Fox Even Lies About Their Own Polls (re: Stimulus)

Check this out, couldn’t hardly believe it…

American voters overwhelmingly believe the economy stinks, and there’s little belief that the stimulus plan was effective. In addition, most voters favor a balanced budget amendment — except if it means program cuts or new taxes.

These are just some of the findings from a Fox News poll released Thursday.

 There’s so much derp in this poll it’s kinda sad, but this one is…wow.   It’s been a Republican mantra and oft-repeated assertion that the “stimulus failed” or it was a “failed stimulus”.  Those two words are *ALWAYS* together when the efforts taken to stabilize the economy are summarized to a linguistic shorthand.   The problem with the Republican assertion is that the vast majority of independent economists not paid by Republicans, but who understands what the stimulus did, don’t actually agree with them.
So they do this poll.  And make that assertion.. “there’s little belief that the stimulus plan was effective.”
Here’s the number they use to support it…”Meanwhile, less than a third think the stimulus plan has helped the economy (29 percent).”
But according to the poll results themselves, guess what there is EVEN LITTLER BELIEF IN….
Do you think the federal government’s 2009 economic stimulus plan has helped the economy, hurt the economy, or not made much of a difference either way?
Helped:  29%
Hurt: 23%
No difference: 46%
(Don’t know): 2%
Yes, that’s right, more people think it helped than hurt.   Not only that, but as time goes on, and more people actually go beyond the talking points to see what happened, there is a marked shift from that “no difference” column to the “helped” one.   It should also be noted that those saying “no difference”, are actually in the Stimulus working column, as the point was to keep us out of a depression (getting back into solid growth would have taken a larger package, probably double the size of the $878B).
So anyway, Fox even spin their own polls in ways that make little sense in the overall context .   And it’s done to, as much as possible, reinforce Republican talking points.You can also see the stats that many Republicans will be pushing over the next few days, the 72% support for a “Balanced Budget Amendment” The fact that this support drops to the low 30’s when even the barest sense of what theoretical steps it would take to balance it, is one of those quibbling details that doesn’t need to be mentioned, and likely will not be.NOTE:  If anyone has Dana Blanton of Fox News’s email address please send it to me.  I would like to ask her the reasoning behind her statements, but Fox doesn’t have easy contact info.

Advertisements

Stephen Colbert Effectively Kills Any Limits (or need to disclose) Direct Campaign Contributions by Corporations to PACs

Well, didn’t this turn out funny…

The Federal Election Commission has officially approved Stephen Colbert’s SuperPAC, allowing him to create independent advertisements and raise unlimited campaign donations in the 2012 election cycle.

Colbert’s quest to form a political action committee began in March, after lampooning an ad for Tim Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC, with the satirical slogan “Making a better tomorrow, tomorrow.” Every time he covered the latest on his PAC, Colbert brought Trevor Potter, former FEC chairman, on the program to explain campaign finance law to him and his audience. When Viacom initially expressed concern that Colbert could cause unnecessary financial scrutiny, they sent him a letter asking him to stop. Luckily for Colbert, he discovered a loophole that allowed him to set up a Super PAC (groups that have existed since the Citizens United ruling), and filed a formal request with the FEC for a media exemption in May.

Essentially what this allows is what is already happening…huge media companies can contribute millions in free air time and ads and publicity to candidates without ever having to account for that in any way shape or form.

Granting the exemption would produce what the reformers called “a sweeping and damaging impact on disclosure laws,” which would allow media companies to fund employees’ political activities anonymously. Politicians who are employed by media companies could use their television shows as platforms to raise unlimited funds for their PACs, without having to disclose it, the reform groups said.

Additionally, those media companies would be allowed to anonymously pay for independent expenditure ads for those PACs, which could then be played on other networks and shows, as well as online. Media companies (Including Fox News, which employs several political figures associated with super PACs) could fund the administrative costs of their employees’ PACs, without having to disclose that donation.

“Mr. Colbert’s ultimate goals here may be comedic,” the reformers wrote. “But the commission should not be the straight man at the expense of the law.”

Which is to say, it makes what News Corp does every day officially all cool.

Did a short video about this the other day…we need to just cut to the chase  officially give corporations the full rights of “citizens”, in particular voting rights.

BTW, the FEC also made it pretty obvious they already belonged in joke territory with their other ruling this week…

Federal Election Commission attorneys sought a full-scale investigation of former Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, but the three GOP commissioners on the bipartisan commission blocked the probe, newly released FEC documents show.

FEC attorneys “found reason to believe” that O’Donnell, Tea Party Express and Our Country Deserves Better PAC improperly coordinated contributions and expenditures prior to the 2010 Senate GOP primary, where O’Donnell pulled a surprising upset on longtime Rep. Mike Castle. The FEC attorneys wanted to move ahead with an investigation into the case, including subpoenas.

The complaint against O’Donnell was filed by the Delaware Republican Party, which backed Castle in the GOP primary.

But the three GOP commissioners on the FEC —- Don McGahn, Caroline Hunter and Matthew Petersen — refused to support any O’Donnell investigation, thereby blocking it. There must be at least four votes on the six-member, bipartisan panel to approve any FEC action.The three Democrats on the FEC voted to move ahead with the O’Donnell probe.

O’Donnell is still under investigation by the FBI over allegations that she used campaign funds for personal expenses, including using donated funds to pay her rent. O’Donnell strongly denies the allegations.

UPDATE: The FEC is a super-joke, it turns out….peep this.

[Raising unlimited funds] was the declared approach of the Republican Super PAC, a committee formed by Indiana attorney James Bopp, a strenuous opponent of campaign finance restrictions. Bopp’s PAC, created in May, planned to invite elected officials and candidates to raise unlimited money for the group, with the understanding those funds could then be earmarked to campaigns on behalf of those who solicited the funds.

So the FEC said no, you can’t do that…but take a look at what it is you can’t do…

In its opinion Thursday, approved by a 6-0 vote, the FEC said candidates, elected officials and national party committees can only solicit an individual maximum of $5,000 for a super PAC, the same limit an individual can make to any single political action committee.

Key word bolded.   The guy fighting for this knows exactly what *that* means…

As for Republican Super PAC’s plans, Bopp is undeterred. He pronounced the ruling as “exactly what we wanted.”

“There’s approval for candidates and political party officials to solicit for super PACs,” Bopp said. “They are going to praise and endorse the super PAC they are soliciting for. “

Bopp said any promotion of the PAC by a candidate or officeholder would have a disclaimer that the request was only for up to $5,000 for individuals.

“But donors are free to contribute all they want,” he said. “This disclaimer is completely meaningless.”

10 Years from Surplus to Default, Thanks George!

A somber anniversary – Saturday, June 11, 2011 | 2:01 a.m. – Las Vegas Sun http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/jun/11/somber-anniversary/

When President George W. Bush took office in 2001, he was handed quite the gift. The nation had been running a budget surplus, and there was talk that the federal government could be debt free by 2009. But that wasn’t to be. Instead of using the money to pay down the deficit, Bush pushed for tax cuts, especially for the wealthy. A decade ago this past week, the first piece of the ignominious Bush tax cuts became law.

Good start, Presidential losers, but IT NEEDS TO BE AN AMENDMENT (the 28TH)

Sen. Toomey: Privacy Rules Might ‘Break The Internet’ | TPM Idea Lab http://idealab.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/06/toomey-privacy-rules-might-break-the-internet-1.php

The full Commerce Committee met Wednesday to garner the on-the-record views of the merits of two legislative proposals the committee is working on. Federal regulators with jurisdiction over consumer protection and telecommunications issues, industry representatives, and the Obama administration were there to weigh in. Commerce

Committee Chairman Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has introduced a bill that proposes to give the Federal Trade Commission more power in enforcing technical measures that would help consumers to opt out of being tracked. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) has co-sponsored a bill with Sen. John McCain, (R-AZ) they’ve called the Commercial Bill of Rights Act of 2011. The legislation would create the nation’s first comprehensive privacy law. The proposed legislation would pre-empt the multitude of state laws in place right now that address issues like the selling of sensitive personal information, and what companies should do, and are liable for, if customers’ data is breached.

Take a wild guess what party is going to block this.   Go on.  I dare you.

Serial Crier Glenn Beck Whining his way into the sunset, ever the victim, never able to take what he dishes.

New Yorkers Turned on Glenn Beck in Bryant Park Last Night [Updated] — Daily Intel http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2011/06/new_yorkers_turned_on_glenn_be.html

I just can’t imagine why they don’t understand that Beck’s hateful rants are perfectly justified, but he should bear no personal responsibility for the hate he spews or engenders.

“Ever the victim”, its Fox’s, and modern conservatism’s only trump card, and my is it getting played a lot.

I mean,  those people *ALMOST LYNCHED HIM* (in his constant paranoid fantasy he calls life).  Can’t you have some sympathy for a doughy white man who was ALMOST LYNCHED in a public park in 2012?   You can’t?  What are you, some kind of sub-human?   Is this not the perfect example of how Obama’s Chicago THUGS are worse than the KKK?   I mean, Glenn Beck was almost lynched!! (according to Glenn Beck…who has a near perfect record when it comes to facts and such).   *Most* People just don’t understand how bad that evil socialist Obama has made things.   Glenn Beck did, which is why he’s now off the air.

Eric Cantor, D-Bag Extraordinairre, Typical 21st Century Republican

So I’ve mentioned before I’ve been following the debt limit discussions currently going on in Washington.   They came to a halt last Friday after Eric Cantor (R-VA) deciding that constantly saying that taxes SIMPLY CANNOT be part of the solution to government debt wasn’t working and everyone kept asking him to be more realistic.

That was never going to happen.  His departure from the “debt commission” was planned.

GOP aides and lawmakers said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-Va.) decision to exit debt talks led by Vice President Biden was inevitable.

The timing of Cantor’s exit from the talks has been discussed for weeks, and senior House Republicans cast it as a natural progression for the negotiations.

“There have been discussions about when these talks need to end and when the Speaker and the president need to get in the game,” one GOP aide explained.

[full story]

When the guy quit last week, he had this to say…

“There is not support in the House for a tax increase, and I don’t believe now is the time to raise taxes in light of our current economic situation,” Cantor said. “I believe it is time for the president to speak clearly and resolve the tax issue.”

What’s wild about this is that Cantor is now using the economic troubles caused by running huge deficits (created by tax cuts) and a war (paid for with…tax cuts) and lax regulation, as an argument against raising any government revenue.    The doublespeak here is off the charts.

Luckily there are a couple honest Republicans out there to try and balance out this stuff.   Well, former Republicans.  So it takes old people who have seen the errors of their ways to make the obvious point to the oblivious masses, old people like Reagan’s budget guy.

The sickest thing here…if Obama hadn’t given in to the hostage takers last December…we wouldn’t be having this “crisis” or this discussion.  The Bush Tax Cuts would be gone, and we’d be back on the path to fiscal sanity.

What’s even more wild is that about half of *actual* Republicans are rational enough to understand the governments can raise taxes to pay down government debt.

On tackling the deficit, voters by a margin of 2-to-1 support raising taxes on incomes above $250,000, with 64 percent in favor and 33 percent opposed.

Independents supported higher taxes on the wealthy by 63-34 percent; Democrats by 83-15 percent; and Republicans opposed by 43-54 percent.

This is the disconnect, BTW.  Four out of ten *actual Republicans* understand how low taxes are right now, and that they can be used by governments to pay down debt.   But when you get to Republican leadership, the support for any kind of taxes at all drops directly to 0%.
If you don’t understand why this is, you don’t understand how campaign finance reforms have made the Republicans a party that represents the interests of 1% of the population, but is able to use their wealth to buy 50% (and sometimes more) of the government.     Sit it on this meeting to find out how that works.

Last year the Wall Street Journal reported that Cantor, the No. 2 Republican in the House, had between $1,000 and $15,000 invested in ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury EFT. The fund aggressively “shorts” long-term U.S. Treasury bonds, meaning that it performs well when U.S. debt is undesirable. (A short is when the trader hopes to profit from the decline in the value of an asset.)

According to his latest financial disclosure statement, which covers the year 2010 and has been publicly available since this spring, Cantor still has up to $15,000 in the same fund. Contacted by Salon this week, Cantor’s office gave no indication that the Virginia Republican, who has played a leading role in the debt ceiling negotiations, has divested himself of these holdings since his last filing. Unless an agreement can be reached, the U.S. could begin defaulting on its debt payments on Aug. 2. If that happens and Cantor is still invested in the fund, the value of his holdings would skyrocket.

I think we can all rest happy knowing that if the U.S. defaults on their debt, Eric Cantor will do just fine.    Heck, the fund is up 3.3 percent just since he quit last week.

Idiocracy Exhibit: Brawndo a.k.a. “Banking”

The Busts Keep Getting Bigger: Why? by Paul Krugman and Robin Wells | The New York Review of Books http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jul/14/busts-keep-getting-bigger-why/

The proximate answer, clearly, is the abdication of regulatory oversight. From junk bonds to derivatives to sub-prime mortgages, regulators either turned a blind eye or were impeded by business interests and politicians—Democrat as well as Republican. Undoubtedly the most outrageous act—and the most economically damaging to the country—was Greenspan’s refusal to use regulatory powers at his disposal to rein in the exploding sub-prime market, despite being warned repeatedly that a catastrophe was brewing. Like Reagan and Friedman, Greenspan firmly believed in greedism; in his view, the financial markets could do no wrong.

Fun article.  It does mention what I think is probably the biggest underlying problem…thinking that unrestrained greed is virtuous.

Another Election Season, Another Crazy Republican Lady to Make Fun Of

Seriously, y’all, there are ACTUALLY a number of women in the Republican party that are not walking jokes.   To be sure, many of them wouldn’t win any beauty pageants, but that’s not any reason to pick a…oh…right…  

Anyway, here’s the latest from this election season’s gaffe machine.

Rep. Michele Bachmann kicked off her presidential campaign on Monday in Waterloo, Iowa, and in one interview surrounding the official event she promised to mimic the spirit of Waterloo’s own John Wayne.

The only problem, as one eagle-eyed reader notes: Waterloo’s John Wayne was not the beloved movie star, but rather John Wayne Gacy, the serial killer.

Mrs. Bachmann grew up in Waterloo, and used the town as the backdrop for her campaign announcement, where she told Fox News: “Well what I want them to know is just like, John Wayne was from Waterloo, Iowa. That’s the kind of spirit that I have, too.” (Someone has already posted the clip to YouTube under the name BachmannLovesGacy)

[full post…on the WashTimes…which tells you that this is game-on for the  Republican Primary]

I mean, it’s on honest mistake to make while pandering.  Oh, this isn’t the first one either...so it’s more of a MO than anything else.

And yes, this is the same reason I made so much fun of Palin [1].  She was a hoot. 

Bachmann’s pandering is *extremely* well done it turns out, and she’s currently running neck and neck with Nominee Romney in Iowa.

It will be even funnier to watch if the WSJ keeps propping her up for even longer.   They’ve been puffing her for a while.

By STEPHEN MOORE

That’s something good to know before you read the Bachmann puff piece.  Stephen Moore will *always* pimp anyone who says the best way to deal with the deficit is bigger and deeper tax cuts.   Michelle Bachmann happens to be good enough at math to believe this….

“In my perfect world,” she explains, “we’d take the 35% corporate tax rate down to nine so that we’re the most competitive in the industrialized world. Zero out capital gains. Zero out the alternative minimum tax. Zero out the death tax.”

And that’s how she’d pay down the debt.  Really, you couldn’t make up people like this if you started with banal, spliced in stupid, mixed in some political instinct, poured on the hot sauce, and then convinced the resulting concoction it was actually God’s gift to the world.

“I am a Christian as is my husband. I became a Christian at 16 years old, I gave my heart to Jesus Christ and since that time I’ve been a person of prayer.

When I pray, I pray believing that God will speak to me and give me an answer to that prayer, and so that’s what a calling is. If I pray, a calling means that I have a sense from God which direction I’m supposed to go.

It means I have a sense of assurance about the direction I think that God is speaking into my heart that I should go.”

There you have it, Michelle Bachmann says that God tells Michelle Bachmann she should run for President.  BTW, for those that didn’t get that from the quoted context…well…you can’t.  That’s one of the fun things about saying you are doing what God wants, no matter what you do.   The same exact speech can be used for the alternative. (it’s a bit  like Huckabee’s “Aww, shucks I know where this ride ends (New Hampshire)” bow out speech…the difference…Huckabee has learned to blame his own heart for his own choices).

This whole God wants me to do it (and so should you subtext) is not a new phenomenon either.   We currently have two candidates (Romney and Huntsman) who would testify if pressed that God currently talks to the Prophet that runs their Church, and who will no doubt decline to even subtlely suggest that perhaps supporting a Member is what God wants.  Heck, there are two other candidates that have also revealed that God revealed to them “he” wants them to run, and win.  

So we’ll see who God wants to be President when the world ends in 2012 in 2012.  Unless Obama wins again, then, according to some of Bachmann’s most avid fans, Satan will have won again (yes, they are this crazy).

[1] Crazy, attractive (to 50-60 year old males mind you), conservative lady somehow pushed to the forefront of the Repbulicans who constantly embarasses the country with a disconcerting lack of basic knowledge about stuff and things and crazy ideas and constant pitch-perfect right-wing talking points.

Supreme Court, having been paid handsomely by a couple billionaires, rules again in thier favor

Campaign finance: Supreme Court imposes limits on public funding of campaigns – latimes.com http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/wire/sc-dc-court-arizona-election-20110627,0,6535064.story#tugs_story_display

We all have a right to free speech, but if you have more money, you are more free to engage in more speech, and can now do so in a way that drowns out everyone else.

Do you have more money than Walmart?  

No? Then you don’t have as much freedom.

You see, all animals have equal rights, some are just more equal than others….and doing anything that might upset this “balance” isn’t allowed, according to the Robber Baron’s Supreme Court (formerly the Roberts Supreme Court).

Banks complain about having to make an honest living

Previous corporate media headline: “Debit card fees: Debit cards likely to get much more expensive for consumers” – Los Angeles Times http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jun/25/business/la-fi-debit-card-fees-20110625

It’s not the first time activists have complained about banks’ debit card practices. In the past, financial institutions made piles of money by reordering customer debits so the largest transactions cleared first. For example, if a customer had $100 in a checking account and made three $10 debit purchases early in the day and a final one for $200, the bank would process the $200 transaction first, then the smaller ones. The result: $140 in overdraft fees as opposed to $35 if the transactions had been processed in order. Facing numerous lawsuits, most banks, including Wells, Chase and BofA, have abandoned the high-to-low sorting of debits (although those three still process checks that way).

The latest whining is about losing he debit cards exchange fee battle.  I covered that previously in these posts here and here.