• Category Archives Rant
  • Damn the GOP. What They’re Doing Is Unprecedented, Immoral, and Evil

    The GOP government shutdown just hit home for a close friend.

    His son, a laborer who lives in a so-called "Right To Work" state, was out of work. He had been let go from his previous job because he became injured outside of work. Rather than give him a month to heal, which is all he needed, his employer at the time just let him go. Tried to tell him that he was doing him a favor. That he could collect unemployment, as opposed to making nothing for the 30 days or so he would need to heal.

    And his employer knew that this lad had only worked for him for five months, therefore not qualifying for unemployment. And, it turns out, this employer has done this to other workers, letting them go in the fifth month of employment, so the employer has to pay neither benefits nor unemployment.

    This is what the GOP refers to as "Right To Work," the myth that, forbidding unions from requiring workers to join a union when they get a job, workers now can be "free" of union dues and work, because, dammit, they have the right to work.

    In reality, it means states full of workers, like my friend’s son, who have no union protection, no unions who negotiated fair working conditions. None of that. Not at all.

    And employers can be as ruthless as the nasty members of the GOP, some of the meanest pols we’ve seen since just before the Great Depression, when robber barons ruled, and pols danced to their commands.

    So my friend’s son applied for another job. Went through the entire interview process. Passed every background check, drug test — paid for by the hiring company — and was given his "new employee" packet.

    And, on what was supposed to be his first day of work, was told that the company could not start him, because of the government shutdown.

    Because of the government shutdown, the company was not certain that some contracts would be upheld.

    That’s not what they told him at first. But, after he pressed them, they admitted this was, in fact, the case. The government shutdown.

    The damn GOP government shutdown.

    His son says it was evident the company was scrambling. Some news from on high had reached the blue collar workers, and the company, and American company, was being downsized.

    These inglorious GOP members of Congress have got to go.

    All of them.

    They claim that this shutdown is the fault of the Democrats and the Democratic President who "refuse to negotiate.


    And here’s proof.

    From BillMoyers.com, proof that this debt ceiling crisis is not politics as usual:

    Never before has a minority party linked controversial legislative demands with a threat to shut down the government or imperil the global economy. But House Republicans would have you believe otherwise.

    In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal this morning, Rep. Paul Ryan writes that president Obama “says he ‘will not negotiate’ on the debt ceiling. He claims that such negotiations would be unprecedented. But many presidents have negotiated on the debt ceiling—including him. ”

    Ryan was referring to a speech given in September before the Business Roundtable — an association of CEOs of large US companies — in which the president said, “You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt ceiling being used to extort a president or a governing party, and trying to force issues that have nothing to do with the budget and have nothing to do with the debt.”

    Ryan continued: “He’s refusing to talk, even though the federal government is about to hit the debt ceiling. That’s a shame — because this doesn’t have to be another crisis. It could be a breakthrough.”

    But that’s spin: Negotiating would set a dangerous precedent, because Obama’s right that this time really is different. Here are three reasons why.

    Go to the original article here and read, and then act.

  • Quash the Teabaggers! Reclaim America!

    The following is from Congresswoman Robin Kelly:

    This morning at 12:01am, Congressional Republicans shut down the government.

    Millions of Americans are going to suffer — seniors, veterans, students, businesses, and workers — while those responsible for the shutdown get paid.

    Democrats in Congress need to hear that the public is on their side in this fight and we need them to stand strong.

    Click here to call Rep. Robin Kelly and tell her to stand strong against Tea Party demands.

    This shutdown will end in one of two ways:

    1. Democrats will cave and cut vital programs like Social Security or
    2. Republicans will cave to immense public pressure. 

    Flooding Democrats’ offices with phone calls will make sure it’s not option 1. We’re also running online ads targeting Republican Speaker John Boehner to make sure he feels extra pressure back home. 

    Can you call Rep. Kelly and tell her that the American people need Democrats to stand strong? Click here.

    Thanks for being a bold progressive. 

    From Turning Left:

    Thank you, thank you all, for being bold progressives!

    Stay true, and reclaim America from the Tea Baggers!

  • Holy Sh*t: Pakistan Arrests C.I.A. Informants Who Aided Bin Laden Raid

    The lede for this one goes to the New York Times, from the caption used for the picture above:

    Instead of going after those who helped Osama bin Laden to live in this Abbottabad compound, Pakistan arrested those who assisted in the raid that killed him.

    Oh, shit.

    From the New York Times:

    Pakistan’s top military spy agency has arrested some of the Pakistani informants who fed information to the Central Intelligence Agency in the months leading up to the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden, according to American officials.

    Pakistan’s detention of five C.I.A. informants, including a Pakistani Army major who officials said copied the license plates of cars visiting Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, in the weeks before the raid, is the latest evidence of the fractured relationship between the United States and Pakistan. It comes at a time when the Obama administration is seeking Pakistan’s support in brokering an endgame in the war in neighboring Afghanistan.

    At a closed briefing last week, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee asked Michael J. Morell, the deputy C.I.A. director, to rate Pakistan’s cooperation with the United States on counterterrorism operations, on a scale of 1 to 10. 

    “Three,” Mr. Morell replied, according to officials familiar with the exchange.  

    The fate of the C.I.A. informants arrested in Pakistan is unclear, but American officials said that the C.I.A. director, Leon E. Panetta, raised the issue when he travelled to Islamabad last week to meet with Pakistani military and intelligence officers.

    Pakistan is no ally of the United States of America.


  • ‘Rogues’ Gallery’ Report Profiles Far-Right Senate Candidates

    Help keep crazy people out of Congress.

    People For the American Way today released "The Rogues’ Gallery," profiling 15 far-right Republican nominees for Congress. From pledges to radically restrict reproductive choice to demands that the EPA and the Department of Education be abolished, the report makes clear that the Republican slate of nominees is everything the Tea Party or the Religious Right could want. Included in the report are:

    • Joe Miller of Alaska who says that the Department of Education should be eliminated because it’s not in the Constitution.
    • Carly Fiorina of California who pledges that she would "absolutely" vote to overturn Roe v. Wade if given the opportunity.
    • Ken Buck of Colorado who says he "doesn’t know" whether Social Security is constitutional, but calls it a "horrible policy."
    • Sharron Angle of Nevada who says government assistance to the poor is a form of idolatry that violates the first of the Ten Commandments.
    • Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire who says same-sex couples should not have the right to adopt children.
    • Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania who thinks abortion should be illegal and doctors who perform abortions should be jailed.

    "After years of tracking the Right, it’s clear that this batch of Republicans is the most extreme slate yet," said Michael B. Keegan of People For the American Way. "These candidates aren’t interested in addressing the serious problems we face; they’re interested in exploiting serious problems to impose their rigid, ideological agenda on all of us. Voters should go to the polls with their eyes open, and that means understanding the kind of extremism these candidates represent."

    In addition to the candidates above, the report profiles Christine O’Donnell (DE), Marco Rubio (FL), Rand Paul (KY), Roy Blunt (MO), Richard Burr (NC), Rob Portman (OH), Mike Lee (UT), Ron Johnson (WI) and Dino Rossi (WA).

    You can read the report and view a slideshow of right-wing candidates here.

    People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.

    Source: commondreams.org

  • Obama Sidesteps Senate Fight: Taps Elizabeth Warren to Launch Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

    From Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Sun-Times:

    President Obama found a way Wednesday night to sidestep a Senate confirmation blockade and install Elizabeth Warren to launch the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Warren was the first to suggest that consumers needed a government watchdog to prevent financial institutions from exploiting and tricking their customers. HOPE SHE WORKS ON TRANSLATING the small print INTO PLAIN ENGLISH.

    Thank you, President Obama!

    And Lynn Sweet better add ENEWSPF as one of her Sweet Links after this post!

  • G.O.P. Denounces Ground Zero Community Center, Silent on Strip Club

    Ground Zero is sacred ground.

    You better believe it is.

    So where is the voice of the G.O.P. shouting a unanimous and bombasitic, “NO!!!!!!” regarding the Ground Zero Strip Club?

    The G.O.P. wants us to believe that it is wrong for a religious group to openen a community center close to Ground Zero. The religious group should locate elsewhere, not so close to Sacred Ground.

    Did the G.O.P. happen to miss the Cordoba House complex at 45-51 Park Place, a mere two blocks away from the World Trade Center site?

    A bit more from Forbes.com:

    As yet, I haven’t heard anyone wonder why our political class is silent as the sex industry operates on sacred ground. It would be a bizarre complaint: It’s Manhattan, where you can find anything mere blocks from a given location. The closest strip club to Ground Zero happens to be two blocks away, a fact that has nothing to do with our reverence for the place where so many Americans were killed by terrorists. As you’ve probably noticed, it doesn’t even make sense to call it The Ground Zero Strip Club.

    But it makes no less sense than naming an Islamic community center “The Ground Zero Mosque”–as much of the media have done–because it’s going to be located a couple blocks away. Even worse, opponents of the project are opportunistically invoking the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, even going so far as to appropriate their imagery. “Join the fight to kill The Ground Zero Mosque,” intones a video advertisement released by a group called National Republican Trust PAC. “A mosque at Ground Zero must not stand. The political class says nothing. The politicians are doing nothing to stop it. But we Americans will be heard. ”

    As an American in good standing, I’d like to be heard–and to make sure that James Madison, a colleague of mine in citizenship, is heard too. The fourth president of the U.S. once wrote, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It’s a line that National Republican Trust neglects to remember. Perhaps “the political class” isn’t doing anything to stop the construction of an Islamic community center because the Constitution forbids it. Even worse, the advertisement I’ve mentioned engages in just the sort of religious bigotry that the First Amendment is meant to guard against. “On Sept. 11 they declared war against us,” the narrator says. “And to celebrate that murder of 3,000 Americans they want to build a monstrous 13-story mosque at ground zero.”

    “They” declared war against us? Who is this ambiguous “they?”

    A radical group of al Qaeda radicals led by Osama bin Laden attacked the United States on September 11, 2001.

    Who are “they” who wish to open the community center?

    “They” are an Islamic group that has long run a mosque in the area for New York City Muslims. On 9/11, “they” found their community under attack, too. It is slander to assert that they’ve declared war against us, or that their motive in building a community center is celebrating the murder of Americans.

    “They” who wish to open this community center are peace-loving Americans. That’s it.

    This is a non-issue, and the G.O.P. should be ashamed.