Our Common Good

Iowa congressman Steve King, who has compared immigrants to dogs and defended dog fighting in the past, hit a series of wingnut hot buttons Sunday during an interview with Des Moines’ local WHO-TV.

Steve King’s amazing wingnut roll(via Salon.com)

justinspoliticalcorner:

1) “I want to make sure we keep our Pell grant program growing. We’re also going to have our loan program, so that people are able to afford school.” As part of his budget, Paul Ryan proposed cutting Pell Grants for nearly 1 million college students. In fact, Romney’s white paper on education, “A Chance for Every Child,” suggests that he “would reverse the growth in Pell Grant funding.” It says: “A Romney Administration will refocus Pell Grant dollars on the students that need them most and place the program on a responsible long-term path that avoids future funding cliffs and last-minute funding patches.”

2) “I put out a five-point plan that gets America 12 million new jobs in four years and rising take-home pay.” The Washington Post’s in-house fact checker tore Mitt Romney’s claim that he will create 12 MILLION jobs to shreds. The Post wrote that the “‘new math’” in Romney’s plan “doesn’t add up.” In awarding the claim four Pinocchios — the most untrue possible rating, the Post expressed incredulity at the fact Romney would personally stand behind such a flawed, baseless claim.

4) “Because the president cut in half the number of licenses and permits for drilling on federal lands, and in federal waters.” There are slightly fewer permits in 2009 and 2010, from between 8,000-9,000 permits to over 5,000, and they have not been cut by half. The oil and gas industry is sitting on 7,000 approved permits to drill, where it hasn’t begun exploring or developing. Two-thirds of “acreage leased by [oil] industry lies idle” on public lands, according to the Department of the Interior.

6) “And coal, coal production is not up; coal jobs are not up.” 1,500 coal jobs have been created under Obama.

9) “The proof of whether a [energy] strategy is working or not is what the price is that you’re paying at the pump. If you’re paying less than you paid a year or two ago, why, then, the strategy is working. But you’re paying more.” Gas prices are certainly high, but oil is a global commodity, and the president has virtually no control over them. And according to the Congressional Budget Office, Romney’s proposal to increase domestic oil production would not have much impact on volatility.

10) “And I will not — I will not under any circumstances, reduce the share that’s being paid by the highest income taxpayers. And I will not, under any circumstances increase taxes on the middle-class.” As the Tax Policy Center concluded, Romney’s plan can’t both exempt middle class families from tax cuts and remain revenue neutral. “He’s promised all these things and he can’t do them all. In order for him to cover the cost of his tax cut without adding to the deficit, he’d have to find a way to raise taxes on middle income people or people making less than $200,000 a year,” the Center found.

11) “But your rate comes down and the burden also comes down on you for one more reason, and that is every middle-income taxpayer no longer will pay any tax on interest, dividends or capital gains. No tax on your savings. That makes life a lot easier.” This would actually help very few Americans. Nearly three-fourths of households that make $200,000 or less annually would get literally nothing from Romney’s tax cut, due to the simple fact that most of those households have no capital gains income. To be exact, 73.9 percent of the households upon which Romney “focused” his tax cut will see zero benefit from it.

12) “A recent study has shown the people in the middle-class will see $4,000.00 per year in higher taxes as a result of the spending and borrowing of this administration.” Romney is pointing to this study from the American Enterprise Institute. It actually found that rather than raise taxes to pay down the debt, the Obama administration’s policies — those contained directly in his budget — would reduce the share of taxes that go toward servicing the debt by $1,289.89 per taxpayer in the $100,000 to $200,000 range.

13) “Fifty-four percent of America’s workers work in businesses that are taxed as individuals. So when you bring those rates down, those small businesses are able to keep more money and hire more people.” Far less than half of the people affected by the expiration of the upper income tax cuts get any of their income at all from a small businesses. And those people could very well be receiving speaking fees or book royalties, which qualify as “small business income” but don’t have a direct impact on job creation. It’s actually hard to find a small business who think that they will be hurt if the marginal tax rate on income earned above $250,000 per year is increased.

14) “I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women. I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my Cabinet and my senior staff, that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states, and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.” Romney did not ask women groups for candidates. Instead, prior to his election, a “bipartisan group of women in Massachusetts formed MassGAP to address the problem of few women in senior leadership positions in state government.” They “put together the binder full of women qualified for all the different cabinet positions, agency heads, and authorities and commissions” and presented it to Romney after he was elected. A UMass-Boston study found that “the percentage of senior-level appointed positions held by women actually declined throughout the Romney administration, from 30.0% prior to his taking office, to 29.7% in July 2004, to 27.6% near the end of his term in November 2006.”

15) “I’m going to help women in America get good work by getting a stronger economy and by supporting women in the workforce.” Romney has been uncomfortably silent on the issue of pay equity. He has refused to say whether he’d support the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would allow women to sue for equal pay, and named four of the justices who voted to roll back equal pay in that Supreme Court decision as his models for any of his appointments to the federal bench.

16) “I’d just note that I don’t believe that bureaucrats in Washington should tell someone whether they can use contraceptives or not. And I don’t believe employers should tell someone whether they could have contraceptive care of not. Every woman in America should have access to contraceptives.” But back in March, Romney expressed strong support for the so-called Blunt amendment, which that would allow employers to deny contraception coverage to women. Romney also wants to defund Planned Parenthood, where 76 percent of the patients seek low-cost birth control options. Defunding the organization would make it much harder for those women to get contraceptives.

17) “So when you say that I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did. And — and I think it’s important to know that that was a process that was necessary to get those companies back on their feet, so they could start hiring more people. That was precisely what I recommend and ultimately what happened.” This is false. As Buisnessweek explain: “Romney is misstating his position. He opposed any use of taxpayer dollars to bail out the automakers, advice that President George W. Bush and Obama ignored. GM and Chrysler went through managed bankruptcies after Bush, at the end of his presidency, and later Obama provided federal funds.” “Without federal funds, GM and Chyrsler would not have survived. As former Bush aide Tony Fratto explained, “It wasn’t just that there wasn’t credit available; a lot of private equity had cash, they just weren’t giving it away.”

18) “He said that by now middle-income families would have a reduction in their health insurance premiums by $2,500 a year. It’s gone up by $2,500 a year.” Premiums have increased, though at a lower rate than before. And while the Affordable Care Act’s most important cost contentment strategies have yet to be implemented, the law is already lowering costs. 16 million seniors have received preventive benefits without deductibles or co-pays and are saving at least $3.9 billion on prescription drugs. Millions of young adults now have insurance coverage and are staying on their parent’s health care plan, insurers have refunded consumers, and states have successfully rejected dramatic premium increases.

19) “He keeps saying, ‘Look, I’ve created 5 million jobs.’ That’s after losing 5 million jobs. The entire record is such that the unemployment has not been reduced in this country.” Job creation is net positive since Obama took office in the middle of the worst recession since the great depression. Economists estimate that up to 3 million jobs were created by the stimulus alone.

23) “It was a terrorist attack and it took a long time for that to be told to the American people.”Obama called the Libya incident an act of “terror” the very next day. “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for,” he said. “Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.”

24) “Consider the distance between ourselves and — and Israel, the president said that — that he was going to put daylight between us and Israel.” The Israeli Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister, Ehud Barak, told CNN, “President Obama is doing … more than anything that I can remember in the past [in regard to our security].”

25) “The president’s policies throughout the Middle East began with an apology tour and — and — and pursue a strategy of leading from behind, and this strategy is unraveling before our very eyes.” Obama never embarked on an “apology tour.”

26) “We, of course, don’t want to have automatic weapons, and that’s already illegal in this country to have automatic weapons.” Automatic weapons are legal in this country.

28) “What I will do as president is make sure it’s more attractive to come to America again.”Romney’s plan to move the country to a territorial tax system would let corporations do business and make profits overseas without ever being taxed on it in the U.S. This would no doubt encourage American companies to invest abroad, potentially costing the country up to 800,000 jobs.

30) “And there’s no question but that Obamacare has been an extraordinary deterrent to enterprises of all kinds hiring people.” Under the law, only companies with more than 50 employees must provide health insurance or pay a fine — that’s just 2.6 percent of businesses. If anything, expanding health care coverage to more Americans will actually create hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

31) “He said he would have by now put forward a plan to reform Medicare and Social Security, because he pointed out they’re on the road to bankruptcy.” [T]he possibility of Medicare going bankrupt is — and historically has been — greatly exaggerated. In fact, if no changes are made, Medicare would still be able to meet 88 percent of its obligations in 2085. Social Security is fully funded for another two decades and could pay 75 percent of its benefits thereafter. There is also an easy way to ensure the program’s long-term solvency without large changes or cuts to benefits.

Mitt Romney was lying off his rocker last night. He CANNOT be trusted to lead a kids’ hockey team, let alone this nation (and the world).

h/t: Igor Volsky at Think Progress

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.

PRESIDENT OBAMA.

Body blow.  Body blow.  Uppercut.

(via inothernews)

quickhits:

diadoumenos:

Mitt Romney won’t revoke visas for young illegal immigrants earned under President Obama order
So after months of criticizing President Obama for granting temporary clemency to a small group of undocumented immigrants, Romney has now flip-flopped and has no problem with granting temporary clemency to a small group of undocumented immigrants.

Meanwhile, Obama leads among Latino voters 73%-21% in the latest Latino Decisions poll.
Too little, too late.

quickhits:

diadoumenos:

Mitt Romney won’t revoke visas for young illegal immigrants earned under President Obama order

So after months of criticizing President Obama for granting temporary clemency to a small group of undocumented immigrants, Romney has now flip-flopped and has no problem with granting temporary clemency to a small group of undocumented immigrants.

Meanwhile, Obama leads among Latino voters 73%-21% in the latest Latino Decisions poll.

Too little, too late.

In response to a direct question on the DREAM Act, he said, “for those that are here, that are undocumented, that were brought here by their parents, and therefore are illegal aliens…my view is that we should put into place a permanent solution.”

Most kids who would be covered under the DREAM Act do not consider themselves illegal aliens. They’ve grown up in this country. They’ve been educated in our schools. They pledge allegiance to our flag. Some of them serve our country. Others of them want to.

They are caught in an unfair web, but they are not “illegal aliens.” And why on earth would Romney think it was a good idea to say that to the Univision audience?

He goes on in this segment to extol Marco Rubio’s solution while blaming Democrats for the stall on the DREAM Act and immigration reform. Rubio’s solution doesn’t give anyone, including DREAMers, a path to citizenship. It just keeps them from being deported. What kind of solution is that?

It gets worse, though. When asked if he was ducking the question and whether he would deport immigrants, he feigned outrage at the thought, and then yammered about a ‘permanent solution’ that makes cannon fodder of kids brought here with their parents as a condition for citizenship. After all, if Mitt wants to do battle with Iran, he’ll need fresh troops to fight it. It appears he wishes to mine the groups of immigrants in this country who would just like a way to apply for and work toward citizenship.

What Mitt didn’t say is as important as what he did. He never said the word “citizen.” He said they’d receive “permanent resident” status, which is not citizenship and does not confer the rights of citizenship. One might get the impression that Mitt doesn’t especially care for the idea of Latinos having voting rights or something.

Let’s get one thing out of the way: Mexican immigration is an oxymoron. Mexicans are indigenous. So, in a strange way, I’m pleased that the racist folks of Arizona have officially declared, in banning me alongside Urrea, Baca, and Castillo, that their anti-immigration laws are also anti-Indian. I’m also strangely pleased that the folks of Arizona have officially announced their fear of an educated underclass. You give those brown kids some books about brown folks and what happens? Those brown kids change the world. In the effort to vanish our books, Arizona has actually given them enormous power. Arizona has made our books sacred documents now.
Sherman Alexie  (via sinidentidades)
Romney endorses immigration hardliner

univisionnews:

King supports Arizona-style immigration laws. 

By EMILY DERUY

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney endorsed Steve King (R-Iowa) for Congress during a campaign stop in northwestern Iowa on Friday. The move drew criticism from Democrats who cited King’s far-right immigration policies as evidence that Romney is catering to extreme views. 

Read More

SarahLee chiming in….

And King is not just wrong on immigration.  He is wrong on everything.  He is no better than Todd Akin. 

The guy who is against laws against dogfighting, boasts that his laws allow more animal cruelty, blasts “multiculturalism” as "victims groups," gives long sermons on how the demon government is oppressing his God-given right to slightly less efficient lightbulbs, says that some Americans just don’t need health care, flirts with birtherism, hangs out with racists, pines for the time when only male property owners could vote, says that high American unemployment is caused by a "nation of slackers," and just recently was opining to a reporter that he just plain never “heard of” anyone getting pregnant from incest or statutory rape? Steve King the sociopath? (h/t Hunter at Daily Kos)

Don’t forget that King was one of the 11 members of Congress who voted against the aid package for victims of Hurricane Katrina.  He claims it was one of his best votes.

Watch this video by DemRapidResponse and vote it up at YouTube.

I’m gonna go toss a donation to King’s opponent Christie Vilsack.  Hope you will as well.

jaynawallace:

Steve King: It was a compliment to say immigrants are like dogs
People just can’t take a compliment these days. That’s what Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said last night in defense of his May comment that Americans should be sure to “get the pick of the litter” when selecting which immigrants should become citizens.
“This American vigor that we have that comes from legal immigrants who came to this country with a dream — we get the cream of the crop of every donor civilization on the planet — and people that can take a compliment and turn it into an insult are not going to be constructive working across the aisle. But that’s what that was, was a compliment,” King said in a radio debate with his campaign challenger Christie Vilsack. ”

You really have to wonder about the home he grew up in.

jaynawallace:

Steve King: It was a compliment to say immigrants are like dogs

People just can’t take a compliment these days. That’s what Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said last night in defense of his May comment that Americans should be sure to “get the pick of the litter” when selecting which immigrants should become citizens.

“This American vigor that we have that comes from legal immigrants who came to this country with a dream — we get the cream of the crop of every donor civilization on the planet — and people that can take a compliment and turn it into an insult are not going to be constructive working across the aisle. But that’s what that was, was a compliment,” King said in a radio debate with his campaign challenger Christie Vilsack. ”

You really have to wonder about the home he grew up in.

The Romney campaign announced Wednesday that Rep. Allen West (R-FL), the Tea Party darling from Florida, will be one of three chairs on the Romney For President Black Leadership Council.

West will serve alongside Rep. Tim Scott (R-SC), and Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll to “help facilitate dialogue between Mitt Romney and respected leaders who provide unique expertise, experience and knowledge on a range of issues impacting black American communities,” according to a Romney press release.

Here are some of the extremist race- or ethnicity-based viewpoints that West will bring to the table in his official relationship with the Romney campaign:

West says the federal government is ’21st century slavery.’ West once argued that “we are creating the sense of economic dependence, which to me is a form of modern, 21st century slavery,” specifically referencing Social Security Disability. He also said of all social programs “redistributionary handouts is in fact the most insidious form of slavery remaining in the world today.” Another time, West told residents of his home district that President Obama has not interest in helping Americans: “He does not want you to have the self-esteem of getting up and earning and having that title of American,” West said. “He’d rather you be his slave.” On a similar note, West once called fellow Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Maxine Waters (R-CA) a “plantation overseer.”

West believes ‘we are at war with the Islamic culture.’ West is a believer in “creeping sharia,” the idea that Muslims are trying to instate strict Islamic law in the United States. The Congressman has been host to radical anti-Islam activists, for which he recieved harsh criticism from religious groups, but did not apologize. West also claimed that a Muslim member of Congress “represent[ed] the antithesis of the principles upon which this country was established” and was a “wolf in the hen house.” (He even screened a Muslim-bashing film in honor of September 11th.)

West doesn’t like the idea of a ‘multi-cultural America.’ West fears “political correctness or the desire to be a multi-cultural America.” He once argued, “you have to repel invasions” when talking about undocumented immigrants. Illegal immigration, he said, “can be considered what the founding fathers wrote as an invasion into your country.” When President Obama issued his directive to relieve young, undocumented students with no criminal record, West called the move “one of those backdoor opportunities to allow people in the next five months to get the opportunity to vote.”

West has a litany of other lines invoking sexism, quoting Nazis, and calling for censorship of the U.S. media. Plus, the woman West first named as his Chief of Staff has her own set of horrendously offensive remarks, and turned down the role because she said she felt she was part of an “electronic lynching by proxy.”

justinspoliticalcorner:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Democratic Party unveiled its formal 2012 platform on Monday night. And like its Republican counterpart, it is heavy on broad philosophical strokes about the direction in which the party wants to take the country, short on policy specifics and carefully worded on some of the more contentious issues.

Health Care: The party touts the achievements of the Affordable Care Act but pledges to keep building up reforms.

We will continue to stand up to Republicans working to take away the benefits and protections that are already helping millions of Americans every day. We refuse to go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your health policy, deny you coverage, or charge women more than men.

At the same time, the Affordable Care Act is not the end of efforts to improve health care for all Americans. Democrats will continue to fight for a strong health care workforce with an emphasis on primary care.

Medicare: The party appears undeterred by fact-checkers who claim it’s unfair to say Republicans will end the program as it’s currently conceived.

The Republican budget plan would end Medicare as we know it. Democrats adamantly oppose any efforts to privatize or voucherize Medicare…

Unions: The Democrats give a hug to Big Labor.

Democrats believe that the right to organize and collectively bargain is a fundamental American value.

Immigration Reform: The party reaffirms its commitment to a comprehensive plan beyond the Dream Act.

Democrats know there is broad consensus to repair that system and strengthen our economy, and that the country urgently needs comprehensive immigration reform that brings undocumented immigrants out of the shadows and requires them to get right with the law, learn English, and pay taxes in order to get on a path to earn citizenship.

Abortion: Democrats support both the right to choose and the funding of providers.

Democrats will continue to stand up to Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood health centers.

We oppose any and all efforts to weaken or undermine that right. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way

Gay Marriage: As expected, the party takes the plunge, offering its first formal support for same-sex marriage rights.

We support marriage equality and support the movement to secure equal treatment under law for same-sex couples. We also support the freedom of churches and religious entities to decide how to administer marriage as a religious sacrament without government interference.

Guns: The party supports “regulation” in theory, albeit in carefully worded terms.

We believe that the right to own firearms is subject to reasonable regulation. We understand the terrible consequences of gun violence; it serves as a reminder that life is fragile, and our time here is limited and precious. We believe in an honest, open national conversation about firearms.

Dem Platform

h/t: Sam Stein at HuffPo

timekiller-s:

ryking:

Russell Pearce’s Disastrous Arizona Campaign Is Over

Immigration hardliner Russell Pearce’s burning desire to return to office in Arizona got doused with cold water on Tuesday night when he lost the Republican primary for state Senate to a moderate businessman who took a softer tone on immigration.
It was the second time in less than a year that Pearce, a tea party favorite who was once one of the most powerful politicians in Arizona, was put to bed by a moderate and it marked the end of a disastrous attempt to regain his standing in state politics.
His campaign was marred by typos, fundraising problems, an uproar that involved him questioning the bravery of the Colorado massacre victims and a murder-suicide carried out by a former friend…
On Tuesday [night], Pearce was in hiding following his defeat. Journalists on the ground in Arizona reported that his cell phone went straight to voicemail and photographers were being thrown out of his campaign party.


And good riddance to bad rubbish.

timekiller-s:

ryking:

Russell Pearce’s Disastrous Arizona Campaign Is Over

Immigration hardliner Russell Pearce’s burning desire to return to office in Arizona got doused with cold water on Tuesday night when he lost the Republican primary for state Senate to a moderate businessman who took a softer tone on immigration.

It was the second time in less than a year that Pearce, a tea party favorite who was once one of the most powerful politicians in Arizona, was put to bed by a moderate and it marked the end of a disastrous attempt to regain his standing in state politics.

His campaign was marred by typos, fundraising problems, an uproar that involved him questioning the bravery of the Colorado massacre victims and a murder-suicide carried out by a former friend…

On Tuesday [night], Pearce was in hiding following his defeat. Journalists on the ground in Arizona reported that his cell phone went straight to voicemail and photographers were being thrown out of his campaign party.

And good riddance to bad rubbish.

thepoliticalfreakshow:

Gov. Phil Bryant (R-MS) has ordered state agencies to prevent undocumented immigrants who benefit from President Obama’s deferred action directive from receiving any state public benefits. He said his executive order stopping the state from granting benefits to DREAM Act-eligible youth who qualify for the federal policy follows current state law. Mississippi already bans state agencies from providing benefits like unemployment payments or food stamps to people who are not U.S. citizens or legal residents. Republican governors in Arizona and Nebraska issued similar orders after the deferred action policy went into effect August 15

Latino conservatives ditch Republican Party

univisionnews:

Some Latinos are fleeing the Republican Party in opposition to hardline immigration policies. 

By EMILY DERUY 

The Latino Republican group Somos Republicans is losing members in the wake of the party’s adoption of Arizona-style hardline immigration positions. 

Read More

Georgia upholds “papers please” provision in controversial immigration law

univisionnews:

It’s not quite Arizona’s immigration law, but critics are concerned about racial profiling. 

By EMILY DERUY

Georgia may begin enforcing a law that allows state and local police to investigate the immigration status 

Read More

Perry directs Texas agencies to ignore Obama’s immigration order

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) directed state agencies this week to ignore President Barack Obama’s order on “deferred action” for undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children, saying that the order was “a slap in the face to the rule of law and our Constitutional framework of separated powers.”

Although the law states that the federal government has sole authority over matters concerning immigration, and the Obama administration specifically said the order in no way changes the law, Perry insisted that state agencies still have a mandate to verify who is eligible for state and local public benefits — saying, in effect, that Texas will refuse to issue identification cards to undocumented immigrants who qualify for them under federal law.

“The [order] does not undermine or change our state laws, or any federal laws that apply within the State of Texas,” he wrote. “I expect our state agencies to continue to comply with and enforce the laws for the protection of our citizens, communities and state treasury and in fulfillment of our constitutional duty as officials within the executive branch.”

Perry has in the past tried to claim that the 10th Amendment to the Constitution empowers him to refuse orders by the federal government on things like clean air regulationshealth insurance exchangesMedicare and Medicaid assistance and women’s health services. In spite of his proclivity for rhetorical insurrection, Perry is often chided by legal experts for ignoring Article IV, Clause 2 of the Constitution, also known as the federal supremacy clause, which establishes laws and treaties adopted by Congress to be the highest law of the land.

[…]

The refusal to comply means Texas, Arizona and Nebraska are rushing headlong into a messy legal battle with the federal government over the Bush administration’s Real ID Act of 2005, which requires a host of new supporting documents be presented to obtain a photo ID, and stipulates that people who qualify for “deferred action” on immigration areeligible for a driver’s license. All states will be required to comply with new standards for photo IDs by January 15, 2013, meaning the federal government will likely have to sue the rogue governors to force their compliance with the law.

During the first two years of President Obama’s administration, undocumented immigrants were deported at a higher rate than ever before, outpacing deportations during even the prior eight years of Republican rule. A study published in April 2012 found that facing the reality of those policies and a continued lack of jobs in a still stagnant economy, legal and illegal immigration from Mexico has hit “net zero”, its lowest level in decades. President Obama has promised to take on immigration reform if he’s elected to a second term.