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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
Number of posts: 67,808

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Mitt makes it easy to remember the difference between ‘outsourcing’ and ‘offshoring’!

Mitt: the ‘outsourcing pioneer’ with the Cayman and Swiss bank accounts.


New Poll: Cantor Appears Vulnerable; Women In His District Aren't Very Happy With Him

In the poll from from Harrison Hickman obtained exclusively by ThinkProgress, voters say they would support a pro-choice candidate over a candidate who is pro-life by an unexpectedly large margin, 68 percent to 23 percent. The finding comes after intense media coverage of efforts by state Republicans to mandate transvaginal ultrasounds prior to obtaining an abortion, a procedure described by critics as “state-sponsored rape.” The resulting backlash from women in Virginia forced Governor Bob McDonnell (R) and his allies at the statehouse to moderate their efforts.

Eric Cantor has a 100% rating from the National Right To Life Committee.

The poll also calls into question Republicans’ scorched earth policy when it comes to working with the Obama administration. Fifty nine percent of voters say they would support a candidate who works with President Obama some of the time compared to just 32 percent of respondents who say they would vote for the candidate who opposes virtually everything proposed by the White House, as Cantor and the rest of the GOP have insisted upon for much of Obama’s first term.

And asked about Cantor specifically, voters disapprove of his handling of government spending, health care and reigning in the budget deficit, three key issues that Cantor and House Republicans have campaigned heavily on since 2008.

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"THE CHAIRMAN SHOULD BE ASHAMED"-On the front page of the National Review-Criticism of Darrell Issa!

Too Fast, Too Furious

Since details about the Fast and Furious scandal first started to emerge, the biggest question has been: Who in their right mind would think that letting criminals walk away with guns would be a good way to fight crime? Thus far, the only explanation seems to be this: The Justice Department thought that tying American guns to Mexican crime scenes would be useful in its attempts to round up cartel kingpins — useful enough that it was worth giving guns to criminals without bothering to track the weapons as they changed hands.

That’s not very satisfying, of course. So, some Fast and Furious critics have searched for a better one — not by analyzing the evidence, but by concocting a conspiracy theory: specifically, that the Obama administration allowed the guns to go to Mexico deliberately in order to increase gun crime there, so it could cite that crime as a reason for more gun control here. And unfortunately, Fast and Furious’s lead critic, House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa, has joined them.


Fast and Furious is a horrific scandal. The public deserves answers as to who devised the operation and what they hoped to accomplish. But the theory that Fast and Furious was devised to promote gun control goes far beyond the evidence, as Issa basically admitted to ABC this weekend, and it does not withstand scrutiny. The chairman should be ashamed to have dabbled in it, and should fully retract his initial comment, unless he has a considerable amount of evidence he has not shared with the public.


Uninsured & fighting blazes: Firefighters trying to save Colorado homes don't have health insurance

Uninsured and fighting blazes: Welcome to the life of a federal firefighter
Posted by Sarah Kliff on June 27, 2012


Of all the jobs where you might want health insurance, firefighting near certainly ranks near the top of the list. Firefighters spend two-week shifts working 18 hour days in dangerous conditions. Some develop breathing problems due to smoke inhalation.

But many federal firefighters are temporary employees, who only work six months out of the year. [...] Under federal regulations, temporary employees of the Forest Service do not receive benefits. That means no health care and no retirement pension.

“A lot of them are not making a lot,” says Bill Dougan, president of the National Federal of Federal Employees. “The only way they can afford insurance is if they have a spouse that might be able to get coverage under an employer. In some places that’s not an option.”




LOL Really? GOP: Obama Planning to 'Steal' the Election

Ari Berman reports on the latest election suppression news:

In order to justify new voter suppression laws, GOP operatives are spinning increasingly elaborate conspiracy theories about the extent to which the Obama campaign and its allies are trying to hijack the 2012 election. “Stop the corrupt Obama machine from stealing the 2012 elections,” reads the headline of a recent fundraising letter from the conservative legal organization Judicial Watch (see below).

According to Judicial Watch, which led the fight to impeach Clinton, the Obama Administration is “aggressively pursuing plans behind closed doors to enact ‘stealth’ amnesty’ for millions of illegal aliens in a move to curry favor with Hispanic voters and potentially make it easier for illegal aliens to break the law and vote in 2012,” along with “continuing to funnel tax dollars to the corrupt and criminal ACORN.”

Such assertions are easily debunked. There is no “stealth amnesty” program, there is no record of noncitizens intentionally voting in US elections and ACORN no longer exists. Yet such outlandish claims are deeply ingrained in the conservative psyche. A 2009 survey by Public Policy Polling found that “52% majority of GOP voters nationally think that ACORN stole the Presidential election for Barack Obama last year, with only 27% granting that he won it legitimately.”

The purveyors of such discredited arguments, like Judicial Watch, continue to be deeply influential in conservative political circles. Nancy Pelosi recently said that Republicans are going after Attorney General Eric Holder, another frequent Judicial Watch target, as payback for the Justice Department blocking discriminatory voting laws under the Voting Rights Act. “His department’s blatant refusal to enforce federal law requiring states to clean up their inaccurate voter-registration records, combined with DOJ lawsuits against state voter-ID laws, must bring smiles to any ACORN-like groups contemplating electoral mischief this fall,” conservative columnist John Fund wrote recently in National Review.


Stephen Colbert: The worse things are going for us, the better Mitt Romney feels

Stephen Colbert on Mitt Romney downplaying improved
unemployment statistics under the Obama administration.


Study of the Day: Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Don't Attract Crime

New Study Finds No Correlation Between Medical Marijuana Shops And Crime Rates
By Tara Culp-Ressler on Jun 27, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Medical marijuana is already legal in 17 states and the District of Columbia, and seven more states will decide whether to legalize it by the end of this year. As public support for medical marijuana grows, however, some misconceptions about marijuana remain — as illustrated in a recent exchange with a Drug Enforcement Agent official who refused to admit that marijuana is less harmful than crack cocaine.

A new UCLA study helps to ease some of the misguided fears about the danger of medical marijuana, pointing out that medical marijuana dispensaries don’t lead to any increase in crime rates in the areas where they’re located. Although other environmental factors like unemployment are clear contributors to rising crime rates, the study concludes that medical marijuana shops are not linked to violent or property crime:

Places such as medical marijuana dispensaries provide an opportunity where the conditions for crime outlined by routine activities theory can also converge. [...] Percentage of a census tract that was commercially zoned, percentage of housing units in a census tract that were one-person households, and unemployment rate were positively related to violent and property crime rates. However, no crosssectional associations were observed between the density of medical marijuana dispensaries and violent or property crime rates, controlling for ecological variables traditionally associated with routine activity theory. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/06/study-of-the-day-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-dont-attract-crime/258916/

The study, which examined 95 different areas around Sacramento, builds upon similar findings from another California-area study. Although the study’s author points out that the research will paint a broader picture once extrapolated to different areas of the country, it is yet another sign that fears about marijuana leading to increased violence, crime, and drug use are overblown. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that legalizing marijuana actually leads to positive effects, including the potential to decrease teens’ use of drugs like cocaine.



NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S LOBBYING ACTIVITIES | New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation into the contributions of “tax-exempt groups that are heavily involved in political campaigns, focusing on a case involving the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been one of the largest outside groups seeking to influence recent elections but is not required to disclose its donors,” the New York Times reports. Schneiderman is “seeking e-mails, bank records and other documents to determine whether the foundation illegally funneled $18 million to the chamber for political and lobbying activities.” The Chamber spent $66 million on lobbying in 2011 and has “pledged to spend at least $50 million on issue ads during the 2012 election cycle.” Recent reports have revealed that health insurers funneled at least $102.4 million through the Chamber in an effort to defeat Obamacare and undermine its implementation.

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Exclusive: Northrop Awards Lobbyist $500K Bonus Wks Before Becoming Low-Paid Congressional Staffer

Source: Republic Report

Exclusive: Northrop Grumman Awards Lobbyist $500K Bonus Weeks Before Becoming Low-Paid Congressional Staffer Shaping Military Policy

Northrop Grumman, the fourth largest weapons maker in the world, follows the actions of Congress very closely. The F-35, which may cost over $1.45 trillion because of unprecedented cost overruns, an expensive surveillance drone program criticized as unnecessary, and even a new fleet of nuclear bombers are among the Northrop Grumman products that may be in jeopardy as the Pentagon is forced to trim fat from the military budget. But luckily for Northrop Grumman, which made $2.12 billionin profits last year, the firm essentially has a man on the inside of Congress with wide sway over how the government spends money on national defense.

In 2011, after Republicans seized the House of Representatives in a landslide victory, the House Armed Services Committee, which oversees the military, gained a new chairman, Representative Buck McKeon (R-CA). As with most leadership changes, McKeon and his committee hired new professional staff. Thomas MacKenzie, a vice president at Northrop Grumman, was tapped to work for the committee beginning in March of 2011.

There are many examples of lobbyists burrowing into government to work in policy areas that impact their former employers. These lobbyists, as Public Citizen’s Craig Holman, an expert on lobbying, has explained, seem happy to accept low-paid public service salaries, perhaps because they can expect extremely high pay once they return to K Street.

In MacKenzie’s case, Northrop Grumman made sure he had extra cash before he went to work writing policy on the defense budget. Republic Report viewed a recently filed ethics disclosure form, and found that Northrop Grumman paid MacKenzie a $498,334 bonus in 2011, just before he went to work under McKeon as a committee staffer. The bonus was almost the size of MacKenzie’s annual salary at the firm, which was $529,379 in 2010.

Read more: http://www.republicreport.org/2012/grumman-500k-mckeon/


Romney Fails to Mention Inspiring 'Truck Driver' Is Billionaire Super PAC Donor

Mitt Romney says he's been encouraged by all of the regular Americans who have pulled themselves up by their bootstraps that he has met while traveling across the country stumping to be the next president of the United States.


"I go to various parts of the country and I'm just inspired by what I see," Romney explained. "Met a guy named Harold Hamm. Harold Hamm is a truck driver for 10 years, saves his money driving trucks to get an education, gets a college degree in geology. He happens to look at maps of the United States and concludes that there must be some energy in the mountains of North Dakota and so he goes up there and starts drilling for oil."

"First well, nothing. Second well, nothing. Sixteen straight dry holes, gets nothing. I'm told that a dry hole costs about $5 million. I can't imagine where he got the investors to give him that kind of money. On the 17th hole, they got their return because they hit that black gold known as oil. Now, it's estimated that in this Bakken range there are about 20 billion barrels of oil!"

The candidate added: "Harold is doing just fine, by the way."


Video & More:

Forbes puts Hamm at number 36 on their list of billionaires in the United States. Earlier this year, he complained to Businessweek that he had not gotten enough attention from President Barack Obama during a White House meeting last year.

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