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Herman Cain Should Stick to Selling Pizza for 9-9-9

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on October 12, 2011

999 it’s catchy, it’s easy to remember and it just begs for the next line that says “but WAIT there’s more, for 999  you also get …”   I realize the political field is a dynamic place, always changing, reinventing itself,  but with each passing day it becomes more and more like a carnival complete with freak shows, and hustles.  This week it is Herman Cain’s time to shine on the board walk.  Step on up ladies and gentlemen and let’s see what Zoltar  Herman Cain has to offer with his magical 999 elixir, sure to cure the economy and tired listless people. Uh, huh.

Looking at Cain’s plan is like a trip to the fun house complete with the mirrors that distort the true image.   But first let’s look at who designed the plan.  Numerous times Mr. Cain has been asked about his economic advisors, so far only one name has been mentioned.  He assures us that he has had his economic advisors he won’t compromise their confidentiality, except for one:  Rich Lowrie, who by the way is NOT an economist. He is however,  a wealth manager for a division of Wells Fargo and according to his LinkedIn page holds an accountancy degree from Case Western Reserve University.  Lowrie also spent three years on the advisory board of the conservative third-party group Americans For Prosperity.  Are you starting to feel uncomfortable  yet?

So let’s look at the nuts and bolts of this simple plan:   9 percent flat tax on household income, a 9 percent corporate tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax. There are no deductions except for charity.  Seems straight forward doesn’t it?

What about the Value Added Tax (VAT)?  Eventually under Cain’s 999 plan income tax would be eliminated and replaced with sales tax – called ironically Fair Tax by Cain fans, to the rest of the world it is call VAT.  This did not come up in the debate last night for good reason.   Let’s take a brief look at VAT in Europe.  When imposed in 1967, Denmark’s VAT was 10 percent; it is now 25 percent, in addition to a top income tax rate of over 50 percent.   In 1968, Germany levied a 10 percent VAT.  Germans are more fortunate; their VAT has risen “only” to 19 percent, and their highest income tax rate is “only” 45 percent.  The notion that a country can impose a small  single-digit sales tax is not supported by other countries’ experience.  In many countries the VAT is the largest source of revenue.

Cain likes to claim his plan is revenue neutral.  That’s not exactly true.  An analysis by Bloomberg last week found that Cain’s plan would actually have brought in $200 billion less in 2010 than the current tax system — $2 trillion instead of $2.2 trillion.  In short, it would take a 25% VAT tax to maintain current revenue levels.  That’s a 16% margin of error.  Are you getting uncomfortable yet?  Tax policy experts go on to say it is  unrealistic in part because it operates on the assumption that voters and lawmakers would be willing to fully phase out even enormously popular deductions and exemptions.   Under Cain’s plan everything would be subject to the 9%  sales tax – food, housing,  clothing – no exceptions.   We are already suffering from reduced consumption, additional taxes would curtail consumption even further, not to mention the anger from the public.  It also opens up a whole new market for under the table transactions, pay me in cash and you get in essence a 9% discount.  If memory serves this country started its revolution over excessive taxes.

One of the many cries of the Tea Party is state’s rights.  We hearing that with health care reform aren’t we?  Cain’s plan also impacts states’ sales tax collections.  States depend on sales tax revenues. Adding a 9 percent sales tax on top of a state sales tax would reduce states’ freedom to use sales taxes because it would reduce revenue.

How would Cain’s 999 effect the vast majority of Americans?

CAPD: Cain’s Tax Plan Would Increase Taxes Paid by Lower-Income Americans

However, Michael Linden, the Center for American Progress’ Director of Tax and Budget Policy, told Think Progress that because the bottom quintile of earners currently only pay about 2 percent of their income in federal taxes, under Cain’s plan they would be paying considerably more. Specifically, he said with the 9 percent tax on every dollar they make, as well as every dollar spent, the poorest Americans would pay a whopping 18 percent of their income in taxes.

Comparatively, Linden said middle-class earners would see their taxes rise from 14 percent to about 18 percent, while the richest one percent of Americans would see their tax rate fall from about 28 percent to 11 percent under the 9-9-9 plan.

“It would be the biggest tax shift from the wealthy to the middle-class in the history of taxation, ever, anywhere, and it would bankrupt the country,” Michael Ettlinger, the vice president for economic policy at the Center for American Progress, told The Wall Street Journal.

While Cain has touted his plan as the solution to the nation’s economic struggles, Linden’s analysis found that, based on 2007 tax data, it would actually result in the largest budget deficits since World War II. If applied that year, the 9-9-9 plan would have yielded just under $1.3 trillion in total federal tax revenue — 9.2 percent of the GDP — compared to 18.5 percent of GDP in tax revenue that was actually collected that year.

Cain’s plan to tax food is so surprising that even the Tea Party group FreedomWorks assumed certain vital goods, such as food and medicine, would be exempt from the 9 percent national sales tax.

“If you’re one of the minority of people — the top 10% of the population — who pay 70% of the income tax revenues, you might see the change as a good deal.But if you’re lower down the income scale, and especially if you’re one of the 50% of Americans who don’t pay any income taxes, then you might not see it as such a good trade,” FreedomWorks’ Web site states in an Oct 6. blog post titled “Herman Cain’s “999 Plan”: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.


What we have in Herman Cain is a carnival barker appealing to the Tea Party with simplicity.   Even conservative economist are calling Cain’s plan a non starter.  This is one of the most fundamental problems with the Tea Party mentality is the inability to engage in critical thinking, and Mr. Cain has fully taken advantage of the sheeple.  Welcome to the carnival, step right this way folks and see the unbelievable…


























Posted in Economy, herman cain, US Politics | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Twitter Battles

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on September 24, 2011

I’ve taken a few days off from cyberspace to reflect…

They say the political battle for 2012 is going to be fought in cyberspace and twitter, we have already seen the impact of the age of information and instant communication.  We have watched the Arab Spring unfold before our very eyes starting with a vegetable vendor in Tunisia lighting himself on fire out of frustration.  The world sat transfixed for 18 days and watched the now world famous Tahrir Square Revolution, and the demise of a tyrant.  Bahrain a tiny country still struggles, they have not given up.  Libyan freedom fighters with the help of NATO are taking back their country.  In Syria, a vicious battle rages, we rely on You Tube Videos and tweets to tell the story since no journalist are allowed.  Finally we watched as the Palestinians took their hopes for dignity, freedom and justice to the UN and asked for statehood.  We also watched Pres. Obama threaten a veto, and did nothing short of wrapping himself in the Israeli flag and dance the Hora.   The US threatened countries who supported the Palestinian bid with cutting off funds, as well as the Palestinians themselves.

What happened to the Barack Obama who was in Cairo a few years ago encouraging the Arabs to embrace democracy, self determination?  He was playing to the the domestic market, he was playing to AIPAC, he was playing to the powerful Jewish lobby and the mis-information that the right has sent out – claiming that Barack Obama didn’t support Israel.  Which was far from the truth.   Winston Churchill said “A lie gets half way around the world before the truth has a chance to put its pants on.”  We’ve seen that with the birther issue.

In the midst of the Arab Spring, the Arab Awakening and the shifting sands of diplomacy and power in the middle east, Barack Obama has chosen to be on the wrong side of history.

One of the dangers in not blindly supporting Israel is one is automatically labelled as anti – Semitic.  The truth is the narrative that most of us have heard regarding the Palestinian issue has largely been framed by the Israelis – with a background always touching the holocaust. In no way do I deny the Holocaust, we as human beings cannot forget the horrors that occurred.   We cannot remain silent when we see ethnic cleansing going on…and that includes when the victim becomes the victimizer.  The situation in the occupied Palestinian territories is at a tipping point.   Nothing short of a slow holocaust has been occurring.   It is no longer a back story in a newspaper as it was 10 years ago, the new information age has made sure we see it all.   9/11 brought the middle east to the forefront.  There is no excuse for us as Americans not to be educated on the entire issues, from the beginning, and here’s a surprise, that is before  1948.

I am absolutely disgusted with Pres. Obama on this issue, when I voted for him I was voting for a change, not the same Bush policies towards the Palestinian issue that did nothing but cause the US to lose credibility in the middle east.  We were making significant headway in restarting our relationships in the middle east until  now…we have just lose the battle at the most crucial time.

Does that mean I don’t support Pres. Obama for re-election?  No.  I support him for re-election, because the alternative is unthinkable.

When I watch a Tea Party audience cheer at an uninsured man dying, in no way can I support that type of mentality.

When I watch a Tea Party audience boo a gay soldier serving his country, and not one Presidential candidate called them on it at the time…in no way can I support that type of mentality.

When I listen to people like Michele Bachmann hype lies on cervical cancer vacines, in no way can I support that type of mentality.

The list goes on..I will support Barack Obama for re-election,  he is the lesser of two evils.  The other evil is so vile and vicious, the founding father’s must surely be turning in their graves.

But what you will hear me tweeting and blogging about more is the Palestinian issue, and it is not anti Semitic to tell the truth.  It is a long complicated history, and there is enough blood on everybody’s hands.  Nobody is innocent,   as one of my favorite people in the twitterverse @ilikewoods in  says in her bio .. I believe the truth is out there, and I am going to spread it like mustard!   That is exactly what I intend to do.  I know I am going to make some people uncomfortable, I know I am going to lose some followers, and I’m ok  with that.  If the truth makes you uncomfortable, then don’t read my blog, don’t follow me on twitter.  If you want to understand, engage in productive dialogue, challenge the  false narrative that has been pounded into you with the truth and facts, then welcome.

Truth is such a rare thing, it is delightful to tell it.  ~Emily Dickinson


Posted in aipac, anti semitic, dirty politics, holocaust, israel, obama, palestinian conflict, twitter, US Politics, World News | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Who is Rick Perry?

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on August 14, 2011

Rick Perry

(This is intended to be a running commentary on Rick Perry, complete with links at the bottom of the posting, Originally published on 8/14/2011 updated 8/15/2011,8/17/2011,8/23/2011, 9/1/2011)

The Republican field continues to swarm with ideology and mediocrity at best, full of rhetoric and little substance, enter Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

He has never lost an election, including an elementary school contest for “king” of the Paint Creek School Carnival.  He secured that win by handing out pennies for votes.  Perry started his career in Texas politics as a Democratic state legislator and was even the Texas chairman of Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign. Already a conservative Democrat, he switched to the GOP and in 1990 was urged by party figures in the state, including longtime Bush strategist Karl Rove, to run for state agriculture commissioner.

After two terms as agriculture commissioner, Perry was elected lieutenant governor in 1998, then took over two years later as the state’s chief executive after Bush was elected president.

Perry has been governor for over 11 years, under his leadership Texas can boast the following:

  • A quarter of Texans lack health insurance coverage, the highest share in the country.
  • Texas ranks 47th in the country for the level of state spending on schools.  Texas state capitol in Austin saw thousands of protesters descend on the grounds for a rally against a proposed $10 billion—yes, billion—in education cuts to the state. Representatives from 300 school districts, students, teachers, parents, and others marched and called on Perry to use the state’s “rainy day fund” to cover the shortfall in schools rather than lay off a projected 189,000 education workers.  The New York Times called Perry’s impending cuts “the largest cuts to public education since World War II.”  Of course, the budget cuts are still coming.  Aside from the impact such layoffs will have on the economy, since a good chunk of the new jobs Perry touts as part of his economic miracle were in schools, there’s the actual impact on the state’s students. It’s not just public schools that take a hit—universities will see their budgets slashed and financial aid eliminated for 43,000 students.
  • Texas ranks highest in the country for the levels of toxic chemicals released into the water and carcinogens released into the air.  BP spill was still churning oil into the Gulf of Mexico, Perry called it “just an act of God” and warned against any “knee-jerk reaction” that might include things like halting deepwater drilling until the dangers could be assessed. Unsurprisingly, Perry also got $129,890 from the oil and gas industry for his last reelection campaign.
  • Under Gov. Perry Texas has had the most active death-penalty regime in the country –  232 people, more than any other governor in history. (The previous record, 152, was held by George W. Bush.) He remains embroiled in controversy over the 2004 execution of Cameron Todd Willingham. Perry removed three appointees from the Texas Forensic Science Commission just days before the board was going to investigate a flawed arson investigation in Willingham’s case.  “Outside of Texas, the name Cameron Todd Willingham did not mean much to most people until the fall of 2009. In a 17-page article published by The New Yorker magazine, a curious and brave woman, a brilliant fire expert, and an investigative journalist re-opened the case against this man who was put to death for killing his children. The ‘classic arson case’ was picked apart, revealed to have been based on junk science and a misguided sense of expert intuition.  Proof of the flawed fire investigation had been rushed to Rick Perry and the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole before the execution, to no avail. Five years later, the article uncovered new evidence to all but confirm what a number of people had suspected for years: That the state of Texas had executed an innocent man.”   Just last month, he executed Humberto Leal Garcia Jr., a Mexican citizen, over the objections of the Mexican government, his own president, and the International Court of Justice. Even George W. Bush, in 2005, ordered all states to comply with the international law mandating consular access to officials from their home country for foreign nationals. Rick Perry was the only one not to comply.
  • Texas now has among the most narrow Medicaid eligibility standards in the country.
  • Texas has the fourth- highest poverty rate.
  • Texas ranks the seventh-highest teenage birth rate.
  • Texas has the lowest rate of people over 25 with a high school degree.  Interestingly, Perry did not apply for federal “Race to the Top” education funds because he said it would force national standards upon Texas.
  • Texas spends the least of any state on mental health care.
  • Texas ranks second to last in the percentage of the population covered by employer health insurance.
  • Under Gov. Perry’s direction, Texas has refused to enforce federal emissions rules for power plants and refineries.
  • Texas has also faced a $27 billion budget shortfall this year for the 2012-13 biannual budget.

Eyebrow raising comments and actions from Gov. Perry –

Perry said last year that Texas could have the right to secede: “If Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we’re a pretty independent lot to boot.” He later clarified that he didn’t support secession.

Perry declared a a bill to require all women to have an ultrasound before they can get an abortion was the first major bill debated in the House, as an “emergency”.  As Texas State Representative Carol Alvarado noted in that session, the bill’s author didn’t understand how intrusive his own bill was. She gave the legislature an in-depth description of a trans-vaginal sonogram, which would be required for women eight to 10 weeks pregnant. “This is not the jelly on the belly that most of you think, she said as she held up a vaginal probe. ‘This is government intrusion at its best.’” The bill has no provision for victims of rape or incest. It does, however, give Perry more social conservative credentials to trumpet on the campaign trail.

Perry recently said he wanted Roe v. Wade overturned so states could decide for themselves. But then he declared his support for a federal constitutional amendment that would overturn Roe and ban abortion nationwide.

Consistency doesn’t matter, apparently, when it comes to abortion or women’s bodies.

In 2007, campaigning in Iowa for former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, Perry said “George Bush was never a fiscal conservative — never was.” In his 2010 book “Fed Up!” Perry complains Bush “turned a blind eye to undisciplined domestic spending.’  In that book, Perry calls Social Security “a failure,” and proposes the adoption of a constitutional amendment to limit federal spending.

Eyebrow raising comments and actions from Gov. Perry he is going to have to explain to the right wing –

  • Gov. Perry was in support of in-state college tuition for the children of illegal immigrants, saying those young people have lived in Texas for years, are on the path to citizenship, have studied hard and should be encouraged to get education or vocational training.
  • Perry wrote a letter to Congress in 2008 urging it to pass a bill to save the national and global economy. But he contends that he didn’t necessarily mean the $700 bailout that Congress eventually approved.
  • Perry’s core constituency is conservative evangelical Christians, but he has supported some measures that clashed with their beliefs. In 2007, he signed an executive order requiring all girls entering the sixth-grade to be vaccinated against a virus that can cause cervical cancer. The Legislature promptly blocked Perry’s order.  Perry recently explained that on a call in talk show ““I’m one of the first to say we didn’t approach this issue right at all,” Perry told the caller who asked about the vaccine. “We shouldn’t have done it with an executive order. We should have worked with the legislature.”  That might come as a surprise to the Texas legislators who have heard Perry insist he was right about the executive order as recently as September 2010.
  • On August 6, Perry and right-wing evangelical leaders are sponsoring a a prayer rally in Houston’s Reliant Stadium dedicated to “the One True God through his Son Jesus Christ.” Perry’s message on the event’s website reads:  “Right now, America is in crisis: we have been besieged by financial debt, terrorism, and a multitude of natural disasters. As a nation, we must come together and call upon Jesus to guide us through unprecedented struggles, and thank Him for the blessings of freedom we so richly enjoy.” Seems that Gov. Perry has forgotten there are other religions in the US besides Christianity….except that isn’t really true… Perry is a friend of the Aga Khan, the religious leader of the Ismailis, a sect of Shia Islam that claims a reported 15 to 20 million adherents worldwide. Sprouting from that friendship are at least two cooperation agreements between the state of Texas and Ismaili institutions, including a far-reaching program to educate Texas schoolchildren about Islam. Perry was quoted at the official Ismaili website as saying at the signing ceremony that “traditional Western education speaks little of the influence of Muslim scientists, scholars, throughout history, and for that matter the cultural treasures that stand today in testament to their wisdom.”
  • Perry has also ruffled feathers with social conservatives in recent days by saying that under 10th Amendment principles, gay marriage in New York didn’t bother him. After all, Perry endorsed former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani in the 2008 presidential race, who is hardly considered a social conservative.
  • Perry has also drawn criticism for his plans for the Trans-Texas Corridor, a failed cross-state toll road that drew criticism from rural property owners and immigration foes, because the plan involved a partnership with the Mexican government.

It’s the Economy Stupid

While Gov. Perry likes to boast about Texas’ low taxes, scant regulation and limited public services, the truth is Perry-jobs are really ‘jobettes,’ offering low pay, no benefits and no upward mobility. In fact, under Rickonomics, Texas has added more minimum wage jobs than all other states combined.  Even as Texas added those “jobettes,” its unemployment rate magically increased to 8 percent from 7.7 percent—and 23 states have a better employment rate than the miraculous Texas.

Perry says he is the best job creator in the race and that low-tax, low-regulation Texas created about 40 percent of all the new jobs generated in the United States over the past two years.  Here’s the truth:  Texas has benefited from the federal government’s expansion of the military and also from the expansion of the oil industry, which was due to international and national factors, not Perry’s policies.

Here are the numbers, which come from the federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics: Between the beginning of 2008 and the end of 2010 (the latest data available), Texas created about 75,000 jobs. That makes it one of the few states with any job creation at all over that time. But federal, state and local government hiring accounted for 115,000 new jobs in Texas, while private industry shed about 40,000 jobs.   Perry and his state have also benefited significantly from the kind of federal spending he’s now trashing as a presidential candidate hoping to appeal to conservative Republicans. Federal spending in Texas amounts to more than $200 billion per year, according to the New York Times, on account of several big Army bases, a heavy NASA presence, and other federal installations. That’s about 5.2 percent of all federal spending. Texas also accepted $6.4 billion in federal funds from the unpopular 2009 stimulus program championed by President Obama, according to the Washington Post In the past two years, according to the Austin American-Statesman, almost half of the state’s job growth came in the education, health care, and government sectors. Notice a pattern? These are all sectors that depend, at least in part, on government support. And Perry has taken full advantage of public spending—he managed to fill in Texas’ previous budget shortfall by taking $6.4 billion in Obama stimulus money, more than all but two governors. But that’s all coming to a close: After facing a projected $27 billion deficit for 2012-2013, and with no further stimulus in sight, Perry and Republicans in Austin resorted to sweeping cuts to Medicaid and education in their most recent budget.

The state’s unemployment rate of 8 percent compares favorably with the national rate of 9.2 percent, but Texas’ rate has stubbornly stuck at or above that level since September 2009.  In May, some 985,656 Texans were unemployed, virtually unchanged from a year ago, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. Texas accounted for about 1 of every 14 jobless Americans in May.  And Perry’s critics question the kind of jobs being created in the state.  Texas and Mississippi are tied, at 9.5 percent, for the highest proportion of hourly workers earning at or less than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 550,000 Texans earned no more than the minimum wage in 2010, and the number of Texas workers earning the federal minimum wage or less was greater than the totals for California, Florida and Illinois combined.

Lori Taylor, associate professor in the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, cited these reasons for Texas’ lower wages: a younger, less educated workforce and a lower cost of living.

The state’s workforce will age, but the proportion of adults without a high school degree is projected to increase from 12 percent today to 30 percent in 2040 if current trends continue, according to the state comptroller’s TexasWorks study in 2008. That study of the state’s future workforce predicts another 30 percent of the 2040 labor force will have only a high school diploma and no training for a high-tech economy.  But keep in mind…education has been cut and will continue to be cut under Gov. Perry.

Attacking the Fed – Perry’s Ignorance of MonetaryPolicy

Perry’s first pronouncement on the Federal Reserve as a presidential candidate was a convoluted mouthful of economically illiterate posturing. When asked his opinion of the Fed, Perry said of chairman Ben Bernanke, “If this guy prints more money between now and the election … we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas. Printing more money to play politics at this particular time in American history is almost treacherous—or treasonous.” To Tea Partyers and government-bashers, Perry’s jabs at the Fed might sound like a welcome challenge to an omnipotent federal agency that routinely manipulates the economy. But if Perry wants to be taken seriously by business leaders and investors—who control a wee bit of the campaign money he’ll no doubt be asking for—he might want to take a crash course on the Fed and monetary policy.  Most economists feel that the Fed’s aggressive intervention in the economy since 2008 has been a necessary evil that helped prevent a financial panic and a full-blown depression. The Fed is also the only part of the government that seems capable of doing anything at all to help the economy, since every other part of Washington is paralyzed by political dysfunction.

Even Republicans are having a hard time swallowing Perry’s rhetoric..

Karl Rove, a Fox News commentator and formerly Bush’s chief political adviser, said Perry was wrong to separate himself from Bush because he should be trying to expand his support as widely as possible. Rove also took issue with Perry’s comment that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who was appointed by Bush, was developing economic policies that were almost “treasonous.”

Rove said, “Governor Perry is going to have to fight the impression that he’s a cowboy from Texas. This simply added to it.”  Peter Wehner, another former Bush adviser in the White House, said in a Commentary essay that Perry’s remark about Bernanke was “the kind of blustering, unthinking comment that Perry’s critics expect of him.”

Social Security

Asked by Ben Smith whether Social Security should be replaced with state-based benefit programs, as Perry once suggested in a Newsweek interview, the governor hedged.  “I’m for having a conversation with the country about how we find some solutions,” he said at the Iowa state fair. “Having the states doing it is one of the ways.”

The Chinese Connection – Perry Doing Business with the Enemy?

Perry announced that telecommunications firm Huawei Technologies would base its U.S. operations in Plano in Oct. of 2010.  Perry made time for a dinner with Huawei’s chief executive, Ren, according to a news release. The Chinese executive is a former leader in the People’s Liberation Army who helped oversee the Chinese military’s telecom intelligence in the 1980s, according to a Rand report. Huawei disputes this, saying he helped lead an engineering department of the PLA. His company had grown rapidly to become the world’s third-largest telecom equipment provider, with about 1,100 jobs in North America. It opened its first research office in Texas in 2001.Perry praised the company’s “really strong worldwide reputation” and its chairman, Ren Zhengfei, whose straight talk he said reminded him fondly of West Texans.  That’s nice but I don’t think the average West Texan has had both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations had concluded that the global telecom giant poses a potential cyber-security risk to the U.S. military and businesses.

  • Three times since 2008, a U.S. government security panel has blocked Huawei from acquiring or partnering with U.S. companies because of concerns that secrets could be leaked to China’s government or military.
  • In 2005, a Rand report questioned Huawei’s “deep ties with the Chinese military, which serves a multi-faceted role as an important customer, as well as Huawei’s political patron and research and development partner.”
  • In 2008, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, a multi-agency government panel, blocked Huawei’s plan to buy 3Com.
  • In late 2009, The Post reported, the National Security Agency privately urged senior executives of AT&T not to purchase Huawei equipment for a planned phone network. The article reported that U.S. officials feared that Chinese intelligence agencies could insert “digital trapdoors” into Huawei’s technology to serve as secret listening posts in the U.S. communications network.” AT&T did not discuss the warning but later announced it had chosen other providers.
  • In August 2010, eight Republican senators, including Jon Kyl of Arizona and Richard Shelby of Alabama, urged the Obama administration to investigate Huawei’s effort to sell equipment to upgrade Sprint Nextel’s mobile network. They argued that Huawei’s involvement “could create substantial risk for U.S. companies and possibly undermine U.S. national security.” The Committee on Foreign Investment rejected Huawei’s partnership with Sprint later that year.

Perry has made international recruiting a centerpiece of his economic policy, and more than two dozen Chinese companies now have a Texas presence. China is the state’s third-largest export-import partner.

Yet, when asked several times about China – US relations on the Laura Ingram show, the Governor came up short with concrete answers…

Laura: Is a rising China good for the United States? And if not, what are you going to do about it?

Perry: We’re going to have to deal with China. We’re going to have to trade with them. China disregarded the world for millennium. They lived in their own little world. We can’t afford to do that. We’re going to have to deal with China—

Laura: What does that mean?

Perry: We’re going to have to find ways diplomatically and financially, economically—

Laura: What does that mean? Those are broad generalities. I need specifics on this show….People are concerned that they’re going to surpass us militarily, probably economically if we don’t turn things around. As President of the United States how would you take a different path from George Bush and this president on China?

Perry: Well one of the ways we do it is by getting the economy going. Because the fact of the matter is if you don’t have a strong economy your foreign policy means nothing.


Perry: China needs to hear from us ‘listen, we will do trade with you, we will be a partner in trade with you, but you cannot steal our intellectual property.’

And this:

Laura: Do you think our trade policies have been working for the American family, vis-à-vis China, or many of the other countries that are growing their economies incredibly fast right now?Perry: I don’t think our trade policy has been working for years, frankly, from the standpoint of being in the best interest of our families. Do we need to trade? Absolutely. Am I a free trader? Yes. But I am a fair trader.

Bilderberg Connection

For all the conspiracy loving theorist out there..this little item will wet your appetite..

He said he was invited to the Bilderberg meeting and attended out of curiosity. “I found it to be an interesting group of people. I have yet to find out why they want to keep it a secret,” he said. “I haven’t been invited back and that was 5 years ago, so I guess I didn’t impress them.”  The caller focused on the Amero, a supposed Euro-like common currency for the Nafta countries.  Perry said, “I agree with you, that doesn’t appeal to me at all either.”

Foreign Policy “My faith requires me to support Israel”

His faith may require him to support Israel, but he had better understand the consequences.  The middle east is literally teetering, and a misguided foreign policy would have consequences felt around the world.  Mr. Perry had better revisit the 1967 borders and have a come to Jesus meeting that these were the original borders of Israel.  Such a simplistic statement I am assuming means he has absolutely no working knowledge of the middle east and Israel aside from the fact that Israel has one of the fattest wallets in the lobbying community.

I could not end this post without addressing financing..follow the money

Nearly half of the $102.8 million that Perry raised from 2001 through 2010 came from 204 “mega-donors” who contributed $100,000 or more, according to Texans for Public Justice, a watchdog organization that monitors state political contributions.  His biggest contributors include Houston home builder Bob Perry, who made national headlines by helping finance a political attack on former Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, and Harold Simmons, a Dallas multibillionaire who is developing a controversial nuclear waste disposal site in West Texas.   Keep your eyes on the money..more to come.

***UPDATE*** Following the Money

Who donates to Gov. Perry?  and Why?

  • Let’s talk a little bit more about that nuclear waste site which Mr. Simmons stands to profit from…do you know what happens to folks who get in the way of a business deal in Texas?  Bobby Gregory was one of two people on the eight-member panel known to oppose allowing out of state imports.  Gov. Perry offered him a prestigious appointment as a regent of a state university to get him out of the way. Under Texas law, Gregory could not hold two state-appointed positions requiring Senate approval at the same time, and so taking the regent job would have required him to leave the waste commission.  He declined the offer, and his term expired Aug. 31, 2011.
  • John McHale, an entrepreneur from Austin, Tex wrote a check to Gov. Perry for $50,000 – ironically n May 2010 an economic development fund administered by the governor’s office handed $3 million to G-Con, a pharmaceutical start-up that Mr. McHale helped get off the ground. At least two other executives with connections to the firm had also given Mr. Perry tens of thousands of dollars like  David M. Shanahan, who also has a significant ownership stake in the company. He is also the founder and president of Gradalis, a biotech firm based in Dallas that received a separate $1.75 million grant from the state’s technology fund in February 2009. Campaign finance records show that Mr. Shanahan contributed $5,000 in 2007 and then $10,000 to the governor in November 2009.   Then there is James R. Leininger, a San Antonio businessman who has given more than $230,000 to Mr. Perry, he has an interest in Gradalis.
  • Mr. Perry has raised at least $17 million from more than 900 appointees or their spouses, roughly one dollar out of every five that he has raised as governor.
  • Appointees of the State Parks and Wildlife Commission and the board of regents of Texas A&M, Mr. Perry’s alma mater have donated more than $4 million to his campaigns for governor.
  • Need help from Gov. Perry’s signature projects like the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund?  The enterprise fund, which is intended to be a deal-closing tool for the state as it competes for jobs, has dispensed $435 million in grants to businesses since 2003. The technology fund, which has doled out nearly $200 million to companies since 2005, has a similar job creation mandate.  More than a quarter of the companies that have received grants from the enterprise fund in the most recent fiscal year, or their chief executives, made contributions to either Mr. Perry’s campaign dating back to 2001 or to the Republican Governors Association since 2008, when Mr. Perry became its chairman.
  • Need a job, want an appointee position? Then donate!  Te Teacher Retirement System, a $110 billion pension fund that is among the nation’s largest have at least four top donors or fund-raisers serving on the board.   Mr. Perry’s trustees leaned on the fund to invest more money with hedge funds and private equity firms.  In 2009 an investment manager at the fund, Michael Green, wrote to a board trustee saying that the fund’s chief investment officer had pressed him and other employees to set aside their objections to such investments, including allocations to two firms whose partners and former partners have donated more than $1 million to Mr. Perry’s campaigns.  Mr. Green’s boss, he wrote to the trustee, told him: “This is the way business is done.”
  • In 2005, when the TXU Corporation, a utility based in Dallas, sought permits to build coal-fired power plants, Mr. Perry issued an executive order for a review panel to fast-track the application. In the months that followed, current and retired TXU executives, as well as the company’s political action committee, sent Mr. Perry more than $100,000 in donations, including one check dated the same day as Mr. Perry’s order. Mr. Perry’s office said at the time that the order was unrelated to the contributions. A state judge later blocked the order, ruling that Mr. Perry had overstepped his authority.
  • In 2003, after a rash of mold-related lawsuits against home construction companies,  Perry created a state board, the Texas Residential Construction Commission. The most generous contributor?  Bob Perry(not related), a homebuilder who has contributed more than $2 million to the governor over his career.  The legislation creating the board also sharply limited the rights of homeowners to sue contractors for faulty construction, shunting most disputes to the commission. After its passage, Bob Perry and his wife sent two $50,000 checks to the governor’s campaign. Three weeks later, the governor appointed an executive of Perry Homes, Bob Perry’s company, to the commission, which was abolished in 2009.
  • Perry’s top 50 donors, who collectively gave more than $21 million to Perry, and found that 34 received some benefit from Perry’s administration or the state, including grants, contracts and appointments. The donor list was compiled by the nonprofit Texans For Public Justice.
  • Twenty-three donors won Perry’s appointment to state boards, often the boards of regents at the University of Texas or Texas A&M.
  • Roughly one in three of the top Perry donors had business interests that secured grants, tax subsidies or project approvals under his administration, the Post review found.
  • Five donors gained both an appointment and a state boost to their specific company or interests.
  • Holt, who owns the nation’s largest Caterpillar dealership, urged Perry to lure a Caterpillar manufacturing plant to Texas, and a company official told reporters in an interview last year that such a plant would help the dealership get equipment. Perry’s office agreed in 2008 to award an $8.5 million incentive grant for a proposed new Caterpillar factory promising 1,714 jobs. Holt said in an e-mail that the plant’s move to Texas would not directly benefit his dealership.  That’s a little hard to believe.
  • In 2005, the governor tapped the Texas Enterprise Fund — an economic development fund he created — for its largest grant to date: $50 million to a joint research venture between Texas A&M University and a fledgling biotech company, Lexicon, that promised to create 1,616 jobs. Lexicon got $35 million of the grant. The company’s investors included a Texas congressman and two others who were among Perry’s top donors.  One was Robert McNair, an investor and former energy executive, who has given $330,000 to Perry. McNair controlled 9.3 percent of Lexicon’s stock at the time of the state grant.  Recently, Lexicon backed off on its jobs promise. The Texas media reported last year that Perry had renegotiated the deal with Lexicon so that Texas A&M took responsibility for creating more of the promised jobs over a longer time period.
  • Americans For Rick Perry reported raising $193,000 over eight days in June, according to its filing with the Federal Election Commission. Most of the money came from reliable Perry donor Harold Simmons of Dallas, who gave $100,000. Simmons won state approval under Perry’s administration to build a nuclear waste disposal site in West Texas that experts say could eventually be worth billions of dollars to Simmons. Other contributors to Americans for Rick Perry include $50,000 from Universal Computer Systems, which is headed by major Perry donor Bob Brockman of Houston and $25,000 from Withers Energy Corp., headed by blue-chip Perry backer John Speer of Cypress, Texas. Americans for Rick Perry is promoting Perry’s candidacy for president.
  • Texas business legends Peter Holt, owner of the San Antonio Spurs, and Billy Joe “Red” McCombs, an auto and real estate magnate and former sports team owner, are typical of the large campaign donors who helped Perry raise more cash than any Texas governor. Together, these two men with diverse business interests personally donated more than $936,000 to Perry’s campaigns, in a state that does not limit the amount individuals can donate to local politicians.
  • Mr. Perry has benefited not only politically in terms of financial contributions but also personally…take the time to read this: http://www.texastribune.org/texas-politics/2012-presidential-election/perry-scored-land-deals/

Check back often, as I will update this blog as more information becomes available, it’s going to be an interesting political season.


































Posted in Rick Perry, US News, US Politics | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Herman Cain – Why Him? Why Now?

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on May 22, 2011

Conservative Choice - Tea Party Endorsed?

On May 21, 2011, the rapture did not occur, but something else did, Herman Cain announced he is running for President of the US.   While  the news in itself is nothing spectacular, and the GOP field of candidates is marginal at best the issue that keeps twitching in the back of my mind is why him? and why now?

First, who is Herman Cain?

His bio shows he is a man who has pulled himself up and done it very well.  He came from  a humble background, his mother was a cleaner and his father was a chauffeur. He was raised in Georgia,  graduated from Morehouse College in 1967 with a BA in mathematics ,  received a  MS degree in computer science from Purdue University in 1971.

His career has included the Department of the Navy, Coca-Cola, VP at Pillsbury, Burger King– managing 400 stores in the Philadelphia area. Under Cain’s leadership, his region went from the least profitable for Burger King to the most profitable in three years. This prompted Pillsbury to appoint him president and CEO of  Godfather’s Pizza one of  their then-subsidiaries. Within 14 months, Cain had returned Godfather’s to profitability. In 1988, Cain and a group of investors bought Godfather’s from Pillsbury. Cain continued as CEO until 1996, when he resigned to become CEO of the National Restaurant Association.  Cain was on the board of directors to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas Cityin 1992 and served as its chairman from January 1995 to August 1996.

His first taste of the limelight of politics came when he publicly opposed President Bill Clinton’s health care bill.  He credits himself, rightly or wrongly with taking down the health care reform in ’94/’95.  In In 2004, Cain ran for the U.S. Senate in Georgia, running as a conservative and opposing the legality of abortion even in cases of rape and incest – he lost.

He has kept himself in the limelight with The Herman Cain Show on Atlanta talk radio station until February 2011 and had served as a commentator for Fox Business and as a syndicated columnist distributed by the North Star Writers Group.

I am not going to say that Cain is not a good businessman, he is, his record shows it.  Much like a teacher who excels in the classroom and then is moved into administration the talent, the calling is lost.  The impact the teacher made may be  washed away in a new career, not all transitions are successful.  The key is being able to recognize where your real talent lies.  A hard, objective assessment of your skills.  The danger comes when you start to believe your own press, whether you are a teacher or a political figure or want to be a political figure.  To listen to Cain talk about his encounter with Pres. Clinton is disconcerting…

As he recalls the moment, Cain is clearly proud. “I almost didn’t go to that town hall meeting that day, but I think it was meant to be,” he says. “The next day, I was on every TV morning news show. I’ll never forget Ted Koppel that night: ‘The pizza man from Omaha stumped the president last night over his health care bill.’ This was surreal.”

The fire had been lit, the ego had been stroked, and so he begins his foray into the political field, and the public field with his radio talk show, and Fox commentator spot.

From a purely human nature view point one can clearly see how Cain has moved to the position he is in today, if for no other reason than ego.

But the real question still is unanswered.  Why Cain?  And why now?  If you look at social media such as twitter are there those Tea Party and “Conservative” supporters who will blindly defend Cain, refusing to acknowledge that he is not the right wing answer to the social agenda they would like to see implemented, and sorely lacks geo-political nuances to the point where he would put the U.S. in harm’s way with his populist rhetoric.

You can already see the Tea Party cannibalism at play, challenging the fact that Cain worked for the evil “big government Federal Reserve Board of Kansas City.   Those on Tea Party enthusiast who remind their fellow patriots that Cain supported the TARP bailout are met with a sound rebuke. Cain himself has said:

Admittedly, these Wall Street bailouts and “special loan arrangements” by the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve seem inappropriate and excessive to the typical citizen, but if the Bush Administration had done nothing, Mike and Mary Mainstreet would have been outraged once the ripple effect knocked on their door.

That sounds dangerously close to President Obama, doesn’t it?  TARP has long been an issue for the right, who pretend to have amnesia that this was a program initiated by Bush.

So why would the Tea Party support Cain after by his own admission he fully supported TARP?  This is the part where it gets uncomfortable.  We have all seen the signs of Tea Party supporters that by any stretch of the imagination are nothing but racists.  We  have seen the former Tea Party Express spokesperson Mark Williams racist letter to the NAACP.  Look a little further on social media (www.viletweets.com ) some of these folks make the KKK look mainstream.  But now they stand behind Herman Cain.  A self-made black man. Why? Is this the Tea Party’s attempt to say “see we aren’t racists, we support a black man!”

The sad fact is Cain is not qualified, while he is great at one-liners and zingers, he has absolutely no understanding of geo-politics.  As President Obama pointed out in his speech on the Arab Spring and to AIPAC, the world is changing at an unprecedented pace.  Cain’s response to the Palestinian – Israeli conflict?…

“I was shocked at the president’s position, and I was equally shocked that he would unilaterally suggest that Israel would move the borders back which they acquired 44 years ago. This president threw Israel under the bus, there is no way around it. It demonstrates once again the arrogant disregard of this president for the opinion of the American people who like the relationship we have with Israel, and for Israel having the right to make its own decisions.”

One has to wonder if Cain listened to any of the speech?  If he did listen to it and this is what he came away with, one has to question his ability to comprehend.  He obviously does not know the history of the region, he does not understand that until this conflict is resolved, the U.S. and the rest of the world is at danger.  Gen. Petraus has confirmed that the resolution of this conflict is in our national interest.   The the Arab Spring, foreign diplomats all over the world are coming to the very frightening conclusion, that the landscape is changing at a rate that nobody ever anticipated.  With that change, at some point the influence of the U.S. and E.U. in the middle east is going to wane.  This is the time to push, while there is still influence to be had.  Cain’s response was a child’s response to a parent who is telling the hard truth.

His economic policies are even more frightening, in 2010 he advocated a return to the gold standard.  There are at least three reasons why this is not feasible.  First, the world supply of gold is too small to support a global economy with an annual output of 50tn a year.  Second, the global economy is a lot more diverse than it was in the 19th century, when the scene was dominated by a handful of European nations plus America. Third, pegging currencies to gold would almost certainly prove to be deflationary. Take a lesson from Britain in 1925  Churchill decided to return to the gold standard at the pre-war parity following pressure from the Bank of England governor Montagu Norman, it proved to be one of the great economic blunders of the 20th century. Within six years, deflationary pressure had forced Britain to abandon gold.

The argument that a gold standard would make the economy more stable is a non sequitur, economists say you can’t force currency to be stable—at least not for long.  Economic uncertainty is a fact of life, says J.D. Foster, an economist at the Heritage Foundation.  Advocates of the gold standard want to “legislate certainty,” he says. “It’s like you have a town of declining morals, so you legislate churches. It’s not going to work.”

Without a doubt Cain has business savvy, but the economics of a business compared to the economics of a country, and a global economy are different animals.  The frightening thing is, this is a man who was on the Federal Reserve Board, he of all people should be aware of the dangers and mechanics, yet he offers a populist point of view?  In essence discrediting himself? Why?

What about big government, and the Federal Reserve Board…Cain doesn’t believe that they need to be audited…this is in direct opposition to conservatives who not only believe they should be audited, but probably abolished.

And yet the right continues to endorse him.  He is not qualified, and this is not a time for amateur hour at this critical stage in history.

It is painfully evident that the Tea Party is going to support him, knowing full well he is not going to be a viable candidate.  They are exploiting him as their “black candidate so you can’t say we are racist” campaign.

Perhaps it is because I am a woman,  I have been in the corporate environment and did quite well, as I was acutely aware that my performance had to be 110%, because I was a woman.  It makes me angry that Cain is being used.  He is not a stupid man, so I am going to have to assume he is agreeable to prostituting himself out for the limelight, for the ability to say I ran for President of the United States of America.  Maybe it is just one huge ego stroke.  Or maybe he finds it economically desirable to put himself in this position.  Perhaps there is somebody, some “corporation” like the Koch brother’s bank rolling this ego trip.  Willing to forgo a viable candidate to try to re-brand the Tea Party and their agenda with less racial overtones.  It is fascinating is to watch the people who are pimping Cain out on social media, a bunch of old white guys who like to collect minority friends so they can exploit them and use them as a shield that says…see I’m not racist.

When I was a child, my mother made me believe that I could do anything I set my mind to, and I believed her.  I also learned there are situations where the best thing you can do is admit you are not qualified, as hard of a blow as that is to the ego, it is called the gift of discernment.    It is human nature to seek those people and situations that validate who we are, what we stand for.  It takes a great deal of internal fortitude and honesty to seek out the truth, to objectively look at why we do what we do.  We all have a price –  Mr. Cain what ever the financial or ego payoff is I hope you negotiated a good deal, because you are turning your hard earned legacy into a side show complete with unsustainable right wing rhetoric that does nothing but divide and discredit.


Right on cue emerges Bryan Fischer.  A brief bio of Mr. Fischer:  Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association, (AFA), host of the talk radio program Focal Point: on American Family Radio, and a contributor to the AFA-run blog Rightly Concerned.  For the record the AFA in 2010 was designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group.

Mr. Fischer a  Tea Party supporter gave an interview 9/16/2010 where he explained his vision of the Tea Party and their role in politics:

INSKEEP: Well, let me bring Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association into our discussion here from Mississippi. And Mr. Fischer, what issues have you pressed when you became involved in the Tea Party movement?

Mr. BRYAN FISCHER (Public Policy, American Family Association): Well, the American Family Association, part of why we got involved in this is we believe the country needs not only to be called back to constitutional government, not only back to physical responsibility, but also to the same cultural and social values that were embraced by the founders.

INSKEEP: What cultural and social values are you thinking of that were embraced by the founders, as you put it?

Mr. FISCHER: They said that the first of the inalienable rights that was granted to us by the creator is the right to life. So we believe sanctity of life has got to be central to any genuinely conservative movement, belief in a creator and to defending natural marriage and resisting homosexual agenda.

Mr. Fischer has advocated for the forced removal of all Muslims from the United States,  and that the First Amendment applies only to Christian Americans, and not to practitioners of other religions such as Islam and Judaism.  His positions on homosexuals?  That deserves a posting of its own, suffice to say they are going to burn in hell according to Mr. Fischer.

On May 18, he posted a piece to the AFA blog site where he expressed his opinions with regards to the Republican presidential candidates…

So the 2012 GOP presidential nomination shootout is already turning into a classic battle between ruling class Republicans who want Romney or Daniels and citizen class Republicans who want a Herman Cain or a Michele Bachmann (anybody besides me fascinated by the thought of a Cain-Bachmann ticket?) and could settle for a Pawlenty. I’m betting on the citizen class on this one.

Sounds like he really likes Herman Cain.

Fast forward a few days to President Obama’s trip to Ireland, discovering his Irish roots…this is what Mr. Fischer had to say:

He can’t talk enough about how white he is and how white his heritage is. And you compare that to, say, Herman Cain – you know, Herman Cain was just joking around about being the real Black man in the presidential race and President Obama kind of helping reinforce what Herman Cain has said in jest.

President Obama is half-white, and half-black; Herman Cain is all black; he’s authentically black; he is the real black man in the race.

So we’ll see how all of that plays out. I mean, President Obama celebrating his Irish heritage, I mean there is just something about that I just find, I just find that comical, frankly.

Now somebody tell me I am wrong, I want to be wrong.  What we clearly have here is a Tea Party supporter, a Herman Cain supporter, a “Constitutionalist”  who wrote the following:

You’d think that the Democrats, with all their bloviation about how the Constitution is a living and breathing document that must change with the times, would be ecstatic at Republican recognition of legitimate changes to our founding document.

But no. The grievance industry, represented by Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. and other plantation politicians, is royally hacked off that the original part of the Constitution that dealt with representation in the slave-holding states wasn’t read. News flash for Rep. Jackson: the Civil War ended 146 years ago. Wake up and smell the freedom! Get over yourself and get on up into the 21st century while you’re at it.

So the grievance industry, still stuck woefully in the past, desperately wanted the Republicans to read the “three-fifths” clause. The Republicans didn’t, for one simple reason. It’s no longer part of the Constitution.

And here’s the kicker: while the Democrats wanted that read because they erroneously believe that it says that slaves were three-fifths of a person, the Constitution itself says exactly the opposite. The “three-fifths” clause clearly affirms the personhood of slaves.

Check it out. Here is the relevant portion, with emphasis added:

“Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.

Bottom line: the three-fifths clause is not a pro-slavery clause, it is an anti-slavery clause.

And the same clause affirms the personhood of all slaves. You could look it up.

…and he just did exactly what I said was being done….he paraded Herman Cain out there for his “blackness”.

It is despicable.










Posted in dirty politics, koch brothers, racism, Tea Party, twitter, US Politics | Tagged: , , | 10 Comments »

Koch Brothers – Death of the American Dream

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on April 4, 2011

I took the liberty of taking this from Alternet – good verifiable source links.

Vote for 5 Worst Things the Koch Brothers Have Done: Brave New Films Unveils New Documentary Series

The billionaire Koch brothers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to gain political influence and change America. Their work and spending is driven by the goal of increasing their own profit through decreasing regulations. The expansive and diverse nature of their efforts makes it overwhelming to keep tabs of all they’ve done that has caused harm. And that’s why Brave New Foundation is going to keep connecting the dots and telling the full story of what they’ve done to our country.

Our work at Brave New Films has always focused on the best way to tell the full story, to connect all the moving pieces and to highlight how one example of a problem in our democracy is always representative of a larger problem. Our producers did this with Outfoxed, where they exposed the unbalanced propaganda that is Fox News. And they did this with Wal-Mart, where they uncovered the damage done to our country by the high cost of low prices. In Iraq For Sale, they exposed the war profiteering and they were on the front line of questioning the reasons for war in Rethink Afghanistan. With Sick for Profit, they fought against insurance company greed in the battle for health care. And they worked to stop the History Channel from hosting fiction and smearing President Kennedy.

And now we aim our focus at the Koch brothers. 
With a net worth of $43 billion the Kochs have already spent decades of their lives and over $324 million of their wealth exerting their influence.

The Kochs accomplish their goals by funding a massive array of right wing front groups, think tanks and tea party efforts. They largely operate outside of the public eye, and target their funding to infiltrate public opinion, the media, judicial decisions and legislation. Over three dozen organizations are funded by the brothers, and they spend additional money lobbying and backing political candidates.

Everything the Kochs do is to fight for a country free from protections and any degree of a social safety net for working Americans. The Kochs are not the only uber-wealthy in America who are using their money to buy political power that will increase their profits, but they are a key example through which to tell this story.

As a starting place of exposing the Kochs, we thought it would be useful to compile a video outlining the top five worst things the Koch brothers have done.

As the video outlines, there are a lot of “worst of” moments the Koch brothers have already created. Here is a rundown of the top five covered within the video.

Oil Spills

Koch Industries have made much of their money in the oil business. In 2000 they were fined the largest amount yet imposed upon a company under federal law. The $30 million fine was paid to resolve claims related to more than 300 oil spills in over six states, and an additional $5 million was ordered to be spent on environmental projects.

As the EPA reports, most of the spills occurred in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas. One incident involved 100,000 gallons of oil spilled in Texas, which caused a 12-mile oil slick on Nueces Bay and Corpus Christi Bay.


The Koch brothers have spent more that $34 million on groups and organizations that work against workers rights. Koch organizations have targeted key union efforts, such as fighting against public sector union pay raises, and arguing against unions having any political or organizing power.

The Koch brothers also gave money to political candidates to achieve their goals. Mother Jones’s summarizes this diverse giving well:

According to Wisconsin campaign finance filings, Walker’s gubernatorial campaign received $43,000 from the Koch Industries PAC during the 2010 election. That donation was his campaign’s second-highest, behind $43,125 in contributions from housing and realtor groups in Wisconsin. The Koch’s PAC also helped Walker via a familiar and much-used political maneuver designed to allow donors to skirt campaign finance limits. The PAC gave $1 million to the Republican Governors Association, which in turn spent $65,000 on independent expenditures to support Walker. The RGA also spent a whopping $3.4 million on TV ads and mailers attacking Walker’s opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Walker ended up beating Barrett by 5 points. The Koch money, no doubt, helped greatly.

Additionally, the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, a tea party group, led the Stand With Walker campaign, which led support of the Governor’s efforts to bust unions and fight against workers rights.


The Kochs financed the tea party’s fight against health care reform through their tea party group, Americans for Prosperity.


The Koch Brothers have funded anti-immigration legislation through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC is a conservative group that writes policies and offers them to state legislatures throughout the country for use. ALEC has been involved in a wide range of anti-immigration work, including Arizona’s SB1070, which requires anyone thought to be an immigrant to produce paperwork.


The Kochs fund think tanks that push for foreclosures on working people’s houses. The Koch funded Reason Foundation has produced numerous reports saying that foreclosures should not be stopped. And the Koch funded Mercatus Center also presented congressional testimony stating that the foreclosures should not be stopped, and that there is no harm done to homeowners when their houses are foreclosed on.

Untold Millions

The Koch brothers’ spending is structured, such that it is difficult for the public to know the full range of their political influence. With the Koch-supported Citizens United, and other attempts to fight against campaign finance reform, this trend of lack of transparency is only to get worse. The spending numbers that we do know are only the tip of the iceberg.

As if that list isn’t frightening and offensive enough, there’s even more that could be added to it! Visit our Koch Brothers Exposed site and Koch Brothers Exposed Facebook page to vote on the options and suggestion you own thoughts on what the worst thing is that the Koch brothers have done.

Brave New Foundation is just getting started on our work to expose the Koch Brothers. Please join us to follow our upcoming videos. (Watch the first one below.) You can also donate to become a producer and receive a limited edition Shepard Fairey Koch Brothers Exposed t-shirt.

Posted in dirty politics, koch brothers, US Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Birth of Democracy…Destruction of Democracy

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on March 2, 2011

The irony has not been lost on me that while I am humbled to witness the birth of what we all hope to be a new democracy in Egypt, I am also dismayed that I am witnessing an attempted hijacking of a democracy in the USA.

Without a doubt a new paradigm is being ushered into the world, it started with a humble vegetable vendor in Tunisia, Bouazizi Mohamed, frustrated by his inability to make a living, to have a bit of dignity set himself on fire.   As the world watched Tunisia’s dictator crumble, something stirred deep inside the belly of the middle east.  Egyptians broke the fear barrier, and brought down their tyrant…it is spreading…Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, protests are schedule for Saudi on March 11,  and of course Libya.  After being ruled by outsiders for a 1,000 years, and then conquered by insiders who raped the country and the spirit of the people, the Arab world has found their voice, and they are crying for freedom, for dignity, for universal human rights.   The important factor here being, this is a movement from within, it was not brought on by the US kicking in the door of democracy as we did in Iraq.  Not to mention the fact that the US imposed, demanded elections in Palestine, which were conducted, and Hamas was elected, then we decided that we didn’t like who won the democratic elections.

When I think of the word democracy, I think of the US.  We may not be the biggest democracy – that honor goes to India, and we may not be the oldest democracy – that belongs to Greece,  but I always thought of us as a forward moving democracy.  A democracy that has survived and prospered because we embraced change.  We have had Constitutional Amendments to reflect new paradigms -the abolition of  slavery, the removal of the notion that a slave was counted as three-fifths of a person, women given the right to vote are a few examples of how we have morphed to be a more fully inclusive democracy.

One of the signs of a successful democracy is a degree of  civilized disagreement.   The US has continually has extremists on both sides of the aisle,  and ultimately some where in the middle is a good place to rest, but finding middle ground has been increasingly difficult.  Movement to compromise is thwarted continually and forward movement is being hijacked, most notably from a populist movement called the Tea Party, with inflammatory rhetoric and a hard no compromising approach it threatens the very foundation of this democracy.

It also bears mentioning that the people who are bankrolling this movement have their own agenda.  Much of which can be viewed on  Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News Programs.  There is also another group,  who have been given the luxury of operating in the shadows for the most part, that is until recently – The Koch brothers.

The billionaire  Koch Brothers have given tens of millions of dollars to Republican candidates. Millions more of their dollars have been given to think tanks such as the Cato Institute and Heritage Foundation, and lobbying organisations like the US Chamber of Commerce. They have also helped bankroll dozens of cleverly-named pressure groups, including Americans for Prosperity and the Institute for Justice.  Most organisations which benefit from the Kochs’ largesse have one thing in common: they help advance an unflinching brand of libertarian conservatism. Some lobby against environmental regulation, or seek to undermine public perception of the threat of climate change, others battle taxes, trade unions and Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms.  Laughing all the way to the bank with the millions of dollars they have made at the expense of America and Americans. Their ecology destroying business has benefited from the political people the Koch’s have bedded including Bob Dole (Source) Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is no stranger to the Koch Brothers, they heavily bankrolled his campaign, as they did other Republican governors.  (Sources  1 2 3 4 5 )

When a Governor or any other political leader feels the need to “lock down” a capitol, that is a big clue that something very, very wrong is happening.    Gov. Walker, just like every dictator and tyrant in the world has taken a hard line approach, he isn’t negotiating.  Why?  Is it power?  Is it money? Or a combination.  The prank call from a “Koch” brother to Gov. Walker revealed his belief system, and his priorities.




Nobody likes to be given an ultimatum, and the union has come to the table, but Gov. Walker has one agenda in mind, to bust the union.  Unions have been a part of America’s working class.  Unions have brought us weekends, an eight hour work day, OSHA – safety in the workplace, eliminated child labor, vacations, minimum wage to name a few.  Yet, Gov. Walker and the right wing political machine is determined to throw working people back into shackles and sweat shops, owned by the company store.  It is the extremism, the tyrant like behavior that is so disturbing.   Walker has drawn the line in the sand, and in fact may be the best thing anybody has done for the Democratic Party in a long time.  It has united people.  An overwhelming majority of Americans oppose taking away some of the collective bargaining rights that public employee unions now have and almost as many oppose cutting the pay or benefits of those workers, according to a nationwide New York Times/CBS News poll conducted Feb. 24-27.

A few months ago I had a conversation with a man who identified himself as an “Independent” – although I am more inclined to think that was just a way to avoid admitting he is a Republican, but I digress.  The point of the conversation was that the Republican party needed to “rebrand” itself into the working man’s party.  That isn’t going to happen any time soon given recent events.

The real question is :  is busting the unions the only way to eliminate Wisconsin’s  $137 million budget deficit?  The answer is no.  There are at least three other ways to close the gap.

  1. Close Special Interest Property Tax Loopholes – The current exemptions on potential property taxes amount to $700 million per year.
  2. Close The Internet Sales Tax Loophole – A University of Tennessee study estimates that “in 2011 alone, Wisconsin will lose an estimated $127 million in uncollected sales tax on purchases made online.
  3. Crack Down On Corporate Income Tax Dodgers – this would close $113 million dollar a year.


It all begs the question, why target the unions?  This isn’t about unions, it is about power, it is about money.  It is about the right vs. the left.  It is about shutting down the money that has traditionally funded the Democrats.  The party that has always represented the working class person, the party that has at its core values compassion.  With the emergence of the Tea Party all of a sudden if you have compassion, you are called a socialist, a Marxist, a communist.  I consider myself a centrist, but I am the first to admit with each push, with each unreasonable action from the right I move farther and farther to the left.  It is evident that compromise is not in their vocabulary, which leaves no other choice but to push, and push hard.  I refuse to remain silent and watch my country slide into an abyss where the only people who have dignity are those that have vast sums of money.  I believe if given a some what even playing field, if given the opportunity and environment to succeed Americans will rise to the challenge.  Keeping silent while democracy is hijacked by right wing nut jobs is not an option.

In order for a democracy to survive, in order for capitalism to survive, people must be empowered, economically and socially.  I can’t help but wonder if the US is going where Egypt was, we are moving backwards.  We are stripping workers of their rights, creating future ghettos for the short term benefit of people like the Koch brothers who have managed to find the prostitute in politicians.  They have capitalized on the fear of the Tea Party – racism and Islamaphobia.  The biggest threat to America and the core values of our democracy, will not come from Al Qaeda,  it will come from within.  It is already here.  I can’t help but believe that in 10 years some of these rabid wing nuts will say “oh my God what did we do?”  It will be too late then, but maybe we will remember how Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya fought to take back their countries.  Walk like an Egyptian but fight like a Libyan ….



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An Open Letter to the 112th Congress Regarding Repealing Health Care

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on January 16, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen of the 112th Congress:

As you prepare to symbolically repeal health care, and you enter into political rhetoric to fulfill campaign promises, let me assure you, health care is a very personal issue, it is not symbolic for me and millions of other people, it is real, it is tangible, it has consequences and impact.

I come from a family who has always embraced the idea of pulling yourself up by the bootstraps, not asking for a government handout.  I remember shortly after I graduated from college…I lost my job because the company closed, it never occurred to me to apply for unemployment.  I was raised to be not too proud to work, I took what job I could get, until I found a better job.  My  family has always believed in service to country, we have  a rich military history, ranging from enlisted people to graduates from West Point,  all proudly serving the United States of America, past and current.  We  can trace our family roots back to the American Revolution.  I am an educated woman, self employed, with a strong work ethic.  My “pedigree” is as noble as any one of yours.  But here is where we differ…you have health insurance, I am in essence forced to live outside my country because of a pre-existing health condition and unaffordable insurance.   So instead of contributing to my country’s economy, I contribute to another country’s economy.  My talents, my knowledge, my abilities are being hijacked because of health insurance costs and conditions.  I am the person you talk about being the driving engine of the economy, the small business owner.   I could return to the US, and given current health insurance costs, I would have a choice of either paying for health insurance or having a roof over my head.  Either way it  puts me in an unsustainable position, it would force me into seeking government assistance.  I do not want government assistance, I want to be able to provide for myself, I want to contribute to the betterment of society.  Without health care reform, you force me and others into sucking off the government “teat”.  I wasn’t raised that way, and I am not going to start now.

As you prepare to  throw sand in the gears, try to cut off funding, launching time consuming and fruitless investigations, choose to selectively ignore the CBO figures, choose not to apply the “rules” you promised, twist, spin and incite with rhetoric like “Repealing the Job Killing Health Care Act”.  I wait.  I do not believe that I am alone in my wait.

The past two years  of  politicizing  the people’s business has created gridlock, sound bites that incite, and a general lack of credibility and confidence in government.  And now we start again?  Instead of symbolic actions, we need tangible, honest actions.  The health care bill and most of its benefits and cost reductions will not fully be implemented until 2014.  It is time to stop the spinning and half truths, it is time to put the needs of the people first – that means telling the people the truth.  This is not a “Job Killing Health Care Act”.  This is not a government take over of health care, this is not “death panels” – what this health care act does is give affordable health care to the public.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing to see this Congress put aside the rhetoric, put aside the partisan politics, roll up their sleeves and get down to work, honest work, the people’s work?  We have lots of problems to solve, real problems.  In today’s information age, we the people have the ability to source, evaluate, verify, and transmit data, and ideas within minutes.   We the people are watching, even those of us outside the US still vote.  My vote counts, my voice counts.  I am simply asking you to do the right thing, be truthful, be factual, solve problems, don’t create artificial ones.

Sign me….

An American in Exile due to Health Insurance

Posted in dirty politics, health care reform, US News, US Politics | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

JFK Library Digitalized and Available Online

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on January 15, 2011

A man a relevant today as he was 50 years ago…fascinating site, so much information…

Some favorites:


Audio recording of President John F. Kennedy’s radio and television address to the nation regarding desegregation and racially motivated violence at the University of Mississippi. In his speech President Kennedy regrets the necessity for any action by the federal government, but explains that the freedom to disagree with the law does not include the freedom to disobey it. The President calls upon the citizens of Mississippi to allow student James Meredith an equal opportunity for education and to preserve law and order by upholding their tradition of honor and courage.


This is a sound recording of three telephone exchanges. The first exchange is a telephone conversation held on October 22, 1962, between President John F. Kennedy and former President Dwight D. Eisenhower. They discuss ways to deal with the Cuban Missile Crisis and consider possible consequences, including nuclear war and actions taken by the Soviet Union in Berlin, Germany. The recording begins in mid-conversation. The second exchange is chatter involving [White House Operators?]. Machine noise follows. The third exchange is a brief fragment of a telephone conversation between Secretary of State Dean Rusk and an unidentified man. They talk about an impending address to the nation on providing an “effective quarantine” against a threat. This sound recording was originally recorded on Dictation Belt 30, which contains additional sound recording(s) preceding this one. To hear all of the recordings on the Dictation Belt, see Digital Identifier: JFKPOF-TPH-30, Title: Telephone recordings: Dictation Belt 30.

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How to be a President: Obama Rises to the Top While Palin Floats Like a Dead Fish

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on January 13, 2011

It made me proud last night to watch Pres. Obama at the memorial service for the victims of the Tuscon shooting.   It also made me realize why we elected him, this man has leadership qualities, he is able to rise above the vile and the rhetoric, he has substance, vision, compassion and intelligence.  He is able to put the needs of a nation ahead of ego.

Take a lesson Sarah Palin, this tragedy is not about you, it is not about your ego.  No matter how “Presidential” you try to look, you can’t pull it off.  You are not the victim Sarah, you are a source of the vitriol that contributed to this tragedy, OWN it.

Posted in obama, right wing nut jobs, sarah palin, US News, US Politics | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Rep. Mantra of 2011 – No More Earmarks or Welcome to Fantasy Land

Posted by politicalmonkey2010 on January 2, 2011

2011 will usher in a Republican lead house who has vowed “No more earmarks” .  A noble cause to be sure after funding a “Bridge to Nowhere” and a variety of other pure wasteful spending bills.   Earmarks are part of the legislative process, like it or not.  So how does one get around that pesky little problem once you have campaigned on a “no more earmarks!” election?

We can take a lesson from Michele Bachmann, leader of the Tea Party Caucus in Congress, wants to “redefine” earmarks.  Mmmm redefine…is that like when you are pregnant you say you have a “bun in the oven”?  .. like when somebody dies they are pushing up daisies?… you get my point the end result is the same, I don’t care what you call it Michelle, earmarks are earmarks.  But if you want to play spin the earmark, go ahead.   Here is a partial list of earmarks in 2008 Michele has requested (Source)  She did not request earmarks during the campaigning of 2009 a notable event.

  • $94,000 for Sheriffs Youth Program of MN
  • $335,000 for Equipment Acquisition for Northland Medical Center
  • $803,000 for Replacement Small Buses, St. Cloud Metro Bus

While the good people of MN were experiencing less federal government in their lives while  Michele was campaigning and ranting about socialized government,  her family was more than happy to receive funds from the federal government.   On her 2008 Financial Disclosure Statement she lists among her assets an interest in the Independence, Wisc., farm worth between $100,001 and $250,000.  This same farm received federal farm subsidies  to the tune of $259,332 paid to a family farm between 1995 and 2008.  (Source)This  is sorta like I was for it, then I was against it, and if this Munky were to look into the crystal ball of the future I bet she will be for some other “redefined” federal spending.

Here’s a preview of how Michele is going to re-define earmarks… Congress should exempt “roads, bridges and interchanges” and recommends that if a town, city, county or state approves a project, a lawmaker in Washington should be able to submit a request — a practice she says she has followed. Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, says Congress should earn back the public’s trust before considering a new definition but concedes the earmark ban will bring about “unintended consequences.”  (Source)  Oh, OK!  But wait a minute,  isn’t that what Pres. Obama’s stimulus package included – infrastructure?  So the truth is those stimulus projects are really ok, but the right side of the US certainly could not admit that could they?

The fact of the matter is earmarks have a place in our country.  Case in point? The $400,000 earmark that funds the Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, which helps connect military service members and their families with private-practice physicians. That’s necessary because Fort Drum, in upstate New York, is the only Army base in the country without its own hospital.   (Source)

I wonder how a Tea Party electee could deny funding basic health care for the military?  Oh wait, these are the same people who want to deny health care to EVERYBODY.

Hate to burst the bubble of hopeful, because here is the reality of who is making headlines in the GOP

  • Representative Hal “Prince of Pork” Rogers to chair the House Appropriations Committee, who pushed through 135 earmarks at a cost of $246 million in the past two years alone.
  • Representative Dave Camp, someone best known for protecting tax loopholes that reward big corporations for shipping American jobs overseas, to Chair the Ways and Means Committee.
  • Representative Spencer Bachus, chief Republican negotiator of the tea-party hated TARP bailout to lead the House Financial Services Committee.
  • Those new Tea Party electees?  Well 9 of them have already hired  K Street lobbyists as their top aides.

What we have allowed to be elected into office with these right wing nut jobs, is a group of people who have no intention of conducting the business of the people.  Should be an interesting year folks…stay tuned.

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