Archive for October, 2009

October 14, 2009

Dow Hit’s 10,000! Obama’s Economic Policies Are a Complete Failure! I’m So Confused!

by Ben Hoffman

The Dow crossed 10,000 today for the first time in a year and stayed there. But right-wingers have been claiming that Obama’s economic policies have been a complete failure. Those seem to contradict each other.

The stock market has been rallying since March, which is generally considered to be a six month leading indicator. So we should be pulling out of the recession any day now… Maybe next week.

October 13, 2009

2010 California Marriage Protection Act: Please Show Your Support

by Ben Hoffman

Traditional marriage is under attack. We need to act now. Please watch this video and show your support.

http://rescuemarriage.org/

October 9, 2009

To Barack Obama: EARN The Nobel Peace Prize

by Ben Hoffman

In Barack Obama’s acceptance speech this morning, he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize as a “call to action,” and that’s exactly what it should be. While his diplomatic skills are admirable and encouraging, we still need results.

Some things that will help Obama “earn” the Peace Prize:

* Enact major health insurance reform. That means a public option.
* Tighten up pollution regulations that were loosened by Bush, Jr.
* Bust some trusts! Entities that are too big to fail are too big to exist.
* Reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act
* Meet with the Dalai Lama. Who is China to dictate who you can meet with?
* Break up the giant media conglomerates. (more trust busting)
* Encourage Arab countries to allow the immigration of Palestinians. That would solve the Israel/Palestinian problem.
* And finally, prosecute some of the crimes committed by the Bush administration. We are a nation of laws defined in our Constitution, but that’s meaningless if the laws are not enforced.

October 9, 2009

Republicans Siding With The Terrorists — Why Do They Hate America?

by Ben Hoffman

Republicans cheered when America failed to land the Olympics and now they are criticizing the President of the United States for receiving the Nobel Peace prize – an award he did not seek but that is nonetheless an honor in which every American can take great pride – unless of course you are the Republican Party. The 2009 version of the Republican Party has no boundaries, has no shame and has proved that they will put politics above patriotism at every turn. It’s no wonder only 20 percent of Americans admit to being Republicans anymore – it’s an embarrassing label to claim.

http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2009/10/09/dnc/

October 9, 2009

Former President George W. Bush Wins Dumb-F*ck Aggression Prize

by Ben Hoffman

It was announced today that former President George W. Bush won the Dumb-F*ck Aggression Prize — one of the most lauded prizes today by dumb-f*cks around the world.

According to a dumb-f*ck, the Dumb-F*ck Aggression Prize is awarded to the person who has done the most to promote aggression between nations. “Because Barack Obama has done so much to destroy Bush’s accomplishments, it is especially important to acknowledge George W. Bush at this time.”

“Rarely has a person been able to start two wars and wage them with the ineptitude, corruption, and exploitation that George W. Bush has in the period of only eight years. Bush also destroyed the world’s economy which added to the mayhem. Such accomplishments cannot and will not go unrewarded,” said one high-level dumb-f*ck.

[Breaking news…]
Fighting broke out at the ceremony and someone stole the award.

October 8, 2009

Public Option For Health Insurance With An Opt-Out Clause

by Ben Hoffman

This is a great way for states that want the public option for health insurance to get it and those who are afraid of a government take over of health care to opt-out. Everybody wins.

And if it turns out that the government insurance works well and the red states decide they want it, the voters can opt-in at election time.

Democracy in action. :)

Details

October 8, 2009

Right-Wing War On The Middle Class: Beth Warren On TARP, Sec. Paulson, and What’s Changed In America

by Ben Hoffman

With all the outrage these days over ACORN, Czars, tort reform, and children singing songs about Obama, we should be focusing our attention on the TARP bailout. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and President Bush convinced Congress to hand over 700 billion dollars — our tax dollars — with no oversight, to banks and other financial institutions that were in the process of failing. Paulson lied about how the money would be used and can’t say where it went. Henry Paulson should be in prison right now for ripping off America.

The TARP bailout is a one half of the budget deficit, which is 1.4 TRILLION DOLLARS!

Elizabeth Warren, Chairman of the Congressional Oversight Panel talks about the $700 TARP bailout and her concerns about the U.S. economy.

ROMANO: There’s a wonderful moment [in Michael Moore’s movie] when he asks you where the $700 billion is, and you look at him and you say, “I don’t know.” So the question is: why don’t you know?

WARREN: Well, we don’t know where the $700 billion is because the system was initially designed to make sure that we didn’t know.

When Secretary Paulson first put this money out into the banks, he didn’t ask “what are you going to do with it?” He didn’t put any restrictions on it. He didn’t put any tabs on where it was going to go; in other words, he didn’t ask. And if you don’t ask, no one tells. And so we have a system that originally put more than $200 billion into the financial institutions basically saying just take it.

ROMANO: And that money is gone. You have not been able to track where that money is?

WARREN: Well, we don’t know where the money went from the financial institutions.

The big conversation at the time was that the credit markets are frozen; if we put money into the financial institutions, they will start lending it because that’s what they do when they receive money. And you may remember we tend to have forgotten what the name of the program was initially. It was called the “Healthy Banks Program,” because the allegation was Secretary Paulson kept saying, over and over, these are investments in healthy financial institutions, no one needs any subsidy.

And so we put it in on the claim by Secretary Paulson that that money was going to be used in lending to small businesses and consumers and kind of get our whole credit market going again. That didn’t happen.

[…]

ROMANO: Are we going to look back in two, three years at this TARP expenditure and say, well, it worked?

WARREN: You know, everyone is going to have a point of view on this. Everyone is going to have a book about this.

But I think there are a couple of pieces of it that are already clear. One is there was a moment of panic, perhaps a moment of panic fueled by the Secretary of Treasury and a perceived need to have a strong response. TARP clearly accomplished that.

But the TARP money was spent in ways that really are ground breaking for America. They changed the rules of the game in fundamental ways.

When a business failed in the past and needed a bailout, we did it very rarely, but when we did, it was only after the shareholders had been wiped out, debt had taken a haircut; in other words, the losses had been borne privately to the extent that they could be borne privately.

What was so astonishing about the first expenditures under TARP was that taxpayer dollars were put into financial institutions that were still left all of their shareholders intact, that were still paying dividends, that paid their creditors a hundred cents on the dollar.

We put taxpayer money in without saying you’ve got to use up everyone else’s money first. We put taxpayer money in without saying you got to show us how this business plan is totally changed. We put taxpayer money in without saying you’ve got to tell us how in the future this is not going to happen again, how you have a plan that says going forward we’ll be nine little financial institutions instead of one aggregated, but something on the other side for this. And we didn’t do that.

Once that’s the case, I don’t know how you ever put the genie back in the bottle. I don’t know how you ever persuade either a large corporation or the wider marketplace that if you can just get big enough and tie yourself to enough other important people, institutions, that if something goes wrong, the taxpayer will be there behind it. That’s a game changer.

That is a whole different approach than any we’ve ever used before in the United States.

I think three years from now when we’ve all had a deep breath and we kind of figured out where we’ve come out of the recession, we’re going to look back at that one, and I think that’s going to continue to be a “wow” moment.

[…]

And, you know, at the end of the day, it’s about these economic factors, but we have to remember we have fundamentally changed as a country.

In the 1950s and the 1960s, coming out of World War II, we said as a government, as a people, what can we do to support the middle class. You know that’s what FHA was to help people get into homes, right? VA, GI loans on education, we looked at policies, like whether or not they strengthen and support the middle class.

Somewhere, that began to change in the late 1970s, early 1980s, and the middle class instead became like a resource to be pulled from, and you know, they became the turkey at the Thanksgiving dinner. Who could who could carve off a piece? Who can get this little piece? Who could make a profit from this piece and that piece or squeeze down on the wages? And the middle class has gotten shakier and shakier, hollowed out.

The consequences of that are far more than economic. The middle class is what makes us who we are. It’s affects the poor. A strong and vital middle class is a middle class that can offer a helping hand to the poor. A strong and vital middle class is a middle class that has room, is creating new jobs to ¿ basically to suck the poor up out of poverty and into middleclass positions. The middle class is what gives us political stability. It’s what gives us an America that’s all bought into the whole process that what we do is not just about a handful of folks at the top who profit from it. We all profit from it, and that’s why we work, and that’s why we vote, and that’s why we accept that the outcome of elections. And that’s why we’re safe to walk our streets, because we have a middle class for which this ultimately works, this country.

And every time we hollow that out, every time we take away a little piece of that, we run the risk that some of what we understood at America, some of what we know as America begins to die. That’s what scares me.

Source

October 7, 2009

I, Ben Hoffman, Admit That I Wrote Dreams From My Father

by Ben Hoffman

Bill Ayers was lying when he claimed he ghost-wrote Barack Obama’s book entitled Dreams From My Father. I wrote it… Yeah, that’s the ticket. I ghost-wrote it for Barack Obama after meeting with him when we… when we worked together as community organizers. Yeah, that’s it… After we got the community all organized, we decided that I would write a book, but he would take the credit for it and make millions when he became president. It was all an elaborate plan. But now I want to come clean and tell the world that I, Ben Hoffman, wrote Dreams From My Father.

October 7, 2009

A Tax Cut That Will Actually Stimulate The Economy

by Ben Hoffman

Across the board tax cuts have never done much to stimulate an economy, but targeted tax cuts — specifically tax cuts for companies that create jobs, will result in more hiring. And it has bipartisan support on Capital Hill.

One version of the approach, to be unveiled next week by the Economic Policy Institute, a labor-oriented research organization, would give employers a two-year tax credit if they increased the size of their work force or added significant hours of work (for example, making a part-time worker full time). Employers would receive a credit worth twice the first-year payroll tax for each new hire, amounting to several thousand dollars, depending on the new worker’s salary.

Source

October 6, 2009

Differences Between Liberals and Conservatives

by Ben Hoffman

A liberal is willing to fight for liberty.
A conservative is willing to give up liberty for security.

If a liberal doesn’t believe that abortion is morally acceptable, she doesn’t have one.
If a conservative doesn’t believe that abortion is morally acceptable, he or she wants to prevent anyone from having one.

When a liberal asks where he gets his news, he’ll give legitimate sources such as the N.Y. Times or Washington Post.
When a conservative asks where he gets his news, he won’t usually answer because it’s not from legitimate news sources.

A liberal sees wrong and tries to right it.
A conservative sees wrong and if it involves another conservative, he claims it’s biased.

A liberal believes most foreign policy issues are best dealt with by taking diplomatic measures.
A conservative believes we should bomb first and ask questions later.

A liberal doesn’t mind his hard earned money going to legitimate government programs.
A conservative hates all things government, but doesn’t mind his hard earned money going towards multi-million dollar bonuses for CEOs.

When a liberal thinks about education, he thinks about college.
When a conservative thinks about education, he thinks about grade school and high school.

A liberal knows that a fact is information that is verifiable.
A conservative thinks a fact is something you can link to. It might be just somebody’s opinion, but if you can link to it, he believes it’s acceptable to use it as a “fact.”

A liberal debates with facts.
A conservative debates by insulting the other person.

A liberal evaluates information and forms an opinion.
A conservative gets his opinions from right-wing pundits.

A liberal debates by siting events that have occurred.
A conservative debates by predicting events he believes will occur.

A liberal debates using facts.
A conservative debates the facts.

October 6, 2009

Fight of the Century! Michael Moore on Hannity 9:00 PM EDT Tonight!

by Ben Hoffman

http://www.foxnews.com/

I’ve never watched Hannity, but I think I’ll turn it on to see if anyone gets injured. My money’s on Moore to win. Hannity’s a coward. He repeatedly claimed that waterboarding wasn’t torture and said that he’d get waterboarded for charity, and then chickened out! What a wuss.

October 6, 2009

Sotomayer Poses With Frankenstein and a Tree Stump

by Ben Hoffman

WASHINGTON — A recast Supreme Court kicked off its new season Monday, with novice Justice Sonia Sotomayor immediately taking center stage.

In just an hour, the court’s newest justice asked more questions than Justice Clarence Thomas has asked over the course of several years. Sotomayor’s aggressive role in a Fifth Amendment case, in turn, underscored how she could put her own stamp on a court whose 2009-2010 docket is still taking shape.

Source

[Embellishment]
Towards the end of the session, she placed John Roberts in a headlock a pounded his head with her fist until he started whimpering like a little girl.

October 6, 2009

Is Barack Obama Too Conservative? Part II

by Ben Hoffman

Barack Obama repeatedly said he wanted to look forward, not backward, but the crimes of the Bush administration need to be addressed. We are a country of laws and no one is above the law, or so was the intention of our founding fathers.

We have a history of not pursuing crimes by Republican presidents. Ford’s pardon of Nixon in 1974 set a dangerous precedent. George H.W. Bush’s pardon of Reagan and all those involved in the Iran/Contra scandal didn’t raise an eyebrow by most people. And then we had the Republican impeachment of Clinton for something that occurred in his personal life. Only the most partisan of the right-wing lunatic fringe could claim that getting a B.J. was an impeachable offense.

George W. Bush lied us into a war where thousands of Americans were killed along with 100s of thousands of Iraqis, not to mention the illegal wiretaps, torture of prisoners, the politicization of our justice department, and numerous other crimes. We’ve also had numerous cases of war profiteering by corporations such as Halliburton and Blackwater, and they’re still getting government contracts!

Obama says he doesn’t want to look backwards. He has yet to even replace the federal prosecutors appointed by the Bush administration for political purposes or look into the prosecution of Don Siegelman.

It’s time for Obama to be the progressive president we elected.

Is Barack Obama Too Conservative? Part I

FireRoveProsecutors.com

October 5, 2009

Is Barack Obama Too Conservative?

by Ben Hoffman

Our country has been in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. There were several reasons for the near total collapse of our economy.

Causes included the deregulation of the banking industry, deregulation of commodities markets, ridiculously low interest rates, easy credit with little or no background checks, lack of oversight by the SEC, Bush touting an “ownership society,” tax cuts for the wealthy, huge deficits and the doubling of the U.S. debt, and huge bonuses and salaries for CEOs who boosted company stock prices.

The effect was high stakes gambling on the part of the finance sector by over-leveraging, the housing bubble, record high gas prices, ponzi-schemes masquerading as investments, ubiquitous subprime lending, CEOs who’s only concern was driving up company stock prices so they could get their bonuses…

We’ve also had a flood of manufacturing jobs out of our country and to countries, mainly China, where workers would work for slave wages.

And the end result was the near total collapse of our economy.

While the Bush administration shoulders a good part of the blame, the problem began building long before he took office. The repeal of the Glass-Stegall act occured during the Clinton administration as well as the Commodity Futures Modernization Act. Reagan’s deregulation resulted in the S&L scandal and bailout.

Free market economics and deregulation are at the core of conservative economic ideology. So what has Obama done to correct the conservative policies that caused the meltdown of our economy? Very little.

Obama appointed Timothy Geithner to be Treasury Secretary. Geithner was a central figure in the TARP bailout, in which there was pathetically little oversight into how the money was being spent. While there has been some new regulation for credit cards, nothing has been done to address the problem of these business entities that have been deemed “too big to fail.” Many have actually gotten bigger using TARP funds to finance acquisitions.

On health care reform, Obama compromised before even going to the table. He could have pushed for a single-payer system, but that was never even considered. While the majority of people support a public option for health insurance, as do most doctors and nurses, the chance that there will be a public option seems to be fading.

Barack Obama repeatedly said he wanted to look forward, not backward, but the crimes of the Bush administration need to be addressed, even if no one is actually punished. We are a country of laws and no one is above the law, or so was the intention of our founding fathers. We have a history of not pursuing crimes by Republican presidents. Ford’s pardon of Nixon in 1974 set a dangerous precedent. George H.W. Bush’s pardon of Reagan and all those involved in the Iran/Contra scandal didn’t raise an eyebrow by most people. And then we had the impeachment of Clinton for something that occurred in his personal life. George W. Bush lied us into a war where thousands of Americans were killed along with 100s of thousands of Iraqis, not to mention the illegal wiretaps, torture of prisoners, the politicization of our justice department, and numerous other crimes, and Obama says he doesn’t want to look backwards!

Obama should stop trying to appease the Republicans and do what’s best for the country. Conservative policies have destroyed our country and the only way to rebuild is through progressive policies. Taxes need to be raised, especially on the uber-wealthy who have capitalized on the destruction of our economy. A public option for health insurance needs to be pushed through. The last time there was any trust-busting in the U.S. was back in the 70s. It’s time to break up the entities that are too big to fail. The huge media conglomerates also need to be broken up. We need new regulation to put an end to commodities speculation that drove up the price of oil.

Last year we voted for a progressive but got a conservative. Obama needs to give us the “change” we voted for.

October 5, 2009

Time For General Stanley McChrystal To Go

by Ben Hoffman

General McChrystal has been hitting the talk-show circuit pushing his recommendations for Afghanistan and recently gave a speech in London calling for more troops. What the hell is going on with this guy? His boss is Barack Obama. If he has strategy recommendations, he needs to discuss them with his boss — not go out and give speeches.

Some commentators regarded the general’s London comments as verging on insubordination.

Bruce Ackerman, an expert on constitutional law at Yale University, said in the Washington Post: “As commanding general, McChrystal has no business making such public pronouncements.”

He added that it was highly unusual for a senior military officer to “pressure the president in public to adopt his strategy”.

Source

Obviously this guy has a judgment problem. While leading Special Operations, several of his men engaged in torture of detainees and were convicted. Source He was also involved in the Pat Tillman controversy and he’s only been a general since June of this year.

Obama made a mistake in appointing him commander of our forces in Afghanistan.