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Old 09-01-2011, 02:35 PM   #946
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Glad to see the economy being stimulated:

Adult Industry Prepares For 2012 GOP Convention
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Following an extensive remodel, the Penthouse Club in Tampa, Fla., is finally ready for next summer's Republican National Convention. Club operator DeWayne Levesque has installed two secluded VIP sections, which he hopes will help his club attract a bigger share of the 50,000 visitors expected to descend upon the city on Aug. 27 for four days of conservative politics and liberal partying. In addition to the club's new carpets and furniture, the private rooms are designed to provide cover so that camera-shy donors, politicians and aides can enjoy the strippers without fear of getting caught, he said.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:48 AM   #947
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i believe this is what is known as a "Hitch Slap" -- and it made my morning:


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Rick Perry's God
Does the Texas governor believe his idiotic religious rhetoric, or is he just pandering for votes?
By Christopher Hitchens
Monday, Aug. 29, 2011, at 11:19 AM ET


I happened to spend several weeks in Texas earlier this year, while the Lone Star State lay under the pitiless glare of an unremitting drought. After a protracted arid interval, the state's immodest governor, Rick Perry, announced that he was using the authority vested in him to call for prayers for rain. These incantations and beseechments, carrying the imprimatur of government, were duly offered to the heavens. The heavens responded by remaining, along with the parched lands below, obstinately dry.

Perry did not, of course, suffer politically for making an idiot of himself in this way. Not even the true believers really expect that prayers for precipitation will be answered, or believe that a failed rainmaker is a false prophet. And, had Perry's entreaties actually been followed by a moistening of the clouds and the coming of the healing showers, it is unlikely that anybody would really have claimed a connection between post hoc and propter hoc. No, religion in politics is more like an insurance policy than a true act of faith. Professing allegiance to it seldom does you any harm, at least in Republican primary season, and can do you some good. It's a question of prudence.

Or is it? Since his faintly absurd excursion into inspirational meteorology back in the spring, Perry has begun to show signs of starting a religious auction on the right, with himself as the highest bidder. His "Day of Prayer and Fasting" on Aug. 6 took the form of a rally of the faithful assembled under the big tent of "The Response." It featured traditional groups like the American Family Association and also less familiar and even more consecrated outfits such as the "New Apostolic Reformation." More interestingly, it was the near-equivalent, in time and space, of Perry's announcement of his intention to run for the presidency. We are therefore justified in saying that religious rhetoric is not merely decorative or incidental to his campaign.

As usual, though, there is some built-in wiggle room. In 2006 he said that he believed the Bible to be inerrant. He also said that those who did not accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior would be going to hell. Pressed a little on the sheer wickedness and stupidity of that last claim, the governor did allow that he himself wasn't omniscient enough to be sure on such doctrinal matters. He tells us that he is a "firm believer" in the "intelligent design" formulation that is creationism's latest rhetorical disguise, adding that the "design" could be biblical or could have involved something more complex, but is attributable to the same divine author in any event. Whether he chooses to avail himself of the wiggles or not, Perry can be reasonably sure that the voting base of the theocratic right has picked up his intended message.

In this same auction, his chief conservative rivals are somewhat disabled. Mitt Romney is in no position, and shows no inclination, to campaign on matters spiritual. His own bizarre religion is regarded as just that by much of the mainstream and as heretical at best by the evangelical Christian rank and file. Advantage Perry—at least among Republican voters. Rep. Michele Bachmann, if she is still seriously considered as being in the race, can also only lose from the comparison: Her religious positions are so weird, and so weirdly held, that they have already made her look like a crackpot. (Or revealed her as such: the distinction is a negligible one.) And Perry, no matter what his other faults, does not look like a fringe or crackpot character. He has enough chops as a vote-getter and—whatever you think of the Texas "economic miracle"—as a "job-creator," that even his decision to outbid all comers on questions of the sacred and the profane can be made to seem like the action of a rational calculator.

And this is what one always wants to know about candidates who flourish the Good Book or who presume to talk about hell and damnation. Do they, themselves, in their heart of hearts, truly believe it? Is there any evidence, if it comes to that, that Perry has ever studied the theory of evolution for long enough to be able to state roughly what it says? And how much textual and hermeneutic work did he do before deciding on the "inerrancy" of Jewish and Christian scripture? It should, of course, be the sincere believers and devout faithful who ask him, and themselves, these questions. But somehow, it never is. The risks of hypocrisy seem forever invisible to the politicized Christians, for whom sufficient proof of faith consists of loud and unambiguous declarations. I am always surprised that more is not heard from sincere religious believers, who have the most to lose if faith becomes a matter of poll-time dogma and lung power.

My bet would be that, just as Perry probably wouldn't have tried to take credit if there had been rain after his ostentatious intercessions, so he doesn't lose much actual sleep over doctrinal matters, personal saviorhood, and the rest of it. As with his crass saber-rattling about Texan secession a season or so back, or his more recent semitough talk about apparently riding Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke out of town on a rail, it is probably largely boilerplate, and mainly for the rubes.

Which leads one to slightly rephrase the question above: Is it better to have a candidate who actually believes in biblical inerrancy and the extreme youthfulness and recency of the Grand Canyon, or a candidate who half-affects such convictions in the hope of political gain? Either would be depressing. A mixture of the two—not excluded in Perry's case—would lower the tone nicely.

Rick Perry and religion: Does the Texas governor believe his idiotic God talk, or is he just pandering for votes? - By Christopher Hitchens - Slate Magazine
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Old 09-05-2011, 11:20 AM   #948
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can we also now say that GHW Bush was a great president, because his moderate policies that included raising taxes gave rise to the 1990s?
He does have 4 years left...

This all proves once again that judging the acts of a sitting president are often quite foolish.
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:08 PM   #949
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We sort of have to, though, don't we? We vote for or against a sitting president every other election.
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Old 09-05-2011, 06:43 PM   #950
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I know we do... it's the catch 22.
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Old 09-06-2011, 12:52 AM   #951
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i believe this is what is known as a "Hitch Slap" -- and it made my morning:
I completely agree with his questions that you bolded, but I also don't find the observation at all surprising. Most religious people, just like most nonreligious people, are not particularly thoughtful or reflective individuals and their so-called beliefs are not really the result of much personal intellectual effort. Think of how many people say they're atheists "because" the hypocrisy of the Catholic Church disgusted them, or the sexism of [name of denomination] was so disillusioning etc. etc. ...those might be fine reasons for breaking ranks with some particular religious organization, but they're completely nonsensical as arguments for atheism properly defined. I tend to assume such individuals were never really theists in any particularly meaningful sense to begin with, just as they aren't atheists in any particularly meaningful sense now. It's more an assertion of loyalty to some particular social and cultural niche--"boilerplate" as Hitchens puts it (though that might be a willfully naive description itself, insofar as it seems to pretend such assertions aren't clearly recognized as socially, strategically consequential by both speaker and audience--you can be a thoughtful a/theist and still enjoy a rote show of dis/loyalty from someone you recognize isn't as thoughtful as you, because there's a camaraderie there that has nothing to do with abstract intellectual propositions).
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:44 PM   #952
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Looking like it's pretty touch-and-go whether Perry will actually attend the debate tomorrow, on account of the wildfires. Awful situation with plenty of potential to get worse; I hope no one here has been directly affected.
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Old 09-06-2011, 07:53 PM   #953
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Washington Post, Sept. 6
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The far-reaching economic plan that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney put forward on Tuesday relies heavily on the premise that the way to revive the economy is to get the government out of the way of corporations.

Romney’s prescription for the country’s ailing economy includes overhauling federal tax, regulatory, trade and energy policies. His is a collection of business-friendly ideas that fit neatly within the mainstream of the Republican Party, with a few innovative proposals sprinkled throughout, namely tougher stances on China and labor unions. “The right answer for America is not to grow government or to believe that government can create jobs. It is instead to create the conditions that allow the private sector and entrepreneurs to create jobs and to grow our economy. Growth is the answer, not government,” Romney said as he released the plan, called “Believe in America.”

That may be a questionable concept at a time when businesses are seeing record profits but have not put them into the kind of hiring and investment that could launch a national economic recovery. At the same time, polls show that voters are losing faith in the current administration, which has an expansive view of the role of government, and are demanding a new direction.
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Romney spoke without a prepared text under a banner that read, “Day One, Job One,” inside a sweltering North Las Vegas truck warehouse, laying out 10 actions he said he would take on his first day in the Oval Office that would create more certainty for businesses. They include five measures that would: lower the corporate tax rate to 25% from 35%; implement free-trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea; expand domestic energy exploration; consolidate worker retraining programs and turn them over to the states; and cut non-security discretionary spending by 5%. (President Obama also supports those three trade agreements, although he has been accused of dithering to satisfy the demands of organized labor.)

If elected, the former Massachusetts governor said he would issue five executive orders on Inauguration Day. They would roll back Obama’s health-care overhaul; eliminate Obama-era regulations; issue new oil-drilling permits; reverse a number of policies that favor organized labor; and sanction China for currency manipulation.
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Although aides said that Romney’s prescriptions would add certainty to the business environment over the long term, there was little that would immediately jolt an economy whose growth has been hampered by low consumer spending and an overhang of mortgage and other personal debt. It would take years for measures such as new free-trade agreements and leasing more land for oil drilling to have an impact on economic growth. That is a conundrum for both parties at a time when the imperative for fiscal austerity has made it all but impossible to propose new government spending as a stimulus.
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In introducing his plan, Romney unleashed a blistering critique of Obama’s economic stewardship and offered himself as the only Republican candidate with the management skills and business know-how to lift the country out of a long recession. At one point, Romney held up his iPhone to castigate Obama’s economic policies as outdated. “President Obama’s strategy is a pay-phone strategy and we’re in a smartphone world,” he said. “What he’s doing is taking quarters and stuffing them into the pay phone and he can’t figure out why it isn’t working. It’s not connected anymore, Mr. President.”

The Obama campaign was quick to respond. “Governor Romney repackaged the same old policies that helped create the economic crisis: boosting oil company profits and allowing Wall Street to write its own rules, more tax breaks for large corporations and more tax cuts for the wealthiest,” Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement.
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Old 09-07-2011, 08:58 AM   #954
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Has this been posted anywhere here yet?

Brilliant piece on the current state of US politics, posted here as it's mostly about the current Republican Party (by a recently ex-Republican operative):

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult | Truthout
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:06 PM   #955
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Anderson Cooper: Mitt Romney's Job Creation Boasts 'Vague' (VIDEO)

Anderson Cooper sounded a very skeptical note about Mitt Romney on his Tuesday show.

Cooper used his "Keeping Them Honest" segment to examine Romney's leading theme about his candidacy: that his private sector experience gives him the tools to create millions of jobs. Romney unveiled a jobs plan on Tuesday that, in the words of the Associated Press, seeks to "reduce regulations and taxes on companies, sanction China over its currency practices and weaken the clout of labor unions." Romney says the plan will create 11.5 million jobs.

"We did some checking on Mr. Romney's repeated claims that his private sector experience uniquely prepares him as a job creator," Cooper said. "He says that a lot." he played clip after clip of Romney saying this, including one where he said that "tens of thousands of jobs" were created as a result of investments that his company, Bain Capital, had made.

"That figure, tens of thousands, is vague," Cooper pointed out. "And when we asked the campaign for specifics to back it up, we got no reply. In addition, some of Governor Romney's investments, while running Bain, are such that putting a number on jobs created is downright impossible."

As an example, Cooper mentioned Staples, which Romney put $2 million dollars into and which now employs 90,000 people.

"Should Governor Romney be credited with creating all 90,000 or just only a small fraction?" Cooper wondered. He also noted that much of Romney's private sector life consisted of laying people off to maximize profits, and played Ted Kennedy's famous 1994 ad which featured workers laid off by Romney's company speaking out against him.
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:40 PM   #956
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Has this been posted anywhere here yet?

Brilliant piece on the current state of US politics, posted here as it's mostly about the current Republican Party (by a recently ex-Republican operative):

Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult | Truthout
Irvine posted it in the Obama thread yesterday. As righteously outraged parting shots go, it's a good one; to me the most important part came right at the beginning where he decried "the complete infestation of the political system by corporate money on a scale that now requires a presidential candidate to raise upwards of a billion dollars to be competitive in the general election." There's no way Democrats can offer a durable alternative to the self-destructive GOP agenda he describes when they too are "infested."
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Old 09-08-2011, 04:55 PM   #957
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:21 PM   #958
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Here's a joke that doesn't even need a punchline:

Lawrence O'Donnell, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Eugene H. Robinson and the Rev. Al Sharpton walk into a TV studio to analyze a Republican debate...
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:45 PM   #959
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Oh my god YES!

My exact thoughts after seeing this on the news.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:50 PM   #960
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the difference, though, is that Rick Perry is incredibly proud of executing 237 people, one of whom he knew was innocent.

party of life!
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