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Cornel West, fresh from Democratic platform committee, endorses Jill Stein

Cornel West, who is supporting Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in his presidential run, at a fish fry on Saturday in Charleston, S.C., organized by Representative James E. Clyburn.

New York Times photo

Cornel West, whom Wikipedia describes as “an American philosopher, academic, social activist, author, public intellectual and prominent member of the Democratic Socialists of America,” recently finished his stint as one of the 15 members of the 2016 Democratic Party platform-drafting committee (he was one of Bernie Sanders’ only-five picks to the committee) — only to endorse Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. West, shown above campaigning for Bernie in Charleston, South Carolina, in January, correctly calls Stein “the only progressive woman in the race” for the White House.

Here is Cornel West’s piece for The Guardian, in full (the links are the original links, not mine):

A long and deep legacy of white supremacy has always arrested the development of U.S. democracy. We either hit it head on, or it comes back to haunt us. That’s why a few of us have pressed the president for seven years not to ignore issues of poverty, police abuse and mass unemployment. Barack Obama said it very well, following the shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling, that some communities “have been forgotten by all of us.”

And now – in Dallas, Baton Rouge, Falcon Heights and beyond – this legacy has comes back to haunt the whole country.

Obama and his cheerleaders should take responsibility for being so reluctant to engage with these issues. It’s not a question of interest group or constituencies. Unfortunately for so much of the Obama administration it’s been a question of “I’m not the president of black people, I’m the president of everyone.” But this is a question of justice. It’s about being concerned about racism and police brutality.

I have deep empathy for brothers and sisters who are shot in the police force. I also have profound empathy for people of color who are shot by the police. I have always believed deliberate killing to be a crime against humanity.

Yet, Obama didn’t go to Baton Rouge. He didn’t go to Minneapolis. He flew over their heads to go to Dallas. You can’t do that. His fundamental concern was to speak to the police; that was his priority. When he references the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s to speak to the police. But the people who are struggling have a different perspective.

The very notion that Dallas is the paragon of policing is something that needs to be interrogated. The Dallas mayor said we have done nothing wrong, but look at your history. Ask people in southern Dallas about the police. Ask Clinton Allen, an unarmed black man fatally shot by the Dallas police in 2013. I was with his mother, Collette Flanagan, the founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality, last year. Countless people came up and told us about all the struggles black communities are having with the Dallas police.

Unfortunately, Obama thrives on being in the middle. He has no backbone to fight for justice. He likes to be above the fray. But for those us us who are in the fray, there is a different sensibility. You have to choose which side you’re on, and he doesn’t want to do that. Fundamentally, he’s not a love warrior. He’s a polished professional. Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Ella Baker – they were warriors.

Obama’s attitude is that of a neo-liberal, and they rarely have solidarity with poor and working people. Whatever solidarity he does offer is just lip service to suffering, but he never makes it a priority to end that suffering.

Obama has power right now to enact the recommendations made after Ferguson: better training, independent civilian oversight boards, body cameras. But he has not used executive orders to push any of these changes through.

This November, we need change. Yet we are tied in a choice between [Donald] Trump, who would be a neo-fascist catastrophe, and [Hillary] Clinton, a neo-liberal disaster. That’s why I am supporting Jill Stein. I am with her – the only progressive woman in the race – because we’ve got to get beyond this lock-jaw situation. I have a deep love for my brother Bernie Sanders, but I disagree with him on Hillary Clinton. I don’t think she would be an “outstanding president.” Her militarism makes the world a less safe place.

Clinton policies of the 1990s generated inequality, mass incarceration, privatization of schools and Wall Street domination. There is also a sense that the Clinton policies helped produce the right-wing populism that we’re seeing now in the country. And we think she’s going to come to the rescue? That’s not going to happen.

The American empire is in deep spiritual decline and cultural decay. The levels of wealth inequality and environmental degradation is grotesque. The correct response to this is: tell the truth about what is going on. Bear witness. Be willing to go to jail to fight for justice if need be.

When the system is declining, it can bring despair. That’s why Black Lives Matter – and all other young people of all colors who are mobilizing – is a beautiful thing. We are having a moral and spiritual awakening. It gives us democratic hope. Its not about having hope but being hope. It’s time to move from being spectators, to being actors.

Among his many other points, I share West’s contention that Barack Obama hasn’t done enough for black Americans, irrespective of Obama’s race.

In fact, I’ve long speculated that Obama has done even less for black Americans than would a president of another race even with a similar political ideology — out of Obama’s fear of being accused of doing too much for black Americans because he is a black American himself.

And yes, of course all lives matter and of course Obama is supposed to be every American’s president, but these assertions often if not usually are made to whitewash the fact that black Americans still struggle mightily — by most socioeconomic measures more than any other racial group — in a largely racist, white supremacist nation.

As I’ve noted, I don’t hold it against Bernie that he endorsed Billary. Because he ran as a Democrat, he pretty much had to. But he didn’t have to do so wholeheartedly, and he didn’t do so wholeheartedly. In my view, he did it with a major wink-wink.

And, of course, we Berners are free to vote for whom we wish, and like Brother Cornel (who, again, helped to write the Democratic Party platform, for fuck’s sake), I intend to vote for Jill Stein, who is not only the only progressive woman in the presidential race, but is the only progressive, period, who still is in the race.

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Yes, LET’S look at the content of Marco Rubio’s speech

In this frame grab from video, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio takes a sip of water during his Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pool)

Associated Press image

The vast majority of those who claim that crypto-fascist presidential wannabe Marco Rubio didn’t get enough attention to the content of his recent speech on live national television probably haven’t actually listened to or read his entire speech (which you can do here). Having read every word of Rubio’s speech, and having compared it to reality, I can say that he’s damned fucking lucky that the water bottle got all of the attention. 

Associated Press editor Liz Sidoti wrote a column that she (or Yahoo! News) titled “Our Collective Obsession with the Trivial” that is about as original and insightful as was Repugnican Tea Party Sen. Marco Rubio’s speech that she insinuates was overlooked because of the “trivial.”

Every once in a while we pseudo-chastise ourselves about not being serious enough — but then we jump right back into the “trivial” anyway. Let’s face it: We’re never serious about getting serious. And so the vast majority of us who chastise others about not being serious enough, but focusing too much upon the “trivial,” are hypocrites.

Sidoti — who, ironically, is part of the problem that she whines about (the problem of the mass media’s propagation of “trivia”) — begins her column:

Persistently high unemployment. A sluggish economy. Debt. Deficit. Obesity. Fundamental disputes over guns, immigration and the climate. A to-do list that would exhaust even the most vigorous multi-tasker. A meteor in Russia, even.

Yet what created one of the buzziest brouhahas in America last week? Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s inopportune sip of water on live TV.

Enormous challenges pack the nation’s plate, but this country just can’t seem to get enough of the small stuff….

One hopes that we can multi-task, since we’re (even further) fucked if we can’t.

Yes, issues such as unemployment and a sluggish economy, the federal budget deficit (caused in no small part because of runaway so-called “defense” spending by the traitors who comprise the military-industrial-corporate complex), obesity, and global warming persist, although, of course, not all of our so-called “problems” actually are problems; what we so thoughtlessly label (like lemmings) as “progress,” such as indefinite economic expansion — such as the construction of even more strip malls and fast-food chain restaurants and chain stores — often if not usually only contributes to the further degradation of the planet and to the further threats to the future welfare of Homo sapiens and to countless other species and to perhaps even all life on planet Earth. (Indeed, our idea of “economic expansion,” which widely is considered to be “good,” is predicated upon the ideas that the planet has magically infinite resources and that ever-increasing population growth, which slowly is killing us all, is good.)

But those (like AP editor Liz Sidoti) who claim that we’re ignoring the Big Issues and focusing too much on Marco Rubio’s lying-induced-dehydration-related fucktardation on live national television aren’t seriously looking at the content of Marco Rubio’s speech either.

Rubio’s speech — the Repugnican Party’s response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday — was just more trickle-down bullshit (what’s trickling down on us is the plutocrats’ urine), just more right-wing platitudes, just more feel-good, propagandistic, “Go U-S-A! We’re No. 1!”  pap that is right out of the 1950s or before.

If you don’t believe me, read Rubio’s speech yourself, but know that in his speech the man-serpent Rubio lied through his venom-dripping fangs right out of the fucking gate. Here is the beginning of his speech:

Good evening. I’m Marco Rubio. I’m blessed to represent Florida in the United States Senate. Let me begin by congratulating President Obama on the start of his second term. [Right…] Tonight, I have the honor of responding to his State of the Union address on behalf of my fellow Republicans. And I am especially honored to be addressing our brave men and women serving in the armed forces and in diplomatic posts around the world. You may be thousands of miles away, but you are always in our prayers. [Fuck our teachers, nurses and others who work hard every day — it’s only if you’re in the military that your job counts, you see.]

The State of the Union address is always a reminder of how unique America is. For much of human history, most people were trapped in stagnant societies, where a tiny minority always stayed on top, and no one else even had a chance. [Because it’s certainly not that way in the United States today, with a tiny plutocratic minority on top of the socioeconomically struggling masses, is it?]

But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them. [Not content with just delivering the “American exceptionalism” propagandistic bullshit, the dim bulb Rubio even felt the need to actually use the adjective “exceptional.”]

Like most Americans, for me this ideal is personal. My parents immigrated here in pursuit of the opportunity to improve their life and give their children the chance at an even better one. They made it to the middle class, my dad working as a bartender and my mother as a cashier and a maid. I didn’t inherit any money from them. But I inherited something far better – the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams. [Gotta love this pro-immigrant rhetoric from the same party that for years now has been attacking brown-skinned immigrants from south of the border, immigrants who have just wanted a better life.]

This opportunity – to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life – it isn’t bestowed on us from Washington. It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs….*

This is the tired old “pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps” rhetoric that the right wing just won’t stop spewing. Mom-and-pop businesses for the most part are a thing of the past, having been replaced by the Walmarts with which they just cannot compete long, long ago, yet the Repugnican Tea Party traitors bloviate as though we still live in the days of Mayberry, when, if you wanted to start your own small business and thrive, you could.

In stark contrast to the pretty, red-white-and-blue, Thomas-Kinkade-and-Paul-Harvey-like portrait that right-wing punk Marco Rubio paints of the “exceptional” United States of America, Nobel-Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz just this past weekend posted an opinion piece in the New York Times titled “Equal Opportunity, Our National Myth.”

Whether Stiglitz wrote his piece at least partially in response to the thirsty Rubio’s pack of lies I’m not sure, but in his piece Stiglitz wrote (bold-faced items are my own emphasis, and the links are Stiglitz’s):

Today, the United States has less equality of opportunity than almost any other advanced industrial country. Study after study has exposed the myth that America is a land of opportunity. This is especially tragic: While Americans may differ on the desirability of equality of outcomes, there is near-universal consensus that inequality of opportunity is indefensible. The Pew Research Center has found that some 90 percent of Americans believe that the government should do everything it can to ensure equality of opportunity. [Rubio and his anti-government ilk actually claim that we should leave it up to the plutocrats to ensure equality of opportunity, because isn’t that what the plutocrats are all about — socioeconomic equality? (It’s always a great idea to put the foxes in charge of the chickens, isn’t it?)]

Perhaps a hundred years ago, America might have rightly claimed to have been the land of opportunity, or at least a land where there was more opportunity than elsewhere. But not for at least a quarter of a century [has that been the case]. Horatio Alger-style rags-to-riches stories were not a deliberate hoax, but given how they’ve lulled us into a sense of complacency, they might as well have been.

It’s not that social mobility is impossible, but that the upwardly mobile American is becoming a statistical oddity. According to research from the Brookings Institution, only 58 percent of Americans born into the bottom fifth of income earners move out of that category, and just 6 percent born into the bottom fifth move into the top. Economic mobility in the United States is lower than in most of Europe and lower than in all of Scandinavia.

Stiglitz also notes that “the life prospects of an American are more dependent on the income and education of his [or her] parents than in almost any other advanced country for which there is data.”

That blows Marco Rubio and his “exceptional,” red-white-and-blue bullshit right out of the fucking water of which he so badly wants a swig, doesn’t it? Where is the punk Marco Rubio’s Nobel Prize in economics?

And it’s not just that Rubio is a pandering fucking liar who long ago decided to parrot the right wing’s feel-good lies for his own personal and political gain.

It’s that these lies are harmful because they induce individuals to believe that if they just can’t make it in this vicious, dog-eat-dog, everyone-for-him-and-herself American economy, in which the insane income gap between the haves and the have-nots rivals the gap that we saw back in the 1920s, then there is something wrong with them.

In the right-wing worldview, it’s always the individual who is at fault — never the fucked-up system, which always gets off scot-free. The Thomas Kinkade landscape, even though it’s wholly made up and captures nothing of reality, is always just fine; it’s always the individual who is the failure.

So yes, there is plenty about the content of Marco Rubio’s speech to not only find fault with, but to find to be fairly terrifying, since the lying, pandering Rubio obviously is an ambitious asshole.

So let’s dispense with the myth that Marco Rubio’s wonderful speech was overlooked by the fact that he bizarrely acted as though he wasn’t on live national television, that he bizarrely acted as though if he just pretended that we couldn’t see him do something on live national TV, then we couldn’t. His apparent mindset of juvenile and magical thinking, in which he creates reality, could be a whole other blog post (and might be one day, but not today).

Marco Rubio, like the other dumb punks in the Repugnican Tea Party who have been hailed as the party’s “future,” such as Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Pretty Boy Paul Ryan (who, like Rubio, was parched during his vice presidential debate with Joe Biden, who kicked his punk ass), is only finding out that his flimsy facade won’t withstand the scrutiny of the national spotlight. That’s his fault, not ours.

And I agree wholeheartedly: It’s not about the little water bottle that Marco Rubio grabbed during a live national television address.

It’s about the fact that no one who asserts that we still live in a time that, if it ever existed at all, ceased to exist decades ago, is fit to lead.

You can lead only if you are planted firmly in the present and in the problems of the presentnot if you’re still stuck in an episode of “Leave It to Beaver” or “The Andy Griffith Show.”

*Again, Rubio’s full speech is here. I find most of it not worth regurging here, as most of it is the same, tired old anti-government, pro-fox-and-anti-chicken and anti-fair-taxation (let’s let the rich and their corporations off from paying a fair share of taxes, since then they’ll just give their tax savings to the rest of us, right?) rhetoric that the right wing has been spewing out for some decades now.

But I do find Rubio’s “solution” to the problem of massive student loan debt interesting. In his little speech he said:

“When I finished school, I owed over $100,000 in student loans, a debt I paid off just a few months ago. Today, many graduates face massive student debt. We must give students more information on the costs and benefits of the student loans they’re taking out.”

That’s it. That’s his “solution.”

Wow.

Rubio won’t say that treating our college students like cash cows to be milked for decades after they graduate with their often-worthless-in-this-economy degrees is wrong.

He certainly won’t advocate that we, say, divert some of the billions and billions of dollars from the bloated-beyond-belief U.S. military budget — which is just a way for greedy fucking traitors to loot the U.S. treasury under such guises as “national defense” and “national security” — and use it to at least help our college students (say, perhaps, those who earned the better grades in high school) to pay for college.

No — Rubio’s “solution” is to “give students more information on the costs and benefits of the student loans they’re taking out.” Not to save them from the student-loan sharks, you see, but to just tell them about them.

Meanwhile, under Rubio’s “vision,” the student-loan sharks remain free to savage our students, and the student-loan sharks remain the only source of funding that is available to many if not most of those who want to go to college.

This is leadership?

This is what Joseph Stiglitz, on the other hand, has to say about education and student-loan debt in the U.S. in his New York Times piece:

…Probably the most important reason for lack of equality of opportunity is education: both its quantity and quality. After World War II, Europe made a major effort to democratize its education systems. We did, too, with the G.I. Bill, which extended higher education to Americans across the economic spectrum.

But then we changed, in several ways. While racial segregation decreased, economic segregation increased. After 1980, the poor grew poorer, the middle stagnated, and the top did better and better. [Indeed, the current yawning gap between the rich and the rest of us started under Ronald Reagan, due to his pro-rich, right-wing policies.] Disparities widened between those living in poor localities and those living in rich suburbs — or rich enough to send their kids to private schools. A result was a widening gap in educational performance — the achievement gap between rich and poor kids born in 2001 was 30 to 40 percent larger than it was for those born 25 years earlier, the Stanford sociologist Sean F. Reardon found. …

Unless current trends in education are reversed, the situation is likely to get even worse. In some cases it seems as if policy has actually been designed to reduce opportunity: government support for many state schools has been steadily gutted over the last few decades — and especially in the last few years. Meanwhile, students are crushed by giant student loan debts that are almost impossible to discharge, even in bankruptcy. This is happening at the same time that a college education is more important than ever for getting a good job.

Young people from families of modest means face a Catch-22: without a college education, they are condemned to a life of poor prospects; with a college education, they may be condemned to a lifetime of living at the brink. And increasingly even a college degree isn’t enough; one needs either a graduate degree or a series of (often unpaid) internships.

Those at the top have the connections and social capital to get those opportunities. Those in the middle and bottom don’t. The point is that no one makes it on his or her own. And those at the top get more help from their families than do those lower down on the ladder. Government should help to level the playing field.

Americans are coming to realize that their cherished narrative of social and economic mobility is a myth. Grand deceptions of this magnitude are hard to maintain for long — and the country has already been through a couple of decades of self-deception.

Without substantial policy changes, our self-image, and the image we project to the world, will diminish — and so will our economic standing and stability. Inequality of outcomes and inequality of opportunity reinforce each other — and contribute to economic weakness, as Alan B. Krueger, a Princeton economist and the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, has emphasized. We have an economic, and not only moral, interest in saving the American dream. …

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Clint, I forgive you

Actor Clint Eastwood addresses an empty chair and questions it as if it were President Barack Obama as he endorses Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the final session of the Republican National Convention in Tampa

Reuters photo

A disheveled and addled Clint Eastwood performs at the Repugnican Tea Party National Convention — a live-television political disaster along the lines of a sweaty Richard Nixon.

It wasn’t that long ago that I bought the Clint Eastwood-directed film “J. Edgar” on DVD. No, it’s not Eastwood’s best film, and no, as I noted at the time that “J. Edgar” was in the theaters, “J. Edgar,” as a gay-themed film, is no “Milk” (which also was scripted by gay screenwriter Dustin Lance Black) or “Brokeback Mountain.” It’s flawed, but it’s watchable.

I enjoyed Eastwood’s “Gran Torino,” too. It’s not a perfect film, but it’s worthwhile.

Even I am fairly too young to remember the “Dirty Harry” movies, so I will remember Eastwood as the director of some good films later in his life.

And I will give him a pass for his disastrous appearance at the Repugnican Tea Party National Convention last night. I will blame instead the fucktards who decided to ask him to appear.

Really, it was like elder abuse to allow the 82-year-old Eastwood to speak on the topic of politics in front of a live television audience.

Let me repeat that:

He’s 82. His mind is not what it used to be, as is evidenced by his rather halting, forgetful — I’ll say it: senile — delivery of what was supposed to be (I guess) comedy.

While an expert on film, Eastwood is about as sharp on the topic of politics* as is Britney Spears, who has a cameo in Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11” (it was almost as unfair to allow Eastwood to speak on politics as it was Britney).

Admittedly, I have yet to be able to get through all of Eastwood’s latest performance. I watched at least a few minutes of it on Hulu before I had to stop. It was like watching a puppy being slowly run over by a dump truck. I couldn’t bear it any longer.

Finally, again, Eastwood is an expert of film. Not of live television.

I get it, he’s Clint Fucking Eastwood, and who’s going to ask Clint Eastwood to audition for something?

But, as Rachel Maddow fairly dissects the decision to have Eastwood appear before Mittens Romney did last night, Eastwood’s performance was political tactical disaster.

Obviously Eastwood was meant to appeal to the white male set who view themselves as macho and bad-ass and to the bimbos who think that these macho, macho men actually are, well, macho.

He-man Charlton Heston, who used to shill for the NRA (and who, like Britney, also starred in a Michael Moore documentary), keeled over in 2008, and so the Repugnican Tea Party dipshits got Clint Eastwood.

But putting a doddering old white man on live national television right before Mittens was a strategic mistake of perhaps epic proportion. Sure, there are millions of Americans who are OK with the You-damned-kids-get-off-my-lawn! thing, but they already vote Repugnican Tea Party.

Millions of Americans whom we call “swing voters,” I surmise, were turned off by Eastwood’s crusty, cranky, addled performance, which can only remind them of the last grumpy old man whom they rejected, John McCainosaurus.

And instead of talking about Mittens, Americans are talking about Clint Eastwood’s shockingly bad performance.

Thanks, Clint.

Although you said last night that there are plenty of conservatives in Hollywood, you certainly didn’t just help get another wingnut elected to the White House.

It’s almost like you intentionally sabotaged the Mittens campaign.

*Eastwood’s first salvo at President Barack Obama was that the nation has too many unemployed people. I will agree with that, and, like Ted Rall, I believe that Obama should have pushed through a strong, FDR-like jobs program when he had both houses of Congress in his party’s control in 2009 and 2010, but the fact of the matter is that it was the unelected George W. Bush whose administration of the nation destroyed our economy, and the fact of the matter is that after the Repugnican Tea Party traitors regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the November 2010 election, they’ve done nothing but oppose Obama (they would have killed any strong jobs program he had proposed) and they have done nothing themselves to counter unemployment, such as through a strong jobs program, so they need to be blamed for our continuing unemployment (and underemployment) problem, too.

But all of this is too nuanced for Dirty Harry, who simply blamed unemployment squarely on Barack Obama.

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Assorted shit

Dick the tease

File photo of former US Vice President Dick Cheney in a wheelchair ...

AFP photo

The Associated Press reports that 69-year-old Dick Cheney’s latest heart attack was his fifth one since he was 37 years old.

Cheney (shown above in a photo taken before he attended Barack Obama’s inauguration in D.C.) had what the AP reports was a “mild heart attack” yesterday.

Every time that you hear that Dick has been taken to the hospital you hope that this is it, but, not to be outdone by Freddy or Jason, he is expected to be released from the hospital any time now.

Many, many deserving people can’t get adequate health care, but war criminals get the best health care possible. There’s no justice.

‘Benedict Brown’ tea-bagged

 Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass. addresses the Conservative Political ...

Associated Press photo 

Wingnuts are fucktards.

They’re bashing Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (shown above at the Wingnuts’ Annual Ball last week) for being a “turncoat” because of his support for a Democratically authored jobs-creation bill.

Retards: Scott Brown is a U.S. senator for Massachusetts. Although he’s a Repugnican, Massachusetts remains predominantly blue. Therefore, he can’t be the Nazi that you’d like him to be if he wants to get re-elected when his term is up in a couple of years.

Two other New England Repugnican senators who voted along with Brown against a Repugnican filibuster of the jobs-creation bill were Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine. Notes the AP:

Snowe and Collins … “survive in New England by a unique set of rules,” said Dante Scala, political science professor at the University of New Hampshire.

He said: “The way they survive with voters in their homes state is by making it clear that, first and foremost, they’re the servants of their constituencies, not the party label. So, they’ll make a point of defying their party and going their own way.”

Brown got little such leeway, despite campaigning as an “independent Republican” and publicly eschewing national supporters.

The political realities of the great blue state of California also disallow Repugnican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger from being the Nazi that the “tea party” dipshits would like him to be.

Schwarzenegger this week alone defended the Obama administration’s stimulus package, stating that it has benefited California “tremendously,” criticized Repugnican politicans who have opposed the stimulus package (but who have reaped its political benefits anyway), and stated that the Repugnican idea that Obama’s health care plan should be scrapped and started over from scratch is “bogus,” “partisan” talk

Schwarzenegger isn’t running for re-election, either, as he can’t; he terms out in less than a year.

He probably just doesn’t want to go to hell, and thus figures that he actually should do what politicians should be doing: trying to help people.

Stimulation accomplished

From The Associated Press today:

Washington – The economic stimulus law added between 1 million to 2.1 million workers to employment rolls by the end of last year, a new report released [today] by congressional economists said.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office study also said the $862 billion stimulus added between 1.5 to 3.5 percentage points to the growth of the economy in 2009. The controversial stimulus law combined tax breaks for individuals and businesses with lots of government spending.

The report reflects agreement among economists that the measure boosted the economy. But the wide range of estimates means it won’t resolve the debate over how effective the stimulus has been.

The White House says the stimulus bill has created 2 million jobs and will add another 1.5 million this year as economic recovery continues to take hold.

CBO projects that the stimulus measure to have a greater impact this year, boosting gross domestic product by 1.4 to 4 percentage points and lowering the unemployment rate by 0.7 to 1.8 percentage points.

The report said the most efficient parts of the stimulus include infrastructure projects such as road- and bridge-building and more generous unemployment benefits….

The economy has shed 8.4 million jobs since the start of the recession in December of 2007, though job losses have slowed in the past couple of months.

The stimulus measure has earned mixed grades from a public weary of a bad economy and increasingly concerned about out-of-control budget deficits. Democrats are seeking to renew several parts of the stimulus, however, including aid for state governments and extended unemployment insurance benefits for the long-term jobless….

I’m no economist, but it’s irrefutable the nation started hemorrhaging jobs on BushCheneyCorp’s watch and is recovering under the Obama administration’s watch.

Yet the “tea party” fucktards, like chickens swearing their allegiance to Colonel Sanders, oppose the president who apparently slowly but surely is turning the Titanic back around.

Really: It takes a special kind of fucktard to work against one’s own fucking interests.

Steeling from the donors?

Michael Steele, chairman of the National Republican Committee, ...

Associated Press photo

Politico has a story on how many Repugnicans are furious that Repugnican National Committee chair Michael Steele apparently has been on a spending spree. The first three paragraphs:

Republican National Chairman Michael Steele is spending twice as much as his recent predecessors on private planes and paying more for limousines, catering and flowers – expenses that are infuriating the party’s major donors who say Repugnicans need every penny they can get for the fight to win back Congress.

Most recently, donors grumbled when Steele hired renowned chef Wolfgang Puck’s local crew to cater the RNC’s Christmas party inside the trendy Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue, and then moved its annual winter meeting from Washington to Hawaii. [The news photo above was taken late last month in Honolulu…]

For some major GOP donors, both decisions were symbolic of the kind of wasteful spending habits they claim has become endemic to his tenure at the RNC. When Ken Mehlman served as the committee chairman during the critical 2006 midterm elections, the holiday party was held in a headquarters conference room and Chic-fil-A was the caterer.

What’s the problem?

The Repugnicans chose Michael Steele in January 2009 as a knee-jerk response to the November 2008 election of President Barack Obama; they wanted to show the nation that Hey, they can be hip, too!

Obama and Steele have lots in common, including their love of stimulus packages and hanging out in Hawaii, apparently.

Speaking of Hawaii, hey, has anyone checked Steele’s birth certificate?

Maybe the Repugnicans can oust him that way, before he completely empties the safe.

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