Here is the equation: city revenues down because sales taxes down, Wall Street scams, etc. Therefore blame public employees, lay off teachers & firefighters, pay them less, cut pensions, contract out to minimum wage outfits, etc.
They spend less, sales taxes down even more, blame them more, repeat…
I’ll say that guns did not kill 12 people and wound dozens more in Aurora, Colorado, an evil man did. But now is not the time to talk about guns. Now is the time to give our condolences to the families of the victims.
In his Sunday show Reliable Sources, CNN host Howard Kurtz smacked the network for debating gun control less than 24 hours after Friday’s tragic Aurora shooting.
“I feel so strongly about this – how about waiting a decent interval, maybe a day, until, you know, the families have had a time to absorb the shock, the victims have been identified,” opined Kurtz, after calling out CNN by name. “Why this rush to do it immediately?”
The poor and middle classes have shouldered by far the heaviest burdens of the global political obsession with austerity policies over the past three years. In the United States, budget cuts have forced states to reduce education, public transportation, affordable housing and other social services. In Europe, welfare cuts have driven some severely disabled individuals to fear for their lives.
But the austerity game also has winners. Cutting or eliminating government programs that benefit the less advantaged has long been an ideological goal of conservatives. Doing so also generates a tidy windfall for the corporate class, as government services are privatized and savings from austerity pay for tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens.
Mitt Romney refuses to let us see his tax returns. He understands this means that we will all speculate on what is in them.
This means that what is actually in them could be even worse than the things we can imagine.
SO let’s do some imagining.
Mitt Romney has been backing NAMBLA – the North American Man-Boy Love Association.
Mitt Romney is heavily invested in blood diamonds. And organ harvesting.
Remember – anything is fair game. Romney is betting that we can’t come up with anything as bad as what he is hiding.
The weapon the guy used in Colorado — and assault rifle with a drum magazine that can hold 100 rounds — was illegal under the federal assault weapons ban.
But the federal assault weapons ban was killed by Republicans in 2004,
Reps. Christopher Shays, R-Conn., and Michael Castle, R-Del., said they were disheartened. “My leadership is playing Russian roulette,” Shays said. “There will be without question a horrific crime committed without an assault weapon ban, and every member of Congress will have to ask where were they on this issue.”
Castle said gun manufacturers have offered discounts and pre-orders for months. “The gunmakers are salivating,” he said. “I hate to think of what can happen now.”
The law’s demise is playing out against a curious backdrop: Several polls have indicated that there is broad public support for the ban, and both President Bush and Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry say they support it.
… Meanwhile, a poll released this week by the National Annenberg Election Survey found that 68% of Americans support renewing the ban.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon said drug-related violence is being fueled by illegal imports of U.S. guns that have surged since a ban on assault weapons ended in 2004.
“The violence in Mexico started when the assault weapons ban expired,” Calderon, 48, said today in an interview on the “Charlie Rose” program airing on PBS and Bloomberg Television.
Listen live 6pm pac bit.ly/OW1C8u
Marcy Wheeler @emptywheel and Dave Johnson @dcjohnson exchange views, commenting on the corporate media’s Sunday morning talk shows and their own observations from the past week.
Money can buy lots of things, and one thing Romney has is money – but he didn’t have Twitter followers. So… Is Mitt Romney Buying Twitter Followers?
Go look at the evidence. All of a sudden starting at 5pm Friday Romney gains 100,000 new followers, out of nowhere.
Everyone needs to understand this about climate change: Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math by Bill McKibben
1) We have to try to hold warming to 2 degrees Celsius, we’re at .8 of that now with huge storms, drought, floods and all kinds of effects. It gets dramatically worse from here – crop failure, famine, running out of water, rising seas, mass extinctions …
2) To hold at 2 degrees we can put no more than 565 gigatons CO2 into atmosphere.
3) Current proven coal, oil and gas reserves is 2,795 gigatons even if we discover no more. That is 5 times what we can burn and stay at 2 degrees. That is $20 trillion in oil company assets, they will fight to the death to be able to burn that carbon. If they do it is the death of billions of us, and the ecosystem.
The Romney campaign has released an astonishingly deceptive new ad, containing a blatant, flat-out lie. The new ad actually edits together snippets of words and sentences to make it sound as if President Obama said something he did not say, and then attacks him for saying it. How will America’s news media respond? Will the public be informed that they are being lied to? And if not, what comes next — “photos” of the President robbing a bank?
The New Romney Ad
This is the new Romney ad, intended to shock opinion leaders enough to move public scrutiny away from the problems of his tax returns, conflicting statements about when he was or was not at Bain Capital, and possible possible illegal conduct.
Here is what the President actually said: (from Monday’s post, The Latest Lie: “You Didn’t Build That”)
President Obama pointed out that businesses did not build the roads and bridges that help them get their products to markets. He said that in the United States we succeed together. Here is the full quote:
There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there. (Applause.)
If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.
The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.
Media MUST Take Sides On This
What is the purpose and function of our news media? This country was once a self-respecting democracy and the purpose of the news media was to provide needed information to the public so We, the People could make informed decisions. And people who entered the journalism profession did so to serve as watchdogs of the public interest.
That was then. Today, many say that the purpose of the media — and everything else — is to make money for those who own it. And that means respecting and never, ever going against those with the most money. And today the ambition of many in the profession is to follow a corporate career path, maybe eventually land a major-media gig. Going down that path means playing ball, not making waves, and most of all not being branded as “anti-business.” And all that means, of course, never, ever going against those with the most money.
This new journalistic model — never, ever going against those with the most money — is what the Romney campaign is counting on today.
In this model news is supposed to be “objective” and “not take sides” as long as you take a side against those who are not “business friendly.” The new standard for news reporting is to follow a “he said, she said” storyline. And always throw in a dose of “both sides do it” false equivalence.
So what about when a big, flat-out, blatant lie — a knowing fraud with clear intent to deceive people — comes down the pike? What should journalists and news organizations do then? Should they pass the buck over to snarky “two pinnochio” pretend-fact checkers, or should they take it on and warn the public? This ad is a key test of the direction of our national news media.
The media can’t just take the usual “one side said, the other side said” approach, because we can see what “one side” actually said and it isn’t at all what “the other side” says was said. This ad is just a lie. It is a fraud against the public and democracy for a campaign for President of the United States to do this.
So, news media, what are you going to do about it? Are you going to warn the public? Or are you going to claim that “both sides do it”?
Questions For Comments
Leave a comment, what do you think?
How should the news media respond when something like this — so far out of the boundaries of conduct for American Presidential campaigns — comes along? How should the media handle blatant lies?
Is this the most deceptive ad in Presidential campaign history? This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF. Sign up here for the CAF daily summary