The 47 percent

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    [When Mitt Romney said 47 percent of Americans pay no income taxes and are "dependent on government," he blurred together half ... of the entire country, ranging from the nation's neediest to its middle class, and even some of its richest families.

    About 46.4 percent of U.S. households paid no federal income taxes last year (2011), according to a study by the Tax Policy Center; but many of them are not poor.

    Romney was speaking at a secretly recorded Florida fundraiser in May (2012).

    Some 47 percent, he said, "will vote for the president no matter what ... There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims ..."

    But that's not so for the elderly, who favored Romney over President Barack Obama 52 percent to 42 percent in an Associated Press-GfK poll last month {August 2012}, and it wouldn't be true for millions of middle-class or wealthy voters either.]

    [It is very likely that some of those who paid $50,000 per plate at the Florida fundraiser paid no federal income tax in recent years. Did Romney himself pay no federal income tax during some of his years at Bain Capital?

    Romney is ahead among white male voters; and there are some "fathers of Huckleberry Finn" who would vote for a zombie rather than for President Obama.]

    Published: Tuesday, September 18, 2012, By The Associated Press

    WASHINGTON -- Mitt Romney got the math about right. BUT, when he said 47 percent of Americans pay no income taxes and are "dependent on government," he blurred together half or more of the entire country, ranging from the nation's neediest to its middle class, and even some of its richest families ...

    While it's true most of those nonpayers are poor, the numbers include many others who got tax breaks because

  • they are old,

  • have children in college,

  • or didn't owe taxes on interest from state and local bonds.

    And of those who didn't write checks to the IRS, 6 in 10 still paid Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes,

    and more than that paid federal excise taxes on items such as gasoline, alcohol and cigarettes, said Roberton Williams, who analyzes taxes at the Tax Policy Center ...

    Combined, those numbers belie a political point that Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, was making when he spoke at a secretly recorded Florida fundraiser in May [2012].

    ["belie" is too polite a term to describe outright lying]

    According to the Tax Policy Center study, 38 million -- half of those who owe no federal income taxes -- escape owing money to the IRS because their income is too low. For them, merely using the standard deduction, personal exemptions and other basic parts of the tax code allow them to avoid income taxes.

    On top of that, about one in five others who don't owe federal income taxes -- nearly 17 million potential taxpayers -- benefit from tax breaks for the elderly. These include the exclusion of taxes on part of their Social Security benefits and a higher standard deduction.

    Almost 12 million avoid income taxes because they use the earned income tax credit for low-income workers, the child tax credit and other breaks for low-earning families with children.

    Two million take advantage of a tax credit for college expenses, enacted under Obama, and other education tax breaks.

    Millions of others owe nothing ...

  • because of deductions for business costs, alimony, moving and other expenses;

  • and because capital gains tax rates can drop to zero for some assets held for longer than a year.

    Overall, 93 percent of those who owe no federal income taxes earn $50,000 annually or less. But 5 percent of them earn $50,000 to $100,000 and the rest -- around 430,000 nonpayers -- earn more than $100,000 annually.

    That includes 4,000 households earning more than $1 million a year, thanks largely to tax exempt interest, reduced rates on capital gains and dividends and other deductions ...

    There are also

  • 3 million getting veterans compensation

  • and 700,000 receiving workers' compensation.

    Other federal payments include

  • 1.9 million military retirees receiving pensions

  • and 2.5 million federal retirees and survivors getting pensions or disability checks ...

    Romney was not backing down on Tuesday [9-25-12], telling Fox News that it's "an entirely foreign concept" for the government to "take from some to give to the others."

    White House spokesman Jay Carney said that Obama "deeply believes that we're in this together."

    Romney's comment rippled into congressional races from Florida to Connecticut and into Senate contests ...

    Democrats [said] Romney would make policies that favor the rich over the less fortunate.

    "When you are running to be president, you normally don't insult half of America," said a fundraising letter for former West Palm Beach, Florida, Mayor Lois Frankel, a Democrat trying to unseat Republican Rep. Allen West.

    -- Alan Fram, Associated Press


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    Bloodthirsty Nincompoopery

    Transcript of the Mitt Romney Secret Video

    Additional highlights include Romney mocking immigration and pondering how he'd exploit a pre-election hostage crisis.

    By the MoJo News Team

    Below is a ... transcript, produced by Mother Jones, of the ... unedited Romney videos that we published on Tuesday [9-18-12] ...

    Romney: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. ... There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims ...

    My job is not to worry about those people -- I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives ...

    Romney: My own view is that that the centerpiece of American foreign policy has to be strength.

    Everything I do will be calculated to increasing America's strength.

    [Two of the most massive thefts in American history took place under Republicans in the past ten years:]

    Commentator 1 wrote:

    From 2001 through 2008, the kleptocracy must have thought, after being given a deregulated market place to do its thing, that the gullibilty of the American public was unlimited.

    After the bear raid of 1937, in March 1938, Joseph Kennedy, first chairman of the Securities Exchange Commission, formed under the administration of F. D. Roosevelt (FDR), had the SEC adopt the uptick rule, more formally known as rule 10a-1, which (loosely) said that you could only short a stock following an uptick in its price.

    July 6, 2007

    On July 6, 2007 The SEC eliminated the uptick rule. The fall of the Dow Jones industrial average, during the Great Bear Raid of 2008, from 14,164 on October 9, 2007, to 6,547 on 3-9-09 is not some inexplicable mystery. There was nothing to stop the bears piling on as they made fortunes driving down the market.

    The bears made fortunes, and they did collateral damage -- like thieves destroying a cash register as they rob a restaurant -- ruining pension funds and 401k accounts.

    The SECOND GREAT THEFT of 2001 - 2008 was the transfer of trillions into the pockets of owners of oil wells.

    February 25, 2003

    ``Chief of Staff of the Army, General Eric Shinseki, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he thought an occupying force of several hundred thousand men would be needed to stabilize postwar Iraq ...''

    His judgment was ridiculed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, among others. The general then found himself marginalized until he retired'' -- so much for Bush listening to the advice of those "on the ground."

    U. S. forces in Iraq were insufficient to control the borders, and "terrorists" poured across the Saudi border to blow up Iraqui pipelines.

    The Iraq War was an outstanding success. Taking Iraqui oil off the world market was a great benefit to owners of oil wells who made trillions

    See Craig Unger's book: "House of Bush, House of Saud,"

    March 19, 2003

    War on Iraq begins.

    Oil is selling for about $25 per barrel.

    ``BAGHDAD: The city, which had never seen heroin ... until March 2003, is now flooded with narcotics including heroin.''

    May 22 2008

    From The Economist

    Over the past six years the price of a barrel of crude oil has risen from around $20 a barrel to $135 a barrel today.

    U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler ... saw action in Honduras in 1903, served in Nicaragua enforcing American policy from 1909 to 1912, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his role in Veracruz in 1914, and a second Medal of Honor for bravery while "crush(ing) the Caco resistance" in Haiti in 1915. In 1935, Butler wrote in his famous book "War Is a Racket" [and in a speech delivered in 1933]:

    "War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses ...

    I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.

    There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism ...

    I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism:

    I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914.

    I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in.

    I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.

    I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912.

    I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916.

    I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903.

    In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested.

    Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

    [While the public has borne the costs, the Iraq War has been an outstanding success for the owners of oil wells.]

    December 25, 1968:


    ``U.S. Afghanistan War Secrets Leaked

    LARRY KING: All right, Daniel Ellsberg, you were going to say ...

    DANIEL ELLSBERG: ... The Pentagon papers actually did reveal a number of things, but ... what was NOT in those 7,000 pages of top secret documents ... was a good reason for being in Vietnam or for escalating or for continuing the war ...''

    December 25, 1968: Daniel Ellsberg and Henry Kissinger spend four days at the New York Hotel Pierre, as part of the transition to the Nixon administarion, reviewing A-to-Z options for Vietnam; Ellsberg's recommendation about withdrawal is omitted from the final report ...

    June 13, 1971:

    Pentagon Papers -- The first story appears in the Sunday New York Times focused on the Tonkin Gulf incident of August 1964. It describes how the U.S. conducted extensive actions, causing the South Vietnamese to raid Northern targets with the express purpose of provoking a response that would be used to justify greater U.S. participation in the war.

    Commentator 2 wrote:

    We would not be in Afghanistan another five minutes if the men in black, and the kleptocrats they serve, would abandon the Unocal pipeline project from Kazakhstan across Afghanistan to the port of Karachi in Pakistan. But a lot of Americans have been convinced we are there to bring democracy and freedom to the Afghans, or at least to stop al Qaida, when, in fact, al Qaida is operating openly from Pakistan.


    Some of these Americans may also believe that a troop surge pacified Iraq when, in fact, the "success" was achieved by paying off the Sunni Moslems in western Iraq and by Iran restraining the militant Shiites such as al Sadr's Mahdi Army.

    In the 1980's, we gave Osama bin Laden Stinger missiles to shoot down Russian helicopters in Afghanistan, creating a chain of events that resulted in the Russians losing most of their Islamic empire.

    Do you think the Russians are going to forget this? We will have to build the Unocal pipeline over their dead bodies. Where did Iran get medium range missiles to threaten Israel and high-tech roadsde bombs used so effectively against us in Iraq? Where are the roadside bombs coming from in Afghanistan?

    Kazakh War of 2020 here we come.


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    The Tea Party Platform and Trading With Iran

    [So far, Romney has not been able to work his etch-a-sketch magic, and is still stuck with the Republican platform]

    FEATURE ARTICLE from The New Yorker, 8-30-10, by Jane Mayer

    ``Covert Operations

    The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama.

    On May 17th [2010], a black-tie audience at the Metropolitan Opera House applauded as a tall, jovial-looking billionaire took the stage. It was the seventieth annual spring gala of American Ballet Theatre, and David H. Koch was being celebrated for his generosity as a member of the board of trustees; he had recently donated $2.5 million toward the company's upcoming season, and had given many millions before that ...

    In Washington, Koch is best known as part of a family that has repeatedly funded stealth attacks on the federal government, and on the Obama Administration in particular.

    With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred, died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge.

    The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products. Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch ... among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

    The Kochs ... believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry, especially environmental regulation.

    These views dovetail with the brothers' corporate interests. In a study released this spring, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst's Political Economy Research Institute named Koch Industries one of the top ten air polluters in the United States. And Greenpeace issued a report identifying the company as a 'kingpin of climate science denial.' The report showed that, from 2005 to 2008, the Kochs vastly outdid ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups ...

    Charles Lewis, the founder of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan watchdog group, said, "The Kochs are on a whole different level. There's no one else who has spent this much money. The sheer dimension of it is what sets them apart. They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I've been in Washington since Watergate, and I've never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times."

    A few weeks after the Lincoln Center gala, the advocacy wing of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation [AFP], an organization that David Koch started in 2004, held a different kind of gathering. Over the July 4th [2010] weekend, a summit called Texas Defending the American Dream took place in a chilly hotel ballroom in Austin ...

    Five hundred people attended the summit, which served, in part, as a training session for Tea Party activists in Texas. An advertisement cast the event as a populist uprising against vested corporate power. "Today, the voices of average Americans are being drowned out by lobbyists and special interests," it said. "But you can do something about it." The pitch made no mention of its corporate funders ...''

    Op-Ed Column from The New York Times, 8-28-10,


    ``The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party

    ... Last week the Kochs were shoved unwillingly into the spotlight by the most comprehensive journalistic portrait of them yet, written by Jane Mayer of The New Yorker. Her article caused a stir among those in Manhattan's liberal elite who didn't know that David Koch, widely celebrated for his cultural philanthropy, is not merely another rich conservative Republican but the founder of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which, as Mayer writes with some understatement, "has worked closely with the Tea Party since the movement's inception."

    To New Yorkers who associate the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center with the New York City Ballet, it's startling to learn that the Texas branch of that foundation's political arm, known simply as Americans for Prosperity, gave its Blogger of the Year Award to an activist who had called President Obama "cokehead in chief."

    The other major sponsor of the Tea Party movement is Dick Armey's FreedomWorks, which, like Americans for Prosperity, is promoting events in Washington this weekend. Under its original name, Citizens for a Sound Economy, FreedomWorks received $12 million of its own from Koch family foundations.

    Using tax records, Mayer found that Koch-controlled foundations gave out $196 million from 1998 to 2008, much of it to conservative causes and institutions. That figure doesn't include $50 million in Koch Industries lobbying and $4.8 million in campaign contributions by its political action committee, putting it first among energy company peers like Exxon Mobil and Chevron.

    Since tax law permits anonymous personal donations to nonprofit political groups, these figures may understate the case. The Kochs surely match the in-kind donations the Tea Party receives in free promotion 24/7 from Murdoch's Fox News, where both Beck and Palin are on the payroll ...

    The Koch brothers must be laughing all the way to the bank knowing that working Americans are aiding and abetting their selfish interests ...

    A version of this op-ed appeared in print on August 29, 2010, on page WK8 of the New York edition.

    Bloomberg Markets Magazine By Asjylyn Loder and David Evans - Mon Oct 03, 2011

    Koch Brothers Flout Law Getting Richer With Secret Iran Sales

    The most visible part of Koch Industries is its consumer brands, including Lycra fiber and Stainmaster carpet. Georgia- Pacific LLC, which Koch owns, makes Dixie cups, Brawny paper towels and Quilted Northern bath tissue.

    Charles, 75, and David, 71, each worth about $20 billion, are prominent financial backers of groups that believe that excessive regulation is sapping the competitiveness of American business ...

    A Bloomberg Markets investigation has found that Koch Industries -- in addition to being involved in improper payments to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East -- has sold millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran, a country the U.S. identifies as a sponsor of global terrorism.

    Internal company documents show that the company made those sales through foreign subsidiaries, thwarting a U.S. trade ban.

    Koch Industries units have also rigged prices with competitors, lied to regulators and repeatedly run afoul of environmental regulations, resulting in five criminal convictions since 1999 in the U.S. and Canada.

    From 1999 through 2003, Koch Industries was assessed more than $400 million in fines, penalties and judgments [but the actual damages may hve been in the billions] In December 1999, a civil jury found that Koch Industries had taken oil it didn't pay for from federal land by mismeasuring the amount of crude it was extracting ...

    In 1999, a Texas jury imposed a $296 million verdict on a Koch pipeline unit -- the largest compensatory damages judgment in a wrongful death case against a corporation in U.S. history. The jury found that the company's negligence had led to a butane pipeline rupture that fueled an explosion that killed two teenagers ...

    The Koch brothers have vaulted into the American political spotlight in recent years. Koch Industries has spent more than $50 million to lobby in Washington since 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks political donations.

    The company opposed derivatives regulation and greenhouse gas limits.

    The brothers have backed a foundation that has trained thousands of Tea Party activists. The Tea Party, a popular movement whose name stands for Taxed Enough Already, has grown into a potent force in national politics. Sixty representatives of Congress, out of a total of 435, identify themselves as Tea Party members ...

    [Sales to Iran]

    On Aug. 14, 2008, investigators from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security met with George Bentu, who had worked as a sales engineer from 2001 to 2007 for Koch-Glitsch in Germany, Bentu says. In a four-hour interview at the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt, the officials asked about documents showing details of the company's trades with Iran, Bentu says ...

    The company's products helped build a methanol plant for Zagros Petrochemical Co., a unit of Iran's state-owned National Iranian Petrochemical Co., the documents show. The facility, in the coastal city of Bandar Assaluyeh, is now the largest methanol plant in the world, according to IHS Inc., an Englewood, Colorado-based provider of chemicals, energy and economic data.

    "Every single chance they had to do business with Iran, ... they did," Bentu, 46, says.

    Bentu, a German engineer who earned his master's degree in chemical engineering from Montana State University in Bozeman in 1990, joined Koch-Glitsch in 2001. His duties included drawing up bids for potential buyers of the company's distillation equipment, which is used in making fuels, fertilizers, detergents and other products.

    Bentu says he had been working at Koch-Glitsch in Viernheim, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) south of Frankfurt, for two months when he first saw an order destined for Iran. Concerned that the transaction might run afoul of U.S. law, Bentu asked his manager about it, he says. Bentu says his boss told him not to worry, that the company's U.S. lawyers made sure the deals with Iran were legal.

    U.S. companies have been banned from trading with Iran since 1995, when President Bill Clinton declared it a threat to national security. Iran supports Iraqi militants and Taliban fighters as well as terrorist groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah, according to the U.S. State Department ...

    In his annual State of the Union address on Jan. 29, 2002, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, President George W. Bush said that Iran was part of what he called the "Axis of Evil."

    A year later, in his Jan. 28, 2003, address to Congress, Bush said, "In Iran, we continue to see a government that represses its people, pursues weapons of mass destruction and supports terror."

    The following day, Koch-Glitsch was sent a purchase order to supply petrochemical equipment for the Zagros plant, which was being designed and built by two engineering firms, Pidec in Iran and Lurgi in Germany, according to company documents.

    On May 31, 2004, Koch-Glitsch secured another contract for 1.2 million Euros, to help expand the Zagros facility. The plant helped Iran turn its vast natural gas reserves into methanol, which is used for making plastics, paints and chemicals ...

    The Senate held hearings in May 1989 after Bill Koch, David Koch's twin brother, told a U.S. Senate special committee on investigations that Koch Industries was stealing oil on American Indian reservations, cheating the federal government of royalties.

    Bill Koch had a long-standing feud with his brothers after his failed attempt to take over the company in the early 1980s. He sold his shares in June 1983 and later lost a lawsuit claiming he'd been shortchanged.

    The Senate committee sent investigators to Oklahoma to secretly observe oil companies ... The investigators caught Koch Oil's employees falsifying records so that the company would get more crude than it paid for, shortchanging Indian families, Elroy said.

    Koch's records showed that the company took 1.95 million barrels of oil it didn't pay for from 1986 to 1988, according to data compiled by the Senate ...

    The committee concluded in a November 1989 report that Koch Oil had engaged in a widespread, sophisticated scheme to steal millions of barrels of oil. The Senate referred the case to the Justice Department, which convened a grand jury that never indicted the company ...

    Bill Koch brought a lawsuit on behalf of U.S. taxpayers, claiming that Koch Industries' scheme defrauded the government of royalties. The case came to trial in 1999. Former company employees testified that Koch Industries trained them to steal.

    Phil Dubose, who worked for Koch Industries from 1968 to 1994, told the jury how the scheme worked.

    "The Koch Method is to cheat the producer out of crude oil," he said.

    He testified that he was able to steal 2,000 barrels a month from one customer.

    "You used every available tool to mismeasure the crude oil in Koch's favor," says Dubose, who is now retired.

    Charles Koch testified in the trial, saying the company had the highest standards ...

    24,587 False Claims

    Two days before Christmas 1999, the jury delivered the verdict: Koch Industries had made 24,587 false claims in buying oil, underpaying the U.S. government for royalties on Native American land from 1985 to 1989. Koch paid the U.S. $25 million to settle the case in 2001.

    The Koch brothers, meanwhile, reached an agreement, with undisclosed terms, dropping all litigation against each other.

    While the Koch brothers battled over oil, Koch Industries clashed with regulators over its failure to properly maintain its pipelines. In 1995, the EPA sued the company, saying poor maintenance resulted in corrosion that contributed to hundreds of spills.

    The following year, before the EPA case was resolved, a leak in a Koch butane pipeline led to an explosion that killed two teenagers.

    Burned Alive

    On Aug. 24, 1996, Danielle Smalley and her high school friend and neighbor Jason Stone, both 17, smelled gas outside Smalley's mobile home in rural Lively, Texas, 50 miles southeast of Dallas. The house had no telephone, so they decided to drive the Smalley family's pickup truck to a neighbor's home to call 911.

    They never made it.

    The truck stalled after the couple drove into a fog-like cloud, says Danielle's father, Danny Smalley, who watched them drive away. It was butane vapor, leaking from a corroded steel pipeline. Seconds later, as Danielle restarted the truck, the gas ignited into a fireball, burning Danielle and Jason to death ...

    [Is this the vaunted Texas "business-friendly" environment? a triumph of deregulation?]

    Koch Pipeline Co., the unit that managed the Texas pipeline, knew the line had corroded and didn't fix it, an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board concluded in November 1998.

    The 570-mile-long pipeline carrying liquid butane from Medford, Oklahoma, to Mont Belvieu, Texas had corroded so badly that one expert, Edward Ziegler, likened it to Swiss cheese. The company didn't give 40 of the 45 families near the explosion site -- including the Smalley and Stone families -- any information about what to do in case of an emergency, the NTSB wrote ...

    For six decades around the world, Koch Industries has blazed a path to riches -- in part, by making illicit payments to win contracts, trading with a terrorist state, fixing prices, neglecting safety, and ignoring environmental regulations ...

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    [Everything for the thieves, but not even Big Bird for the people]

    Internet Gets Big Bird's Back After Romney Says He'd Defund PBS

    By Angela Watercutter

    October 4, 2012

    During last night's presidential debate [10-3-12] between President Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney, [Romney] said he would tighten Washington's belt by making cuts to federal programs, including subsidies to PBS, which airs Big Bird's show Sesame Street ...

    On Thursday [10-4-12], PBS issued a statement about Romney's remarks, saying that the publicly funded network was "very disappointed" to have been drawn into the presidential debate, defending the Sesame Street character, and noting that the federal outlay for public broadcasting was "one one-hundredth of one percent" of the nation's budget.

    "For more than 40 years, Big Bird has embodied the public broadcasting mission -- harnessing the power of media for the good of every citizen, regardless of where they live or their ability to pay" the statement read. "Our system serves as a universally accessible resource for education, history, science, arts and civil discourse." ...


    Oct 07, 2012

    [The U.S. Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month [September 2012], the lowest since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009]

    Stiglitz and Krugman Slam The Door On Jack Welch's Bureau of Labor Statistics' Truther Bullsh*t

    by bobswern

    In case you missed it on Friday [10-5-10], over the weekend via HuffPo, Nobel Prize-winner Joseph Stiglitz commented upon former GE CEO Jack Welch's tweet, wherein 'the serial job killer' who virtually 'invented the practice of offshoring American jobs' exclaimed to his followers: ...

    [Jack Welch:] "Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers"

    The former General Electric Co. (GE) chief executive officer said [this] in a message posted immediately after the U.S. Labor Department reported that the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month [September 2012], the lowest since President Barack Obama took office in January 2009

    Here's the report on Stiglitz' comments on MSNBC on Saturday, via the folks at HuffPo

    Joseph Stiglitz: Jobs Numbers Conspiracy "Literally Absurd". Huffington Post October 6, 2012

    Joseph Stiglitz appeared on 'Up w/ Chris Hayes' to discuss the jobs report released on Friday. Several prominent conservative figures, including former GE CEO Jack Welch, have accused the Obama administration of skewing the numbers to appear in its favor.

    "No president, maybe except Nixon, would actually try to change what the Bureau Labor Statistics does ... These are really independent agencies and the idea that they would do that is literally absurd," Stiglitz said ...

    Truth About Jobs By PAUL KRUGMAN New York Times October 8, 2012

    "If anyone had doubts about the madness that has spread through a large part of the American political spectrum, the reaction to Friday's better-than expected report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics should have settled the issue. For the immediate response of many on the right -- and we're not just talking fringe figures -- was to cry conspiracy.

    Leading the charge of what were quickly dubbed the 'B.L.S. truthers' was none other than Jack Welch, the former chairman of General Electric, who posted an assertion on Twitter that the books had been cooked to help President Obama's re-election campaign. His claim was quickly picked up by right-wing pundits and media personalities ...

    The employment data do suggest an economy that is slowly healing, an economy in which declining consumer debt burdens and a housing revival have finally put us on the road back to full employment.

    And that's the truth that the Right can't handle. The furor over Friday's report revealed a political movement that is rooting for American failure, so obsessed with taking down Mr. Obama that good news for the nation's long-suffering workers drives its members into a blind rage ...

    It is, quite simply, frightening to think that a movement this deranged wields so much political power."


    Sun Oct 07, 2012 at 07:46 AM PDT

    I like what I'm seeing from Democrats on the Sunday Shows

    by superseiyan

    ... So far: LIAR! LIAR! PANTS ON FIRE! ...

    Some quotes ... below:

    Gibbs on ABC this week:

    "Governor Romney had a masterful theatrical performance just this past week, but the underpinnings and foundations of that performance were fundamentally dishonest. Look, he walked away from the central tenet of his economic theory by saying he had no idea what the president was talking about" ...

    Philadelphia Mayor Nutter, on CNN's State of Union:

    "It's relatively easy for Mr. Romney, who had an 11th-hour conversion," Nutter said. "If you just lay out lie after lie after lie about your own plan as well as what the President has been talking about, of course you can look good."

    Martin O'Malley on Fox News Sunday:

    "We saw Big Bird meet the Big Lie," he said.

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    [Bain Capital -- the Cleveland connection]

    By Ryan Grim,, and Cole Stangler,

    Mitt Romney Started Bain Capital With Money From Families Tied To Death Squads

    Posted: 08/08/2012

    In 1983, Bill Bain asked Mitt Romney to launch Bain Capital, a private equity offshoot of the successful consulting firm Bain & Company ...

    When Romney struggled to raise funds from other traditional sources, he and his partners started thinking outside the box. Bain executive Harry Strachan suggested that Romney meet with a group of Central American oligarchs who were looking for new investment vehicles as turmoil engulfed their region ...

    Strachan later told a Boston Globe reporter, as quoted in the 2012 book "The Real Romney." [that] pressed for capital, [Romney] flew to Miami in mid-1984 to meet with the Salvadorans at a local bank.

    It was a lucrative trip. The Central Americans provided roughly $9 million -- 40 percent -- of Bain Capital's initial outside funding, the Los Angeles Times reported recently. And they became valued clients.

    "Over the years, these Latin American friends have loyally rolled over investments in succeeding funds, actively participated in Bain Capital's May investor meetings, and are still today one of the largest investor groups in Bain Capital," Strachan wrote in his memoir in 2008. Strachan declined to be interviewed for this story.

    When Romney launched another venture that needed funding -- his first presidential campaign -- he returned to Miami.

    "I owe a great deal to Americans of Latin American descent," he said at a dinner in Miami in 2007. "When I was starting my business, I came to Miami to find partners that would believe in me and that would finance my enterprise. My partners were Ricardo Poma, Miguel Dueħas, Pancho Soler, Frank Kardonski, and Diego Ribadeneira."

    Romney could also have thanked investors from two other wealthy and powerful Central American clans -- the de Sola and Salaverria families, who the Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe have reported were founding investors in Bain Capital.

    While they were on the lookout for investments in the United States, members of some of these prominent families -- including the Salaverria, Poma, de Sola and Dueħas clans -- were also at the time financing, either directly or through political parties, death squads in El Salvador ...

    The death squads committed atrocities on such a mass scale for so small a country that their killing spree sparked international condemnation. From 1979 to 1992, some 75,000 people were killed in the Salvadoran civil war, according to the United Nations ...

    The Salaverria family, whose fortune came from producing cotton and coffee, had deep connections to the right-wing Nationalist Republican Alliance (ARENA), a political party that death-squad leader Roberto D'Aubuisson founded in the fall of 1981 ...

    On March 24, 1980, Oscar Romero, the archbishop of San Salvador and an advocate of the poor, was celebrating Mass at a chapel in a small hospital when he was assassinated on D'Aubuisson's orders, according to a person involved in the murder who later came forward ...

    In 1984, Robert White, the former U.S. ambassador to El Salvador, named two Salaverria brothers -- Julio and Juan Ricardo -- as two of six Salvadoran exiles in Miami who had directly funded death squads, repeating in sworn congressional testimony a claim he'd made earlier as ambassador ...

    White was pushed out of his job by the incoming Reagan administration in 1981; he was considered insufficiently supportive of the Salvadoran ruling class. (D'Aubuisson endorsed Ronald Reagan in 1984.) ...

    Ricardo Poma was the first investor Romney thanked when he traveled to Miami in 2007. The head of the Poma Group, he became one of the three members of the Bain Capital investment committee, according to Strachan's memoir. The Poma family were financiers of D'Aubuisson's ARENA party ...

    As Romney now seeks support from the Latino community in his campaign for president, his knowledge of Bain's all-too-few degrees of separation from Salvadoran death squads may become a topic of interest.

    "Under Ronald Reagan, the U.S. sent billions of dollars to the murderous regime, which utilized that aid to fund the military and death squads in an effort to preserve the unjust privileges of the Salvadoran oligarchy," said Arturo J. Viscarra, an immigration lawyer, who, like many other Salvadorans, emigrated to the United States in order to escape the civil war. He said his family left the country in 1980 after his father began receiving death threats.

    "To now learn that a man that may become president of the U.S. deserves some of his success due to the incredible inequality that the U.S. helped to preserve in El Salvador is ironic," Viscarra said ...


    Romney's Early Bain Capital Funders Tied to Salvadoran Death Squads

    Last week, the Huffington Post's Ryan Grim and Cole Stangler reported on how Romney went to Miami in 1983, at the height of El Salvador's civil war, to raise $9 million from Salvadoran expatriate families to start Bain Capital. This seed money amounted to 40 percent of Bain's startup funds.

    Although Romney claimed that he had vetted the backgrounds of the investors, some of their families had been identified by the U.S. ambassador and others as closely tied to either death squads or death squad leader and ARENA Party founder Roberto d'Aubuisson (known as "Blowtorch Bob" for his use of blowtorches to torture political prisoners).

    D'Aubuisson was later found responsible for ordering the assassination of Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, a prominent advocate for the poor and critic of the Salvadoran government (... The Vatican has now placed [Romero] in the process of canonization to become a saint).

    In the United States, though, the Reagan administration foreign policy team would actively deny d'Aubuisson's involvement in the assassination, as well as the Salvadoran government's involvement in other human rights atrocities, so as to justify a heavy flow of military aid to the country's government ...

    One of the worst atrocities of the war [was] the massacre at El Mozote, where in December 1981, U.S-trained government soldiers marched into the village and murdered around 800 civilians, many of whom were women and children. The men were tortured before being shot, and girls as young as 10 were raped before having their throats slit ...

    Elliot Abrams has remained unrepentant about U.S. policy in El Salvador, calling it "one of fabulous achievement." He was convicted in 1991 of two misdemeanors for unlawfully withholding information from Congress during the Iran-Contra scandal but was pardoned by the first President Bush.

    Abrams, Neocons Passing the Torch to VP Pick Ryan

    This week, The Daily Beast first reported that Abrams' latest act is advising Republican GOP candidate Ryan on foreign policy. Abrams told the website Ryan "knows more about foreign policy than people may think, in view of his concentration on the economy."

    Other right-wing foreign policy experts told The Daily Beast that despite Ryan's professed fiscal conservatism, he, like Reagan, supports spending billions or trillions to preserve U.S. military power and international influence -- [funding the U. S. empire for the benefit of the thieves]

    Ryan has long been mentored by neoconservative Republican leaders who advanced U.S. policy in El Salvador. His first job in D.C. was as an aide to Sen. Bob Kasten of Wisconsin, a cheerleader for sending billions to El Salvador's brutal military government and who in the 1980s chaired the Senate foreign operations appropriations subcommittee responsible for approving those funds.

    After Kasten lost his seat to Russ Feingold in 1992, Ryan became a speechwriter for the right-wing think tank, Empower America, which was founded by Jeane Kirkpatrick and Jack Kemp.

    As a foreign policy adviser to Reagan in 1980 Kirkpatrick famously defended the rape, murder, and torture of four American Catholic missionaries (three of whom were nuns and one a lay missionary) at the hands of El Salvador's government forces ... Kirkpatrick went on to become Reagan's UN Ambassador ...


    4 Salvadorans Say They Killed U.S. Nuns on Orders of Military


    Published: April 03, 1998

    After 17 years of silence, all four of the former national guardsmen convicted of killing three American nuns and a lay worker in 1980 have said for the first time that they acted only after receiving ''orders from above.''

    The declarations, made from prison, are an important development in the case because El Salvador and the United States have always officially argued that the killers acted on their own. Human rights groups and relatives of the victims, however, have always maintained that the executions were ordered, approved and directed by the military authorities.

    The churchwomen -- Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, Ita Ford and Dorothy Kazel -- were abducted, raped and shot to death on the night of Dec. 2, 1980. The next day, peasants discovered their bodies alongside an isolated road and buried their remains in a common grave. The van they had been driving when stopped at a military checkpoint turned up 20 miles away, burned and gutted. The killings came as the United States was beginning a decade-long, $7 billion aid effort ...

    The four former guardsmen, [who] were convicted of murder in 1984, were sentenced to 30 years in prison and have twice been declared ineligible for the amnesty that came at the war's end because their crime is classified as nonpolitical.

    They made their admissions in interviews with Scott Greathead and Robert Weiner of the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, an organization based in New York City that represents the families of the victims ...

    ''Don't be worried,'' one of the guardsmen said his superior had told the four. ''This is an order that comes from higher levels, and nothing is going to happen to us.'' ...

    That superior, a sub-sergeant, Luis Antonio Colindres Aleman, was also found guilty, but he is held in a prison away from the others, and declined to talk to the American investigators.

    Two guardsmen also said they had been put under pressure by their superiors to ''deny everything,'' in the words of one, as part of an elaborate official cover-up. Military investigators specifically cautioned them not to implicate any higher ranking officers ...

    One guardsman said that ''what I remember is that we were told that we had to carry out a special service'' by Sergeant Colindres Aleman, adding that ''when we consulted with him as to why, he said it was an order from above,'' or ''una orden superior'' in Spanish.

    The churchwomen were arrested after two of them went to Comalapa International Airport to meet the other two, who were arriving on a flight from Nicaragua, according to reconstructions by American, Salvadoran and United Nations investigations ...

    With Congressional approval of aid to El Salvador hinging on the case, the Reagan Administration ... sought to discount the idea that the killings were the result of a policy of state-sponsored terrorism ...


    Sister Dorothy Kazel, modern-day martyr

    Dorothy L. Kazel, baptized Dorthea Lu Kazel, was born to Lithuanian American parents, Joseph and Malvina Kazel, in Cleveland, Ohio, on June 30, 1939. Shortly after entering the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland in 1960, she was given the religious name of Sister Laurentine, in remembrance of an Ursuline nun martyred in the French Revolution ...

    On the night of December 2, 1980, Sister Dorothy Kazel, lay missioner Jean Donovan and Maryknoll Sisters Maura Clarke and Ita Ford were abducted from the La Libertad airport, interrogated, physically and sexually abused and shot by five national guardsmen. The next morning they were found buried in a common, shallow grave, marked with a cross of two branches.

    On December 4, the women's bodies were drawn from the burial site into Cleveland's, the nation's, and international consciousness. Dorothy's body was returned to Cleveland, Ohio, where Bishop Anthony M. Pilla celebrated the Mass of Christian burial at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist December 10, 1980 ...

    A critical awareness of the United States' role in Central America, its failure to protect human rights, and its participation in the training of the military arm of oppressive regimes became evident as the circumstances surrounding Dorothy's death became public. Her murder, torture and rape mirrored the fate of more than 40,000 Salvadorans, and thousands of Hondurans, and Guatemalan people ...

    In March of 1993, the United Nations Truth Commission Report for El Salvador, From Madness to Hope: the 12-Year War in El Salvador, concluded evidence was sufficient to support that "the arrest and the execution of the four women had been planned and carried out based on orders from a higher superior."

    The Inter-Religious Task Force on Central America in Cleveland and Washington, D.C., has been actively engaged with many other groups to stop federal funding of the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC), formerly known as the School of the Americas (SOA).

    Efforts to stop training in torture and de-stabilization of Latin American governments follow evidence that

  • three of five officers cited in the rapes and murders of Dorothy, Jean, Ita, and Maura;

  • two of the three officers cited for the assassination of Bishop Oscar Romero; [and]

  • 19 of the 26 officers cited for killing the six Jesuits, their housekeeper, and her daughters

    were graduates of [the] School of the Americas ...

    Ursuline Academy of Cleveland, 2600 Lander Rd., Pepper Pike, Ohio 44124


    Monday, 22 October 2012

    Mormon Mitt in Bed with Big Tobacco

    By Dr Brian Moench, Truthout, Op-Ed

    Mitt Romney's religious hypocrisy and lack of moral scruples are most tellingly exemplified by his personal involvement in Bain Capital's work for big tobacco - which included hooking millions of Russians on the drug that is anathema to Mormons.

    America likes tough guys. In the minds of America's so-called "low-information voters" -- and the low-information-delivering media -- Mitt Romney won the first presidential debate because he was the alpha male aggressor, the person who used the most dramatic hand gestures, emitted the highest number of words per minute and simply acted like he was in charge ...

    Evidently, the actual content of what Romney said was irrelevant. It's like debate watchers were voting as they would have for American Idol. The lyrics of the song didn't matter; it was only the performance that counted.

    Brazen departures from reality, the truth, facts and common sense combined with constant self-contradictions and breathtaking flip-flopping are no longer a liability, but in fact, have become the very qualities that apparently make many people believe he is suddenly "presidential."

    [During the third debate, Romney seemed emotionally disturbed -- not the kind of guy that should be allowed anywhere near a button that could start a global thermonuclear war.]

    If polls are to be believed, in less than 90 minutes, the press and the public forgave Romney

  • his notorious 47 percent comments,

  • his personification of Wall Street greed,

  • foreign bank accounts,

  • tax dodging,

  • plutocratic tax plan,

  • outsourcing American jobs to Chinese sweat shops,

  • eagerness to suppress women's reproductive rights,

  • brutal anti-immigration policies,

  • comical contortions differentiating Obamacare from Romneycare,

  • foreign policy blunders,

  • outrageous military budget,

  • incomprehensible federal deficit arithmetic,

  • and his mocking of global warming.

    No longer did any of that matter. He looks good in a suit, and his "performance" was captivating, so the lyrics of the song were irrelevant.

    I and many others have written about Romney's long history of shameless dishonesty. But new information has emerged about Romney and Bain's intimate involvement in, and profiteering from, Big Tobacco, which is shocking even to me and which should remove all doubt about how empty a suit is Mitt Romney.

    To understand the latest and worst chapter in Romney hypocrisy, one must first appreciate how abhorrent smoking is to Mormons. As a person who grew up immersed in the Mormon culture, served a Mormon mission just like Romney did and held a significant supervisory position during my Mormon mission, I know well what Mormons think of smoking.

    While Mormons put a premium on "clean living" and exemplary "moral" behavior, in the eyes of Mormons, nothing distinguishes them more from non-Mormons than their unique prohibition on smoking. It is considered not just a health proscription, but also a moral imperative. Smoking would disqualify one from entering into one of the Mormon sacred temples ...

    Romney is well known to have served as both a Mormon bishop and a stake president from 1981 to 1994. The latter position is comparable to a Catholic bishop. Among his many religious duties, he would have spent hundreds of hours privately interviewing other Mormons about their worthiness to perform sacred Mormon rituals. And none of them would he have deemed worthy if they had smoked.

    So, at the same time Mitt served as a Mormon stake president and the spiritual leader of the Boston Mormon flock of over 4,000 parishioners, he was making himself filthy rich promoting smoking and helping to ruin the health of millions of people, according to a 9,000 word October 9 [2012] article on Huffington Post by Zach Carter and Jason Cherkis drawing from the University of California at San Francisco's essential library of Legacy Tobacco Documents.

    In the early 1990s, Bain & Co. the original parent company of Romney's Bain Capital, was floundering, teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. As revealed by Tim Dickinson writing for Rolling Stone, its leaders then asked Mitt to come back and essentially rescue the company.

    Romney's initial rescue attempt was a disaster, leaving Bain & Company so financially strapped that it had "no value as a going concern." Then he engineered a federal bailout of the firm that cost the FDIC and, ultimately, the American taxpayers $16 million and forced Bain's creditors to accept 30 cents on the dollar.

    In the end, Romney had the audacity to reward his old buddies at Bain with hefty bonuses while he simultaneously demanded a company bailout from the federal government.

    Finally, Romney charged Bain & Co. a mere $4 million to arrange for these management consulting pigs to feed at the public trough. If 47 percent of the country are living large at government expense, you can certainly count Romney and his Bain buddies among them. But the hypocrisy of Romney's rescue of his old firm goes much, much deeper.

    With Bain still desperate for new business, Philip Morris quickly became one of Bain's most important clients. In the United States, Bain helped develop a strategy to lure smokers into switching to Philip Morris brands and increasing their overall sales ...

    But an even larger source of Bain's profits came through its unique role in helping Big Tobacco get millions of Russians hooked on cigarettes. In fact, Big Tobacco became Bain's financial savior when it was still struggling to avoid insolvency.

    In the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Western technocrats helped facilitate the transfer of Russia's wealth into the hands of a few oligarchs. The US government also got involved. In March 1993, Bain & Co. received a $3.9 million federal contract to advise Boris Yeltsin's administration on the privatization of the Russian economy, like their tobacco industry. In that role, Bain served as the facilitator for British American Tobacco (BAT) to enter the Russian market, exploiting strategies to avoid Russian taxes, laundering money and bribing customs officials ...

    Romney knew of and approved the "let's get Russia smoking" strategy and was the immediate boss of Bain's Russian collaborators. That strategy was successful in increasing the rate of smoking among Russians by 300 percent in only a few years. The smoking rate among young Russians is now among the highest in the world, a public health catastrophe ...

    For a widely revered and high-level Mormon official who was already fabulously wealthy to condone and profit from tobacco investments and addicting millions of people to a destructive and deadly habit prohibited by his own beloved church is the Mount Everest of hypocrisy ...

    Dr. Brian Moench is president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment and a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.


    Thursday, 20 September 2012

    By Dr Brian Moench, Truthout, Op-Ed

    ... A critical part of the original seed money for Bain Capital came from foreign investors through corporations registered in Panama, then known for tax advantages and extraordinary banking secrecy. As reported by The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Salt Lake Tribune and Salon, a significant portion of these start-up funds were provided by ruthless, wealthy oligarchs from El Salvador whose families also financed death squads during the country's bloody civil war in the 1980s, killing tens of thousands of people ...

    [This is an] example of the undeniable pattern of Romney's business career and his self-proclaimed presidential bona fides of triumph in the "private sector": enriching himself, his friends and his associates either with money generated by the lowest of ethical standards or ... by the loosest definition of the word "legal." ...

    Top -- Home

    [Did Koch money buy the Veep spot for Paul Ryan?]

    Roger Stone wrote on August 17, 2012:

    The Koch Brothers Get Their Man

    I've waited a few days to lay out my analysis of the selection of Paul Ryan for the VP slot on the Romney ticket ... My sources tell me David Koch played a key role in Ryan's selection ... The selection was cemented at the July 22nd [2012] fundraiser Koch held for Romney at the former's sumptuous Hamptons estate.

    Koch pledged $100 million more to C-4 [501(c)4] and Super PAC efforts for Romney for Ryan's selection.

    The upside of Ryan's selection is clear. Romney, distrusted by party conservatives, won't have to worry about his right flank or the base throughout the fall as John McCain did, theoretically leaving Romney free to seek independent swing voters in the middle ...

    Meanwhile the idea of Ryan as a radical is laughable. Ryan put forth a budget proposal which did nothing to curtail Social Security and military spending. His famous budget allows the deficit to continue to grow. Ryan has worked almost his entire adult life (the last twenty years) cashing a government check in D.C.

    Ryan supported the auto and bank bailouts, voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program [TARP] in 2008 and for increasing the debt ceiling in 2011. Ryan voted for the Iraq War resolution in 2002, keeping troops in Iraq indefinitely, against withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Balkans in 1999 and for the authorization for use of military force against Afghanistan in 2001.

    He also voted for the re-authorization of the Patriot Act in 2006 and 2011 and for the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 which allows the federal government to arrest and incarcerate a US citizen without bail, charges or a trial.

    The idea of Paul Ryan as a libertarian is a joke. Ryan is a big government, Washington DC Republican who votes to fund foreign interventionism and the erosion of our civil liberties ... [for the benefit of the kleptocrats]

    Shortly after his selection, Ryan headed to Las Vegas to kiss the ring of Las Vegas Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. Problem is Adelson keeps his ring in his back pocket!


    Did the Koch brothers buy Paul Ryan pick with a $100 million pledge?

    By Alex Moore

    As if you haven't already read enough about how money is influencing this year's election in ways never seen before thanks to Citizens" United, recently legendary Republican strategist Roger Stone made an allegation that takes things to a whole new level.

    Stone claims that unnamed "sources" tell him the Koch brothers lobbied the Romney campaign hard to pick Paul Ryan as his running mate, and that they sealed the deal at a July 22 fundraiser with Romney, where David Koch pledged an additional $100 million in support to SuperPACs and C-4s (another type of political non-profit for influencing elections) in exchange for picking Ryan ...

    It doesn't take much to imagine why the Kochs would want Ryan on the bill: The Kochs already have ties to Wisconsin, having funded governor Scott Walker's successful anti-union fight there last year; and Ryan has already become a champion for ... economic policies that would make them truckloads of cash, like eliminating capital gains tax, for instance ...

    If Romney wins it'll be a proof of concept: it will legitimize Citizens United and validate the need to flood future elections with untold billions in order to influence the landscape of elections ...


    Culture Clutch

    Uygur: Did David Koch buy Paul Ryan the VP slot?

    By David Ferguson Saturday, August 25, 2012

    On Friday night's edition of "The Young Turks" host Cenk Uygur highlighted a report by controversial Republican political operative Roger Stone. The report alleges that vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) arrived at his place on the ticket through the machinations of David Koch, half of the powerful billionaire Koch brothers ...

    Uygur specifically points to one key piece of Ryan's platform as a possible motivation for the billionaire conservative's investment in his own vice president. Ryan wants to lower the capital gains tax -- already low at 15 percent -- to zero, which would bring David Koch personally an estimated $187.5 million per year. ($750 million over a four year term.)

    "That's why they bribe the politicians" Uygur said. "What's outrageous is that we allow them to do it."


    Sat Aug 18, 2012

    Serious Allegation: Koch Brothers Bought Ryan's Nomination for $100 Million.

    by Shawn Russell

    The National Memo has published a damning allegation against Ryan on its website. The source is none other than Republican insider, Roger Stone. Stone alleges that the Koch brothers bought Ryan's VP nomination in exchange for a promised gift of $100 million to the Romney/Ryan ticket.

    Veteran Republican political consultant ... Roger Stone yesterday published a startling accusation against Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney on his personal website, The Stone Zone. According to Stone, the billionaire Koch brothers purchased the Republican vice presidential nomination for Ryan from Romney in late July by promising to fork over an additional $100 million toward 'independent expenditure' campaigning for the GOP ticket ...

    [Stone] has been a Republican insider, with access to the party's top figures, over four decades. His credentials date back to Nixon's Committee to Reelect The President and continue through the Reagan White House, the hard-fought Bush campaigns, and the Florida fiasco in 2000, when he masterminded the 'Brooks Brothers riot' that shut down the Bush-Gore recount in Miami-Dade ...

    The selection was cemented at the July 22nd fundraiser Koch held for Romney at the former's sumptuous Hamptons estate. Koch pledged $100 million more to C-4 and Super PAC efforts for Romney [in exchange] for Ryan's selection.

    What is C-4?

    When he mentions 'C-4,' of course, Stone is referring to the tax-exempt non-profit groups recognized by the IRS under section 501-C-4 of federal tax law -- such as Americans For Prosperity, a group largely backed by the Koch brothers that has so far spent nearly $20 million on this year's campaign.

    The C-4 groups, including another known as Crossroads GPS run by Karl Rove, need not disclose their rich donors, while Super PACs do. This year, the right-wing C-4s are outspending all the SuperPACS combined, as Pro Publica reported recently ...


    Barack Obama tells 'The View': American people want to thrive, not just survive

    posted by halboedeker on September, 25 2012

    "Would it be disastrous for the country if Mitt Romney were elected?" Barbara Walters asks Barack Obama on "The View."

    Obama's response: "I think America is so strong, and we've got so much going for us, that we can survive a lot. But the American people don't want to just survive; we want everyone to thrive. We want folks to have a shot at success, and so the question then just becomes, whose policies are more likely to lead us to where we want to go ...

    Governor Romney on "60 Minutes" was asked, does he think it's fair that he pays a lower tax rate than somebody who's making fifty thousand dollars a year, and he said yes ...

    I think, Barbara, that you grow an economy from the middle out, not from the top down, and that when the teacher and the bus driver and the receptionist and the office manager -- when they've got a little money in their pockets, when they're doing well, then that means business has more customers, that business makes more profits, they hire more workers, and that's been the history of our country,

    We grow fastest when the middle class is doing well and when folks who are trying to get into the middle class have ladders of opportunity. So that's a different vision about how we move the country forward ,,,"



    One-on-One with Bill Clinton

    Aired September 25, 2012

    PIERS MORGAN, HOST: Tonight, blunt words from Bill Clinton, the 42nd president of the United States ...

    MORGAN: What words would you have for Mitt Romney, given the state of the election campaign right now"

    CLINTON: Well, I think you know the debates are very important for him.

    MORGAN: Crucial?

    CLINTON: I think so. And I think if he's going to double down on that 47 percent remark, that will cause difficulties, because we now know that the overwhelming number of those people work and have children. And the reason they don't pay federal income taxes is the median income is as low [now] as it was in 1995 ...

    And until the current election season, Republicans and Democrats supported both the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

    I doubled the Earned Income Tax Credit, but it was signed under a Republican president; Reagan supported it. And we started the Child Tax Credit with the strong support of the Republicans in Congress. And President Bush doubled that. Then President Obama and the Democratic Congress increased the Earned Income Tax Credit for families with more than three children.

    So you had a rejection [now by Romney] of basically more than three decades of bipartisan policy to support work and family ...

    MORGAN: How has [Barack Obama] ... managed to avoid public retribution for not fixing the economy better than he has done?

    CLINTON: Because this is not a normal time. And the damage done to the economy could not be fully repaired in four years. And most of the debt that's been run up on his watch is a direct result of the economic collapse ...

    The recession that began in 2007 and the economic collapse that happened in 2008 ... [have] driven tax revenues down below 15 percent of income for the first time in 50 years, and driven spending above 21 percent of income, because so many people are on unemployment and food stamps and Medicaid ...

    If we had ... a higher rate of growth, which [the economy] will in the next year or so, what's going to happen is ... tax receipts will go up to about 17 percent; spending will drop to under 21 percent ...

    President Obama's main contribution to this ... debt ... was the stimulus bill, which is $800 billion, which I believe was a good thing to do. I think the debt might even be even bigger without it because it kept people working and paying taxes, and off the government payrolls, and because it created new jobs ...

    If you look at his annual spending budgets, they are about 2 percent increases. That's less than the rate of inflation. ... I think that the reason that I believe he'll win reelection is that we're beginning to recover ... And the policies he's advocated are more likely to produce a good economic result ...

    If people thought this was just like another recession, he would be in real trouble. But it isn't like another recession ...

    MORGAN: The biggest problem, people say, is the paralysis in Washington ...

    CLINTON: ... We had one year when virtually nothing got done. I was a real stickler for passing all my budgets on time. But in 2005, we didn't. And I had to veto what they did. And they had to do what they did because what's they promised the voters they'd do in the '94 elections.

    And then the citizens decided they agreed with me more than them. [The citizens] didn't want the government shut down. They didn't want to take a radical departure. They just wanted to keep bringing the deficit down. So after the two government shutdowns in late '95 and early '96, ... we began this compromise process everybody talks about. There has been no such action forcing event so far. That's what the election [could do] ...

    If President Obama wins this election -- and I think he will; I really do believe he'll win -- there will be a lame duck session of Congress. They will avoid the fiscal cliff. They will either pass a multiyear budget then or agree to conditions to keep the government going while they work on the budget in the next couple of months after the election.

    And you will see a much higher level of cooperation, because their number one goal -- [for] the Republicans was -- as Senator McConnell said, to defeat the President. Well, that can't be their goal anymore, because he can't run for anything anymore ...

    CLINTON: If you want a winner-take-all, you're on-your-own society, you should support the Republican ticket. But if you want a country of shared opportunities and shared responsibility, a "we're all in this together society," you should vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden ...

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