Our Common Good

Many say we have to cave in to the Republicans because withholding rates will go up on the middle class on Jan 1. This can be avoided by a Presidential Directive to the Secretary of the Treasury. There is a precedent for this. In 1992 President Bush issued a Directive to lower withholding rates (without a corresponding tax change or any legislation) to stimulate the economy.

In 1992, the income tax withholding tables were adjusted so that withholding was reduced. A typical worker received an extra $28.80 in take-home pay per month in March through December 1992, to be offset by a lower tax refund in 1993. The change in withholding amounted to 0.5 percent of GDP. President Bush, who proposed this change in his State of the Union address, intended that it provide a temporary stimulus to demand.

Therefore there is way to rebut those who say if we don’t cave-in and pass the tax cuts for the rich, everyone else will immediately face higher withholding on Jan 1st.  Pres. Obama can issue an Executive Order to maintain tax withholding rates for those with income under $250,000 .  He can even cite President Bush for the precedent.

The Strategy:

1) Refuse to pass anything but the Middle Class Tax cuts.

2)  President Obama can issue a Directive to the Secretary of the Treasury to maintain existing tax withholding rates only for those with income under $250,000..

3)  Fight everyday until we force Republicans to capitulate on Middle Class tax cuts only.

Would this work?

There are some things where governor Romney is different from George (W.) Bush: George Bush didn’t propose turning Medicare into a voucher. George Bush embraced comprehensive immigration reform — he didn’t call for ‘self-deportation.’ George Bush never suggested that we eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood. So, there are difference between governor Romney and George Bush, but they’re not on economic policy — in some ways, he’s gone to a more extreme place when it comes to social policies.


Body blow.  Body blow.  Uppercut.

(via inothernews)

Among likely voters, 50 percent put the onus on Bush for the ongoing sluggish economic, 25 percent blamed President Obama and 4 percent blamed former President Bill Clinton in the poll conducted by CVOTER International. Among confirmed voters, 44 percent blamed Bush, 36 percent Obama and 8 percent Clinton.

Asked who could better handle the economy 33 percent of likely voters said Obama and 19 percent said Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, with 28 percent saying neither man is equipped for the job. Among confirmed voters, 35 percent said Obama, 42 percent went with Romney and 13 percent rejected both men.

"The voter sentiment behind the disparate figures is not difficult to comprehend. Likely voters that may not turn up at the voting booth are more Democratic-leaning than Republican given their demographic — largely low-income, ethnic minorities," the pollsters said.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


From Lean Forward/ Hardball:

An article in Tuesday’s New York Times says the Bush administration was guilty of “significantly more negligence than has been disclosed” in their response to pre-9/11 warnings that Al Qaeda intended to attack the United States. That is the “inescapable conclusion,” writes journalist Kurt Eichenwald, based on his research into recently declassified documents and excerpts of still-classified reports.

…according to the official story, a handful of Arabs, mainly Saudi Arabians, operating independently of any government and competent intelligence service, men without James Bond and V for Vendetta capabilities, outwitted not only the CIA, FBI, and National Security Agency, but all 16 US intelligence agencies, along with all security agencies of America’s NATO allies and Israel’s Mossad. Not only did the entire intelligence forces of the Western world fail, but on the morning of the attack the entire apparatus of the National Security State simultaneously failed. Airport security failed four times in one hour. NORAD failed. Air Traffic Control failed. The US Air Force failed. The National Security Council failed. Dick Cheney failed. Absolutely nothing worked. The world’s only superpower was helpless at the humiliating mercy of a few undistinguished Arabs. It is hard to image a more far-fetched story–except for the second thing you need to know: The humiliating failure of US National Security did not result in immediate demands from the President of the United States, from Congress, from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and from the media for an investigation of how such improbable total failure could have occurred. No one was held accountable for the greatest failure of national security in world history. Instead, the White House dragged its feet for a year resisting any investigation until the persistent demands from 9/11 families for accountability forced President George W. Bush to appoint a political commission, devoid of any experts, to hold a pretend investigation.

But seriously, I do have two recommendations for Jeb if he honestly wants the president and the more than two-thirds of Americans who blame his brother to bend to the Bush narrative.

First, if you want us to stop blaming George W. Bush, stop running on his ideas.

Now this isn’t a stricture that applies to Jeb Bush alone. Unlike a majority of Republicans in Congress, he is willing to consider tax increases to cut the deficit. He has also praised President Obama for controversial educational reforms that have largely been ignored by press.

Mitt Romney, however, is running entirely on a Bush agenda with few exceptions. Unlike W., Romney claims he’d make huge cuts in government –although the growth of government was  responsible for just about the only jobs created during W.’s administration.

Romney has the same neo-conservative foreign policy advisors as W., the same across-the-board tax breaks that go mostly to the wealthy, and the same desire to regulate big business – meaning none.

If the GOP rejected the Bush-era dogmatism about tax cuts for the rich, coddling Wall Street and military aggression, it would be much harder to blame Bush.

Second, if you want us to stop blaming your brother, Jeb, tell the Republican Party to stop sabotaging our country. No one expects Republicans to suddenly become Democrats. But how can anyone  look at what the GOP has done since this president was inaugurated and not  see an outright attempt to prevent recovery? Forget voting against everything he proposed to put Americans back to work. Forget passing an endless series of bills that empowers polluters and calling them jobs bills. That’s pretty typical GOP nonsense.

What is unacceptable is that the Republicans who enabled Bush to spend the surplus are the same ones who held our economy hostage to raise the debt limit for the first time in American history. For months in the middle of 2011, as millions of Americans were out of work, they played a political game to get a debt deal they won’t even honor. The same gang is also holding up appointments of judges and public officials, wounding the ability of our democracy to function. To make matters worse, they’re almost guaranteeing a repeat of the debt limit crisis — despite knowing that even the spectre of another debt crisis threatens American jobs.

Going to constant extremes simply to injure this president proves that Republicans learned nothing from Bush’s failures. And since you, Jeb, seem to be planning on running this herd of clawing cats one day, getting them to take a little responsibility would be a good first step.

Until you do, we’ll just have another Bush to blame.

And finally New Rule, Republicans don’t have to accept evolution, economics, climatology or human sexuality, but I just watched a week of their national convention, and I need them to admit the historical existence of George W. Bush. If your party can run the nation for eight years and then have a national convention and not invite Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Karl Rove or Tom DeLay, you’re not a political movement, you’re the witness protection program. In fact, Republicans, next time instead of holding a convention without your most recent president, your most recent vice-president, your most recent vice-presidential nominee and most of the runners up from your most recent primary, why not just wave one of those Men in Black memory eraser wands and say make us forget everything we know about you? (via Maher: How Can We Trust Republicans With the Future When as Far as I Can Tell, the World Ended the Year Reagan Left Office? | Video Cafe)


George W. Bush Legacy Hovers Over Republican National Convention

TAMPA, Florida — Where is George W. Bush?

The last Republican president was a no-show at the Republican convention this week. And the party that he led for eight years barely mentioned him - or his record.

Nevertheless, Bush’s fiscal legacy - including hundreds of billions spent on two wars that helped balloon the federal deficit - loomed large over the gathering, as Republicans tried to make the case that the Republican Party was the party of smaller government and restrained spending.

Paul Ryan, for one, even lumped Bush in with President Barack Obama, blaming both for the nation’s tenuous fiscal condition.

“In a clean break from the Obama years and, frankly, from the years before this president, we will keep federal spending at 20 percent of GDP or less,” Ryan, R-Wis., the House Budget Committee chairman, said as he accepted the vice presidential nomination Wednesday.

The legacy of the Bush years complicates Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s case against Obama as both fight to win over an electorate frustrated by the nation’s enormous debt and budget-busting deficits.


Things I Learned: The George W. Bush library will have a ‘Freedom Hall’ and a video loop of the Twin Towers getting hit and going down.

Remember Bush? Want More?
Hearing about Willard’s notion of foreign policy, I cringed in disgust.  “This must be an American Century” took me back to the Neocon days, before PNAC (Project for a New American Century) went defunct, thoroughly discredited by their failures and lies.  Neocon policies made our nation an international pariah from wars of aggression, based on lies, and my way or the highway diplomacy.  All Willard has to offer is a return to those days… (videos)


Remember Bush? Want More?

Hearing about Willard’s notion of foreign policy, I cringed in disgust.  “This must be an American Century” took me back to the Neocon days, before PNAC (Project for a New American Century) went defunct, thoroughly discredited by their failures and lies.  Neocon policies made our nation an international pariah from wars of aggression, based on lies, and my way or the highway diplomacy.  All Willard has to offer is a return to those days… (videos)


“Eight years was awesome and I was famous and I was powerful.”

- George W. Bush


I don’t know about you, but it has NEVER worked for me!


I don’t know about you, but it has NEVER worked for me!

How’s that Voter I.D. law workin’ out for ya, GOP? 1.5 million Texas citizens don’t meet the laws’ eligibility requirements, and GW Bush is one of them

Well, yes, you can. In fact we know nearly for certain that the recount stopped by the Supreme Court would have given Gore the lead. (Of course, it’s entirely possible that the Republican-controlled Florida legislature would have simply overridden the results of the count and handed the state to Bush, as it threatened to do.) But Carney is repeating a common misconception.

The myth that Bush would have won had the recount proceeded dates back to a recount conducted by a consortium of newspapers that examined the ballots. The consortium found that “If all the ballots had been reviewed under any of seven single standards, and combined with the results of an examination of overvotes, Mr. Gore would have won, by a very narrow margin.” But the newspapers decided that this was not how the counties would have actually tabulated the votes. By the variable standards they would have used, the papers reported, Bush would have prevailed. Thus the national news reported a slew of headlines asserting that Bush would have prevailed.

The conclusion was erroneous. The newspapers assumed that the counties would only have looked at “undervotes” — ballots that did not register any votes for president — and ignored “overvotes” — ballots that registered more than one vote for president. An overvote would be a ballot in which the machine mistakenly picked up a second vote for president, or in which a voter both marked a box and wrote in the name of the same candidate. A hand recount in which an examiner is judging the “intent of the voter” would turn those ballots that were originally discarded into countable votes.

Counting overvotes in which the intent of the voter was clear would have resulted in Gore winning the recount. And subsequent reporting by the Orlando Sentinel and Michael Isikoff found that the recount, had it proceeded, almost certainly would have examined overvotes. (Most of the links have been lost over time, but you can find references here and here.)