Will you always put your man above your morals? How can you change your mind on prohibition, interventionalism, war, and big corporate subsidies just because Obama told you to? When will you say, "This is more important." and vote for a real patriot? You know he can't do half the things he wants that you are afraid of, but you still won't support him knowing he can get what you want done accomplished.
I think it’s adorable you think I support Obama. However…
I never said his re-election was a good thing. I pointed out that by their own incompetence, the GOP is pushing it.
I’ve actually been fairly critical of Obama, his administration, and Democrats. But you’d know that if you read this site beyond my dislike of Ron Paul. And I’m not voting for a candidate just because he supposedly “can’t” do half the things I’m afraid of - I figured something like NDAA, TSA intrusions, another war, and the debt ceiling debacle could never happen, but whatever.
The couple gave away $7 million in charitable contributions over the past two years, including at least $4.1 million to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The Romneys sent somewhat less to Washington over that period, paying an estimated $6.2 million in federal income taxes. According to his 2010 return, Romney paid about $3 million to the IRS, for an effective tax rate of 13.9 percent.
For 2011, Romney estimates that he will pay about $3.2 million, for an effective rate of 15.4 percent. That’s in line with his earlier estimates, but sharply lower than the rates paid by President Obama and Romney’s closest Republican rival, Newt Gingrich.
The Romneys paid a comparable tax rate to what a person living below the poverty line could pay. The poverty threshold for a single person is $10,890. Due to tax credits and deductions, people at that level would typically get a refund - if they fill out their taxes correctly or pay someone to do it.
Because of tax credits and deductions, the Romneys were able to take that tax rate and make it their own.
By asking to Mitt Romney and similarly situated people to pay more in taxes, we’re not punishing success. We’re asking them to pitch in their fair share. If Romney wants to push for a bigger military, well, then I’m going to push for higher taxes. He can damn well pay for it. After all, my tax burden is heavier than his, since we’re apparently paying in at the same rate.
And I might even have bingo cards up too! Follow me on Twitter: @meglanker
Tonight, the circus rolls into Florida.
All four remaining GOP candidates have been confirmed for tonight’s debate sponsored by NBC News, the Tampa Bay Times, The National Journal and the Florida Council of 100. The debate will take place at the University of South Florida in Tampa. This will be the first of 2 debates this week focusing on the Florida GOP primary on Tuesday, January 31st. Note the air times on the east and west coast.
Television Air Time: Monday, January 23rd at 9pm ET, 8pm CT, 8 PM MT and 9pm PT on NBC
The problem with selecting a candidate to "beat Obama"
MSNBC and Fox News are both hammering home that out of all the candidates in the GOP primary in South Carolina, Newt Gingrich’s support was the highest among people who said the most important factor in their selection was a candidate who could defeat Barack Obama. Coincidentally, beating Obama was the most important factor in candidate choice to nearly 50% of voters. Fox News is also pointing out his strong performances in debates with his zingers at the media and fellow candidates and his stubborn refusal to go gently into that good night as factors in his rise in the polls, and his overall victory in South Carolina.
You know that after January 20, 2013, the president-elect is now the president. That means said president has to actually do shit. Things will not be magically fixed just because you voted out Barack Obama. In fact, much of what Gingrich wants to do in office could make things worse.
I imagine the thought process of many voters when considering Gingrich goes like this:
Doughy white guy says shit I like. He sounds smart. He says he’s going to beat Obama. He sounds confident, unlike that sputtering asshat with tax problems. Plus, he’ll end Obama’s war on my religion.
Fuck the lazy-ass poor people. Get jobs, douchebags. He’ll even put kids to work, too.
Open marriage? Shit, at least he could beat Obama.
Vote Newt Gingrich.
*POOF* Teatopia, y’all!
This is remarkably similar to liberal pals of mine who are pissed Obama didn’t unbreak everything in four years and bring about the opposite of Teatopia. If you listened to Obama and examined his voting record, you’d see he’s fairly moderate. In fact, compared to past Republicans, i.e. Richard Nixon, he’s more to the right.
But in the 2012 Electoral Race to the Bottom, sponsored by Citizens United v. FEC (2010), the facts don’t matter and Barack Obama must be defeated. Even if it means nominating a man with absolutely no character or ability to lead. Why is it so tough to wrap my brain around voters supporting Newt Gingrich?
Speaking of the Citizens United decision, Gingrich Productions has “produced three films on religion and one each on energy, Ronald Reagan and the threat of radical Islam.” These films are little more than GOP talking point advertisements. Gingrich’s funding partner? As The Wall Street Journal points out, these were “all done as joint projects with the conservative activist group, Citizens United. The latest project: A film on American exceptionalism, another likely campaign theme.”
He’s admitted to multiple affairs, while attacking others on “family values” and holding himself up as a moral paragon. His personal life is irrelevant until he begins throwing stones in his obviously glass house.
Newt Gingrich decided to attack Juan Williams, claiming on Friday, “I had a very interesting dialogue Monday night in Myrtle Beach with Juan Williams about the idea of work, which seemed to Juan Williams to be a strange, distant concept.” So in order to defend himself against charges of racism, he essentially states Williams is lazy. Williams was the African-American man who had the audacity to ask him a tough question, and that does not seem to sit well with Newt several days later.
He blasted colleagues for ties to lobbyists and corruption, yet Gingrich accepted a check from Employment Policies Institute lobbyist Richard B. Berman for $25,000. This particular check, supposedly given to Gingrich as a donation for a college course he was teaching, led former Rep. Ben Jones (D-Ga.) to demand an ethics investigation by the US House because the note attached to the contribution raised questions of possible criminal wrongdoing by suggesting Gingrich used his influence on behalf of the lobbyist at a 1993 congressional hearing.
A side note from Esquire on the ethics investigation: [Emphasis mine]
The House Ethics Committee started investigating GOPAC’s donations to his college class and caught him trying to hide his tracks by raising money through a charity for inner-city kids called the Abraham Lincoln Opportunity Foundation. Another charity of his called Earning by Learning actually spent half its money supporting a former Gingrich staffer who was writing his biography… The Ethics Committee found him guilty of laundering donations through charities, submitting “inaccurate, incomplete, and unreliable” testimony, and making “an effort to have the material appear to be nonpartisan on its face, yet serve as a partisan, political message for the purpose of building the Republican party.”
Gingrich is running what he claims to be a revolutionary campaign of ideas. Yet those ideas are little more than attacking fellow candidates, the media, and Barack Obama for issues ranging from corruption and immorality, to favoritism and anti-Americanism. Gingrich employs a set of cliches and fiery debate invective that gets voters in the booth on primary day as evidenced by South Carolina. Can he continue this into the general election?
As multiple news outlets discussed today, Gingrich’s unfavorability rating is the highest of any candidate among moderates and independents. This is a significant voting bloc the GOP will seek to court from Obama. Gingrich is not stupid. He is effective in debates. He calls other candidates “Washington elites” (when he spent significantly more time in Washington than any other candidate running) and the crowd goes wild.
Mitt Romney, the ostensible front-runner, is a terrible candidate in debates. He is easily rattled and incapable of answering a direct question. The GOP field is in disarray and looking for unity. The former Speaker of the House is an experienced politician - though divisive - and may be the one to watch going into Super Tuesday in the next several weeks. Perhaps a theory posited by Gingrich in 1988 explains his success: “In every election in American history, both parties have their cliches. The party that has the cliches that ring true wins.”
The 2012 primary season promises to be a dog and pony show until the bitter end - or until the money runs out. This election cycle reinforces the idea that American politics is little more than contemporary bread and circuses, only less bread and more circuses. Elections are ideally about issues and governance. This year, the only stated mission of the GOP is to rid the White House of Obama, and Gingrich is the candidate best at smearing Obama as somewhere between Benedict Arnold and Benito Mussolini.
Voters are responding well in the primary to this kind of messaging, but the GOP will hopefully discover it’s difficult to run on a platform of needing to do nothing besides regain control of the presidency. To run on a platform that consists of “beat the other guy and BAM! TEATOPIA!" is simply intellectually dishonest. But if it’s intellectually (and morally) dishonest they want, the GOP has their man in Gingrich. If it’s beat Obama they want, they may get it. However, January 21, 2013 and every day after is another day Obama will no longer be available as the executive target, and another day when the new president will be expected to lead. The GOP may be content to run a cliche-machine, powered by egomaniacal bile, but American voters deserve more than just some guy nominated to beat Obama.
“I get a kick out of folks who call for equality now, the people on the left, ‘Well, equality, we want equality.’ Where do you think this concept of equality comes from? It doesn’t come from Islam. It doesn’t come from the East and Eastern religions, where does it come from? It comes from the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that’s where it comes from.
So don’t claim his rights, don’t claim equality as that gift from God and then go around and say, ‘Well, we don’t have to pay attention to what God wants us to do. We don’t have to pay attention to God’s moral laws.’ If your rights come from God, then you have an obligation to live responsibly in conforming with God’s laws, and our founders said so, right?”—
I’ve heard the argument that rights come from God before. But the equality thing, goddamn. That’s a whole new layer of fuckery.
But whatever. I’ll play.
"A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner. But womena will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety." 1 Timothy 2:11-15
"Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be blasphemed. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are members of the church; rather they must serve them all the more, since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties. Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words." 1 Timothy 6:1-4
"But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God." 1 Corinthians 11:3
"For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man." 1 Corinthians 11:8-9
"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home." 1 Corinthians 14:34-35
"Give me any plague, but the plague of the heart: and any wickedness, but the wickedness of a woman." Eccles. 25:13
"Of the woman came the beginning of sin, and through her we all die." Eccles. 25:22
"The whoredom of a woman may be known in her haughty looks and eyelids." Eccles. 26:9
"Better is the churlishness of a man than a courteous woman, a woman, I say, which bringeth shame and reproach." Eccles. 42:14
"One of illegitimate birth shall not enter the congregation of the Lord." Deuteronomy 23:2
I’m done. In general, organized religion does not have the best track record of promoting equality. I imagine Rick Santorum has a different version of equality than the one found in the US Constitution. That’s the definition I follow.
And that’s one big reason Santorum should never hold public office again. He loves to rail about Iran’s unjust theocracy. Listening to Santorum talk, it seems he’s taken notes for his imaginary presidency.
Here’s my live coverage of tonight’s debate. Not as painful as last time, but I do miss Perry’s bumbling. Newt Gingrich lambasted moderator John King for asking about allegations he requested an open marriage from wife #2, Mitt Romney sputtered over taxes, Rick Santorum launched some serious volleys at Romney and Gingrich, and Ron Paul got testy when he felt ignored.
“John King: But some of the questions about when you release your taxes have not come — the president has raised them; his campaign has raised them - you’re right on that - but so have some of your rivals up here. Speaker Gingrich has said you owe them to the people of South Carolina before they vote. Governor Perry made that point as well before he left the race. Why not should the people of South Carolina before this election see last year’s return?
Mitt Romney: Because I want to make sure that I beat President Obama … I — I obviously pay all full taxes. I’m honest in my dealings with people. People understand that. My taxes are carefully managed and I pay a lot of taxes. I’ve been very successful and when I have our — our taxes ready for this year, I’ll release them.”—
Mitt Romney, in one of the most telling, jaw-dropping exchanges of the night at the South Carolina Republican CNN Debate.
Let me reiterate: Romney says if he releases his tax returns now, he may not beat Barack Obama. If he thinks that will quash speculation about his taxes, Romney’s sorely mistaken.
Also, don’t forget about GOP Bingo! Cards are here.
Since I didn’t have time to update/replace Rick Perry spaces, take any space that mentions Perry as a free space. It’s redistribution of the free spaces so everyone has more. Because I am more of a socialist than Obama. </sarcasm>
I’ll miss Perry’s performances. Someone make an emotional montage saying goodbye, please.
Submit your bingo cards here, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ron Paul’s supporters were burning up Twitter yesterday to emphasize he’s the only presidential candidate to not support SOPA or PIPA. Their claims are false - Buddy Roemer blacked out his site in support of the protest - but that’s beside the point. If you make a video in support of Ron Paul, and he doesn’t like your message, he’ll take your ass to federal court.
How does this jive with his image as a defender of liberty again? Isn’t the right to speak out on the internet anonymously - no matter how vile the message - something a defender of liberty should protect? In this case, a supporter of Ron Paul uploaded a racist, offensive video which questioned Jon Huntsman’s values based on his speaking Chinese, and slammed him for adopting two daughters from China and India.
The Ron Paul campaign condemned the video quickly. However, this lawsuit brings the video to the forefront again, though Huntsman has left the race, and the suit itself seems to contradict several principles for which Paul claims to champion.
“It would entirely depend if they give up sharia. I am totally opposed to sharia law. If they are a modern person integrated into the modern world and prepared to recognize all religions that’s one thing. If they are the Saudis who demand that we respect them while they refuse to allow either a Jew or Christian to worship in Saudi Arabia, that’s something different.
I think we need a president who stands up, tells the truth, and rejects any kind of effort to impose on us a sense of guilt because we believe in our religion and we are prepared to tell the truth… But within that framework a truly modern person who happened to worship [Allah] would not be a threat. A person who belonged any kind of belief in sharia, any kind of effort to impose that on the rest of us, would be a mortal threat.”—
Newt Gingrich, explaining to a South Carolina crowd whether or not he would vote for a Muslim for president.
So much fail… He would oppose any kind of “effort to impose” Islamic beliefs on others, yet he and his fellow candidates want to do the same thing with Christianity. But that doesn’t matter, folks, because it’s “our religion”. Love his insinuation that a belief in the tenets of Islam is not something a “truly modern person” would do. Not everyone can be as cosmopolitan and “with it” as Newt, what with his desire for an open marriage and abolishing or disobeying federal courts that displease him.
Observation: I guess apparently you can join the Catholic Church after being very public about being twice-divorced, divorce being something that would mean expulsion from said church? Catholics, please explain, thanks.
In the meantime …
In her most provocative comments, the ex-Mrs. Gingrich said Newt sought an “open marriage” arrangement so he could have a mistress and a wife.
She said when Gingrich admitted to a six-year affair with a Congressional aide, he asked her if she would share him with the other woman, Callista, who is now married to Gingrich.
“And I just stared at him and he said, ‘Callista doesn’t care what I do,’” Marianne Gingrich told ABC News. “He wanted an open marriage and I refused.”
Marianne described her “shock” at Gingrich’s behavior, including how she says she learned he conducted his affair with Callista “in my bedroom in our apartment in Washington.”
“He always called me at night,” she recalled, “and always ended with ‘I love you.’ Well, she was listening.”
All this happened, she said, during the same time Gingrich condemned President Bill Clinton for his lack of moral leadership.
Bold emphasis is mine on that last bit. This is ultimately the point where GOP family-values hypocrites have no fucking business being the morality police since it’s been proven time and time and time again that some of the biggest, screechiest morality avatars don’t practise what they preach.
How do we know that Newt isn’t sleeping around on Callista either?
Hope I’ll be able to catch the whole interview online. It will air Thursday night on ABC’s Nightline.
The Catholic church really doesn’t care. Their whole thing is, pretty much since their inception, forgiving people who pray enough (and more importantly donate enough) can absolve themselves of any wrong-doing.
None of this story is all that new but it’ll be a fun companion piece to tonight’s debate.
Damn, I wish I had a bingo square for “open marriage” now. I love the headline on this because I’m not entirely sure this is an “exclusive”. I’d say it’s obvious.
Don’t forget kids, there’s a debate tonight on CNN. The fun starts at 8 PM EST. I’ll be live-blogging on Twitter. Follow me: @meglanker
Also, don’t forget about GOP Bingo! Cards are here and pasted below. Since I don’t have time to update/replace Rick Perry spaces, take any space that mentions Perry as a free space. It’s redistribution of the free spaces so everyone has more. Because I am more of a socialist than Obama. </sarcasm>
I’m going to miss Perry’s head-scratching debate performances. Someone make an emotional montage, please.
Submit your bingo cards here, or email them to email@example.com.
Here’s the link itself to the album. Hover your mouse in the right-hand corner of each image to download the card. As always, submit your card here or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. GIF prizes awarded for the most bingos on one card, first bingo, most bingos across all cards, and blackouts (Note: Can lead to alcohol-related blackouts).
What better way to celebrate a day named for Martin Luther King, Jr. than to watch a bunch of old rich white men discuss how they’ll “save” America? Now with the only adult on stage *cough* Jon Huntsman *cough* out of the race, I’m sure it’ll be interesting. Will Newt finally vanquish Romney with his mind lasers? Will Perry strike out on an adventure by counting to our? Watch it and see!
These cards are also good for the CNN debate on Thursday night. I’m only going to change them if someone else drops out.
Live-stream for the Fox News debate is here. I’ll be live-blogging the debate @meglanker on Twitter.
Spread the word and good luck! Remember, we all lose at GOP Bingo, so let’s lose together.
Don’t forget kids, there’s a debate tonight on CNN. The fun starts at 8 PM EST. I’ll be live-blogging on Twitter. Follow me: @meglanker
Also, don’t forget about GOP Bingo! Cards are here. Since I don’t have time to update them if before Perry drops out, take any space that mentions Perry as a free space. It’s redistribution of the free spaces so everyone has more. Because I am more of a socialist (or communist) than Obama.
I’m going to miss Perry’s debate performances. Someone make an emotional montage, please.
Submit your bingo cards here, or email them to email@example.com.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is going to drop out of the Republican race for the White House, sources are telling The New York Timesand CNN.
NPR has not independently confirmed the news.
We’ll pass along more as the story develops. Perry is expected to hold a news conference at 11 a.m. ET.
Interesting. Just yesterday, Perry spokesman Mark Miner told CBS News, “Pundits aren’t going to decide this race, the people of South Carolina are going to decide this race. We are in this primary to win it and will continue campaigning.”
Further, the filings state, “Defendant shows that she has adequate and ample grounds for divorce, but that she does not desire one at this time.”
I made a screen capture for you here regarding the non-support of his wife and children while the divorce was pending.
I’m not jealous of any of Gingrich’s wives. I would rather struggle for money and be with a wonderful man like my husband, than be wealthy and with a horrible man like Gingrich who evidently uses money to punish and reward women. (See Newt’s Tiffany’s account for reward).
Juan Williams asked Newt Gingrich in tonight’s debate about his comments regarding Black Americans demanding paychecks and not food stamps, plus his statements about poor children working as janitors in their schools and firing unionized janitorial labor. Gingrich attempted to make his case by doubling-down on each idea.
This whole exchange was utterly offensive on Gingrich’s part and was compounded by the audience booing Williams for asking the question. Here’s the full back-and-forth - it really must be read to be believed:
WILLIAMS: Speaker Gingrich, you recently said black Americans should demand jobs, not food stamps. You also said poor kids lack a strong work ethic and proposed having them work as janitors in their schools. Can’t you see that this is viewed, at a minimum, as insulting to all Americans, but particularly to black Americans?
GINGRICH: No. I don’t see that. (APPLAUSE) You know, my daughter, Jackie, who’s sitting back there, Jackie Cushman, reminded me that her first job was at First Baptist Church in Carrollton, Georgia, doing janitorial work at 13. And she liked earning the money. She liked learning that if you worked, you got paid. She liked being in charge of her own money, and she thought it was a good start.
I had a young man in New Hampshire who walked up to me. I’ve written two newsletters now about this topic. I’ve had over 50 people write me about the jobs they got at 11, 12, 13 years of age. Ran into a young man who started a doughnut company at 11. He’s now 16. He has several restaurants that take his doughnuts. His father is thrilled that he’s 16 because he can now deliver his own doughnuts. (LAUGHTER)
What I tried to say — and I think it’s fascinating, because Joe Klein reminded me that this started with an article he wrote 20 years ago. New York City pays their janitors an absurd amount of money because of the union. You could take one janitor and hire 30-some kids to work in the school for the price of one janitor, and those 30 kids would be a lot less likely to drop out. They would actually have money in their pocket. They’d learn to show up for work. They could do light janitorial duty. They could work in the cafeteria. They could work in the front office. They could work in the library. They’d be getting money, which is a good thing if you’re poor. Only the elites despise earning money. (APPLAUSE)
WILLIAMS: Well… (APPLAUSE) (CROSSTALK) WILLIAMS: The suggestion that he made was about a lack of work ethic. And I’ve got to tell you, my e-mail account, my Twitter account has been inundated with people of all races who are asking if your comments are not intended to belittle the poor and racial minorities. You saw some of this reaction during your visit… (BOOING) … to a black church in South Carolina. You saw some of this during your visit to a black church in South Carolina, where a woman asked you why you refer to President Obama as “the food stamp president.” It sounds as if you are seeking to belittle people. (BOOING)
GINGRICH: Well, first of all, Juan, the fact is that more people have been put on food stamps by Barack Obama than any president in American history. (APPLAUSE) Now, I know among the politically correct, you’re not supposed to use facts that are uncomfortable. (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE)
Second, you’re the one who earlier raised a key point. There’s — the area that ought to be I-73 was called by Barack Obama a corridor of shame because of unemployment. Has it improved in three years? No. They haven’t built the road. They haven’t helped the people. They haven’t done anything. (APPLAUSE) So… (APPLAUSE) BRET BAIER: Finish your thought, Mr. Speaker.
GINGRICH: One last thing.
BAIER: Yes, sir.
GINGRICH: So here’s my point. I believe every American of every background has been endowed by their creator with the right to pursue happiness. And if that makes liberals unhappy, I’m going to continue to find ways to help poor people learn how to get a job, learn how to get a better job and learn some day to own the job. (APPLAUSE)