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Our Country is Not a Video Game: Herman Cain, “Sim...

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The supposed "meteroric" rise of Herman Cain (if you call 25-27% in a few polls meteroric, which apparently the so-called MSM do) has been in the works for years. But for the seriousness of his attempts to destroy the economic security of most Americans (including moi) with his 9-9-9 plan, it would be laughable when Herman Cain presents as a presidential candidate. The emptiness, phoniness and hypocrisy runneth over. Cain has had the gall to blame unemployment, economic crisis and all the related negatives on the people suffering because of Bush, Republican and conservadem deregulators, and corporate malfeasance. But it is so much worse than those things.  

Some Values!
When Herman Cain talks about what is wrong with America, what he (a wealthy man) really means is that, in his mind, he doesn't make "enough." He wants Americans to hand over more of their hard-earned money in the form of tax increases, so people like him can pay less. 9-9-9 is the trifecta of arch-conservative ideas because it: 1) Destroys Social Security (by ending the payroll tax); 2) Destroys Medicare (by ending the payroll tax) and 3) Makes the middle class and poor pay thousands more in taxes, while helping the rich pay less than ever.

The New Forbes 400 is Out! Guess Who’s #4?

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8Anh em Charles và David Koch - Tập đoàn Koch IndustriesIt's the princes of carbon pollution, the Koch Brothers! They rank 4th in the newest Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans, up from 5th last year. In fact, the fortune of Charles and David shot up 14% just from March to September 2011.

What's most interesting - despite the Koch brothers' war on President Obama and crazily overheated rhetoric against him, the Koch brothers' fortune has grown wildly during President Obama's first term. It's up 79%, from $14 billion each in March 2009 to $25 billion each in September 2011.

Wait ... you don't think the Kochs' opposition to Obama is about an extremist political crusade and not sound economic policy, do you? Nahhh.

Cross-posted from The Green Miles

A Boon for Geiger Counter Sales

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If past is prelude, there's no reason to believe those who would explore and develop uranium resources will be good stewards of Virginia's environment. What we do know is that when they do make common industrial mistakes or worse, we won't need a map and the damage will be irreparable.

Forget the fact that those on board with the uranium scheme are many of the same fighting the Environmental Protection Agency. Just look at the history and the environmental degradation already extant in Virginia. The contamination of our surface water is extensive. Uranium extraction offers the opportunity to do the same and more for groundwater. This map shows the effects of poor industrial practices on rivers and bays. The proposed process for extracting uranium promises to extend the opportunity for environmental damage to drinking water supplies. At least testing for the contamination will be much simpler; and offer another neat gadget for Brookstone stores to stoke sales.  

Congratulations, Koch, on your new House!

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Cross-posted at Daily Kos

Congratulations, Koch Industries, on your purchase of a brand new US House of Representatives!  We hope you enjoy your new House.

Please keep in mind that your ownership of this product comes with important limitations. These are articulated in the Constitution that came with your product. Please review this document carefully.  Failure to follow this Constitution could invalidate your warranty.

In order to prolong the life of your purchase, we offer the following tips on care and cleanliness:

We recommend that you not apply excess pressure to your new House.  Doing so could cause the more fragile portions of this product to break off in 2 years.  (We have learned this from previous customers' experience.)  WARNING: Exerting extreme pressure on this product could cause it to blow up in the owner's face.

Tea Partiers Unclear on Meaning of “Elite,” Content of Bible

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The NYTimes today reports on how the Tea Party is being spoon-fed climate denial by big polluters like Koch Industries, conveniently laundered by conservative media mouthpieces:
"It's a flat-out lie," Mr. Dennison said in an interview after the  debate, adding that he had based his view on the preaching of Rush  Limbaugh and the teaching of Scripture. "I read my Bible," Mr. Dennison said. "He made this earth for us to utilize."

Skepticism and outright denial of global warming are among the articles  of faith of the Tea Party movement, here in Indiana and across the  country. For some, it is a matter of religious conviction; for others, it is driven by distrust of those they call the elites.

Distrust of elites? Rush Limbaugh made $285 million from 2001 through 2008, then signed a contract with salary & bonuses totaling $400 million from 2009 through 2016! Telling Tea Partiers whatever they want to hear so they'll keep listening has been great for business.

But let's say you're a climate scientist like Michael Mann (science denier Ken Cuccinelli's favorite target). Using the estimates at indeed.com, a climate scientist would have to work 588 years to make what Limbaugh does in one year. Who's the real "elite"?

Finally, I don't recall the part of the Bible where the Lord instructed man to take his creation and act like we're holding the Miami University Pi Beta Phi spring formal. But Genesis 2:15 does say, "The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."

Corporate Tea: Who’s Who

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This is not a tea party - it's a corporate riot.  

The media's myth of the Tea Party as some sort of grassroots "people's revolution" continues to fall apart as it becomes clearer and clearer that an election that was supposed to be driven by angry housewives and farmers is actually being purchased by very well-heeled corporate interests.  The real story continues to unfold - with many players hiding in the shadows behind tax laws and the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, allowing untold millions to be anonymously donated.  

Who's who?  To help you keep track of the eager prospective purchasers of a Republican House and Senate, here are just some of the key players, from A-Z - follow the money:

- American Crossroads & American Crossroads GPS:  This is one GPS leading you in the WRONG direction.  Karl Rove's new enterprise (after his last one, the Bush presidency, was such a smashing success) now aims to spend a total of $65 million on this election.  Oh, by the way, as Greg Sargent and Kos point out, much of the what they say about Democrats in their ads has been documented as factually incorrect.  Big money plus big lies - a match made in Hell!

The Media’s “Story” of Election 2010

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Cross posted at Daily Kos

The problem with today's media is that it's more interested in selling a story than telling the truth.  A good story has entertainment value - drama or comedy, heroes and villains, a beginning, middle and end, perhaps some kind of moral.  It is hard for reality to meet all of these requirements, which is why fiction regularly bends the truth to meet its purposes.  

At its worst, the mainstream media works as one massive clump of groupthink, glomming onto a storyline so overwhelmingly that there is simply no opportunity for the truth to sink in.  We saw that at the start of the Iraq War, with consequences that can only be called disastrous.  

And we see it today with the Story that may be summarized as: "The people, represented by the Tea Party, overcome Big Government, i.e., Obama and the Democrats."  I see almost no one in the MSM challenging this story right now.  And the results, if we allow this storyline to continue to masquerade as the gospel truth, will once again be disastrous.

We need to challenge this Story by calling attention to the many holes in it.  

The “Kochtopus” Wraps Its Arms Around Virginia Politicians

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For those of you that are familiar with Koch (pronounced "Coke") Industries, you already know that this is one of the worst of corporate "bad actors" in America. For those of you that aren't familiar, I suggest you watch Rachel Maddow as she discusses Koch's "lock on health care astroturf outfit AFP", its funding of the Tea Party movement (through David Koch's Americans for Prosperity), its funding of the "climate denial machine", etc.  I refer you to this report on "Koch's Web of Dirty Money and Influence." Finally, I strongly recommend that you read the The New Yorker's expose on this company. It's a long article, but well worth it. Here are a few key findings about Koch:

*The company's annual revenues are "estimated to be a hundred billion dollars," and the two brothers - David and Charles - have a "combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars" that is "exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett."

*The Kochs are "longtime libertarians who believe in drastically lower personal and corporate taxes, minimal social services for the needy, and much less oversight of industry-especially environmental regulation."

*"...the brothers have funded opposition campaigns against so many Obama Administration policies-from health-care reform to the economic-stimulus program-that, in political circles, their ideological network is known as the Kochtopus."

(lots more after the "flip," including which Virginia politicians receive $$$ from the "Kochtopus")

Robert Hurt’s Friends for Creating Jobs … in China

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A corporate front group, Americans for Prosperity, is running ads attacking Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA) & dozens of other Democrats for supporting the economic recovery package that kept the recession from becoming Great Depression II. So what's AFP's idea of great economic policy? Shipping jobs to China & lining their own pockets with the salaries of those out of work Americans. Via TPM, here's some pushback from the campaign of Rep. Zack Space (D-OH):

Koch Industries is one of the biggest funders of corporate front groups -- particularly anti-consumer, anti-science, pro-polluter astroturfing -- in American history. It's also a proud funder of the Tea Parties. And it's funny how Republicans keep attacking the economic recovery package while simultaneously trying to take credit for its effects, isn't it?