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The Grinches Who Stole Summer

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Posted on Jul 21, 2010
AP / J. Scott Applewhite

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky sulks just before the Democratic majority voted 60-40 to end a GOP filibuster of legislation that would extend unemployment benefits for an estimated 2.5 million Americans. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, listens at left.


Q & A - Live Chat with Robert Scheer


A live Q & A session related to this column took place on July 22, 2010 at 11:00 am PT.

Click here to view the transcript.


By Robert Scheer

It was a branding moment. With their lock-step vote against extending unemployment benefits, the Republicans are indelibly marked as not only heartless but also frivolous in their much-professed concern over the soaring national debt. Thanks to the defection of the two relatively enlightened Republican senators from Maine and the quick replacement of the late Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd, unemployment checks that had been stalled for millions of American families since early June will soon resume. But for Republicans, it has been a defining issue that will haunt the party. 

There is plenty to criticize in the Democrats’ handling of this economic crisis, mostly cribbed from the GOP playbook, but once again the Republicans seem determined to prove that when it comes to social compassion, they are the worst. How can they defend having supported Republican President George W. Bush giving $180 billion to AIG but draw the line when a Democratic president seeks to spend one-fifth of that amount helping millions of victims of the crisis that AIG was so instrumental in causing? 

While holding unemployment checks hostage to demands for compensating budget cuts, Republican leaders claimed to support the extension of benefits. They rejected the argument of some on the harder ideological right that the average payment of $309 per week is the lucrative prize that keeps the unemployed from going back to work. They also conceded the obvious, that money given to the unemployed will stimulate the economy at a high multiplier effect because it is money that will be spent rather than hoarded. 

Clearly the unemployed are far more likely to spend the money they receive than would the recipients of tax cuts for the rich that the GOP leadership so blithely recommends. And as House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., was able to crow, while the Republicans demand a cut in spending to cover the costs of unemployment insurance, they make no such demand for their tax-cut proposal: “Our Republican colleagues say, ‘No, you have got to pay for that, but you don’t have to pay for a tax cut for the wealthiest people in America’ which is about 20 times as much as the unemployment insurance.”

Their excuse for separating 2.5 million families from the checks needed to keep food on the table and cover the rent is that the GOP leadership wanted to send a message, in the words of the third-ranking Republican, Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, that the “federal debt has grown to an alarming level, where it is threatening the future of our children and grandchildren.” 

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Odd as it sounds, the $34 billion cost of the program to cover the unemployed who have exhausted their 26 weeks of payments is chump change in an overall budget of $3.7 trillion. When stacked against the serious drivers of the debt, including a $700 billion military budget and a financial bailout that has cost trillions in taxpayer debt without a murmur of opposition from the GOP leadership, stonewalling on this particular issue is absurd. It would have shocked even Richard Nixon, who as president advocated a guaranteed minimum income for all Americans, and not just those who have been thrown out of work through no fault of their own.

Few, even in the GOP leadership, would deny that the 8 million who lost their jobs due to the banking debacle were the innocent victims of reckless banking policies. “There is no debate in the Senate about whether we should pass a bill—everyone agrees that we should,” stated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. “What we do not support—and we make no apologies for—is borrowing tens of billions of dollars to pass this bill at a time when the national debt is spinning completely out of control.”

Why no apologies for drawing the line at the expense of the victims but not when it came to bailing out the victimizers? Clearly the unemployed are the victims of forces far beyond their own control, beginning with a housing market wrecked by the Ponzi scheme of securitized mortgage debt made legal through financial deregulation that virtually all Republicans, and too many Democrats, long supported. Why is it acceptable for our government through the Federal Reserve to have bought up $1.2 trillion of those toxic debt obligations in a handout to the bankers who devised and sold them but balk at committing a tiny fraction of that spending to helping those thrown out of work?

That is the nub of it, and once again folks with a social conscience are left with a failed two-party system in which the Democrats, with much responsibility for this banking mess, must at worst be judged the lesser evil.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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By ofersince72, September 3, 2010 at 3:21 am Link to this comment

You Democrat supporters don’t even know how to

recruit, just alienate.  The reason being, none of you

seem to know how to organize.  This is because you all

have spent to much time watching the MSMs and reading

the WAPO and TIMES.  You let them dictate issues and

solutions,  none of which are to your interest.

  Here we have the internet,  a great website, and all

you Democrat supporters do is defend bad policy.

You do not get your candidates to commit to anything,

just take their word and empty promises and vote for them.

You don’t use this website to discuss solutions, attract

oppenents or organize ways to persuade politicians. Which

makes the internet perfectly worthless.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, July 25, 2010 at 7:49 pm Link to this comment

Atilla, July 22 at 3:07 pm #

” It is amazing that a group like americas conservatives all believe in self determination until the shit hits the fan, then it’s gods will, or somebody else’s fault.”

Well BB, if conservatives believe in self determination, what is it that liberals believe in? A state of nirvana where there is a chicken in every pot, everyone is “entitled” to own their own home, no one makes more money than anyone else, and no one is allowed to have a higher standard of living than anyone else?

Sorry pal! I live in the real world. I am free to earn as much money, and acquire as many possessions as my intellect, ambition, drive, determination, and hard work will allow. I am responsible for ME. I am responsible for the decisions I make, good or bad. I am NOT responsible for the stupidity of my neighbor, nor is my neighbor responsible for stupid decisions that I may make. I do not owe anyone anything. I am free to give to the organizations and charities that I please. I do not need, nor do I want, the government’s hands perpetually in my pocket.
**********************************************

Until a hurricane destroys your home or business, or an earthquake or oil spill trashes everything you own and where you work. Or you lose your life savings and retirement due to crooked bankers who fought for “deregulation”.  Then you’ll be screaming like a stuck for the government to DO SOMETHING! We saw THAT again and again over the years.

I’ll bet you live in a Republican-run Red State that gets more money from the Federal Government than it sends to Washington in federal taxes—states LIVING on hand-outs lifted from the mostly Blue States. (Most of them do, you know.)

Report this

By bogi666, July 25, 2010 at 5:20 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Attila, thank you very much for your self congradulation, me and the CORPORATE WELFARE KINGS NEED THE MONEY and you don’t have to love us.

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ScotchandSoda's avatar

By ScotchandSoda, July 24, 2010 at 10:19 am Link to this comment

“The natural inequality of ability, amid the general equality of greed, insures in each generation that the majority of goods will be absorbed by a minority of men…” Will Durant, The Story of Civilization.
Nothing is different today than it has ever been. This same story is as old as mankind. It is difficult for anyone to assume responsibilty for another persons food and shelter. Especially from a diminished tax base and for extended lengths of time. Life isn’t fair.Ain’t gonna be.

Report this

By StratMatt, July 24, 2010 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

Any one who claims hyperinflasion is coming is fool or plain ignorant in economics101.There is no way possible for HyperInflasion to exist in a depressed deflationary economy with real unemployment at   since one offsets the other.Talking Point=fail

Report this

By bogi666, July 24, 2010 at 4:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Attila, congradulations for your achievments of mindlessness, “no child left behind” will use you as their poster child for excellence of mindlessness. The CORPORATE WELFARE KINGS and me thank you for your taxes.

Report this

By Don Knutsen, July 22, 2010 at 4:23 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To pre-suppose this mosrt recent effort to keep the “lower classes - working folk ” beaten down will hurt them is ludicrous. Their whole history has been nothing but that if anyone was paying attention. They know they don’t have to even pretend they represent us anymore. They have complete control of the media. They have control of the information flow out to dumbfuckistan. Look at all the furor against Obama after the last 8 yr.s of an adminiistration’s criminal behavior with the repub.s goosetepping it all the way. Did it really hurt them ? The ratio of idiots in this country has multiplied to the point we are lost short of a real people’s revolution…and that ain’t happening..I read that Karl Rove is gearing up his slime machine for the next elections….I read that the GOP is working on a comeback for the Bush family in the name of ( election fraud ) Jeb….we are certainly too damn dumb to deserve better.

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By Tobysgirl, July 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment

One only has to read Attila’s postings to understand the foundation of America’s problems. There is no sense of responsibility toward anyone or anything, actually including oneself, because a person with the slightest degree of understanding realizes that healthy neighbors, a healthy community, and a healthy society helps to make a good life for oneself.

Old Man Turtle writes about this better than I ever could. When people substitute making money and possessions for genuine connection and the richness of life on this jewel of a planet, they are very poor indeed.

Report this

By Atilla, July 22, 2010 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

” It is amazing that a group like americas conservatives all believe in self determination until the shit hits the fan, then it’s gods will, or somebody else’s fault.”

Well BB, if conservatives believe in self determination, what is it that liberals believe in? A state of nirvana where there is a chicken in every pot, everyone is “entitled” to own their own home, no one makes more money than anyone else, and no one is allowed to have a higher standard of living than anyone else?

Sorry pal! I live in the real world. I am free to earn as much money, and acquire as many possessions as my intellect, ambition, drive, determination, and hard work will allow. I am responsible for ME. I am responsible for the decisions I make, good or bad. I am NOT responsible for the stupidity of my neighbor, nor is my neighbor responsible for stupid decisions that I may make. I do not owe anyone anything. I am free to give to the organizations and charities that I please. I do not need, nor do I want, the government’s hands perpetually in my pocket.

Report this

By Atilla, July 22, 2010 at 10:43 am Link to this comment

“Trained expert professionals sought out ignorant ordinary folks and smooth-talked them into mortgages with fine print they couldn’t understand.

It was a legal con job that was repeated millions of times over..”

Every person is responsible for their own welfare. If someone took out a mortgage that they did not understand put the blame where it should be..on the person who took out the mortgage. Con job or not it is not the responsibility of the rest of the taxpayers to bail out those who got themselves in financial trouble.

The financial entities that took advantage of those people have been exposed, and federal regulations written that, hopefully, will stop it from ever happening again. However; I am sure that it will happen again because no matter how much we regulate the financial industry, and not matter how much would like it to be different…you can’t fix stupid.

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By ofersince72, July 22, 2010 at 8:42 am Link to this comment

I detest, imperialism, expansionism, militarism,
and colonialism.

  For these reasons, I find the Democrat Party as
unexceptable as the Republican Party , regardless of
the little fiscal games and collusion they play with
the Repubs

  As long as the Democrat Party enjoys the slaughter
of human beings,  I will not and can not vote for them
P E R I O D.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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mindful's avatar

By mindful, July 22, 2010 at 7:57 am Link to this comment

We should watch very carefully in next year when Republicans a Blue Dog Demorats attempt to cut back social security. They already refuse to face the Medicare mess they caused by mixing private insurance with the government program. Seniors now pay a whopping 110.50 (part B) Medicare and to add insults, the insurance pays only 80 percent with a 160 dollar out of pocket deducible every year!

Report this

By liedig, July 22, 2010 at 4:03 am Link to this comment

Sheer…in the famous words of Joe Wilson…“YOU LIE!”

26 weeks?  You are spreading a lie about the length of unemployment benefits.  They have been extended to 99 weeks.  Almost two years.  How long should the American people be forced to pay for those that can’t find work?  In your article, you further state that the $309 per week isn’t enough of a motivator to stay home.  Really?  Then check out fulltime work as a grocery checker.  My niece worked at a local grocery store and made $400+ per week.  You do see the fallacy of your argument don’t you?  Some people ARE just going to sit at home rather than take ANY job.  Look at you…you’re not even a reporter, and you get to write articles full of lies.  You might try looking for work at CBS.

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By ofersince72, July 21, 2010 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment

CaptRon

“At least Obama has made attempts in the right direction.”

Can you elaborate?

Report this

By CaptRon, July 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment

Any legislative body which chooses to represent by not representing their people(as a country) are fools taking up space and wasting our money and time. The Republican strategy of keep saying “NO” can be taken as nothing less than improper representation for the people of their state just for starters. They force the others to vote together in order to get anything done at all. It could be done correctly if they could think for themselves instead of being held hostage to party unity probably for sake of lobbyists and their coffers. It is stupid to push this country toward anarchy and rebellious behavior which will affect their own families, maybe in the worst ways. The money they make will not protect their heirs. If it was that easy the “boomers”, who were destined to make change for the better, would have. Al Quaeda said the attack on the WTC was to break down the money system of this country. They have succeeded because our own representatives have allowed it with their personal greed, and we let them with our ignorance. At least Obama has made attempts in the right direction. Imagine what could have been done with proper representation and the war emphasis directed toward not allowing our economy to be destroyed. Republican trickle-down economy is nothing more than a Republican pissing down his pants leg at the thought of how much money he would represent us out of for his/her benefit. The new generations can’t fix it because they live the life given them from our mistakes. What could they really know except survival of the most corrupt. It will take a change in attitude from all, and I hope they can with the help from those who should have known better.

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By ofersince72, July 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm Link to this comment

Inherit The Wind,  I as well as anyone understand
the hold your nose and vote idea, and want as much as
anyone to see the death of the Republican Party, but
myself,  I am tired of holding my nose for the Democrats,
to slide the dagger deep into the back time after time.
  To me, it really isn’t a question of giving up on the
country, quite the contrary,  I don’t want to enable.
I doubt very much that Robert Gibbs predictions will
come about, the Dems will most likely keep control of
Capitol Hill,  but at this point, it makes little differnence,  outside of throwing the Democrats trump
card of race,  what difference do you think it will make?

Report this

By ocjim, July 21, 2010 at 8:29 pm Link to this comment

Such a misanthrope and miscreant has been elected by a spurned constituency for over 20 years. Go figure.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, July 21, 2010 at 8:10 pm Link to this comment

I have no sympathy for anyone who lost their homes due to their own stupidity. Common sense should tell a person if the make 20K they cannot afford a 250K home. Want to blame someone?
***************************

This may be the stupidest argument on the face of the earth.  Trained expert professionals sought out ignorant ordinary folks and smooth-talked them into mortgages with fine print they couldn’t understand.

It was a legal con job that was repeated millions of times over and NOW, those that HELPED and praised the con artists are blaming their victims.

That’s the GOP all over: Help the con artist strip victims of their hard-earned dough, then blame the victims.

Ronald Reagan had it wrong:
Recession is when your neighbor loses his job.
Depression is when you lose your job.
Recovery is when the Re-thuglican boobs in Congress lose THEIR jobs.

Vote Democratic. Even if you have to hold your nose to do it.  Don’t give up on our nation just yet.

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morongobill's avatar

By morongobill, July 21, 2010 at 8:05 pm Link to this comment

I was telling friends today that “you watch, when November rolls around, a majority of the unemployed will vote against their class interests, for the republicans.”

A long time LIBERAL AND PROUD OF IT, I still never doubt the ability of the average voter to fall for the
GOP sales pitch, and vote against their own interests, time after time.

Face it fellow LIBERALS and progressives, as long as the repub’s keep coming out with the talking points and soundbites with just a little truth in them, and keep delivering those lines with such conviction, and we keep electing “teachers-in-chief” instead of leaders, we’ll come out second.

Unless things change with our party asap, we’ll be getting our clocks cleaned in about a 100 days.

Report this

By Big B, July 21, 2010 at 6:31 pm Link to this comment

Thanks atilla for the never ending conservative diatribe of “blame the victim”, and of course, everything good that happens is gods will, and everything bad is somebody else’s fault.

neo-cons are out of ideas, so it’s time to fall back on the old “punished by god” bullshit. grow the fuck up, put your invisible man in the sky back in the kiddies fairy tale book where it belongs. It is amazing that a group like americas conservatives all believe in self determination until the shit hits the fan, then it’s gods will, or somebody else’s fault.

Report this

By ofersince72, July 21, 2010 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

For those of you that still don’t understand how
Capitol Hill works, listen up.

  The unemployment insurance bill was purposly delayed
to have timing with the November elections.

Report this

By ofersince72, July 21, 2010 at 6:22 pm Link to this comment

I am all for calling a SPADE A SPADE.

The liars, thieves, murderers and tramps, had a two
month debate over unemployment insurance,  then
reluctantly,  with their new Democrat “Saviour” laughed
this bill into law.

Report this

By ofersince72, July 21, 2010 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

Robert Scheer, you more than anyone know that we are
haveing these same exact lame political debates, I
would still like to know what you found in 1981 ,when
you re-examined the logs of the USS Maddox, and the
USS Turner Joy.

Report this

By ofersince72, July 21, 2010 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

We are screwed and doomed, and while I sure can’t say
that I am glad,  I believe it is most deserving.  We are
still having the same lame political debates that we
have had for over one hundred years when T. Roosevelt was
touting and debating Congress over his use of water torture and many other types of torture, then this
superhawkPresident awarded the Nobel Peace Prize after
engineering a revolution against Columbia. “I took the
Canal Zone and then let Congress debate.” he was quoted
His re-election backed munition-makers and industrialists
with Navy contracts. He was also backed by multimillionaires Morgan, Hariman, Rockefeffer, Frick,
and Gould all who were untroubled by his public posture
as a “trust-buster,” which they knew was mostly bark without bite.
  Upon re-election , he pleased his backers by promptly
revising the Monroe Doctrine with the Roosevelt Corollary,
proclaiming the right of the United States to invade any
Latin-American country that failed to meet its financial
obligations to foreign investors.
The militerism of the T. Roosevelt Administration goes
on and on and parallels todays debates alomst verbatum.
At the same time this militarism was taking place,
labor was struggling just to get kids out of mines,
  I am so glad that I have lived long enough to
know that Mother Nature and all of her Gods are going
to wreck havoc on mankind and his cash-registar mentality.

Report this

By Atilla, July 21, 2010 at 4:01 pm Link to this comment

“What kind of a nation gives BP drilling rights on american soil for practically nothing, sends billions of dollars overseas to Israel, Egypt, and Pakistan, all the while our unemployed get nothing and our polititians bitch about phony fiscal responsibility?”

In answer to your question Big B, I submit that it would be a country who has abandoned God, whose morals have become almost nonexistent, and a country that has become a nation of “takers”. The more the government hands out money, the more hands reach out. We have become a nation of wimps and warriors; and sadly there are a lot more wimps than warriors. Take that analogy and place it in political perspective and guess which party is which.

I have no doubt that most of those on unemployment do not wish to be, however; do not delude yourself into thinking that the numbers who prefer it to working a minimum wage job do not make up a very large percentage of the unemployed. I personally know several people who manage to get themselves laid off every hunting season, and with the continual extension of benefits they do fine. So why work?

I have no sympathy for anyone who lost their homes due to their own stupidity. Common sense should tell a person if the make 20K they cannot afford a 250K home. Want to blame someone? Put the blame where it belongs….Bonnie Fwank and Christ Dodd. Those two yahoo’s are personally responsible for the start of the housing bust. They both defended Fannie and Freddie when the House Banking committee warned them in 2003 that unless they tightened up on the loose regulations of Fannie, Freddie, and the Wall St. lenders that the housing bubble was going to burst, and it would not be pretty. Frank and Dodd blew those warnings off, and what happened is the consequence of the liberal philosophy that every American deserved to own a home. Now we have new financial regulations that will cost the public untold dollars in the name of “reform”, and Fannie and Freddie STILL HAVE NOT BEEN REIGNED IN.

It is sad to say, but this country will never get on the road to recovery as long as B O is in the WH, and the Dims control both houses of Congress.. B 4 you get your panties in a wad; let me hasten to remark that W and the republicans are just as culpable for what they did they last eight years. However; B O makes them look good in comparison.

Just a humble opinion from a right wing conservative ahole.

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James M. Martin's avatar

By James M. Martin, July 21, 2010 at 3:51 pm Link to this comment

You know, that screwed-up-faced photo of ol’ Sen. McComical says it all.  Why bother comment on it?

Report this

By gerard, July 21, 2010 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

No matter what party or group we affiliate ourselves with, it must be absolutely clear without doubt to all of us that if the nation could simply STOP warring as a way of life, we would have a vast sum of money and talent to spend more beneficially.

The fact that we don’t stop warring is due largely to the profit system.  War industries and agencies connected with the Pentagon are doing well, feeling no unemployment, no cuts, no high taxes, no loss of housing, food, clothing, pensions and medical coverage. (Except for those soldiers whose brains are wrecked by warring and who come home needing psychological care due to PTSD and related injuries.

Sad to say, tens of thousands of people are actually profiting from the killing of others and the maintenance of an arrogant international stance—all the bases, munitions manufacturers, energy companies, surveillance businesses, black operations, prisons etc. that are adjunct to warring. They are completely dependent on the wars and would be out of a job if it were not for American force and violence projected arond the world.

All this is also a (not-very-pretty) side of our country to which we are loyal to the degree that we suopport it, whether by our vote, our taxes or our political stance.

Get this under control, and there is hope.  Otherwise, it’s down the tubes and good riddance.
That’s where we are at—a junction in the human road.  It’s peace or perish, no less.

Get a grip, America.

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By Big B, July 21, 2010 at 1:30 pm Link to this comment

After reading atilla’s comment I cannot help but bring up the same old fact that where were all these fiscal conservatives lamenting the bankruptcy of the good ol usa when Ronny ray guns, and Bushes one and two, were cutting taxes, increasing spending, and causing the goddamn nation debt to explode? the tired old argument that only liberals run deficits so they can give free money to welfare mama’s is as false as an armed populace keeping all our polititians honest. How’s that one working out for ya? We have a populace that is armed to the teeth, yet we also have the sleaziest of polititians.

But I digress, I have worked a job for over twenty years that takes me into the homes of persons from all walks of life. Let me share this fact with all those heartless and gutless conservatives out there in tv land, PEOPLE DO NOT ENJOY BEING ON WELFARE! UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS ARE AN EMBARRASMENT TO ALMOST EVERYONE WHO IS UNEMPLOYED. Only in Reagans wet dreams did black women on welfare drive cadillacs down the street to buy cocaine and cigaretts with their endless stack of foodstamps. Americans work more hours for lower wages than do people in almost every other G-20 nation. We have given far more money away in corporate welfare than we spent on unemployment benefits this year.

What kind of a nation gives BP drilling rights on american soil for practically nothing, sends billions of dollars overseas to Israel, Egypt, and Pakistan, all the while our unemployed get nothing and our polititians bitch about phony fiscal responsibility? The good ‘ol USA, that’s who.

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By Andrew Kolano, July 21, 2010 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why not publish the names?  Dyland Ratigan did!

So without further ado, I present to you the list of today’s Banksters—those who voted “Yes” for Bankster billions and “No” for their victims. Please check to see if your Senator is on the list:


BANKSTER PARTY

Lamar Alexander [B-TN]
Robert Bennett [B-UT]
Christopher Bond [B-MO]
Richard Burr [B-NC]
Saxby Chambliss [B-GA]
Thomas Coburn [B-OK]
Bob Corker [B-TN]
John Cornyn [B-TX]
John Ensign [B-NV]
Lindsey Graham [B-SC]
Charles Grassley [B-IA]
Judd Gregg [B-NH]
Orrin Hatch [B-UT]
Kay Hutchison [B-TX]
John Isakson [B-GA]
Jon Kyl [B-AZ]
Richard Lugar [B-IN]
John McCain [B-AZ]
Mitch McConnell [B-KY]
Lisa Murkowski [B-AK]
Ben Nelson [B-NE]
John Thune [B-SD]
George Voinovich [B-OH]

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Just_The_Facts_Maam's avatar

By Just_The_Facts_Maam, July 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

The fact is, the Republicans have not been challenged on their trickle down theories.  A lot of Democrats believe that the economy gets a bigger pop from tax cuts to the rich.  The Republicans will come out of this better than the Democrats who are unable to recognize that the only way deep recessions and depressions end are through massive government spending that puts dollars in the hands of people who will spend every dime of it…that means poor folks.  Rich people hang onto to their tax cuts or put it into other financial instruments that do much less to stimulate the entire economy.  So, in the end, with the help of their wealthy peers that own all the major news outlets who also favor tax cuts for the wealthy, the Republicans will convince the poor folks out there that reducing the deficit is the way to restore the economy and they may even gains seats because of it.

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By Alan Baker Schultz, July 21, 2010 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment

Atilla died from a nose bleed he suffered on his wedding night in 453 A.D. and
drowned in his own blood.  You should reread my post for it seems you got mixed
up with my use of the word “love”, in a quote from Mr. Hendrix.  I can understand
your concern with this word for it isn’t used by the blood thirsty party that you
believe in.  At any rate my post indicates that I want no part of either party, but I
do believe that “love is all you need” and it will be America’s only salvation.

Report this

By Hammond Eggs, July 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment

There is no such thing as “the lesser evil”.  There is only the War/Property party which is destroying the United States with the majority of the American people (the primary victims of these swine) backing them up.

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By wildflower, July 21, 2010 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

Re Atilla: “A day of reckoning is coming…hyperinflation lurks just over the horizon. When it happens don’t blame Republicans; they are the only ones not pandering to the lunatic left always standing by with their hands out.”

Don’t tell me you’ve already forgotten those self-serving Repubicans like George W, Cheney, and Rumsfeld – the instigators of the great “WMD lie” and grand creators of the “altermative intelligence” units, which open the doors for the excessive “intelligence” extravaganzas that America is paying for today:

——“The privatization of national security work has been made possible by a nine-year “gusher” of money, as Gates recently described national security spending since the 9/11 attacks.”

——“With so much money to spend, managers do not always worry about whether they are spending it effectively.”

——“Someone says, ‘Let’s do another study,’ and because no one shares information, everyone does their own study,” said Elena Mastors, who headed a team studying the al-Qaeda leadership for the Defense Department.

——“It’s about how many studies you can orchestrate, how many people you can fly all over the place. Everybody’s just on a spending spree. We don’t need all these people doing all this stuff.”

——“Another official, a longtime conservative staffer on the Senate Armed Services Committee, described it as “a living, breathing organism” impossible to control or curtail. “How much money has been involved is just mind-boggling,” he said. “We’ve built such a vast instrument. What are you going to do with this thing?”

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/articles/national-security-inc

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By prole, July 21, 2010 at 11:46 am Link to this comment

Good job, Scheer is getting his vision back, even if the Dumbocrats aren’t. This is “the nub of it” alright: ”a failed two-party system in which the Democrats, with much responsibility for this banking mess, must at worst be judged the lesser evil” – with the important caveat that the damn Dem’s must at BEST be judged the lesser evil. Although, that’s still not much good. You just have to know that something is seriously wrong with a political system in which party hacks like Maine senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins can be thought of as in any way “enlightened” – even relatively so! 
    The more interesting point however is “It would have shocked even Richard Nixon, who as president advocated a guaranteed minimum income for all Americans, and not just those who have been thrown out of work through no fault of their own.”  Milhous was justly vilified for his own shocking crimes, not the least of which were in foreign affairs but he also, besides the minimum income proposal, ended the draft, lowered the voting age, established the EPA, among other things. How much he really believed in these things is questionable, given his other repressive tendencies. But the ferment of the times made them politically expedient for a Republican president to enact such initiatives with party support. It was the Family Assistance Plan (FAP), proposed in Nixon’s first year in office in ’69 that was probably his most radical project, as it would have provided a federally guaranteed income across all states to all indigent.  Actually, in all the Nixon administration budgets, from 1970 through ‘75, spending on all human resource programs exceeded spending for defense for the first time since W W II. Social services spending under Nixon rose from $55 billion in ‘70 to almost $132 billion in ’75; an increase from 28 percent of all federal expenditures to 40.4 percent, compared to a decrease in defense spending in the same period from 40 percent of all federal expenditures (or $78.6 billion) to 26.2 percent (or $85.6 billion). Despite a continuing push for the guaranteed annual income throughout his first term, directed by Pat Moynihan, the FAP was ultimately stopped by an odd coalition of ideological conservatives and labor and welfare bureaucrats. It took compassionate Dem, Bill Clinton, many years later to enact sweeping welfare reform – without any guaranteed annual income in return.
    It’s not so surprising then, that the complete bankruptcy of the two-party system – in more ways than one – should lead to craven Democrats like Clinton and Obama that are well to the right of a ruthless Republican like Milhous. Change can only come from below, if at all. Nixon was crooked and shifty but a crafty pol with an instinct for survival who could read the public mood. On the domestic side, he went further than most Dem’s and was willing to go even further still, if liberal and conservative vested interests hadn’t stood in the way.  One can only imagine a socially conscienceless Obama or his unprincipled party backing such a radical innovation as a guaranteed annual income. “Why is it acceptable for our government through the Federal Reserve to have bought up $1.2 trillion of those toxic debt obligations in a handout to the bankers who devised and sold them but balk at committing a tiny fraction of that spending to helping those thrown out of work”…but why stop there – why is it acceptable for our government to commit a tiny fraction of that spending in an all-too-brief extension of benefits for a few measly weeks, but balk at a permanent annual guaranteed income? Why not show some real vision and commitment? Where’s the great “hope and change” in begging a few more crumbs? “The Democrats, with much responsibility for this banking mess, must at worst be judged the lesser evil”...and at best be judged to the right of the evil Nixon.

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By Robbin Hood, July 21, 2010 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Republicans should begin their austerity program by slashing their own salaries
down to one dollar per year. A party who abdicates their responsibility and says no
to everything doesn’t deserve a paycheck.

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By SkeeterVT, July 21, 2010 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

This proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Republican Party is the party of the rich, by the rich, for the rich—and to hell with everybody else.

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By bogi666, July 21, 2010 at 10:35 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Attila, you don’t have a clue, your just another dupe of mindlessness, unable to discern your own and the thoughts of others as fact. All you do is recite the thoughts of others, this is mindlessness.

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By Atilla, July 21, 2010 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Mr. Schultz…it is easy to display the “love”, as you put it when you are spending someone else’s money. In fact the Dimocrats are showing so much “love” they are spending us into bankruptcy. Their social giveaway programs are so out of control that we may never recover. Dims have no fiscal control. They spend money they don’t have like a drunken sailor, the difference being that the sailor actually had the money to spend. A day of reckoning is coming…hyperinflation lurks just over the horizon. When it happens don’t blame Republicans; they are the only ones not pandering to the lunatic left always standing by with their hands out.

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By Old man turtle, July 21, 2010 at 9:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Meaning no disrespect whatsoever to “Hulk2008” and the many millions likely sharing his no-doubt sincere allegiance to his “country” (acted upon in-part by fulfilling his “duty of voting”), one nevertheless wonders what he and his compatriots see as their responsibility, as Human Beings, to this Living Earth who originally engendered and still generously sustains their Kind.  All She really needs from us is our precious attention and genuine respect.  So are those “paying” theirs instead to such artificial contrivances as nation-states (with their invented “political” systems) and “the economy” (with its rigged financial pyramid-scheme) and religious ideologies (with their disembodied but paradoxically anal-retentive “entities”) somehow derelict in their performance of some greater and more ancient “duty”?

Could this be but one example of the pandemic of misplaced priorities presently devastating the more-and-more miserable half-lives of more-and-more “citizens” everywhere?  “Hulk2008” might reflect on what “voting” (and the paid-for politicians it results-in) has done for him lately, as compared with The Sun, say, without whose unfailing daily delivery of altogether free Light and Warmth (which he, like nearly all his domesticated fellows, probably takes entirely for granted) they’d all be, well, they just wouldn’t be at-all now, would they? 

Here on Turtle island we got along quite sufficiently together before we met the “americans” with their “Constitution.”  We’ll get along just fine without them when they’re gone, too.  Not so, however, without the support of Sky Father and Mother Earth and All Our Relations.  So where do you suppose we’re inclined to place our loyalties, and to whom express our gratitude?

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By Hulk2008, July 21, 2010 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

Since I live in Indiana, I really only have choices that permit me to vote for Libertarians or Republicans with a lone Dem Senator to vote for.  And many would claim that our Dem senator is about as conservative as one might be; in fact, his Republcian counterpart is amazingly a bit more liberal on some topics.  The incumbents in Indiana are dug in “tighter than a Georgia tick” (as Jessie Ventura might say). 

But I owe my country the duty of voting anyway - in the attempt to elect the lessers of evils in each slot.  It mirrors my years in the military when I was opposed to the Vietnam War. 

I get deluged with anti-Obama emails and “jokes” daily.  I agree that he has not pulled us out of Iraq yet and actually beefed up Afghanistan.  I can only hope that we continue to “do our best” and work toward proper solutions - few though they may be.  I believe that carrying disparaging signs and besmirching each other can only make things worse. 

We can and will do what little we can.

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By Hank from Nebraska, July 21, 2010 at 6:54 am Link to this comment

The Republicans are no worse than the Democrats - the politicians in both parties operate in the same game of lobbying, money, and political power.  This “good party, bad party” exercise over unemployment benefits is just more game playing at our expense.
For those who think that the Democrats are superior to the Republicans because they passed healthcare and financial reform legislation, please read the bills to see that we have gained nothing other than more endless lobbying and money transfers to politicians.  Note, for example, that the financial reform bill is chuck full of provisions for “establishing” commissions, panels, and supervisory offices which still have to determine the details of the reforms.  Of course, this means that there will be continuous lobbying about who will serve on these commissions, who will head the offices, and what kind of rules and regulations they will enforce.  The average voter has no say in this process at all; we are just put to sleep with the myth that healthcare and financial reform bills were passed.  But the money just keeps flowing into the corrupt system, the wealthy special interests write effectively write the rules, and the average American gets nothing.  Lobbyists keep asking us for money (how many letters asking for $25, $50, $75, $__ do we get every day?) in order to keep feeding this machine. 
Both parties are part of this game; who “looks” nicer and who looks meaner is not the point.  The real question is: Who is willing to quit this game?  Neither Republican nor Democrats show any inkling to change.  Obama and the Democrats may be the best (worst for us) at this game yet!

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By Alan Baker Schultz, July 21, 2010 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

There is a slim difference between the two parties and that is why we need to can
both parties and start anew.  It is time for a people’s party one with less blood on
its hands.  One that represents the goodness of America and one that
communicates with the goodness of other nations.  One that stops the need for
the “conservative”, Top Secret America movement that both parties so willingly
and blindly support.  We as a nation, are teetering on the brink of destruction and
the time is now to make the change that our president promised and didn’t keep.

May I leave you with a quote from the late Jimi Hendrix, “When the power of love
overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace”

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By wildflower, July 21, 2010 at 6:43 am Link to this comment

Re Scheer: “the Republicans seem determined to prove . . . they are the worst. How can they defend having supported Republican President George W. Bush giving $180 billion to AIG but draw the line when a Democratic president seeks to spend one-fifth of that amount helping millions of victims of the crisis that AIG was so instrumental in causing? “

They can and they do because the Republicans have become greedy gangsters who want to enslave the middle class – if in doubt, just listen to their rhetoric. It’s always “cut cut cut” when it involves unemployment, education, social security and healthcare programs, which would benefit middle class Americans.

BUT it’s “splurge splurge splurge” when it involves outlandish wasteful defense spending which can only benefit their private defense pals, and it’s “give give give” when it involves tax cuts for the wealthy 5% living lavish - tax sheltered -lifestyles at the expense of middle class Americans.

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By The Donkey Edge, July 21, 2010 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

Well put, Robert. “Blame the damn, lazy, drug-addled, good-for-nothing unemployed” is a time-honored GOP tactic with its roots in Reagan’s “Welfare Cadillac”. We posted about this insidious meme at our site yesterday:

http://thedonkeyedge.com/2010/07/20/the-damn-lazy-drug-addled-good-for-nothing-unemployed/

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By Z1, July 21, 2010 at 5:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Excuse me while I steal a line from George Carlin and change it just a little, Mitch McConnell is a perfect symbol for this country. He looks like he hasn’t taken a shit in a month!
Pardon my French.

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By bogi666, July 21, 2010 at 5:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Great picture of Mitch O’Connell, the face of Repubicanism.As for the Federal deficit proceeds they are doled out to the CORPORATE WELFARE KINGS and represents the only entitlement recipients.FOLLOW THE MONEY huge deficits, huge increases in the Pentagons and security agency budgets while their taxes were either or reduced or eliminated for the CORPORATE WELFARE KINGS simultaneously. The Repubicans vote 100% to fund the National Security Police state, never denied Bush a budget deficit increase and now whine about the deficit proceeds that fund the Police State while funding the Police State. This nonsense either escapes or is accepted because Americans have been forged into mindlessness by the institutions of government, business[ads]and pretend christian churches with false doctines which legitimizes mindlessness which is taught with “no child left behind”.

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By Z1, July 21, 2010 at 5:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t really give a damn about the Republicans, Democrats or Obama, none of them are doing a damn thing to put people back to work in this country. They just keep pursuing the same tried and failed policies that got us here in the first place! The problem is, the American sheeple seem to be just fine with the status quo!

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By Paul_GA, July 21, 2010 at 4:34 am Link to this comment

This is yet another reason why I’m an independent who tends to vote Libertarian (for antiwar reasons) and not a “conservative” Repub any longer. “A plague o’both their houses!”, I say, and if, as Arbuthnot said, “Political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies”, then may the Repubs die first, in the mother of all choking fits!

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By ofersince72, July 21, 2010 at 4:25 am Link to this comment

Well,  another Capitol Hill show.  I wish this was our
biggest problem.

I don’t believe the jobs are coming back anyway, it’s
flip burger time all over America.

There is no lesser of these two evils.  They care nothing
about us and this little unemployment show , if not so
sad , would be side splitting comical.
Now,  Capitol Hill , you can all go drop your
Uranium Depleted warhead missles in good conscience.

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By Richard Nixon, July 21, 2010 at 1:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I still just think it is just the Democrats pretending they care about people and
something they can throw at the people endlessly during this election cycle and
2012 one about their great work.

Here is a question: what about Obama’s ‘social compassion’ when making that
Jonas Brothers joke. I’m sure we can think of other times when democrats haven’t
showed the greatest social compassion. They are still just equal to me.

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