about how Rice came to make inaccurate public statements about Benghazi, there is another premise of the Republican attacks upon her that deserves considerable skepticism. We are supposed to believe that because Ansar al-Sharia -- a group inspired by al Qaeda's ideas, but having no links to the terrorist group that attacked the United States on 9/11 -- was able to pull off a deadly attack in a Middle Eastern country ravaged by a recent war against a lightly defended U.S. mission, killing four, that al Qaeda is suddenly an important threat again to the United States. If you buy that, I have a bridge in Benghazi I'd like to sell you."
4. Supremacy of the Military:
"Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-CA) introduced a bill in December that would freeze federal hiring in order to delay military spending cuts required by sequestration. Last month, Arizona GOP Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl introduced a similar bill that would scale back the federal work force and freeze federal worker pay to prevent further military spending cuts. Neither bill contained any plans to raise revenue for the federal government.The National Journal reports that House Republicans will incorporate these ideas into their version of the budget, taking military spending cuts off the table: House Republicans are planning to pull the defense-spending cuts mandated by sequestration off the table in their version of the budget expected to be released next week, according to two Hill aides. Republican defense leaders have protested that the military was taking the brunt of spending cuts. But by fire-walling defense from further cuts, House Republicans would need to pay for those expected cuts another way. At a House Budget Committee hearing, Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., told Panetta he felt entitlement spending should be on the table. "With regards to the Budget Control Act, an across-the-board $97 billion discretionary spending cut will be imposed on January 2, 2013, including devastating cuts to our national security," Ryan said in statement provided to National Journal. "House Republicans are continuing their efforts to reprioritize the savings called for under the Budget Control Act, because our troops and military families shouldn't pay the price for Washington's failure to take action." The National Journal said Republicans "declined to provide further details" of their budget, but it presumably won't include raising taxes. Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) earlier this month floated a decent idea for those wanting to preserve military spending: let the Bush tax cuts expire. "The vote to extend the Bush tax cuts in their entirety would, in essence, be the vote to lock in sequestration," Smith said. But even if lawmakers can't find offsets for sequestration — and despite the hyperbolic warnings from Republicans, the defense industry and even the current Secretary of Defense — the Pentagon can, as CAP's Lawrence Korb recently noted in the New York Times, "easily absorb" the sequestration's security spending cuts."
5. Rampant Sexism:
"Republican Congress Member Steve King of Iowa on the new requirement for coverage of women's birth control in health plans: "If you apply that preventative medicine universally, what you end up with is you've prevented a generation. Preventing babies from being born is not medicine. That's not—that's not constructive to our culture and our civilization. If we let our birth rate get down below the replacement rate, we're a dying civilization. Because the only reason to use birth control is because you hate children and women that are on the pill could never possibly want to have children at a later time when they have the relationships, support, income or resources to raise them in the best fashion." Just like every woman that terminates a pregnancy is a single skank that will never have children later on in life and certainly never a woman that has already had children and does not wish to strain herself, her family or her household with more children or simply doesn't want to go through the health risks associated with pregnancy. All sex must have consequences. Tea Party BFF, Congress Member Allen West of Florida: "We need you to come in and lock shields and strengthen up the men that will go into the fight for you, to let these other women know on the other side—these Planned Parenthood women, the Code-Pink women, and all of these women who have—that have been neutering American men and bringing us to the point of this incredible weakness—to let them know that we are not going to have our men become subservient. That's what we need you to do. Because if you don't do it, then the debt will continue to grow." via Democracy Now, Women Hurt Most by Debt Deal Cuts to Medicare, Social Security, Tuition. Only a few short weeks into the new year and the GOP is busy. The president's inauguration speech got them all fired up. Within minutes of its conclusion, the right-wing went to work. The speech was "an ode to big government" (sayeth Chuck Krauthammer) and not outreachy enough, to paraphrase John McCain, a maverick whom the American people didn't find to be commander-in-chiefy enough to put in the Oval Office. Of all people, Newt Gingrich praised the speech. I can't tell you how much it would please me if he wore his underwear outside his trousers in public appearances from now on. President Obama had the audacity to say the word "gay" during the speech. This particular orientation check got the low-level Obama haters all foamy. But shortly before that he said something that no doubt pricked up the ears of the more historically informed members of the GOP and infuriated them: We the people declare today that the most evident of truth, that all of us are created equal, is the star that guides us still, just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall. It wasn't the civil rights reference of Selma or the gay-awareness nod of the Stonewall riots of 1968 that ticked them off; Afro-phobia and smearing the queer are always sure fund-raisers for the think-tanksters. It was the mention of Seneca Falls. See also: Here Comes a Regular: The Seneca Falls Convention in July 1848 was one of the first organized meetings of American women on the topic of voting rights and other matters of gender equality. At the time of the two-day event, the Civil War and the resulting 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution were years away. Probably none of the women in attendance lived to see the 19th amendment pass in 1920, which would have given them the right to vote. By mentioning Seneca Falls, the president told all women in America that he acknowledges their struggle. Talk about elections having consequences."
6. Controlled Mass Media:
"Yet More Evidence Of Conservative Control Of Mass Media: CBS Hires GOP Spin Artist Frank Luntz
September 6, 2012
As Eric Alterman's book asked a number of years ago, "What Liberal Media?" There's certainly none in America — at least, not where most Americans will ever encounter it. This was proved yet again by this bit of news: CBS News has reportedly hired Frank Luntz, the Republican strategist and pollster best known for helping Republicans craft often-deceptive messaging to torpedo liberal policies. In his post announcing the move, Politico media reporter Dylan Byers writes that Luntz will "make a number of appearances across the network between now and Election Day." Luntz's hiring comes only a few months after New York Times Magazine contributor Robert Draper reported that Luntz orchestrated a 2009 meeting where prominent Republicans formulated a plan to win back Congress and the White House. In his book Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives, Draper reported that Luntz "organized a dinner" on Obama's inauguration night featuring a handful of "the Republican Party's most energetic thinkers." The attendees — which included current vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan — reportedly emerged from the nearly four hour dinner "almost giddily" after having agreed on "a way forward." Luntz's influence in GOP politics isn't limited to organizing high-level strategy dinners — he's been credited with coining some of the most infamous lines from conservative media figures and politicians. Luntz has been a regular fixture on Fox News for years. His appearances have featured him praising dishonest conservative ads and asking focus groups questions about whether Obama is a socialist. During a 2010 appearance on The O'Reilly Factor, Luntz praised the Chamber of Commerce for having "done some of the best advertising across the country" without disclosing that the Chamber was one of his corporate clients.This, kiddies, is why I talk so much about the GOP/Media Complex. It exists. It is real."
7. Obsession with National Security:
"Republican Party on Homeland Security
Bush has kept the charge to protect our country
Bush answered the challenge of 9/11, not only with steadfast resolve, but also with vision, optimism, and unshakable confidence in the will and faith of the American people. That is what we all saw on 9/14, when Bush stood with the brave workers at Ground Zero and resolutely assured our nation amidst our shock, anger, and grief that while the terrorists had struck first, America would have the last word. The President's most solemn duty is to protect our country. Bush has kept that charge.
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 4 , Sep 7, 2004
Bush has implemented biodefense measures
Bush's achievements include creating Biodefense for the 21st Century, a national strategy for meeting the biological threats; signing into law Project BioShield, which provides new tools to improve medical countermeasures protecting Americans against a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear attack; putting in place major new biodefense capabilities; creating the Container Security Initiative to screen cargo for the US; and deploying missile defenses to defend the US and its friends and allies.
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 10 , Sep 7, 2004
Keep our homeland safe by taking action on multiple fronts
Bush and Republicans in Congress keep our homeland safe by taking action on multiple fronts. The FBI has been refocused to track down terrorists before they attack. The Treasury Dept. is now leading the effort to find and eliminate sources of terrorist financing around the world. Since 9/11, the US & our allies have designated 345 terrorist-related entities and frozen more than $139 million in terrorist assets in more than 1,400 accounts worldwide. The PATRIOT Act gives law enforcement and intelligence agents the tools that have long been available to fight organized crime and drug trafficking. It also made it possible for law enforcement and intelligence agents to share information and coordinate efforts to prevent terrorism. The 9/11 Commission rightly praised the PATRIOT Act's role in improving information sharing. Since the PATRIOT Act was passed, 4 terrorist cells have been broken up inside the US and more than 189 individuals have been convicted or plead guilty to terrorism-related offenses.
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 13 , Sep 7, 2004
Break down the wall between intelligence and law enforcement
Working together, Bush and the Republican Congress have steadfastly advanced toward the goal of an integrated, unified national intelligence effort. They have taken important steps to expand and strengthen America's intelligence system and capabilities, including reversing devastating cuts in the intelligence community budget and closing dangerous gaps between counterterrorism intelligence collected abroad and at home by creating the Terrorist Threat Integration Center and consolidating all US government watch-list information on suspected terrorists in the new Terrorist Screening Center. They have also broken down the unnecessary "wall" between intelligence and law enforcement with the PATRIOT Act. Because it has proved to be instrumental in helping to break up terror cells and plots and seizing terrorist assets, Republicans believe that Congress needs to reauthorize this important law.
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 17 , Sep 7, 2004
Bush and Congress have been careful to protect liberties
Bush, Cheney, the Congress, and governors across the nation have taken significant steps to streamline the federal government; tighten security at entry points like ports, airports, and borders; strengthen protections at critical infrastructure landmarks such as power and water plants; and reduce the threats of bioterrorism and cyberterrorism. Through all their actions, Bush and Congress have been careful to protect the rights and liberties that make America a beacon of freedom and justice.
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 12 , Sep 7, 2004
Keep our homeland safe by taking action on multiple fronts
Bush and Congress have worked to implement an integrated and federally supported approach to protecting communities. States and localities have received more than $13 billion since 2001. Assistance to Firefighter Grants is up 400 percent since 2001. State Domestic Preparedness funding is up more than 2,600 percent since 2001. Bush has taken steps to send money to the areas that are most at risk of terrorist attack, and instituted measures to speed the money to the first responders on the ground.
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 14 , Sep 7, 2004
Establish minimum safety requirements at chemical plants
As part of a nationwide review of critical infrastructure initiated by Bush, due to be completed by December 2004, the Department of Homeland Security has already identified the highest-risk chemical sites and partnered with industry to enhance protections at those sites. We endorse Bush's request to have the Department of Homeland Security establish minimum safety requirements at chemical plants and enforce compliance when voluntary measures are deemed inadequate.
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 15 , Sep 7, 2004
Greatly increase the federal bioterrorism budget
Bush has worked with the Congress to increase the federal bioterrorism budget by more than 1,600 percent to $5.2 billion in 2004; expand bioterror research by an even greater margin, from $53 million in 2001 to $1.7 billion in 2005, an increase of 3,200 percent; increase the size of the Strategic National Stockpile of vaccines and countermeasures by 50 percent since 2001; and secure more than $5.5 billion to enhance the stockpile and to encourage the development of new vaccines and countermeasures
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 15 , Sep 7, 2004
Recapitalize and enlarge the Coast Guard's fleet
Under the leadership of Bush and the Republican Congress, our nation has significantly increased budget support for the Coast Guard to achieve its expanded mission. We affirm the importance of continued strong support, including for efforts to recapitalize and enlarge the Coast Guard's fleet, a critical component of our overall national fleet. This should not be done at the expense of or by in any way reducing the US Navy's shipbuilding program.
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 15 , Sep 7, 2004
Support to create a National Intelligence Director position
We share the guiding principles for reform that Bush has laid out, including increasing both the quality and quantity of human intelligence collection to disrupt terrorist attacks; investing more in our technical intelligence capabilities so that we stay ahead of our enemies' changing communications technology and tactics; and ensuring the most effective and coordinated use of these resources and personnel. We support Bush's request to Congress to create the position of a National Intelligence Director.
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 17 , Sep 7, 2004
Establish a National Counterterrorism Center
We support Bush's plan to establish a National Counterterrorism Center that will build on the analytical work of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center and become our government's knowledge bank for information about known and suspected terrorists. The new center will coordinate and monitor counterterrorism plans and activities of all government agencies and departments to ensure effective joint action, and to ensure that our efforts are unified in priority and purpose.
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 17 , Sep 7, 2004
Provided Arm Forces better pay, treatment, and training
Supported by the Republican Congress, Bush has increased basic pay by nearly 21 percent. Many service members have seen much more than that. The increase in basic salary and payments for food and housing has reached nearly 30 percent. We hail those much-deserved increases, as well as the action of the President and the Republican Congress in this year's Defense Appropriations Act to fund permanent increases for the Family Separation Allowance and Imminent Danger Pay.
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 17 , Sep 7, 2004
Cover all basic housing costs for average service members
Republicans applaud the leadership of Bush and the Republican Congress for making sure that by the end of 2005, out-of-pocket expenses will be eliminated, meaning that the average service member who lives off-base will have all basic housing costs covered. Bush and the Republican Congress have also increased funds for defense health programs, including improving medical services for Ready Reserve members and their families.
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 17 , Sep 7, 2004
Increased funding for VA health care
Bush and Congress have increased funding for VA health care by more than 40 percent since 2001. This additional funding has made it possible for the VA to improve health care access for veterans who need it most, including low-income veterans, those with service-related disabilities, and those who need VA's specialized services. Bush signed into law authorization for the concurrent receipt of both military retired pay and VA disability compensation for combat-injured and highly-disabled veterans.
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 18 , Sep 7, 2004
Equip our nation to fight 21st Century adversaries
Bush has worked with the Republican Congress to double investment in missile defense systems to put America on track to field an operational system in 2004; dramatically increase R&D investments; commit a significant amount of the procurement budget to transformation; and pursue transformational programs across the services such as the Army's Future Combat System, the Navy's conversion of ballistic missile submarines to guided missile submarines, and the Air Force's unmanned combat aerial vehicles.
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 19 , Sep 7, 2004
Provide $10 billion to defend from ballistic missiles
In December 2002, Bush directed the deployment of a missile defense system to protect the US from the threat of long-range missiles with the ability to deliver weapons of mass destruction. The 2005 Defense Appropriations Act provides $10 billion for systems to defend against the threat from ballistic missiles. Later this year, the first components of America's missile defense system will become operational. This will fulfill a pledge that Bush made to the American people more than 4 years ago.
Source: 2004 Republican Party Platform, p. 19 , Sep 7, 2004
Affirm traditional military culture&rebuild morale (no gays)
Sending our military on aimless and endless missions rapidly saps morale. We affirm traditional military culture. We affirm that homosexuality is incompatible with military service. U.S. forces must be agile, lethal, readily deployable, and require a minimum of logistical support. They must also be fully prepared for possible enemy use of weapons of mass destruction. We support the advancement of women in the military, their exemption from ground combat units, and call for the end of co-ed training.
Source: Republican Platform adopted at GOP National Convention , Aug 12, 2000
U.S. needs comprehensive missile defense system
The Republican president will deploy a national missile defense. America must deploy effective missile defenses, based on an evaluation of the best available options, including sea-based, at the earliest possible date. These defenses must be designed to protect all 50 states, America's deployed forces overseas, and our friends and allies in the fellowship of freedom against missile attacks by outlaw states or accidental launches.
Source: Republican Platform adopted at GOP National Convention , Aug 12, 2000
Eliminate as many nuclear weapons as possible
A Republican president will reevaluate America's nuclear force posture and pursue the lowest possible number consistent with our national security. We can safely eliminate thousands more of these horrific weapons. We should do so. In addition, the United States should work with other nuclear nations to remove as many weapons as possible from high-alert, hair-trigger status to reduce the risks of accidental or unauthorized launch.
Source: Republican Platform adopted at GOP National Convention , Aug 12, 2000
Restore health of defense industry; peace thru strength
Republicans are the party of peace through strength. A strong & well-trained American military is the world's best guarantee of peace. A Republican president and a Republican Congress will transform America's defense capabilities for the information age, ensuring that US armed forces remain paramount against emerging dangers. They will restore the health of a defense industry weakened by a combination of neglect and misguided policies. To do all this, the US must align its military power with the strengths of American society: our skilled people, our advanced technology, and our proficiency at integrating fast-paced systems into potent networks. [And] we will not forget that the strength of our military lies with the combat soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine. The US military faces growing problems in readiness, morale, and its ability to prepare for the threats of the future. The administration has cut defense spending to its lowest percentage of gross domestic product since 1939."
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined:
"KALAMAZOO, Mich. - On the eve of the Michigan primary, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum told an enthusiastic crowd that not only was the separation of church and state not absolute, there is a role for religious faith in the federal government. Building on statements he first made over the weekend, Santorum said that the definition of separation of church and state does not appear verbatim in the Constitution. "What does [appear] is the term the free exercise of religion. Those words do appear, so religion is to be freed from the dictates of government. But ... the government is not to be free of the influence of faith and people of faith," he said.
Special Section: Campaign 2012
Speaking to an audience of about 300 people at the Heritage Christian Academy, an elementary school, the former senator from Pennsylvania said discussion of religious faith should extend to the public square. "We have an opportunity to paint another vision, one that is a welcoming ... that says to people of faith, any faith, 'Come on in, talk about it. Make your case. Make your argument to the people. I don't have to agree with you, but I respect the fact that you're here and you know what? Just because you have a different opinion than me doesn't mean that you hate me, or I hate you. That's what America's about," Santorum said. Santorum's blurring of the line between the religion and government has raised eyebrows, including at the Washington Post, which ran an editorial Monday asking, "Does Mr. Santorum really understand the difference between talking about a policy and imposing his views?" The crowd gave Santorum prolonged applause throughout his speech. Organizers said hundreds of people had been turned away when the school filled up, evidenced by the hordes of residents trudging away from the school in the chilly night before the event starte. Santorum told the crowd that liberals are the real bigots in the debate over same-sex marriage because, he said, they argue that conservatives oppose gay marriage because of "hatred and bigotry." He cited a recent decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that California's same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional, and that the ban "serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California." Santorum said this was tantamount to the court saying, "If you believe marriage is between a man and a woman, it is either because you are a hater or a bigot."
9. Corporate Power is Protected:
-Brad Friedman on 3/6/2013, 12:36pm
"On Monday, we offered a single chart as a reminder of who is really to blame for America's "DEBT CRISIS!!!" (which, as we noted prior to that, isn't really a crisis at all.) As the Dow hit its all-time record high yesterday (continuing same today) and while corporate profits continue to hit record highs along with it --- underscoring, yet again, that Barack Obama is the worst socialist ever --- there are a couple more charts worth reminding you about today, courtesy of Rachel Maddow's show last night... And while corporate profits sky-rocket, unemployment slowly (really slowly) improves, and Republicans hold the nation hostage with the "Sequester" by refusing to close any tax loopholes for the rich which might serve to increase revenues by even the tiniest amount, there is this chart to ponder... So, remember, when you hear Republicans claim they are concerned about "the deficit", they are not. They are flat out lying. They are concerned only about maintaining low taxes and sky-high profits for corporations and the rich people who need those tax-payer funded giveaways the least."
10. Labor Power is Suppressed:
Friday, August 18, 2006
LABOR POWER IS SUPPRESSED
"Deprived of the trade unions, collective bargaining, and the right to strike, the German workers in the Third Reich became an industrial serf, bound to his master, the employer, much as medieval peasants had been bound to the lord of the manner. The so called Labor Front, which in theory replaced the old trade unions, did not represent the workers. According to the law of October 24, 1934, which created it, was 'the organization of creative Germans of brain and fist." It took on not only wage and salary earners, but also the employers and members of the professions. It was really a vast propaganda organization, and as some workers said, a gigantic fraud. Its aim, as state in law, was not to protect the workers, but to 'create a true social and productive community of all Germans. Its task is to see that every individual should be able to…perform the maximum of work.'"
From THE RISE AND THE FALL OF THE THIRD REICH: A HISTORY OF NAZI GERMANY, page 263
By William L. Shirer
Published in 1960 by Simon and Schuster
"Don't you just love it when right-wing class warriors condemn the idea of class warfare? We seem to have forgotten that the axis powers (Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, and Imperial Japan) had no trouble with labor unions because they cracked down on them: often brutally. That's only logical because labor unions, by their very nature, are a nongovernmental source of democratic expression, promoting everything from fair wages and safer working conditions, to freedom of speech and the right to peaceably assemble. Granted, right wingers typically condemn labor unions because of alleged low production and higher prices; but the dirty little secret behind the right wing class warfare is the unholy marriage of the Republican Party to Corporate America which funds Republican political campaigns. In both, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, big business played a political game of footsie with Mussolini and Adolf Hitler; and while the corporations paid a heavy price in the form of constant state harassment, German and Italian business leaders didn't complain too loudly when profit margins went through the roof. True, it was done at the expense of the workers' rights, but who said that corporations are democratic institutions? They are not. By their very nature, they are at best feudal, and at the worst, fascist, which means that the only thing that matters to Corporate America is the bottom line. If corporations believe that a mild form of fascism, such as we seem to be heading towards today, will create larger profit margins, then corporations will continue to make political contributions to the would be fascist no matter how repressive and brutal those politicians may become. But that raises a rather important question. What's at stake. Well, off hand, we would suggest the following: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; nor abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press,; or the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances." We shall repeat the relevant words here: "FREEDOM OF SPEECH" and "THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO PEACEABLY ASSEMBLE." Contrary to the wishes of corporations, the American people really do have rights, and since the Constitution hasn't been rewritten so as to ban freedom of association, the American people have the right to form unions; although you would never know it, judging by the manner in which workers are bullied, spied on, and harassed whenever they attempt to form a union. Indeed, if you want to see fascism in action, just how a corporation behaves when its workers decide to unionize. The minute a corporation gets wind of a union the Powers That Be call in specialized lawyers and psychologists (union busters) who conduct psychological warfare against the workers. Supervisors are transformed into the corporate equivalent of Gestapo officers, reporting, often on a daily basis, to union busting consultants, snitching on the behaviors and reactions of the worker. During the course of the unionizing campaign each worker may be interviewed (some might say harassed) as often as 20 to 25 times. Backing the corporations are organizations such as the National Association of Manufacturers and a plethora of right wing think tanks such as the Free Enterprise Institute and others. Another tactic is the dissolution of existing unions. Some large companies may deliberately provoke their unions into launching costly strikes which unusually end up hurting both sides. Or the corporation may exploit a legal loophole and engage in "double breasting." Translated into modern English the corporation splits in two: one part unionized the other operating with nonunion workers. Or the employer may encourage employees to circulate petitions which would decertify the union. On the legal front, corporations are constantly seeking ways to undermine First amendment Rights to peaceful assembly through legislation that would impose even greater restrictions on peaceful picketing. As if anything could be worse than the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947.
This is quite a change from the 1939 Wagner (National Labor Relations) Act which outlawed company unions, forbade management from interfering in the formation of unions, and, which established the National Labor Relations Board to hear complaints and, if necessary, issue cease and desist orders which could be enforced in federal courts. Of course, the Wagner Act was a product of the New Deal (which Bush and his cronies seemed so determined to completely dismantle) and Franklin D. Roosevelt. But then again, Franklin Roosevelt was actually dedicated to fighting fascism."
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts:
As he unveiled his epic new movie based on Abraham Lincoln's civil war era presidency, Steven Spielberg said he doesn't want his film to become a "political football" in today's presidential election. But as he talked about it further, it seemed as if he went on to say that today's Republican party is somehow just like the slave-holding Democrats of the antebellum south. That's right, Spielberg implied that today's Republicans are just like the old south's racist Confederates. These comments were delivered during a Q & A at the New York Film Festival Monday, after he debuted his new film starring Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln, Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, and Tommy Lee Jones as Pennsylvania Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, a zealous anti-slavery activist. Mike Fleming reports that Spielberg delayed the release of his film until just after the election in order to keep his work out of the current presidential election. "I just said, please don't release this until the election is over. I didn't want it to be this political football going back and forth," Fleming reports Spielberg as saying. Of course, it is admirable that director Spielberg wants to make sure that a film based on history is not abused as a "political football" in today's political contest. Unfortunately, Spielberg, a big Obama supporter, went on himself to use history to make modern political points. After pronouncing his disdain for abusing history for political points, he did just that, saying: "Because it's kind of confusing. The parties traded political places over the last 150 years. That in itself is a great story, how the Republican Party went from a progressive party in 1865, and how the Democrats were represented in the picture, to the way it's just the opposite today. But that's a whole other story." Wait, what? Is Spielberg saying that today's GOP is somehow just like the evil slave-holding south? Of course, Spielberg's total lack of a grasp of this history is a modern trope of the far left. Leftists today are fond of making the blinkered claim that today's GOP and the Democrats just "switched roles" and the GOP has now taken the role of the old, racist south, especially because the south is now a Republican stronghold."
Sound like a republican coming down on an intellectual and his art, much?
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment:
Four decades ago, the U.S. government declared a "war on drugs." From the rise and fall of kingpins to current efforts to interdict and stamp out drugs, follow events so far:
July 14, 1969: In a special message to Congress, President Richard Nixon identifies drug abuse as "a serious national threat." Citing a dramatic jump in drug-related juvenile arrests and street crime between 1960 and 1967, Nixon calls for a national anti-drug policy at the state and federal level.
June 1971: Nixon officially declares a "war on drugs," identifying drug abuse as "public enemy No. 1."
July 1973: Nixon creates the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to coordinate the efforts of all other agencies.
November 1975: Colombian police seize 600 kilograms of cocaine — the largest seizure to date — from a small plane. Drug traffickers respond with a vendetta, killing 40 people in one weekend in what's known as the "Medellin Massacre." The event signals the new power of Colombia's cocaine industry, headquartered in Medellin.
1976: Former Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter campaigns for president on a platform that includes decriminalizing marijuana and ending federal criminal penalties for possession of up to 1 ounce of the drug.
1979: Carlos Lehder, co-founder of the Medellin cartel, purchases a 165-acre island in the Bahamas. Small planes transporting drugs from Colombia to the United States use the island to refuel. Operations continue on the island until 1983.
1981: The Medellin cartel rises to power. The alliance includes the Ochoa family, Pablo Escobar, Carolos Lehder and Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha. The drug kingpins work together to manufacture, transport and market cocaine. The United States and Colombia ratify a bilateral extradition treaty.
1982: Panamanian leader Gen. Manuel Noriega allows Pablo Escobar to ship cocaine through Panama. In the United States, Vice-President George H.W. Bush combines agents from multiple agencies and military branches to form the South Florida Drug Task Force, Miami being the main entry point at the time.
In March, Pablo Escobar is elected to the Colombian congress; he gained support by building low-income housing, doling out money in Medellin slums and campaigning with Catholic priests. He's driven out of Congress the following year by Colombia's minister of justice.
1984: Nancy Reagan launches her "Just Say No" anti-drug campaign. In July, The Washington Times publishes a story about DEA informant Barry Seal's infiltration of the Medellin cartel's operations in Panama. The story shows that Nicaraguan Sandanistas are involved in the drug trade. As a result of Seal's evidence, a Miami federal grand jury indicts Carlos Lehder, Pablo Escobar, Jorge Ochoa and Jose Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha. (In February 1986, Seal is assassinated in Baton Rouge, La., by gunmen hired by the cartel.)
1985: Colombia extradites drug traffickers to the United States for the first time. U.S. officials discover that the Medellin cartel has a "hit list" that includes embassy members, their families, U.S. businessmen and journalists.
Mid-1980s: Because of the South Florida Drug Task Force's work, cocaine trafficking slowly changes transport routes. The Mexican border becomes the major point of entry for cocaine headed into the United States. Crack, a cheap, addictive and potent form of cocaine, is first developed in the early '80s; it becomes popular in the New York region, devastating inner-city neighborhoods.
October 1986: Reagan signs the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which appropriates $1.7 billion to fight the drug war. The bill also creates mandatory minimum penalties for drug offenses, which are increasingly criticized for promoting significant racial disparities in the prison population because of the differences in sentencing for crack and powder cocaine. Possession of crack, which is cheaper, results in a harsher sentence; the majority of crack users are lower income.
February 1987: In February, Carlos Lehder is captured by the Colombian National Police and extradited to the United States, where he's convicted of drug smuggling and sentenced to life in prison without parole, plus an additional 135 years.
May 1987: After receiving personal threats from drug traffickers, the justices on the Colombian Supreme Court rule by a vote of 13-12 to annul the extradition treaty with the United States.
1988: Carlos Salinas de Gortari is elected president of Mexico, and President-elect George H.W. Bush tells him he must demonstrate to the U.S. Congress that he is cooperating in the drug war. This process is called certification.
1989: President George H.W. Bush creates the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and appoints William Bennett as his first "drug czar." Bennett aims to make drug abuse socially unacceptable. That same year, Forbes magazine lists Pablo Escobar — known for his "bribes or bullets" approach to doing business — as the seventh-richest man in the world.
December 1989: the United States invades Panama. Gen. Manuel Noriega surrenders to the DEA on Jan. 3, 1990, in Panama and is sent to Miami the next day. In 1992, Noriega is convicted on eight counts of drug trafficking, money laundering and racketeering, and sentenced to 40 years in prison.
1991: The Colombian assembly votes to ban extradition in its new constitution. Pablo Escobar surrenders to the Colombian police the same day. He is confined in a private luxury prison, though reports suggest that he travels in and out as he pleases. When Colombian authorities try to move Escobar to another prison in July 1992, he escapes.
1992: Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari issues regulations for DEA officers in his country. The new rules limit the number of agents in Mexico, deny them diplomatic immunity, prohibit them from carrying weapons, and designate certain cities in which they can live.
November 1993: President Clinton signs the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), which increases the amount of trade and traffic across the U.S.-Mexican border. This makes it more difficult for U.S. Customs to find narcotics moving across the border.
December 1993: Pablo Escobar, in hiding since mid-1992, is found by Colombian police using American technology that can recognize his voice on a cell phone call and estimate his location. He tries to flee but is killed.
May 1995: The U.S. Sentencing Commission releases a report that acknowledges the racial disparities for prison sentencing for cocaine versus crack. The commission suggests reducing the discrepancy, but Congress overrides its recommendation for the first time in history.
August 2000: President Bill Clinton gives $1.3 billion in aid to Plan Colombia, an effort to decrease the amount of cocaine produced in that nation. The aid supports the aerial spraying of coca crops with toxic herbicides, and also pays for combat helicopters and training for the Colombian military.
2003: In February, three Americans — contracted by the Pentagon to help with Colombia's anti-drug effort — are taken hostage by guerrilla fighters after their surveillance plane crashes. In April, the Illicit Drug Anti-Proliferation Act is enacted, which targets ecstasy, predatory drugs and methamphetamine.
2004: Along with the State Department and the Department of Defense, the DEA announces its involvement in the U.S. Embassy Kabul Counternarcotics Implementation Plan. It's designed to reduce heroin production in Afghanistan, the world's leading opium producer.
January 2006: Authorities announce the discovery of the longest cross-border tunnel in U.S. history, the work of what they call a well-organized and well-financed drug-smuggling group. The half-mile long tunnel links a warehouse in Tijuana, where about two tons of marijuana were seized, to a warehouse in the United States, where 200 pounds of the drug were found.
As Reagan's deification by the media and the right reaches epic proportions, three of his less-than-endearing legacies deserve to be highlighted:
Mandatory minimum drug sentences in 1986. This was the first time Congress passed mandatory minimum sentences since the Boggs Act in 1951.
Federal sentencing guidelines: Under this new method of sentencing, which went into effect in 1987, prison time is determined mostly by the weight of the drugs involved in the offense. Parole was abolished and prisoners must serve 85 percent of their sentence. Except in rare situations, judges can no longer factor in the character of the defendant, the effect of incarceration on his or her dependents, and in large part, the nature and circumstances of the crime. The only way to receive a more lenient sentence is to act as an informant against others and hope that the prosecutor is willing to deal. The guidelines in effect stripped Article III of their sentencing discretion and turned it over to prosecutors.
The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988: This law established a federal death penalty for "drug kingpins." President Reagan called it a new sword and shield in the escalating battle against drugs, and signed the bill in his wife's honor:
Nancy, for your tireless efforts on behalf of all of us, and the love you've shown the children in your Just Say No program, I thank you and personally dedicate this bill to you. And with great pleasure, I will now sign the Anti-Drug...
Did the law nab Pablo Escobar? No. The law's first conquest was David Ronald Chandler, known as "Ronnie." Ronnie grew marijuana in a small town in rural, northeast Alabama. About 300 pounds a year. Ronnie was sentenced to death for supposedly hiring someone to kill his brother-in-law. The witness against him later recanted. Clinton commuted Chandler's death sentence to life.
While we agree Nancy Reagan is to be lauded for her caretaking of her husband the past ten years, we must also point out that she is responsible for the "Just Say No" campaign against drugs, which ultimately deteriorated into a punchline. Remember this famous Nancy quote?
Not long ago in Oakland, Calif., I was asked by a group of children what to do if they were offered drugs. And I answered, 'Just Say No.' Soon after that those children in Oakland formed a Just Say No Club and now there are over 10,000 such clubs all over the country.
As a result of these flawed drug policies initiated by then President Reagan, (and continued by Bush I, Clinton and Bush II) the number of those imprisoned in America has quadrupled to over 2 million. These are legacies that groups like Families Against Mandatory Minimums are still fighting today. Even George Shultz, Ronald Reagan's former secretary of state, acknowledged in 2001 that the War on Drugs is a flop.
In Smoke and Mirrors, Dan Baum, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, provides a detailed account of the politics surrounding Reagan's war on drugs.
Conservative parents' groups opposed to marijuana had helped to ignite the Reagan Revolution. Marijuana symbolized the weakness and permissiveness of a liberal society; it was held responsible for the slovenly appearance of teenagers and their lack of motivation. Carlton Turner, Reagan's first drug czar, believed that marijuana use was inextricably linked to "the present young-adult generation's involvement in anti-military, anti-nuclear power, anti-big business, anti-authority demonstrations." A public-health approach to drug control was replaced by an emphasis on law enforcement. Drug abuse was no longer considered a form of illness; all drug use was deemed immoral, and punishing drug offenders was thought to be more important than getting them off drugs. The drug war soon became a bipartisan effort, supported by liberals and conservatives alike. Nothing was to be gained politically by defending drug abusers from excessive punishment.
Drug-control legislation was proposed, almost like clockwork, during every congressional-election year in the 1980s. Election years have continued to inspire bold new drug-control schemes. On September 25 of last year Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich introduced legislation demanding either a life sentence or the death penalty for anyone caught bringing more than two ounces of marijuana into the United States. Gingrich's bill attracted twenty-six co-sponsors, though it failed to reach the House floor. A few months earlier Senator Phil Gramm had proposed denying federal welfare benefits, including food stamps, to anyone convicted of a drug crime, even a misdemeanor. Gramm's proposal was endorsed by a wide variety of senators-including liberals such as Barbara Boxer, Tom Harkin, Patrick Leahy, and Paul Wellstone. A revised version of the amendment, limiting the punishment to people convicted of a drug felony, was incorporated into the welfare bill signed by President Clinton during the presidential campaign. Possessing a few ounces of marijuana is a felony in most states, as is growing a single marijuana plant. As a result, Americans convicted of a marijuana felony, even if they are disabled, may no longer receive federal welfare or food stamps. Convicted murderers, rapists, and child molesters, however, will continue to receive these benefits.
Reagan also left his mark on the Supreme Court. He nominated conservative Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O'Connor to sit on the Court and appointed William Rehnquist as Chief Justice. The Supreme Court has upheld these draconian laws and sentencing guidelines, as well as the 1984 Federal Bail Reform Act, which allows prosecutors to request that drug defendants facing a possible sentence of ten years or more be held without bond until trial.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption:
See part's 1-12 and how one-sided they are in pointing to republicans.
14. Fraudulent Elections:
(The dimpled chad dilemma)
November 22, 2000
Web posted at: 1:46 PM EST
By Jessica Reaves
"Here's a quick quiz. Which of the following most accurately represents the will of a voter: A hanging chad, a dimpled chad, a partially detached chad or a two-cornered chad?
Do you think the so-called dimpled ballots should be counted?
If you know the answer, please contact Florida's board of elections immediately. They could use your help.
As the hand recounts drag on in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, canvassing officials have run into a substantial number of ballots whose punch holes are not actually punched, but are sort of poked or prodded or rendered somehow concave. Democratic observers are pushing vote counters to include those indented ballots (most of which appear to favor the Gore-Lieberman ticket) in the state's ultimate tally. At least 300 dimpled ballots have been set aside in Palm Beach County, where they await orders from Florida's Supreme Court. On Tuesday night, the court appeared to have not addressed the issue, though they did cite a ruling from the Illinois Supreme Court, which allowed certain dimpled chads to be counted.
Republicans are up in arms over this tactic, arguing there is no logical connection between a slight ballot depression and voter intent. What if, they demand, a voter who is pondering his or her choice between Al Gore and George W. Bush rests the stylus on the Democrats' chad for a moment and then decides to forgo the vote altogether? Should that hesitation really be counted as a vote?
Unfortunately, no one seems to know.
If only this scenario were unfolding in Texas. While election law in Florida is inconclusive with regard to the inclusion of dimpled, hanging and detached chads, Lone Star State voters need only create a depression on a ballot in order for their vote to count. (Thanks, in part at least, to Governor George W. Bush, who signed the "voter intent" decree into law just a few years ago).
But without the benefit of such a forward-thinking executive branch, Floridians were stuck. Democrats were hoping that the justices will not only allow the hand recounts to continue and order them to be included in the final tally but also establish a uniform methodology for hand counts. Republicans, of course, wanted an even more conclusive response to the nagging question of voter intent: They were hoping the court would call an end to the recounts altogether and toss the ballots, dangling chads and all, out the window.
Amazingly enough, there is a precedent for this seemingly absurd debate. In 1990, the outcome of a fiercely contested race for an Illinois House seat turned on dimpled ballots. After a recount established a tie between the candidates, the state's Supreme Court Justices personally examined 27 indented ballots and decided that eight of them "exhibited clear voter intent," a ruling that handed the race to the incumbent."