Archive for July 12, 2012
Is there any end to the crazy? How far are Republicans going to push this insanity?
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) elaborated on his controversial comparison of the Internal Revenue Service to the Gestapo on Thursday, saying the U.S. government agency is “headed” in the direction of becoming the infamous Nazi secret police.
The controversy arose last week, when LePage blasted the Supreme Court’s health care ruling, arguing that it had “made America less free.”
“You must buy health insurance or pay the new Gestapo — the IRS.,” he said.
In an interview with Paul Heintz of Seven Days on Thursday in Vermont, LePage stood by his controversial characterization.
“What I am trying to say is the Holocaust was a horrific crime against humanity and, frankly, I would never want to see that repeated. Maybe the IRS is not quite as bad — yet.”
LePage then said, “They’re headed in that direction.”
Heintz asked LePage if he knew what the Gestapo did during World War II, to which the governor replied, “Yeah, they killed a lot of people.” When asked asked whether the IRS was headed in that direction, LePage responded, “Yeah.”
The Metropolitan Police Department’s internal affairs division is investigating a report that a D.C. police officer working as a motorcade escort threatened first lady Michelle Obama, the Washington Post reports.
An officer, who hasn’t been named, allegedly said he would shoot President Obama’s wife, and displayed a photo of the gun he would use on his phone on Wednesday morning, according to the report. A Secret Service spokesman said the agency was aware of the situation and would follow up.
I credit the likes of Fox and Rush for this. They think this kind of thing is what’s known as patriotism.
President Obama’s biggest mistake during his first term, he told CBS News in an exclusive interview, has been putting policy over storytelling.
Mr. Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama sat down Thursday with “CBS This Morning” anchor Charlie Rose in the White House Blue Room, where they discussed the failures and successes of his administration as he heads into another election, among other things.
“When I think about what we’ve done well and what we haven’t done well,” the president said, “the mistake of my first term – couple of years – was thinking that this job was just about getting the policy right. And that’s important. But the nature of this office is also to tell a story to the American people that gives them a sense of unity and purpose and optimism, especially during tough times.”
“It’s funny – when I ran, everybody said, well he can give a good speech but can he actually manage the job?” he said. “And in my first two years, I think the notion was, ‘Well, he’s been juggling and managing a lot of stuff, but where’s the story that tells us where he’s going?’ And I think that was a legitimate criticism.”
For more of the interview with President and Mrs. Obama, watch “CBS Sunday Morning” this Sunday, July 15, and “CBS This Morning” on Monday, July 16.
Um. I have mixed feelings about this. Still puzzing.
I love this shot of two women listening to Romney speak at the NAACP convention yesterday in Houston:
In this day and age, this takes guts of steel. It’s a wonder Gargiulo Inc. didn’t tell these workers to go to hell and fire them. Maybe they learned something based on what happened in Alabama.
More than 250 workers employed at Gargiulo Inc., a Florida-based fresh tomato company with operations in the Central Valley, voted today [July 11, 2012] to join the United Farm Workers of America.
On Monday, Gargiulo workers at a field in Firebaugh, located in Fresno County, walked out on strike protesting unfair labor practices by the company. A large majority of workers joined the concerted activity asking the company, which grows and harvests fresh tomatoes, for fairness.
The workers filed a petition for a union election Monday and cast their vote Wednesday morning supporting the union by a 186 to 40 vote.
“This is a historic win. The workers, through their vote, sent a clear message to the company that they want to be represented by the UFW. We call on Gargiulo’s management to respect the will of the workers and immediately engage in good faith bargaining negotiations, so workers can have a union contract,” said UFW Vice President Armando Elenes.
Last month, some 800 employees at Pacific Triple E, one of the largest fresh tomato companies in the United States, signed their first union contract, making them the best paid fresh tomato workers in the country.
To learn more about the push for slave-free tomatoes, go here.
The Romney campaign released a new ad today pushing back on the big Bain news. Mental health professionals call this projection:
UPDATE: I saw it just now — at 5:23 MT — on TheDenverChannel.
This could be seen as a shot from Washington across the bow to reporters all around the country:
In response to New York Times stories that relied on leaks of sensitive national-security information, a House of Representatives panel on Wednesday discussed legislation that could allow journalists to be prosecuted for disclosing such information.
Army Col. Ken Allard testified to a House Judiciary subcommittee that the extent of national security leaks is “unprecedented” in American history. Recent examples include the Times’ investigations of President Barack Obama’s terrorist “kill list” and American cyberattacks on Iran.
The First Amendment says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
This is a dangerous road to go down. We need to know about “kill lists” and cyber attacks on other countries. Those are things our elected officials — who answer to us — are doing in our name. We have a right to know about them. The government is us. It’s not a power unto itself like a dictatorship or a monarchy.
Wow. Look at this image of wildfires in Siberia:
As in the western United States and northern Canada, Russia is ablaze. On July 11, 2012, more than 25,000 hectares (97 square miles) of forests were burning, according to the Russian Federal Forestry Agency. Most of the fires—uncontrolled wildfires in boreal forests—were in central and eastern Siberia.
Fires had engulfed 10,500 hectares in Krasnoyarsk, 6,300 hectares in Tomsk, and 2,400 hectares in Yakutia. Yugra, Sakhalin, and Khabarovsk also had large fires burning.
Smoke from large wildfires in Siberia can be lofted high enough into the atmosphere for winds to push the plumes across the Pacific Ocean to North America. On July 8 and 9, 2012, smoke from Siberia arrived in British Columbia, Canada, and caused ground-level ozone to reach record high levels.
Texas Governor [Republican] Rick Perry is getting set to return to his official residence in downtown Austin after a $25 million rebuilding, even as he asks state agencies to say how they can cut spending 10 percent in the next budget.
Perry, the former Republican presidential candidate who in 2011 signed a two-year plan that reduced school funding by $5 billion, will decamp this month from a rental home to resume life in the high-security governor’s mansion. A June 2008 arson fire destroyed much of the two-story brick home built in 1856.
Perry, 62, has made spending limits a central theme of his years at the helm of the second-most-populous U.S. state, and as a national candidate stressed fiscal restraint.
Texas revenue is 14 percent above last year, including a 12 percent jump in sales taxes and 50 percent increases in oil and gas production levies. Yet the governor has asked agencies not to seek bigger budgets and to show how 10 percent cuts would affect operations. This week, Perry said he opposed expanding Medicaid to serve more poor residents.
As if that isn’t bad enough, per Wikipedia, you and I helped pay for the restoration:
During May 2009, $22 million was allocated to the restoration of the Governor’s Mansion, $11 million of which came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. An additional $3.4 million has been raised through private fund raising.
So Republicans in Texas accepted a “government handout” to rebuild the mansion but when it comes to helping the poor in their state they’re turning their backs.
The folks in charge of the London Olympics have released a list of things you can’t bring to or wear at the Olympic venues. The “prohibited” items include the obvious: guns, baseball bats and fireworks, etc. The “restricted” items include “excessive amounts of food” (how that will be determined is going to be interesting), and
– Any objects or clothing bearing political statements or overt commercial identification intended for ‘ambush marketing.’
See the full list here.
Meanwhile, check out this list of corporate sponsors of the Olympics: the “Worldwide Olympic Partners,” the “London 2012 Olympic Partners,”
the “London 2012 Supporters,” and the “London 2012 Olympic Providers and Suppliers.”
Now, anyone who wasn’t born yesterday knows the logos of the corporate sponsors, in particular the logos above — the “London 2012 Olympic Partners” — are going to be plastered all over the place. So “overt commercial identification intended for ‘ambush marketing’” by those corporations is permitted but if say you wanted to wear an Occupy Wall Street or an anti-BP T-shirt like this one
(BP — We’re bringing oil to American shores) you should probably think twice.
Government documents filed by Mitt Romney and Bain Capital say Romney remained chief executive and chairman of the firm three years beyond the date he said he ceded control, even creating five new investment partnerships during that time.
Romney has said he left Bain in 1999 to lead the winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, ending his role in the company. But public Securities and Exchange Commission documents filed later by Bain Capital state he remained the firm’s “sole stockholder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president.”
Also, a Massachusetts financial disclosure form Romney filed in 2003 states that he still owned 100 percent of Bain Capital in 2002. And Romney’s state financial disclosure forms indicate he earned at least $100,000 as a Bain “executive” in 2001 and 2002, separate from investment earnings.
The timing of Romney’s departure from Bain is a key point of contention because he has said his resignation in February 1999 meant he was not responsible for Bain Capital companies that went bankrupt or laid off workers after that date.
Out of curiosity, I Googled “Romney lied” just now. I got 5,400,000 results.