Monthly Archives: October 2013

Mario Piperni on the Great Girl Scout Conspiracy

Cookies and Lesbianism – The Link Exposed

OCTOBER 23, 2013 BY  

Crazy  -   http://mariopiperni.com/

I’ll bet that few of us would ever think that there existed a direct link between cookies and lesbians. There is and thanks to Religious Right activist and all-around crazy person, Kevin Swanson, we now know.

The individualism of feminism has been devastating to this country. I’d say you ought to say no to the Girl Scout cookies too. I don’t want to support lesbianism, I don’t want to support Planned Parenthood and I don’t want to support abortion, and if that be the case I’m not buying Girl Scout cookies.

…I don’t want to promote a wicked organization that according to its own website doesn’t promote godly womanhood, it just doesn’t, I don’t see anything that promotes godly womanhood. The vision of the Girl Scouts of America is antithetical to a biblical vision for womanhood, it’s antithetical to it.

Please, I beg of you, do not buy Girl Scout cookies. Please, I beg of you, stop buying Girl Scout cookies. And if you do, take a big black magic marker and cross out all of the references to Girl Scouts of America on all of the signs and all of the boxes because we do not want to promote that organization.

Delusional? Definitely, but there’s more because no proper attack from a right-wing loon inflicted with conspiratorial madness is ever complete without referencing the black guy in the White House. Here’s a statement from Swanson where he creates a fascinating thread which links lesbians, girl scouts, apple pie, Obama, Chevrolet, communism, feminism and cookies. Glenn Beck would be so proud.

I think we understand why Barack Obama is President of the United States. He is incredibly popular with single women, incredibly popular. In fact, if you want a communist in the White House in the year 2020 you have got to get more daughters raised with the worldview, the independent mindset, the worldview that is presented by the Girl Scouts of America. We’re going to go to the Girl Scouts of America because if you talk about Chevrolet, apple pie and America, if you want to talk about what America is all about, you’re talking about the Girl Scouts. These people show up every year about this time of year selling their cookies outside of the grocery stores across America.

They’re all quite psychotic, you know…but very, very entertaining, don’t you find?

So, if homophobia, ignorance and hate happen to be your thing, then – for the sake of Chevrolet, apple pie and all that is good in America – the crazy people beg of you, do not buy Girl Scout cookies.

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Mark Karlin on Social Security

Social Security Pumps $2 Into US Economy for Every Benefit Dollar Spent 

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

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Just as Food Stamps stimulate the economy by creating about $1.80 of economic activity for every dollar of Food Stamps spent, Social Secuity pumps up job-generating and business activity by about $2 for every dollar recipients spend.  This is according to a new study by the AARP:

A new report by the AARP Public Policy Institute, “Social Security’s Impact on the National Economy,” found that Social Security adds more than $1 trillion to the U.S. economy each year. People who receive Social Security benefits are not saving that money for a rainy day. They’re spending it on goods and services — pumping it back into the economy. We have to remember that the typical older American has an income of about $22,000 a year, and Social Security accounts for about half of a typical older family’s income.

Businesses use the income to purchase more goods and services, to realize profits and to hire more employees. Those employees, in turn, spend their wages on more goods and services, which creates more spending and income for more people. This creates a powerful multiplier effect that benefits the economy, businesses and workers. In fact, our report found that every dollar in Social Security benefits paid out generates about $2 of total output for the U.S. economy.

In short, Social Security is a vital component of a vibrant economy.  Florida is just one example of a state that would be devastated without the delivery of monthly Social Security checks.  However, the entire United States economy would be seriously harmed.

With the hue and cry against Social Security benefits becoming too burdensome on the treasury (even though it is an earned benefit, not an entitlement — if you don’t pay in, you don’t get Social Security, and your allotment is based on what you contributed over your lifetime), you would think taxpayers were being fleeced by the elderly.

William Pitt, indefatigable columnist for Truthout (and a BuzzFlash editor), writes about the despicably dishonest campaign waged against elderly Americans who earned their Social Security:

Here on the other side of the world in America, another sort of fire is threatening to burn out the futures of millions of people. A bunch of billionaires are working hammer and tong with their bottomless pockets, their hired Congressional stooges, their idolaters in the press, and all those useful idiots who hate government but love Medicare and always vote, to destroy Social Security and Medicare because government programs that actually work really well are the enemy, and must be scourged.

At the forefront of this crusade is the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, which has already spent a billion dollars trying to convince Congress to come together on a “Grand Bargain” that eviscerates the social safety net represented by Social Security and Medicare, which are only the two most successful and important government programs besides the GI Bill.

Peterson’s wingman is billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller, formerly of Duquesne Capital, who is spending gobs of cash trying to convince young people that Social Security is the reason they’re looking down the barrel at an increasingly grim economic future.

While billionaires who commit massive institutional financial fraud have an open door at the White House and Department of Justice, among other government offices, do you know what the average Social Security monthly check is?

According to the US Social Security Administration, “The average monthly Social Security benefit for a retired worker was about $1,230 at the beginning of 2012.”  That comes out to $14,760 a year, which qualifies one for the cat food brigade.

Yet, even this meager earned benefit (remember Social Security is a mandated retirement savings plan, not an entitlement) pumps up the American economy.

Even Democrats who once were seen as moderately progressive have accepted the GOP 1% meme that Social Security needs to be cut back or else the US will be ruined.  (We won’t even get into how the Social Security fund is used to finance other government programs — remember Al Gore’s idea of a lock box?)

But there are many alternatives to implementing a CPI or raising the retirement eligiblity age.  How about “raising employee and employer FICA taxes on wages above $106,800” (the income level where the payroll taxes currently stop increasing)? As a writer in firedoglake.com comments:

According to a 2010 Lake Research Partners Poll 82 percent of Americans oppose cuts to Social Security to reduce the deficit. That breaks down by Party: Democrats — 83%; Republicans – 82%; Independents – 78%; and Tea Partiers – 74%. Those numbers are overwhelming, as polling data goes. It’s pretty clear that making cuts to Social Security would not be acceptable to the American people, generally, and probably even less acceptable to Senator Durbin’s heavily Democratic constituency in Illinois.

One wonders, what kind of Senator puts forth a proposal that more than 80% of his constituents oppose? It can only be one who has decided to fit himself for a duncecap;or one who’s convinced that “the banks run the place,” or one who doesn’t think that the rest of us have the intelligence to understand that there are other alternative to handling any such problem apart from “reforming,” meaning cutting entitlements. But it can’t be one who cares about whether his political party can hold the Senate after 2014.

But that’s not all, when asked about a proposal to require employee and employer FICA taxes on wages above $106,800 annually in order to make Social Security more solvent, 66% of Americans were in favor of that proposal. And that breaks down by Party: Democrats — 73%; Republicans — 59%; Independents — 66%; and Tea Partiers — 60%. That is very solid support for this proposal for solving any perceived Social Security solvency problem, particularly among the Democratic base. Also, the Tea Party support for raising the payroll tax cap is greater than the Republican Party’s for that, an indication that Tea Partiers, like the rest of us, value their Social Security highly.

So there’s no real case for cutting Social Security benefits other than that many leading Democrats accept the GOP 1% notion that people who have labored a lifetime and made it into retirement don’t have the financial clout in DC that the wealthiest Americans do.  It’s really that simple.

Because if you want to keep the US economy strong, Social Security is a vital component.

That’s not to mention that recipients of Social Security have earned their retirement checks.  Talk of the “Grand Bargain” that would see Social Security and Medicare cut is really talking about looting senior citizens who are on the economic margins as it is.

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(Photo: FDR Presidential Library and Museum)

Mario Piperni Does Cuccinelli

Cuccinelli and Santorum – Misogynists in Action

OCTOBER 22, 2013 BY  

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The Virginia gubernatorial election is two weeks away and ultra-conservative Ken Cuccinelli is trailing Terry McAuliffe by 8 points – 38/46. Even more telling of where this race stands, is the fact that Cuccinelli, the state’s attorney general who has attempted to outlaw abortion, contraception and oral sex, is losing the women’s vote by a margin of 20 points, 32%/52%. Women despise Cuccinelli. No surprise there.

So what does Cuccinelli do to shore up his support with women? Well he brings in the one Republican who might be an even bigger homophobic, woman-hating dick than himself. He brings in Mr. Froth himself, RickSantorum.

via Raw Story:

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum announced over the weekend that he would be heading to Virginia with a “Strikeforce” to help save Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli’s struggling campaign.

According to a fundraising email obtained by Right Wing Watch, Santorum promises that his “Strikeforce will go door-to-door and hold sign waves during the weekend of November 1-3 to help get Republican voters to the polls!”

“Ken Cuccinelli, an unapologetic conservative, is running against liberal, Clinton-insider Terry McAuliffe,” Santorum wrote. “The polls show McAuliffe leading, but Ken can pull off a victory with our help.”

Santorum devolution  :  http://mariopiperni.com/

I might be wrong, but if a politician is finding difficulty in getting women to vote for him, it might be a good idea to not recruit the “help” of a guy who has said …

“The notion that college education is a cost-effective way to help poor, low-skill, unmarried mothers with high school diplomas or GEDs move up the economic ladder is just wrong.”

and…

“Radical feminists have been making the pitch that justice demands that men and women be given an equal opportunity to make it to the top in the workplace.”

and…

“One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is I think the dangers of contraception in this country…. Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

Thank you, Rick Santorum.

Watching the misogynistic Ken Cuccinelli going down in flames is going to be one of the little joys of the year.

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Mario Piperni and Gun Control

Another Day, Another Hail of Bullets

OCTOBER 22, 2013 BY  

USA Gun Map   :   http://mariopiperni.com/

John Liming takes a look at the latest gun shooting to hit the news and writes on the importance of electing Democrats into office before sensible gun laws can ever be enacted.

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Is it just me or is this kind of thing becoming more and more commonplace in America?

So when we send our kids to school this morning is there a possibility they won’t come home tonight?

Is the kind of America we are becoming and is it the kind of America you want for yourself and your generations?

October 21, 2013 came and went in Sparks, Nevada and a shooter at a Middle School opened fire with a gun, killed a staff member who was trying to protect students and then turned the gun on himself and ended the tragedy.

The shooter was reported to have been a student at the school and so far I haven’t heard a word about what the motive for the shooting might have been.

There were apparently a lot of eyewitness reports on the local news out there in Nevada and all the usual talk about how sad everybody was about the “Horrific” event — but I will almost guarantee that there isn’t going to be all that much discussion about the tragedy in the Halls of Congress.

The reason I don’t believe there is going to be all that much noise raised in Congress about this particular horrible event is that I think some of the big gun interests have more or less caused all that to be tamped down now and Americans are supposed to accept all these gun-related tragedies as both “unpreventable” and part of the “new norm” — or some such crazy shit as that.

If the government that is supposed to protect its citizens can’t even agree on a budget or on government spending without shutting down completely until some wing nuts get their way about things, how in the Hell do you even imagine the government is going to be able to do anything about gun violence?

Republicans, wing nuts, radical righties and all the gun nuts are more than likely more than pleased this morning that there is damned little possibility the Fed or anybody else is going to get their two cents worth in about these kinds of senseless tragedies.

“Gotta Pertek Them Secund Mendmunt Rights” after all — right folks?

“Ain’t No Way To Prevent Them Gun-Shooting Tragedies” — right folks?

“The Best Way To Pertek Agin Guns Is To Have More Guns” — right folks?

“Big Gubmint” has been there and done that and all attempts to get gun violence control legislation have completely failed in The United States — for the time being!

You see folks — I think we are living in a time and place when “Guns” are far more important than the people who are killed because of them.  What other impression could anybody have than something like that seeing all the resistance the big money, the gun lobbies and the dumb assed radical righties have put up against getting anything done to prevent this kind of awful crap from happening?

Well — no need to go on blathering about that subject, I guess!  What the hell good does it do to talk about it?  Let’s all just put our heads in the goddamned sand and maybe there won’t be any more of these dreadful events in the uncertain future.

I mean after all folks, we gotta perteck them there secund mendmunt rights at all costs, don’t we?  I don’t think these kinds of things even make an impression on wing nuts because I think if they did, the wing nuts would be doing something about them — unless it is as I have always suspected . . . the wing nuts don’t have a clue about how to govern.

And that raises another question in my mind — “If they don’t know how to govern, what the Hell are they doing sitting in cushy elected offices in Washington and in various state houses around the country?

I personally think America is better than that, deserves better than that and can do one helluva lot better than that!

The next chance to make improvements on our “Gubmint” comes in 2014 and 2016.  Mark your calendars!

— John Liming

John publishes American Liberal Times
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Mario Piperni on Texas Stupid

A Special Kind of Stupid Coming Out of Texas

OCTOBER 21, 2013 BY  4 COMMENTS

 

Texas Demographics  :   http://mariopiperni.com

Is there a a member of Congress from Texas more ridiculous than Ted Cruz? Louie Gohmert, you say? Possibly…but here’s another candidate for your consideration.

via Foolocracy:

Texas Rep. Blake Farenthold backed the government shutdown and the attempts to tie it to Obamacare. The shutdown riled up a lot of voters in Farenthold’s district. He was interviewed by a Corpus Christi television station, KRISTV, about the political fallout from the shutdown.

Farenthold responded to the reporter’s comment that many of Farenthold’s constituents will no longer support him. The reporter specifically mentioned how some disabled vets are upset that they faced losing their disability checks. In a particularly foolish misstep, Farenthold dismissed those disabled vets with this comment:

“I feel like my mandate when I was elected was to go reduce the size of government, lower taxes, and increase freedom, and freedom isn’t free, and sometimes you have to make a small sacrifice to move forward with what you’re after.”

Here’s a Congressman asking disabled vets, who have suffered life-threatening wounds and lost limbs defending this country, to make a “small sacrifice” for Farenthold’s political agenda.

[…] It takes a special type of political stupidity to dis disabled vets…further evidence that the reactionaries currently in control of the GOP in the House are in their own Bizarro political world.

Tbogg‘s take on Texas and Farenthold.

It is a well established fact that America only tolerates Texas because it has oil and Austin and probably something else of value that I can’t think of off the top of my head. Let’s see …. nope … I got nothin’. But there are times when Texas gets on our last nerve (to be fair, that is usually reserved for Florida) and we just shake our heads and start to wonder if maybe Mexico would be willing to take Texas back if we can find the receipt in a drawer somewhere , and even if we  have to pay a 15% restocking fee.

I know I’d chip in.

Which brings us to Texas’s own Blake Farenthold (R-Golden Corral), who barely squeaked into office in his first go-around, but then his district was redrawn (moar whitez, less brownz) and now he will hold his seat until the End Times, who is here to explain that America’s disabled vets need to suck it up and take one for the team and that they should rub some dirt on it and put whatever skin they didn’t leave behind on the battlefield into the game when it comes to “sacrifice”.

Having spent a fair amount of time in Texas, let me say that there are a number of things in that state worth saving besides Austin. San Antonio is one of them. Love that little city.

The real problem in Texas is the same one that plagues all red states. The Republican party. Get rid of the Perrys, Gohmerts and Farentholds and you’re three quarters of the way into restoring Texas’s reputation. Demographic is doing its part with an increase in the number of Hispanic voters. A couple more election cycles should do the trick…maybe even sooner with the help of Wendy Davis who has a real shot at replacing Perry in the governor’s mansion.

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Humor: The Borowitz Report

NATION THAT WAITED DECADES TO PASS HEALTH CARE INFURIATED BY SLOW WEB SITE

POSTED BY 
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—A nation that waited several decades for health insurance is becoming increasingly infuriated by a Web site that is wasting minutes of its time, reports from across the United States confirm.
The official Web site of Obamacare, HealthCare.gov, has been plagued by glitches, crashes, and sluggishly loading pages, say millions of angry Americans attempting to log on to the site at exactly the same time.

“Look, I know that we had to wait longer for health care than virtually every other industrialized nation on earth,” said Tracy Klugian, a muffler salesman from Akron, Ohio. “But the time I spent on that Web site is thirty-five minutes I’ll never get back.”

Sharing what he called his “Obamacare horror story,” Mr. Klugian said, “Being on that Web site slowed down our wi-fi so much that my kids couldn’t stream videos. For a so-called health-care program, it’s causing a lot of stress that’s the opposite of healthy, if you ask me.”

Harland Dorrinson, a gym manager from Knoxville, Tennessee, had an Obamacare nightmare of his own, having to log on to the site “two completely different times” before getting health insurance for the first time in his life.

“President Obama said he was going to make health care affordable and available to millions of Americans,” he said, bitterly. “He didn’t tell us it would take more than an hour.”

Get the Borowitz Report delivered to your inbox.

Photograph by Joe Raedle/Getty

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No, the Deficit Is Shrinking

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The Truth About Keystone

The Truth About Keystone

Inside the Fox News lie machine: I fact-checked Sean Hannity on Obamacare – Salon.com

the best of the internets

 

I happened to turn on the Hannity show on Fox News last Friday evening. “Average Americans are feeling the pain of Obamacare and the healthcare overhaul train wreck,” Hannity announced, “and six of them are here tonight to tell us their stories.”  Three married couples were neatly arranged in his studio, the wives seated and the men standing behind them, like game show contestants.

As Hannity called on each of them, the guests recounted their “Obamacare” horror stories: canceled policies, premium hikes, restrictions on the freedom to see a doctor of their choice, financial burdens upon their small businesses and so on.

“These are the stories that the media refuses to cover,” Hannity interjected.

But none of it smelled right to me. Nothing these folks were saying jibed with the basic facts of the Affordable Care Act as I understand them. I understand them fairly well; I have worked…

View original post 56 more words

Controlling the Gamblers

A Simple Reform Could Save America From Wall Street and Boost the Economy: What’s Washington Waiting For?

Financiers have been getting a free ride for too long. Let’s make them pay their share instead of robbing seniors.

by Lynn Stuart Parramore

It’s a simple tweak that would reign in an out-of-control financial sector, stimulate jobs, generate billions of revenue, and possibly prevent another heart-wrenching crisis. Nobel Prize-winning economists like Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman want it. Billionaires like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates want it. Polls show the majority of Americans want it. Even the Pope wants it.

We’re talking about a financial transaction tax (FTT) — a tiny tax of, say, less than half a percent: maybe 3 cents per $100  — on Wall Street trading. It’s simple, more than fair, widely supported by the public, and long overdue.

Over the last weeks, Americans have been kept from going to work and the fragile economy has been strained as members of Congress wrangled over another phony budget crisis, even as the deficit is shrinking. Meanwhile, Wall Street has been raking in billions of dollars in profits from financial transactions. And theypay not a penny in taxes on most of them.

Instead of talking about nickel-and-diming seniors by cutting their Social Security and Medicare, letting our infrastructure crumble, and forcing our children to go without proper education or medicine, we could be returning sanity and balance to our financial system. The FTT would put the breaks on the sort of reckless, breakneck-speed computer gambling that helped tank the American economy five years ago. It could raise hundreds of billions annually. Did you hear that, deficit hawks? We’d have enough to close the funding gaps in states that had their budgets destroyed by Wall Street’s risky behavior and predation. We’d even have enough to invest in new jobs.

As Jeremy Scott of Forbes put it: “What is important is that the financial sector, which bears a disproportionate share of the blame for the deep recession that is still affecting employment and growth, share in the costs of insuring against future bailouts and be forced to restructure itself to better insulate the rest of the economy from excessive risk.”

Once upon a time, we had a financial transaction tax in America, and it served us well from 1914 to 1966. Wall Street leaders at the time complained bitterly that the tax would be ruinous, but if you stop and think about those years, you notice that the American economy was actually much healthier than it is today. Income inequality was much lower, and jobs were more secure. After the Wall Street crash of 1987, major politicians, including Senate Majority leader Bob Dole and President H.W. Bush, called for a return of the FTT. Since the Wall Street-driven crash of 2008, renewed support for the tax has surged from every direction — except, of course, from Wall Street and the politicians who rely on their donations.

Because of their outlandish size and undue influence, financial firms have wriggled out of just about every attempt to introduce sane rules of the road since 2008, and they’re more dangerous and concentrated today than they before the crisis. Bankers and financiers left millions of Americans to suffer, and if something is not done soon, they will almost certainly do it again. It’s merely a question of when.

One of the biggest arguments against the FTT is that it will somehow hurt the economy by discouraging Wall Street activity. Of course, what it would actually do is protect Wall Street from itself by reducing the wild volatility of the market and the speculation fever which have prompted ordinary investors to run scared and caused jitters in the overall economy. Over the last decade, speculative activity has skyrocketed 400 percent — and only a miniscule fraction of that actually does anything to build the real economy in goods and services. The vast majority of it is just arbitrage, high-speed trading, casino gambling, and siphoning more money from ordinary people to the super-rich.

Another argument you hear is that regular folks would be hurt when they do things like make transactions on their 401(k)s or use a debit card. But this is nonsense. The tax would not apply to normal consumer activities, and traders could also be legally blocked from dumping costs onto consumers. The FTT is about giant banks and investment firms — behemoth companies like Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan, and Goldman Sachs. Not you and me. Some huff that high-frequency traders will simply leave the country if we slow them down. Here’s an idea: can we help you pack? Seriously, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Many industrial nations already have some form of FTT, including Hong Kong and Singapore. Some members of the European Union have tried to push ahead with an FTT, but it has gotten caught in the complicated web of the European legal framework. Naturally, the big financial firms have lobbied relentlessly to block it and convince the media (much of which relies on advertising dollars from Big Finance) that it’s a bad idea. They’ve succeeded in getting the tax’s effective date pushed into the middle of 2014.

Over on this side of the Atlantic, you may have heard that bank CEOs having been meeting with the president during the shutdown. It’s not hard to imagine what they had to say: Just carve another pound of flesh from the American populace in the form of cuts to Medicare and Social Security, and leave us to make our billions at their expense. Protect Big Finance at any cost. So far, Obama has done pretty much just that. He has surrounded himself with economic advisors, like Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers who have played Santa Claus to bankers and oppose the FTT. Current Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is against the tax and gives us the official White House position: “The administration has consistently opposed a financial transaction tax on the grounds that it would be vulnerable to evasion, create incentives for financial re-engineering and burden retail investors.” Which is all a big pile of baloney.

So is there any hope? Much of Congress, attentive only to the drumbeat from Wall Street, has turned a deaf ear to the idea, despite a recent proposal from Sen. Tom Harkin and Rep. Peter DeFazio. The bottom line is that we need people in Washington willing to challenge banks. You could take Elizabeth Warren’s election to the Senate as a sign that we might finally be getting somewhere. She is a very popular politician, and if she were to get behind the FTT, there could actually be a chance of getting it passed.

In the meantime, we really need to mob our representatives with messages of support for the FTT.  Flood them with letters, emails, and phone calls. Make noise. Tell them that if they are not willing to champion the public good, they will not get your vote.

And if the President dares to move forward with cuts to social programs, public services, Medicare, and Social Security while such a strong, sane idea as the FTT is supported by the population, well, maybe it’s time to take to the streets.

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