The Boss makes a ‘eh’ case for the Boss

Obama hasn’t done bad, Springsteen says. “He kept General Motors alive, he got through healthcare – though not the public system I would have wanted – he killed Osama Bin Laden, and he brought sanity to the top level of government. But big business still has too much say in government and there has not been as many middle- or working-class voices in the administration as I expected. I thought Guantanamo would have been closed but now, but he got us out of Iraq and I guess we will soon be out of Afghanistan.”

I’m purty sure that’s all it will take vs whoever wins that Republican Reality TV 2012 show.

Fracking Doesn’t cause Groundwater Contamination, the process of Fracking Causes Groundwater Contamination

Hydraulic fracturing of shale formations to extract natural gas has no direct connection to groundwater contamination, according to a study by the Energy Institute of the University of Texas at Austin.

The study, released at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver, British Columbia, found that many problems ascribed to fracking actually have other causes, such as “casing failures or poor cement jobs.”

University researchers also determined that many reports of contamination are the result of above-ground spills or other mishandling of wastewater from shale-gas drilling, rather than the fracking process.

See…it’s not the thing…it’s the stuff you have to do to do the thing. 

BTW, get a kick out of the actual headline they used for the study…

UT study finds no direct link between fracking and groundwater contamination – Sacramento Living – Sacramento Food and Wine, Home, Health | Sacramento Bee

Today in “Concessions Granted to Republicans for Smaller Government” Quarterly we find…

In addition, states will be allowed to perform drug tests on individuals applying for unemployment benefits if those people lost their previous job because they either failed or refused an employer’s drug test. Individuals receiving unemployment assistance could also be tested if they are seeking a job that generally requires a drug test.

Also, welfare beneficiaries will be banned from accessing public assistance funds at ATMs in strip clubs, liquor stores, and casinos.

via Congress passes payroll tax cut deal –

It should be noted, these are Republican demands and illustrate just how much they want to get government *out* of people’s lives…or something.

If this confuses you, realize that when Republican politicians say “smaller government” what they really are calling for is “lower taxes on my benefactors”.

It has, as one can see here, absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with reducing government intrusion into people’s personal lives (or as the dictionary calls it “freedom”).

GM Reports Record Quarterly Profits….but what did the pundits say would happen…

“The question is, where is Washington?” Romney told reporters on Jan. 12, 2008, in Ypsilanti, outside a General Motors plant that had just laid off 200 workers. “Are we going to let the entire automobile industry, domestic manufactured automotive industry, disappear and just say, ‘Well, that was tough, that’s just the way it is?'”

‘Detroit Go Bankrupt’

Two weeks after McCain lost the the election to Obama, as the Bush administration was debating a bailout, Romney wrote in a Nov. 19, 2008, op-ed in the New York Times, under the headline “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt,” that if the bailout happened, “you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.”

And here we are four years later, using hindsight to bring the whole thing into focus.

Romney’s Shifting Auto Bailout Stance Risks Becoming Liability

Actual Thing Republicans are doing instead of jobs: “Lines Crossed: Separation Of Church & State. Has The Obama Administration Trampled On Freedom Of Religion?”

Lines Crossed: Separation Of Church & State. Has The Obama Admin. Trampled On Freedom Of Religion? | Full Committee Hearing.

I made a joke about this the other day, that it would take something as full of shit as Fox to have headlines like “Does Obama hate religious freedom?”

They do this in order to introduce a ridiculous idea as if it has merit.

Here’s the ACTUAL NAME OF A HEARING on schedule for tomorrow.

The full committee will hold a hearing entitled, “Lines Crossed: Separation of Church and State. Has the Obama Administration Trampled on Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Conscience?” on Thursday, February 16th at 9:30am in 2154 Rayburn House Office Building.
 The hearing will be streamed live here.

This is the same crew that came out, almost to the man, against the “Ground Zero” Mosque.   They now claim allowing the Pope to dictate  employer’s medical policy is considered “religious freedom”.

And I’m sorry, but there’s no way someone can bring up a “both sides are bad” argument when *this* is actually happening.

This is being run by Darrell Issa, who is along with most of the current Republican leadership, a poster boy for blatant douchebaggery.

None of the religious groups supportive of the Obama administration will be heard from. […]

Eight out of nine of Issa’s witnesses are Orthodox Christian, Catholic, and evangelical, and represent Christian institutions, one of which, Belmont Abbey College, has sued HHS over the contraception requirement.

President takes on Hollywood and Wall Street and reaps the (negative) consequences

Obama’s enjoyed a run of luck in recent weeks — his approval rating is back up over the crucial 50 percent mark — but Hollywood isn’t the only industry that the president’s offended of late and that he needs badly to hit up for cash. He’s been on rocky terms with Wall Street for a while, of course, but just lately, he called for increased taxes on the rich in his 2013 budget.

It’s almost like he believes this country shouldn’t be run by and for powerful international corporations.   Which, given the context, is actually quite impressive.  

Obama’s Trying to Get Cash From Irritated Donors — Daily Intel

Romney slips up again, lets people know his political MO…Blatant Hypocrisy

“That is the nature of politics, which is that you always accuse the other guy of doing what you’ve done yourself,” said Romney in a Wednesday morning Fox News appearance.

That’s actually a cynical tactic used by Karl Rove, and widely criticized by everyone else.

This is so telling, and all you have to do is look at Romney’s cornucopia of attack ads.

BTW, it’s the ‘always’ clause that really allows one to use this quote to explain why no one trusts Mitt. It’s obvious he’s just talking shit.

Rick Santorum’s new machine-gun ad: Will it work? (+video) –

So what do you call it when you assassinate their scientists?

Israeli police elevated alerts yesterday across the country following the series of incidents, while Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the events in Thailand bolstered the case for blaming Iran.

“The attempted terrorist attack in Bangkok proves once again that Iran and its proxies continue to perpetrate terror,” Barak said in comments e-mailed by his office. He arrives in Japan today for a five-day visit.

Thai Police Say Israel Diplomats Targets of Iranian Bombers – Businessweek

The hypocrisy level here is off the charts…especially when you consider that Israel *also* already has nuclear weapons (Israel also used *the exact same type of attack* to kill Iranian nuclear scientists).

As things go better, looks like making bold choices is more popular than stamping feet and shouting ‘No!’ over and over again

Consecutive months of job growth, the bullish stock market and improving consumer demand appear to be benefiting – for now, at least – a president who stated outright three years ago that his chances for a second term would depend on his ability to persuade the country that its economy was on the mend by this very month.

In what could be a turning point, the percentage of people who say they believe the economic outlook is improving is now greater, by double digits, than the percentage of those who say they believe it is getting worse, a reversal from a low point in September, when pessimists outnumbered optimists by more than three to one.

NYT: Economic Growth Gives Lift to

Some good trends, although we’ve had the same ones to start the last couple years.  A stronger U.S economy might do a bit to help alleviate pressures across the pond, which leads us into a virtuous economic cycle.  Time will tell, but 2012 could be a good year for the country (and a catastrophic one for Republicans…but I repeat myself).

Catholic Bishops convince Republicans to fight to end employer healthcare coverage (I.e. throw the baby out with the birth control)

US bishops plan aggressive expansion of birth-control battle

Obama agreed to modify the mandate a bit, so that religious employers wouldn’t have to pay for contraceptive coverage directly. That satisfied some Catholic groups, but the bishops were not mollified. They want the mandate repealed altogether.

And now, they are aiming higher still, lobbying Congress to enact a law that would let any employer opt out of covering any medical treatment he disagreed with as a matter of his personal faith.

So, for instance, a pizzeria owner who objected to childhood vaccinations on religious grounds would be able to request an insurance plan that did not cover them, in effect overriding a federal requirement that vaccinations be provided free with any health-insurance plan.

Leaving coverage decisions up to each employers’ conscience might create chaos in the marketplace, “but chaos is sometimes the price you pay for freedom,” said Richard Land, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, who is backing the bishops whole-heartedly.

Actually ‘blood’ is usually what you have to pay for freedom, much like those who came and founded this country to explicitly get away from the idea that religion should control culture.