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TomCADem's Journal
TomCADem's Journal
January 31, 2014

Wall Street Journal: Okay, Obama Isn’t Hitler, But He’s Pretty Hitler-y

The fact that WSJ seriously attempts to defend Perkins' comparison of President Obama's attacks on income inequality with Adolph Hitler just underscores just how removed from the norm the one percent are.


Tom Perkins’s letter to The Wall Street Journal last week, in which he compared liberal attacks on the one percent to the Holocaust, was an anthropologically useful document that displayed the deranged persecution complex that afflicts large segments of America’s superrich in the Obama era. Lest you think Perkins is merely one slightly addled old man, who has slipped into a Howard Hughes–esque cosseted stupor, today the Journal devotes an editorial to defending him.

The Journal concedes that Perkins’s chosen metaphor may have gone a tad too far (“The comparison was unfortunate, yet provocative”). But, the Journal's editors argue, the fact that so many people disagreed with it proves the basic thrust of his argument: “The vituperation is making our friend's point about liberal intolerance — maybe better than he did.” Liberals are mocking wildly rich people who compare their plight to the victims of the Holocaust, and even if this mockery does not currently rise to the level of persecution of the Holocaust itself, really the spirit of the thing is about the same.

The editorial proceeds to defend its thesis by rattling off a list of terrible things that have happened to one percenters in the Obama era. The actual policy agenda that harms the rich — the restoration of Clinton-era tax rates for incomes over $400,000 a year, higher investment taxes to help fund Obamacare, regulation of Wall Street — is curiously absent from the list. Instead the Journal wanders through a farrago of partisan fever dreams.

* * *
The Journal’s editorial underscores that the widespread mockery of Perkins, far from piling on a bewildered plutocrat, actually understates the broader problem. Perkins’s letter provided a peek into the fantasy world of the right-wing one percent, in which fantasies of an incipient Hitler-esque terror are just slightly beyond the norm. The Journal editorial defines persecution of the one percent as the existence of public disagreement. Liberals are mocking Perkins, therefore Perkins is basically right. For Perkins to be wrong — for the rich to enjoy the level of deference the Journal deems appropriate — a billionaire could compare his plight to the victims of the Holocaust and nobody would make fun of him at all.

January 31, 2014

Why Do the Super-Rich Keep Comparing Obama to Hitler?

The amazing thing is the WSJ's demand that President Obama defend the rich and denounce any attacks on income inequality.


So don't kid yourself. Today, they're coming for Bentleys. Tomorrow, they'll come for Aston Martins. The time to speak out is now.

Others have. Buyout-king (and actual-billionaire) Steven Schwarzman has said that Obama's plan to tax the income of venture capitalists, hedge fund and private equity mangers like everybody else's, and not as capital gains, is like Hitler invading Poland. And hedge funder (another actual billionaire) Leon Cooperman has pointed out that you know who else came to power amidst an economic crisis. And no, he wasn't talking about Ronald Reagan.

* * *
Here's the scariest part for the 1 percent: Obama won't rein in the un-American class hatred he's unleashed. People didn't used to dislike the "rich." They used to want to be rich. But then Obama scapegoated Wall Street for the financial crisis it caused by calling bankers "fat cats"—and suddenly people were angry about the bailouts and being unemployed. It didn't make any sense. Now, Obama could have tried to explain it all, and at least one Wall Streeter asked him to:

The president had won plaudits for his speech on race during the last campaign, the guest noted. It was a soaring address that acknowledged white resentment and urged national unity. What if Obama gave a similarly healing speech about class and inequality? What if he urged an end to attacks on the rich?

Obama refused.

January 31, 2014

President Obama Has Issued Fewer Executive Orders Than Any President in Over 100 Years

The cable media has been blaring the right wing talking points about President Obama going wild with Executive Orders, but meanwhile in the real word, the fact is that he has issued few such orders:


With President Obama now contemplating up to nineteen executive orders to combat gun violence, conservatives have started to flip out in characteristic form. Kentucky senator Rand Paul has accused Obama of acting "like a king or a monarch." South Carolina congressman Jeff Duncan declared last week, "We live in a republic, not a dictatorship." Mike Huckabee proclaimed that the White House has "nothing but contempt for the Constitution" and seeks to "trump ... the checks and balances of power in which no branch could act unilaterally." Texas congressman Steve Stockman has already threatened impeachment.

Obviously, gun rights are a pretty sensitive issue for many people, but a little perspective is in order. First of all, President Obama has no intention of banning assault weapons, or any other kind of gun, through executive order. Instead, according to the Times, he's considering some pretty mundane tweaks that would seem to leave the "right to bear arms" fully intact:

Actions the president could take on his own are likely to include imposing new limits on guns imported from overseas, compelling federal agencies to improve sharing of mental health records and directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct research on gun violence, according to those briefed on the effort.

If it's the use of executive orders in particular that's getting critics all riled up, though, then it's worth noting that Obama has used this lever of presidential power less frequently than every other president in modern times.

January 26, 2014

Boehner: ‘I have to be the Gestapo’ because nothing is ‘conservative enough’ for Tea Party

Even when a Republican admits the truth on a talk show that Republicans were responsible for the shutdown, the MSM ignores this, and does not retract its false equivalency stories blaming both sides for the government shut down.


House Speaker John Boehner went on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night and blamed Republicans for shutting down the government last year.

Although Senate Republicans like Ted Cruz continue to insist that the government shutdown was the fault of President Obama, Speaker Boehner frankly admitted that the gambit was undertaken by members of his own party.

“I told my colleagues in July that I don’t think shutting down the government over Obamacare was going to work, because the president ‘I’m not going to negotiate.’ So I told them in August, ‘Probably not a good idea.’ Told ‘em in early September.”

* * *
“Some members,” he continued, “I have to be the big brother figure. Some, I have to be the father figure. Others, I have to be the dean of students or the principal. Some of them, I have to be the Gestapo.” “There’s nothing I could do that was ever conservative enough for them.”

January 26, 2014

Venture Capitalist Compares Anger Over Income Inequality to Nazi Germany

Source: Talking Points Memo

Venture capitalist Tom Perkins compared liberals' push to reduce inequality in the United States to Nazi Germany's war on Jews.

In a letter to the editor published in The Wall Street Journal Perkins, a founding member of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, asks whether a "progressive Kristallnacht" is coming. Perkins's letter is in response to an editorial on speech codes at American colleges.

"Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its "one percent," namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the "rich," Perkins wrote in the letter to the editor.

He continued that he perceives "a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them."

Read more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/tom-perkins-liberal-war-one-percent-kristallnacht

The irony is that Perkins is complaining about the caricature of rich people as being evil, yet he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for killing a man with his yacht, which does make him an evil rich person.
January 26, 2014

Obamacare enrollment climbs to 3 million

Source: The Columbia Dispatch

WASHINGTON — The number of people enrolled in private health insurance under the federal health-care law has soared by more than one-third in recent weeks to about 3 million, according to government data released yesterday.

Marilyn Tavenner, administrator of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, announced the preliminary tally in a blog posting. She forecast that enrollment through new federal and state health-insurance marketplaces would continue to grow in coming weeks as a public-outreach campaign accelerates.

The data adds to evidence that President Barack Obama’s administration has turned the corner on enrollment since a botched Oct. 1 launch. It also shows that officials might still reach their initial goal of signing up 7 million people for coverage before the current enrollment period ends on March 31.

* * *
The latest tally is close to the 3.3 million mark that the administration originally expected by Jan. 1 and reflects a January gain of about 800,000 enrollees, or 36 percent, from the 2.2 million total reported this month for the period of Oct. 1 through Dec. 28.

Read more: http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/national_world/2014/01/25/obamacare-enrollment-climbs-to-3-million.html

January 17, 2014

House Republicans Pick Climate Skeptic To Head Environment Subcommittee

Source: Huffington Post

WASHINGTON -- House Republicans selected Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.), who is on the record questioning whether humans are causing climate change, to head of the Science Committee's environment subcommittee.

Schweikert will replace Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah), who moved to the House Appropriations Committee. He said he plans to use his new post to target the Obama administration's regulatory agenda.

"Too often, this Administration has tried to bypass Congress and impose its will on the American people through regulatory fiat,” Schweikert said Thursday in a statement, The Hill reported. “We have a responsibility to provide a check-and-balance to ensure there is fairness and openness in the process and that taxpayers are not being subjected to onerous and unnecessarily burdensome rules and regulations."

A main component of the Obama administration's environmental work is new limits on power plants' greenhouse gas pollution. Schweikert has argued that the idea of man-made global warming may be "folklore."

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/16/house-science-schweikert-_n_4613145.html

Even as residents of West Virginia are told not to drink or use their tap water, Republicans continue to attack the Obama administration for over regulation.
January 17, 2014

Senate committee again debates existence of climate change

Source: NBC

The Senate Environment Committee was supposed to discuss the details of President Obama’s environmental policy and the issue of man-made climate change. But the four-hour discussion was once again sidelined by an argument over whether or not humans are disrupting the global environment in the first place.

The infighting started early, during opening statements. Committee chair Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, attempted to preempt denialism from her Republican colleagues by opening with a brief statement in which she said catastrophic climate change is already “unfolding before our very eyes.”

“Future generations are going to look back on this moment and judge each of us—each of us—on whether we started to act on this issue,” she said.

Much of the committee’s Republican minority disagreed. Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, one of the party’s most prominent climate deniers, accused the president and the EPA of denying “the truth.” Mississippi Sen. Roger Wicker suggested that the science on the issue was not yet settled.

Read more: http://www.msnbc.com/all/senate-republicans-what-climate-change

In other news, when asked for a glass of water, Sen. Inhofe debated whether water is actually wet.

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