The Path That the Patriot Act Paved
(The New American) - Regardless of how it is constituted, whether it is “democratic” or otherwise, no government poses a larger threat to liberty than a government that is at war.
War is the mother of all crises and, as Rahm Emmanuel memorably — and rightly — said, crises are pregnant with opportunities for politicians and activists that they otherwise wouldn’t have. It is in moments of crisis, real or imagined, that government has its best opportunity to accumulate ever greater concentrations of power, for it is during crises that the people expect their government to assert itself in ways that wouldn’t ordinarily be tolerated.
Yet today’s self-avowed “conservatives” advocate on behalf of not just war, but war without end, for “Islamic terror” is an amorphous container into which any number of contents can be inserted.
Interminable war means, necessarily, the interminable growth of government.
And where the expansion of government is interminable, so too is the diminution of liberty.
Matters can’t be otherwise, which is why it is at once exasperating and laughable that the very same people who indefatigably defended the so-called “Patriot Act” now act shocked that it has been abused by the Obama administration. If they had an iota of wisdom, they would have recognized way back when that the Patriot Act itself is a standing abuse.
President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner moved close to agreement Monday on a plan to avert the year-end “fiscal cliff,” but they had yet to clear several critical hurdles, including winning the support of wary House Republicans.
Obama and Boehner (R-Ohio) huddled at the White House for 45 minutes Monday morning for their third conversation in the past five days. Later, Boehner met for an hour at the Capitol with his leadership team in advance of a briefing Tuesday morning for the entire House GOP that could be a crucial test of Boehner’s ability to sell the deal.
Behind the scenes, administration officials and senior Republican aides continued to make progress. Obama laid out a counteroffer that included significant concessions on taxes, reducing the amount of new revenue he is seeking to $1.2 trillion over the next decade and limiting the hike in tax rates to households earning more than $400,000 a year. Obama had previously sought $1.4 trillion in new revenue, with tax increases on income over $250,000.
Obama also gave ground on a key Republican demand — applying a less-generous measure of inflation across the federal government. That change would save about $225 billion over the next decade, with more than half the savings coming from smaller cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries.
In addition, Obama increased his overall offer on spending cuts and dropped his demand for extending the payroll tax holiday, which has benefited virtually every worker for the past two years. But he is still seeking $80 billion in new spending on infrastructure and unemployment benefits and an increase in the federal government’s borrowing limit large enough to avert any new fight over the issue for two years.
The Washington Post, “Obama, Boehner Closer to ‘Cliff’ Deal.”
Republicans giving an inch on restoring tax rates for the rich. But why does it sound like the President is giving up yards?
I was really hoping that the president wouldn’t fold on this one.
Washington (CNN) — They are losing the battle over higher taxes on the wealthy, so now Republicans are threatening a political war next year when it comes time to raise the nation’s debt ceiling.
With cracks appearing in their anti-tax facade and polls showing most Americans favoring President Barack Obama’s stance in fiscal cliff negotiations, GOP legislators are starting to advocate a tactical retreat to fight another day.
Conservative Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, promised the newly re-elected Obama a “rude awakening” next year if the president forces through his plan for high-income earners to pay more taxes without agreeing to substantive steps to reduce the nation’s chronic federal deficits and debt.
“In February or March, you have to raise the debt ceiling,” Graham noted Monday on Fox News. “And I can tell you this: there’s a hardening on the Republican side. We’re not going to raise the debt ceiling. We’re not going to let Obama borrow any more money or any American Congress any more money until we fix this country from becoming Greece.”
Translation: We are going to obstruct everything the president wants to do for another four years just like we did for the last four.
What makes them think that the voters are going to keep eating their bullshit sandwiches? Recent polling has shown that a majority supports raising taxes on the rich, and that the public will mostly blame the GOP if we go over the “fiscal cliff”.
It’s like they can’t wrap their head around the fact that they are losing support.
(NPR) - The big demographic story out of the 2012 presidential election may have been President Obama’s domination of the Hispanic vote, and rightfully so.
But as we close the book on the election, it bears noting that another less obvious bloc of key swing state voters helped the president win a second term.
They’re the “nones” — that’s the Pew Research Center’s shorthand for the growing number of American voters who don’t have a specific religious affiliation. Some are agnostic, some atheist, but more than half define themselves as either “religious” or “spiritual but not religious,” Pew found in a recent survey.
They are typically younger, more socially liberal than their forebears, vote Democratic, and now make up nearly 20 percent of the country’s population. Exit polls suggest that 12 percent of voters on Election Day were counted as “religiously unaffiliated.”
“This really is a striking development in American politics,” says Gregory Smith of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. “There’s no question that the religiously unaffiliated are a very important, politically consequential group.”
The religiously unaffiliated voters are almost as strongly Democratic as white evangelicals are Republican, polls show.
Fox Nation has a post up declaring Poll: Obama Job Approval Drops to 49%. But you have to wonder if Dick Morris is writing the Fox Nation headlines now. Because Obama’s approval ratings have beenclimbing not dropping.
The body of the Fox Nation post is merely a listing of Gallup’s latest tracking poll results of Obama’s approval and disapproval. Fox accurately describes his approval at 49% (at the time, it has since risen more and is now at 51%
) and his disapproval at 45%. But if you click on the link
right there in Fox’s post, you’ll see for yourself that those approval numbers are going up, not down, and have been since November, 2011.
Also worth noting is the fact that other polls
show much higher approval for the President, with even right
Rasmussen showing Obama at 55% approval
Fox News: Facts, we don’t need no stinking facts.
So according to Limbaugh, if you’re a man supporting Romney, you’re just a man supporting Romney—but a man supporting Obama is apparently gay.
Stay classy, Limbaugh.
You’ve got to love how Limbaugh (and by extension, his listeners) will smear the living fuck out of anything that doesn’t fit squarely into the GOP message.
For example, a republican governor having praise for a democrat president because they pulled together in the face of a disaster. The GOP has turned into a bunch of fucking children.
Oh - and here is what Brittany was talking about.
The aftermath of superstorm Sandy has produced one of the strangest political pairings of the year, bringing together Barack Obama and one ofMitt Romney’s most prominent supporters, Republican governor of New Jersey Chris Christie.
The 50-year-old governor has emerged as the public face of the storm: energetic, emotional and efficient, a seemingly permanent presence on television screens over the last few days. Already well-known in the political world, he is now a national figure.
With Sandy still too raw for anyone to start make political points, there has been no backlash from Republicans about his alliance with Obama only six days from election day. Christie has said politics do not matter to him at the moment. But on Monday, even before Christie lavishly praised the president’s handling of the storm as “outstanding”, the right-wing talk-show host Rush Limbaugh called the governor “fat” and “a fool”.
What I find interesting about this is I haven’t heard too much about liberals frothing at the mouth about the president “palling around” with Governor Christie, but Rush seems to be frothing at the mouth about it, as well as several commenters on right-wing websites.
"My party, unfortunately, is the bastion of those people — not all of them, but most of them — who are still basing their positions on race. Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists. The real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin. That’s despicable."
— Retired Army Colonel and former aide to Colin Powell, Lawrence Wilkerson • Diving headfirst, in the most blunt terms possible, into the media dust-up kicked off last Thursday by Romney surrogate John Sununu. Responding to news that former Secretary of State Colin Powell had endorsed President Obama, Sununu suggested that Powell had a “slightly different” reason for doing it than politics – namely, his race. Sununu reversed course on this today, saying “I do not doubt that it was based on anything but his support of the president’s policies,” but not before Wilkerson unleashed this incendiary attack on some of his fellow Republicans. An attack which, frankly, seems destined to generate a lot more heat than it does light. source (via shortformblog)
"Declaring something an act of terror does not necessarily mean you are declaring it a terror attack."
Fox News’ Megyn Kelly (via mediamattersforamerica)
What??? Fox news is becoming even more unhinged.