Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thursday Mashup (3/31/11)

  • Gee, wingnuts, next time you try to be clever, try to do something original, OK (h/t Daily Kos).

  • Next, I give you a certain Willard Mitt Romney (here)…
    Even 7.5% unemployment means 11.5 million Americans without jobs. The human cost of that dry statistic can be detailed in a canvas of broken hopes and shattered lives. Workers at job fairs today are confronting an employment market in which there are almost five times as many job seekers as there are openings. Anyone who has visited such a fair or gone to a career center has seen the face of despair up close.

    President Obama didn't cause the recession, but he made it worse and caused it to last longer.
    Well, says you (and as noted here, at least Obama didn’t propose privatizing unemployment benefits).

  • In addition, I give you further evidence of how those zany teabaggers are morphing more and more into utter dupes of the corpocracy before our very eyes (here)…
    …a Tea Party group in the United States, the Institute for Liberty, has vigorously defended the freedom of a giant Indonesian paper company to sell its wares to Americans without paying tariffs. The institute set up Web sites, published reports and organized a petition drive attacking American businesses, unions and environmentalists critical of the company, Asia Pulp and Paper.

    Last fall, the institute’s president, Andrew Langer, had himself videotaped on Long Wharf in Boston holding a copy of the Declaration of Independence as he compared Washington’s proposed tariff on paper from Indonesia and China to Britain’s colonial trade policies in 1776.

    Tariff-free Asian paper may seem an unlikely cause for a nonprofit Tea Party group. But it is in keeping with a succession of pro-business campaigns — promoting commercial space flight, palm oil imports and genetically modified alfalfa — that have occupied the Institute for Liberty’s recent agenda.

    The Tea Party movement is as deeply skeptical of big business as it is of big government. Yet an examination of the Institute for Liberty shows how Washington’s influence industry has adapted itself to the Tea Party era. In a quietly arranged marriage of seemingly disparate interests, the institute and kindred groups are increasingly the bearers of corporate messages wrapped in populist Tea Party themes.
    The story also tells us the following…
    Mr. Langer can seem disarmingly candid when discussing his work. In a recent interview, he explained how the institute pitched its services to opponents of the Obama health care plan, resulting in a $1 million advertising blitz.

    “A donor gave us some money, and we went out on the ground in five states in the space of like six weeks,” he said.
    That sounds benign, of course (“gee, we just…you know…we found some money from a donor…yeah, that’s the ticket!...and gosh, we just had to do all we could to oppose ‘Obama-care’ with it…sure we did”). However, the reality is a little closer to this…
    The Institute For Liberty (IFL) is a Washington D.C. think tank that opposes health care reform and promotes keeping a free-market approach to maintaining the health care system in the U.S. Its Web site home page bears photos of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and other conservative leaders and says the organization aims to "[ensure] that America's health care system isn't destroyed by those who want to see it taken over by the state." IFL's overall goal is to "be the preeminent organization pushing back against the expansion of the state, putting a stop to policies" that the organizations perceives "will undermine that which has made this nation great." The IFL also opposes "open Internet" rules, describing them as the "left’s latest marketing language" for 'Net Neutrality." [1][2]

    The IFL was identified (as a) backer of The 912 Project March on Washington (Silver Sponsor),[1] and Tea Party Express[2] bus tour.
    So basically, the IFL is another one of those right-wing “octopus” outfits with its tentacles wrapped around a variety of conservative causes, if you will (in addition to Indonesian paper and trying to repeal health care reform), aside from just pimping the teabaggers.

    And if these people were actually honest, they would identify themselves as sponsors on some of those signs about our supposed Kenyan Marxist pre-zee-dint redistributing our wealth to AFSCME, the NEA, and Planned Parenthood, all at the behest of George Soros.

    If they were honest.

  • Further, it looks like that former “Democrat” Andy Warren is going to run for the Repug nomination for Bucks County Commissioner, as noted here (with perennial “independent” candidate Jay Russell actually shedding his past pretense of independence and seeking the Repug nomination also).

    For our side, Diane Marseglia is seeking another term along with newcomer Det Ansinn, as noted here.

  • Finally, I give you Repug U.S. House Rep Phil Gingrey of Georgia, who told us the following here…
    What if we lived in a country where private employees were forced to unionize, even if most hadn’t agreed to? Spoiler alert: We do — thanks to the recent decision of an unelected three-person panel.

    This new reality came about in 2010, when a voting rule enacted through the Railway Labor Act was stripped away by the National Mediation Board (NMB). This resulted in the potential for groups of railroad and airline workers to be unionized without the majority of them being in favor of it. Now, only a majority of those who choose to vote, as opposed to a majority of the total, are needed to unionize.
    When Gingrey says “a majority of the total,” he means the total of unionized employees who are eligible to vote, but do not. And according to the wingnut worldview, someone choosing not to vote would then be “forced” into joining a union, when in reality, if that person chooses not to vote and is forced to live with the consequences…well democracy is messy sometimes, you know (as we found out last November).

    In other words (explaining the wrong here that the National Mediation Board corrected, IMHO)…
    Nowhere in American democracy, other than during a union election in the airline and railroad industry, does an eligible voter wishing to sit out an election have his or her silence tabulated as a no vote.
    Yep, I think that says it (and this tells us about another incorrect "diagnosis" from Dr. Phil).
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