Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “newt gingrich”

Adele Serenades Newt Gingrich At The Grammys

In the interests of honest blogging, I feel that I should point out that this isn’t really Adelle singing, though maybe she would like to!

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/ and on Twitter (@alonshalevsf).

Super PAC, Super Disappointment

I have been following the Republican primaries with righteous indignation, just the ticket on the commute to work over the fog-hugging Bay Bridge. Today (Wednesday at the time of writing), Mitt Romney is confident that, despite losses in key states to Rick Santorum, he will win the primaries, because he has the money to buy TV ads.

Really? Not because he attracts the party faithful through his stirring speeches, articulate exposition of policy, his vision and personal principles?

But this seems to be a glimpse of the future political landscape, where money rather than grassroots support, will decide who rises (or floats) to the top.

Those of us on the moral left will point out that our candidate won the elections against considerable odds by rallying hundreds of thousands of people to donate $25, a meaningful contribution for many. We rallied on street corners, in town hall meetings, and across the Internet.

So I am rather upset to hear that President Obama has sanctioned the forming of a Super PAC – Priorities USA Action. Campaign Manager, Jim Messina essentially told us that the President doesn’t like flip-flopping like this, but has to be realistic and anticipate the media assault waiting for him when the real election campaigning begins.

I know that there is a mixed reaction among the faithful. Many are relieved that reality has kicked in before it is too late. Better to accept the future scenario now and do what must be done to ensure four more years.

But other, myself included, have sighed deeply. Did it really have to be this way? Can we not have the courage of our convictions to believe that we will win because our message is right, our vision in tune with what needs to happen, and that Americans are smart enough to treat this like a general election and not a reality show.

Matea Gold and Melanie Mason, have written a great article in the LA Times: Obama’s embrace of ‘super PAC’ will test his base of donors. Worth the read.

I stand as one of the disappointed, but it won’t stop my commitment to reelecting President Obama. I know what the alternative is (whether Romney, Santorum, Paul or Gingrich), and I begrudgingly know how they can win.

I remain stunned that so many people, only a few months into President Obama’s first term, were actually blaming him for the state of the economy, as though none of the economic carnage and greedy abuse happened prior to his election.

Super PACs have no place in politics. They should remain on the Comedy Central where they belong.

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/ and on Twitter (@alonshalevsf).

I Hate Obama – Tom Rossi

Republican candidate debate, January 7, 2012

Rick Perry: “I hate Obama.”

Rick Santorum: “No, I hate him more!”

Newt Gin-grinch: “I not only hate Obama, but EVERY bad thing EVER is his fault.”

Ron Paul: “I have some good ideas, some crazy ideas, and some that just show what an adorable simpleton I really am. Here’s what…”

Mitt Romney: “Let me interrupt here to point out that Ron Paul just doesn’t hate Barack Obama enough. I REALLY hate him!”

Rick Santorum: “I haven’t heard anybody up here blame Obama. It’s all his fault and I hate him.”

Newt Gin-grinch: “I’d like to contradict myself within the same sentence and then add that I blame Obama for everything and I really, really hate him.”

Jon Huntsman: “I’d like to sound intelligent and presidential while I blame Obama.”

Mitt Romney: “I’d like to insult you by calling you an Obama lover and add that I hate Obama.”

Rick Perry: “I don’t just believe in Jesus, but I’d like to point out that Obama is the devil and I really hate him.”

Newt Gin-grinch: “I think we should have a negative tax rate for the Wall Street corporations that caused this economic collapse – the government should pay them. Obama is just too stupid to see this as the obvious answer to all our problems.”

Ron Paul: “I will do exactly what Republicans say they want. But they will never elect me because they are liars and hypocrites.”

Rick Santorum: “Well, it’s clear that Dr. Paul doesn’t hate Obama nearly enough. Until he blames Obama much more, he will always be an also-ran.”

Rick Perry: “I had really hoped that people would notice my new Ronald Reagan haircut. Oh… and did I mention that I hate Obama?”

George Stephenopoulis: “I’d like to ask a thoughtful question that would illuminate your policy positions in a certain area…”

Mitt Romney: “I don’t want to insult you or anyone’s intelligence, but I’d like to ignore your question and say that none of my opponents hate Obama as much as I do and I also have a striking profile.”

Jon Huntsman: “Will everyone please stop picking on me? I speak Chinese and I’m not nearly fanatical enough for my own party to nominate me, but I don’t like Obama either.”

Newt Gin-grinch: “See?! He said, ‘Don’t like’! I told you he doesn’t hate Obama!”

Newt Gingrich - thrown in just for Roger Ingalls

Rick Santorum: “Nobody up here except me hates Obama enough. I’m the one who should be allowed to call him names in the general election in November.”

Mitt Romney: “Stop saying that! I hate Obama more than you!”

Chorus of reporters: “Mitt Romney fended off attacks by the other candidates in the 156th Republican debate. Contrary to Ron Paul’s insane ramblings, Mitt Romney will be anointed King in just a few, short months.”

Ahhhh… that was fun. Truth be told, I was stunned to hear fragments (between the Obama hating) of intelligent thoughts from the candidates. Well, all except Rick Perry. Rick Perry was like the “slow,” bratty kid that a teacher keeps in the back corner of the classroom. Every so often he’d pop up and shoot a spit-wad and the rest of the kids would laugh. I think he could be dropped off the end of the stage and the conversation might improve.

It seemed as if the candidates were preparing for the general election by sounding a little more moderate than in previous weeks. All except Rick Perry, of course. He said that, as president, he would immediately send troops back into Iraq. I pick on Rick Perry a lot. Are you getting the idea that maybe I don’t like him too much?

Several candidates made good observations about our economic situation. But these were always followed by ridiculous conclusions and plans of action. All of these candidates adhere to an archaic, false religion – corporate economics. I wish I could shake Newt Gin-grinch by the lapels and tell him that lowering capital gains taxes (even more) will NOT stimulate manufacturing! It’s exactly the opposite!

In addition, most of the candidates (especially Rick Santorum) hold onto the ridiculous idea (as do their supporters) that the president can somehow influence the social tendencies of our country. Here are a few news flashes: People are going to keep having sex. Some people are still going to be gay. Big, powerful media corporations will put sex in movies and on TV. A lot people will do drugs. And lots of people are still going to think for themselves instead of swallowing whatever propaganda is supposed to make them fall neatly into their little boxes in American society.

What I saw in Saturday night’s Republican debate was a fantasy love-in between men with admittedly decent vocabularies. It was a bunch of guys who, while they do possess raw intelligence (except Rick Perry), are out of touch with reality. They still believe in Santa Claus, even after they spotted three Santas downing whiskeys at the local bar, and two others robbing a liquor store.

Fantasy can be a lot of fun. Or it can be a nightmare. This debate was entertaining, but one of these Dungeons and Dragons wizards might end up leading our country based on a paradigm that has proven false. It’s tragically hilarious to me that it’s always Republicans who quote Einstein: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing, over and over, and expecting a different result.” There is actually considerable doubt if Einstein even said that.

-Tom Rossi

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Tom Rossi is a commentator on politics and social issues. He is a Ph.D. student in International Sustainable Development, concentrating in natural resource and economic policy. Tom greatly enjoys a hearty debate, especially over a hearty pint of Guinness.

Tom also posts on thrustblog.blogspot.com

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Denying The Denial in Durban – Neil Goldberg (Guest Blogger)

You would think that when high level delegations from 200 countries, as well as thousands of civic organizations (NGOs), and countless scientists descend on a conference to inform, discuss, propose and negotiate factors widely believed to be a threat to human existence, it would be newsworthy. Thousands of people gathering to build social and intellectual networks so that they can be prepared with proposals for solutions – in policy, funding, infrastructure, technology and programs to deal with the threat.

Such a gathering is in fact going on at this very moment at the U.N. climate talks in Durban, South Africa,   and has been for over a week. The shocker is, I can barely find mention of it anywhere in the MSM (main stream media), let alone screaming from banner leading headlines as I would expect it to be.

After all, whether one agrees that global warming is human caused or not, even most rabid right wingers and deniers are coming around to accept the evidence that the earth is in fact warming up. And to such a degree that it appear almost inevitable that it will cause major disruptions in the world economy and possibly an epochal shift in human culture.

I’ve been looking around for coverage, and finding very little. Certainly no screaming headlines in the vein “LARGEST THREAT TO HUMAN SURVIVAL SINCE NOAH RODE OUT THE FLOOD”. or, “OOPS”.

Not a single mention in my Yahoo newsfeed, which includes an AP feed (10 stories), NPR (5 stories), USA Today (5 stories), SFGate (5 stories) and The (British) Guardian (8 stories). And when I clicked through to the home pages of each of these venerable media outlets, I found – you guessed it, not a single mention of the conference. Not a single mention of global warming. Not a single tear jerking human interest profile of people struggling and winning against adversity. Not a single hero story. Not a single story about the massive amounts of money to be made on climate change generated business opportunities.

Of course there is room for stories of earth shattering import like “With His Past an Issue, Gingrich Spars and Parries” (NPR), and “Megachurch’s Future Uncertain After Pastor Leaves” (AP) and “Cain Accuser Bialek Say She Feels Vindicated” in the “Nation and World” headlines on USA Today. It’s such a busy newsday that important discussion about the imminent upending of human society just can’t make the cut.

I did a Google search for “Coverage of  climate conference, Durban”. Top item is an Adword (paid advertisement) for “Knowledge.Allianz.com”, the blog site of a major insurance company with extensive coverage on things like “Climate”, “Energy”, Mobility”, “Microfinance”, etc. But not a major journalistic organization.

Second was a piece called “What can Durban Climate Conference Achieve?” from ABC Online (their blog); a piece from Reuters India, one from Environment and Energy Publishing and another from a Canadian blog site called rabble.ca – News For the Rest of Us.

The first major news forum represented in my search is a story from LA Times who are reporting on…oh wait a minute. They’re reporting on what NPR previously reported in a story titled “NPR reports Kyoto Protocol in trouble in Durban”. I guess LA Times didn’t see fit to actually send their own reporter to Durban. What I particularly love about this story is in the opening paragraph, which sort it all:

“You may have noticed that news coverage of the U.N. climate talks in Durban, South Africa, has been minimal, at best, and that’s clearly because -– just like in Copenhagen last year -– there has been almost no mention of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which was put in place to set reduction targets for important greenhouse gases. Without a big, juicy target, the conference lacks the drama to merit mention on even the eco-blogs.”

So there you have it. Not worth reporting on because nothing is happening there. But I would guess, nothing much is happening there because by now, everybody believes the issue has gone away due to, well, lack of attention in the main stream media.

How DO you spell D-E-N-I-A-L!

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Neil Goldberg developed his political perspective growing up in apartheid South Africa which he left in 1982 when it seemed that democratic change was impossible. He is a designer of a wide array of products, environments and services. This experience has taught him that the limitations of imagination are the only thing standing in the way of just about any problem. Since becoming a father 12 year ago he has become convinced that a loving heart is the ultimate spur to imagination.

The Republican Freak Show – Roger Ingalls

Is it just me or do others view the 2012 Republican presidential candidates as a bunch of creepy clowns interviewing for a gig at a neighborhood carnival?

Looks at these freaks. I can’t believe this is the best the Republican Party has to offer. It’s an embarrassment not only to the nation’s right leaning folks but all people of this great country.

Newt Gingrich, really? The morals-trumpeting hypocrite went after President Clinton with impeachment for having an affair and it turns out Newt is an adulterer himself. Not to mention, he’s a Jabba the Hut look-alike.

The Godfather of pizza, Herman Cain, couldn’t find Libya on a map if a fourth-grader was pointing at it. He may have more out-of-court sexual harassment settlements than Sarah Jessica Parker has shoes. At least he’s smart enough to keep himself out of jail.

Rick Perry is the crazy cowboy Ronald Reagan always wanted to be. Visions of mass pray-ins at Texas-sized stadiums are dancing in my head. Rick can be seen waving the Bible in one hand and shooting a gun in the other while praying with his snake charming buddies (click for video).

My favorite sideshow is Michele “pray-out-the-gay” Bachmann. She can’t open her mouth without tripping over the fake American history that drools out. A fourth-grader should be hired to proof her speeches.

Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann

Mitt Romney seems somewhat normal but he does more flip-flops than a trapeze artist in a three-ring tent. The conservative marketing machine – Fox News – doesn’t like Romney so he doesn’t have a chance. Maybe Rupert Murdock doesn’t like Mormons.

 

These clowns are freakish enough on their own but now there’s a ring master. Donald Trump is moderating a Republican debate in late December. Can this conservative carnival get any loonier?

I know this post sounds a little mean-spirited but let’s get serious; we need greatness in the Whitehouse not laughable personalities best suited for a 19th century traveling circus.

We deserve better.

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Roger Ingalls is well traveled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

The Debt Limit: A Republican Shell Game (Roger Ingalls)

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner has warned that the U.S. government will default, if the debt ceiling isn’t increased by August 2, 2011. He goes on to says, “this would have severe consequences for the economy”.

Lately, the debt limit or ceiling has received a fair amount of press because the Republicans are refusing to vote affirmatively to raise it. Keep in mind that the debt ceiling has been increased approximately 75 times in the past fifty years. Increasing this limit is nothing new and has occurred more frequently under Republican administrations.

The conservatives are trying to handcuff the Obama administration with their no vote. Newt Gingrich orchestrated the same failed-maneuver during the Clinton administration. Republicans won’t increase the limit until the Obama administration makes more budget cuts. Essentially, they want to remove $2.4 trillion from the budget over the next ten years. The President will not cut the budget until tax breaks given to the rich under the second Bush administration are eliminated and tax loopholes are closed for big business. So here we sit, stuck in political mud.

The solution is simple. Look back in time and see what worked. During the Clinton administration, the U.S. had one of the best economic eras in its history. Just undo the George W. Bush  craziness that’s still in place; bring back the Clinton tax brackets, get rid of the mid-2000 corporate tax loopholes and roll back expenditures on Defense. We don’t even need to cut Defense spending all the way back to the 1990s level.  We can double the Clinton-era Defense spending and still save $3 trillion over the next ten years which is $600 billion more than the conservatives want.

The Obama administration needs to man-up and get rid of the irresponsible financial policies put in place under G.W. Bush, as promised. Republican politicians need to quit the political sound-biting and do something constructive for the middle-class.

The debt limit discussion is just a diversionary storm in a water-glass.

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Roger Ingalls is well travelled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

Republican Debt Mantra: Build It Cuz They B Dumm

 

Tune into the news via the TV, radio or computer and all we hear is noise about the escalating national debt. We’ll hear the well-oiled Republican machine blaming President Obama and the Democrats for reckless spending. The conservative-speak by these silver-tongued devils is so finely tuned it makes Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address seem no more complex than a nursery rhyme.

I’m in awe of these self-proclaimed “Christian-valued” politicians that shift their guilt on to the innocent with such ease as if they were channeling Lucifer himself. I suppose this “self-proclaiming” is part of the facade. But how do they do it?  How do they sleep at night and how do they live in their own skin without wanting to crawl out of it? It’s creepy.

Michele Bachmann, US House Rep., MN, Republican

(click picure for scary surprise)

Surprisingly, this simple yet deceptive campaign actually works. Most Americans believe Democrats are the big spenders.

While at dinner with a friend this past weekend, we stumbled upon the subject of our national debt. He mentioned his amazement at the Democrats’ continued quest to add more to the huge debt they’ve already created—I almost choked. Wait, did I hear that right? Did this man, intelligent in many forms, actually say, “the huge debt the Democrats have created?”  Holy frickin’ crap, Batman, even he’s been brainwashed!

I knew, right then and there, something had to be done. These twisted words must be ripped from the devil’s mouth—torn out by its roots.  Many are trying to stop the Republican rewriting of history and I, too, must do my part.

Let’s keep it simple, let’s think like cavemen. Pictures, they’re worth a thousand words. These charts say it all (click image for larger view):

It doesn’t get any more obvious than this. As the charts show, Republicans historically increase spending and the national debt while the Democrats decrease them. The numbers don’t lie.

The purpose of this post is not to solely put the debt blame back on the shoulders of Republicans where it rightly belongs. It is also intended to highlight the importance of searching for truth. Don’t be led blindly by today’s politicians, they are salesmen for Corporate America—especially Republicans.

Whether you’re progressive or conservative, it should be vividly clear that we need revolutionary change within our political system. If a politician can tell a boldfaced lie without so much as a slap on the wrist, something is wrong.

-Roger Ingalls

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Roger Ingalls is well travelled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

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